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NEED HELP GOING CRAZY, with what GPS to pick Garmin or Magellan


Rider1124
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Check GC.com, and see how many more garmins are owned than any other GPS.

I see more Hyundais on the road than BMWs, but that doesn't mean that Hyundais are the superior cars.

 

That's because, in your analogy, BMW's cost much more than the Hyundais. In the GPS world the prices in each category run similar and an overwhelming Garmin market share was no accident.

 

Garmin units have free (and legal) maps available at various online 3rd party sites and you can even make your own (after the learning curve). I wish the other manufacturers would realize that the ability to make and load maps made from freely available vector data (shapefiles) sells alot of GPS units.

 

I like Delorme units but Magellan totally lost me with their Triton fail and I never looked back. It's possible that Maggie got their act together with the new eXplorist line but their mapping options dissapoint me (see above rant about making your own maps).

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Check GC.com, and see how many more garmins are owned than any other GPS.

I see more Hyundais on the road than BMWs, but that doesn't mean that Hyundais are the superior cars.

 

That's because, in your analogy, BMW's cost much more than the Hyundais. In the GPS world the prices in each category run similar and an overwhelming Garmin market share was no accident.

No, my point is that popularity is not a valid way to determine quality or value.
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No, my point is that popularity is not a valid way to determine quality or value.

 

However.....

 

The OP was asking about a GPS for geocaching. The ratio of owned units on GEOCACHING.COM is extremely relevant, since the only people posting here are geocachers.

 

And, I have a friend who owns four businesses, and has owned several BMW's and at least one Lexus, and now drives a fully loaded Kia, and says he's happier with it than any luxury car he's ever owned. Personally, I can't afford one, so I wouldn't know.

 

Later!

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No, my point is that popularity is not a valid way to determine quality or value.

 

I think we're in agreement.

 

My point was that, in this particular example, cost difference isn't a factor in why Gamins are so prevalent whereas in the Hyundai/BMW example it is (I drive a Hyundai. Believe me, if BMW's cost the same as Hyundais I'd have a BMW).

 

Despite my adoration for Garmins, and the culture of mapmaking surrounding their handhelds, I always suggest to anyone that they visit a store and spend at least 15 minutes with each unit, enough time to get a real feel for the menu systems and interface. After all, despite all the extraneous features, the user interface and menu feel are among the most important in my opinion.

Edited by yogazoo
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I started with a Garmin etrex and within months went to the Magellan Meridian Platinum....I own several of these and still believe the Platinum is the best geocaching gps ( they can be bought used on Ebay @ $70-$100 or so.) Once Magellan discontinued the Meridian line things seemed to go downhill in both quality and customer support. I gave up on Magellan and have been buying Garmin..Nuvi 500, Nuvi 780 (2), 60 CSx ( I like this unit second only to the Platinum), Oregon 450, etc.

As of now if you want a new paperless unit I would go with Garmin ( Oregon 450 or 62S ) All the new Garmins , including the new Etrex 30 ( from a recent review) suffer from a " sticky " problem....as you approach a cache the distance-to-cache will freeze....it does un-freeze at some point but at times it makes cache hunting stressful ( a cacher friend says his Delorme PN 60 does the same thing).

Again, there is no unit without issues.....I do enjoy the 450.

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All the new Garmins , including the new Etrex 30 ( from a recent review) suffer from a " sticky " problem....as you approach a cache the distance-to-cache will freeze....it does un-freeze at some point but at times it makes cache hunting stressful ( a cacher friend says his Delorme PN 60 does the same thing).

Huh? I've had an eTrex 20 for two months now and have never experienced such a problem, either in an urban area or in Yosemite.

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All the new Garmins , including the new Etrex 30 ( from a recent review) suffer from a " sticky " problem....as you approach a cache the distance-to-cache will freeze....it does un-freeze at some point but at times it makes cache hunting stressful ( a cacher friend says his Delorme PN 60 does the same thing).

Huh? I've had an eTrex 20 for two months now and have never experienced such a problem, either in an urban area or in Yosemite.

 

The "sticky effect " is seen on Garmin units with the 3 axis electronic compass. There are current discussions as to whether its a software/hardware issue or caused by certain batteries/voltage, etc,etc.

 

I'll be glad when its gone.

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The "sticky effect " is seen on Garmin units with the 3 axis electronic compass. There are current discussions as to whether its a software/hardware issue or caused by certain batteries/voltage, etc,etc.

 

I'll be glad when its gone.

 

The compass on my 62s definitely doesn't stick. It's a paragon of sensitivity. It uses Eneloop batteries.

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Have you checked out Lowrance? I just upgraded from the Lowrance H20c to the Lowrance Endura Safari and I love it. You can get them new on ebay for as low as about $135 shipped. (Sadly I paid more.) This unit has some great features specific for geocaching and I definitely like the way it can sort caches many different ways. It has both a touchscreen and buttons. With a separate map card you can have voice turn by turn directions also. I was going to buy the garmin 62s until I found the endura and did some research. That included going to Best Buy and testing one out. Not sure what the garmin can do that this one can't and it is half the price. This unit was introduced two years ago. There were some problems with the initial release. Lowrance listened and there have been firmware releases to correct the issues. If you read reviews of those early units you will not get the full picture. Those who have a unit with the 1.5 firmware rave about them.

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The "sticky effect " is seen on Garmin units with the 3 axis electronic compass. There are current discussions as to whether its a software/hardware issue or caused by certain batteries/voltage, etc,etc.

 

I'll be glad when its gone.

 

The compass on my 62s definitely doesn't stick. It's a paragon of sensitivity. It uses Eneloop batteries.

 

This is good to hear as I have a 62s on the way. I also recently went to the Sony Eneloop 2500 mah ( black )....I'm testing my Oregon 450 for the sticky problem but the 2500 Eneloops are awesome and will go almost 12 hours of constant use.....I had been using MAHA PowerX 2700 but was only getting about 6 hours out of them. Some have written that the " white " Eneloop is giving better results on the " sticky problem " but the white is rated 2000 mah...we'll see.

 

What do you mean by paragon of sensitivity and what type of Eneloop do you use ?

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The "sticky effect " is seen on Garmin units with the 3 axis electronic compass.

Well then, it would only be a problem with the 30, not "all the new Garmins." The 10 and 20 don't have that kind of compass.

 

I don't think the sticky issue is related to the compass. It's not the compass that sticks, it's the reported position.

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Honest truth, having owned several GPSr's (I'm serious, check my profile..) it's still a toss-up between Magellan & Garmin. Garmin does have it's pluses.. as others have pointed out, there are 3rd party distributors for additional maps, which is a big plus in my book. I've been able to intergrate a topo, city, and trail map together onto a eTrex Legend HCx.

 

Garmin's ease of use (though, I've heard this varies from unit to unit).. I've been able to quickly enter new coordinates faster on the eTrex, than I have my Magellan Explorist-GC.

 

Stability.. If you take a Magellan and a Garmin outside, and set them down, watch the compass screen. (mind you, this is not with a built-in electronic Compass). You'll notice the Magellan will jump all over the place! A little too sensitive on that case.. I've had it swing around just as I'm getting close, and suddenly I'm now headed the wrong direction. The eTrex, however, stayed true north (Magnetic, True, you know what I mean.)

 

Again, unit dependent, I've had magellan units drain batteries faster than the Garmin. Mainly because the Magellan relies too heavily on the backlighting to view, whereas the Garmin had a better LCD design, which didn't require the backlight to view, unless it was dark at night.

 

Magellan, however, does have its pluses. larger memory, larger viewing area (although I abhor the tiny font on the GC)

 

Both are fair on accuracy (except Magellans constant changing compass). both have sirf-III, WAAS.

 

I have to agree, Garmin made it easier to make custom maps, and many other brands do not have this. Some have their own map loading programs, but the maps aren't cross compatible to other brands, nor is it possible to grab a topo map for a device that doesn't have one, where as you can easily load a topo map from any source converted to Garmin. (I actually have two topo maps on my Garmin NuVi, besides the Citymap-US.)

 

At least someone made a standard, Thank You TopoGraphix! Although not every GPSr understands it, there are freeware, shareware, and commercial utilities to convert it something that is.

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