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RufusClupea

What extras for Garmin GPSMAP64st?

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After innumerable hours of research, (I think :rolleyes:) I'm ready to take the plunge and get a Garmin GPSMAP64st

I could use a sounding board for what kinds of accessories/extras I should be thinking about getting with/for it.  I realize a lot of answers fall into the "it depends" category, but that's where the sounding board comes in--other peoples' opinions, observations, & experiences to help make better decisions/not repeat mistakes.  ;)

 

  • IIRC, I've read here that it can take several hours to load some (kinds of) files into the unit, so is there some kind of AC/wall adapter I should be getting?  Is that the same as...
  • Serial Data/Power Cable?
  • Automotive Navigation Kit? (DW has asked about being able to use it for driving)
  • Case/Cover? (Can't see/tell difference between 010-11526-10 and 010-11526-00)
  • Remote Antenna? (though I have no idea what that would be for--I'm tech-challenged)
  • NiMH Battery worthwhile?  Can 3rd party be gotten for less?

 

  • While I've seen many admonitions that getting a microSD™ card is wise/highly advisable, I haven't been able to get a handle on what size card to get.  (Yeah, I know... it depends... :rolleyes:  Let's assume the condom principle.  ;)) Unit has 8 GB internal memory.  Recommended so far is a Class 10 card formatted to FAT 32, but how many GB, and is Class 10 really going to be noticeably better/faster than Class 4 or 6?  (I read that a GPS won't be writing to the SD card--just reading, so class 10 may not be necessary, but again--tech challenged.)  :huh::unsure:  Can the card be (re-)formatted in the unit?  Also, better to get one large card or multiple small ones? 

 

  • Anything I've missed/forgotten/overlooked?

 

Any cautions/opinions/wisdom on this choice of unit?  ("State" models are nice, but a bit too pricey for us)

 

Profuse gratitude... :D

 

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The units are powered through USB when plugged into your computer. You'll have to be plugged in anyway to add and remove files. You don't need any special A/C adapter, or special cables. They connect with a standard mini-usb type B (not the micro-usb that your phone probably uses). The cable that comes with it will be good enough, but you can buy extra cables at wal mart or best buy or radio shack.

The map that comes with the "T" unit, while better than the base map of the 64 and 64s, still isn't really worth the extra cost. There are FREE (and legal) maps you can download for Garmin gps that are more detailed and/or routable. So unless you're dead set on the 64st, I think the 64s is a better choice.

Don't get an automotive navigation kit. The screens on these things is too small, and the button interface too clunky to effectively use for automotive navigation. You can use it for a secondary device - I use my Oregon 600 to navigate to caches with a routable road map, but I still keep a Nuvi / Drive series device mounted to my dashboard.

The case isn't really necessary. Put a screen protector over it and you'll be fine. These things are designed to get beat up, and they'll take quite a beating. It comes with a carabiner clip that you can use to attach it to your belt loop or pack straps.

 

NiMH batteries are definitely worth it. The name in rechargeables is Eneloop. Order this kit (or maybe your Costco still has them) and you'll use them for more than just geocaching. I have them in my headlamp and lanterns, my wireless mouse, tv remote, my kid's toys, my camera's flash and remote triggers. I've saved so much by not constantly buying new batteries, and they perform better than traditional Alkaline batteries in most devices.

SD Card. Class 10 is for sure useful. I noticed an improvement in write speed when loading pocket queries when I upgraded from a Class 4. As for capacity, I can't imagine you'll need more than 16 GB. But your GPS can handle cards up to 32. I put all of my maps as well as geocaches on the card and just use the onboard memory for data recorded directly with the GPS. But I don't have 8 GB of onboard memory in my Oregon, so there's a bit less room to play with regarding maps.

 

Remote antennas aren't really that useful anymore. These things are pretty good at communicating with the satellites with their own built-in antennas.

Edited by Mineral2
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7 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

They connect with a standard mini-usb type B (not the micro-usb that your phone probably uses).

 

I'm so "Tech-challenged" I don't HAVE a phone (smart OR cell).  Made things interesting when a cop pulled me over for talking on a phone while driving, but I digress... :rolleyes:

The map that comes with the "T" unit, while better than the base map of the 64 and 64s, still isn't really worth the extra cost. There are FREE (and legal) maps you can download for Garmin gps that are more detailed and/or routable. So unless you're dead set on the 64st, I think the 64s is a better choice.

 

I think I knew most of that (from my research) except that the 64st maps are better than the 64 & 64s maps.  Biggie criteria for the st is the add'l memory (8GB vs. 4GB for the 64 & 64s), BirdsEye scrip, Bluetooth (I think 64s has it, but not 64, IIRC, BTICBW).

The case isn't really necessary. Put a screen protector over it and you'll be fine.

 

I recall reading about a screen protector in one or more GPS primer articles, but don't recall seeing anything about them in any Garmin literature.  That may have led me to believe a/the case served the same purpose.  Glad this came up!
 

NiMH batteries are definitely worth it.

 

GTK.


SD Card. Class 10 is for sure useful. I noticed an improvement in write speed when loading pocket queries when I upgraded from a Class 4. As for capacity, I can't imagine you'll need more than 16 GB. But your GPS can handle cards up to 32. I put all of my maps as well as geocaches on the card and just use the onboard memory for data recorded directly with the GPS. But I don't have 8 GB of onboard memory in my Oregon, so there's a bit less room to play with regarding maps.

 

I've read a couple of places where guys are using 64GB cards (formatted to FAT 32) in a 64st with no problems.  Don't recall what they were using them for.  I also read (notes in my spreadsheet) something about an 8GB file size limit in the unit (don't recall if that was just this unit or all GPSs or what).  If that's true, what's your experience/intuition say about one large (16-32GB) card vs. a few 8 GB cards?

 

Again, thanks for the input/letting me pick your brains (Ewww.... BRAINS!!!)  :blink::o:wacko:  :D

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Thanx for the helpful post, Mineral2. This advice seems spot-on.

The cable is a commodity USB mini B. These were extremely common on phones 5 years ago, but most phones (indeed, most accessories) have moved to the Micro B which is thinner. Non-obviously, they're popular in phones because they're LESS durable. If you trip over the cable, you WANT the $3 cable to break away instead of tearing the socket loose inside your $600 phone. They're still easy enough to find and whether that's Amazon Basics, Monoprice, Deal Extreme or a hand-me-down, the cable will probably work as well as the Garmin-branded one.  (Cables do break and they're not all built to the same quality.) When connected to the computer, it'll power through that connection.

Personally, I'm not a believer in the "T" models. SD cards don't cost much at all and you can get better free (legal) Topo maps so easily these days, they're just not worth it. $70 for extra 4GB vs. a $12 32GB card and a few minutes downloading maps is easy IF you're willing to invest the time to do it. If you want to never touch the maps and pay for that convenience, go for it.

NIMH batteries are the way to go these days. Garmin's own is ridiculously priced. It's "magic" is that the pair comes in a little clippy thing that pushes down a button in the compartment that allows them to be charged from the USB connection. If it spends a lot of its life in a car or on a computer, that's handy. For me, the convenience of carrying a set of spares and a fast charger when traveling dwarfs in-device charging.  (This paragraph also contains enough hints to make your own if you're into that kind of thing.)

For driving, a dedicated PND is a far more likeable solution with the large, bright touch screen and spoken turn-by-turn directions. "Take the second right in the roundabout." vs "beep beep".

External antennas really only make sense these days if you're using it in, say, the hull of a boat or in a car with metallic window tint. Reception is so good on modern days that the days of wearing an antenna on your hat while hiking to get it two feet higher for a better signal are (fortunately) over. 
 

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I have the case, worth it not just for screen protection

Having had a 60,  62 and 64 ( now oregon 750).,I have had experience of the writing on the rubber keys abrading away

The case stops that

Have made my own eneloop battery cassette based on advice from this forum.

2 batteries, clear shrink tubing and a shaped piece of wood to fill the triangular gap between the batteries. This triggers the small switch and it works like the garmin kit AND it charges in  situe. Via the usb cable. Never take batteries out. Just peel back the top of the case

Got for the micro sd card  4gb is big enough generally.

I put 3rd party maps on it and my geocache.  For various reasons which I won't bore you with have found it valuable to be able to take out the card now and again

Edited by mikeD
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