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JayVeeDee

Do I need a new GPS?

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I know there have been some threads with this name before, but I've been caching with the kids with my old Garmin Legend (blue). Just a plain "Legend" - no suffix or model. I believe it was released in 2002.

I've had some trouble with the GPS bouncing around close to caches - sometimes it seems like it bounces around 30' or so in a GZ.

I'm hesitant to drop serious cache (get it?) on a new GPS for two reasons:

1) some posts seem to indicate that there's not really a greater accuracy with new models (albeit this one is 15 years old)

2) I like to let my kids hold it, and they're only 4 and 6 so they wipe out not infrequently.

I have it in my head, with all this bouncing around, that an electronic compass might help point the way. Would it?

Thanks for your help!

 

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The "newer" models use "high sensitivity" GPS chips.  These started with the 60CX/CSX in 2006.  Everything from that point has them.  This provides a more stable signal and better lock in challenging conditions (hills, canyons, forests).  They also lock on faster and update quicker.  The short of it, is, yes, the newer ones (after 2006) do work better.

Some find the compass helps, others don't.

There are a lot of other benefits to the new units for caching as well.

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YES. 

You don't necessarily have to get rid of the Legend - the kids can use it until they break it. But you really should get something newer if only for hardware compatibility with modern standards. That ancient thing connects to your computer using a serial cable, and while it may have come with a serial to USB cable, it's nice these days not to have to rely on proprietary accessories. Modern GPS connect using a standard USB cable that you can buy at Wal Mart.

The Legend also pre-dates the GPX file format. Today's GPS mount to your computer like a USB thumb drive would - as a mass storage device - and accept data in the standard GPX file format. You no longer need a special program to load waypoints, tracks, routes, and geocaches, though you can still use one.

So yes, I think it's time to retire you're due for an upgrade.

... unless you prefer to use your smartphone as a GPS. It's only worth buying a new GPS if you're going to use it. 

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Thank you very much for your replies!

I’ll keep my eyes out for a new one over the winter. Everything is under a foot of snow right now. 

Could I ask about opinions on an eTrex 10? I’ve heard it was crippled by Garmin. Is that true?

Also, the eTrex 20 vs 20x?

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eTrex10 has limited internal storage and no micro SD slot for expansion, making it almost unusable except for very basic functions. I suggest you avoid it. The eTrex 20 and 20x are fine, very capable low end handhelds and worth looking at.

Edited by alandb
better wording
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I would not advise an eTrex 10 for home use. They are very basic - no maps, no color screen, and very little memory - perhaps an updated version of the basic eTrex Legend and Vista series, but updated just enough to support paperless caching, gpx files, and a true USB connection. The file limitations, as well as the limited storage space, makes them useful as a basic navigator, good for educational programming, but not much else. I assume that $100 price tag was designed for groups needing to purchase GPS units in bulk for that purpose. If you're getting one for the kids to destroy, then it might be a worthy option. But not as the only family GPS.

The eTrex 20x is a huge step up from the eTrex10. If you don't want a nicer GPS, get one of these for you to use.

Edited by Mineral2

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I have an etrex 10, yellow one and a few newer and older magellans. No matter what anyone tells you, you can find a cache with any of them. I do, just to use something different. Sure newer ones will let you do more things, but I remember no maps and printing the listings. You can use anything you have, unless you have funds to spare, and nit also depends how often you cache. CC Cooper Agency was one of the  first to reach 20,001 and her husband printed out each page...

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Our second GPSr was an Etrex 10 which we bought after using a Garmin Nuvi. It has pretty  much everything an Etrex 20 has except, as others have noted, maps,colour screen and limited capacity. GPX capacity was about 300 caches, plenty for most casual cachers. No need for printed listings. I now use an Etrex 20x (having lost a couple of 20s). Lack of maps was not a problem as we navigated by road using the Nuvi then out with the Etrex. If you're into long hikes then the 20 would be the way to go. They are rugged, compact little units with an all day battery life.

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I still have a blue legend as a spare/loaner in the truck.  Still works good (as a spare). 

As explained by Red90, we both upgraded to 60csx' (long-discontinued),  and I have been using it since.  The other 2/3rds now uses her phone for most everything these days, but I still load caches  manually, simply leaving a note or hint in a notepad for more info. 

Like Team Lucky says, you can play this hobby with practically anything.    :)   If you like the 20, it should be fine for some time.   

Bells and whistles are cool, and all the extra files/downloads may be great for some, but haven't found much need for them yet myself... 

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