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marshajean

Oregon 700 or Montana 800?

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The power button on my Oregon 600 just died, so I'm in the market for a new GPSr.  I've narrowed it down to the Oregon 700 or the Montana 800.  Reaching out to the community for thoughts and recommendations.  Pretty sure I want to stick with Garmin.

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if you liked the Oregon 6x0, the Oregon 7x0 is a worthy successor with many additional features, a mature firmware, and can be found for very reasonable prices. The Montana 7x0 will be two to three times the price of a new Oregon 700.

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You basically have no choice but to stick with Garmin. Within the US, there aren't really any other options, certainly none with viable support and a community user base.

Can you get away with using a cell phone for a few months? It's possible that Garmin might announce/release a new Oregon either in time for the holiday season or just after at CES. Given the price drops of the Oregon 700, I wouldn't be surprised to see that in the near future.

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It's got many years. Heck, he could find another Oregon 600 and be just fine. Maybe better since it's a completely offline device and won't need to be updated when API login protocols change.

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I wouldn't be worried about functionality issues with the Oregon 7x0. Garmin just updated several 14 year old eTrex models earlier this year to keep them operating properly. And, the Oregon 7x0 is still 'in production', which means it can be found new from most retailers, and is still serviced by Garmin. Can not say that about the Oregon 6x0.

 

 

Edited by Atlas Cached

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Thanks everyone.  I was wondering if a new Oregon might be in the works.  Actually looked more closely at the Montana 700 (not 800, my mistake), and realized it's huge!  So now I'll either order the Oregon 700 or wait a few months hoping for something new.

 

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Might not need to wait for a holiday.  Costco shows a price of $189 (plus tax, free shipping) for the Oregon 700.  If you have a membership, I don't think you'll see a new one any cheaper than that.

 

1607591175_Oregon700.jpg.37d72cce33164f8b4977422db146d5ae.jpg

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Yeah, once in a while, Costco comes up with a real dilly.  I ordered one from Costco for my grandson for Christmas.  Just checked - price still valid for now on the 700.

 

This last Spring, Costco ran a special on a 12 zone Rachio 3rd Gen sprinkler controller, WiFi enabled with an app and more features than I can use, for a bunch less than any price I'd ever seen for it.  And darned if the company isn't right down in Denver.

 

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Costco always seems to have the previous generation of GoPro packaged with some gear for a good price. I kinda wonder if Costco buys up stock in items that the manufacturer is trying to get rid of to make room for the next model.

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Of interest -- even though ordered through Costco, the Oregon 700 is shipping from ... wait for it ... Lenexa, KS, just up the road from Olathe, KS, Garmin HQ.

 

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I would suspect Costco has worked out a special price from Garmin without actually purchasing any hardware, and Garmin are 'drop shipping' each order as received via Costco online. The Oregon 7x0 is an online only purchase, not available in store.

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Yes, the short trip between Olathe and Lenexa/distribution indicates the drop ship arrangement.  That was what was so interesting about the origin of the shipment...

because then I wonder whether Costco is just making an extremely skinny margin, or whether Garmin is looking to move a great number of these for some reason at lower margins for themselves.

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On 9/16/2020 at 12:30 AM, marshajean said:

Actually looked more closely at the Montana 700 (not 800, my mistake), and realized it's huge! 

I was going to add this. I do prefer the smaller form of the Oregon, but typing on the screen was a total pain, the Montana is much better, and screen size I suspect has something to do with it....

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@lee737

I've been using the closed tip of my geo-pens to do the typing (one reason I still prefer a resistive screen on my handhelds) for so long that I don't even give consideration to the finger size vs. button size. 

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Typing on an Oregon is still preferable to typing on a gpsMAP or eTrex. (nightmares of scrolling through the alphabet to find each letter one at a time)

So many vendors give out pens with stylus tips that I just collect them for geocaching.

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2 hours ago, lee737 said:

 I do prefer the smaller form of the Oregon, but typing on the screen was a total pain, the Montana is much better, and screen size I suspect has something to do with it....

 

The large display found on the Montana 7x0 also allows for a full QWERTY keyboard regardless of orientation, and the Montana 7x0 keyboard includes many additional features not available on previous units (such as emojis and auto-suggest, etc.)

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I DO NOT like my Oregon 700.  I had an Etrex Legend HCx and LOVED it.  It crapped out, so I went with an Oregon.  The documentation is terrible, and it is anything but intuitive.  I'm trying to add geocaches using GSAK, and it isn't recognizing the unit.    I've been caching since 2007, and may just use this unit as an expensive paperweight.   BTW, I have never used the compass to find a cache, I use the coords and the map.   Thanks for letting me vent.

 

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7 hours ago, zoothornrollo said:

I DO NOT like my Oregon 700.  I had an Etrex Legend HCx and LOVED it.  It crapped out, so I went with an Oregon.  The documentation is terrible, and it is anything but intuitive.  I'm trying to add geocaches using GSAK, and it isn't recognizing the unit.    I've been caching since 2007, and may just use this unit as an expensive paperweight.   BTW, I have never used the compass to find a cache, I use the coords and the map.   Thanks for letting me vent.

 

 

You upgraded to a whole new class of GPS, so there's bound to be a learning curve.  I traded up from a 650 to 750, and even just moving up one model number, it's about twice as complicated as the 650.  It's super flexible, you can move icons around, change screen displays, even change the way the whole system works by using Classic Mode or Activity Mode.    And of course you can load thousands of caches over wifi without having to connect to USB.  But figuring out where to begin, that could be quite challenging.  I've already switched back and forth between Classic and Activity Mode, in an attempt to set it up where it's as simple to use as possible in the field, where the menus make the most sense to me.  I've gotten mine pretty much OK for Geocaching, although I still sometimes get lost in the thing. :cute:

 

I mainly switch between the list of caches, maps, and the compass while caching, with a profile for hiking and another for street routing.  One huge "Distance" reading can be set up at the top of most any screen, and that's pretty cool.  But I usually have the four field dashboard, so that it shows me exactly which waypoint (or cache or lat/lon) is selected, plus distance.  Otherwise I tend to be heading to the wrong waypoint. :cute:

 

There are basic videos out there, some pretty helpful as a start.  I've sometimes thought of making a video on how to set everything up just right for Geocaching.  Maybe someday I will, just to give people ideas on what they may try.  But you can set it up in so many ways... and you already mentioned you don't even use a compass screen... such a video would be quite an undertaking.

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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8 hours ago, zoothornrollo said:

I DO NOT like my Oregon 700.  I had an Etrex Legend HCx and LOVED it.  It crapped out, so I went with an Oregon.  The documentation is terrible, and it is anything but intuitive.  I'm trying to add geocaches using GSAK, and it isn't recognizing the unit.    I've been caching since 2007, and may just use this unit as an expensive paperweight.   BTW, I have never used the compass to find a cache, I use the coords and the map.   Thanks for letting me vent.

 

I have also been loading caches to a 700 from GSAK - no issues. 

 

I suspect - only suspect - that you haven't yet properly advised GSAK of your new device.  The method for sending caches from ANY application has changed radically since the Legend/Vista days.  Be sure you have selected GPS / Setup / GPS Model / Oregon 750.  That will create the proper compatibility between the file types that GSAK can send to your 700 and the way it sends them.  It's a setup feature that many of us almost never use since it need not be tweaked until we buy a new model or generation of GPSr. 

 

But let's be sure.  Does your PC see the 700 when it's connected via USB???  Should look about like a thumb drive or any other external storage device.  Without that, nothing can send anything to the 700!

 

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My Oregon 450t is now getting a line in the front of the display, so guess time for a new one.  I mainly use it for fishing and ice fishing to mark spots.  

 

I see Cabela’s has the Montana 680t for $350 on Black Friday and Amazon has the Oregon 750t for $350 too.  Any recommendations on which one I should go with?  Thanks!

Edited by DBV2

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Ice fishing sounds very cold. I do not think the Montana 6x0 touch screen resistive film likes cold weather. Also, the Oregon 7x0 is much more capable with many more features.

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I live in Canada, where many people cache through the winter.  Yet I don't recall anybody mentioning problems with their touchscreens etc. in cold weather.  Maybe I just haven't been paying attention.

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11 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

Ice fishing sounds very cold. I do not think the Montana 6x0 touch screen resistive film likes cold weather. Also, the Oregon 7x0 is much more capable with many more features.

Gotta get out of Arizona more often!

We had nothing but resistive screens for YEARS and they were actually easier to use in cold weather - you could use the tip of your closed logging pen to activate the screen without even taking off your gloves.  Touch my pen tip to this new Oregon 700 and you get nada.

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The old resistive screen were pressure sensitive. The new capacitive touch screens rely on your skin being a weak electrical conductor and are the same screen type as your smart phones. Neither should be affected by temperature, but the old screes could be used more easily in winter because all you had to do was apply pressure to the screen. There are gloves you can buy that are compatible with capacitive screens and you can find pens with stylus tips that will work with your capacitive screen as well. I have tons that I've gotten for free as promotional swag and they go right into my geocaching kit.

Despite the limitations of the capacitive screens, I haven't had any problems using my Oregon 600 in winter. Well, maybe one problem - if the screen gets wet from rain or snow, it doesn't respond as well because water is also an electrical conductor. But nonetheless, I find that the Oregon 600 + screens are still superior to the older resistive screens. The touch is more responsive, and the response is smoother. The displays are brighter and clearer. And the glass is much more scratch resistant, though I still use a screen protector.

So, in my opinion, the benefits of the Oregon 600/700 are superior to the minor shortcomings of a capacitive touch screen in winter and wet weather.

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22 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

Ice fishing sounds very cold. I do not think the Montana 6x0 touch screen resistive film likes cold weather. Also, the Oregon 7x0 is much more capable with many more features.

 

Thanks - why is the Oregon 7x0 more capable than the Montana 6x0?  Does it have a newer operation into system than Montana?  Thought maybe the Montana would be better, since it has better screen and has rechargeable batteries too.

 

Also - never had problem with cold weather on my Oregon 450.  Now I see Oregon 750t for $299 and Montana 680t for $349.  :)

Edited by DBV2

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10 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Gotta get out of Arizona more often!

 

Nah, I like it here! 9-10 months of perfect hiking and other outdoor activity weather every year!

 

10 hours ago, ecanderson said:

We had nothing but resistive screens for YEARS and they were actually easier to use in cold weather - you could use the tip of your closed logging pen to activate the screen without even taking off your gloves.  Touch my pen tip to this new Oregon 700 and you get nada.

 

Yes, easier to use in cold weather because your hands were gloved. Most glove manufacturers now provide some capacitive material in the pointer fingers of their gloves for this very purpose.

 

4 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

The displays are brighter and clearer. And the glass is much more scratch resistant, though I still use a screen protector.

 

I agree. Take a look at GPSrChive > Oregon 6x0/7x0 > Specifications > Durability > Screen Torture Test. You wouldn't want to do that with a resistive touch screen. In fact, the Montana 6x0 and Oregon x00/x50 resistive touch screens were commonly prone to failure with 'screen protectors' installed, especially the Montana.

 

The capacitive display is far more durable.

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11 minutes ago, DBV2 said:

why is the Oregon 7x0 more capable than the Montana 6x0?  Does it have a newer operation into system than Montana?  Thought maybe the Montana would be better, since it has better screen and has rechargeable batteries too.

 

The Oregon 7x0 is an evolutionary step beyond the Oregon 6x0, which was a revolutionary step beyond the Montana 6x0. You can read about features and functions to compare the Montana 6x0 and Oregon 7x0 before making a decision. The Oregon 7x0 has many hardware and software improvements as well as additional wireless connectivity features that provide a more modern experience. Specifically, the GCLive capability alone makes it a better choice for geocaching. The Oregon 7x0 can do everything the Montana 6x0 does, and much, much more.

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2 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

Yes, easier to use in cold weather because your hands were gloved. Most glove manufacturers now provide some capacitive material in the pointer fingers of their gloves for this very purpose.

You can buy new gloves that do this, but even then, a small screen with fat glove fingers can be difficult to hit correctly.  Heck, I screw up often enough on an Oregon sized screen with just my fingers.  Much depends upon how heavy the gloves are.

 

Still, the idea that the resistive screens don't like cold weather -- just not true.  I'm NOT in Arizona, I'm here in Colorado where we actually do get winter (though this year, I'm beginning to wonder!) and have had plenty of time caching in cold weather with a couple of previous generation Garmin touch screens.  All good.  There may be other reasons for preferring capacitive screens, but that wouldn't be one of them.

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56 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

Still, the idea that the resistive screens don't like cold weather -- just not true.  I'm NOT in Arizona, I'm here in Colorado where we actually do get winter (though this year, I'm beginning to wonder!) and have had plenty of time caching in cold weather with a couple of previous generation Garmin touch screens.  All good.  There may be other reasons for preferring capacitive screens, but that wouldn't be one of them.

 

It has been a decade since the original Montana was released, and a lot has happened since then, but I am certain I remember reading posts on multiple forums about the resistive layer on the Montana 6x0 display becoming brittle and cracking when used in cold weather (i.e. below freezing). Conversely, that same resistive film would expand and/or stretch when used in hot weather (i,e, direct sunlight >85°F), which would result in a screen that did not respond properly when touched and/or phantom screen presses occurring without ever touching the device. (Example 01) (Example 02

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So, bottom line is everyone saying I should the Oregon 750t or Montana 680t?  Is Garmin due for a new Oregon to come out soon?  

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Oregon 700 is fine if you dont want the camera, and is available for closer to $200 USD.

 

A new Oregon is, as far as I can determine, at least a year or two away.

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2 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

 

It has been a decade since the original Montana was released, and a lot has happened since then, but I am certain I remember reading posts on multiple forums about the resistive layer on the Montana 6x0 display becoming brittle and cracking when used in cold weather (i.e. below freezing). Conversely, that same resistive film would expand and/or stretch when used in hot weather (i,e, direct sunlight >85°F), which would result in a screen that did not respond properly when touched and/or phantom screen presses occurring without ever touching the device. (Example 01) (Example 02

Guess the old Oregon 450 is even better than I thought!

(Still available used at bargain prices.)

 

'Normal' resistive screens haven't done that.  They were successfully used for eons in automotive PND applications where temperature extremes are FAR greater than you'd experience with any handheld.  If true, the problem is with the Montana, not resistive screens in general.

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Now I just noticed the Montana 700 Series.  That looks very cool and would love that screen when ice fishing or on the boat.  :)

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The Montana 7x0 is a monster. And the screen is amazing. But your not gonna carry this thing in your front pocket. It does fit in my cargo pants actually. And the Montana 7x0 is brand new, and three times the price of an equally capable Oregon 7x0.

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Btw, if the Oregon screen size is ok for you, and you don't have to have touch screen, the GPSMAP 66sr is a great option. I use my 66sr or Montana 7x0 most of the time.

Edited by Atlas Cached

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Thanks - I don’t know why, but I like the idea of the Montana 700i or 700.    I like the idea of the screen size.  Wish I could see one before ordering, but no one around me has anything on display.  Guess I can order from Garmin and if I don’t like it, send it back.  Just hate doing that.  Appreciate everyone’s help.

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If screen size and/or resolution matters, you should be looking at a phone.  Specs-wise, top-end Garmins and bottom-end phones barely overlap, if they do at all.

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4 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

If screen size and/or resolution matters, you should be looking at a phone.  Specs-wise, top-end Garmins and bottom-end phones barely overlap, if they do at all.

 

Wrong.

 

Apples and oranges.

 

Something the 'phone' people will apparently never figure out.

 

I still prefer my dedicated Garmin GPSr to any phone, any day.

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1 hour ago, Atlas Cached said:

I still prefer my dedicated Garmin GPSr to any phone, any day.

+1. Definitely for navigating to caches

GPS - pull out of pocket, look at it, keep walking. 

Phone - pull out of pocket, unlock phone, select app, wait for GPS to settle, navigate.... 

Also - if I used my iPhone (12 months old) like I do the Garmin, it would be flat my morning-tea time.

 

I always have both - I use the phone to take photos, look up images, message cachers etc, but 95% GPSr.

Nearly forgot - I do use the phone if we need to tear off for an FTF hunt....

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Thanks - I do use my iPhone sometimes as a backup, but really when ice fishing and regular fishing, I would rather have something that is solid and I don’t have to baby like a phone.   I think the accuracy of the new Garmin GPS, especially might be better too, although not sure.  

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2 hours ago, DBV2 said:

Thanks - I do use my iPhone sometimes as a backup, but really when ice fishing and regular fishing, I would rather have something that is solid and I don’t have to baby like a phone.   I think the accuracy of the new Garmin GPS, especially might be better too, although not sure.  

 

I am not aware of any current production phones that are capable of using both Multi-GNSS and Multi-Band like the new Garmin handheld GPSr do.

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