Jump to content

GPSMAP66sr VS Oregon 750T (edit - went 750T)


SpinRay
Followers 3

Recommended Posts

I really lament posting this question, but I cannot come to a decision concerning these two.  I have read posts and watched reviews on the models.  I have even asked and received some answers from two gracious form members - thank you.  Perhaps this is more of a request for GPSr therapy and confirmation bias then anything else.   Neither one is perfect it seems.   I am looking for a handheld and have no desire to use a cell phone

 

Some background/needs

Use case 1) geocaching, 2) endurance cycling computer, 3) hiking/backpacking/fishing

I intend to let my kids use this some to find caches, ages 10 and 15.  Simple is good.  The idea of the live caching updates with notes option and photos would be nice.

 

66sr

Good = new, fast, accurate, battery, 

Bad = no keyboard for easy of use, antenna may not be ideal for some use case - biking, more expensive

 

750t

Good = touchscreen, flashlight, camera, less costly

Bad = ancient, cumbersome menus, battery life

 

The above are certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list of good/bad or a feature comparison between the two.  These things are simply weighing on the decision.  I am willing to spend the extra on the 66sr if it makes sense - especially long term support and use.  I like the more "perceived" multi-use aspect of the Oregon, but cringe at buying something that is almost  5(?) years old.  That is reflected in the cost I suppose.   It appears an update to the Oregon line may be coming at some point.

 

Again - I apologize for asking this and rehashing this territory.  I just want to make sure I am not missing something to sway my purchase decision.  Some of you here may own both  and therefore have some pointed feedback as well.  I am leaning toward the 750T.... I just don't want to regret it in about 6 months wishing I had gotten the 66sr.

 

Thank you in advance for any/all help.  

Edited by SpinRay
  • Surprised 1
Link to comment

My choice would be the 66

I have both. 

Having had every GPSMAP 6* Series since the start I got a 750T

Fits your pocket better than the then 64 and had better screen definition

The pain for me was the touch screen

The device had a life of its own. It would go where it wanted whilst in your pocket. The number of times I had to reset it.....

Even after selecting the low sensitivity mode it was not much better

I did find a routine to use the User key to lock the screen at a touch but you had to remember!   

As soon as the 66 came out I didn't hesitate

Like having an old friend back

(The 750T sits in a cupboard)

  • Helpful 1
Link to comment

The 66SR has a non-replaceable rechargeable battery. That's a massive deal breaker in my book... so out of those two, go with the 750t as it uses standard AA, and will give you far more flexibility on power.

 

Or, if you are intent on the 66 series, go with the 66ST model instead as it also uses AA batteries. Garmin sells a rechargeable battery pack that can be used in the AA battery compartment if you prefer to charge your batteries in the unit. This is a far better solution than being stuck with an internal battery that can't be replaced when it eventually wears out.

 

Lastly, always avoid being suckered in by the battery life numbers when comparing AA battery units vs. rechargeable li-ion. It's tempting to see the higher number and think its a no brainer, but don't fall for it! Those higher numbers are when the device is brand new. Battery life will continue to decline as the unit ages, 1, 2, 5 years down the line, eventually dying. This makes it very difficult to predict how long the unit will last on a hiking/backpacking trip. These batteries also don't like to sit around not being used, so if you leave the GPS in a closet for 6 months or more, and pull it out again for a trip, the battery may have degraded significantly just doing nothing. In some cases, it may not even work, and you'll be stuck with a paperweight. You will never have these problems with AA batteries. Pop in a fresh set and you're good to go, with predictable, reliable power, indefinitely, for the life of the GPS.

 

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
Link to comment

I went with the 750t No regrets I'm used to the touchscreens as I came up from an Oregon 300 to a 650 now the 750. The only nuisance is having to lock the screen or pull it out of your pocket to who knows what the surprise is going to be. Enjoy whatever you decide.

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment

The Oregon 7x0 has two button, the Power button and the User button, each of which can be configured to perform different functions when pressing 'once', 'twice', or 'press-and-hold'.

 

Assigning either of the two button to toggle the display lock with a double-press (or press-and-hold for the user button) is a simple and efficient way to prevent all the accidental menu and/or configuration changes many users experience.

 

More information available here.

  • Helpful 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Posted (edited)

@Atlas Cached @mty55 @Tahoe Skier5000

 

I pulled the trigger on the 750T!  Thank you for everyone's feedback.   I got it on sale for 299 which seems like a fair price.  It will be here on Tuesday - we are excited.

 

I purchased the temp sensor, backpack tether, and bike mount with it.  Thank you Atlas Cached for the link - I will begin to pour over it now.  I will certainly setup the buttons as you describe.  

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for other accessories?  Any other setup best practices that you can recommend?

- Screen Protector?

- Rechargeable batteries?

 

Again - thank you so much for your insight and pushing me over the ledge!

Edited by SpinRay
  • Love 2
Link to comment
3 hours ago, rgschmidt said:

The 66SR has a non-replaceable rechargeable battery. That's a massive improvement in my book ?

 

Never had such a good pattery performance with any GPSr.

Only in backwords world is it an improvement to pay a company to make your device have less longevity, but suit yourself! :laughing:

Link to comment
15 hours ago, SpinRay said:

@Tahoe Skier5000 Do you have any recommendations for setup or must have accessories?

 

To be clear - I understand the battery argument has two sides.  Different strokes is ok.

 

Thank you for helping me and letting me learn from your experience.

 

I don't really use many accessories with my devices, so I'm afraid I won't be of much help in this area. However, I generally carry around a spare set of lithium AAs in my hiking pack, as well as a spare set of rechargeable NIMH in a plastic case similar to the one below.

 

https://www.amazon.com/TheLovelyBird-4PCS-Cell-Battery-Holder/dp/B00Y35762I/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=AA+battery+case&qid=1616244843&sr=8-14

 

Atlas Cached's link is probably more relevant to what you're looking for. 

Link to comment

The non-field-replaceable battery thing isn't as cut and dry as it used to be.

When I needed three laptop batteries to get to my office (I had a tough commute...), I could swap that battery with my eyes closed, under the seat, and without lifting my seat back tray.  Now that I can compile AND watch video for 20+ hours, I no longer care that I can't swap it.

I can't testify if the situation with the 66SR is similar, but it IS possible that the increase in energy density in the chemicals used and the improved physical shape (look at how much space is between two parallel cylinders) can make the experience so much better that you won't miss being able to swap them. You'll still need to plan for cases like not starting the day on E because you can't just pop another set in from the quick-stop on the way, but the common charging "bricks" or even lipstick batteries (usually a single 18650 cell) can probably charge a GPS several times.


Spinray has apparently been outside caching and not inside reporting back on his impressions, but IMO he made a good call. $150 for a used 60CSx in 2021 (that's the 2006 version of a 2004 model) just doesn't make sense. That was a workhorse of a GPS, widely used in this crowd, but tech just isn't a place to be sentimental for tools you use.

Good input from lots of views here and nobody got nasty, so gold stars for everyone. Executive takeaway: Don't be dismissive of change.
 

Link to comment
Posted (edited)
On 4/1/2021 at 6:48 AM, robertlipe said:

Spinray has apparently been outside caching and not inside reporting back on his impressions

@robertlipe

Thank you for your post and feedback. 

 

I have been using this on and off for the past week or so to get better acquainted.  To be clear - my original unit's issues listed above have been solved in the replacement.  Notably, the RF behavior is significantly more consistent.  I am still working my way around the menus and activity/profile setup.  Some of the global vs activity setup parameters are nonsensical  to me.   I have given up on the why part of this....  I find the number of setup/configuration permutations per activity/profile somewhat daunting to keep track of.   It is logical to assume a user with a single activity/profile need will have a more seamless experience and less setup and  daily use struggles.   I suspect, however, more casual multi activity users who don't go through the pain of "mastering" the feature set by RTM'ing and spending copious amounts of time and effort online, will become overwhelmed and disenchanted with it.   When you don't know what you don't know, I can see how people become frustrated and find it hard to get started.  I think the ubiquitous cell phone sets an expectation of OS and app synergy that the Garmin touchscreen units may be unfairly judged by.  Button units are intrinsically different and come with perceived pay to play persona.  Sorry to digress.....

 

I could still use some pointed, specific, prescribed feedback.  This comes after reading here and the setup suggestions at GPSrChive > How To... > Profiles > Common Profile Settings.  At this point I believe the "classic mode" will work better for me.  It seems activity change should have been on each landing page by default.  Here are some questions I still have - 

 

- Do many of you setup a consistent landing page per activity?   

- I am thinking of having Map, Where to, Activity change, Compass, and Trip Computer.  Any feedback on this? 

- Is the 3 x 3  grid optimal?

- What setup tweak did you make that you found most useful?

 

I think getting some answers to these questions would be helpful to many.   Again, I hope users of the 7x0 chime in with specific recommendations.  Finding out how individual users have their units setup will ultimately help new users see what is possible and ramp up faster.  This would be helpful to me.

 

I am having one problem.  I am having to calibrate the compass often.  Sometimes 2 or 3 times per 1 hour or so of activity.  This has happed every time we have used the unit regardless of activity or profile.  We will be navigating to a waypoint and all of the sudden the compass will point in an errant direction and stay there.  Sometimes after several minutes and  continued movement it will get back on track, only to move off again.  If we recalibrate the compass it immediately snaps to the correct heading.   

 

edit - I have used the compass page here GPSrChive - Oregon 7x0.  

 

This happens in the same geographic flat area - a large park outside our home.  It occurs whether near or far to the waypoint.  I understand it can get flakey right on top of a waypoint.  Any thoughts.

 

I very much appreciate everyone's help and am grateful for this "gold star" community.

 

 

 

Edited by SpinRay
Link to comment
On 4/1/2021 at 4:48 AM, robertlipe said:

The non-field-replaceable battery thing isn't as cut and dry as it used to be.

When I needed three laptop batteries to get to my office (I had a tough commute...), I could swap that battery with my eyes closed, under the seat, and without lifting my seat back tray.  Now that I can compile AND watch video for 20+ hours, I no longer care that I can't swap it.

I can't testify if the situation with the 66SR is similar, but it IS possible that the increase in energy density in the chemicals used and the improved physical shape (look at how much space is between two parallel cylinders) can make the experience so much better that you won't miss being able to swap them. You'll still need to plan for cases like not starting the day on E because you can't just pop another set in from the quick-stop on the way, but the common charging "bricks" or even lipstick batteries (usually a single 18650 cell) can probably charge a GPS several times.


Spinray has apparently been outside caching and not inside reporting back on his impressions, but IMO he made a good call. $150 for a used 60CSx in 2021 (that's the 2006 version of a 2004 model) just doesn't make sense. That was a workhorse of a GPS, widely used in this crowd, but tech just isn't a place to be sentimental for tools you use.

Good input from lots of views here and nobody got nasty, so gold stars for everyone. Executive takeaway: Don't be dismissive of change.
 

 

 

Two points here:

 

1) Being able to swap batteries in the field is 100% not the issue with non-replaceable batteries. It's about longevity. Lithium ion batteries are simply terrible from a consumer perspective. There's no getting around that. They wear out quickly not only with cycle use, but also shelf life, which is around 2-5 years for most consumer devices. Their lifespan is also sensitive to temperature and general usage, so if you are the type that constantly runs the battery from 100 to 0, that will stress the battery out more and shorten its lifespan. Or if you leave it in the car on accident in 100+ heat, that too will shorten its life.

 

2) There's nothing wrong with change, so long as it benefits the customer. Non-replaceable batteries DO NOT benefit the customer. Period, full stop. Perhaps one day when solid state becomes affordable and widespread, we will see permanent batteries that can easily go 20+ years without needing replacement, while offering outstanding battery life. At that point, yes, I would consider that an improvement to the customer in every way. But lithium ion batteries are not the answer.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
Link to comment

I think the commentary on the batteries is interesting and worthwhile.   As I mentioned in my thread - the battery decision was not the determining factor for my purchase.   It was a consideration for sure, and I appreciate everyone's feedback.  

 

I get the sense the battery the discussion is a passionate topic around here.  I think this deserves it own thread, and would appreciate everyone moving on from it here.

 

Thank you. 

 

  

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
1 hour ago, SpinRay said:

- Do many of you setup a consistent landing page per activity?   

 

As recommended at GPSrChive, I create a single 'template' activity (Profile) with all my favorite menus and configurations. Once this 'base' activity (Profile) is configured with the shortcuts I want on the pages I want, and all personal preference settings as I desire (metric, standard, 12hr clock, 24hr clock, etc.) - I then use this activity (Profile) to make new individual unique activities (Profiles) where I only need to change a couple settings (maps enabled, routing preferences, etc.) for each use case. 

 

This allows each of my activities (Profiles) to have the same basic work flow with icons in the same places (no hunting around to find them) - while still allowing for some personality traits that are dedicated to the specific activity each profile is used for.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, SpinRay said:

- I am thinking of having Map, Where to, Activity change, Compass, and Trip Computer.  Any feedback on this? 

 

This will vary for each user. The Primary Main Menu page on my Oregon 7x0 always shows Map, Compass, Current Activity and Where To?, while the first row in the 'Drawer' will have 'Settings', 'Activity (Profile) Change' and 'Mark Waypoint'. Additional Main Menu pages will be themed (Track Manager, Activity History, Waypoint Manager and Route Planner on one page, and perhaps Active Route, Altimeter, Sight 'N Go, Trip Computer on another) based on the most commonly used apps for the defined activity.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, SpinRay said:

Is the 3 x 3  grid optimal?

 

I try to limit each activity (Profile) Drawer to 9 items, and each Main Menu page to 4 items (2x2), with three Main Menu pages in total (the middle page is the primary landing page). This way, I can access everything I need by either swiping left or right once, or by pulling up the drawer with a single swipe. All apps and settings for the defined activity are never more than a single swipe and click away.

 

 

2 hours ago, SpinRay said:

- What setup tweak did you make that you found most useful?

 

Configuring the Power button:

 

Single Press: Status Page

Double Press: Screen On/Off

Press and Hold: (always powers the device off)

 

 

Configuring the User button:

 

Single Press: Data Screens (loops through all data screens as configured)

Double Press: (Disabled with Data Screens configured for single press)

Press and Hold: Shortcut configured for 'Screen Lock'

Link to comment
Posted (edited)

@Atlas Cached THANK YOU.... this is vey, very helpful for me.  This makes things much clearer for me!

 

Is there a way to change the background image/wallpaper?  On the 600 it is on the Appearance screen.  Does it exist on the 700?  All the activities/profiles appear the same as I have it now.  A picture would  be a visual que for me.

 

18 minutes ago, Atlas Cached said:

Configuring the Power button:

 

Single Press: Status Page

Double Press: Screen On/Off

Press and Hold: (always powers the device off)

 

 

Configuring the User button:

 

Single Press: Data Screens (loops through all data screens as configured)

Double Press: (Disabled with Data Screens configured for single press)

Press and Hold: Shortcut configured for 'Screen Lock'

 

Ah.... this is very well thought out.  Screen lock is probably a better use of the user hold than camera for me.

 

Thank you again for your time and willingness to stick with this thread.   Many thanks.

Edited by SpinRay
Link to comment

I just got back from a cache about 1.5 miles from just off a bike trail.  Nice day for a walk here in WI.  

 

The compass acted up twice and needed to be recalibrated on they fly.  Both times it would simply point the wrong direction somehow loosing north.  I was holding it out in front of me both times when it occurred.  It does snap to N immediately once calibrated.  I guess I can reset the device again and start over.  

 

More troubling is the trend I am discovering with regard to accuracy.  I realize I should expect about +/- 15 or so feet and I usually don't pay much attention to it within 30 feet.   I have, however for testing, been checking the 750T accuracy against my older Android phone One Plus 5T.  I am using the stock Geocaching app.  About 75% of the time the phone is more precise.  This surprises me to be honest.  I have been testing both devices over my last 10 finds.  I would simply find it again about 50 feet out.   I am surprised my phone did a better job.  This was among the main reasons I chose a dedicated GPSr in the first place.  This was a misconception on my part - I made an incorrect assumption.   This is, however, making me question my purchase of the 750T for caching.  It still fulfills the need for the other activities.   The compass thing is a problem.

 

I love the GPSr unit for projected waypoints and sight-n-go.  I am enjoying the journey learning about the device.    Caching on.....  

 

Thank you all.

Link to comment
30 minutes ago, SpinRay said:

I have, however for testing, been checking the 750T accuracy against my older Android phone One Plus 5T.  I am using the stock Geocaching app.  About 75% of the time the phone is more precise. 

 

Nope. The Oregon 7x0 is a very capable device. I suspect the caches you are finding were hidden with 'sloppy coordinates from other smartphones', and that is why your 'smartphone appears more precise than the Oregon 7x0'.

To perform a reliable test, find a nearby Benchmark, and see how close each of the devices are to the published Benchmark coordinates.

 

Then you will have a more accurate answer.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Atlas Cached said:

 

Are you referring to the compass in the Geocaching Dashboard?

The behavior occurs there and one the dedicated compass application.  It has occurred in geocaching and hiking activity at a minimum.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Atlas Cached said:

 

Nope. The Oregon 7x0 is a very capable device. I suspect the caches you are finding were hidden with 'sloppy coordinates from other smartphones', and that is why your 'smartphone appears more precise than the Oregon 7x0'.

To perform a reliable test, find a nearby Benchmark, and see how close each of the devices are to the published Benchmark coordinates.

 

Then you will have a more accurate answer.

 

I will do this over the weekend and reply back.  Good idea -thank you.

Link to comment
41 minutes ago, SpinRay said:
2 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

Are you referring to the compass in the Geocaching Dashboard?

The behavior occurs there and one the dedicated compass application.  It has occurred in geocaching and hiking activity at a minimum.

 

Please get some screen captures if you can to help us help you!

Link to comment
5 hours ago, SpinRay said:

The compass acted up twice and needed to be recalibrated on they fly.  Both times it would simply point the wrong direction somehow loosing north.  I was holding it out in front of me both times when it occurred.  It does snap to N immediately once calibrated.

 

My 750t compass tends to need re-calibrating when I get out of the car, or when i turn it on.  Not usually while it's guiding me to a cache.  But it's a magnetic sensor.  It will be affected by magnetic fields.

 

But it's a lot better than my iPhone 8s (using The Official App) with the compass and the drifting GZ.

 

As for location precision, there are a couple settings for GPS signals that you could experiment with.  For example, I currently have WAAS/EGNOS tuirned on, but at least my previous GPSs seemed to benefit when I turned that off, when guidance was getting squirrely.  My theory (may not be valid) was that the device at least uses less processing cycles for location computations, and maybe that helps in some cases.

Link to comment
11 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

 

Please get some screen captures if you can to help us help you!

Hi - thank you.  I am not sure a picture would help, but perhaps a video will.   I can try.  Again, I am simply walking using the compass heading to a destination, and the compass moves pointer to the wrong direction and says there.  Once I notice it has changed, I can walk another 50 feet with the compass orientated incorrectly.   Once I recalibrate it, it snaps to the correct position.  

 

Perhaps more clear > When I navigate to something waypoint, cache, etc.....  this behavior occurs in the geocaching and hiking activity/profile at a minimum, I have not checked others.   Initially the compass is orientated correctly,  after some indeterminate amount of time and movement, the compass losses N, or chooses a new N, i.e.  simply becomes wrong.  I can keep walking another 50 feet, on the same or different bearing, and the compass will be not "fix" itself.  The only fix, is to recalibrate the unit.  The fix is immediate.    This has happened consistently since receiving the unit, and it will happen more than once in the same session, couple of times per hour.  The behavior is repeatable, with different destinations within about a 5 mile radius of my home.  I could dig up my analog compass and snap a photo of it and the 700 at the same time to prove I am not seeing ghosts...  but even my kids have a good handle where N is :-) so it feels trivial to do so.  I may try a reset and recalibration.  

 

I will spend the weekend with it trying different scenarios to see if the behavior change.  I also plan on comparing the accuracy to my cell phone with a few references close to me.  

 

Link to comment
9 hours ago, kunarion said:

As for location precision, there are a couple settings for GPS signals that you could experiment with.  For example, I currently have WAAS/EGNOS tuirned on, but at least my previous GPSs seemed to benefit when I turned that off, when guidance was getting squirrely.  My theory (may not be valid) was that the device at least uses less processing cycles for location computations, and maybe that helps in some cases.

Thank you very much for this - I currently have that turned off.  It is certainly worth turning it on to see how it affects performance.   Thanks!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 3
×
×
  • Create New...