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Guest bridaw

Have GPS III+ would I be happy with eTrex?

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Guest bridaw

Anyone out there own GPS III+ AND one of the eTrex units? Or have used both on several cache hunts?

 

I have a Garmin GPS III+ with Garmin Mapsource US Road&Rec and TOPO CDs. I really love the performance of the III+ but have been looking at the eTrex line for a 2nd backup/spare unit.

 

I have narrowed it down to either the basic yellow eTrex or the blue eTrex Legend. Here is my line of thinking... the basic yellow eTrex is low cost and low feature, good spare/backup. Would not cry myself to sleep if this unit were to crash and burn in the field. The eTrex Legend adds a little more to the price tag but I can justify it because the 8MB of memory would allow me to leverage my Mapsource software better (vs. III+ limit of 1.44MB).

 

My concern: Will I enjoy or is there a benefit to picking up an eTrex if I am happy with my III+? Will I be disappointed with the performance of either the basic eTrex or the Legend after using the III+ for a year?

 

Posts about WAAS performance, the breaking click-sticks, and performance of the internal patch antenna raise doubts about eTrex line.

 

Thanks in advance! -Brian

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Guest gstrong1

Hi Brian.Here's my take.I've been fighting with this for 2 months now.The first unit I bought was the III Plus.Never once failed me in the most adverse conditions.But being the gadget freak that I am,I wanted another unit so I had a little variety.I purchased the eTrex Vista.I believe thats the top of the eTrex line.When I received it,I was pleased with the size,(don't care for the display screen that small,but if you want a unit you can throw in a shirt pocket,thats what you get),& the features are great.Lots of memory,waas,electronic compass & all the other goodies.Unfortunatly,the first cache hunt I took it on,as soon as I got under heavy tree cover,the unit was rendered useless.Luckily on every hunt, I also carried along the III Plus which worked great.This happened again & again until I just started leaving the Vista at home.Then in my never ending quest for a reliable backup to the Plus,Garmin came out with the MAP76.It was billed as the cats meow, so I went for it.The MAP is a great unit.Has the large screen,waas,8 mb. of memory & some other neat stuff.Thought I was set.Out I went on a few hunts with the MAP76.Guess what? Got under some tree cover & away went the satellite fix.Again, out came the III Plus, and another successful day of caching. Frustrated with the "lost satellite reception" messages, I decided to call Garmin support & see if I had a bad unit.Others on these posts said they had no problems,so I figured the unit,right?Talked to a tech at Garmin who told me there is a reason that the MAP76 is marketted as a "MARINE" unit. Did not surprise him that under heavy tree cover, the unit lost sats. He said the antenna design is such that it will NOT perform as well under tree cover as the III Plus will.Same with the Vista. All this I had found out the hard way, but after reading all the posts on different threads here,I needed some verifacation. I got it! I went to the Garmin site, and sure enough, the MAP76 is not listed under the Outdoor units,it's listed under the Marine units. I'm sure the unit is great out on the lake.So the long & the short of it is this. In MY experiences with the III Plus & some of the other higher end units that Garmin makes, the III Plus is for sure the most dependable unit you will find, at the present time, for cache hunting under all conditions.You will get other responses to your post, but this is just my take on it as well as others up here in the Northeast.There is a thread on www.navicache.com, that deals with this.Quinnow has,or had,all 3 units also, with the same results. Good luck. --Gimpy--

 

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Gary "Gimpy" Strong

Rochester,NY

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Guest mcb

the really simple interface of the eTrex basic. I could not imagine jamming a higher resolotion screen and alot more features into the very small little unit. I like the size of the 76 if I am going to look at that much info on one screen. But the eTrex basic is really slick and really cheap. I would go for that as a backup unit.

 

mcb

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Guest Quinnow

well if you intend on using it for a backup to the IIIPlus here is my take... If the IIIplus fails due to reception, then go home, because nothing else in the etrex line is going to do better for reception than the IIIPlus. If you want a backup for the IIIPlus, buy another one icon_smile.gif

 

------------------

Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

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Guest Quinnow

well if you intend on using it for a backup to the IIIPlus here is my take... If the IIIplus fails due to reception, then go home, because nothing else in the etrex line is going to do better for reception than the IIIPlus. If you want a backup for the IIIPlus, buy another one icon_smile.gif

 

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Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

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Guest gmagers

Hey everyone, I just want to put my 2 sense in here too. I have had the Garmin 12 XL and then got a backup basic eTrex. When the eTrex Venture, Ledgend, Vista came out, I loved the software and the high rez screen. cool.gif I sold the little yellow one to a friend and got the Venture right away. I like it much better than the 12XL even though I can't attach an ext anttena. Got great results with it anyway and was always having accuracy in the 14 - 24 foot range without WAAS. As I live in north-west Montana, lots of mountains, I don't expect WAAS at all. Anyway, love the unit. Gets me and the kids right on top of the coordinates and is ssssooooooo easy to use, my 6 year old does the navigation. Well, after 2 months, the rubber came off the click stick. Sent the unit to Garmin and they had it back to me 8 days after I sent it with all new rubber armor, updated software and we promptly went on an all day geo-hunt in the next state. found 3 cache's and had a ball!!!!. Yes, I do worry about the duribility of the click stick and instead of using it for changeing pages I use the page button to reduce wear and tear. As far as getting good reception, I have NEVER had it loose signal yet and we have some serious tree cover around here. It has gotten to the 50 foot range but quickly returned as soon as I moved a few feet. I don't expect a lifetime of service from it but I do love how it functions here and now.

 

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"Beacuse I said SO"

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Guest myotis

I had a GPS III Plus and now have the Etrex Vista. I think the Vista is far superior to the GPS III +.

 

I've used both in the woods with no problems. I could not tell the difference except the Vista usually had a more accurate reading and better fix.

 

The WAAS makes a big difference. Many times I can get a WAAS fix in the woods. You just need a small canopy gap in the right direction.

 

The click stick worries me. A couple of times it has stopped working, but turning the unit off and on fixed the problem.

 

The screen is smaller, but it is a higher resolution so you can see much more (about twice what you see on the GPS III+)

 

I love the smaller size, but dislike the shorter battery life. (But I can carry a spare set.)

 

The altimeter is not as accurate as they claim, but I like the read outs you can get with it.

 

The Vista can not access the route page as easily as the GPS III. The vista has much better sun and moon data.

 

I like the 24 meg map capacity. But it takes about 45 minutes to upload the maps. It also uses the metoguide CD which is much better than road and rec. It also has a nice feature which will allow you to view topo, road and rec, or metoguide with a menu item. With the GPS III, switching from topo to roads and rec was a royal pain.

 

The electronic compass is real nice. It is very helpful when you are moving slowly. It will also orientate your topo maps.

 

I sold my GPS III+ and have no regrets.

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