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Things that make you go hmmmmmm.....?


Clown Knife
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As the Garmin vs Magellan debate continues to be a major topic on the forums; I've made this observation. I browsed the Classifieds forum back to the month of September 2002. I saw very many Garmin units for sale and only a few Magellan units for sale. I wonder why that is? Hmmmm.....?

 

Imagine life in a cacheless society!

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As somebody, who just switched the brand, I can tell you my thoughts:

When you would have asked me in my pre-Geocache-Life: Tell me a supplier of GPS-Equipment, my only answer would have been: Garmin. I didn't even know Magellan. Magellan is not a brand name, one knows (imho) over here.

If follow offers of Garmins on Ebay, you see the guys getting nuts. If you follow offers of magellan, you see very lame interest and prices.

I think, the main reason is that the market share of Garmin is much more than Magellan (is that true?) and so the brand is so well known.

So I don't think its pure matter of market share.

Also the features of the receivers have something to do with it. The big one is mostly not at the leading edge, thats everywhere, the smaller ones are mostly leading tecnhology wise (otherwise they're out of the business)

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Being lucky enough to get a three day weekend every other week, I often use it for hiking, packing. There are an amazing amount of GPS receivers out there, but as a rough guess based on what I've seen, probably somewhere around 3/4's or more of them are Garmins on the trails out west.

 

Maybe some of the guys working in stores can shed more light on the subject. Personally, I've gone with a couple units from each manufacture, gives me a choice on every journey.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly B Good:

It seems like most Garmin users follow this trend. They start out with an Etrex yellow and soon have their eye on the higher end models.


 

Well, I for one started off with Magellan (GPS 315, then a MAP 330) and was a die-hard Magellan fan until I tried a Garmin eMap and have been a Garminite ever since. Even though I bought (and still own) a Magellan Meridian Gold, I thought it was way too much like the MAP 330 (but much more expandable memory-wise). One of my least favorite aspects of the Magellans is MapSend which seems much more crude than Garmin's MapSource which (to me at least) seems much more refined and polished...again, this is personal preference and I'm sure there are others out there that have tried both products and feel differently.

 

Just use what is best for your particular need and taste and enjoy your GPSR's. icon_biggrin.gif

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When I went out to buy my GPS, the guy in the store told me that he sells 7 Garmin units for every Magellan unit sold.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Clown Knife:

As the Garmin vs Magellan debate continues to be a major topic on the forums; I've made this observation. I browsed the Classifieds forum back to the month of September 2002. I saw very many Garmin units for sale and only a few Magellan units for sale. I wonder why that is? Hmmmm.....?

 

Imagine life in a cacheless society!


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Back in the day before I'd bought my Meridian, but I'd made up my mind to get one, I was calling around the local stores to see who carried 'em. One well-respected outdoors store (really the only one that isn't fishin' & huntin' around here) told me he didn't sell Magellan because they weren't user friendly. He tried to sell me on a Garmin, but I explained that I'd already made up my mind.

 

I have to agree with the salesman, too. I used to own a yellow eTrex, and the day I bought that, I had it mostly figured out the next day. Very intuitive. I only had it a couple months before it was stolen. Then I got the Meridian, and I kept having to refer to the manual or these forums to figure out features. I like what it has, but it's not always the easiest to figure out.

 

Jamie

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Before I bought my first GPSr I REALLY wanted an Etrex Vista and would have eventually bought one when I saved enough money. They are small, good looking, and waterproof. The Magellan 300 series has that ugly antenna and aren't waterproof.

 

Most people don't get a chance to use one before buying, but I did. I borrowed a friends Etrex Yellow and went out in the woods looking for a cache. The thing was constantly losing lock. There I am holding the GPSr above my head looking for spot between the trees that it could pick up a lock. I was disgusted with how crappy it was in the woods.

 

My sister told me she wanted to sell the Mag 315 they had because they never used it. I ended up buying it for $80. WOW, what a difference in the woods. I used it for a while and recently upgraded to the Meriplat.

 

I hid one cache in the heavy woods to mess with the Etrex users. I recently hid another cache in the woods using my Meriplat and didn't even think about the fact that it was in the woods because I never had any reception problems. To my suprise people were writing that they could hardly get reception. Oops, I wasn't even trying and I bet I got another Etrex user.

 

Some of the Garmin software might be better, but where I live (Western Washington) reception is a must.

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The etrex line has a patch antenna, the 315 has a quad. If you are going to do a comparison of brands at least compare the same thing. If you get into a deep narrow valley (where a patch shines) your 315 had better come with a corkscrew so that it isn't completly useless. I have both a rino and a legend, there are times when one works better than the other, but it doesn't have anything to do with Garmin, one has a patch and the other a quad.

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quote:
Originally posted by niskibum:

If you are going to do a comparison of brands at least compare the same thing.


 

This is more of a Chevy vs. Ford comparison. The discussion is about brand names not antennas. Did you read it before you spouted off?

 

geomark8.gif

If you do not extend your expectations unto others, you will not be disappointed by the stupid things they do.

Mokita!

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

_This is more of a Chevy vs. Ford comparison._ The discussion is about brand names not antennas. Did you read it before you spouted off?


 

Yes I did read it, the entire thread. 3fros had mentioned a comparison between a 315 and an etrex. Different brands and different antennas. Might as well compare a Ford mustang and a Chevy 1/2 ton truck.

 

ps. I'll take the Chevy.

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Actually, that was my whole point to begin with (I probably should have quoted the previous post). Truth be known, I think both Garmin and Magellan make a good product and stand behind them, it's just finding the right one for you.

 

Now, if my 4x4 also has positraction, shouldn't my gps have both a quad and a patch?

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quote:
Originally posted by niskibum:

If you get into a deep narrow valley (where a patch shines) your 315 had better come with a corkscrew so that it isn't completly useless.


 

Huh, I've been between buildings and in narrow valleys and never had a problem with my 315.

 

Yes, my comparison is with the Etrex, and not all Garmin units, but the Etrex is probably their most popular unit by far. It is also made for the same market as the 315 so it is not a car vs truck argument. It is not Ford Mustang vs Chevy truck, it's more like having a Chevy 2WD V6 with a real nice stereo (Garmin Etrex), vs a Dodge 4WD V8 (Mag 315). I know which one I'm using off road. If I'm lost in the woods I don't want the GPS to be lost too.

 

It's Garmins fault they put in a patch antenna in what is probably their most popular unit, nobody elses, so don't take it personally. It's also the reason I didn't buy one. My point is that it's sad that a bare bones 315 kicks the snot out of a high dollar GPSr like the Vista when it comes to reception.

 

Have you actually ever tried both units in the woods? Most users haven't and only like the unit they got used to first. Remember I was a big Garmin fan before I tried the Etrex.

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Not wanting to continue thie anntena (sp) thread too much longer, but I have to say that there is nothing wrong with a patch anntanna (hopefully one of the spellings is closer). Its the size of the annteana that matters, and truth be told the etrex has a smaller one than the ones found in the older 12 series.

 

Wyatt W.

 

The probability of someone watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your actions.

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I logged my first 60 caches with a basic etrex yellow. Many of them were in deep forest with heavy tree cover. I don't really recall having any problems keeping a lock.

 

Whenever one of my buddies becomes interested in Geocaching I steer them toward the little yellow etrex. I hzve no reservations recommending it as a first purchase.

 

But for some reason after playing with my GPSV they always opt to buy one. I've ordered six GPSV's todate online for friends and family. I should become a dealer. icon_smile.gif

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

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quote:
Originally posted by 3fros:

 

Huh, I've been between buildings and in narrow valleys and never had a problem with my 315.

 

Yes, my comparison is with the Etrex, and not all Garmin units, but the Etrex is probably their most popular unit by far. It is also made for the same market as the 315 so it is not a car vs truck argument. It is not Ford Mustang vs Chevy truck, it's more like having a Chevy 2WD V6 with a real nice stereo (Garmin Etrex), vs a Dodge 4WD V8 (Mag 315). I know which one I'm using off road. If I'm lost in the woods I don't want the GPS to be lost too.

 

It's Garmins fault they put in a patch antenna in what is probably their most popular unit, nobody elses, so don't take it personally. It's also the reason I didn't buy one. My point is that it's sad that a bare bones 315 kicks the snot out of a high dollar GPSr like the Vista when it comes to reception.

 

Have you actually ever tried both units in the woods? Most users haven't and only like the unit they got used to first. Remember I was a big Garmin fan before I tried the Etrex.


 

What I was refering to with the patch verses quad is the fact that the patch is a more upward looking antenna, while the quad looks at an angle closer to the horizon. In most circumstances the quad will perform better, but there are those times when the patch will work and the quad gets nothing. I have seen this with two units side by side where my patch had 20ft accuracy and the quad couldn't get a lock.

 

To make a fair comparison though I think it would be better to compare your 315 to something like a gps 72, lower cost but with a quad helix. The etrex line has other advantages that other people want like size. So if good reception is the only thing you are worried about, you should look at a different line. Both Garmin and Magellan have different lines depending on what is important to you. But you should still compare apples to apples not oranges.

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quote:
Originally posted by 3fros:

 

Huh, I've been between buildings and in narrow valleys and never had a problem with my 315.


 

Having done a lot of side by side testing of both eTrex's, and sportraks in terrain, canyons etc. I'd have to say while the Magellan will indicate a good solution on the satellite status page more often than the etrex will, the sportrak tends to really suffer under these conditions accuracy wise. The etrex will give you a considerably more accurate position indication most of the time. Try it side by side for awhile. I think you'll be surprised by the results you get. I know I was.

 

As for reception in general, I'd like to make a request of those that have units from both manufactures: Carry both receivers in the optimal position on an out and back trail hike in the sort of conditions you've found GPSR's have difficulty in. Download and view the tracklog, if possible posting the results. Look for both lost reception and the degree to which the outward leg and return leg lined up, or real accuracy if it's something you can determine on an aerial photo or through other means.

 

Personally I've found doing this to be a real eye opener. It's hard initially because you have to set a garmin to least sensitive logging and a Magellan to most to get similar detail. You also to look around the fact that the Magellan joins track segments so it's hard to tell when reception is lost, making you have to look at other indicators. Do this though, and I think you might be surprised at the results you get. Finally, try the different receivers in different conditions where you let them sit and get thier wits about them for 3 or 4 minutes and see what sort of results you get regarding ability to get a lock, number of sats etc.

 

Personally I bought my sportrak because I wanted better reception than I was getting with my hiking receiver which was a Legend at the time. Haveing done a lot of side by side testing, the unit I take if I only take one is the Legend because it provides me the best reception/accuracy under varying conditions. Do the side by side yourself for a hundred miles or so in a variety of terrain and you'll see why.

 

Jeff

 

http://home.sprynet.com/~searching_ut

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I did the same type of side by side real world performance test, my brothers' Venture and my M315.

I got the opposite results Searching_ut got. My brother ended up offing his Venture to buy a Meridian Gold. Now his buddy, (the one he sold the Venture to) wants to trade it in for a Meridain. I guess your milege may vary..All I know that you have to know how to get the most out of you gear.

Case in point, If you want the best range out of your frs radio, get up high on a hill, I get my 1/2 watt radio to reach my friends house 22 miles away using gps to get the range down..

NT

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While I was shopping around for my unit, I spoke with a salesman who flat out told me that "Garmin has x-amount of the market share, Magellan has x-amount" (the X-amount for Garmin being something like 90%). He said it in a way that conveyed the feeling of "if Garmin sells that much, it is obviously for a good reason - they are better". But I couldn't help but reflect back on that conversation and think about how close I was to buying a Garmin from him with one of the major deciding factors being that I would be playing it "safe" buying a product with such a large market share. Then I began to think of how many people buy the Garmin based on that logic. This situation lends itself to somewhat of a snowball effect (lucky for Garmin!). It's the "sheep effect" maybe? I must admit I was pretty willing to follow the rest... but I decided to put my nose to the grindstone and finish my research. I don't have my Meridian Platinum yet, but I hope that I made a good choice. I'm not saying that Garmin or Magellan is better than the other, because I have no idea. I just know that when I weighed all of the options and choices, the MeriPlat ended up as the unit that best met my requirements.

 

BAJATACO.COM

Vibram or BFG - getting there on rubber and seeing it all!

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quote:
Originally posted by Clown Knife:

As the Garmin vs Magellan debate continues to be a major topic on the forums; I've made this observation. I browsed the Classifieds forum back to the month of September 2002. I saw very many Garmin units for sale and only a few Magellan units for sale. I wonder why that is? Hmmmm.....?

 

Imagine life in a cacheless society!


 

Why? Because Garmin is the only of the two with any innovation. Thus, Garmin owners are upgrading to the V with the autorouting. That is without a doubt, the best all around unit for geocaching. Magellen just keeps recycling the same old same old into a new housing.

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I started this thread and I own a Magellan Platinum. I researched GPSRs for a year before buying one. I bought the MeriPlat mainly because of:

antenna type

footprint (easy to hold on to)

screen size

digital compass, barometer, thermometer

accuracy

great reviews

 

Thanks to everyone for chiming in on this topic!

 

Imagine life in a cacheless society!

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the merigreen gpsr from fry's for $99. i think any newbie to the game of geocaching who really researches the gpsr's ends up with a magellan. most newbies who buy a garmin for under $300 didn't research gpsr's and don't know what they are getting. yeah the garmin V might be a great gpsr but most newbie's aren't going to spend $450-$500 on a game that they aren't sure they'll like or on a toy they might end up throwing in the garbage after they get it.

 

so yeah, antenna type, screen size, expandable memory, footprint, initial cost and great reviews are what brought me to the merigreen after 6 months of research.

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