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Garmin Vista compared to the Magellan Meridian Platinum and Lowrance Globelmap 100?


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Good day. New to Geocaching so I need advice that I am sure that I can find here. What are your thoughts on these three gps units? Garmin Vista, Magellan Meridian Platinum and the Lowrance Globelmap 100?. Pro or cons on each? Side by side comparison? Any information will be greatly helpful. Have a great rest of the day.

 

[This message was edited by civilwarranger on May 13, 2002 at 11:05 AM.]

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What ever you do, do not buy the Global map100 for GeoCaching. It does not support WAAS. The reception under light cover is very poor. The Magellan units will continue reading even if you drop down to just two sattilites. The global map100 just beeps and starts blinking.

Now I believe the Global map100 would be great on a boat with no obstructions. However the batterie bay is not water tight.

I really like the Magellan units. I have a Map330 and a Meridian Platinum. They are very simular. They can use the same software. I've found the PC conectivity is better than Garmin. You can still find the Map330X which comes with all the accessories, for abouthe price you would pay for a Meridian Gold. The Gold does not come with any accessories. Other than the PC cable you will spend another $150 or so to get the accessories the Map330X comes with.

The Lowrance iFinder is supposed to be nice, but it comes alone too. You have to buy all the accessories separate. So the price is decieving.

Here are some good reviews.

Reviews

 

Preperation, the first law to survival.

39197_400.jpg

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The Vista has a patch antenna and looses signals where my Map 330x (same antenna as the Platinum) still has a 3d lock. The Platinum has a 3d compass, you don't have to hold it flat for a good directional fix with or without sattelites. The Vista must be held flat, both for reception and for the compass to work. I'd get the the Platinum if that's the two GPS's you're trying to decide between. Oh, no SD card on the Vista, up to 128 MB external memory (SD card) on the Plat.

 

AtP

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Despite intense brand loyalty, all three of units you mentioned would be fine for geocaching.

 

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. I'd suggest going to a store and playing with them. Then pick the unit that best suits your personal taste and specific needs.

 

For example, if you backpack, cross country hike, or mountaineer, you might really like the eTrex line. Smallest, lightest, best temperature range, and geared towards one hand operation.

 

Since I would carry an altimeter on some of my adventures anyway, the eTrex Vista helps 'earn' its ounces for me by including one.

 

On the other hand, if you are more likely to use the unit in your car than on a "14", the Magellan might appeal to you. The screen is much lower resolution, but physically larger. The front panel button arrangement is also better suited to one finger operation. Both these aspects make the unit more practical to operate in a car.

 

And so on... Again, they are all pretty nice units.

 

Good Luck,

-jjf

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quote:
Originally posted by Atilla the Pun:

The Vista has a patch antenna and looses signals where my Map 330x (same antenna as the Platinum) still has a 3d lock. The Platinum has a 3d compass, you don't have to hold it flat for a good directional fix with or without sattelites. The Vista must be held flat, both for reception and for the compass to work. I'd get the the Platinum if that's the two GPS's you're trying to decide between. Oh, no SD card on the Vista, up to 128 MB external memory (SD card) on the Plat.

 

AtP


 

I use a Vista, for reasons I've stated many times, but if I were to buy a Merdian, I would probably buy the Gold.

 

The 3D compass on the Platinum may seem cool, but it is pretty inaccurate. IE, it works at many attitudes, but it is not terribly precise at any of them. I thought that it was just one unit, but it is actually the sensor used.

 

And the barometer is not really a replacement for a barometric altimeter. Most users don't need one, but if you do - you'll still be lugging one along side your platinum.

 

I'm not saying that the Platinum is a bad unit, just that I would go for the better battery life and slightly lighter weight of the Gold (actually, I don't know if the Gold is lighter or not - but it does go longer on a set of batteries).

 

-jjf

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It was mentioned in an above post that the Lowrance 100 doesn't have waas, true it doesn't,

BUT how many of us out there that do have waas have it turned off. I do and my Magellan gold seems more accurate..

Guess I'm still and old Lowrance lover at heart icon_wink.gif

 

PS I think I will keep the gold I love it also

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It was mentioned in an above post that the Lowrance 100 doesn't have waas, true it doesn't,

BUT how many of us out there that do have waas have it turned off. I do and my Magellan gold seems more accurate..

Guess I'm still and old Lowrance lover at heart icon_wink.gif

 

PS I think I will keep the gold I love it also

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quote:
Originally posted by vagabond:

It was mentioned in an above post that the Lowrance 100 doesn't have waas, true it doesn't,

BUT how many of us out there that do have waas have it turned off. I do and my Magellan gold seems more accurate..


 

WAAS is certainly a selling point on a new reciever. As you can turn it on and off it makes you reciever more versitile. I'd guess that half of us do not have WAAS. So hunting without it for a cache hidden without it. Would result in more similar results.

 

I have a Global map100. It has terrible reception. Just because it was my first GPSr doesn't mean I would recommend it to anyone.

 

Anyways this is another recomendation for Magellon. icon_razz.gif

 

Just have fun.

 

Preperation, the first law to survival.

39197_400.jpg

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quote:
Originally posted by vagabond:

It was mentioned in an above post that the Lowrance 100 doesn't have waas, true it doesn't,

BUT how many of us out there that do have waas have it turned off. I do and my Magellan gold seems more accurate..


 

WAAS is certainly a selling point on a new reciever. As you can turn it on and off it makes you reciever more versitile. I'd guess that half of us do not have WAAS. So hunting without it for a cache hidden without it. Would result in more similar results.

 

I have a Global map100. It has terrible reception. Just because it was my first GPSr doesn't mean I would recommend it to anyone.

 

Anyways this is another recomendation for Magellon. icon_razz.gif

 

Just have fun.

 

Preperation, the first law to survival.

39197_400.jpg

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I'm a Vista man all the way. I like Garmin's text size and fonts, and the software is much more user friendly for me. Of course I've only used a friends Mag a couple of times, wheresas I can operate my Vista with my eyes closed. So it depends on how much time you spend playing with it and learning it's quirks I guess.

 

5399_300.jpg

Gig 'em Aggies

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

The Magellan units will continue reading even if you drop down to just two sattilites.


 

Nah, no way known will any GPS continue to navigate with only 2 sats.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

The Magellan units will continue reading even if you drop down to just two sattilites.


 

Nah, no way known will any GPS continue to navigate with only 2 sats.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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Dont touch any eTrex. Worst antenna available on the market. You will regret it under tree cover or in a car. Get the Meridian Platinum, dadgum good GPS. Many geocachers told me not to get a eTrex Legend , I didnt believe them. One month later, I sold my Legend.

 

If you prefer a Garmin, get a 76s. (Quadrifilar Antenna, like the Meridians)

 

Bag

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quote:
Originally posted by Bagbug:

Dont touch any eTrex. Worst antenna available on the market. You will regret it under tree cover or in a car. Get the Meridian Platinum, dadgum good GPS. Many geocachers told me not to get a eTrex Legend , I didnt believe them. One month later, I sold my Legend.

 

If you prefer a Garmin, get a 76s. (Quadrifilar Antenna, like the Meridians)

 

Bag


 

If you are in a whiteout and the temperature is dropping in the mountains, get an eTrex. Magellans do not like the cold. A lot of commercial SD cards like it even less... icon_wink.gif

 

Seriously, again, most of the units available are pretty good. The 'right' one really depends on personal taste and needs.

 

I still would pick a Gold over a Platinum (see above).

 

-jjf

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quote:
Originally posted by Bagbug:

Dont touch any eTrex. Worst antenna available on the market. You will regret it under tree cover or in a car. Get the Meridian Platinum, dadgum good GPS. Many geocachers told me not to get a eTrex Legend , I didnt believe them. One month later, I sold my Legend.

 

If you prefer a Garmin, get a 76s. (Quadrifilar Antenna, like the Meridians)

 

Bag


 

If you are in a whiteout and the temperature is dropping in the mountains, get an eTrex. Magellans do not like the cold. A lot of commercial SD cards like it even less... icon_wink.gif

 

Seriously, again, most of the units available are pretty good. The 'right' one really depends on personal taste and needs.

 

I still would pick a Gold over a Platinum (see above).

 

-jjf

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

What ever you do, do not buy the Global map100 for GeoCaching. It does not support WAAS. The reception under light cover is very poor. The Magellan units will continue reading even if you drop down to just two sattilites. The global map100 just beeps and starts blinking.


 

In spite of the risk of sounding like someone with hurt feelings, I want to comment on what you just wrote. The 'debate' on which gps is 'best' has been around since they first appeared on the market and will never go away. Asking a question like 'what is the best gps?' is like asking 'what is the best car?'

But as far as the GM100 goes, I couldn't disagree with you more. I own a GM100. I have also owned an ETrex, an Emap a 440ColorTrak and an M320.

Without a doubt, the GM100 provides the best reception. As I sit here in my house, 5 feet from the nearest window and with an entire story above me, it has a lock on 3 sats.

I like my GM100 for its versatility, programbilty and variety of functions. It also is one of the better units for marine and aviation use ( I have two boats and am a pilot). It certainly isn't the most compact unit and it eats batteries like whale eats plankton. But the price certainly was right. And BTW, I've dropped mine in 5 feet of water and never had any problems.

The Magellans I've owned were absolutely terrible for reception; especially the ColorTrak. The 315/320 are nicely designed, lightweight and superbly battery efficient - great for a newbie - not to mention watertight and buoyant. On the other hand, is is in an entirely different class of GPS from the GM100. The new Meridian looks very tempting, although I haven't had the chance to actually use one. The customer support from Magellan however is enough to keep me from ever purchasing another.

As much as i liked the Garmins, I do not like the restrictions they have on maps - i.e hardware vs. software.

AS far as WAAS is concerned, I don't see what all the hype is about. It's not even available where I live ( as it might not be for the poster of the thread), but it wouldn't even be a selling point for me. Even by theory alone, the accuracy on a non WAAS GPS is only what, 15' or 30'? But isn't that the maximum? I consitently hunt caches where my unit reads 1 meterfrom the cache and actually is. Same with submerged rocks on my marine charts. Non WAAS is plenty accurate for me.

 

MajBach

You can't have everything,where would you put it?

1compass.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by jfitzpat:

Despite intense brand loyalty,...


 

Just on the off chance that was directed at me, I have no brand loyalty. I cited the field experience I had (patch antenna vs quad helix, patch lost) and pointed to features that seemed to be what the poster requested.

 

Thanks for your input about the MeriPlat's compass, I will research that further before deciding on my next GPS. I was leaning towards the MeriPlat, not becuase it's Magellan but for the features vs cost. Now I'll check it out. The 76S looks good too, especially with the external antenna connector, but cost is a factor.

 

AtP

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quote:
Originally posted by Kerry:

Majbach, ah some reality, that shouldn't hurt any feelings icon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif


 

I don’t think that the reality would hurt any feelings. Numerous times, I used GM100 side by side other receivers and the reality of my experience is that GM100 still is one of the 4 receivers with best reception in difficult conditions. Also; There is nothing wrong with a patch antenna. Within my top four, there are 2 with patch and 2 with helix antennas.

 

Andrew Kalinowski

 

www.GPSNuts.com Recreational GPS and mapping (hobby)

www.CanadianMaps.ca Raster topo (and some other) maps

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quote:
Originally posted by Kerry:

Majbach, ah some reality, that shouldn't hurt any feelings icon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif


 

I don’t think that the reality would hurt any feelings. Numerous times, I used GM100 side by side other receivers and the reality of my experience is that GM100 still is one of the 4 receivers with best reception in difficult conditions. Also; There is nothing wrong with a patch antenna. Within my top four, there are 2 with patch and 2 with helix antennas.

 

Andrew Kalinowski

 

www.GPSNuts.com Recreational GPS and mapping (hobby)

www.CanadianMaps.ca Raster topo (and some other) maps

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quote:
ah some reality, that shouldn't hurt any feelings

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif


crying.gif

 

So Kerry knows where to go. I'll disregard your useless little comments. 66 posts no finds or hides. Hmm your alter ego? So you can make all the inflammitory comments you like without anyone knowing who you are. nixweiss.gif

 

The original post was asking for comparisons on the three GPSr listed. I have two of them. I've had the GM100 for three years now.

Now if you've ever used a GPSr, you should now that anything less than half or two thirds of sattilite signal is not a lock.

The GM100 will loose it's lock when one of the last three sat sig drop below half. Leaving you standing there stairing at a blinking screen. Usually till you get four sat sig back. Which could be several minutes later.

The M330 and Meridian on the other hand, don't leave you hanging. Even when you drop down two two sattilites with random ones spiking up and dropping off you still get a reading.splat.gif

The GM100 will just blink at you.

I did say that the GM100 would be good on a boat. Just not under cover.

It's a shame MajBach can't take advantage of WAAS. For those who can why not take that into consideration when buying? Are you implying that if Canadians don't recieve WAAS that no one should consider it when purchasing a GPSr? CivilWarRanger sounds American to me.

This poor guys comparison question has turned into a GM100 debate.

 

Just have fun.

 

Preperation, the first law to survival.

39197_400.jpg

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quote:
ah some reality, that shouldn't hurt any feelings

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif


crying.gif

 

So Kerry knows where to go. I'll disregard your useless little comments. 66 posts no finds or hides. Hmm your alter ego? So you can make all the inflammitory comments you like without anyone knowing who you are. nixweiss.gif

 

The original post was asking for comparisons on the three GPSr listed. I have two of them. I've had the GM100 for three years now.

Now if you've ever used a GPSr, you should now that anything less than half or two thirds of sattilite signal is not a lock.

The GM100 will loose it's lock when one of the last three sat sig drop below half. Leaving you standing there stairing at a blinking screen. Usually till you get four sat sig back. Which could be several minutes later.

The M330 and Meridian on the other hand, don't leave you hanging. Even when you drop down two two sattilites with random ones spiking up and dropping off you still get a reading.splat.gif

The GM100 will just blink at you.

I did say that the GM100 would be good on a boat. Just not under cover.

It's a shame MajBach can't take advantage of WAAS. For those who can why not take that into consideration when buying? Are you implying that if Canadians don't recieve WAAS that no one should consider it when purchasing a GPSr? CivilWarRanger sounds American to me.

This poor guys comparison question has turned into a GM100 debate.

 

Just have fun.

 

Preperation, the first law to survival.

39197_400.jpg

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Well Leatherman you just on making all the assumptions you like (ever used a GPS icon_eek.gif what's a GPS icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif) but one thing for sure I certainly don't have to explain any of my background to you regardless of what you think.

 

So what's your "opinion" of the great auto averaging funtion.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

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Well Leatherman you just on making all the assumptions you like (ever used a GPS icon_eek.gif what's a GPS icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif) but one thing for sure I certainly don't have to explain any of my background to you regardless of what you think.

 

So what's your "opinion" of the great auto averaging funtion.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gificon_biggrin.gif

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I don't care about your background.

ohplease.gif

Your two little snippits didn't contribute anything to this discussion.

confused5.gif

You just popped in to heckle others. Why not give your expert opinion to CivilWarRanger, like he asked.

 

If you want to discuss averaging start your own string.

 

Preperation, the first law to survival.

39197_400.jpg

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So that's a "No Comment" icon_biggrin.gif is it, but that I can understand especially with regard some of the other comments.

 

As for averaging and Magellans well obviously your a little new around here icon_wink.gif

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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So that's a "No Comment" icon_biggrin.gif is it, but that I can understand especially with regard some of the other comments.

 

As for averaging and Magellans well obviously your a little new around here icon_wink.gif

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

This poor guys comparison question has turned into a GM100 debate.

 

Just have fun.

 


 

Not my intentions, sir. Just pointing out two starkly different experiences with the same unit (perhaps there is something wrong with yours).

I'm sure Ranger wants unbiased opinions. I agree that the GM100 indicates 'Position Lost' when it loses it's 3rd sattelite. All GPSrs lose their lock when this happens. Just because a GPSr doesn't tell you this right away, doesn't mean it isn't so. I believe some GPSrs continue to 'project' your position, based on what was happening before you lost the lock.

Someone else pointed out that WAAS has been giving 'less' accuracy in his/her experience. Perhaps there are bugs to be worked out of it yet.

 

Ranger, Andrew is one of two names who comes to mind for most people when as the foremost authority on GPSrs. His statements are are more to fact than opinion and his testing is far more objective than most. Suggest you go to his website for really good advice.

 

MajBach

You can't have everything,where would you put it?

1compass.gif

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If a GPS loses sats so only two locations are receiving, couldn't the GPS assume its location anyway. I thought with two satsw, there are two possible locations in the world that you can be at. Since the GPS just knew your last position, couldn't the program be written to just "assume" the "correct" position based on two sats?

 

alan

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

Still nothing intellegent added to this discussion.


 

Well some have made some straight up comments, some I've agreed with (which I've stated) and some I don't (which I've also stated) so if you have any problems with that then that's tough.

 

My comment

 

"Majbach, ah some reality, that shouldn't hurt any feelings"

 

Your smart arse reply

 

"So Kerry knows where to go. I'll disregard your useless little comments. 66 posts no finds or hides. Hmm your alter ego? So you can make all the inflammitory comments you like without anyone knowing who you are"

 

So don't come back to me regarding useless comments. You don't like my agreement then you may as well direct your comments wider.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

Still nothing intellegent added to this discussion.


 

Well some have made some straight up comments, some I've agreed with (which I've stated) and some I don't (which I've also stated) so if you have any problems with that then that's tough.

 

My comment

 

"Majbach, ah some reality, that shouldn't hurt any feelings"

 

Your smart arse reply

 

"So Kerry knows where to go. I'll disregard your useless little comments. 66 posts no finds or hides. Hmm your alter ego? So you can make all the inflammitory comments you like without anyone knowing who you are"

 

So don't come back to me regarding useless comments. You don't like my agreement then you may as well direct your comments wider.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan2:

If a GPS loses sats so only two locations are receiving, couldn't the GPS assume its location anyway. I thought with two satsw, there are two possible locations in the world that you can be at. Since the GPS just knew your last position, couldn't the program be written to just "assume" the "correct" position based on two sats?


 

With 2 sats you can solve for 2 unknowns but for a "fix" (2D) one requires to solve for 3 things (X,Y & Time). Take either one of them knowns away and it's anybodies guess where one is or which way one is even going.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan2:

If a GPS loses sats so only two locations are receiving, couldn't the GPS assume its location anyway. I thought with two satsw, there are two possible locations in the world that you can be at. Since the GPS just knew your last position, couldn't the program be written to just "assume" the "correct" position based on two sats?


 

With 2 sats you can solve for 2 unknowns but for a "fix" (2D) one requires to solve for 3 things (X,Y & Time). Take either one of them knowns away and it's anybodies guess where one is or which way one is even going.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

Your two little snippits didn't contribute anything to this discussion. You just popped in to heckle others. Why not give your expert opinion to CivilWarRanger, like he asked.

 

If you want to discuss averaging start your own string.


 

On second thoughts the original poster was requesting "pro's and con's" so it is appropraite that averaging and auto averaging be discussed as far the models mentioned are concerned.

 

Like I've said I would be interested in your comments regarding the pro's and con's, maybe Civilwarranger would be too as that is what was really requested "pro's and con's".

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

Your two little snippits didn't contribute anything to this discussion. You just popped in to heckle others. Why not give your expert opinion to CivilWarRanger, like he asked.

 

If you want to discuss averaging start your own string.


 

On second thoughts the original poster was requesting "pro's and con's" so it is appropraite that averaging and auto averaging be discussed as far the models mentioned are concerned.

 

Like I've said I would be interested in your comments regarding the pro's and con's, maybe Civilwarranger would be too as that is what was really requested "pro's and con's".

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

Still nothing intellegent added to this discussion.

 


 

As far as I can tell, Kerry just pointed out a basic, known fact. The way that the system is implemented, a receiver cannot get a meaninful fix from just two sats. If you have an receiver that keeps pumping out information in this situation, it is important to know that the unit is just spouting guesses.

 

Kerry's listed stats have no impact on the physics, or the NavStar implementation. The facts remain what they are.

 

In addition, Kerry has been a long standing contributer of excellent technical information on this subject. His message history, on both the new and archived forums, would have been a better way of investigating his credentials on the subject. A 'found' count has no statistical correlation to technical savvy or basic cognitive skills.

 

Besides, you should know that a fair number of members don't log. The reasons vary, the hunt is enough, privacy, etc.

 

This is coming to a head at my own house. I'm not much of a cacher, I'd rather climb. My kids like doing it with map and compass, but are hot to place, which will force us to rethink our posting policy (we already have had to revise our trade policy)...

 

But, back on point, if you sincerely think your stats here on Geocaching.com are a meaningful yardstick of your value or credibility as a human being, get a life... icon_wink.gif

 

-jjf

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

Still nothing intellegent added to this discussion.

 


 

As far as I can tell, Kerry just pointed out a basic, known fact. The way that the system is implemented, a receiver cannot get a meaninful fix from just two sats. If you have an receiver that keeps pumping out information in this situation, it is important to know that the unit is just spouting guesses.

 

Kerry's listed stats have no impact on the physics, or the NavStar implementation. The facts remain what they are.

 

In addition, Kerry has been a long standing contributer of excellent technical information on this subject. His message history, on both the new and archived forums, would have been a better way of investigating his credentials on the subject. A 'found' count has no statistical correlation to technical savvy or basic cognitive skills.

 

Besides, you should know that a fair number of members don't log. The reasons vary, the hunt is enough, privacy, etc.

 

This is coming to a head at my own house. I'm not much of a cacher, I'd rather climb. My kids like doing it with map and compass, but are hot to place, which will force us to rethink our posting policy (we already have had to revise our trade policy)...

 

But, back on point, if you sincerely think your stats here on Geocaching.com are a meaningful yardstick of your value or credibility as a human being, get a life... icon_wink.gif

 

-jjf

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quote:
Originally posted by jfitzpat:

Not at all, I posted the comment pretty early and just assumed that the loyalists would leap in. I'm sorry if it seemed personal.

 

-jjf


 

No problems here. All I'm interested in is the facts. They're not always what we'd like them to be, but we can only ignore them to our own detriment. icon_smile.gif

 

AtP

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quote:
Originally posted by jfitzpat:

Not at all, I posted the comment pretty early and just assumed that the loyalists would leap in. I'm sorry if it seemed personal.

 

-jjf


 

No problems here. All I'm interested in is the facts. They're not always what we'd like them to be, but we can only ignore them to our own detriment. icon_smile.gif

 

AtP

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quote:
Originally posted by Atilla the Pun:

 

>>snip>>>

 

No problems here. All I'm interested in is the facts. They're not always what we'd like them to be, but we can only ignore them to our own detriment. icon_smile.gif

 

AtP


I like your attitude ?)

So; lets get to facts - I'm going to roll in my comments to several different posts into one reply.

First of all, I'm flattered by MajBah's statement but the fact is, he gives me much more credit that I deserve. I'm just another GPSR user. I just might be more lucky than some of you, since I have had opportunity to try more various units than an average sports store has in stock ;-)

Even so; To put things in a perspective, there are some (sometimes substantial) differences in performance between individual units of the same make, model and firmware. For that reason, I don't like to make sweeping statements about performance of any individual unit unless it's backed up by what I generally hear from other users. By the same token; I do rate GM100's reception under canopy as very good. Well; I also rate Meridian's reception as excellent. To comment on the (originally asked about) Vista. Well, lets just say that I regularly use Legend (Vista's sister) and I find it very handy, like it a lot, nice, small, I carry it almost everywhere I go in the city but… I don't take it into the woods.

There is something that may be deceiving in regards to GM100 ability to hold the lock. As soon as the actual ability to resolve position is lost (sat lock goes to less than 3), GM starts to flash it's screen. If you use it side by side with a Meridian, GM will (sometimes) appear to be unable to locate when the Meridian happily reports the position and everything appears to be in perfect order except… When Meridian looses the ability to resolve the position, it will wait for considerable time before alerting you that it happened! In fact; in order to alert you to the loss of the position fix, in the Alarms / Messages menu of the Meridian, Position Fix alarm has to be turned ON because by factory default it's in OFF position! Yup, the Meridian is NOT able to resolve position with just two satellites. In fact, it can keep on reporting the position when it has no lock on ANY satellites! And 2 satellites are NOT enough to calculate the fix. Also; the EPE on the GM100 is rather pessimistic when on Meridian it's rather optimistic. It's not unusual to see both receivers have a strong, 3D lock on the same constellation, report position within ONE meter of each other but GM report EPE of (say) 20 meters and Meridian report EPE of 7 or better meters. Mind you; when EPE on the Meridian indicates 30 meters, it often means that the unit does not have the actual position solution. Saying that, when Meridian looses the lock, it will use interpolated solution, based on whatever signals it does get and last position, speed and heading. IMHO, Magellan uses the most sophisticated interpolation I have ever seen and it frequently is almost right but; If you loose the lock (go down to 2 or less satellites) and (say) reverse or drastically change the speed or direction (start walking back or to the side), the interpolated position can be very, very wrong.

BTW. GM100 will happily receive and process signals at "half the strength". It will drom a satellite when signal to noise ratio goes down to (IIRC) 30. Easily verified by turning on the hidden status screen of the GM - from the "Status" screen, hit down arrow three or five times. IMHO That is pretty darn good!

 

Regarding WAAS. I tested several receivers with / without it. Frankly, I could not see any large benefit to it. Well; maybe some improvement in the open, but not much under even moderate canopy. I'm guessing that the reason for it lays in the actual error sources. Under the canopy, the major source of errors is with multipath and WAAS can NOT correct for that. Receiver's antenna, chipset, firmware and filtering

make more of a difference there. As a result; I'm not surprised by large number of users who are perfectly happy without WAAS. To add to it; WAAS can be very detrimental if one tries to use it outside of the areas covered by the ground stations (in NA, read Northern Canada). If one is "lucky" enough to even get WAAS there, one can find himself in situation where (say) the satellite to the south get corrections but satellites to the North don't. In that situation, instead of a random error from all around, they… how shall I put it… it's like trying to drive your car with both tires flat on one side. It will pull!

Furthermore, some users are deceived (again) by EPE. It's sometimes larger with WAAS than without! Why? My theory is that with WAAS, the receiver is simply able to more accurately calculate the EPE hence the result is more pessimistic. Like going all perky to the doctor for annual check up only to find out that you have a problem… ;-) Still; WAAS capability of the receiver may be a strong selling point but personally I treat it as a bonus, not a must have feature.

 

Bottom line: It's the user who has to decide which receiver is the best for him / her. It's surely a tough decision. GM100, Vista and Meridian have their strong and weak sides. reception under heavy canopy is just one of the factors. For some it may be deciding factor, for others something else may be more important especially that in the open or under light canopy, the difference in reception is hardly perceivable.

 

Andrew Kalinowski

 

www.GPSNuts.com Recreational GPS and mapping (hobby)

www.CanadianMaps.ca Raster topo (and some other) maps

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quote:
Originally posted by Atilla the Pun:

 

>>snip>>>

 

No problems here. All I'm interested in is the facts. They're not always what we'd like them to be, but we can only ignore them to our own detriment. icon_smile.gif

 

AtP


I like your attitude ?)

So; lets get to facts - I'm going to roll in my comments to several different posts into one reply.

First of all, I'm flattered by MajBah's statement but the fact is, he gives me much more credit that I deserve. I'm just another GPSR user. I just might be more lucky than some of you, since I have had opportunity to try more various units than an average sports store has in stock ;-)

Even so; To put things in a perspective, there are some (sometimes substantial) differences in performance between individual units of the same make, model and firmware. For that reason, I don't like to make sweeping statements about performance of any individual unit unless it's backed up by what I generally hear from other users. By the same token; I do rate GM100's reception under canopy as very good. Well; I also rate Meridian's reception as excellent. To comment on the (originally asked about) Vista. Well, lets just say that I regularly use Legend (Vista's sister) and I find it very handy, like it a lot, nice, small, I carry it almost everywhere I go in the city but… I don't take it into the woods.

There is something that may be deceiving in regards to GM100 ability to hold the lock. As soon as the actual ability to resolve position is lost (sat lock goes to less than 3), GM starts to flash it's screen. If you use it side by side with a Meridian, GM will (sometimes) appear to be unable to locate when the Meridian happily reports the position and everything appears to be in perfect order except… When Meridian looses the ability to resolve the position, it will wait for considerable time before alerting you that it happened! In fact; in order to alert you to the loss of the position fix, in the Alarms / Messages menu of the Meridian, Position Fix alarm has to be turned ON because by factory default it's in OFF position! Yup, the Meridian is NOT able to resolve position with just two satellites. In fact, it can keep on reporting the position when it has no lock on ANY satellites! And 2 satellites are NOT enough to calculate the fix. Also; the EPE on the GM100 is rather pessimistic when on Meridian it's rather optimistic. It's not unusual to see both receivers have a strong, 3D lock on the same constellation, report position within ONE meter of each other but GM report EPE of (say) 20 meters and Meridian report EPE of 7 or better meters. Mind you; when EPE on the Meridian indicates 30 meters, it often means that the unit does not have the actual position solution. Saying that, when Meridian looses the lock, it will use interpolated solution, based on whatever signals it does get and last position, speed and heading. IMHO, Magellan uses the most sophisticated interpolation I have ever seen and it frequently is almost right but; If you loose the lock (go down to 2 or less satellites) and (say) reverse or drastically change the speed or direction (start walking back or to the side), the interpolated position can be very, very wrong.

BTW. GM100 will happily receive and process signals at "half the strength". It will drom a satellite when signal to noise ratio goes down to (IIRC) 30. Easily verified by turning on the hidden status screen of the GM - from the "Status" screen, hit down arrow three or five times. IMHO That is pretty darn good!

 

Regarding WAAS. I tested several receivers with / without it. Frankly, I could not see any large benefit to it. Well; maybe some improvement in the open, but not much under even moderate canopy. I'm guessing that the reason for it lays in the actual error sources. Under the canopy, the major source of errors is with multipath and WAAS can NOT correct for that. Receiver's antenna, chipset, firmware and filtering

make more of a difference there. As a result; I'm not surprised by large number of users who are perfectly happy without WAAS. To add to it; WAAS can be very detrimental if one tries to use it outside of the areas covered by the ground stations (in NA, read Northern Canada). If one is "lucky" enough to even get WAAS there, one can find himself in situation where (say) the satellite to the south get corrections but satellites to the North don't. In that situation, instead of a random error from all around, they… how shall I put it… it's like trying to drive your car with both tires flat on one side. It will pull!

Furthermore, some users are deceived (again) by EPE. It's sometimes larger with WAAS than without! Why? My theory is that with WAAS, the receiver is simply able to more accurately calculate the EPE hence the result is more pessimistic. Like going all perky to the doctor for annual check up only to find out that you have a problem… ;-) Still; WAAS capability of the receiver may be a strong selling point but personally I treat it as a bonus, not a must have feature.

 

Bottom line: It's the user who has to decide which receiver is the best for him / her. It's surely a tough decision. GM100, Vista and Meridian have their strong and weak sides. reception under heavy canopy is just one of the factors. For some it may be deciding factor, for others something else may be more important especially that in the open or under light canopy, the difference in reception is hardly perceivable.

 

Andrew Kalinowski

 

www.GPSNuts.com Recreational GPS and mapping (hobby)

www.CanadianMaps.ca Raster topo (and some other) maps

Link to comment

quote:
Originally posted by gpsmapnut:

useful info

 

Easily verified by turning on the hidden status screen of the GM - from the "Status" screen, hit down arrow three or five times. IMHO That is pretty darn good!

 

even more useful info


 

Like I was saying, you and Joe are the first to come to mind for real insightful info on GPSrs.

 

Anyhow, referring to your statement, I've never been able to decipher that status screen. What does 'PRN', TRK' and 'SNR' mean? I have an idea, but I do not know how to evaluate the numbers/letters in those columns. For example, what would be a bad SNR?

 

As far as reception goes, sattelite must play the biggest factor. I've had days - clear days - when the GPS has difficuly if I move it an inch in the wrong direction inside the car. Other days it tells me when I need to stop an pick up milk and bread!

 

Keep the good reviews up, Andrew.

 

MajBach

You can't have everything,where would you put it?

1compass.gif

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While never owning a gn100 I do own a gn212 which is an earlier version of the 100. I believe the major difference between the 2 is the 100 has mapping the 212 doesn't icon_frown.gif the 212 has 999 waypoints icon_biggrin.gif the 100 500 I also believe they use the same antenna which in my book is pretty darn good.

I now own a Magellan Gold the first couple of times I used it comparing it against the 212, the 212 beat it by anywhere from 2 to 30 feet. After the 3rd day of use it started beating the 212 about half the time, (burn in maybe?).

My 14 year old grandson caches with me quite a bit he uses the 212. With waas on the 212 seems a little more accurate with waas off its a tossup which one will be the closest.

 

Just my 2 cents worth

 

PS I also cache with a friend who has a III+ the Lowrance constantly beat the III+ havent had a chance to go head to head using the Magellan. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

 

All who look are not lost

 

Yes I should have clarified a little more what I meant to say with waas turned off on the Magellan its a tossup which unit will be closest to the cache. with waas turned on the Magellan, then the Lowrance seems more accurate. About Batteries in my case Eveready energizers seems to last a little longer, but then I use the acc. power cord and that makes a big difference. icon_cool.gif

 

[This message was edited by vagabond on May 25, 2002 at 10:16 AM.]

 

[This message was edited by vagabond on May 26, 2002 at 05:55 AM.]

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While never owning a gn100 I do own a gn212 which is an earlier version of the 100. I believe the major difference between the 2 is the 100 has mapping the 212 doesn't icon_frown.gif the 212 has 999 waypoints icon_biggrin.gif the 100 500 I also believe they use the same antenna which in my book is pretty darn good.

I now own a Magellan Gold the first couple of times I used it comparing it against the 212, the 212 beat it by anywhere from 2 to 30 feet. After the 3rd day of use it started beating the 212 about half the time, (burn in maybe?).

My 14 year old grandson caches with me quite a bit he uses the 212. With waas on the 212 seems a little more accurate with waas off its a tossup which one will be the closest.

 

Just my 2 cents worth

 

PS I also cache with a friend who has a III+ the Lowrance constantly beat the III+ havent had a chance to go head to head using the Magellan. icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

 

All who look are not lost

 

Yes I should have clarified a little more what I meant to say with waas turned off on the Magellan its a tossup which unit will be closest to the cache. with waas turned on the Magellan, then the Lowrance seems more accurate. About Batteries in my case Eveready energizers seems to last a little longer, but then I use the acc. power cord and that makes a big difference. icon_cool.gif

 

[This message was edited by vagabond on May 25, 2002 at 10:16 AM.]

 

[This message was edited by vagabond on May 26, 2002 at 05:55 AM.]

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Few; unorganised comments:

Yup; GN212 is one heck of a nice receiver. If somebody does not care about maps, it's not a bad one to have! A bit hungry on batteries (as compared to newer receivers) but does well on rechargeable NiMH. That's what I use now in all my receivers anyway. Saves a bundle!

GM100 stores 750 waypoints, so it's not that bad :-) especialy that it also holds 1000 (just like the 212) events.

I think you made a typo writing about 212 and WAAS and you meant to write: "With waas on the MERIDIAN seems a little more accurate with waas off its a tossup which one will be the closest."

 

One thing that made GN212 a great receiver for me was it's ability to store 4+1 trails with 3000 points each. Untill the day iFinder was released, it was unmatched by any other receiver. iFinder was also the first to allow saving waypoints / trails / routes on the memory card. Now, with the newest firmware, Meridian can also do that. I haven't finish with testing of the iFinder, but so far it's reception is very good and it may be a serious consideration for geocatchers. Mind you, Canadian geocatchers will be disapointed with lack of Canadian land maps for it and to add an insult to the injury: iFinder is not compatible with the old MapCreate for GM100 so one can't make own loadable maps using OziMC :-(

 

About Meridian getting more ccurate after couple of days; I suspect that you experienced first hand the effect the up to date almanach may have on the performance! It's not a true "burn in". In order towork to it's potential, the receiver needs to know very precisly where the satellites are at any given moment. To make the long story a bit shorter: I recommend that, for any receiver:

If you have a new receiver or haven't used your receiver for couple of weeks; turn it on and in good reception conditions, let it collect data for 2 or more hours.

Even if you used your receiver "yesterday", before heading into the woods, let it collect data for 20+ minutes. This is VERY important if you want top notch reception in dificult conditions. Imprevement in performance may be well worth it.

 

On the status screen, the individual columns are:

PRN is the satellite number

ELV is the elevation angle at which the satellite is visible

AZM is the azimuth (direction) in which the satellite is visible - from 0 to 360 degree

TRK column gives the tracking status. If "S" is displayed by the satellite, than the receiver is actively Searching for it or is listening to it but there is too much signal noise rendering it unusable in the solution. If "T" is displayed that the receiver is actively Tracking the satellite and able to use it's signal in the position solution.

SNR is Signal to Noice Ratio. Basically, the higher the better It's indication of how clear the signal from each satellite is.

All of the same info is displayed graphically on the normal status screen, but to me the SNR numbers and the tracking status are more informative. It's also a great assist in finding the best place on the dashboard and yes; sometimes mere inches or couple of degrees of change in the angle of the holder can have large impact on the signal quality.

 

Andrew Kalinowski

 

www.GPSNuts.com Recreational GPS and mapping (hobby)

www.CanadianMaps.ca Raster topo (and some other) maps

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