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Recommended accessories? newbie

Guest honeypie72

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Guest honeypie72

Hi there. I will be giving my boyfiend a GPS for x mas. I THINK i am stuck on the vista. Any reason NOT to pick this unit? Mostly will used for hiking/nature walking maybe a bit in the car.


My main question is what accessories should I purchase with this? I saw several CD's ?mapsource? What about those?


I thought a carrying case would help protect it? Do these make it more bulky or are they a good idea?


Any other advise would help too. Also we are pretty big pc users. anything that would be fun to use with the pc as well???


Thanks so much. I've just spent a few days going thru the previous messages here. I'm still not sure I understand it all......but i'm trying!!


Oh one more thing...there was as instructional video for ? $20 i think. Worth it? He is a man after all...and i suspect unless it's EXTREMELY complicated he'll just play with it til he figures it out!!! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_wink.gif


This geocaching thing seems pretty interesting.......i think i'll be just as interested!!


again, thanks!!

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Guest Point2Point

sheesh,, wish i had a girlfriend like you..


but anyway,, first things first,, i have a Vista and i like it a lot. but like all GPSR units, the Vista eats batteries, so a good set of NiMH rechargeable batteries with charger should be the first thing on the accessories list.


after that, the mapsource metroguide software would be my recommendation for GPSR/PC interface. make sure you get the latest version of the software, which is 4.01.


and forget the instructional video,, just give him the link to these forums!


[This message has been edited by Point2Point (edited 14 November 2001).]

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the vista is a great choice, i have thouroghly enjoyed mine.

i agree with Point2Point on the fact that a good set of rechargeable batteries should be first on the list, and also that the mapsource metroguide is a good mapset, however the version number is not an issue as free updates are available from garmin on their website, so if you can find an older version cheaper, get it, the update to the new version is free.

and if your boyfriend screws up and you dump him.....lol

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Guest Alphawolf

For sure get a carrying case of some sort. This will protect the unit from scratches and such. They usually have a belt loop or clip on them for easier carrying. Garmin offers a couple of choices, and there are a good many after market cases that work well. As was mentioned above, get a couple of sets of NiMH rechargeable batteries and a charger to go with.

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Guest blscearce

I use rechargable alkaline batteries in my eMap.


Pros: they're very inexpensive, and so was the charger. They can be thrown in the garbage when they're used up (NiCD should be treated as hazardous waste. Not sure about NiMH). Higher nominal voltage. They drain pretty slowly when unloaded (NiCd and NiMH will self-discharge as they sit around).


Cons: they charge slower than NiCD and NiMH (4 hours instead of 1). Shorter useful life (100 cycles instead of 300). They don't work as well under a heavy draw (over 100mA), I think that a GPSR draws a few hundred milliamps.


I get four to six hours' use out of my eMap with a freshly-charged set of rechargable alkalines in it. I carry a spare set just in case the hunt takes a little longer than that.

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Guest Prime Suspect

I would recommend the new Rayovac 1-hour NiMH charger. I've been very impressed with the performance of mine. It comes with (if I remember right) 2 AA batteries. You'll want to get at least 2 more, so you can just swap in a fresh set. This is one of the few chargers that let you mix AA and AAA batteries in any combination in the same charge cycle. It also charges 9v batteries too. There's even an available car adaptor, to charge on the go. The unit monitors the battery's charge and drops to a trickle charge when it's "full". It also monitors the temperature to keep the batteries from overheating.




One thing though - check the back of the package and make sure the model number ends in a "B". Early models (with no "B") apparently had a problem with the temperature sensor.

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Here is my 2 cent's. I've had my gps for about 6 weeks.


A cover is a good idea. I'm using an old sock for stuffing mine in the glovebox or my bag to keep the screen from getting scratched up. Maybe they have Cellphone type covers out there somewhere.


A PC cable. If your's comew with it, great. If not, it's a must have.


Toposoftware. City maps are nice but getting lost in the city is harder to do. Good topo software to set up waypoints etc. and to help you with trails is next on my list.


City software. My GPS has mapping and came with it, it's nice. Can't say how nice if your's doesn't do mapping.


NiMH Batters. I got kids, we have rechargable batteries. After we got the GPS, the kids god the NiCAD's and we got the NiMH batteries. These things eat batteries faster than Gameboys and flashlights. (ok maybe not Gameboys)


Anyway, that's my list.


In order.


1) GPS, hey it all starts here. Make sure it has a wrist strap.

2) PC Cable.

3) Rechargable Batteries. (Alkaline seem to be harder and harder to find.)

4) Mapping software of whatever type you need.

5) A cover. Why no. 5? Cause an old sock works until you get the 'more important stuff'.


By the time you get all this stuff, you will know what you want in accessories.

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1. Purchase the Vista.

2. Download the latest software from Garmin

3. Download memap

4. Use memap to personalize the warning screen

in the Garmin software.

5. Upload personalized software to the Vista.


N 35° 5.079'

W 106° 23.389'


[This message was edited by TijerasGC on March 20, 2002 at 01:29 PM.]

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If you really want to make him love you forever....


1) Leatherman wave

2) Hat, with full brim. It sucks to get a sunburn.

3) Small first aid kit

4) Walking stick

5) Water canteen

6) ARC-AAA flashlight

7) Bug spray

8) Pair of FRS radios (motorola)

9) If I could recommend a very nice carrying case for all of the above. It is called a Jeep Cherokee. The GPS will easily fit in there, along with the wave, hat, and walking stick. There will even be room left over.


The Vista is a fine unit for hiking. Unless you live someplace flat, the topo map would also be a good addition.

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Originally posted by harrkev:


8) Pair of FRS radios (motorola)


Motorola is OK if you only want to talk to other Motorola's. They have a compander circuit that looses sound quality when received by other brands. Get a Cherokee, Cobra, or Icom for a good quality FRS radio. If you have questions regarding radios (FRS or other) I recommend you check out the Popular Wireless BBS



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Originally posted by Atilla the Pun:


Motorola is OK if you only want to talk to other Motorola's. They have a compander circuit that looses sound quality when received by other brands. Get a Cherokee, Cobra, or Icom for a good quality FRS radio. If you have questions regarding radios (FRS or other) I recommend you check out the http://www.popularwireless.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi




There is one thing that I *DO* know about these radios.


1) Avoid radios with an On/Off button, and get one where you have to turn it on by turning a knob.


2) Avoid radios that use AAA batteries


My first pair of radios violated both rules. In the glove box of my van, something would sometimes flop again the radios and turn them on. Then, they are dead when you need them. Also, AAA batteries cost the same as AA's, but have half of the power.

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Ok, so I have a legend, and find it to be more than adequate. It's got 8 megs to load maps for, which, depending upon the area, can load a large chunk. You'll find that you don't need the altimeter all that much if you're getting Satellite reception. The Vista is also a very nice unit, however.


As for a carrying case, I'm very glad I got it, since I occasionally drop mine while hiking, etc. It keeps the unit in better condition. The Vista and Legend both come with PC cables, so you can use them with a laptop for real-time tracking (in the car for example) as well as to load maps and waypoints from a home PC.


Which brings me to another accessory that I feel is a necessity: a car adapter. Those double AA's don't last very long especially at night with the backlight on. Save the juice by plugging it in whenever you're on the road.


I wish my girlfriend bought me toys like that :-)





Wouldn't you like to be a pepper, too?

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