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Guest Quinnow

Vista Opinions and Reviews.

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Guest Quinnow

I got my vista the other day and have had several hours of time to play with it and give it the go-round. Before the Vista I have been using the IIIPlus by Garmin, so I will use this GPS Unit as the comparison to the Vista.

 

First off the unit sure is tiny, I have heard people compare it to the stretch of 2-AA batteries, and that was no lie. But when they say that "good things come in small packages" they weren't wrong there either.

The vista offers 500 waypoints as does the IIIPlus. In 20 routes it offers 50 waypoints per route whereas the IIIPlus gives only 30 per route. Both Units work well with the "mapsource" software, but with 24 megs of onboard memory that the Vista has, you are able to load far more into this little package. The Vista is designed to be carried in your left hand by the way the button setup is placed, but is very comfortable in the right as well. The display screen is a tad smaller than the IIIPlus but offers more pixels with 160 x 280 compared to the 100 x 160 of the IIIPlus. I think two minus factors for the Vista would be Battery life (average continuous use of 12 hours) compared to 36 hours of the IIIPlus, and also the fact that it does not offer an external Antenna to be used from within a car or out and about. One very nice feature that I found very interesting was the Built-In electronic Compass that was also very easy to configure on first start-up of the unit. The Vista does have WAAS where the IIIPlus does not. For you sportsman the Vista has the "Fishing/Hunting" calculator.

The voltage range for this unit is 2.5 volts while the IIIPlus is ranged between 10-40 volts.

My Overall rating of this new unit made by Garmin would be 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

I love both units and will most likely continue to use the IIIPlus, but you can bet that the Vista will be strapped to my other wrist as well. Great Unit and fair price for the newbie on the market with so many toys included. I look forward to hearing back from other Vista owners on what they think of the new guy on the block. icon_smile.gif

 

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Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

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Guest Anton

Greetings,

 

I almost ordered a Vista, as ungrade from my Garmin 12MAP GPS. The 12MAP is the handheld version of your Garmin III model, meaning it has the usual regular block shape rather than the dashboard-mount prism shape. Like the III, it also has jacks for an external antenna and to connect a DC-power cable to use it in the car with a cigarette lighter socket. Does the Vista have a power jack?

 

The upgrade features in a Vista over the 12MAP model appear to be:

 

- 24 megs memory vs 1.4 megs

- adds an electronic compass

- adds electronic altimeter-barometer

- only 2 AA-batteries rather than 4 AA's

 

As you noted, the Vista screen is smaller, but has greater resolution. All three units show maps and take downloads from the Garmin MapSource CDs. All are waterproof.

 

Any other improvements in the Vista?

 

When Garmin comes out with a new model called the Vista II, that has an external antenna jack and a black case instead of techno-silver, I'll buy one immediately.

 

I can't believe Garmin "forgot" or "market-engineered-out" an antenna jack - mistake!

 

Anton

 

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Anton Ninno, N2RUD

Syracuse, NY 13210

 

[This message has been edited by Anton (edited 04-11-2001).]

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Guest IronHelix

I love mine... looking forward to taking it on my first cache hunt!

 

Also, how is the accuracy on yours? I usually get ~30-50' on 4 sats, better if its feeling happy. My StreetPilot ColorMap gets on average 20-35', but it has a bigger antenna. Usually the SP has 5-15' more accuracy.

 

I have yet to test the WAAS. According to the manual, with WAAS it should get 3 meters nominal accuracy. That should help alot. However also according to the manual (its in Troubleshooting, go figure) it will take 10-15min to get all the WAAS data from the satellite and then another 2-3 minutes to crunch it before you start getting good WAAS correction.

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Guest Quinnow

Anton,

 

Yes I failed to mention that the Vista also has the power jack, and comes with the Data Transfer cable to use the "mapsource" software. I too would have loved to have seen it come in black or even camo such as it's little brother the "etrex" but I have to live with the silver for now.

you are also correct on the external antenna, I would have been beating down their door if it had come with one.

The other thing I have noticed is that if I set the IIIPlus and the Vista side by side and turn them on at same time, that the IIIPlus aquires sats a bit faster than the Vista does. Also I have seen where in the same location that the IIIPlus will aquire 6 sats while the Vista aquires 4-5 at times.

Yet Garmin insists that this unit recieves signals better than the IIIPlus, But we all know this is a market strat and nothing more.

But all in all I am very pleased with it as well as the place I bought it from www.advancedgps.com icon_smile.gif

 

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Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

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Guest Quinnow

quote:
Originally posted by IronHelix:

 

Also, how is the accuracy on yours? I usually get ~30-50' on 4 sats, better if its feeling happy.

[/b]


 

My accuracy has been fair in the area I am in with an average of 20-30' on 4 sats, but it does change time to time (don't know why)

maybe something to do with them pesky solar flare ups. icon_biggrin.gif

 

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Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

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Guest Quinnow

Steve,

 

I don't think anyone could give a fair review based on comparing both the units you mentioned, at least not yet. But if you have the Vista ordered you cant go wrong. I used it side by side this weekend looking for a cache and the vista seemed to stay on the straight and narrow more often than the IIIPlus which also has an external antenna.

I guess you are in a tough spot as far as what choice to make, but you seem to be in good hands with the Vista. I love the lil guy! icon_smile.gif

 

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Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

 

[This message has been edited by Quinnow (edited 04-15-2001).]

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Guest johnhewitt_2000

http://www.onlinemarine.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/online_superstore/electronics/gps/garmin_etrex_vista_gps.htm?L+scstore+gggx7864+987375802

 

This site has the best price on the new Vista that I have found. They have it for $289. I did find one on aaaprice.com for the unreall price of $199.00 yesterday. I got it ordered, and called to order by phone another one to see what they said. They initially took the order, and said they would have to call me back in 5 minutes. They did call back, only to tell me that the price was $299.00. Yet to see if they will ship my initial order for the $212.00 which included shipping! (The web site price is now $299!)

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Guest johnhewitt_2000@yahoo.com

Apparently the Vista has the PC cable included in the package, according to aaprice.com (who by the way, is refusing to ship the Vista that I had ordered for the $199 price off the website).

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Guest Quinnow

Yup...you are correct, it does come with it.

Though a very bad typo on their part you need to slap them around a bit and make them send it at that price. My first gps I bought was a typo also and they honored it!...saved 55.00 icon_biggrin.gif

 

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Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

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Guest mcb

I don't know much about the Vista but I would rather carry a seperate non-electronic compass than eat up batteries up on the electronic one. I presently own a III+ and an original eTrex and I don't think I would like that high resolution screen packed into that little eTrex package. I use the eTrex for geocaching but I use the III+ for most everything else. I bought the eTrex because I got a killer deal when Office Depot blew them out. If I was going to look for a replacement for my III+ or a 12map I would definitely look at the GPSMAP 76. I down loaded the manual a day or two ago and read through it. It is a great unit. If you like the flexibility of the III+ then your going to love the GPSMAP 76. The screen is bigger and higher resolution and has tons of custimizable data fields. It also had more memory. 8 megs not as much as the Vista but alot more then the III+. I just feel that the package of the Vista is a little small for what it does. But that is just my opinion.

 

mcb

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Guest Moun10Bike

quote:
Originally posted by mcb:

If I was going to look for a replacement for my III+ or a 12map I would definitely look at the GPSMAP 76.


 

My one concern about the 76 is the weight -- it is about 1 pound. That doesn't seem like much, but could prove to be a lot for a hiking or biking. It'll be interesting to see what people think when the unit hits the shelves.

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Guest leaper64

ok all you vista users, here is a question....

 

a friend of mine just upgraded from the iii+ to the vista. on one of the screens, the unit reports "heading" as a descriptive value (ie. w, nw, s). the iii+ reported heading as a numerical value (ie. 270 degrees). he prefers the numerical read out. does anyone know if there is an option to have the vista report heading in "degrees" rather than "descriptive"? if so, how?

thanks

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Guest Moun10Bike

o location or the next waypoint in your route)? I find that it really obscures the map.

 

[This message has been edited by Moun10Bike (edited 01 May 2001).]

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Guest leaper64

thanks for the quick answer moun10....wish i could return the favor and answer your question.

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Guest john hewitt

Well, the UPS driver showed up today with a bundle of silver joy. This is my first GPS, and I ended up with the Vista. Got a deal on it, so I figure if I end up not likeing/using it, I ought to be able to get most of my $$$ back! They have sure packed a whallop in a small package. It will take a while to get things figured out, but it is an amazing little instrument. I am getting as close as within 5 feet accuracy with it at times, which I find just amazing. Thanks for the input on the Vista, it would not have been as easy a decision without you guys input.

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Guest Moun10Bike

quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

On a similar note, does anyone know if there is a way to turn off the bearing/course line on the map screen (the line drawn from your position to your Goto location or the next waypoint in your route)? I find that it really obscures the map.


 

I sent this question in to Garmin. Here is their response:

 

"Thank you for contacting GARMIN. The bearing/course line is not able to be turned off in the Vista unit. I will pass on your suggestion to engineering. If something can be changed it would be I a new version of software posted on the website."

 

[This message has been edited by Moun10Bike (edited 04 May 2001).]

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