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May 11, 2001 in GPS
Cigarette lighter adapter: GPSMAP 76: No???. Vista: Yes. Edge: Vista???
From my research the Vista requires regulated 3V cigarette adapter. The GPSMAP 76 can take unregulated 8-35V I would give the edge to the 76
Number of screens: GPSMAP 76: 5. Vista: 4. Edge: Vista.
GPSMAP 76: 5 Vista: 4 ????? How does this make the Vista better. The more info I can get to the better and the more way I can display it the better.
The other thing I think you may have over looked was the GPSMAP 76 on most of it screens can have upto 9 user defined data fields where the Vista only get two on most. This is a huge plus in my book.
I would have score it GPSMAP 76: 9 Vista: 3
Of course more screens are better. I goofed that one up. I meant to say that that gave the GPSMAP 76 the edge. Which gives it a 6 -5 'edge' in my original count.
Actually, I was leaning towards the GPSMAP 76 when I wrote that list, but was trying to remain as objective as possible. I think I am leaning that way even more so now.
One of my concerns was the cigarette lighter adapter. I hadn't seen one out there yet for the GPSMAP 76. I'm glad to know that there is one. I'll have to look again.
I believe it uses the same cables as the III+ and 12Map type unit use. The round four pin Garmin connector.
I have been bouncing around on my decision to upgrade from my basic etrex. I see that the gpsmap 76 has a slot for an external antenna, but I have not seen the antenna itself nor its price. Have any of you?
My guess is that it will use any external antenna that the III+ can use.
Does anybody have any idea how heavy or bulky the GPSMAP 76 really is? I have seen some conflicting weights. It looks like it is less bulky than the III+, but moreso than the eTrex. Anybody out there have one yet?
Devildog? You indicated that you have one. How is it working out for you?
Garmin makes two antennas, which seem to be the same, but have different connectors to match particular Garmin GPS models. They run around $70. There are a couple of non-Garmin models available, too. One key difference in GPS antennas is whether or not they use any power from the GPS, or not (hold their own batteries), require a separate power source, such as being connected to the 12-volt cigarette lighter socket in a vehicle.
My Garmin model 27 antenna simply plugs into a jack in the back the back of my Garmin 12MAP GPS. I haven't tried running it in this configuration for an extended period to see if it adds any drain on the GPS batteries. The antenna doesn't hold it's own batteries, or require its own 12-volt connection, so I don't think it uses any power from the GPS. Likewise, most radio (ham, CB, etc.) antennas don't use power either, but only increases sensitivity and reception quality. There are some AMPLIFIED antennas on the market that DO require their own power, and may therefore require a power connection or need their own batteries installed.
FYI, radio receivers, like a GPS, shouldn't be referred to as "powerful", like say, a radio transmitter, because radios don't require very much power to receive signals. That's why you a small AM-FM radio can be designed to run one as little as one 9v or even one AAA battery. I've even seen tiny "earpiece" FM radios that run on one watch battery!
Receivers should be referred to as sensitive instead, not powerful. Since an external antenna increases the received signal quality, it increases the sensitivity of a receiver, meaning it will hear more signals, and hear them better.
The use of the word powerful when describing a receiver or an antenna is just misleading advertising hype. Transmitters can be powerful; receivers can be sensitive.
Hope this helps.
Anton Ninno - N2RUD
Syracuse, NY 13210
[This message has been edited by Anton (edited 14 May 2001).]
I got to play with the GPSMap 76 this weekend on Lake Lanier. I bought the external marine antenna (a garmin model 29 I think) but was unable to connect it this weekend. The unit was able to pick up sufficient satellites to get readings from inside my houseboat. I also bought the 4 pin cigarette cord from Garmin. At this point I'm very pleased with the unit. It will take me a little time to figure which data sets on what on what screens but that's the fun of it all.
How big is the GPSMAP 76unit? I will be carrying my unit around for the most part. I see that you use yours for marine purposes (though you mentioned that you wanted something you could carry as well).
Is the unit smaller than the GPS III+. I realize that this is your first unit, so you might not know. By my figuring I think it is smaller than the GPS III+ and bigger than the eTrex. Confirmation from someone who has the unit would be nice though.
I'm glad that you are happy with it so far. Enjoy!!
I am pretty sure that the GPSMAP 76 requires a 2.5V compatable antenna. I know Garmin make one for 5V systems and a different one for 2.5V systems. Most, Garmin included, make there 2.5V antanna also compatable with 5V units. So if you have an older unit and by the GPSMAP 76 buy a 2.5V antenna and you can use it on both units.
As far as unit size goes, the manual is pretty much on target. I measured mine as follows:
Case length - 6 3/16"
Width - 2 3/4"
Depth - 1" - 1 1/4"
The depth difference occurs because at the antenna end there is a bulge which is larger than at the middle of the unit.
Alrighty! I decided to help me decide that I would just go hold one of these GPSMAP 76 units. I live only a mile or two from a West Marine and I moseyed on up the GPS display and bummer!! they didn't have any. But they did have a GPS 76 so I asked to see one and the store clerk was kind enough to open one since he did not have a demo unit and let me get a feel of it. I didn't get to power it up but the features of the GPSMAP 76 I already understand fairly well. I wanted to know what it felt like. There is probable nothing that can give anyone a feel for exactly how big it is but here are my impressions. First off it was not nearly as big as I thought it would be after reading various post here and other places. It is big but it does not feel that big it has a nice contour and fits well in the hand. It is light but does not feel hollow like the eMap (no offense meant to the eMap users.) The case is good and stiff with no creaky flexing. The Antenna and power/data plugs are covers with snug fitting rubber covers. The battery door is similar to the cover on an eTrex. The key press is a little mushy. It does feel better than my III+ but nothing will beat the feel of the keys on my good old II+. The keys are in a really nice location, so you can work the keypad with the thumb of either hand and not cover up the screen. It does use the same data power connection that the older II+, III+ and 12 series used. It has the little MCX connector for external antenna like the eMap. It also has to use a 2.5V compatible antenna like the eMap. So I hope this helps.
Thanks mcb. That does help. That's the kind of info I was looking for. The pictures helped as well Peter.
So mcb, is the unit as heavy as the III+?
Hmmm... I would have to say lighter. Althought the unit I was holding didn't have batteries in it, it did seem as light as my III+ without batteries. So when they both have batteries I would think the GPSMAP 76 will be noticeble lighter than the III+.
I think I read somewhere that the GPSMAP 76 weighs in at a little over 7 oz with batteries and the III+ weighs about 9 oz with batteries.
For those of you that are considering the Garmin GPS76 and GPSMAP76 here are the links to the index pages for the two units.
Each page has a link for the user's manual for the unit. Or here are the short cuts. GPS76 GPSMAP76
Another thing to consider, the GPSMap 76 not only has more navigation screens but has more ability to customize them. You can put up to 9 fields on each screen (0, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 9 if I remember correctly) which allows you to really tailor the unit to what you are trying to do without flipping back and forth.
its superior antenna and the external antenna jack. The ham radio philosophy goes like this - every succesful receiving system is 90% antenna and 10% receiver. Or if you prefer: the antenna IS the radio!
Obviously, what we really want here is to have all the best features in one unit. We can dream. Let's see what Garmin produces next. Makes you wonder if any of their engineers read this forum. We sure hope so!
[This message has been edited by Anton (edited 30 May 2001).]
Anton-I couldn't agree with you more.I presently have the GPS III Plus & the Vista, and my MAP76 is on order & will hopefully be in my possession soon.The III Plus has performed admirably under pretty much any conditions I've used it under.When the Vista came out, I got all hyped up about the memory capacity,electronic compass,altimeter etc.,so I put my order in & received it 4 days later.Cute little thing & I couldn't wait to get it out into the woods & start knocking off caches with it.My first cache hunt with it,I entered the woods under some pretty heavy tree cover, and 30 ft. in,it was rendered useless.Could not pick up a satellite to save my soul.Luckily on that hunt, & every cache adventure since, I also had the III Plus along so all was not lost.That has been the story on just about all of my 24 finds & 10 hides.I always carry my Suunto compass with me so electronic compass has had very little use.Plus every time you change the batteries,which is about twice in an 8 hr. day,the compass & altimeter have to be calibrated.I load Mapsource topo maps for any/all areas I am heading to and have never used more than a very small percentage of the 24 mb. capacity.WAAS capability is nice & I'll have that in the MAP76 as well.The difference in screen size will be a plus also.The Vista is a nice little unit & I'm sure ideal for some situations,but if I'm going deep into the woods & need it to get my bearings to get back out, I'm out of luck.As you stated,the antenna plays a major role in the function of the unit, and I'm hoping that the helix antenna on the MAP76 does the job.But the III Plus will be in its' case on my belt when I find out.--Gimpy--
Gary "Gimpy" Strong
I was wondering when people were going to mention the antenna. Seems horribly important differance to me. I'm no techy and don't know a lot about it but I know there is a difference. But I have a question. The 76 is geared to marine use. So is the antenna. The antenna is certainly going to be better for WAAS because it does a better job of picking up the horizon. The patch antennas pretty much look up. In woods you need to look up for a signal Does the Quad Helix "look up" as well as a patch??
I'd be interested in your observations of the GPS 76 to the III+, as I'm in the process of selling my etrex legend. I was planning on getting a III+ but would like any comparisons to the new 76, as far as sensitivity is concerned.
I have the MAP76. Excellent unit. Everything I want in a GPS for now. I was travelling on I-95 north of Fort Lauderdale and received all 12 satelites with the WAAS switched on. No external antenna used.
Very happy with it.
did you try geocaching w/ it? I went to a geocache the other day & after traveling for 90 minutes we got to within 350 feet when my GPS crapped out. Never did pick up a signal again until we got out of the woods & onto the main road again.
I did my first Geocaching with it. (Do a search on 33062 Zip and its the first one - Millenium). I just picked up the coordinates from a Earthlink demo desk at a nearby mall. I didnt read the text nor the cheat. The unit took me to the exact location. No problem. Unfortunately I didnt find the cache - I should have read the cache's text first!! It was very easy - we were just looking in the wrong place.
Have you downloaded the latest operating system release from garmin? I know that it is literally days old.
s. I am an avid hunter but I am not to sure about the hunting and fish time guild I wish Garmin would document this feature a little more. It seems a little like smoke and mirrors to me.
It does have proximity waypoint that my III+ did not have. I like this.
It does not have the heads-up-display the III+ had. I sort of miss that screen with the six user fields and compass rosette but with the amount of data you can put on the other screen I can see why they dropped it.
You can display both the bearing and course line on the map. The III+ always put the course line and my little yellow eTrex puts one or the other. The 76 can display both.
The scrolling on the map page is much faster and smoother than the III+. And with both units set to the same detail level the 76 can displays a lot more detail on the screen.
As far as comparing the reception of the GPSMAP 76 to other units I would say that the 76 with out saying gets far better reception then my old eight channel Garmin II. It also gets a lot better reception then my eTrex. But when you compare it to my III+ I would have to give the edge still to the III+. It is not much of an edge and this is not based on any direct measurements it is only sort of a feeling from the little time I actually own both the III+ and the 76. (I sold the III+ today ). So it was definitely not enough to make me even consider not keeping the 76.
Now for its accuracy. The WAAS is awesome. I walk out in front of the engineering building at lunch yesterday when I received the GPSMAP 76 and fired it up. I immediately enable the WAAS and within fifteen minutes I had a 3D WAAS differential lock. The geometry was not that good but it I had a 17ft EPE. Later that day I actually had a 7.4ft EPE. Now that is cool!
It did seem to eat the batteries yesterday. I put a new pair of Rayovac Renewal batteries in it. I rain if for about an hour then I upgraded the OS from 2.02 to 2.03 and then loaded 5.1 MEGS of maps and uploaded and down loaded data several times as I loaded all my old waypoints and routes. I then ran the unit nonstop for nearly the next five hours before the unit warned me the batteries where getting low. I think the large amount of time I spent hooked up to a computer may have had a factor in this. And although the Renewals where new they have been sitting in there package unopened on my shelf for at least the last five months.
Overall I would give this unit an A+. If you have considered buying one go for it I don't think you will be disappointed
I did have one question for any GPSMAP 76 uses out there. On the main menu page what is the memory bar at the bottom of the screen? At first I though it was the map memory but I put 5.1 megs in it is at 8% and I also cleared my track log and it is still at 8%. Any ideas?
I was also wondering about that memory bar and how it is calculated..
I just got my Map76 last week and love it!
My GPSMAP 76 is on order!! I should receive it tomorrow. I am really looking forward to playing with the unit. I had a III+ in my possession for a little while, so I should hopefully be able to provide some comparisons between the units as well. However, mcb seems to be doing a great job.
I also ordered the Mapsource topo data and a cigarette lighter adapter for the unit. With an adapter to the adapter I'll be able to plug the unit into an AC wall outlet while I upload and download data to the unit from my computer.
I'm glad that WAAS works so well in Ohio. I grew up in the area and get back a few times a year. I hope that it works as well in my area.
[This message has been edited by Miles678 (edited 31 May 2001).]
I did observe this tonight. That memory bar I asked about earlier has some bearing on the amount of track data stored. I think? I had a track log that was 38% full. That memory bar on the menu screen said 17%. I saved track but did not clear the track and the memory bar read 19%. Hmmmm.... another clue to the mystery.
quote:Originally posted by mcb:I did observe this tonight. That memory bar I asked about earlier has some bearing on the amount of track data stored. I think?
I did observe this tonight. That memory bar I asked about earlier has some bearing on the amount of track data stored. I think?
On the eMap, the memory bar shows the usage of the memory available for tracklogs (active & saved), waypoints, and routes. It has nothing to do with the memory used for maps since that is totally separate. I expect the Map76 memory bar works the same way.
quote:Originally posted by mcb:One thing I should mention though is that the buttons are not backlit like the buttons on the III+. I don't miss this but others may.
One thing I should mention though is that the buttons are not backlit like the buttons on the III+. I don't miss this but others may.
WRONG!! Hmmm..... Maybe I should come down to hard on myself. None-the-less I was wrong about the buttons. When I first looked at the backlight when I wrote the above I was in my office and the lights where on. I had cupped my hands around the screen and buttons and turned on the backlight. Apparently that was not dark enough. Last night coming back from dinner with my "girlfriend with two rings" I turn the backlight on in the dark car and there they were. They are not real bright but in the dark car they are very readable. Sorry about the miss information.
Two other thing I have notice this weekend while using my GPSMAP 76. The track log save the altitude. This is good my III+ did not do this. Also the GPSMAP 76 saves altitude, depth and proximity for a waypoint, but at the cost of the comment feild that my III+ use to have with a waypoint. Make it three things. I just checked and the GPSMAP 76 had 10 letter waypoint names compared to the six letter names of my old III+ and many other Garmin units.
I got my GPSMAP 76 on Friday!!! So far I really love it. The 8 megs of memory are a definte improvement over the III+.
The reception on the unit seems to be very good. In addition the Map 76 acquires birds pretty quickly. I was surprised. I haven't played with WAAS too much yet, but it seems to be able to pull in a differential lock just fine.
I have noticed that I'm having trouble getting the MAP 76 to talk to 3rd party software though. I don't have any trouble using it with Garmin's Topo, but it doesn't seem to communicate correctly with the Topografix program EasyGPS or with Delorme's Street Atlas 7.0. I had coordinate the transfer of data to and from those software packages with an eMap.
I was using a III+ before and it is comparable, but there are some definite differences. For the most part things have improved.
I really like the celestial additions. Those are very nice. I can quickly see where the sun and moon are located in the sky. I also like the tide tables. I live close enough to the ocean to make that a handy feature.
I do miss a few things that I could do with my III+ though. First of all, yes, the waypoint names are now 10 characters long instead of 6. However, the III+ had a description line that quite long. That whole entry appears to be gone altogether. Also with the III+ it was easy to find the distance between two waypoints by referencing one by the other. That function seems to be missing too.
Overall I definitely give the GPSMAP 76 a two thumbs up so far!! I haven't had a chance to hunt a cache with it yet, but that will happen at lunchtime today!!
There's a GPSmap 76 Club on Yahoo! Clubs, check it out.
God Bless - Jorgy!
P.S. The 76 has a MUCH better antenna then any of the eTrex.
OK, so I got the address wrong! (I own a Honda Odyssey too - sorry!) The GPSmap 76 Club is:
Has anybody played around with an external antenna for the MAP76? Unit is great, but heading after caches under heavy tree cover produces the same result as my eTrex Vista. Can't hold a fix on satellites. Going after one cache, I carried my MAP76 & my Garmin III Plus side by side. The MAP76 had satellite fix about 10% of the time & III Plus never lost sats once. Antenna on III Plus the difference I'm sure. To the best of my knowledge, I have the option of the Garmin external antenna or the Mighty Mouse II. I believe each are priced about the same, around $70.00. Before I purchase one, I'd appreciate any feedback from someone that has purchased either one or tested one out. Thanks.--Gimpy--
I haven't had a problem with my GPSMAP 76 in heavy woods. I did nine caches this last weekend in the Chicago area and rarely had a lock-on problem. The only time I lost lock was when I layed the GPS down on my backpack when I was loging into the cache. I also hid a cach last night and actually manage to get a WAAS differential lock in heavy trees when marking my cache. The cache was hidden on southern slope which helped.
I haven't had any trouble getting a lock with my GPSMAP 76 either. I even have a carrying case that obscures it a bit when I carry it there. However, it still seems to get good reception.
In fact, with a wide open sky, I have had 12 birds with a WAAS lock!! The accuracy was under 10 feet!! Boy was I happy!!
Got the new Garmin Map76 today - da bomb!
Like it better then the Garmin 12MAP, for the increased screen resolution, added memory, WAAS, internal quadrifilar antenna, and additional screen display items. There's also the jack for an external antenna, which is missing on the Vista. I have the compass and altimeter/barometer on my wrist, in the form of a Suunto Vector.
Jeeves! Bring the car! We're off again!
I have a III+ and was looking to upgrade to one of these two units. I even had someone lined up to buy the III+ to defray the upgrade cost. I chickened out because though I wanted the altimeter and electronic compass of the Vista I didn't want the small screen. I figured it'd be too small for me to drive with. So now I'm waiting for the GPS V, though it doesn't have the altimeter or compass it has more memory than my III+ and has street to street routing.
quote:Originally posted by Anton:Greetings,
Got the new Garmin Map76 today - da bomb!
... Sounds good Anton ... hey, dust off those caches of yours ... I'm heading your way the week after the fourth! Looking to score a few ...
There is a new review of the MAP 76 that is worth looking into for all prospective GPS buyers.
I think it important to note here that unlike the eTrex Vista & the rest of the eTrex line, the MAP76 should be held vertically. When I first got my MAP76, I was going out on cache hunts holding the unit horizontally, as I did with the Vista. It was performing miserably. On all the threads that I have been reading on the MAP76, that was never mentioned. I know now that it is stated in the manual, but who takes the time to look at that, right? Thanks -Gimpy-
[This message has been edited by gstrong1 (edited 03 July 2001).]
Look at it this way...
A number of people here have reported that their III-plus got better signal reception than the eTrex Vista or the Map76. Look how the III-plus antenna is oriented in a vertical position. Now imagine that antenna inside your Map76. How would you hold the Map76 to put its internal antenna in a postion that matches the antenna position of a III-plus? Hold the Map76 vertically!
As for improving signal reception for a Map76 with an external antenna, it will be interesting to see if it really can be improved. It would appear that the external antennas are just remotely attached mini-dish antennas - a copy of the antenna that's inside a Vista or the 12-series models. Since the Map76 has a superior helical quadrifilar antenna already built into it, there may be no significant improvement.
An external antenna DOES improve the location of the antenna, however, especially if the GPS is inside a car where it's surrounded by metal. Used outside a car, an external antenna may not make much of a difference with a Map76. There are some external GPS antennas that require extra power, which probably means they are "amplified" antennas. Most radio antennas do not require any power at all. But a powered antenna isn't much good on a trail. They need to be connected to a car's electrical system, ususally through the cigarette lighter socket.
Any radio engineers here want to take apart the external GPS antennas on the market, and give us a more complete analysis?
I am using both the IIIPlus and the map76 with an external Garmin antenna added onto it. I assure you that the notice is HUGE when finding sat birds. I had the unit sit still outside in my yard...it found 4 birds with good locks, I then added the external and it QUICKLY jumped to 8 birds with full bar locks. I also used this unit for a national news story that will air on ABC this friday with Peter Jennings. If you want to see some pix of the crew check out my pix page.
No problem gstrong1. Like a geek I did read the manual and knew about the holding the unit vertically. I guess I failed to convey that fact when we were discussing it earlier. I hope other GPSMAP 76 users learn this before they give up on their GPS.
I would have to disagree with Anton. Yes most external antennas are made similar to the eTrex or 12 but they have a much larger surface area and are amplified. They draw power from you GPS to amplify the signal. So if you run an external antenna you should see slightly shorter battery life.
Artful Dodger posted a link to a reveiw of the GPSMAP 76. If you click on the picture of the GPSMAP 76 at the top of the page and then at the bottom of the second screen there is a link to table of screen layouts with different number and size of user defined data fields. It?s good for seeing how flexible the GPSMAP 76.
Jack Yeazel was kind enough to allow me to collaborate with him on that review.
How do you know an external antenna draws power from the GPS? Have you looked inside an external antenna, like the Garmin 27, and seen an amplifier circuit?
I've owned lots of radios and antennas, and none of them were amplified, nor did they use any power from radios. My guess is that only those GPS antennas that have cables for power connections provide any amplification, like those models that come with cigarette lighter socket plugs.
Let's both stop guessing and making assumptions, and get the actual specs. Better yet, let's find a geocaching engineer who'll take a peek inside, and do some voltage measurements. Then we'll really know the answer.
Have Mehaffey and Yeazel done voltage measurements on GPS antennas? If so, let's see the numbers, or add a link here to a page that has them. I'm not convinced.
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