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Geko - any good?


LukeH
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I'm looking for a low-cost, accurate GPS receiver for caching, hiking, biking, and other purposes, and all I really need is reliable Lat/Long and UTM, as well as waypoint storage.

 

Don't need map storage, don't need roadmaps, don't need an internal compass or altimeter. I'm pretty good when it comes to navigating with aid of map and compass only, so the GPS would only really be used to get and store precise coordinate data. And to point me in the right direction if I need it.

 

Noticed some of the Geko units aren't all that expensive. Looking particularly at the Geko 201. - Any advice on whether they are suitable?

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We have a yellow etrex (a few models down the line from the high-res Venture) and find the screen resolution just fine; if one neither has nor wants maps, it's more than enough. I'd recommend the yellow over the Venture or Geko, actually, since it has a slightly larger screen than the geko and sells for <$100; we've used it for a year and a half and like it just fine. The Venture sounds like more GPS than you need here, and even the Geko 201 costs more than the yellow. You get WAAS for that extra money, but many people don't find that particularly useful and/or can't get the WAAS satellite most of the time. A non-WAAS GPS generally has about 20-foot accuracy anyway, which is fine (we've found 300+ caches with that kind of accuracy, and for non-geocaching purposes it's more than adequate). Also, the Geko seems to have rather short battery life. If you expect to do much geocaching, you'll probably want a data cable, though, which will add to the price, and at that point it might be just as well to move up in the etrex line a step or two and buy a model that comes with the cable.

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You'd be amazed how small the gekos are though. I was very surprised when I saw them displayed beside the etrexs. Since they are one of Garmin's latest creations, they should be as good as the etrexs. So far, I haven't read anything bad about the geko from geocachers who actually use them regularly.

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I've had my geko 201 for 2 months now. Used it on over 25 caches thus far, and like it better than my venture. The resolution is not as fine, nor is the screen as big as the venture, but it still suits me fine. It is very lightweight, and much quicker under tree canopy on aquiring and keeping sat's and adjusting to change of directions.

I like it, looking forward to what they may do next over there at garmin, the geko is definately a keeper for me. (and MC Sports had it on closeout at 119 bucks too)

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I bought a geko 201 a couple months ago as my second GPS (first being a sportrak map) I bought it to have a GPS for friends or family to use if they cache with me, as its alot more fun when you can hold a GPS, and I hate giving up my ST Map. smile.gif The geko has worked, all people really need is the compass screen, which also tells coordinates, and you can scroll through about 20 other choices including bearing, heading, coordinates, etc etc.. The Geko 201 grabs sats fast and keeps them, even in heavy tree cover, the Geko 201 works great! I love my ST Map, but if you don't need a GPS with bells and whistles Id go for a Geko, its not really that small.. After all cell phones are tiny and people type messages into them or play games, or whatever so why should GPS' be huge? Its a good little unit! The color on the 201 also makes its easy to find if you drop it or misplace it!

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I have the 201 and am happy with it although I have little to compare it to. One issue may be the batteries. To keep it small Garmin elected to go with AAA batteries instead of AA. A reduced running time is a result. I would recommend recharable batteries, but I'm sure that's true of any GPS you use.

 

Another irritation is that it's too easy to turn on in your bad and drain the batteries.

 

I would not recommend the 101 as it can't be connected to a computer for data transfer.

 

It does have the advantage of being small and having WAAS.

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I own a Gecko 201 as my backup/Guest GPSr. My primary being a MeriPlat. Trying to compare the 2 would be pointless. Let's just say that I've always been happy with the performance of the Gecko when I needed it. The only thing that I do not like about it is the power button: the stupid thing has powered itself on in my pack so many times that I lost count. Since then, I always take the batteries out of the Gecko when I don't need it.

 

Regards,

Fabien.

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We recently posted here about our plans to acquire a second receiver and we selected the Geko 301. We have used it for about 10 caches or so now and we love it. Our primary receiver is a GPS-V, which has a nice screen and excellent mapping and routing capabilities. We wanted a small unit so we could both have a receiver on the trails. The Geko seems to be slower on initial power up when you have moved a long distance than the V. In most every other respect it seems better, it reacquires lock in the same area as it was turned off fater than the V, it holds signal in the trees better and seems to process the signals quicker. We find that the V tends to converge to the reading that the 301 already had. In other words the 301 seems to update your position more rapidly than the V does. The 301 does seem to have a quirk where it misjudges the max speed during a hike. It frequently claims we hit 30mph, when in fact we are pretty slow hikers. The V doesn't seem to do that as often. I attribute that to the 301 seeming to update the position more often and being more willing to extrapolate results when the signal is weak under tree cover.

 

The screen size isn't a bother to us. Once we are on the trails, we tend to use the giant compass arrow screen with the distance counter. That screen is perfectly legible on the Geko and it is quite easy to carry because it is so small. We are very pleased with ours.

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Lawrence:

The 301 does seem to have a quirk where it misjudges the max speed during a hike. It frequently claims we hit 30mph, when in fact we are pretty slow hikers.


 

Try reseting the max speed after getting a good lock.

 

________________________________________________

 

Garmin eTrex Vista, Legend, and GPSmap 162 with Bluecharts/Fishing Hotspots/POI/Road & Rec

 

Ducks - flying geocaches of meat

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Rampart Range Commander,

 

I notice you mention in addition to caching you plan to use it for biking and hiking. This is also why I bought the Geko 201. For biking it's 3.1 oz weight can't be beat. The Trip Computer Page (Geko 101 doesn't have this page) is great while biking, it can be set to show the same data you would get on a cyclometer. Before taking off on a new bike ride or hike I input the lat/lon to road/trail junctions so I can monitor my progress. It's been a great tool.

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