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Guest BigDoggie

Newbie question: GPS features

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Guest BigDoggie

I almost hate to ask this, as I am sure some variation of the question is asked each day, but what the heck!

 

I am a newbie, drawn to the concept by recent TV coverage. I have seen the discussions regarding the two main contenders for inexpensive GPS units: Garmin eTrex and Magellan 315. Both are similar in price, both are 12-sat unites, both have a similar but slightly different set of features. Folks here argue for one or the other, in tones that range from civilized to strident.

 

So here is my variation of the question: is the difference of opinion on these two units just another Ford vs Chevy debate, or are there any REAL DIFFERENCES between the two that would make one or the other (or even a yet-unmentioned third unit) a compelling choice?

 

I don't hike cross country, or hunt or backpack. I don't care -- much -- about road use; I have road maps. Just something to play around with and see if I want to get into geocaching.

 

Thanks to the gurus for facing this question once again!

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Guest WaylandersMA

Ford versus Chevy. You like the one in your garage.

Tip: Download the manual and read it. Garmin has them on their site. Not sure about Magellan.

 

Paul

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Guest Kerry

s many issues but different manufacturers implement their own propriety routines which can make a difference at the bottom line.

 

There are differences in units and some more so than others. Just depends on what sort/type of differences one is interested in.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

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Guest mfratto

Not to throw a wrencn in the gears, but check out this thread if you are looking at an eTrex Vista. "Comparison of GPSMAP 76 vs Vista" I have a Vista and I am going to return it because from what these folks are saying the GPSMAP 76 will get and keep lock better than a Vista under heavy tree cover.

 

When using my Vista, I have gone from being deep in a gorge with mediocre recpetion and lock to getting to the top of the gorge with a decent view of the sky and no reception. That time I had to reinitialze it's location. Go figure.

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Guest cache_ninja

i definately prefer the 315, but from what you said, you just want it to play around with, maybe the etrex would be better just becuase its interface/setup is way more user friendly than the 315. its more intuitive. thats not to say you coldnt figure out the 315 in a few hrs. the only real difference i know of is the 315 averages, the etrex doesnt...and the 315 has an "external" type antennae, some claim these two things make the 315 better. who knows..

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Guest Quinnow

Another thing for you to consider is the Area you live in. Do you live in an area with heavy tree coverage? this is Important in your gps choice as many etrex perform poorly in heavy tree cover due to sat loss.

I have tested several units on my own as well as with friends and have found that units with a quadrifilar Antenna perform much better at holding sat locks than the units with the base unit system. Go one step better and look for a GPS that will allow you to add an external Antenna then all your upgrade troubles and questions will be in your past. Garmin's IIIPlus as well as the map76 or the gps76 which is the same as the map76 except you dont have the mapping function are great units with powerful antennas built into them, and if this isnt enough for you just use the external antenna jack and plug a external antenna into it for more reliability. the gps76 goes for around 200. the map76 around 315. and the IIIPlus around 280. check around for prices to get the lowest, but you can also find them at nice prieces on www.advancedgps.com Tell them you saw it here and point credit in Jeremy's direction!

 

------------------

Quinn Stone

Rochester, NY.14616

www.Navicache.com

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Guest BigDoggie

Thanks for all the advise, guys. It is nice to be able to come into a forum cold, ask a question, and have several meaningful replies. There are some other forums I know of where that is NOT the case.

 

Any other opinions... I am still listening!

 

Thanks again.

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Guest kimbeattie

I have an eTrex and I've been pretty darn happy with it . . . until today. It's still a really nice unit, well designed and easy to use, but I was out under intermittent tree cover today and I kept losing sat lock. Makes it hard to home in on a cache when the GPS isn't sure which way is up!

 

I don't know if the Mag 315 with its antenna is any better under tree cover, but I'd like to hear from somebody who knows from personal experience if it is or isn't.

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Guest c_oflynn

hi,

 

I've got the mag 315. I've always got nice sat locks. I can get several in the car, and 7 on the top story of my house. Pretty good! Having it beside me on the computer I've got 3, with 10m accuracy. I can maintain some satallite lock when it is even in my pocket! Have yet to have a problem with losing due to tree cover. I really like the magellan 315. You can download the manual off www.magellangps.com, however ignore the stuff about selective avalibilty. The manual is old, so they say there is 100m accuracy when there is really like 10m. One thing to note is the mag 315 doesn't support a connection to an external antenna. I think the eTrex does, i'm not sure.

 

Colin

 

PS: "Friends don't let Friends use eTrex's" tongue.gif just kidding... (how badly do you think i'll be flamed for that?)

 

[This message has been edited by c_oflynn (edited 08 July 2001).]

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Guest gstrong1

I don't think any of the eTrex models support an external antenna.As far as I know, the eTrex Vista is the top of the eTrex line,and it does not.If it did, I would have purchased an antenna after the first time I tried to use it under tree cover to go after a cache.Under heavy tree cover here in the Northeast,the Vista is pretty much useless.If it weren't for that,it would be a great little unit.

 

------------------

Gary "Gimpy" Strong

Rochester,NY

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Guest Iron Chef

ennas that are featured on the higher end Garmins and nearly all the Magellans. None of the Etrex models support an external antenna. I personally own an Etrex Venture and am already looking to replace it because of the antenna. I live in a Redwood forest and those 100-350 foot tall trees kill a GPS signal like nothing else. I've compared a Magellan Map330 and my own Venture over the same course and found that while my Venture couldn't get a lock except at the beginning and end, the Map330 kept a lock the entire time through the hike and it was in a bag! The environment that you use your GPS in should be a key factor into which unit you buy. I hope this helps a bit!

 

------------------

-Iron Chef

_ _ _ _ _ _____ _ _ _ _ _

agefive.com/geocache/ ~ Fe-26

Lets Drive Fast and Eat Cheese!

 

[This message has been edited by Iron Chef (edited 08 July 2001).]

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Guest logscaler

I have the 315. I have used it out in the Oregon High desert where the only thing between me and the sats was my hat and also in the deep forest of the wet side. I have yet to get less then three sats locked in no matter where. If fact I have a strip of velcro on it to hold it to the dash of Reds car and we use it to guide us on the road, and in the brush, I just drop it in a shirt pocket and take off. Always has held a lock so far, no matter where. Rambling on.

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

Go to the local Boater's World AND West Marine in Atlanta. Hold them in your hand, have a sales clone show you a few things.

I prefer the quad antenna, and Garmin's "remote control' feel. But that's just me...

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Guest BigDoggie

Thanks for your answers, guys! Keep the discussion going!

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Guest Iron Chef

Also make sure when you go to a store that you play with the units while they are on if possible. When I was looking around at West Marine for my current unit I just asked them if they had some extra batteries and they grabbed some right away. Its important to see what you will be dealing with software-wise.

 

------------------

-Iron Chef

_ _ _ _ _ _____ _ _ _ _ _

agefive.com/geocache/ ~ Fe-26

Lets Drive Fast and Eat Cheese!

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