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Garmin eMap opinions wanted

Guest Ethan

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What does anyone think of the Garmin eMap? I had a couple of gift certificates to Amazon.com, so I ordered one. It seems to get pretty good ratings. Anyone have anything to say about it?



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Guest Elliott

I have had an eMap for about 6 weeks and love it. I got the package with the cable and CD-ROM and for Christmas just recieved the GPS software to work with the popular Topo! brand of maps. I used it just today to hide my first cache. http://www.aldrichart.com/geocache/ which should appear on www.geocaching.com soon.


Very handy little device. Get some 16 meg cards. One to store your local metro region and one to load other areas onto when traveling. I also picked up the fitted rubber case to protect the unit. Provides the additional benefit of preventing it from sliding around the dashboard in the car.



Elliott Aldrich

Oakland, CA

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Guest andysolo

it seems excellent for driving, but not well suited for outdoors unless you are sure it'll be a sunny day..the garmin site, says it can survive "light mist", but it can't really handle rain, or being under water...i'd be woried about camping/backpacking with this.




[This message has been edited by andysolo (edited 12-30-2000).]

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I think you can overcome a lot of the outdoorsy issues with the eMap by using the Aquapac waterproof mobile GPS case. Since I don't have any personal experience with the pack I'm not much help, but if waterproofing is the only concern, this case would probably do the trick.


It seems that the cold affects almost all GPS devices too - But since I'm not in an extreme environment it's hard to test.



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Hmm, don't want to get anyone paranoid. The LCD displays fade out quite a bit - at least it did on our trip out to the Monte Cristo ghost town. You can still read it, but I thought that if it got any cooler you may have some problems.

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Guest andysolo

oh thats np. i thought you meant it would give bad data, which would be more of a problem.. i've used mine in the teens F and noticed no change in display, but thats not that cold. it probably depends on the unit also...



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I had my eTrex with me for some winter camping the other night. It got down to around -5 F. The screen was dim and VERY slow (blurs), but it seemed to be tracking just fine. I put it in my sleeping bag for a while to warm it back up, and then kept it in my pocket when I was up and around.


I think you would have problems with batteries freezing long before you would have accuracy problems.

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Guest jeremy

I feel silly not to think of it, but temperatures affect LCD displays. Ever leave your palm pilot on something hot? The screen turns completely black. The cold I would assume would do the opposite.


Not sure what temperature liquid crystal freezes though.

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Guest andysolo

yeah. my visor was super-slow and the display rather messed up when i went camping w/it in near zero temps. i don't think it was battery drain per se, since they've lasted for several weeks after the trip...

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Guest geofred

I dropped my Emap in a lake. Actually I bent over and gravity made it exit my shirt pocket and enter the lake. I opened the battery compartment, removed the memory stick and turned on my blow dryer. Miracle of miracles it stll worked after putting everything back together. I just found a cache and had true 20foot accuracy. I have used in the desert with lots of light and never had a problem. It also great in the car.

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I love my eMap. Granted, it's my first GPS unit, so I may be a bit biased or under-informed.


I also have the 16MB card, and a rubber case. The case is essential, IMO, and you will need at least a 16MB card.


I have not taken it to any cold places... however I am going to Yosemite this weekend, so we'll see how it performs there.


I have the 'US Roads & Recreation CD', and it does the trick. I have loaded just about the entire state of California on there and a bit of Nevada, and it fills the 16MB card completely up.

I plan to get the USA Topo cd soon. You can get the 'Metro Guide' CD as well, which provides more local info, and it will tell you the next upcoming cross streets, etc, which would be helpful if you plan to use it to anvigate on the roads a lot.


Anyhow, I'd definately recommend it.

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Guest Steve D

The specs page in my Garmin 12 manual quotes operating temp range of -15 to 70 degrees C (5-158 F) so I ASSUME it maintains accuracy over that range. Havign said that, leavign it in a locked car on REAL hot days it takes a LONG time to aquire sometimes, in the end I throw the air-con stream thru to the windscreen to cool it.

As for LCD displays yes it's true they DO suffer badly in temperature extremes, either hot or cold. I often get "fade" on my display cause it sits just inside the windscreen and I'm live in a pretty warm place. Temps above roughly 38 degrees Celsius (100 F for US, etc, readers) do cause temp fade, cold temps DO cause the LCD to "slow" right down as the liquid crystal part begins to thicken and freeze. If you have a cheap digital watch (in case of permanent damage) put it in the freezer for a little while - it'll get so slow to update the display it can't set the "seconds" digit before it tries to change it again. HINT: Don't leave it in the freezer too long! :-)

The previous suggestion - keep it in your pocket, sleepign bag, etc, is good advice for real cold climates. And for yoru GPS unit too!

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Guest Team Griswold

Picked up a Garmin Emap Friday to do my first ever geocache hunting this weekend and I found it worked great. I have had several GPS units before, mostly for aviation. This unit is very good as is out of the box. I think the one thing I don't like is the cost for the CDs to load city maps. I think the basic data is good enough for almost everything. This unit's basic data even has all airports on it and I plan on using it for flying also! Does anyone know a good place to get CHEAP maps on CD for the Garmin? Or maybe get together a sharing circle for CDs.

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