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Which GPS should i get?


superrjackson
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My theory has always been 'buy cheap, buy twice' Save up a bit longer so that you don't have to trade in trade up in the not too distant future when you don't like what you got.

 

I got the best handheld GPSr I could four years ago and am just now starting to look for something new/more.

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

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_____________________________________________

I want a good, waterproof GPS that is under 300 dollars

_____________________________________________

 

You can get a Global Positioning Satellite for how much? Try 300 million!

icon_eek.gif

 

Get either #35 or #47, they’re WAAS birds, more bang for the buck..... icon_wink.gif

 

If your house catches afire, and there aint no water around,

If your house catches afire, and there aint no water around,

Throw your jelly out the window; let the dog-gone shack burn down.

**Huddie Ledbetter**

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_____________________________________________

I want a good, waterproof GPS that is under 300 dollars

_____________________________________________

 

You can get a Global Positioning Satellite for how much? Try 300 million!

icon_eek.gif

 

Get either #35 or #47, they’re WAAS birds, more bang for the buck..... icon_wink.gif

 

If your house catches afire, and there aint no water around,

If your house catches afire, and there aint no water around,

Throw your jelly out the window; let the dog-gone shack burn down.

**Huddie Ledbetter**

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I choose the Magellan SporTrak Map (should have got the Pro), but you'll find Garmin's are more popular around here.

 

I was going for a Garmin GPS76 series until I read this comparison.

 

I started researching Magellans and that's what I decided on. I should have spent the little extra money and got the Pro version because of the extra memory.

 

What over you do, if you're going to be caching in the woods get a unit with a quad antenna. The patch antenna the eTrex have aren't as sensitive in cover. You'll see more than one post from me saying how I can turn on my unit and get lock--even WAAS--inside my house!

 

Yeah, the Garmins are sexier with their higher resolution screens and smaller size, but I was looking for raw performance. I very much feel I got it.

 

Hope this helps!

 

CR

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quote:
Originally posted by umc:

Patch v Quad Helix Most will say there is no difference in performance between these two types and I agree. As far as the etrex thats the issue not because they are patch but becuase they are smaller than most.

 

http://www.mi-geocaching.org/


 

Well, I'm not that experienced with GPS units. Only been researching and using for a little over a month or so.

 

Regardless, I'd hate to spend three or four hundred dollars on a unit and not be able to use it while standing next to guy who has WAAS lock and spent only $170!

 

My .02

 

CR

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The antenna issue is blown all out of proportion. Pick the gps that has the selection of features you will use. You should be able to find a new Vista for around $250, after rebate. It's an ideal size, and I have rarely lost coverage even under the most difficult conditions for more than a few seconds.

 

At the time I'm posting this, it looks like I've found more caches using the Vista than all the previous posters have found combined. Is practical experience of any value these days? icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Criminal:

_____________________________________________

I want a good, waterproof GPS that is under 300 dollars

_____________________________________________

 

You can get a Global Positioning Satellite for how much? Try 300 million!

icon_eek.gif

 


 

C'mon criminal let's not exagerate - 50 million.

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0210/28gps2r8/ icon_wink.gif

 

Zeolites unite!

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The Summit is an OK unit, but for nearly the same money you can get a Legend. You can then spend $10 on a compass, if that feature is so important to you. The Legend will give you many extra features, including mapping. I never understood why the Summit was even in Garmin's line. It's nothing more than the basic yellow E-Trex, with an electric compass and and an altimeter. And they really up the price for those two features. Either go with the yellow E-Trex if you want a basic unit, or shell out a few extra bucks for the Legend. Forget the Summit

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs, but by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" -Max Beerbohm

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I've got to interject my two cents worth regarding the so called weak reception of the eTrex series. It just isn't so. In fact, of the 3 different types of receivers I currently own, I'd have to say the eTrex is in fact the most sensitive in most conditions when properly oriented. (GIII+, 2 sportrak maps one with ver 3.03 software one with 3.02, basic eTrex, and Legend)

 

The eTrex antenna is somewhat fussy about how it's held, but when oriented correctly for conditions in the same location and at the same time the sportrak, you'll receive and use more satellites with the eTrex, and receive a stronger signal with the eTrex 4 out of 5 times when there is a difference.

 

I think a lot of the reason people think otherwise has to do with software, and how the receivers display data. When you compare actual signal strength from the NMEA data stream to the signal to noise bars on the sat status screen, the sportrak will show full scale bars where the eTrex shows maybe half that. You'll also see many other areas where reception loss isn't readily evident on the Sportrak because of the heavy processing of the signal the receiver does. While stationary, this can be a plus, but while on the move at walking speeds it results in significant positional errors with the sportrak. ie. Overshooting waypoint, up and back tracks not lining up very well etc.

 

I've just got my Palm/GPS setup working so I can record the NMEA data accurately in different field locations. Once I've recorded a better sample size of data, I'll post it on my web page. I can already say with certainty though that for tracklog recording, or accurately navigating in difficult terrain, the eTrex is more likely to provide accurate data than either my Sportraks or GIII+, based on many hours of side by side comparisons.

 

For what it's worth

 

Jeff

 

http://searching_ut.home.sprynet.com

Or for browsers that don't like that domain name:

http://home.sprynet.com/~searching_ut/

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I have a yellow, a legend and a vista. Like them all, leve the Vista. For the extra $$ you get the compass, altimeter, and 24 Megs instead of 8 with the legend. I didn't think it was a big deal at first and almost didn't buy the Vista. When I took it out the very first day, it beat the legend hands down. The internal electronic compass will always point to the waypoint, not just if you move a few feet. The altimeter is a toy for now, but would be great for skydiving or ultralight flying as well as climbing. The extra memory is a HUGE difference, I can upload all of Wyoming, and most of Montana on the Vista with roads and rec, and only about 1/3 of Wyo on the Legend. Also, with the Vista and Metroguide software, you can do address lookup from the GPS. Not quite auto route, but really nice to have to find somewhere if you have the address. As far as the antennas, I can tell no difference between the Etrex series and the GPS3+ except when you put the external ant on it. I would buy a Vista again, hands down.

 

It's not a sport unless there is something dead in the back of the truck when you get home.

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I have just bought a Garmin GPSMAP 196 for flying and love it. I don't really need another GPS, my 196 is fully capable, but I just want an eTrex Vista, so with all this chatter, I'm going to go tonight and buy one!

 

I am yet to go in my first search, but it's supposed to rain this weekend, so no skydiving or flying, so I'll prolly go out and find my first few caches!

 

Thanks to all who post, it helps newer folks like me to get the real dirt, without the hype.

 

Blue skies!

 

D

 

If at first you don't succeed, SKYDIVING NOT FOR YOU!

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I've had a Garmin Map76 I cost me $300 on line and I think it's the best thing I've ever bought. I was geocaching the other day and went into a 5ft. concrete pipe that went under a major highway and lost reception about 20 ft. in. I fell twice with it. The first time it was in a pouch on my hip and I fell about 4 ft. and landed right on it. I thought that would be it but it only got a gray spot in the middle of the screen and still worked. The next time I had it in my hand and I slipped, my feet went out from under and I slammed the unit into some rocks I don't know why it didn't break into a million pcs. its only got some gouges in the screen. The best part is I e-mailed Garmin and they will fix it under warrenty. That's free folks. icon_biggrin.gif

rut

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quote:
Originally posted by rut:

I've had a Garmin Map76 I cost me $300 on line and I think it's the best thing I've ever bought. I was geocaching the other day and went into a 5ft. concrete pipe that went under a major highway and lost reception about 20 ft. in. I fell twice with it. The first time it was in a pouch on my hip and I fell about 4 ft. and landed right on it. I thought that would be it but it only got a gray spot in the middle of the screen and still worked. The next time I had it in my hand and I slipped, my feet went out from under and I slammed the unit into some rocks I don't know why it didn't break into a million pcs. its only got some gouges in the screen. The best part is I e-mailed Garmin and they will fix it under warrenty. That's free folks. icon_biggrin.gif

rut


You should get an indoor RASH. Or, at least take a paramedic along when you cache. Do you have a good first aid kit?

I am worried about you. icon_wink.gif

 

Zeolites unite!

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quote:
Originally posted by Searching_ut:

I've got to interject my two cents worth regarding the so called weak reception of the eTrex series. It just isn't so. In fact, of the 3 different types of receivers I currently own, I'd have to say the eTrex is in fact the most sensitive in most conditions when properly oriented. (GIII+, 2 sportrak maps one with ver 3.03 software one with 3.02, basic eTrex, and Legend)


 

I wish that my etrex behaved differently. I own an Etrex Venture and a much less expensive very basic Magellan model, and the Magellan outperforms the Garmin in terms of reception. The Venture is more feature rich than this basic Magellan unit, but of what use are the features of the better unit if its reception sucks?

 

It may be that there are some Etrex's out there which do not perform as poorly as mine, and if this is so then there seems to be a significant quality control issue at Garmin in that units which perform so very differently are both qualified to leave the factory.

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First let me start by saying that I am new to all of this, and have never used the other brands of units BUT . . .

 

I recently bought the GARMIN 196 for flying. This is GARMIN's newest radio with an extremely fast processor. It is so fast in fact that they had the cajones to put a full feature "flight deck" display on the radio. That means that it can collect and process data fast enough to be useful during flight. That's turn rate indicator, altimiter, airspeed, rate of climb (or decent) indicator, and altimiter. The only thing that display can't tell you is if the aircraft is upside down. Aside from that, that's all the data you need to fly a plane, unless you are in a cloud, and you can't see the ground. Nowthen, this of course is not supposed to be used for that purpose, but it's great to know that if my electrical, and vacuum systems both go out at the same time, I can still get all that data from this powerful GPSr.

 

With that in mind, 4 days later, I also bought a eTrex Vista. "Why does that matter?" I hear you cry. . . Well I went out this past weekend on my first two days of GeoCaching, and of course, took both radios!

 

Now, this is by no means a scientific study, hell, it was raining on me too, but the two units performed very comperably and I found that most encouraging.

 

The 196 locked on faster, but as soon as it had three sats, it was happy to navigate, where the Vista wanted more data. The vista was ready to navigate almost as quickly, but it kept looking for more sats. Once locked on though, the Vista kept a better lock on the sats it had acquired, based on its angle of use, or how I was holding it, wich was even more impressive to me.

 

I'll keep using them both side by side, and if I find out that the Vista doesn't deserve this acclaim I'll repost, but I was very impressed that my $300. radio ($250. after rebate) was keeping up with my $1,000. aviation radio!

 

Blue Skies!

 

SkydiverDman

 

If at first you don't succeed, SKYDIVING NOT FOR YOU!

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TinSparrow

Charter Member Wrote

 

quote:
The Venture is more feature rich than this basic Magellan unit, but of what use are the features of the better unit if its reception sucks?

 

Well, I can tell you that the electronic compass works independantly from the GPS signal. There is a setting that you can adjust that takes data from GPS sats after you are moving, but stops once you have slowed to under 10mph for the specifically designated ammount of time.

 

Just as an update on those "features!"

 

If at first you don't succeed, SKYDIVING NOT FOR YOU!

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Come on people we're geocaching here, not looking for underground tunnles in Afganastan. I suspect if your willing to save up some extra money to buy a more expensive unit just for geocaching you don't have a clue what you need and haven't done your research. icon_confused.gif Why pay for a more expensive unit when you don't need to. That's good money that can be spent on other equipment. If your paying $500 for a GPSr and geocaching with it...your wasting your money just to feed your ego. icon_wink.gif That's like buying a Ferrari to drive down to the market for groceries. This does not compute!!!!

 

Farewell Mother Hips....for now.

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I tend to agree with Aronius, but I think I'd be a little more tactful saying it. I currently have a standard etrex (yellow) and my first GPSr, a Garman 12, that I bought 4 years ago. Both are very basic receivers, but include the features I need for caching, such as storing waypoints. I tend to look at maps before I enter a cache area, and if I feel I need really specific map information to support a hunt, I use Topo-USA. Basically, I feel that any GPSr with the ability to be used in the 'Go-To' function will work just fine for caching. All other bells and whitsles are great for other pursuits. Then again, I'm one of the last people to see the benifit of many new features.

 

Madog 'Discover of America'

 

Madog "Discover of America"

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i defend my choices of legend or vista for the following for geocaching: maps to get there, saves lots of time, has all the basic features, and the vista's ele compass is AWESOME for caching as it points to the destination all the time, even stopped. Then when you go to other uses, it handles almost all of them. I still feel that the legend or vista are some of the best for caching, but others are great too!

 

It's not a sport unless there is something dead in the back of the truck when you get home.

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I too have the Garmin Yellow Etrex. I got it when the ads first hit the hiking magazines prior to the days of organized Geocaching. It does everything necessary to locate a cache. I preplan my approach to a cache with Topo-USA, a far superior method than squinting at small, scantly-detailed screen. The only thing that would move me to another unit is the promise of a 'hotter'front-end on the receiver. Erratic and confusing readings do to poor signal recption is definitely not cool. icon_smile.gif

 

"When you find it, its always in the last place you look."

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Have anyone tried using the Vista in an airplane and could it be a poor man's aviation gps instead of the Garmin 196?

 

 

quote:

I recently bought the GARMIN 196 for flying. This is GARMIN's newest radio with an extremely fast processor. It is so fast in fact that they had the cajones to put a full feature "flight deck" display on the radio. That means that it can collect and process data fast enough to be useful during flight. That's turn rate indicator, altimiter, airspeed, rate of climb (or decent) indicator, and altimiter. The only thing that display can't tell you is if the aircraft is upside down. Aside from that, that's all the data you need to fly a plane, unless you are in a cloud, and you can't see the ground. Nowthen, this of course is not supposed to be used for that purpose, but it's great to know that if my electrical, and vacuum systems both go out at the same time, I can still get all that data from this powerful GPSr.

 

With that in mind, 4 days later, I also bought a eTrex Vista. "Why does that matter?" I hear you cry. . . Well I went out this past weekend on my first two days of GeoCaching, and of course, took both radios!

 

!


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quote:
Originally posted by TinSparrow:

 

I wish that my etrex behaved differently. I own an Etrex Venture and a much less expensive very basic Magellan model, and the Magellan outperforms the Garmin in terms of reception. The Venture is more feature rich than this basic Magellan unit, but of what use are the features of the better unit if its reception sucks?


 

I have a Venture and Merri Green. I started out with the Venture and it works well but in heavy tree cover it just doesn't cut it.

 

I got a package deal at Costo for a Merridian with software and 16 meg card and I haven't gone back to use the Venture at all.

 

I'm not sure which feature you speak of on the Venture but the Basic Merridain comes with exapandable memmory and maps. That alone is worth more than any other feature the Venture has.

 

Lot of friends have Platinums but I don't want or need the extra features. The magnetic compass is always acting flaky.

 

george

 

39570_500.jpg

Pedal until your legs cramp up and then pedal some more.

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Funny, the person who posted the original question back in September never came back to let us know what he bought. You think we gave him enough data and opinions to make an informed choice? icon_rolleyes.gif I'm kinda glad that I stumbled into this sport with GPSr already in hand so I didn't have to make a decision. I have a Garmin Legend and it works just fine for geocaching. If that's all you want to do with it you can stick to a pretty cheap unit. The problem with most of us is that once we've got one toy we always want the next model up.

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