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Sportrack North Finder??????


ThuntDon
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All the advertisements I've seen on the SportTrack family, NorthFinder has been indicated. Has anybody seen it work? I was told by a tech person at Magellan that only the color model has it! I planned on using my SporTrack TOPO in this mode. Why would Magellan make these claims if it doesn't do it? This will most likely be the the last Magellan product that I buy.

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It's on the compas screen. Around the compass you will see a sun and moon symbol. That lets you orient your compass screen when you are standing still and so you know which way is north. It's cheesy and yet I wish my garmin had it.

 

Leatherman can rejoice in the one thing I'll admit a magellan does better than a garmin.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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Hmmmm, I wounder how I use my NorthFinder on a cloudy day?

I thought it was a Digital Compass. Don

Well, you just bring a compass, and then point the GPS's north to match the compass, then look at the sun icon and you will know the direction of the sun. Oh, wait, that's not what you were asking is it. :bad:

 

Seriouisly, we have blue sky weather so much out here in California that it isn't even an issue most times. :blink:

 

Oh yeah, I have a color sportrak and it has a digital compass. But I have it turned off all the time. Too bad I can't give it to you, it never gets used. I always just use GPS course and the north finder. When there are clouds, I just walk in a straight line for 10 or 20 feet and that is usually enough to orient the compass correctly.

 

--Marky

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All Magellan units have it, even the least expensive models, and once you get used to it, it's great! I carry a compass with me just in case, but have never had to use it. Just orient the sun or moon icon with the actual position of the sun or moon, and the compass screen is oriented correctly. This eliminates the need to move a certain distance before your compass screen is correct, and also allows you to turn around in one spot and still orient the compass screen correctly, without having to use a hand-held compass. The only limitation is, as said, if it's extremely overcast or there is no moon out (at night). On a lightly overcast day, you can still generallly tell where the sun is in the sky.

 

Cheesy? I guess. Accurate? Pretty much so. Handy/useful? Without any doubt! It's such a simple yet handy idea, that it still amazes me that Garmin hasn't added it to their units. It would seem like a no-brainer, but that's just my opinion, and I don't work for Garmin.

 

So Magellan's claims are, in fact, true. Although you would think that the Magellan Tech guy should have known what it was, how it worked, and which models have it (all of them). If the Northfinder feature not being a magnetic compass is the reason you'd never buy another Magellan, you're making a mistake, since the feature, as basic as it is, is still much better than Garmin's alternative (which is nothing). Your only other option is to buy a unit with a magnetic compass, which are offered by both Magellan and Garmin, but only if you're willing to spend +/- $100 extra for a compass.

Edited by 4x4van
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I guess I expected more, maybe a digital compass. In their promotions, they seem to make a big deal of the feature. In the manual, they don't mention it once (northfinder). Thanks for all the comments, I am getting use out of it in spite of my limitations. :blink: Don

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The north finder is pretty useless if you are not moving. That is where you get your direction finding ability. Just moving a specific direction is for a short distance should be enough to give you a direction and orientation. Standing still will get you no where unless you are facing in the same direction when you look at the screen as you were proceeding. At least that is my take and how I use it. YMMV

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The north finder is pretty useless if you are not moving.

Northfinder is designed to be used when you are not moving. For those who cannot seem to find robertlipe's excellent Meridian FAQ page, here is his explanation of Northfinder:

 

What is "Northfinder"?

 

Unless you are moving (or have a unit like the Platinum that has an integral compass) the GPS doesn't know which way "North" is. You can prove this easily by punching in a GOTO and rotating the unit in your palm. The arrow rotates as the unit rotates. With Northfinder, a picture of celestial bodies (sun and/or moon) will appear on the outer edge of the rose. Rotate the unit to align the picture of the sun with the actual location of the sun. Now "north" on your screen actually points north and the arrow on the "compass" screen points to your GOTO destination.

Edited by EagleI
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I was told by a tech person at Magellan that only the color model has it!

 

That's insane. I agree with Robert. Some of the babble that dribbles out of the Magellan tech's mouths makes me wish I had a Garmin. (Well, not really, but it's still embarassing. :D)

I tend to agree with robert a lot, too, for some reason... but having experienced flat-out wrong and rude answers from Garmin, too, and talking to PLENTY of users that have done the same, let it be known there isn't sufficient product distinction here - apparently NEITHER of the two major vendors in this market routinely employ support types that have actually *used* the products. Shame on them both!

 

...and having just returned from the Midwest Invitational Geocaching Competition where I think just about every model of GPS was represented by the "ubercachers", I'll offer that right now, I'm thinking the same is true for their DEVELOPMENT groups, too. I spoke with exactly ZERO users that didn't have serious complaints about their products. (And any employee of either Garmin or Magellan that mails me better be prepared to offer a fix for things like Legend losing lock for 20 minutes at a time or the stupid Magellan "overshoot" that's well known, but a total nosedive when time counts and not try to send me marketing slicks explaining how well the respective products work....)

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