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Hey folks!


I'm looking for a new GPSr. Right now, I'm using a Garmin GPS12. I would like to know what its modern-day equivalance is. The features I have / would like to have in the next one are:


1) a good antenna (dont have now, but need with our very dense cloud coverage)2) compass (really like the goto waypoint using the compass view page)

3) altometer (not necessary, but nice)

4) internal base maps (dont have now, but would be really, really nice - depending on price)

4) TracBack (route trace)

5) external antenna availability (just in case, but not absolutely necessary if it has great reception)


I don't think the GPS12 has WAAS - what kind of difference does that really make, and is that standard feature in todays models. Is the quad helix the best antenna (beside lugging around an external)?


Also, I hear Magellan has a new series coming out this month - would it be worth it to wait and see what that is all about?


Let me know your personal experiences - what units you like & hate. Field use is ALWAYS better than ideal lab conditions!


Thanks in advance!

Edited by TruFinds
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Check out the Garmin GPS V. Got everything you want (except for the altimeter) and its real easy to use. You can get a great deluxe package for about 325 if you look in the right places. Ordered mine from the internet but don't remember what site.


I've been using it for a couple months now and I love it. Package is definitely worth the money. You get the pc interface cable, auto adapter, dashboard mount, mapping software, and the actual unit of course. Check it out.

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The new eXplorists from Magellan are coming in one week according to some websites. Lowest prices are found with Froogle: eXplorist 100 for $94.90, eXplorist 200 for $139 with free shipping, eXplorist 300 for $169 with free shipping.


They look good although we don't have the complete specifications yet.

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gpsmap76 would be the closest thing to a 12 with all of the additional features you have listed.


note that the 76 does not have a barometric altimeter for really precise elevation (plus/minus 3m), however the 76 does show navstar-derived elevation which will get you elevation accuracies of around plus/minus 35m (or feet if you prefer).


if you want the baroalti you've got to step up to the 76s model. it also includes an electronic compass as opposed to the generic gps compass which most gps's have nowadays.


color screen you say? then look at the 60 series or 76c series from garmin. don't care so much about mapping? then the geko's are pretty nice units. etrexes, rino's and others are all available...


magellan make some nice units also - i like the meridians from the standpoint of their expandability and overall design. the new explorists look to be oriented towards consumers seeking lower prices and limited expandability - this could be wrong (but i don't think so) - is based on limited info i have seen on these units.


re mapping units in general - the basemaps pretty much suck. loading detailed maps in critical imo. if the unit can't load detailed maps then don't even bother thinking of it as a mapping unit - you'll quickly discover that the map has nowhere near enough detail for anything.


waas - can give you a little more precision but it's kind of a mixed blessing - in certain situations it can take away from your gps's ability to give you the most accurate fix possible. it also tends to impact your gps's responsiveness particularly when using detailed maps. fortunately this can be enabled/disabled on most gps's.


quad helix is generally regarded to outperform patch antenna in heavily-treed areas. interestingly patch seems to work better in urban jungles due to it's ability to work with multipath reflections better.


if i was spending your money... i'd look at a 60c or 76c from garmin. if i wanted to spend a little less then i'd probably buy a meridian plat, gold or maybe a color. if i was in canada (or wanted canadian maps) and was interested in a unit that definately had detailed mapping then i'd definitely go with garmin - they have a much better selection of maps available than magellan. lowrance makes some nice units also but their mapping software is worth as much as the gps itself - check before you buy. lots of choices out there today - go to your local gps shop and get some hands-on time... <_<

Edited by Vlad
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I would go for the Magellan Meridian Gold or Sportrack map. Both have most of the features you want, the Meridias is larger but you can upgrade the Memory.

The Magellan Topo software also offer terrian projections that garmin doe not offer and their topo software icludes street names. Also if you think you might want software that will autotrack, Magellans Map Send direct route will work in any Magellan that supports a map display.


As far as an external antenna, I sold GPSr for any years even way before geocaching, I think they are a waste of money for the most part. Any GPS with a good antenna will maintain enough of a lock under trees for geocaching. As far as in a car or truck. mouth the GPS on the dash and try it without an external antenna for a few days first, i gave this advice to all my customers, the only people that had to come back for an antenna were driving Hummer H1's.

If you are really concerned about reception I woud avoid any e-treks or Geckos.

I have not seen any spects on the new Magellans.

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if you want the baroalti you've got to step up to the 76s model. it also includes an electronic compass as opposed to the generic gps compass which most gps's have nowadays.


What is the difference between compass types? What do you mean by the generic type?

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the "generic" gps compass (a page or screen looking just like a handheld compass) requires that you have two things in order for it to operate - a satellite/position fix and also that you be moving. when you satisfy these two requirements the "compass" indicator will essentially operate just like a typical compass - as you move it will continuously show you which way is "north".


an electronic compass (or ecompass) does not require these two conditions to be met in order to operate - the ecompass is just like having a built-in magnetic compass - i can be indoors where i have no gps position fix, and i can also be standing still - in either (or both) case the ecompass will operate like a traditional magnetic compass.


the downside is that a ecompass uses more battery power than a "generic" gps compass.

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As far as the altimeter goes, Magellan does not require a baraometer for elevation readings, With Magellan, if you use Map send topo, the GPS deterins your elevation from you position on the map.

I heard this a few times and in those cases, no one ever fixed it, so I will.


The altitude that the Meridian displays on the position page (or in any customized fields) is GPS elevation (not barometer elevation if its a platinum, nor is it from the topo data). The only time you see the TOPO elevation is when your scrolling on the map page or using terrain/horizontal projections, and in any routes you have on the GPS (track profiles are GPS altitude based).


The new Magellan’s SEEM to be lacking a port to connect to a computer, or plug into external power.


Mapsend Direct route works on most of the newer meridian units except: the meridian green, sportrack yellow/map (not enough room on the sportrack map to justify the purchase of direct route), and the map 330.


Wyatt W.

Hmm... it seems to be past my bedtime. That would explain why I am so tired and cranky.

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