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Garmin Etrex Yellow Or Magellan Explorist 100


Sliverboy
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The main deficiency of the eXplorist 100/200/300 series is the lack of any ability to connect to a computer for things like retrieving/storing waypoints (incl. geocache locatiions), loading new firmware, recording previous tracklogs, creating and uploading tracklogs to show trail/road/shoreline/etc. locations, interfacing to a laptop running software for auto-routing navigation in your car, etc.

 

That makes the eTrex a much more versatile device than the eXplorist 100 since it does provide a PC interface port and inexpensive cables are readily available.

 

A previous similar discussion of the eXpl. 200 vs. the Legend is at

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=80427

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Is there a big difference between units that are WAAS enabled and those that aren't?

 

Having used both of these units, I can tell you of my experience with their accuracy. The eXplorist seems to be far better at holding a signal-- my eTrex's readings used to "jump around" quite a bit, and the eXplorist simply doesn't do that. I don't know if the WAAS has anything to do with it. I understand there is much variance between units, so my experience is probably just that, my experience. I would see if you can borrow one of each and then compare them. But they are approximately the same price, and no, the eXplorist has no computer interface. This is a make-or-break feature for some. I enter waypoints manually and don't care if my GPSr has a computer interface.

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I have an Explorist 200. While it is not the top of the line GPS, I LOVE IT! It is true you have to hand enter waypoints, but for me that is not a big deal, I only enter 3-5 caches at any one time anyway.

 

I do wish I could connect it to my PC to download more detailed maps, but that is okay. The base map that it does have is PLENTY good enough for Geocaching.

 

All and all I find this to be a very good (and VERY accurate) GPS for the $$. It is a terrific entry level unit that will allow you to evaluate if Geocaching is for you. I am still pretty new to the Geocaching community and I will probably upgrade to a new (expensive) unit next year, but for now this MORE THAN does the job. I really cant say enough about this unit. The accuracy is amazing!

 

The only real draw back is the inability to connect to a PC. If you can do without that you will LOVE this unit.

 

If you have any more specific questions please feel free to email me.

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If I had to choose between good sat lock or computer interface I would have to go with sat lock. There is nothing worse than wandering through a thick forest trying to find a tree opening so you can get at least a 2D cock so you can find out how close you are to a cache. Without that lock a Gps’r is nothing more than an expensive piece of plastic.

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I have over a hundred finds on my little yellow etrex. I rarely loose signal except in the deepest of woods. If you are considering downloading waypoints I would go with the etrex or sportrack. If you really get into caching you will appreciate the computer hookup of these units. My etrex has never been more than fifty feet off any cache so far.

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Anybody who says the eTrex line has poor reception is either just repeating a line of bull that they heard elsewhere, or is using it wrong. I have 280 finds with my eTrex and it gets reception everywhere I go...even under the heaviest tree cover. And I'm geocaching under a thick leaf canopy about 80 percent of the time.

 

I've geocached with my eTrex alongside Magellan users and users of other Garmin models and there was little difference in reception. Sometimes my eTrex had slightly worse reception and sometimes it had slightly better. I just purchased a 60CS and using them side by side, the 60CS gets slightly better reception under most conditions (sometimes the eTrex is better), but not enough to make a difference.

 

As far as a choice between the eTrex and eXplorist, the lack of a data port would eliminate the eXplorist immediatley from consideration in my eyes.

Edited by briansnat
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Take a look at the Lowrance model. I just got a H2O and I like it a LOT more than the SporTrak Pro I sold to get it. This is my 4th GPS and my favorite so far. For the price you cant beat it! I gave a mini review here:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=82104

 

I would get as much GPS as you can for your money or you will just find yourself looking again when you figure out what your doing. Thats why I am on GPS #4 :lol:

 

ScottB

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I would get as much GPS as you can for your money or you will just find yourself looking again when you figure out what your doing. Thats why I am on GPS #4 :lol:

Let me present a contrary philosophy: buy a low-cost (maybe used) unit and use it long enough to determine what features you want and what features you can live without. Then sell your unit and buy the one of your dreams.

 

I started with an etrex Venture and it is true that I felt I outgrew it in 6 months. But by that time I knew enough to make an informed decision to get a unit that was the right combination of price and features, and I have been happy with it for two years.

 

...though I'll admit, I've got the itch again...

 

Edit: I should add that I was able to sell my first unit for close to what I paid for it. There's not a terrible depreciation rate on these things.

Edited by embra
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Anybody who says the eTrex line has poor reception is either just repeating a line of bull that they heard elsewhere, or is using it wrong.

Hey, I resemble that remark! :blink:

 

Seriously, I use an ST Pro and my son uses a yellow E-Trex. In our area (SoCal), they both work very well, untill we get into tree cover. In the admittedly overgrown forests in our area, the little yellow E has a tough time. On a 12 mile hike last month to Mt San Jacinto Peak, my son eventually just turned it off, since at least 50% of the time, it had no idea where we were till we reached about the 9000 foot level, where the trees were considerably less. And before you tell me that my Magellan didn't know either and it just "guessed", let me assure you that the subsequently downloaded track from the ST Pro overlays perfectly on the trails reflected on Terraserver Topo maps. I had the "signal loss alarm" turned on, and it only lost lock once, at the beginning of the hike, when we were in a deep canyon under heavy tree cover. It took about 5 minutes to finally regain lock, and the downloaded track reflects it "jumping around" considerably during that time, while the rest of the hike is shown right on the money. Curiously, the E-Trex did have lock during that time, although accuracy was listed in the 200-300 foot range.

 

That said however, the little yellow has worked very well for us in most areas, even with it's lack of WAAS, and generally gets us to the cache as well as my ST Pro. With the research and experiences that I've seen/read/experienced, my feeling is that the quad-helix antenna works a little better under heavy tree cover, the Patch antenna gets the upper hand in canyons (both natural and urban), and neither is so much better than the other as to make either obsolete. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Hows that for a "non-committal" stand! :lol:

Edited by 4x4van
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I would get as much GPS as you can for your money or you will just find yourself looking again when you figure out what your doing. Thats why I am on GPS #4 :o

Let me present a contrary philosophy: buy a low-cost (maybe used) unit and use it long enough to determine what features you want and what features you can live without. Then sell your unit and buy the one of your dreams.

I'm still using a Magellan 300 (don't laugh), and I'm yearning for that 3rd decimal point. My dad has a SportTrak and it's too much GPS for me. I don't need all the bells and whistles, really I don't. Not when I hunt a cache a month, if I'm lucky.

 

So the Explorist sounds just fine for me, or any Joe Casual Cacher.

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