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Magellan or Garmin

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I am about ready to buy my first GPS. I have been reading everything I can about the 2 main players (Magellan vs. Garmin)I have narrowed my selection down to the Sportrac Pro or the Etrex Legend. I am leaning towards the Sportrac which seems to me to have about the same features for about $20 less. Any advive before I purchase?

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I have the Sportrak Pro and my brother-in-law uses the Garmin GPS V. His seems to be slightly more accurate in heavily wooded areas then mine, but they are both excellent units. Of course the GPS V is considerably more money. It is also really nice to be able to load TOPO maps for the area I am searching, and the Magellan software compressed better then the Garmin so you can load larger maps in the same size memory.


Lost? Keep Going. You're making good time anyway!!

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I have the Legend and am very happy with it. It's easy to use, small, durable, waterproof. The base map is OK, but I splurged on the Mapsource Topo software. I was hesitant about the 8 meg of memory being enough, but I've loaded most of northern NJ, southern NY to Albany and much of southern VT, with room to spare. On a trip out west, I was able to load most of the Sacramento area, west to San Fran and east to Tahoe.


Unlike the Legend, you can't download maps to the basic SporTrak. The SportTrak vs. ETrex Venture is a more valid comparison, as they are similar units.


The Legend vs SportTrak Map is a better comparison, but the Legend has 8 meg of memory vs. the SportTrak's 6 meg.


The Legend is an excellent choice. I've seen it for as low as $209 on the internet. I paid $219. You might be able to get it even cheaper on E-Bay.


[This message was edited by BrianSnat on August 10, 2002 at 09:26 AM.]


[This message was edited by BrianSnat on August 10, 2002 at 09:27 AM.]

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Well, YukonJack, we have the SporTrak Pro, and we have been having really good luck with it. We have been able to load sufficient maps in it (we got the Topo maps, and they have been really helpful) plus a boatload of waypoints.


I like the buttons and ease of use. My 7 year old son is able to use it to find a cache, and will actually *find* the cache with it.


I also like the way they have it set up when you create your own waypoint. The edit screen makes logical sense to me: I was able to input and edit waypoints the very first day.


We also got the 1800mA batteries and charger, and we get a lot of use out of one charge. Seems like it's about 12 hours (although we haven't measured it scientifically.)



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I have the Sportrak Map and I am very happy with it. I have never lost the sat's yet even in heavy tree cover. The accuracy is great it has gotten me to within a few feet most of the time. I have not bothered with the loading maps so I can't really say if it is enough memory or not.




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Garmin and Magellan both make exceptionally good units. I think that sometimes Garmin's quality control is a little spotty because my venture did not do so well under tree cover, but the legend I have now picked up five sats with and epe of 21 upstairs inside the house with the blinds down and sitting a good 12 feet from the nearest windows....go figure


As long as the unit works like it's supposed to, you aren't going to be unhappy no matter who you pick. If it's important for you to have a small form factor, pick the garmin etrex series. If you want a nice large screen pick the magellan, or shell out the cash for a garmin v.


Mostly it's preference. The more I read the more I'm convinced that as long as you're using them the way they are supposed to be used, reception is fine with patch or quad helix antenna. Quad helix detunes somewhat when near a human body or large amounts of metal. Patch isn't as sensitive under cover as quad helix... considering im holding the unit i figure it's a wash.


buy the unit you think you want, use it, be happy with it if it does what its supposed to do, and you wont have to worry about the garmin vs magellan debate.





If it ain't broke, I can *fix* that...

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Originally posted by Da Rebel:

To seek caches, use a Garmin.


To find caches, use a Magellan.



My friend(carcache) has a GPS V. We cache together. He is a little upset that his GPSr is always off on the coords. Compaired to my Meridian Plat. He also loses recieption under moderate tree cover.

I was one click away from buying a GPS V. I'm so glad I changed my mind.



Preparation, the first law to survival.


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I just bought the Legand last night at Circuit City.It was for $199 with a $50 rebate. I told them that the Legand was only $187 with a $50 rebate at Best Buy and they matched it. I have been playing with it today it seems to do well. It was also a lot smaller then the SporTrack Pro, and more colorful, if that matters to you.


"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone." - Bill Cosby

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I own both a Magellan and Garmin Unit. I had the Magellan 310 first, and eventually I wanted a unit with more features and I upgraded to an eTrex Venture. The eTrex has better features than this low end Magellan, but the Magellan significantly outperforms it in terms of signal reception. I can use the Magellan as a passenger on an airplane, while the Venture has lost signal when 60% of the sky was clear on a clear day in flat terrain. As I read these forums, I see repeatedly where the Garmin units receive complaints regarding performance, and I wish I noticed this recurring them before I purchased the Venture.

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There is one feature on the Maggie I have that is invaluable... auto averaging. Everytime I have cached with someone that had a Garmin, we found the cache by putting the Maggie on the ground until it had time to get a good average position.. then follow the compass bearing to the cache. In auto averaging, the influence of trees, hills, etc. is taken away.


Check out http://www.gpsinformation.net/mgoldreview/sportrak-pro-rev.html as mentioned...




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I am an amateur when it comes to GPS stuff but I figured out the Legend with no problems. My cousin is a land surveyor and he bought the Legend for it's capabilites (such as the topo maps). I bought mine because of price and the fact that I can get maps from him.

PS Where it says the cache is: believe it. Absolute accuracy.

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I bought the yellow eTrex strictly for the 'max speed' feature for speed runs on a motorcycle. Well.... I seen a TV show about geocaching and as you ALL KNOW... one thing led to another and before I knew it... I started HUNTING cache!


Last week, the wife and I went looking for a local cache with the yellow eTrex. I have already found 3 without any problem. This time, we got within 50' of the cache and the eTrex lost the sats. I did all the tricks, I even went to a large open space... no sats! After about 20 mins of that, we left. The eTrex didn't get a sat lock till about a mile down the road from the park, about 40 mins later. I don't have a clue why it did that. It worked just fine on the next hunt that same day and is working fine now.


I went back to the same place with my Meridian and it took me within 2' of the cache.


I'm not slamming the eTrex or comparing it to the more expensive Meridian. I'm just wondering what happen to the eTrex to render it totally inoperable in that area!!??

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I just bought my first GPS (Meridian Platinum)from ShopHarmony.com for $239 as CreagerStone Family said. I used it to find my first cache (Ben's Bin) last Saturday in a rain storm, under tree cover and it led me right to it, no problem in about 10 min. (I really put it being waterproof to the test). I found my 2nd cache the next day. Again, I had no problems. Can't wait to upgrade the maps.


My 2 cents,


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I've had both... briefly!


I bought the Sportrac Pro on Saturday and turned it on while in the parking lot at the store. By the time I got home I realized that it had some "problems" as it showed my path crossing over several freeways and actually showed me as driving in several circles... Went on a cache hunt that night w/ a friend who has a Garmin Vista.


Didn't take long for me to figure out that something had SERIOUSLY gone wrong w/ my Magellan as it had us plotted on the wrong side of the river... and almost a mile away from the cache I was standing on.


Anyway, I returned the unit the next morning and bought a Garmin Vista instead for about $60 more. I love my Garmin Vista!


I'm sure that the Sportrac Pro is a fine GPS unit and that mine was just messed up but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Besides, I liked the size/shape better on the vista. I think that Magellan needs to change their fonts or something on their maps too as I found it hard to read when more than a couple items appeared on screen together.


I did like the remarks area when entering waypoints in the 'Pro' as well as the waterproofing. Nice features!



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I have a yellow etrex, a legend and a vista. All have worked very well for me. My fav is the vista, at first I didn't think the electronic compass or alt were big deals, but the compass was a huge plus when close to a waypoint as it will still work when standing still, no so with the others, you have to move to get new bearings. Also, I can put all of wyoming, and part of Montana and Colorado on the Vista using Roads and Rec. I can only put about 1/2 of only Wyoming on the legend, but it does a great job as well. icon_biggrin.gif


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 use a Garmin GPS 12 which is my spare from my boat and have to say that it works fine after it has aquired the sats. The downside is that I have to be in the open to aquire. If I am in my car and I switch it on I need to hang it out of the window!

My friend uses a maggie and it picks up the sats even indoors, however the downside is that the screen is not as good as the Garmin.


Could someone who uses map software tell me how much better it is than just using a regular GPS like the GPS 12 and a map of the area?


The Merman


I woke this morning and my boat was not rocking...for one horrid moment I thought I lived in a house!

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I use the SporTrak Pro with the Topo software dowloaded. The first advantage that I can see is that you can more easily figure out how to get to your jump off spot. You can do this with a map, but it is easier to update your routing when something unforeseen occurs (such as a traffic jam on the freeway). Once I get started on my quest I like the fact that with the software loaded I can tell if I am up the right creek or just up a creek without a paddle. It is also nice to be able to create a route using the mapping software so that I don't miss the various turnoffs on those dirt trails since some of them are hard to figure out all the time. It eliminates a lot ob backtracking. icon_biggrin.gif


Lost? Keep going. You're making good time anyway!!

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