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GPS? Where?


GEO-FINDER!
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My suggestion is to do some research into the various features and price ranges, and figure out which GPS you want.

 

Then go to whereever you can get the best price.

 

We did that. We bought a Magellan SporTrak Pro, and we bought it from the partner on the home page of www.geocaching.com: offroute. Offroute had the lowest price, and we felt good about helping to support the site. Their shipping and customer service was superb.

 

It's really hard, though, until you have decided on a GPS, to find the best place to buy it.

 

Even watching the auctions can be hard until you know what you're looking for in a GPS. Not only that, but my experience was that a lot of sellers either set a starting price or a reserve that was very close to the retail price. That's no bargain, paying basically retail to some random schmoe.

 

Shannah

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I have been into this for about a week. I did the same thing, where do I get the best deal? After a weeks research and some trial and error this is what I came up with. There are two players: Etrex and Magellan. As for what is on the market now, the yellow Etrex is the cheapest buy (retail) at $99 on amazon.com, free shipping as stated earlier. I have not found it cheaper anywhere else. As far as which gps to buy...here are my observations:

 

Garmin eTrex (yellow) - basic model, does well under heavy cover however does not have map functions. Low memory so is not good at storing info on really long trips like car rides across country.

 

Garmin eTrex (Camo) - same as yellow but has a camoflage case and a fish calculator and celestial info which is not needed for geocaching. This model averages $130. I bought this one at Wal-Mart used it for about 5 days and loved it however am taking it back and buying the yellow one off of Amazon. Saving $30.

 

The following models offer mapping which is the ability to download or use preinstalled maps that show roads, exits and such...

 

Garmin eTrex (Venture, Legend,Summit,Vista). These are all slightly more improved versions of the eTrex. You can go on www.garmin.com and do side by side comparisons on each model. Basically you get more memory for storing more detailed maps. Ranging in price from $150-$350.

 

Magellan SporTrak Map, Pro - Basically with these you get a few different little perks but the main difference is in memory. Also once you leave the eTrex versions you get a different type of antenna which I will discuss in a minute. Go to www.magellangps.com to review their products.

 

Antennas:

Two types that are popular:

Internal patch and Quadifiler Helix.

All eTrex versions use the internal patch and most of the more expensive gps' use the QH. From what I read the QH is better. It maintains a better lock on satellites. From my experience with the eTrex, I have no problem with this. Yes, it does give erratic signals occassionaly however I have sought after 7 caches with this model and found all 7 within 45 minutes of starting. It always takes me within a 100 feet or so and I search it out from there. The cover has not been a hinderance to finding the cache. Yes, I am a newby and have many a cache ahead of me however I feel this gps is suitable for geocaching. There are external antenna options which can get expensive and in depth. I dont know too much about those options.

 

As far as mapping...the eTrex does not have a map function however it has led me directly to 7 caches without a map. I see this function more for those who travel and don't want to have to read paper maps or road signs. I personally like the adventure of finding my own way. The non-mapping gps' do just fine in pointing the way. By the way...magellan has non-mapping models also but I highlighted the Garmin eTrex due to its low price and user friendliness...very easy to use with one hand!

 

There are other options available on each such as compass', altimeters, thermometers etc...of which I have no use for, just more toys to clutter things up (Im simple and easily entertained). Of course the more toys, the higher the price will be!

 

 

And it goes on from here. There are many different models offering different options from pixel counts to battery life to memory. Some people claim one to be more superior than another based on certain criteria. It boils down to what exactly are you doing with your gps. If it is solely for geocaching this is my recommendation:

 

I went to KMart, WalMart, Radio Shack,Dicks and all other local sports stores...all prices were pretty close to each other but none of them had the eTrex for $99.

 

$99 Garmin eTrex (Yellow) from Amazon... and no, I don't own stock in Garmin or Amazon and dont work for the companies!!!

 

JNC

 

Differing opinions and corrections are highly encouraged!

 

[This message was edited by jnc1991 on August 19, 2002 at 03:50 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by jnc1991 on August 19, 2002 at 03:51 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by jnc1991 on August 19, 2002 at 04:39 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by jnc1991 on August 19, 2002 at 07:13 PM.]

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I bought my Garmin eTrex and then later an eMap off of eBay. You need to be a little more careful when you bid, but there are some super deals to be had if you are patient. I would recommend using PayPal and/or a credit card for a big ticket purchase--this gives some additional recourse if the purchase goes bad (which is the exception rather than the rule!) icon_biggrin.gif

 

Do your homework so that you know the retail prices of the units that appeal to you.

 

icon_eek.gif Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son!

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I recieved a Garmin E map for x-mas last year with the Canadian map source program. Since I have gotten it we have built an absolutely huge data base of local maps for Northern Alberta.

I have been providing these maps to all my adventurous Buddies for months and they are still ammazed at the accuracy and detail.

We just signed up with the GeoCaching thing this evening and will be setting up a family cache this weekend. We have some really cool spots to share, But they won't be for the faint of heart or the un-preparred...

 

Ps If my 5 + 6 yr old little girls can do it, SO CAN YOU !!!!

icon_razz.gif

 

The Anzacians. (:> )

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