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Gpsr Shopping - Vista C

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Unless I completely screwed up my forum search, I ran a query on "vista c" and didn't get a whole lot of results back on general opinions of this unit. I went GPSr shopping last night and really like the look and feel of the Vista C. This unit is being purchased for me in exchange for services rendered so budget isn't a huge deal here. Anyone have any opinions (good or bad) or would recommend another unit similar to, but better, than the Vista C? I see a lot of talk about the 60CS and that's an option as well. Here are my general concerns about the Vista:


1. Size - it's really nice that it's small, but the screen looks tiny compared to others. Is the screen size a problem for anyone? Are the detailed and/or topo maps readable given the screen size?

2. Connectivity - I've seen several posts about problems connectiing to certain software packages - is this something to be concerned about or more of a general annoyance?

3. Batter Life - Specs say 20hrs battery life, but I'm betting that's with the back light turned the whole way down all the time (which makes the unit next to impossible to read). What can I realistically expect from a fresh set of batteries in this thing?


Thanks in advance for any info. Let me know if this is covered elsewhere.



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I owned 2 etrex before,.....the yellow and the legend they are both really good GPS's, but i found that the antena on both are not good if you go in the heavy bush since they are not quad helix, and on my legend, the rocker switch which is just liek the one on the vista started to not work as good after you been using it for a few months.

the GPS I would go for if i was you would be a GPS map 60C.....I tried them, am waiting to get my own too right now, and they work awesome.


the only reason I wouldn't go with the 60CS is that too many people are having bugs and problems with them,.....and for myself it is not worth to pay the extra money to get the sensors, since i always have a compas with me anyway.

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Thanks for the info thus far. That review was helpful.


It seems as though my biggest concern so far about the Vista C is that it doesn't have a serial port and therefore doesn't support NMEA. This seems to lock you into only Garmin map products as the other products, like National Geographic Maps, don't have USB drivers (at least yet). I know not having NMEA support means I can't hook this up to devices like marine auto-navigation systems, but I wouldn't intend to use this unit for that purpose anyway. Is there something else I'm missing that I lose with no NMEA support?

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I've got to think that NMEA will develop a USB standard at some point. My new computer at the office has 6 USB2 ports and no serial port. If you can only export info to your software via hammer and chisel, it may be time to move to new software.


RobertLipe, the GPSBable Guru, will likely drop by with a better answer.

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Can an adaptor from serial to USB bypass that problem?

I'm not sure if a Serial -> USB adapater would work here. I'd be interested to hear the answer myself. I have read that even with the gpsmap60, if you don't have a serial port (which my new computer doesn't), then you have to purchase a USB -> Serial adapter to connect to the serial interface of the GPS for these map products to work properly. I'm also struggling with the decision of Vista C -vs- gpsmap60C/CS.

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fairbanks, i love my vista c! i researched this a lot back around christmas, and found the best price at gpsnow.com. i love the size, the mapping capability and space (i use topo and city select),autorouting, the color screen, and everything else. if you want a unit you won't outgrow in a year or two this is a great gps for the price, esp compared to the other garmin units you mentioned. amazon.com has great prices on the mapping software, too. i was replacing a really old magellan unit that served well in the past, but was a real relic. i didn't have a real hard time getting used to this garmin, most things are laid out very much like a computer. when i did have ques, the online community here was very helpful, i think there are many satisfied garmin users out there. the size factor of the unit still blows me away--pictures on a website just don't do justice to how small, light, and easy to carry this thing really is!! you'll love it, too.


p.s. amazon.com's site has really good and informative reviews on the pages when you are looking at specific units. good luck!

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