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Better Reception

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I'm a low tech person who got into this because of a christmas present. I'm having a blast just caching am not interested in road navigation, altimeters etc. I would like to know if I could upgrade and get better reception as the priority. Am not interested in bells and whistles only beating the trees. Is this possible, I know I will probably have to get the extra features.

Edited by yoopers
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I would like to know if I could upgrade and get better reception as the priority. Am not interested in bells and whistles only beating the trees.

What do you have right now and how much do you want to spend?


Perhaps a remote antenna would give you the best bang for the buck. A Gilsson antenna costs about USD$20 (on eBay...search for gpsgeek).


The Garmin V is very affordable these days and has pretty good reception, too. Or try the 76s. I don't know enough about the Magellans to be able to recommend one of their models. Likewise, I've heard that some models of the eTrex family aren't exactly known for good reception.



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What do you have right now and how much do you want to spend?


That's key.


However I've yet to find a unit that doesn't get adequate reception in the trees if used properly. I know the eTrex line has a bad rap about reception under trees , but I've used a Legend and a Vista under heavy tree cover without a problem. As long as I have a good sat lock before entering the woods and I hold the unit flat, face up to the sky, reception is fine with these units.


That being said, I have an eTrex Vista, Geko 201 and 60CS and at the moment I also have a Lowrance iFinder H20 and an iFinder GO2. The 5 units are sitting on my desk in the middle of my living room. The 60CS is getting 3 sats fairly solid and has a lock. The GO2 is getting 4 sats but not very strong and has a lock. The Vista and Geko are getting 2 sats and no lock and the H20 is getting 1 sat and no lock.


Of course this is not a valid test. First, we generally don't use GPSes in our houses. Second the different antennas have different strong points. The quad helix in the 60CS is better at getting sats on the horizon while the patch antenna in the Geko and eTrex is better at picking sats directly overhead. The 60CS is probably picking sats up throught the window, while the roof is blocking the eTrex and Geko. I'm not sure what kind of antenna is in the Lowrance units.

Edited by briansnat
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In order of reception ability.


Newer models over older models.


Quad Helix over Patch.


External Antaneas are best overall and give more of a boost than upgrading your GPS to a Quad Helix.

What he said.


If reception is the priority then an external boosted antenae is what you want. So you'd want to upgrade to a unit with an external antenae connection on it if yours doesn't have one.

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I bought a Garmin GPS 60 a couple of weeks ago. While in my location trees are not a big problem we have a few areas where tree cover can be tough. I believe that this unit gives me good reception without a lot of extras (no mapping, electronic compass, no color, or altimeter), but I have a 60CS for that. The price on this unit is pretty reasonable at about $150.

I have been using the Vista, Legend, and a couple of Gekos for a few years and I like them all. I really do prefer the reception I get with the GPS 60. It seems to work well in any situation I have been in to this point. Another plus is the ability to add an external antenna for about $20 if needed. I use one on mine just as an experiment once in a while. While this greatly improves reception I really don’t like the extra wires hanging around to be caught on everything around me. This may sound like a sales pitch for Garmin but I am really just a very satisfied customer. I think for just a basic GPS the GPS 60 has a lot of value for the cost.

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