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Any reason not to get a Vista?


LisaAS36
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I've been lurking off & on for most of the year and have decided it's time to get myself a GPS unit. I do want a mapping unit and plan on at least trying geocaching, will also use the unit for our scout troop - training and general use. From what I can tell it looks like the Vista will suit my needs and budget (~$300-350). Is there another unit I'm overlooking that I should consider? For no real reason, I've only been looking at the Garmin brands - probably just so I don't get overwhelmed. Amazon has the unit for $330-$50r. Are there better/cheaper safe places to purchase from?

 

Thanks -

Lisa

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The only drawback I know about, regarding the Vista (and the eTrex series in general), is that the patch antenna isn't as sensitive and forgiving regarding how you hold the unit as the GPS units with a quad helix antenna are.

 

Garmin has the GPSMAP 76S, which is almost identical to the Vista, but larger and with a quad helix antenna.

 

I use a Vista myself, and think it works good, but you can't expect it to keep satellite lock in the forest, unless you keep it level in front of yourself most of the time.

 

Anders

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Here is some information on the Lowrance Global Map 100 GPS'r. They have added some better base mapping and bumped up the price a bit. I got mine retail for $110 about a year ago. It still is the only waterproof GPS with built in mapping for under $200

 

I also have the blue Garmin (Legand?) and have since given it to my brother. I used both units side by side and the Lowrance far outperformed the Garmin. It does not lose reception except under VERY heavy canopy. Mine will keep reception while sticking out of my back pocket when walking through the woods or just holding it normally at my side. Also, that joystick button thingy on the Garmin was annoying to me. I did like the Sun and Moon information features on the Garmin but when it can't get reception half of the time, what good was it. The waypoint list organization and icons on the Garmin were better than the Lowrance as well.

 

I also use the Lowrance units for work where we work in the woods and use coordinates all the time. Its biggest drawback is that it is a larger more heavier unit than the Garmin. If you don't cache under canopy, both units would be fine.

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

 

Smoochnme

 

goldfish.gif

"The trail will be long and full of frustrations. Life is a whole and good and evil must be accepted together"

 

Ralph Abele

 

[This message was edited by smoochnme on October 07, 2002 at 08:38 AM.]

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I have the Legend and like it a lot. The Vista is a souped up Legend with more memory and a magnetic compass. There only downside is that there are some issues with reception under heavy leaf coverage. Some time ago I was placing a cache with another Geocacher who had the Garmin Map76.He seemed to get a better sat lock than I did when under a thick leaf canopy. But I think the Vista's small size and durability is a definite advantage over the Map 76. Also the Vista's "clic stick" makes navigating the units screens a breeze.

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quote:
Because Magellan Makes the Meridian Platinum With electronic compass to help teach Orienteering without the whole scout troop having to move around to get the Vista compass to work.

 

The Vista also has an electronic compass. You may be confusing it with the Legend or Venture which do not have this feature.

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

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The Vista is my overall favorite hand held unit that's available right now. I bought one for my girlfriend, and find it hard not to go out and buy myself one as well, even though I have enough receivers and don't really need it. Personally I find the 76 series and Meridians to big for hiking, which is my primary GPS usage, with geocaching being a sometimes diversion.

 

A lot depends on how or where you'll be using your receiver, and what your personality/quirks are. I have both a Legend, and a sportrak map, and so far prefer the Legend most of the time. In tree filled deep canyons, and the high cliff deep canyons of southern Utah, I find the Legend generally records more accurate tracks, and is more useful at accurate guidance while on the move. In flatter terrain with dense, tall tree cover, I sometimes find it to be the Sportrak that works a little better and gives me more useful information. The eTrex is slightly more fussy about position, and you often have to tilt it around slightly to get good reception. The Sportrak is a little less fussy, but it's still a lot more finnicky than my GIII+.

 

Type of terrain, satellite configuration on that day, type and moisture content of trees, and many other factors will make a big difference on reception, and will sometimes affect different receivers in different ways. It's hard to say what will work best for you under the conditions you encounter most of the time, so consider my advice based on the rocky mountain west area, although I do get out to the New England states on occasion.

 

For what it's worth

 

Jeff

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As a quick side note, last time I checked, if you go to http://www.gpsdiscount.com/ and click the purchase button to get the real sell price (Garmin sets a minumum price retailers can advertise), you'll find the you can get a vista for about $285 delivered. I had a workmate who ordered a receiver from them without any trouble. Garmin also has a $50.00 rebate coupon on their website good I believe until the end of Dec. Another good place to go is http://www.joe.mehaffey.com/ They have a list of retailers on there webpage which is well worth checking out in my opinion.

 

Good luck

 

Jeff

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

"...It still is the only waterproof GPS with built in mapping for under $200"

 

Not true. The Magellan SporTrak Map can be had for $170.

 

CR


 

Is that a new unit?

 

Smoochnme

 

goldfish.gif

"The trail will be long and full of frustrations. Life is a whole and good and evil must be accepted together"

 

Ralph Abele

 

[This message was edited by smoochnme on October 07, 2002 at 12:30 PM.]

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(Yup, that's a new unit.)

 

The best reason not to buy a Vista is the availability of the Meridian Platinum for only $245 at ShopHarmony.com

 

Don't forget the software, too. You have to buy an additional unlock code if you want to use more than one area of a map in Garmin's City Select or City Navigator software. So if you plan to use those, expect to shell out more money for additional unlock codes.

 

You might want to do a search in the GPS Units forum for more information.

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The Vista comes with map detail on the scale of a state road map. If you want detail street info or topo maps, you have to buy these additionally. The same is true for other GPS's by Garmin, Magellan, etc. You can look at Garmin's various maps on their website garmin.com

Good luck.

 

Alan

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I just got mine last week... had a Summit, and a 45XL (and a few others prior to that). I love the Vista. It has quite a few features. Like all Garmins (and most others I believe), you can download all the specs and manuals at their respective web sites.

 

I found mine to be very responsive in dense coverage (went bambi hunting last weekend, but mostly just played with my Vista).

 

I found it for $287, plus there is a $50 rebate from Garmin if you get it before the end of the year. Overall, it was approx. $250 total to my door, about $100 less than Wallyworld.

 

If you are interested in the site where I got it, email me and I will send you the details... oh, and this "etailer" sells tax free too.

 

[This message was edited by PrdAmrican on October 08, 2002 at 07:35 AM.]

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There are no land map products that require unlock codes for the Vista. While you can download CitySelect maps to it, it doesn't add any functionality that MetroGuide doesn't give. MG doesn't have any unlock codes.

 

The Vista will not autoroute anyway, so using maps that has that feature doesn't add anything extra. If you already have CitySelect, for example, it's possible to obtain a second set of unlock codes to use that with one more GPS receiver, assuming you haven't already done that, of course.

 

Anders

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