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What Kind Of Gps Do You Use And Why.?

The Newfie

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I use a Garmin Legend. I had the littla yella before I upgraded. I use the legend because it is affordable, has WAAS, has maps and capability to d/l maps from MapSource, can hold 1000 waypoints (seriously, who lookes for 1000 caches a day?? ha)...and its a Garmin. I like the size/feel of the Garmin eTrex line better than other Garmins/Magellens.

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WAAS consumes battery about 25% faster

I'm sure if you don't like the battery consumtion of the WAAS in the Legend you know you can simply turn it off. I don't consider WAAS a 'con', BTW, I wouldn't want a GPS without it. The Legend is the lowest cost Garmin with WAAS.


Many folks have recommended the Garmin etrex Vista, but I'd say it is overkill for the money. I have a Legend (available used on eBay for a touch over $100) and the only differences between that and the Vista are that the Vista has the electronic compass, the barometer, and 3x the memory for maps. You have to decide if those extras are worth the price. (To those who are screaming out "but the Legend has half the waypoints of the Vista!" you need to upgrade your software.)


Those who have recommended carrying a compass are right on the mark with that. Even if you chose a unit with an electronic compass you'd do well to have the 'low-tech' compass in hand when the messsage "Lost Sattelite Reception" appears. :huh: I use my compass and GPSr, one in each hand, when I'm trying to find a precise spot. It works very well for me.

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Ok, I will throw my two cents in at this point. Understand, I am a bit of a techie, but my tool of choice is a Dell Axim Pocket PC with a Pharos CF GPS and Memory-Map Navigator software. It does everything I could ask of it. The maps are much better than anything you will get on a GPS and I can use it like a map library. Instead of carrying dozens of topo maps with me, I can put them all on an SD card and look them over as needed. (NOTE: Having a paper map backup is ALWAYS recommended, but I can have one map and it doesn't require the detail I would need for caching.)


For the record, I also have Garmin, Magellan and Lowrance handheld models as I use them for work. And, I always carry one for backup to the PDA. :laughing:

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I use a Garmin iQue 3600, which I absolutely love. It is an integrated GPSr/Palm/Mp3 player. It does auto-routing, with audible turning directions, to get me to the vicinity of the cache. I have a 512MB SD card in it. I have 1:24000 topo maps on it, which I can switch to once I head out on foot. I do, of course, also carry a compass and USGS quad maps if I am in the back country.


I use Cachemate for paperless caching, and have some Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton loaded up to keep me company. If the mood strikes me, I can record voice notes while at the cache, rather than type notes into the Cachemate log. I use a Gilsson external antenna, and have a padded waterproof case with a neck lanyard to protect my baby. I also use an external battery pack to recharge it, which uses rechargeable AA batteries. Not the most common setup, but it works for me. Now if only I didn't have to carry a separate camera, I'd be golden!

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Even if you chose a unit with an electronic compass you'd do well to have the 'low-tech' compass in hand when the messsage "Lost Sattelite Reception" appears. 


This point's implication is not correct. The Vista's on-board electronic compass continues to provide the compass rose even when you lose the satellite. So you will know the direction you're travelling just like any other magnetic compass.


WHile it's a good idea to have a regular compass for backup in case the Vista batteries fail and you forgot to take spares or failure of the Vista itself (something that's never happened to me), you don't need it otherwise if you have a Vista.

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My collection has grown over the past years. I have had an Etrex for about 5 years or so. I used it mainly when I would go hunting, marking stands/trails. I got into geocaching last fall and found several caches with it. It was a pain entering the waypoints but it got the job done. I also have a GPS72 it is WAAS enabled, large screen and somewhat easier to use. Just recently picked up a GPS60 (and promptly destroyed it - waiting for the repair/return). Lots of nice features and it is very easy to use, easy to connect to the CPU to upload and download tracks & waypoints, plus it is a lot cheaper that the other 60 models. Being an impulse cacher I provide my own autorouting and I can see where I am at (so I don't need the maps), all the extra features are nice but I don't need them.

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I had an e-trex basic (yellow). Have upgraded to the legend and am very happy with that. I have not had any other units to compare with, but have geocached and other outdoor activities with others that have had different units and found that the legend is just right for me, with out all the bells and whistles (for what I need it for). It is light and is very user freindly.

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Ours is a Garmin 12XL. We have it because 6 years ago, my hubby got it as a service award from his work. At first, it was just a new toy that we took on road trips to the city, using it to keep track of our mileage, and speed. But now we are geocachers. I have one problem with it, though. Sometimes it points you in the opposite direction to the cache waypoint, so I use the distance to waypoint feature then. If it keeps counting down, then I'm okay. ( I know, that was sorta...duh) but you see what I mean?

I too, would like that one that fastens on your wrist like a watch...much smaller and lighter. I often use the 12XL with a lanyard around my neck so I won't drop it!

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I'm new to the game and wanted a unit with unlimited memory and external antenna capability and larger display.


I bought a Magellan Meridian Color and Mapsend DirectRoute Software.


It came from Magellan as an "ON/OFF ROAD Navigation Pack" with cables, software, 64meg SD memory card, vehicle mounting bracket.

Paid $375.00


Also bought external Antenna to use in my Truck with Camper on it.

Seems to work OK without external antenna.





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I originally got the little yellow etrex for a Christmas gift for use when fishing. I discovered geocaching doing online searches and the rest is history.


After over 500 finds the yellow began going crazy on me - "jumping (not drifting)" around 50-100 ft while standing still - not good when there's lots of hidding places for the cache. By then I figured I was into geocaching for the long haul and after some research purchased the GPSMAP60CS just a few months ago.


I really like it. Finds come easier. The screen is very easy to see. Batteries last a good while. I am a little disappointed with the compass feature. The "arrow" is "broken" a lot. Several times it points South - not North. I've played with the various settings adjusting when the movement compass stops and the built-in compass takes over. A fresh calibrate will usually get me in the right direction but it doesn't last long in most cases. I do carry a "real" compass when in the forest.


One thing that I miss (or perhaps just haven't figured out) is that on the etrex I could display a window of the nearest caches and the list would change in real time as I traveled down the road. With the 60CS the list doesn't change although the mileages next to each cache on the list will show the change.


Still, I'm very happy with the unit.

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The Legend is the lowest cost Garmin with WAAS.

May have been true a while ago, but not now. I got an etrex (the Camo) about 2 months ago. I believe this is the latest version and it also does WAAS. It's advertised as such, and has an option in the menus to turn it on or off.


No good to us in the UK though as WAAS only works in the US as far as I know, so mine is left turned off. The GPS still seems very accurate even without it.

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soe thing that will sit on my Handle Bars Of my Mountain Bike..

Just a thought - I'm a mountain biker and I'm not sure what trails you are riding, but I seriously doubt I would ever need to look at a GPS on my handlebars while riding. No matter how good that mount is, your likely to break it or scrape up the screen. Whenever we've used a GPS on our rides, it was either because we were going into unmapped areas and might need it in an emergency or because we wanted to map the trails. In all cases we just put it into our camelbak and stayed locked like a champ.


Is your goal to mainly use it to map what your riding or to see where your going? Just wondering, cause while I think mounting a GPS to the handlebars is a cool idea, I just don't think it's all that practical for true technical trails.


Again, I don't know you as a rider or the type of trails your riding, so I'm just speaking on my experience.



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Just purchased my first GPS last week. Garmin Vista. Holds 1000 waypoints (currently have 12) and very compact. Electronic compass is very handy.


It does all that I thought it would, the only thing I might like in addition, might be some maps





I like the feature where you can find fast food along interstates with it. <_<

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I use a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS. Why? Because I wanted it all. You hear me? ALL!!! YEAH!!!! THAT'S THE TICKET!!!!!!!!!!!


I got a really good deal for a brand new, in the box, unit from eBay and went wild. I also bought a RAM suction windshield mount, a cigarette lighter power plug, an external antenna, and CitySelect v7.0. Then I added an invisibleSHIELD to protect the screen. Yep. I wanted it all. <_<


NOTE: I love this thing. It totally rocks.

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I use a Mobile Crossing Waypoint 200 because I like having a PDA too! It's nice to always have my GPS tucked into my purse :anitongue:


Favorite features?

Long battery life between charges


Dial on the side for zooming in and out quickly

One-touch buttons for adding favorite spots, reroutes etc.

Vehicle navigation saves so much stress when going to new places!



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I have 2 GPSr's.

The omnipresent yellow Etrex and an Etrex Venture.

I got them both used (very little, tho) and that means cheap.

They both work very well....the Venture is a newer unit and seems to be a bit more accurate and faster. WAAS is off...2 WAAS birds is a waste of time and batteries.


So there you have it. Cheap, reliable, and they work.


We have found several caches that others didn't....or found them faster...when the others were using the higher dollar models.


Here's a good test. I handed mine to my 9 tr. old and said tell us which way to go....in the dark. She directed to w/ in 6 feet. And if she had dropped/lost it....cheaper to replace.




btw-GPSr's w/ maps? C'mon.....a 1"x2" is waaaay too small.

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Am I the only one here using a Garmin Geko 201?


I got it initially with the intention of hooking it up to my PDA for street navigation with the secondary intention of maybe trying out that Geocaching thing I'd been hearing about.


I got it on sale for $100, locally. I like the compact size. It takes 2 AAA batteries. I use rechargables and it will run about 8 hours on a freshly charged set, in WAAS mode, or almost 12 in batt save, mode. Thats a lot longer than I run on a fresh charge. (:

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In 2001, I started with a Magellan 315. I didn't want to spend too much money before knowing whether I would like caching and I really did not do much research. About a year later, I upgraded to a Magellan Map330. Sams had a package deal to get the Map330, mapping software, and the pc/cigarette lighter plug all for $200. It still fits my needs perfectly. Especially since I now have a copy of magellans topo software.


However, if I were to buy new today and stay on the low cost of things, I would probably get a Garmin Legend which can be found online brand new for about $135. Or, if I could convince myself (ok, my wife :D ) to spend the extra money, I would get the Garmin V package which normally retails around $225. It includes the complete package...mapping software, pc cord, etc. Even though I have kind of big hands, the new Magellans are just too big for my taste. Also, in regards to paying for color models, I can't see the benefit of spending another $100+ just to get a color screen. The additional features that come with them would go unused by me. I also don't do much travel so the SD cards would be a nice to have and not a gotta have.

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I own three GPSr. All Garmins.


1) GPS II Plus. My first GPSr. I have found a lot of caches with this unit.


2) About 8 or 9 months ago I bought and Garmin GPS V. I got it for the better navigation display and mapping. I have Map Source City Select loaded and use it mostly in the truck to get directions to the next cache.


3) I just purchased a Garmin eTrax Vista about two weeks ago. I got it because it will hold 1000 waypoints, it's small, light, easy to use in the field, and has a very good electronic compass. I have Map Source Topo lloaded which helps when your in an unfamiliar area.

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I just got talked into geocaching from my wifes aunt and uncle so I went out and bought a GPS. Purchased it online and haven't even recieved it yet. Kinda wish I would've checked here first before purchasing, but here's what I got. It's the Magellan eXplorist 400 model. Picked it up for $200 new. A buddy of mine at work has the full map disc for the US that he paid $100 for. He said I can use it. I hope I didn't make a mistake buying this model. I haven't seen anyone's post about an eXplorist 400. A lot of Garmin's though. I guess I can update after I get it and play around for awhile, but hopefully it will do OK for me. Btw, I'm new to the forum, so hello to all!!!!




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I use a little more of a lesser known GPS, a Lowrance iFinder. Comes with a built in map thats fairly accurate, also if you pitch in a little extra money you can get mapping software for your computer. The GPS comes with a 16mb memory card. I tend to get good reception with it. The only problem is that it's not waterproof at all but it does come with a waterproof aqua bag.

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Garmin Legend. Why....because I needed something that was simple to understand. Everyone said either the etrex yellow or the legend. I went with the legend because I liked the idea of being able to put more maps on it, if I chose to. It does have a pc connection (serial) and well, it's blue and I can't stand yellow.


I've had it for a month and I love it! :anitongue:

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Use 2 Garmin Legends. We got these because they are a cool color, one was really cheap and the other was even cheaper.

Made a couple of car power supplies out of old cellphone supplies, easy enough and like the way they operate. Would like to have more internal memory in the Legends but I guess you cant have everything.

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Made a couple of car power supplies out of old cellphone supplies, easy enough and like the way they operate.

What power supply works with the legend? Did you have to modify the phone power supplies for this or are the ready to go off the shelf? Any more info on this would be greatly appreciated.

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I've got a Garmin GPS MAP 60c in my arsenal. I picked it as it has a large flash drive on it for downloading maps. I also liked the geocaching mode included with the package. I would have gone with the 60cs but when I had to choice between a barometer and compass or 10 hours more of battery life, the battery life won! I always have a great signal on it, in all types of weather/cover. I havn't had any complaints about it.

Edited by Scout353
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I'm using a Lowrance iFinder H2O. Reasons: First, I work about 3 blocks from Lowrance Electronics. It's nice to be able to run up the road for any accessories I need :drama: Second, this is my second Lowrance (I've also had Magellan and Garmin units) and it gets the best reception I've experienced. Third, they recently cut the price by $60 from $229 to $169. Fourth, It's waterproof. Fifth, I love the large display. Sixth, it comes with a cigarette adapter so I'm not out extra expense for that. Seventh, the two AA bateries last a long time (12 hours). Eighth, I love the white backlight...very easy to read at night. Ninth, I love the expandable memory (up to 512mb). I have a 64mb card now and it holds detailed maps for all of Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and parts of Arkansas.


My previous unit was a Magellan Sportstrak and it was a great unit as well. Prior to that I had a Lowrance GlobalMap 100 and it was good too. My first was a yellow Garmin and the only complaint I had with it was reception.


I've yet to own any GPS that I didn't like. They all seem to have their pluses and minuses but they all serve their purpose well. :mmraspberry:

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I'm using a Lowrance ... Reasons: First, ... Second, ... Third, ... Fourth, ... Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, ... Eighth, ... Ninth, ...

That says enough right there. You can never have too many reasons to like a Lowrance.


I've got an AirMap 500. It is basically an I-Finder Pro with an Aviation mode. I use it for flying, Geocaching, and driving. I've also used it for Kayaking, ATV riding, hiking, hunting, do-it-yourself surveying, and for occupying myself while in waiting rooms. (Who needs a gameboy.)

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I just purchased the Garmin 76C with 115 mb of memory and am happy with it so far. I was originally going to buy the Garmin V but a friend told me I would be dissatisfied with only 15 mb of memory and that color is nicer. Personally I think the V would have had enough memory for me but I went with more megs anyway. I purchased the 76C rather than the 60C because I preferred the keypad on top of the screen while my son likes the fit of the 60C and keypad below the screen better. Its a matter of personal preference but I think $35 extra for more memory on the 76C is also a plus. I have an old Garmin 12 which my daughter has claimed and it is just as accurate as both my 76C and my son's 60C but the processor is very slow compared to the new models. It is also much nicer hooking up to the computer to input waypoints rather than doing them manually. Enjoy the search.

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I use Magellan's SportTrak Color. Did a lot of research when I decided to buy a GPS and picked this one because of it's awesome antenna. It's gotten signal in places where my friend's Garmin didn't. What I don't like is the buttons and that it does not have some of the features I like on Garmin's GPSMAP 60CS. But, it's a great little buddy when I geocache. :P

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Garmin Map76 with the cable and car plug thing. Mapsource and Topo maps. It works fine for me but took a little time (trial and error as I don't normally read directions :) )


In hindsight I really should have "read the book".


What do you think it is worth now?


(I purchased it from Cabelas)

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I guess my puppy and I are as new to this game as anyone could be and I'm looking at a Garmin Etrex Legend C, simply because I have enough rebates and reward points at a particular store to get it for free. I've seen 2 posts in this topic from people who have them. Haven't seen any con's about them. Are there any con's I might need to know about before I waste my bonus bucks?

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Etrex Legend... Mainly because I got it for an ungodly cheap amount brand new... :huh:


I was thinking about getting the Vista, but I realized that I didn't need the barometric altimeter (planes are pressurized and I live in an area mostly at sea level) and the electronic compass (I have my trusty Boy Scout compass)...

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