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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having a conversation with some of the guys I hang around with about GPS receivers...

We are wanting to know about things like,

Water proof?
One touch logging of way points?
Maps and diagrams of routes?
Do you have to buy downloads or 'Modules'?
Do you have one that has the 'Subscription Fees?


We would also like to know...
Who has what brands,
How easy are they to use,
& what did you have to pay for them? (ball park figure)
What do you like or dislike about your current model.

If you have one now, and you could trade it in for a new one, which one would you get and why?
 

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I'd like to know too!!!!!

Garmin E-Trex Legend --- POS - I threw it across the yard I was so frustrated - dead!

Magellan Explorist - not much better - complicated - haven't thrown it across the yard -- yet - probably will soon.

Someone needs to make one that's simple and straightforward - with non-computer terms.

If you don't use it everyday, you forget how. I usually don't even bother with it anymore.

The map software for most of them - see it before buying it. Most are just stuff like National Parks and inner cities, not relevant to what we do.

I'm not going to carry a laptop around, a good old fashioned compass and quad map is far superior to any I've seen -- yet.

Hopefully someone has found one that's actually usable?
 

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Aaron to me a gps unit is still just something to play with, a toy. But I can tell you it's fun as hell. I have an old Magellan 315 that I can connect to my laptop with either free topo software or Delorme Street Atlas for when I'm on the road. It's not bad but from what I hear a dedicated unit works better.
 

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Aaron,

Just bought one of these:



It seems to work real well (Haven't taken it 4 wheeling though). It can attach to the dash, if you want to go out on a lake it wears on your wrist, has 8hrs on regular AA and doesn't forget when you change batteries. It does not have a map, though has a nice breadcrumb feature to show all turns and waypoints automatically (No pressing a button at a turn!), tracks back, and it cheap enough to have as a second, emergency GPS when you find the model you really want. Oh, and it is waterproof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've always been a 'Map & Compass' guy, but the debate rages around here, and I'm willing to take up anything new that can make my life a little easier...

(I don't know how much easier it could get and not have someone breathing for me...)

Just wanted to know what everyone had and what they could do with it without a New York City phone book size instruction book...
 

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Oh did I mention it has a speedometer JYG? So when you are running though the forest, it can track how fast you are going /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

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I'm no hardcore GPS'er for sure, but it's a neat thing. I've got a Garmin E-trex - I think it's a 'Vista'. Jeepchick got it for me for Christmas, so I don't know the cost. Was in the $300 range or thereabouts I think.

I can't deal with using it 'on the road' it's just too small. A good map is better for me. Once at the trail head though, the GPS is great for marking lefts/rights/etc. - for the scale smaller than the map. Can find your way around in the woods with it pretty well. Once back on main roads, I put it away and go back to the map.

It's great for hiking though - can hit the waypoints easily, and mark the route. We used it last year in Maine to go hiking. Went up a mountain, and found our way back down the same route. I liked the elevation readings on the top of the mountains.

I'm sure I'm not using all the features, and probably not even using them the right way, but for what I know how to do with it, it seems to work ok.

Pete
 

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i don't own a gps
but i am a gaget guy
a friend of mine took his gps hooked to his laptop puter
out west and he said the 2 hooked together were awesome
just don't drop the laptop in the mud eeewww
 

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i have a garmin gpsIII plus. it works great, but its 2 drawbacks are limited (8meg) memory and small display. other than those 2 'problems' its fantastic. has map capability, gives altitude info but i dont think there is a handheld unit out there that displays topo info independant of puter mapping software.

its water resistant, single hand controllable, interface-able with my puter. its an older unit, about 4+ years old, and this particular case format is up to Vplus (5plus).

if you want the same basic features as the III+ with a larger display, the gps 76map is the way to go. a little bit larger than the V+ and etrex case formats, but it does have a large display.

the garmin mapping software isnt tops of top of the line, but it does work and works well with the garmin units. i have mapsource us roads and rec, and, mapsource topo and both work very well and i can switch from one to the other seamlessly. save waypoints, create routes, plot my tracks on mapsource and print them. they do get updated quite often with an interface download from within mapsource. updates are free.

i've tried the delorme topo and i just didnt like it.

i like the garmin units.

if you are deadset on getting one thats marine grade waterproof, the lowrance units are about the best. magellan and garmin make some too.

it all depends on what features you want in the unit. some go for as little as 75 dukats and others 500+. its all in what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Now we're getting good stuff! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I'm looking for something that is 'Waterproof'...
Some of you will never get your wet, but if I have something, it's going to get mud covered, left out in the rain and will have to ford what ever water hole I do.../ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif
It doesn't have to be water proof to 300 meters, but 3 feet would be nice!

I'm also pretty much set on a 'Shock Resistant' case.
I saw a sponge rubber 'Life Jacket' for cell phones and GPS units, and I though then it was a Marvelous idea for a klutz like me!/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

I think I need a cigarette lighter type adaptor/recharger also.
I'm not too hip on non rechargeable batteries...
It's the 'Tree Hugger' in me, plus I'm bright enough to know how toxic (and damned expensive) disposable batteries are...

Besides, I never have extra batteries when I need them.../ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
So vehicle recharge seems to be the way to go for me...
 

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I had a Garmin E-Trex Legend and liked it, I killed it accidentally (long story). I wouldn't buy another one. I just started shopping for a replacement. I noticed the prices are about half what they were when I bought the E-trex. The only one I have now is a Microsoft Streets and Trips USB GPS. It has a much better antenna than the garmin did and works great with all my mapping/plotting programs but taking the laptop along on outdoor adventures is usually not an option. Don't worry about getting one that's waterproof, just keep some good quality ziplock bags handy for use in wet conditions. Instant effective waterproofing for phones, wallets, GPS etc. And you don't have to take the phone or GPS out of the bag to use it.
 

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Ok, I can't say much about the new stuff except they EAT batteries!
I had an early model Magellan, no bells & whistes! (no maps, etc) just direction, away points and paths. I loved it but not water proof and it died walking home in the rain (zip lock bag didn't work well). So yes, you want water proof (resistant).
Wife & kids got me a Garmen next, gave it to my son. Just too complicated and carrying the instruction book around seemed to defeat the purpose. I was only using the MPH and compass functions. Now I'm back with a USGS map & compass.
Note: my son has no problems with it and likes it.

Someone (name escapes me now) is making a radio/GPS combo. If both parties have one, you recieve the transmitters location on your unit. Not cheap, eats batteries, not much detail (IMHO) in the maps. Local Sheriff & the Search&Rescue boys use them and like them.

Aren't some cell phone now equiped with GPS now? Does the GPS work when the cell can't get signal?

Lets us know what you decide on, good luck
 

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This is a little off the norm, so excuse me. If anyone wants a old junk laptop to use off-road, let me know. I am not sure what they have, and could only run '98. Not sure if they have power supplies/cd roms etc. And they are 133mhz though have speakers. PM me, covering shipping should suffice. They are small gateways, that are just underfoot.
 

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here's the link to the gps76map

http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap76/
dont let the price scare ya, these units can be had at some great bargains if you look carefully. boat us or boater's world or any of the major outdoor shops will have them at less than msrp.

i havent gone thru any of the info from these sites, but they may help quite a bit

http://gpsinformation.net/ or this one http://www.gpsnuts.com/

now, i dont condone software piracy, but....mapsource cd's are copy-able.

another good tip....copy the entire contents of the mapsource cd(s) into a folder and install from there....speeds up the access time to the database quite a bit as compared to seeking the info from the cd from the install path.

some of the garmin handheld units can be mounted in a car fixture and still others can be connected to an external (garmin) antenna. i know the III+ can along with using a car power cord. the car adapter cord doesnt recharge the batteries even if they are rechargables. i know it doesnt happen in the III+, other units may have that feature.

altho mine is hard mounted, it is still removable for use by itself.

color isnt important to me, so a grayscale display is much cheaper.

be aware of non-mapping units. they are nothing more than electronic compasses. with a gps unit, you must be in motion to be able to use the compass function.
 

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I looked at those last night, a flyer in my mailbox had them on sale for $199 ($100 off! it said)) I looked online and Amazon.com has them for $169 Free shipping. I can verify the tips Rock_Monkey gave are good and valid! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif The Mapsource program is pretty cool. You can just load the places you want in the GPS so's to not waste memory, the individual maps are pretty small files and detail is good.
 

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Check out "Field Test" in the August 2006 Field & Stream Magazine, page 81. Info on Etrex Venture Cx, Magellan eXplorist 600, Lowrance !Finder H20 C, Brunton Atlas MNS.
 

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ok, i stand corrected.

garmin does offer handheld gps units with topo displays. their **CXs series units are topo display capable.
 

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I've got an old Garmin GPS 3 (they now sell a 5+ which is the same but with more features). I'm not big on way points and such, I just use it to figure out where the heck I'm at and where I've been. It's great for off-road trails because it leaves a "bread cumb tracer" of your path. It's saved my bacon many times especially in Moab where trails are solid rock and you loose your way you could be vulture bait. It's never failed me. It's supposed to be waterproof, though I haven't verified this. My friend bought a factory reconditoned 5+ for something like $150 (looks like new).
 
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