View Full Version : basic GPS Choice ?
01-17-2003, 02:13 AM
I'am brand new in GPS world and I'd like to buy a basic one. I'll use it for hiking, biking in mountain, forest and by the way I don't need a MAP device because here not any detailed map are available to be loaded on gps devices.
I've seen :
Magellan Sportrak (basic yellow one)
Garmin e-treX (basic yellow one)
Garmin Geko 201 (new)
Does anybody have advices to give me of choosing in term of utilization, detection sensitivity (in forest), functionalities...
Thanks fo your help http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-chainsaw-left.gif
01-17-2003, 05:52 AM
My needs about matched yours, altho I wanted the maps, I didn't want to pay for the feature and altho I wanted an electronic, built-in compass, I did't want to pay for that either so I decided on the Etrex Venture ($170) (but it's not any easy decision to make)
The Venture has a rather large screen but the unit is so small and light, it can almost be fastened to your hat so it can be left on and track your movements http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-chainsaw-left.gif The text is rather small but very sharp and it has a "joy stick" that you use similiar to a mouse. A feature I like is it changes from miles to yards to feet the closer you get to the destination. The sensitivity is ok for me in the woods but the patch antenna is not as sensitive as other types and I've read some complaints about it.
I like it but now I wish I would have got it's big brother, the Etrex Legend, which is basically the same unit but has maps. (but another hundred dollars) http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-chainsaw-left.gif
01-17-2003, 06:02 AM
With the way prices have come down, I think you are better off getting a mapping unit that you can load maps on. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "I don't need a MAP device because here not any detailed map are available to be loaded on gps devices" as both Garmin and Magellan have fairly decent topo maps that can be loaded on their units. I played around with both, and I found that at least for my area (U.P. of Michigan), the Garmin maps provided more detail and topo features than Magellan, both both are much better than the base maps that are pre-loaded on the units, and both give enough detail to give you an idea of what is going on with the topography.
I played around with a Magellan Meridian green, and an etrex Legend. I ended up going with the Legend due to the better maps, but the Meridian was able to lock on multiple satellites while in my house, while the Legend wouldn't. The Meridian is going for $129 from outpost.som, and for that price it is tough to beat. When Garmin had the rebate program going for the Holidays, the Legend ended up being around the same price. Rumor has it that Garmin will be offering another rebate period starting in February.
01-21-2003, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by bersh@Jan 17 2003, 06:02 AM
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "I don't need a MAP device because here not any detailed map are available to be loaded on gps devices" as both Garmin and Magellan have fairly decent topo maps that can be loaded on their units.
Bersh, There is no at this moment any 1/25000 topo map available neither for garmin, nor Magellan for France (it is where I'am !) and by the way my first idea is to say <<no map, no GPS mapping required>>.
Nevertheless I read that with GPSTackMaker and GPSMap freeware, you could scan/import your own map, convert to garmin format and load it into device ... cool, but I don't know in practice if it is easy to do, I don't know anybody doing that.
About Brand choice : I have a friend using e-trex with compass and altimeter, it seems to work correctly, nevertheless it loose satellite as soon as you are close to big building, it is ok in the countryside. In some discussion, I've heard people complaining about e-trex detection and sensitivity in limit environment (buildings, forest, cliffs) while magellan seems as you say to be more sensitive.
On an other hand, Magellan seems to have problems of reliability while utilization ... but I don't know why and in which cases ??? Is it due to the fact that in France WAAS (EGNOS here) is not yet activated and that Magellan Sportrak try to lock on ??? (fnt can't be disabled on this device ...) or other pb ???
Finally, I aggree with Tinhorn, mapping devices are very expensive regarding the outdoor usage that can be done with ... and it is difficult to find a reliable/sensitive/with-all-functions-required receiver !
01-22-2003, 08:04 AM
A few of us tested some GPS units side by side here at work for sensitivity. Meridian series is much better than Sportrak series. It locks on quicker and holds signal INSIDE the building. Etrex and Magellan Sportrak could not. All my co-workers were glad that we were able to do some testing. It is a shame that we have to do our own testing and you can't even find a working display model in a store. Fry's had the Meridian on sale for $99 right before Christmas and a couple of guys got them. I think they have it for $139 now.
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