View Full Version : Looking for 1st GPS
Russ in CNY
08-20-2001, 09:55 PM
I am looking for my first GPS. I am looking at the Garmin etrex series. Does anyone have one of them? I'm not sure which of the different models I might get. Any pros/cons?
I've heard good things about the ETrex series, but don't have one. I looked at one when I bought mine and it seemed like the slightest little jolt would break it in 2. I opted for the Magellan GPS 310 instead. It is very user friendly and, once it's set up properly, works like a charm. It's the least expensive Magellan and only holds 100 waypoints and 1 10-part reversible route, but it's all I really need. You may need a little more than that, so go with what will work for you, but I like the Magellan line of GPSs. Just MHO.
I do not have an ETrex but have an older Garmin GPS 38 which is a 8 channel receiver as opposed to the newer 12 channel units. After about 5 years of heavy use in some bad conditions, it still functions as new. I understand the ETrex is a good unit though it does seem a bit feeble. I have done a good bit of research on the GPS's available and have come to the conclusion that Garmin is still the leader. The Magellen's are good also and at one time a number of years ago, had better signal capture then some of the early Garmins. I don't believe that to be the case any longer though.
I use my GPS 38 for hiking/hunting/and other misc. uses with my job. I also own and use a Garmin GPS195 in the aircraft I fly (ALOT more dollars):eek: . It has moving map technology and a huge database on board. It does all kinds of navigational and performance calculations in flight. I have also been exposed to the newer panel mount systems in aircraft. Garmin is the leader in aviation GPS technology where most of the GPS money is being dumped. The technology is shared on the ground.
I am considering a new handheld and am leaning towards the GPS III Plus. A bit more dollars, but a bit more technology. Garmin also offers very good update support and is readily available. The same goes for software compatibility.
Hope this helps some! :D
08-21-2001, 11:14 AM
Welcome to Hunt Chat!
Magellan and Garmin both make fine units. The E-trex seems to be a very good value for a personal GPS. I have the Garmin GPS III+ and I really love it. I use it all the time for scouting, hunting, travelling, etc. My unit seems to be fairly rugged and is supposed to be water-resistant but I'm careful with it so I hope I never have to find out!
08-21-2001, 04:40 PM
Just bought an Eagle Explorer. Am trying to develops the smarts to understand what it is doing.
Will let You know If I ever figure it out.
The Etrex and Others mentoined are more compact(easy to carry). I bought a Cutomer Return at a price I could not pass up. And wanted one to play with so I would know how to sell them. Besides I tend to wander off the beaten path and wondered what one would do that my Compass won`t.
08-27-2001, 03:28 AM
I bought the basic E-trex recently & am very pleased with it. I work offshore & have access to some very top line (& top price) navigation equipment including differential GPS.
Standing on the helideck of the drill rig that I work on I was able to get fantastic accuracy & more importantly repeatability. It's all down to how many satellites one can receive. Of course a helideck 100 ft ASL in the middle of the North Sea is not representative of normal locations when out hunting, but gives a good indication of what's possible.
Regarding durability, I bought the Garmin soft case. But one could always use a more rugged case such as cordura.
All the best Stewart
Glad to have you on Stewh.
Isn't GPS amazing? It makes no difference where one is on the earth, it will tell you in a matter of seconds! The U.S. DoD has this figured out pretty well and has placed 24 satellites in geosyncronous orbit around the globe. There is virtually no escaping thier view short of being in a cave or deep canyon perhaps. All you need is 4 to lock on to and you'll have 3D navigation, Lat/Lon/Alt. 3 will do the job for 2 dimensional nav, Lat/Lon only. Now that DoD has turned off SA (Selective Availability) this past year, even the cheesiest of handhelds will give posititions with a few yards of acurracy.
09-01-2001, 08:58 AM
I've been using a Garmin 12 since 1998, nearly three years now. Ive sued it for both hunting and backpacking. Works great. Just eremember you still need the compass and a topo map!
I've seen and handled the E-trex. They are nice units and seem to have the functionality of their larger bretheren. They work on less batteries, too -- which is a plus on a multi-day trip. There must be some trade-offs between, say, the E-trex and the GPS-12, but I do not know what they are. Since I'm not shopping for a replacement, I've not done any serious comparisons.
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