View Full Version : Why Do You Like Your GPS?



WhereRWe?
06-29-2004, 07:29 PM
Can we start a thread on why you like your GPS. I've enjoyed my Garmin eTrex Legend, but it seems to be WAY off on the coordinates sometimes.

Anyone have one they really like, and want to say why?

Geochicks
06-29-2004, 07:50 PM
I have a little neon green GEKO 201. I like him because he is cute and no one else has one like him. :D

Bluegrass Gyrl
06-29-2004, 08:34 PM
I have a Legend too. It was my first GPS, so I don't have anything to compare it too. But...when I thought I'd lost it, I bought another just like it instead of upgrading or going Magellan (I found it when the snow melted after a big storm right outside my front door...it still worked!). I find the coords to be right on usually...EXCEPT when the batteries are weak, then it can be off by quite a bit.

Pooh and friends
06-29-2004, 08:52 PM
I have a Magellan Gold and like the larger screen. I dont have to squint so much :eek: I still dont like wearing my over 40 reading glasses while caching.

brdad
06-29-2004, 09:09 PM
I like my Yeller etrex, cause it puts up with my abuse. It's been on 2 ATV flips, underwater several times, flown off a car roof at 40 MPH, And dropped many many times. Yet it keeps on ticking.
And the number one reason I like it: It has found me 401 caches! Okay, actually only 400 because I found that one at Jenn's first event with no GPS or coords, but who's counting?

PS: Don't tell her I posted that here. ;)

Team Trout
06-30-2004, 08:13 AM
My first GPS was a Magellan Meridian GPS, one of the basic brown and green models. I still have it and absolutely love it. The coolest thing about it is the SD memory chip slot. I keep a 256MB SD card in it and can store a ton of detailed maps and waypoints on it. I got it for a song when I bought it very cheap on a web site special and got a rebate for it on top of that.

The problem I found with it when geocaching was that I constantly overshot the caches. Reading on the gc forums and other websites I learned it was being caused by Magellan's averaging process. It is refered to as the "rubberband" effect. I learned to live with it until one day when I delevoped GPS envy.

It happened one day when the kids and I were out doing the Adam's Bog cache. As usual I ended walking some 80-100 feet or more past the cache location before the Magellan's averaging caught up and pointed me back to the actual cache spot. As usual, we eventually found the cache.

Afterwards the kids wanted to climb on this huge rock in the area that the GPS lead us to before it rubberbanded. So while we are over there and they are playing on the rock I spot these two other folks walking in towards the cache looking at a GPS. They went right toward the cache area, no overshot at all! The kids finished conquering the rock and as we headed out we yelled over to the newcomers to say hello and introduce ourselves. It turned out to be Montana East and his daughter. They were right on top of the cache, bur were still searching, so we left them to continue their hunt and off we went.

Over the next few days it really started to bug me how their GPS had guided them right to the cache area and ours always had us overshooting and doubling back. I was convinced that Montana East must be using the latest and the greatest in GPS technology. So deciding enough was enough, I went out and researched a new GPS. I found that the new Garmin 60cs was available, fell in love with its features and finally ordered one, paying nearly 5 or 6 times what I paid for my Meridian. While waiting for it to arrive, I decided to email Montana East and see what kind of super-duper GPS machine he had.

He responded that he had the cheapest unit he could find at Wal-Mart, the Geko 101. :eek:

Now don't get me wrong, I love my 60cs. Its auto-routing is way cool and we've found it invaluable during trips to unfamiliar places. We no longer overshoot caches. But I kind of feel like a horse's rear for buying an expensive GPS when it was a Geko 101 that actually gave me GPS envy! :p

_mo_
06-30-2004, 08:35 AM
I've got a Garmin GPS III+ that I'm rather fond of.

Things I like:
It doesn't suck down the batteries too quickly.
It's pretty rugged - survived several thumps with the ground.
I like the detachable antenna, even though I don't have an external one to use in the car - maybe someday I'll roof mount one.
It was free - a gift from my brother.

Things I don't like:
1MB of memory doesnt' allow for too many extra maps
No setting for lithium batteries.

Geomaineiacs
06-30-2004, 09:12 AM
I really like the map feature on my Etrex. I have MapSource Roads and Rec and the level of detail is incredible. Even little obscure dirt roads show up on it. I do wish the screen was bigger and brighter, though.

_mo_
06-30-2004, 09:22 AM
I really like the map feature on my Etrex. I have MapSource Roads and Rec and the level of detail is incredible. Even little obscure dirt roads show up on it. I do wish the screen was bigger and brighter, though.

roads and rec is indeed good, but the topo maps leave a bit to be desired.

FindUFindME
06-30-2004, 11:34 AM
I've only used the position sending feature once -- a balloon at the Balloon Festival in Lewiston last summer kept in touch with their chase team on a set of Rinos :cool: -- but I use the GPS and the radios all the time. It's been very durable gets good reading quickly!

Haffy
06-30-2004, 07:29 PM
Well I have the Etrex Vista and love it. Well I have nothing else to compare it too but so far it hasnt failed me yet,except for a couple of no finds but that is probably my fault.I do have problems under really heavy cover but I think most GPS's have the same problem.I got mine on Ebay for over $100 under retail.So far so good. Is it really worth it to get Mapsource for it though? I wish I could see it on a Vista before I bought it .

The G Team
06-30-2004, 08:54 PM
Our first couple of finds were with the Magellan Trailblazer XL I bought (for over $500) back in the early nineties--a very frustrating device. Got the Geocaching bug and started shopping hard. Saw the Flying J online deal on Geocaching.com and bought two of the SporTrack Maps for $99 ea. plus a $30 rebate (would have got the Pro for $30 more but they were sold out). Sold the second unit on eBay for $129, so ended up with about $39.00 in my unit.

It is accurate, and pretty easy to use with a little practice and reading of the manual. The RAM is a little on the light side--I can fit about two thirds of the state topo from Mapsend, as well as 300+ cache waypoints downloaded from GSAK.

Coords are usually right on, though you can lose signal under heavy tree cover, which is to be expected, I guess.

Wouldn't hesitate to buy another Magellan, but if that Megabucks ticket pans out, a 60cs would be in the mail instantly :D

Geochicks
07-01-2004, 06:08 AM
I like my Yeller etrex, cause it puts up with my abuse. It's been on 2 ATV flips, underwater several times, flown off a car roof at 40 MPH, And dropped many many times. Yet it keeps on ticking.
And the number one reason I like it: It has found me 401 caches! Okay, actually only 400 because I found that one at Jenn's first event with no GPS or coords, but who's counting?

PS: Don't tell her I posted that here. ;)

And you didn't think for a second that I couldn't find it on my own?? Silly! :p

WhereRWe?
07-04-2004, 07:53 AM
I was interested in the comment on "rubber banding", which I think happens to me a lot, especially under heavy tree cover. Anyone else have this problem - A LOT - expecially those with an eTrex?

Team Trout
07-04-2004, 08:39 AM
I was interested in the comment on "rubber banding", which I think happens to me a lot, especially under heavy tree cover. Anyone else have this problem - A LOT - expecially those with an eTrex?

From what I've experienced and read, rubberbanding, boomeranging, the slingshot effect or whatever you want to call it is generally a problem seen with Magellans not Garmin units.

There is a thread discussing it on geocaching.com's forums here:

http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=43011

parmachenee
07-04-2004, 09:24 AM
I like my etrex vista because it has my picture on it!! :) :) Actually, it is very reliable and the MapSource software has been very helpful finding locations by streets or roads. Along with Delorme, I'm never lost despite what my wife says. :) But, I didn't get the deal Haffy6 got!! :(

WhereRWe?
04-20-2005, 06:44 PM
RULOST2? is tired of my complaining, and agrees with me that it's time for a new GPS. I've been strongly considering the Garmin eTrex Vista C (color).

Anyone have one? Any comments?

Haffy
04-20-2005, 07:06 PM
I havent thought of upgrading yet as the ol Vista is still ticking but I like the idea of auto routing that the new "C" has and also the color screen. You checked out the 60cs yet? And is there a store where they have all the lastest GPS's on display for trying out and getting a handle on one?

Mainiac1957
04-20-2005, 07:30 PM
I tried out the Map 60C again today. I turned it on and got satillite signal in about 3 minutes. Inside the store!!!! They were selling them for list which is 449.00 less a $50 rebate. I found them online for $311 after rebates. I am really tempted now. I like the way the e-trexes buttons function more than the Map 60C. But wow does that antenna make a huge difference.

Cache'n Jacksons
04-20-2005, 10:42 PM
We've got a Garmin GPS III and it's awesome. It would be nice to have the +(like Mo) to add our own maps, but the built-in roads are very nice to have. It's always been fairly accurate for us, and I love the sideways footprint that sits nice on my dashboard, rather than the typical handheld profile. 500 waypoints is plenty for my needs, and I can use EasyGPS to backup my waypoints and upload a new set if I'm going on a long-distance trip. I can even exchange waypoints with my PalmIII if I'm in a pinch. The only downside I've seen so far is that the memory is wiped out when you change the batteries, unless you're running on AC power.

Plus, like Mo, it was my favorite price: free! :)

lefty
04-21-2005, 06:02 AM
I just got my gpsmap 76cs. I love it.

WhereRWe?
04-21-2005, 06:43 AM
I havent thought of upgrading yet as the ol Vista is still ticking but I like the idea of auto routing that the new "C" has and also the color screen. You checked out the 60cs yet? And is there a store where they have all the lastest GPS's on display for trying out and getting a handle on one?

We're thinking of visiting The Map Store in Old Town before the event on Saturday to compare options. :D

WhereRWe?
04-21-2005, 06:45 AM
I tried out the Map 60C again today. I turned it on and got satillite signal in about 3 minutes. Inside the store!!!! They were selling them for list which is 449.00 less a $50 rebate. I found them online for $311 after rebates. I am really tempted now. I like the way the e-trexes buttons function more than the Map 60C. But wow does that antenna make a huge difference.

Better reception would be a MAJOR factor in my choice. Lately I've been plagued not so much by signals "bouncing" us all over the place, but completely losing the signal and having a VERY hard time reacquiring. :(

attroll
04-21-2005, 08:04 AM
I just got my gpsmap 76cs. I love it.
Could you bring it to the next cache event I would like to check it out.

we3beans
04-21-2005, 08:06 AM
We have the Garmin GPSmap 76 too.
Great on batteries and nice big screen. It takes a ton of tree coverage to get bounce with it. We had bounce at the Bowdoin College cache woods, but none at the Brunswick Trolly Line cache where we were told to expect it. I haven't dropped it much (must protect the GPS!) And as long as we've read the logs we go right to the cache.

Scudrunr
04-21-2005, 09:19 PM
I have a 3 week old Legend C. So far I am loving it. I borrowed a friends set of Topo maps and I am very impressed with the map detail. The color screen really makes the maps look great and they are very easy to navagate. I usually get pretty good reception. In the woods the compass lags a bit but eventually catches up. Entering cords is easy enough. I love the features like sun&moon, games, stopwatch, fishing calendar, etc. I don't know what is standard in the Etrex line, sorry.

Cache Maine
04-22-2005, 07:30 AM
I haven't dropped it much (must protect the GPS!)
Too bad you guys don't have a nice case for it, to protect it...maybe you should look into that... ha ha ha :)

we3beans
04-22-2005, 04:44 PM
yeah.....hummmm:D

laurawho7
04-22-2005, 07:50 PM
We purchased the eTrex Vista C after experimenting with trying to get the regular Vista to work with the serial cable. We returned the vista and purchased the Vista C with the USB cable and it just works. I love USB anything. We also got the Map Source CD and it it very helpful in finding roads to locate the caches and navigate to the next cache.



RULOST2? is tired of my complaining, and agrees with me that it's time for a new GPS. I've been strongly considering the Garmin eTrex Vista C (color).

Anyone have one? Any comments?

dí76
04-23-2005, 07:53 AM
I use a Garmin 60c and while Team Trout said it best. It is pretty expensive if your only caching with it. But the external antenna gives you great signals in heavey cover. The 60c doesn't have autorouting and that kinda stinks but its a great gpsr but I can't figure out how to play the games

J_Cyr
07-13-2005, 10:10 AM
So overall which is the best one to go with? I am going to be updating my Magellan SporTrak. Thanks!

WhereRWe?
07-13-2005, 11:01 AM
So overall which is the best one to go with? I am going to be updating my Magellan SporTrak. Thanks!

Those of us that have it will swear by the Garmin GPSMap 60c or 60cs. Very fast screen refresh, lots of memory, GREAT routing capability. I used it extensively on our trip to Quebec this week and the routing gave us the best directions to caches - excepting one-way streets, of course.

If you're in the area, I'd recommend hitting The Map Store in Old Town and comparing units. They have a good selection. :D

dí76
07-13-2005, 11:16 AM
Peggy would be happy to help you out. Her prices are a bit more thatn Internet prices but the service is worth something. And when making a purchase that large and that you depend that much it's nice to talk to a person. She also has a large selection of software at the store and telling her what you want it to do she will be able to tell you what to get. It beats spending 115$$ on software that your not happy with. And no I don't work for her. Her shop is just down the street from my house so I frequent the shop.


Good Luck

DAve

Slate
07-13-2005, 11:21 AM
I would agree that the Garmin 60c is a great unit. I just upgraded from a Garmin 12 to a 60c and love everything about it. It has just about every feature that you could ever want and then some. It's quick to get a satellite lock and seems to be more precise in heavy tree cover. (of course my old GPSr only has distances down to 0.01 miles) I am just getting used to the maps and auto routing features. It is so easy to get to an unfamiliar cache location it almost seems like cheating. The only drawback is the included maps. They only include major highways and you will have to spend another $100 or so to get the Mapsource City Select software.

WhereRWe?
07-13-2005, 04:18 PM
I would agree that the Garmin 60c is a great unit. I just upgraded from a Garmin 12 to a 60c and love everything about it. It has just about every feature that you could ever want and then some. It's quick to get a satellite lock and seems to be more precise in heavy tree cover. (of course my old GPSr only has distances down to 0.01 miles) I am just getting used to the maps and auto routing features. It is so easy to get to an unfamiliar cache location it almost seems like cheating. The only drawback is the included maps. They only include major highways and you will have to spend another $100 or so to get the Mapsource City Select software.

And I STRONGLY recommend getting Garmin's City Select maps. Yup - it's a bundle of money - but REALLY good. I forgot to mention that I used that when I was being routed to caches in Quebec. Just select the waypoint you want to go to, select "via road", and it will get you right there - even showing you the street names. It will beep once a half a mile or so before you get to a turn, then beep twice just before the intersection. Even RULOST2? was navigating with it!

:eek: :eek: :eek:

pjpreb
07-13-2005, 05:49 PM
I just got my gpsmap 76cs. I love it.

We have the GPSMap 76 also - like the big screen and battery life.

J_Cyr
07-14-2005, 12:03 AM
Wow... Just priced for those Garmin 60c's and cs. Almost $400... I guess I meant something good for the buck, but no more then $200 if posssible. I will be selling my Sporttrak probably for the $80range.
Thanks.

WhereRWe?
07-14-2005, 07:27 AM
Wow... Just priced for those Garmin 60c's and cs. Almost $400... I guess I meant something good for the buck, but no more then $200 if posssible. I will be selling my Sporttrak probably for the $80range.
Thanks.

Well, I upgraded from the Garmin eTrex Legend, which I liked very muuch. That goes for $154.73 (shipped) from gpsdiscount.com (http://www.gpsdiscount.com) , or you can get it for about $169 locally in WalMart.

But go for the gusto! Take out a loan while the interest rates are low and get the GPSMap 60! LOL!

:D

Haffy
07-14-2005, 07:29 AM
Then I would probably go with either the Garmin Legend which can be bought for less than $200 on Ebay or the Vista which is a little more. If you wanted to go paperless then you need a PDA and maps and Cachemate and GSAK so by the time you get done you would have close to $400 invested anyway. My next investment will probably be the 60cs with a good map and just use Cachemate on the PDA. It comes with autorouting and the PDA is kind of clunky to use for that IMHO and the cord to use between the GPS and Palm in the car is $50. Just my thoughts. :eek:

Hiker Twins
07-14-2005, 07:54 AM
I started out with the little yellow garmin etrex and then went to the Garmin V for the maps and routing. I don't even use the Garmin V anymore. I like the simple little etrex and it was only $100. It works just great for caching! Lost Hiker Man has the Garmin Legend and I like it for the maps and might go to it, the next time I buy one. We found the cheapest place to buy a new Legend is Walmart on-line.

MAD-MUFFIN
01-30-2006, 07:26 AM
My Etrex is the basic model, its ok. I have a lot of trouble believing the posts of people that say their GPSr took them rite to the cache. I have had to do a lot of searching for all I have found. My gps tells me I'm anywhere from 1ft to 30ft away without moving. The first GPSr I bought was a Garmin GEKO but I took it back when I had to replace the batteries twice in one week and I only turned it on for maby 10 min. 3 times.

firefighterjake
01-30-2006, 09:37 AM
I'm in the minority with a Magellan Meridian Color.

Pros--

-- It works for me and my needs/wants (i.e. mapping ATV routes, finding out where I am while out on the trails with the snowmobile/ATV, geo-caching, driving directions, etc.

-- I've found out that it seems to be pretty tough . . . since I am a klutz and I have dropped it on more than one occasion . . . usually when I forget to zipper up the case and it goes flying out of it on to the ground, pavement, cement floor in the garage, etc.

-- This may sound bizarre, but I am visually-oriented and I wanted color to help differentiate items on the map. I like the fact that the Meridian uses color, but doesn't go overboard by coloring everything. I know, I know, this sounds strange, but it's one of the things I like about it.

-- Ease of use . . . once I actually sat down and read the manual. The first time I went geo-caching I didn't know how to use the "go to" "point to point" feature and I was simply looking at the coordinates in an effort to find the cache. I looked like I was doing the Texas Two Step on top of Mars Hill as I would go forward a few feet and then walk sideways a few feet only to walk backwards a few more feet and then sidewards again . . . and end up exactly where I started.

-- The price. This unit had the features I wanted at the price I was willing to pay. Here's what I bought: http://www.anchorexpress.com/magellan-meridian-color-gps-traveler-value-pack-980598-40.html

-- The memory card. I wanted something with expandable memory.


Cons --

-- The fore-mentioned "sling shot" or "rubber band" effect. I've found that this most often occurs when I'm hurrying to the location. Nevertheless, it's kind of annoying.

-- To use the compass on this model you have to be moving. Sometimes it's nice to just shoot a direction without moving . . . I suppose I could simply buy a cheap compass though.

-- Probably one of the biggest complaints I have with this unit is the driving directions. 90% of the time the directions are dead-on with the unit beeping to let you know the turn is coming up and beeping to let you know when to turn . . . but then 10% of the time the directions are off since it beeps too early or too late or the map shows you making a turn after or well before you're supposed to.

Smitty & Co.
01-30-2006, 12:29 PM
We have a couple of RINO 130's and absolutely love them. We really like the two-way radio capabilities and also the position reporting feature. Worth every cent!! Oh Ya.....it also finds geocaches with no problems. :D

Pooh and friends
02-02-2006, 06:17 PM
I like my merigold cause it takes the punishment....it was on the front seat when got front-ended on 1/23/06. It works fine but it's going to take me a couple of months to get a good signal. :(

http://photobucket.com/albums/e81/hutleymaster/?action=view&current=gcar2.jpg