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Postby MtnHermit » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:58 pm

Couloirman wrote:I hate them. I never got a signal when I needed one in the woods, and even sometimes on ridgetops it would just be searching for a satellite. If youre going to spend anything, suck it up and get the 60Csx. It even gets service immediately in my house. Ive been in dense timber, low in rocky valley's, in the elevators of huge office buildings(just to see if it'd work) and it has been flawless for me. Also you can get the sweet full resolution usgs topo maps from abovethetimber.com.
Couloirman makes a valid point, I have a eTrex Venture Cx, it does indeed lose the signal on occasion, even on open ridges. It's more of a annoyance than a major event. The 60CSx uses a second ARM CPU just for the antenna which accounts for both its superior reception and half the battery life and ~double the cost.

The new eTrex H series has new more sensitive receiver which is supposed to be much better at a small battery life hit and no cost/size increase.

Choices, choices . . .

Hermit

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Postby Kruck » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:25 pm

I picked up on the other abovethetimber thread that Garmins don't jive with Macs too well...? Or at all?

At least acccording to a July 2007 post.

Is this (still) true?

Thanks all.

Debating whether the GPS is simply a toy or is really a time/frusteration/mindset saver off the trail, when i can already print NG TOPO close-ups on waterproof paper.

My major orienteering problem in Colorado so far has been second-guessing myself on my position in heavily timbered areas, which acording to posts I've read so far seem to smother reception on GPS's somewhat, if not entirely. So I have not made up my mind on the investment.

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Postby strat1080 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:44 pm

Alot of good info. I'm in the market for one as well and I thank everybody for your input.
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.

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Postby Kruck » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:20 pm

Had to answer my own questions tonight, sorry if that's a faux pax...

Kruck wrote:I picked up on the other abovethetimber thread that Garmins don't jive with Macs too well...? Or at all?

At least acccording to a July 2007 post.

Is this (still) true?


Yep. No dice with Macs, so those in publishing can go suck an egg, apparently. You science and business guys get all the breaks...

Debating whether the GPS is simply a toy or is really a time/frusteration/mindset saver off the trail, when i can already print NG TOPO close-ups on waterproof paper.


It seems that based on cost, reliability, and compatability with MY system, at least, they're a toy. I would love to hear why people think otherwise.

My major orienteering problem in Colorado so far has been second-guessing myself on my position in heavily timbered areas, which acording to posts I've read so far seem to smother reception on GPS's somewhat, if not entirely. So I have not made up my mind on the investment.


It appears as I feared there's no shortcutting skill and experience :wink:

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Postby dcbates80911 » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:32 pm

I have two Garmin E-trex Vista CX units. They work great for me. I like the colored screens and expandable memory. In my one, I have 1G of memory and that holds all the topo maps for Colorado along with the Navigation Maps for most of the US.

This model has pretty much everything you seem to be looking for except the heart rate monitor. As others have said, it does loose reception to some satellites in the woods, but usually, I have a good enough signal that I can find my way. This unit has come in handy on trips with the navigation maps as it helps get you from point A to point B very well (and without the annoying instructions from some electronic voice).

One thing to remember is to make sure you have some sort of backup (compass and/or maps) if you are out in the woods. A GPS is good, but can fail.
There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

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Postby MtnHermit » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:22 am

Kruck wrote:I picked up on the other abovethetimber thread that Garmins don't jive with Macs too well...? Or at all?

At least acccording to a July 2007 post.

Is this (still) true?
The basic problem with Mac's is Garmin's Mapsource. You need Mapsource to load the maps from the CD into your GPSr. Garmin has never made a Mac version of Mapsource. Here's a screenshot (hijacked from Above the Timber's website) of Mapsource to give you an idea:

Image
I suspect their is a Mac text based map loader, but your're unlikely to find a slick graphical application like Mapsource.

Debating whether the GPS is simply a toy or is really a time/frusteration/mindset saver off the trail, when i can already print NG TOPO close-ups on waterproof paper.

My major orienteering problem in Colorado so far has been second-guessing myself on my position in heavily timbered areas, which acording to posts I've read so far seem to smother reception on GPS's somewhat, if not entirely. So I have not made up my mind on the investment.
I was in this mindset for years. Now that I have a color mapping GPS with Above the Timber's 24K maps I rarely bother with paper maps. Like you I can print 24K topos of Colorado. The GPS has several distinct advantages:
1] The GPS position pointer, shows exactly where you're at, on the map, in real time.
2] The whole state all the time, no need to plan ahead to print a map.
3] Measure distance to your destination.
4] Tracklog, see your path as a bread crumb trail

Above the Timber has a more complete list, check it out.

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Postby coloradokevin » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:58 am

MtnHermit wrote:I was in this mindset for years. Now that I have a color mapping GPS with Above the Timber's 24K maps I rarely bother with paper maps. Like you I can print 24K topos of Colorado. The GPS has several distinct advantages:
1] The GPS position pointer, shows exactly where you're at, on the map, in real time.
2] The whole state all the time, no need to plan ahead to print a map.
3] Measure distance to your destination.
4] Tracklog, see your path as a bread crumb trail

Above the Timber has a more complete list, check it out.


Do the 1:24k maps you are talking about display on the GPS with the same "quality" as you'd have with a USGS Topo? And, are you saying that you can fit the entire state of CO (in 1:24k scale) in your gps, or on the memory card, at once? If so, I think I'd be very interested in this kind of software for everyday navigational purposes! I can certainly see some advantages to that type of setup.

Notwithstanding all of that, it would still seem like printing a paper map would be an important backup plan in the unlikely event of a GPS failure.

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Postby MtnHermit » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:18 am

coloradokevin wrote:Do the 1:24k maps you are talking about display on the GPS with the same "quality" as you'd have with a USGS Topo? And, are you saying that you can fit the entire state of CO (in 1:24k scale) in your gps, or on the memory card, at once? If so, I think I'd be very interested in this kind of software for everyday navigational purposes! I can certainly see some advantages to that type of setup.
Essentially yes. All the contours and water features are there. Missing are some of the subtle features such as the tiny buildings foundations you'll sometimes see on a quad. I have a 1GB card the maps are 300MB, so 700MB free.

Basically, the USGS digitized the quads and created shapefiles of all the quad features. Anyone can download those files and use them for any purpose.

Bill put up a sticky thread discussing all of the features with screenshots, see the top of this sub-forum.



Notwithstanding all of that, it would still seem like printing a paper map would be an important backup plan in the unlikely event of a GPS failure.
Your choice. A paper map still excels on size, GPS screens are still small. That physical size is both a paper quads biggest virtue and biggest curse.

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Postby Bullwinkle » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:38 am

Garmin 60 CSx at $300 (after rebate) from REI. Very happy with signal strength, features and performance. No regrets.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed

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Postby MtnHermit » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:00 am

coloradokevin wrote:If so, I think I'd be very interested in this kind of software for everyday navigational purposes!
If by "everyday navigational purposes" you mean automobile, forget it. Not aware of a modern handheld GPS that can refresh the screen fast enough to keep up with a car. Too much data in the contours for the GPS's tiny CPU to handle. No free lunch.

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Postby Falcon3 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:48 pm

I really enjoy my Garmin Venture HC. I haven't had a chance to use it in the high country yet, but I really enjoyed it on some winter hikes in South Dakota. Some people might say the color screen is overrated, but I really enjoy it. Cuts down on straining your eyes in bright sunlight to see terrain details.

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Postby dsunwall » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:13 pm

I now have the latest Etrex Vista, the HCX, it has the new Helix antanae, and a faster processor. This thing is amazing, I have never lost signal, even works inside my house. They are around $250 at Amazon.

It has much better battery life than my old B&W Vista as well.

I do believe the color screen is better than the B&W. I have two Micro SD chips, one loaded with the 1/24K Topos and one with the Garmin maps. After using both, I prefer the Garmin because you can zoom out and still have useful Topo lines. The 1:24K is only good zoomed into a small area. I simply switch the chips in the field if I want 24K detail. A 512mb chip is plenty, about $10 at Radio Schack. I wouldn't purchase the preloaded chips, its too easy to do yourself for a lot less money.

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