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Another "What's the best GPS?" Thread...

Discussion in 'Communication & Navigation' started by cbmontgo, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. cbmontgo

    cbmontgo SILVER Star

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    I am going on a wheelin' and camping trip to Big Bend this spring and am considering getting a GPS. I have an old (circa 1996), outdated Lowrance that needs to be replaced. I couldn't find my way out of a paper sack with this thing.

    I want one that has the following capabilities: Topo maps, windshield or dash-mountable, nice-sized screen and readout, compact, and relatively inexpensive.

    I love the look of the Garmin Streetpilot 660/nuvi (my brother has one that he uses for highway travel), and wish that there was something like that for off-road use.

    I probably won't use this thing too often, so even an older (read: cheaper) model might suffice. Any thoughts?
     
  2. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagles & Landcruisers Moderator

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    I use a Garmin 3Plus and then went to a 5 series. I can get the topo for it so I'm sure you can get a topo for the street pilot.
     
  3. Jomama

    Jomama

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    I was just doing some research for a friend...

    Neither the Streetpilot or Nuvi models allow you to upload ANY map software... All you can do is upload waypoints...

    At least that is what I gather from the Garmin site. That would be dealbreaker for me. The pre-programed streetmaps would not cut it for me.


    The Nuvi is dubbed a "travelers orginizer" and appears to be a kind of PDA for a tourist IMO.. Currency conversion, language translator, all types of tourist info...

    The Streetpilots seem designed for a communter.


    The Quest and Quest2 are the only models listed under the "Automotive" section that allow you to upload map software.
    It appears to me to be a hybrid between a Auto based Nav system and a recreational handheld.. and has the features associated with both..
     
  4. GulfShoresFJ60

    GulfShoresFJ60

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    I've got a Garmin 60CSx. I've used it in the truck for auto routing and it works well so far. It has an audible beep for the turns and nice zoom-in feature at the turns. I didn't buy the topo so no comment on that part. It is very handhold-able (if that's a word) and you can get a 12v plug for in the vehicle. I also got the RAM mount to mount it to the windshield. After my research this seems like a very good mix between a hiking hanheld GPS and an auto-routing vehicle GPS.
     
  5. eleblanc

    eleblanc

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    I love my garmin etrex legend Cx. I had a Etrex Legend C, lost it and bought the Cx with 1 gig of memory sd card. Since i mainly use it for my ATV, being small is a plus. I can grab it and put it in my pocket. I also use it in my LC. The ram mount i use is RAP-F-166-GA16U like this one http://www.gpscity.ca/item-ram-mount-ram-b-166-ga16/ramb166ga16.htm except with a flexible wire instead of the knuckle has show.

    And i have both topo and metro guide on the gps. IMHO topo is not worth it. When its time for navigation on roads topo do wierd things, metro guide is much better and will navigate even on almost unpractible roads. I has once using metro guide throught gravel roads and it made me go throught such a rough trail i had to turn around.....that was on my ATV. the trail had just been drain by water tho.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2007
  6. cbmontgo

    cbmontgo SILVER Star

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    Thanks, guys. Are there any that have street/city names when driving on the interstate and topo software for driving off road? Maybe this is a reach...
     
  7. spressomon

    spressomon glutton Moderator

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    The Garmin Zumo series offers what you want and also the Lowrance Baja; Lowrance 350C, 500C, 600C. FYI: It is rumored new models from Garmin, Lowrance, et al will be introduced within the next 4-6 weeks...if you can trust the rumor mill ;) . It is rumored there will be a 'landscape' format version of the Zumo 550 ala Nuvi 660 size screen coming out...but again it's a rumor.

    The Nuvi will actually run the Garmin Mapsource Topo's per Garmin tech except I beleive you lose the contour lines and of course have no ability to drop in routes, tracks, backtrack...and you'll figure out if you don't already know it is very difficult to find an automobile GPS that is fully topo compliant...and handhelds, that have can run the topo maps have smaller screens.

    FYI: Costco online has the Garmin 2730 on sale for $499 right now (if they have any left)...you can download their topo maps but it will not display contour lines either.


    Also a good site for info: www.gpspassion.com
     
  8. cbmontgo

    cbmontgo SILVER Star

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    Thanks! I'll look into those...
     
  9. slider35

    slider35

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    Garmin GPSMAP 76csx. Hands down the best all-around gps unit. Screen is large enough to see driving down the road. It fits in your pocket. It is waterproof. It floats.

    Just get a screen protector for it. I forget the name of the company that makes a good one, but it's the same polymer they put on the leading edge of helicoptor rotor blades.
     
  10. GulfShoresFJ60

    GulfShoresFJ60

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    I didn't like the position of the buttons on the 76 series. Especially when driving I don't block the screen while pressing buttons to change between screens.
     
  11. 78-FJ40

    78-FJ40

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    The Garmin 60CSx, which I have, does all that. I use it off road with the Topo map and on road with the City Navigator maps. Works great.
     
  12. cbmontgo

    cbmontgo SILVER Star

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    Thanks. I am going to look into this...
     
  13. dmede808

    dmede808

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    I just found some info on a new Delorme GPS the other day, the Earthmate.

    Never used one, but what I'm intrigued about is that it can upload actual Satalite & air photo images as well as scanned USGS topos. No other handheld unit lets you do that, that I am aware of (talking about scanned raster images not vector topo info). It also gives you real time tide info for your locations. Again most units only give you sun & moon tables but no tide info.

    http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?section=10106&item=25482&minisite=10020

    And the unti is pretty cheap considering the data that comes with it. You could pay around $300-$500 for a decent Garmin or Magellan unit and still have to fork out another $150 for the extra data.

    Worth a look.

    dave
     
  14. GulfShoresFJ60

    GulfShoresFJ60

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    Yeah I use City Navigator in mine and it seems to work very well. Couldn't afford Topo though, so no comment on that. If you want to hold quite a bit of map info in the GPS, you might as well get a pretty big memory card. The 64 MB holds Alabama and a few surrounding areas. I think you can get a 1 GB card maybe even a 2 GB card.
     
  15. brokenparts

    brokenparts

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    Garmin 276c. Not too expensive and does more than I need it too.
     
  16. jonb96150

    jonb96150

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    This is the one I'm looking at. It also accepts SD cards for even more memory. I have a really old magellan and I'm tired of manually extrapolating my position onto my paper maps and I don't like lugging a laptop around. This Delorme looks like the ticket.
     
  17. dmede808

    dmede808

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    If you get it post back here how you like it. I'd like to hear some opinions on it from users. I have a Magellan also. Love it but it's very limited on data and a bit old.
     
  18. paranoid56

    paranoid56

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    another vote for the 60csx. i love mine. i have the 2gig card in mine with all the states loaded into it and some topo info also loaded. great little handheld waterproof GPS. I use it in both my car and off roading, and also geocaching :D

    Shane
     
  19. lc69hunter

    lc69hunter SILVER Star

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    I just got mine in last night. It is awesome. I have an old Garmin 12XL and a Magellan Map 330, and this thing run rings around them as far as features.

    The downside of that though is that there is more to learn and set- up.

    However, even on a cold startup, after being shipped from Maine, it acquired, and was tracking 10 satelites within about 4 minutes. While sitting here at the computer, I turned it on and it acquired a good fix indoors in about 30 seconds.

    I haven't downloaded any maps as of yet, so I can't address that.
     
  20. jonb96150

    jonb96150

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    Got it a few days ago and have not had time to really use it. I have downloaded local portions of topo6 and it shows my street. If I added the aerial images it would probably show my house.

    Topo 6 on it's own does not show many of the Moab trails, just a couple of the popular bike trails. I'd like to see the aerial/satellite images of that area, you can layer them over the topo6 and you would be looking at sat' images of where you are or where you are going. With the purchase you get a credit for 150 sq. km if images and I have not decided which ones to get.

    I'll try to get out in the sticks a bit this weekend and test it better. The hardware looks good and robust, probably even dunk proof. Menus are easy to navigate. Display is good.