GARMIN DAKOTA 20

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The Swaggies
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GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by The Swaggies » 03 August 09 2:03 pm

Has anyone used the Dakota 20 for geocaching recently?

Looking at the Garmin Australia web site and doing a comparison with a Oregon 300 it would seem the only difference is a smaller screen size (same as a 60) and the fact that is will not run Wherigo caches, oh and is is about $150 cheaper.

It would be interesting to see what they took out of it to reduce the price by $150. :D

The other thing it has is a "tilt-compensated, 3-axis" electronic compass. Does anyone know what that is, and is it better than the Oregon ot 60 Csx.

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by Map Monkey » 03 August 09 2:37 pm

The screen resolution is a far bit lower at 160 x 240 compared to 240 x 400 even though physical size has only been reduced by around 10-15%....certain items become chunky at times.

As for the compass, the older Oregons (pre-500 series), and virtually all other Garmin GPSr's (60 series etc) had the "2 axis" version which required them to be held level to work correctly (much like an analogue compass :lol: ). Newer 3 axis will compensate for this and work in all planes, though it does require more calibration to maintain accuracy.

Still working out if we should purchase several Dakotas or stick with some 400C's for our SES Unit....time for some more research. :P

mm

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by The Swaggies » 03 August 09 5:55 pm

The screen resolution is a far bit lower at 160 x 240 compared to 240 x 400 even though physical size has only been reduced by around 10-15%....certain items become chunky at times.

Still working out if we should purchase several Dakotas or stick with some 400C's for our SES Unit....time for some more research. :P

mm
Thanks for the info Map Monkey.

Is the screen resolution on par with a 60CS/CSx and can you let me know the outcome of your SES purchasing decision and the reason why.

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by Map Monkey » 03 August 09 6:34 pm

....Same resolution as the 60 series (160 x 240) however the dakota is slightly smaller both dimensions in it's screen profile. The comparison we're currently looking at is this one:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do? ... re&ra=true

The positives of the 3 axis compass and slightly cheaper is compensated by the smaller screen size and smaller resolution. With the ability to use the Oregon in the vehicle for road navigation, i'm not really sure about having a smaller screen than currently offered.

mm

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by The Swaggies » 03 August 09 8:34 pm

Map Monkey wrote:....Same resolution as the 60 series (160 x 240) however the dakota is slightly smaller both dimensions in it's screen profile. The comparison we're currently looking at is this one:

The positives of the 3 axis compass and slightly cheaper is compensated by the smaller screen size and smaller resolution. With the ability to use the Oregon in the vehicle for road navigation, i'm not really sure about having a smaller screen than currently offered.

mm
Yes thanks Map Monkey. I went from an Etrex Legend to a 60CX because of screen size, so having seen an Oregon 300 in use I will probably keep saving for that one. Using the Etrex meant having to use reading glasses in the field, less so now with the 60CX, and I am hoping even less with the Oregon.

Thanks for the info.

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by totalube » 05 August 09 5:20 pm

They have removed wherigo capability. I can't imagine that would have saved any money. Is that a sign that wherigo isn't doing all the well and Garmin have decided not to support it?

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by Derringer » 10 August 09 5:12 pm

Just purchased a Dakota 20,

My previous GPS was a 2002 Etrex Summit.

The Dakota weighs 5gms more than the Summit, and is roughly the same size (not shape)

The functionality and mapping is a huge upgrade from the Summit, most impressed.
This unit is small and light enough for bushwalking.

With GPX files onboard and able to record finds, it is replacing many functions of my PDA.
The PDA, running Oziexplorer will be my vehicle GPS, due to its screen size

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by rhinogeo » 10 August 09 6:52 pm

Image for $410 or Image for $412

It's a tough decision ... luckily I already have a Vista HCx I'm very happy with 8)

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by Map Monkey » 04 September 09 5:12 pm

The first of our new Dakota 20's arrived today, with quick delivery from Johnny Appleseed GPS....though there is a lack of supply in the aussie market at the moment, probably due to popularity. #-o

First Impressions:

Oooooooo, it's a baby Oregon. \:D/

Being used to the Oregon range, the Dakota has a good feel to it, even though the screen size is smaller and of lower resolution than i'm used to. [-( It has similiar sizing to the etrex range with a fat rear end. Quick startup, and the usual 2 second learning curve to drive this beast. =D>

The current software has some minor formatting bugs in it, probably due to the reduction in screen size. They are generally only on the backend pages eg, satellite page (displaying UTM coords), the diagnostic screen etc....not a real world concern in most cases.

I notice that the spanner mode is not included, therefore my mini-USB (B type) cable goes into mass storage mode instead of power mode. [-( ](*,) This will only affect those who may use the unit as a in-car GPS navigation system, though the screen size is somewhat limiting for this process. A job for the Oregon. 8)

The resolution on maps is the biggest difference compared to the Oregon, however for the $200 price difference, it is a small price to pay. The 3 axis compass is quick to calibrate compare to previous versions, and has a nice feel to the displayed compass when rotating.

Paperless Geocaching works as expected.....brilliant. now i just need to find a cache or two. :-k

Off tomorrow into the dim dark jungle to test out the unit.....would have been good to have them last week for one of our Search and Rescues on the Islands. 8)

hope that helps.

mm

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by gmj3191 » 04 September 09 5:26 pm

I think the paperless caching angle is a double edged sword.
it's good for finding caches if you plan ahead or have wireless or phone capability, but I think it leads to very short and monosyllabic logs. When someone finds one of my caches I like to see how they enjoyed the hunt, what they liked about the view, whether they felt the cache could be improved etc.
More and more we're getting just a one or two word log which is a bit disappointing, and I think encouraged by the logging in the field approach using the latest gadgets.

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by Map Monkey » 04 September 09 5:51 pm

gmj3191 wrote:I think the paperless caching angle is a double edged sword.
it's good for finding caches if you plan ahead or have wireless or phone capability, but I think it leads to very short and monosyllabic logs. When someone finds one of my caches I like to see how they enjoyed the hunt, what they liked about the view, whether they felt the cache could be improved etc.
More and more we're getting just a one or two word log which is a bit disappointing, and I think encouraged by the logging in the field approach using the latest gadgets.
Without wanting to go off tangent too much from this thread, i disagree with the notion that paperless caching leads to short logs.

When i use the fieldnotes section of the Oregon/Colorado GPSr's, i will not normally place a note in it rather use the feature for the dates and cache code etc, thereby there will be the requirement to enter a find description. Whether i choose a short or long writeup is not a function of the paperless geocaching concept. \:D/

Might be worth a new thread is we need to discuss further. :-" :P

mm

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by _RAAF_Stupot » 07 November 09 6:03 pm

I just bought a Dakota 20 today! The last one in stock at Ryda in Sydney! :mrgreen:

It's my first handheld GPS so I can't really compare it to anything else and I have to agree that it seems very simple to use. So simple that there doesn't seem to be a HUGE difference between the quick start guide and the main user manual.

What I am trying to figure out is how to set the grid to WGS84. The options available are 'Normal' 'WAAS & 'Demo'. Presumably 'Normal'=WGS84???????

Am now downloading the 5 m contour maps - next step is to figure out how to load them on.

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by PesceVerde » 07 November 09 7:16 pm

Hi,
Keep it on Normal (Normal=Normal).
WAAS disabled.

There'll be a seperate spot to enter the Datum. My GPSmap 60CSx is in Setup>Units>Map Datum.

If you've loaded up the Mapsource software onto your computer, Contours Australia should work in there.
Hope this is some help. :D

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by _RAAF_Stupot » 07 November 09 8:05 pm

PesceVerde wrote:Hi,
Keep it on Normal (Normal=Normal).
WAAS disabled.

There'll be a seperate spot to enter the Datum. My GPSmap 60CSx is in Setup>Units>Map Datum.

If you've loaded up the Mapsource software onto your computer, Contours Australia should work in there.
Hope this is some help. :D
Thanks! Found the correct setting in another menu.

Mapsource? What is that?

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Re: GARMIN DAKOTA 20

Post by PesceVerde » 07 November 09 8:37 pm

I haven't used a Dakota 20 yet. Others might have more detailed knowledge.

The Mapsource installation CD will have been in the box with your new Dakota 20. A thorough read through the user's manual would probably be a good idea.

Cheers.

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