Newbie thread: Which Garmin handheld GPS to buy?

Discussion about software such as GSAK, OziExplorer etc, as well as all things hardware, GPSrs, laptops, PDAs, paperless caching, cables etc
JCM
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Need Clarification Please!

Post by JCM » 26 August 08 10:01 pm

I am new to geocaching and have been using a borrowed PDA up until now. I think it's time to give it back so am looking to buy a Garmin. Having done my research, I'm now tossing up between the Legend/Venture/Geko. Yes, I realise there are some differences between them all, but what is throwing me the most is in the specifications, it will sometimes say "Geocaching Friendly". Depending on what website I'm reading, this will vary with the different products so was hoping someone who has had experience with any of these products could clear this point up for me??? Is there a Garmin that you can't use for Geocaching? Thanks!

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Re: Need Clarification Please!

Post by Swampy » 27 August 08 9:01 am

JCM wrote:Is there a Garmin that you can't use for Geocaching?
Generally the ones that are screwed down on a boat or ship! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :roll: :shock:

Any of those you mentioned will be fine for caching.
Just make sure you can connect your computer to it - saves so much time and your sanity!

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SecretSquirrel-BJC
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Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 13 September 08 10:33 pm

A question for those in the know?

How come there is a new GPS called Colorado and another new GPS called Oregon? by the same company.

I know they both use different chips.

Is one more optimized for driving and one more optimized for handheld geocaching?

Or are they the same?

Is Garmin going to continue with two models like this, or are they going to start using this new chip for all new models and phase out use of the old chip. Is Colorado the best of the old, and the Oregon the start of the new?

How can I differentiate them? as far as every day geocaching requirements go..

Thanks
My blue etrex is starting to feel a little overloved...

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Map Monkey
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Post by Map Monkey » 14 September 08 2:19 pm

If you look at the two models, as compare here ==> http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/Colorado+vs+Oregon , you will see that they are indeed different in almost all aspects. :P

I suspect that the Oregon form factor (touch screen etc) is the future trend that Garmin wants to heavily push (due to the popularity of iphones etc, however there will always be a need to have a "fall-back" model or two for their company IMO.

This is not the first time that Garmin has two similiar units released at similiar periods....have a look at the 60 series and the 76 series, internals being the same. :P

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SecretSquirrel-BJC
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Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 18 September 08 10:58 pm

I just got my oregon 300, and I love it!!! It has found its first cache - and it was a first to find!

"Precious, precious, precious!". Gollum cried.

I am descending into madness - no time to think of ordinary life - just time to explore my precious.

I have eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and I am no longer naive to think that an Etrex is good enough to go caching/

Seriously though, the user experience is way above an Etrex, and so is the cost.

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gmj3191
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Post by gmj3191 » 08 October 08 12:51 pm

Something else which hasn't been mentioned here yet, is the Point of Interest functionality in the 60CSx. I'm not sure if this is available in the new ones, but it does give the 60 CSx a big advantage over the Legend I used to use.

From GSAK you can export a GPX file of caches, and construct the name using the special tags (I use %smart-%typ1 %con1 %datepl %by) and the description also (I use Hint {%hint} %last4).

You then use a little Garmin program called POI Loader, to load the cache details in as "Custom Points of Interest"

Following this process, I can load all caches in Australia in one go, and they are stored on the SD card.

Then, wherever I am, I can do a search on the nearest Custom POIs, if I have some time, and I get the bare essentials presented, such as
"name-T S dd/mm/yy by cacher" which tells me cachename, type, container size, date placed and by whom.
Then if needed, the cache description contains the first 80 chrs of the hint, and the last 4 logs.

I have so far stored over 16,000 caches without using anywhere near all of my 2 Gb SD Card, which also contains maps.

This doesn't work too well for puzzles and multis when you need to go back to your PDa or GC.com to get the details, but it does give you tremendous flexibility to to do a quickie cache with no notice.

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Post by nibbler » 21 October 08 2:05 pm

Hi Guys
I have been caching for a while now ,mainly on hoildays or when ever I can get away.
Currently I use a GSAK on a PC ,pocket queries to my PDA to get all the info on a cache while searching and an yellow extrex.
What I want to do is reduce the number of components ie remove the PDA from the set up . I have recently purchased a Acer aspire one netbook with 120 gb HDD and windows home xp to run OZi explorer and GSAK. And thought that this may be the time to upgrade the GPS
I want to have the cache co ordinates and cache notes from GSAK on the one GPS .
I am tossing up between the Extrex vista HCX and the garmin 60 csx or colarado .

Does anyone have any further recommendations or comments or what out for items to assist me in the my upgrade choice.

Budget around $500.00 mark

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Post by Map Monkey » 21 October 08 2:20 pm

nibbler wrote: I want to have the cache co ordinates and cache notes from GSAK on the one GPS .
From your selection, and based on that requirement alone, the Colorado would win hands down. :P

mm

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nibbler
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Post by nibbler » 21 October 08 5:19 pm

Thanks map monkey wil keep a look out for that or an garmin oregon that Setsujoku has recommended

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Ksix
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Post by Ksix » 22 October 08 1:41 pm

I'd actually pick the Oregon over the Colorado.

The Oregon has no buttons (except for the power button), all touch screen, no rocker wheel, and is very easy to use.

Simply drag and drop a GPX file to the unit and you're away.

I use to use a very similar methad of caching to what you described, GSAK, PDA and GPSr. With the Oregon I have been able to totally get rid of the PDA :D

I picked my Oregon up from Johnny Appleseed for $539 (for the Oregon 300). Wasn't interested in the 400, as the only difference between the 300 and 400 is the 400 has coastal mapping included other than the base maps on the 300, thats all (not something that I was interested in).

So far I'm very happy with the Oregon.

Cheers,
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Post by BAD808 » 12 January 09 2:24 pm

Hi Everybody,

Ive been reading heaps and tying to soak up as much as I can about buying my first GPS.

I'm looking to stay around the $200-$250 mark but I am getting total lost with what I should get.

What do you think of the VistaCX. I can get one on eBay for the right price ATM. Or the VentureCX they are a little cheaper than the Vista.
Is this a good machine to start?

All help greatly appreciated


Cheers
BAD808

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SecretSquirrel-BJC
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Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 12 January 09 6:49 pm

If I only wanted to spend 200, I would just buy a yellow etrex from Dick Smith. However if I wanted to spend $500, I would buy an Oregon, and save up for OzTopo maps later.

I love the Oregon

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Post by roundcircle » 12 January 09 9:59 pm

I have a Legend HCx and an Oregon. The Oregon is better for caching because it can hold the full description and hints and logs. But both are capable and flexible. Both have Shonky Maps loaded (which are free).

I would recommend that at a minimum you get a unit that is capable of having maps loaded, if you can afford it.

And get a unit with a high sensitivity receiver (again, if you can afford it).

I know from experience that you will be able to find your fair share of caches with even the cheapest unit. But life's easier with the more fully featured ones.

:-)

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Post by BAD808 » 13 January 09 12:12 am

SecretSquirrel-BJC wrote:If I only wanted to spend 200, I would just buy a yellow etrex from Dick Smith. However if I wanted to spend $500, I would buy an Oregon, and save up for OzTopo maps later.

I love the Oregon
So when u say yellow, do you mean the H ???? $500 is waaay over my limit. Thats why I put the upper limit of 2fiddy.

roundcircle wrote:I have a Legend HCx and an Oregon. The Oregon is better for caching because it can hold the full description and hints and logs. But both are capable and flexible. Both have Shonky Maps loaded (which are free).

I would recommend that at a minimum you get a unit that is capable of having maps loaded, if you can afford it.

And get a unit with a high sensitivity receiver (again, if you can afford it).

I know from experience that you will be able to find your fair share of caches with even the cheapest unit. But life's easier with the more fully featured ones.
Thats why I was looking at the 2 cx models. they are both map capable.
Im trying to get advice off of anyone who has used one of the 2 GPS's I mentioned.

Thanks guys
BAD808

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Post by Big Matt and Shell » 13 January 09 8:47 am

BAD808 wrote:What do you think of the VistaCX.
<P>The Vista is one tough little unit. We have just retired our Vista C after 1650+ finds. A very reliable unit that was dropped off cliffs, fell in more than one creek, etc. I'm sure you would be happy with this Vista.

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