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Thread: Topo software for GPS

  1. #1
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Question Topo software for GPS

    Which topographic software do I get for my gps? Does the Mapsource Topo USA cover Alaska? Why do they have individual National Parks and such? Are these covered on the USA version? Is it okay to purchase on Ebay? They say they are sealed CD's???

    Thanks,
    buck

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I recently bought the Mapsource CDs for my Garmin GPS. The set that I got covers all 50 states thoroughly. The best deal I found was from Amazon.com for $80 shipped.
    AKmud
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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up great..few more questions

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    I recently bought the Mapsource CDs for my Garmin GPS. The set that I got covers all 50 states thoroughly. The best deal I found was from Amazon.com for $80 shipped.
    Thanks, that's what I was looking for! I have a Garmin as well and I would like to get all 50 states and Canada. $80 seems to be a good buy.

    More questions...
    1. How much memory does it take up? Can you fit it on a 32mb card and still have room for your waypoints and such?
    2. Did you get the CD and download on your computer and then use the interface cable to install on your gps?
    3. How is it for planning trips? Meaning, can you create your waypoints and routes on your computer and then download onto gps?

    Thanks for the help.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    The program is huge, I have 128MB card in my 76CSx and I can't even get 1/2 of AK in it (the program comes with three disks). The map has sub-grids (MUCH smaller) so you can only load the areas you are going into on your unit so you don't eat up the memory.

    As far as interface, yes, install it on the computer and your unit should have a USB cable to connect to the computer.

    Waypoints, routes, etc. are easy to manipulate and create on the computer then it is a quick download to the unit. Then you can reverse it and download your track onto the computer and see it on the computer. Supposedly there is also a way to overlay your track on Google Earth, but I haven't played with that yet.

    I am no expert with it yet by any means, but I have been impressed so far.
    AKmud
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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Cool Thanks Mud!

    That is exactly the answer I was hoping for! I had a hard time believing all of that info would fit on one chip. Good info to know. I was hoping to plan and plot my trip from Michigan to Alaska to show family and friends, but it sounds like that is out of the question without a lot of hassle.

    Indeed, there is a way of overlaying your info on Google Earth and you can plan your routes on Google Earth as well. I have begun to play with that a little and it is neat. Last weekend I took the Boy Scouts on a camping trip and I plotted out our drive there, hike, and fishing routes. You can put in ballons for bathroom breaks or tourist stops. All you have to do is sign up for a free account...pretty neat! Can't help you on integrating gps info though.

    Thanks again,
    Joshua

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    I will be getting the 60Csx soon and if you look at it on Amazon a 2 gig Micro SD card comes up automatically. The 2 gig should hold everything you ever wanted to put on it!! probably wouldn't hurt to load a second smaller card with the software for the region you will be in just as a backup. They are TINY and if the first one dies however unlikly you will still have a backup. The micro SD is only $25!!

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default Garmin 60csx

    Is the 60csx the one that is supposed to get awesome satelite lock? I believe it has great mapping capabilities as well. I have an old garmin, but would like to upgrade to something with color and better mapping abilities. Can you tell me more about the 60? Do they still make it? Only $25 for the 2 gig??? That's amazing!

    Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I will be getting the 60Csx soon and if you look at it on Amazon a 2 gig Micro SD card comes up automatically. The 2 gig should hold everything you ever wanted to put on it!! probably wouldn't hurt to load a second smaller card with the software for the region you will be in just as a backup. They are TINY and if the first one dies however unlikly you will still have a backup. The micro SD is only $25!!

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    When looking at the Garmin units, anything with an "x" designator (Cx, CSx, etc...) is supposed to have the upgraded chip that helps with signal lock. My 76CSx has only lost signal when I let the batteries run out (duh!) and once when I went inside a mine shaft (another no-brainer...). Other than that, it always holds a very good signal even while tucked inside my jacket or backpack.

    I got my unit from eBay for $353 ("buy it now" price) shipped to my house. I can probably find the dealer again if you want to check out his offerings.
    AKmud
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    I just downloaded all of the Mapsource Topo of AK on to my new eTrex Vista Cx. It took less than 200 MB & I have a 1 GB card in it, so there is plenty of room to spare. I paid $16 for the card, BTW, and that was shipped to my house. (Another eBay deal) But a 250 MB card would have been enough.

    The Mapsource Topo map set comes in three disks. One for all of the eastern states, and another for all of the western states. Then there is another for AK and Hawaii, but they are separate maps on the disk. (At least that's the way I remember it.) What it doesn't have is Canada, and that's a shame for me. Drifting down the Fortymile, and all of a sudden all the details disappear. Didn't come back till we were nearly at Eagle.

    I could not find a way to join the maps though. Like putting Alaska and Hawaii together on one card for instance. So if you were taking a trip across the lower USA, you would not be able to string all the southern states together in one map. As far as I can tell, you also are not permitted more than one map on a card at a time either. Does anyone know a way around this? The other solution is to buy multiple cards, but this seems like such an artificial solution when one 2 GB card should hold it all.

    Another limitation I found was that while trying to load all of the western states on the card, the data only came to a total of 880 MB, but it still would not let me load them all. It said that I had 2020 too many items for the map. I'm not sure if this is because there is an internal limit on how many details can be loaded on one map, or if the 880 MB of data actually take up more than 1 GB of space once loaded on the card. Can somebody with a 2 GB card check this out? The way I got around it was to delete areas that I was sure I was never going to see anyway.

    Does anyone know about the other maps? The Nat'l Parks set for instance? does it have the same information as the Topo maps? Surely they must have more details. Also the street/highway map set; what's different about it? The Topo map set already seems to have all the roads. At least it has the little street that I live on and the tiny one my son lives on in Arizona.

    They are fun little devices though.

  10. #10
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default 76csx

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    When looking at the Garmin units, anything with an "x" designator (Cx, CSx, etc...) is supposed to have the upgraded chip that helps with signal lock. My 76CSx has only lost signal when I let the batteries run out (duh!) and once when I went inside a mine shaft (another no-brainer...). Other than that, it always holds a very good signal even while tucked inside my jacket or backpack.

    I got my unit from eBay for $353 ("buy it now" price) shipped to my house. I can probably find the dealer again if you want to check out his offerings.
    I was originally looking at the 76csx, but was turned off by the size (now, I am thinking I'd rather have larger). I came across the 60csx and liked what I saw. I haven't compared the two yet, but I think I recall something about the 76 being better for land and marine...I could be wrong. You are not the first person I've heard talk about the sat locking capabilities of the 76... Bottom line, I'd surely appreciate you sharing your source!

    Thanks!

  11. #11
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default actual space available

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    Another limitation I found was that while trying to load all of the western states on the card, the data only came to a total of 880 MB, but it still would not let me load them all. It said that I had 2020 too many items for the map. I'm not sure if this is because there is an internal limit on how many details can be loaded on one map, or if the 880 MB of data actually take up more than 1 GB of space once loaded on the card.
    Hey Jim, I don't pretend to know anything, but I know that the "said" amount of space available differs from the "actual" amount of space available...at least that is what I have been taught about other memory items, I can't imagine those chips are any different.

    How do you like the Vista? I had one for a while and I could not get it to hold a lock on a satelite, even under a clear blue sky. I returned it and have since read good reports of them...makes me wonder if I got a bad unit What are your experiences?

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 76CSx

    Looks like you will get a better deal than I did! It is going for $348 with free shipping right now - http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-GARMIN-GPSMA...QQcmdZViewItem

    By FAR the cheapest I have found. I think Cabela's is asking $450 for them (plus shipping!).
    AKmud
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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks Mud!

    That is a great deal! I have a while to think about it on the flight tomorrow. Heading back to Michigan to chase some browns! Thanks for the help!

    -Buck

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    Default confused

    I've looked over both the 76csx and the 60csx and I can't seem to find the difference in the two units...not sure what to think here. I wish I new if one of the is a newer model or what the scoop is here. Can anyone enlighten me?
    Thanks

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    GPS 60CSx - https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?...0&locale=en_US

    GPS 76CSx - https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?...1&locale=en_US

    Looks like the 76 is .2 oz heavier, it floats (60 does not),comes with a 128MB card (60 comes with 64MB), display is just a touch bigger, it has a "geocaching mode", and GPS games.

    The unit dimensions are really close. It looks like the most important difference is that the 76 floats where the 60 does not.

    One thing I noticed over my buddy's Magellan is the position of the buttons. His Magellan (like the 60CSx) has the buttons on the end of the unit. We noticed that when he has it tucked in his pocket, buttons keep getting pushed and have inadvertantly changed some settings and have even turned the unit off on occasion. The buttons on the 76CSx are more centered and I haven't had any problems with them being pressed while in my pocket or pack. This might have nothing to do with it, but it is a theory .

    MSRP on both units is $482.13 so cost difference shouldn't be an issue.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    BucknRut: I sold the eTrex Legend, but didn't get much for it. These things keep dropping in price like most other electronics. Not as fast as computers and digital cameras though. The Vista has faster aquisition of satelites and keeps a lock on them better. It's quite good actually, and a noticable improvement. The only complaint I have with these small GPS units is the size and resolution of their LCD screens. I know you can't make a small unit with a large screen, but if they just doubled the resolution I would be happy. Ohterwise, it's a great little toy.

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    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default blue chart tide charts ?

    Just installed blue chart this weekend, purchased the cd version & downloaded it, then uploaded the info to my 76csx. Anybody use the tide chart feature? The 76 is suposed to be able to allow the tide charts to be uploaded but I can't find where they are stored & displayed on the unit.
    Anyone else used this yet ?

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    My 76 came with the tide charts from the factory.

  19. #19
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    One thing I noticed over my buddy's Magellan is the position of the buttons. His Magellan (like the 60CSx) has the buttons on the end of the unit. We noticed that when he has it tucked in his pocket, buttons keep getting pushed and have inadvertantly changed some settings and have even turned the unit off on occasion. The buttons on the 76CSx are more centered and I haven't had any problems with them being pressed while in my pocket or pack. This might have nothing to do with it, but it is a theory .
    I can see where you are coming from on this. I think that actual use of the buttons would be awkward with the buttons on the bottom too. If I can justify the larger (than Vista) unit, I think I will go with the 76csx and be set for a while before I have to upgrade. It will give the capabilities I am looking for and I really want to hold onto a sat once I've got it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    BucknRut: I sold the eTrex Legend, but didn't get much for it. These things keep dropping in price like most other electronics. Not as fast as computers and digital cameras though. The Vista has faster aquisition of satelites and keeps a lock on them better. It's quite good actually, and a noticable improvement. The only complaint I have with these small GPS units is the size and resolution of their LCD screens. I know you can't make a small unit with a large screen, but if they just doubled the resolution I would be happy. Ohterwise, it's a great little toy.
    I hear ya on all of that Jim! I was interested in purchasing yours for a backup to leave in the boat. My brother has one that stays with his boat and we pull it out quite often for one reason or another. The screen resolution is something I don't understand either, but I guess they are trying to sell them and res would increase the price and decrease the sales.

    -Buck

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    Member akula682's Avatar
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    I have been looking at the 76 and 60 series and it is still a toss up for me… my first GPS was an inexpensive Magellan, (bought it in 98) I forget the model # but it was the first GPS hand unit under $100 and it was water tight and floated. It still works, just a bit slow. It was made before the WAAS system so it is not as precise as the newer ones. I really like the buttons at the bottom (like my current unit) you can hold the unit in your hand and navigate the unit features while having full access to the screen (which is grey scale… color will be a HUGE improvement).

    How well can you “one hand” the 76 and navigate the unit features and still see the full screen?

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