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Thread: Help on Selecting a GPS

  1. #1

    Question Help on Selecting a GPS

    Going thru my gear again and found out my cheap Garmin Etrex GPS is hard-broke.

    Decided to buy a new one and need it very soon with sheep season right around the corner. Did some research on the forums but still haven't decided--please help me out. What I am looking for is a cheap GPS (under $225 preferably and would like a color screen too) that will load the National Geographic Topo-Alaska map software onto it. Also if you have any recommendations on where to buy either the GPS and/or the mapping software for a good price I would appreciate it.

    To solve my problem I went out and bought a Magellen Triton 300 but then got it home and read the largely negative/critical reviews of it on many websites and also found out it doesn't have the memory to download the Nat-Geo maps so it is going to go back to the store--sort of leery about buying a higher model Triton if the low-end gets such bad reviews.

    Please give me your 2 cents worth on what I should buy and where...

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Options

    $280 will net you a Garmin 60 CSX with all the options from Amazon



    Or for $240 you could step down to the Vista HCX



    The next step down eliminates the hi sensitivity ant. as well as another 20 bucks on the purchase price whit puts it under your $225 limit.
    Check out the specs from garmin for the etrex vista CX which has been discontinued but is generally a well liked unit
    I purchased the 60CSX and I like it. The compass is great but It does need to be calibrated daily. Don't try to navigate on foot without calibrating the compass! It only takes a minute but you look mentally defective spinning around in circles its only two rotations but still

  3. #3

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    I just bought the 60 csx for the same price. What an awesome gps. So far, I cannot get this thing to lose a signal, and I like the color screen. You may just think it's worth the extra dough.

  4. #4

    Default Can you put NatGeo TOPO! Alaska on the Garmins

    Thanx for the info--as usual LuJon your posts are filled with great advice--wondering if the Garmins recommended will accept the NatGeo TOPO! Alaska maps---read on some sites that sell the software that it will but would like confirmation from somebody actually using the software. If not, what mapping software are you using?

    Thanx again

  5. #5

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    I only use the garmin software. One time I tried to install maps from my topo usa software, but I think the software was too old (i have the original version). I too have heard some say that other software manufacturers will work on the garmin, but I have never seen it firsthand.

  6. #6
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by majorbam View Post
    Thanx for the info--as usual LuJon your posts are filled with great advice--wondering if the Garmins recommended will accept the NatGeo TOPO! Alaska maps---read on some sites that sell the software that it will but would like confirmation from somebody actually using the software. If not, what mapping software are you using?

    Thanx again
    I use the Mapsource topo 2008 from Garmin. It will add about $80 to any of the GPS units above but is all of North America. Any micro SD card will work and I got a cheap 2 gig one that I loaded the whole state on and I still have tons of room to upload any place I am lucky enough to hunt elswhere in the lesser 48.
    I think it is easier to navigate the Garmin software than the Nat Geo but the scale and the clarity is not nearly as nice. I do believe that there is a way to download/upload your trips into/out of the Nat Geo software to a garmin unit though I have not found a reason to play with that yet. The biggest difference is that the Garmin maps are only 1:100K where the Nat Geo goes to 1:24K. I navigate with the Garmin and plan trips with the Nat Geo. I also print Nat Geo maps to carry with me.
    These little mongrels are not cheap and even the cheapest carries about $100 in hidden costs when you add the Micro SD card and the mapping software! They do make it nice especially where a mistake on your exact location could mean big bucks in fines if you accidently take an illegal animal. Oh and there is the safety thing as well.

  7. #7
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I have the Garmin GPS Map 60cs (before the csx, which has expandable memory). I love it. I have a mount for it that goes on the dash board of my snowmachine, I use it boating, hunting, hiking, etc. It has an altimeter that you can calibrate with the GPS or by being at a known atlitude. This is helpful for getting an idea on what the weather is doing. It will tell you when sunrise and sunset are going to be. Does a great job on mapping where you are, where you have been, etc. I bought the garmin maps (can't remember which one right now). That was $100 bucks, and I think it was a great deal. I can load quite a bit of area into the GPS and get topo maps for the area I will be in.

    I have't used many other GPS units, but I think this one is great.

  8. #8
    Member Xanfly's Avatar
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    Oakman I have the csx model and I agree. Very versitile. And the detail on the marine maps is great. I bought mine right after they came out and paid $500 for it, I think they are under $300 now.

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    With the Nat. Geo maps you can download/upload waypoints to a Garmin but not the maps themselves. For the maps you have to use Garmin's own MapSource Topo Maps, or find some freebees on the internet. Here's a good place to strart looking... http://freegeographytools.com/2007/g...sd-card-tricks

    As far as I know, Magellan Triton series are the only ones that acccept the Nat. Geo. Maps. Their model 400 uses SD cards for storage, and retails for $200.

    http://www.magellangps.com/products/....asp?segID=425

  10. #10
    Member BigHinER's Avatar
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    Default Color??

    How do the garmins do with the color displays? I've heard they really drain batteries. I have a Map60 and it seems to do well with rechargeable batteries, although I have a 12v wire for the atv.
    Originally Posted by BIGBOB
    Estimate of time of death appears to be same day he died.

  11. #11
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    If you are looking at the 60csx I would compare it side by side to the 76csx. The 76csx is basically the same thing, but it floats, has I think a little more memory, and is geared more towards being onto wheelers, boats, and such. That being said is has all the same buttons, features, and more options in a different package.

    Anyways check out the 76csx and 60csx in a side by side comparison and the 76csx becomes a real obvious winner. I picked my up on Amazon for $249 shipped.

  12. #12

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    I recently bought a Garmin Rino 530 HCX and it has the color display and the batteries on it hold up really well. The only complaint is that the batteries are the NiCd I think and so getting spares to take to the woods with you is pretty pricey. Other than that I'm pretty impressed. Oh, I also like the NOAA receiver feature as well. It's kinda nice to have some sort of idea of the the weather is going to do in the near futures.
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  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Battery life...

    "How do the garmins do with the color displays? I've heard they really drain batteries."


    I am looking at getting another gps myself. Garmin of course. I have a legend C now and love it, but want another gps for a back up. I saw where the battery life on the etrex Legend HCx and Vista HCx are 25 hours or so. The other models with larger screens have much shorter battery life.


    For prices, I saw some low prices on www.thegpsstore.com . Below is a link from that site. I have bought from them before and they are very reputable.

    Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS +US TOPO+1GB microSD
    eTrex Legend HCx Topographic Package includes: Wrist strap, PC interface cable, manual,+ Mapsource US TOPO map software + 1GB microSD + Carry Case.
    SKU#: GA00629T | ID#: 1625 Price: $299.95
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