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Thread: recommendations for a hand held gps...

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    Member arcticfox77's Avatar
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    Default recommendations for a hand held gps...

    i was wanting to get one before spring. wouldnt know what to look for in a unit. just gonna use it to plot honey holes mostly. whats a reasonable price for one? thanks!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    For your application you could probably do with any off the shelf cheaper garmin like an etrex. If you wanted the option of upgrading to blue charts later you could go with a garmin 76CSX another good thing about it is that it FLOATS!

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Definitely the GPSMAP 76Cx. It is the handheld marine GPSr. For boating, you don't really need the "S" model (76CSx) as that adds an electronic compass and altimeter. If you need an altimeter for boating, the seas are too rough. And the electronic compass would be a bear to calibrate for use inside your boat. There is a bracket for these that can mount on your console so it will be easier to work with while boating. A plug can be wired in so it runs off your boat's electrical system and saves batteries. It's a great handheld unit as well.
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    I second the Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx choice. I have one as a backup GPS, and I carry this on my dirtbike in the summertime in a backpack, and use it mounted on my snowmachine in the winter. I have several friend that do the same with this unit, and none of us have had a problem. They are tough and reliable.

    Jim

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I second the Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx choice. I have one as a backup GPS, and I carry this on my dirtbike in the summertime in a backpack, and use it mounted on my snowmachine in the winter. I have several friend that do the same with this unit, and none of us have had a problem. They are tough and reliable.

    Jim
    I use my GPS for everything from the boat to ATV to the Sled as well as hiking. I like the CSX models for the electronic compass. Unless you are moving 3mph the non compass models cannot tell which direction you are facing which makes it a real pain in thick alders. For me it is worth the added $50 which is why I only recommend it. For all the motorized uses the CS model will get you taken care of.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    I'm going against the flow here and recommending the Garmin Colorado 400C. It comes with BlueChart G2 preloaded with coastal charts for all of North America. Reception and screen resolution are phenomenal, and it has many features that the older units could only wish to have (built-in tide tables, barometric altimeter, hunt/fish calendar, etc.). It is fully waterproof, and runs on 2 AA batteries for upwards of 15 hours. Awesome unit, hands down. Check it out on Garmin's website, then buy it on Amazon for $150 less.


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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    One thing I didn't mention is that the 400C is the smallest unit on the market that can utilize the BlueChart G2 Vision SD cards via the slot on the side of the unit. G2 Vision adds quite a few more features than the standard G2, with the neatest being the marinerís eye view perspective. It provides the mariner with a 3-D perspective of chart information for a quick, reliable and easy position fix. Talk about making it easy to scope out the pinnacles and "halibut hills" out there in the ocean! It is amazing to see in action.


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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    I'm going against the flow here and recommending the Garmin Colorado 400C. It comes with BlueChart G2 preloaded with coastal charts for all of North America. Reception and screen resolution are phenomenal, and it has many features that the older units could only wish to have (built-in tide tables, barometric altimeter, hunt/fish calendar, etc.). It is fully waterproof, and runs on 2 AA batteries for upwards of 15 hours. Awesome unit, hands down. Check it out on Garmin's website, then buy it on Amazon for $150 less.
    Are the preloaded coastal charts adequate, adequate for PWS. If youíre hiking around some islands will it show you where the beach is?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    it has many features that the older units could only wish to have (built-in tide tables, barometric altimeter, hunt/fish calendar, etc.). It is fully waterproof, and runs on 2 AA batteries for upwards of 15 hours. Awesome unit, hands down. Check it out on Garmin's website, then buy it on Amazon for $150 less.
    Model 76 cx:
    Tide tables=check
    hunt, fish=check
    Alt.=check (while not barometric, but close enough) really, really close (can you live with + or - 30 feet?)
    Runs forever on 2 AA's=check
    waterproof=check
    floats=check

    Got mine on sale for $300 at West Marine 2 years ago. Look around and find the same.

    Have owned a total of 3 different Garmin units. Model 12, Etrex (2 of them) and the 76cx. And thats not counting the 250W in my truck.


    So call it 4 different Garmin units, and they all work flawlessly.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by breausaw View Post
    Are the preloaded coastal charts adequate, adequate for PWS. If youíre hiking around some islands will it show you where the beach is?
    The preloaded charts are beyond adequate. BlueChart G2 chart data comes directly from small-scale NOAA charts. Here's a link to Garmin's site so you can see exactly what all the details of G2 encompass.

    I picked my Colorado 400C for $300 in December at West Marine as well ($350 w/$50 rebate). While the 76cx is a good model, keep in mind that it was released years ago. Would you buy an old computer? Same logic.

    http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/g2/g2.jsp

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Actually, the "x" models are pretty new. That designates the newest high resolution GPSr chipset. Accuracy is phenomenal. Any of the "x" Garmins all use the same receiver hardware. That includes the eTrex, 60, 76, Oregon, Colorado, etc. All use the same receiver processor and nearly identical software.

    You can find hardware and software differences within the same model over the years. Just for instance, when the GPS 12 was the mainstay of handhelds, they changed the internals at least 3 times that I'm aware of. The only way to tell was to look up the software version number in the unit. Externally they looked the same, but they functioned differently.

    I'll give you one key advantage of the Oregon or Colorado units... they come with a mapset preloaded. To get this on other units requires purchasing the MapSource maps separately. So add $100 to your chosen unit if you want to accurately compare the price with either the Oregon or the Colorado (very similar units, the Colorado has a touch screen, the Oregon has buttons & a "wheel" control).
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    I have always used Garmins and don't think you can go wrong with them. Just look for the features that are most important to you at a price you can afford. I actually got my last model off of Ebay and not only was it still new but I got it at quite a discount. Might be worth looking into.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I like the looks of the new Garmins. Does anyone have experience with them using lithium batts? My 60 series has a voltage cutoff and will not work on brand new lithiums since they have a higher initial potential. The big bonus with the 76 is that it floats, for a boating hand held that is a really great feature!

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    Default Garmin GPS76

    Ok, so it is black and white and old. So am I. You can get one for $50 on ebay or new for $110. It has good tide info and the batteries last well. Screen is large and it is WAAS enabled. If you buy used, make sure to upload the latest WAAS upgrade (you'll need a cable).

    Scott

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Does anyone have experience with them using lithium batts? My 60 series has a voltage cutoff and will not work on brand new lithiums since they have a higher initial potential.
    The 76 series works with lithium and has also has a lithium battery setting to make the "power level" indicator accurate. I've heard that the problem with lithiums in the newest 60's was fixed. I believe that the Oregon & Colorado are also lithium ready, but I would suggest checking the owner's manual to be sure.

    Note that you can download the owner's manual for any Garmin GPSr from the Garmin website. I find that glancing through the owner's manual before making your purchase can be quite beneficial in comparing features that aren't listed in the sales brochure.
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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    I bought the Garmin Oregon 400c, preloaded with the BlueCharts. It is spendy, but so far I love it. The touch screen is way easier to navigate with than my old GPSIII+. That is the only other unit I have owned, so my opinion is not too valuable.
    It accepts the SD cards for topo, roads, photos or what ever you want to look at.
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    Member arcticfox77's Avatar
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    Default just got my cabelas catalog...

    and the colorado starts at 500 bucks!! its a sweet lookin gps but i just cant see myself splurging on something like that. gonna need that money for the gas in my boat this summer. especially since i think gas will be over 5 bucks a gallon this summer.

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    Default Garmin Colorado

    I was interested in the Colorado when West Marine had them on sale before Christmas but was turned away by the ratings on REI website. Any comments from actual users on the drawbacks noted? Interesting REI doesn't have the Colorado available on their web site anymore but some of the reviews from the Oregon give an indication of poor stability and performance. I had a Garmin 45xl by the way and loved it and now have the 520S which is a bit of a come down from the Furuno GP7000F I had on my previous boat but still a decent unit. Sorry to hear bad reviews on a Garmin product so would like to hear of any problems with the Colorado.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticfox77 View Post
    and the colorado starts at 500 bucks!! its a sweet lookin gps but i just cant see myself splurging on something like that. gonna need that money for the gas in my boat this summer. especially since i think gas will be over 5 bucks a gallon this summer.
    That's because you're shopping at Cabela's! Here it is on the West Marine website for $349.99. Plus, be sure you are buying the "c" model if you want to have the BlueChart capabilities.

    http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...&ci_sku=300176

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