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jeffnles1
09-17-2010, 03:13 PM
I'm thinking of getting a new GPS and am thinking of one of the handhelds so I can load the topo maps as well.

Anyone have suggestions / personal experience with any of them?

Good / bad / indifferent?

Jeff

BigMax
09-17-2010, 04:12 PM
garmin edge 705 is awesome for a bike....expensive

the edge 305 is also cool

BigMax
09-17-2010, 04:16 PM
bicycle that is

ahighlan
09-17-2010, 04:35 PM
I've been looking into them as well. The most recommended in my research seems to be the Garmin 60csx. Many places online are clearing them out for about $200 right now.

Chuckwalla
09-17-2010, 05:05 PM
I have a DeLorme Earthmate. Great for hiking, fishing and Geocaching. Came with lots maps and a coupon to download more .

buckeyetrouter
09-17-2010, 08:30 PM
just ordered the DeLorme PN40. Emailed DeLorme customer service and explained my missions work in Haiti and Uganda and he told me to call when the unit gets here and he will let me download both Haiti and Uganda onto a SD card.....I'm hoping the unit is as good as their customer service....

Bob

Chuckwalla
09-18-2010, 10:26 AM
Bob,

My PN-30 has been pretty solid. The mapping software is not the most intuitive tool you'll ever use, but just take some time and play with it alot.

The customer service is outstanding.

jeffnles1
09-20-2010, 01:26 PM
Any of you guys use the Garmin Oregon series?

Grannyknot
09-20-2010, 03:45 PM
Jeff, i think you would be very satisfied with any of the Oregon models. My uncle has an Oregon 450t & I have a Rhino 530hcx. The garmin units and software are, in my opinion, far superior to the delorme products.

Chuckwalla
09-20-2010, 05:55 PM
I will agree that the Garmin software is better, but it's not free. The Delorme online maps are very good. The Garmin hardware I found lacking. The screen on the Oregon I had was awful. Could not be seen the sunlight. That's why it went back. Also, wasn't a big fan of the touch screen; if you have gloves on forget.

Garmin does make good stuff, but I just didn't care for the touch screen models. If you could find a 60cx, those are sweet. Also look at the new GPSMAP 62.

But I must say I'm happy with my PN30.

MadisonBoats
09-20-2010, 08:24 PM
I have the Garmin 400I for intercoastal waterways. I paid about $550 for it and I hate to admit it is a POS. This is the second one; the last one quite working on me. The GPS accuracy is horrible in East TN. I use mapsource and some of my trips show that I am floating down the side of a mountain. The temp option only works if you have a serial connection to the setup. Who is going to plug one of those $50 cables in and stick it in the water to get temp readings....? Probably the last Garmin handheld I will buy. I it worthless in a boat for navigation unless you have microvision....My bad and I hope you all learn from it too...

Grannyknot
09-21-2010, 08:30 AM
I will agree that the Garmin software is better, but it's not free. The Delorme online maps are very good. The Garmin hardware I found lacking. The screen on the Oregon I had was awful. Could not be seen the sunlight. That's why it went back. Also, wasn't a big fan of the touch screen; if you have gloves on forget.

Garmin does make good stuff, but I just didn't care for the touch screen models. If you could find a 60cx, those are sweet. Also look at the new GPSMAP 62.

But I must say I'm happy with my PN30.

John, you make a good point about the touch screens with gloves. I have a hard time pushing any small buttons with gloves on though. You can pay a hefty price for the garmin maps, but they are great maps. You can also find a lot of useful maps for free at www.gpsfiledepot.com (http://www.gpsfiledepot.com) .

My only real gripe with the Delorme's are that I have had 2 different experiences where they had trouble locating satellites. A guy had one up in Canada with me a few weeks back and it never found a satellite and the batteries died trying to do so. The Garmins booted up and located several within 30 seconds or so. The other time was with a friend in the smokies. I am sure they have some fine products though, and I have just experienced the bad eggs, which I'm sure both carriers have.


I have the Garmin 400I for intercoastal waterways. I paid about $550 for it and I hate to admit it is a POS. This is the second one; the last one quite working on me. The GPS accuracy is horrible in East TN. I use mapsource and some of my trips show that I am floating down the side of a mountain. The temp option only works if you have a serial connection to the setup. Who is going to plug one of those $50 cables in and stick it in the water to get temp readings....? Probably the last Garmin handheld I will buy. I it worthless in a boat for navigation unless you have microvision....My bad and I hope you all learn from it too...


Shawn, which one are you talking about...the Oregon or the Colorado? And how did you get one with intercoatal waterways? To my knowledge, those are preloaded with US Inland Lakes. If you are having problems with it on the Clinch, there is definately an issue and you should send it back.

Mac
09-27-2010, 10:57 AM
This might be a little off your intended direction but I have been using a Apple Iphone 4 with the GAIA app.

The GAIA app uses USGS Maps or mytopo.com maps. You can download the maps for free up to 50 tiles if you use the free GAIA version or unlimited Tiles if you use the paid app version. I went ahead and purchased their upgrade.

It has waypoints, tracking, distance, evalvation, time and all the standard features. The GPS works when you do not have cell phone service and was the main reason I purchased this particular app.

I have used it at Greenbriar, Hazel, Raven and WPLP and has worked great every time.

I am sure there a bigger and better units but for backcountry backpacking I find it nice to have a compass, backup flashlight, GPS Topo maps, and a camera all built into one unit. Even found it nice downloading apps that show the local birds, flowers and first ad steps just encase your hiking partner/brother needs it. :rolleyes:

Hey, You might even find it neat to use as a cell phone. :redface:

JoeFred
09-27-2010, 12:28 PM
Mac, if you don't mind sharing, in what file format are the USGS Maps or mytopo.com maps downloads. I'm having to ask since I've yet to be able to invest in a useful recreational GPS device. If I'm able to produce some of my maps for use on the Iphone, Garmins, etc., maybe I could raise the necessary cash.:smile:

Thanks,
JF

Mac
09-27-2010, 12:37 PM
Joefred,

Instead of me trying to explain something outside my knowledge set let me provide this:

http:// www. gaiagps . com

This is the website for the app that i was talking about and gives a pretty good explaination of what it offers.

Hope this helps.

Grannyknot
09-27-2010, 01:18 PM
Mac, if you don't mind sharing, in what file format are the USGS Maps or mytopo.com maps downloads. I'm having to ask since I've yet to be able to invest in a useful recreational GPS device. If I'm able to produce some of my maps for use on the Iphone, Garmins, etc., maybe I could raise the necessary cash.:smile:

Thanks,
JF

JoeFred, mytopo.com doesn't really do downloads, they offer more of a custom printed map. Regardless, USGS can be saved as a "jpeg" and mytopo.com maps can be saved in the "map preview" feature as a jpeg.

There are lots of maps that can be saved as a jpeg on the internet. Here is a section of one of my favorites.
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh256/CodyEdrington/NewPicture.jpg

JoeFred
09-27-2010, 04:54 PM
Interesting, Grannyknot. Thanks.

How large can a jpeg file be and be still be practical as an app?

JF

JoeFred
09-27-2010, 06:07 PM
Joefred,

Instead of me trying to explain something outside my knowledge set let me provide this:

http:// www. gaiagps . com

This is the website for the app that i was talking about and gives a pretty good explaination of what it offers.

Hope this helps.

Thanks. I'll check it out.

JF

jeffnles1
09-27-2010, 08:00 PM
Guys,
Thanks for all the input. I listened to the feedback here and read quite a reivews and checked out a couple different units. I went with the Garmin 450. I didn't go with the 450T because the 100K topo map seemed pretty well useless so I'll just get the 24K topo maps for areas I acctually intend to go and try to find some downloadable maps as well. I already had another Garmin unit and the city navigator micro SD card can work on both units (not at the same time of course).

So far, it seems accurate enough around where I live. I'll be in the Smoky's in October and will be able to check its accuracy out in the woods then.

Jeff

MadisonBoats
09-28-2010, 09:11 AM
Shawn, which one are you talking about...the Oregon or the Colorado? And how did you get one with intercoatal waterways? To my knowledge, those are preloaded with US Inland Lakes. If you are having problems with it on the Clinch, there is definately an issue and you should send it back.

I have the Oregon400i; it is working better. I had to log on to Garmin and update it about once a month to increase the accuracy. It still screws up right at CWF on the Clinch and shows me going through part of the mtn. Yeah, it comes with inland lakes Blue Water maps. They work ok; but, the Clinch tail-water does not have the detail that the lakes and lower parts of the Clinch. I read this model was rushed to market and the following versions that have cameras and gps-tag your images are much better. Topo maps and 3-D modes are pretty cool; but, not really good for navigation. Also; there are no blue-tooth/wireless accessories for this unit. I figured they would end up putting out a wireless temp sensor, depth sounder or something....:rolleyes:

jeffnles1
09-28-2010, 02:46 PM
Shawn,
I got the 450 which is the next model they came out with after the one you have. All the tech reviews I have said the 450 was better out of the box than the 400 (all the 400 model's firmware updates were in the 450) as well as an improved satellite reception. Don't know about all that stuff but it does seem to work quite well.

I did opt to go with the regular one vs. the T one as the 100K topo maps that come standard with the "T" ones are not very high resolution at 100K. The 24K maps are more detailed.

Tell you the truth though, I doubt if I actually know enough to tell the difference.

Don't have the lakes maps but may buy them sometime down the road.

Jeff