Mar 2, 2013 at 6:38 am #1299879
What dedicated mapping GPS are folk using (not smartphones) and do you buy your maps online or on cards or get them for free off the Internet?
StephenMar 2, 2013 at 11:58 am #1960555
Some of us use a GPS receiver with a memory card installed, and map data is on the memory card that was transferred from a DVD.
–B.G.–Mar 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm #1960615
Could you tell me what gps unit and mapping software you are using?Mar 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm #1960618
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Garmin 60CSx. Getting to be a bit old, I don't even know if they still sell it. They have some newer ones that are similar but with better displays.
It has a better antenea and electronics so it keeps satellite reception under trees and in canyons better. Rarely it loses reception in a canyon but it comes back after a while and is only minor inconvenience. Cheaper Garmins don't get as good reception. Delorme and others are the same – most expensive models have better reception.
I bought Garmin topo software but now there are free ones just as good or better, such as http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/.Mar 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm #1960625
One GPS receiver that I use in my car is a Garmin Colorado. It has the memory card of maps.
The mapping software that I use on my computer is TOPO!, but that has nothing to do with the Garmin Colorado. I use it for generating custom color maps before a backpacking trip where I carry either an old Garmin GPS12XL or an old Garmin Geko. Neither of them displays mapping.
–B.G.–Mar 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm #1960627
Thanks Gents,Mar 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm #1960628
"Garmin 60CSx", "It has a better antenea and electronics so it keeps satellite reception under trees and in canyons better."
I do believe that the 60CSx operates better than most receivers of its era. Most of that signal acquisition performance comes from the improved chipset (electronics and software) that Garmin started using then. Very little extra comes from the actual antenna.
As it turns out, most of the antennas in use prior to then were a bit better, because they had to be. That was because the early chipsets weren't all that smart. It also turns out that you don't want the antenna to be much more sensitive, because then it has problems with interference.
If you have a 60CSx and it still works good, you should hold onto it.
–B.G.–Mar 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm #1960650
I use Garmin Oregon 450 with Garmin Topo maps. Also I use Natgeo Alltrails software, its kinda meh..mostly I will renew the subscription after 1 year.
I find Hillmaps is one of the best free TOPO software with route planning feature out there. But it sucks when it comes to printing.Mar 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm #1960654
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
The marketing material said something about antenea being better, but not to worry
The buttons on the front are beginning to wear out. Especially the "in" and "out" buttons have pieces of the plastic worn off so you can't read "in" and "out" but I remember what they are. In a few years it may be difficult to push them in enough to acuate them. And the plastic on the screen is getting scuffed so it's a little hard to read, especially in some light. I wonder if there's anything I could do to make the plastic clear again.
The battery cover latch broke, but I fixed it with a piece of aluminum, nail head, and epoxy.
Not that I'm complaining. If anything just the opposite. I've used it so much it's beginning to wear out.Mar 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm #1960664
I have a Garmin eTrex 30, with Garmin Basecamp, and have loaded in free topo maps from GPSFileDepot. There are also forums on that site to help you through the download procedures. The people are really helpful.
I had originally planned on using National Geographic but don't see any need at this point as I am very happy with something that costs nothing.
I do subscribe to Garmin's Birdseye which is inexpensive ($29) satellite imagery that downloads to my eTrex30. That way I can toggle between topo and satellite maps.Mar 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm #1960670
"The marketing material said something about antenea being better, but not to worry"
Well, it is a lot easier for a customer to understand that way.
Before that, the quadrifilar antenna was pretty good for better immunity to multipath interference (signals bouncing off unintended places). However, it cost more to build and was subject to breakage. The patch antenna was cheaper and more reliable, but it could not ignore multipath. If you really want immunity from multipath, get yourself a choke ring antenna (it looks like a flying saucer).
"The buttons on the front are beginning to wear out."
Yes, the colored paint on some of my oldest receiver's buttons is gone, so I just have to know what is supposed to be there. Maybe somebody has a good idea for some kind of paint spot that would stick there. Fingernail polish?
I purchased my old GPS12XL in early 1997, and I am going to have to keep using it until I get it paid off!
–B.G.–Mar 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm #1960685
I have a ~10 yr old Lowrance iFinder color H20, weighs ~8oz with batteries.
Has detailed topo and roadmaps to street level, and POI of the entire US and waterways on a card in it.
Im always surprised by the obscure trails that are on it too.Mar 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm #1960743
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
Something to consider if you buy the Garmin mapping is that if you buy mapping on a media card you can only use the mapping on the GPS (not on your computer). If you buy it on a DVD, you can use it on your Computer as well as your GPS.
I really like to do my trip planning on my computer and transfer it to my GPS, so I won't buy Garmin's media card mapping. I actually like the Garmin mapping because their topo mapping supports auto-routing. Some of the free stuff doesn't support auto-routing, which is not a big deal but I find it a handy feature.
We are lucky here in Canada because Topo Canada (DVD) is not locked to the GPS unit. It can be loaded on any of my GPS's without having to register it to the GPS code.
I have an Etrex Vista Hcx and an Etrex 20 and I use the Etrex 20 exclusively now. I gave my Garmin 60csx to my son and I agree that it had the best receiver that Garmin has ever released in a handheld unit (it was a SirfStar receiver which is why it was so good).
Edited to add:
A friend of mine uses Open Street Maps on his Garmin GPS. The trails are up-to-date and I believe the map data supports auto-routing (even along the trails which Garmin mapping doesn't support).Mar 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm #1960750
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
I use the Delorme PN-60 and the TOPO software that comes with it. You can download a variety of maps. I get an annual subscription that allows unlimited downloads of every map type. I like the product very much.Mar 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm #1960767
I had Garmin 60CS–>60CSx and now etrex 30.
Etrex can work more than 30hours on a pair of AA lithium l91. Is very light at ca 135g and has Glonass.Mar 2, 2013 at 11:14 pm #1960770
@redpointLocale: British Columbia
I use and love my Garmin 60 CSx. I use topos I bought from Garmin – stored on a microSD card installed under the batteries. It's a fantastic unit all round.Mar 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm #1962345
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Been very happy with my nada gps. Virtually weightless, no extra maps to purchase, battery usage is nil. Highly recommended.Mar 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm #1962375
Very witty Nick :-)
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