Author Topic: GPS thoughts  (Read 3853 times)

Offline footpad

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GPS thoughts
« on: December 13, 2013, 07:41:11 AM »
I've never had a GPS and, unless otherwise enlightened, I have it narrowed down to a couple.


The garmin Etrex30

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-trail/handhelds/etrex-30/prod87774.html

Or

The Garmin GPSMAP 62

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-trail/handhelds/gpsmap-62s/prod63801.html



Comparing specs they look very close. In what makes them run. Now the 62 has the larger more powerful antenna but the etrex30 has the Russian based GLONASS which is still being developed.

For you tech guys out there, could this have a certain amount of redundancy in the event civilian GPS goes down?

Thanks

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 07:54:10 AM »
I can't really help with those specific GPS units, but I'd point you to GPS Information site.  They have reviews on tons of the GPS units.  Both of the units you mention are on that site.

Etrex 30
GPSmap 62

Is there any reason that you are looking at just Garmin?  I haven't bought a GPS in several years, but at that time I found that the other manufacturers had very comparable units at a lower price.  So if you haven't already, you may want to look at the other brands.

nelson96

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 09:24:41 AM »
There are lots of reasons to buy a GPS, it might help if we heard yours.  I use mine simply to get from Point A to Point B, so all I need is a waypoint that I can use to get a bearing and a distance, then I use my compass from there.  For that reason I like something very BASIC.  I don't like to wait for satellites, so a good antenna is very important to me too.  In owning both Garmin and Magellan, I've found the Magellan to be quicker, but that may vary between models.

I have two that use older technology.  I don't typically keep it on and use the GPS unit to give me a heading (I use my compass).  That said, mine is only accurate if I am moving at a minimum of 2 MPH.  If you intend to use your GPS to maintain an accurate heading, look for one that offers a 3-axis electronic compass.  This allows you to maintain an accurate heading even when you're standing still.

I would recommend a GPS if you plan to spend ANY time hiking or hunting.  They make it impossible to get lost, as long as the satellites stay in the sky and you have batteries.

endurance

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 09:46:47 AM »
I've had a Delorme PN-20 for about three years now and love it.  It's a lot cheaper and has a lot of the same features.  Just depends on what your priorities are.  I like sat views along with topos, the ability to have several different SD cards (one for Wyoming, one for Colorado, one for the parts of New Mexico and Utah I ride or boat in), and good battery life.  I don't see much value in a barometric altimeter since I have a topo map to confirm that info if it's really that important.  I've had three garmins in the past and when I bought my new gps, Delorme offered more features for less money, which is why I made the switch.  I also had problems with my sports garmin units (two EDGE 300s went wonky in less than two years), so I don't have 100% confidence in the brand, but my etrex was ok (electronically ok, but the screen became damaged after dropping it on a tile floor once, while I've done far worse to my PN-20 without any issues).

Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 10:41:18 AM »
I have a 60 and a 62 and they are awesome GPS's, I use them a lot and I always have +-9 ft or so. I dont know what you are looking for but I would suggest the 62.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 01:32:39 PM »
Endurance, I also have a PN-20 that works great for my uses.  I use it for geocaching and I use it while hiking on camping trips. 

Offline footpad

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 02:00:10 PM »
Most of my use would be normal hiking. Usually outside of normal cell coverage.

I'd like to have something where when I get off the trail I won't have to worry about getting turned around.

Overlaying satellite imagery would be a nice feature.

Not concerned with geocaching although anything that can find a point should be able to work fine.

I'll start checking out other brands. For some reason I do not want a camera. It seems gimmicky to me. Like a printer that scans and faxes too. Loks like the magellans all have cameras until you get to the lower models.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 02:09:57 PM by footpad »

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 02:54:08 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of them do not include the mapping software.  That's one benefit to the Delorme.

nelson96

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2013, 05:16:46 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of them do not include the mapping software.  That's one benefit to the Delorme.

For me that's just more gadgets to learn to navigate.  I carry fire maps from that I get from the forest service, they serve my purpose.  If you want to track where you've been, maps are cool though.

@ footpad
Make sure the one you get is easy to add coordinates manually.  And make sure it's easy to change how the coordinates read (ie  degree-hour-minute vs. degree-hour-seconds).  We hunt with people who use other brands and models than us and we often have a hell of a time if they can't figure out how to manually add coordinates when we want to meet at a certain spot.  And if they are different in the way they are set, it can put us off course from one another.

Offline footpad

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 05:52:32 PM »
Haven't checked delorme yet. Will do now. Thanks

I bet being part of the fire service you can read a map like a 1st grade book.

Although I'm a bit rusty, (its always calculating declination and converting magnetic north and such) I've had a lot of time navigation with old fashioned paper maps and compass. Both on water and over land. I've actually never used a GPS myself. I was in the service before GPS was common. Our old gps was worked by the company commander and it was about the size of a laptop. Only gave coordinate read outs. And used about 3 batteries a day! Lol.

I agree that everyone should know how to navigate the old fashioned way. Especially getting used to terrain association.


nelson96

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 06:04:24 PM »
@ footpad
Not sure if you were referencing my post on your last post, but I'm not in fire service.  I buy the fire maps becuase in the areas I hunt they provide the best detail in terms of roads, road closures, and trails you don't find on other maps.

Sadly, I'm not good at using a map to gain coordinates that I can use on my GPS.  We simply "mark" a waypoint on our GPS from where we go in to the brush and where we want to come out.  Most of the time though we are very familiar with the areas we hunt and have way points we've saved from previous trips.  We also carry two-way radios and share our positions throughout the day so we know where everyone is at (we typically hunt alone - spread out a 1/4 mile or so).

One of the old farts that hunts with us loves having maps on his.  He leaves his GPS on all day and can see where he's been and can also see where he's going (severe elevation changes).  This proves helpful for him because he doesn't know the area as well and can adjust his direction to avoid steep inclines. 

endurance

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 06:27:10 PM »
Just to add redundancy, there are a number of good apps out there that allow you to pre-download topo maps to your phone.  The one I have on my iphone is simply called Topo Maps and was under $10.  It's always nice to have something with you even when you forgot your GPS at home because you didn't plan on straying.  I can also do screen shots and text them to my hunting partners to let them know where I am when I do have cell coverage.

I wouldn't treat this as a replacement for a GPS, just another layer of safety.

nelson96

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 06:32:50 PM »
Just to add redundancy, there are a number of good apps out there that allow you to pre-download topo maps to your phone.  The one I have on my iphone is simply called Topo Maps and was under $10.  It's always nice to have something with you even when you forgot your GPS at home because you didn't plan on straying.  I can also do screen shots and text them to my hunting partners to let them know where I am when I do have cell coverage.

Thankfully I don't have cell coverage where I hunt  8)

Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: GPS thoughts
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2013, 07:50:41 PM »
I am pretty sure Garmin comes with the basic 1/100,000 maps, and you can buy areas on SD cards and drop them into the GPS for cheap that are 1/25,000.