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Thread: Gps?

  1. #1
    Senior Member hikes-with-him's Avatar
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    Gps?

    Ok...did a search and didn't see anything...

    Hubby and I have decided to get a GPS for x-mas. We will have about $300 to spend.

    Obviously, a good GPS will help with finding our way to the trailhead...but, we've also heard that they can be really good for finding our way to the peaks as well...updated trail maps and the like...or using coordinates to find our way if lost.

    Also...geocaching sounds kind of fun too

    SO...what are the suggestions?
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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikes-with-him View Post
    Ok...did a search and didn't see anything...
    Look again--there are a number of threads on "what GPS to buy". (But thanks for trying before posting...)

    BTW, the search engine on this BBS does not index 3-letter terms and thus cannot find "GPS" for you. Use Google advanced search limited to http://www.vftt.org/forums.

    You could also search on 60CSx--most threads about GPS recommendations include that model name. (See below.)

    Hubby and I have decided to get a GPS for x-mas. We will have about $300 to spend.

    Obviously, a good GPS will help with finding our way to the trailhead...but, we've also heard that they can be really good for finding our way to the peaks as well...updated trail maps and the like...or using coordinates to find our way if lost.

    Also...geocaching sounds kind of fun too

    SO...what are the suggestions?
    IMO, the Garmin 60CSx should be at the top of your shortlist. ($288 on Amazon.) The 76CSx is the same GPS in a different case layout. (The 60Cx and 76Cx are similar, minus only a few features.)

    Expect to buy a larger memory card (at least 2GB) and maps.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 12-07-2009 at 11:22 AM.

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    You can look at the 'tag search' found with the search botton or click on the tag at the bottom of this thread -"gps" for many of the recent threads on gps.
    I'm just outwalkin....

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    Senior Member paul ron's Avatar
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    Are you a member on the ADK site?... if you sign in there is a section just for GPS n orienteering.... http://www.adkforum.com/

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    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    DougPaul and I were discussing the 60CSX at Audrey and Pat's party.
    I'd like to pick up a backup, but have been putting it off until I can determine whether the new units are shipping with the original chipset.

    DougPaul or others, anyone know what the new ones use?
    When my 3+ year old 60CSx powers up, it shows the chipset as its initializing.
    One of the EMS folks I was talking with stuck batteries in a new one and couldn't tell which chipset it used.
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    DougPaul or others, anyone know what the new ones use?
    When my 3+ year old 60CSx powers up, it shows the chipset as its initializing.
    One of the EMS folks I was talking with stuck batteries in a new one and couldn't tell which chipset it used.
    I believe they still use the SiRF StarIII chipsets, but I couldn't prove it.

    When I boot my 60CSx, the first initialization screen says "Copyright SiRF Technology, Inc 2008" at the bottom. I presume that this means that the GPS contains an SiRF chipset.


    While I would prefer the SiRF StarIII chipset, a number of reports suggest that the other "high sensitivity" chipsets give similar performance. Haven't really tried to track the issue down.

    You might try calling TVNAV http://www.tvnav.com/ (a small authorized Garmin GPS dealer). Darrel (the owner) is quite knowledgeable.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 12-07-2009 at 04:44 PM.

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    DougPaul and I were discussing the 60CSX at Audrey and Pat's party.
    Off topic - this doesn't say much for the party...

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    Member MikeM's Avatar
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    The Garmin 60CSx is a great unit. I had one for a couple of years and ended up losing it on a canoe trip in the adirondacks this summer. It is at the bottom of Fourth Lake near Inlet. After the loss I was thinking about buying a lesser model as punishment for being a real jerk! However, In the end I sucked it up and bought another one for around $275. I will have a floaty attached to it next time it goes on a canoe trip.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The Garmin 60CSx is a great unit. I had one for a couple of years and ended up losing it on a canoe trip in the adirondacks this summer. It is at the bottom of Fourth Lake near Inlet. After the loss I was thinking about buying a lesser model as punishment for being a real jerk! However, In the end I sucked it up and bought another one for around $275. I will have a floaty attached to it next time it goes on a canoe trip.
    The 60CSx (or was it the 60CS...) is reported to float when used with lithium batteries. (Lithium cells are lighter than alkaline cells are lighter than NiMH cells.) The Garmin case https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=1189 http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-010-105...0227851&sr=8-1 is made partly of foamed neoprene (wetsuit fabric) which will also provide some flotation. You might also be able to put some closed cell foam in the back of the case to add some flotation.

    You should be able to test whatever you do in the sink or in a bucket.

    And finally, the 76CSx is the same GPS in a bigger case. It is rated to float (with alkaline batteries).

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 12-07-2009 at 06:24 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    "Off topic - this doesn't say much for the party... " LOL
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    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

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    Senior Member hikes-with-him's Avatar
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    Alright...another silly question.

    We do NOT have the Internet at home...only at work and I cannot bring in my GPS or download anything from home.

    It seems, from what I've been reading that you need to download maps? Is a GPS useful for hiking purposes if you CANNOT download anything?
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  12. #12
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikes-with-him View Post
    It seems, from what I've been reading that you need to download maps? Is a GPS useful for hiking purposes if you CANNOT download anything?
    GPSes can be used without maps, but they are much more useful with. Without maps, you have to convert locations to numerical coordinates and back to transfer them between the GPS and a paper map. With an internal electronic map, the locations and tracks are simply displayed directly on the map. I higly recommend that you only consider a mapping GPS.

    Many (most?) computer mapping programs allow one to electronically transfer a location (waypoint or track) between a map on the computer and the GPS even if the GPS does not have the same map (or even a mapping capability).

    Mapping GPSes generally require maps in specific (generally proprietary formats). You can buy many of them on CDROM/DVD (to download into the GPS) which has the advantage that you can use the same maps on your computer. (Some maps are available only on data cards--these cannot be used in your computer. A severe disadvantage, IMO.) For Garmin GPSes, I recommend starting with Garmin Topo US 100K (the entire US at 100K scale) on DVD.

    There are free amateur-made maps available at some websites, but you are unable to access them. Their quality is variable.

    Most of this is covered in previous threads. If you haven't already done so, please search on "60CSx". Most of the threads on choosing a GPS have obvious titles.

    Doug

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    Senior Member Little Rickie's Avatar
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    Don't leave your map and compass at home, even if you have extra batteries. .
    Last edited by Little Rickie; 12-08-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Rickie View Post
    Don't leave your map and compass at home, even if you extra batteries. .
    Absolutely! Little Rickie is spot on about map and compass.

    You should not rely entirely on mechanical equipment that can malfunction or have dead batteries. Also, the GPS functionality may not be easy to learn without a basic understanding of wilderness navigation.

    Marty
    Last edited by marty; 12-08-2009 at 11:51 AM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Rickie View Post
    Don't leave your map and compass at home, even if you extra batteries. .
    Yawn, this one again...

    All 4 devices (add an altimeter) give complementary information and have failure modes. Each has strengths and weaknesses. All together are more robust than any subset.

    Quote Originally Posted by marty View Post
    You should not rely entirely on mechanical equipment that can malfunction or have dead batteries. Also, the GPS functionality may not be easy to learn without a basic understanding of wilderness navigation.
    A compass is mechanical equipment that can malfunction...

    Basic point-to-point navigation is basic point-to-point navigation. If you learn the general techniques, you can apply them using whatever combination of tools you have available. There are a number of other tools--watch (time-of-day), sun position, sun movement, stars, terrain, biological clues, weather, dead reckoning, one's brain (the most important tool), etc. One should learn to use as many as possible.

    Anybody still navigate on land by sextant? (You will need to remember to wind the chronometer.)


    Yes, bring spare batteries for your GPS. Along with the spare batteries for your headlamp. (Should I add spare cellphone and mp3 player bateries too?)

    Doug

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