Point me in the right direction

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RichB
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Point me in the right direction

Post by RichB » Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:37 am

I'm wanting to get a GPS before our next trip to Glamis, prez wknd; especially since the wife drives the rail it'd be nice to have that crutch if we need it. I don't think (although I don't know for sure) that I just need a basic unit to get to waypoints of interest and get back to camp if we get turned around? Also, would be also looking for a clamp on mount (is someone makes one) to hook it on to the buggy.

Thanks in advance,

Rich

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Post by Sand Commander » Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:30 am

I use the Garmin E-trex. It is small and rugged, but does everything I need. Easy to mount with a aluminum bracket to the cross rail and within easy reach for me even when I am strapped in the seat belts. My son has one on the handlebars of his quad also incase something happens to one of us the other can go get help.
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Post by Vincent J Brunasso » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:16 am

I use the Magellan Gold. There's a lot of great features. The software that comes with it enables you to upload and download waypoints to your computer, use your laptop in real time on the streets, does street routing similar to Mapquest and a whole lot more. There's a compass rose that leads you to waypoints without a street route if that's how you like to use it off road. Not only that, the other piece of software that it comes with has topo features, springs, mines, trails, and more. It comes with a mount.

The package deal was $300 at Costco about 3 years ago - do a Google - there's tons of ways to get a good deal.

I carry it with me everywhere just for the street routing feature alone - you don't need the lap top for that unless you just want an extra big color screen. The unit also "knows" about most resturaunts, fast food, service stations, auto clubs, and on and on. Downside is that newer roads, streets, and resturaunts are not in the database. I haven't found a place to update it.
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RichB
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Post by RichB » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:47 am

I guess I need to figure out if I need the capability to jack into the PC or not. Right now I don't think we'd need it for more than basic stuff i.e. mark camp, plug in some common waypoints within the dunes and that's about it. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something, buy one, and then end up sorry I can't plug into the PC; on the flip side I don't want to spend a lot and not spend money for features I won't use. :?

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Post by jhitesma » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:59 am

Almost all of the GPSes currently on the market can connect to a PC...and once you learn how you'll be glad it can. Makes loading and storing waypoints so much easier. Espically if you get into something like Geocaching where you're loading and unloading a lot of waypoints on a regular basis.

I'm a huge fan of garmin in general. The eTrex series are great for the dunes. Cheap (in cause you dammage or loose it but i've yet to see one damaged), easy to use, PC connectable, pocket size for transport, and flexible. They really are a great value. Supposedly the eTrex Legend is the hot pick right now, costs a little bit more but has some great extra features.

If you're going to use it for more than just the dunes (and you probably will once you start playing with it) then a larger unit with better map support and a bigger screen starts to get attractive. Off-road maps don't do much. Waypoints and tracks are all I've ever found usefull. But on cross-country trips or out of town visits the maps can be very helpfull. And hooking it to something like Street Atlas gives you the full voice announced turns and ETA's making for a very easy trip.

If you do go for something bigger I highly suggest the Garmin V. It's small enough to be a good handheld, but large enough to be usefull sitting on your dash. It's a VERY powerfull unit with way more features than you're ever likely to use. And the other nice features (To me) are 1) removeable antenna so you can use an external amplified antenna. And 2) Dirt easy to connect to external power since it's got an internal regulator.

The amplified antennas are amazing. I got one for $12 off ebay and it was night and day difference. I never really had any problems with the antenna on my GPSIII+ (older version of the V) I could always get 6-9 sats showing strong enough for a very good fix. But with the amplified antenna I get 12 sats every time and almost all of them are full scale on the chart! Plus it used to take 10-30 seconds for the GPS to get a lock, with the new antenna it's almost instant most times. Well worth the price!

The external power is great in a buggy or car or anywhere else. With the eTrex you need a special regulator in the power cord. You can make one out of a cell phone charger cord but it's a hassle, and the store bought cables are $$$$. The V has a built in regulator so you can feed it with anything from about 8v up to 25v and it will happily suck it down. You can get the special connectors from pfranc.com real cheap (They actually let you set your own price!) and make a cable quick and easy.

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