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Help! Shopping for my first gps handheld

Discussion in 'Technology' started by MTgirl, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:07 PM
    #1
    MTgirl

    MTgirl [OP] too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    I've been looking around for awhile now and still cant make up my mind on which GPS would be best. i have narrowed it down to the following but would like input from anyone who has these Garmin units (or others). i'm basically looking for something that i can use while hiking (this would be the main use, most of the trails that i have been on are poorly marked) and driving (i always drive down the one road that isn't on my maps).
    dakota 20 - pros- $$$ and features - altimeter, waypoints, etc. cons- smaller screen, maps are extra $$$.
    oregon 300 - pros- features, larger screen. cons-$$$, maps are extra $$$.
    oregon 450t - pros- features, screen size. cons- $$$. undecided on the usefulness of the built in topos - do i REALLY need topos of all 50 states? i rarely travel outside of MT, WY, ID.

    anyone here have a dakota or oregon? is there another gps out there that may be better for me?
     
  2. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM
    #2
    ColdZeroBSP

    ColdZeroBSP Yo homie, that my briefcase?

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    From what I've researched TomTom make the most accurate and reliable GPS systems for under $200. However I don't think I've seen any that allow way points or have topo maps. I'd be interested in knowing what others think too...
     
  3. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:22 PM
    #3
    AvsFanTRD

    AvsFanTRD Oh gravity, thou art a heartless bitch!

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    Avoid TomTom. Those things are useless. Stick with the Garmin

    This is the model I've been looking at for a while but just haven't pulled the trigger. Either this one or the black and white version: http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-GPS-60...UTF8&coliid=ITPXN06TGBXOO&colid=1IKN8ZAL9CEZE

    You don't need the topos of all 50 states. Just get the maps of the areas you use. If by chance you go somewhere else, you can always get the map of that area later.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:25 PM
    #4
    MTgirl

    MTgirl [OP] too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    looks like tomtom is mostly in-vehicle nav. i want something that i can use while driving or can grab it and go on the trail too. just not sure what model would be best - i am sold on garmin, they have been in the business for a while and have a good rep.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM
    #5
    MTgirl

    MTgirl [OP] too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    in the forest
    Vehicle:
    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    the only reason i'm considering the 450t with maps ($100 added cost for maps) is that when purchased separately the maps for MT, ID, WY cost just as much as the built in maps for all 50 states.
     
  6. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:43 PM
    #6
    hendooman

    hendooman The Stroker Ace

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    I like the 60CSX, got a few more bells for only about $25 more. $284 on Amazon.
     
  7. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:48 PM
    #7
    AvsFanTRD

    AvsFanTRD Oh gravity, thou art a heartless bitch!

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    I do like bells
     
  8. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:50 PM
    #8
    MTgirl

    MTgirl [OP] too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    in the forest
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    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    whistles are better.
     
  9. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:50 PM
    #9
    hendooman

    hendooman The Stroker Ace

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    then there you go, pull the trigger!
     
  10. Jan 16, 2010 at 8:52 PM
    #10
    AvsFanTRD

    AvsFanTRD Oh gravity, thou art a heartless bitch!

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    rear suspension TSB, sockmonkey bed decals, weathertech floor liners, TRD seat covers, tailgate pop n lock, rear diff breather relocation, center console lock, Viper Alarm, extra D-rings in bed, 5100's on all 4 corners
    You really don't need to spend that much money to get a decent GPS if all you need it for is to not get lost while hiking. The one my dad and brother in law uses for hunting is a pretty basic model. It will tell the altitude, track your route and some other stuff. Really all you need to do is mark the starting point so you know how to get back. If you find something interesting along the way you can save that info in there too to find later if you want. Any other points of interest can be had with buying the maps.

    But if you got the money and really want to spend that much, then get the one with all the bells and whistles that you may or may not ever use.
     
  11. Jan 16, 2010 at 9:13 PM
    #11
    MTgirl

    MTgirl [OP] too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    in the forest
    Vehicle:
    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    its not really a "money is no object" purchase but i do want something that will suit my needs now and for at least a few years in the future. thats why im hesitating on the purchase - do i go with top of the line? or mid range and add on as i need? what will last longer? what features will i actually use? i was initially drawn to the dakota 20 but the $350 does seem like a lot if im not getting everything i need. i'm just afraid that i could end up spending more money on maps for it than i would have to just get a more advanced unit from the start.
     
  12. Jan 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM
    #12
    AvsFanTRD

    AvsFanTRD Oh gravity, thou art a heartless bitch!

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    rear suspension TSB, sockmonkey bed decals, weathertech floor liners, TRD seat covers, tailgate pop n lock, rear diff breather relocation, center console lock, Viper Alarm, extra D-rings in bed, 5100's on all 4 corners
    Have you compared the models side by side to see what the different features are? The average person is not going to need the top of the line version and can easly get by with mid to low range price.
     
  13. Jan 18, 2010 at 6:34 PM
    #13
    MTgirl

    MTgirl [OP] too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    i have compared and there are a few minor differences between the models - mostly screen size/resolution and memory storage capacity. One thing that worries me about the dakotas and oregons is the touch screen - how durable is it in the real world? I'm not a klutz but at some point it could end up taking a nasty tumble down into some rocks, water, etc.
     
  14. Jan 18, 2010 at 6:51 PM
    #14
    mountainwolfpup

    mountainwolfpup Ford Guy (Formerly known as a Toyota Guy)

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    First month of ownership... This month I'm removing front air dam, and also Rhino lining the bed.
    In my experience you really can't get a does everything GPS. Some, like TomTom are geared towards on-road driving and others towards backcountry use.

    Sure, there are some that purport to do both but don't seem to really measure up in my opinion. One exception may be the LOWRANCE ENDURA SIERRA which retails for somewhere around $500

    Since backcountry GPS is your primary goal I'd suggest the GARMIN FORETREX 401 which I personally use. It's very lightweight and wrist mountable so always available. It's pretty cheap at just over $200. One drawback, no preloaded maps. Another option would be the DELORME PN-30 which is just under $300 and comes with an awesome amount of maps and software.. but is more the traditional 'bulky' size.
     
  15. Jan 18, 2010 at 6:53 PM
    #15
    seareef

    seareef Well-Known Member

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    i have a garmin thats ok my palm pre with sprint navigation kicks ass has all kinds of different routes plus a traffic with a traffic gauge bar really cool
     
  16. Jan 18, 2010 at 7:15 PM
    #16
    xpdishun

    xpdishun Active Member

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    I would recommend the Garmin GPSMAP 60 CSx above any other hand held. It isn't all fandangled and new like the bigger screened and touch screened Garmins and it doesn't have 3D shading for the topo maps but it's a great hand held receiver.

    Also, with the older Garmins you can get free maps for just about anywhere. It takes some work and a couple computer programs so if you're not very tech savvy it might take some reading. Once you figure it out though, it'll save you TONS of money. There may or may not also be ways to get official Garmin maps on the 60 CSx, including topo maps, at minimal (read: no) cost.

    I've used mine for some of what you are talking about, trails and such. I've also got the US and Europe City Navigator maps for travel which is incredibly useful on road trips or just walking around cities looking for food or other necessities.

    A HUGE advantage to the 60 CSx is that it uses a SiRFstart III receiver that is much more accurate than the receiver Garmin started sourcing for it's newer hand held receivers that came out in 2008/2009, the Oregon, Dakota, Colorado, Alaska, Maryland, Pakistan, and whatever else included. Essentially, the new receivers have a problem with veering off course if you're moving too slow, like hiking or walking, and mis-track position.

    You're giving up some fancier shading and a slightly bigger and higher resolution screen by going with the older model but you're picking up the better receiver, saving more money, and having the ability to use 3rd party maps as well as some tricks to reduce costs on official maps. Hope this helps!
     
  17. Jan 19, 2010 at 7:07 AM
    #17
    tonto340

    tonto340 Well-Known Member

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    It looks like you're getting some good advice here. May I also suggest you go to amazon.com and read the reviews for the different units you're interested in. You can probably find more reviews at other shopping sites.
    When I was hiking, I used to plot my course on my computer using Delorme's Topo software and then download the course to my GPS. This makes it easier on the trails.
     
  18. Jan 19, 2010 at 5:12 PM
    #18
    MTgirl

    MTgirl [OP] too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    in the forest
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    Now: 12 T4R SR5 Then: 99 - 3.4L SR5 4WD
    Wheeler's/Alcan 5-pack leaf springs, Bilstein 5100's front and rear, OME 881's, de-badged, Jungle Fender Flares, Herculined bed, HomerTaco grille, Anzo headlights, clear corners, CVT Mt. Bachelor RTT, custom bed rack & CBI sliders
    very informative...just the type of info i was asking for.

    i just looked into the 60CSX and the only thing that i'm not sure about is the limited number of saved routes - 20. i'm just not sure that that is enough for me. do you know, is it possible to transfer saved routes to your computer to free up space? or do you only have the option to delete?

    what are the features of the pakistani? is that new to the garmin lineup?!?:rolleyes:
     
  19. Jan 19, 2010 at 5:46 PM
    #19
    Phlip4x4Sport

    Phlip4x4Sport Well-Known Member

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    As a quick compare... I have the Rhino 530HCx. I use it mostly for hiking and kayaking but I also use it for directions in my car. This was the one for me.

    Plus: Sirf Star III Receiver! Big plus over old receivers. Garmin now states "High Sensitivity Receiver". They are not all the same. Call Garmin and find out exactly what chipset you are getting. This is the major difference in GPS's.
    http://www.gpslodge.com/archives/004566.php

    Plus: SD card room for expansion... your's has enough base memory for Maps and Points of Interest. I map CA, AZ, NV, IL, MA, NH with 500MB. But memory expansion is good to have for me. I bought all the US maps and only load what I use. I Had Hawaii in there when my wife used it.

    Mapping turn by turn directions... very primitive but useful. Must pull over to the side to program your location where you want to go. Even for someone that uses other devices while driving. :D

    Con: Mine has a small screen. :( Once you are mapping with directions and then try to "Pan" the map, the usable screen gets smaller. Some of this is adjustable but I always wish it was bigger than mine. Color is good and contrast even in the sunlight is good. (I still love my unit anyway)


    Careful: IPX7 waterproof - I went tubing down a river, it was cool... until I left it underwater for about 20 minutes and it started malfuntion... took it out and dried it.. it is ok again. Only good for a short time and shallow depth but really works.


    Overall
    Garmin: Very Good
    Sirf Star III: Excellent
    Rhino: Perfect for me but others don't like it

    Good Luck!
     
  20. Jan 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM
    #20
    xpdishun

    xpdishun Active Member

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    The 60 CSx hooks up to the computer very easily and you can transfer all the info from it to your computer using the included USB cable and the free Garmin software they give you.

    If you're asking about saved routes because you want to have a history of your location, you don't need to rely on the 20 saved routes. The system will track your location and record it until it fills up the the microSD card you put inside of it. I bought a 2 GB microSD card and it has enough capacity for something like 50 years of tracking if it's continuously on. If you add maps to the microSD card it cuts down on the space (some maps are bigger than 1 GB) for tracking but the tracking takes up such a small amount that you don't have to worry about it.

    Another tip, I bought a little microSD to USB adapter so I don't even need to plug my 60 CSx into the computer. I just pull out the card, put it in the adapter, and plug it in the USB port. Some microSD cards even come with the USB adapter, check Newegg.com if you're interested.

    I'm not sure, but I understand it's HIGHLY incompatible with the Indian version. :D

    I liked the Rhino 530 HCx a lot too when I was shopping! From what I found it didn't have the SIRFstar III but I could be wrong. I also didn't like the rechargeable custom battery because it gives you limited life as opposed to carrying spare disposable or rechargeable AA batteries (I'd recommend Sanyo Eneloop).

    But, the radio features of the Rhino 530 HCx are bad ass!! It would be sweet to tie the two together. I don't use hand held radios enough to make it worth it but I think it's a great idea for a product!
     
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