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Posted: 1/8/2003 4:07:15 AM EST
I'm thinking about buying a handhald GPS tracker, mainly for travel and some hunting I do but I don't know squat about them. Are they practical? What can you actually use them for? I'm afraid I'll use it a couple of times and throw it in a drawer? Any suggestions on what to buy and is it worth it?
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 4:28:59 AM EST
Right, so this is my first post here. Hello everyone. Thank you for great reading and information. I recently got a Garman Xtrex Vista. It is a pretty cool gadget. It supposedly has a 12 hour battery life. The basic maps it comes with are fine for driving around the city, but if you want detailed topo maps you have to shell out about 150 bucks for the software. Only when I have the topo maps would I consider a GPS useful for being out in the woods; unless you have a seperate paper map and use the GPS only for position data. Though that might defeat the purpose of a neat gadget. :-) GPS can be affected by cloud cover, tree cover or being indoors. If worse comes to worse, I would rather have the old fashioned map and compass to find my way around. A compass will never run out of batteries at the wrong time and with a good topo map and some common knowledge you can determine your position rather quickly reguardless of conditions. All that aside, they are great for getting driving directions and for a lazy mans orienteering tool. I like mine for the pure geek factor. Though it wont replace the map and compass in my backpack anytime soon.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 4:30:21 AM EST
ScottG, It depends entirely on what you WANT to use it for. If you are a road traveler, get one with good street maps and verbal direction/address finding. They will help you find out where you are and where you are going. They aren't much use if you don't get out of your home range enough to get lost. I use mine for fishing, hunting, and traveling on the road to jobs/clients. It works well. They are practical, useful, and cool to boot. Garmin eTrex Vista. Jimno
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 4:39:56 AM EST
Oh boy, I have been waiting for someone to ask this! I got a Garmin ETrex for Cmas. It is a very basic model, it will let you keep 'Tracks' and Waypoints and Routes. You can find a favorite fishing hole, get the co-ordinates and be able to go right back to it. Even at nite. If you have co-ordinates from someone, you can input them and it will show you the direction. I plan on using mine on the lake and when I go mountain biking. Now for the really fun part. I can connect the receiver to my laptop and the map program(Mikeysoft Streets and Trips 2002, most of them have this feature) will show my location and even track me as I drive around. It is really pretty cool. I have only had it for a while, but when I take a trip, I will be taking it along. I think it will get alot of use out of mine. Btw, I am a gadget guy. ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 4:52:27 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 4:55:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2003 3:42:57 AM EST by u-baddog]
Garmin map12 not cheap but is tough as nails.The 12XL is the same with out the background map, both these units are milspec and can be found in use with the military. I have the mapping software and it was worth the extra $. I use it only for work. I keep a Garmin eTrex Vista in my car and hardly ever use it. I normaly will check the hardcopy atlas
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 5:15:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2003 6:50:31 AM EST by texashark]
Here is everything you ever wanted to know about gps: http://joe.mehaffey.com/ I just bought a Garmin gpsmap 76S and love it. Hope this helps. Shark edited because I can't make the link active, but try www.joe.mehaffey.com if it doesn't work.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 5:18:02 AM EST
id be interested in hearing thoughts about the garmin rhino models.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 5:20:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 5:24:39 AM EST
Garmin Map 76S. I've used it to plan a trip where it beeps to warn you of turn-offs and intersections and it worked well. It has a built in compass and gets the time from the satellites. Also altitude and barometric pressure. I thought it might be handy for taking trips on county roads out in the high desert and mountains. I've loaded area topos for the places I normally go and I've got nearly all of So. Calif in the 24mb of memory. Mine will also do local marine nav. and I've tested it sailing with my cousin in San Diego Harbor. Has a depth alarm too.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:24:55 AM EST
I have a Magellan Sport Trac Map, and absolutely love it. These particular ubnits, the Sport Trac series, rnjoy a reputation as having one of the best receivers, enabling you to stay on lock in heavy woods and in many cases indoors. I've been in my house, on a heavy cloudcover day, and been locked onto 10 of 12 satellites. They are also WAAS enabled for greater accuracy. Both the Map and Pro models seem to be in heavy rotation at the Sam's and Costco clubs, offering the unit, needed software, and accessories for a great price PLUS a rebate! However, as B.S. said, there are bugs with the maps for Magellan units, that being that in some cases they are drawn off-coordinate, thus causing the unit to show you driving in the gulley and not the road. This is a minor problem at worst, as I have never had it demonstrate greater than 50 feet of being off to me yet. Remember, it's the MAP that's slightly off, not your GPS unit, it's dead on!
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:37:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2003 6:39:29 AM EST by DzlBenz]
I also have a Garmin GPS-12 MAP, and find it to be a well-built, rugged and reliable unit. I have the MapSource software, which allows the user to create routes and upload them into the handheld unit. This is a very handy unit for automobile travel, but I think there are smaller and better-suited units now for hiking and other outdoor uses. I'm considering selling the 12 Map, and getting a 196 for aviation/auto use. Edited to add link to [url=http://www.gpscity.com/index.html]GPS City[/url]. Plenty of good information there, including review of many models and discussions of technology.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:40:41 AM EST
I have an older(1998-9) Magellan 2000 and it is simple to use, especially 1-handed. It is also a life-saver. We got ours for use when boating in the Puget Sound, and when the fog comes in and you can't see 20' in any dirrection, it suddenly becomes priceless! Get one that is simple to set up/use and that can be worked with one hand.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:48:04 AM EST
I use a Garmin 176c for the boat and use it in the car too.You can use Garmin blue charts or make your own from the mapsource cd
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 6:55:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2003 6:56:16 AM EST by Boomholzer]
I have a old Garmin GPSIII. It was the best on the market in it's time. The maps are outdayed and less detailed then what you can get now. I use it frequently for hunting. I would not recommend getting any GPS without a map database. If I was in the market to replace it I would get the GPSV. A co-worker has one and brought it in for me to look at. The resolution and map detail was amazing. If you want it for a vehicle only, look into the Garmin Street Pilot III. (It is pricey)
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 7:15:47 AM EST
I love my Garmin eTrex. Neat little toy. I would imagine it would be plenty sufficient to get you back to your truck after a day of hunting. It's also about the least expensive model, around $120. Just make sure you get the cigarette lighter adapter for use in the car, or you eat batteries. And cloud cover doesn't affect the signal.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 7:30:11 AM EST
Look at www.geocaching.com A fun sport for the whole family.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 1:35:02 PM EST
My unit just got in the Garmin RINO 120's. We love the hell out of them. They have encrypted radios using FRS and GMRS frequencies. When you have a group of people using them, you can ping them for their location relative to you and everyone else. they have a range of 2 miles for FRS and 5 miles for GMRS (you need an FCC license I believe for that one). Can't say enough good about them. The groundspeed function works like a charm and it even has an ETA to destination that is pretty accurate. It is very useful for driving and in the field operations.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 1:39:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2003 1:43:11 PM EST by Boomholzer]
Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW: My unit just got in the Garmin RINO 120's. We love the hell out of them. They have encrypted radios using FRS and GMRS frequencies. When you have a group of people using them, you can ping them for their location relative to you and everyone else. they have a range of 2 miles for FRS and 5 miles for GMRS (you need an FCC license I believe for that one). Can't say enough good about them. The groundspeed function works like a charm and it even has an ETA to destination that is pretty accurate. It is very useful for driving and in the field operations.
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Those are cool! I was going to plug them in my previous post. I have several FRS radios and my father has a pair of higher wattage GMRS. With both units: the advertised 2-mile and 5-mile distance is NOT conservative. Urban buildings and woodland foliage attenuates the usable distance quite a bit. I still thing a pair of the GMRS RINOs would be way cool for my hunting party. I doubt they be that practical for driving. Edited to add: the FCC licensing is somewhat a joke. The frequency (channel) is already assigned and no user handle, training, or even required reading is required. I think the FCC just requires the application note to be included with the radio so that they (the FCC) adhere to their OWN rules and regulations!
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 1:45:53 PM EST
We used the Rino 120 when we went TDY and it was very accurate at not only navigating but calculating distance and drive time on back roads and highways. The FCC license I really never cared much as my Wing has one on file for everything we use so 6 walkie talkies is nothing. And even if one does an FCC no no on the air, they are still encrypted.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 2:02:36 PM EST
Garmin E-trex Vista...love it. It takes a while to get used to the functions. But, it is a useful toy.
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 2:15:27 PM EST
glad to hear the good things about the rinos. i looked at the 120 and thought it a pretty slick unit. i guess my main concern is that like any other tech product the features will increase and the price drop. i didn't know if these were really "there" yet...or if they were more like the early palms and i'd be better off waiting a bit longer. but, it sounds as if some of you are already putting them to use and have been pleased with the results. for those of you that have mentioned a team environement, what kind of teams are we talking about? and how do the rinos coexist with whatever other comm strategy is in place? would they be worthy of consideration for a rural search and rescue team?
Link Posted: 1/8/2003 5:16:56 PM EST
I am on an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. Everyone on the team has one and can use them as radios for up to 5 statute miles encrypted. I can look down at my Rino and see where the other guys are on my team within a two mile radius. If I have something to say to a specific person, I can just talk to them rather than broadcasting it to the whole team. Or, conversely, I can broadcast to the whole team to say spread out 25 meters and actually see it happening on my RINO. I have nothing but good things to say so far. As for a search and rescue team, they would probably be ideal for wooded area searches through dense foliage, because you would be able to keep a set pattern between you as well as navigate to way points. Oh by the way, it gives you lunar phases and best hunting/fishing times too.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 2:04:24 AM EST
check out [url]www.geocaching.com[/url] a family fun GPS game.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 2:29:23 AM EST
I was also going to reccomend geocaching.com I use a Garmin 12xl and enjoy it.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 3:49:58 AM EST
http://www.gpsy.com/gpsinfo/ http://edu-observatory.org/gps/dgps.html http://redhensystems.com/ http://www.gpsworld.com/gpsworld/ http://www.gpsu.co.uk/download.html http://gpsinformation.net/ http://www.condorearth.com/index.html You cut and paste so I dont have to all you ever wanted to know about ?
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 4:06:04 AM EST
I'm thinking about getting the Garmin GPS-V Deluxe. It says it is both horizontal and verticle. Does that mean it can be changed, or do you have to decide on one format or the other? They run around $410.00 on the Internet. Eric The(Intrigued)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 5:07:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: I'm thinking about getting the Garmin GPS-V Deluxe. It says it is both horizontal and verticle. Does that mean it can be changed, or do you have to decide on one format or the other? They run around $410.00 on the Internet. Eric The(Intrigued)Hun[>]:)]
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Eric, as I posted earlier, IMO the Garmin GPS V is the bomb of portable/handheld multi-purpose GPS units. The horizontal and verticle refers to the screen which can be orintated either in a horizontal and verticle fashion. The horizontal works best for on the dash of your vehicle and the vertical orintation is great for carring the unit in your hand. It can be swapped back n forth at will.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 5:12:09 AM EST
Post from boomholzer -
The horizontal and verticle refers to the screen which can be orintated either in a horizontal and verticle fashion. The horizontal works best for on the dash of your vehicle and the vertical orintation is great for carring the unit in your hand. It can be swapped back n forth at will.
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Great! That's exactly what I was looking for! I know that no single GPS unit handles everything, but this one comes close to having what I think I may need! I look forward to using it at the Hun Farm! If [b]Grandpappy Hun[/b] only knew - cell phones and directions from the heavens! (Course, he would have been thrilled with an AK or AR, as well!) Eric The(Since1885!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 6:10:34 AM EST
I have the eTrex and like it. It meets my basic needs and can interface with a topographical map program on the PC. Don't bet your life on them. Mine failed in a potentially disasterous situation. Always carry a compass and a map.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 6:33:43 AM EST
I have a Magellan GPS315 and have had it for about 3 years. I use it for fishing mostly and for my occasional hunting trip. It works great for finding my trotline's and remembering exactly where the good fishing hole's are! BigDozer66
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 6:35:57 AM EST
Hey Wingnut, just curious, but being EOD, do you find that extraneous radio frequencies can cause a danger? Or do you not deal with anything that has remote detonations. Just wondering. Oh yeah, the rino 120 looks awesome. Let us know if you guys have any troubles with them.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 6:57:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By imposter: I have the eTrex and like it. It meets my basic needs and can interface with a topographical map program on the PC. Don't bet your life on them. Mine failed in a potentially disasterous situation. [red]Always carry a compass and a map.[/red]
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I'll second this and add that the detail on the memory topo maps has been a little lacking in everything I've seen (I have an eTrex Venture). Not only that, but the maps are hard to read and nearly impossible to plan a route on. Sure, you can get a point to point if you know the coordinates, but can you navigate around that cliff six miles before you walk up to it? Opening a big 7 minute topo and laying it on the ground gives you a much better idea of what's around you than scrolling through a bunch of 2 inch screens. I'll also add that if you're counting on a GPS receiver to lead you somewhere, ALWAYS carry new spare batteries. I was geocaching with my wife 10 miles into the backcountry of a National Forest this summer when I started to get the low battery signal. Though I probably had an hour or so left of juice, it started wandering WAY off course. I ended up just turning it off and walking out since I couldn't find the cache I was looking for. The next month I went back with fresh batteries and tried again. Turns out I was several hundred meters away the first time! Normally my accuracy is less than 30 feet in open country. Lack of navigational skills should not be compensated for by simply buying a GPS receiver. Read this book [url=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0965220257/qid=1042130630/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/104-6740985-0749512?v=glance&s=books&tag=viglink1659178-ar15-20]GPS Land Navigation: A Complete Guidebook for Backcountry Users of the NAVSTAR Satellite System[/url] It is the absolute best book on the market. Learn how to use a map and compass, and practice. You'll find that a GPS is a fantastic tool that removes the need for every other nagivational instrument [i]except[/i] map & compass.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 7:55:13 AM EST
When Electro Magnetic Radiation would be a problem, we take precautions to minimize the risk associated with introducing new EMR to the area.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 8:07:53 AM EST
I dont think anyone mentioned anything about being WAAS capable. Might be something people want to look into when buying a GPS unit. Texas has a WAAS tower in the north-west part of the state.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 8:10:19 AM EST
I got the yellow E-Trex, on sale at Dick's for $99 ($120 regular), later seen at Wally World for everyday $90. Bought mine to track speed of my Yamaha 1100 watercraft. We also use it check customers cars here at work.... Fella came in saying his speedo was off 10 mph, showed 65 and people were passing him standing still, service mgr went for ride, only to show customer that his speedometer was off maybe 2 mph at the worst.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 9:27:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2003 9:28:23 AM EST by tommytrauma]
[b]Different use[/b] I have a Etrex legend, and love it for the usual things. Found it to be very handy on a recent packpack trip through the great smokies, use it hunting, etc. I also use it for running though. It gives me the distance I've ran, average speed, top speed, etc. Great way to keep track of distance without sticking to a set route. Just to reenforce what others have said, Don't go into the boonies without compass and map.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 4:51:57 PM EST
No. I have three GPS units. My first was a Garmin GPS 38, very obsolete now. Next was a Garmin GPS II+, once again quite obsolete. My latest is a Garmin GPSIII+, I like it very much, I even patch it into my computer and have fun downloading satelite photos of the areas I go to. I also can hook it up to the autopilot in my boat, A 1999 MacGregor 26X, the very boat I sailed from florida and cruised the Bahamas with using the Garmin II+ for navigation. One thing I did learn about GPS units, always have a spare set of batteries handy and learn to trust it. Using good charts and quite a few map/navigational skills I sailed many a narrow channel in the dark. A huge no-no but it can be done. A good website about GPS and some fun things to do with it is www.geocaching.com Check it out for good info anf if you are feeling froggy try playing once or twice, it will definitely help build your GPS skills.
Link Posted: 1/9/2003 5:59:28 PM EST
Might I also add that since the US government controls the GPS satellites they also control the accuracy of the reading you get from them. Right now they say they are not screwing with the accuracy, but they can at the flip of a switch make your readings quite inaccurate unless you are using the military GPS systems. So if you intend on using them in any remote climb or place in a foreign country take the readings with a grain of salt.
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 5:36:41 PM EST
So true,I have a military gps,a trimble trimpak that can and does take some serious abuse,and always works.It also works in aircraft w/aerial knots,and on the water w/nautical miles.you can drop it down a mountain and it still functions. as well as being waterproof.
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 6:12:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Wingnut116ACW: Might I also add that since the US government controls the GPS satellites they also control the accuracy of the reading you get from them. Right now they say they are not screwing with the accuracy, but they can at the flip of a switch make your readings quite inaccurate unless you are using the military GPS systems. So if you intend on using them in any remote climb or place in a foreign country take the readings with a grain of salt.
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It's slightly more complicated than just flipping a switch. It would literally take an act of congress for them to re-enact selective availability. No joke. It was a congressional act to deactivate it, and it will take another to reactivate it. And here's why. When we first put up NAVSTAR we thought that it was the baddest thing on the battlefield as far as navigation is concerned. We didn't want any enemy to be able to use it so we were selectively "fuzzing" the accuracy by over 100 meters not more than five percent of the time, and to over 300 meters no more than one-tenth of one percent of the time. "In practice, GPS users should experience horizontal accuracy to within 50 meters over half the time, even when selective availability is turned on (Ferguson: 10; GPS Land Navigation) It didn't take long for civilians to figure out that if they had towers that compensated for the average "fuzziness" they could reduce the accuracy to military standards or better. At the same time, it became common knowledge that the Soviets had a different GPS system that is nearly as accurate as ours, and they didn't have any selective availability built into it (GLONASS). So anyone who wanted to use the Soviet satellites could buy a reciever that used their frequencies and would be on a nearly equal playing field with our most secret equipment. So when this info became fairly common within the industry that thought they could make money off of GPS recievers (like airlines, shipping companies, etc...), the industry started to HEAVILY lobby congress. And after several years of studies and debate starting in 1994, congress agreed that selective availability was a moot point. They also decided that it was better for the world to become dependant on our satellites than for them to build their own GPS like Japan was considering. Selective availability has been permanantly deactivated. And even if it was turned on again, the government would have to turn off every WAAS tower in the country for the accuracy to be reduced. In other areas of the world WAAS towers don't exist, so only those areas would be effected. And there are a handfull of GPS receivers that will work with the Soviet GLONASS system and NAVSTAR.
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 6:31:05 PM EST
I got a GPS unit for Christmas but now I can't find it.
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