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Old 01-10-2011, 10:23 PM
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Default Need GPS suggestions and recommendations

I hunt thick cover and I like to hike and fish. I have given some thought to buying a GPS unit that I can use for all three activities. Any suggestions on what to look for, what to avoid?Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:44 PM
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Garmin 60CSx
I got one from Costco as a Christmas present and it had good reviews from others on the web. Do a google search and check it out.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:51 PM
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Garmins are great due to the free software interface from Minnesota DNR.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/t...DNRGarmin.html
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:41 AM
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I bought a Garmin eTrex Venture HC a couple years ago and I really like it. The maps that come with it are very generic road maps, so I had to get the TOPO U.S. maps from Garmin to get any real use out of it for hunting, hiking, and anything off main roads. For the price I paid for the unit and the extra maps, I'm sure you can find a nicer Garmin unit with better maps right out of the box. On the other hand, it's very portable (fits in a jeans pocket, about the size of a thick flip-open cell phone), pretty easy to use, gets good battery life, and has alot of hunting/fishing/hiking specific applications that I get alot of use out of. BP has them right now for $169, and you can get additional maps from BP or on the Garmin website. Garmin's showing the TOPO U.S. maps as $99 right now. The biggest downside I can see is that it only holds 24 megabites of map data, and the topo maps tend to use alot of that up. I can only get about 1/3 of the GA topo maps loaded at one time, so I have to reload it any time I plan on using it in a different part of the state (like right now I have metro ATL, everything east towards Augusta and southeast to the Ocmulgee River, and the Chattahoochee WMA topo's loaded). If you happen to leave an area that you have maps loaded for to an area you don't have maps, it will still show all major roads, since those are pre-loaded into the unit. The additional maps basically just add alot of POI's, topo lines, and second and tertiary roads that don't show up on the preloaded map. All in all, I highly recommend it, even given it's limitations.

Last edited by rubicon_in_ga; 01-11-2011 at 02:44 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:20 AM
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I've got the Rino 530hcx and couldn't be more pleased. The radio aspect is invaluable when your buddies have them as well. You can locate other users within a reasonable distance and even send locations. We will send coordinates to another unit to have someone come in and retrieve a hog that we've caught and tied in the swamp. It has a high sensitivity antennae and I've never been without a signal even deep in the laurel thickets in cohutta where my old e-trex wouldn't pick up. Topo maps can be stored on micro sd cards for different regions of the country.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:08 AM
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for the most part this entire forum will recommend a garmin......why..... I have no clue.....the oregon 550T is an outstanding unit in itself...but all below those I have used, or seen used by friends are ....sub standard especially in cover.(we geocache, which is Game that is played with GPS's)
Magellons Triton 1500, and 2000 are by far the best bang for your buck. They have forums dedicated to their use, nation geographic sells a map set that is outstanding for known trails, and parks across the nation, sat maps are easy to build from several of the map building sites you will encounter on the triton forums, which will allow you to focus on large areas you wish to hunt with GREAT detail, then load them as a base map to your gps, track deer movement with your gps, and store those tracks, and constantly moving trail patterns, bedding areas, feeding sources, escape routes, everything on your computer with VANTAGE POINT the free downloadeable software from magellon, that allows you to store and label every track(regardless of it being a deer trail you followed, or personal exploration) you will ever save on your gps, log every friut tree, and vine you descover, build potential trail routes you intend to take, when planning to learn new terrain, store every trail cam position you plan to use , or actually have out, as well as every new stand postion you think you might want to try.


the only difference in the triton 2000, and the 1500 is the digi cam on the 2000 which i have never used. and both can handle an 8g sd card(is what i use)
I cant tell you enough about the 1500, and 2000, except to say that never has any garmin been closer to a spot, we were searching for than my triton.......not one single solitary time even in an open field.....inside wooded ares with heavy overhead cover............its not even funny how far off garmins usually are (save the oregon550t , which has been pretty close, but still never actually closer to a mark)
as for fishing...they have a mode which you can change instantly for water use/ and then you have the same options...outstanding for marking cover you find as well as cover you create....it will take you back to any spot you store along the same route you took to get there....or can make a route that is more straight forward if you like then load that path....water maps are easy to come by, and are easily switched to on the triton with on-screen touch display that allows you to change from one base map to another.....giving you depth info, and known underwater terrain.
further i would tell you to try both against each other......find a spot in deep cover then mark it....and use units to go to that spot compare how far away each unit is from the accurate spot....then do same in open field to compare.
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Last edited by Huntervationist; 01-11-2011 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:18 AM
Dead Eye Eddy Dead Eye Eddy is offline
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I have the Garmin 60CSX and love it. They no longer make it, but if you can find a closeout model somewhere or a used one, you could probably get it cheap. It will do everything that you need it to do. Otherwise, I'd go with the new model. I think it's the 62 or 70, can't remember.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:24 AM
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Make sure you get one with the high sensitivity receiver. It's far better than the earlier ones.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:46 PM
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Thanks guys. You provided some great suggestions and info. I do appreciate it.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:57 PM
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I would go with Garmin first and Magellan second. Just pick a model that suits your needs. Some have more bells and whistles than you will ever need or use.

To me Magellan has a better battery life but Garmins are just a little more accurate and user friendly. But let's face it if one says 30 feet West and the other says 20 feet South as far as finding a stand etc. then if you can't find it by then you really have no business being outside.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:59 PM
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Delorme mine locks 3D in Rich Mountain Every time Plus you can download the overlay that looks just like google earth Plus i love the Digital Compass
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke6/22 View Post
Delorme mine locks 3D in Rich Mountain Every time Plus you can download the overlay that looks just like google earth Plus i love the Digital Compass
Pricey...but an accurate, and sweet GPS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamprat View Post
But let's face it if one says 30 feet West and the other says 20 feet South as far as finding a stand etc. .
lol...mine better say i have arrived, and be within a few feet of my stand!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:28 PM
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OK I will give you a simple rundown of why a handheld is not as accurate as most would like. First a little background bout me. I am the GPS coodinator for the Pandhandle office of one of the biggest surveying firms in Florida. I have been using GPS since the early 90's

Now, most common users of handhelds just look at the screen and what it is telling them but they are paying no attention to the sky and the orbital position of the satellites. On most handhelds it will give you a PDOP number. That is the dissolution of precision based on where the sat's are positioned. You also have VDOP (vertical) and HDOP ( horizontal) but PDOP is the combo of all the factors.

You can have 8 sat's but if 6 are clustered in one quadrant and 2 in another it will give a weak triangulation resulting in a higher PDOP and a poor lat/long value. A PDOP of 1.5 to about 3.5 is good, anything above that and the precision is affected. Even with WAAS turned on it is still subject since as far as I know there is only 2 WAAS sat's in orbit.

Even for us to get submeter accuracy it requires a few thousand dollars and we mainly use it to collect wetland boundaries but it is set to not collect any posistion above a 3.5 PDOP. Our survey grade GPS is accurate to within 1/4" but that will run you about $20,000 brand new per unit and you need a base station and a rover but we are also using a network RTK which enables you to collect data with one unit if you have the cell coverage. Even then with high PDOP it still can give you a 3/4 to 1 1/2" error when re-checking a point and that is using both the DOD sat's as well as the Russian Glonass birds.

Basically all I am saying is don't sweat it when your handheld is 15' off. Find where you can monitor the PDOP and tag places in optimum PDOP range and also when you try to go back to it and you will see your error's reduced by several feet.
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Last edited by Swamprat; 01-13-2011 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamprat View Post
OK I will give you a simple rundown of why a handheld is not as accurate as most would like. First a little background bout me. I am the GPS coodinator for the Pandhandle office of one of the biggest surveying firms in Florida. I have been using GPS since the early 90's

Now, most common users of handhelds just look at the screen and what it is telling them but they are paying no attention to the sky and the orbital position of the satellites. On most handhelds it will give you a PDOP number. That is the dissolution of precision based on where the sat's are positioned. You also have VDOP (vertical) and HDOP ( horizontal) but PDOP is the combo of all the factors.

You can have 8 sat's but if 6 are clustered in one quadrant and 2 in another it will give a weak triangulation resulting in a higher PDOP and a poor lat/long value. A PDOP of 1.5 to about 3.5 is good, anything above that and the precision is affected. Even with WAAS turned on it is still subject since as far as I know here is only 2 WAAS sat's in orbit.

Even for us to get submeter accuracy it requires a few thousand dollars and we mainly use it to collect wetland boundaries but it is set to not collect any posistion above a 3.5 PDOP. Our survey grade GPS is accurate to within 1/4" but that will run you about $20,000 brand new per unit and you need a base station and a rover but we are also using a network RTK which enables you to collect data with one unit if you have the cell coverage. Even then with high PDOP it still can give you a 3/4 to 1 1/2" error when re-checking a point and that is using both the DOD sat's as well as the Russian Glonass birds.

Basically all I am saying is don't sweat it when your handheld is 15' off. Find where you can monitor the PDOP and tag places in optimum PDOP range and also when you try to go back to it and you will see your error's reduced by several feet.
Yup, he is correct.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:01 PM
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Another thing to consider if you are a geocache person looking for NGS (goverment) control points. On a handheld you can generally enter Lat/Long to a tenth of a second. In my area 1 second in Lat/Long is about 100 feet so even with just that tenth of a second you are within 10 feet and also have at least 10 feet of built in error already. When entering a value always round up....if it has
.86382 seconds then round it up to .9 same goes for a lower value and rounding down.

Throw in the fact that it is a handheld with a built in antenna that has a person holding it close and probably blocking 20-30% of the available sat's and trying to find or collect a position with not so great PDOP ranges.

Like I have mentioned if you can't find what you are looking for within 20-30 feet of it's computed handheld GPS position then you really need to rethink your game.
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