Handheld GPS feedback?

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by stg58, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have 2 older GPS units, Magellan SportTrak and a Garmin GPS 60. The Garmin is my go to unit and works well for biking and hiking. But the newer color units have some appeal.

    The Garmin Oregon 600t has a sd memory card slot and will use GPS and GLONASS, waterproof.
    The TOPO maps for the US and Canada are $100 extra but really look like a feature that sets this apart from the older units.
    The Montana 650T looks like a nice unit with the TOPO maps loaded and a camera.
    Load TOPO U.S. 24K maps and hit the trail; add Trailhead Series TOPO maps and explore famous treks like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail; plug in BlueChart® g2 preloaded cards for a great day on the water; or load City Navigator® map data for turn-by-turn routing on roads. Add satellite images to your maps with BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (subscription required). You can even display and enter grid references in Irish Grid (IG) or in the new Irish Transverse Mercator (ITM) grid.

    Any thoughts on this unit or others?
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Went through much the same decision 2 years ago when I wanted a higher end hand held unit. The larger screens and touch surface of the new series (Oregon, Montana, etc) were certainly nice. Opted for the GPSMAP 62st as it has a better antenna system. I use it in heavy woods with extensive canopy, often to set up land navigation courses for ROTC students and it yields much better precision under those conditions. I have been extremely pleased with it. Blows away my older e-Trex models in the accuracy department. Often get 10-15m accuracy even in the heavy woods in just 15-20 wait time and it will average to get better if you wait a bit more. And I could use an external antenna if needed. Has NMEA interface which works with some other toys. Very rugged.

    stg58 likes this.
  4. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member


    "And I could use an external antenna if needed" maybe seal the deal for the 62ST.
    Plus it is the same family as my 60.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    For years I had a Trimble Navigator, and when it died, I bought a Garmin GPS III.... Still have that one and it is mounted in my Rhino, and connected to my APRS Kenwood TM-D700a VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver. I have a Garmin GPS III+ at the Cabin, connected to the APRS Kenwood TM-710a Vhf/Uhf Base Radio. This one I had "Surveyed In" to 10 Centimeters, the last time the Surveyors were in camp, so It now can be used as a Reference for Differential GPS Data Reduction, which gives "Me" .5 meter Resolution, anytime I need, with Post Processing. My new APRS Kenwood TH-72a Vhf/Uhf Handheld Transceiver, also has a Built-in GPS, as does it's clone, that I just bought for Momma. Also of NOTE, here, is that ALL the SECURE Phones have a built-in GPS Receiver, as does Momma's iPhone 5 & iPad3, and my iPad2. I would say we are GPS Rich, and covered anywhere we go. Our Maps are USGS 20K Quads of Alaska, that are loaded in the iPads, as well as the BSB Marine Charts, for the West Coast, and Alaska. It takes so much less space than the paper versions......
  6. tact

    tact Monkey

    I use the Montana 650tc almost daily. It has loads of features and the 100k topo map is worth it. It IS quite pricey but I am extremely happy with the investment.

    stg58 likes this.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I use the Garmin GPS 76 and it works for what I have needed.
    I prefer to use actual topo maps and a compass. I order my maps from USGS online.
    HK_User and gunbunny like this.
  8. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I've done that- they work great- the smaller scale is much better than a sectional aviation chart.

    -They are much cheaper than a sectional chart.
    -They have contour lines instead of rough color changes for elevation marking.
    -Much smaller scale allows for more precision on the ground.
    -Will show individual houses.

    -Not updated every 6 months like a sectional. Try every 10-12 years at best for the USGS local quadrangle 1:250,000 scale maps. For terrain that's okay, but progress and development can change the look of the local area. Be watchful.
    -You must fold the map yourself, and the shape (square) is not as easy to use as a pre-folded sectional chart (rectangle).
    -A sectional chart has a map on each side, whereas a USGS local quad does not.
    -A sectional chart has the standard magnetic North deviation lines on it and updated (it actually does change) whereas the USGS local quad does not.
    -A sectional chart is made for reading at night; the colors are printed accordingly for red filtered light; USGS local quad is not set up for this.

    I guess technology makes all this a mute point, as you can print a map from a satellite image off the internet for free.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Recently got a Garmin 62s. Still trying to learn the menu, not so easy a task for olde phartes that have problems delving into the depths of 3 and 4 level deep menus.

    So far ---
    Pocket size, light weight
    Fast startup, finds satellites in under a minute from hitting the on switch.
    Continuous update of position, no delay for re-acquisition
    Base maps inadequate for much other than gross overview (detailed maps extra cost, but worth it in the details)
    Good screen color and contrast, easy to read, but -
    Small screen, squinty and useless for driving or biking, good for hiking
    Battery life can be a problem, they say "up to" 20 hours, make of that what you will (and no way to connect a battery pack, cannot recharge or use an external source.)
    Detailed maps pricey.
    HK_User likes this.
  10. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I concur with your assessments. However you can employ external power, partly why I choose the 62 series a couple years ago. Try these cables:

    Serial Data/Power Cable
    Part Number: 010-11131-00

    Vehicle Power Cable
    Part Number: 010-10851-11

    One other pro:
    The antenna/receiver system is one of the best yielding good position data under heavy forest canopy when most other models have lost signal. Another reason I chose a 62sc.

    Yard Dart likes this.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Hm. Will look into that, there's no obvious place to plug in.
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Does it have contact points on the reverse side? My Magellan Meridian cold does.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    No. The current 62 series look to be battery only. I was hoping to find an adaptor to fit where the batteries go in. So far, no luck.
  14. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Even if it is only battery usable... you could use a simple solar battery recharger with spares.... always have juice at that rate.
  15. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    May have to go that route. TBD.
  17. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Look under cover on back for mini USB port (#2 in bottom pic). If I recall correctly, external power comes in through the same connector.


    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The USB port is there, but there's no indication that I've found that it can be used with an external power supply. The manual is here -
    (The manual applies to all of the several forms of the 62 series, and appears that none of them have an external power connection.)

    Side issue, when I emailed Garmin, they didn't bother to reply.
  19. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    A while back I picked up a Garmin eTrex 20 for use with trail riding on my bikes and very pleased with its performance.
    The eTrex and some of the other Garmin units use the US GPS and Russian GLONASS satellite constellations with much better performance when using both.

    The eTrex 20 acquires a lock faster in a wood garage with the internal antenna than my older GPS map 62 with an external antenna.

    Yes GLONASS is Russian but you can turn it off and use just US GPS and I won't buy a GPS that does not have the option of using both constellations.

    Short for Global Navigation Satellite System, GLONASS is a Russian satellite-based navigation system that works alongside GPS (Global Positioning System) to provide position information to compatible devices. With an additional 24 satellites to utilize, GLONASS compatible receivers can acquire satellites up to 20% faster than devices that rely on GPS alone.

    Garmin units that use GLONASS
    • DC 50
    • eTrex 10, 20 and 30
    • Edge 510
    • Edge 1000
    • Oregon 6xx series
    • GPS 19x HVS
    • GPS 19x NMEA 2000
    • GLO
    • echoMAP series
    • GPSMAP 64 series
    • GPSMAP 527xs
    • GPSMAP 547xs
    • GPSMAP 721xs
    • GPSMAP 741xs
    • GPSMAP 820
    • GPSMAP 820xs
    • GPSMAP 840xs
    • GPSMAP 1020
    • GPSMAP 1020xs
    • GPSMAP 1040xs
    • GPSMAP 7407
    • GPSMAP 7408
    • GPSMAP 7410
    • GPSMAP 7412
    • GPSMAP 7607
    • GPSMAP 7608
    • GPSMAP 7610
    • GPSMAP 7612
    • Monterra
    • T5
    • TT 10 and TT 15
    HK_User and kellory like this.
  20. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Yeah, the manual isn't the greatest.

    Here is a video that shows a guy plugging the Vehicle Power Cable Part Number: 010-10851-11 into the mini USB port and the cig lighter plug into the socket in his vehicle to power it externally.

    Have fun.
    HK_User likes this.
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