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  1. #1
    To HE77 with Georgia!
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    GPS Suggestions?

    I was hoping some of ya'll might offer some GPS insight.

    I'm brand new to the sport, and have a couple excellent lakes nearby, but it's very difficult to learn the area when I'm sticking to the coast the whole time making sure I can find my way back so my gas supply (since my tank is <10 gallons, and I'm constantly turning to follow a large wake every couple minutes..).

    I want a GPS for use on my ski that's gonna handle all the splashes and even short submersions in the water (Doesn't have to float). I want to see the detail like names of launches and markers and stuff.

    I'm also interested in finding one that can do pretty decent roadway/street navigation, if it's no too much more. But that's only if I can enter the destination on the fly. It's not so helpful if I have to break out a PC to enter my trip details before heading out the door, as I do that already. I'd just like it to help me find detours and such when I need them.

    I'm looking to pay ~$200 or less for marine use, or closer to $300 for something I can use in my car as well. Any suggestions?

    I was looking mainly at the Magellan Tritons, 400 and 500, but have found limited reviews online, and they weren't the most favorable.

    The Garmin units (Legend and Vista, etc..) are much harder to compare since the differing levels of capability are given different names as opposed to easily identifiable numbers.

    What do you think? What do you use? And which ones come with good detail without paying hundreds MORE for the map data?

    Thanks!


  2. #2

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    I purchased the garmin 76csx, its the only one that i could find that would float and is waterproof, its abit of a larger unit but it also has expandable memory, (micro sd card fit it i ahve a 2 gig) You can upload almost anyhting! doesnt come with alot of maps on it but you can find older verisons of road maps for free or you can purchase aynthing you want. YOu can also upload topo maps and blue charts to it. Seems to work pretty well so far but havent ahd a chacne to get it out on the water, i have purchased a ram handle bar mount for the seadoo and for the snowmobile.

    YOu can buy the voice kit for the car but really isnt worth it, it works fine for the car and instead of telling you when to turn it will beep when a turn is near and it will recalculate if you miss one and so on.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    I have the Garmin GPSmap76CSx. Overall, I like it. It is tough, waterproof, and the screen is easily readable in direct sunlight.

    You must purchase the BlueCharts chart data separately, and the charts are linked to the serial number in your Garmin unit when you activate the maps.

    It is good, but not perfect for a PWC. On the PWC, I found the display was on the small size, and it is hard to read the small symbols at speed when the water has any roughness.

    Also, the display suppresses the small symbols and text when you zoom out. So you can either see where the rocks and other things are, OR you can see far enough ahead that you can steer a course.

    Part of the problem is that many GPS place your location in the center of the display. That means when you are traveling forward, only the top half of the display is showing you what is ahead. There just are not many pixels in 1/2 the screen.

    If you buy a GPS with a larger, higher resolution screen, it will work better on the water, but it will also cost more. I am considering buying a Garmin 378 or 478, primarily for the larger screen.

  4. #4
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    I have a Magellan Sportrak Map. It has been good to me. Cheap because it is discontuined. It will do turn by turn if you upgrade the firmware(free) It is waterproof and floats. The software is easy to get (free). It has custom displays that are changeable. I use it for geocaching to.
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  5. #5
    absentx's Avatar
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    Check out a Lowrance Expedition or H20.

    I have an expedition and it has been great for both marine use and in car use. Its waterproof too.

  6. #6
    To HE77 with Georgia!
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    Ok, I've narrowed it down to the Garmin eTrek Legend Hcx and the Garmin GPSMAP 76cx. I don't need the electronic comapss and barometetric altimeter that you get by moving to the eTrek Vista Hcx or the 76cxs.

    The Legend is ~$200 on eBay. The 76 is ~$220.
    On Walmart, the Legend HCx is $179, and there's only the 76CSx, for $249.

    I can't find any definitive answer to the following-
    Is there a map or detail difference in what the Legend and the 76 series come with out of the box?

    The 76 has a larger screen.. but the Legend actually has more pixels, and my eyes are still young, so that comparison is a wash.

    The 76 floats, but it's much bulkier. I can add my own form of floatation to the Legend if that's the deciding factor. But I feel confident I can secure it to myself or my craft sufficiently.

    So, anyone know the answer to the question about base map detail/comparison??

  7. #7
    To HE77 with Georgia!
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    (Seems I like talking to myself.. )

    I went with the Legend HCx from Walmart, their shipping sucks though.. wish Newegg's price had been a little lower.

    But now I can return it to the store if I find any unacceptable flaw in how I expect the unit to perform, but my guess is that I'll be quite happy with it. I'm a bit of a gadget-aholic.

  8. #8
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    I've been looking for a new GPS as well, it's funny how much a larger screen is now at the top of my list due to age.
    447, what have you decided on or are you still deciding??

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    I've been looking for a new GPS as well, it's funny how much a larger screen is now at the top of my list due to age.
    447, what have you decided on or are you still deciding??
    Still deciding... Need to figure out how I am going to mount it, which will tell me how big it can be.

    Have not spent much time thinking about that, yet.

    Not only should the GPS screen be large, but it needs to be mounted far enough away that I can focus on it easily, at speed. Perhaps on the hood, or behind/above one of the mirrors...
    Last edited by K447; 05-20-2008 at 10:58 AM.

  10. #10
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    The line of RAM mounts works flawlessly on any of my rides but I have UMI on everything so the mount situation is easy.
    I'll take a look at the two you mentioned and see what our nearby GPS store has to say.
    I MUST also have one that leaves the little turds to find my way back as I want to use it out in the desert with my RZR.

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