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Formerly 45yroldNewbie
12-05-2007, 21:13
I don't need a fish finder but I certainly do need a decent GPS. I think a handheld or portable would work best, that way I could use it both on the boat and in the car. I have done some shopping and comparing and now I'm more confused than when I started. Can anybody help me out with what features would be useful (ie. compass, Barometric Pressure, etc - sounds neat and like something I'd like to have but are they really useful?). Is there anything else I need to look for? I am planning on spending no more than $250-300.

Thanks in advance!

wheelman
12-05-2007, 21:39
I'm no expert... but when I made my decision for a portable gps, I made water proof and replaceable batteries my top two factors. Most have the compass, altitude, speed, etc standard. So based on my limited knowledge I purchased a Garmin 72, basic functions, easy to use and meets the first 2 criteria for travel and recreational purposes.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
12-06-2007, 07:19
[quote=wheelman;102839]I'm no expert... but when I made my decision for a portable gps, I made water proof and replaceable batteries my top two factors. Most have the compass, altitude, speed, etc standard. So based on my limited knowledge I purchased a Garmin 72, basic functions, easy to use and meets the first 2 criteria for travel and recreational purposes.[/quote

I was looking at that one and a couple other of the Garmins. Have you used it out on the water yet? Do the position updates come in close to real time? Last time I relied on a GPS it would only update once every three to five minutes. Pretty much useless on the water!!!

WV Diver
12-06-2007, 08:03
GPSr's do work in real time but may be slow at times due to adverse weather conditions that prevent clear signals through the atmosphere or by geographic barriers such as mountains or heavy foliage in terrestrial areas.

I would suggest getting a unit with a Wide Angle Augmentation System (WAAS) this will give you a more precise positioning to any given point and will be very useful on the water (in areas where WAAS is available). WAAS is an addtional correction system that calculates better positioning of the satelites and thus giving you a more (closer) precision to a given point. They are usually associated with airports as they are used by pilots. It is simply an additional ground based unit, again usually at airports, where additonal calculations are done prior to being broadcast to your Receiver.

They are pretty common in most GPSr's these days and the addtional cost of WAAS is basically non exsistant for all intents and purposes. Ask your dealer to be sure or read the manual.

In reality though WAAS can correct a given position to within a meter. Units without WAAS are usually accurate to 3-5 meters under good conditions. Either should make finding your point possible.

cummings66
12-06-2007, 14:41
Wide Area Augmentation System capable gps units are nice, I have a Etrex Vista Cx that I love, it's got the ability to have marine charts on it which might prove useful for a diver.

There are other models out there as well. Look at what the geocachers use, they tend to have the better units because we get into marginal signal conditions on a regular basis.

If I was buying one now I'd get the 76CSx even though it's a bit out of your range.

Here is a page of them, check the specs and msrp out;

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145

When you decide to buy check out;

Garmin GPS Receivers, Garmin GPS Software, Garmin GPS Accessories (http://gpsnow.com/)

cheebaweebie
12-06-2007, 14:57
For 327.15 PCNation.com: Computers, Components, Accessories, and Electronics for Less! (http://www.pcnation.com) sells the Garmin handheld 76CSX. Includes the download cable, waypoint manager software has the altimeter, barometric pressure, compass, it's a mapping gps and color screen. Can't beat it. No tax and no shipping. I shopped around and bought one here bacause of the price. I use this as my portable for the boat and when I go on other friends boats so I can take my points with me. works off 2 AA batteries

No Misses
12-06-2007, 15:24
Here is my 3 cents :-)
Your first comment was that you did not need a fish finder. So I am guessing that you have a boat. I use 3 pieces of gear to drop divers on the right spots.

GPS / Chartplotter - This is where I keep track of multiple dive sites.
Bottom machine aka fish finder - This is important for knowing exactly where that wreck is. You can sometimes stumble onto a new/good area just by watching your bottom machine as you transit from one dive site to another.
Magnetic Compass - electronic compasses (in GPS) have a slight lag. A plain old magnetic compass will get you going on the correct heading much faster and they work without batteries.

I use all three every time that I leave the dock.

Happy hunting.

wheelman
12-06-2007, 16:45
[quote=wheelman;102839]I'm no expert... but when I made my decision for a portable gps, I made water proof and replaceable batteries my top two factors. Most have the compass, altitude, speed, etc standard. So based on my limited knowledge I purchased a Garmin 72, basic functions, easy to use and meets the first 2 criteria for travel and recreational purposes.[/quote

I was looking at that one and a couple other of the Garmins. Have you used it out on the water yet? Do the position updates come in close to real time? Last time I relied on a GPS it would only update once every three to five minutes. Pretty much useless on the water!!!

Yes, I use it on the water and I have never had any issues with real time updates. On overcast or non clear view of the sky, it sometimes takes a little longer to lock in the satellites but once it has at least 3 good signals no issues.

And like WV Diver said you definitely want the WAAS ability/feature for improved accuracy.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
12-06-2007, 16:59
Here is my 3 cents :-)
Your first comment was that you did not need a fish finder. So I am guessing that you have a boat. I use 3 pieces of gear to drop divers on the right spots.

GPS / Chartplotter - This is where I keep track of multiple dive sites.
Bottom machine aka fish finder - This is important for knowing exactly where that wreck is. You can sometimes stumble onto a new/good area just by watching your bottom machine as you transit from one dive site to another.
Magnetic Compass - electronic compasses (in GPS) have a slight lag. A plain old magnetic compass will get you going on the correct heading much faster and they work without batteries.

I use all three every time that I leave the dock.

Happy hunting.

I've got the finder and the magnetic but unlike the song two outta three ain't enough on a big lake with lots of intakes outflows and all kinds of other junk. Thanks for the input!!

dannybot
12-06-2007, 19:57
[quote=wheelman;102839]I'm no expert... but when I made my decision for a portable gps, I made water proof and replaceable batteries my top two factors. Most have the compass, altitude, speed, etc standard. So based on my limited knowledge I purchased a Garmin 72, basic functions, easy to use and meets the first 2 criteria for travel and recreational purposes.[/quote

I was looking at that one and a couple other of the Garmins. Have you used it out on the water yet? Do the position updates come in close to real time? Last time I relied on a GPS it would only update once every three to five minutes. Pretty much useless on the water!!!

I have a Magellin 315, you can set the updates for 2 sec, it has always been ccurate if it can get at least two satellites. I have only had problems in canyons. It is supposed to be water resistant, but I wasted the first one when it got dunked briefly in a ziplock bag. Also, by the way, it does not read below sea level (at Death Valley), it just reads 0 ft elev.

hoop
12-07-2007, 15:20
1. WAAS enabled
2. Interfacable with computer
3. Expandable memory (this one's a biggy in my book)

I really like some of the magellans they have out.

cummings66
12-07-2007, 16:42
Not to slam the Magellan too hard, but for geocaching they're not the preferred gpsr. They tend to lose lock easier and they're not as accurate, don't ask me for proof because I don't have one. I have been geocaching with people who've used them and my Garmin was always more accurate and never lost the sats when theirs did.

Maybe the newer ones are better, but IME the older ones just were not as good.