gps- magellan

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 14:09
ThreadID: 22194 Views:2110 Replies:11 FollowUps:2
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i'm thinking of buying a meridan gold/ platinum.
What are peoples views on these compared to the garmin equivalents?
What about software? Which uses the best available mapping (or is it the same?)
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Reply By: Pluto - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 15:25

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 15:25

The choice between Garmin and Magellan units is a difficult one. They each have their own strengths.

For example, the superior menuing on the Garmin units makes them much easier to use, and the detail contained in the maps on the Magellan units also makes them desirable. However, either way you will be limited to the map set that is supplied b y the manufacturer. You can find out more about the different units from the independent reviews posted on, plus articles that can be used to guide you decision.

The ability to compare numerous maps of a given area (I have found) is far more valuable when planning your trip. So, whichever unit you decide on, consider getting OziExplorer as well. It enables you to view a wide variety of digital map formats and has become a common format for navigation data sharing, including here on EO.
AnswerID: 107394

Reply By: bob2 - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 15:30

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 15:30
I have had a Meridian Gold for 2 years. I us Mapsend maps which are very detailed, all tracks are shown and even some that are now over grown. All states fit on a 128mb SD card.

I had a glitch a few months ago and had to send it back to have the system reinstalled cost $100. They said it was caused by some sort of radio interference, but I have my doubts.

The meridian has no trouble always having plenty of satellites when on the dash without an external antenna.

If I bought a new one today I would try and get full colour screen and I would use Mapsend again.
AnswerID: 107396

Follow Up By: timglobal - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 18:54

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 18:54
I got the basic Magellan and loaded detailed maps onto it via an SD card.

I did have it missing time and so unable to get a lock which was resolved via email (and then pressing buttons on the unit!)

As mentioned the Mapsend digital maps are pretty good, if occasionally showing themselves 2 yrs old with new road layouts. Off-road they do show some improbably obscure routes as well.

Often sits happily by the levers and gets signal unless in urban or canyon scenarios, so great reception. Menus aren't as easy as could be, but detailed.

Being waterproof and bouyancy positive is also a nice to have. It chews the batteries, but rechargeables are OK and car/data power kits can be bought if you're up for that.

Bottom line - I like it and have recommended to and had admired by many.


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Follow Up By: snailbate - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 20:35

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 20:35
hi bob 2
i had a gold for 3 years i have up graded to 128 mb chip of all Australia
DONT TRY to down load i sent mine back three times to have it replaced for a new gold i wont use my computer to down load maps i send it to our north shore gps people in NSW
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Reply By: SteveL - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 15:54

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 15:54
If you are going to use discoveraus (mapsend) you may want to wait for the new topographical version which is due out very soon. -Steve
AnswerID: 107398

Reply By: jondg - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 16:07

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 16:07
thanks for your replies!
AnswerID: 107399

Reply By: jondg - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 17:04

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 17:04
There are numerous units (new) for sale on ebay, much cheaper than in shops. These appear to be U.S. imports. Does this matter, so long as the correct maps are installed?
AnswerID: 107409

Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 17:39

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 17:39
Got a Magellan Colour off Ebay for $560 brand new,Australian version.As far as I know the only differance the American model has an American basemap loaded and Australian has Australian Base map loaded.
AnswerID: 107413

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 18:27

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 18:27
My first GPS I bought about 5 months ago is a Gold Meridian.... still learning how to drive it :-) but I think it's got great features, I did have a look at the colour unit at the local camping show recently and I couldn't make out that much difference in the screen..... I could be wrong! The DiscoverAus software is OK and friendly enough but like everyone I am waiting for the supposed upgrade!! I haven't yet run it on my laptop but am looking forward to experimenting with that when I get a chance. Not sure about the other types of Map software available.
AnswerID: 107420

Reply By: MarkTheShark - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 20:38

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 20:38
I realise that you didn't ask about a Meridian Colour but I have one and am generally very happy with it. The only drawbacks are initial cost and that it uses batteries quite quickly compared to the B&W units. This is not so much of a problem when using the 12V car adapter but definitely is a problem when used handheld. You can turn down the screen brightness to conserve power but then the colour advantage fades (no pun intended). The great advantage of the colour is its usefulness in differentiating features such as creeks from tracks. With DiscoverAus loaded it is a great unit. Works well with a laptop loaded with ExplorOZ and NatMap's 250,000 raster, using the Magellan for the detail and the laptop for the broader perspective.
AnswerID: 107439

Reply By: Member - Oskar (Bris) - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 21:20

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2005 at 21:20
I bought a Magellan off Ebay (US model) quite cheaply (brand new). It lasted 2 months and then died. Guess what ... no warranty in Aus because the US Ebay seller was not an authorised dealer.
The repair (sent it to Perth for a quote) would have been more than the purchase price.
So beware. It might be best to buy an Aussie model
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AnswerID: 107449

Reply By: motherhen - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 00:27

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 00:27
We bought a Magellan Meridian gold 2nd hand - together with the map software. So far so good. The hard part is getting my husband to watch the actual road he's driving on, not the cursor going along the road on the screen! The mapping has minor tracks, not only the road to our farm, but an internal track within the farm. We're only just learning what it can do. Colour would be nice, as it is sometimes hard to see what is road and what is river. We haven't tried changing the state map - appearently it will only hold 4 maps, so we need to remove say WA to add another State from the map software.
AnswerID: 107476

Reply By: GeroBoof - Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 01:49

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005 at 01:49
Hey jondg

I have the basic meridian with only 2mb built in memory. But it is upgraded by a sandisk 1gb sd card
At the moment I have 4 regions of Discover Aust loaded this includes all WA all NT and east to the fringes of Adelaide in SA
the meridian range allow you to search street addresses like a UBD. I think the discover Aust maps are exellent
It canot hold any more map data unless i erase that lot and load a new lot.
Check out the newer Magellan eXplorist range at
from the 400 up they are much more expandable and have better features than the meridian range and are selling for a similar price

Get out and get dirty

Gero boof
AnswerID: 107481

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