Garmin GPS II+ v 12XL v 12

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2571 Views:2298 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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I'm new to GPS and am looking to purchase my first. Am wanting opinions on the relative merits of the Garmin GPS II+ v 12XL v 12. I have seen previous posts about various models and am comfortable that Garmin is a quality brand. The II+ and 12XL are about $240 dearer than the 12 and I'm wondering if it's worth spending the extra. Can someone explain in "GPS for Dummies" language what extra I would be getting, and in your opinion whether it is worth it.
I understand that the II+ and 12XL have a built-in South Pacific point data base. Is that worth paying extra for...? Sorry if this is a silly question, but what tangible benefit does that give me?
Thanks for any help offered.
Cheers, Mike.
PS - Have seen previous posts re ordering from the USA via internet. Is considerably cheaper than purchasing direct in OZ. However, wondered how easy the process of converting info to local (rather than US) is. Do I have to spend more $$ on a Garmin/other CD (which will still probably cost me less overall), or can I download the info from the internet or a Yahoo Group, for example? Also, are Garmin warranties world-wide, or would I be stuffed in Oz if the unit cacked itself? Thanks!
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Reply By: OziExplorer - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
Mike, did you go out of your way to pick all the dinosaur models from Garmin.
Firstly, how do you want to use this GPS?

Do you want it for your vehicle, bushwalking etc?

Do you just want a GPS to interface to OziExplorer or similiar program?

Explain your needs for this GPS you want to purchase and what you want to do with it.

Well, I much prefer Garmin to the current model Magellans, and the only Magellan model I could recommend is the SporTrak Pro which is *hopelessly* overpriced. The Meridians leave me stone cold for many reasons, and they are not far off being replaced with a new model.
AnswerID: 9529

Follow Up By: Mike - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
Hi OziExplorer,
I plan to use it predominantly in my 4WD, but perhaps the odd spot of bush-walking. At this stage, I am not planning on connecting it to my computer, but off in the future that may be of interest to me.
Re your comment about "dinosaur models" - what would you suggest around the same cost? I planned to steer clear of the etrex range as I've been told they are not real flash for in-car reception, but I'm interested in your comments.
Cheers, Mike.
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FollowupID: 4865

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00
Mike as for the eMap not being waterproof is quite true, but the only place the eMap will let water in is the battery cover, then would have to up the memory cartridge slot, and have to displace some air to get the water in. I use an eMap on my off-road motorbike. The eMap is mounted on the handlebars in the open weather at a 45° angle. It stays there in all weather. Driving along with rain would normally force itself into any crack, and the battery cover on the eMap is a tight fit. Unless you want to go diving with the eMap in your 4WD then, it may be a problem. The eMap has been one of Garmins biggest selling models and still is. All the geologists and surveyors here use the eMap and have never heard of one failing. The eMap has excellent reception even under tree cover, and is a superior receiver to most other models. The eMap also works well with NiMH batteries, which some of the other don't.
The eMap Carpack with swivel/tilt vehicle mount type MKT8 and 12v cable $635 (make sure this is the Y cable with serial plug)
http://www.ja-gps.com.au/catalog.html#anchor4289858
This eMap bundle is also the best bang for the buck you can get.
I doubt you fill find a better price compared to JAGPS. I buy the majority of our GPS gear there.

You can see one my eMap's mounted on my motorbike here:
http://www.users.bigpond.com/auslandline/Prospecting_Machine.jpg
It lives there come rain, hail, snow or sun.
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FollowupID: 4876

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00
Mike suggest you download the Garmin eMap manual from their website.
The eMap case is waterproof to IPX2 standard, and
quote:
The eMap is not waterproof. It may withstand momentry immersion in water if retrieved quickly and wiped dry. However, the battery compartment and map card slot may retain residual water and should be dried out with a clean cloth and allowed to air dry with the compartment cover removed before reinstalling batteries.
end:
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FollowupID: 4879

Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
G'day Mike.

Firstly, the GPS II+, 12XL, and 12 have been around for a LONG time now. Not that it is a problem, they were good units, but the last bios upgrades for them were issued in 2000 and 1998 respectively. You can check them out at http://www.garmin.com/support/download.html for yourself. The GPS 12 has now been superseded by the GPS 72.

Secondly, what do you want your GPS to do? Do you simply want to read co-ordinates of where you are or do you want computer interface so you can use Auslig Electronic maps on a laptop? If it is the latter, then the current "standard seems to be the eMap" in the Garmin range. There is proberly better, read more featured units, but value for money, this one seems to be the goods. Mine works brilliantly! I use OziExplorer/Auslig Raster 250 combination (I think they are worth about $230.00 the pair and that covers the entire Australian continent, including Tasmania and heaps of smaller Islands off the coast).

Thirdly, If you do want to go down the laptop route, a Garmin combined 12volt/data cable (GPS units can be heavy on batteries) will set you back about $100.00 (bloody ripoff). I have heard of suppliers on the net selling them for around $30-$40.00 (Don't think they are Genuine parts, but if they work ... ). Don't forget you need a mount of some description. A GPS must be able to "see" the satellites, so that leaves 2 options. i. Mount the GPS on the dash (that's where mine is), or ii. mount it anywhere else you like but you must then add an external antenna (about another $125 - $200.00, depending on model) and some models are NOT capable of being fitted with an external antenna!

Finally, 2 sites that have helped me a lot are (retail) http://www.ja-gps.com.au/ and http://www.gpsoz.com.au/. GPS are one of those items that if you don't do your homework thoroughly first, you can regret it with big dollars later. Let me know how you get on. Cheers!
AnswerID: 9536

Follow Up By: Mike - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
Hi P.G.,
Thanks for all the information you included.
As stated above in my follow-up to OziExplorer, I plan to use it predominantly in my 4WD, but perhaps the odd spot of bush-walking. At this stage, I am not planning on connecting it to my computer, but off in the future that may be of interest to me.
I looked at the 72 but thought the 70 series are more geared towards marine use. I guess that doesn't mean it is still not a good unit for land-based use. I wondered about the eMap, but was told by a retailer that it is not waterproof at all, and whilst I don't plan on dropping it in puddles etc, I would hate to damage it by having rain-drops etc hit the screen. I will need to mount the unit on the dash somehow, so the II+ gets the nod in that respect, as it comes with a velcro strip, whereas I would need to buy a mounting bracket for both the 12 and 12XL. Also, the II+ seems to have a better aerial from what I can gather. I had planned to buy at least a car power cable, and have referred to both the gpsoz and ja-gps sites, which have both been very informative but also created lots of questions for me... (hence the post here).
Once again, thanks for your assistance.
Cheers, Mike.
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FollowupID: 4866

Reply By: Member - Mal - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
HELLO MIKE the answers you received are ok. G P S is a personal thing i have had 3 MAGELLAN units the 310 315 and 320 and each one better and have more info .i am upgradeing at the moment ,as i am starting to use my lap top maping a lot more, look in the buy and sell section of this site i have mine advertised , a lot will depend on your needs, my tip buy local much easer to get help safe driveing MAL
AnswerID: 9539

Reply By: Benna - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
Check the for sale section. Just posted a garmin 12 for sale, Brand new unwanted present. price is neg. Email me
AnswerID: 9543

Reply By: Mick - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2002 at 01:00
Mike I've had both the 12 and 12XL (after my 12 was stolen) I went for the XL because of the data base and have found it very useful in two ways:
1. It makes setting waypoints very easy - locations can be set by finding it on the data base and pressing "goto". Without the database waypoints have to be set by typing in ther lat and long manually.
2. While travelling I usually use the moving map page and locations in the data base appear on that as you travel.
one other thing I think the 12 and 12XL are more suited to using hand held or on a belt while walking - simply because of their shape.
AnswerID: 9545

Reply By: CJ - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2002 at 01:00
http://www.outbacker.com.au/
I found this place prices OK. I have a Garmin Emap which I am happy with - it is very easy to operate with numerous options. The base map has a suprising number of roads on it. I have it mounted in a mobile phone bracket from Woolies $8 which I have modified to sit in dash cup holder, or if in forest I move onto the top of dash using velcroe to attach to dash mat.
AnswerID: 9591

Reply By: Benna - Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00
Have a garmin 12, does everything i need it to do. heaps of waypoints (500). Good value, not overly expensive. Does not have all the wizz bang gizmos, but you dont even need them anyway, just paying for functions you dont need.

Check the for sale section.
AnswerID: 9621

Reply By: Member - Ray - Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Dec 12, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Mike,
Ozi seems to pretty well up on all things 4wd and outback but I think maybe he gets a bit too keen sometimes (no offence intended oz) I have a Magellan meridian I am happy with but it's horses for courses so go find a mate with a GPS and try before you buy.
By the way, this forum has to be the best free advice around and it beats the mags hands down.
Ray
AnswerID: 9637

Reply By: Lyds - Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 16, 2002 at 01:00
I was thinking about the GPS II+ too, for both in-car and handheld use.

Whats the "modern" equivalent?
AnswerID: 9812

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