hand held gps

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 19:19
ThreadID: 3504 Views:2080 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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hi we looking at getting a gps so what we need to know are some better than others will we use all the functions of a top line model never had one never seen one used so really got no idea about them any help apreciated thanks ive seen a magellan i think for sale at kmart for about $300 i think. are they any good
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Reply By: Hardy - Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 20:25

Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 20:25

Its one of those things you get what you pay for. A cheap gps will be slower to lock on to the satelites so can be frustraing while waiting. It will also be slower updating. This is only really a problem if you need this accurate type of information ie yacht racing. My mate had trouble with his cheap gps when trying to locate ship recks. The unit simply wouldn't update quickly enough for him to throw the anchor over. But if you just want to find yourself on a map then it doesn't matter too much. I have noticed that the cheaper gps don't lock on as easily in adverse conditions either ie mountains, trees, the cabin of a car! As for other functions I don't use them much. Cheers Hardy
AnswerID: 13792

Reply By: Member - Bob - Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 20:29

Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 20:29
Diamond, Im one eyed about Garmin and have little experience with Magellan. The Garmin Etrex is their base model but for my money the New GPS72 is well worth a look. At $469.00 it has plenty of memory and will let you save up to 10 different tracks. The lcd detail is great but it has no provision for an external antenna
As a starting point consider what you want from a gps and check out sites such as gpsoz, oziexplorer,and gme.net,com.au (garmin distributor)
I use a Garmin GPS2+ which suits me fine but at $649 is lacking some of the features of the new models.
cheers Bob
AnswerID: 13793

Follow Up By: Mick - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:23

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:23
Bob the Garmin 12XL has provision for an external antenna (useful in forest areas or if the position in a car doesn't give a good view of the sky). It also allows for storage of 20 routes, 500 waypoints and has a data base covering even very small towns in remote areas. Lock on and updates are quick too!
Since you haven't used one, I find the following features to be useful:
When travelling I set the towns I'm passing through as "Waypoints" I then link them to form a "Route" (This takes only a few minutes) As I travel, the following info is available. The distance of each town in the "Route". The ETA(Expected time of arrival) for each town. The direction of the next town. All other nearby towns not set on the "Route" po up on the moving map sceen.
In remote areas eg Simpson Desert it was useful to know exactly where I was on the map (by reading LAT/LONG) and how far the next intersection was etc. It would also be very useful if any sort of rescue/assistance was needed by calling on Sat phone and giving exact location (usually within a few metres)
When I have been on a trip I can store the path on my PC and if returning, can load the path back into the GPS, and use the moving map screen. This will show a line which can be followed. (the screen can be scaled or zoomed in and out depending on whether you are travelling at 110kph on a highway or crawling on a bush track and I easily retraced my trip to a spot in the high country over many small tracks and intersections.
In beach driving it is useful to mark (There is a "MARK" button) the exit/entry point as all dunes can look similar after a while. Of course you can use the odometer but the GPS is very convenient.
After a trip I download the path to a PC and print it on a map. The GPS can also put time stamps, distances and speed on the map - useful for planning return trips as it's often difficult to remember just what time you were at particular points and how long it took to get "from the top of the ridge to the camp on the river" and so on.
Hope this is some help - I wouldn't be without mine!!
FollowupID: 8212

Follow Up By: Mick - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:25

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:25
Sorry Bob - that was meant to be reply to Diamond not a follow up to you - got my position wrong!!
FollowupID: 8213

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 20:45

Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 20:45

I have a number of GPS units, all Garmin, only because the first one I purchased was garmin and all the acessories and software I accumulated menat I had to stay with garmin. As to which is better it is the old Holden vs Commadore type question. I have lots of experience with the garmin equip for fishing, geo-caching, bushwalking, motoring and am only too glad to help out if required. Coming from NZ and wanting to explore your fine country has meant I had to have a GPS.
Try the google news groups under " sci.geo.satellite-nav" or go to http://gpsinformation.net/
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 13794

Reply By: Truckster - Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 22:15

Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 22:15
Search the archives, buit you can import from USA Top of the range Magellan Meridian Platinum for $500. Thats $1000 worth in Aussie.

Thats freight and all

www.mall24-7.com is the place I got mine/another blokes from.

No import duties, and you can change the base maps unlike Garmin units.

I see it as why not get the works when you can!
AnswerID: 13801

Follow Up By: John - Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 20:48

Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 20:48
i jus purchased a magellan platimum today from the US
I got the GPS, World Map CD,powe and Computer cable, protective Case andvehicle mount for AU $700. delivered
This is also cvered by world warranty.
this is over $1500 at a aussie outlet
Worth while looking overseas.
Chech ebay and search for products available to Australia.
My next search is for a suitable Laptop.
FollowupID: 8805

Reply By: Member - Mike - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:39

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:39
Just to add to your confusion! My rig is GPS12 on dash, download /upload to PC and OziRExplorer as required. 20 routes, 500 waypoints, and continous tracvk monitoring ie where did I go and where did I go wrong. I have this set to taking position, speed, hdg, and time every minute. I can do this for 1040mins before overwriting.
This Garmin does not have town waypointse pre loaded; I load that prior to a trip.
I find the 12 channels more than enough, occassionally searching under thick tree cover, usually stopping vehicle rectifies this immediately.
AnswerID: 13817

Follow Up By: Member - Mike - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:41

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:41
Sorry forgot to say mine is Garmin 12, I demount it when bushwalking.
FollowupID: 8217

Follow Up By: Mick - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:37

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:37
Mike the next model up 12XL, doesn't have waypoints pre loaded. It has thousands of locations in its data base. They can be converted to Waypoints but even if they are they still show on the screen when travelling. I went from a 12 to a 12XL (first one was stolen) and the data base has to be the most useful feature!
FollowupID: 8296

Reply By: Mike - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 14:20

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 14:20
I recently purchased a Garmin eMap from Johny Appleseed GPS - check out their web site at www.ja-gps.com.au for lots of useful info and pricing.

I was very happy with their service (they're in Brisbane, I'm in Adelaide - received it next day).

The eMap is an excellent unit for my needs. Sits in a bracket on the dash with a power cable from the cig lighter socket. Perhaps not as nice to hand-hold as some other models, and not waterproof (only splash-proof), unlike some, but has good map features. Obviously mapping not as good as having it connected to a laptop (ie fairly small screen on the eMap as opposed to a full computer screen), but is still OK.

The eMap does have an external antenna option.

(I've been told and have read that the eTrex series do not have very good in-car reception and don't have the facility for an external antenna. If you are wanting to use it in-car you should take that into account.)

Good luck!

AnswerID: 13826

Reply By: David . - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 13:15

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 13:15
Check out www.atrekcamping.com.au for some good prices on magellan GPS
AnswerID: 13889

Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 21:37

Thursday, Mar 06, 2003 at 21:37
Nobody in Australia can come close to USA prices..... Even after you pay freight and everythign.

if you get stung for import duties, you STILL save few hundred!!
FollowupID: 8808

Reply By: Member - Des - Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 12:44

Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 12:44
Virtually any GPS will give you read outs of your position using various datums (for plotting on a paper map), a visual track showing where you are compared to where you have been, or routes you create or mark.

Some GPS's have better antennas than others. Built-in quadrifilar antennas are regarded as better than patch antennas, especially in a car or under tree cover. Some GPS units allow connection of an external antenna, which generally improves reception. Otherwise you can get a re-radiating antenna (about $150) to increase the signal strength - doesn't require connection to the unit. Of course when away from your vehicle you must rely on the internal antenna.

Most can also be connected to a laptop (or PDA) so that, with the right software (e.g. Oziexplorer) and digital maps (e.g from Hema, Vicmap, Auslig, etc), you can plot your position on maps stored on the computer. This can be done while driving along, creating a moving map display. Good in theory, often cumbersome in practice.

Mapping GPS units (eg. Gamin Emap, Magellan M330, Meridian, SporTrak series, etc) have basic maps built-in, to which you can add more detailed street-level maps. BUT you can only use Garmin maps on Garmin units and Magellan maps on Magellan ones and they are $$$$. For example, Magellan charges $135 per State for detailed maps. Of course the unit needs enough memory to store the maps. The Magellan detailed map of NSW is about 24Mb. Some units (e.g. Magellan Meridian series) have expandable memory, using SD cards (available in various capacities, such as 16Mb, 32Mb, 64Mb, etc) that are readily available from computer shops. The quality of Garmin and Magellan maps is often criticised. It is rumoured that in the next month or so Magellan are going to release a new map series supplied by Hema, which should be better quality and up to date.

There is a lot of argument about getting units shipped from in the US (see previous acrimonious threads on this). They are certainly much cheaper (about half price) - do a web search for, say "Magellan Meridian" and "price comparison", and you will get the idea.

If you import a GPS, duty @ 5% and GST @10% are payable on the total, including postage, although both are waived if less than $50 in total. You might get away without paying even if more, but you would be taking a serious risk and may be committing an offence. Warranties might also be a problem.

Units sold in the US come with US basemaps. Garmin ones can't be changed, except through Garmin, which costs heaps, so forget it. Magellan ones can be changed, so if you can get the Australian basemaps you can change them yourself. Australian basemaps for SporTrak Pro or Meridian Gold/Platinum/Color are available on the internet. Join http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Magellan_Meridian then look in the files section for FAQs for details on downloading and changing basemaps.

Lots of info on GPS units at sites mentioned above. See also www.gpsoz.com.au

Personally, I think mapping GPS units will improve in quality, and come down in price by quite a lot in the next few years. Hopefully they will start to accept 3rd party maps too. For your first GPS, I would suggest you get a non-mapping one, with a view to upgrading in a few years' time. They can be a good buy 2nd hand. See www.ebay.com.au

Happy navigating.
AnswerID: 14052

Reply By: diamond - Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 13:47

Thursday, Feb 27, 2003 at 13:47
Thank you all very much for your help, very handy info.
AnswerID: 14059

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