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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Default I'd appreciate advice on GPS

I'm thinking about buying Garmin GPS 60 or Garmin eTrex Legend HCx. Both of them got good reviews and are not expensive. I need a GPS for hiking, scrambling and backcountry skiing only.

I have a couple of questions about Garmin eTrex Legend HCx.
http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/ga...egend-hcx.html mentions that built-in memory and microSD card are not included. Do I have to buy a memory card and a microSD card extra? If I understand correctly a microSD card is required to store additional maps. This brings a new question. Does this GPS come with maps or those maps must be purchased separately? If I understand correctly free topo maps of Canada can be downloaded at
http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustopo/ ? Does it mean I don't need MAPSOURCE software? Do I need it or anything else to transfer waypoints there and back?

I have never used a GPS before so I apologize if my questions sound stupid. I would appreciate your response.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Engor

I'm thinking about buying Garmin GPS 60 or Garmin eTrex Legend HCx.
The 60 has a better feature set than the Legend HCx - but the HCx will have better reception, unless you get a 60 CSx or 60 Cx.

Quote:
quote:
I have a couple of questions about Garmin eTrex Legend HCx.
http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/ga...egend-hcx.html mentions that built-in memory and microSD card are not included. Do I have to buy a memory card and a microSD card extra?
It's slightly misleading. The previous model of the eTrex Legend had 8 MB of memory built in for storing maps, and no microSD expansion slot.

With the Legend HCx, Garmin dropped the 8 MB of built in "map" memory, hence the notice that built-in memory is not included. However, the unit still has onboard memory - used to store waypoints, routes, tracks, etc. To load maps, I believe you'll need to buy a microSD card - even a smaller one (32 MB, 64 MB, etc) will be more than enough.

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quote:
Does this GPS come with maps or those maps must be purchased separately?
Yes and no. The unit comes with a North American "base map" - think of it as a map of major North American highways, rivers, and oceans - and not much else. It's not very useful aside from getting your overall bearings in the continent

All other "official" maps need to be purchased from Garmin or an authorized map maker. For example, the best map for hiking is "Garmin Topo Canada" - it has detailed topographic maps for the unit.

You'll also notice that Garmin sells microSD cards "preloaded" with maps - avoid these. They are "locked" to the card, meaning that they can't be backed up. Also, they're expensive and only contain data for small regions - the CD version contains data for all of Canada.

Quote:
quote:
If I understand correctly free topo maps of Canada can be downloaded at
http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustopo/ ? Does it mean I don't need MAPSOURCE software? Do I need it or anything else to transfer waypoints there and back?
The unit will come with a copy of MapSource, just not the maps. The ibycustopo is not "official" - Garmin units contain a sort of protection mechanism to prevent people from making maps that Garmin doesn't make money from. The ibycustopo project uses special software to bypass the protection mechanisms - Garmin could always come along and sue them out of existance. That said, nothing is stopping you from using them and that's their problem, not yours.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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ShadowChaser,
Thanks a lot for your fast and comprehensive response! Just a quick follow-up question.

What do you mean by this The 60 has a better feature set than the Legend HCx



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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Engor


ShadowChaser,
Thanks a lot for your fast and comprehensive response! Just a quick follow-up question.

What do you mean by this The 60 has a better feature set than the Legend HCx
Sorry, I think I had that wrong. I wouldn't buy the GPS 60 - it doesn't have maps. It's also a few generations old.

The GPSMAP series, however, lets you do things like record waypoints directly from a button on the top, "average out" waypoint data - things like that. My GPSMAP 60 CSx seems to be a bit more "rounded out" than the eTrex line - mainly little things. That said, I'm comparing the 60 CSx to the original Legend.

Note that the Legend HCx model you listed would be quite a bit newer than the GPS(MAP) 60.

Garmin's product names can be decoded:
'C' means it's a color unit
'S' means it has an altimeter and electronic compass
'x' means it has a "SiRFstar III" chipset (higher accuracy)
'H' means it has a "MediaTek (MTK)" chipset (also higher accuracy, about the same as x, but a different brand). Note that "H" overrules "x" - if they both exist in the product name, it's a MTK chip.

For example, my unit is an CSx - A color unit with an altimeter, compass, and SiRFstar III chipset (higher accuracy)
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ShadowChaser
You'll also notice that Garmin sells microSD cards "preloaded" with maps - avoid these. They are "locked" to the card, meaning that they can't be backed up. Also, they're expensive and only contain data for small regions - the CD version contains data for all of Canada.
Another reason to avoid these is that the maps can't be used on your PC which is handy for trip planning.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ShadowChaser
Garmin's product names can be decoded:
'C' means it's a color unit
'S' means it has an altimeter and electronic compass
'x' means it has a "SiRFstar III" chipset (higher accuracy)
'H' means it has a "MediaTek (MTK)" chipset (also higher accuracy, about the same as x, but a different brand). Note that "H" overrules "x" - if they both exist in the product name, it's a MTK chip.

For example, my unit is an CSx - A color unit with an altimeter, compass, and SiRFstar III chipset (higher accuracy)
Garmin has really dropped the ball when it comes to consistent model designations. In most cases "x" stands for expandable memory too. Their newest models the Colorado 300 and 400 series seem to have abandoned these designations entirely.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for your advice! I think I am going to go for Garmin eTrex Legend HCx.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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Quote:
quote:
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quote:
If I understand correctly free topo maps of Canada can be downloaded at
http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustopo/ ? Does it mean I don't need MAPSOURCE software? Do I need it or anything else to transfer waypoints there and back?
The unit will come with a copy of MapSource, just not the maps. The ibycustopo is not "official" - Garmin units contain a sort of protection mechanism to prevent people from making maps that Garmin doesn't make money from. The ibycustopo project uses special software to bypass the protection mechanisms - Garmin could always come along and sue them out of existance. That said, nothing is stopping you from using them and that's their problem, not yours.

Noticed this post and thought I'd join up and reply.

The 'protection' Garmin uses for their maps is in the form of a file format. To say I'm circumventing their protection mechanisms is like saying I'm circumventing Microsoft Word's protection mechanisms by having another program that writes .doc files.

That being said, before I started any of this, I informed Garmin of what I was doing, and they didn't tell me not to proceed. Also, custom map sets have been around for years. To my knowledge, no one has yet been asked by Garmin to stop distributing them (although AFAIK, my mapset is the most detailed/complete set available).

If Garmin ever wanted to shut them down though, it would be a trivial matter for them to cut out 95% of the user base of these maps. All they would have to do is release a new version of the mapsource software that verifies that the maps being used have actually at some point been released by Garmin (or its affiliates).

That being said, if Garmin ever asked me to stop, or approached me with any threat of legal action what so ever, I would have the maps off the site in a heart beat. (I don't they'd really have a case though, as I have full right to distribute the data I'm distributing, the only claim they could possibly make is that the format is their format, but given that I'm not the one compiling most of these maps, I'm not sure that I could be held liable for that either).

Dale (aka ibycus)
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2008, 09:41 PM
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Thanks for your efforts, Dale, and welcome to Clubtread! And it's a damn good thing we don't have the equivalent of the silly American DMCA up here in Canada, where such file format deciphering might be viewed as illegal! That's the only thing I have against Garmin, is their proprietary map format!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2008, 10:23 PM
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spend the extra $20-30 and get the vista HCX over the lengend. has compass and barometer.

www.gpscity.ca has good prices. and no pst!


Quote:
quote:The GPSMAP series, however, lets you do things like record waypoints directly from a button on the top, "average out" waypoint data
the hcx saves waypoints with the push of the joystick, and can average it.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by smac

spend the extra $20-30 and get the vista HCX over the lengend. has compass and barometer.

www.gpscity.ca has good prices. and no pst!


Quote:
quote:The GPSMAP series, however, lets you do things like record waypoints directly from a button on the top, "average out" waypoint data
the hcx saves waypoints with the push of the joystick, and can average it.
Thanks smac, I really appreciate your advice! I'm impressed of eTrex HCx highly positive customer reviews on various web-sites. Now I'm thinking of buying it. Altimeter is a handy thing too.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 12:05 AM
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Can anyone tell me if way points etc recorded on E-topo software can be loaded onto a Garmin 60Cx?
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 08:17 AM
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Can the ibycus topo maps be viewed on your computer or only on the Garmin GPS?
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by PackRat

Can the ibycus topo maps be viewed on your computer or only on the Garmin GPS?
I can view them in MapSource on my computer. I'm not sure what your options are if you don't own MapSource.

Edit to add a link for a work around if you don't own MapSource

http://forums.calgarycachers.net/vie...php?f=1&t=2855
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ChuckU

Can anyone tell me if way points etc recorded on E-topo software can be loaded onto a Garmin 60Cx?
I would think so but it depends what software you're using the maps with.

All Etopo maps are 150 DPI raster images for use with an external software package. All Etopo CD-ROMs are pre-calibrated for use with Memory Map, OziExplorer, MacGPS Pro, GridBuddy, Mapcruiser with NavSim and Fugawi.

http://www.etopo.ca/features.html
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