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Old 30 September 2013, 10:31   #1
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Garmin Handheld GPS units..

Afternoon all.

I am after a cheap, but reasonably decent handheld GPS unit. Ive found a Garmin eTrex Vista HCX at a good price and was wondering if anyone has any reviews on these units?

Thanks.
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Old 02 October 2013, 07:52   #2
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I used a similar one for mountain biking for a few years. Typical Garmin - robust, good quality and reliable. Good reception as well.

Basically if you just want a fix of your position, tracking, waypoints - then you cant go wrong. You dont even need a new one - get a secondhand one for much less then when you drop it overboard you wont be in tears.

You can get a karibiner type clip to attach it with if you want.
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Old 02 October 2013, 09:23   #3
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+1 for that.

Thety also do NMEA In / out so you can use them to feed a DSC radio or as a backup antenna for a future plotter.

I used a GPS12 for a while as my primary unit - I now have it as a backup to the plotter. Don't knock the really old stuff - the basic functionality is the same, and the batteries last forever (I've had >24 hrs use out a set of Duracells on the GPS12)

One thing to note tho' - if you are bouncing around in a rib/sib charts / maps on a 2"-ish screen are remarkably difficult to read! I have built a big set of "join the dots" waypoints for my usual stomping grounds. The routes are not maybe the shortest or quickest, but can be "assembled" into a route that avoids anything bottom shaped at any state of the tide if the visibility drops. I then can use the "nav" function to give me a big arrow that is readable at speed.....
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Old 02 October 2013, 16:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9D280 View Post
+1 for that.

Thety also do NMEA In / out so you can use them to feed a DSC radio or as a backup antenna for a future plotter.

I used a GPS12 for a while as my primary unit - I now have it as a backup to the plotter. Don't knock the really old stuff - the basic functionality is the same, and the batteries last forever (I've had >24 hrs use out a set of Duracells on the GPS12)

One thing to note tho' - if you are bouncing around in a rib/sib charts / maps on a 2"-ish screen are remarkably difficult to read! I have built a big set of "join the dots" waypoints for my usual stomping grounds. The routes are not maybe the shortest or quickest, but can be "assembled" into a route that avoids anything bottom shaped at any state of the tide if the visibility drops. I then can use the "nav" function to give me a big arrow that is readable at speed.....
Hi,

I have a garmin oregon this has a two inch screen I have only used it once as you say bouncing around it is very difficult to read especially on the satellite mode I think maybe I need to persevere with it before wrighting it off completely
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Old 02 October 2013, 17:28   #5
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I have owned the near identical Etrex Venture Cx for over 3yrs now. Same size, button layout and colour screen as the Vista HCX.

I have marine mapping for the areas I visit and it has been a huge addition to safety and convenience when out on the several small boats and sibs we've owned over that time.

Decent battery life with easily available AAs, waterproof aspect tested and passed (!), functions perfectly easy to operate on the move, absolutely no complaints.

Obviously for higher speeds on a large RIB a fixed unit with decent screen size is more appropriate but having this unit totally self contained in your pocket is ideal on smaller craft.
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