Forum: GPS Tech Center
Topic: Your Worse GPS And Why?
started by: Quinn

Posted by Quinn on May 06 2002,7:34 pm
I wanted to place this here to get feedback from people as to what GPSR they owned would be considered something to stay away from. Honesty here will go a long way in helping others who are new to the sport and or GPSR's in general make the right choice when it comes time to buying the first unit on their list.
Now I know that many people can be a bit touchy when it comes to another person saying something bad about the type of GPSR they own, heck! some protect them more than the wife! ;)  But lets be real here...if you have an opinion speak it freely and who knows the advice you may have just given someone.

I would have to say out of all the units I have owned that the Vista would be the biggest let down for me. REASON: with all the toys it comes with in that compact size I had expected more. I like the memory and set-up of the buttons and functions, the compass was a great feature I couldn't wait to get my hands on. But when the unit was delivered I was left feeling a bit short due to the reception of the unit, it seemed everytime I hit the trail the GPSR would lose sats while my IIIPlus kept the lock and was trucking right along.
Then the problems with the sticky joy stick and hearing Gimpy say his broke and had to be sent back for repairs.
Mine hit Ebay shortly after, and moun10bikes went the same route.
Big money was being asked for this unit, but it would have been well worth it if they got away from that antenn system they used.

I have seen stats on the computer and stats in paper forms, but what I base my opinions on are the way things act in the field. :)
Posted by Hinge Thunder on May 06 2002,8:36 pm
I regretted having bought a Magellan 315. Having already owned a Garmin Etrex which worked pretty well, but had the habit of bouncing around while I was looking for the cache. I decided to get a Mag 315 which had auto-averaging, and I thought it might bounce around less. The auto averaging was exactly what made the unit unusable for geocaching. It would kick in if you started moving slower than about 2.5mph. So as soon as you got off the trail into any bushes or tree, and slowed below the 2.5mph, the unit thought you stopped, and would start averaging your position. A downloadable patch lowers the speed that the averaging kicks in, but unless you want to pay for a cable which are around $30, you are stuck with the default version. Quinn had a cable, and was nice enough to load on the latest patch for me, which made the unit usable. But I also got a newer, better GPS unit at the same time (a MAP 330 which I think is great! Thanks Quinn!). I have since sent the Mag 315 to my brother back in Seattle, and am trying to get him to give geocaching a try.
Posted by barrington on May 07 2002,9:11 am
I started out with a Mag 315, and had the same problem with the auto-averaging (the fix for it came out shortly after I sent the 315 on a one-way trip to eBay-land).  Not only did the problem make it very difficult to home in on coordinates while searching, it took a very long time to settle down (up to a half hour) to the point where I had confidence in the coordinates when placing caches.  Also, when first starting out in caching and unfamiliar with GPS's, I didn't realize the 315 could display a third decimal in the minutes (it defaults to two);  this made the first couple of caches VERY hard to find :withstupid .

I've got a Meridian Gold and a MAP 330 now, and both are great performers, but that ^&@$ unprotected power button on the Meridian (turns off with the slightest touch, such as slipping the unit into a pocket) is pretty annoying.  I prefer using the Meridian for the display and NAV screen options, but the 330 performs as well and is "safer", so it gets used more often.
Posted by Rocky on May 07 2002,7:43 pm
Because I heard so many good things about them I found the Garmin Map76 not to be what I expected.  Reception in tree cover did not compare to the III Plus and I thought for the price the unit was not that great. For 1/3 the price the eMap would do the same thing and give the added bonus of taking memory cards with far more memory.
Posted by Choberiba on May 08 2002,12:52 pm
Lets see....

In the last twelve months I've purchased:

Garmin GPS12 as an X-mas gift for a buddy
Magellan GPS Companion for My Palm Vx
Magellan 315 for another buddy
Yellow eTrex *
Vista *

Out of all those, the only one that I have any regret purchasing was the Palm Companion. I was able to recoupe most of what I paid for it on eBay, so even that purchase wasn't so bad.

*Swiped - but still a good purchase
Posted by Road Kill on May 08 2002,8:58 pm
Haven't had a bad one yet. But then the II+ is all I've had. It's a gooood machine. Why would I want a bad one? :grinnin
Posted by Hinge Thunder on May 09 2002,9:11 am
Quote (Choberiba @ May 08 2002,2:52 pm)
Lets see....

In the last twelve months I've purchased:

Garmin GPS12 as an X-mas gift for a buddy
Magellan 315 for another buddy

I'd like to have a Garmin V. Can I be your buddy?  :wave
Posted by Bagbug on May 11 2002,2:57 pm
Owned an Etrex Legend
Tried for a week the Venture
Tried for a week a Merigreen

The worst was the Legend. Almost always 100 feet away from the road (with Mapsource btw). Damn slow to lock. Crappy reception under tree cover and inside the car (even with the GPS facing satellites). Very slow to display the map when scrolling out the area you see.

On the other way, the power button on the Meridian is a real joke. And the menu/screen design is terrible too. At least it can lock almost everywhere.

Now I want to try a Sportrack Pro. If I dont like it, Ill get a 76map.

Posted by Gimpy on May 11 2002,9:58 pm
Worst luck I had was with the eTrex Vista. Great little unit with a lot of features, but every time I got under a canopy of tree cover, the thing was rendered useless. Right now I have the V, III Plus, eMap & MAP76. No complaints with any of them, but only use each for specific tasks. :D
Posted by DxChallenged on May 12 2002,2:00 am
We use the Garmin III+ and the V.  don't leave home without them.  Husband still says the III+ is the best and I love my V.  I have much less of a fear of getting lost ... yeah that's right it's an aide for my disability...getting lost when I step off my front porch.  

Husband loves to "outsmart" it.  He tries to arrive at a destination before it says we will (I keep telling him that if you get a speeding ticket it doesn't count) and he is always making it recalculate routes... his work envolves pouring over maps (mostly for pilots) so he has the V show him a route and "outsmarts" it by going another way and saving time.....I end up turning off the bells and whistles......and being protective......He's messin with my "crutch".

So no complaints here other than ...don't mess with my GPS


Posted by 4x4van on Aug. 14 2003,12:30 pm
Hmmm...I started geocaching with a Mag 315 and never had a problem finding caches due to the averaging.  The only problem I had was that something came loose inside (after about 2 years of use, many times mounted on my ATC handlebars; the vibration maybe?) and it stopped receiving signals.  Tried to find the problem myself (had to cut the case open), but was never able to fix it.

Currently using a SporTrak Pro and love it, although I will always have a fond place in my heart for the ole 315!

Posted by ltpat on Jan. 08 2004,11:05 pm
The worst GPSr I have used is the Apollo GX-55 in a plane.  It does a lot but it is awful to use and the book is 2 inches thick.  The next worst is the Icom handheld which I would put in a museum except it still works.
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