Forum: Just Getting Started In Geocaching
Topic: More newbie Qs
started by: Fritz_Monroe

Posted by Fritz_Monroe on Nov. 18 2003,6:51 pm
I've posted this same general question in other forums and newsgroups, so I appologize if you have already seen this.

I'm looking for my first GPS receiver.  I've narrowed it down
to the Magellan Sportrak Map and the Etrek Legend.  I've looked at many on-line places for these and it seems that these will run me about the same amount of money.  The Sportrak may be a bit cheaper with the $30 rebate, but not by much.  Now I'm looking for some pros and cons on these units.
Both give me mapping abilities, and both seem to give me about the same options, and 8 Meg memory.  The Etrek is a bit lighter and seems to have a much higher screen resolution, 288x160 vs. 160x104. The Sportrak has the quadrifilar helix antenna which according to many of the posts and reviews I've read gives a better lock in fairly dense cover.  
So, what are your opinions on these units?  Since these are map units, does the higher resolution win out?  Does the supposedly better reception win out?  Any opinions either way would be greatly appreciated.  


Posted by Quinn on Nov. 18 2003,7:36 pm
Hi Fritz,

There are many sites out there that do nothing other than test GPSR's side by side to see just which ones are better than others. I myself though not being a pro or anything have run tests using each GPS in several conditions in order to see which would be best for me.

As stated in many other topics and sections of the forums I have mentioned that the FIRST and most IMPORTANT feature of any GPS is the antenna...think about it for a second...what good are all those other toys and whistles that come with a GPS if it can't hold sat locks for you? Do you want to be left stranded in the woods? of course not!

Make your choice based on what works and then go for the eye candy.
The Hummer may not be the prettiest thing on four wheels but it sure will get you out of the thick stuff. the same can be said for GPSR's

Do yourself a favor and run with the SporTrak.
It has been tested (bench and field) and concluded as being the most receptive GPS on market to date.

You might find this link on Joe and Jacks website interesting as it is a < GPS TESTING PAGE. >

Hope this helps!

Posted by Fritz_Monroe on Nov. 18 2003,8:53 pm
Thanks for the link.  I've read the article and it just pushes me a little more towards the Magellan.  You mentioned other sites doing side by side comparisions.  Could you list a couple for me to take a look at?  Thanks.


Posted by ponds on Nov. 19 2003,12:54 pm
I am new as well, and chose the magellan SporTrak map.   I have had nothing but good experiences with it.  However, I can't compare it to garmins or anything because I've never used them.
Posted by Fritz_Monroe on Nov. 19 2003,1:42 pm
What made you decide on the Sportrak Map?  Anything in particular?  Thanks.
Posted by ponds on Nov. 19 2003,2:02 pm
I decided to go with magellan over garmin because of the antenna.

I went with the sportrak map because it seemed like the best balance between features and price, without going over $250.

Only thing is, it is very ugly.

Posted by Quinn on Nov. 19 2003,6:30 pm
Quote (ponds @ Nov. 19 2003,4:02 pm)
Only thing is, it is very ugly.

Ugly????  whoa!  :p  One of my old girl friends is Ugly, the SporTrak is a real Gem  :grinnin
Posted by ponds on Nov. 19 2003,7:38 pm
The SporTrak pro is ok, the SporTrak map is bronze/black which looks really awful.
Posted by Fritz_Monroe on Nov. 21 2003,3:36 pm
I agree about it being fairly ugly.  I'd like to be able to pick from a couple colors.  I guess the black and tan is sort of camo-wannabe.

How about a nice chartreuse?

BTW, If anyone is looking for a Legend, Bass Pro Shops is having a sale starting Thanksgiving day.  Limited quantity.  The store near Baltimore had 20 in stock yesterday.


Posted by 4x4van on Nov. 25 2003,2:37 pm
I recently upgraded my GPS after my trusty old GPS315 finally died on me.  I had narrowed it down to the SporTak Map, SporTrak Pro and the Garmin ETrex Legend.  The ST Pro finally got the nod due to a few things:
1. More memory and a larger basemap.  
2. I was, of course, more familiar with Magellan's screen layouts, although that was a minor issue.
3. Magellan's "Northfinder" feature, which none of the Garmins have.  This allows you to orient the compass dial easily even when standing still by using the sun/moon icon shown on the dial.  BTW, the ST Map also has this feature.
4.  Looks.  I know that this is a purely subjective issue, but was in fact the final deciding factor for me.  The Pro's black/silver case just looks better to me.  Initially, in pictures, I liked the Legend's blue transparent case, but when I actually held one in my just looked "cheesy" to me.

Might I suggest upping your price range a bit and spring for the ST Pro rather than the ST Map?  You gain a larger basemap (9MB vs 2MB), more memory (23MB vs 6MB), and it will work with the new "Directroute" software (the ST Map won't).  Check around a bit, I was able to find the ST Pro for just over $200 after rebate. has the Pro right now for $235

Posted by Fritz_Monroe on Nov. 25 2003,4:21 pm
Thanks for the good points.  I ended up getting the ST Map.  Final price was $170 including shipping.  Add in the rebate.  Down to $140.  I wasn't willing to step up to the Pro because I had already stepped up to the Map from the basic models.  Since this is my first GPS and I wasn't sure I'd stick with it, I didn't want to break $200.  

Thanks to all for the comments.


BTW, I think the ST Map is ugly too.

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