Forum: Magellan GPS
Topic: Magellan Meridian line.
started by: Quinn

Posted by Quinn on Dec. 04 2001,8:41 pm
Not sure how many of you have been keeping updated with the Meridian line that Magellan has put out. Also I realize that change though hard can also be a good thing at times. I have been playing with the New Meridian line that Magellan has come out with  and run them side by side with the big guys like the Garmin IIIPlus and the Magellan 330X. The first thing that I noticed was the Meridian Gold loves to grab sats and grabs them quick. In addition to this it also finds not one but two WAAS sats in the area from which I am living (Upstate, NY) The view screen on these units is very beefy and you could almost watch a football game on it with your friends if it could recieve them. I am looking forward to making a page on this line as well as the others I have played with so keep checking in for those additions. For a fast and honest opinion on this breed I would have to say that they really took into consideration what outdoorsmen are looking for, and thats a receptive GPSR first, and toys after. This unit line is a for sure "One man band" of GPSR's. I also find it to be easy to use with just one hand with very little fumbling around from screen to screen. One of the best features is the memory upgrades that can easily be done, unlike other units where you get what you get. If you still have that Vista and are looking for it's counter-part then I would have to say the Platinum is the answer, but Meridian went one step farther and placed a very nice Antenna system in this fellow. If anyone else has had the chance to play with this GPSR, please by all means give us your thoughts.
:)


Posted by mikechim on Dec. 15 2001,10:02 am
I recently got a chance to use the baseline meridian in a side by side comparison with my little extrex venture.  The meridian was nice, real nice, and had many impressive features.  The only concern I have is with it's durability.  I have fallen with all my weight on my little etrex many times, and other then a few scratches it's none the worse for wear.  I even tumbed down a 70 foot cliff with it in my pocket (and I know it got smashed up because my leg was bruised underneath it) and it still works fine (knocking on wood).  Anyway there are many times I thought my etrex should have been dead, and while the meridian does have that rubber case around it, it just seems.... I don't know more fragile.  
Any experiences, or thoughts on this?
Posted by jfitzpat on Dec. 15 2001,11:13 am
Just my two cents...

I'm up to a whopping 2 caches, so I can't speak from a geocaching point of view, but I have spent a lot of time outdoors.

If you really need an altimeter and compass, I would go with the vista.  First, it is smaller.  Even a modest alpine moutaineering experience (ex. East Face of Mount Whitney) is a lot likely to turn epic if you stay light and fast.

Second, it has a better temperature range.  I don't have the specs handy, but my experience has been that GPS315 and MAP330 clonk out about 20 degrees warmer than my Vista (about 0 for the Vista, about 20 for the Mag's).  

Last, when the going gets tough nothing more complicated than a pocket knife seems to operate reliably (and I've seen knife blades snap in the cold!)  Seriously, the card slots are cool, but most failures are mechanical.  I'd hate to bang around something with detachable pieces.

All that said, if you've never worn crampons or carried ice tools, then the above points are moot.  I've heard many nice things about the Meridian's and, for that matter, the Garmin V's - I just won't be lugging either up a mountain any time soon!

-jjf
Posted by mikechim on Dec. 15 2001,12:07 pm
Quote (jfitzpat @ Dec. 15 2001,1:13 pm)
Just my two cents...

I'm up to a whopping 2 caches, so I can't speak from a geocaching point of view, but I have spent a lot of time outdoors.

If you really need an altimeter and compass, I would go with the vista.  First, it is smaller.  Even a modest alpine moutaineering experience (ex. East Face of Mount Whitney) is a lot likely to turn epic if you stay light and fast.

Second, it has a better temperature range.  I don't have the specs handy, but my experience has been that GPS315 and MAP330 clonk out about 20 degrees warmer than my Vista (about 0 for the Vista, about 20 for the Mag's).  

Last, when the going gets tough nothing more complicated than a pocket knife seems to operate reliably (and I've seen knife blades snap in the cold!)  Seriously, the card slots are cool, but most failures are mechanical.  I'd hate to bang around something with detachable pieces.

All that said, if you've never worn crampons or carried ice tools, then the above points are moot.  I've heard many nice things about the Meridian's and, for that matter, the Garmin V's - I just won't be lugging either up a mountain any time soon!

-jjf

I agree completely with the fact that the meridian is to large for backpacking.  Having spent 3 days in Glacier's backcountry lugging about 50lbs on my back (typical newbie mistake, although I really didn't know what else I could drop, think a lot of it was due to improper equipment... I'm poor and Northwest Territory doesn't really make lightweight single person tents)  I would have no desire for anything heavier.  The Garmin etrex series are the backcountry unit of choice as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by jfitzpat on Dec. 15 2001,2:53 pm
FWIW, one of the best purchases I ever made was Stephanson 2R tent - < http://www.warmlite.com >

I couldn't really afford it then, and they are still pricey now (I think the 2R is about $490), but I've gotten many years of use.  Besides, some things, like a roomy 2 person, 4 season, tent that weighs 2 3/4 lbs, seem priceless when you are many miles from civilization!

-jjf
Posted by mikechim on Dec. 15 2001,3:30 pm
Quote
FWIW, one of the best purchases I ever made was Stephanson 2R tent - < http://www.warmlite.com >

I couldn't really afford it then, and they are still pricey now (I think the 2R is about $490), but I've gotten many years of use.  Besides, some things, like a roomy 2 person, 4 season, tent that weighs 2 3/4 lbs, seem priceless when you are many miles from civilization!

-jjf

In the spring I'll be heading south to complete the journey that will take me to evey continental state (and almost every NP) in the US.  I also, coincidentally, will have found caches in each of the lower 48.  If I have enough $ saved up from work at that point I may very well pick up one of them bad boys.  I plan on at the least hiking the Grand Canyon from one side to the other, plus probably many other places as well (all depends on money and time).  

Hmmm maybe  :xmas will bring me one for christmas..... probably would have to sell me soul to  :^^ to get one (PC in case you can't tell I like the new emoticons, I still have my old favorites though)
Posted by barrington on Dec. 20 2001,9:27 pm
Suddenly being the proud owner of both a Meridian Gold and a MAP 330 (some deals you just CAN'T pass up! :), I've had some fun playing with both and comparing performance.  Not enough use so far for a comprehensive comparison, but here's a few observations:

Performance is just about identical.  In a side by side, the Meridian showed a slightly hotter receiver, grabbing the satellites a few seconds quicker, and showing slightly higher signal strength on the bar graph.  Walking to the "goto" target, they were identical in bearing and speed, and nearly identical in distance all the way in.  At the target area, both stabilized in about 2-3 minutes to within three feet of each other, and stayed about rock solid for the 15 minutes I was there.  After using a GPS 315 for the past several months, I definitely was impressed; no jumping around a 100 foot circle waiting for the 315 to make up it's mind where we were.

I noticed a couple of negatives about the Meridian, one that definitely has to be fixed. On the 315 and the 330, the power button is recessed to prevent accidental activation, but it isn't in the Meridian;  I slipped the unit into a jacket pocket when I left the site, and heard the faint "beep" as it turned itself off.  This could be a real problem under a whole bunch of circumstances. I think I'm going to glue a small o-ring around the power button to prevent this.  The other thing is minor, but in a direct comparison was very noticeable.  The compass Nav screen in the Meridian has two less data windows than the 330 does, and by default the Bearing and Heading are missing.  They can be programmed in at the expense of losing some other data (speed, distance), and are available on other screens, but there's plenty of room , why'd they leave them out?

Overall, I think there's not much difference between the two for geocaching purposes, but the expandable memory, bigger screen, and a few other goodies seem to give the Meridian the edge for the gadget freaks. (Aren't we all?)  ;)
Posted by Quinn on Dec. 27 2001,5:38 pm
If you are an owner of one of the Meridian line, this would be a good informative thing for you to read about adding mapping and memory to these units. check out this link!... < Magellan Meridian Mapping update. >
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