Forum: Misc. GPS Equipment Information
Topic: Torn between two lovers
started by: mrmom

Posted by mrmom on Mar. 28 2002,2:01 pm
It's time for an upgrade.  I used Garmins GPS-45 for three years and then when they introduced the GPS-3 (no + ) in 1997 I was off to West Marine to lighten up the wallet.  The GPS-3 has performed well over the years with few minor problems creeping up.  The common loose battery spring bug has landed.  This alone wouldn't cause serious havoc but now that this unit is 5 years old the internal battery is dead.  I have seen "ALL DATA IS LOST" at the worst possible times.

Done with the intro and on to the subject: Meridian - Gold/Platinum vs Garmin - 176c

After digesting the enormous amounts of research, test data and IMHO'S it's down to these two units.  The Lowrance GM-100+ is the clear third place winner for my needs.  NEEDS = TECNO JUNKY = I want it all.  

Help me out here folks................(prices lower on the net )
MERIDIAN: $300 - $350, cheap software, great under cover, a reasonable screen size, 16M basemap, universal memory cards, topo map bugs, no pointer, Quinn's hooked, rugged build...

Garmin-176c: $520 - $600, same basic accurate brain/performance found in all the Garmin numbered series, Love that large beautiful color screen, large basemap, Love that large beautiful color screen, same performing Garmin swivel antenna, Garmin only data cards, more expensive software, Love that large beautiful color screen, zooms down to 60', still smaller and lighter than all the units on Gimpy,s belt combined,  did I mention the screen?

Fellow junky's help me here.
If only the two can be combined.
Posted by Harrkev on Mar. 28 2002,3:13 pm
Try this... < >

The two units are hardly competitors.  This is like asking if you should get Jeep Cherokee or a Cannondale dirt bike.

The 176 is NOT meant or intended to be hand-held.  I do not even know if it takes batteries.  If I were going to drop the money on a 176, then I would go the whole way and get the SP-III (unless you are a boater).  You might as well spend the extra $200 and get turn-by-turn routing and throw in some map software, a 32-MB card, and USB programmer.  Not a bad deal.

I have the Meridian Platinum, and like it a lot.  I have a few minor nits to pick, but it is a great unit.  I really only have two major problems.

The first complaint is that I want more pixels!!! A doubling of the existing resolution would be nice.  This woud impact the price though.  You can't have everything.

MapSend has some real accuracy problems in some places.  It seems to depend on where you are.  I live in central Florida.  Near my house and in Orlando the maps have been accurate to within 30-40 feet or so.  This is including the error in the GPS fix.  Not too bad. Note that POI accuracy is another story.

I recently went to south Florida.  Different story.  I-95 was usually off by 200 feet.  Errors of 500 feet were not uncommon, and once there was an error of 1/2 mile.  At one I-95 exit, the locations of the exit ramp were severely scrambled.  This could be seen easily by looking at the map.  I guess that it all depends on where you are.
Posted by mrmom on Mar. 28 2002,3:46 pm
Thanks for your input Harrkev.  The 176c uses 4-AA's and comes with a quick release mount.  I have tried the unit by hand.  I agree, it's a lot of money but on the road the eyes go batty looking at the tiny GPS 2-3-5 etc. screen size.  I do not, nor do I have the desire to use turn by turn directions.  A well designed moving map fits the bill.  
?? On the latest gold and platinum has the averaging problem been corrected?  Will heading work at .5 MPH ?


Posted by PC Medic on Mar. 28 2002,4:45 pm
Quote (mrmom @ Mar. 28 2002,5:46 pm)
?? On the latest gold and platinum has the averaging problem been corrected?  Will heading work at .5 MPH ?

Yes it has.
As a matter of fact this was also fixed in MAP 330 when loaded with the latest firmware.
Posted by mikechim on Mar. 28 2002,8:00 pm
Welcome Mrmom, recognized your name from one of my caches you just did... Mouse's Tree house in Erie, sounds like you had an interesting time :)
Posted by mrmom on Mar. 28 2002,8:16 pm
Yes Mike, your cache was a vertical adventure.  We did not take your way in.  The route we took was well worth the challange.  Thanks for the mud.   :)  :)  :)
Posted by GOT GPS? on Dec. 26 2002,3:58 am
Im new to this message board.

I really like the Meridian Platinum now for Geocaching, and I did get the GPS to work with Version 4.02 now.

This GPS seems to work better than all the Garmins ive used for Geocaching, but I prefer the GPS V for everything else.

The Garmins will bump me back and forth between trees 40 feet apart, so that is the time to turn off the unit and just look. I never had that erratic behavior with my Platinum, but it is still a good idea to turn off the GPS, and just look for the cache.

I just hope that one of the GPS units, won't beat up the other, when im not looking (Just kidding)

The Meridian Platinum is best for Geocaching and hunting, but the GPS V is best for its high resolution screen and good Track logging. I have not tried the GPS 76s yet, but know that you have to hold the 76s up to get a good signal, but hold it flat for a better compass reading.

As for any GPS unit, you could connect it to a small portable computing device with a Color Graphic screen, for on the road driving, that way your cheap GPS can be used for On the road driving or all by itself, for Geocaching.

Posted by Gimpy on Dec. 26 2002,9:04 am
Hey, GOT GPS? Welcome. :grinnin
Posted by headmj on Jan. 01 2003,2:20 pm
I think the best deal and mix of functions on the market is the Meridian Gold.  The compass and barometer are not worth the extra money and I prefer a handheld "real" compass.  The 4.02 upgrade has fixed all of the major complaints about the firmware.  All in all a great unit that won't leave you feeling guilty about what you spent.
Posted by jlloyd on Jan. 26 2003,6:12 pm
Hello to all,

I'd like to compare the budget units of both companies: I have both a Garmin GPS12 and a Magellan SporTrak.

The latter I bought to enjoy the advantages of WAAS resp. EGNOS but that's it with its advantages.

I think GPS12 still has better HW-ergonomics and SW-features. The HW-aspect is obvious because you have the tool inside your fist while operaing the buttons arranged on top of the display with the thumb. The SporTrak has its buttons below the display, so the part of the housing remaining inside the hand  is smaller which turns out to be a disadvantage during outdoor handling with gloves. With the Sportrak software I miss the area calculation and easy tracking features of the GPS12.

IMHO the optimal tool would be the latter with a WAAS-function added. Another feature I'd appreciate would be an IrDa- or Bluetooth Interface since I hate messing around with cables when transferring data to my laptop in the car of even in the rough.

Ciao, Eddie
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