Forum: Misc. GPS Equipment Information
Topic: My review of the Garmin map76
started by: Quinn

Posted by Quinn on June 28 2001,9:41 pm
I have had the good fortune to be able to Run a map76 unit through some very nice tests as well as comparing the unit to the mighty IIIPlus by Garmin. First I would like to start out by saying that both units have many options to consider. I think my favorite option on the IIIPlus would be the Antenna system that comes stock with the unit, as well as the external ant jack that is provided. as for the map76 it would have to be the screen size (but WAAS doesn't hurt)
I ran several tests using both units side by side and doing the same thing at the same moment. I found that the IIIPlus out of the box will hold more sats and lock them longer than the map76 will under medium to heavy tree cover. But lets not forget that the map76 was not really designed to be a jungle GPS, it was more-so made for waterways and open areas in which it performs flawless. So anyways, after being out-performed by the IIIPlus in tree cover I decided I would take it one step farther and toss an external antenna made by Garmin on the map76. Now we come to a new ballgame! Once I popped the tiny and light Garmin Antenna on the GPS with the sat screen showing, I had Birds not only zapping on my screen fast as lightning, but they were also at full bars for the most part. this test was done with WAAS turned off as well.
So...if you intend on getting a GPS and want to use it right out of the box to get you through the hairy stuff while stepping in thick tree canopy, I would say go with the IIIPlus. But if you don't mind paying the extra bucks to slap on a very nice Garmin Antenna, then by all means try out the map76.
The map76 has plenty of memory for your mapping and waypoint needs, and man does it have a very nice screen size. Buttons and use of unit is very well laid out and easy to get the hang of. You dropped it in the water? Big Deal! pick it up, wipe it off and continue your's waterproof and floats! I still have one bad hangup for the map76 and that would be the stock Antenna's reception with sats. But toss an external on that baby and you are cooking!
If you are new to the sport and want a unit you can trust to get the job done right from the get-go, try the IIIPlus and you will never regret it once. But if you are a seasoned Geocacher and want some spice for the money you paid, try the map76 and slap that Garmin External Antenna on the puppy!  :)
Posted by Gimpy on June 29 2001,3:30 am
Quinn. Which antenna did you get, where can I get one & have you taken it under any heavy tree cover yet? I'm really not even concerned if it picks up the waas satellite under tree cover. The odds are very good that whoever placed a particular cache I might be going after, didn't use waas, so the posted co-ordinates are not going to be that dead on anyway. But I'd be more than willing to put more money into this thing if it will at least make it functional in the woods.
Posted by Quinn on June 29 2001,5:23 am
It sure will...I think with the antenna it is a bit better than the IIIPlus. I got the Garmin Antenna from Kim at advancedgps. You can go to her site and click on the map76, then click on the link that takes you to the things that go with it to find it. Or you can just use the search on her site.
Posted by Gimpy on July 06 2001,11:25 am
I was pleasantly surprised yesterday. I took the MAP76 on a few cache hunts, and low & behold, while in the woods at Greece canal park, I had very little problem picking up 4-5 birds. And waas bird #35 was one of them. Except under the very heavy stuff, I had waas most of the time. Can't wait till the external antenna shows up. Due to be delivered Monday 7/9.The only thing I did notice, was that when arriving at a cache location, the III Plus would show that I was within. say 4 ft.,almost immediatly upon arriving. The MAP76, would show that I was within about 40 ft., & after letting it settle in for about 4-5 minutes, the MAP would show 4-6 ft..The MAP seems to have to settle down a bit while the III Plus is there instantaneously. I think the external will correct this. Either way, the difference between holding the MAP horizontally, like the eTrex series, and holding it vertically, is amazing. I am very happy with this unit, contrary to some of my previous posts. That'll teach me to take a look at the manual, and read up on the way the unit is designed to be used.:) -Gimpy-
Posted by Iron Chef on July 14 2001,7:52 pm
Quinn, in your opinion, is the III Plus and the external antenna better than the external antenna with the Map76?  Just wondering.
Posted by Quinn on July 14 2001,7:57 pm
Chef... I would like to say I have, But as of yet I have not used an external power antenna on the IIIPlus, so I can't really give you an accurate opinion there. But if using an ext ant on the IIIPlus Improves it at all, then it would with out a doubt be the way to go. REASON: it's already a very good setup with the antenna it has, and the map76 only becomes "As" good as the IIIPlus when you add the ext ant to it. I am waiting for the right connects to come so I can test the IIIPlus with the Garmin external. Once I do I'll post my findings here.
A good person to ask about this would be "Bowter" he is the Guru of reception. :)

Posted by dgridley on July 15 2001,5:22 pm
Here's another great review of the GPS Map 76...

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Posted by Gimpy on Aug. 11 2001,12:04 pm
Hi all. Have not been been out as much I'd like in the last couple of weeks . Heats been a killer & I'm leaving next Sunday for a week in the Adirondacks so I've been spending about 60 hrs. a week at work trying to button some things up before I leave. I've already got the co-ordinates loaded for some caches near Old Forge, so we'll see how the MAP76 & the III Plus perform in the mountains. Took the advice from another forum & ordered an adapter to allow for the use of the III Plus antenna on the MAP76 & doesn't seem to do much. Might even hinder reception a bit. I plan on taking the MAP,III PLus & Vista out to a USGS survey marker tomorrow to check out how the numbers match up. When at home, I get a variation of about 60 ft. on elevation between the 3. I know elevation doesn't mean a lot, but I just enjoy just playing with the units. I've got 3 caches ready to go out, just trying to find the time to make em real good ones. I drove around last Sunday for about 4 hr. to locations that I thought would be real good areas according to topo maps, but turned out so-so. So I came back home with the caches still in the trunk. Not many parks around that don't have 1 in them already & I don't want to place one too close to another. I hope to place one in the morning & I'm taking a couple up to the mountains. By the way, if you MAP76 owners are looking for a real nice sturdy case for your unit with a few accessory pockets, check out this one. < > . This case is like it was designed specifically for the MAP76. Really is a perfect fit. Very sturdy with a heavy duty belt loop. May be a touch bulky, but great protection for the unit with roomy pocket for batteries etc.. III plus fits in OK as well but it's like a glove fit for the MAP. Hope to be back in the morning to post new cache info. :) --Gimpy--

Posted by Quinn on Oct. 23 2001,9:50 pm

While out Geocaching over the last weekend I decided to try out the new Magellan 330x I had in my company of GPSR's. I used both the map76 with an external Garmin Antenna and the 330 the entire trip to the cache and never lost sat contact with either unit. i did notice however that while the map76 gave me a couple of flips of the pointer before it turned in the right direction, that the 330x stayed right on course. Once I was right on top of the actual cache my readings for both GPSR's were "54 feet" from the map76, and "4 feet" from the Magellan 330x. With both units sitting on top of the cache for about five minutes the 330x did a flux of about 15- 4 feet. The map76 did finally settle down to about 23 feet but took the whole five minutes to do this. I would also like to note that Caron brought along the IIIPlus which at the Cache location showed 26 feet, and after sitting for five minutes settled down to 8 feet on the cache.
I like the 330x because it seems to have great reception like the IIIPlus does, but my only problem with it is that it doesn't offer the pointer like the Garmins do. You have to rely on a cache icon type of sat image that needs to be turned to 12 o'clock in order to be walking in the right direction. Other than this and the 10 hour battery life span I give this unit a thumbs up. Too bad they don't make this with the screen size of the map76.
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