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cenobite07 Offline
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Posted: May 20 2003,4:03 pm QUOTE

I went and got my brother hooked on caching and now he is looking for his own GPsr.:^^

I currently have a Sportrack Pro that I like but I haven't looked at any new units or pricing in a while.

Any thoughts on units for new users in the $200 range for caching with some topo and mapping ability?

Or should I just send him off to price shop on the Sportracks and meridians?

Thanks.

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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: May 20 2003,5:02 pm QUOTE

My choice with two thumbs up  :^:  would be the Magellan "Meridian" series.
A Meridian Gold would be just over $200 and the Meridian Green just under $200

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Alf Offline
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    Posted: June 07 2003,4:43 pm QUOTE

Could you qualify a bit more on your choice of the Meridian. I like to get different opinions about all kinds of GPS. Every GPS I have handled has some features I specificly liked but the ultimate combination I havent found yet.
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Quinn Offline
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    Posted: June 07 2003,8:37 pm QUOTE

Quote (Alf @ June 06 2003,7:43 pm)
Could you qualify a bit more on your choice of the Meridian. I like to get different opinions about all kinds of GPS. Every GPS I have handled has some features I specificly liked but the ultimate combination I havent found yet.
Regards

Alf... The Meridian Gold is the middle line GPSr that Magellan makes, the Green is the low end and the platinum is the high end for features. The only thing that seperates the Gold and the Plat is that the Plat will give you a compass reading as well as Berometer.

Do you need these toys? If you think you will hardly ever use those two features then stick with the gold.

To add maps to either unit you will need an additional memory card to go with it. Anywheres from 16 megs right on up depending on how much mapping you want to hold at any given time.

Another unit to think about is the Magellan Sportrak line such as the Sportrak map and Sportrak Pro. Both of these units are very receptive and should be included in your shopping list of possible GPSR's.

The most important thing in ANY gps is the antenna, make sure you are getting one with a Quad system and not a patch. Reception is the name of the game, if your unit can't hold sat locks then all the other toys are just that...TOYS!


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headmj Offline
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    Posted: June 09 2003,11:25 am QUOTE

I have been using a Merigreen for over a year now with great success.  They are currently available for around $129.00 if you shop around.  I use mapsend topo and a 128k SD card.  I'm very happy.  At the currently reduced price I think this may be the best deal out there.
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cenobite07 Offline
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    Posted: July 09 2003,10:44 pm QUOTE

Hi Alf

The newbie in question at the beginning of the thread ended up buying a Merigreen on ebay.

After looking at the options, I would agree with Quinn. I like the sportraks. I have a pro and I like it. It comes with more base memory than many of the meridians and has a nice layout for the various functions. I do wish the screen were a bit bigger but it been a heck of a tool so far.


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martivi1 Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 10 2003,4:03 pm QUOTE

headmj Posted on June 09 2003,1:25 pm
Quote
I have been using a Merigreen for over a year now with great success.  They are currently available for around $129.00 if you shop around.  I use mapsend topo and a 128k SD card.  I'm very happy.  At the currently reduced price I think this may be the best deal out there.

I'm still comparing makes and models of GPS units and am seriously considering the Magellan Platinum.  This is the first I've heard of a Merigreen.  Can you give me more details?  I looked on ebay with no luck. :grinnin


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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 10 2003,6:12 pm QUOTE

The MeriGreen is a nick name given Megellan's basic Meridian model (Greenin color). You can get info on the entire  Meridian Line here .

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TEAM 360 Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 10 2003,10:03 pm QUOTE

I started out with the yellow Etrex, then went to the Magellan 315, and now have a Platinum. I would stand by ANY of those, especially the 315. The only thing I didn't like about the Garmins were that the buttons are on the SIDE of the case, and I had to keep turning it sideways to make sure I was about to press the right button. The Magellans have the buttons on the front and clearly labeled. My Platinum has so much stuff on it, I will never use it all, although the compass is a nice feature to have. I have heard good things about the SporTrac Pro as well. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you get a model that comes with a computer cable for downloads, and SHOP AROUND, compare the features of each model. DO NOT rush into a hasty buying decision that you may regret later.

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Moose Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 11 2003,9:11 am QUOTE

Quote (TEAM 360 @ Oct. 11 2003,12:03 am)
My Platinum has so much stuff on it, I will never use it all, although the compass is a nice feature to have. I have heard good things about the SporTrac Pro as well.

I've been shopping around on the Internet and in our local Outdoor World.  I've been to Outdoor World so often, the guys there are probably groaning every time I come in!!  Here's my dilemma:  

The Sport Trak Pro has 32 MB of internal memory with no expandable memory unlike the the Gold and Platinum.  It also has a smaller display area.  Question:  Is 32 MB of memory enough to download additional maps?  How much memory is really needed?  

Compared to the Sport Trak, the Gold seems a better value because it has expandable memory and costs less.

The only difference I see between the Gold and Platinum is that the Platinum has the built in compass and barometric altimeter.  Question:  Do I need this?  If I do need it, is it worth the money for this unit or should I just buy a separate compass?

I’ve done comparative price shopping at many sites.  The best prices I’ve found are from Offroute.com. At this site the Gold is the best value I’ve found at $216.95.  The Sport Trak at $234.95 and the Platinum at $279.95. The Big Question:  Will I be disappointed that I didn’t splurge and purchase the Platinum?

Boy this is a hard decision.  Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
:D


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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 11 2003,3:14 pm QUOTE

My personal preference would be the Meridian Gold over the SprtTrac. I have experience with all of them and now have the Meridian Color as my favorite. Never a problem with any of them and two pluses the Gold has over SportTrac you have already pointed out (larger screen and expandable memory).

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TEAM 360 Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 11 2003,8:49 pm QUOTE

Honestly, I got the model with the expandable memory, in case I wanted to upgrade to download maps, etc...I have found that the 16mg internal map is all I need, really. It covers all the major roads in my area, down to 1 square mile, and I have never downloaded maps since I got it. Now, if you want it to show every little sidestreet and subdivision in the state on your screen, you are definitely going to need expandable memory. I have not had any use for such detail. Even when I travel to other states, I find the built-in map more than sufficient for me, and that's only with 16 mg! I would imagine that a 32 mg map would show much more detail than my Platinum. Barometer? The Platinum has a built-in weather station that tracks weather and temperature over a 24-hour period. Never used it. The compass I DO use, however. When I get within 50' of the cache area, I change it over to the compass screen and walk in the direction of the pointer, right to the cache. The compass, when set to a magnetic reading, also provides the GPS with the direction it is facing, so you don't get jumpy readings on the screen. Sorry I am not much help here. Don't knock yourself out trying to buy a Ferrari model when a Chevy one will still get you to the same place. Another way to look at it is to realize that in a couple of  years, you will probably be getting another GPS unit, and by then the prices will be cheaper and they will have even more features. Just get the one YOU FEEL RIGHT ABOUT, and go have some fun! (Like I said, just make sure it has a cable for downloading waypoints, it makes life SO much easier.) Oh, and after you buy one, DON'T continue shopping around, you will always find a better deal somewhere else and then kick yourself...just go caching!

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Moose Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 12 2003,10:00 am QUOTE

Thanks Team 360 for the advice.  Okay, lets say I've narrowed my choices to the Magellan Meridian Platinum and the Garmin GPSMAP 76s.  Some say the GPSMAP 76 has much better screen resolution.  Is it superior enough for the higher price tag?

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Quinn Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 12 2003,5:19 pm QUOTE

Moose,

I have much catching up to do here due to being busy with remodeling my computer room and just plain catching up with work.

My opinions on the products in question  are as follows...

I used to own the map 76 GPS made by Garmin. i liked the unit for it's size as well as for the screen. It also was nice with it's add-on feature of the external antenna. What I did not like about it was the reception it has.

I found the unit to be lacking a bit compared to other units of the same and even less quality.
If you are using the unit for open areas then by all means this is a great unit. but if you intend on using it for trails or Geocaching in areas where tree cover and perhaps deep valley areas come into play, then I would say look for another model.

The GPS units that Garmin make which are great all around units for navigation and geocaching would be the Garmin IIIPLus and the Garmin V.

The IIIPLus is the same body as the "V" and both units have an external pivot antenna system with awesome reception, they both hold four batteries for added life in the field. Both units have a slightly smaller screen but features galore.
The Garmin V will take you anywhere you want to go (both on road and off) with it's street navigation system. All you do is type in an address and click "Go to" and it will take you there and tell you which street to turn down as well as how far your next turn is with mapping added.

This unit is a one man band... type in your cache coordinates and it will get you as close as it can via streets, then once in the area just tell it to take you there via straight line.

Now the IIIPLus can be had for around 250.00 new. The V can be found for around 350. and up (new)

If this is not something you want then I would say go with a Magellan Meridian series unit with it's Quad antenna and large screen. Magellan out performs Garmin in the reception field of GPSR's with the exception of the IIIPlus and the V.

Stay away from any of the Etrex family which Garmin makes. i bought a Garmin Vista about 2 years ago and it went right on ebay 2 days later because it stranded me in the tree's while caching.

I have tested just about every hand held GPS made and compared them to others. Take my word for it and go with the ones I have mentioned...BTW...you can't go wrong with any of the SporTrak series either (They are Quad units as well)  :;):


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Quinn Offline
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    Posted: Oct. 12 2003,5:20 pm QUOTE

BTW...32 megs of mapping memory will pretty much cover your whole state as well as perhaps one or two others at the same time.

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Moose Offline
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Posted: Oct. 12 2003,6:56 pm QUOTE

Thanks to all who responded to this topic.  I know you probably hear these questions over and over and are probably tired of repeating yourselves.  I value your opinions because you have 'been there and done that'!  Thanks for your assistance!!:D

Keep on sending out great advice...we're listening :thumbs-up


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VA
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tat-2 Offline
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Posted: Dec. 17 2003,9:40 pm QUOTE

Hello everyone,
I've been lurking as a guest for tha past few days.
I'm interested in geocaching and from what I've seen elsewhere, this group seems much more earthy.

I don't have a GPS yet, I have been looking at the Magellan 310 (I found one place that has it for $80, local).
I want a unit that has a quad antenea, this one does and it is priced right to boot.

Any thoughts? I would like to keep the price of the GPS under $150.

I also located a Garmin Rhino 110 for about $150.

TIA

Ed


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Snipe33 Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 27 2003,1:46 pm QUOTE

AcK! The forums have a Magellan infection....I better go get my shots updated....:p
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Quinn Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 28 2003,3:07 pm QUOTE

LOL...infection perhaps, but sometimes catching this type can be good for you!  :p

BTW...if you get that 310 remember it only goes 2 places to the right of the decimal...try looking for a 315 if you can find one. They are cheap and will give you that 3rd place you might need.


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Northern Lights Offline
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    Posted: Jan. 08 2004,5:44 pm QUOTE

Yes, the 315 is a VERY capable unit as far as reception goes.  Some things to remember about these units though.....

Both are known as battery hogs....they go through them pretty fast.

Neither is water proof.....something very important when caching.  I have a Magellan Gold which is waterproof and still put it in a ziplock bag when it's raining.  

For an entry unit.....you may want to look at the basic yellow Sportrac....  or try Sams club.  I recently saw a Sportrac Map with mapping software for only $124.99.   I couldn't believe it...the mapping software alone usually goes for $79.00.


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Fireman Offline
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    Posted: Jan. 08 2004,7:34 pm QUOTE

[QUOTE]This unit is a one man band... type in your cache coordinates and it will get you as close as it can via streets, then once in the area just tell it to take you there via straight line

Do any other modle's offer this Ihave been caching once put with a frend and he had a garmin 12 so anything would probably be beter just looking for the easiest way to have fun and enjoy the outdoors and not have to worry about my GPS so easy is BEST ...Thanks to eveyone you have already answered alot of my ?
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deckyon Offline
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    Posted: Feb. 25 2004,7:14 am QUOTE

Just to put my thoughts in.  I bought a Magellan Meridian Platinum (Meriplat) without even knowing about this "Geocaching"/"Navicaching" thing.  I bought it, the Direct Route mapping software, a car mount and Lighter Power adapter.  Total cost, right at $400.  Yes, more than you are asking about.  I bought it because it was less expensive than getting the whole vehicle routing kit for the car ($1000 add-on) so I was going to spend the money anyway.  Now I have a unit I can take out of the car and use for the caching.

Major pluses:
* Expandable Memory - I have the Topo, Streets and DirectRoute software now, and each gets a 128 MB card and covers 5 full states that I go to on a regular basis.
* Compas - Works independently of the GPS features, so even without a lock, the compas works.  If you go caching, take a compass if the GPS does not offer one.  There are times you WILL need it.  I also use it to align my telescope.
* Large Screen - The screen is large and easy to read.
* Waterproof - to a certain degree.  It will take a plunge, and I have dropped mine in a creek, picked it back up and kept going.
* Rugged - It is a very rugged and sturdy unit.  The rubber edge is very easy to hold on to, unless juggling a cache sheet, walking stick and camera (the creek story.)

I also bought this without looking at any of the websites and went with what was on the box in the display at the store.  They had the Garmin units there too, but I wanted the vehicle routing and to keep it under $500.  I normally spend hours reading and comparing the different brands and features.  This was an impulse buy of "Hey, that would be cool to have."

Just my thoughts...


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"I'm not lost, see? The GPS says I am at N38:17.4289, W85:33.0400."
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duke Offline
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    Posted: Feb. 29 2004,7:28 am QUOTE

Hi..yes I am new. I have a Garmin (etrex) Venture and I am very pleased with it. Evidently, I am in the minority, but I am well pleased with it. It does all I need and seems to be somewhat user friendly. Is this topic just for Meridian users? One of the previous poster said to avoid the 'etrexs'. Why?..Does he know something? He didn't say why you should avoid them....ok...I've said enough.
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welch Offline
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    Posted: Feb. 29 2004,8:46 am QUOTE

Quote (duke @ Feb. 29 2004,8:28 am)
Hi..yes I am new. I have a Garmin (etrex) Venture and I am very pleased with it. Evidently, I am in the minority, but I am well pleased with it. It does all I need and seems to be somewhat user friendly. Is this topic just for Meridian users? One of the previous poster said to avoid the 'etrexs'. Why?..Does he know something? He didn't say why you should avoid them....ok...I've said enough.

I think your talking about part of Quinn's post which says "Stay away from any of the Etrex family which Garmin makes. i bought a Garmin Vista about 2 years ago and it went right on ebay 2 days later because it stranded me in the tree's while caching."

Which to me is self explanatory, he was having trouble keeping a lock with that unit and doesn't think too highly of the line. It wouldn't make much sense to recommend something you think is bad, would it? :D

I'll just add what I've said before, make sure you keep the unit face up (skyward) as much as possiable.


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duke Offline
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    Posted: Feb. 29 2004,9:20 am QUOTE

Of course, I would keep the face up, so I could read the display screen! Is that what the poster who said to avoid Garmins, had done? I have used mine in timbered areas , and I didn't have a problem keeping the satellites.
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Quinn Offline
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    Posted: Feb. 29 2004,12:20 pm QUOTE

no...what he means by face up is the top of the unit.
Garmin makes units with "Patch" antennas unlike the Quads that come with Magellans...they are fine however in open areas but in the thick stuff I have found that Magellans perform better.

BTW...everyone is welcome here garmin or Magellan :)


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Josh Offline
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    Posted: June 23 2004,12:24 pm QUOTE

I bought my GPS and the book GPS for dummies.  I am still way in over my head.  I just can't think through what Longitude and Latitude #'s mean to me and how to use them.  I know that sounds sort of silly. I can't even think of a smart question to ask.  HELP! Thanks a bunch.
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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: June 23 2004,4:00 pm QUOTE

If you haven't already, you may want to check out our GPS Info page. Other good sources of information for GPS use can be found on   Joe Mahaffey's site GPSInof.net. There is enough info there to keep anyone busy for quite some time. Just don't try to read it all or you will never have any time to go geocaching! :grinnin
The main thing is to remember that to use your GPSr you do not need to be an expert on how it all works.

If you do come up with any specific questions, please feel free to ask here in the forums. It is quite a friendly bunch and we are always happy to help.


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billdeco Offline
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    Posted: Jan. 29 2006,9:08 am QUOTE

I am looking for my first GPS.  I seem to be drawn to Magellan, but most the stores around me seem to have the explorists series.  If i understand correctly these have a patch antenna, am I better off with meridian?  What about color?
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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: Jan. 29 2006,1:25 pm QUOTE

My unit of preference is the Meridian Platinum, though the 'green' is also an excellent choice. I prefer (and recommend) those units with a quadrifilar antenna especially if you are in an area like mine where there can be a lot of heavy tree cover.

Edited by PC Medic on Jan. 29 2006,1:25 pm

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