Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: 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?)
"If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost!"