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Unread 07-14-2005, 12:38 PM   #1
Cruiserhead
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Default GPS Choices, help!

I'm looking at the Garmin units... what are the pluses and minuses of these? I dont know anything about GPS units

Also, do any of you use w/ MAC instead of PC?

Streetpilot c320


Streetpilot 2610


Quest


etrex c


276C
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Unread 07-14-2005, 01:34 PM   #2
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What do you want to use the GPS for?

I mostly use mine just for trails and a little street driving, so Topo maps are a must for me. I also wanted something simple to operate while driving on trails and sometimes the street.

What basic features are you looking for?
Does it need to do anything other than being a GPS?
DOes it matter to you to load the maps you want to use or should it be build in like a car GPS?
Price range you are looking at or is it open?
DO you need tide and waterway info?
DOes it need to keep a track of where you have been so you can easily save it to your computer for future use?

SO far we have MAC interface is a must. I will look on the Garmin site, but you might want to give them a call and ask of they have Mapsource products for MAC or alternative ways to make it work for you.

See
http://www.garmin.com/support/faqs/f...ge=Mainwebpage

Maybe check out Virtual PC and see if it will make Mapsource work on your MAC.

Damn Apple users



Last edited by bulldog; 07-14-2005 at 01:37 PM.
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Unread 07-14-2005, 01:39 PM   #3
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MOre for your MAC to Garmin info
http://www.gpsinformation.org/joe/mac2garminsetup.html
http://www.cycoactive.com/gps/gps_vpc.html
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Unread 07-14-2005, 02:07 PM   #4
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The simpler the better.
I want to use it in the car for street directions and on the trails too. That's about it. Voice command is good

I need to use it in the car, so easy use while on the road.

download addresses and stuff from the computer but I dont want to mess with it all day.
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Unread 07-14-2005, 07:27 PM   #5
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well I decided on the Quest, I'll update on how it goes...
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Unread 07-14-2005, 08:56 PM   #6
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Yeah it looks like a neat little unit, defintely not as big as mine or as complex as the iQues. Will be good to see it in action.
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Unread 07-29-2005, 10:20 PM   #7
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J,

how's it going with the GPS? any feedback yet?
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Unread 07-30-2005, 06:35 PM   #8
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Pierre,
My first gps, so still learning. The screen is nice- color and the speaker is part of the 12V plug- so it speaks in the car if you want. "exit in 1 mile" "turn right in 300 ft" etc

It also automatically turns on/off with your car so that's pretty cool.

I got the Quest specifically b/c it can read topo maps, tracklog (offroading). Many of the others are geared just for the road (just like Toyota factory NAV is useless offroad).

With the fixed memory of the Quest, I managed to fit super-detailed maps of Bay Area (San Fran) all the way down to San Diego/Yuma (basically all of calif below san fran), the area of 10 to Phoenix, all of Phoenix/Sedona/Flagstaff/surrounding area. About filled the memory with that.

You can download the areas you plan on going to- so it's not a big deal.

I do like the fact it is portable, can fit in your pocket. Useful for multiple vehicles or if you are walking/tourist/hiking/etc.

Downsides:
1. Everytime I turn it on, I have to press the "OK" button for the terms & agreement screen. Is there a way to skip that screen?
2. I have to go and set the backlight everytime I turn it on-otherwise it is very dim.
3. The cord drapes down the dash to the 12V plug- obviously unavoidable since it's not 'built-in'. I guess you can figure a nice hidden wire scenario...

I'll try to update the more I use it. So far so good.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIFE_IN_4Lo
Pierre,
My first gps, so still learning. The screen is nice- color and the speaker is part of the 12V plug- so it speaks in the car if you want. "exit in 1 mile" "turn right in 300 ft" etc...

...I'll try to update the more I use it. So far so good.

Sounds pretty nice! Just out of curiosity, did you check out the Lowrance Baja when you were shopping for a GPS?? I like the big screen but wouldn't be too sure where I'd stick the thing. I haven't seen anyone with it or talking about it in any of the forums, so I'm wondering if it has some issues.
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Unread 07-31-2005, 10:04 PM   #10
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One thing I always check is the availibility of maps for any GPS and how well they integrate with those maps. I prefer to have all he info on my GPS (especially topo maps) rather than just waypoints and routes you map on the PC and then download to the GPS.

That is one of the reasons I prefer Garmin products, as they integrate pretty nice with the Mapsource maps. And the Mapsource maps pretty much covers what I need.

DOnt know about the one you listed Pierre, but it looks interesting.
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Unread 08-01-2005, 01:17 AM   #11
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Pierre,

The Lowrance Baja looks great! I like the fact you don't need a computer to download maps- just use "freedom maps" memory cards. Huge downside is they are $100 each...that will add up fast.
But looks like you can do it thru computer like Garmin w/ included maps.. or it's already built in. Looks like it also includes topo too?

It's a substantial unit. Nice screen.


Looks like you have to mount the antenna somewhere


I don't know what maps are included
"All-new, built-in, exclusive Lowrance background map with enhanced detail and nav aids"
Not sure what that means. Sounds good tho.

From a quick search, looks like prices hover around $500 ? which sounds like a pretty good deal. Lowrance seems like a popular, quality brand.

Just figure out what the real cost is once you add topo maps (are they included?) and whatever else you will need.
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Unread 08-01-2005, 12:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIFE_IN_4Lo
...It's a substantial unit. Nice screen.


Looks like you have to mount the antenna somewhere


... Just figure out what the real cost is once you add topo maps (are they included?) and whatever else you will need.
And where to park the thing. So much wasted space in the Runner with the double-DIN radio, trip computer, A/C design and negative-slope pocket door at the bottom. I'd probably try to devise a way to install the mounting bracket between the cupholders and the shift gate.

Oh, and it has a 20 gig harddrive and built-in MP3 player. That would be nice with the '06 Runner with the line-in on the radio.

Thanks for the feedback guys!
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Unread 08-01-2005, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dealmaker
Oh, and it has a 20 gig harddrive and built-in MP3 player.
Thanks for the feedback guys!
Really? Man, sounds like a sweet item. You can get an adaptor to add mp3 hardwired, Andries has it.

Can it replace the little cubby door under the HVAC controls?
I noticed they have a pdf template for hardmounting the thing to a panel...

So is all the necessary map info already built into it? Sounds like a solid gps
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Unread 08-01-2005, 01:23 PM   #14
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That Baja 480c looks very interesting. I haven't looked at it much, but a20GB internal hardrive is pretty sweet. Seems like it uses SD/MMC cards to upload maps and data from a PC to the GPS and download as well. Sounds pretty cool.

Hope the MP3 works with iTunes.

But on a serious side check into how you will map out trails and waypoints on a PC and then upload on the GPS. Seems like you can get all the info from the GPS onto the PC by using the SD, which is cool. WHen I plan a trail I usually map it out on the PC first, where I can see a lot more and do it a lot faster than on a GPS. PC, I just click the waypoints with my mouse and mark them. Tehn map out the trails between the waypoints. Also entering coordinates on a PC is a lot better than a GPS. Sounds like it might be a great unit, but watch out for any GPS as the devil is in the detials.

Also I dont understand how the maps work, seems like SD. But can you upload those maps to your PC to map it out there? Or can you buy the maps on CD and then just download on a SD what you need? The map areas covered are very small for between $100-$150 a SD card.
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Unread 08-01-2005, 08:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
...But on a serious side check into how you will map out trails and waypoints on a PC and then upload on the GPS. Seems like you can get all the info from the GPS onto the PC by using the SD, which is cool. WHen I plan a trail I usually map it out on the PC first, where I can see a lot more and do it a lot faster than on a GPS. PC, I just click the waypoints with my mouse and mark them. Tehn map out the trails between the waypoints. Also entering coordinates on a PC is a lot better than a GPS. Sounds like it might be a great unit, but watch out for any GPS as the devil is in the detials.

Also I dont understand how the maps work, seems like SD. But can you upload those maps to your PC to map it out there? Or can you buy the maps on CD and then just download on a SD what you need? The map areas covered are very small for between $100-$150 a SD card.
Well, it looks like there are two mapping options/solutions, MapCreate USA (and topo's) and FreedomMaps. The FreedomMaps are sold on the cards as J mentioned. Those don't require a PC for laying out waypoints, etc., it can be done on the unit itself. Yes, the FreedomMap cards are very expensive.
The MapCreate is a CD-based product you can lay out on your PC then download into the gps unit. Much cheaper.

I don't exactly know what a 20GB drive would be practical for (10GB dedicated to the MP3 functions). Apparently the Baja model does not have turn-by-turn voice or visual guidance. That could be a deal breaker. I'll have to see if the other models will take the topo's.

The MapCreate product has: USGS 1:24000 Quad Map Boundaries (searchable). I remember seeing somewhere that I should try to get 7.2 scale?? Does that make sense? I'm a real newb with the automotive GPS, but I may end up TOFTT and trying one of these out unless any of you more experienced GPS'ers can find fault with the unit.

I agree that down by the pocket door may be the only mounting option, but that is so far out of drivers line-of-site that I wonder about the practicality way down there. That Garmin Quest is nice in that it can be over the dash and not block large amounts of driver vision. Or possibly even be adapted to fit in the overhead sunglassess holder compartment? That would be the coolest mod ever!
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Last edited by Dealmaker; 08-01-2005 at 08:34 PM.
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Unread 08-01-2005, 09:43 PM   #16
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Oh OK, see the mapcreate stuff now. Seems like it uses the MMC cards for the data though, but that doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. So if it has a 20GB card, you can easily fit all the Road and Topo maps you want on the unit and then just up and download the tracks, waypoints and routes from the PC.

I dont know the detial of the Lowrance maps, but if they are like the Garmin maps 1:24000 is plenty detial on a Topo map. Also does it provide all the road map detials with the Mapcreate stuff?

I have the Garmin 276c, which is not too much smaller than the Baja unit. I got the Ram mount for it and it works like a charm. See how I mounted mine, that way you can mount it pretty low and more forward. See
http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79

PS: I dont see where they say it has 20GB internal harddrive. Do you have link perhaps? I would also recommend that before you buy this, maybe phone Lowrance and ask them to explain how you load maps, routes, etc, what maps you need to buy and what other accessories you need. Better to play dumb before spending $$$ than after.

Last edited by bulldog; 08-01-2005 at 09:53 PM.
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Unread 08-02-2005, 08:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog
...I have the Garmin 276c, which is not too much smaller than the Baja unit. I got the Ram mount for it and it works like a charm. See how I mounted mine, that way you can mount it pretty low and more forward. See http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showthread.php?t=79

PS: I dont see where they say it has 20GB internal harddrive. Do you have link perhaps? I would also recommend that before you buy this, maybe phone Lowrance and ask them to explain how you load maps, routes, etc, what maps you need to buy and what other accessories you need. Better to play dumb before spending $$$ than after.

Sorry, the Lowrance IWay products are the ones with the harddrives, not the Baja. My bad. I actually like the IWay units more (offers turn-by-turn guidance) but don't see anything about compatability with the topos. It does look like there is alot of $$ accessories necessary to compliment the unit as you inferred. Yes, I will call Lowrance and play dumb, that shouldn't be too hard for me :p

I'm also gonna check out your and J's Garmins a bit closer, too.
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Unread 08-03-2005, 09:59 PM   #18
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My thoughts (for what their worth!) is... who uses which system, and what do they say about them?

Garmin iQue is the unit I have and I really like it. I know others who have it too.

Who uses the Baja or the Lowrance IWay products that you know and what do they say about them.

I guess what I am saying is stick with products that other people you know and trust recommend and use. Also staying simple usually works best. (I miss not using a regular 35mm film, getting the prints and sharing them with anyone around. Now its all digital, stored on computer hard drive and no-one really gets earbashed by my stories and I don't have any good photo albums to pull out anymore.)
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Unread 08-22-2005, 01:11 AM   #19
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As far as the Garmin iQue is concerned, I think I have found out something that no-one has mentioned to me before...

You have two types of maps - road maps and topo maps. (Obvious)

With the Garmin iQue, you can use either map but you need to use separate SD cards (256MB) for storing each type of map.

I have been screwing around, causing problems with my iQue because I thought I could load both types of maps on one card. I discovered one will overwrite the other and you will lose or gain various functions based on which maps (card) you are using.

To give an example, when using the road maps (Garmin City Selects North America) you can search (FIND) for residential streets (ADDRESSES), monuments (ATTRACTIONS) etc.
With topo maps you cannot search for any of these things.

Just a heads-up which I will confirm shortly.

Cheers
Mark
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Unread 08-22-2005, 01:34 PM   #20
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Well, it looks like I may go for the Garmin 276. As I go boating once in a while this unit can be used for marine applications as well. I was considering the 376, but the XM subscription fee for the weather overlays is like $100 per month! Ouch!
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