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  #1  
Old 9 Jun 2006
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Question Basic GPS?

Hi,
With the bewildering number of GPS sytems around, I'm totatally confused ! I give up Could some kind soul out there tell me what is the best basic GPS? I don't need one that loads maps or makes the tea. I just need to know my position on the planet and perhaps my altitude!
Cheers Derek.
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  #2  
Old 9 Jun 2006
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Thumbs up Garmin Etrex Vista

I was in the same boat not too long ago and managed to find a cheap second hand good condition Garmin Etrex Vista with monochrome screen (+-£120). This is a basic model with some useful functions but does the job adequately. Now that I have had it for a couple of months and used it I have seen what I really do need from a GPS. The only shortcomings I have found is defintiely it's limiting memory eg I can't get the whole of my upcoming 1500mile France route on the gps so the next model up must have more internal as well as expandable (SD card) memory. Another thing, which I don't really need but would be nice, is point to point direction mapping. The Etrex works "as the crow flies" so travelling distance is not exact...but as said this is not NB to me. The newer Vista Cx (C=colour x=xpandable) has a colour screen and SD slot but comes at a price similar to other more advanced GPS's.

I'm all for using a map and dead reckoning, but this little GPS have already helped me out a number of times to find the closest petrol station and to get out of a town with a radiculous one-way chaos system.
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  #3  
Old 9 Jun 2006
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I have the most basic Garmin eTrex (yellow one) which cost £66 new from eBay (US import). It is very simple and easy to get the hang of, sturdy, dust and water proof (to an extent) and will tell you exactly where you are and how far and in what direction your next waypoint is. No maps though which would be nice, just the pointer arrow and distances etc. If you only need the basic function of a GPS for peace of mind when travelling then it's a good buy.
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  #4  
Old 9 Jun 2006
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The green one...

Yep, and I have the green one, which is next in the line after the yellow. The green can be conneceted to a pc for loading up routes/waypoints, and can be powered of the battery.

For turn by turn I guess you're better of with a Tomtom of some sort.

;-)
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  #5  
Old 9 Jun 2006
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Dont get too basic!

While the cheapest GPS's are OK for compass bearing and location, it is a big help to have some sort of map on it.

I have used it in a strange city (New delhi), and once I put in a few waypoints (after asking for directions in the old fashioned way), I could use it to navigate, all over the city, and trackback to whichever waypoint I needed to return to. I cannot describe how useful it was - I did not even need a paper map. My GPS did not even have a decent map loaded (India maps are at present very expensive, and not particularly detailed), but unless you are planning to navigate, you do not need it (high detail), especially if you are planning to use it merely to avoid getting lost.

There are a couple of very good sites to help you choose your GPS (based on your specific requirements) if you google for it, including reviews of whatever you might have narrowed your choices down to. Takes some time to go thru it, but it is better done before than after purchasing the unit.

Happy reading
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  #6  
Old 10 Jun 2006
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Talking

if you want new then garmin do a range of little GPSs, ETREX, that fit your bill and they are pretty cheap too. they even do a tiny one on a watch strap for joggers!!
if you only want something that basic then i wouldnt even bother with new, as long as its in working order then 2nd hand should "suit you, sir".

have a look on ebay for ideas but ive found they're not always the best source for older electronics, seems to be fewer honest "punters", ie you and me, and more and more ebay shops that sell stuff barely cheaper than the high street, more if you add p+p! and not much in the way of warranty either.

i sold my old garmin(18mths old with the latest maps) on there for less than 50% of the new price, so they are out there
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Old 10 Jun 2006
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Thumbs up Thanks Folks!

Thanks Folks,
You've been a great help. Looks like the Garmin eTrex is the one for me.Cheers Derek.
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  #8  
Old 11 Jun 2006
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Also have a look at the Garmin GPS 60

A little dearer than an eTrex but you get front mounted buttons, slightly larger screen and bigger, easier to read, numbers/letters on the display

You also get USB, serial data/power and antenna socket as opposed to the eTrexs serial data/power only.
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Old 11 Jun 2006
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www.gpsw.com are doing a deal for the Garmin Streetpilot 111 for around £150 including UK mapsource, bike mount, car mount, in car charger, charger/cable for bike fitting.
They are reconditioned units, not new ,but seem to do the job.
I bought one a few weeks ago as my first venture into using a GPS and I do find it easy to use and follow.
Now doubt the newer ones are much better, but also a lot more expensive.
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  #10  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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Basic GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyrider
www.gpsw.com are doing a deal for the Garmin Streetpilot 111 for around £150 including UK mapsource, bike mount, car mount, in car charger, charger/cable for bike fitting.
They are reconditioned units, not new ,but seem to do the job.
I bought one a few weeks ago as my first venture into using a GPS and I do find it easy to use and follow.
Now doubt the newer ones are much better, but also a lot more expensive.
Unfortunately the link is not working. Sounds like a good deal, though, but do check out the warranty. It is no longer in production, and being a car mounted unit, not as portable as the etrex series.

I have a Etrex legend C. The first peice I bought turned out to be defective (very poor battery life, kept switching off) which has since been replaced by Garmin. The latest Cx has a memory card slot to compensate the small memory (as compared to the high end Gps systems), else most of the features are there, including autorouting, a large colour display that is not battery hungry and a 30hr + life for 2 standard AA cells. And, of course, a map display, in a size that is just a bit more than the average cellphone. Water resistant, too.

The garmin website has this nifty little feature that helps you choose the peice that suits your requirement best. Needless to say, only Garmin units feature!
http://www.garmin.com/purchaseAssistant/
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  #11  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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Sorry - www.gpsw.co.uk
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  #12  
Old 12 Jun 2006
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More stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyrider
Thanks. Looks like a very good deal - complete kit, with warranty.

Another interesting page:

http://www.gpsw-support.co.uk/first-gps.htm
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  #13  
Old 13 Jun 2006
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If you don't need all that UK mapping stuff:

Buy a second hand Garmin III plus off Ebay - 70-100 pounds. Garmin V if you've got the cash 2-300 pounds.
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  #14  
Old 20 Jun 2006
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Garmin etrex Legend

I have a Garmin etrex legend, which has the base maps for europe built in (major roads and cities), as I haven't ventured any further yet.
Offers position and distances (as the crow flies), which is good enough for me, it's more fun finding your own way there anyhow.
If you go for one of these, I recommend getting a permanent power supply to it, as the batteries tend to bounce about, and turn the unit off when you are off-road (or even on the road sometimes). Other than that, it's a great, sturdy, basic GPS.
Andy
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  #15  
Old 1 Jul 2006
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Garmin Geko

If you really want it to be small and simple, there is Garmin Geko line. I have 201 and it is way better that I thought. It is propbably smallest and lightest handheld GPS available and on some reason it is not widely known (also not on sale in many countries). 201 even has PC interface. It looks like a toy but actually is is a very fine piece of kit (if you don't need to make tea).
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