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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Hawaiian transplant...
Sep 9, 2002
I'd like to get a good GPS, preferably one with computer software and waterproof.

Any reccomendations positive or negative would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
Garmin eTrex Vista

I'm very happy with my Vista. Compact, waterproof (to 1m), excellent display (320x320), built-in map, 24MB memory for waypoints, routes, more detailed maps, etc.


I'm sure others have different recommendations, but this is the one I went for a year ago, and I would have bought it again now.

Battery life could have been better (8-12 hours), but buy Lithiums that last 4 times as long as alkalines.

Software: I use Ozi Exporer: http://www.oziexplorer.com/
What is the big difference between the Vista and the base model etrex?

Just curious since it's 3 times the price.
The basic eTrex doesn't have a basemap facility. The only mapping it does is drawing a track onto a screen in relation to your waypoints. I've recently bought the basic eTrex for both mountain biking and for when out boating. Gotta say so far I'm really impressed with it. It's accurate, light, comfortable to hold, and easy to use. This week sometime I'm making myself a data cable for it too (the official Garmin cable is a ridiculous price for what it is) so then I'll be able to use some of the various programs available to communicate with it. If all you want is a basic GPS with no fancy mapping, then the basic eTrex model is great.

Captain rig to the rescue! First questions first...
1. What are you going to use the unit for?
2. If a dedicated boat model...how much is your spending limit?
3. If a handheld...same as 2...

some issues to consider, waas vs. dgps(they have waas in some handhelds now) type of chartkits for that model(some are downloadable ect.)

just like spearguns, when dealing with electronics what you want might not be what you need and what you need might be the opposite of what you want. For example, although I have a great northstar waas gps(which is unbelievable BTW) I still relly heavily on my Loran C(si-tex) simply b/c boats(charter) in my area have used them so long that if you tell me a loran line reading over the radio i pretty much know exactly where you are and the rec. boats have no clue what we are talking about, very handy on slow trolling days.

Back to your q...compare feature to prices. Get the one that suits your requirements and go diving! There aren't any generic gps manufacturer's out there so besides brand loyalty and personal preference there isn't much difference. Go to the store and compare the ones you are considering side by side...breeze through the instruction book...if the book is beyond comprehension, move on.
1. Basically for marking underwater hotspots near shore.
2. See 3
3. 2-300, but cheaper always better ;)
As you're in the US, go for one of the higher up eTrex models. Over here in the UK, the basic eTrex retails at about £130, yet it seems in the US, it sells for about $130, so this is another area where you get a much better deal. Also, ThinkGeek sell the basic eTrex for about $100, and they sell some of the other models too, so it might be worth checking them out there.

2-3 huh? OK...go to West Marine or Walmart or the like and check out the models in person...at West they have them turned on and you can see the features. Once you think you like one come home and shop for it on the internet or just go buy it.

I believe Lowrance makes a good waterproof model in that range...the X something or other
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