View Full Version : GPS Units

Plane Dr
11-21-2005, 10:02 PM
Quick question or 2 maybe someone can help.

I am looking at getting a Garmin Legend GPS. It's cheap and looks like it is a good intro type unit. I have never used them before and really don't want to sink money into a gadget I may not like or use. Any experience with this unit or the variety of maps available?

Second the computer I am looking at buying doesn't come equipped with a built in serial port. Is there a USB adapter for the GPS? I assume there is a PCI card for the computer available.

11-21-2005, 10:25 PM
spend the money. you'll love gps.

Dont know anything about that particular system.

11-21-2005, 11:43 PM
Hey, If you're interested, I may sell you my Garmin Legend GPS for a good price. I've had it a while now and was considering an upgrade to the GPSMAP 60C.

I have the Legend GPS, the power/data cable, an extra data cable, and a really great RAM mount for the GPS for mounting it on the bike. It's solid as a rock.

I've used this GPS for a couple of years and it's in perfect condition. Extremely handy on bike trips. Or car trips for that matter...


11-22-2005, 12:05 AM
:tab Unless you can't can't afford it, I would not get one without the USB port. I used to have the Etrex Legend and if you tried to copy more than a few Mb worth of maps to it, it literally would take hours via serial. Nothing sucked worse than spending that amount of time transferring maps only to find out you missed a few map sections. You cannot just send over the missed sections... you have to do the whole thing over again!! That one factor is what finally drove me to get rid of mine and upgrade to a 60CS. The 60CS is leaps and bounds above the Etrex series of GPS's in all aspects. The color screen makes discerning map features at a glance MUCH easier than the all monochromatic screens.

:tab Take a peek on Ebay and you can find some smoking deals. I am not saying you should get the 60CS per se, but I would definitely recommend getting a unit with USB!

11-22-2005, 12:45 AM
I had an Etrex Vista which had a serial connection and I was able to buy a serial to USB adapter to use on my PC.

I now have the 76CS and it is much better than the Etrex.


Plane Dr
11-22-2005, 01:11 AM
I snooped around tonight and have found a serial to usb adapter. I guess that's not an issue.

I thought the Legend would be a good starting point. If it turned out I liked it and used it alot, then I would upgrade at a later date. I fully expect there to be some issues with the cheaper model but I don't expect them to be so bad as to be discouraging.

I would love to get something like the 60C but it doesn't fit my budget. Or my Moms (see below) Gotta motard the DRZ after all.....

rbickle pm me with what would you want for the package. It is a christmas present to me from my Mom. :lol: (No laughing) So I need to discuss it with her.

11-22-2005, 01:30 AM
:tab Even with the serial to USB adapater, you are limited to serial speed. It just means you can run at serial speed into a USB port on your computer ;-) The GPS unit itself will determine the transfer speed. If the price is right, then an Etrex might be a good starting point. They are going on Ebay new for around $100-125. For exploring little backroads, the base map will be worthless as it does not even show most of the FM's. At a minimum, you will want to find an old copy of Roads & Rec or Topo to use with it. I find Topo to be most useful when I am out exploring the unpaved stuff.

11-22-2005, 01:53 AM
I have the Etrex Legend - loaded with Iraq map data - I take it on patrols and the like b/c it's light and works. I want a different model for touring. I need to look at my available space, and rig up a mount for my GPS and my digital camera :)

11-22-2005, 01:59 AM
:tab What is your opinion of the speed of the Legend in terms of redrawing the screen and scrolling the map? It was the first GPS I ever played with and even then I thought it was quite slow. The newer models scroll and redraw much much faster. My Legend never got very good reception unless I was out in the wide open area, like a field. Even in moderate tree coverage I would lose the satellites. The 60CS is much better in that regard as is a 276CS. The 60CS is not much bigger than the Legend.

11-22-2005, 03:59 AM
My experience w/ the legend mirrors yours. redraw when crossing the screen boundaries was slow at best, and even *in* a wide open field it wouldn't catch a satellite at times. I'm interested in the 60CS myself, as it should fit nicely on the SV, and allow me to do all the geeky stuff I'm prone to do.

Plane Dr
11-22-2005, 04:39 AM
Like I say I expect to have a few issues with the older model. I was actually surprised it used serial port transfer, kinda old. I just don't want to invest heavily in something I may not use. It strikes me as a great tool for roaming around and finding my way there or back. If it turns out I like as much as everyone else, well an upgrade will happen quick.

Which are the best topo maps? Should you go to the regional ones, meaning I would need 3 (at 100+ each) or is there another less accurate one? Or should I get the metroguide for when detailed navigation is critical?

I kinda thought a guy could layout routes form other sources and do waypoints, kinda rally like. Or at least have a track back so when I get lost I can "unlost" myself. I know running fireroads and trails in the mountains, I hated trying to get unlost, so it is important. Here in the flatlands the lack of references, like the big mountain overthere, kinda scares me.

That was how I expected to use it for now anyway.

11-22-2005, 07:57 AM
I never used the Etrex Legend, but I had the Etrex Vista for 2 years and never really had a problem with it.

It is slow to download data but since it is limited to 24 meg a full map set would take about 60-90 minutes to download. I would just set the download before I went to bed and it would be done when I got up.

I never had a problem with connections when on the road, however stopped under a tree it would lose the signal.

The screen is small and I generally had it zoomed in sufficiently that screen redraw was not an issue. Either that or I was far enough away from the city that there just wasn't that much to draw.

If it were zoomed out to where there were a lot of material to redraw it could take a while to redraw but I never found this to be a limitation of its use.

Finally, I found it difficult to see with the sun shining in my face and I think the larger color screen of the 76CS I have now is much easier to view.

I do agree that you need a good Garmin Map Program from which to download data.

But for a beginner GPS I was happy with the Vtrex Vista.


11-22-2005, 09:56 PM
This one looks pretty good. Opinions???



11-22-2005, 10:28 PM
I like my etrex vista. It is a small screen, but I'm not an advocate of spending too much focus while moving, so stopping to check details isn't a problem. Ditto the comment about load times. If I were totally into it, moving data back and forth I'd want a higher transfer rate. But I'm a low tech user so its fine by me.

This was the unit for me, cause I use it hiking and bicycling as well. I tried to find a used vista in case I wanted to upgrade. As it turns out, this GPS is plenty for my needs. If I did more long range riding like many of the folks here, I'd have a GPS with more capacity.

And using the vista without Mapsource was painful. The software was a good purchase.