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GPS reception== small vs larger units

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Hej all,

I have a hand held Garmin etrex vista c. I am planning to get a Garmin 276c in the near future to mount on my TE250 regardless of any answers I may get in response to this post.

The question I have is this.. Do the larger units, Garmin or others, have better antennae or ability to receive signals in the woods? I had my unit on in my pocket during a dual sport last week. I am missing about half of the tracks because of being under cover of the trees/hills. (and possibly, in some cases, because the GPS was in my pocket instead of being mounted on the bike)

In other words, would I have a more complete track from the days ride if I employed the larger GPS device?

Thanks for any input.

Majordog

06 HSQ TE250

90 KTM 250 E/XC

PS

By the way, the ride last Sunday, the 7 Mountain Dual Sport (12th running) near State College, PA hosted by PATRA was awesome!! :excuseme:

It was a good 80 mile workout on the main trail. If you don't like rocks, don't go! I hear those who took the hero section made the parts counter happy at their local dealers the next week :bonk:

I saw only one other new husky, a TE450.

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Me and my buds all use the 276c and are amazed how much it retains the signal. Much better that our old IIIs and V s

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I was wandering the same thing cause I know a guy has a garmin fourtrak/ 4trek ? and it is amazing that it receives signal in woods with the built-in ant.

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The 276 is a neat, neat unit. I saw one on a night ride last year. I couldnt stop looking at it. It has the better antanae and high def. screen. If my 76S would ever break, I'd upgrade to the 276. It's a little more money but for as much as I use it it'd be worth it.

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At least with the Garmin units, size and cost is irrelevent as far as reception ability. What matters is the age/generation of the units. I've got a Garmin GPS 196 that I use for aviation. It's the original Garmin that uses that chassis (same as the 276c). It's several years old. They still cost ~$1000. It doesn't recieve as well as my $150 Foretrex 101 that I can wear on my wrist.

I don't know if it's the software or the actual circuitry or what, but the newer the unit the better the reception performance--reguardless of size and price. That's my experience.

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A external antenna helps when there is a lot of three cover but you will still have signal loss at times.

I have seen where a new small unit that was mounted on the bars had 100% and I was surprised when I downloaded it to my PC but I have not rode the trail. My V mounted on the bars usually has only 95% are better with stock antenna.

My 276C cost to much to be taken out in a crash are something else but I do like the unit a lot. I ride tight trails most of the time and I even get hit by limbs and such.

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I would spend $30 on a RAM Mount for your current unit before buying another and see if that helps. Having it in you pocket is definately not going to help your reception. Gotta have it pointing towards the sky first... I'd try the mount and see what happens. If it doesn't work, sell the mount and the unit together towards a 60csx or something similar.

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Thumpers all:

Thanks for your input and advice. :excuseme:

I agree that mounting the unit on my ride would help somewhat.

The main reason I wanted to get the 276c was ease of use with gloves and it is much easier to see while going plus you can have more than one view displayed.

Too many choices!

Thanks again.

Majordog

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Even when mounted on the bars the etrex has a hard time with reception in the woods of south Jersey

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I agree that mounting the unit on my ride would help somewhat.Majordog

Somewhat? If you dont mount it, I wouldnt spend the money on it. Just buy the 99 dollar one and leave it in your backpack.

Once you get that baby mounted up and you have constant navigation, you'll wonder how you ever rode without it. It's waterproof and on all my crashes the GPS is the least injured part on me and the bike. I have a Touratech mount.

Post pics when you get it all set up.

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Almost all of the consumer grade handheld GPS units on the market today use similar Quad Helix Antennas. I have owned a Magellan Meridian Platinum, and I just recently purchase a Garmin 60CSx. If you are looking for a new GPS unit, you should certainly consider any of the "x" series Garmins. They have a new SiRF reciever circuitry that greatly improves the GPS's ability maintain lock in poor coverage situations. My Magellan did very well for the 4 years I used it, and could beat any Garmin out there, but with Garmins new "x" series there is no comparison. When I bought the GPS, I put batteries in it, and turned it on sitting on my couch in my apartment, and within 30 seconds the GPS had 20 ft accurate lock, right out of the box, whereas my Magellan would probably never locked, and if it did it would have taken it 10 minutes.

I don't know if the larger Garmins offer the new reciever circuitry yet, but if you see an "x" on the name you can bet you won't have any problems.

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When we ride our GPS sometimes loose it's signal under the trees. But once we download it to the computer - it fills in the blank spots. We have the Garmin Legend and it works well. Picked up the handlebar mount that GI Joes sells for $25, works just as well as those $60 Ram mounts. It sure helps to increase the riding area so we can explore more territory without the fear of getting too lost.

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Crf Redrider,

What program do you use to download the tracks to your computer? Thanks, Tony

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