GPS reception .. better on the larger units?

Since a lot of us Husky drivers are dual sporting, I thought I would copy this post I made on the dual sport forum.

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.


06 HSQ TE250

90 KTM 250 E/XC


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

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

I saw only one other new husky, a TE450. If the guy with the flat who rode with me for a while is reading this, send a pm!

I have had several and just got a Meridian Explorist 400 a while back, that sucker tracks like no other. I had it buried in my pack, in rain, in old growth and unbelievably it tracked everything. My other units would not even have found a signal that day. I like this one a lot.

As to your questions I would guess there are GPS sites with tests and they can tell you for sure which ones are best.

Sounds like you are having fun!

This probably sounds obvious but consider buying at a place with a good return policy. If could even test them in the store before you buy and see which unit has the best reception.


I had my unit on in my pocket during a dual sport last week

I suspect this is a big part of the problem. Buy a good RAM mount from Cycoactive and your reception will no doubt improve versus the pocket. I've had good luck and zero reception issues with several Garmin units. Currently I'm using a 76c. Great unit.


I don't know if either of those units accept an external antenna (very likely the 276c does), but I've found these $20 units to vastly improve reception in all kinds of terrain/cover. I double-sided foam tape one to my front fender.

Dirty Seconds the external antenna. Ever since I began using my Gilsson amplified antenna, I have never lost signal. Never, even in the heaviest cover of south Louisiana woods, or even in the bowels of my humble abode.

For photos of my whole setup, go over to the Garmin 60csx user group over on yahoo.


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.



Never lost reception... or power....

I run a Garmin 60CSx (hard wired) on a RAM mount.

Best yet of all my GPSs and mounts I've tested over the years...

I converted from Magellan. On my bike, in my car...

I've yet to convert my GF to Garmin... cost gets up there quick.


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