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I need a little help here. I am completely new to GPS units, purchasing, using, etc. I want to by my boyfriend one for his birthday. I've been doing some research on my own, but I'd like a second opinion from actual users/riders. I've been looking at primarily the Magellan Sportrak Color & the Magellan Meridian Color. I'm just not sure which product to purchase for his needs. He plans on doing some heavy hiking, traveling & riding with it, so it needs to be extremely hearty, mobile, light weight & waterproof if possible, with a mount for inside a car. He'll probably also want to use it for cross-country road trips. I also understand that the Magellan Sportrak color doesn't have expandable memory. Is that absolutely necessary??? Which unit is light weight & durable? I'd also like a unit that is user-friendly yet sophisticated & can "grab & go" right out of the box. Also, are there any suggestions for Garmin products?? Any suggestions from riders who use GPS would be great. Thanks!

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I haven't had my Rino 530 long enough to be able to give much feedback, except that its pretty dang cool! I also wanted something bomb-proof, and the Rino fits that diecription!

I originally wanted expandable memory as well, but did some research and realized it wasn't that important unless I planned on long-distance, across country trips with it, and most of my use is going to be in one area for shorter periods of time. You can transfer info to/from a laptop, I believe, so when doing one trip upload that data, then for another, transfer again. I figured I'd rather have the 2-way function in the Rino, very useful when caravanning or looking for your riding group camping in the dez, but that just works for me...

Check the forums here and do a search on GPS, these guys seem to be big into them, and there is a lot of helpful info to be found!

Good luck! :thumbsup:

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I believe the Garmin eTrax Legend Cx would work for you. (him) It has the memory for uploading, and can show elevations. Also it can have the streets loaded in it. Give it a check and see, it's not that expensive and semi-weather resistant.

Features & Specifications

On the road, on the trail, or anywhere off the beaten path, Garmin's enhanced eTrex Legend Cx is your personal guide to adventure. With a 32 MB microSD memory card, a built-in basemap with automatic routing capability, 256-color transflective TFT display and more — all seamlessly integrated in a lightweight, compact, waterproof case that's easy to operate no matter what the conditions.

WAAS enabled, 12 parallel channel GPS receiver

Built-in GPS patch antenna

Unit dimensions: 2.2"W x 4.2"H x 1.2"D

Display: 1.3"W x 1.7"H, 256-color, high resolution, transflective TFT (176 x 220 pixels)

Weight: 5.6 ounces with batteries (not included)

microSD card slot allows for storage of optional MapSource detail; 32MB microSD included

LED backlit display and keypad

Battery life: up to 32 hours typical use using two AA alkaline batteries

Includes a built-in Americas autoroute basemap with automatic routing capabilities including highways, exits and tide data (USA only)

500 user waypoints with name and graphic symbol; 20 reversible routes, 50 points per route

Position formats include Lat/Lon, UTM, Loran TDs, Maidenhead, MGRS, user grid, and more

Audible alarms for anchor drag, arrival, off-course and clock

Large numbers option for easy viewing, dual position display mode

Trip computer provides odometer, stopped time, moving average, overall average, total time, max speed and more

10,000 point automatic track log; 20 saved tracks (500 points each) let you retrace your path in both directions

Built-in celestial tables for best time to fish and hunt, plus sun and moon calculation

Compatible with most MapSource products including BlueChart, City Navigator, U.S. TOPO 24K, U.S. TOPO and Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hot Spots

Waterproof, IEC 60529 IPX7, (Submersible 1 meter @ 30 minutes)

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I'm glad you mentioned the Garmin. Since my first post, I've recently been interested in the Garmin Map 60CX. Read a bunch of reviews & it looks like a solid gps. Didn't get much great feedback on the Magellan products, especially with customer services & software updates. So I'm definitely leaning towards the Garmin. Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.

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I would stick with the Garmin products. I have used both the 12XL and Map 76 extensively and have no reliability/durability issues. Both are inexpensive and easy to use right out of the box. Good luck with your search!

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I gave my son my well used Garmin GPSIII+, a unit which still worked great but had limited memory. I looked at the Garmin 60CSX and 76 CSX. I ended up with the 60 CSx, the unit was slightly cheaper and came with a smaller memory card than the 76. I used the difference to buy a large 1 gig card which will hold a tremendous amount of memory, both City Select and Mapsource. The X model uses a newer GPS engine which is supposed to initialize quicker and work better under tree cover. I have been very happy with the unit, it survived a Moab trip this spring. Read about the units at the garmin site and at http://gpsnow.com/gmmap60csx.htm. Mine was $399. They still advertise this price but now with a $50 dollar rebate from Garmin.

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I recently purchased a Garmin GPSMAP 60CS (no expandable memory) and am very pleased with it. I turn it on and through in the backpack while riding. I liked the ability to but different maps on it. I used the TOPO software and you can put different counties in the memory so you don't have to waste memory on places you aren't going to visit.

A friend of mine recently bought a Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx (expandable memory). It picks up the signal a little better (read: indoors), but it's controls are a little hard to use at the same time as trying to see the screen. Personally I like the 60 series setup a little better if you are going to be looking at the display while figiting with the buttons, but some might say that's a personal preference.

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I like the 60 better than the 76. I have field tested my 60CS thoroughly and I am thrilled with how well it has held up over time. I have had some pretty severe get-offs with it installed on my bike (in a ram mount) and it's like timex, keeps on ticking.

I buy my stuff from here

http://www.cycoactive.com/default.htm

This is a good deal

http://www.megagps.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=24

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I'm a big fan of the radio/GPS combo that Garmin has. We have a pair and a couple of friends have sets too so when we're riding we can tell where everyone is even if they don't answer their radio (AKA are unable to).

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I'm a big fan of the radio/GPS combo that Garmin has. We have a pair and a couple of friends have sets too so when we're riding we can tell where everyone is even if they don't answer their radio (AKA are unable to).

When I get back to the SW, we'll have to get together and ride sometime.... I'll bring my new Rino 530! :thumbsup:

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ttristenrides, what is your budget for the GPS purchase? As usual there are also accessories to consider which give the unit more capability.

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Go with the garmin gps/radio combo ones like previously said.

When 2 users have these they can locate each other and see each other's exact location and its invaluable..

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John, the budget is between $200 - $300. But I'd like to keep it relatively lower. I recently talked to him, very vaguely about owning a gps & he was saying that he'd eventually like to get one that was around $160. He never specified which one, but I guess that gives me a better ballpark. I think originally I was aiming entirely too high, with units that retailed around $400. I know adding maps can get pricey. But I was thinking about just getting him the base unit & then having him purchase his own maps (as I wouldn't know what to get him), maybe I'd get him a mount for inside his truck...

Has anybody heard anything about having to "register" the rino with the government because it uses a specific channel that is owned by the government????? I briefly read this on a website & now I can't find the resource, ...

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I Got The Explorist 400 Wilderness Bundle

The Bundle Came With Software<maps>

Cable <uplode/download,charge>

Memory Card <sd Mem>

Recargable Batt <li-ion>

Cary Case <belt Clip>

This Has Been A Great Unit For Me

It Is Watter Proof, Rugged

Makes Great Trail Maps

I Use It Riding, Boating, In The Car

I Got The Bundle For $259 At Tigergps.com

It Also Had A $50 Rebate From Maggelan

They Make All Sorts Of Mounts For This Thing

And I Got A Cigarret Lighter Plug Charger For The Car

The Only Downer I Can Come Up With Is It Is Not Color

But I Didnt Need That.

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I guess you first must decide what you expect to do with the unit. Do you need autorouting? This is useful if you travel to unfamiliar areas. With my 60 CSX, I simply input an address and the unit will autoroute me to the destination. Downside, routing is not always the quickest or shortest, and the unit gets annoying when you go off it’s selected route. This feature has been very useful on several occasions, but it does not replace a paper map or common sense. It also calculates time of arrival, distance to destination on road mileage, not as the crow flies. I can call my wife and tell her I’ll be at home at 10:15 pm and be accurate within a minute or two. The mileage calculation is also useful when pulling my fifth wheel camper deciding fuel stops. It also contains a database of services (fuel, restaurants, tire places, etc.) at each interstate exit. It requires a large data card to hold the info for multiple states or large regions, but the cards are not that expensive. Mapsourse software is needed to download topo maps for serious offroading. City Select software is needed to download street and address data. More expense, but more capability.

The Rino units, which can transmit position to another similar units sounds neat, but I wonder how useful that feature is in the real world. Riders always get separated during our dual sport rides. We carry FSR radios and by the time someone is lost and both parties realize it and get radios out, we are out of range. Line of site limitations will affect the radio transmit/receive functions of the Rino. One salesperson I talked to said the radios worked thorough the satellites like the GPS; she was wrong on that count. The max 14 mile range is in perfect line of site conditions; you’ll be lucky to communicate over a mile or two, less in mountainous terrain.

Do you intend to use a handlebar mount on your motorcycle? A lot of units will not stay on due to vibration and will to be hard wired to the motorcycle battery to function reliably. Does his bike have a battery?

Define the mission for the GPS and then look at prices for units that perform those functions.

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I've been using the Garmin Vista C unit for some time but just sold it to upgrade. The expandable memmory option on the 60csx is a great option and the unit is much more durable. Yes - they cost a bit more (Amazon = $395.41 with free shipping + $50.00 rebate) but you don't want to buy twice. :thumbsup:

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The Rino units, which can transmit position to another similar units sounds neat, but I wonder how useful that feature is in the real world. Riders always get separated during our dual sport rides. We carry FSR radios and by the time someone is lost and both parties realize it and get radios out, we are out of range. Line of site limitations will affect the radio transmit/receive functions of the Rino. One salesperson I talked to said the radios worked thorough the satellites like the GPS; she was wrong on that count. The max 14 mile range is in perfect line of site conditions; you’ll be lucky to communicate over a mile or two, less in mountainous terrain.

True enough, but if you've ever tried to meet up with someone who doesn't know where they are going at the trailhead where cell phones don't work, like out in the desert, for example, or find people camping, or when I was climbing a lot, try to meet at a certain route when you are not sure when everyone is showing up, or even when in a caravan with a group of other cars for a long distance trip, having two-ways to communicate can be invaluable! :thumbsup:

I also like the auto signal function, if you are alone, I believe the Rino can send an SOS using the two way... if someone tells rescue searchers to listen for the signal!

But that might not be needed by everyone... you are correct, this is it, in a nutshell:

Define the mission for the GPS and then look at prices for units that perform those functions.

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