Which GPS Unit?

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Post  spidertice on Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:12 am

Noticed the discussions on mapping and gps on here lately,, and got me thinking about getting one,, whats recomended,, I,m not real computer mechanical so i wouldnt be downloading maps etc, I,ve nevr lost my way in the bush in my life but now with detecting i find i,m head down bum up and not taking any notice of me surrounds etc then i,ll look around and wtf where am i ??.. I am looking for something to give me a bread crumb trail back to the esky ,, whats every one using and recomending,, ???
cheers spider
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Post  forester01 on Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:48 pm

Spider,
check back through the posts on GPS units, use of, and mapping etc etc. There's a heap of information there to be used. Just a matter of picking which one is applicable.

However, a few short words - keep it simple and purchase a GPS receiver which has a sufficiently large screen to be easily read. The functions you really need for efficient bush navigation are actually quite few in number. The more that's promised, generally the smaller and more technically challenging the GPS is going to be in trying to understand the thing. Keep it simple.

Regards
Mike Wellington
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Post  Narrawa on Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:50 pm

While most GPS's offer bread crumbing your way back to the car/esky, not many offer an extended battery life out bush. Best is to mark the car/esky then turn it off, if you find you are orientation challenged whilst out there then turn it back on & push GOTO, you will find it will send you back via the shortest rout.
A Gps that has a poor signal acquisition will tend to go flat faster then one with a lock, tree canopies can upset the signal causing the GPS to search for more satellite fixes & like a mobile phone in searching for a tower will go flat much quicker then when its locked on.
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Which GPS Unit? Empty RE: GPS units whats the go

Post  Fisherman on Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:01 pm

G day spider i own a Garmin E-trex legend handheld gps and would be lost without it :lol!

Seriously though i have had this unit for about 6 years now, it's been dropped and knocked around in the boat and is still going strong, i use it all the time.
They are supplied with a basic map thats only average but helpful, i have installed blue chart on mine which is a very good marine chart but i still use it in the bush because as Mike, Narrawa said you don't need all the bells and whistles just keep it simple.
I just turn it on before i leave my 4wd/camp wait until it locks on to enough satelite's (ready to navigate) mark as a waypoint and turn it off until i need it.
another little tip that i learned on the water was if your navigating back to a waypoint (goto) and the compass pointer waves around a bit just move a bit quicker i'm not suggesting you go tearing around the bush at full pace but even if you find a bit of a clearing, drop your gear and follow the pointer as fast as is safe and mark that direction grab your gear and off you go.

Hope this helps

Brett
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Post  Inhere on Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:34 pm

I just use the plain yellow Garmin E-trex, you can buy them for $132 at JB HIFI.
As good as you need, in my opinion.
I've had mine for year's and paid over $300. Rolling Eyes
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Post  Guest on Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:35 pm

Ill second that Inhere,
just about every prospector i meet out in the bush has a Garmin E-trex
and none have made a complaint about the units not doing their job!
I personally use a garmin GPS 60 but i use it also for moving map and downloading and exporting my waypoints to the pc also.

cheers
gypsy

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Post  Inhere on Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:12 pm

Hi Gypsy, my son and daughter in law bought me a Garmin nuvi 265W for my birthday. I haven't had time to work out how to load any map's. I was playing around with it while I had a cup of coffee and I set it to shortest distance. I put it back in the box and left it until I had more time.
Anyway a couple of weeks later my daughter in law had to visit her brother in Wagga Wagga and I suggested that she take the Garmin and try it out.

Long story short it directed her off the highway after about 200k's and she did the last 300k's on rough dirt single lane farm tracks. She was not amused, took about 2 hours longer too. Rolling Eyes
Bit of a trap for young players! Laughing
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Post  forester01 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:19 am

G'day Spider,
further to my reply of a few posts ago, for a simple to understand explanation of the GPS - its benefits and some of its drawbacks, I'd suggest you try this website. True, it appears to be aimed at boat users and scuba divers - not that it matters one iota because most inshore fishermen still use the UTM grid mapping system as opposed to the hugely more complicated longtitude and latitude. Additionally the techniques are identical to those in use by blokes navigating their way around the bush.

http://scuba.club.anu.edu.au/faq/boats/gps.html.

or - FAQ Navigation

Regards
Mike W
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Post  spidertice on Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:14 pm

Thanks for the tips ,, the old kiss system seems to be recomended,, ,, mike your link didnt work ???

cheers spider
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Post  forester01 on Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:11 pm

Sorry about that, Spider,

obviously the website's a bit like me - a bit worn out and no longer used much. You're obviously on the right track though - which is the KISS principle. A mate of mine about a year ago with whom I'd been coaching in basic map and compass bush navigation, proudly informed me that he'd purchased a GPS unit (on recommendation by an 'expert' which 'did everything' except talk. Eventually I took a look at this all-singing and all-dancing gadget and it was the size of a Mars bar and seemed to feature more menus than a Lygon Street restaurant. I must admit it was a luvverly colour-coordinated shade of yellow with blue buttons. An honest man, he admitted that he hadn't yet managed to work it out despite the comprehensive instruction booklet it came with, but he assured me he'd managed to access the electronic compass. At this stage I reminded him that I'd actually given him a magnetic compass some time before which would be more reliable - no matter. Having owned and learned to use GPS receivers some ten or fifteen years previous I own up to the fact that after buggerizing around with this miniscule piece of trendy and colourful kit I still didn't have much of clue about it. Yes, I agree - put technology in front of a dinosaur like myself and generations of research is completely wasted.

I own two GPS units - both old technology admittedly. Firstly, a Magellan 2000 (tried and trusted, slow but reliable) and a Garmin 12 (pretty quick on picking up the necessary four satellites, easy on batteries and without the unnecessary BS). In other words both units satisfy my KISS principles but never fail to bring me back to my vehicle or to a reef I've already marked on a topo map and in need of that necessary confirmation). As for 'breadcrumbs' - a useful feature I'm sure, and one which is valued by the birdlife in my garden, but one I've never found it necessary yet to use.



Regards
Mike Wellington







Re
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Post  Guest on Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:27 pm

spidertice
check your pm, I have sent you the details from Mike's link that I copied 2 weeks ago
hope this helps
John

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Post  rabs on Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:12 am

There is a Garmin GPS 12 currently for sale on Ebay currently $41, These are a great unit and waterproof, if you want a basic rugged unit that will get you back to camp then this is it, plot waypoints from a map etc and very easy to use, I own one of these units and would never be without it, I have a GPS receiver only with magnetic base on my 4x4 connected to my Eee PC mounted in car to track my way live thru Ozi Explorer also. both systems have there pro's and con's but combined its fantastic, I can plot on my lappy and enter waypoints I want to go to then transfer to Garmin and away i go.

Cheers

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Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:03 am

G'day All, Which gps? Wow so much information, I have been using a Lowrance finder go, good for marking waypoints etc. Now that I am wanting to download maps etc this unit just does not cut it. By the sounds of things The Garmin is the go! It is always hard to compare different units without doing the physical roadtesting yourself, There has been loads of useful input that I have read on here, now for the hard part, making the decision!!! confused
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Post  Scrubhen on Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:16 pm

Both my son inlaw and myself have owned Garmin GPS76 for a couple of years now and are very satisfied with them although I dont know about the waterproof part as he accidently got his wet with salt water, but Garmin promptly replaced it.

The speedo is a bit out on my bush truck so I have used the garmin as a speedo and trip recorder Cairns to Sunshine coast and back.

Only problem I have had is getting the Garmin to hook up via USB instead of the 9 pin connector on the computer.But I believe there is a fix for that
Can't fault the Garmin even if it is a little bigger than the other brands

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Post  Wombat on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:13 pm

NEED HELP!!!
My wife got me a Garmin eTrex Vista Cx for Christmas last. I have'nt really tried it out yet. But I was wondering if anyone knows if you can do a course on GPs's and were. I live in Melb. I think this thing of mine can do everything except cook your dinner. Being an old Gray Nomad the tecnical side of things are a bit hard on the old brain cell's and I need someone to show me how to drive this thing to be able to get the best out of it. The GPS is the gray version with the coloured screen.
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Post  gildedprospects on Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:04 pm

I got a Garmin eTrex H, has excellent battery life and is tough as old boots. Probably the cheapest personal GPS you can get and there's a data cable availible too so you can connect it to your pc/laptop.

If I lost it I'd buy another one.

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Post  Guest on Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:20 am

Gday

Yes the Garmin Etrex is one of the more popular gps units about, easy to use and rugged, garmin also do a smaller unit called the Ghekko, I have one as well but I always found that the battery life was not so great, it uses aaa batteries where the Etrex uses aa's, so I just keep it as the spare.

I found that for your basic functions that the Etrex is easy to use and reliable, usually I will only ever use it to mark the position of my vehicle if I am in unfamiliar country and especially on ground where there is heavy vegetation and few landmarks, after marking the position of the vehicle I switch it off to conserve battery life and if I get disorientated for any reason then I can switch it on to get my bearings.

Note be sure to check that you have correctly entered the position by the mark feature, by going in to the "go to" section and checking that the position is marked, you can double check this by selecting the "go to" tab and the screen will show it usually within a few metres, also if you have other positions marked then you need to make a mental note of the number of that position, I always set it at number 1 and discard any old positions that may be on there.

The best way to learn to use it is when you are at home, the instructions for use come with it and I think mine had some quick start instructions with it too, sit and play with it with the book besides you, scrolling through the menu to familiarise yourself with the available features, do it outside and make sure that the sattelites are all connected, "mark" your position and then walk away from that spot, then select to the "go to" section and select the "go to" tab, you might need to walk around to the front of the house or whatever and then you will see that there is an arrow up on the screen in a circle , the arrow will point in the direction of your marked position, and all you have to do is follow it, you can also walk about the neighbourhood and switch it on a few streets away, that will give you a better idea of the function and you can also see the distances from your position to your home.

Knowing how far you are from camp is important, for various reasons, like if you want to be back there before dark or if you want to get back there by the shortest route to save your legs.

Anyway I have kept the instructions basic, so read through the book and follow it step by step and it will fill in the gaps for you, its pretty easy and will get easier with use, one other thing the most common cause of failure with a gps unit is the batteries, alway check that you have fresh batteries in the unit, I use re chargeable ones as I have found them more reliable, and if you want to wander for some distance take some spares with you.

cheers

stayyerAU

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Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:45 pm

Hi All, Well I bit the bullet today and bought a garmin vista hcx. Seems a good unit, had it hooked up to the computer and had a bit of a play, now to get it out into the bush! then buy some topo maps to load onto it aswell.
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Post  Topcat on Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:58 pm

GoldstalkerGPX wrote:Hi All, Well I bit the bullet today and bought a garmin vista hcx. Seems a good unit, had it hooked up to the computer and had a bit of a play, now to get it out into the bush! then buy some topo maps to load onto it aswell.

Hi Goldstalker,

There are quite a few GeoSurvey maps on the net that are free to download which can save you some expense, particularly if
you're looking at W.A. Here is a good site for downloads:

http://www.geoscience.gov.au/bin/mapserv36?map=/public/http/www/geoportal/250/index.map&mode=browse&layer=map250&queryon=true

And here:

http://geodocs.doir.wa.gov.au/document/documentSearchCriteria.do?from=topNav&cabinetId=1101

Cheers

Ted
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Post  GoldstalkerGPX on Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:51 pm

Cheers topcat for the links!!
I have a few of those maps on my computer, I'd better do some reading now to learn how to put them onto the GPS.

Is technology getting faster or am I getting slower? affraid
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Post  lxss5000 on Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:04 am

Interesting topic.

It seems to me like Minelab detectors the best ann most used GPS is a Garmin. I use the old Garmin GPS2 plus, they are the triangle shape ones that sit on the dash of the car nicely, they are very simple to use and you get 24hours out of a set of alkaline batteries.

Not sure is many of you guys use Google Earth but I search around on old farms for old ruins and rubish tips (to go bottle digging) and log the coordinants into the GPS and bingo direct route to the site the same could be used for old gold mines.

Best way I found to teach someone how to use a GPS is put them in the passanger seat while you are driving and shutup and let them play around (apart from deleating your best fishing spots Which GPS Unit? Affraid they cant hurt them)

Cheers Byron

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