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Rich Lucibella
January 31, 2001, 06:48 PM
I've been looking for a small GPS for field use ever since purchasing the worthless Casio Pathfinder. Well, I finally found it. At about $110 the Garmin eTrex is a really neat item:
- Full Feature 12 channel GPS in a 5.4oz, 4"x2" package
- Simple 5 button operation (Buttons on the side for 1 handed operation)
- Waterproof
- Powered by 2 AA batteries for 22 hiours of operation.

You won't find the closest Hunan Restaurant with this; it's not made to tell you that you've just passed the entrance to Interstate 95; can't even lookup where Bismark, ND is in relation to your current position.....but then, who cares! ;)

What it will do is clip to a belt or pack and record your track, allow you to manually enter waypoints simply and quickly, allow you to navigate directly to a given way point or describe a route of waypoints, or simply retrace your steps.

I also have a Magellen Color screen GPS that I purchased at 3 times the price and weight....it always seems to be in the truck! Like guns, the GPS that will save your bacon is the one you have with you....this one seems to fit the bill nicely!
Rich

skyder
January 31, 2001, 08:56 PM
I agree with you about the eTrex. I got one back last fall and it is remarkably handy. And fun!
One thing to add to it is either the Garmin combination power/download cable or a homemade version of it. It is quite overpriced from Garmin. There are instructions and 3rd party cables available on the 'net. I have upgraded 3 eTrexs (eTrices?) now with the latest version of the software from Garmins website. The cable also lets you operate off the cars 12v system, saving some battery.

Rich Lucibella
January 31, 2001, 09:59 PM
skyder,
Thanks. Am I to understand that they upgrade tho operating software from time to time? If so, can you point me in the direction of an aftermarket supplier?
Rich

cobraman
February 1, 2001, 08:26 AM
Hey Rich I just used an eTrex on a snowshoeing trip in New York. One really cool feature is its ability to show ascents and desents in a graph.

Rich Lucibella
February 1, 2001, 09:10 AM
Cobra-
I think that's one of the "de-luxe" eTrex', yes? I know some of 'em have altitude, temp and barometer. The basic model just gets you there and back.
Rich

cobraman
February 1, 2001, 10:08 AM
Rich, Yes it is the deluxe model. We used it on the plane to check the pilot's attitude announcements.

Rich Lucibella
February 1, 2001, 05:10 PM
Oops-
I take that back. The basic model also shows altitude. It won't map same, though.
Rich

skyder
February 1, 2001, 05:13 PM
Hi Rich!
Yes, the Garmin people (garmin.com) do post software updates on the website for free download. I believe the current one is v 2.2. It is easy to download to your pc and takes about a minute to dump into your eTrek.
In my web wanderings, the best source I found for doing your own cable is: http://www.pfranc.com/projects/g45contr/emap/index.htm
They sell plugs to fit the gps and give instructions to make the rest, even homemade plugs if you choose.
Or you could pop about $50 for the factory model.
Oh yeah, firearms related content... With a clear view of the sky, the accuracy is good enough to range targets. Just start walking across the desert with the target and watch the distance readings until you get out a couple of hundred yards. Accuracy of 12 feet is close enough!

Zulu Mike
February 1, 2001, 06:16 PM
Does it give the cordinates in the military grid reference system or just long/lat?

Thanks

Size15s
February 1, 2001, 07:05 PM
A few questions...

Does the Garmin eTrex offer real time DGPS using one or more stationary and/or roving units to increase accuracy?
Can it be linked to a portable computer in the field and the information fed straight into ArcInfo for GIS mapping?
Are there larger aerials available to increase the number of satellites used and therefore the accuracy of especially the altitude?
Will the eTrex take Lithium AAs such as the Energizer e2 L91?

Thanks for any help in answering my questions?

Alastair

Rich Lucibella
February 1, 2001, 08:59 PM
Zulu-
Mil Coordinates are a feature.

Size15's-
More knowledge than mine is required.
Rich

gaijin
February 2, 2001, 12:58 AM
Size15s,

>A few answers ...

A few questions...

Does the Garmin eTrex offer real time DGPS using one or more stationary and/or roving units to increase accuracy?

>Yes. The eTrex interfaces with DGPS units

Can it be linked to a portable computer in the field and the information fed straight into ArcInfo for GIS mapping?

>Probably not, unless this feed can be obtained through the DGPS unit. There is only one interface port on the eTrex.Waypoints saved in the eTrex can be uploaded to a PC, but not in real time.

Are there larger aerials available to increase the number of satellites used and therefore the accuracy of especially the altitude?

>No

Will the eTrex take Lithium AAs such as the Energizer e2 L91?

>Yes, I run lithiums in mine

Thanks for any help in answering my questions?

Alastair

>BTW, I really like the eTrex Summit. Small enough to fit in a pocket, much better software than previous Garmin units (latest version is 2.7 and is available on their website (http://www.garmin.com)).

Alastair, if you e-mail Garmin I'm sure they can give you better answers to your questions.

HTH