The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Gear and Accessories

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 9, 2006, 11:07 AM   #1
Kestrel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2001
Posts: 363
GPS Recommendations

I'm in the market for a GPS unit for my car. I've looked at the description of the Garmin c340, c550 and 7200 & 7500 units. I'm a novice at GPS, so would really appreciate some advice.

It seems the c550 will speak road names and that seems like a nice feature. The 7200 says it has a "huge" 7" screen and is for RVs, semis, etc. That doesn't seem too "huge" to me - would that be too big for a full-size Suburban? Is that too big to mount on top of the dash? The model 7500 says it has "dead reckoning". What is that?

Also, I've heard of Magellen. How do those compare to Garmin? I've also heard of TomTom, but know nothing about them. How do those compare?

Of course, I'm looking for the mose accurate and most repliable unit. Is that Garmin? What makes the TomTom popular?

And the final question is about maps. How are they updated? Do you buy a subscription? Are they downloaded over the air? How often do they need to be updated? (I only need USA maps at this point.)

Oh - what about a secondary unit for hunting/backpacking? Is the Garmin eTrex a good choice?

Thanks for any help!
Kestrel is offline  
Old December 9, 2006, 11:46 AM   #2
TonyM1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 115
I have a Magellan Meridian Color for use on the boat and my wife has a Garmin C330, I had a Garmin etrex Legend prior to the Meridian.

I think Garmin is definitely the better of these two. While there is nothing wrong with the functionality of the Magellan, they charge extra for everything, for example; my etrex Legend showed poi's and road names and also intracoastal navigation markers, not so with the much more expensive Meridian, it showed the major roads and that was about it, since I only need it for marine use I had to buy their BlueNav software for an additional $100, and it had to stay in that marine mode as it cannot display land information at the same time. So if i wanted to use it for both land and sea I would have to reload the map software for each and lose my waypoints, poi's in the process. The etrex Legend did not have the detail of the Bluenav software for marine use, but it showed land and sea information simulataenously. The only drawback to the etrex was the screen size, but for the price you can't go wrong.

The C330 is very good, it will put you at the doorstep of your desired destination and is very detailed. We have only had it since July so I can't comment on any map updates as of yet, although I did do a check for anyway software updates on their site for free. I find the screen size easily readable and I would not want much bigger due to blocking my view of the road.

Another option worth considering is the Garmin iQue series, this is a pocket pc with the same gps software as the C330 and uses Windows Mobile 2003. My sister has this unit and she absolutely loves it, and for $300 (plus cost of wireless card; approx $100) it is a relative bargain to a gps only unit.

Garmin has been in the gps business for a long time, and I think they are best in class, I don't think you would regret buying one of their products. I have no experience with tomtom, so I can't offer any input.
TonyM1 is offline  
Old December 9, 2006, 01:17 PM   #3
Excalibur
Member
 
Join Date: September 4, 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 20
I have a Garmin 2830 Navigtor in the car and love it. Fairly easy to use but you will need to RTFM if you want to be able to get where you really wanted to go
Excalibur is offline  
Old December 9, 2006, 02:03 PM   #4
ISP2605
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2002
Posts: 954
http://gpsinformation.net/
They answer more questions than 10 guys could think of to ask.
ISP2605 is offline  
Old December 9, 2006, 02:48 PM   #5
DonR101395
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 30, 2005
Location: NWFL
Posts: 3,029
A lot of it is personal choice and opinion. I like Garmin products. They tend to be easier to use than Magellan. I have friends who swear by Magellan. I've been using Garmins of various styles since 91, so I tend to like them. The Etrax as a whole are a good product. I prefer the basic ETrex instead of the Legend or any of the models with the "joystick". The joystick is the first item to wear out and IMO makes it a little more difficult to use.
I use a Garmin GPS III plus in my truck with the external antenna. It's accurate, seems rugged it's been bouncing around for 4-5 years. They've upgraded it to the V plus now I believe.
DonR101395 is offline  
Old December 13, 2006, 12:19 AM   #6
FirstFreedom
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: The Toll Road State, U.S.A.
Posts: 12,451
Magellen & Garmin are the "Big Two", but don't overlook the 3rd (minor) player, Lowrance. I have the Lowrance i-Finder and it has an awful lot of features for the money.
FirstFreedom is offline  
Old December 13, 2006, 02:18 AM   #7
Kestrel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2001
Posts: 363
Thanks for all the info. I think I have it narrowed down to either the Garmin c550 or the Nuvi 660.

Thanks agian.
Kestrel is offline  
Old December 13, 2006, 12:27 PM   #8
hksigwalther
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: NE OH, USA
Posts: 3,198
Man, I'm on the edge of just about getting a Nüvi 660. Recently, I was in SAM's Saturday to check out computers and noticed the huge endcap display of the 660. One was on display for touchy feely but the pile of Nüvi boxes it was on were all empty, strictly for dislay. Price was $750, IIRC, the best I've seen yet but did not see any pick-up tickets for it. Either it was just a display to gage interest or the tickets were all snapped up before I got there I'm not sure. Didn't bother to ask as I was specifically there for computer shopping and if I did and they were actually available, I probably would have gotten one to my bank account's disappointment.

Went to the same Sam's yesterday to actually buy a computer and the display was gone.
__________________
- Ron V.
hksigwalther is offline  
Old December 13, 2006, 03:18 PM   #9
Kestrel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2001
Posts: 363
Yeah, that Nuvi 660 looks nice. I called Garmin and their tech support trying to find out the difference in the c550 and the Nuvi 660 and they were unable to articulate the differences (other than FM transmitter and formfactor). They said they both have the same OS and interface, but pictures I've seen on the Internet show different screens for the two.

I'll probably go with the Nuvi, though.
Kestrel is offline  
Old December 27, 2006, 07:45 PM   #10
Sberk1
Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2000
Location: SoCal
Posts: 17
Gps

I think Garmin is the best. Easy to use, and great user support. Also Garmin is American. Magellan is French, and TomTom is Dutch I think...
Sberk1 is offline  
Old December 27, 2006, 10:31 PM   #11
skeeter1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 11, 2006
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 3,403
Nix on the Garmin eTrex

I've had one for a number of years for geochaching (http://www.geocaching.com/), and it's not all that easy to use.

I met a gent last summer who had a much fancier model (I don't remember if it was a Garmin or a Magellan), but it was far better. He used it to drive from Dayton, OH right to my front door near Cleveland to pick up the motorcycle I was selling. Much more impressive than the eTrex.
skeeter1 is offline  
Old December 29, 2006, 01:45 PM   #12
Voyager AL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 18, 2006
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 221
I have an old Garmin, and still use it, but just recieved a Dual 3500 for Christmas. it talks, screen is in color. It works great, and it was CHEAP. Less than 400 dollars. It doesnt do all that my Garmin does, like readout of true MPH, or a trip meter. I will use them BOTH on my GoldWing.
Voyager AL is offline  
Old December 29, 2006, 09:04 PM   #13
Kestrel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2001
Posts: 363
Have any of you seen the Garmin 7200? Would it be crazy to put one of those in a Suburban? Is it too big for that?
Kestrel is offline  
Old December 30, 2006, 02:51 PM   #14
Beans
Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2006
Location: Border Country Arizona Territory
Posts: 20
Great with Map and Compass.

Fine with street maps Etc.

D.K.S about GPS

I need a recommendation for a GPS that I will use to find locations in the desert/high country, be able to mark them, plot them on a Topo map and find the same location at a later date. (downloading to a computer would be nice)

I could care less about using a GPS to travel the highways on long distance trips or trying to find my way to the local 7-11 store.

Do I need one hand held and one for my jeep or will one do for both.

Please wind me up and point me in the right/correct direction.
__________________
USMC 1961-1971 Retired
NRA Life member and Instructor
SASS LM 316
Beans is offline  
Old December 30, 2006, 04:58 PM   #15
Voyager AL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 18, 2006
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 221
Beans, a E Trex would do ya fine. it will show ya your coordinates, that a mapping GPS wont. I used one alot back when i did geo-caching. Look on e-bay .
Voyager AL is offline  
Old December 31, 2006, 08:10 PM   #16
300WM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 8, 2006
Posts: 1
I'll also say, look at the Lowrance products. If its just for your car then look at the I-Way, if you want to take it out and use it for other purposes as well, then look at the I-Finders.
300WM is offline  
Old January 8, 2007, 12:11 PM   #17
VNVGUNNER
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2006
Posts: 2
I have the Garmin Nuvi 660 and an old Garmin 330c , the nuvi 660
is the hot GPS as of now although Garmin just introduced the Nuvi 680.
Great screen on the 660.
VNVGUNNER is offline  
Old January 8, 2007, 12:45 PM   #18
hksigwalther
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: NE OH, USA
Posts: 3,198
Welcome aboard.

I foresee a Nüvi 680 in my hands in 2007.
__________________
- Ron V.
hksigwalther is offline  
Old January 13, 2007, 09:44 PM   #19
TomF1938
Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2007
Location: Nassau County, NY
Posts: 28
If you're looking for a car nav gps, I recommend the Nuvi. I've had the 660 since it first came out and I'm still amazed at it. I'ts so intuitive even my tech challenged wife can handle it. (I'll get shot if she reads this!) It has bluetooth phone capabilities as well as mp3 player and a fm transmitter that allows you to pipe it thru your car radio.
__________________
NRA Life Member
TomF1938 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11052 seconds with 7 queries