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Old 01-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
C-Stain OP
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eTrex 30 or Nuvi 550?

So, I'm notoriously frugal. Some would say "Cheap", but I prefer "Frugal".

I would like a new GPS that gives me the ability to add my own routes, is waterproof and will give me the options I need for Dual Sport Riding, without the hassle of constantly switching the device I'm using.

My options?

I can purchase a second hand Garmin Nuvi 550 with all the RAM mount accessories. From what I understand, the NUVI 550 can accept Garmin Topo maps, but not in the same detail that you'll get from an eTrex model. If I buy this used model, I save $100. That's a few tanks of gas.

I can also purchase a brand new Garmin eTrex 30 - for $259. It doesn't include any mounts or other accessories. However, I can get the Topo Maps that will cover any of the dual sport riding that I will do and I can get City Navigator for it that will cover any street riding as well.

Pros to the eTrex? It is brand new and comes with warranty.

If you were going to do it, which would you buy, given the options presented?

Thanks for you help!

C.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
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Thrifty! THE word is THRIFTY

Do you want the capability to follow tracks as well as routes?
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 250senuf View Post
Do you want the capability to follow tracks as well as routes?
Yes! I hope to ride pieces of the TCAT in the coming years and want to record, share and ride other people's tracks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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Nuvis don't do tracks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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The Nuvi 550 doesn't accept tracks and the Etrex has a small screen, the connector for external power is a problem on both.
I would strongly suggest you consider the Garmin 78, under $200 and free shipping.
This is the newly undated replacement for the 76 which is a close cousin of the famed 60Cx. Sadly when the 60 was updated to the 62 it lost the good power connector while the 78 still has it. Being a handheld you will need maps, a RAM mount and power cable (if hardwired). You seem to have a handle on the maps and the other two are inexpensive.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs..._-1?icid=HF1_2

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:05 PM   #6
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Get a Garmin 78 as I mentioned in my PM to you, Craig. $200 at West Marine is an awesome price for that unit. Or if you prefer to buy in Canada, you can get it for $240 at GPSCity.ca.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 250senuf View Post
Nuvis don't do tracks.
What do you mean by this? I have a Nuvi 550 which I have used for years for road touring. I'm doing the TAT this summer and was hoping to use this GPS. I've downloaded routes from Basecamp onto my unit and even got a sample file from Sam (the TAT guy) before committing to buy all the files for the TAT. I was able to download it and I see a route on the screen.

But, what I'm wondering is what happens if theres no GPS-recognizeable road to follow?
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Emmbeedee View Post
Get a Garmin 78 as I mentioned in my PM to you, Craig. $200 at West Marine is an awesome price for that unit. Or if you prefer to buy in Canada, you can get it for $240 at GPSCity.ca.
Just doing some research now and that looks like the way to go. I can pick one up at MEC for $245 - so that's not too bad. I always get dinged for GST at the Border so sometimes buying local is the way to go.

Thanks for the advice! Looks like there's a new GPS in my very near future.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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But, what I'm wondering is what happens if theres no GPS-recognizeable road to follow?
Then things go sideways.

A GPS that can use tracks can get you there even without a mapset loaded. Just follow the line on the otherwise empty screen.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by C-Stain View Post
Just doing some research now and that looks like the way to go. I can pick one up at MEC for $245 - so that's not too bad. I always get dinged for GST at the Border so sometimes buying local is the way to go.

Thanks for the advice! Looks like there's a new GPS in my very near future.
Get MEC to match GPSCity's price. It's only $5 but that's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

And if you do get that, I have a power cable you can have.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:00 PM   #11
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How about a factory refurbished Garmin Oregon 450 for $199, listed by Garmin on ebay. Includes 1 year warranty.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/251177277144...84.m1438.l2649
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:04 PM   #12
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How about a factory refurbished Garmin Oregon 450 for $199, listed by Garmin on ebay. Includes 1 year warranty.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/251177277144...84.m1438.l2649
Just say NO to USB only power.
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"The motorcycle, being poorly designed for both flight and marine operation, sustained significant external and internal damage," police noted.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Emmbeedee View Post
Just say NO to USB only power.
What do you mean by "USB only power"?

I'm considering the 78 ($200 new at West Marine), but like the added features of altimeter and compass on the 78s ($290 new on ebay), Etrex30 ($250 refurb on ebay), Oregon 450 ($200 refurb on ebay).

But there's also the Dakota 20 and also the Montana 600 for those with the deep pockets. Arg! - too many options!!

I'm looking for a good reapsonably priced (under $300) GPS to use instead of my Nuvi 550 for the TAT this summer and future off road motorcycle adventures. I'm seeing the 78 recommended by a few people, but why is this one better than the others?
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sludminger View Post
What do you mean by "USB only power"?

I'm seeing the 78 recommended by a few people, but why is this one better than the others?
Most of the recent crop of Garmin handhelds only used the mini usb connector for external power and this has proven to wear out rapidly, usually within a year, then stop connecting.

The Montana is the ultimate gps right now, for many reasons, but especially for the surface mount power connection when used with the $33 Rugged Mount.

The 78 series is unique in that it still has the rugged 4 pin power connector as well as usb. So if you don't have $450 to spend on a Montana, the 78(S) is the one to get.




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"The motorcycle, being poorly designed for both flight and marine operation, sustained significant external and internal damage," police noted.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:44 AM   #15
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Are there any good choices to consider under $100? (I'm even more frugal...)
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