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Thread: Best handheld GPS?
03-07-2007, 04:45 PM #1
Best handheld GPS?
'GPS' is too small for a search, so if you know of any existing threads, lemme know.
The GPS60CSX is what I got as a present. It's the nicest present I've ever recieved, I think. But the topo software doesn't work with Macs. Otherwise it looks perfect. Any other ideas?
I know nothing about GPS units, btw.
03-07-2007, 05:30 PM #2
boot camp-able mac? then you'd be set fine...Originally Posted by BSS
03-07-2007, 05:32 PM #3
I'm also interested in a good GPS. Can't afford to spend $500 or anything, but would love to find one for a couple.
03-07-2007, 05:34 PM #4
03-07-2007, 05:45 PM #5
03-07-2007, 06:12 PM #6
Looks like I'll use my roommates PC until Garmin becomes Apple compatible sometime this year. I hope they stick to that plan....
03-07-2007, 07:46 PM #7Originally Posted by BSS
03-07-2007, 10:10 PM #8
Yes, GPS software is not Mac friendly. I can only use National Geo TOPO. I have heard Garmin was going to try to be Mac friendly, but with the new dual Intels that run Windows, they probably aren't rushing that.
That said, I want a new Garmin Edge and a new IMac next month for my birthday....last....November. Please.
It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.
03-08-2007, 05:08 AM #9
Slightly off topic but relevant -
In my past life I used garmon gps' for geological mapping in the Australian out-back. Sometimes if we were on the side of a large hill that reduced the size of the sky we wouldn't be able to pick up enough satellites to get a position. Even a dense tree canopy seemed to cunt things up.
I'm not sure if I'm telling you something you know already - I suspect in the US there's more sats available - but if you're heading to other parts of the world make sure you test them before you need them. They may not be the fail safe tool you're hoping for.
Different times of the day effected things to.
(for reference this was 2002/03)Nine out of ten Jeremy's prefer a warm jacket to a warm day
03-08-2007, 06:42 AM #10
Garmin are pretty much the standard right now.
Buy one and carry on.
edit: gps software support for macs is fucking atrocious. can't help you on that front.
Last edited by Free Range Lobster; 03-08-2007 at 06:45 AM.The only thing worse than the feeling that you are going to die is the realization that you probably won't.
03-08-2007, 06:46 AM #11
I've got the Garmin GS60csx and a Mac, so have some of the same issues. My real problem is that the batteries go down faster than a French prizefighter. Otherwise it's a nice toy.
I'm taking it to the Alps next week to see if I find it more useful than just a toy to track my vertical, average speeds, etc. If not, I will probably return it to REI.
Another issue I have discovered - most of the published Colorado hut coordinates do NOT match what I find in the field. In other words, if I punched in the published coords and navigated to them I would've missed the hut by 1/4 to 1/2 mile each time. Not the GPS' fault, I know, but the tool is only as good as the data you rely upon.
03-08-2007, 06:56 AM #12Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
- Vienna, Austria
In a european test the newest version of the GS60 had clearly the best reception, I very rarely lose reception even in the trees.
Last edited by DB; 03-08-2007 at 06:58 AM.
03-08-2007, 08:54 AM #13
All maps have a coordinate system.
A coordinate system consists of a datum (NAD27, NAD83, WGS84 etc) and a projection (Lat/Long, UTM etc).
Every point on the earth can be desribed by coordinates (a set of two numbers). For UTM projections the coordinate is expressed in meters (East and North). For Latitude and longitude projections the coordinate is expressed in degrees/minutes/seconds (DEGMINSEC). GPS units have the ability to show you your location in either degrees or meters. There is only one Lat/Long coordinate system for the entire earth but there are 60 UTM systems - refered to as UTM zones. There are five UTM zones in BC (7,8,9,10,11). Your GPS will have the ability to automatically detect which zone your are in.
When you travel in the backcountry with a GPS you should also have a govt. topo map for that area (a GPS is not a substitute for a map, it is to be used used in conjunction with one). Every govt. paper map will clearly state the coordinate system on the bottom of the map. All Canadian govt. topo maps are produced in UTM projection (UTM = Universal Transverse Mercator) with either the NAD83 or NAD27 datum. This is often expressed as one piece of information (ie. UTM NAD83, or UTM NAD27).
What you need to do is determine the coordinate sytem used for the map that you have and then set the GPS to the same coordinate system. E.g., if your map says "Universal Transverse Mercator NAD83 zone 10", you would set your GPS to UTM NAD83. Zone 10 would be detected automatically (this is probably what "U 10" means on your unit).
When set to UTM, your GPS will show you a coordinate that looks something like this.
The East value is specific to the zone that you are in, the north value is your distance from the equator, in meters.
Your map will also have a square UTM grid across it, with meters-north shown on the sides and meters-east shown on the top and bottom. Your location on the map is the point that matches the GPS coordinate (just like playing Battleship). Govt topo maps don't have Latitude/Longitude grid lines on them, so you are better off using UTM when trying to locate yourself on a map.
An important thing to note here is that a location on the earth (or map) will have a different coordinate for each coordinate system. For example, the GPS will show a different coordinate for UTM NAD27 than it will for UTM NAD83, for the same location. This also applies to Lat/Long projections, not just UTM. If you don't set the coordinate system correctly you could easily be more than 200 metres away from where you think you are. This is why YOU MUST SET YOUR GPS COORDINATE SYSTEM TO MATCH THE COORDINATE SYSTEM OF YOUR MAP OR ELSE YOU WILL INCORRECTLY DETERMINE YOUR LOCATION! When someone gives you "GPS" coordinates for a location you should always ask them which coordinate system they were using. Sadly, this information is often neglected on hiking sites.If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.
03-08-2007, 09:28 AM #14
The 60CSx is the best civilian handheld unit that I can think of.
03-08-2007, 12:15 PM #15
for resort skiing, check out www.mountaindynamics.com
03-08-2007, 02:33 PM #16
03-08-2007, 03:13 PM #17
Here's my question - of these handhelds, they're equally valuable in the woods as they are in, say, a big city? I was in Prague a few months back, and when we parked the car we made the mistake of not immediately noting exactly where we were parked, instead using locations like churches and Pilsner Urquell/Budweiser bar signs as landmarks...except yeah those are EVERYWHERE in Prague. Would have been much better to just have been able to mark the car as a waypoint, wander away, and then make a beeline back - the streets wind and meander, and you can't tell where you're going. Took us like 3 hours to find the car.
Anyway, I'd like a handheld I can use in the woods/survival situations, as well as cities - I don't want one of those bulky car units. Plus it'd be nice if it works world-wide.Originally Posted by BSS
08-26-2007, 07:29 AM #18
I just picked up a legend CX for 225.00 loaded with Mapsource for my area, it's battery life was pretty good. I may be able to get someone the same hookup w/o the Map source basemaps
08-26-2007, 07:41 AM #19
I have an older version, the 60CS (not CSx). One thing that a Garmin rep told me about the 60CSx: do not use lithium batteries in it. For some reason they do not work well in the CSx; stick to alkaline.
08-26-2007, 07:46 AM #20For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was
08-26-2007, 10:31 AM #21
The 60CSx is equipped with a new generation of processor that is supposed to be able to hole a lock in much more challenging conditions than previous models.
08-26-2007, 02:18 PM #22Stuck in the middle
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
- Gnar Towne City, US
Also a 60CSx user here. Love the device, so snappy for reception. Also like the removable memory card.
As far as topo software for a Mac...you might be boned. Apparently, back in 2006 you should of been able to get your mitts on some GPS software from Garmin: http://www8.garmin.com/pressroom/cor...006.html...but obviously, you've seen how that turned out.
The only thing I can think of is installing virtual computing software (like VMWare) and installing a Windows OS to run Garmin's MapSource software. A lot of work, but that's all I got.
For making and transfering waypoints (say, for Geocaching), I'm sure you can find some freeware to do this, or you can buy a subscription to Google Earth, which is the best waypoint manager there is: super easy to use and has tons of cool features. It's $20. Good luck!10/11 days on snow: 5
10/11 days with your mom: 16
08-26-2007, 02:38 PM #23
CO garmin users lookie here: http://www.abovethetimber.com/Features.htm
WAY better than mapsource 1:100,000 topo lines, the 1:24,000 is the shit, now if they only did more states..."Yes, what we do is dangerous, but I'm lucky - I know how to do it. It's changed the way we look at mountains. For me it would be crazy to live in a big city and work on Wall Street. That's insane. I would never do that. I'm living the dream. It's the greatest job ever."
08-26-2007, 08:04 PM #24Gu-powered Tech bindings
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
- Amherst, Mass.
08-26-2007, 08:23 PM #25Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
I've been investigating buying a bluetooth GPS Receiver (~$70) and using it with my phone for driving/directions. It could also be used with a computer then for a bigger screen and driving directions.
I've heard mixed reviews of doing things that way thoughElvis has left the building
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