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uffdapete

GPS advice

15 posts in this topic

Looking for advice on buying a handheld GPS unit to be used primarily for marking fishing spots. Are there decent units out there for around $150 or less, and if so, what are your recommendations? Also, any accessories that should be considered? Thanks!

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This is a topic I've been meaning to bring up for quite some time.

I have a cheapie Magellan Pioneer. It has been sufficient at finding spots on Mille Lacs, which is primarily where I have used it.

Scoot, you mentioned WAAS.....what is that? I assume it's a feature that utilizes the recent "de-classification" of more accurate GPS readings by the gov't.

I recently marked a hump on an area lake after finally finding it. I went back there last week, punched in the go-to spot and the darn thing was off by two tenths of a mile. That was the first indication that my unit is less than what I need.

I don't want to spend a lot of cash on a new GPS......in fact I've tapped my budget for the year, but how much better performance can I expect from a newer unit?

One more question, when I marked that spot recently, I hit the "mark" button and entered in the descriptors as I continued to drift along. By the time I finished everything, I was quite a ways away from the original spot. It was my assumption that the "mark" would hold the original spot unless changed. Am I correct in that assumption?

Thanks for any info anyone can provide!

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I have a Garmin GPS III and I like it. It has always been a trusty unit for year round use. Has mapping features, just about everything. Garmin discontinued this model a couple years ago or so and I still see them in the stores once in awhile for around $150-$175. The GPS III Plus is better and I have seen them as low as $250.
Garmin also makes other small units for under $150 (i.e. e-trek?) Check them out.

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scoot- what unit are you refering to? The global map is the size of a cell phone and yes most handhelds are battery eaters thats why the cig adapter is good to have. Also the Wide Area Augmentation System is currently avalible in the Raytheon 300-$569.99 and the garmin 76-$219.00. The ifinder has been out for awhile $249.99.

[This message has been edited by D-man (edited 07-26-2001).]

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Huskminn, When you marked your spot it should have saved the coordinates immediately. I'm not familiar with the Pioneer, but you may have a staus screen that will display the number of feet that you could be off by. On my global Nav this is shown on the screen that marks the satelites. Good luck

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Huskminn, whenever you quick save a spot it will save that spot when you save it. Is your unit 12 channel? Is it properly configured for the Mille Lacs area if thats what your fishing? The bottom line in electronics is you get what you pay for. WAAS units and a DGPS reciever are the most accurate but you have to spend some money. Do you really need to get right back on top of the same spot? Fish move so much spending the extra money does not seem worth it. As long as you get back in the same depth you should be all right. Good Luck..

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Comet to think of it, my unit is configured for the Mille Lacs area, but the spot I had trouble with is in the metro area. Would that make a difference?

The unit is a 12 channel and does display the distance to the go-to coordinates. When I found the spot on my own, my GPS indicated I was .23 miles directly south of the coordinates I had previously marked.

I don't worry too much about getting back to the exact same spot, but at times, when I bobber fish at night, I do like to get to a specific hump, dip or ridge.

I can see that I may want to invest in a new unit sometime later this year. I'd love to have one that interfaces with a PC, too.

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I got a Garmin etrex this last winter and have been very happy with it. It's the bottom price wise of the etrex line, around $120. Some of the other etrex's (summit, legend. ect)run well over 250/300, but then your paying for the mapping program and digital compass which you don't need for marking fishing spots. The etrex does have 12 channels, will run 18 hrs on 2 AA's and the cig power cord is $40. accessories are not cheap.

It also has a track back feature that's very accurate and alot of the options of the pricer units. It will also interface with my pc for upgrades in it's software and Map programs like Lake Master. Very compact about the size of a pack of smokes.

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I played with my Magellan ColorTrak a few times. When I stepped of about a 1/4 mile and hit goto (back to my starting point), I ended up about 20 feet from the original spot where I started. That's when the counter on the unit zero'd out. I think 20 feet is pretty accurate. I did it several times.

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Huskin,

As somebody mentioned WAAS is an ancronym for Wide Area Augmentation System- basically it's just another means of cutting the error the units have in half. It is, however, a totally different means of cutting the error via the descrambling of the signal, which happened a while ago now.

D-man- The i-finder is advertised in magazines etc. now (and has been for quite a while), but Lowrance has not actually released functioning units yet (unless you know something I don't know). They've had a series of problems with the unit that they've caught before they've released it. I called Lowrance a couple of days ago and a rep. there told me that it would be several months until they released the unit to actually be purchased. So... it looks like the unit is out if you look in Bass Pro or Cabella's, but you can't actually get them yet.
As for the Global Map, it was just my opinion- don't take it personally. I felt like the unit was too heavy and bulky for me. I agree that the powercord is worth it's weight in gold, regardless of what type of unit you own, but I did think the Global Map really sucked the life out of batteries fast. From the sound of it the i-finder will basically be a Global Map that is thinner, lighter, smaller and will have better battery life- basically all of my gripes about the Global Map. Maybe I'll get one if they ever have a unit that they release!
Scoot

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Lowrance 200 is what i have been using for ice fishing, Good resoultion, plenty of memory, make sure you get a case, cig lighter adapter, ram mount. List for about 180.00-200.00.

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Uffda,

Do you want to have mapping capabilities with your unit? If yes, I strongly endourse the Magellan 330. If no, I'd save the money and get a Garmin 12 for $100 or less (can get really good deals on HSOList- this of course comes with the potential problems of dealing with that system). The 12 is a very basic unit, but if you want nothing more than to mark some spots on water it does the job. I don't believe that it has WAAS capabilities however, so you won't be able to narrow in on a spot quite as close as you would with a unit that did have WAAS- probably not a big deal for most.
I'm on my 4th GPS unit in the last year and a half and I really wasn't satisfied with any before the Magellan 330. I really liked the Lowrance Globalmap, but it was so big, bulky, and ate batteries faster than I could buy them. If you want to wait for a while Lowrance's i-finder should be out in a few months, but they've literally bumped that back half a dozen times and over 1.5 years- so who knows when it will show up on the market.
Good luck,
Scoot

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All GPS units have their good and bad points. Accuracy can vary greatly over a days time, due to your angle from the sats.
If they are direcly overhead or within the 45deg. circle your accuracy will be reduced. The longer the angle used in the triagulation the greater the accuracy. WASS uses a second signal from another satalite pair. It does increase accuracy BUT, there are only two satalites. One over the Atlantic one over the Pacific. The signals are not easy to recieve here in the midwest unless you are in an aircraft about 1000' up.
In the $150 range there are several models that work well Garmin E-Trex, Magellan 315, Garmin 12, ect. Look at all the options in the unit, how easy are the functions accessed, battery life, accessory cost, screen clarity. There is no "best" one each has its own functions to fit a different consumers needs.

Rob

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Thanks for all your input and advice. It makes it easier to ask for advice here and be able to think about it and then also to know what questions to ask on the sales floor.

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Garmin GPS12...Bar None! Execellent price for a great unit. Very easy to use. I've had mine for 4 years now and wouldn't trade in for another unit.

You can e-mail me at legendelite@yahoo.com if you have any questions or need more information.

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