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Grabs

GPS unit

Question

I am considering a GPS unit to add to my list of "toys". Here are a couple of things that I need to consider when purchasing this unit. Handheld, WAAS compatible, and Lakemaster compatible.

What else should I be considering? What units do you recommend? I am currently favoring Garmin, because of the experiences others have had with service through them. Should I be considering others? Cost is also an issue,..which I have found to lead directly to the amount of memory. How much memory do I need? What is the difference between memory and number of waypoints that the unit can store? Most say 500 waypoints, but the amount of memory varies....does this control how much labeling I can do with each point or what?

Thanks in advance

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Grabs,
Your list of things to consider narrows your choices down, there are only a couple models that match to Waas compatable. As far as Lakemaster, you can import and export waypoints off their software but not the map itself. Almost any currect model by Garmin, Magellan, and Lowrance can do this. As far as memory, don;t confuse number of waypoints to memory size. They are two different things. Memory listed is how much information you can load from the CD to the unit. But most of the cd's available to upload are propiritary. So not all will work with a given GPS.

Rob

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Rob, thanks for the input. I am currently looking at getting the Garmin Etrex Venture model. It only has 1MB of memory, but the Legend, one model up, has 8MB. The difference in cost is nearly the same as the amount it would cost to upgrade the Venture to the 8MB chip. Any input on the direction I am heading with this purchase?

Now all I need to do is find someone who will buy my $50 Gander gift card, since Gander doesn't carry this model.

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The Garmin Venture is a plotter screen unit, not mapping. The memory on this unit allows downloads from the Points of intrest CD only. And the memory is internal. It can't be changed later. The Ledgend is a mapping unit, it will show the main highways and lakes on the plottr screen. The memory can take downloads from several of Garmins CD's. This gives a overlay to the basic map giving it more detail it is not possible to do this on the Venture.

Rob

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Ok Rob, here is the question. Which GPS unit would you buy if all you were going to do was use it to interface with the Lake Master software to load and store GPS points. Both of which could be used during ice fishing and summer fishing. I don't plan on using it for any thing else, just punch up waypoints and drive to them. Which one would you choose, and why? Both with unlimited budget and with say a fixed budget, trying to buy the cheapest functional unit.

Thanks

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Grabs,
I would probably go for the Magellan 315, it is a basic plotter screen unit that is user friendly. It has the same basic function as the Garmin 12 but has a few advantages, 2 AA batteries vs 4 in the Garmin and the 12v adapter is about half the price and it floats. It will connect to Lakemaster for waypoint management, and holds 500 waypoints.

Rob

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Rob, I looked at the specifications for the Magellan 315, a couple of things come to mind after reading through them. For one, it doesn't appear that the Magellan is WAAS compatible, which is something I think I want in a unit for future use. Second, the operating temperature of the 315 scares me, it is only rated down to 14F, but I can not determine if this is a normal rating or what, especially since most of the electronics I design are rated to -40F and this 14F scares me.

In comparing the Garmin Venture and Magellan 315, I think I would perfer the Venture since, side my side they are very similar units, but the Venture has the WAAS compatiblity for future use when WAAS is released fully. Granted the Venture doesn't float, and I need to find out the temp rating on the Venture also.

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Grabs,

Did you take a look at the Legend? It seems like a pretty nice unit with mapping capability. I think they are going for around $250.

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I went to Gander Mountain today to look for a dash mount unit and the guy told me that all the newer units are WASS(even hand held) enabled.He also said that this feature is on all the time but you will not know if you are recieving a WAAS signal or not.Was I getting straight information?

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The operating temp is more of a factor for the batteries than the unit. If the batteries get cold and drop voltage it will shut the unit off. Unless you are planning on mounting it on a sled I would not be overly concerned.
Some handheld units are WAAS compatable and some are not. The ones that are will show that they are getting a WAAS signal on the satilite status page. The difference in accuracy between the two for water use in not very great. From our testing it has been less than the length of a 17' boat.

Rob

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