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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:57 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I trolled through all the old forums and this was touched on, but not as its own topic and some of the observations from the past are now getting old.

Anyway, despite using multiple GPSr units when we cache, the biggest frustration we continue to have is erratic signal reception in tree cover. Currently we use Lowrances and I love the user interface and some of the other features compared to other units we have experimented with, but the Lowrance's big downfall is working in anything but clear blue sky, which makes it not the best choice for the type of caching we like to do.

I posted a question within the "Oregon" thread as well since Garmin purportedly has the best antennae, but I thought I would throw it out to the community as a whole.
 
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Timberline Echoes
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-07-25
Posts: 2081
Location: Eagle River, WI, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:19 am Reply with quote Back to top

People may laugh but I have found that the little Foretrex wrist GPSr stays locked in. I have put it in my pocket, gone into a rest room and come out and it is still locked in most times. It rarely ever looses the signal.
TE
 
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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 6022
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:52 am Reply with quote Back to top

We had a Magellan Explorist 400 which really held the signal in heavy cover. Unfortunately, it needed repairs, they don't repair it and they've discontinued that model.

I hate planned obsolesence.

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Trekkin' and Birdin'
Let's just go out and find caches and be done with it! 
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Averith
WGA Board Member
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Joined: 2006-10-23
Posts: 935
Location: Sheboygan, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:47 am Reply with quote Back to top

I know most people will disagree with me but my Magellan Triton 2000 in spite of some it's other problems seems to hold it's signal lock through just about everything we've thrown at it. Dense woods, cloud cover, one story buildings, etc. Just my humble opinion.

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bartrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-03-12
Posts: 1086
Location: Oconto, WI-The birthplace of western civilization

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:20 am Reply with quote Back to top

gotta run wrote:
Anyway, despite using multiple GPSr units when we cache, the biggest frustration we continue to have is erratic signal reception in tree cover. Currently we use Lowrances and I love the user interface and some of the other features compared to other units we have experimented with, but the Lowrance's big downfall is working in anything but clear blue sky, which makes it not the best choice for the type of caching we like to do.


My Lowrance works reasonably well in tree cover...sometimes better than others, as I'm sure is true of most units. But have you checked your antenna on the status menu...sometimes playing around with options accidentally changes preferred settings. The internal antenna might have been switched to a passive external antenna. Speaking of which, I believe you can add an active external antenna...at least to some units. You might want to fool around with that. It's also that possibly resetting your options to factory defaults might improve reception...if that won't screw up any desired options that you've set. Just a thought[Very Happy]
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:31 am Reply with quote Back to top

Timberline Echoes wrote:
People may laugh but I have found that the little Foretrex wrist GPSr stays locked in.
TE


Funny because we use the Forerunner 201 and 301 for running and we lose signals on this on trail runs all the time!
 
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hogrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:45 am Reply with quote Back to top

Averith wrote:
I know most people will disagree with me but my Magellan Triton 2000 in spite of some it's other problems seems to hold it's signal lock through just about everything we've thrown at it. Dense woods, cloud cover, one story buildings, etc. Just my humble opinion.


The Triton Series Uses the same chipset as the Garmin 60csx, the sirfIII. I have no doubt it holds lock in the woods very well.


I have a 60Cx and it holds lock in pretty much any situation, but accuracy is effected when in the thick woods or canyons. Notice any gps with a "high sensitivity chipset" doesn't claim better accuracy in poor conditions but just that it holds lock better.

Unless your in the open I wouldn't expect anything better than 20-30ft accuracy, though its usually be better than that.
 
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hogrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

gotta run wrote:

Currently we use Lowrances


What model? I owned a h2o for a few day and it was pretty good in the woods, though sometimes it would loose signal. If I compared it to my 60Cx sitting in my house, there was no comparison. The 60cx NEVER would loose lock where the H2o would every few hours go though 20-30 minute fits of loosing lock constantly(the reason i returned it).

I realized this was an older model when I tried it so I'm sure the newer Lowrance models are using much better gps chipsets. I really liked the Lowrance and would definitely consider another one.

You might want to check out the new handheld models Lowrance has coming out, The Endura Series.

Endura Out & Back: http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Outdoors/Endura-Out-Back/

Endura Safari: http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Outdoors/Endura-Safari/

Endura Sierra: http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Outdoors/Endura-Sierra/
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

hogrod wrote:
gotta run wrote:

Currently we use Lowrances


What model? I owned a h2o for a few day and it was pretty good in the woods, though sometimes it would loose signal. If I compared it to my 60Cx sitting in my house, there was no comparison. The 60cx NEVER would loose lock where the H2o would every few hours go though 20-30 minute fits of loosing lock constantly(the reason i returned it).

I realized this was an older model when I tried it so I'm sure the newer Lowrance models are using much better gps chipsets. I really liked the Lowrance and would definitely consider another one.

You might want to check out the new handheld models Lowrance has coming out, The Endura Series.

Endura Out & Back: http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Outdoors/Endura-Out-Back/

Endura Safari: http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Outdoors/Endura-Safari/

Endura Sierra: http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Outdoors/Endura-Sierra/


We use a pair if Ifinder H20Cs, which I really like for the user interface.

What I'm hearing is that the Garmin 60s are really good signal-wise.

However, those Oregons do have that jazzy touch screen interface...
 
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hogrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

gotta run wrote:

We use a pair if Ifinder H20Cs, which I really like for the user interface.

What I'm hearing is that the Garmin 60s are really good signal-wise.

However, those Oregons do have that jazzy touch screen interface...



You might want to look at those Lowrance models I mentioned above, they also have a touch screen(but it also still has buttons for some functions). They are preloaded with maps & the one model can even do autorouting.

Another Really good GPS for signal would be the Delorme PN-40. I haven't use one but have heard lots of good things. The Pn-40 also comes with maps.

If you are looking for cheapest price, Battery life & good signal in the woods I would be any of the Etrex H models. I've used the VistaHCX and never lost signal. There were a few quirks with this model at the time where it would show your position off a bit until you turned the unit off and on. I'm not sure if they have ever updated the unit software to fix this but either way it's still a very good unit.
 
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hogrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

You ever update the Unit software(firmware) on your H2OC?

Quite often these updates fix numerous issues and could make the unit work better. I updated the H2O I had, it was a pretty simple process. You just downloaded the update file on the PC, transfer to and SD card and put the card in the unit. I don't remember if it was automatic or if I had to load the file from some menu, but simple either way.

The software update for the H20C can be found here:
http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Outdoors/iFINDER-H2O-C/Downloads/
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:41 pm Reply with quote Back to top

hogrod wrote:
You ever update the Unit software(firmware) on your H2OC?



No, because the software on the unit is NEWER than the software update! Shocked . The unit shows version 1.2.0, whereas the site shows a 1.1.0 download.

I did check to make sure the "ext passive antenna" was unchecked.

I just think these things are dodgy when it comes to tree cover. Which is why we use two, which probably doesn't make a lot of sense, plus it doubles our battery costs (lithum AAs aren't cheap as you all know).

The problem with the Endura is they are not available yet, so I don't know if they do any better reception-wise. They do have the touchscreen for the cool factor.

However, Garmin seems to do a better job with geocaching-specific applications.
 
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AstroDon




Joined: 2007-01-29
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:15 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We use the 60CSx and I don't remember the last time we lost the signal since we switched to it. Accuracy is pretty good as well, in open areas 9-12ft is the norm and 19-24ft is pretty typical in the woods.

That being said, my biggest complaint with the unit is the response time of the directional arrow. It tends to lag behind us which can be annoying when doing a multi.

Don
 
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kc9gbo
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-06-07
Posts: 254
Location: West Salem, Wi.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hello all, first time posting here.
Here is a link to a discussion on the Lowrance Enduras: http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=122342

The site is really informative and seems to have an in at Lowrance, I've asked for help on there with my gps and they always have the info I need. (Sorry for thread stealing)
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:06 am Reply with quote Back to top

Well ok, so our pair of Lowrances lost us in the woods for what I vowed to be the last time recently. Doing more reading on this topic elsewhere, lost of people report the problem of signal degredation and difficulty achieving lock as the units get older, so this may be a fault.

Anyway, we are now in possession of an Oregon 400t. The signal strength and speed of lock-on is amazing. Under 30 seconds to lock right out of the box--I don't know if that's typical for Garmin owners but for "not knowing where it was last" it was incredible. From thereon, it was locked within seconds after turning it on each time. Even faster than our pair of Forerunners we use for running.

In the woods, it was no problem. We had the Lowrances along as well and they would drift and wander but the Oregon was spot on.

This morning as a test I went to the most central part of our home on the first floor (of 2 stories), turned it on and I had a signal lock in 30 seconds.

So based on this limited experience, I'm a believer.

Now, about the user interface of the Oregon...that will take some getting used to. Some very, very good things, but some things that it appears not to have that I would like it to have. Maybe I'm just missing them for now. But the "lost in the woods" problem is hopefully solved.

Or at least if (when?) we're lost, we can't blame it on the GPSr anymore.
 
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