GPS Information – Trials and Errors

January 2006 After getting frustrated with a Magellan Xplorist 200 GPS and loosing waypoints and having it shut off while in use multiple times I decided to upgrade to a better GPS unit and looked into Family1st Tracking Devices  website to find the best one.

February 2006 I purchased the Garmin Etrex VistaC I’m just starting to learn how to use my new Garmin Etrex Vista C w/o reading the book, because I have always learned more by not reading the book and trying to figure things out…

4-5-06 Time to read the book and really get into all the features of this GPS

12-27-06 Well After many trips and hours upon hours of use this GPS has still hung in there without ever losing waypoints or data and the reception is good, I did have some trouble up in the mountains with tall heavy trees but it managed to work.

1-17-07 I’ve had it about a year now and after taking it through snow and mud 100+ degree weather and below freezing weather I would have to say it takes a beating and keeps on working and i’ve never lost any waypoints, I did however have some trouble in the mountains with heavy tree coverage, but it eventually picked up the satellite signal and started working.

One of the features I like best is the electronic compass which allows you to get a heading with out having to be moving which is real handy when riding a quad or dirt bike because its sometimes hard to look at the screen and get a heading while moving. The odometer and trip computer comes in handy with tons of information such as max speed, total time, moving time, average speed, and much much more

Mounting I would definitely recommend a ram mounting system it allows the gps to be mounting to many different vehicles and because of its ball mount system you cam move the gps to help avoid glare allowing you to see the screen better while traveling in different directions and different times of day, also because of the adjustability of the mount I think it may save the gps in a crash unlike the Magellan bar mount which is fixed and non adjustable.

Basic specifications:

  • Barometric altimeter provides extremely accurate elevation for hikers and climbers
  • Electronic compass so you can get a heading when standing still
  • 256-color, sunlight-readable display makes it easy to distinguish map details and see where you’re going
  • Automatic route generation, off-route recalculation, turn-by-turn directions with alert tones, and icon-driven menus for finding points of interest (when combined with Garmin’s optional MapSource® CDs) navigate you safely to your destination*
  • Longer battery life for more hours of outdoor enjoyment
  • Mini-USB port for fast, convenient download of map data from Garmin’s entire library of optional MapSource CDs using a PC

December 2008 Got the new Garmin Etrex Vista C HcX, more info to follow