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EMBA Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do the hand held units with the antenna keep their reception any better then the ones that looks like a smart phone. I have an old GPSMap60 that I am thinking of replacing because the screen is just getting too hard to read for these old eyes. I have found an eTrex 30 on sale and was looking to get that. But being used to the old style GPS I was just wondering. Thanks a lot for the help. Slim
 

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Ride More, Work Less
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7,774 Posts
It depends on terrain. My Fenix 2 watch tracks very nicely hiking. And my edge 510 does great on single track. Both are small units with no external antennas. If you don't need ultimate accuracy, there are many great options.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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31,432 Posts
There are two main antenna types. The ones with the protruding antenna (like your old 60) use a quad helix antenna. The ones without a protruding antenna use a patch antenna, which is a flat square that fits inside the device conveniently.

A quad helix antenna is still a better option for accuracy, but the differences now are not as significant as they used to be. The difference used to be huge, but with the improvement in GPS processor chips (and especially those with support for multiple satellite constellations like the newer etrex models and others), the differences are more subtle. All else being equal, a quad helix antenna will be marginally better, but you'll have to do statistical analysis on your data to really see it. It won't be readily obvious to casual observers.

FYI, an "external" antenna would be what you plug into the port on the back of your 60. It will have a cord and allow you to attach the antenna to the top of your pack or hat, or magnetically stick to the roof of a vehicle.
 
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