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Vaginatarian
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Juhs22 said:
Jdub:

I am weighing the cost/benefit of the 60 CSx vs the Etrex series. How much bigger is the 60CSx vs the Etrex and is it OK for driving?

Would you mount it on your handlebars or is it too big for that?

Thanks in advance
its about the same size as the etrex except for the antenae, You could do the handlebar mount, I just keep it in my cell phone pocket strapped to my camelback strap. Its really great for driving, I got the car kit( 2 holders, power cord and streets and cities for north america) on my dash , in a convertable, with the sun behind me I could read the display perfectly. While it doesnt talk to you it does beep and the screen changes (zooms in ) when your coming up to a direction change. it also computes new directions if you miss a turn, I was very impressed
 

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Hey, good info on the etrex in this thread! I just borrowed my dads etrex summit and am surprised to hear I can do topographical data using motion based software! Can you tell me how to go about doing this? I've read most the manual and have a good understanding of the unit but I don't have a serial cable yet. I suppose I'll need that to upload the data to a GPS topographical service/software right? Any info appreciated on how to get the data from the etrex to the topo software appreciated and loading the GPS data. Thanks, Chris
 

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I use the basic Etrex and Oziexplorer mapping software (~US$100). It does all I need it to do. Scan a map, load it into Oziexplorer, georeference it and after that you can make waypoints, tracks routes etc. for uploading into the Etrex or download from the GPS.
 

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I ride in similar conditions (forest with high canopy usually) and recently changed from a Legend C to a GPSMap 60CSx. I used a repeater antenna for the Legend and it did ok, but lost signal sometimes. The 60CSx does much better (and you can also attach an external antenna to it if you feel necessary).
 

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Thrasher said:
Hey, good info on the etrex in this thread! I just borrowed my dads etrex summit and am surprised to hear I can do topographical data using motion based software! Can you tell me how to go about doing this? I've read most the manual and have a good understanding of the unit but I don't have a serial cable yet. I suppose I'll need that to upload the data to a GPS topographical service/software right? Any info appreciated on how to get the data from the etrex to the topo software appreciated and loading the GPS data. Thanks, Chris
Motional Based uses an "Agent" to pull the data off your GPS and send it to the web. They want you to upload your GPS data after every ride as the Save doesn't keep the time data for time and speed analysis.

Of course, you'll need a serial cable. If you can't find your Dad's, then you can get them at some electronics stores, or places like Amazon.com.

I recently started using Motion Based after seeing all the great analysis. You can upload as many rides as you want for analysis, but can only store 10 of them for free.
 

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beanbag said:
I was considering getting a GPS for biking and hiking, but the problem is that most of the time I am in areas shaded by trees. How good are these GPS units under these conditions? For example, take a look at these two pics:
https://bahiker.com/pictures/southbay/smcp/websize/023trail.jpg
https://bahiker.com/pictures/southbay/smcp/websize/041trail.jpg
I sometimes ride in similar conditions. My eTrex Vista can usually do OK if the trees aren't too high and you're on a flat or south facing slope. But the worst reception is conditions like that on the north side of a very steep hill with tall trees, such as Soquel Demonstration Forest in NorCal. Then I get very intermittent reception, a signal every couple miles in an opening.

I got the new Garmin GPSMap60CSx for it's better SiRFIII receiver chip, and expandable memory to 2 GB (the whole US). It never cuts out even in such conditions.

I've had my eTrex Vista on the handlebars for 3 years and it's very rugged and lasted very well through three bike frame breaks, zillions of endovers,.... But the 60CSx hasn't done as well for some of us. Dan'ger broke his twice in thee months and then went to the VistaCx with acceptable reception for his riding. It's probably a little better reception than my B&W Vista. Myself, I still use the Vista on the handlebars for navigation, and the 60CSx in the camelbak for recording tracks. Yes, I carry two GPS units. But it works.

Also, two days out of the box, I rolled down a very steep hill and cracked the buttons on the 60CSx while it was in the pack, and caused $800 of repair on the bike, some annual maintenance. But the Vista on the bars was untouched. I keep wishing they'd put the SiRFIII in a more rugged eTrex line, but no such luck.

On my heavily forested Oregon trip last week, the Vista got most all the tracks of the 60CSx.The worst was the steep north facing forested hill down from Larison Rock. I show the Vista track in white versus the 60CSx in yellow. You can see the straight lines where the Vista lost reception for a fraction of a mile. (Ignore the big straight line from Greenwaters camp, I had the Vista off on the shuttle bus ride going up.) It still gets the general ride, even on this north facing steep wooded slope, but pretty poor resolution. This is worst case of reception I tend to see with the Vista.

By comparison, I show the track of the Vista on the Middle Fork ride. This follows along the heavily forested river between two mountains, but on a shallower slope hills. Here the Vista (in yellow) is practically indistinguishable from the 60CSx. However, on the total trip, I lost perhaps 2 miles off the 28 mile ride as as the Vista didn't get reception here or there. You an see one long yellow line with lost reception around the middle of the ride. Not horrible but annoying.
 

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BigLarry said:
Motional Based uses an "Agent" to pull the data off your GPS and send it to the web. They want you to upload your GPS data after every ride as the Save doesn't keep the time data for time and speed analysis.

Of course, you'll need a serial cable. If you can't find your Dad's, then you can get them at some electronics stores, or places like Amazon.com.

I recently started using Motion Based after seeing all the great analysis. You can upload as many rides as you want for analysis, but can only store 10 of them for free.
Excellent! I'm checking out that site now. So, I should be able to upload upto 10 rides to their site for topology analysis for free? Also, I'm going to buy a Car Poweradapter/Serial Connection cable that works with the summit etrex off ebay. That way I should be able to upload my data to their site for topology analyis right? I basically went on a ride today for 11 miles. Once I turned the etrex summit on it began logging and I made 3 waypoints along my ride. I used my start point as a waypoint, the top of the foothill and another spot. I got familiar with the unit today and was pretty impressed with it so far. After my ride way done I choose to save the tracks. The unit aske me how far back I wanted to save. I choosed to save back until 11:00am when I began. Is this the data I would upload to the motionbased website to analyze?

Also, thanks for that software info Halcyon. I'll check that out as well.

Thanks again.. Chris
 

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Thrasher said:
Excellent! I'm checking out that site now. So, I should be able to upload upto 10 rides to their site for topology analysis for free? Also, I'm going to buy a Car Poweradapter/Serial Connection cable that works with the summit etrex off ebay. That way I should be able to upload my data to their site for topology analyis right? I basically went on a ride today for 11 miles. Once I turned the etrex summit on it began logging and I made 3 waypoints along my ride. I used my start point as a waypoint, the top of the foothill and another spot. I got familiar with the unit today and was pretty impressed with it so far. After my ride way done I choose to save the tracks. The unit aske me how far back I wanted to save. I choosed to save back until 11:00am when I began. Is this the data I would upload to the motionbased website to analyze?

Also, thanks for that software info Halcyon. I'll check that out as well.

Thanks again.. Chris
You can upload and analyze as many tracks as you want. It only saves 10 of them.

Your waypoints are best used to make routes for future rides by stringing them together. You can proabably download the free "Trip and Waypoint Manager" off Garmin.com's web site.

The track log can be turned on and off via the Track screen. You don't want to Save if you use the Motion Based Agent because Garmin's Save doesn't store the time for MB's speed and timing analysis.

No harm done, delete your just-saved track and run the Agent.

Before a ride, you want to Clear your active log, or you'll get tracks of different rides stuck together. Before you clear, run the MB Agent, and/or save as you did. Garmin's software mentioned above can save all your tracks. Again you only get timeinfo on the "Active Log". You can also Save the track on your eTrex, which is reduced to 500 points and eliminates time info. for reduced file size. This "saved" track can also be uploaed and saved to your computer using Garmin's software, but no Motion Based's web program.
 

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garmin foretrex 101
It's dirt cheap, has basic track, waypoint, distance functionality (which is all I need), it's pretty accurate, it's really small (so I actually use it, unlike the big inaccurate GPS I bought a decade ago), and it uses AAA batteries so I can bring spares on long trips.
It doesn't use maps, but my guess is that the maps I would upload to a more expensive unit probably aren't all that helpfull on the trails I ride/hike/ski anyway. I think the maps are more useful in a boat or car than on a trail.
 

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BigLarry said:
You can upload and analyze as many tracks as you want. It only saves 10 of them. Your waypoints are best used to make routes for future rides by stringing them together. You can proabably download the free "Trip and Waypoint Manager" off Garmin.com's web site. The track log can be turned on and off via the Track screen. You don't want to Save if you use the Motion Based Agent because Garmin's Save doesn't store the time for MB's speed and timing analysis. No harm done, delete your just-saved track and run the Agent. Before a ride, you want to Clear your active log, or you'll get tracks of different rides stuck together. Before you clear, run the MB Agent, and/or save as you did. Garmin's software mentioned above can save all your tracks. Again you only get timeinfo on the "Active Log". You can also Save the track on your eTrex, which is reduced to 500 points and eliminates time info. for reduced file size. This "saved" track can also be uploaed and saved to your computer using Garmin's software, but no Motion Based's web program.
Great, thanks again for this info. I'm going to research it a little more after I get my PC interface cable. I'll try the free software offered by garmin first to plot waypoints. If I were to plot my waypoints would I need to make consecutive waypoints allong my rides and then do a final waypoint at the end of the ride which would be the same waypoint as the beginning in order to close the loop so to speak? Sorry I'm still a little confused since I haven't tried using the software yet. Also, essentially if I were to use the motion based software I shouldn't save my track just turn the unit off and then upload data to their agent afterwards? And as suggested I should clear my current track by going to tracks and then choosing clear before starting my ride correct? Sorry the manual is limited on the tracks log info. I'm not to concerned about accurate speed and time estimations at this time. I just want to successfully plot for now. Thanks GPS MTB'ers :thumbsup:
 

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Crisillo and Larry,

thanks for the useful advice. Problem is that the 60CSx is nearly $400! Aren't there any cheaper ones with the SIRF 3 chipset? Or if not, will the prices be dropping soon? Thanks
 

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Yeah, the 60csx is expensive. You could also look at the Edge models, which also have the SIRF 3 chipset, but have no mapping capabilities. They will, of course, allow you to see the track when you connect to the PC and allow you to follow waypoints. However the Edge models are only marginally cheaper (well the Edge 205 is a big chunk cheaper ;) ). I have no idea if prices will change....
 

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beanbag said:
Crisillo and Larry,

thanks for the useful advice. Problem is that the 60CSx is nearly $400! Aren't there any cheaper ones with the SIRF 3 chipset? Or if not, will the prices be dropping soon? Thanks
Actually, there's a rebate for $50 right now. And I'd seen it for around $360 at various times, bringing it down to low $300 range. For the features, that's a bargain, and why the 60CSx is the most popular in outdoor GPS units. I've spent almost that much in all my map sets.
 

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Thrasher said:
Great, thanks again for this info. I'm going to research it a little more after I get my PC interface cable. I'll try the free software offered by garmin first to plot waypoints. If I were to plot my waypoints would I need to make consecutive waypoints allong my rides and then do a final waypoint at the end of the ride which would be the same waypoint as the beginning in order to close the loop so to speak? Sorry I'm still a little confused since I haven't tried using the software yet. Also, essentially if I were to use the motion based software I shouldn't save my track just turn the unit off and then upload data to their agent afterwards? And as suggested I should clear my current track by going to tracks and then choosing clear before starting my ride correct? Sorry the manual is limited on the tracks log info. I'm not to concerned about accurate speed and time estimations at this time. I just want to successfully plot for now. Thanks GPS MTB'ers :thumbsup:
Yes, you put the same track point at the end to close the loop.

You stop tracking at the end of the ride via the track menu and then turn off the GPS.
Then at home, you turn on the unit (with tracking off now because you don't want your home as a track point).
Then run the MB agent to suck the data out of your GPS and send it to the web.
And you can also have Garmin's MapSource software save the GPS data to your own computer.

Start playing once you get a cable and software, and everything will become obvious.
 

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I'll second the eXplorists. I have had a 400 for over a year, and with the exception of poor performance in cold weather (sub freezing), I'm happy with it. It's the same as the 500, but without the color screen.

Whe geocaching with friends that have garmin units, the explorist usually gets a better signal in trees and canyons. That said, I haven't compared it to the newest Garmin units. I hear the reception has improved greatly on those.
 

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ribaldmanikin said:
I'll second the eXplorists. I have had a 400 for over a year, and with the exception of poor performance in cold weather (sub freezing), I'm happy with it. It's the same as the 500, but without the color screen.

Whe geocaching with friends that have garmin units, the explorist usually gets a better signal in trees and canyons. That said, I haven't compared it to the newest Garmin units. I hear the reception has improved greatly on those.
You won't be able to do all the cool stuff on Motion Based web site with a Magellan or any other non-Garmin brand.
I used to be a Magellan fan (I had a GPS 320 for almost a decade) but they've lost thier edge to the competition. The unit software is absolutely non intuitive and the feature set not as good as Garmin.

I have an eTrex Vista Cx that I keep mounted on the handelbar. It's a fancy bike computer (really wireless), nice screen and good reception, as long as you keep it on the handelbars (never had problens of bad reception. It does have problems if you keep it in the pocket of your baggy shorts or backpack.
 
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