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Help/Info on a GPS unit w/mapping

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Looking for info on units people are using and what they like..I plan on purchasing a new unit in the next couple of weeks and any info/help would be greatly appreciated..

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I just went through the same deal...researching the many different GPS units. There is also a lot of info on this a search for 'GPS' in the "Equipment/Information" forum, and you will get a lot of info.

My only advice would be to determine what you want to use it for, how you want to use it, and then research the software that best suits your needs. The GPS manufacturers tend to have their own software...check on compatability, etc., then buy the GPS unit that supports the software/uses you want.

BTW, I ended up with the Lowrance i-Finder Pro. It is compatable with a lot of software, and seemed to be the best deal for the $$$.

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Ya Hey Der

I currently have a Magellan 315 and I am in the process of upgrading to a unit that I can download maps to. After narrowing it down to the Magellan Sportrak and the E-trex Vista, I think I am going to go with the E-trex Vista. The reason is because with the Vista, you can purchase detail maps of lakes that have contour lines and even download the entire lake (depending on the software you get). The sportrak is only compatible with magellan software. The marine software that Magellan has only gives you contour maps of lakes that the Coast Guard use or something like this. You might want to check out lakemaps or is it Lakemaster online and see which units are compatible. If you want the GPS to help you find spots on a specific lake, I would recommend the Vista. If you decide to go with the Vista, there is an online retailer that has it for the best price I have found. Let me know and I can e-mail it to you. I hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.

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I have an Ifinder and I was having some problems with the unit. I went out and got the most recent update on the internet and all of my problems are fixed. Horray!!

What are you going to use it for? If you just want a unit for hiking or marking a few fishing spots, go with the Garmin units and get the Garmin 76 or 76 Map. Waterproof and you still have the flexibity to add the Garmin version of fishing maps or you can add a Memory card with the maps already on it and the software needed to run the unit.

I plan to wait until Lowrance releases the new IFinder H20 late this spring. It is the first waterproof Ifinder. It has two processors versus the current one processor so it is faster and the screen has more pixels. If you go IFinder, go with the Ifinder Pro or the Ifinder H20 when it comes out. The older Ifinders have less pixels in the screen and slower processors. And they will not run the Navionics MMC's. Just the Pro and the H2O. And the cost difference is pretty minor.

Also, Navionics has a MMC card you insert into the IFinder card slot and you can run Lakemaps or Reelbottom maps that are preinstalled on the MMC. They sell for $199 for the MMC with the preloaded maps. There are at least two different map options available.

You will want to check into what mapping programs Magellan has a marketing agreement with. Also, ask why the Marine package was recommended. Most of the time these Marine packages are for people that live on the coastal areas or Great Lakes as that is what the map includes. Most Marine units do not include your local lakes so the Marine title is somewhat confusing.

Go to Lowrance and Garmins web sites and read. These are helpful sites. Sometimes the salesperson knows very little about the product, at least that is what I have found. Cabela's sales staff is exceptional, they know their stuff, so that is where I intend to buy my next unit.

Also, if you are planning on getting a GPS/ plotter unit installed in your boat some day down the road, (these look just like your sonar but are a GPS or GPS sonar combo) you will want the same brand as your GPS. One advantage of these units is much larger screen size and pixel count. The MMC cards will only work with one brand of GPS (Lowrance or Garmin) so if you have a Lowrance plotter and a Garmin GPS, you might have to have two different CD programs or MMC's and that can get expensive fast.

Yup, picking electronics for your boat is easy as pie. smile.gif

[This message has been edited by walleyehawk (edited 03-31-2004).]

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thx for the replies....this gives me some ideas...Basically my thought process was I currently have x87 and a old garmin gps..I want a handheld unit for two reasons one I don't have th money for an x-15 and I can then use it in the winter also..From what I understand if I plan on getting a Lowrance upgrade someday get a unit now that will share the same software down the road...I hope that is how I am reading this..again thx for the info..

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