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Which hand held GPS should I buy/


Tom7227

Question

My old IFinder Pro is dying and I am thinking about having to get a new one. I know that these posts sort of end up being a "Ford vs Chevy" sort of thing, but I would like to get some input. I am thinking about staying with Lowrance and wonder if the new Endura line is worth the bucks. If the installed base maps were really detailed then they might be, but if you have to pop for some software like I did with the old one then I can't see the benefit. On the other hand if you go for one of the IFinder series you're getting older technology (does it make any difference) and you probably have to get the MapCreate software for another hun or more. Anyone have any of the Endura series and what can you tell me about it.

Thanks for your time. Of course I am supposed to leave for a trip out west on Thursday so my research will have to be quick.

Tom

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You're right, Tom, that these can be a Ford vs Chev debate. You'll find that the H2O will be the over-whelming favorite among users of this site but I'd like to suggest that you consider taking a look at Garmin mapping handhelds. From my experience and from information exchanged on this site, I have come to believe that Garmin GPS technology is more reliable and accurate than Lowrance. That is not to say that Lowrance makes a bad product. I believe you would be happy with either one. I use a Garmin Rino. Most of my associates use Garmin GPSMap76. My brother uses an Etrex. I have dropped mine out of a deer stand from 16' up onto a rock pile and it came up ticking. I have dropped it in the mud while 4-wheeling, rinsed it off in a nearby water hole, and it came up ticking. I have dropped it in a lake and it came up ticking. GPSMap76 will float. I finally did mine in when I fell on it while ice fishing. It was then that I learned their service is second to none.

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I personally have a Lowrance and it is OK. I have heard very good things about the Garmin's. Garmin is what all the geo-casheing people use.

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i have an old magellon and a garmin rino gps/radio setup. it works great especially when i am trying to locate my son. he can take the radio and i can pinpoint him. works good but kind of small screen.

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I have a H20C and like it. Only problem is that the screen is hard to see in the day if it is bright out. Heard there is some sort of film to put on them to help that out so I will have to research this.

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I'll throw in my two cents

I have a Garmin GPSMap 60csx and love it. the basemaps that come with it suck, but everything else is great.

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Since posting I've learned why no one can comment on the Lowrance Endura - they haven't shipped them. I was told this is because they are set up for the miniCD cards and Navionics and Lakemaster doesn't have that setup. I can't tell from the promo literature whether the Endura needs software for detailed maps or not. The Garmen Colorado and Sierra seem like nice rigs but again I can't tell if software is needed. Paying the extra hun for the software hurts a bit and since they don't seem to update the maps or other info very often it has a real life expectancy issue. On the other hand the new rigs have stuff I really don't care about - if I need an MP3 jobberdo I can probably get one that's all on it's own. The new ones are pricey and not available so it's an easy choice for now. I may have to check out the Garmin line - the H2O is a favorite I know, but it's getting old and I wonder about support. Right now Lowrance isn't high on my list as I've gotten a busy signal every time I tried for the past 2 days and their website and I don't seem to mesh real well. Has to be me though I guess.

Thanks for the input.

Tom

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I'll throw in my support for the Garmin units too, by far some of the easiest GPS devices to run out there, the Colorado and Oregon units are very nice along with the other units too that will accept the chips.

I'm not sure how you use your GPS but the Garmin Nuvi's will accept the Lakemaster chips as well, you'll get a larger touch screen and some even have the topo maps already built in, if thats what your looking for. The 500 series are waterproof, other models are not..... just a little FYI.

Lakemasters site has a list of all compatible Garmin GPS's for it's chip.

Mike

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Something to consider that I've learned regarding the Lakemaster software...at least when ordered directly from Garmin. The software is not upgradeable. I bought mine a few years ago at v. 3. Last I checked they are now up to v.5. In order for me to upgrade to v.5 I have to buy the software again. Just something I thought important. I don't know how this works with Navionics or the Lowrance compatible software/chips.

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I've owned both the Garmin and the Lowrance. The Garmin is MUCH higher quality (also about twice the price).

I had my Garmin for years and the screen never scratched despite my abuse. I am careful with my H20c and the screen scratches very easily. If you do get the H20c I would recomend a screen protector.

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We live in amazing times.....NO REALLY !!!

I have an "OLD" Garmin gps-72. Can't really imagine one

that I could use better, or is more accurate. Its good

to 16 feet most times, sometimes 13. Before this one,

I had a Garmin 15 - ate batteries like they were free,

and often lost signals in the woods.

As far as the MAP stuff goes, there is NO substitute

for being there, or HAVING been there, If you are expecting

some built-in or downloaded map to show you the hot spots,

well, have another beer - the maps are just not that

detailed, and mostly they are based on depth-maps made

during the '40s during the height of the WPA era.

(These were soundings based on WPA workers dropping

lead weights to the bottom and recording the depth. Only

problem is the soundings were often very far apart.)

By all means use your GPS - but get to know HOW to

use it. I have navigated (accurately) to ice-fishing

spots I have never even been to - just by using a

combination of the internet and my GPS - pretty

powerful stuff, I think. This type of "getting there"

is MUCH more accurate than relying on built-in maps

based on 1940s data.

As the X-files say - The Truth Is Out There.....

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out_fisherman. If you haven't upgraded or had the chance to use a newer model GPS, you're missing out on a lot of advances in technology.

Garmin GPS accuracy has come a long way from your 72 unit. My Rino is often accurate to within 6 or 7 feet. On a recent trip to Canada I recorded accuracy to within 5 feet once that I was aware of.

The Lakemaster mapping software is extremely accurate. Barring differences in lake level and my transducer depth, I can see bottom contours on my GPS and watch my sonar reflect exactly what my maps tell me. Of course, this is more true on those lakes that are mapped with higher resolution (3 foot increments).

Check out the newer stuff. You might be surprised.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders

I have had the H20 B&W and color, sold the color and went back to the B&W because you always have to have the backlight on with the color to see anything. I now went and picked up an XOG and use both the H20 and XOG in my boat. One with a Lakemaster chip and one with the Nav, they both get me there and back. The main issue with the XOG is it eats up the internal battery like candy and you have to have it pluged into the 12v all the time, which I knew when I bought it. But I can pull it out of the boat and put it into the truck and keep going. wink

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Tom, my suggestion would be to visit a place that offers different brands like Garmin, Lowrance, Magellan, etc. If they'll let you, take them outside and see for yourself if they are difficult to view in daylight, sunshine, etc. There are lots of accessories available as well in terms of mapping software, card readers, etc.

What I like about my portable is that I have lake contour software that I use for fishing, land countour software that I use for hunting, and road mapping software that I use for travel. All of these come with some level of road maps so downloading my lake contour software maps still gives me road maps as well. Mine does not use a card reader so I have to download the maps I want to use but I prefer that because I can preview my maps on my PC, mark waypoints, create routes, etc. and then download the data to my handheld. Cards are nice and quick because they are pre-programmed.

It comes down to what will meet your needs and not our opinion about which is better.

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Ifinder Hunt. If your eyes are like mine you will like the bigger screen. This thing has worked great.

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We live in amazing times.....NO REALLY !!!

I have an "OLD" Garmin gps-72. Can't really imagine one

that I could use better, or is more accurate. Its good

to 16 feet most times, sometimes 13. Before this one,

I had a Garmin 15 - ate batteries like they were free,

and often lost signals in the woods.

As far as the MAP stuff goes, there is NO substitute

for being there, or HAVING been there, If you are expecting

some built-in or downloaded map to show you the hot spots,

well, have another beer - the maps are just not that

detailed, and mostly they are based on depth-maps made

during the '40s during the height of the WPA era.

(These were soundings based on WPA workers dropping

lead weights to the bottom and recording the depth. Only

problem is the soundings were often very far apart.)

As the X-files say - The Truth Is Out There.....

Out Fisherman? Should be Out Of Touch Fisherman smile

Yes, many maps are old tech & data as you describe, however it is the bounty of newly resounded map data that will put you there and bring you back.

Watching your progress on the screen is like seeing your boat from an airplane and also seeing the lake structure from the air.

You see it, you drive right to it. Nough said.

The better closing statement is "you snooze, and you loose"

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-wish-i-were-fishin....

Thanks, but didn't need the flaming. Just stating what some

of my friends with newer units have told me. I still stand

by my point - there is no substitute for "being there" and

marking the spot with your own GPS unit. Lakemasters

has only 180 lakes in MN available right now, if I am

to believe the website. I don't fish any of them except

Leech....and I already have my own spots marked out there.

You are correct - I AM behind the times, but all I was

saying is that my 'old' unit does a fine job for me.

I know technology advances - my GPS-72 is way better

than my GPS-45, which was way better than LORAN, if you

go back that far. And before LORAN - there was nothing.

Each to his own, and we all can't afford the latest/greatest.

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Sorry out. My business is hurting, my health ins. costs $1100.00/mnth, I'm out of money, my hip needs replacing, my wife is on a diet... need I say more eek

Still no excuse for my harsh post. Again, please except my apology. I should know better than to post on an off day smile

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No problem "Wish...". I am out of work, for a long

time now. I hope and pray I don't have to sell my

beloved boat just to keep going, but......

Have a great day/week.

Out_fisherman

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Ive got a H20 color i bought about 2 years back and have nothin but satisfactory results with it, from 20+ below, to 90+ degrees, its alwasys worked good for me it was well worth the money i think. ive got the lakemasters chip in it. the handheld GPS's are pretty hard on batteries when it gets real cold thoe.

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Ive got a H20 color i bought about 2 years back and have nothin but satisfactory results with it, from 20+ below, to 90+ degrees, its alwasys worked good for me it was well worth the money i think. ive got the lakemasters chip in it. the handheld GPS's are pretty hard on batteries when it gets real cold thoe.

What kind of batteries are you using? Different types will work better at different extremes. I believe lithium batteries are better for cold temperatures whereas alkaline may not. NiMH batteries can work at colder temps but lithium are better. I don't know if you can just use any type in any device though.

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