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Thread: Garmin Etrex or Etrex H

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    Hi , i was looking to buy the etrex H as a starter gps for geo-caching and walking etc.

    The best price i could find was about 60 on Amazon and from Handtec , while I was on the Handtec site I noticed the original etrex at 46 , is the "H" worth the extra 15 ??

    Thanks for any help

    Steve

  2. #2
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Hello, Steve. Welcome to the OM forum.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Some keen technology guru should be along soon hopefully, to help you out there.

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  5. #5
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    In short yes the "H" is worth the extra 15. The features on the two models are similar, but the improved GPS receiver chipset is much more accurate and faster than its predecessor. Equally importantly the chipset works much better when a direct line of sight is obscured (eg in trees, canyons etc).

    Neither the original eTrex nor the eTrex H are specifically geo-caching friendly, but are perfectly adequate for navigation to a given location. There are alternatives available at this price point, particularly if you use either a recent Symbian or WM5/6 platform mobile phone. For example for half the price you could have OS mapping software of all the UK national parks on screen and linked to an integrated GPS in your phone. Even without an integrated GPS in the phone you could still buy a Bluetooth receiver and the software for around 60.

    HTH

  6. #6
    Goon Paul Cummings's Avatar
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    In terms of wanting to know where you are, definitely go for the H. If you ever walk in woods you will really appreciate being able to keep a signal. I had the original E-Trex Summit and now have the new Summit (HC or something). The new one keeps the signal much, much better. Either one will probably need the firmware upgraded though, which is dead simple to do from the Garmin site with your GPS unit attached to your PC. For some reason a lot of calculation problems are not ironed out until after they've sold a lot of units.

    Unless you've used both types, you really don't appreciate what a boon having the new aerial really is. No longer do I lose reception whenI walk under a tree. For this alone, the 15 is well worth it.

    I don't know about the base Etrex models (in fact I think this doesn't apply), but on the Summit the new one switched to a colour screen too, which is much easier to read. The only down side is that it is much more complex - the old one took me about an hour in the park to be right up to speed on it (from never having used a GPS), with the new one, I am still learning about how best to use it. It has a configurable screen (what data items to display), so I tend to just leave it on one screen the whole walk now. Much better.The newSummit also has audible alarms, where the old one was silent. For what I want, the Summit is a much better choice, but the base model is much cheaper.

    I've also found battery life to be much better on the new unit. I now get about two full days out of a set, where it was about one day on the old unit. Say 16 hours of real world use compared to 8 (ignore the 22 hour claims, that is nonsense in the real world with features switched on). That's worth bearing in mind too as the cost of 2 AA batteries each time mounts up. My unit gets mainly used for recording walks rather than navigating them.

    As for geo cacheing, I don't do it, so I can't really comment, though I know my Summit has this feature. It's worth checking if you really do want to use this feature.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cummings View Post

    Unless you've used both types, you really don't appreciate what a boon having the new aerial really is. No longer do I lose reception whenI walk under a tree. For this alone, the 15 is well worth it.
    The improved reception under trees etc is mainly down to the change from the SiRF II to SiRF III receiver, which has become the industry standard chipset over the last three years. You can tell which Garmin devices use this chipset by the suffix "H" in the name - "H" for High Sensitivity.

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