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Author Topic: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina  (Read 20223 times)

prglor

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Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« on: December 11, 2011, 07:17:11 AM »
I am thinking of buying a Garmin Etrex Summit HC as my first hiking gps.  I realize that it is limited by the 24MB internal storage size.  I live in Western North Carolina close to the Pisgah National Forest , Dupont State Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway and do almost all of my hiking in these places so I don't need a lot of memory to hold something like a whole state or the whole Southeast.  I'm wondering if 24MB is large enough to store these 3 places, which are fairly close to one another.

I would also welcome comments from members of this forum about the Summit HC, other than the memory size limitation.  I'm particularly interested in how well free maps can be used with this unit because I hate the way Garmin overcharges for their maps and even after you purchase them doesn't allow you to use them on a new gps if you upgrade.  So, in essence you're only renting the maps, not owning them.

Seldom

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 07:52:45 AM »
Suggest you download and install an NC map, and select sections you want to visit.  In MapSource the size of the maps shows up in the map tab.  In BaseCamp the total size shows up as a bar on the right of the map selection screen in MapInstall.

Any questions, read these tutorials:

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-install-mapsource-if-it-didnt-come-with-your-gps/
http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-load-maps-on-my-garmin-gps-unit/
http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-open-maps-in-garmin-basecamp/
http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-open-maps-in-mapsource/

Keep in mind that you really only need BaseCamp to figure this out.  Some folks find MapSource more convenient, but BaseCamp is the software Garmin is currently developing, and it supports newer GPSrs more fully.

Regarding the Summit HC.  Apart from it's memory size, it also won't support "Garmin Custom (raster) maps", Birdseye, and wireless geocaching.  I don't know how it performs relative to other Garmin's of the same vintage like the 60CSX, but I assume it's adequate when handling tracks and waypoints, which are what you really need in a a pinch.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 07:58:10 AM by Seldom »

Indrid Cold

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2011, 11:48:46 AM »
I am thinking of buying a Garmin Etrex Summit HC as my first hiking gps.
I would pass on that unit unless I was getting it for around US$50.00

If you are expecting to want to use high resolution maps, you are going to want a unit that has a card slot. Sooner or later. Give the new eTrex line a look, at least you can get something you can grow into.

EagleBoy

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 07:48:49 AM »
Compare THIS to the eTrex!  http://www.gpscity.ca/garmin-gpsmap-76csx.html  A Killer deal on a nice unit with features you need.

US link: http://www.gpscity.com/garmin-gpsmap-76csx.html
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 09:19:02 AM by Indrid Cold »

Indrid Cold

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 08:32:59 AM »
Quote
Compare THIS to the eTrex!  gpsmap-76csx.  A Killer deal on a nice unit with features you need.
A nice unit in years past but it's feature set had been outdated by the newer eTrex series.

Boyd

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 08:37:55 AM »
That's a Canadian site, but I think North Carolina is still part of the US.  ;) Rich just posted some very nice sale prices at gpstracklog.com - available today only - from EMS here in the US. The eTrex 20 is going for $152. You wouldn't have the compass and barometer, but it's a much more compact unit than the bulky 76 series, receives the GLONASS satellites, supports BirdsEye imagery and custom maps. The 76 series doesn't have any of that.

Getting back to the original question, even though you said you didn't want comments about memory size, I think that is the "elephant in the room". You should care about memory size if you plan to keep this unit for awhile for the reasons Indrid mentions. If not today, a couple years down the road you'll wish that you spent few bucks more for a unit with a card slot. And you may also wish that you could use aerial imagery and "custom maps" which you can easily make yourself.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 08:40:06 AM by Boyd »

prglor

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 05:10:30 PM »
Thanks for all the input.  I looked at reviews of the eTrex 20 on amazon and was turned off by this 1-star review:

8 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed, September 11, 2011
By Graham (NH) - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator (Electronics)
I was beaten up for 'pre-reviewing' this as one-star vaporware. Now I have purchased it and - very regretfully - returned it. I cannot rate it any higher. Small can be a virtue but it can be taken to the point of being a liability. This screen is SMALL. Not only that but it is primitive in terms of reflectivity and visibility. My cellphone screen is both MUCH larger and MUCH more viewable. I found the tiny screen almost unviewable, particularly in street mode. The whole device is a good deal smaller than it needs to be and the screen does not make good use of the already minimal real estate. The non-touch interface is just plan clunky. This has the feel of a product that has been designed down to a price point not up to a spec. If cellphones makers can make easily pocketable devices with great screens so can GPS makers - they only have to incorporate a fraction of the functionality.

Does this guy have a valid point or not?  What is the bird's eye view and what is the advantage of it?

prglor

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 05:20:13 PM »
Forgot another question I have.  What are "custom maps" and wireless geocaching.  Are "custom maps" the same as "Garmin Custom (raster) maps"?  If so, are they only available from Garmin and how does that fit with "  "custom maps" which you can easily make yourself. "

As you can see I know next to nothing about handheld gps, so this forum is a godsend for me.  But it may take awhile to get up to speed from where I'm starting.

Boyd

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 05:55:54 PM »
Does this guy have a valid point or not?  What is the bird's eye view and what is the advantage of it?

Well I haven't used one myself, but can tell you this much. If that guy didn't like the eTrex 20, he would absolutely HATE the eTrex Summit. User interface is very old-school and awkward IMO, screen has the same low resolution but only 256 colors, like the old IBM PC.  ;D

Birdseye info here: http://www.garmin.com/us/maps/birdseye

This is Garmin's guide for making simple custom maps yourself. There are a variety of free and shareware programs that can be used to make larger and better ones: http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/custommaps

« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 05:58:42 PM by Boyd »

Seldom

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 06:23:42 PM »
Forgot another question I have.  What are "custom maps" and wireless geocaching.  Are "custom maps" the same as "Garmin Custom (raster) maps"?  If so, are they only available from Garmin and how does that fit with "  "custom maps" which you can easily make yourself. "

As you can see I know next to nothing about handheld gps, so this forum is a godsend for me.  But it may take awhile to get up to speed from where I'm starting.

"Garmin custom maps" are georeferenced raster images.  Could be areal or satellite images or scanned imaged of paper maps.  These are positioned so that they correspond with the actual conditions on the globe.

Custom maps (not Garmin) are the sort of vector maps you download from this site.

I don't geocache so I can't answer much about that except that geocachers seem to regard paperless cacheing very highly.  The wireless feature permits you to exchange data wirelessly in the field with cachers that have other wireless Garmin units.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 07:44:15 PM by Seldom »

prglor

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 06:47:55 PM »
So the custom vector maps that can be downloaded from this site can't be used with the eTrex summit gps? If I buy this gps I'm stuck with buying my maps from Garmin - am I understanding the comments about compatibility of different map types correctly?

What about the eTrex 20 review where the reviewer complained about the small size of the screen and poor visibilty and viewability.  What's everyone's opinion of this review?

If the eTrex 20 complaints are valid, I'm thinking of going with the eTrex Vista HCx instead of the Summit.  You guys have pretty well convinced me I need a model with an external card to be able to load more or bigger maps.  What does everyone think of this model?  Can the maps from this site be used with it?

Boyd

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 07:25:38 PM »
Vector maps consist of a database of coordinates along with instructions on how to "connect the dots" to create a map. These are traditional Garmin maps, and they will work on any mapping receiver. Yes, most of the maps here would work on the Summit, subject to memory limits.

Raster maps are basically pictures that have been wrapped on the face of the earth in the correct place. Only the newer Garmin models can use this, not the Summit or Vista.

As I said above, the screen on the Vista and Summit is just about the same size as the eTrex 20 (actually the eTrex 20 is slightly larger) but the newer model supports 64,000 colors and the old models only support 256 colors. If you don't like the eTrex 20 screen, I think you would like the Summit/Vista screen even less. They are all very low resolution by today's standards (compared to something like a smartphone).

Are you familiar with the comparison feature on Garmin's site? https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=145&compareProduct=87771&compareProduct=8709&compareProduct=8703
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 07:28:43 PM by Boyd »

Seldom

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2011, 07:41:11 PM »
So the custom vector maps that can be downloaded from this site can't be used with the eTrex summit gps? If I buy this gps I'm stuck with buying my maps from Garmin - am I understanding the comments about compatibility of different map types correctly?

Almost all maps from this site are suitable for most Garmin mapping GPSrs. What I meant when I mentioned "custom maps (not Garmin)" is that this site uses the phrase "custom maps" to refer to vector maps made by third party map authors.  Garmin, on the other hand uses the phrase "custom maps" to refer to georeferenced raster graphics as I described above.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 07:44:42 PM by Seldom »

maps4gps

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 05:02:16 AM »
If there is a store near you which carries many models, go look/test them.  Sometimes how a unit fits in your hand, etc. is more important than some of the features.
Also see if there will be a geocaching event near you.  Get opinions of the particapents and actually see the units and the possible issues.

EagleBoy

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Re: Memory Needed for a Small Section of Western North Carolina
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 06:28:05 AM »
Bang on suggestion to go check them out in person.  One man's meat is another's poison is all I will say about reviews.  One good or bad review means squat IMHO.

I can say that for me, custom maps was vital as I use my Dakota for downhill snow skiing and want the trail maps embedded.  Size was important too since it needed to be easily pocketable.

And lastly, most vendors will ship cross border.  Even to North Carolina.  ;)

 

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