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Old 25th August 2010, 18:58   #496
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Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Thanks for the responses guys. But, how effective are these cell phone GPS devices in the wilderness? I mean to say will they be able to catch signals under a tree canopy?
It will be a problem for cell. What I do is stay in open for few minutes till cell locks on GPS and then start on biking. After initial lock/fix it works fine.

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Actually, my brother has a Nokia 5800 with GPS. It takes 20 minutes to lock on to a signal and the battery does not last long if I use it.
GPS navigation does drain the battery. But trekking should not cause strain on it.

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@Netfreak, where can I get an AA cell charger for cell phones in Bangalore?
eBay India: Emergency Mobile charger AA battery charging travel new (item 250686540016 end time 26-Aug-2010 03:23:18 IST)

Any cell shop should have it. It costs 100 - 200 Rs.
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Old 25th August 2010, 20:08   #497
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Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Guys, I'm on the lookout for a basic handheld GPS device. My budget is around 5k (+ or -). I know this thread has discussions about GPS for a car and I could not find any info about Handheld GPS devices. But, this is the gadgets thread and I posted it here.

I want to use this mainly on treks. AFAIK, no one has trekking maps for India (except maybe for Himalayan trails). So, I guess I will be marking my own trails on this device.

Can anybody suggest any brands and models? I am aware of Garmin and Magellan who manufacture these devices. Also please suggest any dealer in Bangalore where I can go check them out.


Thanks
Addy
If you are serious about it, I would suggest a eTrex HCx. H= high sensitivity, x= external SD card. Runs on AA cells. 15 hrs battery life. When trekking you need good battery life, and multiday track storage capability.

Do you want to navigate with it, or just record your tracks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Thanks for the responses guys. But, how effective are these cell phone GPS devices in the wilderness? I mean to say will they be able to catch signals under a tree canopy?

Actually, my brother has a Nokia 5800 with GPS. It takes 20 minutes to lock on to a signal and the battery does not last long if I use it.
Personal experience: the early GPS modules in cell phones were a disaster. Recent ones are much better, but still no match for a proper GPSr. In a phone, the emphasis is on the phone part, not GPS.

The early 5800s had a firmware bug which made getting a lock without AGPS almost impossible.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 26th August 2010, 13:00   #498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
It will be a problem for cell. What I do is stay in open for few minutes till cell locks on GPS and then start on biking. After initial lock/fix it works fine.

GPS navigation does drain the battery. But trekking should not cause strain on it.

eBay India: Emergency Mobile charger AA battery charging travel new (item 250686540016 end time 26-Aug-2010 03:23:18 IST)

Any cell shop should have it. It costs 100 - 200 Rs.
Thanks Netfreak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
If you are serious about it, I would suggest a eTrex HCx. H= high sensitivity, x= external SD card. Runs on AA cells. 15 hrs battery life. When trekking you need good battery life, and multiday track storage capability.

Do you want to navigate with it, or just record your tracks?


Personal experience: the early GPS modules in cell phones were a disaster. Recent ones are much better, but still no match for a proper GPSr. In a phone, the emphasis is on the phone part, not GPS.

The early 5800s had a firmware bug which made getting a lock without AGPS almost impossible.

Regards
Sutripta
I mainly want to record my tracks and also do some sort of navigation (If I'm lost, I should be able to get back where I started).

How much would a eTrex HCx cost? I'm not able to find it on eBay.

I agree with your thought. Using Cell phone as a GPS receiver would work best when you are in open areas and if you just want co-ordinates of your location. The batteries too drain out very fast.
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Old 26th August 2010, 16:35   #499
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My tuppence added here..
I recently bought a Garmin SatNav device from abroad. It came loaded with their local maps etc in great detail. I used it there while driving around and it was extremely helpful indeed.
Coming back here I bought an SD Card of compatible India maps from MapmyIndia and loaded those into the device.
It works very well indeed - the only limiting factor to its use in India being the use within the city since it chooses some short cuts here and there which could be either too narrow or too crowded. Also - while MapmyIndia has updated their maps as of June 2010 - even this latest set of maps appears a little out of date / lacking in super detail. But this is excusable because of the rapidity with which the landscape/cityscapes here in India change.
The SatNav is in my opinion, a good investment all in all.
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Old 26th August 2010, 19:05   #500
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Magellan devices are good - robust and not power-hungry.
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Old 26th August 2010, 20:19   #501
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Can you get Maps for India in a format that Magellan understands?
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Old 26th August 2010, 22:50   #502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
I mainly want to record my tracks and also do some sort of navigation (If I'm lost, I should be able to get back where I started).

How much would a eTrex HCx cost? I'm not able to find it on eBay.

I agree with your thought. Using Cell phone as a GPS receiver would work best when you are in open areas and if you just want co-ordinates of your location. The batteries too drain out very fast.
Just recording your track:- use a datalogger. However any form of navigation means a screen and some sort of navigation software. All this makes the device costlier, heavier, fragile, and a power sink. Some of the simpler devices may have a 'trackback' function, which is not really navigation.

eTrex: any online retailer in US. (It is cheapest in US. Slight disadvantage:- You will get a US basemap.)

The cellphone + external GPS bluetooth receiver is a very viable combination, provided you can manage two separate devices, and their chargers. Not a problem in a car, but not viable on a trek.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 27th August 2010, 02:11   #503
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i have bought a Garmin Nuvi 500 from US and need India maps.. I will use it more in my touring than city navigating so will need routs through villages..

which one should I go for? mapmyindia looks very expensive!
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Old 27th August 2010, 10:46   #504
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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
Can you get Maps for India in a format that Magellan understands?
Mio units can run Magellan software. If so (not sure) Magellan units should be able to use MapMyIndia maps. Some (not all) Magellan units can also work with OSM-based maps. There is a German company (maps4me) which sells OSM-based maps for such Magellan units, but don't have anything for India.

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... Garmin Nuvi 500 from US and need India maps.. ...
SatGuide's Garmin format map (gmapsupp.img) should work for you.
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Old 27th August 2010, 12:35   #505
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DerAlte, it depends on the type of unit.
Most units running Windows CE can be unlocked. Once unlocked, they can run any software which runs on windows CE. 90% of softwares written for windows mobile run on Windows CE PNDs, with some quirks(For example osmtracker screen sometimes goes bonkers etc.,)

If you have a PND, a stand along GPS device that is, all you need to do is find the unlock.
The Miopocket 4.0 user guide has instructions for unlocking magellens too!
Look at this
GpsPasSion Forums - MioPocket 4.0 (Unlock for GPS devices)
The readme file sits un the tarball. As you scroll down, they have exact instructions for many devices. Magellen devices are there too,

However, remember, if your PND does not run Windows CE, things are difficult. For example I have a lowrance ifinder C. I can use it only for trekking, very difficult to convert garmin maps and there are some other issues too.

Then there are those chinese GPS systems. They are the easiest to unlock. Just change "NAV path" in the menu to miopocket shell.

Some rare devices which are not much in use(Eg some Harman Kaddon models) are difficult to unlock. Not that its technically not possible, but because nobody has tried it out yet.

After your device is unlocked, you can run any software written for windows CE.
For example, my primary software is Oziexplorer CE, written for off road navigation.
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Old 27th August 2010, 12:40   #506
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my Garmin Nuvi 205W (4.3 inch touch screen) bought for the equivalent of Rs 7000 is supported by MapMyIndia maps which cost another 7000 Rs.

in my opinion it is worth while - comes to much the same thing if one buys a new MapMyIndia navigator in India - 3.5 inch touchscreen - Rs 7-8K + Europe Maps 3000 + US Maps another 3000 odd. -total 13-14K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by razorBlades View Post
i have bought a Garmin Nuvi 500 from US and need India maps.. I will use it more in my touring than city navigating so will need routs through villages..

which one should I go for? mapmyindia looks very expensive!
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Old 27th August 2010, 12:41   #507
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Just recording your track:- use a datalogger. However any form of navigation means a screen and some sort of navigation software. All this makes the device costlier, heavier, fragile, and a power sink. Some of the simpler devices may have a 'trackback' function, which is not really navigation.

eTrex: any online retailer in US. (It is cheapest in US. Slight disadvantage:- You will get a US basemap.)

The cellphone + external GPS bluetooth receiver is a very viable combination, provided you can manage two separate devices, and their chargers. Not a problem in a car, but not viable on a trek.

Regards
Sutripta
I guess I have to forego the navigation part then. How would be the prices for the eTrex in Singapore. I have a friend who is going there next month and I can ask him to get one if it is cheaper.

Which model of the eTrex would you recommend? My main needs are to record my tracks and preferably, it should have an altimeter. But, I know my budget does not permit me to ask for more features.

I actually wanted to have a look at the device before I actually bought it. But it seems that there are no dealers here in Bangalore.
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Old 27th August 2010, 12:58   #508
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Garmin says e-Trex is a discontinued product.

There is a new version that is available. Dont look at pricing.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145&pID=8707

Also note if you can get a barometer and an altimeter in the same, that would be perfect. This does not support.


eTrex Summit has all the features.

Last edited by ampere : 27th August 2010 at 13:01.
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Old 27th August 2010, 13:04   #509
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You do not need "navigation" for trekking. All you need is to see the track you made on screen so that you do not get lost. My Lowrance ifinder C could have track trails upto 10000 points. Since a point is dumped only when you change direction, you can trek for days. After one track finishes, you start a new track.
you can display multiple tracks on different colors too.
Before I got my mio, this is how I used this to navigate in city.
I used to dump out a route map for where I needed to go from google in kml format.
Then I used to convert it to lowrance format, and load the track. While driving, I made sure I follow the track, simple.

For trekking, it was easier, even if I got lost at some point, all I needed to do was double back on the recorded track.
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Old 27th August 2010, 13:12   #510
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Only thing I hinted was if along with tracking feature, if one can also add barometer and altimeter, it becomes a good all in one product. Else one needs to run around with multiple stuff. Key point is if the price difference is huge, then its not worth it.
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