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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to make a trip to Colorado and i need a GPS for mainly driving directions. As i am fixing to be a "broke" college kid I need one that isn't gonna break the bank(still have to purchase a notebook)
i found one that received a pretty good rating and was relatively inexpensive. Can anyone tell me if this would be a good buy?
http://www.thegpsstore.com/Detail-Lowrance-iFinder-Basic.asp

If i should look at a different model please let me know i'm open for all sugestions.
 

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Have you looked at any of the Garmin units? An etrex or etrex legend would be in that same price range.

My Garmin E-Trex legend lets me download maps from the laptop via mapsource to the unit. I can also attach it to the laptop via mapsource or microsoft maps. I can set up routes on the laptop and push them to the legend, or run the route from the laptop. I can plug the Garmin into my cigarette lighter and save batteries........

Garmin is the name in GPS. Like a Remington 700, while not everything to everybody, accessories for both are easy to find and readily available. I think the Garmin would give you more flexibility, especially with your notebook.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I looked at the Etrex but wasn't impressed by the ratings they gave on the site. But the Garmin V does look like what i need. I won't be using it for marine use or trails. I just need one for driving directions. The most i would want to spend is around $280. I still got to drop about a grand on a notebook. More than likely a Dell.
 

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I agree with victorcharlie the Garmin Legend is a good deal. It has a good basemap for general travel. Plus you can load up to 8MB of mapping software. It only stores maps from Garmin's MapSource products.

It's downside is that reception in heavy oak or bigger timber is limited. You need to find daylight. I use a combination gps and handheld compass at times.

The Legend package comes with a pc cable. You can upload and download waypoints and tracks from other map vendors. You just cannot load their maps on a Garmin product. Unless you spend the big bucks for a Garmin PDA/Gps. Many times I have had my Legend setting in a dashboard cupholder, connected to my laptop using Garmin Software or Microsoft Streets & Trips displaying my location. I let my passenger do the navigating, and I do the driving.

The price at the gps store is to high. There is one or more Internet Vendors that are selling it for $149.00. I have also seen it advertised for $149.00 in the newspaper as a sale item.

I must admit that I do not always understand gps units and reception. The other morning I took off on a hike into a location for which I had installed the Lat/Long on my two gps units as waypoints. The path I took is tightly surrounded with Oak canopy and tall conifers. Within fifty feet the Legend lost its satellite lock. The 76C lost a couple of satellites but maintained a lock on 3 or 4 depending on the location on the path. Once I left the path, the heavy cover(jungle) blocked all reception on both units. When I broke out of the cover and obtained some sky reception came back. The kicker was the Legend had better reception then the 76C.

In semi open areas, and travelling the Interstate they have the same reception. When I am in those areas I am not at a disadvantage with the Legend when it comes to reception. There are other features which makes the price of the 76C worth it.

I have not used Lowrance gps units. I would check other sources for price. Reading the specs on the unit you are getting a lot of gps for the dollar. Some advantages are the ability to load a lot of mapping information on to the MMC cards. An external antenna outlet if you need that down the road.

Lowrance processors are noted for their speed.

A big disadvantage of the Lowrance Basic it is not WATERPROOF. :( It comes with a water proof case. Newer model Lowrance units are waterproof. The price makes me wonder if Lowrance is phasing out this older model because of the lack of waterproofing?

The price at the gpstore is about $30 LESS then what I recently seen at a local outdoor store for the iFinder Basic. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry i don't mean to sound complicated but i'm new to a GPS. I've never used one. I just need one for my road trip to college. It's gonna be in the truck the whole time and just used for driving directions. I just want one that will be reliable for that and only that. i could care less about trail use. I'm not gonna be able to hunt while i'm out there so it's not really a big concern.

Is there any way someone could give me links to everything i would need to get for this application. Like i said i'm new to these things.

If it sounds like i'm not very appreciative of the info you have gave me....thats not the way i meant for it sound. I just don't understand anything about them to even go purchase one for the application i need it for.

Again thanks for all of your help.
 

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You might try pricing one from gpscity.com.

I had a look at the owner's manual. http://www.lowrance.com/Manuals/Files/iFINDER_0148-07RevA_013102.pdf

It seems to be priced right at $124, and Siskiyou seems to think you can find it for $30 less....that would be a very good price.

I will admit I own a Garmin and have only played around for a few minutes with other brands never a Lowrance. Seems the features are about the same , but didn't see what the memory size of the cards are, don't know what they cost etc. I may be wrong, but the owners manual says you need a card reader and their mapping software to program the cards. If that's the case, the Garmin doesn't require that.

I like the external antenna that can be connected to the Lowrance, but for driving down the interstate, I haven't really needed one. I haven't noticed loosing signal under canopy cover like Siskiyou has with this legend, maybe his internal antenna isn't quite as good as the one on my legend....or maybe the west coast woods are thicker than we have here in Tennessee.....If the woods are thicker than here, don't stand still or the woods will eat you.....you know, we have some pretty thick undergrowth in the woods around here.........I assume that one unit might be a tad bit better than another one depending on position etc. might even be different with hot batteries versus low batteries. I haven't noticed it though.

Again, I just did a quick scan of the owners manual, and the only real difference I see is the need for a card reader. I haven't priced Lowrances mapping software and you might want to price that versus Garmin's mapsource product. I'd figure in the cost of a card reader as well. I wish I could help you with which look and feel I prefer, or which is most user friendly, but just haven't used the Lowrance. I do agree, the price seems right.

At this time, about the only real negative I have with the Garmin is it eats batteries, going through a set of duracells in 12 to 15 hours. I have a cigarette lighter cable to power the unit in the car and you might want to get one for either unit you choose.
 

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There are a couple of cheaper options for in vehicle use with a laptop. Microsoft is selling their Streets & Trips packaged with a gps receiver. The receiver has a magnetic based for the roof of your pickup. You will need your new notebook to plug it into.

Or DeLorme also sells a gps receiver/software package. Another one to plug into a notebook computer.

I have seen them on sale between $80 to $100 plus at the big box stores. I have no idea what they are going for on the internet.

A friend who hauls crews around the country uses the DeLorme.

victorcharlie: Maybe it was not a good satellite day.
 

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Sorry to keep chiming in.....here is the user's manual for the software package. http://www.lowrance.com/Manuals/Files/MC6_0147-38_010202.pdf

Now that I've looked at it, the unit will either ship with an 8mb or 16 mb card but supports larger sizes which you can buy at circuit city, best buy, walmart etc. It does need a card reader to program the card but this isn't necessarily a negative.

My Garmin E-trex legend only has 8mb of memory...period.....I can usually only load about five "mapsets", or usually six or seven Tennessee counties and then I'm out of memory. Not a good thing really..... For a trip going as far as your going, a couple of high capacity MMC cards would probably be required to load all the maps you could possibly need. What I usually end up doing, as I don't usually take a laptop with me, and if I did, the laptop battery only last for an hour or so, is to load the maps of the larger cities that I'm likely to get off the interstate in.

I don't know how much detail is in the Lowrance software, but being able to expand the memory of the hardware is a big plus to me.

I'm thinking, dollar for dollar, for what you want to do[/color], the Lowrance might be the better unit.

My guess is the technology will obsolete itself with in a few years anyway, and to use all the latest whiz-bang features we will have to continue upgrading hardware every few years to take advantage of it. Chances are, your going to want to buy another one in a few years anyway.
 

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Yes, that looks like everything, except a laptop, that you would need. I was looking, the 6.3 software that you'll be running will only allow for 5 MMC cards to be programmed. Looks like 2 gb cards are on the market, and with a capacity of 10 gb, you should be able to load the whole country on to MMC cards. The only thing that is not clear to me, is how much memory the device can address.....or to put it another way, what is the biggest card that the unit supports. The manual says 128gb is the largest at the time the manual was printed but much bigger cards are out there now.

Knowing that the unit ships with probably 8mb card, and you can use a total of five cards, I think I'd try to figure the price/break point of the cards and buy say a 512mb card and see how many maps you can get on that card.

The software manual list the file sizes of the maps at high detail and low detail. High detail uses a fair amount of storage.

I would also think the unit ships with a base map, and that may very well be all you need to make your trip.

Now to nut cuttin time......what's the matter with you boy? UT not good enough for you?[/color] :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Actually if UT offered the courses i wanted to take i would be there but they don't. The school i am going to is CST (Colorado School of Trades). I'll be enrolling in their Gunsmithing program. Then more than likely i'll be working at Gander Mt. until i turn 21. Then i shall head back out here and open up my own shop and sporting goods store.

Their program has been running since 1947. So i thought that it would be a good place to take my classes. As far as i know theren't isn't even a school that offers a gunsmithing program.

So the package deal is what i need to get. Where can i find the additional MMC cards?
 

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Good deal on the smithing course. Not many around here, I'm sure you'll do well.

Looking at the package deal on the link from the previous post, I believe one of the specs says the biggest card it will take is a 128mb. You might try calling lowrance tech support and see if it will address more than 128mb.

The cards you should be able to get at best buy, circuit city, walmart etc......but I'd get the unit and see if you can live with the base map or if you need a more detailed map. Your on a budget remember? I would think, that being new to what ever town in Colorado, a good detailed map of that city downloaded to your handheld GPS would help you quite a bit especially at first, until you learn your way around. I usually load what ever city I'm traveling to in mine, preprogram my route from say the airport to the motel.....then if I go out to eat, or just want to drive around and see the sights, I just tell it to "go to" the waypoint I have set for my motel.....very handy these things are........especially to an out of town guest......You'll probably want your dorm as a waypoint, then the school, etc. etc....anywhere your interested in going to.......

Use it every chance you get, learn how it works and you'll begin to trust it.........as it gives a fellow a sense of security, knowing your where you think you are, and seeing where you need to go.......
 

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Varminter said:
Sorry i don't mean to sound complicated but i'm new to a GPS. I've never used one. I just need one for my road trip to college. It's gonna be in the truck the whole time and just used for driving directions. I just want one that will be reliable for that and only that. Again thanks for all of your help.
If that is all you need it for, save your money. You'll find your way just fine without one. :)
Joe
 

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JoeG52 and your followup post have turned on the light. Get an Auto Club Map or get travel directions and maps off the internet. You are not going to a remote location. You are headed to a city next to Denver, CO. A paper map will do the job. I have travelled all over the country for years and did not need a gps. I have received phone calls in the middle of the night with an assignment hundreds of miles away and I made it there, and back.

A gps would have been nice, even a non-routing one would have been helpful. It would have been nice to been able to plug Denver or some other location in as a waypoint. Or having reached a distance location and given the name of a very small town to go to. It was neat to be able to put the name of a very small town in Montana in my Legend and find it. Make it a waypoint, and do a goto. I could not find it on my paper map. The gps gives me comfort at times at 2 a.m. on a remote highway. A feeling that I know where I am.

So a gps falls into the nice to have, not must have category. I like nice to have things.

I like your schooling plans. I thought long and hard about going to Oregon Technical institute School of gunsmithing back in the 60's. During those years OTI and CST were the schools to go to for gunsmithing classes. I do not know if OTI still has a program. Lassen Community College in NE California has a program. But CST has been at the head of the class.

Even with two gps units I will still print out a map from Map Quast or Yahoo for a multi-state trip. I believe the Lowrance will and I know the Legends base map program will give you accommodations at each freeway exit. It's nice to know when travelling at night where you can get fuel, and eat. Many small towns do not have a gas pump. There are some areas along rural highways that fill-ups can be more then 100 miles away. I travel on the top half of the tank.

The gps would have been great when looking for small airstrips in remote areas. At times these small airstrips will have a different name then the town they are associated with. And maybe a few miles out of town. I have found the gps to be helpful. The POI(points of interest) option in a gps unit can be helpful.

Anyway what ever option, I hope you plans are fulfilled.
 

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JoeG52 and your followup post have turned on the light. Get an Auto Club Map or get travel directions and maps off the internet. You are not going to a remote location. You are headed to a city next to Denver, CO. A paper map will do the job. I have travelled all over the country for years and did not need a gps. I have received phone calls in the middle of the night with an assignment hundreds of miles away and I made it there, and back.

A gps would have been nice, even a non-routing one would have been helpful. It would have been nice to been able to plug Denver or some other location in as a waypoint. Or having reached a distance location and given the name of a very small town to go to. It was neat to be able to put the name of a very small town in Montana in my Legend and find it. Make it a waypoint, and do a goto. I could not find it on my paper map. The gps gives me comfort at times at 2 a.m. on a remote highway. A feeling that I know where I am.

So a gps falls into the nice to have, not must have category. I like nice to have things.

I like your schooling plans. I thought long and hard about going to Oregon Technical institute School of gunsmithing back in the 60's. During those years OTI and CST were the schools to go to for gunsmithing classes. I do not know if OTI still has a program. Lassen Community College in NE California has a program. But CST has been at the head of the class.

Even with two gps units I will still print out a map from Map Quast or Yahoo for a multi-state trip. I believe the Lowrance will and I know the Legends base map program will give you accommodations at each freeway exit. It's nice to know when travelling at night where you can get fuel, and eat. Many small towns do not have a gas pump. There are some areas along rural highways that fill-ups can be more then 100 miles away. I travel on the top half of the tank.

The gps would have been great when looking for small airstrips in remote areas. At times these small airstrips will have a different name then the town they are associated with. And maybe a few miles out of town. I have found the gps to be helpful. The POI(points of interest) option in a gps unit can be helpful.

Anyway what ever option, I hope you plans are fulfilled.
 

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JoeG52 and your followup post have turned on the light. Get an Auto Club Map or get travel directions and maps off the internet. You are not going to a remote location. You are headed to a city next to Denver, CO. A paper map will do the job. I have travelled all over the country for years and did not need a gps. I have received phone calls in the middle of the night with an assignment hundreds of miles away and I made it there, and back.

A gps would have been nice, even a non-routing one would have been helpful. It would have been nice to been able to plug Denver or some other location in as a waypoint. Or having reached a distance location and given the name of a very small town to go to. It was neat to be able to put the name of a very small town in Montana in my Legend and find it. Make it a waypoint, and do a goto. I could not find it on my paper map. The gps gives me comfort at times at 2 a.m. on a remote highway. A feeling that I know where I am.

So a gps falls into the nice to have, not must have category. I like nice to have things.

I like your schooling plans. I thought long and hard about going to Oregon Technical institute School of gunsmithing back in the 60's. During those years OTI and CST were the schools to go to for gunsmithing classes. I do not know if OTI still has a program. Lassen Community College in NE California has a program. But CST has been at the head of the class.

Even with two gps units I will still print out a map from Map Quast or Yahoo for a multi-state trip. I believe the Lowrance will and I know the Legends base map program will give you accommodations at each freeway exit. It's nice to know when travelling at night where you can get fuel, and eat. Many small towns do not have a gas pump. There are some areas along rural highways that fill-ups can be more then 100 miles away. I travel on the top half of the tank.

The gps would have been great when looking for small airstrips in remote areas. At times these small airstrips will have a different name then the town they are associated with. And maybe a few miles out of town. I have found the gps to be helpful. The POI(points of interest) option in a gps unit can be helpful.

Anyway what ever option, I hope you plans are fulfilled.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the help. i think i'm gonna go with the Lowrance package i found. Now i just have to learn how to use the dang thing. :? I'm gonna take maps along also but i would feel more comfortable if i had a GPS along for the ride. I got alittle while to plan all of this but i just wanna have all of my stuff ready.
 

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We sure would like to hear your experience with the Basic Ifinder. I have found limited amounts of information regarding their performance. I believe that readers are looking for information from start up to application.

so keep us up todate.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I will, as soon as i get it i will let y'all know. Again thanks for all the help.
 
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