You HAVE to get a 12 channel reciever. dont waste your money on the 3 channel variety if you can still find them.
I used a very simple, yet relativley cheap ($200) Garmin GPS12XL. it has (err had now.. darnn theives) all the features of the larger gps's. Like external antenna, pc compatible, etc. I'm more than likely to get the same again. oh.. did I say it was water tight/resistant.
You will probably need a data/power cable for the laptop... sicne the smaller handhelds don't come with that $45 cable.
I use Topo! and Topo!GPS to tie the laptop to a topo map to view your location dynamically. Those who have seen me use it have always thought it was "cool"
Research continues, but from what I've seen the mobile (vehicle based) units all have a relatively small viewing screen. And with my old bi-focaled eyes I'm not sure I can handle the small screen. I can see it now, as I'm bending over to read the screen I see my blip moving over side of the mountain.
Can these GPS unit be linked to say...a flip down screen similar to what's used for video/gaming in vehicles now?
I have the Garmin III Plus and no complaints. It comes with the cable to hook up to the computer. Get the cig lighter apdt. Save lots of $$ on batteries.
I have Topo 3.0 for the software. The jury is still out on the software. Im not sure if it is me or the software, but I can not get it to show just the trail part of my journey. Id try others if it was in the budget. I got the Topo 3.0 for $50 at Costco.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ccissell on 2002-02-26 21:42 ]</font>
I have the Garmin III+ also. I use both National Geog (formerly Wildflower's) Topo as well as DeLorme's 3D TopoQuads. I used to favor the Delorme, but they have not update their handheld connectivity software for the PPC. Topo now supports the latest PPC software. My ideal setup would be either a handheld pc (larger screen than a pocket pc) with a CF card GPS. That would be much less bulky than a laptop with a GPS. Currently I use my Pocket PC with the Garmin and it is pretty nice (the color screen on the PPC is easier to read than the Garmin screen). It would be nicer if the GPS were not separate (thus my ideal - a cf card GPS). I suppose though that the cf card gps would need an external antenna to be really useful though.
The flip down screen.. in short no. its more complicated than a gaming/video screen.
I'm starting to look at building a OBP (On Board PC) that would tie in to my GPS. Laptops have some major drawbacks in that they are easy to steal, consume a lot of passenger compartment space (at least in a YJ) if you have them on a mount, etc. I have some plans in the works to get around all that. Once I have some cash, and found a couple custom parts.. I'll start Project OBP and let you know how it went.
I run and recommend Garmin's GPS V. While it can do the GPS III'S functions it also is WAAS enabled (wide area aumentation system) which improves accuracy where available. It can also auto-route calculate where it can find and route the shortest/fastest way to your destination or waypoints. It has more memory, for storing detailed data comprised of fishing info, topo maps, city and rural streets, highways, interstates, lakes, airports, coastlines, services ect. It does run a little more but it comes with a MapSource CD, 12 volt cig. adapter and auto mount.
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