Re: GPS question

Michael Lampi <lampi@...>

--- In SoundRowers@..., "Paul Elliott Mueller"
<pem19702003@y...> wrote:

I was curious about the different GPS units used during races.
Would you mind sharing some of the positive aspects of your GPS
unit? I was wondering about pre-setting the GPS unit with the
turning mark coordinates, readability during a race, weather-proof
features, mounting to the hull, and computer compatibility.
See you on the water,

Paul Mueller
Hi Paul,

For use on the water in races I would highly recommend a GPS unit
with a gray scale display - unless money is of no object. Some of
the recent higher end Garmin hand held units have a very readable
color display that put the equivalent Magellan units to shame. I
know - I have one of the Magellan color units (SporTrak Color).

You will end up paying a couple of hundred dollars more for color
than gray scale and, unless you also buy the detail map software,
the color information generally doesn't help a whole lot. (The one
exception is Rat Island, where my color unit helped to distinguish
between the red and green colored channel markers last year. They
are properly colored in my unit's map as well as labeled.)

Otherwise, if all you are looking for is something that you can
load with waypoints (turning mark coordinates), generally readable
from a distance, splash proof and able to connect to a computer,
then you can get away with units in the $150 (list) price range
such as the Garmin Geko 201 (no map), Garmin eTrex line or
Magellan SporTraks (smaller) or Meridian (larger).

If you want something that can display a map you will pay more.
Some of the more expensive ones have removable memory cards that
can be loaded directly from a computer, rather than with a serial
cable which takes a long, long time. Only recently have some GPS
models appeared that support USB connections and their fast
transfer rates.

Other points to remember: At this time the only maps one can load
into a GPS are those maps that are made available from each
specific GPS vendor. While there are several 3rd party products
that will accept data from different GPS units, there is no way
to load a custom map from any of these 3rd party software packages
into any GPS out there.

Ok, there are some exceptions, particularly with respect to Garmin,
but it really takes a lot of hard work to do in any case.

Some examples of the maps you can make on your PC can be found on
the Sound Rowers photo albums. For most of the races over the past
year I've included the tracks and statistics gathered by my GPS
during the races and included them as part of the albums, typically
placed on the last page. Garmin has similar capabilities.

If I were going to buy a new GPS today I'd take a good look at the
Garmin 76C or 76CS, which includes tide tables (better than my
SporTrak Color), bright color screen (also better), and loads of
bells & whistles to satisfy my technogeek cravings. Most people
would be happy with the much more economical SporTrak Pro, Magellan
Gold, Garmin eTrex, etc., all which will track your course, direct
you to the next waypoint, sound an alarm when close to your
waypoint, etc.

--Michael Lampi

P.S. You can get a lot of information from

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