Garmin Oregon. Anybody got one?

12:34 a.m. on August 6, 2008 (EDT)
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So,I'm starting to get tired (O.K. LONG past starting) of my Garmin ETrex Legend.It's sensitivity sucks and the greyscale screen is almost invisible in my Jeep with the top up. So... I'm thinking about spending a portion of my vacation pay on buying a new GPS. I already know that I am getting a garmin with a High Sensitivity receiver. (According to a number of people on another Outdoors forum the Garmin HS receivers can get a satelite lock INDOORS) What I don't know is if I want an "old fashioned" style HS Garmin with buttons and no touchscreen, or the really sweet looking Garmin Oregon. http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-400T-Touchscreen-Preloaded-Topographic/dp/B001B15SAY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1217997383&sr=8-1 And before anyone trash-talks the touchscreen, if I'm going to to something bad enough to break the touch part of the screen, then I've probably broken the display as well. So... does anyone have an Oregon? love it? HATE it? Thanx!

9:34 p.m. on August 6, 2008 (EDT)
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I suggest you look on the geocachers' websites at the discussions of the Oregon. You will get all the details of all the warts, as well as the good points, of the Oregon (and other units as well). On any of the sites, go to the "Hardware and Software" forums. http://www.geocaching.com/ or for the real techheads in Silicon Valley, The Geocachers of the Bay Area at http://www.thegba.com On GBA, there has been a running discussion of the Oregon (and the rumored new "California") at http://thegba.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3773&start=0. One of the major criticisms has been that the Oregon is "dumbed down", a trend in GPSRs that has been going on for several years now. That is, since "most users don't understand", a number of useful features have been removed from the Oregon. There is a wide agreement that the 60-series is still Garmin's best unit family (GPSMap 60Cx and 60CSx, though many find the sensors in the CSx to be problematic - much too much battery drain, need to frequently recalibrate the flux-gate compass, fact that the altitude normally displayed is the barometric altimeter, not the GPS-derived altitude, some other quibbles). The 400T Oregon looks snazzy, but some people have been returning them.

1:50 a.m. on August 8, 2008 (EDT)
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The Geocachers of the Bay Area are a little too private to even let people browse the site. Can't even JOIN the forum without direct permission from the administrator. Same with the geocaching.com site. Plus, don't really feel like joining a bunch of new forums for just one question. So... still lookin' for some more input. The biggest thing for me is the fact that I have become addicted to 3D topographical maps. Thanx to Google Maps, Microsoft Live Earth, and most recently (And by far the best) ArcGIS Explorer. 3D topo... Mmmmm... Tasty! Anyways... the Oregon is the only Garmin GPS aside from the Colorado that has this feature. And the second most important feature is the touchscreen. The Colorado doesn't have touchscreen. As for the Oregon being dumbed down... What's been taken away most likely never existed on my Garmin ETrex Legend. So I probably won't miss it. So, Anyone had any personal time with one? (Hmmm, that sounded... wrong) Anyone get to play with one? (Ahh, that still sounds wrong) Anyone... Use an Oregon for it's stated purposes? (That sounded better) Thanx Again!

1:33 p.m. on August 8, 2008 (EDT)
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One of the important things missing from the Oregon is the satellite page. It is on your Legend. Without it, it is difficult to judge how good the constellation is, and hence how much the probable error is (the number given for estimated position accuracy, called by various names by the different manufacturers) is uninformative and often misleading. Garmin refuses to say what exactly their EPE is (is it a 50% error circle, 95%, or what). The graphical constellation can also give you an idea of which direction the indicated position is likely to be off and can give an idea of whether and which direction multipath will throw you off (there is one area I pass through frequently where the track is consistently off by about 1 kilometer in the same direction every time I go through there with my various Garmin units - a glance at the satellite screen shows that all the satellites being received are off to one side of the sky). Also, the screen shows which satellites are being used, so you can tell whether you actually have only a 2D lock, or a full 3D lock, or also whether you are getting an assist from WAAS (the correction messages that are transmitted to tell your unit the corrections that need to be made for clock error, satellite position error, and atmospheric effects - you don't need to worry about them, since your GPSR takes care of them, except that you want to know if it is receiving that information).

Basically, that satellite screen tells you how closely to trust the position the GPSR is showing. The red-green-blue light on many of the vehicle units and similar indicator on the Oregon is about as useful as the oil light on the car's instrument panel - when it blinks, you are already in trouble and it's too late.

The reason the geocaching websites want you to register is the same reason Trailspace wants you to register, plus the large potential for mischief makers. On Trailspace, though, the moderators have to keep a close eye on posts and clean things up by hand, where on GBA and GC, all that is necessary is to shut off someone's access if they are out of line. GC has on the order of a million registered users, GBA in the tens of thousands (not all in the SFBay Area), plus there are physical caches and people who do environmental damage around known caches.

You could also look on Usenet's news groups for GPS - sci.geo.satellite-nav I do hesitate to suggest anything on the Usenet newsgroups, however, because of the amount of garbage you have to wade through (the amount of garbage on the rec.climbing and rec.backcountry is why the original rec.climbing.useful and rec.backcountry.useful were started, which eventually became Trailspace).

4:22 p.m. on August 8, 2008 (EDT)
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Aaaack! They took away the satellite screen?!? That was the first thing I would look at when heading into deep overgrowth or narrow gorges. (To see if I should leave it on or shut it off due to uselessness and save my batteries) Still, I really, REALLY like the 3D Topo View on the Oregon and Colorado. I've already got Garmins' Mapsource software and Topo Maps of Canada, so I don't want to go with something other than Garmin. (The Topo Canada Mappack is $180.00 plus tax. NOT a bullet I'm willing to bite.)And I don't do TOO much backpacking where I can put myself into a dangerous situation by following a inaccurate GPS. Plus, the High Sensitivity receiver that Garmin is using in the Oregon / Colorado and the 60HCx / 60HCSx is reported to be almost frighteningly sensitive on another forum. They were using the 60H series, so I couldn't ask about the Oregon. Thanx Bill S for your knowledge.

7:51 a.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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Actually there is a very useful satellite screen - it is easily accessible by clicking on the satellite status bars.

(I realise I'm replying to an old post but thought I would clear up this "confusion" as the rumoured lack of a satellite screen was an issue for me until yesterday when I actually saw an Oregon unit in use in the field).

September 20, 2014
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