Small bike, off-road, day-ride only GPS?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by tdvt, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. tdvt

    tdvt Been here awhile

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    Sorry for yet another query, I have read multiple threads but I'm still looking for advice as most threads seem oriented to longer distance DS touring, multi-day rides, etc.

    I don't have a GPS, haven't used a GPS (other than a borrowed Nuvi in the car once) & want to have something to track trail rides/explore others GPS tracks, off-road.

    I don't plan to wire it to the bike (250 w/minimal electrics) at this point, so the power connector issue is not really a main concern & in the end don't really mind changing batteries, since I ride mostly day rides.

    Montana is too much $$ & sounds like more than I need, so I've narrowed down (not knowing much) to either a Garmin 78 or an Oregon 450.

    Suggestions/insights?
    #1
  2. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    The 78 will do fine.
    Even an eTrex provided there is something better than the bicycle mount for it.
    I'm not a fan of touch screens.
    #2
  3. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    +1
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  4. travatron

    travatron Adventurer

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    I'd agree with the 78. It's small and easy to use, and if you ever do decide to wire it up or put it on a bigger bike, you'll be ahead of the game.
    #4
  5. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    I've never used the 78, but I sure like my Oregon 450. I have no hesitations recommending one. GPS City had them on sale a few weeks back for $199. Can't beat that price, IMO.
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  6. bkg123

    bkg123 Been here awhile

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    I have absolutely zero complaints with my Oregon 450. As EmmEff said, 199.00 is a pretty good price.
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  7. tdvt

    tdvt Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all your replies. Have to ponder the touch-screen vs. buttons thing. Screens seem fairly close in size which is a consideration for me.

    Is the satellite acquisition pretty similar between them?
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  8. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Check the spec. 78 is patch antenna, don't know what the Oregon uses. Quadhelix is better.
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  9. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    In some cases yes, in other cases no. It depends on the size of each antenna, the orientation of the antenna, and other factors. If you keep your GPS somewhat "flat", a patch antenna of "equivalent" size will usually perform better. Also, the sensitivity of the receiver circuitry has a major effect. Without knowing the size of each antenna, and the receiver sensitivity, and the way the unit is to be mounted on the bike, itÂ’s hard to say which would be better, though I suspect both would be very good. I would think the touch screen issue might be a bigger deciding factor.
    #9
  10. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Does the antenna effect the accuracy of the lon/lat calculation or just the how much loss can be between the receiver and enough satellites? Loss would be pointing off main gain lobe, trees, building, water, etc
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  11. bkg123

    bkg123 Been here awhile

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    I don't believe my Oregon is equipped with the retro-encabulator or the meso-helix modulator, but it has always been right where I am, and the touch screen works with gloves. The batteries last a long time, and in daylight you can turn the backlight off. It can get knocked around, and it picks up satellites in my living room (why I have satellites in my living room however, is a mystery).
    #11
  12. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Comparing a 78s (patch) and a 60cx (quadhelix) laid flat side by each the 60 got a better gps accuracy reading. 78s - 10m; 60cx - 3m. Traded spots - same result.

    Sometime when both owners are at the same place with some time to try it, this "test" will be repeated.
    #12
  13. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    I've got a couple of Garmin 76cx GPS units.

    Within a couple of minutes I commonly see 9 FOOT accuracy.

    Close enough for me! ;-)
    #13
  14. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    Yes and no. The number of satellites that the unit "sees" affects accuracy (more sats = better accuracy) because the signals from each are somewhat averaged to reduce error. A better antenna might see more satellites.
    #14
  15. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    That is exactly what I thought. So in open desert with low horizion for 360 degrees no possible difference. Besides with old 76C could not even get postion in redwood forests on north coast so as long as my76Cx & 78 locks on, I am happy traveler.
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  16. stege

    stege Wonderer

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    eTrex 20. Best unit Ive ever had. Stick some eneloops in it and youre golden!
    #16