GPS Units - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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GPS Units

Any recommendations for good GPS units to use during training and eventually searches to keep track of where we have searched? Thanks.

-Melissa
Lloyd (big black mix)
Nash (rescue GSD)
and the cats
Snickers (DSH tortie)
Jake (DLH tuxedo blk & Wht)
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 04:01 PM
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Either the Astro system with the DC30 collar [2nd generation] or the Garmin 60cx or 60csx I would like to get my hands a new colorado series with a touchscreen---those look really interesting.

Make sure whatever you get is compatible with whatever map software you use and can upload easity - some units like lowrance, you have to remove an SC card under the battery - most units have direct USB connection.

I would say Astro best for offlead dog because you can track where the dog has gone and evaluate for gaps.

Nancy



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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. He will be on leash, we are training for on leash trailing.

-Melissa
Lloyd (big black mix)
Nash (rescue GSD)
and the cats
Snickers (DSH tortie)
Jake (DLH tuxedo blk & Wht)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 07:34 AM
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You could get a cheap Garmin eTrex Legend or Vista in color. They've got a good battery life and you'll be able to connect it to the Garmin MapQuest software, which while rudimentary still works just fine.

If you don't like the idea of carrying around a unit, look at the Garmin Forerunner 405 series wrist watches. Has a very easy to use software called Garmin Training Center, which will give you the basics such as distance travelled, altitude, time of day and your heart rate (if you're wearing your chest strap).

Personally, I like my G405 for any kind of activity on which I know the course. If I'm breaking brush, especially in a completely unfamiliar area, I like to keep my eTrex (c) handy.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 08:41 AM
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The main thing I would look for is good reception under heavy cover - my forerunner is just not any good at all in heavy woods - even though it is a waas enabled unit and waas is helpful in my locale. Mine is 3 years old; newer units may be better. I still carry it as a backup though on my shoulder strap since it is so cheap and light.

The other thing I would look for is ONLY take one where you can download the data via USB.

I assume you are on a team? They probably have mapping software. We standardized our team to 60 series to simplify rapid downloads of data as switching between units can be a hassle on a search and we can make handy reference cards plus you can display two coordinate systems on the unit simultaneously which is a REAL plus since our state police are standardized to DD. MM.MMM and we use UTM because it is superior for mapping. The FEMA standard is [at least from a FEMA course I took] NGRS but it is really just a variant of UTM and is also available on the units.

Plus the antenna works really well in the woods. Unless things have changed, units iwth a quad helix antenna get better reception and are designed to be carried vertically such as in a radio harness or pack strap whereas the eTrex is designed to be carried horizontal and has a patch antenna.

I actually like to take the active log and use start and stop times to "clip" the track. If you "save" a track, the garmins strip
the time and speed data but the active log has a lot of information. If you use the mapsource garmin utility, [or g7towin] you can save that as a csv file to have all that info**. I would also download g7towin which is free because you can take a *.gpx file [that is how I would save the active log] and convert it to many formats......

**the thing about that is that GPS units do sometimes throw spurious random points that you can edit out of the data in a utility but not on a maptech map. A good mapping sofware that is far cheaper than maptech is topofusion.com. There is a free demo. More of a learning curve than maptech but there is a LOT you can do with it such as lay aerials over tops and adjust transparency as well as calibrate user maps such as trail maps to lay on top of the other maps.

Sorry for the extensive rambling. Maps are "my thing" at the IC as I work a cadaver dog but work at IC during live searches, so I have had to pick up a lot on that topic.

Nancy



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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 02:36 PM
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Garmin 60CSX is the best for the cost. It has the best mapping system and the best reception in high coverage areas. It's the only one recommended by our state and county orginizations. It's also much more user friendly and durable than some of the cheaper versions. You can get it on amazon for under 300

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melgrj7 View Post
Thanks. He will be on leash, we are training for on leash trailing.
I use an oregon 450 t and love it. It has never lost it's satellite connection and is easy to use. I also work trailing with my dog. Let me know how you like trailing.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 08:27 PM
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I have heard the Oregon did not have as good a reception as the 60 Series but it looks like those problems may be resolved.

Our team did wind up standardizing (the Astro and 60 Series are on the same GPSMAP276 configuration) because Maptech TNP is not too happy with multipe GPS units and having one basic model makes managing all the data on a search so much better ......... else we have to have mutlple occurrences of another utility open, save the file, and import into Maptech.

The 60 series is getting to be "old tech" but there are a lot of groups that use it. I think it is also the standard for FEMA.

The Oregon though does look like an exceptionally nice unit and it does talk to Maptech.

I would check on the team and make sure whatever you do works with the folks doing the mapping for you.

Nancy



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 07:34 PM
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Our team uses the Garmin Map 76 basically because it floats in water since we work a lot of body recovery searches. I must say this is the toughest little gps i have ever had it has been slammed around so much and even left dragging on an atv by a fellow member and it still is kicking strong. You can also buy them on Ebay pretty reasonable. As far as mapping software we like map source and map tech. Here is a link to the Garmin Map 76 on the Garmin Website https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=169&ra=true
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 07:54 PM
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So where in GA are you? What team? We get a lot of water searches too. I will have to see if our CsX floats- but we usually have that strap hooked onto our vests because we have had a couple get lost.

Nancy



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