Garmin Etrex H – any good?

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  • Garmin Etrex H – any good?
  • Doing the WRT, will I get 130 miles of route in to this device from Memory Map?

    I *think* you will need to split it over a couple of routes to make it go, there is limitations on the amount of waypoints a route can have.

    Like i say, i think…..sure somebody will know the definitive answer

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    I *think* you will need to split it over a couple of routes to make it go,

    that would be ok, not planning on doing it all in one go 🙂

    highclimber
    Member

    Max 50 wpts per route. upto 20 routes on an etrex H. they are good devices but are very limited due to their small internal memory. I use Mapyx Quo for my route planning. the tiles are a lot cheaper than MM and the prog is more user friendly.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    With Tracklogs, you can use thousands of trackpoints in one route.

    clubber
    Member

    You don't really need waypoints all the way. I just convert all my routes to trails in memory map and then add specific waypoints that I really need. Like that, I reckon there's a good chance you'd get it all in one though as suggested, otherwise, splitting it would work. I've certainly had no problems holding more than one 100ish mile track in mine.

    the Etrex H is great so long as you can live without the mapping. I've found it fine though there is the odd occassion when a map would make some juntions easier (eg if there are several routes leading from a point) but equally, you'll quickly know if you go wrong.

    mudsux
    Member

    get a garmin with mapping capability and then download the free maps from OSM (open street mapping).

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Thinking about getting a Garmin Etrex H from Amazon (have enough nectar points to get one).

    Etrex H

    I've managed with a map or by riding with people who have a GPS, but quite fancy one to record rides and to help navigate in unfamiliar areas, especially at night.

    Doing the WRT, will I get 130 miles of route in to this device from Memory Map?

    Cheers

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    The Garmin Dakota 20 looks nice but is £130 more than the Etrex H, you gonna paypal me the difference?

    Premier Icon Paulio
    Subscriber

    I'm looking at the same thing – it's a toss up between the Etrex h and Geko for me. Or an old etrex from ebay. I don't think I'll go too far wrong with any of them.

    clubber
    Member

    The newer GPSs (models with an 'H' from Garmin eg Etrex H, HCX, etc) have much better satellite reception than older models – I wouldn't use any of the old ones as they were crap in comparison and always lost signal – especially in trees or very hilly terrain – exactly where we mtb!

    boblo
    Member

    The latest Etrex H can use up to 125 waypoints per route and can store 20 routes in its internal memory.

    This means you may need to split complex or long days into a couple of 'routes', save them to the unit and then follow each sequentially.

    The Legend and Vista can use up to 250 waypoints per route (IIRC) which is a little more convenient but more £££'s.

    Etrex H, Legend or Vista become really useful tools when used with mapping software (Memory Map, Anquet etc) and has been stated, 'routes' (a collection of waypoints with turn and arrival indicators) may be converted to 'tracks' (a wiggly breadcrumb trail you follow slavishly though there are no turn or arrival indicators) which for all practical comprisons, bypasses the waypoint limitation. (there is a trackpoint limit, I can't recall what it is though it's many 1000's).

    I use an H. When I plan a route, I'm sparing with the waypoints and if I get any where near 125, I split the day into multiple routlets of less than 125 waypoints.

    GPS's transform nav on a bike. No more faffing with the map at each intersection/junction/turn off though I always take a map as back up….just in case…..

    <edit> Ditto the point about the high sensitivity H's vs the early ones. Chalk and cheese. The newer ones have 'High Sensitivity' printed on the top of the screen.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Cheers, good overview.

    Quick Q, having waypoints at particular places (i.e. where there are multiple route options) sounds like a good idea, can you combine tracks and waypoints?

    clubber
    Member

    Yes you can. I do exactly that.

    Premier Icon stuartlangwilson
    Subscriber

    I found the limited memory a real pain on an etrex despite the useful workarounds above.

    Something with a bit more space would be good.

    Just got an Oregon 550t with 1:50k OS maps, impressed so far. Already dropped it twice so glad i didn't get a smart phone instead.

    clubber
    Member

    Funny, I've never had an issue with it. What are you doing that needs so much
    memory?

    Premier Icon stuartlangwilson
    Subscriber

    It was the original etrex. The only snag was if you wanted to have a large number of routes stored on it. I probably wouldn't have upgraded but the old one broke.

    boblo
    Member

    IIRC, the first H's (though they were just Etrex's, there were no other models) had a 50 waypoint, single route memory. Not massively useful. The latest have 125 waypoint/20 routes which is 'enough'.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    The latest Etrex H, according to the Garmin Website, can hold 500 waypoints/20 routes. Does that mean it can hold 500 waypoints for each of 20 routes (therefore 10,000 waypoints)?

    starseven
    Member

    How are you all uploading gpx files to an etrex H ? Thought they couldnt connect to a pc without a complicated usb adaptor/driver set up.

    clubber
    Member

    I'm using a complicated usb adaptor/driver set up 🙂

    I am using a serial cable with a PC that has, wait for it, a serial port, remember them ?

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Yeah it's the only pisser really, an extra £30 for the cables and bike mount 🙁

    Anyone know the answer to my earlier question? Does 500 Waypoints/20 Routes = 10,000 Waypoints?

    clubber
    Member

    It does ring a bell but I'm not certain.

    Anyone know the answer to my earlier question? Does 500 Waypoints/20 Routes = 10,000 Waypoints?

    I dont know for sure but i doubt it, i would think it will be 500 waypoints total.

    highclimber
    Member

    Nick, yes its 500 wpts p/route so 10,000 wpts in total

    boblo
    Member

    Nick – Member
    Yeah it's the only pisser really, an extra £30 for the cables and bike mount

    Anyone know the answer to my earlier question? Does 500 Waypoints/20 Routes = 10,000 Waypoints?

    Before you buy Garmin's own cable have a look for an aftermarket one. Can't for the life of me recall what the sites called but it's much, much cheaper.

    Strange about the 500 waypoint thing. If you download and look in Garmin's manual, it states 125 (page 14) but the online spec says 500. I've just got a new warranty replacement so I'll tst it with more than 125 and see what happens.

    Back in a bit.

    starseven
    Member

    Do you have drivers for vista or is it xp/2000 only.

    boblo
    Member

    The company for after market bits: garmin bits

    My H is the latest build, it's only a few weeks old. It will only take <125 waypoints, I've just tested it. I've asked Garmin to comment on the differences between the web spec and their manual spec.

    boblo
    Member

    SS, if that's to me, I use XP and W7. The cable works fine with either. I don't have a Vista PC.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Looking at my WRT route, it's broken down into 13 legs over 3 days, longest has 110 waypoints so 125 is fine.

    Another fine link there, cheers

    Premier Icon legspin
    Subscriber

    if you're pc doesn't have a serial port just buy a £2.50 usb to serial converter off ebay. We use them at work for connecting new PC's to CNC machine tools.

    starseven
    Member

    Whole day, driver downloads, mapping downloads, helpline calls, it almost works.

    boblo
    Member

    Welcome to the world of Garmin 🙂 When it works it does save faff, it's just quite a steep curve getting there…. Just think, you could have bought an Edge 705 😯

    starseven
    Member

    Ok, I have been a etrex user since they were the new, it has saved my bacon a few times just never got around to pc syncing. This thread and a spare day renewed my interested.

    yesterday I downloaded the quo software went through the usual learning curve, bought some additional maps(quite reasoonable)and already had the cable, serial to usb driver pl2303 or something are easily availible online.

    Using an everytrail acc with several maps created on an iphone or by friends. I sent these to quo, then sent them back onto the etrex. All tracks came up as "truncated" even the shortest because they have two many way points.

    Seems a track created on a modern gps will have more waypoints for accuracy but thats more than the etrex can handle. Using the quo facility "simplify segment" you can reduce the waypoints, you must first set the preferences to whatever you think is appropriate ie every 50 metres or so.

    The other confusing bit was syncing up the etrex which even though the cable is usb you still need to select "garmin serial device" an the appropriate port.

    Taken 24 hours of my life to get this working smoothly but will probably put another year or so into the etrex's usefulness.

    I alraedy have a couple of bike brackets for the etrex range so it would make sense to stick with them. Does anyone have any experience with the legend, vista models or would it be better to miss out those and go straight to the 60 csx, Dakota, Oregan range?

    Cheers.

    boblo
    Member

    I assume this a basic Etrex (serial connector)?

    The Serial/USB adapter software creates a virtual USB port on your PC. I'm not that clear on the technical why's and wherefore's but this seems to stop the normal Windows new device discovery process hence the need to manually select the virtual port.

    Depending on circumstance, I also use a PDA with Memory Map/Tom Tom and an Edge 705. They both have full mapping. The PDA is fragile (both h/w and s/w), battery hungry and a pain to use apart from when escaping big cities on long tours. The Edge is great for following a route created in PC/web software (sound familiar?), records good stats for training but is a law unto itself if used as a bike 'sat nav'… i.e. don't unless you want wierd and wonderful results….

    This means, I find the Etrex H the most robust, reliable, easy to use and cheapest of my three options. I don't miss electronic mapping as I always carry a map for when I really really need one.

    If I were buying a new GPS now, I'd probably go for the Legend CX simply because it tells you which way to go when stationary (the H needs movement to do this). Apart from that, for my uses (mountainbiking and mountaineering) the H is perfect.

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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