Author Topic: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions  (Read 8443 times)

Callum

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New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« on: October 18, 2012, 08:37:46 AM »
As most forum members know, at the centre we are both big advocates and big users of the older Garmin Etrex H, equipping all of our outdoor parties with at least one uni,t and frequently the entire group.

I have been keen to see Garmin’s new Etrex’s in action, and this week have been using their mid-level model, the Etrex 20, on loan to us from Cotswold.

Both its size and feel are similar to the H series, but this is where the similarity ends. The colour screen and easy to use buttons are a vast improvement, as is the mapping, but by far the most impressive improvement that I have noticed is its ability to always get a signal and report your location accurately. We spend much time mountain biking through the wooded areas of the Lakes which has frequently caused our Etrex H’s some problems with reception, not so with the Etrex 20, which has the ability to track both GPS (31 satellites) and GLONASS (24 satellites), this significantly increases the number of satellites in view, and this is combined with EGNOS satellite reception, plus HotFix satellite prediction, to locate your position quickly, making the Etrex 20 more productive in areas where trees, terrain or buildings diminish or block satellite visibility.

The only negatives so far are the now familiar rubbish manufacturers’ product instructions, and even already being fully conversant with how to operate the Etrex H, deleting waypoints was very confusing on the Etrex 20 following the manual, in fact I gave up and discovered for myself, as was converting tracks to routes.

The data recorded can be uploaded to Google Earth, a feature we use a lot in teaching, however when trying to use it with Google Maps it was not clear that you needed a Google account and a free file transfer site.

Overall – Impressive. I will write a complete review after our loan period is up next Friday.

boogyman

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 04:32:18 PM »
And an acceptible price -- compared to the eTrex Legend HCx, which can be seen as its predecessor. Cheapest offer I find on the web is 165 euro, the price including delivery.
  http://www.essecshop.be/index.php/garmin-etrex-20.html

Callum

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 09:22:42 AM »
Yes Boogyman, the price is a major advantage, although we would need to buy the mapping (Birdseye). If we upgrade our old series Etrex we will need to purchase 50 new ones. It will be interesting to see what price we can get them at.

Cotswold are selling individual Etrex 20s with mapping for £190 – which is already a very good price and if they cost us this the outlay will be £9500

We will get discount, not sure how much yet plus the old Etrex H fetches on average £45 on Ebay and we have 57 of these, So we will be able to offset £2565 against the purchase of the new models, and we are looking at a maximum outlay of £6935, which is incredibly good value for the centre in providing both teaching aids and back up navigational safety to all our outdoor groups.

mikee

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2012, 04:03:19 PM »
i just got my first SatNav an Etrex 10.  I wanted a simple get out of jail free card. I thought learning how to land navigate with map and compass first was the right way for me to go. Also the cost of the maps for the 62 series seemed a little excessive. plus buying maps of whole countries for me seemed a little OTT..........I struggle to see the country in brittany let alone the whole of France for example.

I'm out tomorrow to have a play.......I'll let you know how I got on.

M

Walking Beaver

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 06:12:18 PM »
Open Street Maps are free! I use OSM for about 2 years, they are not so good (detailed) as the maps you can buy.
For me they are just good enough, and you can always modify the OSM.

Greetz

WB
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 06:13:49 PM by Walking Beaver »

boogyman

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 08:34:52 AM »
Just back from a 9-day hiking holiday in France. Together with a dutch hiking friend, we guided a group of 6 hikers. One of them had a brandnew eTrex 20, so I had a chance to "play" a bit with it. Here are the points that caught my attention.

- The device came without any form of paper manual, the lady said. The on-device help (in the form of HTML files stored in main memory) was worthless. It told what anyone would know without consulting the manual, but it did not tell what I was looking for, like (a) how will the device make use of an additional SD card, (b) can you setup the feature "record every single trackpoint to an unmodifiable gpx file" and how, (c) what is the suggested way to exchange waypoints, routes and tracks between a PC and the device, (d) what exactly is the functionality of each of the different "USB interface" settings, and so on... I managed to find some answers by trying things out (I had no internet access whatsoever), but one expects to find this in a manual, no?

- Contrary to what I feared, the display was very clear and very readable. It seems to me that it are only the menu screens which look less clear than on the old eTrex HCx.

- When you are used to an "old" eTrex you will have no problems switching to the new eTrex -- except maybe for the fact that Garmin placed that joystick-like button at the top-right of the device, which I do not like (I usually hold my satnav in my left hand).

- It received the same (number of) GPS satellites as my eTrex, plus an additional number of GLONASS satellites. Nonetheless, it's (in)accuracy never read less than 3 meters. I believe that Lyle already commented on this (you would need a military device to get less than 3 meters inaccuracy?).

- Although the carabiner clip looks the same as for the old eTrex series, it is far more difficult to slide the satnav on and off that clip. Personally I find this a real drawback. Today (with my eTrex HCx) I can very easily slide the satnav out of the carabiner clip, handle the device as needed, and slide it back on the clip with one hand -- and without the need to give my full attention to these handlings. With the new fitting, that looks impossible. Maybe it is a question of getting used to it? I doubt it.

On another note: while talking about satnav devices with the group, I was surprised by the fact that several people believed that the satnav was kind of infallible. As an example: they were convinced that, at the end of a day-hike, their satnav told them exactly which distance they had walked. Weird huh?

Best regards,
Chris.

mikee

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 03:23:16 PM »
Well the Etrex 10 I got worked fine, as you'd expect. Though I was dissappointed to find a lack of info in the manual, luckily for me   I was able to play around and have a great search on the web before I went out.

I searched for a couple of Geocaches not far from me.....if anything just to see how it worked out. I found the first cache, but the second the satnav couldn't pin point the location- I would get within 1m/2m according to the screen then the direction arrow would jump to 12m behind, so I turned and it changed again 3m in another direction......this continued so I gave up in the end. I was a bit worried that the etrex had mal function but it found the car again!! weird coz I was in the middle of nowhere just and old ruin of a mill.


Lyle Brotherton

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 03:36:43 PM »
Mikee a few pointers:

1.   The accuracy of your geocache depends upon the accuracy with which it was first recorded by the person who initially left it there.
2.   When getting near a cache it is easy to start looking down and stop holding your satnav correctly by bringing it in close to your body.
3.   You can be up to 2x the stated screen accuracy, in other words if your unit is showing an accuracy of 4m then you could be up to 8m away from it.
4.   Assuming you have set it up properly, as in the right map datum etc., it might be best for the very first time you use it to leave it sat collecting satellite data for 20 minutes, simple place it somewhere where there is a good clear view of the sky and it collects all the ephemeris data for your area
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

captain paranoia

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 07:19:57 PM »
> I was in the middle of nowhere just and old ruin of a mill.

Big enough ruin to give multipath problems with the receiver, perhaps?

Brian

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 04:56:41 AM »
Mikee a few pointers:

[ . . . ]  4.   Assuming you have set it up properly, as in the right map datum etc., it might be best for the very first time you use it to leave it sat collecting satellite data for 20 minutes, simple place it somewhere where there is a good clear view of the sky and it collects all the ephemeris data for your area

Yes.  When I go to a new location, I turn my 62s on, stay put, and let it settle in for 20 minutes or so. 

Then, I show anyone within range the track it has recorded.

Though the unit remains stationary, it records quite a track.  It really makes the point, for those who take UTM numbers as some sort of scientific absolute, that those numbers are not an absolute.  It's a great way to make the point that the "accuracy" notation is a statement of probability worth taking into consideration.

Pete McK

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 04:57:26 PM »
It might also be that your satnav is multi-pathing, but a good illustration of their accuracy and to some extent fallibility.

mikee

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 02:44:07 PM »
Having read up on using the SatNav in Lyles book it made me realise that it probably was

multipathing

held to close to my body

I left the receiver on the table out side last night for about 30mins, the position of the satellites was very good 10 really full bars and all the satellites well spread out.

Thanks for the tips 

Claire

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 09:53:39 AM »
Hi Mikee, I have also just got my first Sat Nav and it is also an Etrex 10.  Like you I was a little dissapointed with the instruction manual but I found plenty to read on the Internet.  I hope to get out today and have a play.  Have you any more good or bad points to update that you have found out yet.  I'll keep you posted on anything I experience.

Claire :)

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 11:13:36 AM »
I have been thinking about the merits of Garmin’s new eTrex 10 for a while and decided that it is not worth the money - £100 at Cotswold 28122012

For less than half this amount - £40 eBay 28122012 - you can buy a second-hand eTrex H which, in my professional opinion, meets all the needs of a first time user to satnav and is good enough to be a mainstay handheld satnav if required.

Alternatively, a brand new eTrex 20 is £80 more than the eTrex 10 at Cotswold, yet offers so much more than the 10, because it has on screen mapping (£20 of which comes with the unit).

My advice to folk new to satnav is:

1.   Buy a second hand eTrex H, become completely comfortable using and understanding this technology.
2.   Then, either stay with the eTrex H (it has always been my backup unit) or sell it, for what you bought it for on eBay, and trade up to a mapping handheld satnav.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Barry G

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Re: New Garmin Etrex 10 First Impressions
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 02:42:13 PM »
Lyle, I did exactly what you suggested here and in your You Tube video regarding purchasing a second hand Etrex and I got the connecting cable and the etrex for $65.00 on ebay. It was actually brand new, never taken out of doors and it had the up to date software. I take it every where I go and I play a game with it to help me develope expertise with it and general navigation. I can't imagain needing anything more to navigate with than this inexpensive and well working sat/nav. This is the game I play. I purchased a USGS 7.5 topo map of the area in which I live and dead center of this map is my home. When Margie and I go out shopping or whatever I mark waypoints of place I know very well and write them down in a small note book. When I get home I plot these locations with my UTM Roamer corner scale using the coordinates from my sat/nav and check for accuracy. Well, every location (29 sofar) have been within meters. Then I go to my sat/nav and get the compass berings while I'm in my home and using a compass and strightedge I plot the Waypoint from my home and every one of the are also dead on. This helps me develope my skills with the sat/nav, Topo maps, using UTM position format, and plotting bearings from my sat/nav to my compass bringing all of these tools together! And it's great fun. I love this stuff.
"What  is, is best"