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#1

Claypipe
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Joined: 10 February 2020
Posts: 35
Member
23 September 2020 06:23 pm

Hi Folks, I have done a search of the forum on hand held GPS units as I am thinking about upgrading my Garmin unit. As the technology is continually improving, I would be interested in hearing what you find best in the way of hand held GPS units. Particularly interested in units that have mapping capability. Reliability and functionality are critical. Thanks

#2

grubstake
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From: Perth, WA
Joined: 20 October 2014
Posts: 3,028
Member
23 September 2020 06:49 pm

Which Garmin are you using?


Where it is, there it is.

#3

Claypipe
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Joined: 10 February 2020
Posts: 35
Member
23 September 2020 07:17 pm

GPS 12

#4

Redfin
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Joined: 26 February 2013
Posts: 3,004
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23 September 2020 09:12 pm

Rino is great value at JAS = https://www.ja-gps.com.au/Garmin/rino-7 … -handheld/


Det used - Whites 6000D, ML SD2000, ML SD 2001, ML SD 2200D, Garrett Infinium. Minelab SDC 2300.Minelab GPX 4500. Minelab GPX 5000.
Minelab GPZ 7000. --------------------Current Det - Garrett ASD Groundhog. . .Minelab GPX 6000

#5

Katabatic
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Joined: 27 August 2020
Posts: 169
Member
23 September 2020 09:39 pm

I had a GPS12 for many years....great little unit, but a bit behind the times these days. Rattled around in the tinny helping me find my crab-traps up in NQ.

Currently use an eTrex 10 for just general point-fixing....and an Oregon 600 (now the 700) for venturing into new country or more remote trout streams.

Very happy with the 600.....good battery life....don't buy the Garmin rechargeable pack, just chuck in a couple of Eneloops....works fine.

Good daylight screen vis....only mild criticism is that some of the capabilities and options aren't what I'd call dead-set intuitive.

Recommend the Australian Topo Maps, which can be bought cheap on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Garmin-TOPO … ctupt=true

I see that compatibility on this listing only goes as far as Oregon 650, so I'd be checking about compatibility for the 700 first.

Think I bought my map card from this same bloke a couple of years back.......price was about the same, and it works fine.

Had Garmin for many years now and can't fault them.

Last edited by Katabatic (23 September 2020 09:41 pm)

1 user likes this post: Claypipe

#6

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 2,344
Member
24 September 2020 02:01 am

Choice of a GPS is very dependent on what you want to do with it. i.e.

If you are out by yourself, incorporating a UHF might be an expense too far away. If you are in a group of 2 or more then the Rino will do both. If you want maps and use it for planning then a bigger unit might be the way to go and again you'll pay for it.

If all you want to do is put in a waypoint at your car, switch it off and go bush to detect, then if you lose your bearing back to the car, turn it on and let it guide you back, then a small unit like the Garmin E20 is all you need. I also, might mark a waypoint (WP), of an area I want to go back to another day while out there. I use the E20, it has 2 renamed waypoints - CAMP & CAR which I leave in it permanently. When I set camp I reposition that waypoint to it(easy to do). Every time I drive to a detecting point, I reposition the CAR WP to where it's parked before heading out. Then turn it off as I don't use it when detecting. Only gets turned on if I get "misplaced" (never get lost or I wouldn't be here to write this, lol) Takes a couple of AA Alkaline and I get over a year out of a set of batteries by the way I use it. If the worst happens and they find my bleached bones, at least they'll know where my car and camp are. skull (Should note, I carry a KTI PLB for emergencies)

If you want something to navigate whilst driving, the Hema Navigator with appropriate mapping is also good. I think there's another brand called Zanec that is similar, but can't say anything re that one.

So first advice, work out what you want to do, then look at what is available to do that. Then look at cost and the best deal. I've only ever used Garmin hand held and in car until I got the HN7 Hema, so can't speak for other brands.

Last edited by condor22 (24 September 2020 02:02 am)

3 users like this post: Claypipe, grubstake, Nightjar

#7

Rockhunter62
Banned
From: Roaming, WA
Joined: 03 May 2016
Posts: 3,316
Banned
24 September 2020 08:25 am

you can also put a gps app on your smart phone that will work offline, no need to buy another electronic device then.

Cheers

Doug


Forest Gump once said "life is like a detector going beep, you don't know what it is till you dig it up"

#8

Nightjar
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From: Home-Waikiki, Prospect-Leonora
Joined: 26 September 2013
Posts: 2,442
Member
24 September 2020 11:41 am

Morning Condor, Agree with all of your #6 post except last paragraph.
I would never cut costs when it comes to selecting life saving equipment, will spray the moths flying out of my wallet when handing over $$'s if need be.
Have a GME MT600G EPIRB + Barrett UHF radio (This is a beauty, have talked to operators as far away as Tasmania and several aircraft.) mounted in the ute and we both carry Rinos and as you mentioned mark caravan and ute positions before walking away.
** Re: UHF, one day, by pure chance while searching, tuned in to a drama unfolding. A geo had been bitten by a snake and preparations being made for his rescue. The Geo's mate was driving and heading towards an inland pastoral homestead. The pastoralist was positioning all the vehicles he had beside the airstrip (to use headlights, all his flares had been used recently on another mission)) to guide the Royal Flying Doctor if darkness fell before arrival. This drama went on into the night and it was morning before it was announced the Geo was safe and well and recovering in Royal Perth Hospital.**


The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Happy Hunting, Nightjar.

2 users like this post: Claypipe, Zengeo

#9

Claypipe
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Joined: 10 February 2020
Posts: 35
Member
24 September 2020 12:11 pm

Thanks for your posts folks, keep them coming please.

I mentioned the technology is continually changing which would leave my old and trusty Garmin GPS12 for dead, but still doing what it was designed for - marking trails and ability to go back to waypoints like vehicle and camp etc. I was gobsmacked to read about InReach technology on the Garmin website and that it is now being incorporated in some of their handheld GPS units, like their GPSMAP66i. The ability to be able to communicate via the sat phone network on the handheld GPS wherever you are is stunning and a major step forward in safety / recovery. Is there anyone out there using this?

Thanks, Ron

#10

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 2,344
Member
24 September 2020 12:59 pm

NJ, my point in my last was; that the last thing to consider is cost. What you want/need and being fit for purpose are the first considerations in just about every thing we choose to buy. smile

#11

BrokeInBendigo
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Joined: 28 July 2020
Posts: 78
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24 September 2020 02:56 pm

Ron, I’ve got a 66i in the post and a handheld UHF (5 watt oricom unit) that I take with me. The 66i has basically the same Garmin software as most of their non-touchscreen, color models - that is, a major step up from your unit, with the ability to add custom maps, electronic compass (you don’t have to move to determine your orientation), altimeter, bariometer, and high precision gps antenna. It also comes with topo maps of Australia and NZ I believe.

I have an iPhone that intermittently struggles with gps (despite being the latest and greatest) - I don’t trust it. Also, it is pretty fragile compared to these Garmin units.

The only potential downside to the 66i is that it uses a non-removable lithium ion battery. So you cannot carry a spare with you. However, it charges via usb so if you already carry a backup usb power bank you are all set. The USB port is in a really stupid location though so you can’t really toss it in your pocket and charge at the same time, unless you buy a right angle usb cable, which I probably will do.

Once I I’ve had some time in the field with it and exported some of my mapping data from QGIS onto it I’ll report back.


GPX 5000 / sP01 / NF coils

2 users like this post: Jaros, Claypipe

#12

XLOOX
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From: Inglewood Fault, QLD
Joined: 21 August 2019
Posts: 134
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24 September 2020 05:29 pm

My PLB1 was getting to end of battery life ( theoretical life anyway - I have an old 121.5 GME that sits at home in a metal box but still passes the builtin battery test every year for 19 years and counting - I am waiting to see when it dies as an experiment) so I got an InReach Mini and all I can say is that it does exactly as it says - allows you to SMS & Email people when out of mobile range as it uses the Iridium satellites.

I have had it 6m but only activated my account for 2m as I mostly play around home but I did use it for a solo trip in remote CW QLD for a couple of weeks. If you preconfig the SMS/email then you can send them at no extra cost so I sent Back at camp for night/ Moving to next spot/ Arrived next spot messages (each automatically with GPS location) back home each day.

Doing a message from scratch on the unit is like using a 1990s pre touch screen mobile but it can be linked to your phone to make that bit easier. One of the key reasons I got it is that if I get the car stuck or breakdown then I want a recovery vehicle not a chopper and dont want to tie up E services for my problem. Wife can call RACQ/ local tow guys to come n get me.

Real plus is that in a true emergency you are in constant message contact with global emergency centre so you know who is coming and when & can articulate your needs/location precisely.

Only 3 negatives for me were 1) GPS lock took a minute minimum - sometimes 5min 2) "compass" isnt a fluxgate but just GPS position delta so relies on GPS movement. No good if standing still or walking in a small circle smile 3) having to pay $25/m on top of $530 pp. Have a good read of the online manual to see what you are getting .

Regarding mapping etc lowcost/free isnt always worse than $$ - I use a Samsung Galaxy tablet with Orux Maps ( free) and download all the QTopo geopdf topographic maps 1:100k with 1:25k Topo & PhotoTopo Maps for my prospecting locations ( Qtopo maps also is free). Orux Maps & QTopos duplicated on phone which I use for primary nav in the bush but it is much nicer viewing the maps on tablet 10"" screen back at camp. I think some other states also have free Topographic maps available & they may well be better resolution than from a GPS supplier.

Last edited by XLOOX (24 September 2020 05:36 pm)


1985-2005 Garretts ADS Deepseeker x 2- now THATS a slow learner !
2017... Whites TDI SL 16V+Sadie, Makro Gold Kruzer, QED PL3+14x9 Evo, SDC2300

1 user likes this post: Claypipe

#13

just starting
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Joined: 28 December 2018
Posts: 1,327
Member
24 September 2020 05:45 pm

BrokeInBendigo wrote:

Ron, I’ve got a 66i in the post and a handheld UHF (5 watt oricom unit) that I take with me. The 66i has basically the same Garmin software as most of their non-touchscreen, color models - that is, a major step up from your unit, with the ability to add custom maps, electronic compass (you don’t have to move to determine your orientation), altimeter, bariometer, and high precision gps antenna. It also comes with topo maps of Australia and NZ I believe.

I have an iPhone that intermittently struggles with gps (despite being the latest and greatest) - I don’t trust it. Also, it is pretty fragile compared to these Garmin units.

The only potential downside to the 66i is that it uses a non-removable lithium ion battery. So you cannot carry a spare with you. However, it charges via usb so if you already carry a backup usb power bank you are all set. The USB port is in a really stupid location though so you can’t really toss it in your pocket and charge at the same time, unless you buy a right angle usb cable, which I probably will do.

Once I I’ve had some time in the field with it and exported some of my mapping data from QGIS onto it I’ll report back.

I have the gps12 cx ,which is the updated version of the gps12 with a coloured screen. It does all that your unit does and has the option of adding a more powerful remote antenna if you need to buy one. Great little unit. I have had mine since 1999. The electronic compass is very accurate ,too. Man overboard function is the first thing i press when leaving camp. Garmin is a good brand. I would be interested to hear how your 66I goes, BrokeinBendigo. Reckon it will be a ripper.

1 user likes this post: Claypipe

#14

Nightjar
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From: Home-Waikiki, Prospect-Leonora
Joined: 26 September 2013
Posts: 2,442
Member
24 September 2020 08:30 pm

condor22 wrote:

NJ, my point in my last was; that the last thing to consider is cost. What you want/need and being fit for purpose are the first considerations in just about every thing we choose to buy. smile

Please accept my apologies Condor, should have gone to SpecSavers. argh


The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Happy Hunting, Nightjar.

2 users like this post: grubstake, condor22

#15

Mr Magoo
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Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 1,022
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09 October 2020 12:30 am

Just done a very remote hike using GPS. Because of the thickness of the scrub (visibility 2m), speed was down to 1KPH. The biggest problem we had was using the compass as many gps require you to be moving above a certain speed. Impossible in the situation we were in.
I guided the group using a hacked Garmin https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … p?id=26353 which was the best for navigation. The Rhino had problems or was cumbersome with compass direction (admitably it was on it's first run(home grown satellite jnx imagery on this was poor)).
Turned out the best item we had for direction/compass was wrist mounted (can't tell you what it was). Even a proper compass failed, just spun in circles (The previous group who did the walk had the same problem with their magnetic compass)
,
Moral of the story, make sure you can find N without having to move to much.

Hacked Garmin and SASPlanet proved itself

Last edited by Mr Magoo (09 October 2020 12:39 am)

#16

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 2,344
Member
09 October 2020 05:15 pm

Use your watch as an approximate compass in the southern hemisphere, hold it horizontal, point the hour hand at the sun. Half way between that point and the twelve o'clock mark on your watch points North.

If your watch is digital, a rough sketch on the ground will still give you a good approximate. You obviously need to know where the sun is, fortunately in OZ, there are very few days it's not obvious.

2 users like this post: robmoto, stevewilko

#17

Rockhunter62
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From: Roaming, WA
Joined: 03 May 2016
Posts: 3,316
Banned
09 October 2020 08:31 pm

condor22 wrote:

Use your watch as an approximate compass in the southern hemisphere, hold it horizontal, point the hour hand at the sun. Half way between that point and the twelve o'clock mark on your watch points North.

If your watch is digital, a rough sketch on the ground will still give you a good approximate. You obviously need to know where the sun is, fortunately in OZ, there are very few days it's not obvious.

Unless your in a rainforest.

Cheers

Doug


Forest Gump once said "life is like a detector going beep, you don't know what it is till you dig it up"

#18

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 2,344
Member
09 October 2020 08:56 pm

True Doug, I suppose I get a bit blase, I've trained to navigate at night in jungle among others. There's always caveats attached to any methodology..... smile

1 user likes this post: Rockhunter62

#19

Mr Magoo
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Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 1,022
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10 October 2020 12:03 am

Thanks Condor. We did discuss that. We ended up having unseasonal rain, never saw sun or shadow (one of the complaints, loss of the feeling of time because of sunlight). And the scrub we were in would not have allowed for it. Often visibility was less than 2M for km after km.

Many lessons were learned on that hike. Pics later.

#20

condor22
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From: Adelaide, SA
Joined: 16 December 2013
Posts: 2,344
Member
10 October 2020 01:22 am

Mr Magoo wrote:

Thanks Condor. We did discuss that. We ended up having unseasonal rain, never saw sun or shadow (one of the complaints, loss of the feeling of time because of sunlight). And the scrub we were in would not have allowed for it. Often visibility was less than 2M for km after km.

Many lessons were learned on that hike. Pics later.

True, one learns every time, reminds me of the pea soup fog in the UK, when I had to feel my way on front fences on a 3 mile walk home after school cos it was so thick the busses stopped running. smile

#21

BrokeInBendigo
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Joined: 28 July 2020
Posts: 78
Member
15 October 2020 08:58 am

So the 66i is pretty nice.

I loaded open street map onto the device to get more comprehensive routing and trails, it’s far better than the included topoactive map for that.

I also exported some snippets of my QGIS mapping to KMZ files so I have them available on the gps as a layer - works very very well, though the export process is a bit of a pain in the butt in that you can only do it for the visible area of the map in QGIS. There may be a way to script this process in python for more efficiency. I found that a zoom of 1:5000 with a scale in the KMZ export of 2 yields good detail and size of the GIS symbols for use on the gps. You have to use the GarminCustomMap QGIS plugin to do this export. I’ve included all the usual geovic data on top of google earth so I have high res satellite with geovic layered on top. thumbsup

It’s also possible to load point and vector layers as GPX files - this way you get selectable waypoints with data available on the gps. I tried exporting the shallow workings lines but couldn’t get the GPX export to work in QGIS. I successfully exported waterways and loaded them into the base camp app but wow was it slow to load that - froze for over an hour on my fully upgraded 2018 MacBook Pro that can handle anything - so I think the base camp software is just not suitable for this amount of data. QGIS handles that and much more data without a hitch. I abandoned this effort and am happy with just the KMZ raster map exports. I can add specific waypoints that I want if needed and not bog down the device with 100k mine sites and geochem surveys etc - the raster maps are plenty good for in the field navigation.

The gps screen is excellent and easily readable in sun and shade, the interface is pretty quick with a bit of lag when loading my custom maps. Location accuracy is excellent. I haven’t used the inreach satellite messaging features yet as I haven’t been in too remote of an area this far. I plan to activate the plan on my next camping trip coming up soon.

Battery life is great, I’ve only had to charge it once a over several full 6 to 8 hour days in the field (it came with 80% charge and I put it on charge at 20%).

It’s really nice to have a compass that doesn’t require you to move! Of course your regular analog compass does that, but it can’t point you directly to the gold big_smile


GPX 5000 / sP01 / NF coils

1 user likes this post: Solid Luck

#22

Claypipe
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Joined: 10 February 2020
Posts: 35
Member
15 October 2020 12:04 pm

Thanks BrokeInBendigo. Thats a very useful report on the 66i. thumbsup

#23

Tombstone 01
Newbie
Joined: 27 January 2021
Posts: 1
Newbie
27 January 2021 11:09 pm

G'day all Just thought the members should know that the Garmin Rino 750 GPS/UHF has a UHF problem in that ch 40 receives a signal full time and if scanning all channels it will lock on 40 so useless if listening to the truckies. Sounds like Garmin don't have a fix as they told me to return the 2 units for a refund and if they sent replacements there was no guarantee that they wouldn't have the same problem. Has anyone else got these that work correctly?

#24

davent
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Joined: 01 September 2015
Posts: 3,682
Member
27 January 2021 11:32 pm

Best way to navigate in the jungle at night, is not to! Don’t move at night in proper jungle,, it’s not worth the effort, waste of time.
I would like a gps that is based on google earth or google maps, I don’t know much about hand heads, can you down load google earth to a gps?
I really want a waterproof one as well.

#25

Bush
Banned
Joined: 24 January 2016
Posts: 412
Banned
28 January 2021 06:58 am

Google has threatened to close its search engine in Australia.
A week old news now but certainly made me think we may potentially loose Google Earth & Maps.
What I have noticed is if you have G-Earth opened and then are disconnected from the internet the program still works zooming in & out.
If there is an area on the maps you are interested in save it to screen shots.
Seems like Google is having a Love / Hate relation-ship with Dollars & Cents.

https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/22/googl … news-code/

Last edited by Bush (28 January 2021 06:59 am)


The Needs of Necessity Rides Over Legislative Law. No PHD or Masters Degree then my say is regarded irrelevant.
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