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new garmins foretrex 301 and 401
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carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
new garmins foretrex 301 and 401 on 06/17/2009 06:45:28 MDT Print View

i just read about this new gps

During the last 5/6 years I been using my gecko 201

(6 years ago it was the best option looking for reasonable cost and lighweight gps)

The last two years I was looking for something capable to improve this unit keeping minimum weigh and reasonable cost

But seems that gps manufacturers were no interested in small/light/cheap units :-(

Someone has info about this gps or some different but good alternative to my gecko ?????

Thank you in advance

Edited by pitagorin on 06/17/2009 06:48:26 MDT.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
gecko replacement on 06/17/2009 11:38:46 MDT Print View

I'd make a list of what features you use with your gecko, and what features you would like, but don't have now. It may end up there really is not a better replacement for your gecko on the market. Or, perhaps, you really want a high sensitivity receiver, want it under $100 and don't mind adding two ounces.. so, the Garmin etrex h might be worth a shot. Or perhaps, you don't care about routing or displaying raw coordinates, simply having high sensitivity and ability to add waypoints, create tracks, trackback... then, the forerunner's might be worth looking into.

I guess my point is there really hasn't been a gecko 201 replacement. As far as I can tell, the foretrex line is probably the closest, but changes the form factor. Getting an idea of what features you enjoy now and what you want to add might help.

If you are considering other brands, my purely personal experience has been good with Garmin and DeLorme, not so much with Magellan. I have not tried any Lowrance or Sunnto units.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: gecko replacement on 06/17/2009 13:49:43 MDT Print View

"Or perhaps, you don't care about routing or displaying raw coordinates"


Does anyone know if the new Foretrex 301-401 will have the ability to display raw UTM coordinates?

This will be a real deal breaker for me in terms of even considering these new units.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
UTM coords... on 06/17/2009 14:10:44 MDT Print View

My guess is the foretrex 301/401 will show UTM coordinates as the earlier versions of the foretrex do this. Manuals for the new models are not up at Garmin's site yet, so it's tought to confirm this.

I mention displaying coordinates in my earlier post as the forerunner 405 does not easily display UTM's. With it, you must save a location, then edit the location to see UTM data. You cannot, for instance, enter UTM coords manually or get a real-time display of current coordinates as you hike.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
"new garmins foretrex 301 and 401" on 06/17/2009 16:05:15 MDT Print View

Yes I did notice that the manuals were not there yet.

I will likely try to buy a 301 from REI to do a real world test for a few weeks to see how the interface is. If it's not working as I need I'll just bring it back

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
gecko replacement for new foretrex 301/401 ? on 06/18/2009 02:57:16 MDT Print View

As you chris Im agree that there reall hasn┬┤t been a gecko replacement and Im sure that garmin is not interested in.

For that reason im interested in this new foretrex as a possible replacement

This unit seems to be more or less the same, but for me the most interesting thing is that garmin claims that battery life is much longer (my gecko with rechargeable batteries last about 6-7 hours in use :-( and less in winter ) that means less spare battery weight (and cost) and peace of mind


The added weight is easy to resolve (detaching strap it becomes lighter)

and the higher sensitivity, better screen resolution, smaller size, and usb interface is always welcome


But my real concern is that I have doubts about if Is too much money for so small improvements ┬┐?

Edited by pitagorin on 06/18/2009 03:15:11 MDT.

David Rowenhorst
(row435) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: gecko replacement for new foretrex 301/401 ? on 06/18/2009 04:57:42 MDT Print View

Thats my thoughts too. 200 for the 301 seems steep when compared to an extrex H that goes for 100. I realize there is sometimes a premium for smaller lighter, but not usually a 100% markup.

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
gecko replacement for new foretrex 301/401 ? on 06/18/2009 06:15:32 MDT Print View

Very good point david... Im agree

But keeping the load light its important.

While i reduced my load (I use to carry sub 6lb base weight)

I still unable to reduce significantly the weight and volume of electronic equipment ( gps, camera, movile phone, and spare batteries)


I dream with a really funtional gps/phone/camera unit ... but until now..... i must improve that i have :-(

Edited by pitagorin on 06/18/2009 06:19:42 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: gecko replacement for new foretrex 301/401 ? on 06/18/2009 09:35:10 MDT Print View

I dislike rechargeable batteries if they are not easily replaceable by the user. I believe all the ForeTrex models, except the 101 do not have replaceable batteries. I maybe wrong. If one relies on a GPS, what happens if the battery goes dead. What if you leave in on overnight by accident?

Many people bring a GPS and a compass as a back up, which is redundant.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline)

Locale: Southern California
Garmin 101, 201, 301, 401 on 06/18/2009 10:11:09 MDT Print View

Looks like Garmin has even more in the series coming out soon, 101, 201, 301, 401. The 101 is only $139 and weighs in at only 2.75 oz with 2 AAA batteries (according to the specs). All of them use AAA batteries, so no need to worry about non-replaceable batteries. I think 301 and 401 are more expensive because they come with a computer cable and they have a high sensitivity receiver. The 101 and 201 do not. The 401 is also capable of using wireless devices such as a pulse rate monitor and cadence sensor for a bike. So as a basic replacement for the Gecko, the 101 looks like the ticket. All of the new units are WAAS capable, so they will all be much more accurate when they are able to receive a WAAS signal (3m as opposed to 15m). If you want the better high sensitivity receiver in a compact package 3.1 oz package (including 2 AAA batteries) then the 301 and 401 are looking good. However, looks like the 301 and 401 won't be available until 3rd quarter, which I guess could be anytime between 7/1 and 9/30.

Edited by mjkline on 06/18/2009 10:14:39 MDT.

David Rowenhorst
(row435) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Garmin 101, 201, 301, 401 on 06/18/2009 19:01:51 MDT Print View

The 101 and 201 have been around for a couple of years. 201 does not use AAA batteries, but its own Li -ion rechargeable. The high sensitivity receiver can't add that much to the cost. The extrex H and HC, and Vista H all have this reciever with costs at or below (in the case of the extrex H, 1/2 as much). The units that are close to the same price have considerably more options, unfortunately, more ounces too. I'm just disappointed that removing ounces in this case costs so much.

Edited by row435 on 06/18/2009 19:13:29 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Garmin 101, 201, 301, 401 on 06/18/2009 19:32:50 MDT Print View

Between the 4, it's really a choice of the 101 v. 301 for backpacking. See

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=143&compareProduct=260&compareProduct=30025

for comparison. If you bought the 101 and upgraded to the two devices to support USB, you'd be up to the price of the 301 and you are still lacking high sensitivity. From a resale, asset appreciation viewpoint, the 301 is the way to go hands down. Yes, it reportedly weighs .36 oz more but size wise it is smaller (see dimensions), I wonder if it is not the removeable accessories that make it weigh more. I have the Foretrex 101.

On the other hand, you can buy the Foretrex 101 on ebay for less than retail. I got mine refurbished with original warranty from an authorized reseller on ebay.

The 301 has 3 hours extra battery life too. Be sure and get the disposable AAA batteries, they weigh 1/2 the weight of alkaline and last about 3-4 times longer.

The whole thing is crippled without the software--I have the Topo US 2008 and entered in the GPS points of the camp sites we're planning to hit for 24 days out. It enables us to know when to stop for the fastest hikers in the group so they don't go too far. Sometimes the camp sites are not so well depicted on the map but you know them from a book or past experience.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: Re: Garmin 101, 201, 301, 401 on 06/19/2009 19:49:54 MDT Print View

> Between the 4, it's really a choice of the 101 v. 301 for backpacking.

What do people have against the 401? More $$? Features you do not need? I would think the barometric altimeter would be nice, and you need to go to the 401 to get that.

-- MV

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Garmin 101, 201, 301, 401 on 06/19/2009 20:51:02 MDT Print View

Bob, you're right, I stupidly thought the 401 was akin to the 201, and that it used rechargeable batteries only. I double checked and only the 201 is the oddball, non-desirable unit for long distance hiking. The 401 does look nice.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
401 features on 06/21/2009 06:37:17 MDT Print View

The 401 does look nice if you don't already have a watch with an altimeter, which I do. I'm not a fan of electronic compasses so that feature is useless to me. With the USB cable thrown in (which used to cost quite a bit as an extra add on) the 301 is not so outrageously priced for a very small form factor, high sensitivity receiver. People in this forum have spent much more per ounce to cut weight I suspect.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: 401 features on 06/21/2009 21:27:42 MDT Print View

I do not have either a GPS, an altimeter, or an electronic compass. I am trying to get to understand this area before I make any purchase. As far as I understand things, the 401 is the best choice I have yet seen.

My question: is there an integration between the GPS capabilities and the included altimeter that make having the altimeter in the GPS better than having a 301 and a separate altimeter?

Martin -- why do you dislike electronic compasses? Because you are then dependent on batteries, or because they do not work as well?

-- MV

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
garmin 401 .... on 06/26/2009 14:36:31 MDT Print View

Bob, wile i was interested in this gps Im not really sure that """the 401 is the best choice I have yet seen""

this gps series had limitations, their advantages are lightweight and size (thats the reason because Im interested in) and........... that is all...


I think that there are much better units out there ;-)

Edited by pitagorin on 06/26/2009 14:37:20 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: 401 features on 06/26/2009 17:04:44 MDT Print View

Hi Bob

> why do you dislike electronic compasses?
Because they are very UNreliable. They give quite wrong readings when they are not dead level, as may be seen here:
http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Electronic%20Devices/Watches/Silva%20Tech4o%20TraiLeader%201/Test%20Report%20by%20Roger%20Caffin
There is also a report by me on a Highgear watch/compass at BGT: same problems.

For those who don't have the time to look these references up: I set up a test jig to measure the error due to tilt of the watch in 2 directions. The errors were severe, and the watches gave no warning of this.

Cheers

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
electronic compasses... on 06/26/2009 18:11:09 MDT Print View

My Garmin 60Csx has an electronic compass. It suffers from the same need to be absolutely level to achieve any semblance of accuracy. I always use a magnetic compass instead.

From what I hear, the triaxial compasses in the newer handhelds (DeLorme PN-40, Garmin Oregon's) are a big improvement. Possibly good enough for many hikers.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: electronic compasses... on 06/27/2009 00:45:31 MDT Print View

Roger -- I just went and read the part of your report about the electronic compass capability. Yikes! What a usability glitch! I am surprised they felt they could release it like that.

Chris -- nice to hear that at least some of the newer units are a lot better. It sure would be nice if the 401 were new enough that it also had the improved capability. Any way to tell which units have the improved compasses? (Not sure I care about the compass ... but if it is going to be there, I would prefer it to be useful.)

Carlos -- I did not mean that the 401 seems like the best GPS out there. Just that it has enough features (such as high sensitivity and barometric altimeter) and is still pretty light -- and it is the only one I am aware of that fits that description.

-- MV