Author Topic: Which new Etrex  (Read 1376 times)

Which new Etrex
« on: June 17, 2014, 04:03:17 pm »
So being the owner of a mono GPSMAP60 with only 32mb of memory and having missed out on a number of second hand vista HCX's I'm having to man up and drop some cash on a new GPS to strap on the front of the tandem to save myself from loosing face on the DunRun.

Question is Etrex 20 or 30 what's the difference and is there one?

Cheers

D.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 04:36:50 pm »
Etrex 30 has compass and barometric altimeter, plus can connect to ANT+ sensors for heart rate, cadence or temperature.
I don't think the compass or altimeter are very useful for cycling. And they can be annoying or inaccurate at times, it seems there is no way of disabling them.
Plus the Etrex 30 can connect to other Garmins, to wirelessly transfer waypoints/routes etc. And it can be used as a remote control for the Garmin Virb camera.

I think the main thing is do you care about measuring heart rate, or cadence or temperature. If so get the Etrex 30, plus you'll have to buy the compatible sensors.
If not, just get the Etrex 20, its a fair bit cheaper.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 04:44:59 pm »
It's true the altimeter is always on as in 'always drawing current', but you can set it to measure pressure in which case it ceases to act as an altimeter, and any elevations you see would be purely GPS-derived (as in the E20)
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 05:02:39 pm »
It's true the altimeter is always on as in 'always drawing current', but you can set it to measure pressure in which case it ceases to act as an altimeter, and any elevations you see would be purely GPS-derived (as in the E20)
Really, didn't know that. So would it record GPS-derived elevations in the tracklog?

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2014, 09:03:10 am »
It's not an experiment I've actually done, but I assume so.

With the altimeter on, to see the difference (if any) between GPS elevation and altimeter elevation on an E30, you'd need to set it up so that you can switch quickly between the 'Satellite' page and any other page showing an Elevation data field (such as 'Computer').  The data field shows what the altimeter is telling you, the Satellite page is the only place you can see the GPS-derived figure.  Of course, in a stable environment you'd expect the two to be very close. 
Some other Garmins (such as the Montana) now have both figures available as data fields (along with 'interesting' data such as 'Vertical distance to destination').  Yippee, it's all downhill from here.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2014, 10:00:29 am »
I recently bought an Etrex 20 (Best price I found was Cotswold Outdoors/camping whatever they're called these days), which came with Topo light maps.
Firstly, it's not at all intuitive, but a little help here and Garmins helpline got me going - I am a gps virgin and general luddite.

I've now got it working to the point where I can create a route in ridewithgps, load it up and follow the purple line of righteousness to my destination.  I can aslo record a route and upload it to ridewithgps.  I use basecamp for more complex editing if needed.

Thus far I can say it's worked really well, out in the country or in the dense streets of London.
I've yet to get onto waypoints or turn-by-turn navigation yet or used it for hiking.  One step at a time.

But it's pretty good.  The compass works (though the 30's compass is apparently better if you hike a lot).
Battery life is good on Duracells or Rechargeables.

I didn't need all the extra faff and it suits my basic needs and appears so far to function without issue.

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2014, 10:30:11 am »
Thanks all, I've ordered the Etrex 20 from Cotswold.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2014, 02:00:31 pm »
If your GPS doesn't have a compass, the compass page doesn't show which way is north, it shows what direction you are moving in.
If you are moving at a reasonable speed (i.e. cycling), that will agree with a compass, but if you are stationary or moving slowly (walking) the direction of travel becomes a bit random as the position error is comparable  with the distance between successive positions.

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 07:13:54 am »
If your GPS doesn't have a compass, the compass page doesn't show which way is north, it shows what direction you are moving in.
If you are moving at a reasonable speed (i.e. cycling), that will agree with a compass, but if you are stationary or moving slowly (walking) the direction of travel becomes a bit random as the position error is comparable  with the distance between successive positions.

IIRC, The eTrex 30 has an electronic compass, and the 20 has a movement derived compass.
Considering the eTrex range is aimed at Hikers, having a compass that doesn't work will get them a Zero 'customer satisfaction index'.
As it is, they get a 1% CSI, because it has a pretty map.  ;D ;)

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 07:29:44 am »
Is the Garmin Touring more intuitive (eg, easier to use)?

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2014, 07:43:55 am »
Garmin’s strategy is that if they made their devices too easy to use, the customer would get bored quickly because there would be no head scratching and IQ type tests to do while trying to get it doing things.
TomTom’s strategy is the other way round. They developed an ‘easy to use’ device which leaves the user scratching their head wondering what they can do to make things more difficult.

Euan Uzami

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2014, 09:53:51 am »
It's true the altimeter is always on as in 'always drawing current', but you can set it to measure pressure in which case it ceases to act as an altimeter, and any elevations you see would be purely GPS-derived (as in the E20)
Really, didn't know that. So would it record GPS-derived elevations in the tracklog?
You could test it by switching it off at low altitude then going to the top of a big hill and switching it on.
the barometric altimeter of the 30 seems to take a few minutes to get up to altitude if you do that, while a GPS one presumably wouldn't.

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2014, 10:54:41 am »
A few minutes. That’s prob because the tiny low cost membrane pressure transducer bounces around and vibrates with the unit, so a load of mathematical damping and smoothing is required.

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 11:00:43 am »
Should have got the eTrex 30.  It's not orange. :thumbsup:

Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 11:31:03 am »
Should have got the eTrex 30.  It's not orange. :thumbsup:

I quite like orange, plus cheaper is good.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.


Re: Which new Etrex
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2014, 02:55:20 pm »
It's arrived, you would have thought they'd have the decency to put in a couple of AA batteries though.
Somewhat of a professional tea drinker.