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Magellan eXplorist 510 vs. Garmin Oregon 450

#1 User is offline   kenas 

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 12:45 PM

I've always used my smartphone to geocache, but now am looking into purchasing a GPSr due to battery life issues with my smartphone. At this time I'm deciding between the Garmin Oregon 450 and the Magellan eXplorist 510.

I'm torn, as I've been told that the eXplorist line is new and perhaps still has some issues. $300 is roughly my budget, but I may be willing to go a bit higher depending on features offered.

I'm fairly new to geocaching, having been active for about 1 1/2 years, but think a GPSr will be good for me as I want to do more and the smartphone just doesn't last long during a day of caching.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!! Hoping to purchase in mid-September but starting the research now! Thank you!

#2 User is offline   MtnHermit 

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 02:18 PM

Some random thoughts:
  • I know nothing about Magellan, have 5 Garmins
  • I got my OR 450 from REI for $250, last Labor Day, REI has a fall sale every year
  • The 450 is no battery champ, but it should last all day, I get 2-days backpacking
  • For best battery life, get a color eTrex


Happy hunting!!!

#3 User is offline   cliptwings 

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 11:15 AM

I just bought an Explorist 510 on Ebay and used it for geocaching for the first time this morning. My initial impressions are very positive. It finds its position very quickly, the touch screen is easy to use and menus can be modified extensively. I had no problems finding the 3 caches I was going for. The 510 got me within 10 feet each time. One nice thing I like about it is the camera installed in the back of the receiver. I used it today to take geotagged pictures of flowering barrel and pincushion cacti, and a rare horned toad. It's about the same size as an Oregon 200 I owned. I think the rechargeable batteries I have in it will last about 10 hours or so. The display is very clear in bright light. The base map is really not a base map. It has COMPLETE road systems for US, Canado, Europe, and Australia. And they are new and accurate, too. The only downside I see so far is that it does not have an electronic compass. This means you must be moving to get and accurate direction. It also will not accept custom detailed maps (google earth, topo, etc) like the Oregon line can. I have owned lots of GPSr's, and currently own a Garmin Dakota 20 and GPSMap 62S as well as the Magellan. I would put the Magellan even with the capabilities of the other 2, except for the compass and custom maps. By the way, I bought the Explorist 510 used on Ebay for $179 and have had no problems with it. I even updated the software without any glitches. I hope this gives you some insight into the Explorist. Now if you asked me if I would buy a Garmin Oregon 450T or an Explorist 510, I think I would go with Garmin. In my experience, they have been more reliable and have better customer support. I also love the ability to upload those neat custom maps, too.

#4 User is offline   allory 

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 01:40 PM

I don't have any experience with either model, but would like to point out that maps4me.net has a pretty good collection of topo maps for the Magellans. Not as comprehensive as the gpsfiledepot.com collection for the Garmin units, but its a start.
Also, with the latest version of VantagePoint Magellan has digital raster images available for the newer units (similar to Birdseye from Garmin).

#5 User is offline   oldrocknmetal 

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 01:43 PM

My wife has a Magellan Explorist 510 and I have a Garmin Oregon 450. Both GPSrs have good points and bad points. The Magellan has a great map included and the screen is more visible in sunlight. The Garmin has the ability to do a Wherigo cache and find a "chirp". As a Geocaching team, we like them both. It may just depend on how you want to cache.

#6 User is offline   MorningView86 

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:44 PM

This has been VERY helpful, as I'm in the same situation as Kenas. I've been going back and forth between these two units and a few others. I have been able to use my HTC Evo successfully for caching so far, (it even has a Wherigo app), but I prefer caches with higher terrain difficulty, and would like more accuracy/ reassurance. I think the screen readability in bright sunlight might be the biggest pro between these for me. One issue I've come across recently though, is that it seems like a lot of stores are dropping the 510 model...which worries me. Maybe its just a niche product since it lacks barometric altimeter and true compass? Hmmmmmm

#7 User is offline   MorningView86 

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 04:00 PM

Update: I was able to get $130 off a Magellan 510, which made the choice a no-brainer. And I'm very happy with my choice.

#8 User is offline   cliptwings 

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:42 AM

View Postcliptwings, on 13 August 2011 - 11:15 AM, said:

I just bought an Explorist 510 on Ebay and used it for geocaching for the first time this morning. My initial impressions are very positive. It finds its position very quickly, the touch screen is easy to use and menus can be modified extensively. I had no problems finding the 3 caches I was going for. The 510 got me within 10 feet each time. One nice thing I like about it is the camera installed in the back of the receiver. I used it today to take geotagged pictures of flowering barrel and pincushion cacti, and a rare horned toad. It's about the same size as an Oregon 200 I owned. I think the rechargeable batteries I have in it will last about 10 hours or so. The display is very clear in bright light. The base map is really not a base map. It has COMPLETE road systems for US, Canado, Europe, and Australia. And they are new and accurate, too. The only downside I see so far is that it does not have an electronic compass. This means you must be moving to get and accurate direction. It also will not accept custom detailed maps (google earth, topo, etc) like the Oregon line can. I have owned lots of GPSr's, and currently own a Garmin Dakota 20 and GPSMap 62S as well as the Magellan. I would put the Magellan even with the capabilities of the other 2, except for the compass and custom maps. By the way, I bought the Explorist 510 used on Ebay for $179 and have had no problems with it. I even updated the software without any glitches. I hope this gives you some insight into the Explorist. Now if you asked me if I would buy a Garmin Oregon 450T or an Explorist 510, I think I would go with Garmin. In my experience, they have been more reliable and have better customer support. I also love the ability to upload those neat custom maps, too.


#9 User is offline   cliptwings 

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:46 AM

Well, I am learning a lot more about my new Explorist 510, like you CAN install custom (google earth, topo, street) maps on it! I learned how on exploristforum.com. All you need to do is get the 1.8 version of a program called Mobile Atlas Convertor (MOBAC), and install according to tutorials that can be found on youtube and explorist forum. WooHoo! The google earth displays are nice and clear and bright, too!

This post has been edited by cliptwings: 29 August 2011 - 08:47 AM


#10 User is offline   kentwoodkrew 

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 09:48 PM

View Postcliptwings, on 29 August 2011 - 08:46 AM, said:

Well, I am learning a lot more about my new Explorist 510, like you CAN install custom (google earth, topo, street) maps on it! I learned how on exploristforum.com. All you need to do is get the 1.8 version of a program called Mobile Atlas Convertor (MOBAC), and install according to tutorials that can be found on youtube and explorist forum. WooHoo! The google earth displays are nice and clear and bright, too!


Verdad. Mobac is still useable. Go back to 1.8 :ph34r:

#11 User is offline   kenas 

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:21 AM

After much research, I'm now considering the eXplorist 610 based on the fact that it comes preloaded with maps. Although it is a bit more expensive, I'd rather have maps already loaded and be able to use a GPSr right out of the box, than worry about downloading, or buying maps to install on a Garmin (although I know there are free ones out there online).

Thoughts? Any suggestions, or feedback from 610 users?

#12 User is offline   MorningView86 

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:18 PM

I ended up choosing the 510 and am very happy! What did everyone else decide on and how did it work out?

#13 User is offline   Hoyks 

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:13 PM

View PostMorningView86, on 30 December 2011 - 04:18 PM, said:

I ended up choosing the 510 and am very happy! What did everyone else decide on and how did it work out?


I sent my 4 year old Triton in to have the software re-loaded as it wouldn't boot up. When it came back it had turned into a eXplorist 510 as a Warranty Swap-Out, no idea why and not asking any questions.

Living in Australia we generally get crap maps loaded on the GPS that are made for the Nth American market, but the World Edition Premium Base Maps that come loaded on the 510 are excellent. They have all the street names in town as well as Rural roads in out of the way places. I have topo maps that I ran on the Triton, but these are better. You can also buy route-able turn by turn maps if you desire.

I was put off Geo-caching when I was doing it with the old Triton and a fist full of printed notes, but with the 510 you can download all the notes, hints, images and attributes to the GPS and away you go. I just got back from an interstate trip and if we felt like we needed to stretch our legs, then a quick check of which was the closest cache and away we would go. We also searched for all the caches on a 200km detour on a whim, again preloaded info from GC.com made it possible. The cache menu lets you enter field notes about the cache that can be uploaded to GC.com when you get home, as well as a time taken to find if you want to brag about how clever you are.

Now I have had a play with it, I would recommend the eXplorist 510 to a prospective Geocacher.

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