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Garmin Dakota 20 or eTrex 30? Comparing the two, or another alternative?

#1 User is offline   Scary Squirrel 

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:43 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy my first GPSr and I've narrowed it down to the Garmin Dakota 20 (259.99) or Garmin eTrex 30 (207.99 when released in September). Do any of you guys have suggestions as to which one would be better for geocaching? They both apparently support "paperless" geocaching but I'm not sure to what extent. It appears the new BaseCamp software by Garmin (compatible with the eTrex 30) is more suited to geocaching.

The two can be compared here:

https://buy.garmin.c...reProduct=87774

Also, if you guys have any other suggestions around the 200 mark, I'd be willing to look at alternatives.

Thanks,

SS.

#2 User is offline   ecanderson 

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:15 AM

View PostScary Squirrel, on 22 August 2011 - 07:43 AM, said:

Also, if you guys have any other suggestions around the 200 mark, I'd be willing to look at alternatives.
200 would get you an Oregon 450 on sale here, but I understand that prices are a bit uglier on your side of the pond.

The big difference between the two units you mentioned originally are touch-screen vs. buttons. That's probably where you need to make your first cut on models. I tend to enter a LOT of field notes (container description, location description, etc), so for me, the touch screen saves a ton of time in logging on site.

#3 User is offline   mpilchfamily 

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:21 AM

I agree the main difference is touch vs. buttons. Touch is so much nicer. Its easier to navigate the UI and to enter in additional cords for multis and puzzle caches.

The Oregon mentioned is a good option as well. Very similar to the Dakota 20 in features but has a larger screen.

#4 User is offline   CacheFreakTim 

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 04:27 PM

Both units are very similar. The only major difference is the Dakota has a slightly larger screen, and the eTrex holds twice the amount of waypoints. Other than that the difference is interface....buttons vs. touch screen. Personally I love the touch screen. I find it easier to navigate with, and post field notes. With that said some people can't stand them. I would recommend going to the store and playing with the units to see what feels better in your hand.....honestly though you can't go wrong either way. Both are great units.

This post has been edited by CacheFreakTim: 22 August 2011 - 04:37 PM


#5 User is offline   Scary Squirrel 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:14 AM

Thanks for the suggestions chaps. I decided to go for the Dakota 20 as I liked the idea of the touchscreen... until I noticed that I could get a Oregon 450 for 239.99, 20 cheaper than the Dakota 20!

It should be with me tomorrow, going to have a lot of fun this weekend :)

Thanks again!

#6 User is offline   ecanderson 

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:50 PM

View PostScary Squirrel, on 23 August 2011 - 11:14 AM, said:

Thanks for the suggestions chaps. I decided to go for the Dakota 20 as I liked the idea of the touchscreen... until I noticed that I could get a Oregon 450 for 239.99, 20 cheaper than the Dakota 20!

It should be with me tomorrow, going to have a lot of fun this weekend :)

Thanks again!
Glad you found yourself a deal. Have a look here for some free additional maps that may be useful: http://talkytoaster.info/ukmaps.htm

#7 User is offline   RamblinBear 

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 08:44 AM

View PostCacheFreakTim, on 22 August 2011 - 04:27 PM, said:

Both units are very similar. The only major difference is the Dakota has a slightly larger screen, and the eTrex holds twice the amount of waypoints. Other than that the difference is interface....buttons vs. touch screen.


From my standpoint, the most exciting difference with the new Etrex units is the adoption of a GPS front-end which can also receive the Russian GLONASS signals. This almost doubles the number of satellites the unit can "see" and makes for (in theory) more reliable, faster, and more accurate position fixes. GPS and GLONASS capable receivers have been available in the professional sector for a little while now (I use one at work) and the extra GLONASS sats really do make a big difference to the quality of fix obtainable. If this is implemented properly on the new Etrex units (and let's hope it is), it should make a big difference, and I would speculate that Garmin would roll it out across more of their product range in coming months. After all, it wouldn't do for the bottom-of the-range units to have such a valuable feature and it not feature in top-end units like the GPSMap 62 or the Montana. The fact that it will be available on the new Etrex suggests that Garmin have the necessary chipset all worked up and in production - so it's not such a big leap for it to be incorporated into revised versions of existing models.

I'm watching Garmin's next moves with considerable interest. Exciting times.

#8 User is offline   gpsblake 

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 05:21 PM

Is the screen brighter on the Etrex 20 vs that of the Dakota series? The one thing I did love about the old Etrex color series was the brightness of the screen, both at a night and during the day. Also, is the odometer somewhat accurate on the new Etrex series? Thanks much.

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