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Thread: Handheld GPS

  1. #1
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    Default Handheld GPS

    Don't have one, never used one, thinking of getting one, what do I need to consider?
    So many questions, so little time.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    for what and where do you wish to use it?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    small boat navigation. perhaps hiking too, but mainly the first, along the coast here.
    So many questions, so little time.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Hamilton Marine has their big spring sale in a week or two. I’d pop in there and see what they recommend.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    I haven't looked in a while, but is anyone making a handheld VHF/GPS combo?

    What are you doing about it?




  6. #6
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    I haven't looked in a while, but is anyone making a handheld VHF/GPS combo?
    Yes....



    You need one with DSC, its the ones with the "one-hit" mayday button that sends out your co-ordinates. Lat-Long is usually displayed on the screen.

    I have a handheld colour plotter.....only because i got it cheap.....but do have an old Garmin e-trex that has been up and down and around Europe......i didnt find it user friendly as the previous Magellan, but that stuff is over 25 years old now.

  7. #7
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    Default

    My old Garmin quit working a couple of years ago. I did a little shopping to replace it at that time. I was quite disappointed in the lack of improvement over the last decade. Screens are still small, ui is still clunky. I decided it wasn't worth the money. But if you find one you like, please let us know. They are dang handy tools on a boat.

    Sent from my Vivo 8L using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    For coastal cruising a smartphone or iPad in a waterproof case or even a ziplock bag can be pretty handy. There are plenty of navigation apps.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    I have one... a Magellan... but I consider it to be a backup to my Raymarine plotter. The screen on the handheld is too small, and too low in resolution, to be really useful for direct navigation.

    I know a number of folks who use an iPad with a GPS plug-in, as their primary navigation tool... it makes sense. GPS plug-ins can be gotten for a reasonable price.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  10. #10
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Chart and compass skills are on the brush up, but it can be a wee bit foggy round these parts!

    Thanks.
    So many questions, so little time.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    A friend claimed that his smart phone with nav app was handier running the Intracoastal than the boat's big unit but - big but - there are handhelds that are both more shock resistant (maybe 10' drop) and water resistant (2 fathoms) than most smart phones.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    A friend claimed that his smart phone with nav app was handier running the Intracoastal than the boat's big unit but - big but - there are handhelds that are both more shock resistant (maybe 10' drop) and water resistant (2 fathoms) than most smart phones.
    I agree, smart phones are just too light weight. A dedicated hand held GPS you call lay in the cockpit seat. If it slides around, falls on the sole, etc, no problem. I hated usng a phone while sailing, I have too much of a feeling I have to take care of the phone.

    Sent from my Vivo 8L using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    A Garmin that takes batteries is the way to go. Fits in a ditch bag. Take a look at the 78SC is light, waterproof and floats too. You can expand the use with a microchip slot inside the battery compartment to download files for other places like Europe or Asia for turn by turn directions. On batteries it lasts 20 hours.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I have one... a Magellan... but I consider it to be a backup to my Raymarine plotter. The screen on the handheld is too small, and too low in resolution, to be really useful for direct navigation.

    I know a number of folks who use an iPad with a GPS plug-in, as their primary navigation tool... it makes sense. GPS plug-ins can be gotten for a reasonable price.

    Is this "GPS plug-in" a piece of hardware that attaches to the iPad? Or is it attached with a cable?
    Will

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    There are not too many choices any more. I believe Garmin is the only one making a new model, though you might still find old stock somewhere. This makes the purchase decision simpler.



    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by willmarsh3 View Post
    Is this "GPS plug-in" a piece of hardware that attaches to the iPad? Or is it attached with a cable?
    I have seen both types. The one my friend at my marina uses, is a plug-in, directly to his iPad, although his particular iPad is a legacy model with the 30 pin connector.... more recent iPads use the 'Lightning' connector.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  17. #17
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    It can be done either way. The direct plug in is known as a, "dongle." Googling " dongle GPS" reveals a bunch.

    800 800 - wholesaler.alibaba.com
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Hamilton Marine has their big spring sale in a week or two. Id pop in there and see what they recommend.
    Good thought. We're headed up for the MBBS on Sunday, so we'll have to head over to Fore Street when we're done at the show.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Smart phones are against my religion!
    So many questions, so little time.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    We us a smartphone in a waterproof case. Works fine with the nav ap installed--duplicate of the one on the boat's GPS.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    re: fragility in cell phones, tends to drop things, I do. An OtterBox Defender is a 'First Day' Accessory. Still remember the day the G2 fell from maybe 4', landing on its corner on concrete. Fearing the worst, I picked it up, unlocked it.. and it was fine. There's a waterproof bag it lives in when necessary. Large screen, good interface, choice of mapping aps.. ymmv, imho, it's good.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Durnik View Post
    re: fragility in cell phones, tends to drop things, I do. An OtterBox Defender is a 'First Day' Accessory. Still remember the day the G2 fell from maybe 4', landing on its corner on concrete. Fearing the worst, I picked it up, unlocked it.. and it was fine. There's a waterproof bag it lives in when necessary. Large screen, good interface, choice of mapping aps.. ymmv, imho, it's good.
    I think that's the case we use. SWMBO has her phone encased, and when on the boat puts it in a fat orange thing that makes it float. Kind of eye-catching on land.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    They make a Bluetooth gps unit for an iPad but if your iPad is cell capable and not just the WiFi one it has a built in GPS chip and you don’t need the GPS dongle.
    I have one of these Dual Bluetooth units ($81)and it works really well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B006M...ob_neva_mobile

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    The bluetooth GPS unit sounds interesting. It might possibly extend battery life on the smartphone since GPS is a bit of a power hog.
    Will

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    One should note the use of iPhone or iPad in direct sunlight if that is an issue. Heat issues do effect iPhones or iPads as well and will not work if hot. On the other hand... older enabled iPhones that do not have a contract also make for another 911 calling device.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    The Garmin GPS 72 was the one for small boats. Waypoint navigation or GPS reading and papercharts. Seems it is discontinued now. Not sure how good the 73 is. If you can find a 72 in good working order at a good price and waypoints or GPS aided papercharts is good enough for you, go for it. Don't forget to take spare batteries.

    Today - a chartplotter might be the way forward.

    About mobile phones or tablets - they are not really designed for marine environment. Chances are they fail when it gets really wet and rock and rolly and you might not want them to fail just then.


    A thing I never liked on the 72 though (and I guess it is similar on many handhelds) - the MOB function. For man over board, you expect a red or yellow push once key and not some push twice or hold forever key.
    Last edited by Henning 4148; 03-08-2018 at 02:05 PM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    I, too, am casually interested in a minimalist handheld GPS. All I really want is lat/long and speed --the one for direct nav plotting and the other to calibrate my analog instruments: taffrail logs and compass. (Yes, I'm a luddite and can be written off as such, but in a salt water/air environment I don't completely trust the reliability of anything with batteries.)

    So far, my research seems to indicate the Garmin Etrex-10 would be my best bet: minimalist, "waterproof" (hah!), uses AA batteries (easily replaceable), recognizes both GPS and GLONASS (Russian) satellites.

    Anyone have any experience with it?

    A friend just gave me his retired Garmin GPS 45. It'll be fun to play with, but it doesn't recognize dGPS, so accuracy is only +/- 500' --which can be an awfully big variable in coastal navigation.

    I'm with you, Ishmael: no smart phones for me. And having grown up off MDI (pre-GPS), yes, I agree, it can get a wee bit foggy thereabouts!

    Alex

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    One other feature one should consider that an iPhone will not give you is anchor slippage alarms.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS



    The original 12 channel Etrex i have is still in use. Typical lat-long, compass, waypoint plotting with XTE (cross track error), everything you need in a 6oz package. Mines taken a few dunkings and no worse for it. Using a "phone" as a means of nav is daft IMO, but that comes from someone who does not own,or intends to ever, a smart phone. Seem to be able to pick this up for peanuts on Ebay.....too many people like the latest toys......makes good buying for sensible people.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    One other feature one should consider that an iPhone will not give you is anchor slippage alarms.
    There’s an app for that!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    i put a little Lowrance Hook 4 on my 16' fishing boat. it has GPS and preloaded maps of lakes, rivers, etc. you can set way points, it shows locations of international waterway markers and buoys. you can turn on a setting that will use the ship locating stuff so you can avoid a cruise liner i guess... but i don't see many of those on the TN river.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    There’s an app for that!
    The AIS app works well too.

    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    ...
    A friend just gave me his retired Garmin GPS 45. It'll be fun to play with, but it doesn't recognize dGPS, so accuracy is only +/- 500' --which can be an awfully big variable in coastal navigation.
    Alex
    Where on earth do you get this figure from?

    That would have been about right in the mid nineties - when "selective availability" was used to dilute the accuracy of civilian GPS units - this was turned off on May the first in the year 2000! - Since when even my ancient Magellan gives a circle of uncertainty of less than fifty feet diameter.

    Hand Helds - other than secondhand - are now stupidly expensive and cme with maps built in - which are often impossible to update - A three generations out of date Android phone fitted with a free app such as GPSTEST will do everything a basic handheld can do for very very small money and can be fitted with nearly magic nav apps if you so wish.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    One other feature one should consider that an iPhone will not give you is anchor slippage alarms.
    There's a saucepan for that.

    Lower the lead to the seabed (you do have a leadline, I presume, like any prudent sailor) Calculate a reasonable length of scope to allow for tide and swinging. Tie leadline to a saucepan. Balance the saucepan on the edge of any surface. Retire and sleep soundly. Significant dragging will pull the saucepan over the edge with a good, loud clang. Awaken, sally forth (in pyjamas or the altogether) and reset anchor and saucepan alarm.

    No need for expensive hi tech. I've used this method several times, especially in fog. But I don't know if it works because, being an expert anchorlady, I never drag.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Handheld GPS

    There's a saucepan for that.
    ROFLMAO! That's now *definitely* on my list of nav accessories. Analog tech that I can really trust.

    ...
    A friend just gave me his retired Garmin GPS 45. It'll be fun to play with, but it doesn't recognize dGPS, so accuracy is only +/- 500' --which can be an awfully big variable in coastal navigation.
    Alex

    Where on earth do you get this figure from?

    That would have been about right in the mid nineties - when "selective availability" was used to dilute the accuracy of civilian GPS units - this was turned off on May the first in the year 2000! - Since when even my ancient Magellan gives a circle of uncertainty of less than fifty feet diameter.
    Hmm. If you're saying 50' methinks someone added an extra zero onto the figure I saw. That's a dangerous little typo. On the other hand, this GPS45 looks plausibly from that era (it's a brick!), and I certainly remember how selective availability can bite you in the butt --it got me as I was coming into Lanzarote in the wee hours-- so I don't want to trust it too far.

    Alex

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