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Garmin eTrex Series: Buyer Beware!

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  • Garmin eTrex Series: Buyer Beware!

    If you're not familiar with the unit, see my review:
    http://www.myjeeprocks.com/feature/etrex_vista_gps.php

    Anyway the little problem with the screen getting a few lines in it in very hot weather has turned into just "it has lines on it." Often the unit is very hard to read due to this, and many others have recently complained about the same problem. My GPS is only 3 years old.

    Here's the catch: This is a known problem with the eTrex line of receivers. After a year (it's out of warranty after that!) and they charge $125 to fix it.

    That's half of what I paid for it! I think I'd rather take the $125 and put it toward a newer, more stable model or a DIFFERENT BRAND that will last for years.

    So, for 3 years old that means it was $100/year to operate it + $125 now to fix it. Seems like a big investment! (Not to mention the cable and other BS you have to buy to get it to mount to your vehicle or transfer any waypoints.)

    Steer clear of the Garmin eTrex Vista: Not worth the money in the end.
    :gun:'99 TJ Sport:gun:

  • #2
    I have the Magellan Meridian Platnium with the MapSend Topo and love it! Its an older unit but I still like it. We have one of the Garmin eTraks here at work and I was not very impressed by it.
    Michael

    [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

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    • #3
      I have a Vista and it rocks. No problems at all. Of course, it hasn't seen temps above 101F yet. . .

      Electronics generally don't fair well in the desert. . .

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry to hear it I'm wondering if it would be possible to find an el cheapo eTrex (used?) somewhere and just swap the LCD on it. My guess would be that the LCD would be the same on all of them but I'm not sure.


        Edit: Just from the specs, looks like the Venture and the Legend may have the same LCD as the Vista.

        http://www.prairie.mb.ca/etrexcomp.htm
        Last edited by seapahn; 10-11-04, 11:13 AM.
        03 Rubicon, 6" FT long arms, 35x12.5 MTRs
        "Jeep is a kind of vehicle for which you have to buy a $250 security console in order to install and store a $40 CB radio. " --Me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jeepdawg
          I have a Vista and it rocks. No problems at all. Of course, it hasn't seen temps above 101F yet. . .

          Electronics generally don't fair well in the desert. . .
          Is it very old? Glad to hear you haven't had any problems, but mine's getting screwey-er every day.

          @seapahn,
          That's not a bad idea. It would be cheaper than having them fix it! (In reality, I'm sure they'll just hand me a refurb.)
          :gun:'99 TJ Sport:gun:

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          • #6
            I bought it about 9 months ago and then I think it was about a year old. Not that GPS technology progressed much in that time frame It is still in production so no worries on getting a discontunied model.
            Michael

            [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

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            • #7
              In garmin's defense, my eMap has been a champ. I've had it for more than 5 years now and I've taken it everywhere ... europe, alaska, all the way around west, south, east coast, and now central... dropped it, left it in the sun, spilled stuff on it, mounted it by the heater ducts, left in freezing cold, and still works great.

              Too bad it's really outdated and very slow but I just can't get myself to replace it. Especially since you can get a number of different size chips for it ... I got the 32MB module and it's been more than enough. But you can go up to 128MB.
              03 Rubicon, 6" FT long arms, 35x12.5 MTRs
              "Jeep is a kind of vehicle for which you have to buy a $250 security console in order to install and store a $40 CB radio. " --Me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, I wish I had the same luck, seapahn. After talking to the guy at Garmin, he said he would discount my repair to $95 from $125. I guess it helps, a little, but I still have to come up with the $95.

                Boooooo
                :gun:'99 TJ Sport:gun:

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                • #9
                  I have been using a eTrex Vista since early '01. This past weekend I had my first problem with it. The screen went blank with the back light on, none of the buttons would work. I couldn't even turn it off! I ended up pulling the batteries out to shut it down. It started up and worked fine until the next day. Then it was confused about which direction I was heading. It kept trying to tell me I was heading south when I was obviously heading north (unless the sun decided to rise in the West for a change). Sometime during the day it decided to start working again, and has not had a problem for the past couple of days running 24/7.

                  I'm not real happy about all that......
                  olllllllo <--- If you can read that, roll me over!

                  Price is soon forgotton, quality is not.

                  KG6OWO

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by goodtimes
                    It kept trying to tell me I was heading south when I was obviously heading north (unless the sun decided to rise in the West for a change).
                    Are you sure you were still in the northern hemisphere? :zip: I heard everything is backwards down there.

                    One thing I don't understand with mine (eMap) is how come I have to tell it the time zone ... isn't it a GPS and shouldn't it know that by itself? :mad:
                    03 Rubicon, 6" FT long arms, 35x12.5 MTRs
                    "Jeep is a kind of vehicle for which you have to buy a $250 security console in order to install and store a $40 CB radio. " --Me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by goodtimes
                      I have been using a eTrex Vista since early '01. This past weekend I had my first problem with it. The screen went blank with the back light on, none of the buttons would work. I couldn't even turn it off! I ended up pulling the batteries out to shut it down. It started up and worked fine until the next day. Then it was confused about which direction I was heading. It kept trying to tell me I was heading south when I was obviously heading north (unless the sun decided to rise in the West for a change). Sometime during the day it decided to start working again, and has not had a problem for the past couple of days running 24/7.

                      I'm not real happy about all that......
                      Hey yeah, mine sometimes does that too, you just have to smack the side of it against something, not too hard, but hard enough. If you lose control of your buttons, turn the light on or off it will correct it. If the screen gets lines and goes blank, again toggle the light.

                      Wow, these things come so naturally to me now I forgot they were actually defects. LOL And if you want it fixed, you can just shell out $125! Good deal eh!?
                      :gun:'99 TJ Sport:gun:

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                      • #12
                        smack it around that is the sure way to fix it but then again who wants to spend half as much as it cost new to to fix it.
                        im lovin it

                        2004 wrangler se
                        4 inch rough country lift
                        35x12.5LT16's
                        super budget 3 inch body lift

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                        • #13
                          Damn! After what I paid for mine, I would never think for smacking. It might also come from being a radio tech and knowing that doesn't fix the problem, only maskes it.

                          Of course, my wife use to run the vaccuum cleaner into her old computer when it started to act up.
                          Michael

                          [sign]nlm mln[/sign]

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                          • #14
                            All things said and done, I got my GPS back today from "repair."
                            Turns out I got an entirely new unit. Very cool, but the whole process was just an annoyance. Hopefully this one will hold up a little better.
                            :gun:'99 TJ Sport:gun:

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                            • #15
                              Just found this thread.

                              I've been wondering what types of GPS you guys run. Here we run mostly with Magellin Sport Trac's for civilian GPS. We have the military version from Rockwell that's damn near bullet proof. But not nearly the features of the civilian jobbies. I'll need to be getting a GPS when I start wheeling with ya'll. I guess I'll go with the Magellin Sport Trac, unless someone has advice otherwise?

                              Yes, I dont know how to spell Magellin correctly, but at least I'm consistent.
                              [COLOR="darkred"]"Death Smiles at Everyone... Marines Smile Back."
                              Adopt-a-Trail Member.[/COLOR]

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