Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

OWNER REVIEW - Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS REVISED (revision #2)

Expand Messages
  • kwpapke
    Revised extensively and added several images. HTML uploaded to test page:
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 3, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Revised extensively and added several images. HTML uploaded to test
      page:
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20-%20Garmin%20eTrex%20Legend%20HCx%20GPS/

      Raw text included below as extracted from HTML, FWIW...

      Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS unit - Owner Review

      Review date: November 3, 2007
      Personal biographical information:
      Name: Kurt Papke
      Age: 54
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
      Weight: 220 lbs (0.1 metric tonnes)
      Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
      City, State, Country: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
      Backpacking Background: mostly in Minnesota - all of the Superior
      Hiking Trail, starting on the Border Route. Dayhiking in Utah,
      Colorado and Oregon. Mostly Spring/Fall season. I have a Masters
      degree in Electrical Engineering and a 30-year career in software
      development, so I have a working knowledge of electronics and software
      which helps with a GPS.
      Product Information
      Manufacturer: Garmin Ltd.
      Year of manufacture: 2007
      Manufacturer website: http://garmin.com/garmin/cms/site/us
      Listed weight: 5.5 oz with batteries (156 grams)
      Weight as received: 6.0 oz (172 grams) with Duracell 1800mAh NIMH
      batteries
      4.2 oz (118grams) w/o batteries
      Unit dimensions, WxHxD:
      4.2" x 2.2" x 1.2" (10.7 x 5.6 x 3.0 cm)
      Display size, WxH:
      1.3" x 1.7" (3.3 x 4.3 cm)
      MSRP: $289.27
      PC interface
      USB (cable supplied)
      Field Information
      Location of testing: Minnesota, Oregon
      Description of location: Moderately low backcountry (Minnesota
      Boundary Waters) including heavily forested trails and city driving
      (Minneapolis, Portland)
      Weather conditions: Cool weather (40F) and heavy rain
      General Information
      The Legend is a handheld GPS designed for trail use. The Legend is
      the lowest end of the Garmin line with auto-routing capability. The
      "H" stands for the new high-sensitivity receiver which gives the unit
      the ability to capture satellites in a "green tunnel". The "C" stands
      for a color screen. The "x" indicates a slot for a MicroSD flash
      memory card (no built-in map memory). The next higher unit in the
      Garmin product family is the Vista which has a built-in
      barometer/altimeter and digital compass.

      This review will focus on the handheld unit, but will touch on the
      MapSource software and the City Navigator NT, North America map, as
      these are all part of a complete GPS system.
      Description of Unit
      Garmin Legend HCx in sunlightControls
      All interaction with the eTrex GPS units is through 5 buttons:
      Power key: Turns unit on/off and sets backlight
      Quit/page key: Escapes the current function or goes to the next main page
      In/out zoom keys: Zooms in/out on a map page, or scrolls through
      lists in menus
      Menu/Find key: context-sensitive menus or press and hold to access
      the Find menu
      Enter/rocker: joystick, press and release to Enter or mark locations
      I have had no problems performing desired tasks using these six controls.

      Handedness (left versus right): I find that I use the Quit/page key
      more than any other control, and it is located at the tip of my right
      thumb were it can be used easily and without fatigue. The one control
      that is somewhat "handed" is the Enter/rocker key: it is offset to the
      left front of the unit where it is easily reached with the tip of my
      right thumb. I find it uncomfortable to use the Enter/rocker control
      with my left hand: it is too close to my hand and I have to "crook" my
      thumb too much to access it. Left-handed users may find this annoying.

      With gloves: I find that the controls are large enough that I can
      easily perform all operations with a mid-weight fleece glove. For
      those of us who hike in colder climates this is an often-overlooked
      attribute. The picture shows the Satellite Page of the Legend with
      backlight off in full sun held in my gloved left hand.
      Batteries/MicroSD slot
      Legend with the back cover removedThe picture to the left shows the
      Legend with the back case cover removed. The two AA batteries are
      easily removed and replaced, though a fingernail is required to dig
      them out. The MicroSD slot with a map chip installed is in the upper
      right corner of the picture. Memory cards are painlessly inserted,
      and the slot is spring-loaded making it trivial to pop out the card.

      The battery usage indicator can be seen on the main menu in the
      picture below. I find the icon confusing, with the black color
      indicating the remaining charge.

      Though I like the compactness of the MicroSD format, I would be
      concerned with changing these in the field. They are only the size of
      a fingernail, and if dropped on the trail they would be difficult to find.

      The lanyard and its attachment slot can be seen at the left side of
      the image.
      Menus
      Garmin Legend main menuThe page key navigates sequentially through the
      main Legend menus: map, compass and main menu (shown at left). When
      powering up the Satellite page is displayed, and can be returned to
      via the main menu. The order and which pages are displayed in the
      page key sequence can be customized, though I have not found this
      necessary for my use. The contents of the pages can also be
      customized, in particular the number and content of the displayed
      fields. I have found this useful for the Trip Computer and Compass
      pages where I have changed the default fields to data that I wanted
      frequent access.

      The main menu is used frequently, and can be rapidly accessed with two
      presses of the menu key. The default order is shown at left, but can
      be setup to display in order of the most frequently used menus. I
      find the default menu order works well for me, and I don't like it
      when things gets moved around on me.
      Software Updates
      I have updated the firmware once on my unit. The instructions are
      clear, though a bit scary due to the warnings that if the download is
      botched the GPS has to be sent back to Garmin for re-imaging with no
      warranty coverage of the costs.
      MapSource Software
      Mapsource screenThough there are 3rd party software packages that can
      be used to upload/download and edit waypoints, tracks and routes,
      Garmin MapSource is the only software that can load and display Garmin
      maps and comes standard with the unit. MapSource comes with the same
      basemap as the Legend. I have used MapSource effectively to edit my
      track files post-hike to clean up detours, organize tracks by trail
      section, and rename and annotate waypoints and tracks. I have also
      used it to import GPX files for trails created by others with only one
      problem encountered: I came across one GPX file which could not be
      imported by MapSource but could be read and downloaded to my GPS by
      other 3rd party software (EasyGPS).

      The image to the left shows a typical MapSource screen: the yellow
      dots are a track recorded from a hike, the panel on the right is the
      detailed track log, and the graph shows the elevation profile of the
      track. In the background on the left you can see tabs for the main
      entities you work with: maps, waypoints, routes and tracks.

      POI Loader: Garmin has a utility for downloading 3rd party Point Of
      Interest files. I have used this to successfully load waypoints for
      Portland microbreweries :)
      City Navigator NT, North America map
      The standard basemap pre-loaded in the unit is very rough: there were
      times on the Border Route Trail that my GPS was saying I had crossed
      border into Canada, when clearly I was on the U.S. side of the river.
      With use of the City Navigator NT North America map the Legend no
      longer declared me an illegal Canadian immigrant.

      The auto-routing capabilities of the Legend are useless unless a
      street map is purchased. I chose to buy a MicroSD chip preloaded with
      the 2008 City Navigator NT, North America map. I was pleased with the
      completeness of the map itself: it contains many forest roads allowing
      the GPS to be used to navigate to remote trailheads, a use often
      overlooked. It also has a very complete database of POI's: gas
      stations, motels, restaurants, etc. that can be very useful on road
      trips. I have appreciated the capability of doing a quick find for
      the closest fueling stop.

      My only disappointment with the map was the inability to upload and
      view the map in MapSource. This severely limits its use in
      pre-planning trips on a PC. A better alternative would be to buy the
      DVD version of the same map and a blank MicroSD card. Another
      disadvantage of the preloaded chip is the inability to manage multiple
      maps, i.e. topo + roadmap. Additional map data cannot be added to the
      preloaded chip, and there is only one chip slot.

      I had a situation on my last trip where I would have liked both a topo
      and the roadmap available: my car was parked at a shuttle service in
      Grand Marais and as I descended from the SHT I would have liked to use
      the roadmap routing to give me the best walking route through town to
      my car. I can envision other situations (e.g. mid-hike resupply)
      where this would be useful.

      Driving navigation: I have used the Legend in my car in city
      navigation. It makes good use of auditory cues and temporary map
      zooms to warn the user of upcoming turns. I have used other car GPS
      systems with voice outputs and I would have liked the verbal warnings,
      but the "beeps" are a reasonable cost compromise.
      Supplied Accessories
      The Legend comes standard with a lanyard and mounting adapter. The
      adapter is useless unless you purchase an extra-cost mounting bracket
      for you automobile, bicycle handlebar, belt clip, etc. It screws into
      a metal threaded socket in the back of the GPS. The lanyard is easily
      lashed/removed from a slot on the bottom of the unit. The lanyard
      extends 18" from the base, making it easy to read the unit when
      hanging it around your neck, though personally I never do so as I find
      it irritating to have it bouncing off my chest as I walk.
      Field Performance
      Receiver Sensitivity
      The "H" in HCx connotes that this Legend model has the Garmin
      high-sensitivity receiver. I have never experienced a loss of
      satellite capture with this unit in the field, even in densely wooded
      areas of Northern Minnesota. I even get reasonable reception inside
      buildings.
      Screen legibility
      The unit's color screen has good legibility with the backlight turned
      off in bright sunlight. There is no need to find a shady area to read
      the screen.
      Battery life
      I have not done an exhaustive battery life test with different battery
      types to confirm the manufacturers claim. Your mileage will vary of
      course depending on backlight usage, WAAS enabled/disabled, etc.
      There is no "sleep" mode for the Legend.
      Startup time
      10.45 secs to "Acquiring satellites"
      40.2 secs to satellite acquisition
      Tracking
      Tracks are the "breadcrumbs" that the unit logs during a trip. The
      Legend has a TracBack feature that allows you to select the current
      track and retrace your steps. This is the purpose for which I
      initially purchased a GPS: a fork in a trail or creekbed looks very
      different when you are backtracking, and I've been known to take a
      wrong turn. I used this function successfully on my BRT hike when I
      took a wrong turn and lost the trail. TracBack use is a little
      confusing at first as the unit requires you to select the point you
      want to track back to, which when you take a wrong turn you really
      don't care, you just want to go backwards.

      Another feature that is confusing is that the Legend does not clear
      the current track log when a track is saved. I typically save my
      track at the end of every day, and have inadvertently ended up with a
      lot of overlapping tracks.

      Tracks are easily uploaded to MapSource and saved to a file. I have
      found it useful to keep my tracks in separate files that can be
      downloaded for use in re-hiking the same trail. This avoids
      cluttering the GPS memory and map screen with tracks not currently in use.
      Routing
      Routing works in two modes: following roadways, and point-to-point. I
      find I mostly use routing in the car, so leave the Legend in roadway
      mode rather than having it prompt me every time (this is
      configurable). When route navigation is active, the page key menu has
      an additional screen in the sequence with the turn-by-turn directions.
      I find that the routes chosen by the Legend using the City Navigator
      map are appropriate. Routing is configurable to prioritize shortest
      distance or travel time.

      Gripe: there does not seem to be a way from the Legend GPS to avoid a
      given section of roadway. You may be familiar with the recent
      collapse of the I35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis, and I
      used to take this bridge every day in my commute to/from work. I have
      been using my Legend to find alternate routes home, and I'd really
      like to indicate that the bridge should be routed around, but have yet
      to find a way to do this other than picking a waypoint to route through.
      Conclusions
      The Garmin Legend HCx is a useful compromise of cost, functionality,
      trail and road use capabilities. It is a reasonable choice of a first
      GPS unit for someone who wants to use it for hiking, driving and
      bicycling.

      Pros:

      1. Low-cost, moderate weight, robust mechanical design, waterproof
      2. Excellent receiver sensitivity, high memory capacity with add-on
      SD card
      3. Routing capability makes it useful for car and bicycle use as
      well as on the trail
      4. Complete support for map (if DVD maps are purchased), route,
      track and waypoint management from a PC.

      Cons:

      1. Requires purchase of a map to make the auto-routing capability
      useful. The basemap is good for freeway driving only.
      2. Single MicroSD slot limits the utility of purchasing pre-loaded
      map cards.
    • rayestrella1
      Hello Kurt Thank you for your Owner Review. We usually recommend that a new reviewer begins with something a little less complicated than a piece of electronic
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 5, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Hello Kurt

        Thank you for your Owner Review. We usually recommend that a new
        reviewer begins with something a little less complicated than a piece
        of electronic gear, but you have worked so hard on it (with a couple
        of revisions I am happy to see, nice job) that we will go forward
        with it.

        Thank you for putting the HTML in the test folder. It shows a lot of
        confidence. Your initial edits will follow. They will take the
        following format;

        EDIT: must be changed
        Edit: should be changed but will be left to your discretion
        Comment: just that or something to think about

        When you have made the changes please repost here with REPOST added
        to the subject line. Include your name also please. You can put an
        updated HTML in the test folder again too. Let me know here.

        Some very helpful information may be found here;
        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/lesson.php?lesson=BecomeTester&page=1

        Please notice the form that the review should take in the "Examples",
        you may also wish to browse the reviews of other experienced members
        for examples of the proper form.

        A helpful tool is the Mentoring Program that teams new reviewers with
        experienced veterans to help get them through their first review(s).
        If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can
        request a mentor by sending an email to the mentor coordinator, Jenn
        K, at mentor@...

        Ray




        ***Weight: 220 lbs (0.1 metric tonnes)

        EDIT: you need to put this in kilograms (kg) please. (I always wanted
        to list mine in stonesÂ…)



        ***Backpacking Background: mostly in Minnesota - all of the Superior
        Hiking Trail, starting on the Border Route.

        EDIT: we are not allowed to put links in our reports and reviews
        other than the one to the manufacturer and a personal web space if we
        choose. Can you please remove all the hyperlinks from your bio and
        elsewhere?


        ***Weight as received: 4.2 oz (118grams) w/o batteries

        EDIT: need a space before grams (118 g)




        ***Field Information

        EDIT: can you give more information as far as the amount of use the
        GPS has seen. Is this two trips? Multiple trips in MN and OR? What
        were the elevations that it was used at? I know MN is pretty
        constant, but OR has quite a range. (I used to live in Cottage Grove
        and Hastings by the way.)



        ***The next higher unit in the Garmin product family is the Vista
        which has a built-in barometer/altimeter and digital compass.

        EDIT: this is info that is not needed as you are reviewing just the
        Legend.



        ***All interaction with the eTrex GPS units is through 5 buttons:

        EDIT: "unit" not plural, just yours. (We keep the reviews in the
        first person and only talk about our items.)



        ***I find the default menu order works well for me, and I don't like
        it when things gets moved around on me.

        EDIT: when things "get" moved



        ***there were times on the Border Route Trail that my GPS was saying
        I had crossed border into Canada,

        EDIT: saying I had crossed "the" border into Canada, or,
        crossed "over" into Canada



        ***The adapter is useless unless you purchase an extra-cost mounting
        bracket for you automobile, bicycle handlebar, belt clip, etc.

        EDIT: can you reword this to keep it in the first person. We can have
        the "you" and "your" in it. Otherwise it is projection.



        ***The lanyard extends 18" from the base, making it easy to read the
        unit when hanging it around your neck,

        EDIT: same thing. How about "my neck"?



        ***Your mileage will vary of course depending on backlight usage,

        EDIT: same thing. Just say that "it varies depending on etc."



        ***10.45 secs to "Acquiring satellites"
        ***40.2 secs to satellite acquisition

        Edit: the abbreviation for seconds is "s" or "sec"



        ***TracBack use is a little confusing at first as the unit requires
        you to select the point you want to track back to, which when you
        take a wrong turn you really don't care, you just want to go
        backwards.

        EDIT: lots of "you" in this that needs to change to me or I



        ***Gripe: there does not seem to be a way from the Legend GPS to
        avoid a given section of roadway. You may be familiar with the
        recent collapse of the I35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis,
        and I used to take this bridge every day in my commute to/from work.

        EDIT: to avoid saying "you" maybe say; "A case in point is the recent
        collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis. I used
        to take thisÂ…

        Comment: I used to take it multiple times a day as our office was in
        Burnsville and we built in Minneapolis. (Shudder)



        ***It is a reasonable choice of a first GPS unit for someone who
        wants to use it for hiking, driving and bicycling.

        EDIT: this is the kind of projection they want to avoid. Just talk
        for yourself not others. (I had a hard time getting used to it too.)
      • kwpapke
        ... I have eliminated all instances of you , and completed the other requested edits. Updated HTML on the Test page. Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS unit - Owner
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 5, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "rayestrella1"
          <rayestrella@...> wrote:
          > When you have made the changes please repost here with REPOST added
          > to the subject line. Include your name also please. You can put an
          > updated HTML in the test folder again too. Let me know here.

          I have eliminated all instances of "you", and completed the other
          requested edits. Updated HTML on the Test page.

          Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS unit - Owner Review
          Review date: November 5, 2007
          Personal biographical information:
          Name: Kurt Papke
          Age: 54
          Gender: Male
          Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
          Weight: 220 lbs (100 kg)
          Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
          City, State, Country: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
          Backpacking Background: mostly in Minnesota - all of the Superior
          Hikiing Trail, starting on the Border Route. Dayhiking in Utah,

          Colorado and Oregon. Mostly Spring/Fall season. I have a Masters
          degree in Electrical Engineering and a 30-year career in software

          development, so I have a working knowledge of electronics and software
          which helps with a GPS.
          Product Information
          Manufacturer: Garmin Ltd.
          Year of manufacture: 2007
          Manufacturer website: http://garmin.com/garmin/cms/site/us
          Listed weight: 5.5 oz with batteries (156 g)
          Weight as received: 6.0 oz (172 g) with Duracell 1800mAh NIMH batteries
          4.2 oz (118 g) w/o batteries
          Unit dimensions, WxHxD:
          4.2" x 2.2" x 1.2" (10.7 x 5.6 x 3.0 cm)
          Display size, WxH:
          1.3" x 1.7" (3.3 x 4.3 cm)
          MSRP: $289.27
          PC interface
          USB (cable supplied)
          Field Information
          Location of testing: Minnesota, Oregon
          Description of location: One 8-day/100 mile trip on the Border Route
          and Superior Hiking trails, numerous dayhikes in the

          Twin cities area, and city driving (Minneapolis, Portland).
          Elevations: 600 - 1800 ft (180 - 550 m) on the SHT, 0-400 ft (0 - 120

          m)
          Weather conditions: Cool weather (40-60F) and heavy rain
          General Information
          The Legend is a handheld GPS designed for trail use. The Legend is
          the lowest end of the Garmin line with auto-routing capability.

          The "H" stands for the new high-sensitivity receiver which gives the
          unit the ability to capture satellites in a "green tunnel".

          The "C" stands for a color screen. The "x" indicates a slot for a
          MicroSD flash memory card (no built-in map memory).

          This review will focus on the handheld unit, but will touch on the
          MapSource software and the City Navigator NT, North America map,

          as these are all part of a complete GPS system.
          Description of Unit
          Garmin Legend HCx in sunlightControls
          All interaction with the eTrex GPS is through 5 buttons:
          Power key: Turns unit on/off and sets backlight
          Quit/page key: Escapes the current function or goes to the next main page
          In/out zoom keys: Zooms in/out on a map page, or scrolls through
          lists in menus
          Menu/Find key: context-sensitive menus or press and hold to access
          the Find menu
          Enter/rocker: joystick, press and release to Enter or mark locations
          I have had no problems performing desired tasks using these six controls.

          Handedness (left versus right): I find that I use the Quit/page key
          more than any other control, and it is located at the tip of my

          right thumb were it can be used easily and without fatigue. The one
          control that is somewhat "handed" is the Enter/rocker key: it

          is offset to the left front of the unit where it is easily reached
          with the tip of my right thumb. I find it uncomfortable to use

          the Enter/rocker control with my left hand: it is too close to my hand
          and I have to "crook" my thumb too much to access it.

          Left-handed users may find this annoying.

          With gloves: I find that the controls are large enough that I can
          easily perform all operations with a mid-weight fleece glove. For

          those of us who hike in colder climates this is an often-overlooked
          attribute. The picture shows the Satellite Page of the Legend

          with backlight off in full sun held in my gloved left hand.
          Batteries/MicroSD slot
          Legend with the back cover removedThe picture to the left shows the
          Legend with the back case cover removed. The two AA batteries

          are easily removed and replaced, though a fingernail is required to
          dig them out. The MicroSD slot with a map chip installed is in

          the upper right corner of the picture. Memory cards are painlessly
          inserted, and the slot is spring-loaded making it trivial to pop

          out the card.

          The battery usage indicator can be seen on the main menu in the
          picture below. I find the icon confusing, with the black color

          indicating the remaining charge.

          Though I like the compactness of the MicroSD format, I would be
          concerned with changing these in the field. They are only the size

          of a fingernail, and if dropped on the trail they would be difficult
          to find.

          The lanyard and its attachment slot can be seen at the left side of
          the image.
          Menus
          Garmin Legend main menuThe page key navigates sequentially through the
          main Legend menus: map, compass and main menu (shown at

          left). When powering up the Satellite page is displayed, and can be
          returned to via the main menu. The order and which pages are

          displayed in the page key sequence can be customized, though I have
          not found this necessary for my use. The contents of the pages

          can also be customized, in particular the number and content of the
          displayed fields. I have found this useful for the Trip

          Computer and Compass pages where I have changed the default fields to
          data that I wanted frequent access.

          The main menu is used frequently, and can be rapidly accessed with two
          presses of the menu key. The default order is shown at left,

          but can be setup to display in order of the most frequently used
          menus. I find the default menu order works well for me, and I

          don't like it when things get moved around on me.
          Software Updates
          I have updated the firmware once on my unit. The instructions are
          clear, though a bit scary due to the warnings that if the

          download is botched the GPS has to be sent back to Garmin for
          re-imaging with no warranty coverage of the costs.
          MapSource Software
          Mapsource screenThough there are 3rd party software packages that can
          be used to upload/download and edit waypoints, tracks and

          routes, Garmin MapSource is the only software that can load and
          display Garmin maps and comes standard with the unit. MapSource

          comes with the same basemap as the Legend. I have used MapSource
          effectively to edit my track files post-hike to clean up detours,

          organize tracks by trail section, and rename and annotate waypoints
          and tracks. I have also used it to import GPX files for trails

          created by others with only one problem encountered: I came across one
          GPX file which could not be imported by MapSource but could

          be read and downloaded to my GPS by other 3rd party software (EasyGPS).

          The image to the left shows a typical MapSource screen: the yellow
          dots are a track recorded from a hike, the panel on the right is

          the detailed track log, and the graph shows the elevation profile of
          the track. In the background on the left you can see tabs for

          the main entities a GPS deals with: maps, waypoints, routes and tracks.

          POI Loader: Garmin has a utility for downloading 3rd party Point Of
          Interest files. I have used this to successfully load waypoints

          for Portland microbreweries :)
          City Navigator NT, North America map
          The standard basemap pre-loaded in the unit is very rough: there were
          times on the Border Route Trail that my GPS was saying I had

          crossed the border into Canada, when clearly I was on the U.S. side of
          the river. With use of the City Navigator NT North America

          map the Legend no longer declared me an illegal Canadian immigrant.

          The auto-routing capabilities of the Legend are useless unless a
          street map is purchased. I chose to buy a MicroSD chip preloaded

          with the 2008 City Navigator NT, North America map. I was pleased
          with the completeness of the map itself: it contains many forest

          roads allowing the GPS to be used to navigate to remote trailheads, a
          use often overlooked. It also has a very complete database

          of POI's: gas stations, motels, restaurants, etc. that can be very
          useful on road trips. I have appreciated the capability of doing

          a quick find for the closest fueling stop.

          My only disappointment with the map was the inability to upload and
          view the map in MapSource. This severely limits its use in

          pre-planning trips on a PC. A better alternative would be to buy the
          DVD version of the same map and a blank MicroSD card. Another

          disadvantage of the preloaded chip is the inability to manage multiple
          maps, i.e. topo + roadmap. Additional map data cannot be

          added to the preloaded chip, and there is only one chip slot.

          I had a situation on my last trip where I would have liked both a topo
          and the roadmap available: my car was parked at a shuttle

          service in Grand Marais and as I descended from the SHT I would have
          liked to use the roadmap routing to give me the best walking

          route through town to my car. I can envision other situations (e.g.
          mid-hike resupply) where this would be useful.

          Driving navigation: I have used the Legend in my car in city
          navigation. It makes good use of auditory cues and temporary map zooms

          to warn the user of upcoming turns. I have used other car GPS systems
          with voice outputs and I would have liked the verbal

          warnings, but the "beeps" are a reasonable cost compromise.
          Supplied Accessories
          The Legend comes standard with a lanyard and mounting adapter. The
          adapter is useless without an extra-cost mounting bracket for an

          automobile, bicycle handlebar, belt clip, etc. It screws into a metal
          threaded socket in the back of the GPS. The lanyard is

          easily lashed/removed from a slot on the bottom of the unit. The
          lanyard extends 18" from the base, making it easy to read the unit

          when hanging it around the neck, though personally I never do so as I
          find it irritating to have it bouncing off my chest as I walk.
          Field Performance
          Receiver Sensitivity
          The "H" in HCx connotes that this Legend model has the Garmin
          high-sensitivity receiver. I have never experienced a loss of

          satellite capture with this unit in the field, even in densely wooded
          areas of Northern Minnesota. I even get reasonable reception

          inside buildings.
          Screen legibility
          The unit's color screen has good legibility with the backlight turned
          off in bright sunlight. There is no need to find a shady area

          to read the screen.
          Battery life
          I have not done an exhaustive battery life test with different battery
          types to confirm the manufacturers claim. It will vary of

          course depending on backlight usage, WAAS enabled/disabled, etc.
          There is no "sleep" mode for the Legend.
          Startup time
          10.45 s to "Acquiring satellites"
          40.2 s to satellite acquisition
          Tracking
          Tracks are the "breadcrumbs" that the unit logs during a trip. The
          Legend has a TracBack feature for selecting the current or saved

          track and allowing me to retrace my steps. This is the purpose for
          which I initially purchased a GPS: a fork in a trail or creekbed

          looks very different when backtracking, and I've been known to take a
          wrong turn. I used this function successfully on my BRT hike

          when I took a wrong turn and lost the trail. TracBack use is a little
          confusing at first as the unit requires selection of the

          point to track back to, which when I take a wrong turn I really don't
          care, I just want to go backwards.

          Another feature that is confusing is that the Legend does not clear
          the current track log when a track is saved. I typically save

          my track at the end of every day, and have inadvertently ended up with
          a lot of overlapping tracks.

          Tracks are easily uploaded to MapSource and saved to a file. I have
          found it useful to keep my tracks in separate files that can be

          downloaded for use in re-hiking the same trail. This avoids
          cluttering the GPS memory and map screen with tracks not currently in

          use.
          Routing
          Routing works in two modes: following roadways, and point-to-point. I
          find I mostly use routing in the car, so leave the Legend in

          roadway mode rather than having it prompt me every time (this is
          configurable). When route navigation is active, the page key menu

          has an additional screen in the sequence with the turn-by-turn
          directions. I find that the routes chosen by the Legend using the

          City Navigator map are appropriate. Routing is configurable to
          prioritize shortest distance or travel time.

          Gripe: there does not seem to be a way from the Legend GPS to avoid a
          given section of roadway. Case in point: I used to take the

          I35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis bridge every day in my
          commute to/from work, but with the recent well-publicized

          collapse that is no longer possible. I have been using my Legend to
          find alternate routes home, and I'd really like to indicate

          that the bridge should be routed around, but have yet to find a way to
          do this other than picking a waypoint to route through.
          Conclusions
          The Garmin Legend HCx is a useful compromise of cost, functionality,
          trail and road use capabilities. I found it a reasonable

          choice of a first GPS unit for myself who bought it to use for a
          combination of hiking, driving and bicycling.

          Pros:

          1. Low-cost, moderate weight, robust mechanical design, waterproof
          2. Excellent receiver sensitivity, high memory capacity with add-on
          SD card
          3. Routing capability makes it useful for car and bicycle use as
          well as on the trail
          4. Complete support for map (if DVD maps are purchased), route,
          track and waypoint management from a PC.

          Cons:

          1. Requires purchase of a map to make the auto-routing capability
          useful. The basemap is good for freeway driving only.
          2. Single MicroSD slot limits the utility of purchasing pre-loaded
          map cards.
        • rayestrella1
          OK Kurt, This looks very good. I have just one edit but you do not need to repost. After fixing it you may upload your corrected HTML to its new home here;
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 6, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            OK Kurt,

            This looks very good. I have just one edit but you do not need to
            repost. After fixing it you may upload your corrected HTML to its new
            home here;

            http://tinyurl.com/27f9pv

            Thanks for the review. One down, one to go!

            Ray



            EDIT: On your manufacturer URL, could you take everything out
            past "garmin.com"? I know it takes us there automatically but should
            the progression change in the future the top level will always get us
            there.
          • kwpapke
            ... Done. There already was category for Garmin Etrex Series GPS , and I see you created a new category for my Legend review. Will that confuse readers? ...
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 7, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "rayestrella1"
              <rayestrella@...> wrote:
              > This looks very good. I have just one edit but you do not need to
              > repost. After fixing it you may upload your corrected HTML to its new
              > home here;

              Done. There already was category for "Garmin Etrex Series GPS", and I
              see you created a new category for my Legend review. Will that
              confuse readers?

              > EDIT: On your manufacturer URL, could you take everything out
              > past "garmin.com"? I know it takes us there automatically but should
              > the progression change in the future the top level will always get us
              > there.

              Done

              Thanks Ray!
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.