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Fwd: "OWNER REVIEW Garmin Colorado 300 GPS Review"

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  • Cheryl Mcmurray
    ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 3, 2009
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      > Hi,
      > I just signed up to post some reviews. Here's my first one. I
      > have not inserted any photos but have two to add. Just wasn't sure
      > how to do that. Let me know if it's acceptable.
      > Thank you,
      > Cheryl McMurray
      > Garmin Colorado 300 GPS unit - Owner Review
      > Review Date: April 3, 2009
      > Personal Biographical Information
      > Name: Cheryl McMurray
      > Age: 50
      > Gender: Female
      > Height: 5' 8" (173 centimeters)
      > Weight: 145 lbs (66.6 kilograms)
      > Email Address: iamutz@...
      > City, State, Country: Garden Grove, Ca, U.S.
      > Date: 4/3/2009
      > Backpacking Background:
      > I've been backpacking and hiking for 3 years, mostly on
      > weekends. Trips are usually 2-3 days (approx. 30 miles) in length
      > ranging from areas up in the Sierra's, Big Bear, and San Gabriel
      > Mountains. I have done traditional weight backpacking but am
      > starting to work my way into lighter loads but not extreme
      > lightweight yet. I have camped in snow, freezing temperatures,
      > winds(once was gale force), but mostly fair weather conditions so far.
      > Manufacturer: Garmin
      > Year of Manufacture: 2007
      > Manufacturer Website: www.garmin.com
      > Listed Weight: 7.3 oz (207 g) w/2 AA Batteries
      > Actual Weight: 7.75 oz w 2 AA Sanyo Eneloop Rechargable Batteries
      > (carabiner attachment adds 1.25 oz (35 gm))
      > Unit Dimensions, WxHxD: 2.4 x 5.5 x 1.4 in. (6 x 14 x 3.5 cm)
      > Display Size, WxH: 1.6 x 2.8 in (4 x 7 cm)
      > Battery Life (according to Garmin): 15 hrs
      > MSRP: $499
      > PC/Mac Interface: USB Cable
      > Software: Mapsource for Windows (Mac users read review)
      > Waterproof: yes
      > Field Information
      > Testing Locations: Eastern Sierra's & So. Cal. Mountains
      > Weather Conditions: Varied conditions but nothing extreme
      > General Information
      > I ordered this GPS after trying a friends CSX 76 and just loved the
      > downloaded maps and color screen on his GPS. I had been using a
      > Magellan Explorist 300 which did work fine if you didn't mind a
      > blank screen with your route showing up in the form of a black
      > line. The Colorado 300 had just came out and I decided to spend the
      > few extra dollars for the new model. This has turned out to be a
      > good decision but initially since it was so new, had some firmware
      > issues and the people at the Garmin help desk at the time knew less
      > than me about the unit. I'm sure their support is much better now.
      > The thing that has saved this GPS is firmware updates for the last
      > few years which have proven to solve most issues with this model.
      > Computer Interface
      > I'm a Mac user but the software only came PC compatible at the time
      > so my husband was kind enough to let me load it on his computer.
      > Mapsource and TOPO USA 100 K worked well for uploading maps into the
      > GPS and viewing my trips afterwards (as well as editing tracks) on
      > the PC. One issue I had, though, was when I would upload maps to
      > the GPS and then a few weeks later upload another map quad
      > everything I had loaded previous disappeared and only the lastest
      > map uploaded was on it. Garmin said that this is the way it is
      > designed. My solution was to purchase the CA/NV 24 k sd card that
      > has all of both states and much more detailed mapping. Just insert
      > the card, turn on the unit and there is its in all it's glory.
      > Garmin has assured me that it is write protected but I always remove
      > it when making firmware updates or loading information from the
      > computer to the GPS.
      > Now for you Mac users who are stuck with PC software. Garmin
      > has created Mac software downloadable for free from their website
      > that will enable you to convert the Windows maps to Mac compatible
      > mapping along with the software to install and use on your Mac.
      > They started out calling it Bobcat but is now renamed Road Trip. I
      > have just finished installing all of it on my Mac and except for one
      > issue, it works good. This is the issue that I've found that might
      > also be an issue with the GPS. I just did a winter trip up at the
      > San Jacinto area and when I got home and uploaded my route, I had
      > two rogue straight lines with tracks at the end of them that showed
      > up. I was nowhere close to those two areas and can so far identify
      > and delete those rogue tracks in the Windows software but Road Trip
      > will not do it yet, even though it says it does. I've contacted
      > Garmin about it and hope they will fix it in an update.
      > One note: The Colorado 300 is also compatible with NG Topo
      > software so if you have the lastest version, you may not need
      > Mapsource or US Topo 100 K, saving you some money. I do highly
      > recommend the 24 K sd card, though. It's great.
      > Features
      > The Colorado is a full feature GPS usable for hiking, driving, and
      > nautical. Separate maps must be purchased for those uses and can
      > get pricey but it will do it all. I have no experience with
      > nautical or road, though, only trail. It comes with a clip on
      > carabiner attachment for attaching to your pack. The Satellite
      > screen will let you know how many satellites your locked into, the
      > map screen will show you a visual map of the area your at along with
      > two data fields you can customize, the Compass screen has
      > customizable data fields for navigating in this mode. The
      > elevation chart plots your elevation but I've not found this one to
      > be very reliable and the unit has the ability to Geocache. Other
      > than Geocaching, these are the screens I use the most.
      > There are so many settings and features on this unit that in order
      > to make the most of this GPS, you will need to experiment and "play"
      > with it a bit. The manual is very general and, I found, not too
      > useful. You should also research thinks like map data, coordinate
      > settings, etc. so that you will have the GPS dialed in correctly for
      > you. It does claim to be waterproof but I have not tested that
      > except in a light drizzle and it was fine with that. It has a
      > digital compass which works very good but it must be calibrated
      > every time you change the batteries and I think it will also affect
      > your direction of travel arrow in the map screen if you don't.
      > Possible Issues
      > The first issue I've had since day one is the battery life. Regular
      > alkaline batteries won't last you a full day of hiking especially if
      > you use the backlight much. The backlight is useless out in the
      > field so don't even bother trying to use it. I can read the screen
      > pretty good without it when I'm outside in good lighting conditions
      > but sometimes it can be a challenge. Inside you need the
      > backlighting. I wanted to use NiMh rechargable batteries to save
      > money and our planet a little so I now use Sanyo Eneloop
      > Rechargables and if I don't use the backlight can get about the 15
      > hrs of battery life the manufacturer claims. The only glitch is
      > that you still need to put the GPS battery setting on alkaline or
      > the GPS won't even last you an hour. It's possible with the last
      > few firmware updates they might have fixed this problem but I
      > haven't tested it yet. I discovered this work around after digging
      > into a discussions site and other's had the same issue.
      > You can manage (edit/delete) waypoints with the GPS that you
      > enter but you cannot manage tracks or routes that you save on the
      > GPS. It is only possible on your computer and even then it is not
      > very intuitive. I'd like to be able to view my tracklog on the GPS
      > by date and have the ability to delete the tracking logs that I
      > don't want to keep. Maybe in a future update.
      > Things I Like
      > Overall, this is a great GPS The distance recording when set on the
      > highest setting is pretty dead on. I can depend on it being
      > accurate. Only a few times has it been off but it might have been
      > my fault. The altimeter in Satellite mode is very accurate. You
      > can read that data and calibrate the barometric altimeter and once
      > that is done, you should be good to go the rest of the day. I
      > rarely loose reception, even in heavily wooded areas. It is
      > ruggedly built but for full disclosure, I haven't dropped it down a
      > cliff yet (and hope I never do). The scroll wheel is very easy to
      > use and the unit can be operated with one hand. The batteries are
      > very easy to replace (just don't forget to recalibrate the compass).
      > Conclusion
      > With the ability to download firmware updates, this GPS unit has
      > become a reliable and enjoyable tool in the backcountry. It has
      > more features than most people would use but it is an all in one
      > unit. I do recommend this product.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jamie D.
      Welcome to BGT Cheryl. Before I can accept your Owner Review you will need to clarify the days you have used this item in the field. Please add an estimate of
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 6, 2009
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        Welcome to BGT Cheryl.

        Before I can accept your Owner Review you will need to clarify the days you have used this item in the field. Please add an estimate of how many times you have used it to your report and then repost the REVISED version to the yahoo group.

        I will take a look and if it meets our requirements I'll add the report to our edit queue and you will be on your way to getting an official edit.

        BTW, just as a side note, we highly recommend new OR writers choose a simple item to write about for their first OR. This helps you get through the edit process more quickly and then, when you have all the BGT requirements figured out, you can tackle a more complex item. It's entirely your call to stay with the GPS, however.

        Thank you,
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Admin Manager
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