Garmin Etrex 30 - advice please

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Garmin Etrex 30 - advice please

Postby Weimarunner » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:16 am

I'm in the market for a new gps. I've been using a garmin 405 running/cycling watch type unit for more than five years. It has been brilliant for my running and short sessions on the road bike but the limited battery (4-5hrs) make it useless for day after day touring.

In an ideal world I'd like a unit that is powered by aa batteries for constant power on tour; this has lead me to the etrex series. I'm trying to get my head round the unit, they're obviously intended for walking / hiking. Is anyone using one? Are there any downsides in comparison to using a cycle specific gps such as the 'edge touring' unit?

I assume that your route is recorded and can be uploaded, stored and viewed like on garmin connect?

I don't need cadence, heart rate, power meter functions to crunch performance data. I'd just like to view my route and have some mapping to call on if needed rather than run my iPhone battery down. I can't see a cycle specific model that offer these functions as well as being powered by standard aa batteries.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Ta!
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Re: Garmin Etrex 30 - advice please

Postby MuirSR » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:59 pm

Agreed; I came to the same conclusion as you: that the Garmin Edge so-called "Cycling" GPSs aren't, in fact, ideal for the sort of cycling I do, which is not all-concerned with "fitness" and "performance". The one possible exception is the "Tour" model.

I think you'll find the Etrex 30 does everything you want of it. And, you can mount it to your bike as well, which would be another requirement.

The one thing I don't understand is why you want a unit with regular AA batteries. Will you, in fact, be using rechargeable batteries? I don't believe the Etrex series have built-in battery chargers, so how would you recharge them? Or would you buy alkaline batteries? Expensive, surely, at the rate you'd be going through them?

Some of the other Garmin "handheld" GPSs (Oregon, Montana) can take AA cells, but come with AA-type rechargeable battery packs which the device will recharge from a USB supply. So, out on tour, should you run out of power, you can insert alkaline AA batteries to keep you going and recharge your battery pack later, when you find a power source.
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Re: Garmin Etrex 30 - advice please

Postby Sweep » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:27 pm

I have the Etrex 20.

It's excellent. The only advantage of the 30 is I think the altimeter and a compass which works when not moving.

Neither of which I need.

Both the 20 and 30 take rechargeable batteries. No problem to carry a rapid charger.
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Re: Garmin Etrex 30 - advice please

Postby Weimarunner » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:29 pm

MuirSR wrote:Agreed; I came to the same conclusion as you: that the Garmin Edge so-called "Cycling" GPSs aren't, in fact, ideal for the sort of cycling I do, which is not all-concerned with "fitness" and "performance". The one possible exception is the "Tour" model.

I think you'll find the Etrex 30 does everything you want of it. And, you can mount it to your bike as well, which would be another requirement.

The one thing I don't understand is why you want a unit with regular AA batteries. Will you, in fact, be using rechargeable batteries? I don't believe the Etrex series have built-in battery chargers, so how would you recharge them? Or would you buy alkaline batteries? Expensive, surely, at the rate you'd be going through them?

Some of the other Garmin "handheld" GPSs (Oregon, Montana) can take AA cells, but come with AA-type rechargeable battery packs which the device will recharge from a USB supply. So, out on tour, should you run out of power, you can insert alkaline AA batteries to keep you going and recharge your battery pack later, when you find a power source.


Brilliant, thanks for the info.
The reason I want to use batteries rather than have a rechargeable unit, is that I'll be camping night after night without any recharge opportunity.
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Re: Garmin Etrex 30 - advice please

Postby Weimarunner » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:31 pm

Sweep wrote:I have the Etrex 20.

It's excellent. The only advantage of the 30 is I think the altimeter and a compass which works when not moving.

Neither of which I need.

Both the 20 and 30 take rechargeable batteries. No problem to carry a rapid charger.


Great, I did read that the compass on the 30 was a bit problematic too. Thanks for the recommend
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Re: Garmin Etrex 30 - advice please

Postby Sweep » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:43 pm

I don't know about the compass being problematical (i just decided that i was ok with a compass that worked when i moved) but i do seem to remember the altimeter being less than totally great. Many of the maps you will be using, including free, will have height data anyway.

Glad that you seem to agree that you can save the cash and get the 20.
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