Magellan Meridian Marine Handheld GPS

Old 11-26-2003, 09:41 AM
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Default Magellan Meridian Marine Handheld GPS

Anyone have any experience with this unit? My wife purchased one of these with a 64MB Memory Card, MapSend BlueNav CD, and other accessories for me. Early Christmas present for a trip down to Jupiter to tackle some sails in early December.

Anyway, I told her I wanted a Garmin GPSMap 76S, but she didn't remember that. The salesman sold her the Magellan. Should I keep the Magellan or go get the Garmin?


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Old 11-26-2003, 01:03 PM
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Default Magellan Meridian Marine Handheld GPS


I own this unit, have had it for about a year. I don't have the BlueNav. I actually use it more for car than boat. I live on a river, how lost can you get?

Anyhow, I chose the Magellan rather than Garmin solely because Magellan had better Canadian coverage than Garmin in the handheld area. I don't think this is at all true for U.S. coverage.

It functions well. Locks satallites easily, and works nicely inside the car without external antenae.

If you turn it on a good distance from were you turned it off, it can take several minutes to lock.

Check out Yahoo Groups. There is a Magellan Meridian group and it's pretty active. You might find better answers there particularly about the BlueNav.

Also, they've just announced a routing software for the Meridian line so you can get turn by turn routing between addresses. Even has audio prompts. Pretty cool for a handheld.

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Old 11-29-2003, 08:19 AM
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Default Magellan Meridian Marine Handheld GPS

Beeracuda, I have had a Magellan Marine for about a year- same type of gift. New software update (5.X) is avail on line. Find it easy to use but there is a large group out there that swears by the Garmin. I have just ordered the topo software and will see what it can do for me. I use it in the bay just marking waypoints and fish sites. WAAS is outstanding and gives you incredible accuracy. I think it's a good value and has some options that work for me.
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Old 11-30-2003, 07:07 AM
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Default Magellan Meridian Marine Handheld GPS

i have magellan meridian marine for about 2 years, and just bought garmin 76S handheld on friday, should have in hands this week sometime. also have garmin 188C for a year now.

magellan unit is generally very good, will detail good and bad below. i bought handheld garmin b/c:

1) i'm a serial GPS junky, can't live w/o them, love noodling with them.
2) i'm paranoid and want 2 units when going DEEP backcountry on motorized canoe -- (go here for a general peek:
N25 15.570 W80 52.219).
3) i much prefer garmin blue chart software over magellan's marine offering, blue nav.
4) much easier for me to swap waypoints and such from garmin-mapsource-garmin than from magellan-expertGPS-Garmin and vice versa. so, garmin 76S will be my backup for my garmin 188c on my CC.
5) garmin wrote book on user-friendly units and upgrades, and accessible and friendly tech support (but not always taht knowledgable, alas).

magellan unit is TOUGH, accurate as far as i can tell, keeps good fix, even in cars, airplanes. and good battery life, relatively user friendly (at least for GPS hardcores like myself). you can use generic (cheaper) secure digital memory cards instead of garmin's very expensive offerings. garmin 76S only has 32 MB INTERNAL (fixed) memory, while magellan can go up to 256MB, or something very close. plus, magellan LAND-BASED maps are pretty darn good (but can't compare them to garmin, tho).

downsides: as mentioned, not great marine software (blue nav) compared to garmin blue chart. their tech support sucks. their user manuals passable. as an example, just look at update page they have for firmware -- doesn't even give the damn version upgrade anywhere (you need to download the MYSTERY upgrade, unzip, open readme.doc to find out). garmin, in contrast, makes updates easy. finally, magellan is very slow to boot up, get initial fix.

all that said:

1) the magellan COLOR handheld sure is inviting. i LOVE COLOR!!! this, in my opinion, trumps garmin 76S if you only have one GPS unit.
2) can't yet comment on garmin 76S till i play with, noodle, next couple of weeks. i promise to report back w/ results.

good luck!
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Old 12-04-2003, 02:01 PM
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Default Magellan Meridian Marine Handheld GPS

I have the Magellan. The reasons I chose it over the Garmin are I liked the built in maps better, I liked the ergonomics better, and they are about $100 less now than the Garmin. I have heard the software for the Garmin is better, but I haven't seen that and can't confirm.

-Matt H

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