Garmin eTrex 30 Outdoor Handheld GPS Unit
|Price:||£227.87 FREE UK delivery.|
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- 2.2-inch, colour display that's easy to read in any lighting situation
- Durable and waterproof, eTrex® 30 is built to withstand the elements
- 3-axis tilt-compensated compass and barometric altimeter
- Supports geocaching GPX files for downloading geocaches and details straight to your unit.
- High-sensitivity, EGNOS-enabled GPS receiver and HotFix® satellite prediction to locate your position quickly
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Garmin eTrex 30 Outdoor Handheld GPS Unit
eTrex 30 takes one of the most popular and reliable GPS handhelds and makes it better. Enhanced ergonomics, an improved interface, paperless geocaching and expanded mapping capabilities makes eTrex more versatile and user-friendly, while maintaining its toughness and durability.
See The Way
eTrex 30 has an enhanced 2.2 in 65K colour, brilliant, sunlight-readable display. Durable and waterproof, eTrex 30 is built to withstand the elements. It has an upgraded interface and stands strong against the elements – be it dust, dirt, humidity or water, none of which are a match for this versatile navigator.
The Right Tools for your Adventure
eTrex 30 adds a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, which shows your heading even when you're standing still, without holding it level. Also added is a barometric altimeter which tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude, and you even can use it to plot barometric pressure over time, which can help you keep an eye on changing weather conditions.
Get the Mapping You Want
With its microSD™ card slot and 1.7 GB of internal memory, eTrex 30 lets you load our range of Ordnance Survey maps such as Garmin GB Discoverer™ and hit the trail, plug in BlueChart® g2 preloaded cards for a great day on the water or City Navigator NT® map data for turn-by-turn routing on roads (see maps tab for compatible maps). eTrex 30 also supports BirdsEye™ Select map download service that lets you download premium raster maps to your device and integrate them with your existing maps.
eTrex 30 supports geocaching GPX files for downloading geocaches and details straight to your unit. Visit OpenCaching.com to start your geocaching adventure. By going paperless, you're not only helping the environment but also improving efficiency. eTrex 30 stores and displays key information, including location, terrain, difficulty, hints and descriptions, which means no more manually entering coordinates and paper print outs. Simply upload the GPX file to your unit and start hunting for caches.
eTrex 30 lets you share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly with other compatible Garmin GPS devices. So now your friends also can enjoy your favorite hike or cache – simply press "send" to transfer your information to similar units, and let the games begin.
Keep Your Fix
With its high-sensitivity, EGNOS-enabled GPS receiver and HotFix® satellite prediction, eTrex locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons.
With an array of compatible mounts, eTrex 30 can be used on your bicycle, boat, in your car or motorbike and off-road vehicle. You even get turn-by-turn directions with the auto mount and City Navigator® NT maps. Wherever you think you might take eTrex, it has the mapping and mounts to get you there.
The new eTrex series is the first-ever consumer-grade receivers that can track both GPS and GLONASS satellites simultaneously. GLONASS is a system developed by the Russian Federation that will be fully operational in 2012. When using GLONASS satellites, the time it takes for the receiver to "lock on" to a position is (on average) approximately 20 percent faster than using GPS. And when using both GPS and GLONASS, the receiver has the ability to lock on to 24 more satellites than using GPS alone.
eTrex 30; USB cable; Owner's manual
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The eTrex 30 is a hand held GPS device which may be used by walker/trekkers, drivers, cyclists and on board boats.
I am an avid walker and walk routes that I have either found in books or downloaded from the internet. However, I have found on many occasions that instructions and maps found in this way are not always accurate or may be a little vague. Nothing is worse during a walk than getting lost or simply not knowing where you are. I wanted a device that could assist me during my walks and to enable me to ensure my walk is more enjoyable. Additionally, I wanted to know exactly where I had been, how far I had walked and other statistical information. I also saw on walking web sites that you could download GPX files: I assumed these were walking routes that you could load onto the eTrex but wasn't really sure. Geocaching interested me also.
I looked at the Garmin web site and quite frankly it didn't really help me. Also, I couldn't find anything elsewhere on the internet that would give me a good overview of what the eTrex 30 did, and how it did it. I thought the eTrex was what I wanted but wasn't quite sure. However, I took a gamble and bought the eTrex 30 and I couldn't be happier!
This document provides a general overview of what the eTrex 30 actually does for walker/trekkers and how it does it.
The eTrex 30 at a glance:
1. Tracks and records your route - you can save this and download to your computer. It is saved as a GPX file.
2. You can view your walked route on a map. This is constantly updated as you are walking.
3. Provides walking statistics such as walking speed, average walking speed, walking time, stopped time, distance walked, altitude etc.
4. Load downloaded GPX files onto the eTrex from web sites for Walking Routes or Geocaches.
5. Has a compass. Please note that the Compass on the eTrex 30 is a "real" compass whereas the compass on the eTrex 10 and 20 only works whilst you are moving.
6. Comes with basic but useable base maps for the UK and Ireland.
7. You can purchase other more detailed maps such as Ordnance Survey 1:25000 and 1:50000 maps or use Garmin Birdseye maps. These have various costs. Additionally there are some free open source maps available for the more IT literate of you out there!
8. Connects to your PC to use with the Garmin Basecamp software. Basecamp allows you to create and save your own routes and then copy them onto your eTrex.
9. Mark a location as a "Waypoint".
10. Save a Waypoint location on your eTrex so that you can navigate to it later.
11. Has a colour LCD that can be seen in bright sunlight.
13. Batteries can last up to 25 hours.
14. May be used for Geocaching but be aware that there is a caveat that I will come to later.
The eTrex 30 in a little more detail:
1. Compass - the eTrex 30 has a compass, what more can I say?! It is a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, which shows your heading even when you're standing still, without holding it level.
2. "Trip Computer" - constantly updates and displays elevation, odometer (walked distance), current speed, maximum speed walked so far, moving time, moving average, stopped time and overall average speed.
3. Maps: Pre-loaded with TOPO UK & Ireland light and worldwide base map. This is basic but very useable. When you see the cost of other maps such as Birdseye and Ordnance Survey I am sure you will be able to use the pre-installed TOPO maps, certainly to begin with. If you find over time you want more detail and more information then you are going to have to take the plunge and spend some more money. Birdseye Select GB: This can be very expensive however you can download very small areas for free, but you every time you download a free section, you lose the last you downloaded. This is OK if you only want to use it for one route every now and again but if you are going away for a holiday and want to create several routes using Birdseye maps (and display them on your eTrex) you will not be able to for free and therefore you will have to use the free TOPO maps or purchase an Ordnance Survey map. Garmin GB Discoverer Ordnance Survey 1:50000 - available for around £135 from some online retailers. Expensive but identical to the paper versions.
4. Track Manager: Records your route taken. You can save your route and download to your PC to save and/or share.
5. Create A Route: The easiest way is to connect your eTrex to your PC and use the Basecamp Software. The best way I have found is to create a "Track", then convert it to a Route and download to your eTrex.
6. Download and use GPX files. GPX files are routes created by other users. You can download them, connect your eTrex to your PC and copy the route to your Garmin. Then get in your car, go to the start point, select your route and away you go!
7. Mark Waypoints: What is a Waypoint? A waypoint is simply a location, usually using standard longitude and latitude. You can tap this into your eTrex and then navigate there.
8. Geocaching: What is a Geocaching? It is like a treasure hunt. Fellow geocachers will hide a "cache" which may be very small and almost unnoticeable or sometimes very easy to find. It will usually contain a logbook to record your visit. Sometimes it will contain little artifacts or toys or badges etc and sometimes they will contain trackable items which geocachers are supposed to remove and place in a different geocache - these are trackable via the website and can travel all around the world! You can hide your own geocaches and log them on the website for others to find. It's is actually great fun once you get involved.
9. Where do I find Geocaches? The best place to look is on the geocaching dot com web site. You must register. If you have a paid subscription (£25 per year) you can download GPX files and copy them onto you eTrex. You can then view all the Cache information on your eTrex and use it to navigate to the precise location of the cache.
10. How do I use my eTrex to locate a Geocache? If you have a pad subscription at the Geocaching web site please see above. Otherwise you will have to make a note of the longitude and latitude information and manually type it into your eTrex - you can then locate your geocache and log your visit on the web site when you return home. If you have a smartphone you can use this without subscribing as long as you have an app - the best for Android is "c:geo", however, not all caches are available to you but there are still millions to find this way! The problem with this however is that you really need a data connection and that can be expensive, especially outside of your home country. Using your smartphone is a free way of geocaching and if you find you enjoy it, it is best to subscribe and then use your eTrex.
I hope this answers any questions about the capabilities of the eTrex 30. There is much, much more that the device can do. This review is only written from a walker/trekkers perspective. Buy one and have fun.
The eTrex 30 is a very sophisticated piece of kit - incredibly quick to locate your position and very accurate (it can tell if you are on one side of a road or the other and the isosceles triangle icon on the screen not only shows your location but also the direction you are facing). The features and menu options are also very intuitive and the buttons and "toggle / joy-stick" are very easy to operate - you can do eveything with your thumb, even when wearing mits.
The features such as the "trip meter" are brilliant (even tells you how long to sunset) and loading routes to and from your computer is a doddle.It has a three dimensional compass that very few GPS have - which means it works even when you are standing still (this is the only difference from the slightly cheaper eTrex 20). The altimeter is also very accurate. Phone apps are no-way comparable to what this piece of kit can do (also, using your phone as a GPS will run the battery down very quickly).
Two AA batteries do last the 25 hours advertised - Iam getting three days walking out of them.
I bought it so that I could download 1:2500 maps of specific areas as I need them. Two problems with this: 1) It works out very expensive (e,g. Lake District = £100) and 2) as the 2* reviewer says the "base map" on "BirdsEye" is so poor that you can not accurately identify the area that you you are purchasing - which means that you can make expensive mistakes. This is a pity as the "purchase only what you need" feature is supposed to be a big selling point - I have been told that my email complaining about this has been passed on to the boffins at Garmin.
Given the above, and the small screen size, I would advise purchasing the SD card of the 1:50,000 OS Map for the whole of the UK - this will add another £200 to the purchase price so you need to take this in to account when comparing with other products (although,if you see other reviews and comments for Etrex 20 and 30,there is advice on downloading maps for free).
The ETrex 30 is a sophisticated but easy piece of kit to use, it is nice and compact and durable for walking and running. However, if you need a larger screen (e.g. for the handlebars of a bike)I would go for the less sophisticated, older technology, but larger screened SatMap Active 10.(It is only because of the screen size that I do not give it 5 stars - but there has to be compromises!?)
Update (March 2014): It is now two years since I wrote the above review. My Etrex is still going strong and I still love it - and have relied on it in bad weather on a few occasions. The fact that the price is now down to £168 and the 1:50 map for whole of GB on micro SD card is now £137 (not withstanding comments that can get downloads for free)is , in my opinion, excellent value for money (I paid £230 for the Etrex when it first came out and remember the original - yellow - Etrex, which only provided a grid reference and a few "tracks" and no mapping capability, was around £120 over 15 years ago!
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