OK... what I have learned...
Thanks, by the way for all your inputs as I started this thread!
I made the purchase of the D710 and the Avmap G6... I had to buy another antenna due to a problem I had with the old one. So I bought a Diamond SG7900, which turned out to be a good antenna, and pretty tall, so I do indeed hear a ding every once in a while while driving my Jeep as it hits some low leaves in a tree.
One thing learned... there is no APRS capability in Frankfort KY. In order to even test this, I had to travel 10-15 miles either South or West of me in order to "possibly" get a signal back from a digipeater. That was very aggravating for me... in order to check if anything worked at all... I had to drive way out and then back to make adjustments etc.
Thanks to a few good APRS folks on the 710 forum, they coached me along until I finally started getting some positions on APRS.FI.
I then went on a nice long drive (2700 miles) from Kentucky thru upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, thru Connecticut, and into New Jersey and back to Kentucky.
I left the beeps "on" during the entire trip... many many times I never got a beep back as an answer from a digipeater... I accepted the fact that digipeaters can be few and far between. But it was more often than not there was no answer from any digipeaters. (Upon coming back home and checking the APRS map... some digipeaters got me and I was on the map... but the D710 never indicated anything very often)
The D710 seemed to work well... at least on the A side. I had the B side set up for simplex on 2 meters. In all those miles I only heard 3 Hams!!!! Those were the only Hams that actually answered my calls! I called out my call sign about every 50 miles or so... only 3 answered. All 3 gave me very high signal reports (even in the mountains of New Hampshire). I did not hear any other Hams... just those 3 that answered my call. 2700 miles!!!! THAT surprised me!
What I had the most difficulty with was the AVMAP G6...
When I got back I notified Don and we corresponded back and forth and he readily helped me out. BUT... I am not sure even at this time it is a great GPS device. Don actually sent me new maps and coached me thru things. BUT... The AVMAP G6 is not on my favorites list in ANY way! The print is too small... even with that great big screen. So I have to keep it close to my driving position. The APRS call signs are small as well...
The biggest problem I had is it sent me in many unfavorable locations or it made bad directions... several times sending me thru a town instead of on the highway. One time it took me on an old unpaved road full of pot holes... way out of our way instead of the proper maintained roads. We even had to ask directions from a guy... he looked at the gps and said something about getting lost with a gps... The AVMAP even missed a major highway intersection completely. it constantly said to bear left at EVERY exit... yes EVERY exit that I was not taking... ( I do like the lane indicators at each exit tho... but hated the announcing to bear left!) Good thing I had the old Garmin stowed away in the JEEP. So I turned off the voice on the AVMAP and got the Garmin working. I relied on the Garmin for directions and used the AVMAP for APRS input.
So it appears that with the new maps the wrong directions may be fixed thanks to Don. Had I known... I would never had purchased the G6 and probably would have bought green light labs GPS. The G6 is way too high a price to pay for faulty and problematic functions.
I will be traveling to Miami and the Keys in a couple of weeks... so will be checking out the new maps on the G6. I hope they work better. I wil have to move it closer to my driving position tho.
Now since I found that not many folks are on the simplex freq. I may be looking up repeaters and putting them into the memories of the D710. That is gonna take a while.
I am happy with the D710... and the Diamond antenna... still impressed with APRS... disappointed there is no APRS signal in or out of my own city and many other locations for that matter... BUT the G6 I am quite displeased with so far!
Looking forward to more trips....