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Reviews Categories | GPS receivers for APRS | Garmin Foretrex 201 Help

Reviews Summary for Garmin Foretrex 201
Reviews: 1 Average rating: 3.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Wristwatch style GPS
Product is in production.
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K0JEG Rating: 3/5 May 29, 2005 09:18 Send this review to a friend
Not bad, interface junk  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this for APRS use when hiking and skiing. The unit works as described and interfaces well with my TH-D7 on an software level. The unit displays waypoint data from the D7 without any problems. I got my hopes up when I looked at the interface cable, because it looked like Garmin finally started using a normal connector for serial and power connections. The power is a very small coax connector (good luck locating one), but the serial interface is a standard mini TRS (stereo) connector. The only problem is, there is an adaptor that clips onto the bottom of the unit. This makes it a tight fit on your wrist, and the cables run underneath the unit (it really wasn't designed to be used like this, but I could see non-hams attempting the same thing connecting to a PDA). While skiing I noticed my D7 quit receiving data from the unit. When I checked the adaptor I found that the connector had worked itself loose from the surface mount pads. I resoldered the pads and had to install a small jumper for one lead. I then epoxied the connector to the circuit board (making a big mess of the adaptor, but hey, it now works great. If you decide to get the foretrex and use it in this fashon, keep this in mind. However, so much force is required to insert the serial interface cable that I think it will break under normal use. Maybe someday Garmin will get interfacing right, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Battery life is said to be 16 hours per charge (non-removeable NiMH), and it seems to last that long, even with NMEA out activated. The wrist strap is not real big, but it does fit OK. The geek factor is high if you're wearing a short sleeve shirt, but hey, the D7 on your hip makes up for it. :)

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