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on July 15, 2011
The Celestron reTrace Deluxe GPS acquires satellite signals quickly, even under thick foliage. Basically it is a nifty little GPS device that if left turned on, plots your route on a LCD screen (about 1.8 inches) as a series of dotted (bread crumb trail) lines that shows the person's movement without an underlying map on the LCD screen. You can also navigate with the reTrace Deluxe by entering a starting location for navigation and then switching it off. Later when you decide to return to the starting location you simple turn it on and navigate by following a direction of travel arrow with the distance given to the original location. Most importantly, you do not need to be constantly moving to navigate back to the saved location. Most simple GPS's without maps or compass that leave a bread crumb trail require that you must be moving to active the navigation pointer on the device so that it will point to the waypoint that was recorded. The navigation for the Celestron reTrack Deluxe is excellent for returning to marked locations. The alkaline batteries will last for about seven hours with constant use. The built-in compass is accurate and the LCD light for night use is good but hastens the depletion of the battery.

The altitude and barometric pressure measurements are reasonably accurate when calibrated to a known altitude. The temperature measurement, however, is not very accurate. If you have Microsoft Window's software you can superimpose your route on a Google Map and also update the firmware by internet connection. The only negative aspect for me was the GPS is not Macintosh compatible. The software for this GPS is designed only for PC's running Microsoft Windows.

Considering the price it is a very good GPS in its class for navigation that hikers and hunters will appreciate. In some aspects it might even rival (smaller size, compass, altitude and barometric pressure measurements) some lower-end more expensive Garmin GPS's. It comes with a two year warranty.
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on February 12, 2012
I did a lot of research before I decided to buy this unit, as well as a second one as a Christmas present for a relative. I was aware from previous reading that the directions that accompanied this unit were poor and that one had to go to a download from their website to figure out how to operate it. That was the least of my problems. I have tried to use the unit to return to my previous location - e.g., a car in a parking lot, several times. I understand how it works but have found the unit less than responsive. It is supposed to remember up to 20 locations. When I go to erase location #1 and rewrite over it with a new starting location, I found the unit balky and difficult to use. The same thing has happened several other times when I've used it. It also trips off pretty quickly in order to save battery power. I found this very annoying since you have to start at the beginning once again after turning it back on. I'm fairly computer literate so I don't think it's me. And I'm not trying to do anything more sophistacted with it. Only the basic, return to location fuction. Does it work? I would say, sort of with lots of difficulty. Would It buy it again? Not for the price I paid. I also understand that I can use my Blackberry with an App to do the same thing. That may have been a better option. I also think that this company would have been better off to limit the functions with this device and perfected the return to 1 location feature. That might have made it more user friendly and reliable.

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on October 22, 2011
My companion and I enjoy spending our free time together in the great outdoors. As we have gotten older, I sometimes used to worry about getting lost during our hiking trips up in the mountains and not finding our way out in time before dusk. Then, my friend read about this device that helps you find your way back so you'll never get lost. How wonderful! Well, we ordered one and waited patiently for its arrival which actually took a few days longer that we had expected. When it finally arrived, we were amazed at how small and compact the device was. Now I'll have to admit I was rather intimidated at first since I may not be the most electronically inclined person. Luckily, my friend was able to print and study the instruction manual and in time, figured out how to use its basic functions. He then showed me and ever since, the Retrace has been such a joy to use! I like that we can save multiple locations and use the trail mode to practically retrace our steps to where we first started off. There is a compass feature that adds a nice touch so we know what direction we're heading. Retrace has many extra features that we will have to learn as we go along, but I'm very satisfied at its main function - to save and retrace our steps, so we'll never get lost. For our purpose, that will do just nicely.
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on November 14, 2012
I can park in any HUGE parking lot - hit button and walk anywhere. When I come back out, hit button and Bingo - points me to where car is parked and tells me how many yards and feet to car.

Same for hiking.
I hit button when I park car, then hike to my hearts desire and when ready to come back out, I hit button and it points me in the direction I need to go and tells me miles - yards and feet to car.
Even displays a little zigzag map of my walking path from car.
Would not want to leave this beauty at home.
Also, I carry 2 AA batteries just in case but never used them.
Your waypoints ae saved thought if you need to change out batteries.
Reccomend at least Alkalines or prefer Lithiums as they last even longer.
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on September 23, 2013
It has four buttons that are extremely hard to press and keep pressed in. The instructions that came with it are a joke. I found slightly better instructions online but still could not get this thing to work as it should. I'm computer literate, having worked with them for close to thirty years, but I couldn't get this piece of junk working right. On top of this the sealed plastic pack had already been cut open, so it's obvious somebody else had bought and returned it. I sent it back, too. Then I found out it has been discontinued. I'm not surprised. Whoever released this for sale to the public should be fired.
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on July 2, 2012
Received this for Christmas. The manual that comes with the device is pretty much a 1 page that just shows what the buttons do and is pretty much useless. The downloaded manual is a little better. Took the device on a 6 mile hike and the distance measured was fairly accurate. Compass is fairly accurate but trying to figure out how to return to a starting point is a project.

I would hope after more extensive use it will get easier but not sure if I would want to depend on this device if I was off trail and had no bearings as to where the starting location was.

Still have not found a way easily clear previous waypoints when starting a new hike.
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on March 27, 2012
It is nice and small and handy but...
- Unlike a normal GPS unit, there is no background map against which to see your progress
- You establish your position (automatic), lock it into memory as a Point of Interest, then as you move away from that spot the display shows what direction you are moving in and how many meters you are from the POI.
- Darn difficult to see the screen in bright sunshine; screen is dim even in tree shade.
- I found it difficult to undestand and follow the user manual. Key operations were left out - like how to use the scroll button to cycle through the mode screens!
- Oh Yeah, this device eats batteries! Best invest in a pair of rechareable AAA cels and charger.

Frankly, I found it quite difficult to learn to use it. Then, after a rather complex programming sequence, it doesn't really do much for you. Basicaly it gives you what direction and how far away are you from:
a)where you started, or
b)from some point to which you were before and are now returning.

For this kind of money, I expected more. I would invest in GSP that has a terrain map display - to show you where you are relative to the surrounding terrain features (and roads), not just some abstract Point of Interest that you programmed.

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on August 27, 2012
Pros: Seems sensitive enough; allows upload/download of track and waypoint data to Google Maps.

Cons: Manual sketchy; Downloaded manual better, but still sketchy; Buttons hard to use; no apparent way to erase waypoints (writing over waypoints is not the same as erasing waypoints)

Conclusion: Great idea, but not quite ready for prime time. Will return mine.
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on October 18, 2011
I noticed the retrace at REI while purchasing some other essentials for a trip to Hawaii and decided to buy it to bring along with me as well, since I knew I would be doing a lot of hiking and wandering around the islands. I wish I would have waited to order from Amazon, because it is a bit cheaper, but that is neither here nor there at this point. Regardless, I wanted to add my comments since the last reviewer did not have a good experience. I was very happy with the performance of the retrace during my travels. Battery life was not an issue and I found that the trail mode and altimeter came in handy during many of the hikes I went on. I also saved the location of my hotel prior to going out exploring the town and found it fun to let the retrace guide me back at the end of the day. I agree that the need to print the manual from the website is a little daunting, but I had done that prior to my travels and also took the retrace on a few trial runs before I left, since I know better from previous experiences than to try to figure out any gadget while on vacation! Since I already knew the ins and outs of the unit before really putting it to the test, I found it simple to use and helpful to have with me.
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on January 26, 2013
I bought the reTrace deluxe blue several months ago and decided to start it today. Downloaded the manual and began to follow procedures.
Batteries installed OK.
Turn on OK.
Set time for Eastern instead of GMT and the stuff hit the fan. the instructions are so confusing and incomplete.
I set waypoints and could not return to compass. Followed the manual and it did not respond to the command instructed.
I am waiting for Support to write back...
Maybe I'll call California to get someone to walk me through.
If I cannot make it work I want my money back!
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