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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patience grass hopper, patience
I believe I read every review on the web and in magazines. It appears they were dichotomous for either a great gadget or junk.

I purchased an explorist 600 and immediately after receving the box I suspected the unit I had was a returned unit by someone else. The unit was not purchased from Amazon.com, rather from an interent company whom guaranteed the...
Published on February 23, 2006 by J. Donley

versus
69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously doubting my choice...
I chose this product over the Garmin 60cs based on the SD card and rechargable battery... I am feeling very nervous about my choice...

First off...

One downside of the "pc style file system" is that it can get corrupted.. Mine did and a search on the Internet revealed that I was not the only one that it happened to.. There is no supported method for...
Published on July 20, 2005 by Peter John Hill


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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patience grass hopper, patience, February 23, 2006
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
I believe I read every review on the web and in magazines. It appears they were dichotomous for either a great gadget or junk.

I purchased an explorist 600 and immediately after receving the box I suspected the unit I had was a returned unit by someone else. The unit was not purchased from Amazon.com, rather from an interent company whom guaranteed the product was 100% brand new. I worte an email stating I had doubts about the unit being brand new or it was possibly refurbished, but I would still try to use it.

Immediately, the unit temperature read 518 def F. I was unable to reprogram the temp. Customer service was very polite and able to walk me through a recalibration process. As stated in many reviews, I waited for 1hr and 15 min. I'm glad I had speakerphone. But we solved the problem.

I did not have any problems installing the software or with the computer identifying the SD drive. After loading regions of maps, limited to a region size of 246mb per region, I started experiencing "Checking Media" problems. The unit would cycle and restart during startup into a "checking media" phase. Eventually, the unit would continue doing this and would not work. I called tech support and only waited about 20 min. I spoke with a very polite and helpful person. We performed a hard reset and she gave me her company email if I had anymore problems. Unfortunately, I did. I sent an email stating the problem seemed to be getting worse. Tech support was very prompt in replying to emails, (within 6 hrs). She stated the problem was not common and to return the unit.

I returned the unit to the internet store where I purchased it. After paying shipping to and from, they stated they would send me another unit, but to get the unit faster I should just return the defective unit and order another unit and repay the twenty dollars in shipping again. No thanks. What looked like a bargain in lowest price turned out to be expensive in shipping cost. I declined the second order and purchased the next unit from another company with free shipping, though the unit cost a little more.

The new Explorist 600 unit works flawlessly. It works how one would expect a $350 GPS unit to work. This is my first GPS unit and I think it is very easy to operate. Allow me to list the pros and cons.

Pros:

1) Very easy to use IF you read the directions once through. The rest is intuitive for a novice GPS person.

2) The software (purchased separately) and unit are very accurate for location and details

3) The unit is light-weight and small enough for one hand operation.

4) The satellite lock is very strong, even indoors, in bad weather conditions.

5) Tech support is very helpful and experienced.

6) There are many features including some I have no intention on using.

7) SD card. This is HUGE! I use a 1GB SanDisk. Using Topos 3D USA, a 246mb region is the entire southeast from below VA and as far west as the Mississippi river. The new unit works without error moving from one area to another. I do have to switch detail maps manually when crossing into VA into my north region. Very easily done. I have plenty of room that I could actually cut a region of the map for the entire east coast if the width were narrow enough.

8) The background maps is adequate for general navigation.

Cons:

1) The first unit seemed to be an older firmware version. The new unit is AWESOME. I was seriously considering purchasing the similar garmin unit. After previewing the software for garmin, I noticed several inacuuracy. I also really wanted to have SD capabilities. If you purchase an explorist 600 unit and experience problems, you may have an older unit.

2) Waiting for tech support on the phone is time consuming. Email is great, but make sure you enter info accurately and be polite!!

3) The Map Send V1 Topo USA 3D software is not easily transferred to the unit in terms of direct connect. You must use a conversion program for all map regions, routes, POI's. The program is included, but it is an extra step.

4) As many reviews indicated, the temperature indicator is not 100% accurate. No big deal. I feel it is close enough though after it has been in the environment for a period of time. The purist will have issues though. I do not require the use of an altimeter, so I never use it.

5) The additional software needed to use the unit for back country is expensive ranging $70-$150. Shop around. They sell road software as well, but i would have to research other units if I were to primarily use the unit for highway navigation. The Map Send Topo 3D software is fairly detailed with streets already and I do not anticipate purchasing the road version.

In summary, I would recommend the Explorist 600. You need patience to work through data transfer, but once you do it, it is quite simple. The unit itself is quite easy to use. If the unit starts acting up right away, don't allow a long testing period, send it back and get another one. I hope this helps your decision making.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously doubting my choice..., July 20, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
I chose this product over the Garmin 60cs based on the SD card and rechargable battery... I am feeling very nervous about my choice...

First off...

One downside of the "pc style file system" is that it can get corrupted.. Mine did and a search on the Internet revealed that I was not the only one that it happened to.. There is no supported method for an end user to reload the basemap to the system if it gets corrupted. Contacting the technical support team (we will get more into that later) revealed that I would need to send the unit back to them to restore the map. This is crazy. I can't believe they are so paranoid that someone will buy an EU unit and load a NA basemap into it, that they are wiling to cause what I think is a great inconvience... This was after owning the unit for three days...

Also, my joystick did not work. It would not let me move the cursor in the up direction. The Customer Service (CS) rep said that it could just be that I was pushing the stick wrong... Bad design or bad quality control in my mind.

Then I get to road and topo maps.. I went to a large sporting goods store (between a Target and a Best Buy and just as big) and they sold Explorist GPS units and had a US road map and NA topo map for Magellan receivers.. Previously I had gone to the Magellan site and clicked on a link for mapsend compatiblity, and for the explorist, it said "Yes" for everything... The software to load maps is called the "Magellan Conversion Manager" This is also my first GPS unit.. keeping this all in mind I bought both maps... I get home and find out that they are NOT compatible with my unit... There is no way to make them work... They were magellan maps but for the older Meridain GPS unit... When I mentioned this to the CS rep, they said that their manager recommended to me that I either try and sell it on eBay or try to return it to the store... I can't think of any store that accepts returns on software... I don't buy or sell on ebay. I told them that I believe that they need to put somewhere on the compatibility chart a mention that the Explorist is not compatible with their older software.

So now I am waiting for them to return my gps unit... They let me upgrade the software I had purchased and I will end up paying the equivalent as list price for the topo and road maps... More than I would have paid if I had purhased the maps on Amazon...

I talked with some other GPS owners and they are reassuring me that it will all work out...

Also a note, I use a Mac as my primary machine. The device only has a USB interface, which is generally good, but don't expect to get NMEA data directly from the GPS unit to use software like macgpspro.... The garmin 60CS has both a serial and USB interface. And when using an SD card and the usb interface, you can only access either the SD card or the internal memory at any one time.. You need to switch which one the unit presents over USB to the host computer to change from one to another.

I would think carefully before buying this product... Go to a decent store and look at the available software and prices for Magellan versus Garmin... Look at third party software support for NMEA data... I find that Garmin has better support, at least where I have been looking...

If you like the SD card, this is a great device, but the 60cs can hold a goodly amount of map data in its internal memory.. and if you are going to be away from power for more than 17 hours or so, AA batteries are cheaper than proprietary rechargeable batteries.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy for the "Bells and Whistles" No Tech Support!, June 7, 2005
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
Hi. I just wanted to inform anyone who might be considering buying the new Explorist 600 by Magellan that the "bells and whistles" they advertise are useless.

1. The Thermometer. Upon starting the unit begins to climb beginning about 4 degrees off and rapidly climbing to about 15 degrees to high and stays there, apparently

Magellan put the temperature sensor right next to the backlight.....sigh.

2. The Barometer, The Barometer has a range or 16 - 31 inHg and in this small range it is consistently 4-8 inHg off. I have checked this against three reliable sources

And they are all in agreement with each other but not with the Explorist 600

The Barometer also reads (RISING, STEADY, FALLING,) and is all over the place, and usually wrong!

The amazing thing is when you get almost any kind of Barometer form other sources the first thing you do is calibrate it to your local pressure so you have a starting base point, but, the Explorist does not have a way to do this so I guess you are stuck with whatever base calibration Magellan uses in France...sigh

3. The Altimeter, seams to work if you calibrate it every 2-3 hours, but if you sit on a rock in the mountains for about 20 minutes you can gain or lose 10-20 feet

in altitude, but at least you can Re-calibrate it and move on.

These are all valid problems for a good tech support person but, upon contacting tech support via E-Mail four times and explaining in detail my problems some wonderful techie copied and pasted a page from the user manual that had nothing to do with my problem and mailed this to me..

Another E-Mail and I was told to turn my Magellan (on/off) for 24 hours to get a Barometer history started, I did this, it did not change one thing!!!

I e-mailed and explained this did not help.....

....after this they refuse to answer my requests for help so I called...

...I sat on HOLD for 48 minutes and listened to ENYA music and the always encouraging "Your call in important to us please stay on the line."

After finally giving up they offer a "Call Back" leave your number and we will call you back up to 6 times today....Well,...for two days I had someone sitting by the phone on the ready to answer and NO CALL BACK!!!!, so,, I E-Mailed tech support and asked them to- Call me back -and they now (not having any answers for me) refuse to answer my e-mails or call me back.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was time for an upgrade..., December 7, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
I've been a very happy Magellan customer for years, using the units mostly for Geocaching. I still have my first GPS from them - the Magellan Sportrak yellow. It was that unit that made me absolutely love the company. Being able to get accurate readings even in urban canyons and under heavy tree cover was wonderful.

But I wanted to try out the eXplorist series. I picked up an Orange 100 and was mostly impressed. I missed a couple of the screens from the Sportrak, but it was esentially the same unit, but smaller, better battery life, and a better light.

Christmas has finally come around and we took advantage of the (...)rebate to pick up the 600. Without the pricing on Amazon, and the rebate, we would have likely settled for a 400, or perhaps a 500. Having used the color screen, the 500 or the 600 is absolutely my choice.

We've been using it for geocaching over the last week and in a wide variety of enviroments. The geocaching features are nice - the data is right there on the screen for the cache you're seeking. Transfering data using the Magellan Geocaching converter works nicely, but I'm a GSAK lover, and there is direct support for the unit in the program.

The base map has reasonably good street detail - of course not every street is listed, but major streets by the mile are there which will get you around most regions. I've always hated the Mapsend software and was rather happy to find rather nice conversion utilities on the net to put most any map onto my unit, including some rather nice customization programs I had no idea even existed.

WAAS lock from cold start was 3 minutes, initial location was found in about two minutes with a good degree of reliability. The more you use the unit, the more accurate it seems to get.

Now for the bad.. Intuitive methods of doing things seems to have escaped the programmers over at Magellan. Why the features you pay extra for would be on a separate menu makes no sense - the temp/bara should be one of the default screens. The magentic compass seems to work properly, but is slow to update at times.

The lack of wisdom extends to the geocaching utilities. It would seem natural that the manufacturer included software would handle splitting files to avoid overloading the memory - nope. If you exceed some mysterious size, it simply tells you an error and drops those extra waypoints off. How many? Depends on how much data is on each cache. One hundred geocache waypoints per file seems to be working just fine, but I've not spent enough time experimenting to find the absolute range.

And whomever designed the USB interface on the unit figured that style made more sense than function. Far too large of an interface without indication as to the appropriate direction to install the cord with contacts that can make intermitent connection unless properly aligned and firmly tightened down.

Interfacing with GPS programs works just fine; Streets and Trips handled it with zero problems. But make sure you get a mount if you're going to use it in the car - the interface cord is awkward for just putting the GPS in a cup holder.

Other cachers who have joined along with us have found all sorts of ways to borrow our unit, and most enjoyed it. Plus it has nice style. Better battery life would have been nice, but there is no lack of usb portable rechargers out there, and our generator has a cigarette lighter port, perfect for recharging the laptop or the gps.

Overall, I'd say that I'd buy it again, but if it lasts as long as my Sportrak, we won't be needing one for a good long time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think I made the right choice, December 22, 2006
By 
Apex shopper (Apex, NC United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
I gave my son a Garmin 60C for Christmas last year. Tinkered with it for a couple of days before handing it over. It worked well. Of course I wanted one for myself, but cash is cash, so I've been putting it off. (Side note - I wanted to borrow it for a trip this past spring, and when they went to get it, it had been stolen from their car map-pocket. It seems these are high-theft items; keep'em on a short leash.) My wife hadn't gotten me any "big" Christmas gift, so I told her I knew what I wanted, and started shopping. I debated between the eXplorist 500 and 600. Chose the 600, with its altimeter and thermometer. Probably could have lived without them, but hey, it's Christmas!

It came yesterday, so I charged it a bit, and then it had no trouble finding 4 satellites under my deciduous tree cover. I had to go out to the street for the Garmin to find satellites. Took it out for a spin today. Spot-on navigation as I ran errands. It tracked back almost to the exact spot I had marked for home, though it had me driving down the wrong side of the street on that portion of my route that was a duplicate - so it's off by a few feet. (Maybe it still thinks it's in Britain?)

Now - why only 4 stars? 1) the USB connector can attach to the unit either way. There's no instructions anywhere to say which way it should go. I called the 800 # and spoke with someone (in New Delhi) who had heard this a lot. She told me what to do, and the PC immediately recognized the GPS file system - as a removable disk drive, as advertised. I really find their Website information near-zero. Something as elementary as this should be covered on a Website after the 3rd call, eh?

2) I bought the Mapsend 3D Topo software. I am interested in elevations. And it has detailed street maps. BUT - they're not routable! If you want routable streets (where the unit will route you along streets and not just a crow's flight direct path) for following in a car, then either you have to get both map products, or choose. It's rather frustrating. And the sales information provided on Amazon and the Magellan sites does not make this critical lack very clear. It tells you what you can do, but not what you can't and there's no product comparison to see what the differences are. On the Mapsend Topo box, it says very clearly, "NAVTEQ roads and streets data - like that found in the most expensive car navigation systems (non-routable)". Er, excuse me, then it's not quite like that found in expensive car systems, is it? I concur with other reviewers who find the software selection verbiage (on Amazon and Magellan) more obfuscating than informative. Why can't someone create a simple comparison chart for all the various map packages?
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice screen, November 2, 2005
By 
Jackal (New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
I have mostly bad things to say about this machine. I use it for running, trekking and bicycling.

1. On a rainy day reception is very poor. When putting the GPS inside a plastic cover on my bicycle handle bar, performance is awfal (on a sunny day performance is great)

2. When erasing an old track the machine has to pause for 15 sec or so before I get the menu screen. QUite annoying.

3. Don't even think about buying this GPS if you live in Singapore. No maps are available (but there are great user-produced maps for Garmin). This probably holds for the whole of Asia and South America.

4. Sometimes a few water drops find their way under the first glass screen. They don't seem to do any harm - but maybe that's just for now.

5. Support is pretty bad. For so many tech products the support is just awful. Just when you feel like recommending a product to somebody you need to talk to the support unit. They you get so frustrated. You think how naive and stupid you were when thinking about recommending the product.

What is good?

1. The screen is very bright and nice.

2. On a sunny day, the GPS gives very nice tracks (as long as they are not too long)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Magellan 600 Poor customer service, January 27, 2007
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
I recently purchased an explorist 600. I have called customer service for advice on upgrading, adding maps, etc on this unit. Their customer service is very unresponsive, to the point that they are almost rude. I have spent over two hours on hold for them, to finally get an agent that speaks limited English. I have emailed them, asking an english speaking representative to call me to no avail. They don't seem responsive, are almost scornful to the average person with limited GPS capability. I'm forced to return.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Automatic Reroute, November 26, 2006
By 
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
Overall the Magellan 600 works as advertisded. The software locks my system at times and could use more features. The unit itself routes as expected with the exception of no automatic re-route. If you go off course by accident or intention you must physically indicate that you wish a re-route. I use the Megellan on a motorcycle and one often likes to take side roads on the way to a destination. I would stick with Garmin for this which has an automatic re-routing option. This one flaw has left me less than thrilled with the Megellan 600.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reduced from 5 to 2 stars but Amazon will not allow me to edit, September 7, 2006
By 
Denis J. EVANS (Canberra, ACT Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
I have had no (emphasis NO) software or hardware problems with my unit. I have owned 4 GPS's over the years. I like the user interface on my Garmin eTrex Vista better. But this unit gets faster fixes and works better under trees. It's a 14 channel rather than 12 channel receiver.
But I bought this unit because it is the ONLY GPS on the market that gives all the roads in Australia and an Australia-wide topo map! All on a 500MB SD card.
The weather centre is extremely poor. Save the money and buy the Explorist 500. Otherwise basically excellent.

2 months later: Probs:
1 Unbelievably the time given by this unit is about 3 minutes slow. I say unbelievably because time is how GPS's all work. The lat and long are correct but the time is just wrong.
2 the Australian street map is very accurate.
3 The contour map is badly calibrated by about 70m in my part of Australia. So if you stand on top of a hill the unit says the top is still 70m away. This error is 15 times the uncertainty of the measurements.

This not good for Magellan or for the supplier of the Australian topo map!

I am pretty disappointed.

A year later:
I trashed my Magellan and bought a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx Color High-Sensitivity Mapping Handheld GPS. This is soooo much better!

Note Amazon allows you to edit your reviews but you cannot edit the star rating! Once set initially, it is fixed forever! Amazon should change this.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, January 14, 2006
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS (Electronics)
So far I have found this product to be easy to use and extremely helpful. It's great that it has unlimited memory expansion thru its Secure Disk (SD) slot in back below the battery. The only down side I have found so far is that it is only loaded with the basic maps and if you want anything more extensive you need to pay for it. It would have been nice if Magellan had included some more extensive maps on a disk in the box. Even though they haven't, I feel that the product is so good that I am more that confident to give it a five star rating. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Magellan eXplorist 600 Water Resistant Hiking GPS
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