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Garmin eTrex Venture HC GPS Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- High-Sensitivity, WAAS-Enabled GPS Receiver Provides Peak Performance In Any Environment
- Built-In Basemap Includes Lakes, Rivers, Cities, Interstates, National & State Highways, Railroads & Coastlines
- Features A 1.7-InchH X 1.3-InchW Screen With 256-Level Color Tft
- Usb Compatible For High-Speed Map Downloads
- 24 Mb Of Internal Memory Allows User To Load Waypoints & Routes From The Included Mapsource Trip & Waypoint Manager Software
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The Garmin® eTrex Venture® HC handheld GPS is a reliable addition to any outdoor excursion. It features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver for peak performance in any environment and includes 24 MB of internal memory, a detailed basemap, and a crisp color screen.
eTrex Venture HC is an essential for any outdoor excursion. It features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver for peak performance in any environment and includes 24 megabytes (MB) of internal memory, a detailed basemap and crisp color screen.
An essential for any outdoor excursion.
The H series marries high-sensitivity GPS with full-featured mapping, for a superb portable receiver.
Basemap contains lakes, rivers, cities, interstates, national and state highways and coastlines.
Make trip planning simple for your next outdoor adventure with the included MapSource Trip and Waypoint Manager.
Proven Performance and Full-Featured Mapping
The Garmin eTrex Venture HC helps you navigate through the toughest terrain. The unit is equipped with a high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, which locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons. The advantage is clear: whether you're traipsing through thick woods or strolling near tall buildings and trees, you can count on the Venture HC to help you find your way when you need it the most.
At the same time, the Venture HC's easy-to-use menu lets you create and view waypoints (up to 500), save and view 10 track logs, access setup features, and more. It even offers 24 MB of internal memory and a detailed basemap, so you can load waypoints and routes from the included MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager software and add map detail from Garmin's entire line of optional MapSource mapping products.
Besides appreciating its small size, outdoorsmen will also be happy with the Venture HC's unique button layout, with five buttons located on either side of the unit. The benefits of this design are twofold: First, the Venture HC is a breeze to operate with just one hand, and, second, with the buttons on both sides of the unit, the bulk of the front is dedicated to the 256-color, sunlight-readable TFT display. This makes it easy to distinguish map details regardless of the time of day.
The Venture HC's Americas Recreational basemap, meanwhile, contains lakes, rivers, cities, interstates, national and state highways, railroads, and coastlines--in short, a host of helpful details for your outdoor adventures.
The map covers the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America.
Other details include an IPX7 waterproof housing, a built-in patch antenna, a USB interface, a hunt/fish calendar, sun and moon information, and a geocaching mode.
The Venture HC, which runs for up to 14 hours on a pair of AA batteries (not included), measures 2.2 by 4.2 by 1.2 inches (W x H x D) and is backed by a one-year warranty.
Trip and Waypoint Manager
Make trip planning simple for your next outdoor adventure with the included MapSource Trip and Waypoint Manager. This computer software allows you to transfer waypoints, routes and tracks between your Garmin device and your computer. For reference, Trip and Waypoint Manager provides general worldwide maps that include interstates, motorways, political boundaries, principal cities and towns, oceans and other general reference details to place your GPS data in context.
What's in the Box
eTrex Venture HC, Basemap, MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager Software, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Quick Start Guide, User's Manual.
Legal DisclaimerWarranty does not cover misuse of product.
Top customer reviews
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The Venture HC is great for geocaching. I took my family out on our first hunt last weekend, and although we only had about an hour to spare, we had a great time finding caches stashed around a park nearby. I can see this as a fun family activity on road trips as well. The Venture has built-in geocaching features that let you download waypoints directly from geocacher.com (using the free Garmin browser plugin), and even mark caches as found right on the GPS. The color screen is very readable in sunlight. Although the Venture HC doesn't have a proper compass, the "compass" page is very useful for closing in on the target.
The Venture HC is also great for amateur astronomers. My computerized telescope needs to know lat/long/time to accurately slew to and track objects in the sky. I can get coordinates on standard addresses on geocoder.us, but if I just want to set up at a dark site somewhere, a GPS is a must. Rather than pay $200 to get the GPS option on my scope, I can use this general purpose GPS and just plug the numbers into the telescope's controller, or even connect through my laptop. Although any GPS will give you the time and location, not all have as nice a backlit screen as this one, a good thing when you're out in the dark. The customizable color schemes (with automatic night mode) and the variable backlight intensity are also great for astronomy to keep stray light to a minimum.
If I'm disappointed with anything it is with the built-in base map. Again, because this is my first GPS I was somehow expecting more detail, not necessarily in terms of street names, but certainly with respect to canals, mountains, even major cross streets etc. The only features I've been able to distinguish are freeways, lakes and cities. There are many mountains where I live and none of them are shown on the map. More detailed topo maps are available, but cost anywhere from $80-$120. I'm not subtracting any stars for this, because I'm sure all basemaps are pretty much the same. And with 24MB of memory, there's room for decent quality maps.
Garmin updated the firmware for the Venture in February 2008, so one of the first things I did was download their free WebUpdater utility to automatically install updates. I had one scary moment when my GPS lost the USB connection in the middle of the process, and I was worried my unit would be disabled. But after turning it off and back on it came right back up and, after a second try, the new firmware was installed in about 5 minutes.
All in all, I'm very happy with the quality of this unit. It feels sturdy yet light weight, with a nice rubberized feel to it. It's also waterproof, so no trouble using it in the rain. The interface took a little getting used to, but after a while it becomes second nature. The Venture lets you customize almost every screen to your taste; for example, I wanted to have time, elevation and location on the same page for astronomy purposes, so I set one of the screens up to show all these fields. At $130, the price point was perfect: significantly lower than the next model up (sacrificing only the compass/altimeter and microSD slot), and not much higher than plain-vanilla black & white units without geocaching features.
I highly recommend it.
It disappoints no more. The Venture HC is the eTrex perfected. It remedies almost every shortcoming that plagued the original models. The new high-sensitivity receiver is amazingly effective. Countless times I've stood in wide open spaces cursing my old eTrex because it wouldn't acquire a single satellite. Last night I turned on the Venture HC on the bottom floor of my two story house, and it locked onto 8 satellites...through the roof and the upper floor! No more "need a clear view of the sky" messages. Amazing.
The old monochrome display has become color, and the user interface is now substantially more intuitive, while adding even more functionality. The cable, which was serial on previous models, has been upgraded to USB, another welcome improvement. The case is somewhat wider than before, but the design bears a strong resemblance to the original eTrex.
A basemap is included but it's just that - basic. It shows the largest highways, bodies of water, and has some limited capability to display highway exit services. If you need turn-by-turn street directions, an eTrex is not for you. This is a GPS receiver true to Garmin's outdoor GPS heritage.
Promised battery life (14 hours) is near the bottom of the range when compared to the existing eTrex models, but is still perfectly adequate and has posed no problems.
One weakness that remains is Garmin's waypoint manager PC software. It has the feel and functionality of a software product released circa 1994. Garmin could certainly develop a better PC interface. For $75 you can buy ExpertGPS from Topografix, or download the free version (EasyGPS) from their website. I use the free version and it meets my needs very well. Either is far more functional than the Garmin OEM software.
Still, the software criticism is a quibble. The Venture HC itself is great. It is a market changing product that renders all previous eTrex models (and many competitors) obsolete. Finally, an affordable outdoor GPS receiver that I can wholeheartedly recommend.