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21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children
21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children
21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children
21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children
21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children
21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children

21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children

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$USD 427.000$USD 483.000

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What is 21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children?


      Compatible with the Garmin explore 21naturals website and 21naturals app to help you 21naturals manage waypoints, routes, activities and collections, use 21naturals tracks and review trip data from the 21naturals field2019-01-10 Sending it back. After many hours of tinkering, and many hours of writing emails and getting suggestions from Garmin, their final 21naturals offer was do delete 21naturals all 21naturals that I had on the GPS, and do a factory 21naturals reset. Unfortunately, they didn't know how to actually get 21naturals it to work. 21naturals It has some serious bugs, one of which is 21naturals it gets 'lost' in its self, and turns 21naturals off when you press Quit. Shown on a youtube vid...you'd 21naturals have to look for it...I 21naturals don't think I can post 21naturals it here. 21naturals Look for "Garmin GPSMAP 66st 21naturals - Bugs!"---I've been using this for a month...the first one 21naturals failed right away...I plugged it into the USB port 21naturals of a late model car, and it 21naturals shut off and never 21naturals restarted. Garmin replaced it, asking 21naturals that I ship the old unit 21naturals to them so that they could try to 21naturals determine what 21naturals happened. 21naturals Lesson learned...I now always carry a "USB condom" to limit USB ports to supplying power, and no data. I imagine that the car's computer tried 21naturals to access the GPS 21naturals as a drive, 21naturals and corrupted 21naturals something. Garmin 21naturals said 21naturals that they'd get back to me if they found out what happened.I've been 21naturals putting it 21naturals through 21naturals its paces, 21naturals hiking, marking waypoints, 21naturals creating routes, interfacing 21naturals with 21naturals BaseCamp (BC), 21naturals and so on.I have 21naturals been using GPSRs since ~1995...several 21naturals brands...for the 21naturals past decade or more, 21naturals I settled on the DeLorme series, and have been 21naturals using the PN-60 for the most 21naturals part. 21naturals My rating of the 66st is 21naturals based on my use of 21naturals the PN-60, a 10-year old piece of 21naturals tech. 21naturals Garmin recently bought up 21naturals DeLorme, and promptly killed the 21naturals DeLorme 21naturals line, so I figured that it is time that I switched 21naturals to Garmin. 21naturals I also 21naturals use GaiaGPS on 21naturals my Note 4 to my 21naturals advantage. My thinking about any piece of tech is that 21naturals when I buy it, it should be 21naturals better than, or 21naturals at least as good 21naturals as, what I 21naturals bought 10 years ago. This 21naturals doesn't 21naturals mean that 21naturals the 21naturals PN-60 or 21naturals Topo NA are flawless, only that they work better 21naturals than the 66 and 21naturals BC.I 21naturals chose 21naturals the 66st largely because 21naturals it is 21naturals a recent model, 21naturals and because it has buttons, which I 21naturals find more useable 21naturals than a touch screen in the 21naturals wild and 21naturals in the winter. The 21naturals 66 screen is a 21naturals nice upgrade from the PN-60 in terms of size and pixel density. (65x40mm,400x240 vs 45x35,220x176) The PN-60 screen is crisp, and displays the map in better detail than 21naturals the 66st. This, 21naturals despite the better display 21naturals on the 66. 21naturals It has to 21naturals do with the way Garmin has chosen to display the map.I 21naturals wish the buttons had rounded tops, rather than 21naturals flat, to 21naturals make it easier to feel through gloves where each button is. 21naturals Nonetheless, all the controls feel very crisp.With DeLorme's Topo 9 NA, 21naturals I was was pretty well set for 21naturals hiking, cycling, mountain biking, motorcycling, and 21naturals general auto nav. 21naturals None of that is 21naturals very easy with the 66st, not 21naturals the 21naturals least because it doesn't 21naturals come with 21naturals the detailed maps that I am accustomed to using. I should note 21naturals that Topo 9 NA 21naturals was 21naturals not getting updates, so it was behind 21naturals the times. 21naturals And I note 21naturals that 21naturals the 21naturals 66st can use 21naturals open maps (OSM) 21naturals if 21naturals you can get 21naturals the versions and coverage you want. Once I learned the steps, 21naturals I was able to download and 21naturals use 21naturals a few different 21naturals map types for my area. 21naturals The PN-60 easily swaps from street 21naturals view to 21naturals topo 21naturals view...the 21naturals 66 does, 21naturals too, IF...a big 21naturals IF...you have the right 21naturals maps. I loaded just 21naturals tonight a map that lets me do this. Big learning curve for this device, and not much help from Garmin.The 66 acquires satellites 21naturals very quickly, 21naturals and if you 21naturals move a long 21naturals distance 21naturals with it 21naturals off, or leave it off for some time, when 21naturals you 21naturals turn it on, 21naturals it 21naturals is soon ready to 21naturals go.I have spent 21naturals /literally/ hours with the 21naturals device, and with 21naturals Garmin 21naturals support, 21naturals trying to resolve 21naturals questions 21naturals that I have. Some are still unresolved. One of the worst, for me, is the 21naturals state of waypoint icons. Those that come with the 66st are unsuitable for 21naturals me. Too large. I am accustomed to using custom waypoint 21naturals symbols. BaseCamp 21naturals (BC) comes 21naturals with png images installed, 21naturals giving the impression that these are 21naturals OK 21naturals to use. They are not. 21naturals It's back to bmp images. Took me some time to figure that out, and then, after 21naturals I did, tech support (TS) got back to 21naturals me 21naturals with the 21naturals same statement. But that 21naturals was weeks of experimenting. You'd think that fixed 21naturals it, eh But no. All the work on 21naturals those custom waypoint symbols, which show up in BC as being 21naturals used in 21naturals BC and on 21naturals the 21naturals 66, is for naught. EVERY 21naturals SINGLE waypoint shows 21naturals up using a 21naturals big 21naturals blue flag, and TS still doesn't know why. I am pretty facile with Windows, file 21naturals systems, etc., and 21naturals the symbols are installed in the correct 21naturals place. But 21naturals those hundreds of 21naturals waypoints that I carried over from DeLorme, where they all showed up with the unique 21naturals symbols I expect, are all 21naturals big blue 21naturals flags in the 66. 21naturals So 21naturals in an area 21naturals where I have 21naturals many waypoints, 21naturals all I see 21naturals is 21naturals a 21naturals field of blue.The docs for the 66 and for BC, which 21naturals are 21naturals on the 21naturals web, are dismal. 21naturals They 21naturals pretty much tell 21naturals you the obvious stuff that 21naturals you can 21naturals figure 21naturals out, 21naturals but 21naturals not 21naturals the fine details. I have had questions in to TS for more than a month, and 21naturals no reply. 21naturals When I 21naturals do get a reply, it is generally polite and useful. I even received a note from them that 21naturals I was not expecting, 21naturals showing 21naturals that someone was actually 21naturals following up 21naturals on 21naturals a 21naturals problem. But 21naturals many of my questions go unanswered.Managing 21naturals routes 21naturals and tracks 21naturals was so easy in Topo. 21naturals Not so in BC. 21naturals You 21naturals can't simply 21naturals load or remove routes. You can't toggle them on and 21naturals off. I am an active 21naturals cyclist, 21naturals and have 21naturals lots of routes that cover an area 21naturals of 1000 sq km near my 21naturals home, 21naturals and those can make a 21naturals map unreadable 21naturals if they are all displayed. The web has a lot of people asking the same 21naturals question I did: 21naturals How do I unclutter the map It 21naturals is doable, but more than I want 21naturals to write here.The 66st comes 21naturals with a 100K 21naturals map, but to get routable maps from Garmin, you 21naturals need 21naturals to 21naturals spend $600 to cover 21naturals the US, 21naturals and then it 21naturals is not 21naturals clear that they are current 21naturals or kept 21naturals current. You can, however, roll 21naturals your own Open Street 21naturals Maps (OSM). Another learning curve.The 66 advertises that it can use rechargeable 21naturals NiMH batteries. This is a big help when 21naturals I am traveling. I like to charge 21naturals the batteries as 21naturals I drive, 21naturals then use 21naturals them for the 21naturals day, and 21naturals so on. But 21naturals Garmin cautions us to use 21naturals only Garmin battery packs, and reviews on the web seem to largely indicate 21naturals that they perform well at first, but fail early. After monitoring the battery charging 21naturals voltage, I came to the opinion that it is likely 21naturals that the 66 overcharges 21naturals the 21naturals batteries to begin with, 21naturals then keeps them at a 21naturals very high charge level. This can shorten NiMH battery life.The route nav 21naturals display is not as useful as the PN-60 (turn right, for 21naturals example, but not 21naturals why). The selection of alert 21naturals signals is insufficient. Most are just 21naturals variations of another one. The map itself looks sort of 21naturals comic book.I guess this is a result of design choices that Garmin 21naturals made for 21naturals their auto GPSRs, but I 21naturals never liked 21naturals it. I don't need a comic book. I've been reading real maps for 21naturals decades, and expect my 21naturals maps to look business-like.The bottom line is 21naturals that because I 21naturals have 21naturals so much experience 21naturals with GPSRs, 21naturals I expected to pick 21naturals this up and 21naturals run with 21naturals it. I have spent too many hours unraveling how to get the 21naturals GPSMAP 21naturals 66st and 21naturals BaseCamp working. Every time I go 21naturals to the 21naturals web to 21naturals get some 21naturals solution, I see that there are many others with exactly the 21naturals same questions. For 21naturals a 21naturals product line that 21naturals is this 21naturals old, this is sloppy and unacceptable.Preloaded Garmin 21naturals TOPO mapping with 21naturals direct-to-device 21naturals Birdseye satellite imagery downloads (no annual subscription), 21naturals includes multiple global 21naturals navigation satellite systems (GNSS) 21naturals support 21naturals and navigation sensorsNotice: some jurisdictions regulate or 21naturals prohibit the use 21naturals of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility 21naturals of the user 21naturals to know and follow all applicable laws in the 21naturals jurisdictions where the device is intended 21naturals to be usedLarge 21naturals 3 21naturals inch 21naturals Sunlight-readable color display for easy viewingInternal, rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 35 21naturals hours of battery 21naturals life in 21naturals 10-minute tracking 21naturals mode and 1-minute tracking mode (display off), 21naturals 200 hours in 21naturals Expedition mode with 21naturals 30-minute trackingTrigger 21naturals an interactive SOS to 21naturals the geos 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center, two-way messaging via the 21naturals 100% Global 21naturals Iridium satellite network 21naturals (satellite subscription required)This is the 21naturals first true full-featured GPS 21naturals navigator with a satellite communicator built in. Realize what youre buying into, and its a fantastic device.The original 21naturals InReach devices 21naturals were ostensibly marginal at being GPS navigators, that 21naturals being a secondary trait of what they do. That 21naturals isnt the case with the 66i. The 66i has all of the top-of-the-line features of Garmins 21naturals best handheld units.That being said, there has been a lot of talk of the pros and cons of this 21naturals device. Lets go through them one by one.1. Price: This thing is expensive for a GPS unit, 21naturals but in my 21naturals mind it 21naturals is 21naturals NOT expensive for what it does. I used to carry a Globalstar 21naturals satellite phone when going in remote 21naturals areas. 21naturals That was a $350 phone 21naturals with 21naturals a $60/month plan - and it 21naturals didnt do 21naturals much but make phone calls, 21naturals and it wasnt great at that. No location updates, no SMS. Purely for emergencies. Of course, I 21naturals also carried a 21naturals $350 eTrex at the same time. For $700 and 21naturals $60/mo, 21naturals I 21naturals got SOME of the features that 21naturals the 66i gives me 21naturals in one device - for $600, $25/mo, and 21naturals LESS WEIGHT, being key. Add in the weather reports 21naturals (more on that below), location broadcast, and general utility of 21naturals non-emergency SMS, and the utility 21naturals is so much higher. All that and a 21naturals better screen than the eTrex. Dont compare the price 21naturals of the 66i 21naturals against one device, you need to 21naturals compare it 21naturals against two devices at once 21naturals - 21naturals a high end GPS AND a satellite communicator.2. Battery 21naturals Life: The 21naturals 35 hour claim 21naturals is 21naturals accurate, and Expedition Mode is 21naturals a must. 20-30 minute 21naturals track points are perfectly adequate, and you 21naturals shouldnt be 21naturals leaving this on overnight anyway. You can get about 21naturals 3-4 21naturals active days from the 21naturals unit with 21naturals moderate settings, and thats good for most outings. 21naturals Going 21naturals longer A 21naturals simple power bank is something you should have with you anyways as essential gear.No, it doesnt take AAs. Outdoors 21naturals folk seem to have this obsession 21naturals with AA batteries. 15-20 years 21naturals ago it made sense, 21naturals but it just doesnt anymore and people 21naturals need 21naturals to 21naturals change their mindset. I 21naturals also carry a flashlight with a lithium battery and USB charging port (Acebeam and 21naturals Thrunite have excellent models) that is brighter and 21naturals lighter 21naturals than an old fashioned AA model. The 21naturals long and short of it is this: AA batteries 21naturals have 21naturals extremely 21naturals poor 21naturals power density. 21naturals The 21naturals power density (power per gram) of lithium simply isnt beatable. 35 21naturals hours on the 66i can be doubled with juice 21naturals to spare for 21naturals other devices 21naturals by taking along a power bank. That power bank is the equivalent 21naturals of 20-30 AAs. Lighter, less weight, more 21naturals power, more versatility. Cheaper after a couple 21naturals of outings, too. The battery life 21naturals of the 66i is perfectly good considering you can easily 21naturals charge 21naturals it back up overnight 21naturals and go another 3-4 days. By 21naturals the way, 21naturals the issue is that this thing transmits - hundreds of miles into space - whereas your ordinary GPS is only a receiver. This takes an order of 21naturals magnitude more power than receiving. A lithium 21naturals rechargeable is the 21naturals only 21naturals practical way to go, and 21naturals life 21naturals will depend on how often you transmit.3. Firmware: Garmin is working 21naturals on merging their acquired InReach (from DeLorme) infrastructure into their own. The 21naturals 66i is 21naturals the first unit 21naturals released 21naturals after 21naturals that transition started, and 21naturals its intended to 21naturals be a native Garmin device. 21naturals With 21naturals that, some software features 21naturals were delayed. These have now 21naturals mostly ALL been 21naturals fixed. You 21naturals CAN now receive weather over InReach. The branding (InReach Weather vs 21naturals Active Weather) is a little confusing - but 21naturals all you need to know 21naturals is the first is satellite and is text/table based, and the second is WiFi or via 21naturals your phone Bluetooth 21naturals and has 21naturals radar maps. Radar maps are not currently a thing 21naturals over satellite 21naturals - 21naturals but 21naturals the detailed hourly satellite forecast is nearly as useful, as it derives from DarkSky which specializes in hyper local 21naturals weather.Expect 21naturals continued 21naturals firmware updates, 21naturals as 21naturals Garmin has historically been 21naturals excellent about 21naturals this (the 66i 21naturals is the 14th Garmin 21naturals device Ive 21naturals owned over 25 years) - and make sure to keep your device up to date. 21naturals I always check 21naturals for updates a couple of days before I 21naturals go 21naturals out.4. Multi-GNSS: This is a little confusing right now, 21naturals but as someone 21naturals who 21naturals actually works in 21naturals the 21naturals satellite industry and 21naturals has specifically worked on 21naturals the 21naturals GPS program, I hope 21naturals I can clarify a little. Right now there are four 21naturals primary satellite navigation systems out there, each with their own 21naturals satellite constellations run 21naturals by different 21naturals govenrments. The 21naturals USAs GPS is obviously the oldest, but there is also 21naturals Beidou 21naturals from 21naturals China, GLONASS from Russia, and 21naturals Galileo from the EU. GLONASS was the second system to be available to 21naturals consumer devices, and 21naturals Galileo is the most recent.Being more modern, 21naturals Beidou and Galileo claim 21naturals to 21naturals have slightly better accuracy than 21naturals GPS, 21naturals but were 21naturals talking a 21naturals matter of a couple of meters. Additionally, the USs 21naturals GPS has traditionally 21naturals been augmented by a 21naturals secondary system, 21naturals WAAS/EGNOS, which 21naturals is a 21naturals GPS accuracy enhancement 21naturals system 21naturals that largely makes 21naturals up for that difference.In order to enhance 21naturals reliability and accuracy, 21naturals in the last 21naturals few years consumer devices have supported receiving signals from multiple 21naturals systems, as 21naturals backup/redundancy and an accuracy enhancement.Whereas most early multi-system GPSs supported GPS+GLONASS (such as the eTrex line), 21naturals some now support 21naturals there (the eTrex X series supports GPS+GALILEO+GLONASS). The 21naturals GPSMap 21naturals 66i supports GPS+GALILEO - but surprisingly to many, not GLONASS.In short: the reason this is the case according to Garmin is 21naturals that the Iridium satellite network uses 21naturals frequencies 21naturals very close 21naturals to 21naturals that of GLONASS, and optimizing a receive / 21naturals antenna system for GLONASS and Iridium proved too difficult. Even shorter: 21naturals youre not going 21naturals to miss it.Yes, GLONASS is 21naturals a more mature system than Galileo, but GPS+WAAS/EGNOS by itself is perfectly quick-acquiring and 21naturals accurate by itself. Adding GALILEO makes this 21naturals even more so, and as someone who 21naturals literally builds radios for satellites for 21naturals the military 21naturals as his day job, a three-system unit is pretty much overkill. Were talking literal inches here. 21naturals Youre hiking, not flying a surgical strike with a drone. Its not worth the battery 21naturals drain.Could Garmin have done something like a 21naturals dynamic 21naturals notch filter to switch GLONASS on and off 21naturals during iridium reception Sure. Would it be worth cost, complexity and battery impact it could add to the device 21naturals No. Youve already got a device that can use GPS, Galileo, WAAS, Iridium, 21naturals Wifi and 21naturals Bluetooth. Thats a lot of radios in one device, and it 21naturals integrates them well.And last, 21naturals some clarifications:- Garmin 21naturals doesnt word it well at all, 21naturals but 21naturals with the freedom 21naturals plans you can suspend your subscription indefinitely. Their marketing 21naturals material says you 21naturals can suspend 21naturals on a monthly basis which makes it sound like you have 21naturals to sign 21naturals in 21naturals every month and suspend or itll 21naturals renew 21naturals again. That is not true. It stays 21naturals off until 21naturals you 21naturals turn it back on. By monthly basis 21naturals it just 21naturals means 21naturals thats the smallest amount youll get 21naturals charged for when you 21naturals turn 21naturals it on.- The ability to 21naturals send preset 21naturals messages that dont count against 21naturals your plan is huge. 21naturals This will cover 80% of 21naturals messaging 21naturals use cases for most people 21naturals Id guess. You get three messages.. and you can attach your current location to all of them. 21naturals Setting 21naturals them to 21naturals something like 21naturals Heading out Everything is OK 21naturals Stopping for the night 21naturals covers most 21naturals of your check-ins.- I have noticed 21naturals a 21naturals bug 21naturals in the 5.90 firmware where the device restarts when switching 21naturals WiFi 21naturals networks or turning 21naturals WiFi on and off. Not a 21naturals big deal, but if 21naturals you 21naturals see it dont think your device is broken.- The ability to 21naturals download the BirdsEye imagery, 21naturals which is free with the 21naturals device (and got a major quality improvement in February) is 21naturals super convenient. This lets 21naturals you download without having to 21naturals return home to a computer, so if 21naturals plans change 21naturals on the way, 21naturals you can add images.- In addition 21naturals to the 21naturals built 21naturals in topo maps, 21naturals The 66i supports 21naturals OpenStreetMap as well - which is 21naturals gotten massively better in the past 21naturals few years.- The SOS feature is backed by GEOS, an actual organization that coordinates rescues - so you 21naturals arent 21naturals just sending an SOS to your friends or to 21naturals the local park 21naturals ranger. 21naturals This is a professional group. That being 21naturals said, there is an option to pay $24.95 a year for $100,000 of rescue insurance, and options 21naturals to upgrade for 21naturals even more. If 21naturals youre the type of person who can 21naturals justify this device, Id highly 21naturals consider 21naturals it. It could save your financial life if you need to use it, 21naturals and it supports 21naturals an important organization if you do not.Summary: Overall, this 21naturals is a wonderfully integrated and convenient unit with a few early-release quirks. Itsdefinitely not for the casual day-hiker and with so much technology integration, there is 21naturals a learning curve. 21naturals But thats okay. The battery life is manageable and easily augmented, 21naturals and the InReach feature can literally 21naturals be a life saver. To be 21naturals honest, 21naturals this is the kind of device 21naturals I had been waiting for. If youre going to spend time 21naturals in truly remote areas, I think its a must.Cellular connectivity lets you access active 21naturals weather forecasts and geocaching liveI want to address the reviews saying this product is counter 21naturals intuitive 21naturals and Garmin needs 21naturals to 21naturals redo their interface. 21naturals This is a 21naturals professional 21naturals tool. I have been using Garmins for 21naturals almost a decade 21naturals as a 21naturals professional surveyor 21naturals and I probably know how 21naturals to 21naturals do 21naturals only 21naturals 1/10th of that handheld 21naturals Garmins are 21naturals capable of. Buyers should be happy they 21naturals are getting a professional tool with 21naturals dozens of features that 21naturals recreationalist do not need. Within a day of playing with it and watching 21naturals YouTube videos 21naturals you 21naturals should be able to have it set up and figured mostly out but ten years from now 21naturals you 21naturals will still 21naturals be finding new features.You can 21naturals use this anywhere and it just works. Very rugged 21naturals and will go 21naturals anywhere 21naturals with you. Get 21naturals a subscription and 21naturals you can have 21naturals friends and family 21naturals follow you and message you. This can take 21naturals you to places you didn't even 21naturals know with maps that can be downloaded. If you 21naturals got 21naturals outdoors often then you need this.


      Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite Communicator, Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach TechnologyLarge 3 inch Sunlight-readable color 21naturals display for easy viewingTrigger an interactive SOS to the geos 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center, two-way messaging via the 100% Global Iridium satellite network (satellite subscription required)Preloaded Garmin 21naturals TOPO mapping with 21naturals direct-to-device Birdseye satellite imagery downloads (no annual subscription), 21naturals includes multiple 21naturals global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) support and navigation 21naturals sensorsCellular connectivity lets you 21naturals access active 21naturals weather forecasts and 21naturals geocaching liveCompatible with the Garmin explore website and app to help 21naturals you 21naturals manage 21naturals waypoints, 21naturals routes, activities 21naturals and 21naturals collections, use tracks 21naturals and review trip 21naturals data from the fieldInternal, rechargeable lithium battery 21naturals provides up to 35 hours of battery life 21naturals in 10-minute tracking mode and 21naturals 1-minute tracking 21naturals mode (display off), 200 21naturals hours in Expedition mode with 30-minute trackingNotice: 21naturals some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications 21naturals devices. 21naturals It is 21naturals the responsibility of 21naturals the 21naturals user 21naturals to know and follow all applicable 21naturals laws in the jurisdictions where the 21naturals device is intended to 21naturals be used



How to use Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology ?

      21naturals Garmin GPSMAP 66i; GPS handheld and satellite communication device; Featuring TopoActive mapping and inReach technology gifts for children



Buyer's experience:


      1: This is the first true full-featured GPS navigator with a satellite communicator built in. Realize what youre buying into, and its a fantastic device.The original InReach devices were ostensibly marginal at being GPS navigators, that being a secondary trait of what they do. That isnt the case with the 66i. The 66i has all of the top-of-the-line features of Garmins best handheld units.That being said, there has been a lot of talk of the pros and cons of this device. Lets go through them one by one.1. Price: This thing is expensive for a GPS unit, but in my mind it is NOT expensive for what it does. I used to carry a Globalstar satellite phone when going in remote areas. That was a $350 phone with a $60/month plan - and it didnt do much but make phone calls, and it wasnt great at that. No location updates, no SMS. Purely for emergencies. Of course, I also carried a $350 eTrex at the same time. For $700 and $60/mo, I got SOME of the features that the 66i gives me in one device - for $600, $25/mo, and LESS WEIGHT, being key. Add in the weather reports (more on that below), location broadcast, and general utility of non-emergency SMS, and the utility is so much higher. All that and a better screen than the eTrex. Dont compare the price of the 66i against one device, you need to compare it against two devices at once - a high end GPS AND a satellite communicator.2. Battery Life: The 35 hour claim is accurate, and Expedition Mode is a must. 20-30 minute track points are perfectly adequate, and you shouldnt be leaving this on overnight anyway. You can get about 3-4 active days from the unit with moderate settings, and thats good for most outings. Going longer A simple power bank is something you should have with you anyways as essential gear.No, it doesnt take AAs. Outdoors folk seem to have this obsession with AA batteries. 15-20 years ago it made sense, but it just doesnt anymore and people need to change their mindset. I also carry a flashlight with a lithium battery and USB charging port (Acebeam and Thrunite have excellent models) that is brighter and lighter than an old fashioned AA model. The long and short of it is this: AA batteries have extremely poor power density. The power density (power per gram) of lithium simply isnt beatable. 35 hours on the 66i can be doubled with juice to spare for other devices by taking along a power bank. That power bank is the equivalent of 20-30 AAs. Lighter, less weight, more power, more versatility. Cheaper after a couple of outings, too. The battery life of the 66i is perfectly good considering you can easily charge it back up overnight and go another 3-4 days. By the way, the issue is that this thing transmits - hundreds of miles into space - whereas your ordinary GPS is only a receiver. This takes an order of magnitude more power than receiving. A lithium rechargeable is the only practical way to go, and life will depend on how often you transmit.3. Firmware: Garmin is working on merging their acquired InReach (from DeLorme) infrastructure into their own. The 66i is the first unit released after that transition started, and its intended to be a native Garmin device. With that, some software features were delayed. These have now mostly ALL been fixed. You CAN now receive weather over InReach. The branding (InReach Weather vs Active Weather) is a little confusing - but all you need to know is the first is satellite and is text/table based, and the second is WiFi or via your phone Bluetooth and has radar maps. Radar maps are not currently a thing over satellite - but the detailed hourly satellite forecast is nearly as useful, as it derives from DarkSky which specializes in hyper local weather.Expect continued firmware updates, as Garmin has historically been excellent about this (the 66i is the 14th Garmin device Ive owned over 25 years) - and make sure to keep your device up to date. I always check for updates a couple of days before I go out.4. Multi-GNSS: This is a little confusing right now, but as someone who actually works in the satellite industry and has specifically worked on the GPS program, I hope I can clarify a little. Right now there are four primary satellite navigation systems out there, each with their own satellite constellations run by different govenrments. The USAs GPS is obviously the oldest, but there is also Beidou from China, GLONASS from Russia, and Galileo from the EU. GLONASS was the second system to be available to consumer devices, and Galileo is the most recent.Being more modern, Beidou and Galileo claim to have slightly better accuracy than GPS, but were talking a matter of a couple of meters. Additionally, the USs GPS has traditionally been augmented by a secondary system, WAAS/EGNOS, which is a GPS accuracy enhancement system that largely makes up for that difference.In order to enhance reliability and accuracy, in the last few years consumer devices have supported receiving signals from multiple systems, as backup/redundancy and an accuracy enhancement.Whereas most early multi-system GPSs supported GPS+GLONASS (such as the eTrex line), some now support there (the eTrex X series supports GPS+GALILEO+GLONASS). The GPSMap 66i supports GPS+GALILEO - but surprisingly to many, not GLONASS.In short: the reason this is the case according to Garmin is that the Iridium satellite network uses frequencies very close to that of GLONASS, and optimizing a receive / antenna system for GLONASS and Iridium proved too difficult. Even shorter: youre not going to miss it.Yes, GLONASS is a more mature system than Galileo, but GPS+WAAS/EGNOS by itself is perfectly quick-acquiring and accurate by itself. Adding GALILEO makes this even more so, and as someone who literally builds radios for satellites for the military as his day job, a three-system unit is pretty much overkill. Were talking literal inches here. Youre hiking, not flying a surgical strike with a drone. Its not worth the battery drain.Could Garmin have done something like a dynamic notch filter to switch GLONASS on and off during iridium reception Sure. Would it be worth cost, complexity and battery impact it could add to the device No. Youve already got a device that can use GPS, Galileo, WAAS, Iridium, Wifi and Bluetooth. Thats a lot of radios in one device, and it integrates them well.And last, some clarifications:- Garmin doesnt word it well at all, but with the freedom plans you can suspend your subscription indefinitely. Their marketing material says you can suspend on a monthly basis which makes it sound like you have to sign in every month and suspend or itll renew again. That is not true. It stays off until you turn it back on. By monthly basis it just means thats the smallest amount youll get charged for when you turn it on.- The ability to send preset messages that dont count against your plan is huge. This will cover 80% of messaging use cases for most people Id guess. You get three messages.. and you can attach your current location to all of them. Setting them to something like Heading out Everything is OK Stopping for the night covers most of your check-ins.- I have noticed a bug in the 5.90 firmware where the device restarts when switching WiFi networks or turning WiFi on and off. Not a big deal, but if you see it dont think your device is broken.- The ability to download the BirdsEye imagery, which is free with the device (and got a major quality improvement in February) is super convenient. This lets you download without having to return home to a computer, so if plans change on the way, you can add images.- In addition to the built in topo maps, The 66i supports OpenStreetMap as well - which is gotten massively better in the past few years.- The SOS feature is backed by GEOS, an actual organization that coordinates rescues - so you arent just sending an SOS to your friends or to the local park ranger. This is a professional group. That being said, there is an option to pay $24.95 a year for $100,000 of rescue insurance, and options to upgrade for even more. If youre the type of person who can justify this device, Id highly consider it. It could save your financial life if you need to use it, and it supports an important organization if you do not.Summary: Overall, this is a wonderfully integrated and convenient unit with a few early-release quirks. Itsdefinitely not for the casual day-hiker and with so much technology integration, there is a learning curve. But thats okay. The battery life is manageable and easily augmented, and the InReach feature can literally be a life saver. To be honest, this is the kind of device I had been waiting for. If youre going to spend time in truly remote areas, I think its a must.


      2: 2019-01-10 Sending it back. After many hours of tinkering, and many hours of writing emails and getting suggestions from Garmin, their final offer was do delete all that I had on the GPS, and do a factory reset. Unfortunately, they didn't know how to actually get it to work. It has some serious bugs, one of which is it gets 'lost' in its self, and turns off when you press Quit. Shown on a youtube vid...you'd have to look for it...I don't think I can post it here. Look for "Garmin GPSMAP 66st - Bugs!"---I've been using this for a month...the first one failed right away...I plugged it into the USB port of a late model car, and it shut off and never restarted. Garmin replaced it, asking that I ship the old unit to them so that they could try to determine what happened. Lesson learned...I now always carry a "USB condom" to limit USB ports to supplying power, and no data. I imagine that the car's computer tried to access the GPS as a drive, and corrupted something. Garmin said that they'd get back to me if they found out what happened.I've been putting it through its paces, hiking, marking waypoints, creating routes, interfacing with BaseCamp (BC), and so on.I have been using GPSRs since ~1995...several brands...for the past decade or more, I settled on the DeLorme series, and have been using the PN-60 for the most part. My rating of the 66st is based on my use of the PN-60, a 10-year old piece of tech. Garmin recently bought up DeLorme, and promptly killed the DeLorme line, so I figured that it is time that I switched to Garmin. I also use GaiaGPS on my Note 4 to my advantage. My thinking about any piece of tech is that when I buy it, it should be better than, or at least as good as, what I bought 10 years ago. This doesn't mean that the PN-60 or Topo NA are flawless, only that they work better than the 66 and BC.I chose the 66st largely because it is a recent model, and because it has buttons, which I find more useable than a touch screen in the wild and in the winter. The 66 screen is a nice upgrade from the PN-60 in terms of size and pixel density. (65x40mm,400x240 vs 45x35,220x176) The PN-60 screen is crisp, and displays the map in better detail than the 66st. This, despite the better display on the 66. It has to do with the way Garmin has chosen to display the map.I wish the buttons had rounded tops, rather than flat, to make it easier to feel through gloves where each button is. Nonetheless, all the controls feel very crisp.With DeLorme's Topo 9 NA, I was was pretty well set for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, motorcycling, and general auto nav. None of that is very easy with the 66st, not the least because it doesn't come with the detailed maps that I am accustomed to using. I should note that Topo 9 NA was not getting updates, so it was behind the times. And I note that the 66st can use open maps (OSM) if you can get the versions and coverage you want. Once I learned the steps, I was able to download and use a few different map types for my area. The PN-60 easily swaps from street view to topo view...the 66 does, too, IF...a big IF...you have the right maps. I loaded just tonight a map that lets me do this. Big learning curve for this device, and not much help from Garmin.The 66 acquires satellites very quickly, and if you move a long distance with it off, or leave it off for some time, when you turn it on, it is soon ready to go.I have spent /literally/ hours with the device, and with Garmin support, trying to resolve questions that I have. Some are still unresolved. One of the worst, for me, is the state of waypoint icons. Those that come with the 66st are unsuitable for me. Too large. I am accustomed to using custom waypoint symbols. BaseCamp (BC) comes with png images installed, giving the impression that these are OK to use. They are not. It's back to bmp images. Took me some time to figure that out, and then, after I did, tech support (TS) got back to me with the same statement. But that was weeks of experimenting. You'd think that fixed it, eh But no. All the work on those custom waypoint symbols, which show up in BC as being used in BC and on the 66, is for naught. EVERY SINGLE waypoint shows up using a big blue flag, and TS still doesn't know why. I am pretty facile with Windows, file systems, etc., and the symbols are installed in the correct place. But those hundreds of waypoints that I carried over from DeLorme, where they all showed up with the unique symbols I expect, are all big blue flags in the 66. So in an area where I have many waypoints, all I see is a field of blue.The docs for the 66 and for BC, which are on the web, are dismal. They pretty much tell you the obvious stuff that you can figure out, but not the fine details. I have had questions in to TS for more than a month, and no reply. When I do get a reply, it is generally polite and useful. I even received a note from them that I was not expecting, showing that someone was actually following up on a problem. But many of my questions go unanswered.Managing routes and tracks was so easy in Topo. Not so in BC. You can't simply load or remove routes. You can't toggle them on and off. I am an active cyclist, and have lots of routes that cover an area of 1000 sq km near my home, and those can make a map unreadable if they are all displayed. The web has a lot of people asking the same question I did: How do I unclutter the map It is doable, but more than I want to write here.The 66st comes with a 100K map, but to get routable maps from Garmin, you need to spend $600 to cover the US, and then it is not clear that they are current or kept current. You can, however, roll your own Open Street Maps (OSM). Another learning curve.The 66 advertises that it can use rechargeable NiMH batteries. This is a big help when I am traveling. I like to charge the batteries as I drive, then use them for the day, and so on. But Garmin cautions us to use only Garmin battery packs, and reviews on the web seem to largely indicate that they perform well at first, but fail early. After monitoring the battery charging voltage, I came to the opinion that it is likely that the 66 overcharges the batteries to begin with, then keeps them at a very high charge level. This can shorten NiMH battery life.The route nav display is not as useful as the PN-60 (turn right, for example, but not why). The selection of alert signals is insufficient. Most are just variations of another one. The map itself looks sort of comic book.I guess this is a result of design choices that Garmin made for their auto GPSRs, but I never liked it. I don't need a comic book. I've been reading real maps for decades, and expect my maps to look business-like.The bottom line is that because I have so much experience with GPSRs, I expected to pick this up and run with it. I have spent too many hours unraveling how to get the GPSMAP 66st and BaseCamp working. Every time I go to the web to get some solution, I see that there are many others with exactly the same questions. For a product line that is this old, this is sloppy and unacceptable.


      3: I want to address the reviews saying this product is counter intuitive and Garmin needs to redo their interface. This is a professional tool. I have been using Garmins for almost a decade as a professional surveyor and I probably know how to do only 1/10th of that handheld Garmins are capable of. Buyers should be happy they are getting a professional tool with dozens of features that recreationalist do not need. Within a day of playing with it and watching YouTube videos you should be able to have it set up and figured mostly out but ten years from now you will still be finding new features.


      4: You can use this anywhere and it just works. Very rugged and will go anywhere with you. Get a subscription and you can have friends and family follow you and message you. This can take you to places you didn't even know with maps that can be downloaded. If you got outdoors often then you need this.



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Bob
This is a beautiful stuff.
2021.03.06 12:00
Bob
This is a beautiful stuff.
2021.03.06 12:00
Bob
This is a beautiful stuff.
2021.03.06 12:00