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Features to Consider in Selection of a Non-Aviation Model for Aviation Use

Relevant features of a selection of suitable handheld models are summarized in the Comparison Chart below.

Waypoint Capacity
• Non-aviation units do not contain Jeppesen databases for airspace, airports or navaids nor can they be retrofitted to provide this data at a later time. However, a localized database that is suitable for situational awareness can be created using waypoints. The number of waypoints that can be used to create a localized database should be adequate for the flight area (see Comparison Chart).

Mapping Capabilities
• Non mapping models are adequate for waypoint database input, route entry and navigation using these features, as well as location tracking.
• Mapping models add a built in basemap for general positional reference, and the ability to download additional map detail from MapSource CDROMs (see Comparison Chart). The map may be used in conjunction with other methods for flight planning.

Antenna Configuration
• Models with built in patch antennas cannot be used with an external antenna and need to be positioned horizontally to optimally receive satellite signals; this orientation is often not the best for viewing.
• Models that can be used with an external or removable antenna offer greatest versatility of positioning. Yoke or glare shield mounting are options.

• Units with a removable antenna also offer the option of mounting the antenna remotely within the cockpit and the GPS unit for optimal pilot viewing.

Size and Form Factor
• The physical size and shape of the GPS should be considered with regard to the desired mounting position. Tall units such as the GPS 76CSx and GPS 60CSx series may restrict vision if mounted on the glare shield; an external antenna may be needed for yoke mounting.
• Display size and resolution need to be such that the pilot can actually read the display while flying! (see Comparison Chart)

Battery Life
• All handheld units can be powered from a 12 volt power supply; if this is available, battery life is irrelevant.
• Quoted times should be considered as maximum possible times rather than average expected times (see Comparison Chart).
• Battery life can vary significantly according to the type of batteries used and conditions of use. Lithium batteries will last longer; rechargeable batteries will last for shorter times. Backlight and compass use can significantly decrease battery life.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Non-aviation units are to be used for VFR (Visual Flight Rules) only. Terrain clearance altitudes are NOT indicated on any of the units featured below.

 
 
eTrex Legend H
eTrex Legend HCx
eTrex Vista H
eTrex Vista HCx
GPSMAP 60Cx/CSx
GPSMAP 76Cx/CSx
GPSMAP 62s
GPSMAP 78s
Dakota 20
Oregon 450
Oregon 550
Garmin eTrex Legend H
Garmin legend HCx
Garmin etrex vista h
garmin etrex vista hcx
Garmin 60csx
garmin gpsmap 76csx
Garmin Gpsmap 62s
garmin gpsmap 78s
garmin dakota 20
garmin oregon 450
garmin oregon 550
Database or map Built-in North America basemap (1) Built-in routable North America basemap (1) Built-in North America basemap (1) Built-in routable North America basemap (1) Built-in routable North America basemap (1) Built-in routable North America basemap (1) Built-in worldwide routable basemap (1) Built-in worldwide routable basemap (1) Built-in worldwide routable basemap (1) Built-in worldwide routable basemap (1) Built-in worldwide routable basemap (1)
MapSource usage Load 24MB of map detail from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 4GB of map detail on microSD card from a variety of MapSource CDs Load 24MB of map detail from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 4GB of map detail on microSD card from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 4GB of map detail on microSD card from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 4GB of map detail on microSD card from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 8GB of map detail on microSD card or 1.7GB into internal memory from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 8GB of map detail on microSD card or 1.7GB into internal memory from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 8GB of map detail on microSD card or 850MB into internal memory from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 8GB of map detail on microSD card or 850MBinto internal memory from a variety of MapSource CDs Load up to 8GB of map detail on microSD card or 850MB into internal memory from a variety of MapSource CDs
Display Size
1.1" x 2.1"
1.3"x1.7"
1.1" x 2.1"
1.3"x1.7"
1.5"x2.2"
1.6"x2.2"
1.6"x2.2"
1.6"x2.2"
1.43"x2.15"
1.53"x2.55"
1.53"x2.55"
Display pixels
160x288
176x220
160x288
176x220
160x240
160x240
160x240
160x240
160x240
240x400
240x400
Colour
Display
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Map Screen Orientation
North up
Track up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
Course up
North up
Track up
Course up
Waypoints
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
2000
2000
1000
2000
2000
Reversible Routes
20
50
20
50
50
50
200
200
50
200
200
Tracklog
Main tracklog
# saved logs

10000
10
10000
20
2048
10
10000
20
10000
20
10000
20
10000
200
10000
200
10000
200
10000
200
10000
200
Antenna
Built-in high sensitivity
patch
Built-in high sensitivity
patch
Built-in high sensitivity
patch
Built-in high sensitivity
patch
Built-in high sensitivity
quad-helix
Built-in high sensitivity
quad-helix
Built-in high sensitivity
quad-helix
Built-in high sensitivity
quad-helix
Built-in high sensitivity
ceramic
Built-in high sensitivity
ceramic
Built-in high sensitivity
ceramic
Batteries
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
2AA
Battery Life
Up to 18 hours
Up to 25 hrs
Up to 18 hrs
Up to 25 hrs
Up to 18 hrs
Up to 18 hrs
Up to 20 hrs
Up to 25 hrs
Up to 20 hrs
Up to 16 hrs
Up to 16 hrs

Sensors

None
None
Electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
Electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
on CSx only Electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
on CSx onlyElectronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
3-axis electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
3-axis electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
3-axis electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
3-axis electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
3-axis electronic compass(2)
Barometric altimeter(3)
Other features
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Elevation profiling (4)
Enhanced software for gliders (6)
Elevation profiling (4)
Enhanced software for gliders (6)
on CSx only Elevation profiling (4)
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Enhanced software for gliders (6)
on CSx only Elevation profiling (4)
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Enhanced software for gliders (6)
Elevation profiling (4)
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Enhanced software for gliders (6)
Elevation profiling (4)
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Enhanced software for gliders (6)
Elevation profiling (4)
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Enhanced software for gliders (6) Touchscreen

Elevation profiling (4)
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Enhanced software for gliders (6) Touchscreen

Elevation profiling (4)
Alarms (5)
Position averaging
Enhanced software for gliders (6) Touchscreen 3.2 megapixel camera

WAAS enabled
waas
waas
Accessories included
USB Cable, Lanyard
MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager, USB Cable, Wrist Strap
USB Cable, Lanyard
MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager, USB Cable, Wrist Strap
MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, 64MB microSD card, Belt Clip
MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, 128MB microSD card
Carabiner clip, USB cable
Wrist strap, USB cable
USB Cable, Lanyard
Carabiner clip, USB cable
Carabiner clip, USB cable, 2AA NiMH batteries, AA battery charger

(1) Built-in basemap: Basemap of N & S America with cities, major roads, lakes, rivers, railways
(2) Electronic compass
: Provides direction information while you are not moving.
(3) Barometric altimeter: Gives altitude accurate to 10 feet with proper calibration (non-pressurized cabin only)
(4) Elevation profiling: Records your "trip profile" in elevation
(5) Alarms: Anchor drag (useful for float planes?), arrival & off-course alarms.

(6) Enhanced software for gliders:
Glide ratio, glide ratio to target, and vertical speed to target


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