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  • EEVblog #18 – The Garmin Etrex GPS investigated

    Posted on July 18th, 2009 EEVblog 15 comments

    How can a consumer electronics product last on the shelf for more than 10 years? The Garmin Etrex GPS investigated.

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    • Brodieman

      Great post!
      Not to nitpick but the eTrex has undergone a few changes – the latest version of the yellow that is being sold is the ‘Garmin eTrex H’ – H standing for High sensitivity.

      But I really do agree with you, I’ve been selling the eTrex for about 5 years now and it’s always a winner.

      Some fun over on this site if you wanna mess with your etrex:
      http://firstwaypoint.com/

      Oh and don’t ya just LOVE Eneloop batteries haha

      • http://www.alternatezone.com/eevblog admin

        Yes, I’m aware of that, and did mention it in the blog but it didn’t make the final cut due to space.
        The point though is the product has not changed it’s appearance or operation in all that time, and that’s the thing I find remarkable.
        You’d expect the internal electronics to change due to improved chipsets, components being obsoleted etc. Common for that to happen even from one manufacturing batch to another.

    • jono

      How about the Koss Portapro Headphones? They’re an unchanged 25 year old design and still good. I’ve had mine for years and the ear-pads are just starting to wear out.

      • karma

        yeah, Koss PortaPro rocks since 1985!

        no one asked about the screw insert in one side?
        may be for a mic upgrade to became headset??

        I ask myself about it thousands of times

    • Brodieman

      Haha – yeah I suspected so! Keep it up mate, great videos, honestly never expected a ConElectronics review – but it really does work with the angle you took.

      Still have you as one of my home pages! Go Aussies!

    • John Mcvirgo

      It’s to position measurement what the Fluke is to electrical measurement. Another great example of engineering a product for the needs of the application and not the designer.

      • http://www.alternatezone.com/eevblog admin

        Well said.

    • Zach

      I live in America and we do not say yellow like that where I live. Maybe they say yellow with the accent in the Southern parts, but I live in the Northwest which has no accent whatsoever (we talk like the people on the news channels).

    • Gimmelotsarobots

      I live in the southern USA and we don’t have that accent eather. (sorry, can’t remember how to spell the last word there.)

    • 705Stu

      This a great set of blog posts.
      I love my older ETREX but their proprietary connector is annoying. I hope they targetted better water resistance vs. higher mark-ups on their “accesssory PC interface cables.” when they designed it in.
      The connector is a much bigger part of the user int than colour but everyone from camera’s to ‘POD’s seem to use something slightly different.

    • angry mobster

      grr – watched for 5 mins hoping you’d disassemble this sucker and and show us what’s inside. but you just kept talking how awesome it is.

      grrrrr. i’m angry. i am coming to your house while you’re asleep and changing your capacitors to cheap chinese ones.

      • karma

        LOOOL!!!

    • Sean

      Probably one of the reasons that Garmin is taking over the Avionics market. Good engineering combined with software and usability design that interfaces to how the pilot would actually use it, not just meeting some spec and expecting the pilot to jump through hoops. Reduction of pilot workload improves safety.

    • samuel

      i know this video is quite old, but i kind of disagree with parts of what you said. i have a yellow etrex and i have some issues with it:
      -software: you can only make a waypoint projection in 100m steps with it. that is bad for geocaching
      -lanyard-holder: mine broke
      -screen: i have a small crack in it
      -rubber-band: the glue melts when the device gets warm; you get sticky fingers and it gets hard to push the buttons because the rubber is moving away

    • Zenaida Valdez

      It has one virtue no other GPS has: it’s waterproof. The manufacturer claims it, and sea kayakers prove it every time we go out. Hang the lanyard around your neck, tuck it into the pocket of your PFD, and it will survive salt spray and the occasional dunking. Nothing else will. No WAAS, but it’s accurate enough to bring you home in thick fog or a squall.