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Garmin Oregon 400t review | Compass & Waypoints

Published on: Friday, May 15th 2009                   Written by: Wim de Lange - Photography by: Mark Peters

Garmin Oregon 400t review

Garmin Oregon 400t review

Garmin Oregon car navigation

Although the Oregon is mainly made to use during walks, it is also applicable while travelling by car. The Tripcomputer even has a dashboard design, at which the top part of the screen contains a speedometer and an odometer. If we wish to travel to a certain destination, we have to press the 'Where to?' button. After that, we can select all kinds of Points of Interest and Waypoints, made by ourselves etcetera. If we click on the option Addresses, we gain access to a nicely improved menu. The screen turns into a keyboard and we can insert letters and figures by touching the screen. It works very well and truly is an improvement.

Garmin Oregon waypoint manager

Garmin Oregon waypoint manager

Creating waypoints on the Garmin 400t

In addition to finding our way, we can also capture our position by creating a waypoint. This asks for touching the screen briefly in the Map mode or in the main menu. Creating a waypoint via the map page requires some skills. I think it’s a plus that you can combine creating a waypoint with zooming in, which works very precisely. If required, you can make changes afterwards via the Waypoint manager. When working with the button; Mark Waypoint, we can choose Store and Edit. This mode offers more setting possibilities. Name, comments and location can be adjusted. And it is possible to move or delete the waypoint.

 

Garmin Fieldtest - Spotting ringed geese

Garmin Oregon 400t review

Spotting geese and mark the place on the GPS

For one of my hobbies, I often use a mark function. As a keen birdwatcher, I often look for ringed geese in the winter. With a telescope, I search among groups of geese to spot one with a colored ring around its neck or foot. The moment I spot one of these birds, I mark the spot on my GPS. Researchers like to know the exact coordinates and time of observation. I was able to do place the waypoint very precisely via the map page on the Oregon at a few hundred meters distance off the road. The pictures show a goose with a yellow collar. Unfortunately, I couldn't read the code because the birds were frightened and flew off.

 

Garmin Oregon 400t touch screen GPS

Garmin Oregon 400t touch screen GPS

Back side of the Garmin Oregon

Back side of the Garmin Oregon

 

Garmin Oregon GPS receiver

Garmin Oregon GPS receiver

Compass and altimeter

Nice applications to use in the open country are the compass and altimeter. They can work through the GPS signal; however, for more accuracy the Oregon offers an electronic compass and barometric altimeter. Before use, they need to be calibrated. As for the compass, the procedure is fast. If we're on the page, we press the centre of the compass rose and we can get started immediately. This won't work on the Height profile page, however. The altimeter can only be determined via the main menu, which is an inconvenient difference in access. In countries with unpredictable weather circumstances, the option of using the altimeter as a barometer comes in handy.

Garmin Oregon GPS handheld

Garmin Oregon GPS handheld

Sun and moon information page

Whereas the monitor is able to show more and more details, they disappear from some application pages. For example, the Agenda page only shows an overview of a complete month. We can scroll through it quite quickly, but it does not add to what is available on the page Sun and Moon. One nice function has also disappeared from that page. On my GPSmap 60CS, the position of the sun and moon are displayed every hour, even in simulation. On the Oregon, however, only the moon's position is displayed per date, which is rather limited. Beats me why it has all disappeared, since there is a lot more memory available, the screen is larger, and the hardware has more calculation power.

 

Garmin Oregon Fieldtest - Geese in flight in the Netherlands

Garmin Oregon 400t review

 
 
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