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Garmin Dakota review | Memory & Battery

Published on: Sunday, September 12th 2010                   Written by: Wim de Lange - Photography by: Mark Peters

Garmin Dakota height meter

Garmin Dakota height meter

Compass and barometrical height meter

One very pleasant activity is hiking in the mountains. The Garmin Dakota 20 device also offers full support for this. First of all there is the improved electronic compass. It now has three axes. The advantage of this is that the application also works well if we stand still or when the device is not held completely horizontal. Additionally, the Dakota 20 GPS receiver is equipped with a barometrical height meter. It works more accurately than the GPS-height indications. We have to calibrate a bit before reaching the highest precision. The height meter can also be used as a barometer. Measuring over a longer period of time, we see if the air pressure drops or rises and we can estimate what kind of weather we will be getting.

Garmin Dakota memory

Garmin Dakota memory

Memory & Software

The device comes equipped with 850 MB of internal memory. This is big enough if we only want to use the device in the Netherlands. The map sets from City Navigator and the topographical maps that you will need fit in fine. If we want to take more maps with us of a larger area, then we can extend the memory by a few gigabytes with a microSD card. That is enough storage space for Custom Maps, which are self-made maps that can be read as JPG files with free software, and connected via coordinates. For example, people that organize large open-air events can offer digital maps. Visitors could download them beforehand.

 

Garmin Dakota GPS receiver review

Garmin Dakota review

 

Garmin battery for Dakota handheld

Garmin battery for Dakota handheld

Garmin Dakota 20 energy use

The device is fairly energy efficient. During our trip I thought I could use an MP3 player charger, which also has a mini USB-connection. The MP3 player was charged, but the Dakota did not react to it. At home I found the solution on the internet. The interface needs to be set to Garmin Spanner. I could have taken the AA-batteries from my flash, but that was not necessary. The battery charge was enough to last for the 10 days. Luckily the bus driver knew the way and I could restrict my usage to the making of waypoints. A digital photo camera also records the recording time in EXIF, so I could link the time and place at home.

Garmin Dakota Waypoints

Garmin Dakota Waypoints

Garmin Dakota Waypoints manager

Making waypoints can be done in two manners, just like with the Oregon-series. One way is via Mark Waypoint. This manner of inputting offers extra setting possibilities, such as the adjustment of the name, symbol etc. The settings are also accessible later via the Waypoint Manager, so you can also choose for the other way of inputting. We need to be on the map page for that. It requires a degree of handiness at first in order to do this via the touch screen. It is difficult to separate the actions of dragging and marking waypoints. As we master the technique, we can tap the screen and mark a location and then save it. This offers less adjustment possibilities, but that can always be done afterwards.

 

Garmin Dakota 20 with touch screen

Garmin Dakota 20 with touch screen

Garmin Dakota navigation device

Garmin Dakota navigation device

 
 
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