Garmin eTrex Venture HC GPS Receiver

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Product Description

GARMIN eTrex Venture HC Hand Held Receiver w/ Built in GPS Patch Antenna. New high sensitivity GPS receiver. 24 Mbyte of internal memory for storing detailed maps. WAAS enabled, 12 parallel channel GPS receiver. Built in GPS patch antenna. Display: 1.3 in W x 1.7 in H, 256 color, high resolution, transflective TFT /176 x 220 pixels. LED backlit display and keypad. Battery life: up to 32 hours typical use using two AA alkaline batteries.Includes a built in Americas autoroute basemap with automatic routing capabilities including highways, exits and tide data /USA only. 500 user waypoints with name and graphic symbol; 20 reversible routes, 50 points per route. Position formats include Lat/Lon, UTM, Loran TDs, Maidenhead, MGRS, user grid, and more. Audible alarms for anchor drag, arrival, off course and clock. Large numbers option for easy viewing, dual position display mode. Trip computer provides odometer, stopped time, moving average, overall average, total time, max speed and more. 10,000 point automatic track log; 20 saved tracks /500 points each/ let you retrace your path in both directions. Elevation computer /Summit HC/ provides current elevation, ascent/descent rate, minimum/maximum elevation, total ascent and descent, average and maximum ascent and descent rate. Built in celestial tables for best time to fish and hunt, plus sun and moon calculations. Fully compatible with MapSource products including BlueChart, City Navigator, U.S. TOPO 24K, U.S. TOPO and US Inland lakes. Waterproof, IEC 60529 IPX7, /Submersible 1 meter at 30 minutes

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #357 in Consumer Electronics
  • Size: Garmin Part #010-00632-00
  • Brand: Garmin
  • Model: eTrex Venture HC
  • Platform: Not Machine Specific
  • Original language: English
  • Dimensions: 4.40" h x 2.00" w x 1.20" l, 2.20 pounds
  • Native resolution: 176x220
  • Display size: 2.2


  • High-Sensitivity, WAAS-Enabled GPS Receiver Provides Peak Performance In Any Environment
  • Built-In Basemap Includes Lakes, Rivers, Cities, Interstates, National & State Highways, Railroads & Coastlines
  • Features A 1.7-InchH X 1.3-InchW Screen With 256-Level Color Tft
  • Usb Compatible For High-Speed Map Downloads
  • 24 Mb Of Internal Memory Allows User To Load Waypoints & Routes From The Included Mapsource Trip & Waypoint Manager Software

Editorial Reviews Product Description An essential for any outdoor excursion, the Garmin eTrex Venture HC helps you navigate through the toughest terrain. The unit is equipped with a high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, which locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons. The advantage is clear: whether you're traipsing through thick woods or strolling near tall buildings and trees, you can count on the Venture HC to help you find your way when you need it the most. At the same time, the Venture HC's easy-to-use menu lets you create and view waypoints (up to 500), save and view 10 track logs, access setup features, and more. It even offers 24 MB of internal memory and a detailed basemap, so you can load waypoints and routes from the included MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager software and add map detail from Garmin's entire line of optional MapSource mapping products. Besides appreciating its small size, outdoorsmen will also be happy with the Venture HC's unique button layout, with five buttons located on either side of the unit. The benefits of this design are twofold: First, the Venture HC is a breeze to operate with just one hand, and, second, with the buttons on both sides of the unit, the bulk of the front is dedicated to the 256-color, sunlight-readable TFT display. This makes it easy to distinguish map details regardless of the time of day. The Venture HC's basemap, meanwhile, contains lakes, rivers, cities, interstates, national and state highways, railroads, and coastlines--in short, a host of helpful details for your outdoor adventures. Other details include an IPX7 waterproof housing, a built-in patch antenna, a USB interface, a hunt/fish calendar, sun and moon information, and a geocaching mode. The Venture HC, which runs for up to 14 hours on a pair of AA batteries (not included), measures 2.2 by 4.2 by 1.2 inches (W x H x D) and is backed by a one-year warranty. What's in the Box eTrex Venture HC, basemap, MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager software, USB cable, wrist strap, quick start guide, user's manual.

Customer Reviews

An outdoor GPS receiver as revolutionary as the original eTrex5 Before buying this new Venture HC, I had spent many hours trekking with several of the original eTrex models over the years. I think it's fair to say that while the concept of the original eTrex was great, the execution was frequently disappointing. It disappoints no more. The Venture HC is the eTrex perfected. It remedies almost every shortcoming that plagued the original models. The new high-sensitivity receiver is amazingly effective. Countless times I've stood in wide open spaces cursing my old eTrex because it wouldn't acquire a single satellite. Last night I turned on the Venture HC on the bottom floor of my two story house, and it locked onto 8 satellites...through the roof and the upper floor! No more "need a clear view of the sky" messages. Amazing. The old monochrome display has become color, and the user interface is now substantially more intuitive, while adding even more functionality. The cable, which was serial on previous models, has been upgraded to USB, another welcome improvement. The case is somewhat wider than before, but the design bears a strong resemblance to the original eTrex. A basemap is included but it's just that - basic. It shows the largest highways, bodies of water, and has some limited capability to display highway exit services. If you need turn-by-turn street directions, an eTrex is not for you. This is a GPS receiver true to Garmin's outdoor GPS heritage. Promised battery life (14 hours) is near the bottom of the range when compared to the existing eTrex models, but is still perfectly adequate and has posed no problems. One weakness that remains is Garmin's waypoint manager PC software. It has the feel and functionality of a software product released circa 1994. Garmin could certainly develop a better PC interface. For $49 you can buy ExpertGPS from Topografix, or download the free version (EasyGPS)from their website. Either is far more functional than the Garmin OEM software. Still, the software criticism is a quibble. The Venture HC itself is great. It is a market changing product that renders all previous eTrex models (and many competitors) obsolete. Finally, an affordable outdoor GPS receiver that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Great geocaching unit at a good price (with notes for Mac users)4 I was totally chessed off at Magellan when my Explorist 100 died under warranty and they refused to support or repair it (this was a new unit!). So I only considered Garmin based on liking my car unit. Mac Users: It's a bit tricky, but I am able to use the USB cable and the 'send to Garmin' to automatically load waypoints from One warning is that they have a Mac firmware web updater and it's very new and froze on my attempt to use it, which blanked my unit. [...]. I did the update for this unit on a friends PC and it went fine. There are some Mac caching software, but none of them are working for me with this unit. So keep that in mind if you really want to go beyond the web waypoint downloads. That's a bummer, since Maccaching and GeoJournal look like they'd be great. The included software does not work on a Mac, so ignore that CD. From the Garmin site, you can download the plugin for Mac to make Safari aware of the unit so you can do the "send to Garmin' trick. They also have the Mac version of their WebUpdater (the one that hosed my first unit) on their site. Finally, you don't need any USB drivers for Tiger or Leopard OSX, so don't worry about them only being for Windows on the Garmin site. Usage: Crazy fast turn on and acquiring satellites. We are thrilled that we can turn it on in the car and it will start to pick up satellites right away. Our Magellin (an cheap 100 unit) would take awhile even outside in cloudcover. It also seems to save all the time, as the shutdown is very fast, with no 'saving' note like our Magellin made us wait for. I guess our only complaint is that we like to use the backlight a lot and that sucks batteries. It's winter now, and so many days and locations are dim, and without the backlight, the unit can be pretty dim to read. It takes 2 AA's. It also has a system pref for the type of battery you use (Alkaline, NiMH or LiOn), why? Maybe to only USB charge when they are NiMH's?? But remember to set that to the correct type. We really love auto loading the coordinates. And even with the free account on, we get the cache name, GC# and coordinates. That saves tons of time and mistakes. We find ourselves loading up any cache that interests us, just in case. Accuracy: The unit seems right on. Our other unit would usually be more like 20-30 feet accurate in the woods, and this one led us right to the cache and showed 16' accuracy at that point under normal tree cover. It also refreshes more often than our old unit, so it feels more responsive. No more going 20 feet and then seeing that the arrow just didn't update to show we were going the wrong way, or overshot. Build: It seems solid and took our last rainy hike well. The back has a bit of a gap, but the seal must lock in fine. It uses the 'D' lock, so just half a twist to lock and unlock, which is fast and appreciated on a cold cache while changing batteries. We always had to dig to get the Magellin's ring out and turning to pop the back. Thumb toggle: If you've used the old Garmin's with button input, the toggle on the front is really welcomed. We zip through data entry and you push the toggle in to accept an entry. It's also a shortcut to Mark your current location (holding down the toggle button). Another tip is that holding down the lower left button brings up the 'Find' menu quickly. Speed: One thing I noted was that when I went just one setting more on 'detail' for the maps, it really cut the redraw speed (which is a tad slow to begin with), so that was disappointing. Hope that helps someone and happy caching! for Team Spiderweb4-2 Great for geocaching, astronomy!5
I got this unit after much research into different brands and,
after settling on Garmin, different models. It's a great all-around GPS
at a great price. It's my first, so I can't comment on the increased
sensitivity of the HC chip, but I get plenty of coverage inside my
house, and when I step outside the accuracy goes to about 9'. I would
have liked the compass and altimeter of the Vista, but really don't
have much need for them since I'm not an avid hiker, and didn't need to
spend the extra money.

The Venture HC is great for geocaching. I took my family out on our
first hunt last weekend, and although we only had about an hour to
spare, we had a great time finding caches stashed around a park nearby.
I can see this as a fun family activity on road trips as well. The
Venture has built-in geocaching features that let you download
waypoints directly from (using the free Garmin browser
plugin), and even mark caches as found right on the GPS. The color
screen is very readable in sunlight. Although the Venture HC doesn't
have a proper compass, the "compass" page is very useful for closing in
on the target.

The Venture HC is also great for amateur astronomers. My
computerized telescope needs to know lat/long/time to accurately slew
to and track objects in the sky. I can get coordinates on standard
addresses on, but if I just want to set up at a dark site
somewhere, a GPS is a must. Rather than pay $200 to get the GPS option
on my scope, I can use this general purpose GPS and just plug the
numbers into the telescope's controller, or even connect through my
laptop. Although any GPS will give you the time and location, not all
have as nice a backlit screen as this one, a good thing when you're out
in the dark. The customizable color schemes (with automatic night mode)
and the variable backlight intensity are also great for astronomy to
keep stray light to a minimum.

If I'm disappointed with anything it is with the built-in base map.
Again, because this is my first GPS I was somehow expecting more
detail, not necessarily in terms of street names, but certainly with
respect to canals, mountains, even major cross streets etc. The only
features I've been able to distinguish are freeways, lakes and cities.
There are many mountains where I live and none of them are shown on the
map. More detailed topo maps are available, but cost anywhere from
$80-$120. I'm not subtracting any stars for this, because I'm sure all
basemaps are pretty much the same. And with 24MB of memory, there's
room for decent quality maps.

Garmin updated the firmware for the Venture in February 2008, so
one of the first things I did was download their free WebUpdater
utility to automatically install updates. I had one scary moment when
my GPS lost the USB connection in the middle of the process, and I was
worried my unit would be disabled. But after turning it off and back on
it came right back up and, after a second try, the new firmware was
installed in about 5 minutes.

All in all, I'm very happy with the quality of this unit. It feels
sturdy yet light weight, with a nice rubberized feel to it. It's also
waterproof, so no trouble using it in the rain. The interface took a
little getting used to, but after a while it becomes second nature. The
Venture lets you customize almost every screen to your taste; for
example, I wanted to have time, elevation and location on the same page
for astronomy purposes, so I set one of the screens up to show all
these fields. At $130, the price point was perfect: significantly lower
than the next model up (sacrificing only the compass/altimeter and
microSD slot), and not much higher than plain-vanilla black & white
units without geocaching features.

I highly recommend it.