UPDATE: Here’s my 2010 take on SiRFstar III, which is rarely available these days.
My wife and I went on our weekly mountain bike ride today, and of course we took our GPS receivers along for the ride! I was kind of excited about it; we were going to ride a trail in dense redwoods that I had never been able to map due to poor satellite reception. But today I had my Garmin 60CSx along, which has the SiRFstar III chipset on board.
Now when I say dense, I do mean dense. Redwoods are actually a low biodiversity plant community; very little grows on the forest floor due to their dense shade. I’ve heard it said that native Americans here didn’t like the redwoods — that they are downright spooky. More likely it was just the lack of game and edible plants, but you get the idea.
The trail we rode, Manly Gulch, is as challenging as it sounds — narrow and technical, with steep dropoffs. The photo at left is of me coming around a tight curve between two redwoods. The trail section pictured is a narrow perched run set between a cut redwood stump on the upper side and a retaining wall on the lower side.
But to make a long story short, the 60CSx and SiRFstar III performed admirably, as can be seen in the map posted at right. I’ve seen my 60CSx get a lock inside, and I knew it had greatly improved reception over the 60CS, but it was still nice to see it all work so well where it counts.