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Before you begin to explore the eTrex Vista’s operat-
ing features, you should be familiar with the information
contained in the Quick Start which includes instructions
for installing batteries, how the buttons function, starting
the eTrex Vista, adjusting the screen contrast, and basic
navigation techniques to help you start enjoying your eTrex
Six Main Pages are your primary access to operating
the eTrex Vista. Each page provides either a basic naviga
tion function or access to features which enhance naviga
tion or customize the unit’s operation.
This manual is arranged on the Main Pages structure
with detailed instructions on using the eTrex Vista’s features
and their options.
Storage for 500 Waypoints with name and graphic
An automatic Track Log with storage capability for
3,000 points, or 10 saved Tracks with 250 points each.
Route building capability, with storage for 20 Routes
with 50 Waypoints each.
A Trip Computer for displaying a variety of navigation
data such as speed, ETA, ETE, heading, odometer, etc.
An Elevation Computer for displaying total ascent/
descent, average ascent/descent, maximum ascent/descent,
12 hour pressure trend, and maximum/minimum eleva
A Find Feature for locating Waypoints, Cities,
Interstate Exits, Points of Interest, Street Addresses and
24 MB of detailed map data storage, allowing transfer
from GARMIN MapSource CD-ROM’s.
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capability.**
* Points of Interest, Address,
and Intersection data must be
transferred to the unit using a
GARMIN MapSource CD-ROM. See page 62 for more informa
** About WAAS
Because the Wide Area
Augmentation System (WAAS)
is currently under development
and is not fully supported by
geo-stationary satellites, effective use of the WAAS feature may be
limited by your geographic loca-
tion in relation to those satellites
now in service.
There are two WAAS satellites
in service in geo-stationary orbit above the Equator, one over the
Atlantic Ocean and one over the Paciﬁc Ocean.
Currently, WAAS satellite signal reception requires an absolute
clear view of the sky and works best when there are no nearby
obstructions such as buildings,
mountains, etc. In fact, you may not be able to receive or easily
maintain a WAAS satellite signal
until full satellite support for this program is complete.
Not enabling WAAS when you cannot receive a signal speeds
unit map drawing and conserves battery power.
See pages 5 and 53 for enabling WAAS and satellite reception
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The PAGE button:
• Press to cycle through main pages.
• Press and hold to turn the electronic compass On/Off.
The POWER button:
• Press and hold to turn the unit On/Off.
• Press to toggle display backlighting On/Off.
The THUMB STICK (Five Position Switch)
• Press to enter highlighted options and to conﬁrm messages
• Move Up/Down or Right/Left to move through lists, highlight ﬁelds, on-screen
buttons, icons, enter data or move the map
• Press and hold for two seconds to mark your current location as a waypoint
NOTE: The eTrex Vista is designed to be held and operated in the left hand, but it can be
held and operated using the right hand as well to suit your preference.
The ZOOM IN/OUT buttons:
• When on the Map Page, press to
Zoom in and out.
• When on the Satellite Page, press to adjust the screen contrast
The FIND button:
• Press to access the Find Menu
Power/Data Connector Cover
External Power and Data Connector
with Alignment Bar
Compass Sighting Marks
Installing the lanyard
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Installing the Batteries
The eTrex Vista operates on two “AA” batteries (not
included), which are located in the back of the unit.
Rechargeable Alkaline, NiMH, NiCad or Lithium batteries
may also be used.
When replacing batteries, use only new or fully recharged
batteries and do not mix
Alkaline, NiMH, NiCad or
Rechargeable batteries may
typically display less capacity
than Alkaline batteries.
Remove the batteries from the unit if you don’t plan to use it
for several months.
Follow the battery manufactur-
er’s instructions for proper care
and disposal of used batteries.
When using ‘Battery Saver’ or
‘Use With GPS Off’ mode when
not navigating, Alkaline batter-
ies can last up to 12 hours.
To install batteries:
1. Remove the battery cover on
the back of the unit. Turn the
D-ring 1/4 turn counter-clock
wise & pull away clockwise.
2. Insert batteries
3. Reinstall the
by turning the
Stored data is not lost when
the batteries are removed.
Press & Release POWER
Button to turn Backlighting On/Off
Display Backlighting and Contrast Set Up
If lighting conditions make it hard for you to see the
display screen, you can adjust the contrast or turn on the
To turn on the backlighting:
1. Press the POWER button to turn on the backlight
from any page on the unit. The backlight remains
on until the set timeout period is completed or the
button is pressed again.
The unit is factory set to timeout 15 seconds after the last button press. (To reset the backlight time
out, refer to page 51.)
To adjust the screen contrast:
1. When on the Satelllie Page, use the ZOOM IN or
OUT buttons to adjust the contrast.
Use ZOOM IN & OUT
Buttons to Adjust Contrast
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Main Page Basics
All of the information you need to operate the eTrex Vista can be found on six main
pages (or display screens). You can press and release the PAGE button to cycle through
the Satellite Page, Map Page, Navigation Page, Altimeter Page, Trip Computer, and Main
While these six pages provide you with different types of navigation information,
they all share common features like
Option Menus and a Main Page Menu, both of
which are accessed by on-screen buttons. To display these menus, highlight the on-
screen button and press in on the
Option Menu Button Main Page Menu Button
Main Page MenuUse to go directly to a Main
Page and as an alternate to
cycling through the Main Pages.
Double click the on-screen button to toggle between two pages.
These menus provide addi-tional features or customize the unit to your preferences.
To exit these and other
pop-up type menus, move the
THUMB STICK to the left or right.
Satellite Page Map Page
Navigation Page Trip ComputerMain MenuAltimeter Page
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The Main Page
Satellite Pagewith 9 Satellites Being
Tracked and WAAS Enabled. WAAS Satellite is No. 35 and ‘D’ in Signal Bars for
Center (Satellite overhead)
Signal Strength bars
Page and Option
Outer Ring (Satellites on the horizon)
Inner Ring (Satel-lites within 45° angle from vertical)
The Satellite Page provides a picture of satellite signal tracking, tells you when the
unit is ready for navigation, and shows your location coordinates.
The Skyview graphic represents a view looking up at the sky from your current
location showing satellites and their assigned numbers. The outer ring r epresents the
horizon around you, the inner ring represents a view above you at a 45
° angle from ver-
tical, and the center represents directly overhead. Signal Strength Bars for each satellite
are shown just below the Skyview. Satellites and their signals appear as hollow shapes
until a signal is received and then they appear darkened in. The stronger the signal, the
taller the signal bar.
The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capability produces a more accurate
position ﬁx. When
enabled (the GPS mode set to ‘Normal’ and the interface set to other
than RTCM mode), this feature searches for a WAAS satellite near your location and
then receives data for correcting differentials in the GPS satellite signals and the WAAS
satellite numbers (beginning at No. 33 or above) display on the Satellite Page. When
differential correction data has been received for GPS satellites (numbers 32 or below), a
‘D’ displays in the signal bar beneath the skyview. It is helpful to orient the unit antenna
toward the WAAS satellite shown in the skyview. To learn more about the WAAS
System, access the Federal Aviation Administration web site (http.//gps.faa.gov/).