Report (May 26, 2007
Report (May 26, 2007
Report (October 8, 2007)
Name: Will Rietveld
Height: 6 ft (183 cm)
Weight: 170 lb (77 kg)
Email: (willi_wabbit at
bresnan dot net)
City & State: Durango, CO
Location for Testing: Southwestern
US (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico).
have been an avid backpacker for 49 years. Backpacking is my
passion. In the fall, winter, and spring I backpack in UT, AZ, and NM.
In the summer I backpack in several wilderness areas in the southern
Style—I have been a lightweight backpacker for many years and an
ultralight backpacker for 8 years. My wife and I give presentations on
ultralight backpacking in the local area, and have developed a website
called Southwest Ultralight Backpacking (http://home.bresnan.net/~swultralight/)
to share information.
Bushnell Outdoor Products
Product Tested: ONIX 200CR GPS
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Included: GPS, USB
interface cable, CD with communications software and demo.
Attachment Pack: Neck Lanyard 0.2 oz (5.7 g) and Belt Clip
0.4 oz (11.3 g), provided by Bushnell for the test but not
included with the GPS.
weight of GPS only is 5.6 oz (159 g); weight with two lithium AA
batteries is 6.7 oz (190 g); manufacturer weight not listed.
dimensions 4.9 in high x 2.4 in wide x 1.3 in thick (12.5 cm
x 6.1 cm x 3.3 cm); manufacturer’s dimensions 4.3 in x
1.7 in x 0.7 in (10. 8
cm x 4.4 cm x 1. 8 cm).
MSRP: Not available.
From the Bushnell website: “Downloads, displays and
georeferences satellite and aerial photography, and
topographical maps for navigation. View your hunting ground and
mark waypoints at home from our Web site. Transfer the image to
your ONIX and its instantly calibrated (georeferenced) to the
satellites for navigation. The only GPS with screen-layering
capability. The ONIX layers a satellite image, aerial photo or
topographic map, plus all navigational aids in perfect harmony
on a single screen.”
Bushnell ONIX 200CR GPS.
(from the Bushnell
x 240 pixel full-color LCD screen32MB of memory
128MB of SDRAM
and georeferences satellite photography
Basemap of the
United States and Canada
20 channel SiRF GPS
Stores up to 500
Waypoints, 20 Trails and 20 Routes
rated) and rugged construction
Runs on two AA
batteries (not included)
USB port (cable
Included in the
package are the GPS unit, USB interface cable, instruction
booklet, and CD with communication software and a demo. The
coiled interface cable is about 2 ft (61 cm) long relaxed and 4
ft (122 cm) long stretched. I found it to be far too short to
extend from the back of my computer to the top of my computer
desk; a 6 ft (183 cm) long uncoiled cable would be better.
Pack supplied by Bushnell for this test (but not included with
the GPS) contains a neck lanyard and a belt clip. The neck
lanyard will be handy to free my hands while carrying the GPS. The
belt clip is missing a threaded attachment screw, so I will not
be able to use it.
Since I am already familiar with
GPS operation, I found the ONIX very intuitive to set up and
use. I mainly needed to determine what each button does, then I
was off and running for basic operation. It will take a little
longer to learn its special features..
|The Bushnell ONIX 200CR GPS comes
in packaging that clearly shows and describes the unit.
The Bushnell ONIX GPS
uses only satellite images, aerial photos, and topographic maps
downloaded to the GPS from the Bushnell website. The ONIX
does not download maps from mapping software such as National
Geographic Topo or DeLorme Topo USA.
Downloaded images and
maps cost $1 each, and
four free downloads are provided when you register the unit. According
to Bushnell, it takes 24 to 48 business hours for the system to process my
registration and make my free map credits (downloads) available. After 7
days the credits were not yet available, so I was not able to use the
ONIX with a downloaded map or image at the time of this Initial
The ONIX has built-in base maps of the US and Canada, but
they are very general, showing only major features like interstate
highways, rivers, and lakes. I don't see how these maps would be very useful for
navigating on a car trip because they lack a lot of needed detail, like state
highways and towns.
One glitch I discovered
on the initial startup is the elevation (ELEV) on the SAT page is
displayed in yards rather than feet. When I reported it to Bushnell I
was told that they are already aware of the problem and a software
update will be available for downloading in a few days.
The ONIX 200CR
has a color display, while the ONIX 200 (right) has a grayscale
display. There are five buttons:
- Power – turns it on
- Page View – flips
through the four basic screens (explained below).
- Hot Button –
controls several actions from a single button.
- 5-Way Button – used
for navigation on screen, selecting from menus, and creating
Button functions on the Bushnell ONIX GPS
(photo from Bushnell tutorial).
There are four main
pages accessible from the Page button:
- SAT Page – shows
the number, identity, and strength of satellite signals received by
the GPS. It also displays the current position, elevation, and
accuracy (based on the number of satellite signals available).
- MAP Page – shows
your current position in relation to nearby features. The ONIX
allows you to overlay a compass, a satellite photo, and topographic
map (any or all) on top of a base map of your trail or route. The
MAP page is the primary page used for navigation with the GPS.
- NAV Page – provides
a standard compass display and shows your direction in relation to
- SET Page – used to
personalize how the ONIX displays information to suit your needs and
Beyond a normal GPS,
the features of the ONIX 200CR that stand out are:
- Large color display
with good resolution.
- Displays satellite images
– and automatically
– overlays a satellite image, topographic map, or compass
(any or all) over your route or trail.
- SafeTrack Battery
Conservation Mode – the display
is turned off to save energy, but the GPS continues to track your
- Night Mode
– reverses the image for easier night viewing
- Hot Button
– provides quick access to the most needed features and controls
I will evaluate all of
the ONIX’s modes and features during the four-month test.
Test Period—May to
Test Locations—Southwestern US (CO, AZ,
environments and conditions will consist of: high elevation alpine
country, desert, canyon country, and forests. Expected extreme
conditions include: rain, strong winds, snow storms, low temperatures,
and high elevations. Elevations will range from 5,000 to 14,000 ft (1524
to 4267 m) and temperatures will range from subfreezing to 90 F (-7 to
Bushnell ONIX 200CR GPS will be
tested doing the following activities: 1) backpacking, 2) day hiking, 3)
road travel, and 4) “hunting”. Regarding the latter, the test period will be over before
elk hunting season, but I will use the ONIX in my favorite elk hunting
area to map favorite hunting routes and key landmarks, and thereby
evaluate how well the ONIX will work as a hunting aide (which Bushnell
emphasizes in their advertising).
and Data— Backpacking and day hiking use will be both on-trail and
off-trail. I will be planning several backpacking trips in two very large
roadless forested areas that are very difficult to navigate because of
their complex of drainages and ridges. For each trip I
will design a route, select waypoints on the map, download them to
the GPS, then use the GPS for navigation. I will also do the reverse – use the GPS to track
unplanned routes I
take, including waypoints I save along the way, then upload the routes to my computer to edit
and file. During all of my testing I will keep a log on my use of the ONIX so I have accurate
notes to use for my Field Report and Long-Term Report.
Following are the
specific factors on which I will be evaluating the Bushnell
ONIX 200CR GPS. In this Initial Report, I have supplied some
information based on my initial use of the GPS. In my appended Field
Report and Long Term Report I will provide answers to the remaining
and Setup—The GPS required a little extra time to initialize
itself on the first startup. I did not have to enter any information to
“tell it where it is”; it did all of that automatically. On the SET
page, I configured the GPS to display information in the units and
formats that I prefer, such as elevation in feet, location in UTM, and
speed in “statute”. The latter is “miles”; for clarity I would prefer
that it simply said “miles” rather than “statute”.
Installing the support software on my computer was
a very simple automated process. The software consists of 1) a
communication module to facilitate downloading to the GPS, uploading to
the computer, and editing/filing routes; and 2) a tutorial. I have not
used the communications software yet, so I can’t comment on its
capability and ease of use. The tutorial is very basic and provides
clear instructions on all of the unit’s features, and is especially
useful for a beginner.
Interface—As an experienced GPS user, I found the ONIX’s buttons
and menus very intuitive and easy to learn. The user interface is
friendly in terms of logical layout, prompting on screens regarding the
next options, and accessibility of features. Frequently used features
are easy to access through the Hot Button. However, like a digital
camera, there are a lot of features and options embedded in the menus
that will take some time to learn.
Features—Does the ONIX have all the features I would want in a
navigational tool? Is it capable of doing everything I want it to do?
fast does the ONIX acquire satellite signals and initiate itself so it
is ready to use? Does it track well under a forest cover and in canyons?
Is its WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) capability useful to improve
easy is it to download satellite images and aerial photos from
Bushnell’s website? How
user-friendly and useful is the included software for pre-selecting
waypoints and downloading maps the ONIX, and then uploading them to my
computer and editing them (for example, adding notes and symbols)?
Bushnell website is apparently the only source of images and maps for
the ONIX, at a cost of $1 an image/photo/map. Will this one source meet
all of my needs, and are the images high quality. Is it a good value, or
will it add up to a big investment in maps and images?
is the quality of Bushnell’s map and photo images? How easy is it to
navigate with the use of satellite images on a color LCD screen? How
useful is the layering feature (overlaying images and maps) for
navigating my route, and understanding the terrain? How reliable is the
geo-referencing feature? It implies that the instrument automatically
orients downloaded images and overlaid maps with the appropriate
cardinal directions and GPS location, which would be really slick if it
Consumption—My present (older) GPS is a battery hog, so I use it very conservatively. The ONIX uses
only two AA batteries and claims as much as 30 hours of continuous use
from one set of batteries. I will determine if the battery life is as
good as claimed, and also determine how much the SafeTrack mode saves
will compare my GPS location with my topo map location to see how well
they agree in terms of location and elevation.
the ONIX sturdily built, waterproof as claimed, and reasonably durable?
How durable is the color LCD screen?
are the most appropriate applications of the ONIX? Bushnell emphasizes
hunting, but is it just as useful for off-trail backpacking and road
Report (August 22, 2007)
My Initial Report was positive in regard to the
ease of installation of the computer software to support the ONIX, and
the ONIX’s user interface.
Unfortunately, my subsequent experiences during the past two months have
not been nearly as good. I have had numerous problems with the entire
system: downloading images and maps from the Bushnell website, using the
PC Companion software, the GPS unit itself, and working with Bushnell
technical support to resolve my problems.
Home and Field Use of the ONIX: During my
first two months of testing, my experiences with the ONIX consisted of
Six home sessions at my computer learning how
to use the Bushnell download website, PC Companion software, and
attempting to download images and maps to the software and GPS.
Four attempts to contact Bushnell Customer
Service to try to resolve the problems I was having.
Four day hikes, where I loaded maps and images
into the ONIX (or attempted to) and used the GPS in the field.
The sections below detail my experiences with the
Using the Bushnell Download Page
– Aerial photos (images) and topographic maps for use with the ONIX
200CR GPS are ONLY available by downloading them from the Bushnell
website, at a cost $1 each. When I registered the GPS, the Bushnell
website promised four free downloads within two to three business days.
It took nearly a month. Bushnell was to provide 25 free downloads to use
while testing the ONIX 200CR; that took even longer to receive, after
some coaxing. I purchased several download credits while I was waiting
so I could test the ONIX.
Overall, I found the Bushnell download page very user-unfriendly. I
found that it does not work with Mozilla Firefox as my browser (I got
error messages), so I had to use MicroSoft Internet Explorer. The
website has some short, cryptic instructions in a bar on the left side
of the screen that are very difficult to understand and follow, along
with some icons that have no explanation of what they are or how to use
them. I eventually learned how to choose a map or image to download and
how to download it, but it was a time-consuming trial and error process.
The images and maps are wallpapered with the words “DigitalGlobe”,
which is very distracting. When I clicked on my location (southwest
Colorado) on the US map displayed, the map or photo that came up was for
northeast New Mexico, two hundred miles (322 km) away. From there, I found it
very slow and tedious to move to my desired location on the map or photo
because there was no identifying text (features on the maps, names of
drainages, etc.) on the maps at a smaller scale. I had to use a larger
scale in order to read any text, so traveling on the map was slow. Even
when I eventually got to my desired area, which was familiar territory,
it was hard to figure out my exact location. I found the fastest way to
get to my desired location was to use a “placename” search (enter
the name of a nearby city), then navigate from there. Overall, the
process is very tedious and time-consuming.
Using the PC Companion Software
– The computer software that Bushnell provides to interface with the
download website and the GPS is also very cryptic and user-unfriendly.
Like their download website, has a set of icons that have no explanation of what they are or
how to use them. Again, it was a time-consuming trial and error process
to figure out how to use it.
According to the ONIX user manual, I can download images or maps to the
PC Companion on my computer, add routes, symbols, waypoints and other
notations, then download them to the GPS. I tried several times to
download images and topo maps to the PC Companion, but it simply
wouldn’t work; nothing there. It displayed a download icon but the
files were not on my computer. When the software auto-installed on my
computer, apparently there are supposed to be several sub-folders for
“aerials, waypoints, topos, routes, and trails”, but they were not
created. I created them manually, but it did not help. I un-installed
and re-installed the software several times, but still could not get it
to work properly. So, I was unable to download images or maps from the
Bushnell website to the PC Companion software, add waypoints, routes, or
any notations to photos or maps and then download them to the GPS.
Rather, I was only able to download photos and maps from the download
site directly to the GPS. No problems there.
Using the ONIX 200CR GPS Unit
– In my Initial Report, I wrote “I found the ONIX’s buttons and
menus very intuitive and easy to learn. The user interface is friendly
in terms of logical layout and accessibility of features. Frequently
used features are easy to access through the Hot Button.” That was my
initial impression, but after two months of (trying) to use the ONIX, I
would qualify that somewhat. I am still unclear on how to start and end
a “trail” or “route”, and what the difference is. Also, I found
it easy to enter the “SafeTrack” mode, but cumbersome to get out of
it. I finally found a “Stop SafeTrack” screen buried in the menus
that allowed me to return to normal mode.
My biggest issue with the GPS is that it does not display topo maps. On
several occasions I downloaded both an aerial photo and a topo map of
the same area from the download site directly to the GPS. Both were
listed on the respective menus. The GPS would display an aerial photo
ok, but would not display the topo map. When I tried to switch from the
aerial photo to the topo map (the device will display one or the other,
not both at the same time), the aerial photo remained on the display.
The first time I used the GPS in the field, the GPS would not display
the aerial photos or topo maps of the area that I had downloaded to it.
I saved several waypoints within the area. The GPS eventually stopped
working after about 13 hours. When I got home I discovered that one of
the batteries was low and the other still had a good charge. I changed
one battery and the GPS powered up again. I tried to upload the aerial
photo and map from the GPS to the PC Companion. The waypoints uploaded,
along with a dotted line showing the route I traveled, but the photo or
map didn’t upload. I later found out that I need to search the “base
map” in the GPS to find the photo or map I downloaded. I expected the
photo or map to be displayed on the screen when I selected it, which is
what I thought the “georeferencing” feature is, but it doesn’t
work that way. The process of finding the photo or map on the GPS’s
base map is another tedious and time-consuming process.
After my first aborted trip with the GPS in the field, I contacted
Bushnell Technical Support (more on that below), and they e-mailed a
MicroSoft Word file with detailed instructions on how to download files
from the Bushnell Website and use the PC Companion). That document
finally provided some clear instructions that the download site and PC
Companion were lacking.
After advancing somewhat on the ONIX’s very steep learning curve, I
tried the entire process again to plan another hike and use the GPS in a
different area. Following the instructions in the MS Word document
carefully, I tried to download an aerial photo and topo map of the area
to the PC Companion so I could add a route and waypoints. Still no luck,
the files were not there. So I downloaded directly to the ONIX. This
time I searched for and found the aerial photo on the GPS’s base map.
The GPS showed both the aerial photo and the topo map under its lists of
photos and maps, but would not display the topo map when I selected it.
It displayed the photo ok.
The area I hiked in was forested, with deep valleys and high ridges, and
relief of about 1500 ft (457 m). I also carried a topo map of the area,
printed from National Geographic Topo software, which had my planned
route marked on it. The ONIX tracked my location on the aerial photo
accurately, and worked well in SafeTrack mode to conserve battery power.
I saved several waypoints. When I got home, I attempted to upload the
photo from the GPS to the PC Companion. The software displayed an upload
icon for a few seconds, then shut down, so no luck.
In a forested landscape, I found the aerial photos were not very useful.
Everything looked the same (forested), and it was hard to distinguish a
valley from a ridgeline. It was basically flat and amorphous. Perhaps an
aerial photo would be more useful in a really diverse landscape, but big
game hunters usually hunt in a forested landscape, and the aerial photo
on a small LCD is simply not very useful for understanding the
surrounding topography. My personal preference is a topo map with
contour lines to indicate the topography, which is very important to me
for navigation. Ideally, it would be nice to switch back and forth
between a topo map and aerial photo, which the ONIX is designed to do,
but the ONIX I am testing will not display topo maps.
I tried to use the ONIX for one more hike, but when I tried to power it
up it flashed the opening screen for a second then went dark. I checked
the batteries and again one of the batteries was low and the other was
ok. When I replaced one of the batteries, the unit would power up and
attempt to track satellites, then it shut down.
My Experience With Bushnell
Technical Assistance – Apparently Bushnell’s technical
assistance staff is stretched very thin. Their FAQs section on their
website is very short and of limited use. I called their toll free
number and hung up after a long wait. So I sent them a series of e-mail
questions, and received a response (after several days) to my first
questions about using the download site and PC Companion software. The
MS Word document they sent was very useful, as mentioned, to learn how
to use the download website and PC Companion.
However, they did not answer my subsequent questions regarding the
problems I was having with the PC Companion and GPS not working
correctly. I sent one last message prior to writing this Field Report,
in which I further described my problems with the GPS and PC Companion
software. I stated that the ONIX I am testing is apparently defective,
and received a response asking me what type of batteries I am using and
what error messages I am getting with the PC Companion software. I
answered their questions and have not received a reply in three days.
Present Status – The GPS
unit will not work and is apparently defective, but Bushnell technical
support is slow to answer my e-mails and has not offered to replace the
The GPS unit I am testing is apparently defective, and I am
having a difficult time getting Bushnell to replace it. Although the
concept behind the Bushnell ONIX 200CR GPS is good, the implementation
is poor. The process of selecting photos/maps, downloading them to the
software, adding routes and waypoints, using them in the field, then
uploading back to the software or website is simply too complex and
frustrating. In particular, the Bushnell download website and PC
Companion software are not easy to use. Tracking directly on a map or
photo contained within the GPS certainly sounds ideal, but at this point
I am not willing to endure the complexity and frustration associated
with the Bushnell system. Perhaps these issues will be cleared up by the
time I write my Long Term Report in two months.
Report (October 8, 2007)
Since the original ONIX I tested was apparently
defective, Bushnell sent a replacement unit on September 7, which I used
for the last month of the test. The replacement unit was identical to
the first, except the accompanying PC Companion software is version 1.4
instead of 1.3. I could not detect any differences in the new version of
the software, and Bushnell has not posted any list of upgrades.
Locations and Conditions
I used (or attempted to use) the ONIX on four day
hikes and one backpacking trip during the last month of testing. My
hikes were in dry, warm weather with highs in the 70s F (20s C)
and elevations ranging from 6,000 to 13,000 ft (1829 to 3962 m). In
addition to field testing, I spent numerous hours in front of my
computer (with a lot of help from my wife) overcoming barriers in
operating the ONIX GPS and its accompanying PC Companion Software.
After many, many hours spent overcoming obstacles
and barriers, I finally managed to download a map or photo file to the
PC Companion software, add waypoints, and then download the image to the
ONIX. I also successfully opened an image (aerial or topo map) on the
ONIX and attempted to use it for navigation in the field. I say
“attempted” because I have yet to complete a trip in which the ONIX
performed flawlessly. On my last trip, for example, I prepared for the
trip by downloading a topo map to the ONIX that had pre-selected
waypoints along my intended route. When I got to the starting point, I
opened the map in the ONIX, but then I found that the hot button did not
work when I had the aerial image or topo map open, so I was not able to
get into the map menus which included going to a waypoint. When I
pressed the PAGE button, the menu came up, but the unit has exited my
map. When I tried again and again to open the map, the unit shut down
spontaneously by itself. So I had to abandon using the ONIX on my trip.
When I got home, the GPS turned on and stayed on just fine, but the Hot
Button still did not work when a map was open. I checked the batteries
(which I had changed the day before) and they tested at the high end of
“good”. This illustrates my experience with the ONIX. Overall, this
test has been a continuum of problems, obstacles, and barriers and I
have little on the positive side to show for my many hours of working
with the ONIX.
It gives me some degree of satisfaction that I was
able to master the process for using the ONIX, although it took me four
months to do it. My main issue is that the ONIX and the process for
using it are very complex, cumbersome, confusing, buggy, and
frustrating. As for my electronics/computer skills, I would assess
myself as above average (I have a Ph.D., 25 years of computer
experience, and 10 years of GPS experience), so I should be able to
figure something out if it’s reasonably user friendly. On the other
hand, I have not had any experience at all with using a cell phone,
Blackberry, or other compact communication device other than a GPS.
Also, my wife assisted me a lot, and her computer skills are better than
of My Experience with the Bushnell ONIX
This section repeats some of the information in my
Field Report, but I want to concisely summarize my assessment of the
ONIX system in one place for the reader’s benefit.
Download Website – I don’t like it at all. It is painfully slow
to navigate to a desired location (even using high speed internet), the
maps are very difficult to read and determine where you are, the map
selection process is confusing (with no useful instructions provided),
and the maps are expensive when you take into account the number of maps
(or photos) needed for a single trip. I would much prefer to download
maps from a PC-based mapping software such as National Geographic Topo
or DeLorme Topo USA. These programs are far superior in terms of the clarity of the maps,
navigation, adding waypoints, and adding notes after a trip. However,
they do not have aerial photos available.
Software – Again, I don’t like it at all. No instructions are
provided with the software on how to use it, so it’s up to the user to
figure it out. Actually, it’s unlikely that I would have figured it
out on my own, but my contacts with Bushnell Technical Assistance
resulted in their e-mailing me a MS Word document with detailed
instructions, which helped immensely. Interestingly, the default setting
is to NOT show maps or aerial photos. It took me awhile to get past that
User Manual – The tutorial supplied on a CD with the ONIX is quite
good, but it covers the use of the GPS itself, not the download website
and the PC Companion software. It’s very confusing on how to start the
tutorial from the opening
page, and even more confusing on how to exit it. There’s nothing to
click on to get out of the tutorial, and many users would have to resort
to re-starting their computer. I found that Alt-F4 works to exit the
tutorial, but many people would not know that.
Photos – The ability to download and use aerial photos in the GPS
is one advantage that the Bushnell ONIX has over other GPS receivers.
However, in my opinion, the feature has limited usefulness. First, it is
very difficult to navigate the Bushnell download website in photo mode.
The images are wallpapered with “DigitalGlobe” which is very
distracting, and it is extremely difficult to navigate to a desired
location, even in familiar territory, because it is hard to tell where
you are. Once downloaded to the GPS, their usefulness varies. When there
are lots of distinct features (houses, meadows, streams, etc) it is
possible to relate the photo to the ground, but in homogeneous
surroundings (forest, desert, etc), everything looks the same.
Everything also looks flat and it is very difficult to distinguish hills
from valleys. My preference is to use a topo map instead of a photo.
– The USB interface cable supplied is way too short, so I have to
connect the ONIX on the floor rather than on my desk top (my CPU is
under my desk). Also, there are no instructions telling me which end is
connected to the computer and the GPS, or which side of the GPS
connector is up or down. The plug-in on the GPS is designed so the flat
connector on the cable will plug in either way, but only one way. In the
wrong direction, the plug doesn’t go in completely, but that wasn’t
readily noticeable working in the dark area on the floor where I had to
plug it in. Beyond that, I had no problems at all downloading to the GPS
directly from the Bushnell website or from the PC Companion software.
GPS – In my Initial Report I said that the user interface is
intuitive and easy to use. I want to take that back. The waterproof
buttons are hard to press (using a fingernail works best). Entering a
map or photo is an unusually complicated sequence of steps, and if you
do it wrong the waypoints are displayed but not the map or photo. It’s
easy to enter the SafeTrack mode, but very confusing to get out of it.
Another annoyance is the GPS wants to save a waypoint whenever I
accidentally hit the center button while scrolling. And, as I mentioned
at the beginning of this report, the ONIX I am presently testing has a
quirk that the Hot Button does not work when a map or image is
displayed, and spontaneously turns itself off. Finally, the GPS has a
funny quirk of adding a number of extraneous “bread crumb” dotted
lines to each map or image I use. Normally these lines trace where I
have traveled, but I have not walked any of it. When I delete all
“trails” and “routes” in the GPS, these lines do not disappear.
Technical Support – It seems to consist of one person, so the
response time is fairly long. However, in all fairness, she was always
patient and courteous and tried to be helpful. The MS Word document she
sent on downloading to the ONIX was very helpful, and filled a huge void
in the user manual (the user manual contains nothing on the process of
downloading maps and photos).
On their website, Bushnell seems to market the ONIX
to hunters. However, unless a hunter is also a computer geek, I don’t
think he/she will be very happy with the ONIX. I found the process –
from the download website, to the PC Companion software, to the GPS –
very complex, cumbersome, confusing, buggy, and frustrating. For me, it
was one obstacle to overcome after another, dozens of traps where it was
easy to screw up, and many instances where the unit simply did not work
correctly. After four months of overcoming problems, I am barely able to
use the ONIX, and am far from a level of proficiency where I can use it
smoothly and routinely. It’s a situation where I continually strive to
reach a favorable endpoint, but I can’t get there because there is
always another problem or obstacle.
I would like to thank Bushnell Outdoor Products and the BackpackGearTest
Group for selecting me to participate in this test.