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Magellan eXplorist 500 LE


Magellan has announced the Magellan eXplorist 500 LE, a new GPS receiver for hikers, kayakers, fisherman, and other outdoor enthusiasts. What is unique about the eXplorist 500 LE is that you can choose between triple-A batteries or a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. The new Magellan 500 LE comes with a 14 channel parallel receiver which is WAAS enabled.

The eXplorist 500 LE is waterproof and weighs less than four ounces. Maps are displayed on a 2.3 inch color, backlit display. You can store additional maps on SD cards.

Packages are offered to bundle the Magellan eXplorist 500 LE with certain maps for different activities. The bundles offer 25% off the original map cost.

Hikers can use the 500 LE to calculate area, perimeter, as well as view vertical profiles of trails. Kayakers and fishermen are offered tools to view hunting and fishing times as well as a sun and moon calculator. The MapSend Lake maps display shorelines, water depth charts, vegetation, bottom composition, and locations of boat ramps.

Geocachers can use the Magellan eXplorist 500 LE for paperless caching by downloading geocache data directly to the 500 LE. Purists can also directly enter coordinates into the GPS.

77 Responses

  1. Sounds like a great new GPS receiver. I’ll sure have to take a closer look. The paperless caching ability grabs my interest the most.

    Happy caching,

    Brandon - August 12th, 2006
  2. I have just purchased a new megellan 500 LE it comes with the option of using 3 aaa batteries or the Li Ion battery. Seems to be pretty cool especially for the geo cachers on my model. Batteries seem to be the big issue. I think I am going with some rechargable batteries that come with there own charger. hopefully that should take care of the battery issues.

    CastleKeeper - November 11th, 2006
  3. I’ve been using an Explorist 500LE for the past two weeks while on a driving trip through the Pacific Northwest US and British Columbia. Rarely have I been able to get a solid 3-D satellite lock with this model. Although screen clarity and battery life are good, the lack of detail on Magellan maps coupled with the poor tracking capabilities make this unit a poor choice.

    Michael - November 14th, 2006
  4. Michael, i wouldn’t expect the Explorist to work extremely well for auto navigation. Since it is designed for outdoor usage and has a 14 channel receiver it will have a more difficult time locking into a signal from within a car. I believe the maps are also slightly stripped down from those found on the auto GPS systems.

    Tim - November 15th, 2006
  5. If this model doesn’t work well in a car, is there a model that does well for both hiking and auto?
    I would rather not have to buy two. Thanks.

    Ray - November 16th, 2006
    • it would be a garmin 60gcx it does everything

      Angie - November 3rd, 2010
  6. Ray, check out the Magellan Crossover GPS which has maps for both auto navigation as well as topo maps. From what I’ve heard the topo maps are not quite as good as those found on the handheld models, but should be adequate for a number of uses. The device is also waterproof and comes with a much more sensitive GPS chipset.

    Tim - November 16th, 2006
  7. would the explorist 500LE work well on a motorcycle, or are the maps just not enough detail, and how large of an SD card will it take ?


    Brian - December 15th, 2006
  8. Brian, unless you already have the 500LE, I would consider getting something specific for Motorcycles such as the Garmin Zumo 550 or the TomTom RIDER.

    The 500 LE has been tested with SD cards up to 2 GB in size. It does not come with auto/road navigation out of the box. It also runs on standard batteries, but you can purchase a kit for a Lithium Ion battery and AC power. There is also a kit you can purchase to mount the device on a bike/motorcycle.

    Tim - December 17th, 2006
  9. Can you down load a program and us it in golfing?

    Ron Irons - December 25th, 2006
  10. Not that I can recall Ron.

    Tim - December 26th, 2006
  11. I was wondering if I could use the gps files that you have for free downloads. I have the 500 LE.

    David - January 4th, 2007
  12. What free downloads are you referring to?

    Tim - January 4th, 2007
  13. I have a 500LE that replaced a Garman legend.
    it has a great size, easy to read screen in bright light. But the Basemap is realy no map at all , i live in Nova scotia and it shows only the most major hiways. What gives Magellan ? Magellan can learn alot about maps from Garman ..Don’t buy unless you plan to dish out for the “detail maps” and i hope they put a lot more work in to them then the “base maps”

    Steve - February 1st, 2007
  14. I purchased this unit for dirt biking. Put brand new batteries and went on a trail ride. 3 hours later they were dead. Good thing there were others around to point me in the right direction because my new Magellan 500LE sure couldn’t help! The battery life on this unit SUCKS WIND!

    Cliff - February 3rd, 2007
  15. Buy the rechargable battery it will last a day with no problem. I used the AAA batteries and got 4-6hrs out of them. The light really sucks up the juice.

    Brian - February 8th, 2007
  16. If I use the 500LE for hiking, can I just put it in my pocket or backpack and have it log the route? Or does it have to be held with the screen facing up for route logging?

    David - February 17th, 2007
  17. David, it might not be able to get a solid signal if it is in your backpack. If it is in a jacket pocket it should keep a fairly good lock. I’ve had some devices that didn’t keep a good lock in a pants pocket.

    In general, do what you can to keep hit higher on your body and as few obstructions (gear) as possible between it and “line of sight” to the sky. So jacket pocket should work, pants pocket maybe, backpack, probably not unless it is in a top backpack compartment with nothing above it.

    Tim - February 18th, 2007
  18. we are going to Italy in May…wondering if the Magellan 500LE is a suitable GPS for downloading city maps ie Rome if not…suggestions
    paul February, 27,2007

    Paul - February 27th, 2007
  19. Yes, the 500 LE is compatible with the MapSend DirectRoute 2.0 – Europe maps which you can purchase for about $150. But if you are only going to be using the GPS for auto navigation I would suggest an auto device versus a handheld. If you already have the 500 LE or are purchasing it for handheld use then those maps would be the correct product.

    Tim - February 28th, 2007
  20. I’m trying to decide between the 500 LE and the Garmin Legend CX mainly for geocaching use. I’ve gotten conflicting reviews for both. Any input would be great!

    Bryan - April 13th, 2007
    • I have had some first hand experience with the Magellan Explorist 500 and I would say that it is a good deal for the money, but I am going for the Garmin eTrex Venture HC because of the better screen and battery life. The only thing the Magellan has that the Garmin doesn’t is a slot for SD cards.

      Darryl - June 17th, 2009
      • Most of the current Garmin lineup does accept SD and MicroSD cards.

        Tim - June 17th, 2009
  21. Bryan, I don’t yet have first hand experience with the 500LE, although the feedback I’ve received from users has been mixed. On the other hand the feedback I get from the Legend Cx and other similar models is typically fantastic.

    Tim - April 14th, 2007
  22. I have the 500, which differs from the 500 LE only in the option of using AAA batteries in place of the rechargeable unit. I have used the unit hiking, motorcycling, and in a car. The unit has worked wonderfully in all three uses. I have created some base maps using the DirectRoute software and put them onto an SD card. In the car, I can have the unit create a route from the current location to a destination and it gives audible tones when a turn is coming up. While it can never completely replace a dedicated auto GPS, it does work quite well for this. I have created a mount for the motorcycle, since it does not acquire the satellites well when in a bag or jacket pocket. In all, I have been very pleased with the Explorist 500. To fully realize the potential, you really need to buy the DirectRoute software.

    John - April 20th, 2007
  23. Hey John,

    sounds good, I was wondering about how to modify a car mount to fit a motorcycle, did you just attach a ram mount to the back of a dash mount?

    I have the canadian and american TOPO, they work well but will only notify you if you off coarse if you deviate from a pre-plotted coarse. So maybe I sould get the DirectRoute software to take full advantage of the unit.

    Brian - April 21st, 2007
  24. Very poor service, hardly speak English and didn’t understand how their own software works. Thats because the software instructions are very difficult to understand. SD slot cover broke off in two days. I am headed back to the store to return my Magellan 500 LE and I will never do business with these people again. I wasted my money on batteries and a 2gb SD card. Also, not mac compatible, even though they said it would work with Virtual PC. Firmware updates just don’t recognize the unit. Sucks.

    michael abrams - May 4th, 2007
  25. I just purchased the 500LE and have been very impressed. I have owned the 100 for two years but wanted a unit that had mapping capability. The 500LE comes with a basemap that includes Interstate and State Highways and some (but not all) County roads.

    Battery life issue was resolved by using rechargeable AAA and an external charger.

    I inserted a 128MB SD card that I had left over in a previous digital camera.

    Important Note: There was a peel-away sticker on the box that allowed me to “unlock” the US TOPO 3D maps on the enclosed DVD for a VERY reasonable price. These maps take me down to the street level and also provide valuable travel information (hotels, auto repair shops, hospitals etc..).

    The software allows you to select a region of map detail for download (from your PC) to the GPS. I downloaded the region for the NJ/NY border down to Alexandria Virgina and it used about 60MB. I can always add/remove regions as the need arises in the future.

    I have also had good luck with use in my car (i just a cell-phone mount attached to my dashboard vent.

    I know I left a lot of info in this posting but I hope it is useful.

    Bill (New Jersey) - May 7th, 2007
  26. ANybody used this with the Canadian Topo map package. Does it cover all of Canada? And what resolution…Magellan does not seem to list that on their web site.

    Gord - May 31st, 2007
  27. I bought a 500LE and spent about a month finding maps. Finally got the Canadian topo through The Source. Had to spend an hour on the phone with a nice man in India who led me through the very complex process for downloading. The “Topo” shows all the contour lines on the box but there are none on the map and detail doesn’t appear until you are down to such a close zoom that you can’t navigate. Any suggestions about the contour lines? they are important to me and maybe they can be brought out somehow.

    Uri Sim - June 1st, 2007
  28. Where is the best price to buy a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and the charger?


    Gaetan Côté - June 4th, 2007
  29. Gaetan,

    I can’t help you with the charger, but I have two brand-new Li-Ion batteries siting on my desk that I am not using (because I returned my Magellan–see comment #3 above.) You can have them at no charge if you want them. You can email me at amex.male at gmail dot com. Depending on where you live, I will mail them to you at no charge. I am not a merchant of any kind–and someone might as well get some use from these batteries.

    Michael - June 6th, 2007
  30. We just bought one of these units yesterday – the only tracks I can find are Garmin… is there a way to change them from Garmin to Magellan? Also, do I have to buy the battery & AC Adapter from Magellan or can I get them somewhere else?

    Thanks for your help!

    Tracy - June 7th, 2007
  31. hi everyone
    looking to buy a handheld gps mainly for hiking.
    are the base maps reliable for this?

    rob - June 8th, 2007
  32. Hi Rob – We returned ours because we couldn’t figure it out – bought a Garmin eTrex Legend Cx for $75 more and it comes with a very good base map.

    Tracy - June 8th, 2007
  33. Base maps are NOT useful for hiking.. you need a Topo map for hiking.. the base maps are basically useless.

    Having said that, I found Topo Canada FAR superior over Garmin’s Topo version. In the area I was going (Algonquin Park) Garmin barely covered it with gaps in rivers and no trail info.

    Magellan had almost every single trail/portage including full water details.

    I also have the problem that if you zoom out a lot you end up with a blank map.. you only see the details once you zoom in very close.. I guess this is due to the resolution of the screen..

    chris - June 11th, 2007
  34. Just bought 500le. can someone please direct me on how to manually enter coordinates? I have used the download for the geocache, but I am planning a vacation soon and won’t have laptop with me. Need to know how to do a manual enter so I can do some geocaching on vacation.

    Kerrie - June 23rd, 2007
  35. Hello. I just bought the eXplorist 500 LE and want to get the most out of it. I will be using it mostly for hiking and off-roading in my Jeep. Can someone recommend some software for this type of activity??? Is DirectRoute applicable in this situation?

    Jimmy - June 26th, 2007
  36. We just got the 500le this evening. It will go back to the store tomorrow for a full refund! What junk that “mapsend” software is (out of 3 laptops and 4 desktops in the house, is sort of works on 1 of the desktops)…also, if you get this unit you will need the rechargable battery, the adapter they include for 3 AAA batteries is nothing short of plastic sticks that will not last long considering it doesn’t even fit the opening in the back of the unit well and has to be forced in place.

    Mike - July 22nd, 2007
  37. I have had an explorist 500 now for over a yr and its performed well, my previous handheld was a meridian colour. I have just come across a major problem, if you are recharging the battery in situ make sure that you don’t strip or double cross the tiny thread (like what I’ve just done)otherwise it becomes virtually useless to recharge/upload date etc using the cord/usb adapter. I have had to cut away the back of the square block on charging cable so that the locating screw seats down further into the threaded hole. Don’t know how long this will last thou but it is a bad design fault.

    Col -UK - August 6th, 2007
  38. Wow… the maps (discoveraus for me as im in australia) are expensive! and the basemap sucks :-( AND for some reason, the geocache coordinates i download onto the GPS from MAGELLAN GEOCACHE MANAGER dont seem to register with the unit (apart from a few funny chinese looking characters). Is this a firmware (or something like that) problem does anybody know?… its been a few days and I havent worked it out yet. The manual says nothing of this problem. :-(

    Joel - August 14th, 2007
  39. Does anyone know if this is a good reciever for offroading? I was looking at it at Bass Pro Shops and the guy told me with the included topo maps it would be good for my use. A second opinion would be helpful.

    Matt - August 15th, 2007
  40. What topo maps? There are none on this unit… you’d have to buy the program separately… even the base map sucks on this unit… we returned ours and bought a Garmin unit… much better and the basemaps are good enough until you buy or borrow the Topo Canada program… IMO – do not buy this unit!

    Tracy - August 15th, 2007
  41. Boy did I make a mistake buying this Explorist 500 LE. It seems to me to be a pile of crap. I found it terribly difficult to understand. I could not unlock the software because the Magellan website to do this was under construction until Aug 15th they say. What good is the unit if you cannot unlock the software to use i. I am using it for hiking and mountain biking. When I download the tracks, for some reason the time is 5 to 6 hours later than when I did the trip. Called Magellan support and the support for their explorist 500 goes to a mortuary in San Francisco. Do you believe that? After the second call I asked the lady what was going on because I was being forwarded with voice mail. She said Magellan was aware of it and to try another model. Tried the 400 and got a message that the service was not available. Can’t figure out the tracks and vertical, they seem to be different from what I actually did. Eg. I am shown as going 2 or 300 Km per hour at some points on my mountain bike and sometimes decents to below the base datum for where I am. I would take this unit back but I have been trying to figure it out for 3 weeks and it is getting a little marked up. If I am doing something terribly wrong, someone out there – help!!! Oh yes and the Power/Download connection is ridiculous engineering. I has to be centered and screwed on. It is sure to eventualy strip or break down. It does not have locators and can be put on two different way – one way will not work with USB file transfer(I found that out by calling support when it was working a week or so ago).

    Jack Perry - August 17th, 2007
  42. Return it – tell them something doesn’t work on it – they’ll refund you your money and return to manufacturer for refund…

    Tracy - August 17th, 2007
  43. Do the smart thing–return it before your 30 days are up. Get your money back and buy a product from a company that still has good customer service (and if you find one, let me know who it is!)

    Michael - August 17th, 2007
  44. The first time we played back one of our trips, the symbol for our car was actually a little red car! We’ve played back a few trips since then and have not been able to get the little red car icon back, which is frustrating because we don’t know how we got it the first time. By the way, we have a Magellan Explorist 500LE (and love it) and play back our trips on PC.

    Anyone know how to get the little red car icon back?

    Cathy - September 3rd, 2007
  45. Buying optional equipment for the explorist 500 is exceptionally expensive through the Magellan website. $25 s/h for a battery? Give me a break.
    I picked up a battery and some other goodies on ebay dirt cheap. My explorist 300 didn’t eat batteries like the 500 does… even on low light.

    hugh - September 15th, 2007
  46. I purchased the 500 LE because I found a good deal on one. It does an admirable job of tracking routes, determines location reasonably fast at power up and I found it to be very accurate and functional in outdoor and in auto traveling situations. What troubles me about these units: 1) battery life is wretched, especially if you brighten the display enough to actually see it. 2) Loaded base map on the SE is pretty weak. A lot of major routes are missing, though I concede that it seems to know the interstates and U.S. Highways pretty well. 3) Replacement maps with more detail are more expensive than the unit itself. It reminds me of a razor. You buy one razor with two blades for less than you pay for a package of three replacement blades. Once they get you on the purchase of the unit, they murder you on upgrades and replacement components. Still, you can find second hand and discount retailers to take out some of the sting — but a good map is still awfully high, even at half retail price.

    Brian - September 18th, 2007
  47. I have had the 500 LE for almost a year, and I would not recommend it to anyone. They seem to have a problem that when they get cold you either get a NAND error message or the base map miraculously disappears. Either way, you can’t fix it when you’re in the field. Like I said, I’ve had the unit almost a year and I’ve had to leave it behind for all but one backpacking trip. It has been a waste of money for me and I will soon be replacing it with a Garmin. Also, if you have ever had to deal with tech support, you’ll want to pull out your own hair. I’ve sent the unit it twice so far for the same issue, and they will not send me a different unit of the same model. All in all, I will never purchase another magellan product again.

    Jason - October 17th, 2007
  48. I do alot of hiking in the bush (Southern BC – Vancouver Island) primarily building horseback riding trails. I currently own the Magellan Explorist 200, which doesn’t have any downloading capabilities. I was looking to upgrade to the Explorist 500 LE and wanted some feedback on this choice. What I really want to do is to log waypoints and routes, and then be able to download the data so I can print out a map (my map). Thanks for any feedback on this. Erica

    Erica Blake - November 3rd, 2007
  49. Hi, i need something that will give me, distance,speed average, speed maximun and actual speed for when i do dogs sledding. It’s done in forest, on small trails and in the winter (very cold) Id like to be able to see the route i did too. If it can do more, even better, but basicaly thats what i need. Any suggestion? Thanks

    Nancy - December 9th, 2007
  50. Need help- I am leving for Iraq soon and I want to purchase a GPS that will work for me while I am out there. Any suggestions which one to go with without having to pay an arm and a leg? Thanks in advance for your suggestions

    James - December 13th, 2007
  51. Worst customer service ever. I bought a 500LE with a deal to buy Mapsend Topo 3D maps. I live in Canada. I downloaded and paid for the maps. They gave me the unlock code for the maps – US maps. They will not let me get Canadian maps – unless I pay full price. They won’t refund my money. Magellan is a rip-off I’m taking my unit back and buying a Garmin.

    Bob - January 11th, 2008
  52. Just purchased this unit a couple days ago because of a fantastic closeout price at a local chain that we all love to hate. If I were to read these reviews first, I doubt I would have purchased it.

    Gave the unit a pretty good workout yesterday of a noon-time 3.5-mile walk. I also have a Garmin eTrex Legend, so have something to compare it with.

    The 500 LE is easier to use, but doesn’t give as much information as the eTrex. Speed of acquisition of both units are on par with each other.

    Did have occasion to call customer no-service. Absolutely horrible! They will not long be in business if they continue to treat their customers this way.

    Written documentation provided with the unit is poor, but there are PDF docs on the disk.

    If I were to purchase again, I probably wouldn’t.

    Steven - January 18th, 2008
  53. if i just leave my 500 le (north america) running on a desk, rechargable AAA batteries last for 1-2 hours and alcaline batteries for 3-4 hours. the most dissapointing thing though is how magellan try to make you believe that you purchased a functional unit — the base maps are worthless, so you have to either spend another $200 on maps or return the unit for a refund.

    gm - January 29th, 2008
  54. I just bought a 500LE but have not received it in the mail. I wish I had fount this site and read these postings, I think I will send it back for a refund fast!

    John - January 31st, 2008
  55. Bought the magellan 500 le for xmas. husband finally had a chance to use it. found out the base maps were useless so tried to purchase additional. You have to register the unit first. I kept getting error messages regarding the serial number so called customer service. The worst customer service ever! Talked to them for an hour before they told me there website was being updated and for me to wait an additional 48 hours. I waited 72 hours same problem. Called again and now they say have to wait an additional 5-10 business days. I questioned them that why they do not post on the website that they are having a problem so the consumer would be aware of this prior to purchase. Basically the unit i purchased is useless and they sure do not want to compensate you in any way. I would not reccomend this unit to anyone because of the service. I wish i would have thought to check out the reviews before purchasing. Pretty sad when you have to wait 3 weeks before using a product. i have never encountered such poor service from a company before. i certainly let the chain that i bought this piece of crap from know that i think they should not even be selling this product. i live in ontario canada. my advice to magellan. Get better or file for bankruptsy

    Dawn - February 14th, 2008
  56. Recieved 500LE as a gift. Not happy at all. Attempted to register product. Website said my zipcode didn’t match the city. Well it was the correct. Thought ok, will use moms address. Same exact thing, wrong zip / city. Whatever! Next day attempt to register again using same zip and city, this time it works?? hmmm. Attempt to unlock maps. Site says I am not using correct serial. Serial matches battery compartment sitcker, the box sticker, and firmware information. Whatever!!!!!!!!

    Brother has a 600. Only thing diffrent is that his came with rechargable battery and contains Weather in menu. He says that the weather info is effected when being held??

    Basemap is very lame, what even more lame is that you have to purchase maps and astronomical prices….USB Data Cable Connector is redicious, you got to love the fact that I stumbled on the info of having the cord running down from another site other than megalames FAQ! Magalan is Megalame! MapSend is pure crap….Someone need to hack their maps and post them for free, they deserve it!

    Will put right back in the box and get refunded.

    TraB! - February 19th, 2008
  57. I also just bought the 500LE at a great close out $. I also could not register the product. The product isn’t Vista Compatable. Windows XP works great up dated and reconized unit right off. Updates good with windows xp. Now today 2-20-08 was the first day to Geocaching. Me Magellan 500LE my friend Garmin etrex. The 500LE booted up faster was more accurate on position distance and more street maps and street names than the garmin. Now the real CONS. 1. CUSTOMER Service HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE! 2. Not vista ompatable. 3. Geocaching doesn’t support Magellan to direct upload from web site. Now for the PRO’s– 1. I got a great deal regular price $199.95 got it new for $27.00 from major retailer Closeout. It does work great. Yea, I do have to manually load my POI’s but unit works great. I can’t really complain with it because of the price I got it for.

    Russ D - February 20th, 2008
  58. Is there any way to increase the sampling rate of one of these? Mine seems to sample about once per minute, which is way slow on a Mountain bike. I can’t see how to change it.

    David C - February 24th, 2008
  59. Any recommendations for a good unit to use on a small boat, mostly intercoastal navigation? My Garmin 76 appears to have died.

    Tom D. - March 16th, 2008
  60. Explorist 500LE is no longer supported as of May 2008. Their web page will not accept an Explorist serial number to obtain an unlock code. It they say it will be fixed in X number of days, this is “Dog” days. Multiply by 7 and add the last page number of the book you read last to get the days. I could not find any download maps for the Explorist at their web site.

    Larry - May 11th, 2008
  61. Does the unit come with Already Downloaded maps?
    Or do you have to download them onto your unit with your computer?

    Luke - June 29th, 2008
  62. Bought on closeout sale. What a piece of junk and never mind customer service! I ordered the Li-ion battery from magellan as I am in Canada and they would like an additional $50 to ship it…right. I ordered it to a friends house in the US for $6.00 shipping. They combined the US and Canada address to make up some unique one. I contacted them to correct this and they still shipped it out. Finally got it with no cable. They said I had to ship it back at my cost and they would send me a new one. Are you kidding Magellan!! Do yourself a favour, don’t even look at a Magellan no matter the price as you will pay for it down the road!

    Fran - July 14th, 2008
  63. Great unit. I bought it for [snip] and $10 more for MapSend Topo USA. Registered on site with no problem. Upgraded FW to 2.57 this weekend. Cusomizable screens are great. Updates about 1/second which is fine for biking even road use, but I would use a car GPS for that. The screen is too small for auto navigation. Works great for walking, biking, hiking, plane trips, but you don’t get USGS type trail markings on Topo USA. Use it with a real USGS map to plot and upload a trail onto this unit.

    I have software loaded on 3 computers, but it is locked to one GPS serial number which is fine with me since I have only one unit.

    The entire USA can fit on a 2GB SD card, but it will take hours to load because a region can hold about 122MB and that would cover about 10% of the US.

    Roy - July 28th, 2008
  64. where in the manual does it tell you to flip the cable over to be on file transfer mode? = 2hrs wasted time. I can see where this is headed.

    Flint - August 3rd, 2008
  65. I have an explorist 500 north america gps and it has lost the ability to use the waas satilites, is there a way to get this unit to find these?? I am very dissapointed, next gps will be a garmin

    Lyle - August 5th, 2008
  66. DO NOT PURCHASE THE EXPLORIST 500! Horrendous customer service. Poor product support. Expensive accessories. Website for Magellan is not properly maintained. The Explorist is not user friendly. Again, unless you get the Explorist for free or really cheap – I would not buy.

    Paul - August 19th, 2008
  67. in september of this year I am taking a long recumbent trike ride from cleveland ohio to dallas texas. this would be a long trip for anyone let alone someone that is a 100% disabled combat veteran. what I need is something that will help me get to each stop everynight that wil not break the bank also. unless you know of someone that is willing to donate one to my cause (see my website) http://www.mybigride09.com

    Lee - February 28th, 2009
  68. I bought this Magellan eXplorist 500 LE few months ago and I am happy to buy it. It has good functionalities. It is too much stylish. It is user friendly product. I like it.
    Well thanks for sharing such nice information here. It is nice to visit this site.

    jeux xbox 360 - September 21st, 2009
  69. I bought the 500Se last year and I wish now that I had found this web site first. It is basically a high price piece of junk! The customer service might as well not even be there. I have made several calls and spent several hours trying to get info and help with no response. Save you money or buy a Garmin.

    John B. - September 22nd, 2009
  70. I have the explorist 500….it is not user friendly at all…the directories are a pain to figure out and the battery cable is a complete joke….do yourself a favor and ‘go garmin’…..

    Eddie - October 21st, 2009
  71. Bought magella explorist 500 LE back in December 2008.Used more batteries than one can immagine {battery life is horrible on this machine} and the mapping system which comes with the unit is horrible. Tried to understand its operation but could not. I put it back in its box after 2 months of trying. It is now 2010 and I’ve tried to conquer it again but with no success. Very poor Gps and not user friendly. Would not recommend anyone buying it.

    Joe - January 20th, 2010
  72. These have loooong learning curve. I eventually purchased a help CD which was very helpful. The map can be upgraded by purchasing a TOPO CD. This was helpful also. I have seen some Garmins and some of there maps weren’t any better untill detailed maps were added.

    Mark - April 30th, 2010
  73. I bought this unit several years ago and for the most part I love it. There was a learning curve involved but I am not a genius and I figured it out. The only complaint I currently have is that they no longer support the map. The battery life with the optional lithium ion battery is great. About 12 hours if you don’t play with it to much.

    Robert - November 3rd, 2010
  74. Have been using eXplorists 400, 500 & 600 extensively since Nov. 2006, for hiking and cycling. After original unit I bought the others s/h on ebay. All have and still do work well, but if starting out again I would go for Garmin because Magellan is not widely used, and there is a long slow and lonely learning curve.

    Here in Australia support was until recently provided by Next Destination, who were absolutely top class, unlike you know who. They no longer handle Magellan, and their web site advises that Magellan has recently been taken over by Mitac – reputable Taiwanese major. MG have recently released the eXplorist 410, 510, 610 and 710, but from the reviews I have read, then I would be reluctant to buy. (and if I wanted an mp3 player, a recorder or a camera I would look elsewhere)

    Battery life for the 610 is rated at 12 hrs in a review I read this week, which the reviewer says is adequate. Rubbish – with my old 400 got 18 hrs+, and with 500 get about 15, and about 12 with the 600. Only diff wifh the 600 over 500 is the electronic compass and barometric altimeter – neither of which I ever use. Have done extensive testing and swapped batteries from one unit to the other – always get the same. 600 chews up the power, and if you leave it on the bright display then times are halved. Just not enough for on long day or multi day trips.

    Agree maps are expensive. Discover Aus streets & Topo was $299 last time I checked. At least the detail is good.

    Mapsend Lite software is out of the arc, and is extremely limited and cumbersome to use. Primitive really.

    Individual routes can only consist of 50 points max, which is very limited. Garmin had 125 when i last checked. Magellan’s response was that 50 points were plenty. Obviously they had never been on any hiking trips. New units still only have 50 points. On this alone I wouldn’t buy one.

    Old units cannot do tracklogs at specified time intervals – others can. Not sure about new range.

    The old units also had a limit of 2000 track points, after that each time another point is added, one is dropped from the other end. The new 410, 510, 610 710 series now allow 10000 points which matches Garmin.

    You can get replacement Lithium batteries fron eBay for less than $10 incl postage. Ones I tried are OK, but don’t run as long as Magellan originals. Note all batteries lose their capacity over a few years, and eventually need to be replaced.

    I can highly recommend the MemoryMap maps and software, which i use on the computer, although you can only transfer tracks and routes into the gps, not the maps. They make gps’s too, so maybe worth a serious look. Actually the maps are more important than the gps.

    And finally, check out site gpsies.com which has a range of world wide maps and route preparation software for all your computer work relating to your gps work. And it reads and exports in a huge range of formats.

    Oh yes, another thing about the eXplorists. The old units only supported Magellans proprietory formats, but at least the new ones can apparently record and read gpx, which is important.

    Hope some of this is of interest to others.

    Will probably get a Garmin GPSmap60cs or similar soon, if the US does not cause the global financial system to implode first.

    Robert Melville - July 29th, 2011

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