GPS receivers and cables

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Choosing the right GPS receiver

Recommend going for black and white displays as:

  • Colour displays are hard to read and have less battery life
  • Colour (TFT) displays need a backlight to read them in daylight, kills battery life

Also consider:

  • how much active logging memory it has
  • how frequently it logs a point
  • whether you want a map
  • does it record height as well as position, some old units don't

We like the following GPS receivers for hang gliding:

  • Garmin Etrex Vista H can be bought for around £115 inc P&P and is also USB. Will do most of what you want for starting out in competitions and easy to use. Screen unfortunately not quite as good as the older serial version. Can also put airspace on.

Suggestions for mounting GPS on hang glider:

  • On basebar using gps bike holder and longer screw (note, the garmin thread is not metric but imperial) - not good if towing
  • Modify a car kit to fix to your existing vario if a large old one like mine


Manufacturer's cables (if not USB) are expensive, it's where they make profit margins. You can get cheap equivalents from pfranc 'open source' hardware suppliers here


  • Watch out when saving tracks on some units. The Garmin Etrex series remove the altitude from traces when 'save' to internal memory. Just leave everything in active memory.