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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. Topo 2008 generally doesn't show trails, because it's a 1:100K map. To see major trails, you normally have to get a 1:24K set, like Garmins US Topo National Parks maps. And not even those show all trails.
  2. Oh, come on! Isn't it fun doing the Calibration Shuffle. I know it sure is fun to watch!
  3. "Strike that; reverse it!" (--Willy Wonka) I am finding that I need to calibrate just about every time I turn on my 60CSx.
  4. I have a bad route on my 'Your Created Routes' page. The route is empty, and the map for the route is of Seattle, instead of Chicago to Milwaukee. I can't delete the route, and I can't rename it. Is there any workaround that will allow me to deep-six this route? Thanks.
  5. Shame on the salesman--he snookered you. Absolutely take the unit back! As to what to replace it with--Garmin has upgraded the eTrex line with a series of 'H' models. 'H' for high-sensitivity receivers. I think you will find they perform about as well as the Magellan. If you want a bare-bones unit for geocaching, the eTrex H will do. I find that a map helps, but be aware that the 'basemap' in these units is of very limited use. You have to buy downloadable maps from Garmin. So, a Legend would be a good fit if you want mapping and don't mind shelling out another $100 for maps, on top of the unit price. The screen on the Vista that you have is typical of handheld screens. Auto-nav units run with the backlight on all the time. Handhelds run without it, to conserve battery life. An auto-nav unit can run an hour or two on its internal batteries; a handheld can run 20-30 hours on a couple of double-As. BTW, don't feel bad about your experience. We all start as newbies, and the fault lies with the sales person for taking advantage of your trust in him.
  6. Good idea--I just added ours to our forum signature (see below).
  7. IMHO, the 60CSx has a slight edge due to the compass. I can get a good heading to the cache even when I am standing still.
  8. Okay, let's make this even tougher: The Vista is smaller than the 60CSx--you can put it in your pocket. In other words, the 60CSx (my preferred unit) is bigger and clunkier. But it's built rock-solid. Both units are going to perform about the same. The Vista screen is fine (I used to have a Vista), and I wouldn't say it was flimsy--it had about the same durability as a cell phone. So it comes down to smaller and less expensive versus sturdier and more expensive.
  9. Thanks imajeep for replying, I double checked and its not in demo mode.. and I use the unit, it works great. My problem is Mapsource software itself, when I send do my unit it says "send to unit in DEMO-ONLY format".. It works, so Im going to ignore it and click yes everytime, it just doesnt seem right. That really is quite odd. I've never seen MapSource do that. Might be worth a call to Garmin tech support. They are generally pretty helpful.
  10. Nope--shading is only on the PC display. But the GPSr shows street names, which is a huge improvement over the previous version!
  11. You have to load caches to your GPSr for it to recognize them. When people say a cache 'popped up', they mean that they had previously loaded all caches for a large area into their GPSr, and left the GPSr on as they drove through the area on some other errand. If a cache pops up, they'll stop and grab it.
  12. We went 0 for 5 the first morning we went out hunting for micros. It takes a few trips to get the hang of how these things are hidden. Some tips: -- Lamp posts are popular hiding spots (and considered lame by many). Most lamp posts (and flag poles, and bike racks) have 'skirts', metal collars that fit over the bottom to hide the bolts that attach them to the concrete. These collars generally slide upwards, which is why they are popiular hiding spots. -- Park benches are popular hiding spots. Sometimes a micro will be a magnetic key case that is attached to the underside of the bench. Other times, velcro is used. These hides can be quite clever (for example, a set of coordinates to a second stage on a flat magnet on the inside of the tube that makes up the frame of a park bench), and you have to look pretty closely to find it. -- Fence posts are very popular. Most people dont realize that the caps on chain-link and plastic fence posts lift off. We've seen all kinds of micros, and even some minis, stored there. -- Camoflouge is always popular. We've seen micros inside fake residential doorbells attached to the side of commercial entrances, fake pieces attached to waste bins, and a micro made up to look like a sign on a fence--it folded out to reveal the log. -- Guard rails are popular. We've found a bunch of micros in magnetic key cases slapped to the back of guard rails. -- Small trees are popular hiding spots. We seen micros attached to fishing line and dropped down knotholes, with the fishing line anchored to the tree by a very small eye-hook, and another micro in an abandoned birds nest. -- Sometimes, hides will be 'evil'. We did one recently where the GPSr pointed directly at a lamppost, but nothing was there. We found the micro stuck up the inside of a park bench fifteen feet away. I don't know if the cache owner deliberately provided red-herring coordinates, but sometimes one wonders. That should be enough to get you going. Once you have found a few micros, you will start developing a geosense for them. Lamp posts will be come so obvious that you will groan every time your GPSr leads you to one.
  13. It's really a matter of personal preference. I like the 60CSx because it has a bigger screen, controls that I like better, and it's pretty sturdy. I've dropped mine a few times, with no ill effects. Plus, the 60CSx has an external antenna connector, which I use occasionally while canyon-hiking. So, the question is, are those benefits worth $120 to you?
  14. I only download the local area I'm working with. Typically, that's my home area (Chicagoland) which fits with no problem. When I'm in LA (we're moving there), I load the entire metro area and the San Bernadinos with no problem. If I'm hiking, I generally load all of the map segements around the route that I plot (MapSource does that automatically). My MapSource is on my laptop, which travels with me, so its no problem to swap maps in and out of the GPSr.
  15. Depends on who it is. If a LEO, they are generally familiar with geocaching and interested in my GPSr. If an ordinary muggle, I'm sometimes looking for lost keys, and occasionally looking for a contact lens that fell out here yesterday. If the person appears trustworthy, I'll tell them its Internet hide and seek for GPS enthusiasts, and that the object of the game is to sign a log (well, it is for me ).
  16. AFAIK, Garmin doesn't "control what can be loaded to their units" any more than other manufacturers. Maybe this will help: Garmin MapSource can open proprietary Garmin files (GDBs), Geocaching.com files (LOCs) or industry-standard files (GPXs). I think most other units load their proprietary formats, or GPXs. So you don't need any special software to load cache waypoints into your Garmin unit. Simply download the LOC file for the cache (there is a button to do this on each cache page), and open the LOC file in MapSource and download to your GPSr. If you enter coordinates for a lot of caches at once, then use a Pocket Query (requires premium membership) to create a single GPX file of all the caches you want to load. Then, simply open the GPX file in MapSource and download all coordinates in bulk to your GPSr. GSAK is a nice program, but you don't need it to download coordinates to your GPSr. What GSAK does is maintain a local database of caches on your machine. Some people download all caches in an area (dozens or hundreds) to GSAK, and then they work from that. Other people (like me), simply download the caches they want to hunt on a particular day (a dozen or so) directly from geocaching.com to MapSource. It's really a matter of preference.
  17. Quite to the contrary--they all go together, it the demand for minting services exceeds the supply. If you've got all the business you can handle, and then some, quality will go south, and price will go north.
  18. GDB file waypoints can't have the same name. I think you will need to edit the CSV file to add discriminators to the waypoint names "tree1", "tree2", and so on.
  19. The 60CSx has a larger screen, and IMHO is more durable. I've dropped mine a couple of times, with no ill effects. Plus, it has an external antenna connection for really challenging environments. I don't think you will regret paying extra for the 60CSx.
  20. I'm using a Palm Z22 with Vista, with no issues. You might try checking Palm's web site for the latest software.
  21. Perhaps--but with HD sizes increasing every year, 4 GB becomes less of a load. If you have a 150 GB hard drive (normal for laptops these days), it takes up less than 3% of your HD capacity. You can reduce the load by buying a used US Topo v. 3 on eBay. It runs from CD, so there is minimal load on your system.
  22. Actually, it's not the antenna, but the SIRF III chipset. I use a 60 CSx and swear by it. But the eTrex 'H' models also have a high-sensitivity chipset (not SIRF III, but rumored to be just as good), and they are about $100-$150 less expensive than my GPSr.
  23. You don't want to save from Google Earth. Google Earth is what you're uploading to. Here's how to demo the process. Go to the 'Caches along a Route' page and select one of the links on the right. It doesn't matter which one. You will be taken to a second page. Look at the bottom of the 'Route Information' section. You will have three choices: (1) Create Pocket Query, (2) Create Pocket Query, or (3) Create KML of Route. You can actually select (2) or (3), but (3) is a little easier to load into Google Earth, since it defaults to KML files. So, create your KML file. Now, launch Google Earth and select File > Oprn. Navigate to your KML file and open it. The route and caches along the route will appear in Google Earth.
  24. If you will be caching in the woods, a high-sensitivity receiver is a must. The Garmin eTrex 'H' models seem to be good (they are brand new), and the Garmin GPSmap 60CSx is the acknowledged leader in the Garmin line. It's pricey, though.
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