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Everything posted by Jeep4two

  1. I struggled with this same issue when I first got my Oregon 400t. I quickly found that uploading to Geocaching.com was the easiest way to view my notes but am still frustrated that I can't view them on the unit. I've been known to edit the geocaching_visits.txt file before uploading to streamline the logging process. It is after all a fairly simple txt file. I still wish there was a more refined support of the Geocaching functions on the Oregon. I wish there was a landscape view mode when in automotive navigation mode too - oh and a qwerty keyboard in landscape display too Oh - how I wish I was a programmer/hacker
  2. Don't use the quotes in your search And remember - you don't get any maps - just the application which will read GDB files, thereby enabling you to open a GDB file, then save as GPX. Then send the GPX to your device (save it in your x:\garmin\gpx folder where x = the drive letter for your unit). Open the track using your Track Manager on the 400t. A bonus is that if you get free maps from www.gpsfiledepot.com they will be available in Mapsource.
  3. Try a google search for "free mapsource" Click the first search result and read the first post - that should take care of you.
  4. I gave the ole Rayovac Renewals a shot when they came out. They were OK. They had short life in high drain devices and like other alkaline batteries were prone to leaking if left in a device fully discharged. I ultimately tossed them all. I also only got a few dozen charges out of them before they were virtually worthless. NiMH is the way to go. Not sure about that particular charger.
  5. It seems that maybe there's some confusion about whether some of the posters are using Lithium Ion rechargeable cells and Nickle Metal Hydride cells. Most interchangeable AA rechargeable sold on today's market are NiMh (Nickle Metal Hydride). Back to the OP - I'll echo the statements from our Corps of Engineers friend. It depends on your usage on whether most would benefit from rechargeable AA's or Alkaline AA's. However if you get a unit that has a Lithium Ion battery pack included you will be limited on your battery choices, usually having to buy packs made specifically for your unit and often not field replaceable like typical AA batteries. I personally have found today's rechargeable AA NiMH batteries (2500 mAh rated) are fine for my uses (occasional caching, with plenty of notice before heading out to charge 6 or 8 extra batteries to take along in the cache bag - enough for a full weekend of caching or hiking typically). I don't really like the idea of batteries getting low or dying in the field and no way to change them out. The NiMH battery has advanced quite a bit as well. There are now low discharge NiMH batteries that have slightly lower mAh ratings (slightly shorter run time) but won't discharge nearly as much when not in use. Search the forums for threads on the NiMH technology and you'll see lots of debates on which brand is better, whether to use regular NiMH or Low Discharge types and similar topics. If you choose a unit that uses AA batteries and you go with NiMH just remember. Charge your batteries before going out and always have a spare set of alkalines for emergency use just in case. A set of plastic cases for your NiMH batteries is a good idea to keep them from shorting in a pocket, backpack or cache bag too. I picked up a set of eight 4 cell holders on evilBay for under $6.00 including shipping. Some batteries will come with holders/cases as well.
  6. Thanks - I may look at that if time allows. I've honestly go to admit that I was hoping for a streamlined process but understand that both the level of the 210 and the age of the unit limit some things. Just wish I could drop a GPX file on there and tell it to 'always show on map' but from what I can see the OS just doesn't handle data like that. Thanks again -
  7. As ecanderson suggested contacting Geocaching organizations and trying to pool resources is a great way to approach this. Other ideas: Check with your local Agricultural Extension and/or 4H offices. They may have access to some units and be willing to allow you to use them for your event. I was able to get a kit of 30 eTrex H units from my regional 4H offices. Keep in mind the expense of these units and the fact that having good connections may be required to get that kind of a loan. I was lucky. Other organizations like local schools, libraries and parks (state, local, county parks etc) may have units that they use for activities. Again a good connection to those organizations may be required - but my local high school made 4 eTrex Summits available to me once as well. If you can't come up with 10-15 units, consider teaming your families up into larger groups. That works well too. I was at an event at a local state park and a fair number of families staying at the park got wind of the event and came over. A number of caching families took them along for the days hiking and caching and it worked out very well. Best of luck.
  8. Yup, gotta few of each, lol. Lowrance Endura Sierra, Lowrance IFinder GO, DeLorme PN-40SE, DeLorme PN-40 w/ Topo USA 8.0, Garmin Colorado 400i, Garmin Oregon 200, Garmin eTrex Vista HCx, Garmin 76CSX, Garmin GPS40, Ipaq HX 4700 w/ Pharos 360 CF, Be safe. N Now that's what I call a well rounded and unbiased cacher. Toss in a Magellan and you've got it covered. My first was an eTrex Legend and after tons of research and hadn wringing I ended up with the Oregon 400t. I've never looked back and love virtually all aspects of the unit. I've got a Nuvi 255WT which is a nice in car unit too - but the lucky drawing gods sent that our way. I doubt I would have shelled out any money for an in car unit.
  9. I tested outside yesterday. Loading a GPX trail to the unit's Track Logs folder doesn't work. I loaded it using EasyGPS which converts it to the proper format for the 210, but while I can select the track and can navigate it on the unit it only shows when it's selected as a navigation point. I'm guessing I need to have it converted to an overlay map somehow and added to the Detail Maps folder to open there. More Googling in my future I think.
  10. I don't have those menu featurs on the 210. I've got the map setup to show tracks. Showing the tracks would be sufficient. I can get them to view on map (Menu > Track Log > Select Track Log) but that only shows it until I x (ESC) out of that page. I'll test later today but I think it will show if i navigate that tracklog but my users won't need to do that - I'm just going for screen based mapping reference (a 'you are here' kinda thing).
  11. Thanks for the tip. I've tried that method but while I can see the tracks on the unit, they don't show on the map screen. Is there a way to force saved tracks to always show on the map screen?
  12. You could just copy and paste the GPX files from your Pocket Query to the x:\Garmin\GPX folder (where x: is the drive letter of your unit, or microSD card in the unit). That would seem easier to me if you are using pocket queries. The just delete queries that are no longer needed (or move them to another folder to keep them from being read by the unit).
  13. Most likely yes. Poor reception can cause erratic behavior of all the features of the unit. 75-100 feet seems to say you had marginal signal at best, probably only 3 or 4 satellites with weak signal. How were you carrying the unit? Holding it out away from your body, or clipping it to the shoulder strap of your backpack is a great way to ensure it gets better signal in challenging conditions.
  14. I think the form factor, size and combination of features found on the Venture HC make it a nice candidate, adn the Legend HCx only clocks in around $170 or so these days. Those make nice starter units in that price range. However - an 'ideal' unit would have to include the ability to A) hold 5000 or more caches via GPX files or allow editing or selecting which GPX files (pocket queries) to load on demand without using a PC. No map included but support for loading my own maps. No routing needed. Waypoint Averaging, Track Manager, Waypoint Manager, Geocache Maanger, Trip Computer and Compass Screens are all that is really needed. The other applications could be flushed. Touch Screen not needed - a simple and reliable joystick and a couple input buttons work fine. USB 2.0 support for transferring files via standard USB to miniUSB cables and a microSD card slot allowing users to decide how much storage the needed. A minimal amount of built in memory would be needed to handle tracks and other light data storage. I still see all that fitting into the sub $150 price point difficult. I think that Magellan has probably done a good job of hitting the package overall with their new GC model. I bet Garmin makes a stab at that market if the Magellan Explorist GC takes off.
  15. I'm using some Explorist 210 units for a team building event that I'm holding using Geocaching as the primary activity. I'm not terribly familiar with the explorist or Magellan units but know how to make overlay maps for the Garmins. Is there a way to convert GPX track files to some sort of overlay map for the Explorist? This event will have groups/teams out on some of the park trails (that I have GPX tracks for) and having the trails appear on the GPSr would be very handy in helping the teams navigate the area. All the participants are from 'out of town' and mostly non-hikers so the GPSr would be a handy tool to give them reference of where they are on the trail maps. I've googled but haven't found anything yet. Thanks for any tips or help you may be able to throw my way.
  16. The posts here are pretty much on track. The eTrex H is a good basic unit and will do fine for getting started. Remember the eTrex H has NO Maps (only shows tracks and waypoints on the Map screen) and doesn't include hardly any real bells or whistles. As others said the PC cable is a must - manualling entering waypoints on the eTrex H is a major pain. The Venture HC is a much better unit if your budget allows (eTrex H markets dictates about $80 USD for a new unit - slightly less if you are patient on eBay and the Venture HC about $120 USD new, and somewhere only very slightly less used). (prices for new came from Walmart.com) The Venture gives you the Dpad Joystick making entering waypoints and such much much easier while in the field. Of course the color screen and support for maps like topos or street maps make it even more useful. The Venture HC makes a much better intermediate starter GPS if your budget can stand $40 more on the front end investment and it includes a USB cable saving you that additional cost for the lower end H. Just a little tip when dealing with the eTrex line. The letter codes at the end of the name will tell you a lot about the feature set. H = High sensitivity (all units sold new at reputable retailers should be H units), C = Color Screen, and x = expandable memory. The HC has a little memory for maps (24Mb) so that is fine for small areas of street maps, and larger areas of Topos. But you'll eat up 24Mb pretty quick. However going to any of the x series units bumps the price up significantly - closer to $170 ($166 actually) for the Legend HCx at Walmart. Disclaimer - I'm not a fan of Walmart, and avoid them typically but their prices on the eTrex units have been quite good lately. But note that their prices to change regularly (for example a few weeks ago the eTrex H was $70.69, then just a few days later it was $79 something).
  17. Be aware: The OSM World Routable maps for the Garmin are OK. However the routing and directions can be squirrely at times. I've tried them in the past on my 400t and found that often times roads end then restart (triggering U turns, or just plain bad directions) and sometimes the data is bad too. They are freeware - so the price is certianly right and if you have good common sense they are fine. If you want a reliable solution the Garmin City Navigator product may be worth the investment. Or if you don't mind slightly outdated maps the older Metroguide North American is OK too. You'll have to do a little conversion on the Metroguide maps to make them routable using a free utility called Metrowizzz (extra z's intended). On my Oregon I use the Metrowizzz converted Metroguide 6 North American maps for routing while out caching in areas I'm familiar with. When outside my home area I bring the Nufi 255wt along with me for street level navigation (with caches loaded on the Nuvi using the Nuvi Macro in GSAK). Another thing to consider is a refurbished in-car navigation GPSr (Nuvi 205 or similar) that can give you more up to date and dependable maps with turn by turn while in the car - of course that's not an all in one solution. FWIW: Metroguide North American V6 can be picked up on evilBay for about $55 shipped, newer versions of Metroguide North America are also listed on eBay for slightly more $$ but still less than the $99 going rate for City Navigator NA.
  18. Double check your map datums in the setup (system menu I think). Not sure if that could be it for such a small distance but worth checking. All coords on the Geocaching site are WGS84 datum. I've used the eTrex H (and also have an older eTrex Legend) and I've rarely ran into inaccuracy like that - and when I did it was consistent with other finders logs. And even then I can only think of a few caches that were off more than 30 or 40 feet.
  19. I think this is almost a universal issue. Here in Ky they seem more active than in previous years as well. Both #1 and I have pulled numerous ticks off even when using well established and clear trails. Tick checks are now a regular part of our hiking/caching activities.
  20. If you have sat reception, the coord/sat signal screen will show your lat/lon regardless of having maps loaded to the best of my knowledge.
  21. Can you provide a link to the page where you are getting these maps? I'm not familiar with Garmin offering any free downloadable maps.
  22. On my Oregon 400t I don't think there is a setting for that. I believe the unit adjusts the proximity alarm based on speed of approach. I've noticed if I'm walking slower (like a few weeks ago while looking at/for wildflowers) that the alarm is much closer than when walking at a normal pace (or even driving).
  23. Subscribed to this thread. Interesting experiment and looks to be an interesting and possibly remote location. Looking forward to pics and stories of the recovery - wish I was closer.
  24. That's good to hear. Too much planning to do to worry about the technology getting in the way.
  25. Thanks - I'm hoping they perform better than my old eTrex Legend (aka, ole Blue). The Legend gets pretty difficult to use in heavy tree cover. I think I'll have them to play with on Monday if things work out. Supposed to be a bunch of cables to streamline loading the caches. I'll only be adding 12 or15 hides ot the uint for this special event. Thanks for the tips!
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