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Posts posted by user13371

  1. a way of telling from the pocket queries email or the file he many caches are in it

    Lots of ways. When you first submit the query the GC.com website will tell you how many search results it contains. On the geocaching.com/pocket query page, you can preview the query also. On the download page, you can see how many caches are in the file you're about to download. Once it's on your computers you can also open the resulting GPX file with Google Earth or Garmin Basecamp or MapSource (but not Mapsend) to see.


    It may be normal for the listing page on the GPS to only show 20 nearestsearch results. I seem to recall reading something like that, somewhere. But since I never use that screen on the GPS to look at the complete list I don't know -- and I am so lazy this afternoon I'm not getting up from my comfy chair to go look at the GPS. Maybe someone else could check that for you?

  2. But an electrician would be the last person I'd ask.


    What matters to me is how often I have to stop to change batteries, how many batteries I need to carry for an outing. If WAAS being or or off doesn't change those details, then whether or not it uses more power doesn't matter to me. Garmin advertises battery life of 20 hours for the Dakota and 25 hours for the eTrex. I know from my own use that the eTrex number is realistic, maybe even conservative. If WAAS took a 10% bite out of that runtime, it's still more than sun-up to sun-down, and likely a whole weekend of real-world use on one set of freshly charged cells.


    I'm really just saying this because I said folks could argue about this until the popcorn runs out :D

  3. I believe the 20 only holds 2K caches. I've never actually tried more but 2K is the number from Garmin's specs. But based on other inconsistencies among various Garmin pages on their site, I'm not sure I trust their info...

    The inconsistency is because Garmin's product pages advertise how many WAYPOINTS these things will hold, but GEOCACHES are counted separately, don't count against the waypoint limit, and have their own unadvertised limit.


    I emailed Garmin tech support and asked specifically how many geocaches the new eTrexes would hold; reply was 2000 for the eTrex 10, 5000 for both the 20 & 30.


    But in real use of my eTrex 10, I can rarely load more than 500 without getting "low memory" errors. After some testing on my own, it looks to me like any combination of GPX files totaling more than around 3MB in size will trigger that error. And there's no way to get 2000 geocaches with descriptions and logs into that tiny space.


    And I think that's the reason Garmin doesn't advertise how many geocaches the devices (not just eTrex x0 series; also Dakotas, Oregons, and other new-ish models) will hold. They might have 5000 "slots" in memory for them, but with caches descriptions and logs being variable and potentially huge in size, there are other ways for them to run out of space.

  4. Difficult to measure battery drain but logic says if the processors working harder it must have some effect

    I have a couple of admittedly unscientific thoughts on that:


    1) If it's difficult to measure, it's usually not worth worrying about.


    2) It probably was a bigger issue on older models, diminishing to "difficult to measure" or even non-existent on current ones. Hardware and software progress, becoming capable of doing more, faster -- so the extra calculations become a smaller fraction of that capability.


    I used to think a color screen and hi-res maps would go through batteries faster than a monochrome screen just showing minimal block graphics and some numbers -- but Garmin advertises identical battery life for the eTrex 20 and 10. So my intuition about what drains the battery doesn't always match the real world.

  5. Benefits of WAAS/EGNOS -- more accurate and stable fixes. On current models the difference in battery drain should be tiny or even non-measurable.


    Folks will argue this (and almost anything) until log after the popcorn runs out. So don't trust my word or anyone else's. Try it both ways for yourself or several outings. If you thing you can find any repeateable, measurable difference, go with what seems to work best for you.

  6. Unzip the pocket query file, it will contain one or two GPX files. The one that has "wpts" in the name contains "child waypoints," things like trailheads, parking spots, etc that the cache-owner though it would be helpful for you to have. Put both GPX files in the etrex's \GARMIN\GPX folder.


    Be aware on the eTrex 10 that of the total size of the GPX files are over 3MB you will get "low memory" errors. At least I did every time I tried. In practical terms that'll probably be to close to 500 geocaches.

  7. So anyhow.... back to the relevant topic of choosing between an eTrex 10 and 20... I bought the 10 a little over a month ago because I wanted ultra simple, mainly to use as a data logger on my bike and for some geocaching, and figured I didn't need a color screen or maps for that limited use.


    But I decided today to order an eTrex 20. Unless I find something really seriously bad about it, I'll probably put the 10 up for sale here or on eBay/craigslist/etc after a while.


    I still don't think need the maps or color screen myself, but I do have a problem with the memory limitations of the eTrex 10. A data managment problem more than anything else. I've got about 4000 traditional geocaches within 20 miles of home, and all of them fit on my iPhone. Not like I'll be searching for that many on any given day, but it'll be more convenient just to load the same, complete database on the GPS when I go out -- instead of trying to extract a subset that'll fit.


    Does that make sense?

  8. Since you mention an iPad and Topo maps, look at Topo Maps for iPad by Phil Endecott. There's another version for the iPhone as well -- really the very best mapping software I've found for the iDevices.


    What do you really have? An iPad? Which model - 3G or WiFi? Or a laptop - Windows or Mac? All of those details limit or guide your options.


    If you're really just thinking of having in the car/truck while you're driving, lots of gear & cabling would be an inconvenience, and there are better vehicle navigation options. If you're really out and about hiking, call it "lots of fragile and not weatherproof gear and cabling" -- and I'd have to wonder how much bigger screen do you really need than the self-contained Montana has?

  9. Y'know Spark, it kinda seems to me that most of what you want -- including simplicity -- could be done with the gear you have in hand. Buying an eTrex 20 would be a slick upgrade over the older eTrex H you already have, but it's not going to be any simpler to use.


    And some of the things you mentioned you want could already be done with your iPhone, without even turning the data service back on. and if you DID re-activate the contract, it'd be even more useful (though maybe more expensive than your flip-phone).


    I'm assuming you DO have a computer at home, even if you don't have WiFi service?


    - Buy Geosphere for the iPhone.

    - Set up a pocket query on GC.com to bulk download the geocaches in your area to your home computer.

    - Use iTunes to copy the pocket queries into Geosphere on the iPhone (cabled, not wireless)

    - Use Garmin Basecamp to copy waypoints to eTrex H (or complete geocache infor if you get a newer model)


    Your workflow is gonna be the same whether or not you have a new GPS, isn't it? It seems to me you're making it more complicated than it has to be now but going to the cafe for free WiFi to download your caches and then hand copying them to the eTrex.

  10. I use the pocket query feature to download caches in batches. Start here http://www.geocaching.com/pocket to create and download a pocket query -- once you get there you'll find it's easier to do than to explain :)


    With your current eTrex H you can use MapSend or Basecamp to send just the waypoints to your GPS. If you have one of the newer models you're thinking of getting, it'll also copy all the other cache info (description, hints, logs) as well.

  11. Owning an eTrex 10 and tempted to upgrade to the 20 myself. On the edge and keep talking myself in and out of the upgrade.


    Decision points: If all you want is basic tracking and the ability to load data for a few hundred caches, and you're a tightwad like me -- buy the 10. if you want (or think you will eventually want) maps, and the ability to load a lot more cache data (thousands instead of hundreds), get the 20. It'll be a bit more expensive up front but might sell as used for a little more when you''re tired of it.

  12. 39_Steps: Gee, thanks! Did you really like it? :D


    The hatchet was aimed not any person, but at a couple of silly ideas: 1) That someone can brush off quality and reliability issues as a factor in brand acceptance, and 2) That you can tack "just saying" on the end of a comment to avoid taking responsibility for what you said.


    Still, I admit a heaping does of sarcasm (which I can rarely resist) can undermine a good point by open the door to the ad hominem fallacy: "Lee is mean and sarcastic, therefore his arguments must be wrong."


    So you are completely right in taking the thread back on track and mentioning the hatchet. I am humbled :wub:


    Staying on track, Eosxt gave two possible tracks to follow. Asking for help, or warning away from DeLorme products.


    On the first, the consensus of past and present DeLorme users (including myself) is that he's got a failed cable. Common enough in PN models that DeLorme often replaces them for free even when out of warranty, and savvy users buy a spare, just in case.


    On the "warning folks away" track -- well, shoot -- how can I say this without sounding mean and sarcastic? Whether I agree or disagree, it'll annoy someone on the other side of that debate.


    If you have one and love it enough to deal with things like keeping a spare cable around, there's nothing wrong with that. But while I used to make qualified recommendations in favor of DeLorme, I really can't anymore. On features, price, and reliability they've lost out to Garmin.


    It didn't have to be that way -- at one time I thought DeLorme would grab a much larger piece of the geocaching market. As you pointed out, the PN-20 offered some novel features a few years ago, and newer PN models improved on those. And the price point for a complete package with maps was always one of the things that attracted me.


    But features and price points with competing models constantly shift, and I think DeLorme has been left behind as far as geocaching is concerned.

  13. Bulldog Power, here's is a bluetooth GPS you can use:

    Dual XGPS150: http://www.amazon.com/Dual-Electronics-XGPS150-Universal-Smartphones/dp/B004M3BICU


    And here's one that plugs into the iPhone's 30-pin dock connector:

    Bad Elf: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Elf-Receiver-iPhone-66-channel/dp/B0035Y7ZJ2


    Neither of those require jail-breaking your phone. Download a pocket query before you leave the house, either with GC.com's official app or with Geosphere, and either of those GPS accessories should work for you

  14. Yinnies: And I know what you're saying. But let's not mince words. Walt implied there are more Garmin units used by geocachers because they're better than DeLorme - at least for geocaching. And he's right.


    DeLorme makes good products for specific activities. If you need their mapping software or one of their specialty products like the inReach, etc. But for geocaching? Dollar for dollar, feature for feature, overall reliability? You're better off with a Garmin. To dismiss quality/reliability issues and say the only reason Garmin sells so many GPSRs is, "um, well, because they sell a lot of them" -- that's just silly.


    I am not cutting anyone down; just saying. :D

  15. There's a reason why Garmin's are the predominant choice by a huge margin.
    You also have to look at the size of the company and the amount of devices they have. Delorme has a few items, and Garmin has how many?
    Aside from that, Delorme is a map maker since when, the early 1800's, or so*? A relatively late entry to the GPSr market.

    Garmin has hundreds of models. But would you offer the same retort if we limit the comparison of a single Garmin model against every single DeLorme device combined?


    Start here: http://www.geocaching.com/reviews/gps_delorme and tally up how many DeLorme gizmos are reported as owned by geocachers. Include every one, even Bluetooth and USB pucks first offered in 2003. At the moment I find 13347, but that number will fluctuate based on when you check. Then look at the Garmin Dakota 20, introduced in 2009. Reported 18943 owned.


    How do you suppose Garmin got to be a big company with lots of products? How is it that a single fairly recent Garmin model (not even the most popular one) has outsold all DeLorme unit combined? Could it have something to do with how well the products work?



    *DeLorme has been making atlases & maps since 1975. GPSRs since 2003, handheld mapping PN-series since 2007. Source:DeLorme

  16. Now that I've spent a good part of an evening loading, unloading, and reloading stuff on my eTrex 10:


    It is possible to free almost a full 8 megabytes on the device for loading GPX files. But if you put more than about 3MB of files on it, you will get low memory warnings. Must want lots of free space for potentially saving waypoints and tracks. It is possible to get 2000 caches into a 3MB file, but you'd have to strip out all the logs and long descriptions. So "3MB of combined file size" or thereabouts may be a more practical guideline/limit on the eTrex 10 than the "2000 caches" figure provided by Garmin Tech Support.


    I'm guessing this wouldn't be an issue at all with the eTrex 20 or 30, as their internal memory is so much larger. Has anyone (sussamb? nggrfan?) loaded either the eTrex 20 or eTrex 30 with 1000 caches or more, and timed the startup?

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