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Everything posted by Jeeters

  1. I'd be pretty pissed if I drove 75 miles for a cache only to find out I have to "walk away" because it turns out the cache is at the top of a cell tower that wasn't mentioned in the description.
  2. It's only $34 if you don't want the turn-by-turn directions, just the maps. Navigation with turn-by-turn maps is what cost $100. Which is insanely cheaper than any dash unit you could buy from your auto's manufacturer (they *always* have a comma in the price) or portable car unit from such as streetpilot, etc.
  3. Which is exactly why I won't by Garmin GPS. With Magellan, their topo software comes has the same full street data as their city software. All they've done is that the the topo software has the street data minus the POIs, and the city software as the POIs minus the terrain detail. Better yet is Lowrance's "MapCreate" software which has full street data, full terrain detail, plus POIs.
  4. TomTom also make a Palm version of their software. Mapopolis and TomTom are probably the most popular. See also... Palm: http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/Palm/pilotgps.htm PocketPC: http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/PocketPC/wince.htm I use Mapopolis myself on my iPaq and love it. Very fast software when trying to pan around the map or zoom in/out. Other software tends to be slow to do that, especially Pocket Streets & Trips. Mapopolis seems to have been nice optimized for allowing the user to quickly manipulate the map, at least on the pocketpc version.
  5. I have a Lowrance Expedition C, not all that different from an H20 C. The thing is outstanding under tree cover. I can even get a signal lock in the middle of my house, on the first floor no less.. My Magellan Sportrak was mostly useless in the woods - if it didn't lose a signal, then it was bouncing me all over the place.
  6. I was looking to upgrade this past Spring from a Magellan Sportrak. I wanted a color screen, and one large enough that made it useful in the car. I eventually got down to two candidates: Garmin 60cx or an Explorist XL. I ruled out the Garmin because I didn't like their topo software at all. With Garmin's maps, you can't have both full roads and full terrain detail at the same time, unless you buy *both* the Topo software and City software. Yes, their Topo software gives you more roads than what's just in the base map, but it's still pretty limited. (you can see what detail you get and don't get by viewing the maps at their website). I was also very disappointed with Garmin's terrain detail when comparing maps of some local areas against Magellan's Topo 3D software. And with Magellan's Topo 3D software, you get both full terrain and and full road information. The basic difference between Magellan's topo and city software is that the topo software trades in POIs for terrain detail, and vica versa. Both software have full road info, unlike Magellan. What killed the idea of the XL for me was just the sheer weight of it. I figured I could probably get used to the bulk of the thing, but the weight, being something like 13oz if I remember correctly, was a showstopper. I knew I'd be sorry if I had a GPSr that weighed more than a can of Coke hanging off my belt when out on the trail. In the end, I ended up looking into Lowrance's GPS offerings based on a couple suggestions in this forum. Ended up with a Lowrance "Expedition C" when I absolutely love, has more features than my two earlier candidates, and was cheaper to boot, but going into all that would be off topic.
  7. You can also find threads praising Magellan. I haven't been paying attention lately, but I specifically remember reading past threads where users would send in a broken unit in to Magellan and when they got it back, not only was the reported problem fixed, but Magellan often gave free extras such as replacing the scratched up screen with a new screen, putting in fresh batteries, and tossing in a free carrying case and/or serial cable. Admittedly, that was a couple years ago; don't know if they still do those sort of things.
  8. I seriously considered an XL because I liked the large screen. Besides using out in the field, I wanted a unit that had a larger screen that was more practical for use in the car as compared to the postage stamp sized screens that the compact units so popular these days all (necessarily) have. I didn't mind larger palm size of the XL, but the weight ended up being a show stopper to me - It weighs over 12oz and I didn't like the idea of having of having the weight of a a full can of soda hanging off my belt or backpack all of the time. But that's just me.
  9. I definitely saw them at my local Gander Mountain store. I was very surprised when I spotted it. They didn't have one out on display but behind the counter in the glass case I could see a couple Expedition C's in their bubble plastic packaging. (I know what they and their packaging look like since I bought one online).
  10. I also use GpxSonar. I get gpx files via premium member pocket queries that I just copy to my iPaq and store on its SD card which GpxSonar loads right up. CacheMate is a newer (on the PocketPC, not Palm) than GpxSonar and I haven't bothered yet with seeing why I should (or shouldn't) use it instead of the more established GpxSonar which most people have been using for a while now. For mapping software, I highly recommend Mapopolis.
  11. Maybe you can get the adapter at the same time you get that replacement GPSr.
  12. I also recently got a Expedition Color and I just found out that highlighting a waypoint on the map and then choosing the "go to cursor" of the menu unfortunately does exactly what it says - sets a Destination for the *exact* cursor position. I thought it was being smart and realizing that since the cursor was highlighting a waypoint icon, that it was setting my Destination to be that waypoint. That's what my old Magellan Sportrak does, but not so with the Lowrance. So, if you don't hightlight the cursor right in the middle, you could end up being quite a few feet off. And even getting the cursor too look like it's right on the middle of the waypoint icon, it can still be 10' off or so. I've found the best thing to do is use the Find button to find the waypoint, select it, the choose 'Go To'. If you use the Find Nearest option, it's likely near or at the top of the list, so it's not so bad to do.
  13. I also upgraded somewhat recently and am pretty disappointed. I absolutely loved the old version. (version 1.3-something or other I think) The new version (which according to a note buried on the website is a near complete rewrite) is as slow as a pig when downloading map pieces and and is slow and a CPU hog when panning around the map at certain (mostly the outer) zoom levels. The old version was *much* faster. It also seems to me that the map tiles (which are just jpegs) are compressed more, such that at the highest zoom levels, the map detail is quite pixelated and hard to read. I don't think this was as much as a problem in the past but could be wrong. Have no problems with the new interface, though. Except for a few areas of new functionality, it's the same as the old interface.
  14. I just bought an Expedition C close to a month ago. From what I could tell from my research, the only significant difference between it and the H2O was, as you've already noted, the electronic compass and altimeter. It also has a barometer. I bought it from tigergps and the price difference was only (i think) $20, so I figured "why not?" Since you're concerned about readability, I can offer that the screen is truly bright and easy to see. I think it's best to leave the backlight on even in sunlight, but it's kind and will go out when inactive (i.e, you dont touch any buttons) and go back on when you press a button to help save batteries. The map is highly configurable, too... there is a lot of customization you can do to it to turn on and off various map details to make it as cluttered or uncluttered as you like to help in reading. One complaint is I wish the waypoint icons were a bit larger. They're pretty small (in comparison to what my Sportrak Pro waypoint icon size). That's nice in that when several are being displayed, they dont hog up the screen, but bad in that that one can be a bit hard to find amonst other map clutter. But then it's still new to me, I imagine I'll get used to it.
  15. I think it's more a matter of others learning to play nice with Lowrance. ExpertGPS (and I suppose EasyGPs, too) works fine. Tell it you have a Lowrance GPS and it will create a .USR file that you can just save to the SD card. Doesn't get any easier. I think that GSAK doesn't have a clue what to do with a Lowrance, though. I blame GSAK for that defiency; not Lowrance.
  16. I'm a recent Lowrance convert myself. Just bought an Expedition C almost a month ago to replace my Magellan Sportrak Pro. Extremely happy with it. I wanted something in color, but with a large enough screen to make it useful in the car. Also wanted SD card ability. Magellan's recent offerings were all too small for me. Fancy color screens, but not much larger than a postage stamp. If I wanted a mini sized unit, I'd get a Magellan with no debate. The large Explorist XL is nice, but although I could probably handle the larger case size, the weight was a show stopper for me. It weights over 12 ounces and I didn't want a full can of soda always hanging of my belt when I'm out hiking. A main factor that turned me off against Garmin was the mapping software. People can correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I gathered during my research was that if I got Garmin's topo software, I'd lose much of the street detail. But if I bought the street product, I'd lose the topo information. I guess I could have bought both products but 'no thanks'. I don't care about POI's like restauarants and banks, but I do want full street information and I want topo information for when I'm off the streets. I had this with the Magallan's software I wanted to retain it. Turns out that with Lowrance's software, I get it all... full streets, topo information, and also POI information like restaurants and whatnot although I have most of the latter disabled to prevent screen clutter. And price of the Lowrance plus the map software was about the same to an 'equivalent' Magallan or Garmin unit, but *without* their software. Really happy with the Lowrance. Have gotten used to the interface and like it. I haven't done any caching yet with it, just some general hiking, so can't say much about accuracy to getting to ground zero of a waypoint. I can say that when on the road, it does an exception job of sticking to the road whereas my Sportrak had a tendency to put me a 100' or so off the road oftentimes. The reception is *outstanding*. Picks up satellites where the sportrak had problems and never loses them. Can even pick up multiple satellites and thus tell me my location when sitting on the living room couch. That never happened with the Sportrak. I can tell that this summer I'll be hitting some remote caches that I've avoided before because I knew my Sportrak would have problems due to tree cover. Some nits: don't like the gloss of the black case. The clear plastic of the screen is flush instead of recessed making it more prone to scratches. And the button layout is very similar to Magellan's (which I like), but the buttons are closer together causing me to often hit two buttons at once. This is especially a problem when trying to press them through the clear vinyl face of the holster case.
  17. Ya missed my Lowrance Expedition C that I posted Saturday. The total should be two. That's OK, since I didn't have it yet when I posted. UPS delivered it today, so now it's official.
  18. I like the Lowrance maps better. It's basemap is 32MB, while the Explorist's is only 4MB. Lowrance gives you much more detail in their basemaps. The lowrance has 16 level grayscale and the Explorist only has 4 level grayscale. The Lowrance scales down to .2 miles, too, not .8. Although the Explorist's screen is a bit larger (2.25" or so versus 2"), the Lowrance has a higher resolution (160x122 vs 200x140). I like the user interface of the Explorist much better, both software-wise and hardware-wise (buttons).
  19. I have a new Lowrance Expedition C due to arrive Monday via UPS. I'm putting Magellan Sportrak Pro out to pasture.
  20. Just bought a Lowrance Expedition from tigergps.com. Got it with the lowrance "plus" back (comes with mapping software) for $323. Their prices were excellent. Free shipping for it too (free if over $250 I think). Also saw good prices at gpsplanet.com
  21. Sportrak Pro: 6.1 oz. Currently on the way to me from UPS is a Lowrance Expedition: 8.7oz I really wanted an Explorist XL and it's large screen, but the weight was a showstopper for me. 12.25 oz? I don't want to trudge around the woods with a full can of soda hanging off my belt.
  22. A couple months ago, I upgraded ExpertGPS from an ancient version I had (1.3something?) to the latest at the time (2.1?). I absolutely LOVED the old version, but the new version ran slow as molasses. It downloads map pieces at a snails pace and is very slugglish when trying to zoom in or out or pan around (can see it using tons of CPU in Windows task manager). I've got a 3.8ghz PC with 2GB ram, so it's not my PC. IMO, it's pretty much unusable; I'll stick with the old version. At the time, I had found a note buried on the website stating that the software was pretty much rewritten in 2.0. So I suppose it lost some optimizations in that rewrite. Unless/until that's corrected, I don't think it's worth it. But I believe the software is free to use for the first 30 days after installation (at least it used to be), so try it and decide for yourself.
  23. Yup, I'd like to replace my aging Sportrak but am really not impressed with the latest offerings. Feature-wise, much of the new stuff is great (hence, my desire to upgrade), but hardware wise, things leave lots to be desired. It's obvious Magellan ditched the Sportrak line for the Explorist line in order to compete with Garmin's little eTrex's. They tout the fancy color screens but then ya go look at one like the Explorist 500 and the screen looks almost like a postage stamp. Completely useless in the car if you have no copilot to read it for you. I really like the idea of the large screen of the XL (excellent for when in the car) but that unit is just overall too big and heavy for me. I could get used to the size, but the weight is a show stopper for me. 12.5 ounces? Know way I want to lug around a full can of soda off my belt when I'm out hiking. I suppose the weight is mostly due to the batteries needed to feed the hungry backlight of that large screen. If Garmin came out with a nice featured unit with the size/weight of around the existing 60c series, but a screen just a bit larger (perhaps 3" - smack between its current size, and the XL), I'd buy it in a heartbeat. And if Magellan had a *modern* featured offering with a form factor and larger screen size comparable to older offerings like Meridian or Sportrak, I'd buy it in a heartbeat, too. Unfortunately, Magellan has two choices now, neither appealing to me: several mini-sizes units and one *over* sized unit.
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