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Everything posted by hwyman

  1. I hear you! I was out on Saturday doing the northern half of the Beaverdam Creek Reservoir (Ashburn, VA) with two other friends. We were stopping after each find for a tick check. I only found one on myself early on...and then we got to the last cache of the day. We had to cross a grassy field and enter the tree line to get to the cache. While signing the log, one of my friends asked me to check the back of one of her socks which was covered with a bunch of dots. Taking a closer look, I thought it was a dozen or so baby spiders. I then realized they only had six legs instead of eight! I looked down at my own boots...I easily had about a dozen or so on each boot/sock...we all did! It was as if we had stepped on an ant nest...except with ticks. Suffice it to say, we rushed back to the trail and removed boots and socks in order to get them all off. I've never seen so many ticks in my life. I like to think that the Deep Woods OFF (i.e. 25% DEET) kept them off my legs, but just barely. After that little experience, I have a new found appreciation for light post micros. I'm definitely done with the great outdoors for this summer.
  2. In order of purchase: Magellan GPS Companion for Palm Magellan Meridian Platinum (my primary gpsr) Garmin Etrex Vista (backup gpsr) I never used the Magellan GPS Companion for geocaching. In fact, I forgot I had it when I first heard about geocaching. I found the processor in the Palm (Vx) too be incredibly underpowered to update the screen fast enough to make using the gpsr worthwhile for driving. It has since ended up in a drawer somewhere. The MeriPlat has been my most reliable unit for geocaching and getting around. Augmented with the DirectRoute software, I find it hard to part with altho I do think about it from time to time. I have a picture in my mind of the "killer unit" for geocaching. I'll buy it and retire the MeriPlat when I see it. I picked up the Vista when I found a price that was too good to resist. I used it for a month and half during that summer as my primary unit in the field while the MeriPlat handled turn-by-turn routing duty. I absolutely could not tolerate it constantly losing satelite lock. I'm utterly amazed that all my geocaching friends who used Etrexs had to constantly deal with that. In a way, I can see it making you a better hunter if didn't totally have to rely on the gpsr. On the other hand, I found it un-nerving to have to rely on a gpsr that sometimes knew where it was when I'm absolutely lost. I was happy to go back to my MeriPlat that very rarely lost it's lock, altho I still keep the Vista as a backup...you know, in case Bigfoot steals my MeriPlat. As for that "killer unit", I have to say that Garmin is getting ever so closer to it...especially with the addition (finally!) of external flash memory. I thought Magellan might have nailed it with the eXplorist series, but there solution was lacking and might have even taken a step backwards by adopting a proprietary rechargeable battery. What I'm waiting for...something like the MeriPlat or the Garmin GPSMap 60CSx...i.e, external memory, electronic compass, great receiver, AA-batteries, turn-by-turn routing, and that one missing feature: the abilty to import full geocache descriptions including logs. I currently run Cachemate on my Palm Vx that only has 8 megs of memory. I can easily load descriptions for 300 caches including the last 5 logs with memory to spare. It just kills me that gpsrs can handle 1-2 GB SD cards, but yet don't fully make use of all that real estate! The hardware is in place...it just takes a little programming to write an import utility to handle gpx files and to write a geocaching mode screen to display the decriptions...maybe even allow you to decode the hint (like Cachemate). Garmin and Magellan are so close...they just need to have the commitment to see it all the way thru. One device that can truly do it all and do it well would be the geocaching killer app. For now, I make due with two devices...my MeriPlat with DirectRoute and my Palm Vx with Cachemate. Hopefully neither one will fail me before my dream gpsr sees the light of day.
  3. I've installed Cachemate on the Z22...works fine. It has more memory than you will ever need.
  4. I'm probably chiming in a little too late, but I own a Vista and Meridian Platinum. The MeriPlat was my first GPSr. I absolutely love the thing! Kudos to Magellan for releasing the Direct Route software that made a good receiver into a great receiver with turn by turn navigation. Geocaching was never easier! I acquired the Vista as a backup receiver. I cached with both receivers at first for comparision and then forced myself to leave the MeriPlat in the car (for car navigation) and use the Vista in the field. I say 'forced' because the more I used it, the less I liked it for it's awful reception. I should say that I live in VA...we have a lot of trees here in the Mid-Atlantic. Even in the winter with no leaves on the tree, the reception was rather poor. I just can't deal with that. The MeriPlat on the other hand rarely had trouble in the trees. I remember lossing reception once in moderate to heavy tree cover...in the rain. If you live in an area without a lot of big trees (Great Plains/Rockies/Southwest) states, the Vista is probably a pretty good unit. Here where I live it now stays at home...and my MeriPlat no longer stays in the car when I head out on foot.
  5. Congratulations to 4evrlost for reaching this important geocaching milestone! Number 100 was Brer Cache V2.0 where we overcompensated by taking the thorniest, most overgrown approach instead of the nice wide open clearing 15 feet off to our right. Maybe we will know better by the time she reaches #200. Congrats!!!
  6. I caught Ebola while doing Quantum Leap...but it went away. Hwy
  7. If memory serves me correctly, I think GLM retired the satalite components...at least the ones he could find. Sounded like a really cool cache.... Hwy
  8. I was just looking over the online instruction manual for the eXplorist 300 when I noticed something. Is there anyway to add an accuracy data field to the compass screen on the 500/600?? This doesn't seem to be an option on the 300! Accuracy (I believe it's labeled EPE on the Meridian) is only available on a very stripped down data screen. Tell me it ain't so!
  9. Escout...thanks for the screen shots! I'm curious...is there an option to display the cache id on the map screen instead of the full cache name? I like to minimize my screen clutter whenever possible which is why I have GSAK cut off the "GC" from the ids (i.e. %drop2).
  10. While this is the first time I've heard of this, I can't imagine this will have much impact on current receivers. The only feature I can imagine on a second-gen bird besides improved longevity is greater resistance to signal jamming. (A current major weakness in it's military application.) Not exactly something that will impact most consumers.... Hwy
  11. I did Cannon Fire GCEBD8 for my 100th. I still consider it to be among my favorites. If you want a real adventure, have a look at Blood & Guts GC73C2 Hwy
  12. Not to beat a dead horse, but I think you over-analyzed and missed the point on this one. While there might be a few caches out there that require an overnight commitment, most people do more than one cache during an outting. Personally, I go out and cache all day which doesn't leave much light to go with a solar option. I'm just thinking of all the times I've been out in the field when I suddenly get the low battery warning. I can just see myself now out in the middle of nowhere with a proprietary battery...my first thought would be "Sh*t!" followed by "What direction is my truck???" Not the kind of excitement I go for. A few on this thread have mentioned home-brewed AA battery packs. I recall someone using an Altoids container to house 4 AAs in order to recharge an iPod. I'll have to look for the link to that one. Carrying something like that would hopefully be enough to get you out of the woods...assuming the thing runs while it's being recharged. Hwy PS: Thanks for the pic...altho it's wacky indeed! Using the coin as a reference, the pic looks like it's sized to scale...altho something weird is going on there. PPS: I found the links. Here's the altoid battery pack...except is has a firewire connector instead of a usb. You can build it with usb connector tho: http://ipod.hackaday.com/entry/2645310329796286/ This link shows you how to do it with a 9volt and a usb connector: http://ipod.hackaday.com/entry/1234000270029372/
  13. Isn't GA-style under the kudzu?
  14. I decided that it was more efficient to geocache by hiding in the woods while other geocachers looked for the caches. When they find one, I jump out and take it from them! It really is the best way to find those micros! Hwy The true source....
  15. Assuming that the Meridian fits comfortably in your hand (may not work so well with smaller hands), it's easily operated one-handed as has been mentioned already. Here's the real kicker...it can be easily operated with either hand! The eTrex series seem to favor right-handed useage...not the case for the Meridian where your thumb can access all the buttons.
  16. The RCR-V3 form factor makes sense to me considering that the new explorists use the same form factor (at least that's what it looks like to me) as the first three models...and those used AA.
  17. I beg to differ...it's not very convenient when you forget to plug in your Li-ion the night before. AA can always be had on short notice.
  18. I've been noticing that newer units are featuring 14 channel receivers. I believe my MeriPlat can only pull signal from 12 birds. I have never had that happen..in fact, I'm willing to say I've only been able to receive about 8-9 at any one time. That was roughly at sea-level with no obstructions to the horizon. The only way I can imagine pulling 12-14 signals at once would have to be on top of a high mountain. Or am I wrong?
  19. I think the whining comes from the backlight. Turn it off and see if it goes away.
  20. Is the Explorist 600 black or dark green? I'm glad Magellan finally put these out. I felt that Garmin had vastly outclassed Magellan with there 60 and 76 series gpsr. I would have completely jump ship if only the garmins came with SD slots. If I'm reading the press release correctly (assuming it's correct to begin with), the impression I get is that the SD memory will be seamlessly integrated as opposed to being treated as a secondary memory source. If the battery pack is not easily removable, that will be a HUGE problem. Sometimes you are out in the woods away from outlets for days...not being able to swap out spare batteries would be bad in deed. I'm not enthusiastic about the patch antenae. Here in the Mid-Atlantic where most non-urban caches are under fairly heavy tree cover, a quad would seem the way to go...at least for me. If the new cache manager can read and store all the gpx info, that will be the killer app. I love Cachemate for my Palm, but I rather have it all on one device. My main concern is the ever annoying 'sling-shot' effect that appears to be common to other Magellan models. I'm going to assume that the same averaging algorithms are used in this model as well. Any current Explorists users want to comment on that?
  21. It looks like they finally did something good with the eXplorist series. About time...the first three in the series sucked! The press release follows: For Immediate Release THALES UNVEILS UNPRECEDENTED HANDELD NAVIGATION SOLUTIONS AT CES WITH THREE NEW MAGELLAN EXPLORIST PALM-SIZE GPS HANDHELDS New eXplorist Handhelds First to Deliver PC-Style File Management, Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries and Geocaching Application – all in a compact and affordable package Las Vegas, NV (January 5, 2005) Thales continues to rewrite the rulebook for handheld GPS as it announces today the CES debut of three additions to its breakthrough Magellan® eXplorist™ line of compact, powerful, yet easy-to-use receivers. Complete with built-in mapping, the Magellan eXplorist 400, eXplorist 500 and eXplorist 600 are the first handheld GPS receivers to deliver PC-like file management, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and a PC application designed specifically for transferring geocache information from the Internet to the eXplorist for the popular web-based outdoor activity called geocaching. These new eXplorist handhelds represent the definitive GPS guidance solution to meet the more diverse navigation needs of today’s consumer – both in the city and the outdoors. The complete Magellan eXplorist line of six receivers delivers more advanced features, more powerful performance, and more value than the competition, from just $99.99 to $449.99. “In addition to offering the sought after features that have boosted the popularity of the Magellan eXplorist 100, 200 and 300 thus far,” said Christian Bubenheim, vice president and general manager for Thales’ consumer products, “the eXplorist 400, 500, and 600 introduce an all-new advanced set of features to the series, including being the first in their class to deliver unlimited SD card memory expansion with a built-in SD card reader/writer. The new handhelds also provide unlimited storage of waypoints, routes and track logs when using an optional Secure Digital memory card so that any available memory can be used to store whatever the users wants – a first in storage options that avid navigators will appreciate over limited waypoint, route and track log storage on other GPS receivers.” Other firsts found in the eXplorist 400, 500 and 600 include: The exclusive PC-style file management feature that allows users to create multiple files, folders and directories to store and maneuver through information in a PC-like structure. The ability to calculate an area and perimeter simply by marking points on the map screen. The Magellan geocaching manager software, a one-of-a-kind solution that simplifies geocaching, one of the fastest growing GPS applications so customers no longer need to print information from a website and manually entering GPS coordinates in a GPS receiver, but can load information to an eXplorist instead so its accessible where it’s needed most - to guide them to cache treasures. All three models feature a high-speed USB data port to upload geocache coordinates and optional maps eXplorist 400: At $299.99, the white-cased, four-level grayscale eXplorist 400 delivers all of the major league GPS features above in a compact mapping unit, and is the first to do so at a $299.99 price point. eXplorist 500: For those who want color GPS like no other, the eXplorist 500 delivers the advanced functionality of the eXplorist 400 plus a large color screen. At $399.99, it’s the most affordable color GPS available. eXplorist 600: The eXplorist 600 rounds out the series with an unbeatable combination of features, including a color transflective TFT screen, a barometer, altimeter, thermometer and 3-axis electronic compass (which eliminates the need to be in motion to get a direction heading) – all for a breakthrough price of just $449.99. While the eXplorist handhelds offer a variety of features to provide a complete set of solutions, all deliver a compact, waterproof housing IPX-7 at a weight of less than four ounces for fit-in-your-pocket convenience; a large 2.3” diagonal display; built-in maps of major roads, waterways, parks and airports; the ability to calculate vertical profiles for elevations of roads, trails and more; and a WAAS/EGNOS-enabled, 14-parallel-channel GPS receiver that delivers three-meter accuracy with fast, reliable position fixes. The Magellan eXplorist 400, 500 and 600 are compatible with most Magellan MapSend® software products for adding street detail, topographic data, marine navigation information and more, including the MapSend Topo 3D USA, MapSend Topo Canada and MapSend Lakes USA, MapSend Worldwide Basemap and MapSend DirectRoute, plus international titles. Other optional accessories include carrying cases, power adaptors, and mounting options for bikes, vehicles and more. For more information on these and other Magellan products, visit www.magellangps.com. About Thales’ navigation business Thales’ navigation business unit develops and manufactures world leading positioning, navigation and guidance equipment. It markets its Magellan brand GPS solutions in the consumer electronics, recreation, and automotive markets, and its GPS and GNSS professional products in the survey, GIS/Mapping, and OEM markets. Key innovations include the first U.S. commercial hand-held GPS receiver for positioning and navigation, and the first handheld GPS with industry standard Secure Digital Memory Card capabilities. Thales’ navigation business unit is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA and has worldwide operations. For more information, visit http://www.thalesgroup.com/navigation
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