Jump to content


+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by elora_c

  1. I do find that I'm willing to spend longer for caches in the woods than urban ones. If I'm going to be wandering around looking lost, I'd rather not have an audience I also cache with a 6.5yr old who gets antsy and wanders off after a few minutes. Lately, though, he's been taking pride in finding the cache before I get there with the GPS.
  2. I'm getting ready to hide my first cache and was looking at ClayJar's rating system. It gave me a 2-star for cache difficulty, defining this as "most cachers would find within 30 minutes of looking." That surprised me a lot. My average difficulty is just under 2, but I don't think I've ever spent more than about 10 minutes looking. I do have some DNFs where I gave up after 10 minutes. If I haven't found it in that time, then I'm either looking in the wrong area, or I'm looking incorrectly, and I'm probably not going to find it. I've gone back to some DNFs on a later date and then found. Fresh eyes and fresh perspective. So how long do you generally spend looking for a cache and when do you give up? This is only time spent at GZ, not the hour hike it might take to get there.
  3. I can't specifically address the relative accuracy issue as I do not have both DeLorme and Garmin units to make side-by-side, simultaneous comparisons. However, there seems to be a consensus among those that do have both, that the DeLorme estimate as displayed is more conservative, or less aggressive, that that of the Garmins. But does estimate of accuracy really matter? Is not WYSIWYG the real proof? For example, my 7 year old grandson found two geocaches this afternoon when my PN-20 indicated that we were at GZ. So in reality, each time you locate a geocache you are cross checking and calibrating against the GPSrs of the original hider and the previous finders. I didn't find the cache so I couldn't say whether it would have been accurate or not. It was more a case of being surprised at how much the GPS accuracy increased from ~20/30 ft to 80/90 ft when I stood next to the wall. So, regardless of whether the PN-20 uses a more conservative estimation, it does seem that its sensitivity is not as good since walls (and trees) seem to cause more interference.
  4. I recently upgraded from my old eTrex Legend, and since I used these forums quite a bit to help make my decision, I thought I'd give my impressions of the PN-20. I actually first upgraded to the Vista HCx, but there were many things about it I didn't like. So after agonizing a while, I ordered the PN-20, compared the two, and sent the HCx back. I really like the feel of the PN-20. It fits comfortably in my hand and I have no problems using the buttons at the bottom with one hand. Although I was used to the stick and side buttons of the eTrex line, I found these buttons much easier to use. I haven't had any trouble using the buttons with my gloves on. The display is really easy to read. I've read other's comments about the screen being small, but it is certainly large enough for geocaching and seemed larger than the HCx (I don't have the dimensions in front of me). I haven't had a problem with brightness either inside or out. The software is non-intuitive for starting up. It took me a while to figure out how to do simple things like editing a waypoint. However, the manual does do a pretty good job at explaining things, so once you know what you're looking for, the manual should be able to walk you through it. I haven't downloaded any imagery yet because I don't want to "waste" my $100 on unnecessary images. But I've cut a few map packages and once again, using the manual and experimenting helped figure out this task. When I first started using it, I didn't realize I was running firmware 1.1 instead of 1.3 and so was missing lots of features (like having waypoints sorted by distance). Since upgrading, I've had no complaints about the interface. I don't power-cache, so I haven't had a problem with the lack of changing a cache to "found" status. I also haven't had any problems with redraws of the map. I only use this walking, so waiting a second or three for it to redraw the map as I zoom in or out isn't a problem. The only downside I've experienced so far is its (perceived) reception. I realize that Garmin and DeLorme use different calculations for the estimate GPS accuracy, but the HCx seemed to be much more sensitive than the PN-20. Today, I was standing next to a 10 foot brick wall and was under a few leafless trees. The PN-20 showed an accuracy of +/- 80 feet. I had expected better reception from reading others posts comparing the PN-20 to the HCx or 60CSx. Other than that one issue (which is a bit disheartening since the prime motivator in the upgrade was better sensitivity), I'm extremely pleased with the PN-20.
  5. Thanks for all the quick responses. I played with the Vista some more and will give it a second chance at caching this afternoon. I also plan to stop by Dick's Sporting Goods or Sports Authority to see if I can actually play with a PN-20. It seems like a great mapping device, and I think I'd actually like its buttons better than the eTrex buttons. I was familiar with the eTrex buttons due to the Legend, which is why I thought I'd be more comfortable with the Vista. But since they don't work exactly the same, and I have a hard time using the buttons with the holster, I'm open to a new design. I still have a few questions on the PN-20. 1) Can you export track logs to Google Earth? 2) How is its accuracy under tree cover? I live in SE Pennsylvania, so rollings hills with lots and lots of trees. Thanks again, Carole
  6. I currently have a an eTrex Legend that I'm looking to upgrade. Last week I asked about the PN-20 vs the Legend HCx and people recommended the PN-20. Well, I second-guessed myself and instead ordered the Vista HCx (it was only $20 more than the Legend). My reasons at the time were: 1) Although the imagery available for the PN-20 seems great, after looking at the data download site, I realized that I'd only be able to get about 30 different grid segments of the aerial imagery. This didn't seem to give great coverage area for doing extensive geocaching (of course, I'm only at 65 finds, so I don't do that extensive of geocaching). 2) I'm used to the Legend's interface and buttons, so sticking with the familiar seemed good. I figured that if the imagery was only a limited selling point of the PN-20, I might as well choose the familiar. 3) I like Garmin and have had good experiences with their products. And then my Vista arrived yesterday, and things went downhill. 1) The interface is a little different than the Legend. 2) I put the Vista in my Garmin holster and it doesn't fit as well. It makes it very awkward to use the menu and power buttons, and the rocker. 3) I tried doing a multi-cache this afternoon, and the compass was abysmal. From stage 1 to stage 2, it took me in a triangle. However, I hadn't calibrated the compass first, so maybe it will do better tomorrow when I give it another chance. 4) I find it annoying that I have to change the backlit every time I turn it on. Maybe I've missed something, but I keep setting it to 55% and every time I turn the unit it, it is back down to 0. So, I'm back to looking at the PN-20. I liked the review and pictures posted on 1/2. The elevation profile is one of the things that I want and why I got the Vista instead of Legend. So my questions are more about using it. Basically, how do you use the PN-20 for geocaching? What I used to do with the Legend is 1) Download waypoints into GSAK for organization 2) Send waypoints from GSAK to Legend for a day's outing (I normally only do a couple of geocaches at once, so I just send the waypoints one by one to the unit) 3) When I arrive at the general area of the cache, I would click the rocker to bring up with the menu, and then select Waypoints. 4) From there, I'd select nearest, select the one I was interested in, and then click Goto which automatically took me to the compass page 5) If I wanted more info, I'd click the rocker to go to the map page. Then I would zoom in to the max zoom-in. Is the PN-20 comparable to use? I have read a lot about it being slow. Is it just these actions to start out that are slow? Once on the Compass page and heading towards the cache, does the compass stay accurate and does the distance left indicator update quickly? From the manual, it says you can hold the zoom in button to go to the maximum zoom. How slow is that? I notice that the lanyard hook is at the top of the unit rather than the bottom like the Garmins'. Which means if you have it around your neck, you have to twist it around to see it correctly. Is this a nuisance? Are there any protective cases for the PN-20? Are the buttons easy to use? Can it be used one-handed? And with gloves on? How is the screen brightness? Does the backlight setting stay set? Anything else that would help me decide whether or not to send the Vista HCx back and get a PN-20 instead would be appreciated. Thanks, Carole
  7. I know these questions get asked all the time, but I haven't seen any recent (within the last 2-3 months) discussions about these units. I currently have an eTrex Legend that I'm looking to upgrade. My main problem with it is satellite reception and accuracy. I live in PA and I lose reception when under any sort of canopy (which is most of the state). My requirements are: 1) Good reception (and accuracy) under trees. 2) Ability to add/delete waypoints easily (I use GSAK to organize my waypoints, currently) 3) Ability to view tracks in Google Earth 4) Ease of use I have a Garmin nuvi in the car, so I don't need any route planning. This GPS would be strictly for geocaching. I really like the imagery on the Earthmate but don't know if that is actually useful for geocaching (does it have high enough resolution?) or is just pretty to look at. I don't load more than 10-20 waypoints at a time into the GPS, so transfer speeds aren't critical. To me, the Legend is easy to use. When I get to the trailhead, or general area, I can go to Find Nearest Waypoint, select the waypoint, and then click Goto. It shows me the compass page which has the arrow pointing in the direction I need to go plus the distance to travel. That's the screen I use most. I switch to the map screen when I get to GZ if I can't find the cache. I would want similar screens on the new unit. Prices seem comparable when considering a bundle of the eTrex Legend HCx with a SD card and the Topo 2008 software. Any suggestions between the two would be appreciated. Thanks, Carole
  • Create New...