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Geomate.jr

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Posts posted by Geomate.jr

  1. ...to a Geomate Jr. for my daughter...

     

    We love hearing things like this!! For us, geocaching is fun for the whole family and a great way to get the kids outdoors. With a Geomate.jr in her hands I'm sure your daughter will be a lot more engaged and enjoy hunting those sneaky geocaches as much (if not more so) as you!!

     

    Welcome to geocaching! Many adventures await.

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

    (Geomate.jr representative)

  2. G'day GeoJunkie (and others)

     

    Yea, getting the Update Kit out the door has taken us a little longer than expected, but we want to get it right!! The latest (and fingers crossed the last) update is that we are currently on schedule to start shipping Update Kits out to retailers on the 24th of this month (August). The retailers in turn will then have to get it out on the shelves etc which is a little out of our control. But a realistic expectation is that you'll start seeing product appear during that week at places like Shop Groundspeak, Cache-Advance.com, and REI.com first and then start appearing on the shelves at REI.

     

    We really do appreciate your patience.

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  3. The Geomate Jr. is perfect for a kid. Mine loves it because he can be the 'leader'.

    I have been looking at that one but I'm in Canada and they don't have caches for Canada yet from what I understand. I'd also have to order it in the US. Having to purchase an extra update kit for new caches isn't thrilling me either. But if it works great and is very kid friendly maybe it is worth the extra?

     

    Hint... You may want to get in touch with Landsharkz (http://www.landsharkz.ca) No promises, but they could have some interesting info for you with respect to the Geomate.jr and Canadian caches.

  4. G'day Guys

     

    The Update Kit is looking better and better by the day! Our target (and commitment to resellers) is to start shipping kits out no later than the 24th of August. Yep, definately later than we really wanted (and later than you guys wanted of course) but I sincerely thank you for your patience and support. The Update Kit will definately add a whole other dimension and usefulness to the Geomate.jr.

     

    And as it looks like the moderator has kindly asked to refrain from asking vendors direct questions, I'm happy for anyone to email me direct at warren@apisphere.com and re-post my responses. That said, I'll be watching this thread and answering any questions people have. After all, the moderator didn't say a vendor can't respond right??

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  5. We took geomate on a long road vacation, finding many more than 20 caches along the way. Unfortunately, geomate only kept the newest 20 on the found list and discarded all the earlier finds. The user manual says the unit stores 1000 finds. Mine did not. Any comment? I had to determine the discarded finds the hard way as I did not keep any other records of many spontaneous finds, the very thing this unit is so good for. This is the first instance of the product not doing what was promoted.

     

    G'day Dingbat11

     

    Yep, you are 100% correct. The initial release of the Geomate.jr does only store the first 20 found caches in the found list. This has since been corrected and all units moving forward will be able to store the intended 1000 found caches. But I have some good news!! Another cool little feature of the Update Kit is the ability for us to 'upgrade' the software running on any Geomate.jr along with the geocache list if you want. So it will be very easy for you to get this feature without needing to swap or return your Geomate.jr. (We don't want to slow down your geocaching fun after all...)

     

    Thanks for keeping us honest on this one Dingbat11. To say thanks and to make up for the inconvenience, I'm happy to send you a free Update Kit when it is available. Please email me direct on warren@apisphere.com and we'll fix you up!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  6. Hi everyone, I bought a geomate jr via REI Mailorder. It arrived yesterday but so far I am unable to use it.

    Main reason could be be because I am in Germany. It shows the next availible cache being some 4800 miles west of my home location. A little far for a weekend trip.

    Does anyone have a clue how I can manually input coordinates into the device respectively when I will be able to buy the back up set and download caches for germany?

    I mainly wanted this as a back up device when I am traveling and don't have my Garmin with me. but I get the feeling that I bought something that is limited to the US for now.

     

    cheers

    Markus

     

    G'day Markus

     

    You hit the nail on the head - at the moment, the Geomate.jr ships with a US database loaded by default. But don't despair, in a few short weeks we will be releasing an update kit that with allow you to select and load all of Europe into your Geomate.jr. Some more Update Kit details can be found here: http://www.mygeomate.com/update_kit

     

    I hope this helps!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  7. Hi everyone, I bought a geomate jr via REI Mailorder. It arrived yesterday but so far I am unable to use it.

    Main reason could be be because I am in Germany. It shows the next availible cache being some 4800 miles west of my home location. A little far for a weekend trip.

    Does anyone have a clue how I can manually input coordinates into the device respectively when I will be able to buy the back up set and download caches for germany?

    I mainly wanted this as a back up device when I am traveling and don't have my Garmin with me. but I get the feeling that I bought something that is limited to the US for now.

     

    cheers

    Markus

     

    G'day Markus

     

    You hit the nail on the head - at the moment, the Geomate.jr ships with a US database loaded by default. But don't despair, in a few short weeks we will be releasing an update kit that with allow you to select and load all of Europe into your Geomate.jr. Some more Update Kit details can be found here: http://www.mygeomate.com/update_kit

     

    I hope this helps!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  8.  

    2. With the update kit, is it just going to be a new 'random 250k' or will we be able to choose the area/region of the caches?

     

     

    G'day TnAMurphy99

     

    Mahini has already done an awesome job of answering all of your other questions and here is the answer to the last one. The Update Kit will allow you to get the latest version of the default factory database (which is filtered to only include caches that have been in place for about 4 to 6 months and does not include anything over a difficulty 3) or you will be able to select a database that has had no filtering applied. In this case you'll get every traditional cache in the US (but in this case you will have to select between east and west coast - but there is a huge overlap of the areas).

     

    I hope this answers your question?

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  9.  

    Thanks Warren, a friend and fellow Geocacher just asked me about the kit like five minutes ago... I said, I don't know, should be out soon, but I'll look online, I'm sure they'll have something on it...

     

    I have to say, having someone in the know about the product is really nice....

     

    I really with Garmin (or other GPRs makers) would have a few people spend some time in the forums like you do...

     

    Sure, they might take some heat at 1st, but I really think that long therm it would be in their and our better interests...

     

    Thanks again for sticking around and spreading the knowledge!!!!

     

    No worries!

  10. G'day All

     

    Sorry for disappearing for a bit there - actually managed to get away for a little scuba diving and geocaching R & R. But I'm back and eager to help!

     

    To answer some of the recent questions:

     

    For the Mac users, even though the Update Kit will only support PC on day one, you will NOT need to buy a different Update Kit when we do support Mac. It is only web/software development we need to complete in order to support Mac with no change to the hardware component needed.

     

    High sensitivity GPS? Yep, the Geomate.jr uses the SiRFstarIII GPS engine which is arguably the best performing GPS engine on the market today and is what most of the high end, more expensive GPS receivers use.

     

    If I've missed any other questions, please let me know!!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  11. How do I plug in a Geomate Jr. into my computer?

     

    Hi

     

    On the left side of the Geomate.jr is a flap. Lift this flap up from the bottom and you'll find a connection port. In about two weeks or so we will be releasing an Update Kit (http://www.mygeomate.com/update_kit) that comes with a cable that you will be able to plug into the Geomate.jr and your computer. This Update Kit is your key to unlimited updates for your Geomate.jr - including all traditional, non-premium caches for the US and any other country!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  12. G'day all!

     

    Just a really quick 'update' on the Update Kit. Well, I can proudly say we have functional update kits in house and they are looking sharp! But we still have a fair bit of work ahead of us until we can let 'em loose! Time wise, unfortunately we are still looking at 2 to 3 weeks before they will be on the shelves.

     

    Thanks for your patience! We're as anxious to see them released as you all are I'm sure!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  13. We're still hammering away at getting the Update Kit ready to go. We're definately liking the way it's coming together (albeit a little later than we would like) but we really believe it will bring tremendous value. As promised, here's a sneak peek of what the web interface will look like. Please don't read too much into it as many things change at the 11'th hour (as always). That said, comments are welcome!

     

    updatesneakpeek.jpg

  14. Warren- is there anyway I could get a GeoJr. cheerleader outfit? Pompoms could be optional.... :)

     

    Geomate.jr cheerleaders? Simply brilliant! I'll get the engineering team some needle and thread right away! Problem though... We're stumped on what type of Pom Poms. Classic, plastic, glitter, metallic, solid color, mixed color.... Just too many choices!! :D

  15. No worries, happy to answer any questions...

     

    -- How "fresh" is your preloaded data?

     

    We create a new version of the database every time we build more units for distribution. There's obviously no guarantees, but we try to keep it as fresh as possible. We are also encouraging any new retailer to keep an Update Kit in the store that customers can use to make sure they have the absolute lataest. I believe Groundspeak is planning on updating every unit that they ship - so you will have data not much older than 24hrs in this case.

     

    -- Is it filtered in any way, or is it really EVERY cache that was available at the time of your build?

     

    The factory loaded/default cache list is filtered to try to give it as much staying power as possible as well as family friendliness. As a rule of thumb, we only include caches that have been around for at least 4 to 6 months (staying power) and we don't include anything above a difficulty 3 (for newbies and families). We also do a check to make sure that any cache has been found relatively recently.

     

    Our thinking here, is to provide something that works out-of-the-box so anyone can give geocaching a shot without needing to spend a lot of money. For many people, this will be just fine and keep many families outdoors enjoying geocaching together for some time.

     

    But as we all know, new geocaches are being added daily and some caches have a tendency to disappear. In this case, you will have the option to use an Update Kit. With an Update Kit, you will get access to EVERY traditional cache (premium member caches excluded) - for the US and other countries. We can only hold about 250,000 cache locations and information, and there are more than that in the US. So the way it will work, is you plug in your Geomate.jr with the Update Kit, go to www.mygeomate.com, select the list you want (e.g. all of the US but filtered, east coast all caches, west coast all caches, Europe, Australasia, etc...) click the magic 'UPDATE' button and you will get the latest and greatest for the area you selected. Cool hey?

     

    -- When if the update/refresh kit going to be available?

     

    It looks like the second week of July for the Update Kit. A little longer than we hoped, but to thank everyone for waiting for the Update Kit, we are offering a small rebate if you buy the Geomate.jr now. Details can be found at http://www.mygeomate.com/update_kit

     

    I hope this helps!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  16. First off, the disclaimer - yep, I work for the company. My name's Warren and I'm the guy behind the Geomate.jr. As so many of your criteria hits our strengths, thought I might chime in. Oh, and I'll just give you the facts, no hype.

     

    ...and keeps saying "no signal". It does not work well in the woods and is meant for marine use.

     

    The Geomate.jr is equipped with a SiRFstarIII GPS chip which is arguably the best performing GPS technology on the market and is what many of the expensive GPS receivers use. This technology is designed for good position performance in difficult places (like heavy tree coverage etc)

     

    I want an inexpensive...

     

    $69.95

     

    ...durable...

     

    Designed for the outdoors and to be used by children.

     

    ...EASY TO USE...

     

    To operate the Geomate.jr, you need to go outside and switch it on. It will work out the closest geocache to your current location and show the distance and direction to that cache along with size, difficulty, and terrain. All that is left is to follow the arrow. To move to the NEXT cache, just hit the NEXT button.

     

    ...gps system that I can enter in coordinates easily and quickly head off to my destination.

     

    Unlike anything else on the market, the Geomate.jr works on the concept of 'load every geocache so I don't need to hand enter them'. It comes preloaded with about 250,000 goecaches that cover all 50 states, so there is no planning or entering of coordinates - they're already loaded! It will work anywhere in the US by turning it on. If you want more caches (as there are more than 250k in the US) you can get them with an optional Update Kit. Admittedly though, as easy as it is to just head off to search for geocaches, it is not suitable for multi-caches as you can't hand enter coordinates when you are in the field.

     

    You can get more info at www.mygeomate.com and as mrbort mentioned, there's a thread called Geomate.jr Owners Report

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  17. Thanks for the answer Warren and while I have your ear, I have another question. I maintain a geocache that is listed on the geocaching.com website but it does not show up on the geomatejr when I look for it. It's listed as a traditional geocache but it's a micro-cache container. Are micros not listed in the geomatejr? If so, a lot of people are going to miss out on a really cool cache location.

     

    Thanks!

     

    No worries! As a general rule (and we do have exceptions) the default database does not include geocaches that have not been in place for at least 4 to 6 months (for staying power) and we do not include any cache with difficulty above 3 (for some family friendliness). We do include micro-caches though.

     

    My guess is that your cache doesn't meet the 'must have been in place for 6 months' rule. But there a solution! With the update kit you'll be able to select a list where this filtering hasn't been applied. So you will be able to get ALL of the latest and greatest with a single click (ok, a couple clicks).

  18. Maybe someone can answer this, but can you do a master reset on these devices to put them back into a default state?

     

    G'day Moonpup

     

    First, congrats on your Geomate.jr purchase! It's always good to hear from users of the Geomate.jr. As to your reset question, we don't really have a master reset as there really is nothing to reset to default settings. The two user configured items at this point are 'home waypoint' and 'found list'. You can't actually clear the home waypoint, but you can overwrite it by holding down both buttons when you have a valid GPS position. As for the found list, you can clear this by holding down the small button on the right for a long time (something like 8 seconds or so).

     

    I hope this helps!!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  19. Hi NYPaddleCacher

     

    You bring up some very good points and interesting questions to say the least. Here are some thoughts / answers...

     

     

    How much experience do you, or those in your company have actually finding geocaches with either the Geomate or one of the other handhelp gps units on the market?

     

     

    To answer this question in a nutshell, actually quite a lot! Personally I have been geocaching for about 4 years, have introduced others to the sport, have taken school groups and other youth clubs geocaching, and have geocached in over 5 countries. Having worked in the GPS industry for the last 10 years or so, I've had the good fortune of having experience with almost every handheld GPS unit on the market - many of which I've used for Geocaching. But now I use the Geomate.jr almost exclusively. Why? No planning needed and it does all I need it to. Because it is already preloaded with about 250,000 geocaches, all I need to do is switch it on and it doesn't matter where I am!

     

     

    The reason I ask is that, in my experience (which isn't that much) following the arrow and distance to the closest geocache is likely going to lead to a lot of frustrastion.

     

    First, the closest geocache may be a four star difficulty nano cache, especially if one lives in a more urban environment. If there are several very difficult hides close to ones home coordinates someone new to the game is likely going to get pretty discouraged when they're not finding anything.

     

    You bring up some excellent points here! First, we do actually provide some additional information when we display the cache such as terrain, difficulty, and size; so you know what you are getting yourself into. But keeping the first time user experience in mind, we actually filter the default database to only include geocaches that have been around for at least 4 to 6 months (to give it a bit of staying power) and we don't include anything above a difficulty of 3.

     

    But if you want the harder or the latest geocaches, soon we will be releasing an Update Kit that will enable you to refresh this default filtered database or select an unfiltered version and have access to every traditional geocache location in the US (and other countries for that matter).

     

    Secondly, having followed the forums for a couple of years, and based on my own experience, following the arrow and distance to the waypoint only gets you so far. Since the accuracy of a GPS for those that place the cache and those seeking can typically be off 20-30' it's not uncommon to find a geocache 30-50' from where your GPS is telling you the cache is located. One of the most frequent bits of advice offered here is to only follow the arrow/distance until you get with 25-30' of where your GPS is telling you to go, the start looking for a spot where you might hide a cache in that area. I typically start looking for potential hiding spots when my GPS is telling me that I'm with 100' or sometimes even further away. After all, the object of geocaching is not to see you close you can get to a waypoint, it's to find geocaches.

     

    Yep, another good point. Even though we use the SiRFstarIII GPS engine (arguably the best performing GPS solution on the market and is what most of the high-end GPS receivers use), just like any other GPS receiver, the Geomate.jr is still only your navigation tool to get you close but then it is up to you. Nothing really changes here except for the fact that you didn't have to download anything, plan in advance, take out a small loan to buy it, or read a small novel to work out how to use the thing - perfect for a bit of casual spontaneous geocaching for you or your family. Our goal is only to make the technology easier to use and more convenient, not to eliminate the need to get down and dirty and search for the geocache.

     

    I hope this has given you a little more insight into our thinking!

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  20. Well for once in my life I have held onto receipts and packaging ... but for the life of me I can not find any information about the update product nor any of the information you folks are chatting about. >>> Has the up-dater kit been released. Thanks in advance for any assistance which might filter behind the Redwood Curtain

     

    Perhaps I can be of assistance.

     

    You can find information about the Update Kit, the rebate, as well as an Update FAQs here: http://www.mygeomate.com/update_kit

     

    We are getting dangerously close to the release of the Update Kit and admittedly, it's looking good! I think you'll be impressed. It will most likely be available for sale early July.

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  21. Confessions up front - I work for the company. Normally I stay away from plugs, but given the topic, I just had to say something. The question of "why does it have to be so hard" is the exact question we were asking ourselves when we were thinking about the Geomate.jr. Sure, the technology behind the scenes is awfully complex, but that doesn't mean the user experience needs to be the same.

     

    The entire User Guide for the Geomate.jr can be summed up in 3 steps:

     

    1. Go outside

    2. Switch it on

    3. Follow the arrow and distance to your closest geocache.

     

    In fact, these are the first steps in the Quick Start Guide - the rest are just details.

     

    Check it out for yourself: www.mygeomate.com

     

    My name is Warren and I'll be watching the forums to field any questions anyone may have.

     

    Cheers

     

    Warren

  22. Hi Warren,

     

    Are you allowed to explain the technical details of the device? How much ram, flash, rom, what type of processor, mhz, screen resolution etc..

     

    Can the device's software be updated, is it in flash rom or rom rom?

     

    Have you considered opening up the device so hackers (like me) can write their own software to run on it, similiar to what rockbox has done for the ipod (albeit without consent).

     

    Cheers,

    Kevin Pickell

    911turbos

     

    http://code.google.com/p/gpsturbo/

     

    Hmmmm, don't really want to go too deep into the technical details. But I can say "yes, the device's software can be updated and is something we plan to take advantage of with the Update Kit. People will be able to access the latest features through a software upgrade using an Update Kit."

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