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Everything posted by rlridgeway

  1. I understand some cellphones with Agps have trouble getting a fix when not in cell tower service. Is this true for the Atrix? I am thinking of getting the Atrix but a functional GPS reciever is a must.
  2. Sorry to take so long in responding. I think a 7 mile by 7 mile area topo map is in the 2 megabyte range. The maps Backcountry Navigator uses are "raster" based image files. These are magitudes larger than the "vector"based maps similar to what Garmin and others use. A raster map of the entire area of California would be enormous. My Axim X50 recently died and I replaced it with a Samsung Jack cellphone. Unfortunately the Jack will not run Backcountry Navigator. But when I used BN on the Axim I would only download the maps of the immediate vicinity of where I was needing GPS. Raster maps offer slightly more detail than the vector maps. Raster maps are kinda just pictures of the paper USGS 7 1/2 minute topo Quads. I was used to reading these maps before GPS was around and liked the format. I have found a substitute mapping program that does handle vector maps called gps VP yhat will run on my Jack. This program is OK but really wish my Jack could run BN.
  3. I haven't tested it real good yet but it appears I have found a way to use GPS on a Jack without the need for a data plan. You don't have to to use Google Maps, ATT Navigator or other approved mapping software. I found a free software called gps VP. The software takes a while to learn but you can use downloaded maps for off-line use. A major issue was getting the the software to recognize the built-in GPS receiver. There are workarounds for this issue. Google will help.
  4. Here is some more information: My Dell Axim X51 and old cellphone both crashed within a couple weeks of each other. I decide to try a converged device and settled on the Samsung Jack which runs Windows Mobile 6.1 standard (not touch screen). I am on the ATT network but do not have the data plan. I have a few questions particularily about how 6.1 works with GPS. The Jack has a built-in GPS and I have a separate bluettooth GPS receiver (an Oncourse Navigator BT 338) which I used with the Axim. Is there any off-road GPS mapping software that can work on the Jack? Will the built-in GPS work with non-ATT software or is it locked to ATT's GPS software. If the built-in GPS cannot work with other software can my bluetooth receiver still be used? I would like software that does not require the use of a data plan. I would perfer software that will use topographic maps of the US and have the ability for waypoint and track management. Any information you all have will be appreciated. This includes corrections of assumptions I have about how all this works
  5. I would like to use geocaching and mapping software with my Samsung Jack (with Windows Mobile 6.1 standard). Any ideas?
  6. If you live in the US, check out Backcountry Navigator. For 30 bucks you can get all the free pre-calibrated, high detailed 24 K topo maps you care to download. The software does geocaching well including paperless caching. There is a full-functioning 21 day free trial version.
  7. Humm.. the Ziploc type bag won't melt? If not, its a great idea. I hate, really hate having dishes to clean at camp.
  8. rlridgeway

    Help needed...

    If you live in the United States check out Backcountry Navigator. For only thirty bucks you get all the high detailed (24k) free topo maps your unit has storage space for. It does geocaching well including paperless caching. There is a full-featured trial version and the tech support is top notch.
  9. Looks like you are doing your homework. When you get up and running, let me know how things are going.
  10. Yes, it should work and is a viable option. One thing to consider is carrying your relatively fragile phone in the wild. But I have used a PDA this way for 4 years without it getting broke. I am not sure about the GPS receiver you mentioned but it looks pretty good. You can check out several models at BuyGPSNow. For topo map software check out Backcountry Navigator. This is the software I use. There is a full working ten day free trail version. The things I like about BN is: 1. The software is cheap at 30 dollars. 2. All the free 24k (high detail topo maps) of the US you can load on your unit. Older aerial photos are also available and in some areas newer aerial photos. 3. The maps are pre-calibrated. Some software requires the maps to be manually calibrated, a slow and tedious process that did not work well for me. 4. You can download GPX files for paperless caches. 5. Absolutely great tech support. The cons about BN: 1. There is a small learning curve but its really not that bad. 2. The menu layout is a little clunky. Another popular mapping software is GPS Tuner. I am not sure if it has pre-calibrated maps though. I think both software will work on Smart phone but double check with the manufacturers.
  11. The GPS will tell you the shortest route to the cache, but not necessarily the easiest, most scenic, or even fastest route to a cache. There could be a road,river, cliff, or a lot of other obstacles between you and the cache your GPS unit may indicate. This is particularly true if your unit does not have background mapping capabilities. Still you can get a lot of information about the geocache on its webpage. The topographic features of the online maps section are very helpful.
  12. There is an work-around for putting trails on a Garmin. This method has some limitations but its how I have put trails on a GPS 76 CSX and I think will work in your unit. Its been awhile since I have done it but this is how I thinks its done. The basic idea is, using your PC , draw a trail with a mapping program , and then exporting the file into the Garmin. This method is a little cumbersome but really not that bad and its all free. After the initial downloads and setup the process shouldn't take no more than 10 minutes First download Google Earth, if you haven't already. Then obtain 24 K topographic maps (which normally has many trails in printed on them) that can be used in Google Earth I use Google Earth plus a Google Earth add-on called gpsvisualizer to do this. (Both are free) 1. Go to www.gpsvisualizer.com and select the Google Earth overlays option 2. In the overlay page select the area you want to have a topo map of. I usually type in a nearby town and state or a prominent place and state. Be sure the USGS Topo maps is chosen in the map menu andKeep the map size under about 15 x 15 KM. Click overlay. 3. You should then get a page which automatically opens that gives you the option to download the overlay 4. Download the overlay on your PC The next stage is to open the overlay in Google Earth and draw the trail in Google Earth 1. Double click the overlay file 2. Google Earth should open to with the overlay. (it may take the overlaya minute or so to appear properly) 3. On the menu bar in GE select "Add" then "path" 4. From here you can name the path and then trace the trail 5. Click OK 6. When finished you will see the file's name in the to the left, in the sidebar. 7. Right click the file and save as a KML. Now send the KML to your Garmin: Download a program called DNR Garmin at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/tools/a.../DNRGarmin.html 1. Connect your unit to the PC 2. Make DNR Garmin reconizes your unit 3. Go to "File" then select "Set Projection" the under "Datum" select "WGS 84" and under projections select "No projections" Select OK (you will not have to repeat this step after the intial setup) 4. Under File select "Load From" then "File" 5. When the Navigation box appears in the "Files of Type" menu select "Google Earth Format" and navigate, select, and the KML file you created. 6. A box should appear select Line 7. From the Menu Bar select upload 8. The file should upload to your unit as a track. Your trail will be called a track in Garminese. There are limitations to how many tracks the Garmin can hold. I think 20, but I may be mistaken.
  13. I use a mapping software called Backcountry Navigator. Three reasons it may serve your needs: Paperless geocaching: Information can be enbedded in the software including an icon on map, cache description, including hint, and several of the most recents posts about the cache Maps: All of the Free, pre-calibrated, high detail 24K topo and aerial maps of the US you want. Cheap: the software only costs $30.00 There is a free 10 day trial. Check it out at HERE
  14. I wonder what the violation was? I doubt very seriously that "looking" for a geocache is any kind of violation. Placing a geocache, perhaps. But looking for one? hum...
  15. rlridgeway

    Best GPS for BFE

    oops.... wrote too soon before reading entire post from OP. I now have no comment
  16. I have recently stumbled onto a solution to this dilemma. I will continue to hunt for caches this winter but as soon as the weather breaks, I plan to spend most of my caching time placing them. I am waiting for spring because the areas I wish to place them are difficult to access in winter. This way I save the caches in the lowlands for winter but still have geocaching activity in the warm season while increasing the number of caches in the area. Any new caches that are placed in the low lands by others, will be available for me to hunt in the snowy months.
  17. I don't understand why people think there is a problem. My experience has been a positive one. Perhaps it because I look at geocaching as a casual hobby and mainly as an excuse to get off the couch a couple of times a month.There is a ton of information about each cache and if someone wishes to filter out the "trash caches" it seems like a fairly easy process. Micros are not my cup of tea and obviously I am not into the numbers thing but don't begrudge those that do. I rarely trade swag but how could I complain about the quality if I did? This is all voluntary. No one made me visit the cache and I can stop the hunt at anytime.
  18. What GPS program do you have loaded on your laptop?
  19. This is probably not operator error but how the system works. The GPS receives satellite signals every second. The new signal will be off a little from the previous signal. Even when standing still, each signal will give a slightly different location from the previous one. But not by a whole lot. Recreation grade GPS is real good at getting you within about 50 feet of a known location. To test how this works, after checking the settings Cardinal Red suggested in a previous post, go to a location in your neighborhood. Create a waypoint at that location. Then walk away from the location 300 feet or so. Then use your GPS to return to that waypoint. Your GPS should get you close to the spot you created the waypoint but it won't be exact.
  20. ...as in a local geocaching organization. I know there are probably no statistics on this, but was just wondering?
  21. There are several you can choose at Handango I use Backcountry Navigator but you may want to check to make sure it works with your device. Backcounty Navigator handle geocaching files well and allows for free download of detailed USGS topo maps of the entire US. The maps are downloaded from the internet. Check it out at Backcountry Navigator
  22. If the Dell Axims mentioned above have the Windows mobile 2003SE operating system or later, you could use Backcountry Navigator. It costs 30 dollars. Backcountry Navigator and handles geocaching files well. But the big deal it that you can download all the free topographic and aerial photos you want for free. If you plunk down an extra 50 bucks or so you could get a GPS receiver that works with Backcountry Navigator and places your location on the maps, record tracks, ect. To find your operating system on the Axim: go to the "Start Menu" then "Settings" then "System" then " System Information" There is a great site devoted to the Dell Axims at Aximsite Information on Backcountry Navigator can be found HERE GPS receivers for PDAs can be found HERE
  23. "If you ain't never been lost, you ain't spent enough time in the woods"
  24. Presently when I import waypoints they show up with blue flag symbol. How can I set it so another symbol is defaulted?
  25. As a casual geocacher I find all this somewhat interesting. Its kind of humorous that people will actually lie about how many finds they have. Its equally humorous that others get so worked up about the lying.
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