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Everything posted by fratermus

  1. It's a lat/long coordinate. Like an x,y coordinate you used to do on graph paper in math, only projected onto the surface of the earth instead of on paper. It represents a location on the surface of the earth. Like where your house is. Where your car is parked. Where that tree is over there. Or, apropos to GC, where the geocache is hidden.
  2. My understanding is that the caches are already loaded in the GPSr, and it doesn't require a computer. Are you using the Update Kit? I didn't know it was being sold yet.
  3. Or the datum was wrong, or the coords were punched in wrong...
  4. My advice: find a few caches before you drop $$$ or time on maps. The pointer will point to the cache regardless of the mapset. Part of the fun can be figuring how out to get to the cache area when you only have a cardinal direction. Your mileage may vary, of course.
  5. Interesting. Sounds like a connector that controls those buttons or a piece of hardware that holds them in place from the back has failed. I don't think I would open it, as there is no obvious way to get into a Foretrex that I remember. Is it still under warranty? If not, it might be cheaper to get a used replacement off eBay than to pay the $80 out of warranty fee or whatever. PS. I love my 201. I use it almost everyday on my bicycle.
  6. If the problem is tree cover or other difficult conditions, then the Etrex H (ie, high sensitivity) is low cost and will alleviate that problem. Keep the Etrex as a spare/backup/loaner. If the problem happens while looking at the GPS when you are near the cache, then stop doing that. :-)
  7. Feel free to contribute your own non-worthless mapset to the project.
  8. If you mean you don't know what a cache container looks like, then try this. As far as not buying one, I guess you can borrow one from a friend or check one out from the city rec department. Used ones are cheap, as cheap as $40-50. Until then you can paste coordinates into maps.google.com and cache that way.
  9. Interesting. I'll remember to keep my paws off the buttons while my 60-series boots. To the OP: I don't think there is a mechanism for storing the firmware on the SD and loading it into the GPS from there. You could take along a laptop or something and flash it in the field, I guess.
  10. "Paperless" and "loading data straight into the GPS" are not necessarily the same thing. Loading data can be done with Mapsource, EasyGPS, GSAK, etc. I prefer EasyGPS. Loading paperless info (an extended set of info usually including logs and other cache information) is not possible to the same degree on different GPS units. The newer touchscreen units have built-in functionality to recieve paperless data. Older units have either limited or no ability to accept the data. In fact, the original meaning of paperless generally required the use of a PDA (palm, smartphone, etc). I use gpx2html to transform gpx files into indexed .html which I load onto my T-Mobile SDA. Which Garmin? The Garmin plugin you refer to is probably the Garmin Communicator plugin, which is used on GC is for feeding cache data to the connected GPS via the browser. I don't know if it's just the basics or can send more detailed info for premium members.
  11. Chipset. To quote Princess Bride: "I do not think that word means what you think it means." Normally, chipset means something like "the electronic chip and circuits that comprise the GPS receiver and receiver logic hardware" (MTK, SiRFstarIII, etc). I suspect you mean something else; maybe firmware, maybe a mapset (on an SD card or elsewhere). Maybe a route/waypoint data. Maybe something else I haven't thought of.
  12. Both the 60csx and the Vista HCX come with a basemap and no other maps unless you find them in some kind of bundle somewhere. Mapping Garmin GPSr sold new in North America will have the North American basemap: the continent's highways, water bodies, political division, major roads, etc. The data is simplified/reduced to make it fit the assigned amount of space in the unit. It will be enough to see roughly where you are in relation to major features but many people, probably misunderstanding the inherent constraints, complain that it is not useful. I do not make that complaint. Topo maps are detailed maps intended to convey topographical detail. The rise and fall of the land, terrain, altitude changes. Useful for hiking, I suppose, and some use it for caching. I own Topo and never use it. . If you've ever bought a paper topo map from USGS then you might be the right person for that product. Personally, I use a 60cx in the hand, a ForeTrex 201 on the bike, and a refurb i3 in the car. If I had to pick just one it would be the 60cx.
  13. Most mapping Garmins come with only a basemap which is permanently affixed in the unit. You can buy routing maps like City Nav which are locked to the unit. Some auto/motorcycle units come with CN on them already. here are also unlocked maps which are technically transferable* but they, generally speaking, do not autoroute out of the box. If you tell us what kind of unit you are considering and what you are planning to do with it we, collectively, will have a better chance of answering your questions. * Read the the EULA to see if Garmin thinks they are legally transferable
  14. Make peace with this process: get 10m from the cache and put the GPS in your pocket. Your human instincts and eyes are supposed to guide you in the final bit. There are about 100 kerbillion jillion billion threads on these forums where this question is asked and answered. Sometimes the words used are different, but usually not. back to the rock pile, Sisyphus
  15. What do you mean when you say you can't get an accurate reading? Not finding the cache does not necessarily imply an inaccurate GPS coordinate. I'd doublecheck the datum, use a cable to upload waypoint coord, and pay less attention to the GPS when you get close to ground zero.
  16. Might also search youtube for . Sometimes seeing someone else do it first makes it easier.
  17. I think it would be amusing to scan them and post them in the gallery for posterity. I supposed someone might conceivably call "privacy foul", but when you sign the log you know that at the very least the maintainer and all subsequent signers will see them, right?
  18. All GPS are accurate enough for geocaching uses. Commercial/military grade GPS are way, way above the $400 ceiling. If you want something simple this might be the trick.
  19. Not yet, but you will. :-) The way people hide in natural settings can have a different feel than how people hide caches in man-made settings. Containers are more often disguised/camoflaged. There was one that taunted me many, many times. The most frustrating thing was that it was pretty far into a nature park. I think it was 1.5 miles from the parking area to get to ground zero. So once I got there I would wander and wander and beat myself up about it. How could I walk that far in then give up DNF? Longest search time was about 3 hrs. So on the (4th? 5th?) trip out the wife and I had been out there for about 45mins. Some cubscouts came over and asked what we were doing. One walked over, picked it up and said "Is this what you're looking for?" I had it in my hand and still wasn't sure until I opened it up. The cub scout apologized for finding it so fast (ha ha) and we told him it was a giant relief. So don't feel bad.
  20. Welcome to the obsession! My tips: * make special note of cache logs that mention PI (poison ivy). Look up poison ivy on the web if you don't remember what it looks like. * bring a pencil/pen and spare batts for the gps * when you stop the car to get out and caches, either mark it with a waypoint or maybe have a waypoint called "PARKING" and reuse it. * stop looking at the GPS when you get within 50' or so * it gets easier with time....
  21. Purchase price is not a reliable indicator of suitability.
  22. The GPSvisualizer I mentioned above will do both in one step and for free.
  23. Yay! Glad it helped. I was reading some more and some folks say that a later firmware may also help keep the problem away. Keeping sat lock under tree cover is not so much a new v. old thing as it is a normal chip v. high-sensitivity chip thing.* High Sensitivity chips do a much better job getting/keeping lock in challenging GPS situations. There is a Vista H version now, for example, and the H in there stands for High Sensitivity. frater mus *Although the market seems to be moving to HS chips almost by default.
  24. In the absence of specific guidance on why a more-accurate-than-normal GPS would be useful, I will say (no offense intended) that many people who ask this question are barking up the wrong tree. An abnormally accurate GPS is a diminishing returns thing unless one is in the military, in construction, cartography, running the DARPA challenge etc. And those folks wouldn't ask here, anyway. The sat constellation changes constantly, the physical environment of the GPSr changes constantly unless we just sit it down somewhere and leave it. It's very hard to go wrong with a modern handheld. I'd advise the newcomer to: buy a unit with a high-sensitivity receiver, turn on WAAS, and stop looking at the GPS when he gets within 50' of the cache.
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