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Everything posted by jmundinger

  1. There is true north (the North Pole) and magnetic north (which is several hundred miles from the north pole). It is a bit complicated, but suffice it to say that if you are only interested in geocaching it won't make any differance which one you use. However, if you are going to do backpacking and will be using a compass, map, and your gps then you should make sure your gps is set for true north. It is a facinating subject (for some people), and if you want to learn more about it you can take classes (REI has several) or read some books on the subject. OldA'sFan I agree with this advice - EXCEPT - for backpacking, I would set the gps to GRID north, not true north. That way, north on the gps would be the same as north on the map. And, I would set the declination angle on the compass (assuming your compass has the capability) so that north on the compass was also the same as that on the map. The declination angle varies depending location - it can be found in the legend of the quad map. You can also use the gps to determine the declination angle for your current location. Set the heading to magnetic north and that screen will display the angle.
  2. ...and, once downloaded/installed, within MapSource, you have to select the map set that you are trying to use - there is a box on the toolbar for that purpose.
  3. Which is may be worth to consider getting a Legend H or a Venture HC which both use standard cheap USB cables. An eTrex + Serial cable + Serial to USB adapter propably cost as much or more than a Legend H. You'll also get map support as a bonus. I second this suggestion. The usb cable is worth the difference in price and you will appreciate the mapping capability.
  4. nRoute is the function that does that. http://www8.garmin.com/support/agree.jsp?id=575 ooops. I guess that program is no longer free.
  5. My assessment on price did not include that consideration. Go for it! But, the suggestion regarding the user manual for the legend c still applies. You'll get more enjoyment from the unit if you can use all of its features and that would be easier to figure out from the older manual.
  6. Ah i see now, forgive the questions. I've been researching GPS units and they do document a lot of specifications but they are lacking in some areas such as this. So i can punch in or download my coordinates set a way point and switch to the navigation page and follow the navigational arrow so long as i am moving? If I were making the purchase, I think I would buy the Venture HC rather than the Legend H. They have very similar functionality, the Venture HC is a little nicer unit and the cost is not that much more. In either case, if you buy one, go to the Garmin site and download the users manual for the Legend c, a discontinued unit. The functionality is the same - but the old users manual is much more complete.
  7. Here are a couple of options with prices that probably are competitive with Amazon: http://www.offroute.com/product/view_produ...amp;CatID=14347 http://www.offroute.com/product/view_produ...amp;CatID=14347
  8. get a Venture HC. The cost is not much more than that of a eTrex and it comes with a usb cable
  9. If that has the cable that connects to a serial port, it might work with a serial/usb adapter. I no longer have my old eTrex, which also used the serial cable, so I have never tried it. Others have reported mixed results - apparently some adapters work better than others. One piece of free software that will work is easyGPS. You could also try the option of loading a cache directly to the gps. That step will look for and then install the Garmin app for that purpose - but I don't know whether it works with the older units.
  10. Add me to the list of very satisfied Vista HCx users. It took Garmin a little while to work all of the kinks out of this unit, but even with those kinks, it was still a good unit. Now, with the current firmware and chipset software, the bugs seem to have been corrected. If you get one, make sure to do update it.
  11. My first suggestion would be to try one more time to acquire the satellites, using the following procedure (from the garmin website): To try to acquire a satellite fix: 1. Go to the Satellite page. 2. Press Menu. 3. Select New Location. 4. Select Automatic. To acquire satellites, leave the unit outdoors with an open sky view for at least 20 minutes. If that doesn't correct the problem, you might have to do a master reset (save the stored information that you don't want to lose before you do it). The following instructions for a master reset also are from the garmin website: If the eTrex is not responding correctly, for example it is not receiving a satellite signal, it may be necessary to perform a master reset. This can also be used if you want to restore the factory default settings. To reset the device please follow these steps: 1. Turn off the device 2. Press PAGE, ENTER and POWER. 3. You will see a message on the screen that says "Do you really want to erase all user data?". Select Yes. 4. The device will now reboot, leave it with a clear view of the sky for 30 minutes to acquire the satellite almanac. Please be aware that a master reset will erase all waypoints or favorites and will restore your device to the default factory settings.
  12. A couple more suggestions - the first is a general one. Go to the Garmin website and download the users manual for the Legend C (discontinued model). The functions are the same as for you unit but the old users manual is much more complete. Check the geocache setup page and make sure that the cache icons are selected (or, just do a restore defaults). Also, as a check on communicator, try downloading the caches to Mapsource and then upload from mapsource to your gpsr.
  13. I have a Legend C. It has the same internal memory as the Legend H/Venture HC, i..e. 24 mb. Currently, it is loaded with a map set from Topo 2008 - 1/100K - that includes about the northern half of Yellowstone Park, most of Glacier National Park and the swath of land between the two.
  14. The waypoints include a symbol. Unless the waypoints are labeled with a cache symbol, the unit won't recognize them as caches and the "cache mode" won't work with those waypoints.
  15. I'd recommend the Garmin eTrex Venture HC. It is a few dollars more than the eTrex H, but comes with MapSource and a USB cable. The eTrex H comes with neither. It doesn't work with MapSource. You can purchase a cable, but it uses a serial port, not a USB port and the cost for the eTrex H plus the serial cable would just about pay for the Venture HC. The Venture HC would cost about $130 at OffRoute.com
  16. Scroll to the compass page. From that page, use the menu button (lowest button on the left side as you are looking at the screen). On the menu, you have the option to select the course pointer if you currently are in the bearing pointer mode or vice versa if you are in the course pointer mode. Also, as a suggestion, go the the Garmin site and look for the Vista C - it is a discontinued model - and download the user's manual for that unit. The Vista C and Summit HC are very similar models. The principle difference is the receiver. The functions are all the same. The user's manual for the Vista C is much complete than the manuals for the newer models.
  17. I don't think you can go wrong with either unit. As others have suggested, it really depends on whether you want the electronic compass. Also, if you are concerned about cost and don't need the additional memory for storing maps, you also might consider the Venture HC and Summit HC, essentially the same units as he Legend and Vista, except they have a fixed 24mb internal memory and do not accept the memory card.
  18. You might check out one of these: http://www.igage.com/mp/magellan_professional_gps.htm
  19. Of the two, I would go with the Legend H because it has the better receiver. But, if you are making a decision based on budget, I think you should also consider the Venture HC - it also has the high sensitivity receiver and sells for about the same price. As the other poster suggested, go to the Garmin site and use the compare feature.
  20. As others have suggested, your unit appears to be operating correctly. The standard error for recreational grade gpsr is more than 20ft. And, if you take into account that the person who hid the cache also has a unit that is limited by that standard error, you could be off by 40 ft and still not question the accuracy of your gpsr. If you are concerned about the accuracy of your gpsr, trying looking for a few benchmarks - preferrably benchmarks in open places, with a clear view of the sky. I suspect that, for most of them, the gpsr will read well within its published standard error. But, don't expect that level of accuracy when you are searching for caches.
  21. Given what you have described, I don't think you need anything more expensive than a Garmin Venture HC - for about $125. It comes with MapSource - a basic mapping program that will interface with GoogleEarth - and a USB cable. You can download (free) maps for your area from gpsfiledepot that will work as a data layer in MapSource. You also might try USAPhotomaps (shareware awailable from jdmcox.com).
  22. which ones are the waas satellites?
  23. As others have suggested, based on your description, the gps seems to be functioning within normal error limits. And, when you are looking for caches, remember that you are dealing with the standard error of your gpsr plus the standard error of the cache owner's gpsr. Here are a couple of suggestions for things you might try. If you are concerned about the accuracy of your unit, try search for a few benchmarks, preferably benchmarks in locations that have a clear view of the sky. Also, when looking for caches, put your gpsr down and on the level, rather than walking around with it. Typically, a unit that has been stationary for a minute or two will give you a little better estimate of your location than a unit that is in motion.
  24. Download a copy of the user's manual for the Vista c, a discontinued unit. The functions of the Vista c and the Vista HCx are identical. The older manual is much more comprehensive.
  25. Pardon me for being flip, but the answer really is as long as you want. The averaging function makes a calculation based on the number of data points plotted, with new points added at a rate of about 1/sec. Theoretically, the more points the the smaller the standard deviation around the average as an estimate of the actual location of the waypoint. And, note that you are plotting an estimate of the location - not the actual point. You can demonstrate that for yourself by plotting three waypoints at the same location (using the averaging method) and then display them on your computer - EasyGPS is good for this experiment because it will zoom in to a very large scale. The three points will be different. The method that I typically use when hiding a cache is to place the unit in a horizontal position on top of the cache location, leave the unit in place for about five minutes and then let the unit average about 100 points before saving the waypoint.
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