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TAZ427

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Everything posted by TAZ427

  1. EMAIL SENT: September 15, 2021 NAME RECEIVED BY ME: September 26, 2021 MISSION SENT BY ME: October 9, 2021 OUTGOING MISSION ARRIVED AT DESTINATION: October 6, 2021 INCOMING MISSION RECEIVED BY ME:
  2. I'm in! Sent my info to Laval K-9: Feb 26thName received from Laval K-9: March 6thSent my gift: March 10thMy gift arrived at destination:I received a gift: March 11th Updated: Shipped out gift!
  3. I'm in this year! Sent my info to Laval K-9: 11/14/2020Name received from Laval K-9: 11/28/2020Sent my gift: 12/09/2020My gift arrived at destination:I received a gift: 12/07/2020 Info Updated 12/09/2020
  4. Yes you can. You can select/deselect the gpx files you want to be active/inactive on the device via the filter screen. That's probably one of the nicest new features I've seen to date. I end up using c:geo and have the specific caches in separate lists to do this, it would be nice to have on the GPSr.
  5. Yes. Previously, if a LIVE GC upload was made, any GPX/GGZ data already on your device was completely removed from the SQL database, leaving you only the information brought by the LIVE GC upload for the geocaches in that upload. If the LIVE GC data was 'removed' from the Oregon 7xx via the Geocaching Options on the device, existing GPX/GGZ data was not restored, leaving you with no information for those geocaches. Firmware 2.70 now simply recognizes when you already have GPX/GGZ information on your device for geocaches in the LIVE GC upload and does not change anything for those caches. Of course, this means you can not get any updated or newer information for these, so they still have not implemented the best solution, but it is an improvement. I was really hoping they would either do as before, and overwrite the SQL database with the newer information UNTIL you remove the LIVE data, and then restore the GPX/GGZ data already on the device, OR simply show both the LIVE GC geocache data AND the device GPX/GGZ geocache data simultaneously, like they used to show both GC.com and Opencaching.com data simultaneously. IE, you might have two listing for the same cache, one is from the device GPX/GGZ data, the other is from the LIVE GC upload. Simply adding a special symbol or note to the listing would help the user differentiate between the LIVE GC and GPX/GGZ entries. GARMIN, are you listening? I'd like it to update to the latest online information, just so long as it uses my account and corrected coordinates. If it doesn't use this, then I don't want it overwriting my GPX/GGZ unless I explicitly tell it to.
  6. It is documented here 8^) This is pretty much my point. It's known well enough to be documented on wiki's but it's not in official Garmin documentation such as their User Manual http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/Oregon_6xx_OM_EN.pdf I ended up learning more about my device from the garminoregon6xx.wikispaces.com than I did from Garmin (i.e. manual and their webpages.) I don't know when that page came about, but I didn't find it until sometime after Geowoodstock 2013 at which point I had it a couple weeks before going to Geowoodstock 2013 and then got to spend a lot of time getting very familiar with it's capabilities as we had a long roadtrip from Houston, TX to Lakeland, FL Overall I still love my Oregon 600, but there's just those couple of things that I need to complain about on occasion. My pet peeve was probably more about the fact that Garmin didn't document that you need to calibrate it every time and also implied that it was calibrated from the factory and would auto-calibrate over time in their manual which either it did a crap job of it or didn't do it at all. I won't give Garmin any credit for a community driven wiki page that has it documented well.
  7. I suspect the material and charge level inside each battery affects the compass reading to some small degree, and the calibration is to offset that value. Each time the batteries are removed, the GPSr must assume the newly installed batteries are not the same batteries removed, and re-calibrate to the 'new' batteries. While there is some small amount of truth to this, it's should be minimal, hence the some small degree. It appears to reset to the factory calibration, which is awful (at least on mine and every person that I know IRL that ones one.) I even tried it with their 'Battery Pack' that I borrowed for a test and still had the same experience. The manual actually states that it was calibrated at the factory, and uses automatic calibrating by default. And it says nothing about needing to re-calibrate after replacing the batteries or that it goes back to factory calibration settings (which appears to be the case, and which are complete crap.) I've never seen it auto calibrate - I've used it for couple long days of caching with frustration the compass being bad and it never got better when I first bought it. It wasn't until I did some looking online and found others that had discovered you need to recalibrate it after changing the batteries did I figure this out. I'd even accept it to a degree if Garmin would have put it in their documentation something like "For best performance, you should re-calibrate the compass after swapping out batteries"
  8. My 650 froze so often I returned it to Garmin after 11 months. Many people said theirs was fine. Garmin replaced it with a brand new one - which did exactly the same thing. Sometimes I would be removing batteries and putting them back in 3 times an hour. (I'm fairly sure it's power related as when the batteries discharge somewhat it actually gets more stable) I get that occasionally on my 600. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes I can go all day with no issues, other times I need to pull the batteries several times an outing. (For the record, my GPSMAP 62s also did this, so I think it's a common element in some of the firmwares). My caching buddy uses "find next closest" quite a bit, and you have to wait a bit before actually pressing it. I think the device takes a bit to mark the cache as being found. We both use GGZ files when we load our devices with GSAK. Never pulled the batter for the lockup. I simply hold the power button until it powers down and then power it back up. I prefer not to pull the battery as that means I need to recalibrate the compass. Which is another pet-peeve of mine. Why does the compass calibration go out when you pull the battery. I'd think they'd keep the info in long term data storage, but it doesn't appear that way as my compass is never happy after pulling the batteries. One recommendation is to user key (button below the power key) quick push to toggle the screen. It makes life a lot easier if you're hiking and you toggle the screen off as it also stops the touch screen actions (i.e. you're not in some remote menu or didn't accidentally change all your filter settings from it bouncing around.) After you use it a couple times this way, it becomes second nature to hit the button when you grab it to look at at and when you put it away. Everything else stays active with the screen is off, and the on is near instantaneous so it's a great feature.
  9. Last month the garmin let me down - I'd loaded caches from gsak as usual, tested they were all there, set it to the first one. I arrived and did the first cache, hit "Find next closest" (extremely useful feature) and... Nothing. It had lost every other cache. So I switched to the phone and C:Geo. I had to miss the next two caches as I climbed the hill far enough to get a signal, and c:geo took about 20 minutes of weak signal to load the 20 other caches I wanted to do, but it did so and I was able to rescue most of the day. I mention this because it was the first time I used C:Geo for an extended time and it wasn't as good for me - in fact I ended up copying the coords of each cache onto the garmin and setting them as a waypoint for navigating. The "Going backwards" issue is my assumption of why C:Geo would freeze. The screen would stop responding and eventually Android would give its "No longer responding, Wait/Close" warning and I had to bail out. I then learned that if I didn't go from cache to cache each time, instead navigating back from each cache once done to the first menu page, the crashes stopped. So I'm assuming, rightly or wrongly, that it's not freeing memory when used in the way I was doing so. (The phone is a Moto-G4, 2gb ram and plenty of onboard memory, everything else runs well) I don't want to be negative about c:geo because it's the best I've tried and it's truly awesome that it's free and not crippled with adverts. It's just... I don't find the interface as intuitive as Garmin (personal choice) although every feature I want is there, somewhere... It is difficult to be fair and impartial because each of us forms a strong routine for doing this stuff; we have a personal set of tools, systems and methods and there is probably a default negative position when we have to change from that routine. Much as I like tinkering with software and maps, I'd rather things worked perfectly and as I want them when I'm out and caching, allowing me to focus more on my surroundings than on the technology. My perfect system probably will never exist unless I write it, and its user base will be exactly 1 if I do. I had pretty much the same question. And with the exception of maybe opening a list w/ > 30K geocaches in it. I've seldom seen it crash in the past 5yrs or so (not sense the first few months or so after the group of Android developers took it over from Caramichael or whatever the original creators name was back in 2011 - and then the few issues do to API changes from Groundspeak which were quickly patched.) That said, i've got the same caches stored on my phone as my GPSr. I tend to sync them together w/ GSAK every couple weeks or so and keep all caches w/i about 65mi fresh. The one advantage that c:geo has is definitely being able to update caches as occasionally when looking you want to pull old logs, pictures, and sometimes even the refresh you'll find out that the cache was removed and archived the day before I have had the Oregon do the freeze when trying to get Hints, Logs, and other Details. And also had it select the same cache that I'm at when hitting find next cache (got to let it sit for several seconds after marking cache as found to avoid this.) Like was mentioned everyone has there own routines. I prefer my Oregon 600 while walking a trail to grab caches and c:geo when Navigating to a cache by car. And I'll more often then not pull out my phone if I want extra details about a cache, or if I want a quick Sat elite view. As far as accuracy. I can't say I see much difference between my Galaxy S5 vs my Oregon 600. And I'd say my S5 was better than my Oregon 450 was (no GLONASS on the 450)
  10. Yeah, the ones where the distance is different, but there's ones that the distance was the same, but on different listing sites.
  11. Not sure why you'd use the Macro. I've been using the standard File -> Export GPX/POI/GGZ option for a few years now. First on my Oregon 450 and then on my Oregon 600. I use .ggz on my 600. Works like a charm. I've had as many as 100K in my .ggz file and it's no problem. It basically packs them into tiles of gpx's inside the ggz and only pulls out what's needed, so it may only have several thousand on screen. Right now it can support more than the total active geocaches in existence, so even if it is a 4M geocache limit it's beyond what's realistically needed. I had similar questions regarding Live. Sounds like that part is buggy and it's the major change going from the 600 to the 700 that I was interested in. I don't mind plugging in a cable when downloading my .gpx/.ggz from GSAK or loading new .img maps and .kml overlays. Not worth the upgrade to the 700 from the 600. But I'd definitely say I love the 600 over the 400 series. The touch screen is much more sensitive and accurate, about like a smartphone, and the best part is that it's like reading paper when in full sunlight (I turn the backlighting down really low - not quite off, I need to be able to see it when I first turn it on if at night.) I'd also highly recommend programming the lower button as a quick button to toggle the screen off. It does to things, 1 - saves the battery by turning the screen off when you're not using it and 2 - Prevents the tons of touches the screen will get if you're walking around with it clipped on your pack/beltloop/... as you'll end up in some menu somewhere, changing settings (especially the cache filters - and you know there was supposed to be a cache here - why isn't it showing up now...) You'll get use to grabbing it, quick push the screen's on, looking, quick push screen's off put it back... For what it's worth, the differences in operating between the 400 series and the 600/700 series aren't that difficult to figure out. Put it in geocaching mode, click geocache icon, you got three tabs up top - The left most (looks like a play button i.e. triangle pointed to the right ) shows the current selected cache - you can get the description, logs, hints, coordinates, log it .. from that screen, the middle one (looks like a geocache box) shows the list of nearby geoaches, the right most has (filter icon - looks like a funnel) has the filter options - when you look at it it's pretty self explanatory - grey'd out means it's filtered out. You may need to spend some time figuring a few things out, but it's mostly intuitive. I don't know if you downloaded the free OSM maps for your 450, but I'd not pay Garmin for what you can get more accurate and up to date maps for free. I'd recommend looking at this website - which gives details about how to load them and a list of various sites to get them from. http://garminoregon6xx.wikispaces.com/Maps I like the maps from https://www.openmapchest.org/ for my country/content maps. I've used them in North America, South America and Europe. If you have any questions on how to do this send a message to me on Geocaching.com (TAZ427) - Don't message me through the forum as I don't check it frequently, if you message me through geocaching.com I'll get it and respond quickly. Why are there duplicate (and triplicate) listings in the cache list? I probably should have snagged another picture off the internet. I believe the other's are from the now defunct OpenCaching.com (Garmin gave up on having it's own listing service) and parking Waypoints. I've never loaded them so I never see them. A couple more images are more typical This one shows it with D/T info in a star system and black background (Auto switches to the black background at night) There's also other options to have more are less details as to the direction and distance to cache (i.e. have degrees vs NW general info)
  12. Not sure why you'd use the Macro. I've been using the standard File -> Export GPX/POI/GGZ option for a few years now. First on my Oregon 450 and then on my Oregon 600. I use .ggz on my 600. Works like a charm. I've had as many as 100K in my .ggz file and it's no problem. It basically packs them into tiles of gpx's inside the ggz and only pulls out what's needed, so it may only have several thousand on screen. Right now it can support more than the total active geocaches in existence, so even if it is a 4M geocache limit it's beyond what's realistically needed. I had similar questions regarding Live. Sounds like that part is buggy and it's the major change going from the 600 to the 700 that I was interested in. I don't mind plugging in a cable when downloading my .gpx/.ggz from GSAK or loading new .img maps and .kml overlays. Not worth the upgrade to the 700 from the 600. But I'd definitely say I love the 600 over the 400 series. The touch screen is much more sensitive and accurate, about like a smartphone, and the best part is that it's like reading paper when in full sunlight (I turn the backlighting down really low - not quite off, I need to be able to see it when I first turn it on if at night.) I'd also highly recommend programming the lower button as a quick button to toggle the screen off. It does to things, 1 - saves the battery by turning the screen off when you're not using it and 2 - Prevents the tons of touches the screen will get if you're walking around with it clipped on your pack/beltloop/... as you'll end up in some menu somewhere, changing settings (especially the cache filters - and you know there was supposed to be a cache here - why isn't it showing up now...) You'll get use to grabbing it, quick push the screen's on, looking, quick push screen's off put it back... For what it's worth, the differences in operating between the 400 series and the 600/700 series aren't that difficult to figure out. Put it in geocaching mode, click geocache icon, you got three tabs up top - The left most (looks like a play button i.e. triangle pointed to the right ) shows the current selected cache - you can get the description, logs, hints, coordinates, log it .. from that screen, the middle one (looks like a geocache box) shows the list of nearby geoaches, the right most has (filter icon - looks like a funnel) has the filter options - when you look at it it's pretty self explanatory - grey'd out means it's filtered out. You may need to spend some time figuring a few things out, but it's mostly intuitive. I don't know if you downloaded the free OSM maps for your 450, but I'd not pay Garmin for what you can get more accurate and up to date maps for free. I'd recommend looking at this website - which gives details about how to load them and a list of various sites to get them from. http://garminoregon6xx.wikispaces.com/Maps I like the maps from https://www.openmapchest.org/ for my country/content maps. I've used them in North America, South America and Europe. If you have any questions on how to do this send a message to me on Geocaching.com (TAZ427) - Don't message me through the forum as I don't check it frequently, if you message me through geocaching.com I'll get it and respond quickly.
  13. Don't do that just yet. The 7x0 series does not automatically load your PQ's, but when it does work, you can manually load them, as well as geocaches anywhere on the map, in batches of 25. Problem (and a huge one) is, Groundspeak only sends the basic information for each cache (even for your PQ's), and the GPSr is only allowed to load the pertinent information (the information you need to actually find the cache) when you actually open each individual cache to view it. So, if you are out of wifi or cell phone service when you want to view the cache data, not gonna happen, unless you already had it loaded before you left the house, which is exactly what you already do with the 6x0 series. Thanks, I watched a couple video's and it looked like they were just using a generic API App to load local info (and of course needing to be Wirelessly tethered via cellphone hotspot.) From what you said, it sounds like it wouldn't load the extra information like cache notes and edited coordinates on Mystery/Puzzle caches. This is the biggest PIA that I deal with on my GPSr (and Smartphone.) I use GSAK and then refresh my caches (About 12K in my local area w/ 50mi radius PQ's over time spans...) I still seem to end up in the field going to the wrong location on occasion thinking that I'm going to the solved coords or not seeing it on my GPSr. It's a bit better on my phone using c:geo as I get the pencil icon over the cache for anything that's got notes or has coords updated and I can at least refresh it. Anyway if I effectively still need to use GSAK, then even with WiFi advantages, it's not worth upgrading for me at this time.
  14. I googled for this, and looked through this thread and I can't seem to find an answer to what they heck Garmin really means by "You can set your device to automatically stay up to date with all the latest caches from Geocaching.com" Currently I own an Oregon 600, and while the WiFi, BT and App functionality addition is nice, it's not enough to convince me to upgrade. But reading this in the features list had me question what exactly do they mean. Does it go read you PQs when you're connected to WiFi? Is it something else. I'm sure it's not as Ubiquitous as the statement implies, but it may be enough to convince me to buy a 700 and ebay my 600.
  15. Not really worried about that, it would only be the SSID that's being broadcast it's a short burst packet that's relatively infrequent, there should be no notable impact from collisions w/o traffic, heck I'd use the same channel I've got my router on, which I tend to move around as neighbors change their equipment/get new neighbors, so that I keep mine in the most open band available. Plus the strength of the little AP I'm using is crap compared to my router.
  16. That's an interesting idea. I've got an old AP that's not in use (had it setup as a gateway to network a remote printer which has since been replaced by a WiFi capable printer.) I could set it up so that you should be able to see it at the street in front of the house. If not, I'll grab my old WRT54G which I know you could see out at the street. And most people can use a WiFi Analyser App on their smartphones to pick up the SSID. I could do a couple of caches requiring them to go by the house. Maybe one day I'll even setup it up w/ a server and make people solve a puzzle on it or something like that. You are correct. I had to tweak it (barely) once in the few years I have had it running. It is in a parks building that is not climate controlled - so cold in the winter and hot in the summer. There's a little bit of rubber band in the pot to keep things from wiggling around. Thanks, this will be indoor, but I use a programmable thermostat so when I'm not there it could be between 60-90deg.
  17. I've seen some higher end ones w/ 0.5W power for $50-60 (on sale)but was really trying to keep it below $20, I may just go with the Canakit (self assemble $17 and I'd toss an AC/DC adapter on there but no need for details.) Looks like it has a trim pot on it to adjust the frequency, how sensitive is it, and do you know if it drifts with temp thus channel drifting?
  18. Ok, I'm reviving this thread from the dead as after searching I can't seem to find the answer. Does anyone know about what kind of distance one would expect from one of the cheap FM Transmitters intended for Smartphones/MP3 players for the car? I'm wanting to make a cache w/ an audio broadcast to decode, but I want to keep the FM transmitter in my house, we're talking 30' to the street. I can build an FM transmitter if I want, but if I can go simply on this side w/ a USB charger plugged into it and (and into an old MP3 player I have) this would make for a quick easy implementation.
  19. According to the Garmin Oregon 6xx Wiki (at http://garminoregon6xx.wikispaces.com/Hardware) the memory in the various models is as follows: 600 - 1.8GB total with 1.5GB free 600t - 3.6GB total with 809MB free 650 - 3.6GB total with 2.6GB free 650t - 7.2GB with 4GB free. These figures are backed up by screenshots, but the t models will presumably vary a bit depending on which country's topo map is installed. The 650 models are still not released yet so the figures must be based on pre-production units. The Oregon 6xx Wiki has a lot of other very useful answers to some of the questions being asked here, and is being created by early users. Chris A word of warning I have had my Oregon 450, now Oregon 600, lose track of my loaded Geocaches. Keeping them on the internal memory means finding a computer to delete then reload them between power down/power up cycle, to clear memory. I find it a very good idea to get a MicroSD card, 8G or better, depending upon your needs for maps, mostly, and keeping maps and pocket queries on it. If it looses track of things you only need to power down, remove batteries, MicroSD card, replace batteries, power up, power down, remove batteries, replace MicroSD, replace batteries and power up again, to recover - something you can do in the field, away from computer. Interesting. I never had this happen on my 400t. I'll keep an eye out on my 600, but everything that I have on my 600, I'll also have on my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my Moto Xoom. I wonder if this issue comes up w/ .ggz files. I haven't had GSAK create these yet, but it seems to be good on a couple 10K+ .gpx files I've got loaded on the 600. During the past week it did it again, while somewhere in the middle of Florida. Most vexing. All I had were the waypoints, which are in a separate gpx file in a PQ, but caches had all vanished. A removal of the MicroSD and reboot and power down and replace of the MicroSD and power up again brought them back. Pretty irritating, but at least when things are kept on the MicroSD this is possible, using internal memory means the end of the caching day. Well I switched over to .ggz files before I went to Geowoodstock. I still haven't had the issue you've described and I am keeping my .ggz on internal memory. I wonder if this is only an issue w/ .gpx files. As I mentioned before I never had this issue on my 400t. The closest thing I've had to this was my on my 400t was when I deleted all .gpx files and then loaded a new .gpx then it would get confused and not want to load the .gpx file, I'd have to power cycle it a few times to get it to work. I learned that you should not delete 100% of the .gpx files from the unit or it will cause issue when loading the added .gpx files.
  20. You can get 1000 caches in a PQ, so it's 35000 caches a week (not counting overlap from the same caches). But by the end of the week, Sunday's cache listings are already getting stale. The generous cache limit is great for traveling cachers who don't want to worry about adding an extra city or two. It's not so great for people who just need to fill it up. And you don't need to use PQs to keep all the old stuff fresh, you can use GSAK to refresh caches that are already in a database. I keep my home area (65mi radius of downtown Houston) of ~11K fresh, I've got it split into 2 data bases w/ ~10K in one an the rest in the other. You can perform a refresh from GSAK and it will pull the new data for the caches in the data base (perform the light mode it does 10K per day, do the heavy mode and it's 5K per day. I'm not certain of the diff's may be log files, it grabs the Fav pts when doing this.) So I'm only pulling the latest caches. When searching a new place I do mine by date, and getting them in just under 1K for each date range. In the past I've pulled in large areas of Seattle, Portland, Lakeland and many other area's using this method, can pretty much pull everything from an area in 1-2 days depending how large it is.
  21. I personally have yet to observe the compass sticking on it. It was a problem that i had on the 400t. I have also not noted any GPS drift, but I never noticed it on 400t either. I have been specifically looking for both as they had been reported, but I haven't not observed them myself.
  22. Geowoodstock XI is over, I've got > 75 caches found on the unit and it's time for an updated review. Pros: - Boots up much faster than previous generations - Faster Sat lock times - UI much more intuitive than previous generations - Nice cache filtering features - Very good UI with this. - Nice touch screen that's on par with mid level smartphones - Pin on screen is much more precious, easy to move to a cache (or move map under cache w/ fast redraw capability of screen.) - Screen is a lot more visible in direct sunlight EDIT: Completely visible with 0 backlighting in direct sunlight – no glare off the screen – like reading paper. - Ability to rotate screen (or lock it to one orientation depending on preference - I locked my to standard orientation - I do this with my smartphone too while caching.) - Ability to hold a lot of very large GPX or GGZ files, and GGZ file supporting HUGE quantities of caches. (Waiting on people to start hosting large GGZ's of their caching area's) I had ~30K caches in my unit while going to Geowoodstock and it handled them like a champ. Added 5/28/13: - Accuracy – See more below – Very nice accuracy based on field testing of close to 100 caches in 5 states. - Compass – A very stable compass that doesn’t seem to get upset as you’re handling the unit – Also seemed to still be perfectly accurate after a battery change. Cons: - Screen resolutions is still a dismal 240x400 (480x800 is considered subpar for a smart phone these days, at least get to subpar level if you're going to support camera functionality) EDIT 5/28/13 – After consideration of this being a reflective display that doesn’t require any backlighting when used out in the sun, the resolution limitation may have more to do with the screen technology used. I have no evidence for this. That said if this is true, then it would be a more than fair trade off for anyone who wants this and doesn’t care for the camera – which would include myself. - Screen size is still very small - there's enough space to get to a small smart phone screen size (iPhone size.) This can be done while keeping it a ruggedized design and should be done. - Very poor quality basemaps shipped on the units. This can be rectified by getting free offline OSM maps (and other sources) but this isn't something everyone knows to do and can be a daunting task for others. - Loss of Wherigo functionality - Not too big of an issue as most cachers have smartphones and can use the App. The stability of Wherigo SW is shaky and often frustrating no matter what tool you're using - having more than one Wherigo cartridge player is often nice to have. - Orientation of the mini-B USB plug. The rotated the orientation 90degs such that you need to pull the carabineer clip off in order to plug in the mini-B USB plug. Oversight during testing? Maybe they didn't have people using the clip who also needed to connect to the unit. Moving it 2-3mm south of it's current location or orienting it the same way it was on the previous generations and this wouldn't have been a problem. Meh's (this is personal opinion) : - Optional 8G pixel camera (650 and 650t only) - Something most of us don't need or want as we all have smart phones, most with superior camera capabilities and Geotagging supported. Is it worth an extra $80 - Not in my opinion, but others may like this. EDIT: I talked to a couple people at Geowoodstock that felt this most definitely work the extra $80 as they don’t own a smartphone, and would like to avoid carrying another device for pictures. - Expensive Rechargeable battery that's effectively two AA's taped together to be able to push a button to enable charging. Personally this adds little to no value for me. I use a pair of AA's that tested to 2600mAH that I could go over a weekend of caching w/o coming close to running down, but always carry two pair of eneloop AA's with me as backups for me, and anyone who may end up caching with me. I mean $26 for a pair of NiMH AA's taped together listed at 2000mAH, who are you kidding. That's the retail price for a 4 pack 2000mAHr Eneloop's. I say get some tape and have fun if you really want this feature (Note that I have not tried this, nor will I warranty any damage resulting from doing this, but I suspect it will work just fine - I will try it out after I get back from Geowoodstock.) Updates: 5/28/13 Battery Life – Surprisingly good. I used a pair of 2600mAH NiMH AA’s that I’ve had for a long time. First used them on Friday 5/17 when I bought the unit, took them to Geowoodstock XI (trip started in Houston, TX Wed Morning 5/22 – at one point left it on for 4hrs of driving w/o realizing it was on, cached in New Orleans, LA that evening. Cached some more (but sparingly) on the way over and down to Lakeland on Thursday. Hit three events, did a number of caches on Friday, when to Geowoodstock on Saturday, did 9 cache types (7 of them at Geowoodstock – the Wherigo was done on the phone but the Garmin was live this during this.) And the batteries finally ran down on Saturday Evening while going to the Almost Midnight Madness event. At this point I popped in a spare set of Eneloops for the rest of the trip. Overall very impressed with the battery usage. Part of this probably has to do with the fact that I had the backlighting turn down to the lowest setting much of the time. The reason for this is the display technology used, It is a reflective display technology. In the dark you use the backlighting of the GPSr itself, but when out in the sun, this isn’t required, actually when in sunlight it’s like looking at a piece of paper. Accuracy Update: There have been some grumblings on the forums regarding the reported accuracy (what the unit reports as its accuracy.) This number as any experienced user will tell you can be wrong. For me it was reporting usually around 30’ or more for the Error. But it was consistently right on top of the cache (well within a respectable 10’ which is reasonable for the cache placement itself.) It never led me astray, and I actually experienced significantly less overshoot than I would have with my Oregon 400t. Overshoot in this case is when your GPS takes you beyond GZ while it’s catching up to where your current location actually is. As far as I’m concerned the ‘Error’ reported by the unit is a case of Garmin being cautious as to the reporting. I’d expect this to be updated in future FW revisions. That said, I’ve only seen this displayed when it the ‘Satellite’ info page, so it should scare the typical cacher while hunting for a cache. No rain so I haven’t tested the screen when it’s wet, but sweaty fingers didn’t seem to give it any problems. The three smart phones I’ve used have become progressively better at being able to handle rainy conditions and they screen still work until it got to some level of saturation. Same was true of my Oregon 400t touch screen. We’ll have to test this another day on the Garmin 600. Marking caches as found and adding comments was quick and easy – Much more intuitive. I haven’t tried all the logging features but what I tried was very easy to use. I was able to quickly mark done/log/go to next cache. I did not dump or upload logs from the unit as I tend to log from the field on my phone, or at a minimum mark it as saved on the phones app and go through the history to log. That said, this is a feature I will do a bit more testing on and report back. Chirp: Enabling Chirp was put in the ‘Geocaching’ link in setup, making it quick to find and enable (and disable as well as there was a cacher walking around Geowoodstock with a chirp in his pocket – great way to introduce yourself, but after the 3rd time walking by it was time to turn it off.) I did a chirp based cache at Geowoodstock and Met another cacher because of it. This was a much more positive experience than what I’ve experienced in the past with Chirps, but that may be more do to relatively fresh batteries in the Chirp itself. Hard to say for certain. Cool feature: When in map mode when in Geocaching Profile, the top of the screen lists the closest cache (this can be easily ‘rolled up’ by clicking a small arrow below it, and ‘rolled down’ again by clicking the arrow so it’s not allows consuming map real estate.) I didn’t notice this at first, but was riding down the road (I wasn’t drivingJ) I noticed it changing between caches. This is a pretty nice feature to have. Compass performed admirably, much better than my Garmin 400t, and slightly better than my Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 perform. It was very stable while finding caches, and didn’t lead you off in the wrong direction before you realize that the path being drawn on the screen is not the direction you’re wanting to go, which would happen to me with the Oregon 400t a bit too frequently. Marking and editing waypoints: On the Oregon 400t, this seemed like a chore, and I always had the ‘Fat Thumb’ issues, and is the big reason why I’d never edit names on them. On the 600, it was much closer to an experience of adding and editing a waypoint in your favorite geocaching app.
  23. Yeah, I new those two items were more my opinion and that some folks would have a different opinion on them, and thus I had marked them as (Meh! - This is just my opinion) Apologies for any confusion. The Oregons take the microSD cards and I used u as an approximate abreviation for the correct symbol "μ" as it's not present on my keyboard. :-) Chris Yeah, I used uSD as well out of habit being an Electrical Engineer and "μ" symbol not being available. I figured the good-looking, handsome and intelligent folks of this forum would figure it out though.
  24. Well I bought my Oregon 400t in September 2009, when it had been out for about a year, and got used to adding bug fixes until Garmin gave up on it in May 2011! I prefer the sound of the 650 to the 600, and won't bother with the Topo map models this time, so hopefully will be ready to splash out by the summer. Chris I agree with forgetting the Topo Maps as you can get them free with a little effort, and there's some really nice routable OSM maps that get updated on a monthly basis as well. The base maps shipped on the unit are total crap, but once you install a uSD card and download some good maps then you're set. I'm using the OSM Maps of North America from here http://garminoregon6xx.wikispaces.com/Maps - it's a 2.5GB download and takes up about 3.6GB of a uSD card - but it's really quality maps. I've only used it to go around and check a couple of my caches so far, but I've uploaded 3 GPX files w/ 10K+ caches in each - no problems. I generated a single GZZ of 30K+ waypoints using GSAK macro. No problem. I've added multiple .ggz files. No problem. So far the only thing I've experienced issue wise is the distance the filtering works at. I'm not sure if it's a distance or a cache count from current point, but there's some sort of limit in place as to how far you can reach with the filtering. For example, I can set a filter for some caches that I know are are Lakeland, Fl and it they won't show up, they're on the GPSr and I can see them if I scroll the map over, but it won't filter that far away. But I can see caches in Beaumont, TX (3hr's East of Sugar Land, TX where I'm from.) So, it's got some range or cache count going from a central location limit on the filtering. This to be honest, I can live with. That said, the filtering UI is awesome, it's extremely intuitive (something I don't say often about Garmin products) it's quick and easy to use. The menu's are much more intuitive this generation (coming from a 400t perspective, I haven't played much with the 500 series but it seemed to have pretty much the same UI as the 400 series from my perspective.) Having a touch screen that's very responsive and usable is nice, I've been using smart phones now for about 4yrs and this has been my 2nd biggest complaint on the 400 series. The biggest being cache count that could be held. Both were addressed. Here's my mini review based on one weekend of ownership. Pros: - Boots up much faster than previous generations - Faster Sat lock times - UI much more intuitive than previous generations - Nice touch screen that's on par with mid level smartphones - Pin on screen is much more precious, easy to move to a cache (or move map under cache w/ fast redraw capability of screen.) - Screen is a lot more visible in direct sunlight - Ability to rotate screen (or lock it to one orientation depending on preference - I locked my to standard orientation - I do this with my smartphone too while caching.) - Ability to hold a lot of very large GPX or GGZ files, and GGZ file supporting HUGE quantities of caches. (Waiting on people to start hosting large GGZ's of their caching area's) Cons: - Screen resolutions is still a dismal 240x400 (480x800 is considered subpar for a smart phone these days, at least get to subpar level if you're going to support camera functionality) - Screen size is still very small - there's enough space to get to a small smart phone screen size (iPhone size.) This can be done while keeping it a ruggedized design and should be done. - Very poor quality basemaps shipped on the units. This can be rectified by getting free offline OSM maps (and other sources) but this isn't something everyone knows to do and can be a daunting task for others. - Loss of Wherigo functionality - Not too big of an issue as most cachers have smartphones and can use the App. The stability of Wherigo SW is shaking and often frustraighting no matter what tool you're using - having more than one Wherigo cartridge player is often nice to have. - Orientation of the mini-B USB plug. The rotated the orientation 90degs such that you need to pull the caribiner clip off in order to plug in the mini-B USB plug. Oversight during testing? Maybe they didn't have people using the clip who also needed to connect to the unit. Moving it 2-3mm south of it's current location or orienting it the same way it was on the previous generations and this wouldn't have been a problem. Meh's (this is personal opinion) : - 8G pixel camera - Something most of us don't need or want as we all have smart phones, most with superior camera capabilities and Geotagging supported. Is it worth an extra $80 - Not in my opinion, but others may like this. - Expensive Rechargeable battery that's effectively two AA's taped together to be able to push a button to enable charging. Personally this adds little to no value. I use a pair of AA's that tested to 2600mAH that I could go over a weekend of caching w/o coming close to running down, but always carry two pair of enelope AA's with me as backups for me, and anyone who may end up caching with me. I mean $26 for a pair of NiMH AA's taped together, who are you kidding. That said, so far so good. I'll be able to comment a lot more on it after I get back from Geowoodstock, because that will be the proof.
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