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Team GeoSpeedy

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Posts posted by Team GeoSpeedy

  1. I would go a step further than that. If you're not using MapSend DirectRoute, I'd DOWNGRADE to a version 4.x firmware. If you can find it.

    I second this one- we had only had our STP for about a week before I decided (like any good geek) to download the latest fimware. Big mistake. Immediately noticed a lag time aquiring sats, less birds locked in, and an occasional unsoliceted reboot. Downgraded and everything went away. I'd just reinstall whatever version you're running now in case there was some kind of corrupted file.



  2. I agree that new dollar store swag is pretty nice to find- that's why I started using it. I figured if I'd like to find it, someone else would appreciate finding some, too. I like leaving outdoors-type items; compasses, carabiners, neck straps for your GPS, batteries are nice to find :(, small tools... and when all else fails, open the 'ol wallet and drop in a dollar. Same cost, and no one refuses cash!



  3. [magellan hat on]

    I agree that the MeriColor is a nice unit for the price if you want color. I,too, would recomend the Sportrak Color; onboard barometer and compass (for the often debated weather screen), nice bright screen, good sat accuracy.


    I'm sure you've been on gpsinformation.net before, but here's the direct link to their ST color review.


    If you decided that color was no big deal, then MeriGold or Sportrak Pro would be good lower-price choices. The difference to me would be if you wanted to store large maps; since there's no memory card slot on the STP, you'd have to live with the smaller regions you could fit on thei nternal memory. Not a big deal 90% of the time, but that 3-day road trip won't fit on the STP.


    [/magellan hat]



  4. It's now officially dead as three of the wires connecting the batteries/external power contacts have broken away from the circuit board during my repeated opening and closing of the unit. I tried to resolder these but it's too delicate of a job. I got a return authorization to repair from Magellan but I'm just going to put this one out to pasture since I'm sure this will be too uneconomical to fix.

    Ebay! "non-working unit for sale". Heck, I've bought worse! Some engineering college student with a little extra lab time would give $20 for it. It's a win:win... You get $20, s/he gets some practice.



  5. So the darnedest thing happened yesterday. I fired up the old STP, and everything boots fine, we go through the lawyer screen and satellite page loads up... and it sits there. Got some numbers in the radial display at the top, but no signal strencth bars. After 10 minutes I began to wonder what was going on. Wide open skies, no power lines, nothing. So I reboot. ;)


    And this time I get signal bars, but no satellite numbers. Repeat 10 minute wait, walk around slowly, tilt the unit, still nothing. I had 6 birds at 50% or greater strength but no lock. :lol:


    So I drop the batteries out, power back on, and now I have sat numbers again, but no bars. :rolleyes::lol:


    One more reboot and POOF! Everything is fine, 6 birds, signal lock, walk right to the cache with 25' accuracy.


    What the heck just happened? Should I be concerned? I bought this refurb, which might be a part of the issue, but I can't think that this is normal. It's the first time it happened, and I'm going out again tonight to try it again. Has this happened to anyone else?



  6. We're using a Sportrak Pro and love it... holds a lock well, easy to use menus (IMO), the map scrolls fast, DirectRoute software is good and the autorouting works very well. The only drawback I can think of is the lack of a memory card slot. You'd gain one with the MeriGold, 500 and 600... Gold is too large in my hands for my tase, and if money isn't an issue I'd go for the 600. Color, barometric altimeter, & thermometer, expandable...


    From the Website:


    You get a 3-axis electronic compass, a barometric pressure altimeter, barometer, and thermometer, plus the ability to expand your GPS mapping via a high-speed USB data port and unlimited secure digital (SD) card storage. The Magellan Geocache Manager enables you to download caches directly to your eXplorist 600 and with the PC-style file memory system it’s easy to manage all of your data. Finally, the eXplorist 600 features a 16-color display so you can see everything in brilliant color. Easily navigate with the intuitive keypad and the joystick control. Add detailed street maps, topo or lake maps using optional Magellan MapSend software* to expand the use of your eXplorist 600.


    8 MB of built-in maps and 8 MB of additional memory means you can save up to 5 track log files, 20 routes and 500 points of interest on the internal memory, but you can store as many as you want on optional SD cards. Magellan TrueFix™ technology provides superior accuracy and reliability giving you the freedom to explore without concern of getting lost.



  7. But, I don't share the decoded hint with her. Instead, if we get stumped, I let her sit and work out the hint if she wants. She can manually decode them pretty quickly.

    We do the same thing- if we need the hint, it's usually decoded manually on the spot rather than before. It adds that 'puzzle' accent to the game.



  8. I do think, however, that leaving the alarm off might lull one into having unwaranted trust in a non-existent/stale fix.


    BTW, I was rather surprised to see the minimal signal levels the 500 required to maintain a lock...albeit with a 200 ft accuracy value.

    My STP (that I love, BTW) has a similar issue, which is especially distracting while autorouting. I've noticed a stale signal doesn't seem to trigger the software to prompt me OR refresh driving directions (especially important if you WERE close to a turn). It's easily solved with a tap of the "reroute" feature, but somewhat annoying. I'd compare say it's tantamount to me singing along to the radio and missing my exit... ;)


    I, too, have found that almost all GPS units can show a lock, but with a 200' EPE. Lock doesn't mean it's doing you much good... It's all relative. If you like the Garmin software and interface, staying with Garmin will probably decrease your learning curve significantly on the next unit.



  9. For most GPSr's you simply mark your current position, then edit the waypoint info to change the name and coordinates to those of the desired waypoint.


    Edit: Advanced User Guide


    Create Waypoint at Current Position

    1. While you are traveling, press ENT|ENT. The waypoint is saved and

    automatically given a name with a sequential number, such as "waypoint

    002." The waypoint symbol and number appear on the map.

    To edit waypoint position: 1. Press FIND|ENT|↓ to NAME|ENT|ENT|↓ to

    waypoint name|ENT|→ to EDIT POSITION|ENT.

    2. Latitude: press ENT, then press ↑ or ↓ to change the first character,

    then press → to the next character and repeat until the latitude is correct.

    Press EXIT.

    3. Longitude: press ↓|ENT, then press ↑ or ↓ to change the first character,

    then press → to the next character and repeat until the latitude is

    correct. Press EXIT.

    4. When latitude and longitude are correct, return to the previous page:


    You can also create a waypoint by exact coordinates in advanced mode.


    Hit "enter" once, scroll down to "Entered Pos" and hit "enter" twice. This brings up a blank coordinate screen. Hit enter once to put in the latitude Coordinates (use the arrow pad to move left/right and up/down to change numbers).


    When those are done, hit "enter" once, then down arrow to the longitude. Repeat the process. When finished, hit "exit" to go to the Waypoint screen.


    A quick "enter" and you'll start your GoTo.


    -p B)

  10. Thanks for the replies, everyone - they have been very helpful.


    From The Hermit Crabs repost of a message from Briansnat, a link was given for a  Lowrance iFinder GO Portable GPS Unit


    Anyone own this unit? Reccomend it or dislike it? Just to check, would this unit be helpful in Geocaching? Link to some info about it is above.


    (BTW, my girlfriend and I have searched for a few geocaches in our area. We love it. Using only clues and online maps, we were able to find 3 caches - BUT, we were unable to track down another 8 to 10 without a GPS to use! Her birthday is coming up in 3 weeks and I'd like to get her a small GPS unit for us to use.)




    And thank you for making me feel welcome here after only my first post!


    I just spent a weekend with a brand new Ifinder GO, and like briansnat and IV x IV, I'm a fan. Wrote a little review of it here. Wife and I use a Sportrak Pro, and it's a nice little unit, too. I like all the features, accuracy is great, and if you've got some time and don't mind looking all over the internet, you can come up with one for under 2 bills real quick. Being a college student, you could double the funciotnality by finding a copy of Mapsend Direct route fairly cheap *COUGH*emule*COUGH* as well, though I wouln't ever condone that... :unsure:


    Yellow is your last choice, IMO. Nice unit, accurate enough, but a boring gray screen with a little trail behind you isn't enough to make you do back flips...



  11. There is a point in the setup menu for my sportrak map that asks whether the unit will be used for marine or land use.


    You might need to go into setup and find and correct this.

    Thanks for the replies! I'll look through the menus tonight and see if perhaps I've been a bit thick headed. I did remember to get the basemap version from the "about" menu , though:


    BASEMAP: NA Marine - 1.05

    Size 9.48meg

    Detail Map: Ver 1.


    Any thoughts?



  12. I've been uploading/downloading maps and waypoints using MapSend Directroute since I got it, but the weird thing is none of the buoys or obstructions show up on DR maps, just on the unit...




    Are the basemap and firmware tied together? I'm not using the most recent firmware upgrade...

  13. While visiting my parents this weekend, I got a chance to really field test my Dad's new Ifinder GO, and I'm quite impressed by this thing! I've used a Sportrak Pro or Yellow Etrex, and I have to say these units are quite good. A few things stand out:


    First off, we bought the Ifinder for our technology-impaired dad this past father's day, and I've been able to walk him through advanced mode over the phone by installing the GPS simulator on my PC (every company should do this!). He's really taken to it quite well, considering he still can't program the VCR ;) Easy mode is truly easy, and unless you're just using it as a gadget you'll change to advanced mode in about 48 hours. Easy mode can only save 2 waypoints ("home" and "man overboard"), and doesn't give you the position screen. You can still see any waypoints you might have saved in advanced mode as well as highway and exit information, but Easy mode is more to get you used to using the buttons that navigating or caching.


    The unit is a nice size, just slightly thicker than the Sportrak and longer/wider than the Yellow. Bright yellow cover but black rear panel, so if you drop it face down it's gonna be hard to find in the dark. The only problem with the small size is that the screen is smaller, too, but has GREAT resolution. It can be a bit hard to read, combining the small size with the resolution, but if a 50+ year old guy wearing glasses can read it in direct sunlight, then everyone should be able to. The backlight is great, too, and has a bright and not-as-bright setting. For what it's worth, the unit is waterproof, but I don't know if I'd trust it enough to test it out kayaking.


    Reception: GREAT! No problems on startup, as fast or faster than the Sportrak, and held the lock under tree cover better than the Yellow etrex. I'd have to say that the patch antenna finds and holds equal to any QHA I've seen. I also didn't notice a problem when the unit wasn't completely horizontal, something the Yellow is very particular about. We walked right to several trial caches and a benchmark without any issues, the coordinates were right on and EPE was <=25' (on a clear day).


    I should note that the menus can be a bit confusing; there were times that I scrolled through the menus for 10 minutes for what would have been a 5 second change on my Sportrak, but part of that might be familiarity with the unit. I also noticed that the map scrolled a little slowly compared to the Magellan, and I had to zoom out to really get around on the map. The small arrow pad proved somewhat difficult to get keystrokes right if you've got big hands or not so nimble thumbs. For me, all that time behind the Nintendo finally paid off!


    I'm gonna start recommending it for folks just getting into the sport, despite the manual entry of waypoints (no ability to upload waypoints from your PC). The rest of the features on this baby make up for it's shortcomings.


    Also try Dosido's review. Hope that helps!



  14. I happened to notice recently that the map on my Sportrak Pro seems a bit skewed towards the water... on a trip down Route 101 in OR and northern CA I saw all of the buoys and obstructions, but no highway info. I hit "about" and the basemap installed is "Marine". Is this a mistake on Magellan's part, or does this map come standard for both the Pro and Marine units? I've read that some folks install/uninstall whichever basemap fits their needs, and assume that I can do the same, but is there any reason to? And what could I screw up by trying to change basemaps and failing?




    [edited spelling mitskae ;) ]

  15. I'll check that out too.  I called Lowrance today, and apparently they are coming out with a color screen version of the PHD this fall, so I might wait the few months for it, and just buy a elcheapo one now.  I dunno.  too many choices and not enough options on them heh.

    I think Lowrance might be a great choice if you want to wait, and also for your inexpensive hold over model, too! They're really not a bad deal at all, just not as popular (yet).


    On the other hand, it's possible to find a Magellan Sportrak color on the cheap now that they're being phased out. Nice size for either auto or hand held activities, and I think the auto routing using Mapsend Directroute is fairly good. Plus it can fit in one of the generic hands-free car cell phone holders, so no costly OEM stuff to buy. :angry:



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