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Steel City Seekers

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  1. I'd be surprised if your searching didn't turn up this site, but I'll throw it out anyhow: http://www.pc-mobile.net/usgm.htm I ordered a cable from them years ago to connect my phone to my PDA and it worked perfectly. Figuring out what components you need is very confusing. It looks to me like you would need to buy part "USGMGL," which is a discount on two separate cables -- "USGM" and "GUGL." Don't take my word for it, though. I sent them an e-mail confirming what I needed before I bought it, and they were fast and helpful in reply. Problem is that the cable package costs $30, which is probably pretty close in value to the GPS itself, so you have to decide how important it is to you.
  2. We drove through it last summer because we would consider staying there and wanted to check it out. I would echo bogleman's comments exactly. It has lots of nice attractions close, but it didn't look like my idea of a fun camping experience. Tent camping was right on the beach. Of course, that's convenient to the beach, but I can't imagine the amount of sand that you'd have in your tent and there were no trees, etc. to offer protection that I could see. You are at the mercy of the wind and other elements coming directly off Lake Erie. Everything in the tent and RV area seemed really crammed together and you are practically on top of your neighbor's tent. Just my heavily-opinionated two cents.
  3. Well now, wait a minute. Let me add a few clarifications. First, there is no way to upload waypoint data to an iFinder using a cable. You upload waypoint data (a Lowrance ".usr" file) using an SD card. To do this, you do not need the Lowrance brand card reader. Any SD card reader can can transfer over .usr files that the iFinder will read. Now, if you want to use that GPX to USR program, you have to be a premium member of this site to get GPX files. There are alternatives, however, and Airmapper -- a cacher that has used Lowrances extensively -- has a website that discusses this and also maintains its own helpful forum. You only need the Lowrance brand card reader to upload maps from their proprietary mapping software (MapCreate). If you purchase the mapping software, it should come with the Lowrance card reader included in the package. My advice would be to skip the detailed mapping for now. Learn the unit and use it to cache for a while, and then make a decision on this. With regard to cables, there is the cigarette cable I mentioned earlier that only charges the unit in the car and is an included accessory with any new iFinder that you buy. Then there is the data cable you saw on the LEI site. That cable is to feed NMEA (coordinates) data from the iFinder to a computer. Using the data cable, you can connect the iFinder and use it to provide positional data to, say, your laptop. If your laptop is running a mapping program, it can use the data to show your location on the map and provide driving directions. For the manual, I guess your only option is to print it out.
  4. You can find and download the manual online here. At the same spot, you can find the GPX to USR software program that will convert a downloaded GC.com GPX file into iFinder USR waypoints. Additional software, such as MapCreate (detailed streets, parks, topo, etc.), must be purchased from Lowrance (LEI Extras) or any one of a number of online retailers (probably cheaper). The only power cord that comes with the iFinders is a car charger. It's function is only to operate the iFinder when in the car so you don't run down the batteries. It doesn't transfer data or plug into the wall or charge batteries. You use an SD card to transfer data between your PC and the iFinder. You can get one at LEI Extras for $30, but I don't think it is worth it. I've never used mine, but then again, I only use my iFinder outside the truck.
  5. I don't know about the WAAS. My iFinder Expedition C -- the latest model -- didn't pick up the WAAS satellites for some time, but it seemed to navigate me just fine without them. The last time I used it about a week ago, I noticed it was receiving and using the WAAS satellite information. For transferring waypoints, be sure to read Airmapper's tutorial. It should be all you need. Also, Lowrance has it's own program called GPXtoUSR that will do exactly what the name says -- convert a GPX file into a USR file to transfer to the iFinder. It's really simple to use as you input a GPX file and it spits out a USR file with no effort, but I prefer to use Airmapper's method so I can customize the output to my tastes.
  6. You don't have enough details narrow it down enough. Really, all the mapping units look the same except for the outside case color. The GO2 has a red outside case. None of the mapping models have a red outside case. Since you can narrow the choices to B&W models, it could be: ifinder, ifinder pro, map & music, phd, hunt, h2o, or explorer. The "plus" means that the receiver came with the MapCreate mapping software. So you could buy, for example, an h2o that would be just the receiver and its on-board basemap, or an h2o plus that would be the receiver and MapCreate along with the proprietary SD card reader. Likely, the older models (ifinder, ifinder pro, map & music, phd) "plus" packages would come with MapCreate 6.0 (non-topo). The newer models (hunt, h2o, explorer) would probably come with MapCreate 6.3 (topo). To narrow down the models, I'd have to know more, but the iFinders do have their model name on them if you can ask the person or see it for yourself. Generally: the ifinder is not waterproof and has a lower resolution screen than the others; the ifinder pro is not waterproof; the others are waterproof; the map & music is disontinued but is specs-wise the same as the h2o; the phd is discontinued but is specs-wise the same as the explorer.
  7. Press "Ent" twice to call up the menu to enter a waypoint. If you want to enter your own coordinates (such as for a cache), select the "Entered Position" option and it will take you to a screen to input the coordinates. There are other options to enter a waypoint for your current position, projected position, averaged position, etc. I've never used Google maps or MapPoint to create and export routes, so I can't field the second part of your question. You have to end up with a .usr file to load into the iFinder, though. Maybe this is a native export for these programs or maybe you can export to another format and convert the file to a .usr using something like GPSBabel.
  8. Wait a minute. Did you order the iFinder and MapCreate separately? Usually, they can be ordered much cheaper bundled together in a "Plus" package. I throw this out there in case you ordered both from the same place and can maybe cancel and order the plus. The MapCreate bundle comes with a 64MB card, so that should get you started and you can get a bigger card if you find you need it.
  9. I'm not so sure about the maps. I don't know much about the XOG, but the Lowrance site indicates that it has its own onboard turn-by-turn NAVTEQ maps, with additional satellite, etc. maps available for download. You can't use these maps on an iFinder. Also, the XOG says it works with plug-and-play cards like FreedomMaps and Fishing Hotspots, but doesn't indicate support for MapCreate. It appears both the XOG and iFinder can use the plug-and-play cards, but only the iFinder can use MapCreate. Not sure about that, but that's the impression the web site gives me. Definitely get the iFinder product emulator, but also download the manual for the Expedition. Lowrance is pretty notorious for less-than-fully-understandable manuals, and a number of features aren't discussed, but it will give you some good information and help you play with the emulator. I'd also put some pretty hard thought into a screen protector as the iFinder's screen is not recessed. I use an InvisibleShield and it is great. It looks like they're only $5 right now. For memory cards, I don't think you need to go too big. I have a 512 in my Expedition and it holds alot of detail. I have a good portion of western PA, and parts of NY, OH, and WV in one map that is less than 30 MB. The results of a 500 cache pocket query fit into a .usr file less than 100 KB, including hints. Some people have had differing degrees of success with different brands of card. Airmapper's site has a thread or two with additional details. It seems that the biggest trouble is with 2GB cards. It also seems that SanDisk provides the best results. That's what I use. I use rechargeable batteries in mine, and would suggest you do the same if you intend to use it frequently. I just have a few pairs of Energizer rechargeables. They were the highest capacity I could find at the time in my local Best Buy, but I don't remember if they are 2800 or 3000 or what. It seems, based on what I've read, that Maha makes better batteries and chargers, but I'm happy enough with what I have. My Expedition runs forever on a fresh set of batteries. I think you'll get tired of buying and throwing away alkalines if you use the iFinder alot. I'm pretty sure you have to have the Lowrance-branded card reader to write maps to the storage card. You don't have to use the special reader to transfer waypoints, routes, etc. that would be in a .usr file.
  10. Just looked it up: 1. Join Group 2. Click on Files 3. Click on Software 4. Click on lcmBuilder 5. Looks like 028a is the latest. Download and install.
  11. Did you join the Yahoo group? You have to do that to access the software section within the group. Then, there is a separate links or downloads section where you'll find the software. Separate from the main message board, that is.
  12. Here's an option that might work for you. There is a website where people post custom-made maps for Garmin units. These are easy to convert to Lowrance .lcm files and I've done it in the past using the lcmMapEdit program that you can find at the Yahoo user group here. While the custom map website has three city maps listed for Japan, it isn't comprehensive of the country. Nonetheless, it's probably more than you've found so far. You just have to download and install lcmMapEdit, download the desired Garmin map, load the map into lcmMapEdit, change the map properties from Garmin to Lowrance, export the map to .lcm, and load it on the SD card. The iFinder should automatically load and display the map when you start it up. There are probably also several additional sites where you could find detail maps that could be converted, but I haven't gotten past the one cited above. There are also ways to make your own custom maps from free, publicly-available data, but this is a complicated process. There's lots of posts here related to gathering and compiling this data for Garmin units. I'm confident you could use the same process and just use the lcmMapEdit program instead of the MapEdit program that Garmin users have.
  13. It's always been my understanding that the Bruntons are indeed rebadged Lowrances. However, if that's the case, then it is neither USB nor serial compatible. You use the storage card (and card reader) to transfer waypoints and map details. If you compare the Brunton to the Lowrance Explorer or PhD then I think you'll see pretty similar specs. Edited to add: I agree with hogrod -- I wouldn't pay $399 for one. You can probably get a PhD at auction for $100 or less, and the Expedition is newer and has more features.
  14. Just to help you close the loop a bit, Lowrance's maps are also 100,000K. I thought the Delorme receiver had 24,000K. Is this not correct?
  15. You can't use TopoUSA to load maps to the iFinder. You probably can import waypoints and tracks into the software on your PC, but I'm not entirely sure about that. For detail maps on the iFinder, you have to buy MapCreate or create custom detail maps. For a little more on creating custom maps, read here: http://z14.invisionfree.com/Geo_Lowrance_F...p?showtopic=116 I think MapCreate is very useful, but it has a number of limitations. It is far, far better than the basemap, which has little detail. It surely does not have the topo details that TopoUSA would. It does have a lot of POIs and detailed streets. I've found off-road features like streams and lakes to be very good. I don't really use the PC software for much more than cutting maps to export to the iFinder. With regard to reviews and usefulness, I would recommend purchasing it and think the details it offers are worth it.
  16. I don't have experience with the GO, but my Expedition has a basic and an advanced mode that should be found in the menu. I know it will only accept a single waypoint in basic mode, and that it is in basic mode out of the box. This is the first thing I'd look for.
  17. First off, WAAS is not a chipset. It is a series of groundstations that your GPS may be able to use to provide correctional data. I don't imagine there are any SIRFIII chipset receivers that do not have WAAS enabled. So, basically, you get them both. At this stage of the game, I think about any BT receiver you find on the market will be good so long as it is from a reputable manufacturer like Holux, GlobalSat, Haicom, etc. (not intended to be a complete list there, but you can ascertain which manufacturers have been around by looking at their products and reviews). If I were in the market for a new receiver today, I'd also include the size as a pretty high item of criterion. They're making them smaller and smaller and, if I were you, I'd consider how/where I wanted to carry the receiver. Having said that, if I were in the market for a new receiver today, I'd go with this one: http://mytreo.net/store/product.php?xProd=1384 And, I'd carry it with me everywhere I went. My current one is much larger, and I don't carry it anywhere outside of the truck. The receiver is very new and there are very few (if any) reviews, but people seem to be indicating so far that they like it and it works well. That's just how I feel, and a recommendation I think is worth looking into. Maybe your needs/criteria are different, but I thought I'd offer it for consideration.
  18. I suspect that the advice in the above thread is going to solve the maladies of the OP, but I just have one clarification. Since you say only one program can access at a time, I assume it is a WM2003 or earlier device. If that is the case, then won't Franson GPSGate (sorry, too lazy to link, you'll have to google) solve the problem?
  19. As a brand new user, I think the best thing you can do is head outside with the receiver and the user's manual and just start going through the manual and conducting each procedure on the receiver. The Lowrance manuals are laid out well to do this and learn, however, they are rather notorious for not including information on all of the features of the receiver. And, most importantly, head on over to Airmapper's Lowrance Site. There you'll find some excellent tutorials on uploading pocket queries specific to geocaching and other articles and links that will set you well on your way. Be sure to check into the forums and ask any questions you have.
  20. Although your Expedition does have an electronic compass (one), you are confusing it with the map orientation (North Up, Track Up, Heading Up, etc.). For the sake of prosperity, it should be pointed out that the map orientation is simply how the map is displayed on the screen. For example, if you have it set to North Up and are walking East, it will look like you're walking toward the side of the screen. If you have it set to Heading Up, then the map will have East at the top of the screen and you will appear to be walking forward. I would venture to guess that any receiver you can buy nowadays has at least a few options for map orientation. The receiver can display different map orientations regardless of whether it has an electronic compass, although some orientations (Heading Up if I recall correctly) will use the compass and adjust while you're standing still.
  21. I'm guessing you already tried/thought of these, but it's all I can come up with. 1. You do have to select the POI file separately from the map file in the load maps menu. Double-check the load maps menu to make sure the file is highlighted. I think the maplets will still show up in Maplets, Show Locations even if you don't have the POI file loaded. 2. Is there an option in gpxtomaplet to assign nothing as an icon? I can't remember. You know gpxtomaplet always defaults to the previous settings, so if you accidentally assigned a blank as the icon then it might not show. 3. In GSAK, when you do the file, export GPX, is the "Waypoint Name" and/or the "Cache Description Format" fields blank? Maybe you aren't exporting any information out of GSAK to begin with. You mentioned that you changed some settings. Where did you change them? GSAK?, gpxtomaplet?, Mapopolis?
  22. I'm using v1.5 on my 700wx and it works exactly the same as it did on my old Windows Mobile 2003, which is very well. I think I had some problem with v1.4, but I can't remember now what it might have been or even if I really did have a problem to begin with. There's no support for the WM2005 soft keys that I can tell, so you just have to use the stylus.
  23. In addition, the Lowrance manual says that lithium batteries are light enough to make the GPS float, which could be another benefit. I *think* this is also true for the 60CSX. However, my primary use is not on the water. So, therefore, that means I too will never need to spend the money on lithiums. I'm just sayin' . . .
  24. In addition to the Map and Music, Lowrance has the PhD. These are both a generation old, but as nojive points out they are directly comparable to their newer line couterparts -- M&M=H2O; PhD=Explorer. From the newer line, the Expedition C and Hunt C have MP3 players and they also have voice recorders. You have to buy either special headphones or a special adapter to use standard headphones, FM transmitter, etc. I don't know if the M&M or PhD can also record music, but I think the headphones with the unit. I've never used the MP3 capability on mine, but I have used the voice recorder and was surprised at how well it worked. It is difficult to hear on the GPS because it only has one tiny waterproofed speaker, but if you transfer it to the computer the quality is very good. You can select waypoints (caches) and record individual messages for each one.
  25. Yes, actually the free maps at the link are in Garmin format. I just included some extra instruction to convert them to Lowrance. Here's a direct link to the site: http://mapcenter.cgpsmapper.com/catalogue.php I don't know enough about the location of Cozumel to know whether it is included in any of the maps listed at that site so you'll have to look for yourself. There are a good number of maps for Mexico, though. There are probably other sites for free maps, but I don't know what they are. Maybe someone else can chime in.
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