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Steel City Seekers

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  1. Look at this thread in the Lowrance forums: http://z14.invisionfree.com/Geo_Lowrance_F...p?showtopic=116 You'll find a link there to find free maps and instructions to convert to Lowrance. You'll have to explore the site to see what is available for Cozumel in particular.
  2. Not long. Heard on the news this morning that the budget has passed. Sweatin' a bit, though, because we have reservations for one of the State campgrounds this weekend.
  3. This probably isn't exactly what you want to hear, but I've used or am using the following: Lowrance Explorer + SanDisk 256MB + MapCreate 6.3 Topo Lowrance Expedition C + SanDisk 512MB + MapCreate 6.3 Topo I haven't had any problems at all with my setups. I'm just posting to offer my experience, as I don't know of any reason why the 2GB SanDisks won't work in your H2O. They certainly should . . .
  4. Be sure to check out the link that sodajerk included. It is a must-read for Lowrance owners in my opinion. Specifically, look at the geocaching guide for tutorials on uploading waypoints for non-premium and premium members. There is also a program in the downloads section that will quickly and easily transfer pocket queries to the iFinder that I'd recommend for someone new, but you have to be a premium member. I, personally, use GSAK to upload because I like to customize more, but that program is great because it requires almost no effort or know-how. If you are looking to enter only one waypoint, then there is also a forum thread related to that here: http://z14.invisionfree.com/Geo_Lowrance_F...p?showtopic=124 Entering coordinates for an individual waypoint is one of the least intuitive features of these units, I think.
  5. I use Mapopolis, but would highly recommend against it as they are no longer producing maps for the PDA. I do not have a recommendation for another mapping software because they each offer a different set of features and strengths/weaknesses. Therefore, you have to look at each and figure out which software fits best with the features that are most important to you. The available software can be found at the buygpsnow and semsons sites. I'd suggest reading the descriptions for each package and googling for reviews of each. I'd also suggest planning to do this when you have hours of time, because there are a lot of sotware packages and reviews out there. I can tell you these two things. One, Microsoft Streets and Trips will not provide turn-by-turn directions, so it's a no-go if you're looking for that feature. Two, for as good of a reputation as Delorme has for PC mapping, it has a very bad reputation for PDA mapping. I've read several bad reviews and seen bad user input from it. Maybe that has changed recently, but I'd suggest buyer beware for that one. OnCourse Navigator, iGuidance, TomTom, and Destinator have been around for a long time and anything I've read about them has been largely positive, keeping in mind that they each have different strengths and weaknesses. All the other software packages are new to me and I haven't kept up with it lately to know how good or bad they are.
  6. Oh, Gosh, Sorry. I just saw the GPS and didn't look at the description to see that it was bluetooth. No, you didn't miss anything. My mistake. The rest is good. I much prefer using the PDA in the car for navigation and find the voiced directions to be indespensible. Actually, if you have the PDA near a power source, then you are good to go. You'll also have to pick up mapping software if you want full navigational capability. Maybe it has changed, but the last version of BCN that I used did not provide turn-by-turn directions. It is awesome for topo and physical details, though. Good Luck! Edit: Oh, I totally missed where you said it would be a secondary unit in the original post. I guess I could have saved a whole lot of (preaching) space a few posts back.
  7. It isn't advertised on their page listing SD/CF receivers, but I just noticed that buygpsnow.com has the Spectec SD receiver listed as on sale on their home page for $90. This is about $30 less than I saw at Semsons. Apparently, this had to be said twice before it sank in, but, yes, it is very important to note that you can expect significantly lower battery life using one of these receivers. I compared the power consumption of the GlobalSat SD (95mA) and the Spectec SD (90mA) to the draw that my CF receiver advertises (Haicom HI303III - 90mA). Since they are similar, I can tell you that my PDA suffers significant battery drain. Your iPaq has an 1100 mAh battery, which is decent, but not all that large. An hour seems to me like the absolute low end, and I'd expect more, but not a lot more. It's your only alternative if you want GPS on this PDA, however. There are options such as turning off the PDA/GPS until you get close to ground zero, cranking the screen brightness way down, using a AA battery pack to plug in and charge the PDA, etc. I have to tell you that this just seems like WAY too much effort to me to carry a piece of fragile office equipment into the woods. I don't mean to be rude, but for all the experience I have, research I've conducted, and things I've read about SD, CF, and bluetooth receivers, my Haicom never leaves the truck. I have a rugged handheld receiver for that purpose. It's just one piece of equipment that gets very long battery life that can spend hours at a time in the rain without a complaint. It's true that the PDA will run very detailed topo and aerial mapping and also cache management programs that handheld receivers will not, but the handheld does it for me. I'd simply suggest thinking really hard about how you intend to use the GPS and think out all the pros and cons of each option.
  8. I have no idea about whether SN is a standard feature or not. I guess it depends on the manufacturer and maybe even model. I can't definitively answer your question about whether 512 would be enough. I can give you some perspective, though. I have street level navigational maps from Mapopolis loaded on my storage card. I have all of the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. It takes up about 225 MB of space. I don't remember how much space BCN map downloads take up, but I think it is quite a bit since it overlays topo information. If I recall correctly, it can download different degrees of topo details. Given that I can cover a pretty wide swath with 225 MB, I'd think you'd be just fine even if BCN downloads were large. I don't think any software packages allow you to "overlay" in that you could overlay BCN maps onto Mapopolis maps. You could run the programs independently and switch back and forth. If you have Windows Mobile 5, they can share the GPS input. If you have Windows Mobile 2003, you can share using a program called GPSGate. I never used GPSGate, but read where it works just fine.
  9. Go get GPXSonar: http://gpxsonar.homeip.net/cs/files/default.aspx Make sure to download the v1.5 that is "for test purposes only." It works just fine on the Treo and will automatically find and identify your pocket queries in the .zip format. If you use v1.4, it looks for a .gpx file instead. GPXSonar is very similar to GSAK in purpose, but is not as feature-rich. You can sort caches in various ways including distance from defined coordinates, include/exclude cache types, etc. Selecting a cache will bring up all the details you need in Pocket IE, except pictures. Mine's a little annoying because the Treo attempts to connect to the internet every time you open the web page, but you just tell it to cancel if you don't want to connect. Tap and hold on the cache to see the hint. I'd imagine cachemate would be another that others would recommend and it serves the same purpose, but I've never used it.
  10. I know absolutely nothing about it, but it looks good with a SirfIII chip and the same acquisition, etc. times as the GlobalSat. It seems to me, based on watching these things for several years, that GlobalSat is a pretty well-known manufacturer with a good reputation. I've never heard of Spectec, but everybody has to start somewhere, right? An added bonus is that the description for the Spectec specifically states that it was tested and works with your device. Although I'm quite sure the other one would as well, the mention of your specific device should give some reassurance. I didn't see anything in the specs. that would turn me off to it. A little update later on. The only thing that I would advise as I assume you will be walking around with the receiver is to check out the section on "static navigation" as discussed in this review: http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/globalsat-sd502-gps-review.php No idea about static navigation on the Spectec, and I couldn't find any reviews of it at all with some only limited searching.
  11. Bad link above, try this one: http://www.buygpsnow.com/globalsat-sd-502-...nabled-465.aspx
  12. No specific recommendations on the software as I have no experience with either (although cachemate certainly sounds like your best bet), however, compact framework 2.0 is a huge memory hog on the device. So much so that I won't install it (I have in the past and got rid of it), and won't run programs that require it. It might already be in your device's ROM, however, so that would save you the install and memory space. It doesn't particularly hog resources when running; it just hogs memory when installed.
  13. I've owned a CF Haicom HI-303S (Sirf II) and CF Haicom HI-303III (SirfIII) for some time now. I also have the bluetooth slipper for these receivers so they can be used as either CF or bluetooth by either using the CF alone inserted into the device or by inserting the CF into the slipper and pairing it with the device. Some thoughts and opinions follow. From my experience, accuracy, signal strength, etc. is exactly the same whether using it as CF or BT. My experience with these are only with a WM2003 device, so I can't speak about compatability with WM2005 at all. The 303III is worlds better than the 303S. Signal acquisition time alone would be enough to justify the 303III. Also, the 303III does not jump around as much. The 303S is good on the road, but had me in circles in the woods. Both hold fixes very well under cover. Using a CF receiver will significantly decrease your battery life and usage time. The PDA running only itself (mapping program, etc.) and bluetooth would get a good four hours or so. The BT receiver in its separate battery-powered slipper is good for at least eight. The PDA running itself and a CF card would be good for probably half the normal four hour run time. This is not based on actually timing these. It is based on what I'm guessing having unscientifically monitored the battery in both situations. I never use the PDA to navigate to the cache anymore. I use a stand-alone only and the Haicom is relegated strictly to auto duties. I might take the PDA for cache details in GPXSonar only. If I used it as a CF in the PDA, then I couldn't put the PDA in a case. This meant I had to have it in my hand the whole time. This meant I had to do everything one-handed. This also meant I had to worry and take extra care that I didn't drop the device. This was not fun for me. Using a separate BT receiver was better because I could put the reciever in a pocket or backpack and use the PDA case for the PDA. Then, I got caught in the rain . . . I thought having the option of CF or bluetooth that the Haicom offers was a wise idea. I regret this now, however, because the CF receiver + the bluetooth slipper are much larger than the tiny bluetooth only receivers they're making nowadays. I wish I had bought one of those instead. Maybe someday I will, but since the Haicom stays in the truck, it isn't that big of a deal.
  14. Your iFinder will support up to a 2 GB SD card (just so you know). I know lots of people use 2GB cards, and really, given the low prices nowadays, maybe it isn't a bad idea to just buy one. Having said that, I use a 512 MB card in mine. It was a hand-me-down when I bought a 2GB for my PDA. Using MapCreate 6.3 Topo, I have a map cut out that includes Western Pennsylvania, and parts of New York, Ohio, and West Virginia. I can't recall exactly now, but it is something like 25 MB in size. You can store multiple maps on the same storage card with no trouble. The iFinder will automatically detect and display them. They don't even need to be specifically loaded. It would actually be much less practical to store individual maps on individual cards. The iFinder stores other data, such as waypoints and trails in the unit itself, and this information can be transferred to the storage card. They take up very little space. A good bit less than a MB for a pocket query of 500 caches with hints and other information included plus some tracks and what-not from our adventures. The only reason that I can think of that you might want a big storage card would be if you want to put the whole country on it. I don't know if the whole country will fit on a 2GB card or not, though. My 512MB card is never more than 10 percent or so filled, even when I travel somewhere else and add another large area map. I don't know about higher-speed memory. I have regular speed SanDisks. It does pause a bit to read the card when zooming quickly and starting up, but this doesn't bother me and I don't know if a higher speed card would make a difference.
  15. Do you intend to use it to connect to a GPS and use the Jornada for the cache hunt or do you intend to use a separate GPS and use the Jornada only for providing cache pages? If I'm not mistaken, the Jornada has the Pocket PC 2000 operating system and if I'm not further mistaken, two of the more popular cache database programs -- GPX Sonar and Cachemate -- require at least the Pocket PC 2003 operating system. You cannot upgrade the Jornada's operating system. So, I suggest comparing the OS on the Jornada to the minimum requirements of any software you are considering. Another popular software choice is Beeline, and I have no idea what operating systems it supports. One of my older Pocket PCs runs the 2000 operating system and it does recognize and accept input from a compact flash receiver, and it also runs my mapping software (Mapopolis) just as well as my newer Pocket PC. So, if you intend to use it as a do-it-all with GPS connected, you'd probably be okay as long as the mapping or other software was compatable with the operating system. If you already have a GPS and you want the PDA only for providing cache pages and hints, I'd suggest picking up a cheap Palm. There are lots of threads here talking about what/where to buy those. If you want to connect a GPS to the PDA, the Jornada might not be a bad choice, but you have to make sure it isn't too dated for the programs you want to run. If you're thinking you want to use the PDA for more than cache pages, I'd suggest a Pocket PC with at least the 2003 operating system or a newer Palm. And then, this is my personal opinion solely, if you intend to get very far into the woods, you will probably be wanting to consider a stand-alone GPS rather than a Pocket PC due to ruggedness, battery life, etc. That has been my experience, and I know others differ in opinion. With regard to eyesight, the Lowrance iFinders, Garmin GPSMaps, and Magellan XL all have displays that are comparable in size to that on a Pocket PC.
  16. You get the error because your internal memory is full. You can have, I think 1,000 points in the internal memory, and an unlimited number on the storage card. Try to think of the storage card and internal memory as being separate. In order to load your GSAK waypoints, you first have to delete all of the waypoints in internal memory. I forget the sequence now and my iFinder is at home. It think it is something like Menu, Menu, Delete All My Waypoints. Keep in mind, though, that this option will do as advertised. If you're just deleting waypoints from an old GSAK file, then you're okay. If you've marked some of your own waypoints, then you should first save these waypoints to your storage card as a .usr file. Pretty sure I got this one right: Menu, Menu, GPS Setup, Load. Then tell it that you want to save data to the card. Name the file and save it to the card. Then, delete all waypoints. Then, load the new GSAK file.
  17. Oh, yes, this could certainly be a difference that I wasn't considering. Actually, if you look at my new posts over at your site, I did consider it, but didn't apply it here.
  18. I agree with the assertion that it would cost a lot to develop the maps, but I disagree with your premise here because the receivers are separate from the maps. That is, I can buy a receiver and use it all I want without buying the extra maps. The Garmin software that is capable of autorouting is somewhat more expensive than MapCreate and I'd expect that it should be given its capability. But, that has nothing to do with the independent receivers themselves. Having said that, I don't know why one is cheaper than the other. The only thing that I can think is that the Garmins are somewhat newer on the market and apparently waaayyyy better at advertising.
  19. Here's the best help anyone can offer: do not, under any circumstances, pay $216 for an explorist 200. If you want a 200, they can be had for far less. Now, with regard to the rest of your question. I don't know of any receiver that will not tell you elevation data. There is a difference in that some have electronic barometers that will tell with a pretty good degree of accuracy and some use GPS signals for elevation that are, based on what I've read, within +/- 12 feet of accuracy. When you say you want a compass, does that mean you want an electronic compass on board the GPS that functions independently of the GPS reception, or a compass screen that is updated from GPS data? If the answer is that you want an electronic compass, then you should first know that an explorist 200 does not have one. You should second know that all of the major manufacturers offer receivers that do have electronic compasses with mapping options. Recent production examples from Garmin include the Vista Cx and the GPSMap 60 CSX; Lowrance offers the Expedition C and the Explorer; Magellan offers the explorist 600. If you don't want/need the electronic compass that is included with the specific models I cited above, then there are a multitude of receivers available that have GPS-assisted compass, elevation, and maps. Too many to list out at one time. The main point is that you shouldn't pay that much for a 200. You should head back to the drawing board and do more research or further define what you are looking for here and more advice can be offered. That's not to say the 200 isn't a viable option if it fits your criteria, but it's generally available for much less. Without having done the research in a while, I'm thinking much less is probably $100 less than what you've quoted.
  20. From Amazon: Lowrance iWay 250C . . . 194.99 I can do this all day long, but you didn't actually assert that it couldn't be done. You just asked how. My problem -- and after some reflection I did overreact, by the way -- was the assertion that the a Lowrance receiver was inferior without a demonstration as to why. To me, that hijacks the thread and does not serve the purpose set forth by the OP, which is the whole reason we're posting here to begin with, I assume. Anyhow, like I said, I did overreact and am not interested in a flame war. As such, I apologize for using the overly harsh language and tone.
  21. I'd really like to see how you'd get a handheld GPSr plus a touchscreen automotive one for equal or less than a 60CSx and the Mapsource City Navigator software.... However, if buying the Chevrolet of GPSr units (Lowrance) *plus* an auto unit appeals more than buying the Ferrari of GPSr units (60CSx) that can do it all...be my guest. If you spent your time doing anything other than trolling posts from non-Garmin users and those with disabilities, you could have found it. From my January post: Now, it seems that some of Garmin's prices have come down somewhat since that time, but the prices of stand-alones have come way down since that time also. I'm frankly not interested enough to update any of the figures and I'm not interested in investing any more time for someone that cannot post a comparative analysis to support an obviously specious statement such as one receiver being assumedly lower quality than another without any knowledge of more than one of the receivers involved. That is, I'm assuming you consider a Chevrolet to be inferior to a Ferrari and it somehow relates to GPS receivers. You would have some credibility if you could post any experience using any Lowrance receiver or any stand-alone routing unit because it does not appear you have used either. An off-handed statement doesn't do this.
  22. I had an iFinder (Explorer) and lost it. I didn't hesitate to replace it with another iFinder (Expedition). Never had a problem with accuracy or reception with either. I would suggest two things to you: (1) head over to the Lowrance website and compare some of the various receivers, and (2) consider getting a "Plus" package with included mapping. For comparing receivers, there is a tool on the website. Just call up the Hunt and click on the compare button. You might find the features of the Explorer to be sufficient for your use as it is similar to the Hunt, but generally cheaper. Both of my iFinders have electronic compasses and they work well with infrequent calibration necessary, but maybe you don't want that feature. Perhaps the color screen offered on an H2O C would be more desireable and it could probably be had for about the same price as the Hunt. Regardless of which you choose, you won't be disappointed. With regard to the "Plus" package, Lowrance's MapCreate software offers detailed road, waterway, topo, etc. details not available in the basemap, and most people find themselves wanting for detailed maps if they don't get them up front. The software is much cheaper as part of a "Plus" package rather than purchasing it separately later. If you're interested in autorouting, you can generally search around and find a stand-alone automobile receiver with a larger touch screen and voiced directions that, when added to the price of an iFinder Plus package, is about equal to or less than a 60CSX with all it's associated mapping software.
  23. I've bought a PDA and a few GPS receivers from them and I was very satisfied with prices, delivery processing and times, and customer service. I had to return a GPS unit, and had a rather so-so experience. The website wouldn't generate an RMA return number, stating that the manufacturer (Lowrance) wouldn't accept returns. They do have manufacturers listed that won't accept returns, but Lowrance wasn't one of them. One call to customer service resulted in an RMA number. This part wasn't too bad. However, once I returned the package, it took something like 7-10 days to process the return credit -- don't remember the exact days, but it was a minimum of at least seven if not ten. That is, at least seven days after they RECEIVED the returned package. This is the first time I've ever returned something that I bought online, so maybe this extended credit processing time isn't unusual, but it sure was frustrating. So, if you're sure it's the one you want and you won't have to return it, then they would get a very good recommendation from me.
  24. It seems as though embra is being quite helpful with regard to the receiver and maps, and I don't have much for you there. However, I would point out that you have GPS City right there in Las Vegas and they appear to have showroom hours for you to go and buy. I ordered from them last time as they had the receiver I wanted at a price a good bit cheaper than others.
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