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Steel City Seekers

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  1. Oooh, I'm not sure that your Expedition will accept more than a 1 GB card. I haven't heard where anyone has had any success with more than 1 GB, so please keep that in mind if you try another card.
  2. I've never seen this before, but my first thought would be to ask you if you had registered your SD card with MapCreate. In Mapcreate, select Tools from the top menu, then Card Registry. You can register five cards to MapCreate 6.3, and it has to be registered to transfer. If it's already registered, try shutting you computer down and restarting with the card in the reader. For some reason, my card reader stops communicating with the computer and I have to re-start to get it to work. Normally, map creation is a pretty painless process, so if the above doesn't work, you might be looking at a bad card reader. Based on what I've read, Lowrance customer service is very responsive about replacing these.
  3. Motor oil is cheaper and tastes the same. Chase it with a shot of Ketel and you get the same result.
  4. or beer! Clearly Chevrolet (trucks) and Budweiser are better than the rest.
  5. Yes, that would be the ultimate solution. (And a rather concise way to sum the whole thing up!)
  6. Very good point. I agree that picking up 13 or 14 would probably not provide any measurable increase in accuracy, however, I disagree that the 16 channel will necessarily track the same number of satellites even if fewer than 12 are availalble. I think the difference is that the 16 channel receivers are an indication* of a newer, and perhaps SirfIII-equipped, receiver with greater sensitivity. These newer receivers, to the extent that they have a SirfIII or similar, will typically acquire perhaps 7 or 8 satellites where the older receivers might acquire fewer and maybe not enough to report a lock. If they both receive 10 sats, then yes, similar accuracy. However, an increased sensitivity would lead to a greater number of satellites tracked. Although I don't purport to fully understand it, this article should give some indication of why people think so highly of the SirfIII receivers: http://www.gpspassion.com/fr/articles.asp?id=143 Also, in what I've read and experienced (having used a SirfIII bluetooth GPS), the newer receivers acquire a satellite lock much faster, which is important to me, but maybe not others. * I put indication in italics because I recall reading somewhere that all SirfIII receivers are 16 channel. Therefore, the indication of 16 channel would be indication of greater sensitivity. Greater sensitivity can mean acquisition and tracking of more satellites.
  7. O.K., here we go. I had looked for comparisons, reviews, etc. for quite some time before purchasing my receiver, and continue to do so. Unfortunately, such comparisons are few and far between. I can offer a few links and a little insight based on mine and others’ experiences, but the bottom line is that there isn’t much in the way of solid, technical analysis and you have to rely a lot on opinions. That’s why I said in my original post that the OP should look at recommendations and then take that list and compare features, etc. to determine what he or she wants, and threw what I consider to be very worthy of consideration into the pot. I’m only aware of one what I would call solid technical comparison with these receivers, and it is the one by robertlipe that was cited by geonerd. That’s an Explorist and one of the new Garmin GPSMap “x” series receivers that concluded, if I recall correctly, that there was minimal difference in their ability to hold a signal in an enclosed building. The only halfway-decent review of the newer Lowrance that I’m aware of can be found here: http://www.gpsinformation.org/Lowrance/Exp...Expedition.html The review is of an Expedition C, which is essentially an H2O C with the addition of an electronic compass and altimeter as well as a few other goodies like the Scout mode to measure perimeters. (I just want to caveat this so I don’t step in it, but there are a few even better than halfway-decent reviews of other Lowrances such as Briansnat’s review of the H2O at Today’s Cacher, however, the H2O is not the latest receiver with the 16-channel receiver). Also, I think there is an error in the above post in that I’m pretty sure that the Garmin GPSMap “x” receivers are 16 channel rather than 12, but I didn’t look that up just now. Further, I can’t offer direct experience with an H2O C, however, I do (did – lost it) own an iFinder Explorer as well as an Explorist 100. The Explorer is a 12 channel receiver and I’m assuming not directly comparable to the 16 channel H2O C. Nonetheless, I offer the following based on my experience. The Lowrance always acquired a signal faster than the Explorist and always tracked 1-3 more satellites in any conditions. On one occasion, the two receivers reported a difference of about 250 feet in positioning and continued this disagreement. This wouldn’t normally bother me, but we were looking for a stage of a cache at the time and it was a tad inconvenient. If you really have a lot of time to waste, you can see where I posted about it here: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LU...0f-64f8b2df4e67 On another occasion, before we had the Lowrance, the Explorist performed similarly. I was a bit disgruntled because we unnecessarily climbed to the top of a large hill to where it zeroed in on a cache location. Upon reaching the top of the hill we came upon an open-sky power line and the Explorist snapped to the correct location. In both instances, we parked the car, then started the Explorist, and then headed into tree cover immediately after it reported a fix. I think it must have still been settling down, but it maintained an inaccurate position until we left the canopy. Although I was a bit perturbed with these two instances, I want it to be perfectly clear that I would not specifically recommend against an Explorist and will point out that my Explorist has been used on many other occasions – some geocaching and some not – and it has worked quite well. I transferred many of my personal waypoints from the Explorist to the Lowrance when I got it and they were all reasonably close. The Lowrance performs well in tree cover, although similar to the older Garmins, it very much prefers to be held flat to report a position. Sometimes, I’d carry the receiver upright in a pocket and it would report a loss of position when I pulled it out and looked at it. It did, however, re-find itself in the correct place after a second or two. It has been alleged, but not confirmed by anyone, that the H2O C and the other receivers in the Lowrance color screen stable have SirfIII receivers, similar to the GPSMap “x” series. I did find some discussion on the Yahoo! Lowrance Group where one user posted his experience using both an H2O C and a 60 Cx. He offered that the 60 Cx acquired a fix faster, but that both units showed the same number of satellites and offered similar results in accuracy. In addition, he pointed out that the battery life of the 60Cx was considerably better, and the screen of the H2O shows better resolution although the 60Cx was easier to read in direct sunlight, and the buttons on the H2O C were bigger and easier to operate particularly with gloves. I’m pretty sure you have to be a member of the group, but the post is here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ifinder_gps/message/3184 Finally, I’ll throw in a word (well, okay an entire anlysis) about cost. A few days ago, I was curious, so I looked up some prices on Tiger GPS to compare the possibilities of purchasing a 60Cx with all of its associated software versus buying an H2O C Plus in addition to a stand-alone voice-guided vehicle receiver. Here’s what I came up with: Garmin 60 Cx-------------------------376.81 Garmin NA City Navigatior 8---------124.99 Garmin MapSource Topo-------------- 89.99 Total------------------------------------591.79 Lowrance iFinder H2O C Plus--------299.32 Garmin StreetPilot i5 w/ maps------299.99 Total-----------------------------------599.31 A guy in our office got a color Garmin car receiver for less than $150 at a recent Radio Shack sale, but I kept all of the comparisons from the same retailer for consistency. So, if you’re still reading, you are even crazier than I am. The OP’s limited description of wants – especially when it was a $300 price point – seemed to fit the H2O C Plus perfectly because you could get a highly-capable receiver and its associated software for that money. As for me, I will be ordering a new H2O C soon to replace my lost friend.
  8. Argggh! I was almost finished with one of my patented 45-minute long posts to answer to offer details to TomInJax and the whole shooting match locked up and I lost everything. No time now, but I'll retype it and post later today or tomorrow. Sorry.
  9. It's most likely true that the Venture or Explorist would serve the purpose fine, however, for $300 or less you can pick up a Lowrance H2O C Plus with a considerably larger color screen. The "Plus" means that it includes MapCreate -- Lowrance's mapping software including detailed roads, POIs, and topographical lines, but not steet driving directions. It is heavier, on average, but it isn't that much heavier and the extra weight kinda comes along with the larger screen. If I were you, I'd let the recommendations pile up here for a day or two, then look up the specs for those and figure out what you want. Oh, and I attend a Catholic Church.
  10. The best, I think, is to download through GSAK because you can customize the waypoint information transferred to the iFinder. However, you'll find your basic instruction and a few options here: http://www.sitekreator.com/geo-lowrance/index.html
  11. It sounds like maybe the card is the problem. Is the other card that worked a PNY? I'd hate to tell you that you need a different brand because I can't tell you that that is the problem for sure. Based on my experience and what I read from others, it appears that the SanDisk SD cards work well.
  12. I can verify that you can put multiple maps on the card. The receiver will automatically load the maps depending on your position. I know that users have had varying success with different brands of SD cards in the Lowrances. You might want to take a trip over to Airmapper's site here: http://www.sitekreator.com/geo-lowrance/index.html There is a topic in the forums about cards that worked and didn't work. One user acquired and was going to try a PNY 1GB card, but didn't yet post back with results. You might want to PM him to ask about his results. I'd suggest trying to load a smaller map section first -- maybe a square 25 miles or so to see your results. I can't speak to multi-state maps because I've never tried to load one that large. Also, I don't know the capabilities of your computer. These mapping programs can require a lot of processing power on that end, especially for such large maps.
  13. Yes, it has been documented here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...97546&st=50 If you read that thread, I couldn't get mine to work, but everybody else did. No discussion about resetting the odometer though . . .
  14. And, now that I've derailed the topic, let me put it back on track. If you're disappointed with Garmin's topo, I think you'll be disappointed with Lowrance's as well. It might be slightly better with POIs and I really like the identification of and boundries for public areas and hunting lands, but the topo lines aren't frequently-enough occurring to be fully useful. I'm assuming that the OP is more concerned with topo lines than POIs -- maybe I'm wrong. There are ways to acquire your own data and make your own maps that can be uploaded to either a Garmin or a Lowrance if you're willing to put in the work. There is a long-running thread close to the top of this forum with details for your Garmin, and a Yahoo! Group for Lowrance.
  15. Yes, well, fair enough. As I said, I was just curious. It seems to me that many of those superiority items are very subjective. For example, I prefer the form factor of the Lowrance over that huge gaudy antenna. Plus, the color Lowrances -- compared to the GPSMAP Cs -- are smaller in overall dimensions and have higher resolution screens. If you use it frequently, it doesn't take long to master the user interface. The only time I transfer data is when I change the batteries, so removing the SD card from there is not big deal. I use my Pocket PC for autorouting, and would never go backwards from there. So . . . my analysis is pretty subjective, too. I didn't mean to call you out or put words in your mouth that Lowrances are bad units. However, you typically post insightful and supported details on the topics you choose to discuss, rather than the highly helpful three-word "buy a 60CSX" response that I see all the time. The whole general superiority thing threw me.
  16. You wouldn't happen to have list of items handy for which Garmin is generally "superior" to Lowrance, would you? Just curious . . .
  17. With regard to #2, it appears that the topo 6.3 will work according to this: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=135777&hl=
  18. Yes, unregistered and fully legal. That was posted at the end of a looooong day. I also failed to mention that this includes the other items with the plus package -- the SD card reader with USB connection and an SD memory card. I think it is 64 MB. If there are no takers, I'm going to take this down in a day or so and exchange the plus package for a receiver alone since that is all that I need.
  19. I have the MapCreate 6.3 software CDs, which represents the latest U.S. detailed mapping software from Lowrance including topographical lines, for $80 firm. I'll pick up the cost for shipping in the U.S. This will be the fully unlicensed sofware from an iFinder "plus" package that I do not need. Details for the specs and capabilities of the sofware can be found here: http://www.lowrance.com/Mapping/MapCreate63/default_topo.asp I can accept Paypal or any other suggested payment type, and you can PM me if you are interested.
  20. I have (had -- lost it -- arggh) an Explorer. I can't offer any direct comparisons because I've never used a GO2, however, I think you'll like the ability to directly transfer .usr files created from pocket queries and other sources. Also, if you have the mapping software, I think you'll like that quite alot as well. I think it aids the experience quite a bit by allowing you to much more clearly see your surroundings, plan "attack" routes and the such. I could probably answer some more specific questions if you have them. However, I'd suggest going to the Lowrance website and downloading the Explorer user's manual to keep you occupied for a few days and also visit Airmapper's Lowrance website at: http://www.sitekreator.com/geo-lowrance/index.html There is lots of good information there, particularly a tutorial on downloading .gpx files and converting them to .usr format for use on your iFinder. Find that on the index page, and also be sure to visit the forums. I loved mine, and I think you'll be happy with your upgrade.
  21. I've been using a vent mount for about two years, including in rental cars. My situation is a bit different, but I'll add some details about my experiences because you might be able to glean something useful and because it seems that vent mounts are the topic you most want to discuss. In my situation, I use the vent mount for my PDA with a bluetooth GPS stored elsewhere in the car, but it wouldn't be much different of a scenario for your GPS. I have an Arkon vent mount with a universal PDA holder (that I've also put my stand-alone GPS into). The vent mount itself has two little hooks to go to the back of the vent louvers and a folding piece at the bottom to rest on the dash immediately below the louvers to hold the mount in place and also hold the vent from being able to go down. I also own a gooseneck suction mount that sits up in the attic now because it fell off the windshield once and I don't trust it, plus it takes up too much packing room. I found that it is reliable if you make sure the windshield is clean and that you have a very good seal, but this is too much fiddling around, I think, especially if you're using it short term like a rental car. Even if I did all that, I don't think I'd trust it while off-roading because the vibration might unlock even a good seal. The gooseneck pushes the weight out quite a ways from the base and puts a good bit of stress on that seal. On the other hand, a stand-alone GPS isn't as heavy as a PDA and I would be far less concerned about my GPS taking a dive to the floor than my PDA. The vent mount fit into my Silverado and Venture like it was made to be put in these vehicles. Perfect fit. It held the PDA pretty steady and didn't give me cause for concern that it would fall off. With regard to off-roading, the part that holds the PDA hooks onto the vent mount by sliding it onto a post. I'd be concerned that it might jump up and off of this post, but I've bumped it around some (you don't even have to leave the roads in Pennsylvania for a jostling experience) and it seemed pretty steady. However, I've never had it very far off road or in very bumpy terrain. Keep in mind that a vent mount has lots of possibility for jumping around too much. The bottom doesn't actually attach to the dash (at least mine doesn't), so it can jump up and down quite a bit because the vent is designed to move up and down and there is nothing holding it from the bottom – just a post that holds the whole thing up. I never had a rental car that the vent mount fit into as well as my personal vehicles. I’ll use a recent experience with an Impala as an example. I could get it to work by hooking onto the back of the louvers like you're supposed to, but I had to turn the lower locking arm all the way down and just rest it against the dash below the vent. Not as steady, but it still sufficed and held it well enough that I could use the touch-screen and all without any worries. I’ve never had a car that I couldn’t make it work, but it hasn’t always been pretty. I’ve also never had a car with those rounded vents mentioned earlier, but I’d guess that you could not make a vent mount work in them. It can be a little tricky removing the vent mounts, but they are designed to be removed and I've never broken any vent louvers. I have been rather impatient at times and demonstrated that the louvers are quite flexible and resistant to breaking. One a few occasions, I had to take the vent mount apart because both posts wouldn't come off at the same time, but that isn't a big deal. I've concluded that none of the mounting solutions are perfect, but the vent mount has worked for me the best. Overall, I'd say that (after that incredibly-long diatribe) you're probably best-off with your homemade configuration. Since you don't mind packing it and it is adaptable, it seems the only drawback is off-road. I don’t think your experience with a vent mount is going to be all that much better unless you have a mount that somehow anchors itself better on the bottom than mine does.
  22. The Bruntons and Silvas do cost more for some reason. To help more, the Atlas appears to be a rebadged original iFinder. This is not a bad GPS, but it can be had for much less than $179. Also, I know the original iFinder is not as waterproof as the newer iFinders, if that makes a difference for you. For less than $179, you could get a newer and waterproof Lowrance iFinder H2O or Explorer. For just slightly more than $200, you could get the H2O Plus with MapCreate, which is Lowrance's detailed topo and street software. I recommend getting the detailed software as it is cheaper when bundled in a Plus package, and your friend will likely want these details sooner or later. Google "iFinder H2O" or "iFinder H2O Plus" and look at one of those price comparison sites to see what I mean. If you go the auction site route, you could probably get an original iFinder for around $100. Other Lowrance iFinders of note in the less-than-$179 category that could be had here would be a Map and Music or PhD. The Map and Music is similar to the H2O and the PhD is similar to the Explorer, except they play music. There is also the iFinder Pro, which is the same as the original iFinder (i.e., not waterproof) but with a higher resolution screen. Confused now? Lowrance also makes higher-end color models, but the cost more. Bottom line is that $179 for a rebranded original iFinder is not too good of a deal in my opinion.
  23. You need to use their card reader to register your SD Cards and, yes, you can use any SD card. Airmapper's website forums (check his sig for the link) has an ongoing discussion of people's success with different cards. I think you can use any reader after the card is registered, but someone else would have to confirm. I just use the LEI reader, and it works fine for me. One minor clarification from my end. The OP was asking about the H2OC, not the H2O. I think the C was probably released about the same time as the Expedition and they both have 16-channels. These 16-channel receivers are those that are considered on-par with the Sirfs (and might even BE Sirfs -- nobody can confirm). The difference between the Expedition and the H2OC is that the Expedition has an electronic compass and barometer, so you have to choose whether you want these or not. My Lowrance has the electronic goodies and I really like them, but they do have a higher battery drain. My experience with the mapping is as Airmapper says. It is very good, and really all manufacturers' mapping software is somewhat lacking compared to the mapping you can get for your PC. My experience with MapCreate is that the roads and POIs can be off a pretty good distance -- POIs in particular. It does have phone numbers and the such for POIs, and I don't believe other manufacturers' topo packages have this. One of the big reasons that I chose the Lowrance is that MapCreate advertised public hunting areas, parks, and other public areas of interest. I've found the software to be very comprehensive with this data. Additionally, my experience has been that it is spot-on with streams, lakes and other off-road data. Overall, I'd agree that Lowrance's software is a little better.
  24. An excellent choice. Please click below to initiate your membership in Airmapper's exclusive Lowrance club and get lots of tips on setting up your receiver: http://www.sitekreator.com/geo-lowrance/index.html
  25. I've re-read the OP a few times now and can't figure out for the life of me why you don't just carry your Garmin hunting with you instead of buying another receiver. Is it the size? That's the only thing I could think of.
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