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Steel City Seekers

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Everything posted by Steel City Seekers

  1. You tease. You know your Lowrance already has this. Just press Menu, Menu, delete all waypoints, hit the find key two times quickly to find the easter-egg menu, then hit exit, re-calibrate the compass, menu, menu, turn backlight on, then turn backlight off, turn the receiver around, open the antenna cover, and press the mind interface button. You aren't fooling anyone.
  2. Check out post #23 below for one recommendation (I carry mine without a case). http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=139325&hl=
  3. No, a Recon handheld is a ruggedized PDA. Here is a source that appears to offer some more details on using GPS with the handheld: http://www.trimble.com/recon_mgis_handheld.shtml Here are some options for CF GPS receivers: http://www.buygpsnow.com/compactflash-sd-gps_10.html There are several on that page that are SirfIII, which are supposed to work particularly well in the tall building setting that the OP described. I have the Haicom HI-303III and am quite pleased with it in accuracy and time to acquire a fix. I don't know much about the Recon or your accuracy needs, however. No further advice on the Recon or the GPS options outlined in the first link above. However, the CF receivers sold by BuyGPSNow are the standard consumer-grade. Therefore you can expect -- how is it exactly? -- 10 foot accuracy 95 percent of the time. Not sure about those numbers, but they are close. If you need sub-foot accuracy, then you will need to look elsewhere.
  4. Well, now, wait a minute. It's not the GPS manufacturer's fault that you aren't receiving your pocket query. In fact, all of the GPS manufacturers require some type of conversion to read the pocket queries on their receiver. None of them (the GPS manufactuer's conversions) are that difficult, but you do have to have the base data first. It sounds like your problem is with your ISP or GC.com rather than the receiver. This has been a topic that has been discussed on a few occasions on the website forum section, so you should check that out for some help.
  5. The above responses are correct, and by far the most economical method for obtaining detail maps for the iFinder. You can, however, purchase pre-made SD cards to simply pop into the receiver, see the "Freedom Maps" on Lowrance's website -- http://www.lowrance.com/Mapping/ The Freedom Maps are much more expensive. For example, the three-state SD card that includes Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia costs $100. If you buy the MapCreate 6.3 with the card, reader, etc. then you get the whole U.S. for $100.
  6. Well, it certainly sounds like you have done your research and covered your bases. So, I think you arrived at a pretty good solution that will work well for you. As an aside/clarification: the streets in Lowrance's topo (Lowrance proprietary) are different than Navteq guidance because they are from different sources. Navteq's street-level data is much, much more accurate in my experience. On the other hand, Lowrance's topo, available only with the newer MapCreate 6.3 contains a great deal of information for streams, small bodies of water, hunting (public) places, etc. I've found these off-road details to be very accurate. Airmapper didn't self-advertise, but I'd strongly suggest checking out his Lowrance User's Guide -- see link in his sig. Lots of info. on setting up your Lowrance and a great place to hang out with other cool people that made a wise purchase decision. And, one more thing: GO STEELERS!
  7. Overall, I'd offer encouragement. It appears to be a Lowrance H20 that can do voice-assisted routing -- it is even IPX7 waterproof. For such a handheld that includes maps at $130, I'd say it is a pretty good deal. Two caveats I can think of. One, I've read in the past where the receiver eats batteries quickly. Not so much of a concern if you use rechargeables, but be sure to carry some extras. Two, the maps are probably a bit outdated, and it's pretty clear Lowrance doesn't intend to offer anything newer. I wonder if they're Navteq. If so, they should still be pretty good, but eventually . . . Based on experience with my B&W Lowrance versus a large-screen color PDA, the screen could be a bit cumbersome to look at while driving, but this will be pretty much the same with any of the handheld units. At least it adds voice guidance, which is a very big benefit. I can navigate based on the voice guidance alone with my PDA. I think I read -- maybe someone else can confirm -- that the iway 100 will also run the newer non-routing, but topo MapCreate software, which would be a plus if you want to upgrade off-road capability.
  8. Bingo!! Nojive hit it on the head. If you have a receiver that maps you on the road already, I just don't think you can beat a Lowrance for off-road duties. I don't think I need to add anything more than Nojive posted.
  9. Apologies I offer, but I only breezed through the article you posted. I've used a different SirfIII than you cited. That is, I've used a Haicom HI-303III instead of the 338 featured in this article. It is my understanding that my Haicom does indeed use static navigation and that it is a 16 channel. In fact, I thought all Sirf III receivers were minimum 16 channel. I've experienced some of the attributes mentioned in the article, such as an extraordinarily fast acquistion time. On the order of one second is not unusual for me. But I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you asking if they're all static navigation? I don't know the answer to that. Are you asking if they are all 20 channel? Again, I thought the min. was 16, and I'm pretty sure mine is a 16 channel.
  10. Drove me a little nuts going through the ads, too. I'm so glad to see the Lowrance community expanding at your hands, Airmapper. The forums are becoming a nice little place I've added to my must-do internet list.
  11. For the most part, you are correct. Based on my experiences and things I've read: waypoints be first converted into a special format file Yes, waypoints must be converted into the .usr format. This isn't any different than any of the other manufacturers where waypoints must be converted to their format. GSAK and other programs will perform this conversion relatively painlessly. I'd refer you to Airmapper's tutorial on accompishing this -- see the link to his site in his post above. then loaded onto the flash card via their proprietary card reader No, you can load waypoints using any card reader. The issue is with loading maps from the MapCreate software. To do this, you must first register the card in the MapCreate software using the proprietary reader (you can register up to five cards to the software). Once you've registered the card, you can then use any reader to write maps (and waypoints) to the card. inserted into the GPSr under the batteries Yes, it is under the batteries, which hasn't been much of an issue for me because I have to change the batteries every so often anyhow and the SD card is exposed while the batteries are out. Just read/write your data when changing the batteries. Even so, it isn't much of a hassle to pull out the card even if you only want to switch out data. Is it as easy as just plugging in a GPS? No, but it isn't all that much more of a hassle. There is no USB interface, and the serial cable can not be used to transfer waypoints, only position data. You don't get a serial cable with the GPS. Lowrance's intention is that you manage data via the storage card. You can purchase a cable separately to send position data to a different device, such as a PC or Pocket PC by transmitting the NMEA data from the iFinder to the other device. And, there are third-party cable solutions to transfer waypoint data from the PC to the iFinder. This, of course, would be a solution if you didn't want to use the SD card reader to manage your data and would serve the same purpose of transferring data similar to the methods employed by Garmin and Magellan receivers. how much of a bother is all that? See above for some of my opinions on how much of a bother it is. I don't mind. The SD card shows up as another drive on the PC just like you might be used to seeing with any card reader. So, it's simple to manage data. You still have to change your batteries occasionally, and opening the door on my iFinder is way easier and less time consuming that it is on my eXplorist with having to dig out the screw "handle" and unscrew/rescrew the batter cover. I can have the iFinder's batteries and storage card out in a third the time it takes to expose the batteries on the eXplorist. On the other hand, this is the first and only receiver I've had that can communicate with the PC, so take the above for what its worth. If you insist on using a direct cable connection, it can be done. Otherwise, I don't think the card reader process is too bad.
  12. No, it's not a take me back device only. It's been a while since I've used my 100, but I recall you just press the "Mark" button and a menu appears. If I remember correctly, it gives you the option to mark the current location or edit. If you choose edit, you can then change all of the attributes available. You don't even have to create a bogus waypoint first. Alternatively, you can purchase a third-party cable to transfer waypoints directly into the 100. Since you, Chiselgrind, are a premium member, you can create pocket queries and dump them into the Explorer using a program like GSAK or EasyGPS. One good solution for a cable is here: http://pc-mobile.net/gps.htm The website is rather confusing and I ended up upgrading my GPS before I bought the cable, but I did get so far as to inquire as to exactly what components I needed to connect the 100. Once you hit the site, you'll see options (tiny links at the top of the webpage) for an old-style Explorist 123 and right next to that a new-style Explorist 123 (that's shorthand for Explorist 100, 200, 300 btw). Since it wasn't clear, I e-mailed them. See the details straight from the company, including specific part numbers here: You need USGM+GUGS to connect to PC USB port. It can also power the GPS. With GS9SF, which connects to PC serial port, you need also PUC2 to connect to PC USB port in order to power the GPS. Of course you can power the GPS some other ways. At 09:07 05/19/2006 -0400, you wrote: >Hi, > >I am looking to purchase a cable that will allow me to exchange data between my Explorist 100 and PC. I don't need anything to connect to a Pocket PC. > >It looks like the old-style cable package GS9SF does what I would like. I'm confused, however, about the new style cable. It looks like GUGS will do the same thing, i.e., allow data transfer from GPS to PC. > >Is it correct that I can use the GUGS to work directly with my PC? Do I need any other cables to make this communication work? Or, should I go with the GS9SF for data transfer? > >Thank-you. > > Pc-Mobile GPS solutions http://pc-mobile.net/gps.htm
  13. The Pro, I'm quite positive, doesn't have the geocaching icons. My newer Explorer doesn't either. You have to have the Expedition C to take advantage of these. Maybe the Hunt C has them too -- I'm not sure. I don't know of any way to add icons, and don't think it is possible. Actually, only the most recent version of GSAK added these new icons for Lowrance. At first, I was annoyed by the lack of icon choices (even though there are many icons, they aren't caching-related). Then, I just assigned the different categories to a different icon and became familiar with what each of them stood for with some experience in the field. I've gotten used to what my icons mean.
  14. Mapcreate 6.3 was the first and only that has topo, so it sounds like you are getting the latest. Welcome to the club and be sure to check out Airmapper's Lowrance site for some required reading on setting up your new iFinder. See here: http://lowrancegeocachingguide.bravehost.com/index.html
  15. The only question that I would have is the version of the Mapcreate software. I'm pretty sure the latest, Mapcreate 6.3 Topo, was released after the PHD. It might have Mapcreate 6.2 without the topo lines. For me, the topo was the whole reason I bought Mapcreate in the first place. If I were you, I'd check into this, and maybe the topo lines don't even matter to you. Anyhow, $150 is a great price for the receiver even if it is MC 6.2. Can't say much more than that. They are good quality receivers that won't let you down.
  16. There isn't much in the line of freeware GPS programs for the Pocket PCs, at least as far as mapping is concerned. What is your primary intention for the software? Do you want street software that provides routes and turn-by-turn directions or are you looking for more off-road/topo software? I've never used it personally, but have read lots of opinions and a few reviews about DeLorme that are not good at all. At least for the Pocket PC -- maybe the laptop program is much better. I have personally used Mapopolis and find it to be excellent for road navigation. It also is very geocaching-friendly allowing you to import .gpx files and it has a compass screen like a handheld GPS. The one thing that people will tell you about the Pocket PC mapping products is that some of the packages are very good at some things and not as good with others, but no product is excellent at everything. Therefore, you have to figure out which one is good for you. I'd highly suggest that you spend a few hours over at http://www.aximsite.com/ They have a GPS Talk forum there that is very active with lots of opinions and helpful links for both road navigation and off-road software. In addition to that, you'll want to check out programs like GPX Sonar (freeware) and Cachemate (inexpensiveware -- a new term that I just made up) for cache database management. They're like Pocket PC versions of GSAK, but not quite as powerful. There are also other programs like Beeline GPS that are meant to nagigate you to a cache, but I've never used it. Search Aximsite for mapping software. Search Aximsite and GC.com for cache database management and software such as Beeline.
  17. Yes, I just buy the cable, or live without it, becasue I can't do all the pin-outs. Be sure to see my edit above. I'm afraid the price went up on my earlier suggestion.
  18. Don't know if this would work or not, but check it out for yourself. See cable #G9SF on the link below for $9.00. The page referenced if you look up a little from the product is for a series of Garmins, including the 72. http://pc-mobile.net/grdc.htm Edit: No, wait, sorry. It looks like you actually need GR9SF to work from GPS to PC. It is $19.00. Maybe getting too pricey.
  19. Did you calibrate the compass? There is an option to do so in the compass screen menu. Oddly enough, the Explorer's manual does not tell you how to do this. If you download the Hunt manual from the website, there are directions. Basically you select the calibration option in the menu and it will bring up a little line that moves. You rotate the unit (holding it flat) so that the little line is always facing in the same direction. It will go around twice, then be calibrated. Make sure you do this away from any significant amount of metal, i.e., don't rotate it on your car hood. My experience, and others' experiences that I've read about, is that the compass is very accurate after calibration. As for use in the car, I'm pretty sure the Explorer has a 2-axis compass, which means it has to be held flat to give an accurate reading. If you have it in a car mount where it is sitting upright, it won't be accurate.
  20. It looks like a pretty decent deal, and the seller has a very high positive feedback rating. Further, he offers a 30-day warranty, which is somewhat unusual for a used PDA. I looked at completed auctions for the 2215 and saw that they were roughly in the $100-$195 range. So, $135 seems pretty reasonable and you can buy-it-now rather than enter bidding wars for the next several weeks. If you're willing to use a bluetooth GPS rather than a CF, then you might be able to expand your options a bit to a slightly-newer Ipaq 4415 or Axim X30. Either of these still use the Windows Media 2003 First Edition, but they would add wi-fi if that interests you at all. If wi-fi is of no interest, then stick with the 2215 as they appear to be slightly cheaper on ebay. Good luck!
  21. Yes, the electronic compass will allow you to obtain an accurate bearing while standing still. Actually, any of the units with an electonic compass will do this. I think the difference is that the 3-axis compass will allow you to hold the receiver in any position and get an accurate bearing. You see, I know the Lowrance and I think the Explorist have a 2-axis compass. This means that you must hold the unit flat for an accurate bearing. I know some of the older Magellans had a 3-axis compass so that you could hold the receiver in any direction and get a bearing. I don't know if the Garmin has a 3- or 2- axis compass. I've read several complaints here about having to recalibrate compasses each time you use the receiver. I will say that I do not have to recalibrate my Lowrance (Explorer) each time I use it, and it gives me an accurate standing-still bearing. It isn't too hard to hold it flat either.
  22. I found that I didn't care so much for having the box take up extra mapping space, even though it is not that big. In the same menu that Airmapper referenced, you can change one of the four small boxes at the bottom to show the distance to the waypoint while navigating. It takes up less space, and also shows the distance out two decimal places instead of one.
  23. I don't get it guys. Granted, I don't know anything about using GPS in flight, so maybe an external antenna is necessary there. But, why do you need to rig one up for the woods? Are you having reception issues? Heck, I get signal in my family room at home and if I'm just adding waypoints I don't really even need a signal. You can set the Lowrance to use without it trying to get a signal. Now, if you're just trying to push the limits and see 12+ sats everywhere, then carry on as I'm sure super-charging your GPS is probably fun. However, it almost appears that you're rigging up the external because of reception problems.
  24. First off, you should probably wait until a little closer to Christmas as there might be some new units in the next few months. I don't know of any, but it is a fairly rapidly evolving technology. Second off, it would probably help quite a bit if you could advise on the extent it will be used for geocaching. From your original post, it looks like geocaching won't be involved at all. This would make a significant difference in the GPS units you'd be looking to buy.
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