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Steel City Seekers

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Everything posted by Steel City Seekers

  1. Ha-Ha on the inaudible beeps, reidster. Mr. Poo: you don't happen to own a PDA, do you? If so, you might be better off to pick up a receiver and routing software for it, and keep your H2O for offroad duties. If not, then it wouldn't be worth buying one just for routing capability. You could pick up the software and receiver for less than a couple hundred bucks. When you factor a slight loss that you'll take selling the H20 and the additional cost of one of the 60x or 76x GPSMaps, there's a good chance you'll be out at least that much anyhow. Keep in mind that you have to buy the nav software for its purpose and also the topo software if you want similar off-road details offered by Mapcreate. Alternatively, you might be able to find a lower-end Garmin or TomTom or other stand-alone unit for use in the car for a decent price, but I've never priced these out so I don't know. As even another alternative, you could sell the Lowrance and pick up one of those Garmin Nuvis or whatever they're called -- they're built more for navigation as a primary purpose, but are also ruggedized to withstand more abuse than a typical PDA would. Since navigation seems to be your primary want, the PDA, stand alone, or Nuvi would provide a larger screen and audible voice-guided directions. Voice guidance is a huge benefit in navigational software. You need to figure out what is right for you, but I just wanted to offer a few alternatives . . . and of course are in addition to, rather than instead of, reidster's tip. That one is obviously the lowest-cost and most intriguing option.
  2. I don't know what doesn't work, if there are any. I do know that SanDisk does work.
  3. Nope, I tried again tonight and I pushed the exit button pretty doggone fast. Tried it many times and at variable speeds with no success. Spent way too much time on this fruitless exercise, and concluded that it will not produce a speedometer screen. I don't really have a need for one, but it seemed to become a challenge after a bit. Mine also has the most current firmware. The satellite screen trick works, though I don't really know what I'd ever do with that information.
  4. My setup is similar to Alan2. I think Mapopolis is outstanding, and I haven't seen where any of the other software provides as much functionality such as overlaying the .gpx directly into the software as he mentions. I don't use Mapopolis in the woods anymore, but it and GPXSonar give you everything you would need to cache with a Pocket PC. I frequently use these two programs to find caches and info. at the campsite, living room, hotel room or anywhere else. I don't know if the Palm version of Mapopolis supports the .gpx import or not (I don't see why it wouldn't), but if it did you could also add Cachemate to your Palm to do the same thing as Sonar. There are some links to gpspassion above. This site also has a dedicated and active forum for Mapopolis, both PPC and Palm. The Palm users complain a bit that the PPC version is more full-featured, but I don't see too many negative comments about the Palm version in its own rite. You should check that out. I have no problems with my SirfIII under the windshield of my 1998 Venture. This past weekend, it was seeing and using 12 sats with the receiver stored in the console under the dash. I've read about the coating in the past, and the only cars that people posted about were Peugeots (sp?) and one other not Chevy brand. I suspect the receiver would be okay under your windshield. Alternatively, there is a cigarette outlet behind the rear left removable panel in the van. If worse comes to worst, you could mount the receiver by or on the left back window, but I don't think you'll have problems with the windshield. The voice directions are a huge advantage, I think. I've left the PPC in its case in the car console without the screen visible and navigated by just listening before. Plus, it allows you to keep your attention on the road. If you need to make a few maneuvers (merging, etc.) in heavy traffic, you don't want your attention on the screen of the device. The PDAs also have larger screens, which is nice when you do want to look at it. I've made trips where I had no clue where I was going, but relied on Mapopolis to get me there. It hasn't failed me yet, but I have to be paying attention to where I'm going in unfamiliar areas. Let's see what else . . . I'd agree with the bluetooth receiver. No cables to inconvenience you, and you can change PDAs without worring about compatability issues . . . Streets and Trips is not a good alternative for a PDA because it will not provide routes or voice directions. It will only do this with a laptop running the full version.
  5. My Explorer won't do the speedometer either. They must have phased it out.
  6. Another positive vote for Lowrance products here. Not sure what you mean about few units for sale. If it's that there aren't many in the garage sale or ebay, then yes, what LadyBee said . . . But if you mean that they don't have much of a product line, then that is both true and untrue. It's true because they only have one form factor, that is, all the iFinders and AirMaps are the same dimensions, weight, etc. However, it is untrue because there are a variety of options within that form factor -- color or B&W, electronic compasses or not, etc. It is a little big, but I haven't had any problems taking it with me wherever I want to take it. The larger size is nicer for looking at the mapping details, and makes it worth having a larger device in my opinion. And, they're still not as big as the GPSMaps, if I recall my comparison results correctly.
  7. Oops, nope, here's another one: http://www.buygpsnow.com/wintec-wbt-100-4-...-mount-609.html Also, in looking at these again, you'd better check for Palm compatability as that wasn't readily evident. The Haicom mentions Pocket PC and laptop ability, but I don't know enough about Palm's implementation of bluetooth to know if they universally work with them also. You should also keep in mind that both of these receivers appear to give only general direction -- North, South, etc. If you need to know the direction in specific degrees, it looks like you're out of luck. I'm thinking you're just as far ahead choosing a bluetooth GPS that you like and is compatable, and then buying a good stand-alone handheld compass to go along with it.
  8. Don't know much about it, but this is the only one I am aware of: http://www.buygpsnow.com/haicom-hi-406bt-c...-mount-515.html It uses LEDs to indicate direction, which I would think would be a pain and confusing, but maybe it isn't all that hard to figure out -- I dunno. I know there is a review of this particular receiver at Aximsite.com. I do recall the reviewer not being so impressed with the compass, but I do know his emphasis is more for driving use than geocaching use. I wouldn't see much of a need for it driving, either . . .
  9. Sounds bad. ppctechs.com is a good company and will respond quickly to your e-mail. I'd see what they can do. For $200, I'd pull it apart and look for dust. If that doesn't work, I'd be in the new Pocket PC market. Alternatively, you could probably get a 2210 from Ebay for less than $200.
  10. She has an H2O, which is a pretty capable unit. My opinion is that budd-rdc and Team 360 are closest to the mark. The Lowrance that you already have is more than capable. It isn't color and it doesn't have autorouting and it isn't the greatest thing that will ever be made. However, it offers a great deal of features already including the ability to upload waypoints and much more. If you have Tim the Toolman that insists on buying you a present, then good for you! Don't put him off. I'd tell him to buy me one of those stand-alone automobile GPS systems (it can be from Garmin, that's okay) that provide routing with voice direction. If you have to have only ONE receiver, then autoroute might be fine. However, comparing autoroute to voice-guided directions is a step up from sliced bread to prime rib. If I were you, I'd ask for an in-car system and stick with the Lowrance for the woods. There isn't anyone here that's posted a single shred of proof that any Garmins, even the almighty 60 CSX, provide any better reception than the Lowrance receivers. Other than autoroute, I don't see a single feature that Garmin has that a comparable Lowrance does not. Since you already have a good receiver, bypass the autoroute and get a stand-alone.
  11. We used an eXplorist 100 for a while as our sole device. It absolutely works well for geocaching, and the eXplorists are known to be pretty good with reception. Ours is. You do have to enter waypoints individually, but if you aren't hunting 500 at a time, it isn't so big of a deal as long as you double-check the coordinates you've entered. Great device to get started with. Another option would be the yellow etrex. I say that because you can add a cable for something like $30 or so (maybe later?) and download waypoints. Others that I'm aware of that you might consider: Garmin Geko 101 or 201 Lowrance ifinder GO or GO2 (These have basemaps that, although minimal, the others don't have). I've read where people had positive comments about all of the above, and they all certainly are capable of getting you started.
  12. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=140024
  13. Airmapper has explained how to do exactly what you describe in a tutorial he created. Rather than re-explain it all here, you can go to his website to read for yourself: http://lowrancegeocachingguide.bravehost.c...hing_setup.html Since you are a Premium Member, you can create pocket queries, and should scroll down to the section of the website tutorial that explains how to upload waypoints for Premium Members. If you have any questions after that, feel free to post back, and I'm sure several people would be happy to help.
  14. Oooh, here's a tip I found out the other night: turn the resolution all the way to the left. This made the map details a little more clear for me. For the B&W unit, that is.
  15. First of all...that post was immensely helpful. I am new to geocaching and looking into the PDA/GPS devices. I believe the Garmin M* series allows an expansion port for WiFi and Bluetooth, but I am going strictly from memory. Certainly I remember WiFi was an option, but you have to pay for expansion...it's not built in. Oh, yes, see the Asus that I linked above. One of the models has wi-fi and bluetooth (and SirfIII GPS) built in. The price is rather daunting, but you don't have to add on a $100+ receiver and $100+ navigation software. Almost every handheld will allow you to add on features with expansion cards including, but not limited to: bluetooth, wi-fi, GPS, and memory. Personally, I consider it to be a major PITA to carry and use these add-on cards. And, if it isn't built-in you have to remove one card to use another. This might be a problem, for example, if you have documents or programs on a storage card that you have to remove to use the wi-fi card and can't access them. You end up carrying so much stuff around, and forget or willingly don't take the extra card with you when you sometimes wish you had it. If it's built-in, it's always there. On the other hand, you might find the device that is absolutely perfect in every way except it lacks one of the wireless capabilities. In this case, maybe you want to carry the extra card, I dunno. I have yet to find a handheld with a feature that I didn't use, even if I didn't think I would use it when I bought it. I don't know much at all about the Garmin handheld, so I'm not saying anything definitively good or bad about it or any other devices. Just adding a little insight that I think I have . . .
  16. OK, fair enough. The Lowrance deal is a good one, and the 210 also appears to be a pretty good receiver. I don't use the maps for driving either, but they are awfully nice for orienting youself when all you can see is trees. The basemaps won't do much for you. Nonetheless, you need to make your own decision, and if cost is a factor, then cost is a factor. However, given your stated purposes and requirements, you should probably also throw the Garmin Legend into your mix. (Sorry for convoluting even more. I'll go away now.)
  17. Sorry, in looking at that again, the link for the emulator is actually for the Pro, not the original. Just wanted to be sure you knew that and didn't download it, look at it, then expect the one you bought to be higher resolution than the emulator. Incidently, the link you provided to Amazon had the 210 at $139. I recall the 210 Outdoor package being something like $180 at TigerGPS. For the extra $41, you get the topo mapping software, which is normally much more. And, you also get a belt case and maybe one or two more extras that I can't recall now. I'm thinking that you're going to be longing for detailed map data sooner or later. That was my reason for upgrading in the first place. The Pro Plus package already has software, but it is not topo. You have to upgrade to Mapcreate 6.3 to get that.
  18. Well, I won't tell you which one you should buy because I pained over whether to buy the 210 or a Lowrance recently. I will say that in the end I went for the Lowrance, but the cost was a good bit higher and I went for one of the more recent models. Nonetheless, I also considered the older iFinder and iFinder Pro models, and was able to locate enough details for a comparison. I will say that one of the major drawbacks in my consideration with the original iFinder and iFinder Pro was that they were not waterproof. The 210 and newer iFinders are ipx7, while the original iFinders are ipx2. Lowrance has these details for the older iFinder still on its website, but it isn't readily available and you have to "back-door" your way in: http://www.lowrance.com/Outdoor/Products/iFINDER.asp I thought they had details also for the Pro when I was looking, but I can't find anything now. I know the Pro has a higher resolution screen, but I'm not sure if there are other differences. Lowrance also has some emulators available. On their site, there is one for the H2O, but it looks like maybe the one for the original iFinder is also available here: http://www.lowrance.com/Software/PCSoftwar...Pro/default.asp And, there is the Pro's owner's manual: http://www.lowrance.com/Manuals/Files/iFin...-411_111203.pdf Finally, here's some additional specs that might help: http://www.gpsdude.com/servlet/the-209/LOW...DER-PRO-/Detail
  19. No, no, please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Garmin is less than great. However, the way I was reading the post was that Lowrance and Magellan were cheaper, but their customer service was not so great. I.e., if you buy a Lowrance, you get it cheaper, but it comes at the expense of customer service. I haven't seen where this is the case for Lowrance units.
  20. I've read some pretty good things about Lowrance's support. What's your basis to say Garmin is better? Edit: spelling.
  21. I wholly agree with the premise that car=PDA, woods=handheld GPS, and so does the OP as written in a later post: The whole what you use and where is not at issue. The issue is that the OP has given up on the iQue. The posts that follow the original discuss that. The OP wants a "strong PDA." I appreciate PrimaryCache's post explaining the satisfaction with the upgrade. Nowadays, strong PDAs have things like dual wireless functions, high-resolution screens, and a host of other functions. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the iQue serves the need of many people, but doesn't have the enhanced features and isn't necessarily focused on the PDA functionality. This isn't specific to the iQue. Other devices, like the CDMA Treos as an example, didn't have wi-fi capability, which was a knock on them when they first came out. And there is no basis to say that any of the mapping programs is the best, including Mapopolis. They're all different for sure, but they all have their own set of pros and cons, and you have to determine which one is the best for you. I did use the words "the best" in my earlier post, and perhaps was remiss in adhering to my own advice, but I did couch it by saying "I think" it is best and offered some rationale why.
  22. I used a Casio for several years. It runs the Pocket PC 2000 operating system, and cannot be upgraded. Unfortunately, it will not run Cachemate, GPXSonar, or GPXView. It is somewhat of a fancy machine, but was much fancier six years ago when it was released. Today's Pocket PCs have much greater functionality. If your intention is for paperless caching only, I'd agree with your assertion that a cheap Palm would be your best route.
  23. That depends entirely on what 'typical' is for you. If all of you use is close to your home, then a smaller card might be okay. As a general idea, I created a map that includes an area a bit to the North and East of Pittsburgh all the way down to the SW corner of PA, including the entire city of Pittsburgh. I think this was 11 or 12 MB. Mapcreate includes street addresses and points of interest in the software, so there is quite a bit of info. there. If you travel much, you'll likely want something bigger than the card that is included in the Plus package. I think that package now comes with a 64 MB card. Can't remember for sure, as I registered a 256 MB card that I already had. If you stay at home, I'd suggest using the card that comes with it to see how that works out. If your more of a traveler, then I'd get at least a 256 MB, as they aren't all that expensive anymore. You can register five SD cards to the software.
  24. I'll see your long diatribe and raise you . . . I have the iFinder Explorer, which is the H2O with a compass and altimeter. Unfortunately, I haven't had it all that long, but it does have some caches under its belt and I can help a little bit. -- The iFinders have large, easy to read screens, but the face is very much exposed and I can see where it would be very easily scratched without protection. I just took a PDA screen protector and cut it to fit over the mapping area of the screen, and this has worked well so far. -- If you get the plus package, it comes with a car power adapter and topo software, so you don't have to buy that. It also comes with a card reader and doesn't use a cable to communicate with the computer. You switch the memory card between the receiver and the card reader. The only thing I think you might want is a belt case. -- I think you hit the nail on the head. A color display is probably nice, but I don't think it is essential. All the iFinders have pretty high resolution displays. -- Having said the above, it is rumored that the color iFinders have newer SirfIII chips, which are known to be exceptional in the heavier cover. The rumor also holds that the B&W iFinders have SirfII chips. It's rumor because nobody can confirm. I will point out, however, that the color units are 16-channel and the B&W are 12-channel. I believe 16-channel is a requirement for the SirfIII. Mine occasionally loses reception in heavy cover, but is quick to get it back. It's never conked out and left me blind. -- The compass and altimeter probably are mostly toys. It is nice to be able to stand still and have the receiver re-orient itself via the compass. The barometer seems to work very well, and there is an option to put the receiver in sleep mode so it is off but wakes up every hour to take a reading. These add-ons do appear to be battery-eaters, but using rechargeable batteries pretty much alleviates that. -- The plus package is a good deal. I think you'd find yourself wanting for mapping detail if you didn't get it, and it is quite a bit more to buy them separately. Regardless of the unit you choose, I don't think you'll be wanting for an upgrade anytime soon. I think the B&W is sufficient. Maybe it would be nice to see green parks and blue water, but I don't have that difficult of a time distinguishing between these things. Maybe if I saw and used a color model I'd realize what I'm missing, so I intend to stay away from them! If I had it to do all over again, I'd choose the Explorer again. I don't think I need color, and althought the electronic extras aren't necessary, I like them!!
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