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Steel City Seekers

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  1. The bunch of others all in one spot: http://www.buygpsnow.com/bluetooth-gps_9.html My approach is similar to yours -- bluetooth GPS on the road, handheld GPS in the field. For on-road maps, I love Mapopolis and think it is the best to use for caching as you can import .gpx files or import customized .gpx files (with ratings, container type, hint, etc.) using GSAK. GPXSonar is great for looking up cache information away from the PC, and others like cachemate quite a bit. I carry my off-road topo maps on the handheld GPS. However, I demo-d Backcountry Navigator some time ago, and really liked it. Receives GPS input, very detailed topo mapping, moving map, imports .gpx, etc. But, I don't use the PPC in the woods, so I no longer had a need for it. My bluetooth GPS is the Haicom HI-303III with the bluetooth slipper. I got that because it allowed bluetooth or compact flash compatability. And it was also one of the first SirfIII units on the market. I was an early adopter of that one. I'd say there are probably better options, now, though, unless the dual functionality is necessary. The ipaqs are very nice, and you can't go wrong with the one you linked. I'd also consider a Dell, as they are very popular and usually sell for much less than the others. Now that I think about it, there was a new Asus released not long ago with an integrated SirfIII receiver and bundled Destinator (I think it was Destinator) software. You can find it here: http://usa.asus.com/products1.aspx?l1=8 And here is a review: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/ASUS-A636.htm The price is quite a bit higher than the ipaq or dell, but don't forget that you don't have to buy the GPS or software as it is included. I've used an Asus for the past couple of years. It has been a rock-solid machine and never let me down. My only potential knock on Asus would be a lack of accessories like cases and the such, but I see Asus is making a few cases for this one. Accessories are getting easier with all the wireless capabilities they are building in now. Still, though, if you're looking for USB chargers, really nice cases from places like Sena, and the such, you'll be disappointed at their selection for these models.
  2. Great! You're welcome, and I'm glad you got it. I love being able to take so much information with me when away from the computer. Almost, not quite, but almost like having the gc.com website with you. GPXSonar is quite powerful for sorting, searching, etc. Not as much as GSAK, but powerful nonetheless. And, yes, much more time efficient and informative then one-at-a-time through EasyGPS.
  3. Well, wait, let's back up one more step. Do you have the GPXSonar program installed to your PocketPC? If not, you need to visit the website and download the software, then follow the installation instructions to get it on the PDA. If you don't have this done, I could post some additonal step-by-step for it if you like, I'd just have to look it all up. Now, with regard to zipped files, are you using Windows XP? If so, then you only have to save the e-mail attachment to your hard drive, find that file, right-click on it, and tell it to extract all files to the existing folder or some other place on your computer where you can find it. The pocket query probably has two files zipped to it. One is a rather large file with the cache information that you want, and the other is additional waypoints where people have added parking coordinates and the such. Maybe later you want to import them both, but for now, just stick with the larger file until you are familiar with the program. Copy the larger .gpx file that you've extracted to your My Documents sync folder -- the one you created when you installed the Pocket PC. Then dock the Pocket PC and let it sync. Then, open GPXSonar, then open the .gpx file. Alternatively, you can find the Pocket PC with Windows Explorer. It should show up as another drive when the Pocket PC is docked and on. Using Windows Explorer, you can find the folder you want, but I suggest putting in the Pocket PCs main memory under My Documents or in a top-level directory on a storage card that you have named "My Documents." Also, you can have your pocket query delivered to your e-mail unzipped, so that the actual .gpx file is attached to the e-mail. You have to change this at the bottom of the pocket query setup page, and it does send a much larger file, of course. Sorry for the not-so-easy-to-follow post I've likely created here, but it should help with the zipped files. I can help with anything else you might need if you post back.
  4. Don't use cachemate, so I can't help you with your root problem. However, you shouldn't need EasyGPS or GSAK to load an entire list of caches into GPXSonar. You should (I do) be able to simply move the .gpx file to the Pocket PCs My Documents directory in either the main memory or a storage card, then open GPXSonar, then open the .gpx file. Make sure that you extract the zipped file before copying to the Pocket PC if you are receiving your pocket query as a zip. Again, not being a cachemate user, one thing that might come to mind is that maybe you have to have the Pocket PC turned on and docked for the software to see potential locations.
  5. No, I haven't. What type of POIs are you looking for? For adding restaurants and the such to Mapopolis, I use this site: http://www.poi2go.com/poi2go/ It allows a variety of POI searches and allows you to output the results to .gpx or a few other formats. I forget exactly how I optimized these files for Mapopolis since I haven't run any searches in a while, but I seem to recall having problems using GSAK. If I recall correctly, I used EasyGPS to alter the maplet information the way I wanted. You know, just like how you alter the pocket queries in GSAK so the maplets make more sense before importing them into Mapopolis. You can search on terms like pizza, restaurant, chinese, best buy, etc. Don't ask me how, but POI2GO interfaces with Google's maps somehow and my experience has been that it finds pretty much what you are looking for, is comprehensive, and places the POIs in the correct location. You have to play with the search engine, though, to see they types of output and how your search terms are being treated by the search engine. My searches often have, say, 150 relevant results at the beginning and then 10 results at the end that aren't related to my search at all (Maybe 150 pizza places and 10 auto repair shops -- something with Google's advertising or search). I have to delete the 10 results before the import. If this is not your purpose for importing POIs into Mapopolis, then please accept my apology for a long, irrelevant post!
  6. You're welcome and yes, it is an X-Scale processor running on PPC 2003.
  7. I looked on the site and it says it has a 14 day trial. Why not check it out for some areas you've been in to see how well it is documented? I did not register for a trial, but drilled down to a local State Park -- Raccoon State Creek Park close to Pittsburgh. I couldn't actually see the trails because I didn't register, but this isn't the most popular park in this area. So, the fact that it had some details on the acreage and offered to show trails if I registered seemed pretty encouraging. On the other hand, I didn't have to register because trail maps for this park are readily available on the park's website. They don't have GPS coordinates or trails that could be loaded to the GPS, but it isn't too hard to figure out using the topography. Magellan's 3d Topo software also says something about being integrated with trails.com. Seemed rather interesting at the time, but I don't know anything else about it and chose to buy a Lowrance instead.
  8. http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/ is a pretty nice program that offers detailed topo maps, and is early in development so there are quite a few updates being developed now. It's $30, which is pretty reasonable and much less than comparable products I looked at, and it offers downloads of not just topo maps but also overhead photo maps. GPS works for both. It allows import of .gpx files and lots of other neat features. The maps, particularly the photo maps, require a pretty good bit of storage space, but that is of course required for the amount of detail you get.
  9. Yes, most of the upgrades are minor increments, so no major loss. I'm sincerely glad to hear that all is back to normal.
  10. CE 2.11 pre-dates both the Pocket PC 2002 and 2003 operating systems. Cachemate and GPXView require at least 2002, GPXSonar requires at least 2003. For these programs, I'm afraid you are out of luck. There might be other solutions, however, as I think some people have maybe used a program called plucker to import and view in Pocket Internet Explorer. Maybe some of those people will drop in.
  11. Still getting my feet wet with a new Lowrance, but I'll take a shot: Is this the first time you've used either of these units? The first time I started mine, it took a loooooong time for it to acquire a fix, more than five or ten minutes not moving under a clear sky even after giving it an idea where I was. Now, it gets fixes very quickly. Try pushing the Pages button until it cycles to the satellite page. Do you see it filling in satellite bars and working to get a fix? Do they work without the SD card installed? The 100 is older, and the M&M is recent, but not from their latest line. I think the manual for the latest receivers says 1GB max. I know some of the older ones had a max of 512MB or less. I think I remember reading in the Yahoo Lowrance user group that someone's manual said 512MB max and a 1GB didn't work (I stress the "I think" part of that sentence, because I'm not entirely sure). But, I'd try it without the card to see what happens. With regard to moving the cursor, if I start on the map screen with no menu items showing and just press the directional pad one way or the other, it will move to where I want it to go. This is just for your information, not really all that informative. I can't imagine that you'd need an external antenna at all, and don't think this is the source of your problems or a potential solution unless your trying to start it in a bomb shelter.
  12. Oh, wait, you also mentioned that you changed some of the settings in gpxtomaplet. Before you do anything else, restore the defaults in gpxtomaplet -- at least the desc and the such. I could never figure out what each of these lines did, but I do know that they gave me some very dramatic changes in results when I fiddled with them. Another thing to check that I just thought of. When you upgraded GSAK, did it keep your saved .gpx conversion settings? You know, the one where you defined the smart tags to output and which box to put them in and then have to select that from a saved setting before you output the .gpx file. As I said earlier, a straight .gpx would only give me limited descriptions. If you loaded a .gpx into GSAK and didn't actually make the smart tag changes, your outputted .gpx would be the same and result in the same limited-usage data. This whole thing has to be something simple, but sometimes it's just a pain in the rump to figure out which of the thousands of simple things it could be. If I can think of anything else, I'll be back . . .
  13. Your designations of traditional and multi-cache only are they types of descriptions that I got when I directly imported a .gpx file from a pocket query WITHOUT running it through GSAK first, which is what I did in the past. You're the one that turned me on to using GSAK to output more meaningful descriptions, Alan. So, it kinda sounds like there is some sort of translation problem from the original .gpx to the GSAK-output .gpx. I have not updated GSAK yet. I am running the 4.7 Mapopolis Beta ("Sea Train" actually from the end of April) and the same old gpxtomaplet is still working. Another thought that comes to mind that may or may not help. The default install of mapopolis is in a folder called "Mapopolis.com Mapopolis." Mapopolis also uses this folder to store all the maplets you've manually created. Unfortunately, when you re-install the program, Mapopolis wipes out everything in this folder, including your user-created points in the file called "Landmark1." I upgraded betas frequently, but it always annoyed me that I had to remember to move that file somewhere else before re-installing and then move it back over. In fact, I have two Landmark1 files right now because I forgot to move my old one and Mapopolis started created a new one in the default folder. I think perhaps you've lost your landmark database, which might explain your earlier problem with saved routes. I guess my first suggestion would be to try to downgrade your version of GSAK if it is still available from the site and see if that works. If you can't downgrade, let me know as I'm sure I have the install file somewhere. This also makes a little sense to me given the general lack of replies you got over at gpspassion. I would imagine most people over there don't work with GSAK, so wouldn't be able to reply.
  14. It IS a good market, although rather specialized: http://www.symbol.com/products/mobile_comp..._computers.html I haven't seen prices on these lately, but they used to be $1,000+. I imagine they still are. Sorry to squash your entrepreneurial spirit. I think your best bet, if you intend to use the handheld for caching only, is the suggestion made earlier to purchase a really cheap one and then get a titanium or otterbox case to carry it. I'm still playing with this, but there doesn't appear to be a limit to the characters that can be exported for my Lowrance file in GSAK. It all goes on one line and is a little convoluted, but I get the hints. Nothing as detailed as the web pages, though. There's also an undocumented feature to view JPEGs as well, which I'm sure could be used to convert the pages, but this seems like an awful lot of work and I don't hunt dozens at a time so I never tried. I look the cache up on either GC.com or my Pocket PC, then hit the trail with the GPS, leaving the Pocket PC in the car. Also in recognition of this, I've shortened the hints on my cache pages to the shortest possible that still convey the idea. Some hints are like novels.
  15. TomTom will do it, but I don't know how as I have no experience with it. Mapopolis will also do it with a PC program called gpxtomaplet ("Maplets" are the Mapopolis term for custom POIs). You run the gpx file through the program and it spits out a customized maplet file that you transfer to the PPC. Using GSAK, you can set it up to transfer whatever type of information you'd like to display (cache ratings, cache type, container, etc.) The latest versions of Mapopolis also have proximity alerts where you can set it up to tell you when you are within a certain distance of a certain type of maplet. For example, you could set it up to alert you when you are within a half mile of a maplet in the geocache category. You, of couse would set up the geocache category in advance.
  16. It might help if you post the route you are going to take. Is your route from the Pittsburgh airport to Deep Creek or are you starting from some other location in Pittsburgh? If you asked 10 different people from here the best route from the Pgh airport to Deep Creek, you'd get 12 different answers. You might also want to look at some of the more established cachers' bookmark lists as some of them have compiled their favorites. We're not far enough in our caching career to create such a list yet, but I know of three that are: The Leprechauns, Quest Master, and Kordite. I don't know if there are any more. I suspect most if not all the QM favorites would be more than a short walk from the road.
  17. Yes, my version is indicated as 4.6 even though I have the 4.7 beta. It sounds like your input data is somehow corrupted or something, which I've never heard of for Mapopolis. For your routes, do you have all the necessary maps active to show the start and end points? And, if they rely on maplets or POIs you've added, are all the maplet files loaded? Can you create or open a saved route that doesn't use maplets, like an address to address route? Maybe your problem is maplets only. Not entirely helpful, but at least it would narrow down your problems . . . Mine would tell me it couldn't do it, too, if I didn't have all the necessary maps and POI files loaded.
  18. My versions of gpxtomaplet are, I think, a few years old. I'm not aware of any updates. I have no clue why you are having problems. I see now that you've posted on gpspassion already, and that's my best advice. Maybe contacing Lamar directly? I guess you might also try a soft reset on the Pocket PC. Weird, but sometimes that makes a difference. Or, you might try the latest beta. In the end, using 4.2 probably isn't too bad, I'd imagine. They only make small incremental upgrades to each version, and your routing and the such shouldn't be overly affected.
  19. Alan, This is basic for you, I'm sure, so I apologize. But, the only thing that I can think of is to refresh the maps (Tools>Choose Map(s)>View>Refresh). I have to do this before seeing newly added gpxtomaplet files. Make sure that ALL FOLDERS is selected at the top, or at least the folder that the gpxtomaplet file is in. Alternatively, maybe a fresh install of Mapopolis might be in order. I'm using beta 4.71.03, available in the gpspassion.com Mapopolis forums. I haven't had any problems in the last month, but I'm running my gpx file from last week. Haven't loaded up this week's file yet.
  20. Oh, well, maybe it's not as close as I thought. I just saw this: http://www.aximsite.com/boards/showthread.php?t=122222 It looks like the price would be pretty close, but I guess you have to figure it out for yourself. You might want to Private Message (on Aximsite) some of the people from the above post with regard to costs.
  21. Well, a couple of Google searches turned up: http://www.canadagps.com/bluetoothgps.html http://www.expansys.ca/product.asp?code=122496 Both of these sites listed it at about $144. If I recall correctly, buygpsnow listed it at $110 BEFORE the 10 percent discount link I also gave you. I don't know what your duties cost, but you can figure that out for yourself. Or, you could try some more Google searches as I didn't go too far down the list. The canadagps.com site advertised free shipping, so that might be a plus. I don't recall whether buygpsnow offered free shipping or not. Keep in mind that buygpsnow also offers a free vent mount. These aren't the greatest mounts in the world, but they do get the job done and they're rather nice to take along if you travel a lot because they don't take too much room in the bag. They also can be fairly easily placed and removed from a rental car. Since I sound like a fanboy for the company, I have to say that I am in no way affiliated with buygpsnow, however, they along with semsons.com have always had by far the best prices on PDA-related gps receivers. I didn't check, but would expect that the 10 percent discount would put buygpsnow below semsons. I have also had some pretty good experiences with buygpsnow. I had to return my newest Haicom when it was faulty. They quickly replaced with no questions asked.
  22. The BT338 is a very popular receiver, and many people have good things to say about it. The Holux is also very popular. There are a few more that have good reviews. In fact, there are many receivers available, and I haven't read many negative things about any of them. I'd recommend getting one with the SirfIII chip. If for no other reason, they seem to have very fast acquisition times -- my Haicom acquires a fix in matter of moments from turning it on. My older SirfII takes longer, and it kinda stinks to sit in the car waiting for the receiver to get its fix when you want to leave. Start here to find a 10 percent discount on your BT338 (or any other receiver): http://www.aximsite.com/boards/showthread.php?t=128225 Then go here to use your discount: http://www.buygpsnow.com/bluetooth-gps_9.html
  23. With regard to the original post, you didn't mention what mapping software you are using. You mentioned a Windows Mobile 2003 and the Dell GPSr. Are you using the Dell software with it? If so, I don't think it allows you to mark lat/long coords, however, I'm not entirely sure as I haven't used it. I *think* I recall people posting that that wasn't possible. If that is the case, then you need to look for another mapping software solution as several people above me have posted. I, as far a Pocket PC software (vs. buying a stand-alone receiver) goes, really like maps. I like looking at them and seeing where I am and exploring them. To that regard, I think the post above for Backcountry Navigator is outstanding. This is a great program once you learn how to download the maps you need. It has far greater details available than that available for the stand-alone receivers. While I continue to support a stand-alone as the best solution, I would recommend BN as a very good solution if you like details and insist on using the PDA for the cache hunt. If you're content following the arrow to the location -- which is OK, just not my cup of tea -- then any of the recommendations set forth above would be just fine. Nonetheless, it appears you need to be researching an alternative software solution to enter coordinates.
  24. Well, you're welcome, but I actually intended my response for the OP. I agree with you 100 percent on using a separate, rugged handheld although I continue to frequently use the bluetooth GPS for on-road. Since the OP said that he/she already had the PDA hardware and mapping software, it wouldn't be a stretch to add a GPS to the system. It would, however, be a good idea to provide some sort of increased protection for the setup or at least make provisions to have a backpack and/or waterproof bag or something to put everything into if it starts to rain.
  25. Well, I'm also a Pocket PC user, which is why I didn't make any specific recommendations earlier. I'd suggest looking at www.buygpsnow.com as they are a very good company that I've done business with in the past. You're kinda on your own after that, though, because I don't know what your PDA will support. I note that there is some discussion about whether certain receivers are compatible with the Palm, but I don't know enough about the Palm to offer you much more. In Pocket PC forums I've read, the GlobalSat BT-338 is a very popular and apparently reliable receiver. I haven't read many bad things about any of the receivers, however. I use a Haicom HI-303III compact flash with the bluetooth slipper adapter. I wouldn't recommend my setup to you because you can't otherwise use the compact flash GPS, and it is bulkier than the others. No sense in the added bulk if not necessary. I would recommend getting one with the Sirf III chip, however, and there are many of those. All the good things you read about this chip in these forums is correct -- a lightning fast acquisition and excellent ability to hold a satellite lock.
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