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Everything posted by reidster

  1. Is that units, software, or both? If software only, is there another manuf. that is compatible with Lowrance units? Anyone interested in a H2O C and MapCreate software? Purchased on 8/19/06. Directly compatible? No, but if you don't need the inaudible beeps... I accomplish roughly the same effect by creating the route with GoogleEarth (freeware) and then converting the new KML route file to a USR trail file. Although I wrote my own program to do the conversion, many users here use GPSBable (freeware) with great success. I then save/load the trail into my iFinder and follow it to my destination. Since GoogleEarth uses NAVTEQ, you'll find the resulting trail to be dead-on. I know this technique isn't for everyone, it works for me and I love it. reid.
  2. what is "MC-TBT"? MapCreate - Turn-By-Turn. The M&M unit should only use MapCreate 6.2, or later.
  3. First remove the card and then try to get a fix. Press Page until you see the Satellite page. Pressing the Down Arrow two or three times will show the complete status of each satellite (Space Vehicle). Each press of the Down Arrow will have its display toggle between the two screens. I do not think you can use MC-TBT in the M&M unit, it's only for the iWay. Note: No, you do not need an external antenna. Older units do not function/receive well when they become hot, 90F+. My Basic iFinder goes bonkers if its 1G card is fully loaded. reid.
  4. To avoid scratching your screen, go to a office supply store and get some PDA screen protectors.
  5. The standard version does not come with an mmc/sd memory card. The Plus version includes MapCreate topo mapping s/w, Lowrance card reader, and an sd memory card. BTW: The extra $80 is well worth being spent on getting the Plus version. For storing waypoints & trails, any card reader will work. However the Lowrance model is required for MC6.3 and later. GPSBabel is used by several owners here and with very good reviews.
  6. For the IPX2 iFinder's it's iFinder pin-out It should be similar for IPX7 models. I'll get back with more info later.
  7. reidster

    Hunting Gps!

    All the Lowrance iFinders will easily fit in your shirt pocket. Personally, I've never been at all concerned about its size. Also this allows for a larger screen, which has excellent resolution and 16-level gray scale. The Hunt model does have a built-in electronic compass and barometric altimeter. However for the compass to work, the unit must be held flat. Any tilt will negatively affect the results. Also, all built-in electronic compasses must be calibrated. Lowrance says their Hunt model only needs "periodic" re-calibration. I believe there are other brands that may need it every time the unit is turned on.
  8. All iFinders have a "patch" antenna, therefore it should technically be held relatively flat. I believe internally it's mounted at a 10 or 15 degree angle, so it should be tilted slightly up towards you for an absolutely horizontal orientation. You can see the antenna (the square thingy on top) when you remove the unit's interchangable cover and see what I mean. However, it's been my experience that the affect of the unit's angle is minimal. I'm more concerned about tree cover and WAAS access when I'm using mine. reid.
  9. Budbrew, Please do not think I'm being disrespectful... In general, base maps are next to useless, imho. This is why I always recommend buying the mapping software for a GPSr, regardless of the brand. And comparing sizes of different brands is probably an apples-to-oranges comparison anyway. BTW: No GPSr mapping software is perfect. In most areas the maps will be dead-on, but in some places you'll find errors up to 100 meters. Also POI locations by address are never exact. Most lookups are done by placing all locations within a range of addresses at one particular point on the map. reid.
  10. Chad, Although I answered this in the other forum, it might be worth mentioning here too... The PC interface cable cannot be used for loading maps and data to or from an iFinder. The iFinder's data IO interface is strictly for active downloading of NMEA 0183 protocol data strings. The data port allows you to feed info from the iFinder to a PC running a mapping program and thereby dynamically showing your movement. The transfer of data (waypoints, routes, & trails) is only done via a USR file saved to the memory card. Basically place the memory card into a reader, run a program (GSAK, GPSBabel, etc.) that will convert LOC/GPX files to a USR file. Save the resulting USR file to the card and place it back into the iFinder. Then with the iFinder, load the USR file into its local memory. BTW, I just sent the following complaint to GPSCity, "On your website for product SKU# IFPCCOMBO, the following statements are NOT true, 'Create routes and waypoints on your PC and transfer them to your GPS. You can also download map detail from MapCreate CD-ROMs.' This cable only provides a NMEA0183 data stream to your PC. All other data IO is done via a card reader." Note: Be sure to get the cable with the correct GPSr connection. There are two sets of cables, depending if your unit is rated IPX2 or IPX7. reid.
  11. Being the impatience sort and unable to wait for GSAK/GPSBabel updates, I've rolled two of my own utilities. If anyone is interested, I'll freely send these to you. One is an MS Excel application. It will allow you to easily import downloaded LOC files, as many as you'd like, into a single spreadsheet. Here you can do all the waypoint management you need. Then click another button to export them all to a single USR file for porting to the SD memory card. The other is a stand-alone application that will convert all the contents of a USR file to GPX format. This is cool, because this allows you to use another free application, USAPhotoMaps, to view your GPX encoded trails overlaid onto satellite images. Reid.
  12. Them's fightin' words... Oh! I thought he was trying to be a comedian. It's the silliest thing I've read here in ages.
  13. Sad, but true. For an unbiased opinion about which unit has the best reception, review this post...Best reception is...
  14. Although I still stand by everything I said earlier, "For MOST everyday usage it isn't required...", however I have to agree with the essence of IVxIV's complaint about Garmin. For instance, you pay over $400 for a 60CS and then only get 56Mb!?! Come on! Ok, I can store San Diego and a trip to Reno. That's one metro area and 400 miles of desert. Big whoop. How about a afternoon drive from San Diego to Santa Barbara with all streets, topo, and POI's? Also, what about saving all the track points of the trip? Can't do it! The great max of 10,000 points gets squished down to 500 when it's saved. Where's that in their brochure? Personally I do not consider taking a few 500+ trips every year as a lot of traveling. Therefore Garmin will never be on my shopping list for the foreseeable future. Why should I pay MORE for less?
  15. SCBrian, Great choice! The best price I've seen online is at PageComputers, $222. Let us know if you find better. Now you'll need to also get rechargable batteries and charger, 256Mb (min) SD memory card, RAM dash mount, PDA screen protectors, and a 2Ghz+ PC with 200Gb HD. BTW, if it arrives with street maps, instead of topo, don't be alarmed. You received an old-stock unit, but Lowrance will send you the topo promptly at no charge. Also read all the instructions for MC63 before doing anything with it! Most of all, do NOT plug in the LEI card reader before loading all the software and drivers. reid.
  16. Regarding expandable memory, based upon experience... For MOST everyday usage it isn't required. Nor is it really needed for typical geocaching and traveling within a 100 - 200 mile radius, assuming you've purchased the mapping software. However whenever I take a long distance road trip, pre-loaded memory with my entire route becomes indispensable! It has prevented many potential flare-ups between the driver (my wife) and myself the navigator. This is especially true when summertime road construction detours can send you off into directions and areas not shown on any paper map. Currently the only newer mid-range GPSr's (which I recommend for improved reception and technology) that have both AA's and removable memory are the later (i.e. not the Basic) Lowrance iFinder units. reid.
  17. I think you will be very happy with either an iFinder Pro (water-resistant) or an iFinder H2O (water-proof) unit. Both have a 16-level grayscale display, with dual processors for fast screen refresh, and excellent satellite reception. Both units are available for less than $200, but it's highly recommended that you purchase the "Plus" package. This includes an excellent topo mapping software, card reader, and memory card. The Pro Plus package is around $250.
  18. One last bit or two of advice… I agree that getting the plus package is the best way to go. But… 1) Consider also buying a large capacity SD card from the start. I get along with a 128Mb now, but a 256Mb would be really nice. 2) If you order on-line, you may get an older version with just street-level mapping. However, Lowrance will sent you the topo version at no charge and lets you keep the old version. reid.
  19. I hope I don't scare you off from a great product, but... With MC6.2 you can use any card reader to store maps to the MMC/SD card. However with MC6.3 you are required to use, as a pseudo-dongle against piracy, the LEI card reader that is supplied with the mapping software and can only "register" up to five memory cards. Because of these limitations, two complaints, one serious and one not so, have been blazing the forums. The most often mentioned and less serious one is the dislike of anti-piracy restrictions of any type, even though methods of the other two brands are more restrictive imho. The second complaint is your PC failing to recognize or properly connect to the LEI card reader device. The main causes for this are 1) bad card readers and 2) users not following the installation procedures. For bad card readers Lowrance has been very good about sending a replacement without any hassles. But for it to work you must follow exactly the installation instructions. Bottom-line… Do NOT connect the reader to your PC until you are instructed to, which is after the mapping software AND the drivers have been installed AND the PC has been rebooted. On the plus side, MC6.3 is a great product. The street-level only version has been replaced (at no extra charge) with a topo one. It is very easy to use. You can easily make multiple "map boxes" are construct "route corridors". Once loaded into the iFinder, there is no need to manually switch map files. Also users have reported using 1Gb memory cards with no problems. reid.
  20. I really love my iFinder, so it really hurts to say this... It is pointless. In Easy Mode you can not add waypoints nor navigate to one, other than Home and Man-Over-Board. Sooo... I'd suggest getting one from the other two major brands, but definitely one of their newer offerings. Look into the Magellan eXplorist 200 or the Garmin GPS60. They're both less than $150 and fairly easy to use.
  21. reidster

    Gilsson Antenna

    Excuse me for asking, but where? The site I usually look to for this item doubled their price to $39.95! Thanks, reidster.
  22. Boomer, The iFinders are definitely the best bang for the buck today! I've had an iFinder for almost three years now and I have no regrets. Now are the complaints about the user interface and manual valid? Yes, but not to the point I'd seriously consider buying something else. If you have a question come here or go to the Yahoo iFinder group and just ask. There are a few of us here who are always eager to help. BTW: When you want to learn how to load waypoints from a PC, just PM me. Thanks, reid. PS: grepCache, welcome to the forum. It always great to meet another iFinder user.
  23. Dangit Yes! The first/main difference for me is the iFinder's display. Once you load maps you'll really appreciate the 16-level grayscale and superior resolution of its display. Also with maps loaded, having a dedicated processor to update the display makes the unit a pleasure to use.
  24. You should definitely consider the Lowrance iFinder H2O and it's less than $200 at TigerGPS and PageComputers. The display is not color. It is however 16-level grayscale with great resolution. We iFinder owners are small, but growing, bunch here...Lowrance Users H2O Recommended eTrex vs Magellan Rants $ Raves
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