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3 Hawks

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Everything posted by 3 Hawks

  1. I'm just glad nobody tore me a new one because I forgot to place a question mark at the end of Rodney King's famous plea to the masses.
  2. OK!!! Time out!! Everyone go to their respective corners and come back friendly. "Can't we all just get along."
  3. I either use Rayovac 1.5V alkaline or e3nergy 1.5V alkaline batteries. I get a 24 pack of e3nergy batteries from Gander Mountain for $4.97.
  4. Me, too. Jeremy also said that they were going to increase the amount of geocaches you could load from 1000 to 2000. ?????? I didn't think there was a finite limit on the number of geocaches one could load onto the Colorado. I thought the limit was that of your SD card.
  5. I've only had one start-up probblem with my Vista HCx and it happened while sitting in front of my computer at 40 celcius. I cached from 5am to 5:15pm two weeks ago and it never got above -28 celcius. I had some sluggish performance issues until I affixed two hand warmer packets to my GPSr with some rubber bands. After that, all was welll. My GPSr remains in my car unless the temperature is expected to fall below -27 celcius. After a 10 hour work day, with high temp of -20 celcius, my GPSr starts up without any wash-out. I guess I must just be one of the lucky ones since I've not had this problem.
  6. I've not experienced this on start-up. The only thing I can think of is that some Vista HCx owners had display problems on start-up and Garmin told them to hold the start button down for 5 seconds or until the start-up "beep" is heard. You could try calling Garmin, but I suspect faulty hardware. I'd send it back if I were your friend.
  7. I doubt the problem experienced by g-o-cachers had anything to do with satellite configuration. Therefore, the Trimble and Leica satellite tracking programs would not have helped. A 300-foot variation is extreme after ruling out naturally occurring "space weather." I'm thinking the Colorado just forgot where it was for a while and the restart sorted out the mess. In my case, I experienced a Category 4, highly localized and intense, disturbance. I don't know what that means, but I know it is worse than Category 3. NOAA did not have any advisories out ahead of time and it was only noted after the fact. Once again, satellite configuration had nothing to do with the "space weather" incident. I have a feeling that since the Colorado is a very sensitive piece of equipment, it will need to be recalibrated often so it doesn't forget where it is. I recalibrate my Vista HCx at the start of a caching day and after every battery change to avoid odd behavior. The more sensitive the receiver, the more critical the need for accurate and frequent calibration. I wonder if g-o-cachers noted if the internal clock on the Colorado was off a bit when the symptoms presented?? Could a clock error result in a positional error??
  8. For the better recception alone, the HCx is a huge improvement over the old blac&white Legend. I have not had any problems with the click-stick on either the older or newer eTrex models, so I can't help you there. The backlight does not wash out the screen at all -- the HCx screen is really nice, bright when you need it to be, and always very readable. Unfortunately, the rubber-gasket design has not changed in the latest eTrex models, so there is still the possibility that the adhesive will fail and the gasket will loosen or detach completely. However, I'm holding out the hope that this won't be an issue on our HCx this time around. For our older models, in order for them to keep a satellite lock in the car, we had to set them on the dashboard or up in the sunroof -- very hot and sunny spots. I'm sure that that contributed greatly to the adhesive's failure. The HCx has such better reception that this is no longer necessary, so we can keep it in the shadier, cooler parts of the car without losing the lock. I went from an old blue Legend up to a Vista HCx last Father's Day. The reception is soo much better that you can obtain and hold a lock while inside your house (well at least my house) and you can hold a lock with the HCx in your coat pocket. I've not once lost a signal lock while in the field. The battery life in the HXc's is also excellent. The cold start-up time is good and my unit restarts from a battery change in under 15 seconds. I've only had one start-up problem (blank screen) with my HCx and a restart resolved that issue. No click-stick problems for me and my gasket has already lasted longer (8 mos) that the one on my original Legend. Even if the gasket fails, Garmin will send you a gasket repair kit. Then again, if you have any problems in the first year, just send the unit into Garmin for an overhaul. The only problem with the HCx's is that you will get so use to the features that you will be upset when future models don't offer the same features. I think you will love either a Legend HCx or a Vista HCx. Good luck making your decision and have fun playing with your new toy!!!!
  9. I could check but given that power cycling the CO seemed to fix the issue I'm assuming it was something with the GPS not the environment. GO$Rs I checked the NOAA reports and there were no solar flares yesterday. There was only nominal sun spot activity but no alerts were issued. Proton and electron flux was not a factor and no major magnetic disturbances were reported. In summary, it was a clear "space weather" day.
  10. I have not noticed any problems down to zero Fahrenheit. Below zero, I see very sluggish performance and screen freeze if taken out of my pocket for even a few minutes. Another cacher showed me a trick that works in the cold. Take two hand warmers and a few rubber bands and wrap them around the back and sides of the Vista HCx. This will add a little warmth to the battery compartment which will translate into just enough internal heat to keep the display from freezing up. My wife also made me a GPSr cozy into which I can place a few hand warmers and my GPSr. She even included a plastic window in the design. Unfortunately, the cozy is made of 'Hello Kitty' scrap fabric and..ummm....well.....that won't do. Therefore, rubber bands and hand warmers it is until my wife comes up with an improved cozy model.
  11. Hmmmmm.....I had a similar experience while caching with my Vista HCx about 9 months ago. I was reading 300 feet to the cache when it suddenly jumped to 1.4 miles from the cache and the "magic arrow" wanted me to change course from west to south-south-west. I was not able to resolve the issue with a restart, so I had to line of sight it and pace count to find the cache. Then again, the cache was in a lonely tree with nothing else within 150 feet. When I got home, I pulled up the NOAA website and discovered my problem occured at the same time as a fairly large solar flare. I've not seen the problem since and I hope the problem you experienced is not widespread and does not pop up again.
  12. No. I told him about the my previous Garmin, and the experiences here of other members. I even asked if he could check with other people there. When he replied "There's nobody to check with because there's nothing about that topic" or something along those lines, I knew it was a lost cause. That Garmin Rep didn't know what he was talking about, obviously. I can turn my 400t on, and with no satellites is always has the correct time, even after being off all night. I haven't heard any 400t owners complain about this issue. Unfortunately, that probably means its a hardware issue. --Marky As someone in another thread stated, you all need to stop your complaining. The Colorado is working just fine and users who need an accurate clock are only a small fraction of the intended market. It would cost Garmin too much money to fix this little issue. We can't expect this high end piece of equipment to perform as other models since this is and entirely new platform and interface. For those who need accurate time, just look at your watch and who really needs time the time based functions anyway. A GPSr is supposed to get you from point A to point B. The Colorado does that quite well. So all of the bells and whistles don't work. So what? Move on, and get over it. Would you return a brand new $60,000 car because the clock, or radio, or cig lighter, or heat/ac, or cruise controll, either didn't work or was not offered on the new model? You'd have to be nuts to expect this new car model to do everything that older models do!! For those who are wondering, I'm being facetious. I'd like to assume this gets fixed soon, but.............
  13. That's OK.....It doesn't take much to "wind my spring," but I quickly return to my normal irrational self. I agree that this is only important if the intent is to be as accurate and as repeatable as possible, but that also applies to average use, under average conditions, that may or may not be optimal conditions and times of day. Just because I cache during an window of optimized reception, does not mean the person who placed a cache did the same thing. I would hope that cacher at least took samples, averaged the readings to eliminate wild readings, and tested the result on another day at another time. OK....I've got that out of my system.
  14. In that case, you have totally eliminated being able to blame it (poor accuracy, repeatability etc) on ANY GPSr, and you'll have to accept the fact that "What you sees, is what you get" ........or maybe you could just totally re-invent the GPS satellite system and possibly eliminate the ionospheric (sp?) influences also. The more accuracy you expect, the more you have to "follow the rules" or "work within the system" or "do your part" to attain that accuracy. Yep.....and that is why people "do their part" to average coords since they can't change the satellite formations, orbits, and schedules. I don't think I've ever met a geocacher that schedules placement or caching times on the optimal positions of the satellites. Anyone that does, has far too much time on their hands. In a perfect world, you would not need to average coords because they would all be dead on all of the time. I'm, not so much concerned about my accuracy since I will continue to average for the benefit of myself and others. What do you mean by "do your part?" What do you mean by "follow the rules" and "work withing the system?" To what rules and system do you refer? The long held practice of averaging coords for the benefit of others or only caching when the satellites are in perfect formation? In the case of the later, that would only be of benefit if the person hiding the cache hid it under the same ideal satellite configuration. Was there a point to your arguement I missed or was it only to pander and inflame??
  15. They explained how you could use your altimeter readings, if you don't have a unit with a pressure sensor, to predict the weather while in the field. In their example, you are at a base camp at 10,000 feet. You haven not moved for 5 hours but your altimeter shows an increase or decrease in altitude over that time. By tracking and charting the changes, you can tell if low or high pressure is moving into the area. Oops and duh!! You are correct regarding the barometer, but they also worked altitude readings into the prediction tool. Then again, if you have a barometer in your GPS, why would you need to look at altitude changes to tell you the pressure was dropping and a storm was approaching? I might have to read that one again.
  16. They explained how you could use your altimeter readings, if you don't have a unit with a pressure sensor, to predict the weather while in the field. In their example, you are at a base camp at 10,000 feet. You haven not moved for 5 hours but your altimeter shows an increase or decrease in altitude over that time. By tracking and charting the changes, you can tell if low or high pressure is moving into the area.
  17. Work?? Kids?? Wife??? Other obligations??? Bad weather??? I understand what you are saying, but I only agree to a point. I tend to cache when the window of opportunity presents, not when the stars and satellites are alligned.
  18. You are a very brave and/or foolish man!!! This months BackPacker magazine was the 2008 equipment issue. In other words, the whole issue is just a bunch of advertisements and recommendations. One of the recurring features in the magazine is a GPSr column and they provide information (basic to advanced) on how to unlock some of the features of a hand held GPSr. They even explained how to use your GPSr as a weather prediction device when in the field.
  19. Perfect summary! Now add to that that without any of these satellite geometry prediction programs at hand, it's very difficult to know, when out there, if you are at a position when the geometry is good or bad, and even more difficult to determine if it's improving or getting worse. The last part is important to know, so you can make a clever guess about whether you should wait and average for a longer time, or try to get out of there quickly, before it gets even worse. Averaging can be good, but to use it efficiently, you got to understand what you are up against. I hope I've shed some light on this now, for someone, who perhaps hadn't thought about this before. Here's another prediction software from Leica Geosystems. Thanks for the science lesson. Unfortunately, 99% of cachers do not cache only when the satellites are in a optimal positions. Some people prefer to sleep at 3:00am. I know, that's just plain nuts. Just from my experience when caching, averaged coords seem to be more accurate but then again it may have been that the initial coords were just very bad. A very seasoned cacher once told me that the best coords are obtained from samples taken on different days, at different times, and under different conditions. Some GPSr's hold a better lock, some GPSr's are more accurate, some people don't know how to use their GPSr's. Since most of us cache under the same conditions in which the caches are placed (non-optimal satellite geometry), the ability to average coords with your handheld GPSr will continue to be a hot topic.
  20. I agree with Red90 on the compass issue. I own a Vista HCx and I've disable the compass because it only works if held just right and I never really trusted it in the first place since, but that's another story. I purchased my Vista HCx and Topo's were included in the box. It was purchased in late May of 2007 for around $350.00 or so. I'm sure you could find a new Vista HCx for around $250. I did not purchase Navigator NT (street maps) since the base map and Topo maps have provided enough street detail to get from point A to B in this part of the country. Legend HCx or Vista HCx are both great units with awesome features and any of the eTrex "H" units would be more than sufficient as a starter unit. Good luck on making your selection!!
  21. Well, technically, that's correct. If you put a Micro SD into its standard SD sleeve, it should work fine in the Colorado. Now, really people, can we get off the 4gig topic and have someone please test an 8gig or bigger card? I was told the GPSr would accept any sized card but it would only read from the first 4gigs. Does this make sense and how would you test this theory? I'm sure some smarty out there can come up with a way to test if data stored above 4gigs can be pulled up and used.
  22. Well that explains a lot. If the Colorado isn't released yet, we must have beta units. Man, I always wanted to be a beta tester. Wait, don't they usually give you the units to beta test without having you pay for them? This must all be a dream, but I'm usually better looking and smarter in my dreams.
  23. 1) Larger, higher resolution screen 2) Ability to store and display all the Geocaching information in a GPX file. 3) Shaded relief views possible. 4) Waypoints store timestamp and elevation. 5) Waypoint name limit increased. 6) Unlimited track storage on the internal memory. 7) Large internal memory. 8) Can wirelessly transfer waypoint data 9) Can wirelessly receive heart monitor and bike speed/cadence signals. With that said, how would you rate your Colorado on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being "it is everthing I expected and more" and 1 being "what a waste of $550.00?" If you could do it all again, would you have still purchased your Colorado or would you wait until the dust settles? Overall, is the Colorado better or worse than the existing Garmin line-up as far as it's geocaching features and functions? Is the Colorado a better navigational tool than other existing units? Would you recommend the Colorado to another geocacher at this time? .....and remember, honesty counts.
  24. I would have to agree with you Baumer. I think the continual reposting of the same issues or just generic complaints about business decisions is counterproductive. Fortunately, most of the people in this forum are offering good feedback that will hopefully be taken to heart by the folks working to improve this GPS line. I am optimistic that this unit will eventually be able to do what I want it to do. I wish I could say the same for the Triton line. Magellan can prove me wrong and I wouldn't mind. If I had feelings, they might have been hurt by that snipe.
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