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Everything posted by Alphawolf

  1. Not exactly...I have been selling these things for 6 1/2 years now. I have lost track of how many GPS receivers I have owned since then. I teach GPS clinics for a national outdoor outfitters chain and do private lessons as well. Why am I telling you this? I get this question(about internal compasses) about 9 times a week asked of me. It is a fair question from someone shopping for their first receiver, or maybe an upgrade receiver. So, the actual reason I asked it above, is just to get the debate out there so folks that have wondered but not asked could gain some insight. I really do appreciate your opinion and it's totally valid. In case you are wondering what I use, my current arsenal is as follows: Garmin Foretrex 101 (for backpacking it's lightweight and perfect) Magellan Sporttrack Map Garmin IQue 3600 Garmin Streetpilot C330 Garmin 60CS (best all around receiver in my opinion) Magellan Meridian Gold Garmin etrex (yellow) Software for the GPSRs: Garmin MetroGuide V6 Garmin City Select V6 Garmin Topo Garmin National Parks Topo 1:24,000 (West) Magellan MapSend Topo Magellan MapSend Streets (Direct Route) and lots of different commercial mapping programs (I didn't buy all of these...Some were gifts and some were "trades".) So, I stand by my previous statement "I wouldn't consider paying for one"...I didn't say I wouldn't own one or use one...
  2. I WISH my taxes were that quick and easy! Compass calibration is pretty easy to do, it's just something else I don't have to mess with or worry about with my trusty Silva!
  3. The handheld compass along with my GPS can do that, which is what your doing...A compass in tandem with a GPS Well if your batteries die (a lot quicker with the compass) then you are back to that re-calibration issue The only thing any compass knows how to do it to point to magnetic north. My point is, the cheapest pocket compass will do that cheaper than the cheapest internal compass. Any other use for a compass than pointing to magnetic north requires some other things built into it (like a gps receiver, or inclinometer, or sighting mirror or declination adjustment)
  4. Well, the GPS will tell you the bearing (in degees) to your cache, right? Well, just shoot the bearing with the compass and walk it to the destination, just exactly like you do with the internal compass. Just make sure the GPS is set to Mag. north.
  5. That's probably ture, but then, there has never been a situation in my off-road travels where it's been a concern. I never use my compass near any vehicles, so the usual cause isn't anywhere around. And no, I don't think any GPS based compasses do that.
  6. Do you mean just to look at on your computer? Or are you trying them into your GPS and see them there? What is it you want to do with these maps?
  7. Considering the facts: 1. Internal magnetic compasses are real battery hogs. 2. They require frequent calibration. 3. They can't do anything an $8.00 pocket compass can't do. 4. If the GPS dies, they die too. 5. In serious off-road travel, only a fool would trust an electonic compass as the only compass. 6. They cost way more than a suitable pocket compass. Nope...I wouldn't consider paying for one! But...They are fun to play with!
  8. Yes or no? I would never buy and outdoor unit with this type of battery! I can buy a whole bunch of alkalines for the $40 or $50 that they will charge to replace that battery when it goes belly up! Besides, if I want rechargeable, I can put NiMh rechargeable AA batteries in for $5.00! Your thoughts?
  9. Well, if you buy V6 now, and they were to release V7 next month, you'd get a free update anyway.
  10. I just completed a 43 mile back country back packing excursion. We did over 25 miles of no-trail bushwhacking. I carried the Foretrex 101 because it let me use AAA lithium batteries, take spares with me and no GPSR is lighter. It was awesome! I am thinking the 3 guys I went with are going to get one now. They all realized how useless mapping units are when you need 1:24,000 quads with you anyway.
  11. Does anyone know if the screen on Garmins is made of plastic or glass? I have a small spot that I would like yo try and clean off with some sort of solvent, but I don't dare try it unless the screen is glass.
  12. I am guessing your com port is blocked or something, maybe from a pda hotsync or smething? I use a Foretrex 101 also and have had no problems interfacing with my laptop using both Garmin software and USA Photomaps also. I think I've used it with NG TOPO! as well...
  13. I too would run AA NiMh batteries for daily use. Save the Lithium for serious back country use. They are about $2.50 each! Rechargeables are great if you don't need them for much over 10 hours.
  14. See this is the "convenience" that leaves me wondering about rehargables! Rehargeables in the field Now he wants to take the rechargeables and regular batteries both! What's so convenient about that?
  15. I'll really be curious how much it costs to send it back to Garmin to replace that "superior" rechargeable battery in about 24 months!
  16. The Foretrex 101 uses AAA batteries, but I defy you pick a more suitable GPS for backpacking...It is 2.6 ounces with the wrist strap (which I removed, so it's even lighter) and gets ample battery life. It is the smallest, lightest available. Even the 201 is heavier. I considered every GPS out there before I chose this one for backpacking. I am convinced that there isn't anything any other GPS will do that I can't do as well with my Foretrex and a grid card with a paper map. I am simply not interested in color screens, altimeters, built in compasses, or 1:100,000 scale internal maps. They are all useless in the backcountry. The only one that fit all my backpacking needs at once was the 101. With lithium batteries instead of alkalines, I consider the AAA batteries to be a lightweight advantage over the heavier AA versions. I think the 101 would have been less perfect with AA batteries.
  17. I much prefer using my GPS (Foretrex 101, while hiking) with a 1:24,000 paper map over any mapping unit out there (and I have used them all)! Give me a tiny GPS, a grid card and a paper map any day! I carry much less weight and am much more precise than using a mapping unit. As to what kind of compass: I have several brands. I prefer any compass that is small. I do not need 2 degree accuracy, 5 degree is fine. The compass is really redudndant when used with a GPS. I always have it with me, without fail, but I really only use it occasionally. It is mostly my "just in case" tool, and I use it infrequently. Mostly just to keep sharp with it. One thing for all back country travelers to remember is: Only a fool relies on any single source of navigation aid.
  18. Oh I dunno, I think if I could buy and take all that with me, I could remember to take a couple of spare batteries with me... Idon't have a single rechargeable device...Not a cell phone (I have 4 in the family), not a digital camera (I have 3) not a cordless phone (I have 2 in the house) nor my beloved Garmin IQUE 3600, that hasn't suffered from battery loss in 2 years. They are fine at 1 year, but going away by 2 years. And the Garmins must be sent back to the factory to get replaced (technically you could open it and do it yourself if you dared). Sounds expensive...I can carry 2 spare lithium AAA batteries that only weigh 0.6 ounces (per pair) in my pocket and only cost $3.00 Bottom line to me...rechargeable devices are about convinience. They cost more to buy and are not suitable for anything that will be away from a power cord for any length of time. The convinience theory flies out the window if you have to take recharging equipment with you anywhere you go.
  19. I have the 101 for backpacking. It is perfect! No sucky rechargeable batteries (that will die in 2 years and have to be replaced by Garmin). Only 2.6 ounces (with the wrist strap...I took mine off, so it's even less) and I can put energizer lithiums in it for great life. It will do 10,000 track log points. This baby rocks for backpacking!
  20. This always comes up when discussing the proprietary mapping available on GPSRs. The problem with this, is that it is not even close to being "user friendly" and the "detail" isn't what people are looking for. Most people are looking for off road topo based mapping when it comes to geocaching. It is best for those rare "power users" who really want to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. I don't even make it a point of telling newbies about it 'cause it just confuses them.
  21. I just wanted to make sure you are aware that if you own a Magellan GPS, that the only maps you can display on your receiver are the MapSend maps by Magellan. Your receiver will work with other brands of mapping software, but only with waypoints, tracks and routes. You won't be able to transfer the maps themselves. You probably already knew this, but I was just making sure. It is a common misunderstanding among new GPS users. Incidently, I too use the National Geographic state series of 1:24000 maps and love them!
  22. I haven't even started reading that thread just because it's so long...I won't even start. I don't have the time or the inclination.
  23. My garmin Foretrex 101 has 10,000 tracklog points. I have never had one that held ths many. So, yesterday I went on a hike that was 5.25 miles long. I changed my tracklog set-up to highest resolution, and set the record to every 5 seconds. After the hike, I downloaded the track-log into USA PhotoMaps and there were over 1200 tracklog points in a 5.25 mile hike!(That was a very accurate tracklog!) Now, that leaves about 9800 unsued! Holy crap that is a lot of recording available! That would be about 8 more 5 mile hikes before it fills up at these settings.
  24. That's the dept. I have worked in for 6 years...We call it the "gift bar" We currently have 25 different GPS models in stock. Do you have any idea how hard that makes it when a customer comes in and says, "Tell me the differences between all these" It makes me want to puke! Puleeeeeeeze don't ever do that to a salesman when there are 25 different models!
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