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Cheap But Good Pdas For Geocaching?

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I may be a proud geek, but I have to admit to knowing zilch about PDAs.


Long story short: I want to find something nice, basic, useful and cheap + can store a LOT of cache info. Like a whole city's worth of caches, complete with hints. I also want the PDA to either have 802.11 capability or have it be able to attach to some sort of unit that can.


What used models should I look for, especially on Ebay, and what price range can I hope for on basic units that can do this?


Any markwell pointers ya got to related threads are appreciated. ;)

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One man's cheap is another's Holy Cow! If your talking over a hundred dollars I guess you can get WiFi, but don't think you'd be lucky enough to get it at a price under that.


I just got a Palm V with charger/sync tray for $25.00 off ebay. It has OS 3.3 and 8 Megs memory. For $8.00 I got Cachemate (software) for it and use it with GSAK on my laptop. Still need to get something to view pictures.


No 802.11 capability but my laptop is wifi enabled.


Hope this helps

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I think, except for the new palmone Lifedrive ($500.00), the only way to get wi-fi on a palm is to in the sd slot. The last time I priced these they were over $100.


I have used a palm Tungston T3, an old handspring visor (2MB) and bought a m105 with cradle off of ebay and all three have been able to store at least 250+ caches using cachemate. If all you are looking for is a pda for cacheing, buy a cheap one with 8MB off of ebay. I think of my visor and M105 as disposable since they were both $20.00, and if they fall and get damaged, wet etc. it's no big loss.

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What used models should I look for, especially on Ebay, and what price range can I hope for on basic units that can do this?


Any markwell pointers ya got to related threads are appreciated. ;)

I love ebay for finding affordable geek toys... I usually setup a saved search for cheap buy it now items and if someone happens to be selling a unit at a rediculous price, I get an e-mail alert sent to my cell phone and try to snap it up, if the seller appears to be reputable.


I did this to purchase a Palm Tungsten C a year or so ago, this has wifi and a keyboard. I then sold it on ebay for more than I purchased it for:-) I sold it because I wanted a PocketPC, and was looking at the iPaq H4355. This unit has both wifi and bluetooth! I purchased the unit for $210 and it is flawless, even came with extras!


I wanted bluetooth this time around so that I could play with using a bluetooth GPS receiver. I think the iPaq H4100 series also has bluetooth and wifi without the keyboard and can probably be had cheaper.


I also liked the older Jornada 568's! Nice basic units that can be gotten for under 100, if you look around. You can add a Compactflash wifi card for a few bucks more, and even get a CF GPS unit too... The 568 had 64 megs of memory and the 565 had 32 megs of memory. If you like a keyboard you can get an external keyboard for them that snaps onto the bottom.


Hope that helps...

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You can get a used slight soiled PDA for free. A Palm IIIxe. You have to search for it a bit. It is in waist high marsh grass at Colter's Run cache. This one.


If you can find it. I have the cradle, software, and keyboard for you.


I am waiting for the arrival of a Zire 31 from PalmOne as a replacement. Check out one of these for $89 at the PalmOne factory store. From open box returned items that have been checked to be working as it should but maybe scratched, on the case not the screen. I figure I would get it scratched the first day caching, so no big deal.


I looked at the zire 21 which has been discontinued. For such a small jump to color well worth it and nearly double the memory. Will take SD cards and also comes with MP3 capability. under 100... go to Palmone.com.


Good luck.

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Let me know how the color screen on the Zire 31 works. I thought the color should be better than the monochrome since they can be hard to see in dim light. But I have read about people having trouble seeing the color screens in *bright* light. I guess it depends on whether the unit uses a back light for normal viewing or reflected ambient light.


I am seriously thinking about a Zire 71 which includes a camera. I should be able to get one for $100 in eBay, if I keep trying hard enough.

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I use the zire 31 for caching. It is ok. I bought a special non-reflective screen protector for it and that helps in cutting down the glare. Can't remember the name, but it was from Hong Kong and well worth it. Great screen protectors. The zire 31 also lets you play mp3s and you can store a ton of caches on it. I use plucker so that I can view the caches as I go. Got it off ebay several months ago.


Good luck.



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Can I use the Sharp Wizard OZ-730 to geocache with? Does anyone know if Cachemate will work with the Sharp Wizard OZ-730 if so?

The Sharp Wizard won't work; CacheMate runs on Palm OS (which you'll find under names like Palm, Handspring, Treo...)


I got a "blemished" Palm Tungsten E from PalmOne's website for $147. There were no "blemishes" that I could see - its a beautiful piece of hardware. The screen is pretty good; it uses a different type of screen than the Zire 31 & 71, so it has a much better viewing angle. I'd recommend it.

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QUOTE (papatom2 @ Jul 4 2005, 06:48 PM)

I just got a Palm V with charger/sync tray for $25.00 off ebay. It has OS 3.3 and 8 Megs memory.


Check your specs. I have (had) a Palm V and mine was only 2 MB. Do you have a Vx maybe?



Getting my info off the system info screen = free memory 7720k of 8064k. Thats a palm V and two small databeases loaded into cachemate. I understand that I can update my OS and if I look on ebay can get as high as ver 4.01. Not sure what that will do me, so haven't looked.

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I use a iPAQ 2210 with a bluetooth GPS (from Belkin). I have had the iPAQ for a couple of years now and although it was expensive, it isn't so much now. You just have to be careful with it. I have just gotten a waterproof pocket for it that hangs around my neck to protect it from the elements.


I have a CF WiFi card that I carry around (WiFi uses a bit of batt so I prefer not to have it in all the time). It is nice to have one peice of equipment with all my info. I can just swich between GPX Sonar/Pocket IE to see the cache details and my mapping program to see locations and directions. All this in wonderful colour! If I am really bored I can listen to music to. My BT GPS sits in my backpack with and external antenna up to my shoulder.


I love my setup and would be happy to discuss it further if people are interested.

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I have bought 2 Ipaq 3835 for less then $150 on Ebay.


They both work excellent, and the one I use has ALL my GPS stuff on it.


I use it to track myself via streets & Trips, and have a number of other programs for Geocaching.


The Ipaq is also one of the most expandable PDA's, it has literally hundreds of different accessories, main ones being sleeves for different cards, cables to interface with other devices, etc, etc ad nauseum.


You can add memory, wireless, GPS's, even a PCMCIA hard drive, there's even a digital camera attachment that turns into a pretty decent digital camera.

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