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First Full Day Paperless


RockyRaab
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But I loved it.

 

I kept paper logs for eight months (started geocaching in February) and couldn't keep them current. Also missed having the logs. So decided to try this paperless thing.

 

Did the eBay thing for a PDA ($39) and downloaded the GSAK and Cachemate duo.

 

I can not believe what Cachemate does for me in the field. Logs, hints, time log of when I started looking and when I quit. Even kept my comments for me. Did seven caches today and would never have been able to keep the "took/left" entries all straight without it. Heck, I didn't even need to wear a watch!

 

Yada yada yada to you old timers, I know. But if you are doing paper - abandon that creaky ship! Hey, geocaching is SUPPOSED to be high tech!

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Okay, so I've been lurking for a while now, but I really want to go paperless too. I am totally a non-technogeek kinda gal - so please, if someone can tell me in simple english, not in some high tech mumbo-jumbo, I would really appreciate it. I am looking for a PDA (that's the limit on my geekness), but have no idea what to get. I read about people picking them up cheap, but when I look in stores/on line for one, <_< they are all hundreds of dollars and have blue teeth and junk like that. Now, with that said, what I need is a brand, model number and price range (keeping in mind that I want to spend less than 100 bucks) so I can get one of these dealies that keep track of caches so I don't have to kill a tree or commit 300 cache pages to memory before hitting the dusty trail.

 

Thanks - clu

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Okay, so I've been lurking for a while now, but I really want to go paperless too. I am totally a non-technogeek kinda gal - so please, if someone can tell me in simple english, not in some high tech mumbo-jumbo, I would really appreciate it. I am looking for a PDA (that's the limit on my geekness), but have no idea what to get. I read about people picking them up cheap, but when I look in stores/on line for one, <_< they are all hundreds of dollars and have blue teeth and junk like that. Now, with that said, what I need is a brand, model number and price range (keeping in mind that I want to spend less than 100 bucks) so I can get one of these dealies that keep track of caches so I don't have to kill a tree or commit 300 cache pages to memory before hitting the dusty trail.

 

Thanks - clu

Amen clu...that's what I was trying to ask!

 

T.

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Okay, so I've been lurking for a while now, but I really want to go paperless too. I am totally a non-technogeek kinda gal - so please, if someone can tell me in simple english, not in some high tech mumbo-jumbo, I would really appreciate it. I am looking for a PDA (that's the limit on my geekness), but have no idea what to get. I read about people picking them up cheap, but when I look in stores/on line for one, <_< they are all hundreds of dollars and have blue teeth and junk like that. Now, with that said, what I need is a brand, model number and price range (keeping in mind that I want to spend less than 100 bucks) so I can get one of these dealies that keep track of caches so I don't have to kill a tree or commit 300 cache pages to memory before hitting the dusty trail.

 

Thanks - clu

Get a Palm Tungsten E2. Then get Cachemate. Pocket Query -> Cachemate -> Caching fun

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Okay, so I've been lurking for a while now, but I really want to go paperless too.  I am totally a non-technogeek kinda gal - so please, if someone can tell me in simple english, not in some high tech mumbo-jumbo, I would really appreciate it.  I am looking for a PDA (that's the limit on my geekness), but have no idea what to get.  I read about people picking them up cheap, but when I look in stores/on line for one,  <_< they are all hundreds of dollars and have blue teeth and junk like that.  Now, with that said, what I need is a brand, model number and price range (keeping in mind that I want to spend less than 100 bucks) so I can get one of these dealies that keep track of caches so I don't have to kill a tree or commit 300 cache pages to memory before hitting the dusty trail. 

 

Thanks - clu

I found a Palm Zire 21 at OfficeMax on sale for $70. It was on clearance, but has WAY more memory than I'll ever need for local caching. Ebay can be a good place to look as well, but I prefer to pick up locally if possible. (that's just me, not a suggestion...)

Just be sure it's a Palm product, as Cachemate only works on Palm software. Some people would rather buy a PDA with all the memory and bells and whistles, but others get a cheapee that they can consider "disposable" if you drop it in the creek or over a bridge on accident. I certainly did not need 54 billion meg of memory, so for me, the Zire 21 was a good choice. I sincerely doubt I'll use it for anything more than caching.

 

GSAK is free for a short time, then you start running into "nag" screens. Well worth the price of registration. Admittedly, you will need to get cozy with it and how to import the .GPX files into it, as well as how to filter and sort. If you've done anything on the computer like XL or Access, it shouldn't be too foreign for you. At any rate, it's worth the download (fully functional right off the bat) to play with it.

 

Cachemate, as mentioned, only works with the Palm software, and is fairly easy to understand and use. Very non-technical describes it pretty well. About the most difficult thing with it is setting up "other" databases, but if you manage GSAK, then that shouldn't be a problem.

 

You may experience a steep learning curve up front, I know I spent about 6~7 hours playing with all of it, getting familar. But once I got that figured out, I can now get my PQ in .gpx format, load it into GSAK, sort it out, and upload to my GPS and PDA in under 10 minutes easily. I run a PQ about once a week, or just before I go on a major cache run. That way I have all the most recent logs and such.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Old Bill
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I already had a Palm M500 when I started Geocaching, but it was way underused. The Palm M500 is inexpensive now. One of those is very easy to read in bright sunlight and can be bought on eBay (<$50.00).

 

Get a hard case for one one of those, Cachemate for $8.00 and GSAK for $20.00 and you never have to print out another cache page ever again. <_<

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Paperless? How about cache pageless. Who needs the page?

 

If it ain't a puzzle or a multi made like a puzzle and wasn't tagged as one, I don't see the need.

 

If you overlook the caches before you leave and see they are not offset, hints usually won't help you any more than just looking.

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I first grabbed a cheap Palm Zire 21 and immediately saw two limitations: vulnerable screen and no backlight. So I sold the Zire and grabbed a used Sony Clie' with a flip-around screen (protected when closed) and a backlight (and camera!) for $100 and have been totally happy. I've been totally paperless for a little over a year and would never go back.

 

I say totally paperless, but still use paper on the more involved puzzle caches, what few I've done.

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Thanks for all the info on paperless. Need to purchase a Palm. Have been downloading waypoints to my Garmin but need to go paperless into the field. Will Cachemate download web pages? Info? Do I have to become a Premium Member to use services? (Not that I am against becoming one). Thanks <_<

Edited by RV'er
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For those of you that use a Pocket PC, you'll want to check out GPXSonar. I believe it is the equivalent of Cachemate. Kinda new to geocaching, but I've been paperless the whole time. I'm more of a handheld guy that checked out geocaching instead of the other way around.

 

In addition, I use a bluetooth wireless GPS receiver with my handheld to do the work. I can use car navigation software to take me to the posted parking coordinates or closest parking spot to the cache. Then, fire up the topo software or even use the street mapping software, hop out of the car and on your way to the find. In fact, I can import the GPX files directly into the software -- never have to input any coordinates as it's done automatically.

 

Just bought an explorist today, and looking forward to comparing experiences with both.

Edited by Steel City Seekers
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Will Cachemate download web pages? Info? Do I have to become a Premium Member to use services?

Cachemate has all the info on a cache, including past logs so you can check out what others have been saying if you run into trouble. But it is not the web page itself. In many ways, it is better than the web page because it organizes the info into tabs.

 

I feed Cachemate with GSAK, which makes Palm database (PDB) files. Just hit the hot synch button and go.

 

The beauty of it is you can carry a database of caches (or multiple databases) so you can travel around and always be prepared to go caching.

 

You need to become a Premium member to get Pocket Queries (GPX files). You need these to really unleash the power of GSAK and Cachemate.

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If you have a Garmin GPSr, GSAK isn't really necessary at all. I don't use it. Just get the most recent version of MapSource (support for GPX files) and you're good to go.

Sure GSAK isn't "necessary", but it offers power, ease of use, and features that provide tremendous facilitation to the whole geocaching experience. Mapsource is a bare bones app that you can get by with. Rather like comparing a push scooter to a Porsche 911 . . .

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Ok I want to go paperless & all your info has convinced me that this is the right thing to do. My question is Palm or PPC? Can anyone advise? Thanks.

You can go with either one. Of the the big advantages to the Palm is you can pick up one of the older models that uses 2AAA batteries pretty cheap. They can run for days and if you damage it while out caching, you're not out a lot of money. I have both a PocketPC and a Palm( actually several of each) . The PocketPC cost me over $300, needs charging almost every day(I use it a lot) and the color screen is difficult to see outdoors at times. But it has built-in WiFi, Bluetooth lots of memory etc... The Palm, which has no WiFi, Bluetooth, 8mb memory, runs for days and its screen is very easy to read outdoors.

 

If you only want a PDA for geocaching, go for a Palm.

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Thanks for the info, again, about paperless. Am using EasyGPS now to retrieve waypoints and to transfer to my Garmin handheld. Will either of the two programs mentioned,

Cachemate with GSAK
, replace EasyGPS or compliment it? Also want to know if a PDA or PPC is the best way to go.
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Ok I want to go paperless & all your info has convinced me that this is the right thing to do.  My question is Palm or PPC? Can anyone advise? Thanks.

You can go with either one. Of the the big advantages to the Palm is you can pick up one of the older models that uses 2AAA batteries pretty cheap. They can run for days and if you damage it while out caching, you're not out a lot of money. I have both a PocketPC and a Palm( actually several of each) . The PocketPC cost me over $300, needs charging almost every day(I use it a lot) and the color screen is difficult to see outdoors at times. But it has built-in WiFi, Bluetooth lots of memory etc... The Palm, which has no WiFi, Bluetooth, 8mb memory, runs for days and its screen is very easy to read outdoors.

 

If you only want a PDA for geocaching, go for a Palm.

Thanks for the insight. That's kinda what I was thinking. I prefer to have bells & whistles , and usually go over board getting more than I need while spend more than I should. I definatlry think a Palm might be a cheaper lesson in figuring out what I'll perfer. Any cetain Palm modles to look for or stay away from?

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Thanks for the info, again, about paperless. Am using EasyGPS now to retrieve waypoints and to transfer to my Garmin handheld. Will either of the two programs mentioned,
Cachemate with GSAK
, replace EasyGPS or compliment it? Also want to know if a PDA or PPC is the best way to go.

You will need a Palm if you want to use Cachemate.

 

I was using EasyGPS, and even upgraded to ExpertGPS, but now that I've got GSAK and Cachemate, I don't use either EasyGPS or ExpertGPS much.

 

Here's my situation when I get ready to load up a new/updated .gpx file.....

 

Get my Pocket Query from GC.com.

 

Unzip it to my "Geocaching" folder.

 

Open the file up with GSAK which then imports, updates, yada, yada, and then shows them to you on the screen. I then take some time weeding out caches I've already found, or know are in poor condition, etc. In short, any caches I don't want popping up on my GPS/PDA screen. GSAK's filters are SUPREME for this, and you can actually save any given filter to make it faster then next time.

 

I then "export" to a "Cachemate PDB file". I can then Hotsync with my PDA and the new info gets put into Cachemate.

 

I then "Send" all the waypoints to my GPS. You may or may not delete your existing Geocache waypoints first. I always do, as to not clutter up my GPS much. If I want to go caching in a different town, I'll just make a new database in GSAK, and send that to my PDA and GPS.

 

Last thing I'll do is export to "mapsource". This allows me to "see" where the caches are in my vicinity and better plan a caching run.

 

There's a LOT of ways to do it, and you will certainly find a way that suits your needs and makes geocaching virtually painless! :blink:

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If you're only going to use it for geocaching, then a Palm would suffice. If you intend to use it for its other handheld features, then a Pocket PC is the best. If you'd like to get a GPS receiver that will 'talk' to the handheld with associated mapping software, you almost have to go with a Pocket PC.

 

I can import .gpx files directly into GPXSonar on my PPC, just sync the file over to the Pocket PC. In fact, since I have my Pocket PC set up for e-mail and have a file explorer that can unzip files, I can get files anywhere, anytime (even in the middle of the woods). No converting through GSAK, no dependency on the desktop whatsoever.

 

But, geocaching is only one of many things I use my Pocket PC for. If you're interested in it only for geocaching, then by all means buy a cheap Palm. The price difference would be a couple hundred dollars because you have to have a newer Pocket PC to run some of the programs like GPXSonar, and many of the topo and road navigation programs.

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I went paperless about a month ago, it's da bomb! I also got a premium account and bought Cachemate. I used my Tungsten for a GPS for a couple of years until i upgraded to a Garmin Quest. Now, in just a few minutes, I can download all the caches in an area to my GPS and my palm. I dont spend the time printing and carrying all the papers, and I always have current information. As well as saving a few trees.

I update all the caches in my area about once a week. If I have to go somewhere for work, as I frequently do, I can load up all the caches near my hotel and look for the ones that are interesting and accessible when I have time.

The other really great thing is keeping caches in different catagories, both in my palm and in the Quest.

 

I will not be going back to paper!

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Boy you guys are terrific. Questions are answered daily. Impressed.

 

Next question, has anyone checked out the new Garmin GPS/PDA package. A bit pricey, but affordable at these on-line vendors. Is there an advantage to a combo GPS/PDA or is it just another toy? (We love toys :blink: ).

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Answered my own question. Just got finished reading the review by InfoSync World about the Garmin iQue 3200. Apparently it is a real battery eater. Goes dead in about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Depends more on automotive DC connection. Think I'll stick to the separate PDA & GPS route. (Besides, it will be easier to ungrade when technology changes).

 

Now, what is the best PDA for geocaching. Have looked at Zire 31 and Tungsten E2. Any suggestions?

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Picked up a Visor Deluxe on ebay with case cradle and extra 8 MB RAM $30.00 Cachemate $8.00 and love it. Tried the GSAK and it was great the first two times I used it then it will not run on my computer anymore. Put it on another and same thing. Don't know what is up with that but I really don't need it. I use easy gps to up load to the GPS V and cachemate converts the pocket query files and then hotsync them to the visor. Load up several databases for different areas and switch between them depending on where in the world I am. Much better than the tree killing method. Much easier when motorcycling with the PDA and GPS everything is right there. The only reason for the high dollar PDA would be for the maps but I think a nice laptop would fit the bill better for that.

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Someone mention earlier that GSAK is not needed for paperless caching. Believe me, it pays for itself the first time you go out with a PDA and GPSr. Here is how: I download my PQ and then filter out all caches whose last two log entires are DNF's. I do this on a weekly basis. No more wild goose chases. If and when the cache is replaced/found, it shows up in the next weeks PQ. This has been a huge savings in the frustration arena.

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Paperless? How about cache pageless. Who needs the page?

 

If it ain't a puzzle or a multi made like a puzzle and wasn't tagged as one, I don't see the need.

 

If you overlook the caches before you leave and see they are not offset, hints usually won't help you any more than just looking.

What is handy about being paperless, is if you happen to be in a general area and you want to see what is available, you can do so without the need to go back to the PC. The upside is you can then determine what kind of cache it is with a quick read and then go chase it. Without that basic information, they're just waypoints in a GPS.

 

I use an IPaq H4355. GSAK on the desktop parses the information customized to my needs into a GPX file that I can then import onto the 4355, and then use GPXSonar to read the file. With GPX Sonar, I can export the waypoints to my GPS and go on a spontaneous hunt for that specific area.

 

It makes it less frustrating than a blind type cache hunt to DNF on something that turned out to be a multi, but you didn't have the info with you on that spontaneous search.

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Why risk having to throw out your PDA after geocaching induced abuse? Buy a case for it like this one http://shopping.franklincovey.com/shopping...1&id=prod200004

 

It even got pretty sopping wet from a leaky water bottle. Kept the PDA unit from conking out.

 

Also - My Tungsten C (color unit) allows me to copy spoiler photos on it (when I remember to). However, it can be difficult viewing them in direct sunlight.

Edited by RakeInTheCache
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Wow! 39 replies before I got back here!

 

To answer some direct questions, I bought an IBM Wordpad c500 (which is identical to the Palm M500) for $39 on eBay. Palm still supports it, and I downloaded the most recent Palm OS update first thing.

 

Then I went to Big Lots and bought a metal case, USB cable, package of screen savers and three extra stylii in a package for $15. Invaluable for the case and cable alone. My PDA came with a serial connector sync cable, which works on my desktop, but not my travel laptop. Now I can charge the unit and/or get a "quickie" pocket query while on the road and update both my GPSr and PDA. Nice.

 

The Palm M500 has a card slot for an SD card. I had a spare 32Meg one laying around, and slipped it in. More room than I'll ever need, so I found a few helpful travel programs for the PDA and installed them, too. A Travel Expenses program, a vehicle fuel log, a few games - stuff like that.

 

Again, I doubt I'll ever go back to paper caching.

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A Palm, such as my inexpensive monochrome Palm M500, allows you to have the complete cache description in the palm of your hand.

 

You have the Hint and the Past Logs.

 

I can't tell you how many times I have been able to find a cache because I could read through the Past Logs to get additional information.

 

The Palm is also useful for logging your find. You can make notes for that cache, including the numbers for any TBs you retrieve. It is the only way to cache . . . IMHO. :laughing:

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First a special thankyou to "Old Bill" and Bear Paughs" for all of their help. B)

 

Help!! Bought a Palm Tungsten E2 (on order). Became a Premium Member. Downloaded GSAK and Cachemate. Tried my first PQ. I got too selective and got a email stating there were no caches found. I went back into the PQ and changed to the general settings and resubmitted the request. Now I have waited for two days and no email containing the zip filed PQ. After I made the PQ, I got a message at the top of the Query page that stated Query was complete and I could view it on any cache page. I viewed the results and it was what I had requested, but no email. What did I do wrong? Was it because this was a second request in the same day? :)

 

Second question - How do I use the call out quotes to reply to an individual postings?

 

Third question - Is there a tutorial or help page for learning the fine points for these forums?

 

Thanks, RV'er

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First a special thankyou to "Old Bill" and Bear Paughs" for all of their help. B)

 

Help!! Bought a Palm Tungsten E2 (on order). Became a Premium Member. Downloaded GSAK and Cachemate. Tried my first PQ. I got too selective and got a email stating there were no caches found. I went back into the PQ and changed to the general settings and resubmitted the request. Now I have waited for two days and no email containing the zip filed PQ. After I made the PQ, I got a message at the top of the Query page that stated Query was complete and I could view it on any cache page. I viewed the results and it was what I had requested, but no email. What did I do wrong? Was it because this was a second request in the same day? :)

 

Second question - How do I use the call out quotes to reply to an individual postings?

 

Third question - Is there a tutorial or help page for learning the fine points for these forums?

 

Thanks, RV'er

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RV'er:

 

Did you have a day selected in your PQ? Since the day has past, go ahead and check it today and click the Tuesday box. You should have it within a few minutes. On your pocket query page (www.geocaching.com/pocket) you should see a date and time showing the last time it ran

 

If the query has already run, and you need it again, I usually just re-create it with today's day clicked and it arrives quickly. I click the "run once then delete" box since I already have the main one set up.

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I have a Merigold with a 256MB SD card, but no card reader. If I get a Palm with an SD card slot, can I use that as a card reader? That might be enough to push me to getting a new Palm. My old Palm V was dropped a couple of years ago and I have never replaced it.

Sorry if someone already posted the answer, but YES, you should be able to use it for that.....

At LEAST as far as getting waypoints done....Not sure about tracks, routes or map regions yet...

 

I recently got a Palm Tungsten E, and have a Merigreen.

 

You can get your waypoints into GSAK, or use GPS BabelWrapper, and save convert them to Magellan SD type of file, then sync it to your Palm, (make sure you save it to the card), pop the card into your PS, and you should be good to go...

 

Should work in reverse also....

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Any one thinking about buying a newer Palm, might want to wait a couple to a few weeks...

 

They just released a new model to the Tungsten line....The Tungsten X...

 

Also, I beleive they dropped the Tungsten E OFF the line...(Its not listed on their site anymore)...

 

That means prices should drop for the E and E2's...

I recently purchesd an E, then a couple days later I found out they had JUST released the X that same week... :)

 

I paid $92 + shipping for a used one on ebay....They should start going lower soon...

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Doesn't figure. Just bought an E2. <_<

 

;) It worked. Got my first PQ. Now all I have to do is wait for my new E2 to be delivered and I'm off paperless caching. Worked with GSAK until 2:00am this morning. Great program.

 

Robert was probably right, I ran the one PQ late in the evening. Will probably get it next Sunday.

 

Thanks again to all for the help. (I'll most likely have more questions down the road).

 

RV'er

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Hello.

I am looking to go paperless. I've read through the posts here and have an idea of what Palm I should get, but I want a consenus of the best before I invest in one.

 

I will mostly use it for caching, but also a little for work (appointments, addresses, etc.)

 

I am looking at the following:

Palm IIIxe

Palm M500

 

Suggestions?

 

Thanks,

Wild-weaver

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