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Going Paperless With The Explorist 600?

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I have an eX 600 and been using it since June. You'll need more than the GPSr to truely go paperless.


The eX600 will store up to 200 geocaches. These are limited to the total number of characters displayed in the hints. On mine, almost all the hints are cropped leaving a great deal of detail out. This is a known limitation of the eX600 firmware. basically, you can load up to 200 geocaches with limited hints in one Geocache file.


The more efficient way to go about paperless involves a few steps and som pre-requisites:


1. You'll need to have the right hardware. You have the GPSr, the other piece will be a PDA (Palm or Pocket PC). You can get away with an inexpensive older Palm pilot which will allow something like 500 geocaches. Palm just released a sub $100 PDA which will allow for more. The Zire 31 has an SD card for almost unlimited files.


2. You'll also need to be a Premium Member of Geocachng.com. This gives you the ability to create Pocket Queries which will be emailed to you.


3. GSAK and cachemate are a must. GSAK is an outstanding utility to aid you in manageing all your caches. It's worlds apart from Geocache manager that comes with the Explorist. I stronly suggest you download it, play with it for a bit and then register it for $20. Best $20 investment I've made.


4. You'll also need cachemate ($8) which allows you to view your files on the PDA. If you go to http://home.comcast.net/~teamcoychev/paperless.htm there's an excellent tutorial on paperless with far greater detail than I can list here.


5. So, having the eX600, a decent palm device and the necessary software tools you can be paperless caching very quickly.


Hope this helps

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CondorTrax laid it out pretty well. One slight misunderstanding one might take from it is that the 200 geocache waypoint limit is per file. 500 *regular* waypoints can be contained in a non-geocache POI file, and one can have virtually unlimited POIs of both types by using multiple files.


The main limitation, however, is indeed the fact that cache descriptions are not a part of the file structure.

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Embra.. thanks for chiming in and clarifying. CacheCreatures, Just a bit of additional detail on the 200/500 POI....


- You can have as many geocache files as you want with a max number of 200 records per file. Only one "active" geocache file can be loaded in active set-up at any one time. Depending on the size of the SD card, you can then have, as many of these geocache files that will fit on the SD card. Simply select the geocache file that best satisfies that day's journey as the active file.


- You can also have up to 500 regular POIs in any one file. And again, you can have as many of these that will fit onto the SD card. This can either be your default POI or one you name specific to you geocache activity. It's easier if it has its own name so you can load it as required. If you store these 500 as part of your default POI file, your display may very clutered.


- The difference in the geocache files and POI is the amount of data required by the geocache files and magellan's current firmware; hints, description, etc. This is essentially what limits the qty to 200.


- What some of us do is create multiple "200" entry files. This may depend on your own particular preference. 200 per city, 200 per area code, 200 per radius from a center point, etc. You then load the particular file that best fits. These are stored on the SD card for easy reference.


Having GSAK is the perfect tool for managing the files and loads.

Edited by CondorTrax
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Having GSAK is the perfect tool for managing the files and loads.

Hearty agreement...if Magellan were smart, they'd restructure the memory for Geocache POIS, forget about the Geocache Manager software and partner with Clyde to let GSAK send all that loverly data into the unit. If you could have all the data that GSAK provides tucked away in the Explorist, it would vault to the top of the geocaching pile.

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Thanks folks. Very good info. I've been a cacher since '03 and have been paperless that entire time. In the past, I've used a PDA with GPS CF card, but battery life, size and durability killed that a couple months ago.


So, if I understand correctly, the only info that will show up is the hint, and that usually gets cropped. There is no way to even view a text file stored on the sd card?


Other options... we both have Motorola phones... mine is the Razr. Any way to get the cache info on them, without needing to be in coverage area (wap access is cool, but hard to rely on)


I'm really trying to avoid carrying a device just for the cache info... but maybe thats my only option.

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There is no way to even view a text file stored on the sd card? 


Other options... we both have Motorola phones... mine is the Razr.  Any way to get the cache info on them, without needing to be in coverage area (wap access is cool, but hard to rely on)

If the Razr can do vcf, text, palmdoc or just about anything else, GPSBabel can probably get it there. The user interface might be a little better than caching with cache pages on an Ipod or an Iriver, but I would have low expectations.

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Alright you've really got me thinking now... a couple more questions:


1) If GPSBabel supports converting a GPX file into basically any other format, is there no format that will be readable by Magellan's MapSend DirectRoute? Maybe I'm not understanding?


2) I have MobilePhoneTools for my Razr. Basically, this gives me the ability to sync my calender and contacts to the phone automatically. Are you thinking that I could create a vcard for every cache (automatically via GPSBabel) and then sync that across to the Razr? If so, that might be the ticket until Magellan gets with the program.


If 2 is possible, I'd be surprised no one had tried that before. Maybe I just need to try it?

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GPSBabel supports Mapsend. Your question, as I understood it, was "Is there no way to even view a text file stored on the sd card?" (words rearranged to actually make it a question) and the answer to that is no. If your question was really "can I convert waypoint data from a PQ to a format that can be used by Mapsend and is thus subject to the limits of Mapsend which deals in waypoints and not text" then the answer is different.


Others do use GPSBabel's VCF output; you'd hardly be the first.

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