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Which Hand Held Pc Is The Best.


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I was considering buying a hand held pocket pc or something that I can carry with me so as not to have to print out all the information on the web site. Any suggestions as to what loads the gpx files the easiest? Or possibly what type of hand held pc do you use. Any information on this suject would be helpful.

 

Team Sapper :rolleyes:

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Best or least expensive for the job?

 

Basic Palm models start at less than $100.00 and will do the job for paperless cacheing. The best would be over $500 pocket pc modles with vga screens and high end processors. these will also do mapping, topo, etc with room to spare.

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I also want to get a PDA to carry a copy of the GeoCaching.com database with me, including photos.

 

I hesitate between these different models of Palms with 32 Mo.

 

Z22 (only 160x160 pixels, 200 Mhz, without an extension slot nor Wi-Fi)

Zire 72 (320x320 pixels, 312 Mhz, with ou without Wi-Fi)

Tungsten E2 (320x320 pixels, 200 Mhz, with ou without Wi-Fi)

 

Can someone give me their opinion on their capacities and limitations?

Is Wi-Fi usefull on the road?

I have a wireless hub at home. Is this usefull for downloads,

or is a serial or USB connection more efficient?

 

Should I opt instead for a Pocket PC,

such as iPaq's 64 Mo or 128 Mo from Hewlett Packard?

Do they imply more fonctionalities?

 

Of course, having on hand my usefull phone numbers and a quarter,

without having to join the cell phone generation appeals to me, :laughing:

but does anyone use a Treo 600 ou 650?

 

Thanks a lot,

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I have a Palm M500 and it works great. The monochrome screen is easy to read in bright sunlight and it holds more than 1000 caches in Cachemate.

 

I don't have a cell phone, so I cannot comment on having a more expensive unit that is also a cell phone.

 

I think having an inexpensive Palm, like my Palm M500, in a hard case, is just fine for Geocaching. Geocaching can be hard on fragile electronics. :unsure:

 

5613182d-82eb-4a97-b917-98e7aed3a005.jpg

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It sounds like you want as much of an answer as you can get, here's what I think as I have owned them both.

 

I started on Palm, it is cheaper and can get the simple job done of carrying info about caches with you. Cachemate would be the way to go, it costs 8 dollars, more than worth it 5 times over. Palm have their own software, and must use their syncing program to transfer back and forth when it comes to your pc. Some things you would want to look for on a Palm, Bluetooth wouldn't hurt, you may decide later to add a GPS to your handheld and Mapopolis for turn by turn routing. I prefer a color screen but this isn't a deal breaker honestly, most people get by fine black and white. The Treo's you mentioned will run on a Palm platform, but also provide you with a phone. I have owned the Treo and would not suggest it, others may feel different but when I wanted to expand I had to buy new because nothing seems to work with these units. Just my 2 cents.

 

A PDA or Smartphone running pocket pc will be very similar hardware wise, roughly same size, battery life, but the software is very different. I now own a ppc 6600 and far prefer it to my own palm predecessors. It uses it's own sync program as well, but it is meshed for windows so I can simply drag and drop files to move them without ever syncing. This is very valuable to me as I carry many gpx at a time, and change them all the time. These units will cost you more, but likely provide you with more room for expansion and productivity. I have added Mapopolis, and route on my large color screen instead of my GPS. As a phone, you can buy the insurance, at which time the delicateness becomes a non-issue. Mess it up and you get a new one real cheap. I have never hurt mine and I have had it on the lake, long hikes etc. with no issues. I also store all my contacts, schedules, so on and so forth and carry them with me. But then you can do that with any of these options.

 

For me the choice was easy, I didn't want to be limited. I haven't yet found something my ppc can't do, sure it wasn't cheap, but it has everything I could possibly need. I can take pictures at the cache site, call a buddy to ask a question, log the cache, or grab info about it, and route to it. I leave all the rest of the electronics at home, in this device I have everything I need but a replacement container for a weathered cache.

 

Be sure to research your options before buying, take time, read reviews, learn about fixes to issues and ways to modify the unit to do what you'll like. If you do this slowly you'll be superbly happy with your unit in the end, and it will pay off ten times. Let me know if you have any specific questions about certain units, I'll be glad to hash them out with you, just don't get in a rush, or you'll find yourself longing for a new device. Good luck.

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I have a PPC (Ipaq 2495) and I love it. Not only do I have multiple GPX files loaded for cache info, but I load the caches into Point of Interest (POI) files for TomTom, then plug my Garmin into the Ipaq and have instant on-road navigation to each cache (or anywhere else I want to go) just like thoe $700-$900 dashboard GPS systems you see everywhere. When I get to the cache, the GPS and PDA come out and go with me. No laptop required. I used to run around with the laptop in the car to map directions to the caches, but no more. Less weight and less bulk with the PDA, and the mapping functionality is much better IMHO.

 

You can probably do something similar with the Palms, but I don't know. Never used one.

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I have a Dell Axim x50v PPC which I use for paperless caching and navigation. The software tools (GPXSonar, mapopolis, etc) are quite nice, the big color display is pretty, but the Windows Mobile operating system in general leaves a lot to be desired. The stability of the OS makes me long for Windows 95.

 

Before I got the Axim, I had an old Palm M105. I never used it for caching, but as a PDA in general it was rock solid.

 

I wish I had gotten a newer palm instead of the PPC.

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Best will depend on your purpose.

 

Mapping? Pocket PC's rule the day.

Cheap so you can break it on the trail and replace it? You can't beat the older palms.

 

Best bar none?

The Palm Based Life Drive

HP 4700

Dell x51v.

 

Best stablity. Palm.

Most applications... Palm but Pocket PC is catching up.

Best integration with Windows based computers. Pocket PC...unless you hate microsoft and removed their apps...then it would be Palm.

 

Best for Paperless caching:

Neither. Palm has Cachemate, PocketPC GPXsonar (and now Cachemate). Both are good.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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Best bar none?

The Palm Based Life Drive

HP 4700

Dell x51v.

 

Now, you know that if you make such an exclusive statement as 'bar none' that someone is going to disagree, right?

 

Although I agree you've put up the most popular current models, someone could also suggest a model such as the Asus A636. Maybe not as popular, but the Asus has an integrated SirfIII receiver. Saves carrying an extra bluetooth receiver, and a pretty nice looking device in my opinion. There are also a slew of new telephone Pocket PCs out there with integrated GPS receivers.

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Wow, this one will definitely open the "Palm Vs. PocketPC" flame-throwing side show!

 

I am now using my trusty iPAQ hx4700. I purchased Back Country Navigator (I've posted on it before on these forums, can be found via search) and now I don't hike or cache without the iPAQ. With BCN I have hi-res topo maps and aerial photos, and I have a cord to connect to my Garmin 60csx whenever I wish. BCN also stores all of my .gpx files (use GSAK to keep them in order, export them into a single .gpx file) and shows all cache details, including hints, just like gpxsonar. The hx4700 has a wonderful hi-res full VGA screen, a fast CPU, and a lot or RAM. It also has dual memory slots (SD/MMC and CF) so memory expansion is about limitless. I understand HP has now discontinued the line, but they are still holding their prices used on eBay and other B/S/T forums. HP has also released the WM5.0 upgrade (or downgrade, depending upon your opinion) for the hx4700. With a magesium case, large VGA screen, fast CPU it cannot be beat. FWIS I also use this to watch movies on long flights, send/receive email, keep track of my appointments and contacts, play VGA games (in the airports), etc. I used to use bluetooth to connect to my cell phone for Internet access and I use the 802.11 all the time. You can pick up strong aluminim and magnesium external cases for $15-50.

 

However, for basic paperless caching an inexpensive Handspring or Palm would be great.

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Best bar none?

The Palm Based Life Drive

HP 4700

Dell x51v.

 

Now, you know that if you make such an exclusive statement as 'bar none' that someone is going to disagree, right?...

 

Of course. :)

 

Of the GPS enabled ones though Garmin wins overall. The big problem I find with the GPS PDA's is that you may get the GPS but usually you don't get other features so I'd rather have something like the HP 4700 (or whichever it is with the 4" screen) and the Garmin PDA add in and get the best of both worlds.

 

To be fair the Asus as a brand of PDA does rate fairly well.

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I'm using an HP HX4705 with a DeLorme Bluelogger (bluetooth). It works great. I already had the PDA, so it was a natural progression. What I like about PDA's over stand-alone GPS units is they can be controlled easier through the stylus and you can add a keyboard for easy data entry.

 

Palm-based PDA's are cheaper, but Pocket PC PDA's tend to have more processing power. The operating system on a Pocket PC is just more advanced.

 

Just remember it doesn't take a huge investment to get a nice functional unit. But if features are what you want you can't beat an HP 4700 series PDA.

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As others have mentioned, it depends on how much you want to spend. I would also add this: If you are going to use it only for geocaching, don't spend a ton on fast processors and such. They don't gain you much for this app. The only time I wanted a faster processor in my Palm was for using cachemate to tell me the closest caches to the cache I just logged. Problem is, my GPS is much better at that once I found that option. :D It's also faster to load caches into the local database for Cachemate (havent tried any other software).

 

I got a Zire 72 because I wanted to nicer screen and the SD card slot. The faster processor was just gravy and I use it for other things. My old Palm2 was fast enough for geocaching. Syncing it sucked though, I highly recomend a USB device for that reason alone. Serial is way too slow. :D

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I'm new to geocaching so I can't comment on specific software, however, a caveat:

 

Windows 2003 Smartphone Edition will *not* run "regular" Windows Mobile Edition apps. They have to be compiled specifically for the Smartphone. So far I haven't been able to get Cachemate to run on my 2003 Smartphone.

 

Windows Mobile 2005 is supposed to be able to run any app that's compatible with the non-Smartphone edition so you may not have an issue on newer phones.

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I'm new to geocaching so I can't comment on specific software, however, a caveat:

 

Windows 2003 Smartphone Edition will *not* run "regular" Windows Mobile Edition apps. They have to be compiled specifically for the Smartphone. So far I haven't been able to get Cachemate to run on my 2003 Smartphone.

 

Windows Mobile 2005 is supposed to be able to run any app that's compatible with the non-Smartphone edition so you may not have an issue on newer phones.

 

have u tried using GSAK?

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Best is as stated by others a relative term as in best for what.

The only problem I have with the Asus a636 is the same I see with th ipaqhw6515.If you want too upgrade just the pocket pc or just the gps you cant must replace the whole thing.This was where having seperate devices just came in handy for me when I upgraded my bluetooth gps from a standard one to the oncourse with sirf3 chip.I am using an hx2750 which I love because of the tons of memory plus dual expansion slots and 624mhz processor.I am using it with cachemate and mapopolis and its a great setup.I can pull up mapopolis and see where any cache is near me that I have loaded in my ipaq(I currently have around 5200)and get turn by turn directions to it if needed then when I get there I use cachemate with cachenav to find the cache location.One nice thing is I was worried about the accuracy even though my new reciver has the new sirf chip.I just did a cache that is at a benchmark and got great results.My readings cam to .0004 off on latitude and .0006 off on longitude so now I know I cant blame it when I cant find the cache

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Thank you to all who answered so far.

 

I am not interested in a PDA with built-in GPSr, as I already have a GPSr.

I might add it in the future as an enhancement, but I don't really need it.

 

I am hesitant between 4 different models:

 

Palm Tungsten E2 with 32 Mo

Palm Tungsten E2 with 32 Mo and WiFi

iPaq with 64 Mo (HP 1950) IrDA, USB, WiFi (802,11b)

iPaq with 128 Mo (HP HX2190) IrDA, USB 2.0, Bluetooth

 

My remaining questions are:

 

A ) For a Palm, is it worth it to pay 100,00 $ more for WiFi,

if we are strictly talking about communication with your

GeoCaching applications between the PC and PDA?

 

B ) Can I upload and downlaod Microsoft Excel files

from my PC with the SpreadSheet software

included in the Palms? (That's a deal breaker) ;-)

 

C ) Does the speed difference between USB and USB 2

make a difference when communicating with your GeoCaching applications?

 

D ) And finally, what about Bluetooth: Is it usefull for GeoCaching?

 

Thanks again,

Edited by blackjack65
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I know it's a little late but I thought I toss in my rig, which is a Toshiba e-830 with a USGlobalSat BC-337 CF GPS Receiver. GSAK uploads coordinates to Pocket Streets,Coordinates & cache data (gpx or loc) to GPSDASH2 & Beeline GPS(Beeline is my preferred Geocaching software). I use my setup on the road, in the jeep and in the woods all the time but I bought an Otterbox 3600 case and use it religiously. My first night out with it, I (275 #'s) fell fully on top of it after slipping on a patch of ice. I came out bruised, the PDA didn't even turn off, the case wasn't scratched but my stainless steel thermos looked like a crushed pop can. If you use your PDA on the trail I'd suggest you invest in one of these cases, they are absolutely bullet proof!

 

http://www.otterbox.com/products/pda_cases/3600/

 

I was considering buying a hand held pocket pc or something that I can carry with me so as not to have to print out all the information on the web site. Any suggestions as to what loads the gpx files the easiest? Or possibly what type of hand held pc do you use. Any information on this suject would be helpful.

 

Team Sapper :laughing:

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I ave a palm tungsten e2. It's a good unit wuit a nice color screen, as well a blutetooth capability. On occasion it will freeze, but mostly it is fine and resetting is no problem. owever tere is someting to take into consideration - lower-end models ave static memory, meaning they lose all teir information i te battery dies. Te e2 as flas memory, so that doesn't occur. you can also get a wifi card.

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Just a note: I don't my Palm for geocaching (yet), as I'm just getting into Geocaching. I've used a Palm PDA for several years though.

 

Palm Tungsten E2 with 32 Mo

Palm Tungsten E2 with 32 Mo and WiFi

iPaq with 64 Mo (HP 1950) IrDA, USB, WiFi (802,11b)

iPaq with 128 Mo (HP HX2190) IrDA, USB 2.0, Bluetooth

 

My remaining questions are:

 

A ) For a Palm, is it worth it to pay 100,00 $ more for WiFi,

if we are strictly talking about communication with your

GeoCaching applications between the PC and PDA?

 

Probably not. All it's going to buy you is not having to plug in a USB cable.

 

B ) Can I upload and downlaod Microsoft Excel files

from my PC with the SpreadSheet software

included in the Palms? (That's a deal breaker) ;-)

 

You can, but I'm not sure what's required as far as converting the Excel files to the Pocket format. I don't use my Palm for that.

 

C ) Does the speed difference between USB and USB 2

make a difference when communicating with your GeoCaching applications?

 

I can't really tell you, other than saying that the files transferred to a palm are generally pretty small so there's not as much of a difference time-wise. If you're transferring music or video then there would be a significant difference.

 

D ) And finally, what about Bluetooth: Is it usefull for GeoCaching?

 

Could be - it'd allow you to eventually add a bluetooth GPS unit as a primary or backup. You can also sync over bluetooth plus, if you have a bluetooth enabled phone and data plan you can access the Internet on the Palm.

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