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Explorist Xl, Is It Good Enough?


Neil E.
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Greetings All,

This is my first post. Been studying GPS units for the past few months. Application: Forest mapping.

I ride a motorcycle in a multi-user forest, and I'm tired of folding and unfolding paper maps

to determine my location.

 

Conclusions so far after looking at various units in the stores:

Best unit is the 276C, but it's expensive and I dislike the proprietary memory card.

Best value is the H2OC, but it's maps are dated and the screen is small.

Most recommended is the 60CX, but the screen is small and hard to see.

 

That leaves the XL. My concerns:

Clumsy click stick and tiny buttons.

Is it limited to 30 waypoints like old units?

Possible issues relating to Win98SE.

Any thoughts or recommendation on the XL?

 

Thanks,

Neil

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Clumsy click stick and tiny buttons.

I heared the same claims about the exporist 500 before I bought one. I have not had a problem with mine and it is smaller than the 600XL

 

Is it limited to 30 waypoints like old units?

Were did you get that information, the 600XL can store an unlimted number of waypoints and routes on the SD card.

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Were did you get that information, the 600XL can store an unlimted number of waypoints and routes on the SD card.

 

Never heard of a 600XL before.

 

The XL does have a larger keypad for gloved hands, than the 400/500/600 eXplorist GPS units.

 

Explorist600XLMeridianGoldcompare.jpg

 

TOPO MAP on the eXplorist XL:

Magellan-eXplorist-XL.jpg

 

The eXplorist XL Map screen is best with a full screen, with the data fields turned off.

 

It is still a Good idea to keep a map and compass, to use in an emergency.

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I had an eXplorist XL briefly and returned it for a Garmin 60CSx. The problems I found with the XL, as nice as it was to have the larger screen, the unit was too big to carry and use comfortably in one hand. You have to use the backlight all the time to see. With the 60CSx, I rarely use the backlight until night time.

The XL takes 4 batteries, not a big concern but the Garmin units take 2 and some of the other explorist models only require 2 or use rechargeable Li-ion batts.

I did like the click stick on the explorist units, they work easier than the separate enter button on the Garmin.

Just my 2 cents.

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Any GPS that can better replace a paper map, will be harder to carry, but is excellent for finding your way on a motorcycle, or in the car.

 

The eXplorist XL does have a resolution of 320x240 pixels, which is good for mapping.

The resolution of 220x176 pixels is for the smaller GPS units, like the 400/500/600 GPS units.

 

I found a link, for the eXplorist XL, for mounting on your motorcycle:

http://www.ram-mount.com/gps_mounts/ramb138ma6.htm

 

RAM makes mounts now for the eXplorist XL.

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Were did you get that information, the 600XL can store an unlimted number of waypoints and routes on the SD card.

 

Never heard of a 600XL before.

 

The XL does have a larger keypad for gloved hands, than the 400/500/600 eXplorist GPS units.

 

Explorist600XLMeridianGoldcompare.jpg

 

TOPO MAP on the eXplorist XL:

Magellan-eXplorist-XL.jpg

 

The eXplorist XL Map screen is best with a full screen, with the data fields turned off.

 

It is still a Good idea to keep a map and compass, to use in an emergency.

 

I ment the Exporist XL. Thats what I get for posting when I am half asleep or when my caffine/blood ratio is low

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I'm considering the Explorist XL also. I'm getting conflicting information. I understand that you can store an unlimited number of Points of Interest (waypoints or caches). But, I also hear that you can only have 200 (or 500?) in any one file and can only use one file at a time. What I want is to have 1,000 + caches loaded and available at the same time, without having to switch files. Can that be done?

 

Thanks!

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What I want is to have 1,000 + caches loaded and available at the same time, without having to switch files. Can that be done?

Nope. The best you could do on an Explorist is to have 500 regular POIs and 200 Geocache POIs displayed at the same time.

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What I want is to have 1,000 + caches loaded and available at the same time, without having to switch files. Can that be done?

Nope. The best you could do on an Explorist is to have 500 regular POIs and 200 Geocache POIs displayed at the same time.

 

So if I set up different files for the different locations I cache in, would it be easy to switch between the files in the field? Is "file" synonymous with "folder" in this case?

 

Thanks for the help!

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So if I set up different files for the different locations I cache in, would it be easy to switch between the files in the field? Is "file" synonymous with "folder" in this case?

Yes, it's very easy...just a few button pushes. With a GSAK macro a single mouse click writes five files arranged by geographic area from my weekly pocket query. Personally, I find it easier to work with a smaller number of waypoints than many hundreds at a time.

 

Files are not synonymous; files reside within the folders of the explorist. There is a default structure to work from, but you can place your own folders within the default folders for as detailed a level of organization as you wish.

Edited by embra
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I used a Garmin Legend for a couple years for motorcycling and loved it but I fried it hooking it up to my motorcycle battery. I searched and found the Megellan XL and purchased it from Tiger something. Tiger treated me very good but I would not recommend buying a Magellan GPS. It is seriously less product for the money than Garmin, although both are over priced. I don't like the way it back tracks if I'm lucky enough for the thing to have recorded waypoints. Twice now in a couple months it just informs me that it doesn't have enough way points to back track. Not real assuring if I actually do need to back track. Also it has very little information on the data screen compared to Gramin. It works fine and the screen is nice as large as it is, but you can't see it unless the back light is on. It does go on for a long time even with the back light on. I thought it would be as visible as my old Garmin was with out the light on.

 

I would prefer the Garmin 60 series over the unit I bought and will someday put this thing and my cell phone in a bag and try to fold the bag up with a sledge hammer. Buy Garmin. Look at the incredible number of dissapointed Magellan comments throughout this web site.

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What I want is to have 1,000 + caches loaded and available at the same time, without having to switch files. Can that be done?

Nope. The best you could do on an Explorist is to have 500 regular POIs and 200 Geocache POIs displayed at the same time.

 

So if I set up different files for the different locations I cache in, would it be easy to switch between the files in the field? Is "file" synonymous with "folder" in this case?

 

Thanks for the help!

It is simple. We just went on a road trip and visited Cloumbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville, and had thoughts of Frankfort and Lexington. I was able to load detailed street maps of each specific area and use the auto routing there. I was also able to upload geocaches specific to each region. I didn't want a bulk list to the entire trip to search through, and it wouldn't fit that many regardless what brand GPS you use. A couple pushes of buttons and I was able to change the maps and caches to the area I was now in. Way simple use and very helpful. It is different than anything I am use to and I am still learning this file structure but so far it has been great. My biggest complaint at this point is I can not change the arrow on the compass to point towards the cache instead of North like I could on the sport trak series. It is easier to navigate to the cache looking at a big arrow versus the small symbol. So far I love the XL, just waiting on the case so I can protect this screen.

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What I want is to have 1,000 + caches loaded and available at the same time, without having to switch files. Can that be done?

Nope. The best you could do on an Explorist is to have 500 regular POIs and 200 Geocache POIs displayed at the same time.

 

So if I set up different files for the different locations I cache in, would it be easy to switch between the files in the field? Is "file" synonymous with "folder" in this case?

 

Thanks for the help!

It is simple. We just went on a road trip and visited Cloumbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville, and had thoughts of Frankfort and Lexington. I was able to load detailed street maps of each specific area and use the auto routing there. I was also able to upload geocaches specific to each region. I didn't want a bulk list to the entire trip to search through, and it wouldn't fit that many regardless what brand GPS you use. A couple pushes of buttons and I was able to change the maps and caches to the area I was now in. Way simple use and very helpful. It is different than anything I am use to and I am still learning this file structure but so far it has been great. My biggest complaint at this point is I can not change the arrow on the compass to point towards the cache instead of North like I could on the sport trak series. It is easier to navigate to the cache looking at a big arrow versus the small symbol. So far I love the XL, just waiting on the case so I can protect this screen.

 

I have a GPS Outfitters case that they now sell at Bass Pro shops if you have one in your area. Check out:

http://www.gpsoutfitters.com/bag.htm#bag

 

Also, even with a custom case, you still get dirt and grit in there to scratch the screen. One of the sponsors for geocaching.com sells a custom screen shield that looks really good. I have one on order.

http://www.shieldzone.com/item_description/MGLEXPLXL.html

 

I'm sure you've checked these out but if not, give them a look.

 

Happy caching!

 

007

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I have a magellan explorist xl for sale, only two weeks old. Included is directroute v 3.0, 512 memory card and car charger. This is in perfect shape, no scratches or dings. Email me at njw1977@aol.com for questions. Thanks!!

 

Neal

 

Im interested in the XL, too for the same reason - the big screen. Im looking at the 300XL. My friends who fly all tell me to just get a Garmin. I wish that Garmin made a 76 CS in X Large ;)

 

Paul

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I finally gave up on the XL and switched to a Garmin 60Cx. Yes, the big screen was very nice, but I too found it awkward to use such a large and heavy device. The thing that really decided me, though, was the tiny single-dot black line that the unit draws from your position to the destination (cache). For me, that is the single most used graphic on the display. It should have been a bold color line like Garmin's, but it is not. Anyway, I'm much happier with the 60Cx.

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