Jump to content

Paperless Caching, Need Advice


Followers 1

Recommended Posts

I know, everyone asks about PDA's, and now I know why, there is a lot to choose from, like picking a new GPS. I ran a forum search looking for the previously discussed topics, but really didn't come up with what I need, so I'll come to all you out there with experience on the matter.

 

Here is what I'm looking for:

  • Needs to work with Windows 98.
  • Needs to hold at least 1,000 cache pages, but I'd prefer more.
  • Color is not needed, a good monochrome screen is fine.
  • Will do other features like calendar and scheduler.
  • Want to spend less than $40, considering going the E-bay route.

I did an E-bay search for the Palm Vx and M500, two units I've heard mentioned in other threads, but I wanted to ask here before settling on a brand name. I'm primarily looking to E-bay, and trying to find a good deal on lightly used or in new condition PDA. Any advice there, is it risky?

 

A few questions I have are:

What will I need to have with the unit, I'm thinking Battery, data cable/ dock, stylus, and is a little keyboard good to have?

On batteries, is it better to have a unit with an integrated battery, or one that takes rechargeable AAA's?

Software, what will I need with the unit to run on my computer.

Caching software, what is good and how much $$$, I want to take notes in the field, and I have GSAK, what integrates with that?

 

Thanks in advance for any replies, I've asked a lot of questions, so I'm not worried about getting answers quickly, or all at once. I'm not sure if I'll buy a PDA anytime soon, but the more I know about it will help me see if I need one just yet. Right now I'm thinking either a Laptop or PDA, but a PDA seems cheaper and simpler.

Link to comment

Honestly, just about any old Palm will do. I bought my dad an old V for this purpose a few years ago. It was less than $20 after shipping and fit his needs perfectly. It only has 2mb of memory. You might consider finding a model with 4mb or more, but you don't have to.

 

For software, some say Cachemate, others go with Plucker. I have both and prefer Plucker. Not only is it free, but it is really simple to use and has the same feel as on-line cache pages. I also use Sunrise Desktop instead of Plucker's PC application to prepare my pages for syncing. It runs faster and allows you to sync any pics from the cache pages.

 

I also use Cache Log Book. It is a pda application that allows you to create a database of your cache hunts. It really makes online logging easy.

Link to comment

I know, everyone asks about PDA's, and now I know why, there is a lot to choose from, like picking a new GPS. I ran a forum search looking for the previously discussed topics, but really didn't come up with what I need, so I'll come to all you out there with experience on the matter.

 

Here is what I'm looking for:

  • Needs to work with Windows 98.
  • Needs to hold at least 1,000 cache pages, but I'd prefer more.
  • Color is not needed, a good monochrome screen is fine.
  • Will do other features like calendar and scheduler.
  • Want to spend less than $40, considering going the E-bay route.

I did an E-bay search for the Palm Vx and M500, two units I've heard mentioned in other threads, but I wanted to ask here before settling on a brand name. I'm primarily looking to E-bay, and trying to find a good deal on lightly used or in new condition PDA. Any advice there, is it risky?

 

A few questions I have are:

What will I need to have with the unit, I'm thinking Battery, data cable/ dock, stylus, and is a little keyboard good to have?

On batteries, is it better to have a unit with an integrated battery, or one that takes rechargeable AAA's?

Software, what will I need with the unit to run on my computer.

Caching software, what is good and how much $$$, I want to take notes in the field, and I have GSAK, what integrates with that?

 

Thanks in advance for any replies, I've asked a lot of questions, so I'm not worried about getting answers quickly, or all at once. I'm not sure if I'll buy a PDA anytime soon, but the more I know about it will help me see if I need one just yet. Right now I'm thinking either a Laptop or PDA, but a PDA seems cheaper and simpler.

 

I recently sold a palm M100 on eBay with a neoprene (sp?) case and hot sync cable for about $15 including shipping. It didn't have a dock or keyboard, and I didn't geocache at the time (now I'm regretting that I sold it!!!!) so I have no idea how many cache pages it would hold. But, it totally meets your other requirements - worked with Win 98 which I had when I first got it, calendar, alarm clock, phone book, scheduler, game cababilities, eBook capabilities, easy-to-read monochrome display.

 

If you are looking for a basic but wonderful PDA, look for one of those. :laughing:

Link to comment

I already had my Palm M500 before I started caching . . . I've had it for quite a while now and in all that time, I've never had any problems with the battery. It holds a charge for days. thumbsup.gif

 

The monochrome screen is very easy to see, even in bright sunlight. :o The color Palm Zire models are really hard to view outside. :laughing:

 

I have the extra data card for my Palm, so for a recent trip, I could load it up with caches for each state I thought I might travel through. I had a couple thousand caches loaded in Cachemate. :rolleyes:

 

I think you would be happy with that model. I recommend you get a case for it. I've dropped mine a few times . . . and the cheap metal case I got at BigLots! has saved it from damage.

Link to comment

Thanks everyone. :laughing:

 

I've been doing some more looking. So far I like the Palm M500 the best because it has an SD slot, and I can get a 128MB card if I even need it.

 

I've found several listed for pretty cheap, and they include some accessories, like a cover, and little keyboards.

 

But then again I'm still looking......................

Link to comment

I just have a comment about batteries. My old Palm III used AAAs and my new Clie has an internal rechargable. I really miss the old AAAs because you could you use rechargables normally, but if you got out somewhere without a charger and needed batteries, you could find AAAs anywhere.

Link to comment

Hey, Airmapper. We have a Palm Zire with a color screen. It is great PDA but I don't know if its the right one for geocaching. It has lots of memory and a slot for a card which we have never had to use. It has two drawbacks: it is really hard to read in the sunlight and it has an internal battery that can be a real pain. It is a great unit for storing to do lists and calender entries etc., but probably a little much for geocaching. If you haven't bought anything by the next KTAG event let us know and we will let you check it out.

Link to comment

Whatever you get, be sure to have a few freezer ziplocks for those caching in the rain days. :laughing: My M500 died in the rain on Grand Cayman a few years back. It dried out and came back to life, but it was never the same again. I recently sprung for an Tungsten E2 with holiday money, and I always have a ziplock with me. Fool me once...

Link to comment

An inexpensive Palm OS device is the way to go. My Dad just gave me a Handspring Visor Deluxe with 8MB of RAM and it works great with Cachemate. Its memory is upgradeable via the springboard expansion slot (they also have Magellan GPSr units that plug into this port selling on E-bay for about $40.00 with maps. Before my Dad gave me this unit, I was watching Visor's on E-bay sell for ~$20.00 with shipping (used, but perfect) with a leather case and USB docking station.

 

Just be sure that your Palm OS is at least 3.0 or greater. The new version of Cachemate won't work with anything less. BTW, spend the $8.00 to register Cachemate, it is WELL worth the investment. You may also consider giving GSAK a try. It is a fantastic database program for sorting caches before you go for them. Ask anyone in the forums...everyone raves about GSAK!

Link to comment

my caching buddy and i wanted to go paperless..i bought him a palm m515 for his birthday. he loves it i got the tungsten t i love it too..i didn't buy another m515 it stated on ebay sale it didn't work with win xp. my buddy upgraded from 98 to xp and it works fine i could have gotten 2 m515 and all would have been great. both of us have integrated batteries and they are hardly drained at the end of the day. we both use gsak and cachemate. buy the metal case to protect, it is worth the cost also. if you are worried about batteries you can get a cable for the car. imho the keyboard is a wasted feature another thing to attach and you cannot keep your palm in case protected with it on.

Edited by qattales
Link to comment

Be very cautious of the M line up from palm. They had MAJOR issues with the capacitor's going bad. You know that is the little thing that keeps a hold of all of your information while you change your batteries. Once it goes then kiss your information goodbye :D:):D The biggest disadvantage to the palm units is that the memory is volitile.

 

Ask lots of questions to the seller. "Does it lose ALL information when changing the batteries?" If they aren't sure, or willing to check, then walk away. If they don't know what you mean then ask them to write a memo in it, pull one of the batteries, for 1 minute, then replace. Is the memo still in thier? I really like the durability of the M series though, the plastic screen makes them pretty much bullet cache proof.

 

I currently use a M100 for caching and it works great, win 98 -XP sp2. I use GSAK and Plucker to load cache pages. And yes my capacitor is bad :ninja: Not that big of a deal since if I'm camping I have my laptop to reload everything. Local batteries are never an issue for at least a month :D

Link to comment

Ask lots of questions to the seller. "Does it lose ALL information when changing the batteries?"

 

I always assume that popping the batteries out of something with no external storage will wipe the memory. You shouldn't be storing the only copy of your geocaching database on a portable device anyway. :ninja:

Edited by ejnewman
Link to comment

Is it possible to store a back-up to the SD card for this, or on the computer? Depending on if I decide to use it for things besides caching, I may want it to keep what it has in memory, plus I don't want it loosing everything on me while out caching. And, if it has an integrated battery, and I keep it charged, I should only have to remove the battery rarely, Right?

Link to comment

If it has an integrated battery, then you should almost never have to remove the battery, only to replace it if it ever gets to the point that it won't recharge any more.

 

As far as backups go, most of these devices should work so that syncing it with your PC backs up your data. Theoretically, you could clear the memory then plug it back into the PC and it will end up in exactly the condition it was before the memory wipe. YMMV. :ninja:

Edited by ejnewman
Link to comment

Ask lots of questions to the seller. "Does it lose ALL information when changing the batteries?"

 

I always assume that popping the batteries out of something with no external storage will wipe the memory. You shouldn't be storing the only copy of your geocaching database on a portable device anyway. :D

 

The point that I was trying to make is that with batteries the device has an internal capacitor that will hold onto your information for a very short period of time, 2 minutes. This is usually about enough time to get the batteries changed. Many people talk about the pro's and con's of replaceable batteries. Personally if I could get a cell phone that operated on AAA I would buy it in a snap.

 

You really don't want all of your information lost out in the middle of a hunt because your bats went dead. My M100 reloads everything when all has been lost due to bat change. However it sometimes takes awhile due to the amount of information. I literaly used half of the bat once. Older devices that have a serial cable connection can be a real PITA. Took 3 months to my moms Vx up and running on her new laptop, (no serial port). The whole serial-to-USB cable issue :ninja: My dad is still using a Visor with a backup module, but he has yet to figure that out :)

 

Just be leary of any device being sold with very little information, or a less than helpful seller.

Link to comment
Is it possible to store a back-up to the SD card for this, or on the computer? Depending on if I decide to use it for things besides caching, I may want it to keep what it has in memory, plus I don't want it loosing everything on me while out caching. And, if it has an integrated battery, and I keep it charged, I should only have to remove the battery rarely, Right?

 

Yes, there are backup programs for the Palm - I use BackupMan - that will backup everything to the SD card (which is non-volatile.)

Link to comment

I think Ebay might be the way to go. I just got a Zire 21 for $9 plus $4 for shipping. After a day or two of playing around with Cachemate (for $8) and GSAK, I am up and running. And a few hours of tech support from fellow cacher GR8danz. (Thanks). I couldn't believe no one else bid on it. I haven't had time to field test anything yet, but it all looks good. Good Luck

Link to comment

I am interested in paperless caching, too.

 

The thing I most dislike about geocaching is printing the descriptions and logs. If I purchase a Palm M500, what is the file format for loading all of the info to the Palm device?

 

Is there a way to do get ALL of the info (as if I were printing), such as the logs, etc...???

 

I'm a premium member, so I can get pocket queries, but it appears that these only have the basic .LOC files (with coordinates and names). Does the MobiPocket eBook format get me something more like the prints that I currently use? Logs can often be the very best resources when trying to find a difficult cache.

 

Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Tim

Link to comment

I am interested in paperless caching, too.

 

The thing I most dislike about geocaching is printing the descriptions and logs. If I purchase a Palm M500, what is the file format for loading all of the info to the Palm device?

 

Is there a way to do get ALL of the info (as if I were printing), such as the logs, etc...???

 

I'm a premium member, so I can get pocket queries, but it appears that these only have the basic .LOC files (with coordinates and names). Does the MobiPocket eBook format get me something more like the prints that I currently use? Logs can often be the very best resources when trying to find a difficult cache.

 

Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Tim

 

I got started with step by step info. I got from the Florida Geocaching website and I keep copies here at my View Carre' cache to hand out to others. I am not hi tech and can't quite use my cell phone but this guide is can't miss. If you can't find it email me and I can fax it to you.

 

This is it.

 

http://www.floridageocaching.com/paperless.htm

Edited by BAMBOOZLE
Link to comment

I think Ebay might be the way to go. I just got a Zire 21 for $9 plus $4 for shipping. After a day or two of playing around with Cachemate (for $8) and GSAK, I am up and running. And a few hours of tech support from fellow cacher GR8danz. (Thanks). I couldn't believe no one else bid on it. I haven't had time to field test anything yet, but it all looks good. Good Luck

 

Since you've tried both Cachemate AND GSAK, which would you recommend? Or do you NEED both?

Thanks!

Link to comment

Cachemate will only work on the Palm. It does not work on the PPC. However, there is another program you can use on your PPC device. That program is called GPXSonar. This program takes the raw GPX data and renders the cache pages itself. There's no need to do any fancy re-parsing of the GPX that you get through a pocket query from Groundspeak.

Link to comment

Cachemate will only work on the Palm. It does not work on the PPC.

 

Actually, Cachemate DOES have a version that works on PPC. You can get it from www.smittyware.com. It works great for me. I really like having Cachemate on my handheld.

 

Hope this helps someone.

 

Sharnie

 

I stand corrected. I was not aware that they had released a version for the pocketPC. However, this version, as far as I can tell from their webpage, still does not work with GPX files natively, which GPXSonar does.

Link to comment

I stand corrected. I was not aware that they had released a version for the pocketPC. However, this version, as far as I can tell from their webpage, still does not work with GPX files natively, which GPXSonar does.

 

I hope I didn't come off as rude. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry if that is how it was interpreted.

 

I am not 100% sure, but I believe it does work with GPX filels natively. I export out of my GSAK into a folder (I named my caches) and then I sync with my Pocket PC. Then I open Cachemate and import the GPX file from the folder that it sync'ed from.

 

I hope this makes sense and I didn't confuse anyone. Again, if my reply earlier seemed harsh, I did not intend for it to.

 

Sharnie

Link to comment

I stand corrected. I was not aware that they had released a version for the pocketPC. However, this version, as far as I can tell from their webpage, still does not work with GPX files natively, which GPXSonar does.

 

I hope I didn't come off as rude. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry if that is how it was interpreted.

 

I am not 100% sure, but I believe it does work with GPX filels natively. I export out of my GSAK into a folder (I named my caches) and then I sync with my Pocket PC. Then I open Cachemate and import the GPX file from the folder that it sync'ed from.

 

I hope this makes sense and I didn't confuse anyone. Again, if my reply earlier seemed harsh, I did not intend for it to.

 

Sharnie

 

Not at all. <_< As a matter of fact, with some of the recent threads going on around here, you came off as downright civil. Sorry I made it seem like you were not.

 

As to the Cachemate, it sounds like it does handle the GPX file natively. That's definitely new. When I last used Cachemate on my Palm (LONG time ago) it was necessary to run the GPX through a tool called CacheMate Convert (CMConvert). Once that was done, it would automatically sync the data to the palm. While this did do SOME nice things, this also caused a few problems... Specifically, it meant that when I powered on my palm, I then had to import the database into Cachemate, and usually ran out of memory. About that time, another cacher introduced me to the Pocket PC and GPXSonar (http://gpxsonar.homeip.net/cs/Default.aspx) and I found that GPXSonar was MUCH easier to use than Cachemate was. Some or all of these things MAY have changed since I last used Cachemate, but I suspect that I will not go back to Cachemate at this point. Perhaps if there's some significant reason for me to do so.

Link to comment

Paperless Caching... Or?

How about one (1) piece of paper with all information needed for a daily hunt for caches. (This takes coordination between Cache Page and Bookmarks list)

 

I use “Bookmark Lists” with: >name>GCxxx>Hints>Type of container>any info I think is necessary. All this on a printed sheet of paper ...If info is long, then maybe two (2) pages...to me it beats carrying: PDA > GPSr > and maybe,>Camera, handheld compass, > etc. of course this list is negotiable. To me, this saves cost of a PDA + all the extras needed to operate the Computer and PDA and of course time it takes to complete all functions. Cost analysts favor the Bookmark list.

Good luck and Good caching <_<

Edited by Wild Thing 73
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 1
×
×
  • Create New...