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alrighty, heres the scoop. ive been tryin to find a really good GPS and PDA to use for caching. i have come across the new Garmin iQue M3. i have been reading reviews for it and found its great for driving directions and things like that, but no mention of how it is offroad. what i am trying to find out is does it keep good signal while out in the bush caching, or wil i be flying blind (so to speak).

 

Thanks for everyone that inputs your comments.

 

Chuck

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You'll probably get more responses once the moderator moves this one to the GPS Units and Software forum.

 

In the meantime, I have a Garmin GPS Map60csx and my faithful Magellan Meridian Platinum backup.

 

The Garmin has more bells and whistles, including the advantages of color maps and autorouting. I find them both fine for finding caches. The Garmin has a quicker satellite lock and with the latest updates appears to maintain coverage a bit better than any current handheld GPSr even under heavy tree coverage.

 

I still prefer the MeriPlat's tracking screen better on the trails, but that could be due to long-time familiarity.

 

For your needs, the Map60csx does a good job with both, but combined with a PDA you'd have all that you need. I'm sure someone will provide more on the iQue M3.

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What I don't understand is WHY many forum posters in here will go and buy a fancy, high-end GPS like the 60CSX or CX and then tell newbies to get a cheap PDA, because you don't want to 'drop it in the field and smash it to bits'...

 

Uh, didn't they just spend around $400 on a GPS? Aren't they worried about THAT getting 'smashed to bits'?

 

Every GPS out there will do the job and get you to the cache location. No one can debate that. So WHY spend all that money just to have a screen that looks good? That no one else is gonna look at, anyhow?

 

Listen, I had a 60C until a few months ago, and sold it, thinking I was going to run out and buy the latest and greatest and get a 60CX, with the SIRF II chip and a fancy color screen, yadda yadda yadda...then I started reading about all the problems cachers were having with them, the WAAS didn't work right, etc....apparently, Garmin fixed the problems after a couple of months, with a downloadable upgrade from their website....

 

But how would I feel if I fell and smashed up $400 worth of GPS? I would just be sick to my stomach, I can tell you that...SO...I went on Ebay and found a nice refurbed Magellan Gold for $120....$120!! For a GPS that has all the expandable memory you need...so what if it doesn't have a color screen? Is that going to help you find the cache any better? No way.

 

Get the GPS that fits you. I used the Meridian series before I had the Garmin, so I am familiar with it. It works for me.

 

Get what works for YOU, and ignore the urge to 'keep up with the crowd'.... :D

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Oh, and take a look around where you live...I am out here in AZ, so there aren't too many trees. I really don't need a GPS that will maintain sat lock under a tropical rainforest cover...I get PLENTY of satellites coming through just fine, thank you!

 

If you are always going into the woods, however, that would be something to consider in making your GPS purchase...

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I have a Garmin 60CS, a Garmin eTrex Vista, a Garmin Geko 201 and a Magellan Meridian Platnum. Of those the 60CS and Geko get most use. The 60CS because its a darn good unit and the Geko because its small and easy to bring anywhere.

 

i have come across the new Garmin iQue M3. i have been reading reviews for it and found its great for driving directions and things like that, but no mention of how it is offroad.

 

Its not the best choice for geocaching. the iQue is designed for the office, not for the outdoors. It won't take the punishment that a dedicated handheld GPS unit will. While geocaching your unit will get rained on, snowed on, banged on rocks, dragged through brush and maybe dunked in a brook. The iQue is an expensive piece of equipment to have to replace because you fell off a log into a stream with it in your hand. Also the battery life doesn't cut it for geoaching.

 

What I don't understand is WHY many forum posters in here will go and buy a fancy, high-end GPS like the 60CSX or CX and then tell newbies to get a cheap PDA, because you don't want to 'drop it in the field and smash it to bits'...

 

Uh, didn't they just spend around $400 on a GPS? Aren't they worried about THAT getting 'smashed to bits'?

 

The point is that those units are built with the outdoors in mind and will take a good bit of punishment. My eTrex fell off the roof of the car at 35 MPH and was fine. My 60CS fell out of my canoe and into the water and emerged unscathed. We used the Geko 201 in a deluge without ill effect. I doubt an iQue would survive any of that.

Edited by briansnat
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I use a Garmin GPS12 . Why you ask ? It's built like a tank and I got it free about 6 years ago. Played with a bit then put in a drawer. Then a couple of months ago I discovered this habit / hobby.

Every cache I've found so far has been within 20ft when it zero'd out.I'm willing to bet my DNF's were there too.I haven't needed a bell or whistle yet. I might upgrade and spend $400 when Garmin decides to be Mac friendly. Then I might not.:D

A cheap PDA is on the list though.

 

Just my n00b opinion

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I have a Garmin Geko 201, because I got it free with point from a program I'm a part of. It was ideal, since I'm on a really tight budget. If I had $150 to spend, I'd get a Garmen Legend, so I could add maps. However, the Geko has worked great for me and led me to almost 200 caches so far. It's also nice and small.

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I now have a Lowrance Ifinder Expedition C. I basically got tired of all the Garmin vs. Magellan stuff and decided to look outside the box and I'm very glad I did. This is one great GPSr, very accurate, tons of features and comes at a price that the others can't touch.

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I have a Garmin 60CS, a Garmin eTrex Vista, a Garmin Geko 201 and a Magellan Meridian Platnum. Of those the 60CS and Geko get most use. The 60CS because its a darn good unit and the Geko because its small and easy to bring anywhere.
i have come across the new Garmin iQue M3. i have been reading reviews for it and found its great for driving directions and things like that, but no mention of how it is offroad.
Its not the best choice for geocaching. the iQue is designed for the office, not for the outdoors. It won't take the punishment that a dedicated handheld GPS unit will. While geocaching your unit will get rained on, snowed on, banged on rocks, dragged through brush and maybe dunked in a brook. The iQue is an expensive piece of equipment to have to replace because you fell off a log into a stream with it in your hand. Also the battery life doesn't cut it for geoaching.
What I don't understand is WHY many forum posters in here will go and buy a fancy, high-end GPS like the 60CSX or CX and then tell newbies to get a cheap PDA, because you don't want to 'drop it in the field and smash it to bits'...

 

Uh, didn't they just spend around $400 on a GPS? Aren't they worried about THAT getting 'smashed to bits'?

The point is that those units are built with the outdoors in mind and will take a good bit of punishment. My eTrex fell off the roof of the car at 35 MPH and was fine. My 60CS fell out of my canoe and into the water and emerged unscathed. We used the Geko 201 in a deluge without ill effect. I doubt an iQue would survive any of that.

For some reason, I've been disagreeing with Brian lately, but he is right on the money with this post. I currently cache with a Quest and Geko 301. I love them both, but mostly the Quest gets me to the parking spot and then the Geko get's me to the cache (with the Quest serving as back-up).

 

I used to use a Garmin GPS III+ and then a V. Both were great units. On a few occasions, I've slipped on rocks with one of them in my hand. Falling forward, the unit slammed into the rocks, driven by my body weight. Even though it his screen down on the rocks, no damage was incurred.

 

I also remember a few times when I had to slog through mud to get to the cache and the GPSr became really filthy. On some of those occasions, I merely dunked the unit in a creek to clean it off. A few times I simply ran it under water in a rest room to clean it.

 

There is no way that an iQue would survive what I've put my GPSrs through. For this reason, I use a less expensive palm for geocaching. I have used an m505, but upgraded to a TE a while back. It generally rides safely in it's case, but one day I dropped it. Now the power button is finicky, so I'll probably buy another one before long. Of course, I knew that I was going to destroy it when I bought it. That's why I didn't buy a super expensive one. I likely will always go with yesterday's model of pda because of this.

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I now have a Lowrance Ifinder Expedition C. I basically got tired of all the Garmin vs. Magellan stuff and decided to look outside the box and I'm very glad I did. This is one great GPSr, very accurate, tons of features and comes at a price that the others can't touch.

 

I also use an iFinder, mine is the Hunt. I don't think mine is anymore accurate than a friend's Garmin, but I know from experience geocaching with him mine will keep a satellite lock under heavy cover much better than his does, in fact he has commented on it himself.

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What I don't understand is WHY many forum posters in here will go and buy a fancy, high-end GPS like the 60CSX or CX and then tell newbies to get a cheap PDA, because you don't want to 'drop it in the field and smash it to bits'...

 

Uh, didn't they just spend around $400 on a GPS? Aren't they worried about THAT getting 'smashed to bits'?

I just (half involontary - see below) upgraded from a VistaCS to a 60CSx. And sure am I worried about smashing it.

Every GPS out there will do the job and get you to the cache location. No one can debate that. So WHY spend all that money just to have a screen that looks good? That no one else is gonna look at, anyhow?

For geocaching you are right, every handheld out there will get the job done. For those of us who do not own a GPS for the purpose of geocaching, but for whom this game is more like a free cookie on the side, the yellow eTrex often doesn't fit the bill.

Listen, I had a 60C until a few months ago, and sold it, thinking I was going to run out and buy the latest and greatest and get a 60CX, with the SIRF II chip and a fancy color screen, yadda yadda yadda...then I started reading about all the problems cachers were having with them, the WAAS didn't work right, etc....apparently, Garmin fixed the problems after a couple of months, with a downloadable upgrade from their website....

 

But how would I feel if I fell and smashed up $400 worth of GPS? I would just be sick to my stomach, I can tell you that...SO...I went on Ebay and found a nice refurbed Magellan Gold for $120....$120!! For a GPS that has all the expandable memory you need...so what if it doesn't have a color screen? Is that going to help you find the cache any better? No way.

I started out with a Legend for hiking and road navigation. Years later I found geocaching. I then passed on the Legend to my stepson and upgraded to a VistaCS. I wanted a small unit again for hiking, but I also wanted the color screen and the autorouting for driving.

 

Recently I lost that VistaCS. That's right, I didn't have it secured with the lanyard and it simply must have fallen out of my pocket or something like that. Did it make me sick to my stomach? No, it's neither the most valuable thing I ever lost, nor will it be the last thing I lose. Did it make me feel stupid? You bet ... me forgetting to tie something down, embarassing! Did it cause me to go with a cheaper unit from now on? No, I used the opportunity to upgrade to a 60CSx for its exceptional sensitivity and storage (got a 1G chip, of course).

Get the GPS that fits you. I used the Meridian series before I had the Garmin, so I am familiar with it. It works for me.

 

Get what works for YOU, and ignore the urge to 'keep up with the crowd'.... :huh:

Exactly, know yourself and know the market. Then go and get what you want and need. Everyone is different. I for example hate having spent hundreds of dollars for something that barely does the job, when another hundred would have gotten me the tool I really want to have.

 

Jan

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I use a Gamin 60Csx (which just replaced my 8 year old Garmin GPS12) and a Palm T5. My main concern is that the Palm was not really built to go "off-road". It is a much more delicate device than the 60Csx. It is not waterproof or resistant, and the screen on Palms can crack relativly easily compared to a GPS screen. (I am guessing it is due to touch screen on the palm).

 

Typically, I will take my Palm along if the terrain is not very rugged. When I head to the Mountains to do some trail/off-trail caching, the palm stays in the car.

 

You do not need much in terms of PDA horsepower to run Cachemate. You can also store a lot of cahces in a small amount of memory. I have even toyed with the idea of buying a cheap Palm III from ebay or trying to get my two dead ones working to use for caching.....

 

Good luck on your decision............

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I have used a geko 201 for several years but routinely do not get any use out of it backpacking or hiking under forest cover (with or wtihout snow, summer or winter). I'm upgrading now because of the sensitivity of the 60csx or the X series. A unit that doesn't acquire is useless to me in those situations where it might be needed.

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wow this is a big can of worms :huh:

 

squirrel.jpg

i got my explorest xl new in the box off of ebay for 285$

water proof and jake proof wrks well huge screen biggest avalible but its heavy

runns on 4 aa batterys which is a + i think what happens when those lithiums go out?

you can get aa anywere!!!

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60CSX is my first unit.

 

It works great, very satisfied.

Color is usefull mostly for maping and routing and adds a level of detail required for the smaller screen hand held units when using maps.

Remember the maps ($110) are a must; route you on roads.

Compass for geocaching is also nice.

My accuracy is +/-10ft walking and driving.

WASS only after 10min on my dash and does not last, yet (I hear it is under construction; Michigan)

 

1 GIG mSD card holds half usa. ($45)

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alrighty, heres the scoop. ive been tryin to find a really good GPS and PDA to use for caching. i have come across the new Garmin iQue M3. i have been reading reviews for it and found its great for driving directions and things like that, but no mention of how it is offroad. what i am trying to find out is does it keep good signal while out in the bush caching, or wil i be flying blind (so to speak).

 

Thanks for everyone that inputs your comments.

 

Chuck

 

I use the Garmin eTrex Legend. Its relatively inexpensive, has 8megs of memory for maps and waypoints and routes and what not, looks kinda like a cell phone (good for blending in with those pesky muggles) and has an easy to use interface. I recomend this for any beginner looking for a good reliable GPSr. The screen isnt color, but it IS backlit, is water resistant and semi g-shock proof. I found mine at Best Buy for 150 bucks, but I've heard of some finding it cheaper. Hope this helps.

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It's nice to hear the geko love. I've found over 3K caches with a geko 301/201/101 (mostly 301). My saying? "The GPS does not find the cache. YOU find the cache." The small size is an everyday benefit, as are the simple controls. A used 201 is a *great* backup unit, and if you just keep shopping eventually you'll find one cheap.

 

What really works for me is a nicer palm (zire 71 qualifies) that runs not just cachemate but Mapopolis. That is what I use for figuring out where I am, where I need to go, how to get there, and what caches (and waymarks) are where. It is somewhat easier to manipulate than the map on a GPS. I haven't broken my palm since I started carrying it in a small camera bag looped on my belt. They are much more likely to break against your body. It's better (as the Scottish say) to have it swinging free.

 

My wife really likes her new Legend CX. She often uses my palm for cachemate since the m- series is so awful slow and dim.

 

The reports of incredible reception with the 60csx series are intriguing, but that unit feels awful big compared to my 301. If they put the sirf chip in the legend units, I'm there.

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I use a Garmin M5 most of the time (now discontinued). I selected it because I needed a Pocket PC for a few projects I had in mind. I also wanted a GPS with a large screen, voice commands for the car, a voice recorder, lots of RAM for maps, and Bluetooth (I would have liked internal WIFI also, but oh well). The M5 has all of that in one compact package (with the addition of a 1GB SD card, and a 256MB SD/WIFI card). It also comes with a full car package (as do the other Garmin PDAs), and City Select v6 which is upgradeable to CS v7, and most likely to CN v8 now that City Select is a dead product (That is, if there are still any M5s out there). The transflective screen is not as good as on newer units, but it's quite adequate in bright sunlight. Maybe Garmin will come out with an M6 with SiRFstarIII, Bluetooth, WIFI, twice as much RAM, and a larger capacity battery. Please Garmin?

 

To protect it I bought a cell phone pouch with a belt clip. I selected the pouch for attributes that would allow me to run the M5 while in the pouch, and still have a way to have the antenna extended in various positions and configurations. I'm aware of its vulnerabilities in the field, and I bag it when crossing streams and treat it like its nitroglycerin whens it's removed from the pouch.

 

I also purchased an aftermarket portable charger/adapter that uses 4 AA cells and is just slightly larger than the AA cells. It will fully charge the M5 a bit more than twice off of 2500ma NiMH batteries, or run the M5 almost four times as long as off the internal battery when attached (all batteries fully charged). Here's a link to it(I believe it will also work with other Garmin PDAs):

 

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?c...&category0=

 

Since the M5, and other non-preloaded map vesions of Garmin PDAs come with a full version of the Map CDs/DVDs with two licenses, you can purchase a more trail-worthy unit at a later date and not need to buy your maps again.

 

BTW, my primary use for my M5 is for car, and in the field I use it to syncronize time and location for my DSLR so I can keep track of where I got certain shots for easy future revisits.

Edited by ardfarkle
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i've got a magellan explorist 100 from walmart for $150, and its working great for me so far, i carry it in a digi camera bag from princess auto ($4.99 on sale!) along with batteries and a flashlight. :unsure: The accuracy has been bang on for all of my hunts, and for the price and the amount that i use it, i would totally reccomend this product!

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My weapon of choice is a Garmin eTrex. Yellow. On purpose. Nothing fancy for me, thank you. No map to the cache, please. No turn by turn directions. I would rather find a cache than be lead to it. Part of my fun in caching is having to figure out how to get to where the pointer is pointing. I upgraded to the yellow last month, from a Geko 101. Only for the larger screen and longer battery life. Reception seems to be the same.

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I have a Garmin Vista C. I like its small size for hiking, but I also like the auto-routing feature.

 

Since I am unfamiliar with the large metropolitan area nearby, that feature really saves gas. Just yesterday, I used the POI and auto-routing features to find a library so I could log onto GC.com while I was in town. :unsure:

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