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In Search For A Pda/gps


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Hello everyone,

 

Welp, I've finally given up on my Garmin Ique 3600. It's unreliable and downright frustrating. I have had to return it 3 times now, and I am not replacing it again. I plan to spend anywhere from $450-530 on a new pda/gps. If any of you could point me in the direction of some nice ones I would be very very thankful!!!! :)

 

Polyphontes

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Do you want a PDA/GPS combo? If not, look no further than the Garmin GPS Map 60C(S)x or 76 C(S)x for a handheld GPSr.

 

I have an inexpensive Palm M500 that works just fine for a PDA for Geocaching, although a friend recently got a Zire 72 for only $50.00 on Craigslist.

 

Some people use PPCs with GPSr cards, but the battery life and durablitly of those setups don't equal that of a handheld GPSr.

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You could go several ways:

 

PDA - Built in GPS like you had asked for or a PDA with bluetooth connected to a bluetooth GPS. I use both. When I'm hiking around, I through the bluetooth GPS under my hat and go on my way. You are limited to the features with a PDA with built in GPS. I have yet to see one that included Bluetooth and WiFi. There also is a third catagory, PDA phone w/build in GPS. If you go with the bluetooth GPS route, you have lots of choices in hardware and software.

 

As for devices:

 

Windows Mobile Devices w/GPS

Mio GPS

Garmin

HP

Mio 701 Phone

Pharos -- Hmmm, this has BT and WiFi -- ignore my statement above!

 

Windows Mobile Devices no GPS:

HP

Dell

 

Ruggedized WM devices:

Juniper

Symbol Technologies

Tripod Data Systems

Casio

Ecom

 

Take a look at www.GPSPassion.com. It has lots of information on BT GPSs and PDAs

 

Have fun!

 

edit: I subbimited before I was done -- click happy.

Edited by RumJungle
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Do you want a PDA/GPS combo? If not, look no further than the Garmin GPS Map 60C(S)x or 76 C(S)x for a handheld GPSr.

 

Well, I am looking for the PDA/GPS combo. I want both a strong PDA and a functional gps. I use the gps on the handhelds just to get in the general location. I use an etrex to romp around in the woods. I'm more focused on the PDA functionality, but don't get me wrong, I want a semi awesome gps deal too! lol

 

Keep talkin!!!

 

Thanks guys,

 

Polyphontes

 

P.S.- RumJungle, thank you so much for your post. I didn't even see it until after I had replied to the other. I think I like the idea of a bluetooth gps. Do you have any favorites or anything? Keep me informed!!! Thanks guy!

Edited by Polyphontes
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You might want to try a Stand Alone PDA and Compact Flash GPS add in.

 

You can read Cnet.com reviews on the PDA's. I'd look for long battery life along with your other featuers. Then you can get the Garmin Compact Flash Version of the GPS to add to your PDA.

 

Garmins PDAs were ok but nothing spectacular and they were better than all the rest of the PDA with built in GPS.

 

Personally I'd rather have a stand alone GPS. They take being dropped much better than PDA's ever will.

Reading some of the other posts you will want to make sure that whatever Combo you do get will allow for the use of the GPS to interface with other applications. That way you can get a simple pointer to act like a GPS should and not just a moving dot on Streets and Trips.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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I use an Ipaq 2215 a Pocket PC about 2 years old. I've loaded it with Mapopolis for voice and visual prompted autorouting and it has a Sirf III CF GPS for the latest in GPS technology. I overlay all the caching waypoints. I also use the PPC for paperless caching using gpxsonar. The iPaq comes with Microsoft Outlook to sync to my office and personal programs for appointments telephone lists ToDo's etc. I also have it loaded with National Geographic Topo for 24K scale topo maps.

 

I also use a Vista but have lately cached with the PPC more than the Vista. I've dropped the PPC a couple of times but so far it's survived two years in the woods and in the car. Now I probably jinxed it. You can get a protectiv case for the PPC for use in the woods also.

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Wow, I can't tell you all how much I appreciate this! You all have great info!

Ok, now I've actually been researching each and every one of the models you all are telling me about. I came across this one, http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF...f67-421420.html

 

I think I like the idea of this PDA and using a blue tooth GPS plugin?? I guess?? I don't know what I'm talking about...I think. Well, let me know how you think this Model (the 2700), will work with a wireless GPS..And if any of you know, I would like to hear some feedback about the wireless internet capabilities this thing has...Does it work like normal internet??? Talk to me like I'm stupid.....wait. :(

 

Thanks guys!!!

 

Polyphontes

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P.S.- RumJungle, thank you so much for your post. I didn't even see it until after I had replied to the other. I think I like the idea of a bluetooth gps. Do you have any favorites or anything? Keep me informed!!! Thanks guy!

 

If you do go with Bluetooth GPS, I would go with one that sports a SiRF Star III GPS chipset. This GPS has 20 channels of parallel receive with 200,000 correlators. What's that? I don't want to get tech here, but those specification allow the receiver to track under adverse conditions such as indoors and under vegetation. It also helps with Time To First Fix (TTFF) after power up.

 

Bluetooth GPS manufacturers w/ SSIII

 

Holux GPSlim GR-236

GlobalStat BT338

A bunch of others

 

Have fun--

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The bunch of others all in one spot:

 

http://www.buygpsnow.com/bluetooth-gps_9.html

 

My approach is similar to yours -- bluetooth GPS on the road, handheld GPS in the field. For on-road maps, I love Mapopolis and think it is the best to use for caching as you can import .gpx files or import customized .gpx files (with ratings, container type, hint, etc.) using GSAK. GPXSonar is great for looking up cache information away from the PC, and others like cachemate quite a bit. I carry my off-road topo maps on the handheld GPS. However, I demo-d Backcountry Navigator some time ago, and really liked it. Receives GPS input, very detailed topo mapping, moving map, imports .gpx, etc. But, I don't use the PPC in the woods, so I no longer had a need for it.

 

My bluetooth GPS is the Haicom HI-303III with the bluetooth slipper. I got that because it allowed bluetooth or compact flash compatability. And it was also one of the first SirfIII units on the market. I was an early adopter of that one. I'd say there are probably better options, now, though, unless the dual functionality is necessary.

 

The ipaqs are very nice, and you can't go wrong with the one you linked. I'd also consider a Dell, as they are very popular and usually sell for much less than the others.

 

Now that I think about it, there was a new Asus released not long ago with an integrated SirfIII receiver and bundled Destinator (I think it was Destinator) software. You can find it here:

 

http://usa.asus.com/products1.aspx?l1=8

 

And here is a review:

 

http://www.mobiletechreview.com/ASUS-A636.htm

 

The price is quite a bit higher than the ipaq or dell, but don't forget that you don't have to buy the GPS or software as it is included.

 

I've used an Asus for the past couple of years. It has been a rock-solid machine and never let me down. My only potential knock on Asus would be a lack of accessories like cases and the such, but I see Asus is making a few cases for this one. Accessories are getting easier with all the wireless capabilities they are building in now. Still, though, if you're looking for USB chargers, really nice cases from places like Sena, and the such, you'll be disappointed at their selection for these models.

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I waited for a CF GPS SIrf III model to come out as the original ones were in Bluetooth only. I didn't want to carry two devices or have to worry about fcharging two units. There are now by Globalsat, beside the Bluetooth, models that plug in directly to the CF or SD slot. The SD model also comes with memory. The CF and SD models mget their power directly from the PPC so no need to charge like the BT.

Edited by Alan2
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Dell Axim x51v with BT338 or 339. iGuidance software is the best for in car navigation and then add in whatever you want for geocaching. The wireless B card works great. I have had mine since christmas and wouldn't trade it. It has worked flawlessly.

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Dell Axim x51v with BT338 or 339. iGuidance software is the best for in car navigation and then add in whatever you want for geocaching. The wireless B card works great. I have had mine since christmas and wouldn't trade it. It has worked flawlessly.

 

Can you overlay the cache waypoints onto the iGuidance street maps?

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I'm using an iPaq hx2415 with a BT Holux GPSlim 236.

 

Man what a sweet setup, I bought both off of Ebay in excellent condition - grand total coming to $210. I switched from a Zire 72 because the Palm OS just lacks the cajones to run some of the sweet apps available to the Pocket crowd (I was suffering from PPC envy). I'm so glad I switched, this setup can go from mini-laptop to in-car navigation to geocaching with minimal effort and a fraction of the cables my old setup had.

 

The PPC nav apps (MS Streets, Destinator, TomTom) and geocaching apps (Cachemate, Beeline, etc.) are more than adequate for my needs and I can't say enough about how smooth it all works together. Cachemate has TomTom and Pocket Streets plugins, that's a big plus.

 

I almost went for the iQue 3600 but decided I realllly wanted the built in wifi and bluetooth without paying the M5 cost, I'm glad I held out. I'm not concerned about dropping the iPaq, bought a sweet silicone case with a lid, not as thin as the silicone sleeves, and it has thick shock-absorbing sides. Check PDAden.com for those. The GPSr is small enough to tuck in a shirt pocket or hangs from a neck lanyard. All in all I'm one happy cacher! :D

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Polyphontes, I feel your pain. I have gone through more iQue3600s than I care to admit.

 

There are two weaknesses in that unit: crappy battery and overall fragility. Any PDA that you are going to take with you as you: wade into the lake, crawl under that bridge, jump over that ... darn there it went again... will have the same problem. I know because I have also broken a PDA. But I have not broken my yellow etrex, etrex Legend, or 60CSx. They don't die - they get replaced because of the "need for toys".

 

My suggestion: get the iQue 3600 fixed - for the price it is the best mapping GPS PDA with voice directions. Get a power inverter for the car and plug it in in the car and leave it in the car when you go after a cache. Use it just to route you to caches, restaurants, home, etc.

 

But don't take it out into the harsh world. Get a 60CSx to do that. This unit is as close to a geocaching machine as you can get. And if you have not yet used the second unlock code on the maps that came with your iQue, then you don't need to buy the maps again because you can use the City Select maps that came with the iQue on one other GPSrs. (Actually that is the case, even if you give up on the iQue.)

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Polyphontes, I feel your pain. I have gone through more iQue3600s than I care to admit.

 

There are two weaknesses in that unit: crappy battery and overall fragility. Any PDA that you are going to take with you as you: wade into the lake, crawl under that bridge, jump over that ... darn there it went again... will have the same problem. I know because I have also broken a PDA. But I have not broken my yellow etrex, etrex Legend, or 60CSx. They don't die - they get replaced because of the "need for toys".

 

My suggestion: get the iQue 3600 fixed - for the price it is the best mapping GPS PDA with voice directions. Get a power inverter for the car and plug it in in the car and leave it in the car when you go after a cache. Use it just to route you to caches, restaurants, home, etc.

 

But don't take it out into the harsh world. Get a 60CSx to do that. This unit is as close to a geocaching machine as you can get. And if you have not yet used the second unlock code on the maps that came with your iQue, then you don't need to buy the maps again because you can use the City Select maps that came with the iQue on one other GPSrs. (Actually that is the case, even if you give up on the iQue.)

I couldn't agree more. If you are planning to do any serious tromping in the woods, you will eventually disable/destroy the PDA somehow. With Li ion batteries, the battery life is totally unacceptable for extended caching hikes. If you cache in urban parks and drive-up caches, you can get by with it. I do carry my Palm TX with me on long hikes on the Appalachian Trail and other local trails. However, it stays in my pack, in its hard case, until I have stopped and need to reference it. Then it goes back in the pack. You need to take a serious look at what kind of geocaching you are going to do. Are you more interested in the technology of the PDA combo or do you really need the durability of the handheld unit?

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I use a Mio a701 as mentioned above, and there are a few alternatives that are just as good depending on which features you need. I get around 3hrs constant use out of the battery, and if I need any more, I just plug this in to charge it:

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=150012069124

 

I also keep it in an aquapac when it's raining which makes it waterproof down to 30m which does the job even if you drop it in a river. However, a simple lanyard will make sure you never drop it, so I can't see why everyone worries about PPCs breaking when they are dropped!

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I use a Mio a701 as mentioned above, and there are a few alternatives that are just as good depending on which features you need. I get around 3hrs constant use out of the battery, and if I need any more, I just plug this in to charge it:

 

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=150012069124

 

I also keep it in an aquapac when it's raining which makes it waterproof down to 30m which does the job even if you drop it in a river. However, a simple lanyard will make sure you never drop it, so I can't see why everyone worries about PPCs breaking when they are dropped!

 

It depends on what kind of terrain you cache in and how much extra equipment you wish to utilize (and remember to take along). PDA's will NOT survive if you slip/trip and fall on them. Use whatever setup best suits your needs and caching style.

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Polyphontes, I feel your pain. I have gone through more iQue3600s than I care to admit.

 

There are two weaknesses in that unit: crappy battery and overall fragility. Any PDA that you are going to take with you as you: wade into the lake, crawl under that bridge, jump over that ... darn there it went again... will have the same problem. I know because I have also broken a PDA. But I have not broken my yellow etrex, etrex Legend, or 60CSx. They don't die - they get replaced because of the "need for toys".

 

My suggestion: get the iQue 3600 fixed - for the price it is the best mapping GPS PDA with voice directions. Get a power inverter for the car and plug it in in the car and leave it in the car when you go after a cache. Use it just to route you to caches, restaurants, home, etc.

 

But don't take it out into the harsh world. Get a 60CSx to do that. This unit is as close to a geocaching machine as you can get. And if you have not yet used the second unlock code on the maps that came with your iQue, then you don't need to buy the maps again because you can use the City Select maps that came with the iQue on one other GPSrs. (Actually that is the case, even if you give up on the iQue.)

 

I wholly agree with the premise that car=PDA, woods=handheld GPS, and so does the OP as written in a later post:

 

Well, I am looking for the PDA/GPS combo. I want both a strong PDA and a functional gps. I use the gps on the handhelds just to get in the general location. I use an etrex to romp around in the woods. I'm more focused on the PDA functionality, but don't get me wrong, I want a semi awesome gps deal too! lol

 

The whole what you use and where is not at issue. The issue is that the OP has given up on the iQue. The posts that follow the original discuss that. The OP wants a "strong PDA." I appreciate PrimaryCache's post explaining the satisfaction with the upgrade. Nowadays, strong PDAs have things like dual wireless functions, high-resolution screens, and a host of other functions.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the iQue serves the need of many people, but doesn't have the enhanced features and isn't necessarily focused on the PDA functionality. This isn't specific to the iQue. Other devices, like the CDMA Treos as an example, didn't have wi-fi capability, which was a knock on them when they first came out.

 

And there is no basis to say that any of the mapping programs is the best, including Mapopolis. They're all different for sure, but they all have their own set of pros and cons, and you have to determine which one is the best for you. I did use the words "the best" in my earlier post, and perhaps was remiss in adhering to my own advice, but I did couch it by saying "I think" it is best and offered some rationale why.

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...I have yet to see one that included Bluetooth and WiFi. ...

 

First of all...that post was immensely helpful. I am new to geocaching and looking into the PDA/GPS devices.

 

I believe the Garmin M* series allows an expansion port for WiFi and Bluetooth, but I am going strictly from memory. Certainly I remember WiFi was an option, but you have to pay for expansion...it's not built in.

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...I have yet to see one that included Bluetooth and WiFi. ...

 

First of all...that post was immensely helpful. I am new to geocaching and looking into the PDA/GPS devices.

 

I believe the Garmin M* series allows an expansion port for WiFi and Bluetooth, but I am going strictly from memory. Certainly I remember WiFi was an option, but you have to pay for expansion...it's not built in.

 

Oh, yes, see the Asus that I linked above. One of the models has wi-fi and bluetooth (and SirfIII GPS) built in. The price is rather daunting, but you don't have to add on a $100+ receiver and $100+ navigation software.

 

Almost every handheld will allow you to add on features with expansion cards including, but not limited to: bluetooth, wi-fi, GPS, and memory. Personally, I consider it to be a major PITA to carry and use these add-on cards. And, if it isn't built-in you have to remove one card to use another. This might be a problem, for example, if you have documents or programs on a storage card that you have to remove to use the wi-fi card and can't access them.

 

You end up carrying so much stuff around, and forget or willingly don't take the extra card with you when you sometimes wish you had it. If it's built-in, it's always there.

 

On the other hand, you might find the device that is absolutely perfect in every way except it lacks one of the wireless capabilities. In this case, maybe you want to carry the extra card, I dunno. I have yet to find a handheld with a feature that I didn't use, even if I didn't think I would use it when I bought it.

 

I don't know much at all about the Garmin handheld, so I'm not saying anything definitively good or bad about it or any other devices. Just adding a little insight that I think I have . . .

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