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Comments on using a Garmin Streetpilot C320 or similar for Geocaching?


bjinc
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Looking to buy an inexpensive GPS for the car that will double as a geocaching unit.

 

I see looking online that the Garmin Streetpilot C320, although old technology, will allow uploads of longitude/latitude through some seemingly complex process and that it's battery powered.

 

Has anyone tried using this, or a similar unit, for geocaching?

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If you're looking for a "GPS for the car", I really can't second ossumguywill's recommendation of the x500. The C320 is better in many ways for car use. Almost all of the discussion here applies.

 

It's not so great, however, as a geocaching device. The absence of a compass-style "goto" screen and the inability to delete waypoints beyond a master reset make it a bit of a drag to a cacher. (Oh, and the waypoint upload process is not at all torturous - GPSBabel supports it which means GSAK supports it.)

 

You'll give up the touch screen in the process, but consider a Quest or Quest II as a compromise between a geocaching unit and an automotive unit. You'll still get spoken directions while in the car and you have a 'goto' screen.

 

Personally, I've settled on the combination of a car unit for the car and a handheld for handheld use...but I realize that's not practical for everyone.

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If you are looking for inexpensive yet still full of features (and a unit that is useable as *BOTH* an automotive navigation tool AND a handheld Geocaching device), consider the one I just bought: the Lowrance iWay 100M (search these forums for posts for the pros/cons on this unit). I have used it to find a cache already (it is a handheld and is waterproof to some degree) AND it comes with mapping software and does auto-routing and in-car voice prompted turn-by-turn.

 

It is still available from where I bought mine.

 

$139 Shipped from HERE

 

It is not "the best" GPSr out there and has been discontinued, but for the money it is hard to beat!

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The Lowrance iWay 100M looks similar to the Cobra 1000GPS that I'm trying to upgrade from. Really good price for it; Froogle has it running up to the $300+ range.

 

The problem with the Cobra is that it's really hard to decipher the screen while driving, and it's not especially accurate while geocaching. It's well documented online that the Cobra consistently displays a location about 20' off course due east.

 

I like the larger easy to see displays on the automotive GPS, and was hoping to find something that would serve dual purpose.

 

Thanks for the lead about the GPSBabel. It looks like something that might work out well.

 

Still open to suggestions.

 

Thanks for the assistance!

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As far as I know, GPSBabel does not work with the Cobra, this is one of the many reasons that people here knock that brand of GPS (and probably why Cobra stopped making handhelds, I think even the 1000 is now discontinued). It essentially only works with the provided Rand McNally software.

 

The iWay 100M is essentially a Cobra 1000 that has voice prompts (which I don't think the 1000 does). The Cobra 1000 is probably the only Cobra handheld to have halfway-decent satellite reception.

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I'm new here and haven't done a lot of research or price comparisons but I'll give you my story.

 

I bought a Garmin 60CSx. I picked it up to may coordinates of corners of a large property after a survey. I wanted to be able to more easily find the corners in the future. It came with topo maps. The sales person said it also did driving directions. I found out he was wrong and I needed city navigator as well. I bought that and now, indeed, it does do driving directions. It does not have voice prompts but beeps when turns are coming up and double beeps when you are at the turn. The directions are on the screen. Not perfect for the car but OK in my experience and opinion.

 

Since I have gotten it I have learned about geocaching and have read great things about it. It comes highly recomended and it seems many here use it or want it. I guess I spoiled myself. I sort of bought one of the best GC handhelds while knowing nothing about GC.

 

I think it may be on the higher end of the price scale but I really don't know. Its certianly cheaper than some of the dedicated neverlost systems with the entire US road system in memory and is very flexible.

 

Let me know if you want more of my experiences using it as in-car navigation or my experience while GCing for the first time.

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I own a 60CX. It leans more toward the handheld side of things while still giving excellent auto routing. If you purchase a 1 gig card and City Navigator V8 NT you will be able to load routing maps for the whole US. The unit does not talk, but you can customize the sounds it makes while giving directions. I have mine do a double beep when it warns you that you are getting close to a turn and a long beep when you need to turn. It gives clear instructions on the screen and is easy to read.

 

I purchase an auto navigation kit with mine. It includes the necessary software, a bean bag style mount which allows you to move the mount from car to car and a permanent mounting bracket for a car. This has worked out really well for me.

 

The only shortcoming that I can see at this time is you are limited on the amount of map segments that can be loaded at one time. I would like to buy a 2 gig Micro SD card and load both City Navigator and Topo onto it. This easily exceeds the map segment limit. It is really nice to have topo maps when you are geocaching.

 

The difference between the 60CX and the 60CSX is that the 60CX does not have a built in compass and baramoter, and therefore sells for about $50 less. It these things are important to you the 60CSX is a better unit.

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