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Geocaching with Mobile Phone (Geocache Navigator)


Jeremy
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This announcement was posted on the web site today:

 

Go Geocaching with your Mobile Phone

 

The Trimble® Geocache NavigatorTM is the first fully featured geocaching application for the mobile phone. If you have a GPS enabled mobile phone on Sprint, Boost or Southern Linc networks you can get started without a standalone GPS unit.

 

Geocache Navigator is linked directly to Geocaching.com's geocache listings and provides you with real-time access to caches near your location.

 

Learn more about Geocache Navigator and see screenshots

 

I figured it would be easier to accomodate any questions about the new application here. I've been personally using it for a couple of months now and I really, really like the instant geocaching fix it allows me to have when I'm out and about. I'm really bad at preparing for cache hunts so this is an easy way to go geocaching on a whim when I'm doing errands or whatever.

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I got it installed on my Sprint Sanyo 8400 with no problems at all. Its really cool just to pull up a listing of caches right near my area while I'm out with out having to go home and do a PQ or use the WAP interface.. WOOT! maybe I'll get to a hundred finds by end of year finally!

 

Talk about instant caching.

 

*Disclaimer*

I might be an employee but I'm also a gadget geek, and I think this option rocks.

 

-Raine

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WOO HOO!!!!

 

Thanks to all of the Groundspeak crew for developing this application! I have been waiting somewhat (im)patiently for since seeing it demo'd about a month or so ago. I've just downloaded it to my new LG Fusic phone (which I LOVE!) this afternoon and will head out this afternoon to find a cache with it.

 

After struggling with the WAP site a few times, most recently when I spilled water in my laptop on a recent business/geocaching trip to the northeast last month which made the internet unaccessible, this will be terrific!

 

Thanks again to all!!!

Edited by LSUMonica
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I'll also mention that it has officially launched on Sprint and Southern Linc. Nextel and Boost will be up and running shortly. I believe Sprint released the application earlier which resulted in a press release by Trimble about the application. We hope to see the application on additional carriers in the future.

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In order to use this service, do you have to have mobile web service on your phone or is this truly a stand alone program (assuming the phone is GPS capable)?

 

I'll check with Trimble. I'm guessing since it is a downloadable application it is treated differently than, say, a web application like WAP. But I'll get you an answer shortly.

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In order to use this service, do you have to have mobile web service on your phone or is this truly a stand alone program (assuming the phone is GPS capable)?

 

Geocache Navigator does require a data plan for your phone. In general you will not use much data unless you use the map feature a lot. For Sprint customers you will need one of the Vision plans. Nextel has an all-you-can-eat plan. SouthernLINC has data plans of different sizes. Expect to use about 20KB per session and 5-10kb per map.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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Will this service be available with VerizonWireless in the near future?

 

Verizon is somewhat slow in releasing new GPS applications so timing of a potential release is hard to predict. Cingular doesn't have GPS phones other than the HP IPAQ. Trimble would like to have a solution for every carrier. Right now Sprint and Nextel have the best support for GPS applications.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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Will this service be available with VerizonWireless in the near future?

Verizon is somewhat slow in releasing new GPS applications so timing of a potential release is hard to predict.

I'm certain that Verizon will find a way to charge you extra for this service, like they do for everything else. And it's hard to know if it will run on their (purposely) crippled phones.

 

So I wouldn't hold your breath on Verizon.

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Are Boost and Nextel the same company? I want to start shopping for a compatible phone, and I do not follow this market. I have a plan with Nextel so I guess it would be easiest to buy a new phone and stay with them.

 

Anyways, the chart on compatible models says that the listed Boost "Nextel" models will work with this application. I want to have the right list of phones with me when I go to the mall and talk to the gum-chewing teenager in the kiosk.

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In order to use this service, do you have to have mobile web service on your phone or is this truly a stand alone program (assuming the phone is GPS capable)?

 

Geocache Navigator does require a data plan for your phone. In general you will not use much data unless you use the map feature a lot. For Sprint customers you will need one of the Vision plans. Nextel has an all-you-can-eat plan. SouthernLINC has data plans of different sizes. Expect to use about 20KB per session and 5-10kb per map.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

Thanks for the quick answer! I've got Verizon Wireless so it's a moot point right now anyway.

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Are Boost and Nextel the same company? I want to start shopping for a compatible phone, and I do not follow this market. I have a plan with Nextel so I guess it would be easiest to buy a new phone and stay with them.

 

Anyways, the chart on compatible models says that the listed Boost "Nextel" models will work with this application. I want to have the right list of phones with me when I go to the mall and talk to the gum-chewing teenager in the kiosk.

 

Boost is the prepaid version of the Nextel service

Edited by cajunbat
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Are they at least talking to Verizon Wireless to have it available to their customers? I know that 1 out of 4 users are Verizon Wireless users. I would guess they would make it a "Get It Now" download.

 

Yes. I assure you that they are talking to all the carriers.

 

(My primary phone is also Verizon)

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I got it installed on my Sprint Sanyo 8400 with no problems at all. Its really cool just to pull up a listing of caches right near my area while I'm out with out having to go home and do a PQ or use the WAP interface.. WOOT! maybe I'll get to a hundred finds by end of year finally!

 

 

Hello, I have been a sprint customer for over 4 years and ready to upgrade. I have a smart phone so I can receive my outlook email through activesynch whereever I am located. I went to the sprint store (not an authorized reseller store) and loaded the app on a demo phone Sanyo 8400 and it was Slick! I tried it on the razr and krzr and the App is not listed when you go to downloads/get new content/applications the Geocaching Navigator only appears on the sanyo phone. :unsure:

I am going to buy a used Sanyo MM 7400 so I don't have to sign another 2year agreement and sell my smartphone.

 

This single solution will be much better than walking around with my old palm m505 with gps, my garmin rino 110, my samsung sp-i600 smartphone with Internet explorer and Ms Streets and Trips (too many gadgets for urban caching).

 

Someone may want to verify or see if they can pull the geocache navigator application to their razr. It would be nice if the smart phones had the app, but they don't get the sprint wap apps.

 

Cluemasterz - Metro Detroit Michigan

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Someone may want to verify or see if they can pull the geocache navigator application to their razr. It would be nice if the smart phones had the app, but they don't get the sprint wap apps.

 

We were playing around with the menus on a Sprint phone yesterday. The application can be found under G in the alphabetical list of applications. Also if you walk through the "How to get it" page on GeocacheNavigator.com it will give you instructions on how to get it on the Razr or Razr copy - the Katana. It actually seems easier to do via the link than by navigating through the menus since it will just message you with the application.

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I am new at geocaching but was excited to read about this, because our service plan at sprint has ended ad we were up for new phones. Tonight I went and bought the Katana, which is listed as OK with this application. But now I have questions ....

 

I started thinking .... does it use minutes when you're using it? I saw in another post something about needing to have the Vision plan. I don't think I got that .... can you tell me more about what that is?

 

Also, another question .... does it work in areas where you might be out of range for the cell phone?

 

Another question .... do you need to have a Premium account with geocaching.com to use this, or will a regular account do?

 

Thanks for any help you can give me!

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I just moved to West Texas and I'm searching for a new wireless provider as Verizon does not service this area. I've decided to go with Cingulair since everyone in my office is using them and their coverage is really good in the area....an important issue since I'm a nurse that travels around seeing patients all over Gods creation.

Anyway, my question.....should I get a phone that is GPS compatible in hopes that Cingulair will offer the GeoNav service in the future. And if so, how do I know which phone to pick.....if a Motorola Razor from Sprint is GPS ready, does it work the same for Cingulair?

 

Thank folks.....

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Just got this on my sprint sanyo mm7400. Didn't even know it had gps capabilities - and it works great!

 

I don't know how much I'll actually use it - it'd be convenient while traveling to places I don't have covered w/ pq's, but for local stuff, I always have my pda in my pocket and my gps in my car. And my initial assumption is that it's EXPENSIVE to use - you're using minutes while using it - it's accessing the net almost constantly, I think. At least my little up/down internet activity icon is on the whole time I'm using it. So I'm going to monitor my usage and my bills for the first few months, and if it's a bill killer I'll lose it.

 

And it seems to be pretty useless for multi's, and doesn't filter out my found caches, ignored caches, etc. Good things and bad things, hmmm...

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I got it installed on my Sprint Sanyo 8400 with no problems at all. Its really cool just to pull up a listing of caches right near my area while I'm out with out having to go home and do a PQ or use the WAP interface.. WOOT! maybe I'll get to a hundred finds by end of year finally!

 

 

Hello, I have been a sprint customer for over 4 years and ready to upgrade. I have a smart phone so I can receive my outlook email through activesynch whereever I am located. I went to the sprint store (not an authorized reseller store) and loaded the app on a demo phone Sanyo 8400 and it was Slick! I tried it on the razr and krzr and the App is not listed when you go to downloads/get new content/applications the Geocaching Navigator only appears on the sanyo phone. :unsure:

I am going to buy a used Sanyo MM 7400 so I don't have to sign another 2year agreement and sell my smartphone.

 

This single solution will be much better than walking around with my old palm m505 with gps, my garmin rino 110, my samsung sp-i600 smartphone with Internet explorer and Ms Streets and Trips (too many gadgets for urban caching).

 

Someone may want to verify or see if they can pull the geocache navigator application to their razr. It would be nice if the smart phones had the app, but they don't get the sprint wap apps.

 

Cluemasterz - Metro Detroit Michigan

 

Sprint moves applications from certification to being published on the deck sometimes a little slowly. For those phones listed on the geocachenavigator.com site and not on the deck, availability should be any time soon. FWIW, the Sanyo 8400 is an excellent phone as the GPS built in is far better than earlier versions of the phone.

 

Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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I just moved to West Texas and I'm searching for a new wireless provider as Verizon does not service this area. I've decided to go with Cingulair since everyone in my office is using them and their coverage is really good in the area....an important issue since I'm a nurse that travels around seeing patients all over Gods creation.

Anyway, my question.....should I get a phone that is GPS compatible in hopes that Cingulair will offer the GeoNav service in the future. And if so, how do I know which phone to pick.....if a Motorola Razor from Sprint is GPS ready, does it work the same for Cingulair?

 

Thank folks.....

 

Unfortunately Cingular and T-Mobile (the GSM carriers) do not have GPS phones yet. A RAZR from Sprint is actually different than a RAZR from Cingular. The GSM carriers are still playing catch-up when it comes to GPS because of technical issues. When the GSM carriers rectify this situation, we will look to have Geocache Navigator available as soon as practical.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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Kdgcop - I've run GeocacheNavigator on the Katana - great phone by the way! You are not using minutes at all when GeocacheNavigator is running. You only use minutes when you talk on the phone. You do use data when running GeocacheNavigator. There are two ways to pay for data with Sprint. If you do not have a data plan (Sprint calls their data plans a "vision" or "power vision") then you are charged 3 cents for every 1,000 bytes used. The GeocacheNavigator application uses data to connect to the servers at geocaching.com so you can download all of the caches around you. You can also download hints and logs to aid in finding the cache. If you want to find your way using GPS maps on your phone then data is used to download the street maps, topo maps, or aerial photo maps around you. A typical session of fetching info to find a cache is around 20,000 bytes or about 60 cents if you do not have a data plan.

 

Most people go with a Sprint Power Vision data plan for $15 per month. First, you get unlimited data so you can cache anywhere, all the time, with full maps without worrying about extra charges. Second, you get access to the internet from your phone. Third, if you run other apps on your phone like GPS fitness or turn by turn navigation then they you don't have to worry about data usage - all you can eat for the $15 per month.

 

You must be in Sprint coverage to use the application. You do not need to be a Premium member of geocaching.com to use the application so a regular account is fine.

 

Lastly, both the data plan and the GeocacheNavigator charge appear on your Sprint phone bill but are not connected to your contract. In otherwords, you can cancel both at any time without a penalty.

 

Rich at Trimble Outdoors

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I recently purchased a Motorola Razr with the carrier of Sprint. I've tried to set up the Geocaching Navigator without any success. When I tried to set it up it said it wasn't available. Any suggestions?

 

Sprint delayed the release of a few phones as the other models were certified before the RAZR was made available. It will be available any day now as Sprint has a two to three day process to move applications from a certified state to the vending machine where you can buy it.

 

Although we wanted to have a simultaneous launch of everything, it didn't quite happen that way.

 

I will say this, once you get the application on your RAZR you will be very happy. The RAZR is one of the Sprint phones with superior GPS performance... and, it is a cool phone.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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I recently purchased a Motorola Razr with the carrier of Sprint. I've tried to set up the Geocaching Navigator without any success. When I tried to set it up it said it wasn't available. Any suggestions?

 

Sprint delayed the release of a few phones as the other models were certified before the RAZR was made available. It will be available any day now as Sprint has a two to three day process to move applications from a certified state to the vending machine where you can buy it.

 

Although we wanted to have a simultaneous launch of everything, it didn't quite happen that way.

 

I will say this, once you get the application on your RAZR you will be very happy. The RAZR is one of the Sprint phones with superior GPS performance... and, it is a cool phone.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

So....should I try daily till I can do the application? As you can see, I'm sure anxious for this service. Thanks for your reply :huh:

Edited by lookielulu
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I recently purchased a Motorola Razr with the carrier of Sprint. I've tried to set up the Geocaching Navigator without any success. When I tried to set it up it said it wasn't available. Any suggestions?

 

Sprint delayed the release of a few phones as the other models were certified before the RAZR was made available. It will be available any day now as Sprint has a two to three day process to move applications from a certified state to the vending machine where you can buy it.

 

Although we wanted to have a simultaneous launch of everything, it didn't quite happen that way.

 

I will say this, once you get the application on your RAZR you will be very happy. The RAZR is one of the Sprint phones with superior GPS performance... and, it is a cool phone.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

So....should I try daily to I can do the application? As you can see, I'm sure anxious for this service. Thanks for your replay :huh:

 

You can check daily on the Sprint deck. My bet is that if it is not there tomorrow then it sure won't be there over the weekend. I will throw out an announcement when it gets launched.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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I have been caching with the GN for about a month now! Man is it an awsome product!!! I work for Sprint/Nextel so if you have any questions in that direction I can answer them too...

 

I was out with Squints today and at one point we looked at each other and said... How many caches you think we hit today??? We don't even have a clue...

 

But all we need to do now is log them... all I know is I was there and I found it..... Man I love that....

 

Also found a virtual and a hybrid today... so easy!!!

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Thank you for your answers to my previous questions about GN. I now have GN on my Sprint phone and we are in NYC trying it out. We have a couple of more questions:

1. Can we receive phone calls when we are using the application?

2. We have 2 phones on the family plan with Sprint. Can we just use the GN on one phone? If we download it on the other phone, are we going to be charged twice?

Thanks for all your help! We loved it today.

KdgCop

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Kdgcop - if you are using the Geocache Navigator application and a call comes in to your cell phone the application will suspend and the phone will ring allowing you to answer the phone. After your phone call you can resume the application. In bound phone calls always take priority. I beleive that you will be charged twice if you put the application on two phones even if the other phones are on a family plan. Unfortunately, Sprint creates the rules :) . I'm glad you enjoyed the application though. I found a cool cache today at a memorial for Barry Goldwater in Paradise Valley, AZ. I had 20 minutes to kill on my way to meet friends so I selected the 'Quick Cache' function on my Nextel GPS phone. There is nothing better than the instant fix you get with locating all of the caches around you instantly on your phone. And I'm constantly surprised at how many caches there are out there. I usually have at least 10 caches to find within a few miles of where I am at any time :P

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zgrav - there is a unique problem with the Samsung a920 display that we are working to fix. This particular phone may take some time before its actually available for purchase. If you are interested in testing it for us before we release it (no charge for testing :) ) then email Trimble Outdoors support ( support@trimbleoutdoors.com ) and we'll send you a beta version to try out on your a920. The test version is functional right now but we are not yet happy with the display. At least you'll get a chance to experience Geocache Navigator ahead of the official a920 release and we would like your thoughts on that specific phone.

 

Thanks,

 

Rich at Trimble

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I have been wanting a new phone for a while, and when I saw that there was a application to find geocaches with your GPS enabled phone I had to jump. So I got the new phone and downloaded the Geocache Navigator. It was a seamless install and I was up and running in no time.

 

I went out yesterday on a cache run and besides the fact that the GPS reaction time is very slow on my phone (Sanyo Katana) and the fact that the font in the geocache Navigator is real tiny (I definately needed my glasses), I loved the ability to log my finds from the field.

 

In my opinion this is not a replacement for your handheld but can get you to a cache in a pinch. :)

 

dadfish

Edited by dadfish
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I went out yesterday on a cache run and besides the fact that the GPS reaction time is very slow on my phone (Sanyo Katana) and the fact that the font in the geocache Navigator is real tiny (I definately needed my glasses), I loved the ability to log my finds from the field.

 

I also have a Katana. The text is definitely pretty small on that device. I think it has to do with trying to create an application that works across different platforms with different screen resolutions. I'll make sure the Trimble staff know about this for future releases. Thanks for the feedback!

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I have a Nextel i850 and Trimble shows coming soon- does anyone have a time frame. Also I have found that with I have no service in many areas of the mountains and woodsey areas- from what I understand if you do not have signal you have no application for GPS this seems to limit usage. Any Nextel user feedback.

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have a Nextel i850 and Trimble shows coming soon- does anyone have a time frame. Also I have found that with I have no service in many areas of the mountains and woodsey areas- from what I understand if you do not have signal you have no application for GPS this seems to limit usage. Any Nextel user feedback.

 

The i850 (and many other Netxel phones) has been officially certified by Sprint and will be posted for purchase soon (Sprint has not told us the exact date but it should be in the next week or two). The GPS in Nextel phones operates outside of the cell network just like a conventional GPS unit. However, the Geocache Navigator application accesses the cell network to fetch the geocaches around you so if you're out of the cell network you can't obtain new cache data. If you download the cache data before going out of the network the GPS will continue to operate and guide you to the cache just like any other GPS

 

Sprint phones however are very different. They cannot acquire GPS outside of the cell network. If you are navigating to a cache and hit a coverage hole the GPS in a Sprint phone will continue to work for a short period until you get back in the network. Future Sprint phones are supposed to use GPS technology that can acquire GPS signals outside of the network like Nextel phones.

 

Rich at Trimble

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Does that $15 data plan from Sprint also allow me to connect the phone to my laptop and get on the internet?

 

I looked into this the other day because I was interested too. According to Sprint sales support the $15.00 service only allows you to surf the net on the phone itself with a mobile browser. To use the phone as a mobile modem and connect it to your computer costs an additional $25.00/mo. Ouch. You must also have a phone with modem capability.

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Does that $15 data plan from Sprint also allow me to connect the phone to my laptop and get on the internet?

 

Sprint phones tend to have a picture bridge and a dial-up mode of operation. If you find one with bluetooth and have bluetooth in you computer you can make the connection wirelessly. For the most part, you can direct connect or go wireless with the data plan. Please be aware that you will need the correct phone drivers before you attempt to cable the phone to the PC. In some instances new phones are not as well supported as older ones. If you go with a Motorola phone, you can use mobile phone tools and do some amazing things. However, the KRZR is not supported yet, at least of my last look (a few days ago).

 

However, there may be additional charges but at this time I am not aware of what they may be.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

Edited by tempestaz
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Does that $15 data plan from Sprint also allow me to connect the phone to my laptop and get on the internet?

 

I looked into this the other day because I was interested too. According to Sprint sales support the $15.00 service only allows you to surf the net on the phone itself with a mobile browser. To use the phone as a mobile modem and connect it to your computer costs an additional $25.00/mo. Ouch. You must also have a phone with modem capability.

 

It looks like you are correct. I suspect this is due to the fact that they are selling data on their modem cards and would view unlimited data as an equivalent.

 

I must admit my T-Mobile service, even though it is a little slow, at $19.99/mo is a sweet deal. But then again I don't have GPS so the phone isn't of much value for GPS applications.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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I have a Nextel i850 and Trimble shows coming soon- does anyone have a time frame.

 

Yeah, I'm sitting here waiting patiently for the Nextel i870 version to become available.

(OK, honestly I'm drumming my fingers in anticipation).

 

Any info on when it will be released?

 

FWIW, the application is ready to go as soon as a Sprint/Nextel internal billing issue is resolved. My hopes are next week. Either way I will post when any changes to lingering phones occurs. I suspect due to the holidays, people are taking a lot of vacation and that is causing the delay.

 

--Larry (Trimble Outdoors)

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Does that $15 data plan from Sprint also allow me to connect the phone to my laptop and get on the internet?

 

I looked into this the other day because I was interested too. According to Sprint sales support the $15.00 service only allows you to surf the net on the phone itself with a mobile browser. To use the phone as a mobile modem and connect it to your computer costs an additional $25.00/mo. Ouch. You must also have a phone with modem capability.

 

I think technically Sprint "wants" you to have a data plan to use your phone as a modem for your laptop -- however, most phones have downloadable software on the Sprint web site that allows you to use your mobile phone as a modem for a PC. I have used my "unlimited data" plan for short laptop connections with no repercussions. I wouldn't however stay connected for long periods or download large amounts of data and throw up a red flag to my use.

 

Still loving my LG Fusic, Sprint and Geocache Navigator!

 

The real test will this holiday weekend -- for a change, I will not be bringing my laptop to look up cache pages if I get a chance to geocache and I won't be running PQs for Houston, The Woodlands, Cypress and College Station, TX ahead of time. When I am with family on holidays I normally only get to do (as a good friend recently called it) "opportunistic" geocaching and I think the GN will work perfectly as I never know where we will be on which day!

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