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PDA + GPS ?


oldshue
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This is a noob question so I apologize in advance....

 

I see a lot of talk about PDA's and paperless caching, but see little mention of the CF or USB GPS plug - ins ...this would seem like an ideal setup to me so you would have just one unit ... what is the reason this is not mentioned more ??? And a question to you PALM users...which plug in have you found that works pest with the PALMS ?

 

THanks for a complete NOOB....

 

JO

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I use a 700p Treo as an all in one for geocaching. I use a GPSlim bluetooth GPS receiver and Geoniche software. With a simple conversion program (provided with Geoniche) you can download GPX and import into Geoniche complete with notes, encoded hints, and logs. I bought Geoniche on Palmgear.com and have been using it to select, find, and write notes for caches. I also use the bluetooth receiver with TomRom 6 for street navigation on my Treo. It works very well.

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...what is the reason this is not mentioned more ??

 

Because most of us use dedicated handheld GPS units. The reason being that a PDA device is built for the office, not the rigors of the outdoors. First off they aren't waterproof, so an accidental dunk in a stream, or a sudden thunderstorm can turn your PDA into an expensive paperweight. In the course of geocaching your unit will get dropped on rocks, dragged through thorns, rained on, snowed on and generally knocked around. Handheld units are built with this in mind.

 

What you will see most geocachers use are a dedicated handheld GPS and a separate PDA (usually a cheapie) that they can keep safely tucked in their pack and only take it out when its needed.

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I use a Palm e2 with a Holux Bluetooth GPS. The ability to have all of my cache info, as well as a go to button in one unit is worth it. The combination cost me much less than the much lauded Garmin 60 series that so many people use (a very nice unit that will be acquired when the budget can bear).

 

I started out (and still use) an older Garmin 12xl, the unit is strictly a GPSr, no mapping, waypoints are limited to a very short description and labels are limited to 6 digits (hence the reason the cache id's are 6 digits).

 

I was already using the palm with cachemate to eliminate the paper and was able to get the bluetooth gps on ebay for under $50 (new).

 

The combination works very well, I did invest in an otterbox PDA holder but only use it if it is very wet or I know the terraing will be more extreme. The box is very large, completely waterproof, well padded, and a general PIA.

 

A decent GPS unit and an old Palm with he cache listings is a very workable solution.

 

The all in one units don't seem to be either the best GPS or PDA and I hate having all the eggs in one basket. A used palm III or Vx is less than $25.00 on ebay and will hold hundreds, if not thousands, of cache listings.

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I use separate units because of the durability issue with the PDAs, but also for the technologic advantages. Dedicated units usually tend to be better at what they do since they focus on the one thing. Think "Dell" vs "built to order" computer for example. Not that you can't buy a decent premade computer from any of the big name compnaies, but you can get an awesome computer if you put one together yourself, and as one part become obsolete, you can upgrade much less expensively.

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I'm lusting after the Spectec SDIO GPS, if it ever comes out, and has a Palm interface. It's a very small unit, but has a microSD slot, so you can still use your maps and stuff on the card when the SD slot is filled. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting, though. Haicom has an SDIO bluetooth receiver with miniSD slot, which looks interesting, but it's probably not a good match for geocaching. The SD slot of the PDA is powering both the GPS and its bluetooth radio, while the PDA's bluetooth radio is also working, resulting in what I would think is very short battery life. In a car, however, this would be a good solution for a Palm user, since the bluetooth will work with any OS. I'm seriously considering one of these, but I can't even find a price for it, and funds are a little short right now.

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I have a gps on my PDA, but I don't really plan on using it for geocaching (except maybe on rare occasions when I'm travelling without my gpsr) because they aren't built to be used in the wild.

 

I drop my gpsr all the time, I've dropped my old palm I use for paperless caching on the rocks, if I dropped my "good" pda and broke it, I'd probably cry. :unsure:

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What you will see most geocachers use are a dedicated handheld GPS and a separate PDA (usually a cheapie) that they can keep safely tucked in their pack and only take it out when its needed.

Briansnat, what do you class as a cheapie? I am currently looking for such a unit but here in Aus the cheapies are $200 and up

 

You can find a decent PDA that will work great for geocaching on Ebay for under $50 U.S.

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Our printer was on the fritz so I had to use my PalmPilot to bring some extra information with me on my first caches. Printer's working again, but I have yet to print out cache information. Save a tree, kill a PDA?

 

This PDA is, however, my business tool and until reading this thread never considered the danger I was putting my third-favorite eToy in (1st is my GPSr, 2nd is my SatRadio). Perhaps a basic cheapy is what I should get my hands on... My PDA is in a decent case and I only pull it out when I need to refer to the stored info (usually in the car deciding which cache to do next), but this thread has got me thinking...

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