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Trimble outdoors products


user13371
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I've used the geocache navigator on my RAZR. It's pretty sweet. My only complaint with it would be that it doesn't filter out my finds. It's more useful in new areas where I haven't cached before, and as a backup.

 

I like being able to scroll through a compass screen, description, map, and more all on one device.

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I haven't used their product but as I understand it, it only works with cell phones that have built in GPS's. Is that right? I'm currently using my cell phone as the display device for an EXTERNAL Bluetooth enabled GPS which I've found much more sensitive than my Garmin E-Trex. I haven't heard about the sensitivity of those GPSR's embedded in the cell phones vis-a-vis other units but I suspect that they aren't as sensitive. I'd be interested to hear of actual experiences since I'm developing along similar lines.

 

-dB

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I've used the geocache navigator on my RAZR.
How much does it really end up costing you? Is it just the Trimble subscription fee, or does it pile on airtime charges well?

$6.99 a month for the application. Airtime is included in my vision plan.

Which RAZR? Who is your carrier? My old RAZR V3 doesn't seem to have any GPS capability (and the Bluetooth is proprietary.)

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I just returned from a 3000-mile road trip with my brother, Aeger Primo. He's new to caching, and doesn't have the cash for a GPSr right now. His solution was to use the Trimble package, because he can afford seven bucks a month. Both of us played with the Trimble, and it has a lot to recommend it. He's running it on a Sanyo Katana with Sprint service. I use a 60CSx. Weather and family issues prevented us from caching as much as we'd have liked, but we made at least one stop in every state. My summary of the service, compared to my setup:

 

Pros

1. Cache pages are always available. I use Custom POIs and no PDA, and often am flying blind.

2. Look up, find, and log caches with one device. Yummy.

3. $7/mo. At this rate, he'll have matched my spending several years after my unit is obsolete.

4. No need to pretend your GPSr is a mobile phone to fool civilians. It is.

 

Cons

1. Service is only as available as mobile phone reception. No good for remote areas.

2. Cache page font is tiny. We both did a lot of squinting.

3. His antenna isn't as good. My unit consistently took us closer. But we would have found most, if not all, with his.

 

He may have other observations. I'll point him towards this post.

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Thanks for that excellent summary. If you happen to be with one of the few carriers with which Trimble works, that looks like a very nice option. And the price is sure reasonable.

 

I can understand that the logging/download stuff wouldn't work when you are out of range of cell service but what about the basic GPS? If you've got your waypoints loaded in, do you have to be connected to just do the GPS part? That doesn't seem likely but I just wanted to get clarification on that point.

 

As far as the antenna/receiver sensitivity I've seen other posts to the same effect with respect to the GPS's that are built into the phones. Getting all of that RF gear to co-exist in a small space is no mean feat. Also, even on disparate frequencies there is a phenomenon called "de-sensing" where an adjacent transmitter in near proximity to a receiver will reduce the reciever's sensitivity. In the "built in" the GPSR is in the same case as the cell transmitter. I know the transmitter is periodically active even if you aren't on the phone. I'm sure that was a challenge for the engineers from an RF point of view. Obtaining RF isolation from the cell receiver stages is also an issue. At these GHz frequencies having the GPSR even a foot or two away from the cell transmitter in the phone reduces the likelihood of de-sensing significantly.

 

Another place where I think the "separates" have an advantage is in mobile use. I can just toss the "hockey puck" GPS up on the dash (when using it for car navigation) and anyone in the car can use the redout (cell phone or PC.) The other advantage from a cost perspective is that the one device serves both my hiking needs and my travel needs. It is really nice to be able to use the same device with my DeLorme map software on the PC. I usually have at least one of the children "beg" for the privilege of holding the PC and watching the moving map display as we travel. With Bluetooth, you don't have the cabling issues. That was a hassle with my old DeLorme setup using serial cables. With a GPS built in to the cell phone, you have to have the unit up on the dash where it can get a clear shot at the satellites and that in turn makes it hard to read. I much prefer the bigger display of a PDA or PC for in-car navigation. The less time you have to glance at it to read it, the less time your eyes are off the road. The little BT units work in any of these use cases.

 

Lately it's been cold and I've just put the little GPSR inside my knit pullover hat when caching. It seems to receive nicely up there ;-) The phone I either look at periodically while walking or turn on the "sonar ping" mode and just listen to it tell me I'm getting "hotter" or "colder" with respect to the target.

 

But whatever you use is certainly better than nothing. It sounds like if you already have the Sprint phone and service, it's hard to beat another few bucks a month to get the value add to your phone. I know I've sure gotten a lot more use out of my phone in that respect. :unsure:

Edited by dpbabcock
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I have Geocache Navigator on my RAZR (Sprint), and love the convenience. I still carry my big GPSr for cases where there are lots of potential cache locations and I want to narrow down the radius. I find it's about 20 ft radius with the phone. That's often good enough using geosense. I probably break out the big GPSr about 20% of the time now. One added benefit is that you can look up nearby caches, read recent logs, etc while inside and not near a window.

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Well when I first started Geocaching in Dec of 05 I used Trimble Outdoors on my old Nextel phone (I did the one time fee of $20 not the monthly subscription). Disadvantage to that was I didn’t have all the map access and if (and when) I get Trimble on my blackberry I will get the monthly fee.

 

I used my cell phone for my first 50 finds before buying a Garmin Venture CX. As long as you were in cell service the phone did just as well at finding caches and almost took me directly there, my Garmin is a bit better, but not much. Outside of cell service the program still worked but took an ungodly long time to update and also whether in service or not it ate up my cell phones battery (the OEM and the Upgraded Lithium).

 

I am curious if anyone has used the new Trimble Geocache Navigator. I think this program on a nice phone like a Blackberry 8800 would be a great all around caching item.

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