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Magellan eXplorist 300


alanandmelissa
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We bought the Magellan eXplorist 300 and the whole device completely confuses us. Up until now, we'd been caching with Google Maps, remembering the location, and going. We type the numbers into the GPS device, and when we pullup the waypoints, they point in the wrong direction, or are ont he wrong side of the street. What are we doing wrong? Did I really just spend $110 on a paperweight?

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We bought the Magellan eXplorist 300 and the whole device completely confuses us.

Start by spending some time with the manual, if you haven't already.

We type the numbers into the GPS device, and when we pullup the waypoints, they point in the wrong direction, or are ont he wrong side of the street. What are we doing wrong?

Well, it's hard to know with such little information. But if I had to guess...

 

...I would say that it's one of two things (more experienced people may have other ideas). First: make sure that your GPSr is set to use the WGS 84 datum (basically, a particular frame of reference for the coordinates), since that's what Geocaching.com uses.

 

Second, there are several common formats for coordinates. Geocaching.com uses degrees and decimal minutes (such as 41° 02.500'), so you should too if you're typing in coordinates from there. Again, this will be an option on your GPSr. The other possibilities, which you should not be using for geocaching, are degrees, minutes, and seconds (41° 02' 30") or decimal degrees (41.041667°). (BTW, all three examples in this paragraph are equivalent.)

 

Does this help?

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It's an excellent unit in its antenna. But I've found the eXplorist series a tad complicated to learn to use. I'm not familiar with the particulars of the 300.

I'd expect excellent accuracy, and the one "best" feature is the ease of manual coordinate entry. I think its the best on the market in that one regard.

If it's not taking you to caches, marnen's post likely has the answer. Correct datum (WS84) and correct format for the coordinates.

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Another thing to keep in mind is on most units the arrow will not start pointing in the correct direction until you start moving. Then only way it can know which way you're facing, unless it has a built in compass, is by you moving. So if it's pointing in a direction that you don't think is right, just start walking the right way and see if the arrow points differently once you move a hundred feet or so.

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If you're not too handy, you can get the cable pre-made

 

http://www.pc-mobile.net/mex100.htm

 

I'm using the eXplorist 100 myself, and for my use, it's just perfect.

It's small, rugged, waterproof(I also cayak, and am not always too stable...) and cheap...

sure, built-in maps would have been nice, but I already have a heap of 1:50.000 maps which also shows footpaths and trails...

 

The accuracy seems to be OK, too. :-)

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We bought the Magellan eXplorist 300 and the whole device completely confuses us. Up until now, we'd been caching with Google Maps, remembering the location, and going. We type the numbers into the GPS device, and when we pullup the waypoints, they point in the wrong direction, or are ont he wrong side of the street. What are we doing wrong? Did I really just spend $110 on a paperweight?

Hey,

 

I appreciate the challenges you've been experiencing. My wife bought me a 300 as an early birthday present, and I've been able to use it, but it hasn't been easy. First, look through the forums and get a cable to load the coordinates into the unit. Under the batteries, there is a rubber cover, and this cable has an end that will access the card inside. Be sure to get the USB adaptor with it. I found mine at http://rhamphorinkx.newmail.ru/connect.htm. It's $38 or there abouts with shipping, but it eliminates that the coordinates will be different than posted (that joystick, just isn't user friendly). Then you can use the LOC files and download the coordinates to the unit. There is another tool required also, it's a software tool, and you can download it for free. I after 3 months decided it was worth the $25 and registered my copy (with the registered copy, you can use the GPX files, which provide more information, and let me download the cache information to my Palm). The program is called GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife, catchy eh?), and I was able to easily find it by doing a search on Google.

 

These 2 tools have been invaluable, and GSAK will be used when, not if, but when I upgrade to a different unit. I've been using this one now for 7 months, and have 137 finds.

 

I also have to give credit where credit is due. I haven't met these challenges by myself, and have had significant assistance from a friend that I work with. He's been doing it for 3 years, or so, and just went over 3000 finds. Yes, we make sure he takes his OCD meds, lol.

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

Udderly

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Another thing to keep in mind is on most units the arrow will not start pointing in the correct direction until you start moving. Then only way it can know which way you're facing, unless it has a built in compass, is by you moving. So if it's pointing in a direction that you don't think is right, just start walking the right way and see if the arrow points differently once you move a hundred feet or so.

That is exactly what i was thinking.

 

I dont think the new Magellans come with written manuals. You need to spend some time reading it with your PC or online from their web site.

 

Try to get to know it because you cant take the manual with you when you go out.

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I started off with a Magellan Explorist 210 and used it for about two weeks to find about 18 caches. I decided that the 22MB of internal RAM wasn't enough, so I returned it and got the 500. I like it a lot more! It has a color screen (I didn't think I'd care, but is looks way better) and an SD card slot, so I can store most of the USA in detail maps on a SD card. It also has better software features and slightly better accuracy. I like the ability of the 500 to mark a downloaded geocache as "found." (the 210 didn't do this).

 

In case you don't know, the 210 and 500 (including the LE) (and 600, XL and even the 400 I believe) can be plugged into your PC and you can transfer geocache waypoints, other waypoints, routes, maps, etc. to the device.

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In case you don't know, the 210 and 500 (including the LE) (and 600, XL and even the 400 I believe) can be plugged into your PC and you can transfer geocache waypoints, other waypoints, routes, maps, etc. to the device.

Unfortunately I don't know much about the 300 but having a couple of Maggies, they pretty much operate the exact same way. I have a 210 and an XL, both can transfer. The 210 via the USB cable and the XL, just pop out the SD card, put it in the computer, takes about 2 seconds to download. You may want to look into GSAK, it has been an incredible tool IMO!

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