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Oregon 400t vs. 300 and paperless geocaching


atvfun111
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I did a matrix comparison between the Oregon 400T and the 300 The only thing that I happen to notice different between the two is built in memory. The Oregon 300 has 850 MB of memory, and the 400t doesn’t list anything other it says yes. So how much memory dose it have??

I was leaning towards the 400t but I see you cannot print tracks to a pc with the preloaded TOPO program that it comes with. But on the 300 you have the ability to load ms TOPO 2008 (which I already have) or I could load ms streets and trips on a card and use that program if I wanted to do auto routing. I understand you cannot run both ms programs you have pick one or the other.

I primarily would be using this for geocaching, also any problems with the paperless geocaching ?? I am a member of the geocaching. I would imagine you still have do pocket queries but do you have to use another program other than geocaching website, or any third party program?

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The ONLY difference between the Oregon 300 and 400T is the 400T comes with the Topo map program preloaded hence the "T" in 400T the 400i has the inland lakes map and the 400C has the coastal region maps preloaded. If you notice there is a $100 difference between the 300 and 400 that is due to the $100 map software. Save yourself the money and just get the 300. I bought mine off ebay brand new from a seller that had over 24,000 sales and had 100% positive feedback. The 300 was $398 and that included free shipping.

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There is a hardware difference between the 300 and 400t. The 300 has 1GB of internal memory and the 400t has 4GB. About 150MB is used on the 300 and ~3GB on the 400t (because of the large topo map file).

What does more internal memory get you? Maybe I should rephrase that as what is the difference in functionality between internal memory and a SD card?

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There is a hardware difference between the 300 and 400t. The 300 has 1GB of internal memory and the 400t has 4GB. About 150MB is used on the 300 and ~3GB on the 400t (because of the large topo map file).

What does more internal memory get you? Maybe I should rephrase that as what is the difference in functionality between internal memory and a SD card?

 

The internal memory is available for loading maps, geocaches, tracks, Wherigo cartridges etc. You can have maps on the microSD card as well as in the memory. Utilizes different profiles to configure which map you want to use.

 

I have my 300 configured as follows:

 

(1) I have the City Navigator North America NT microSD card installed in the card slot.

(2) I have 600MB of the units memory utilized with a third party high resolution (1:10,000) topo map of Ontario Canada.

(3) I have the 4,000 closest unfound geocaches, plus all of my found geocaches (2100) loaded in the unit as Points of Interest

(4) I have about 185MB of memory left for tracks, geocaches and Wherigo's.

(5) I have a Geocaching profile that has only the topo map turned on. I have an Urban Caching profile that has the CN map turned on but auto routing turned off. And I have an Automotive profile that uses the CN map and auto routing. Makes transition a piece of cake.

 

So, that memory is really useful. I agree with the previous post that if you have no real need for U.S. topo maps, the 300 will meet your needs.

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The internal memory is available for loading maps, geocaches, tracks, Wherigo cartridges etc. You can have maps on the microSD card as well as in the memory.

 

The specs for all models show

Waypoints/favorites/locations: 1000

Routes: 50

Track log: 10,000 points, 20 saved tracks

 

So other than being able to store maps on the internal memory rather than SD card what's the advantage of more internal memory?

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The internal memory is available for loading maps, geocaches, tracks, Wherigo cartridges etc. You can have maps on the microSD card as well as in the memory.

 

The specs for all models show

Waypoints/favorites/locations: 1000

Routes: 50

Track log: 10,000 points, 20 saved tracks

 

So other than being able to store maps on the internal memory rather than SD card what's the advantage of more internal memory?

 

That is a pretty BIG advantage.

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Just remembered that you can use the Oregon as a picture viewer, although it escapes me as to why you would want to.

 

However, you can fill the memory up with pictures of your kids and dog and look at them as you are hiking down the trail.

 

You use it to store and view spoiler pictures for caching.

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So other than being able to store maps on the internal memory rather than SD card what's the advantage of more internal memory?

 

That is a pretty BIG advantage.

Why?? Other than being able to store more mapping (I think I'd be happy with what can be stored on 2GB card) are the mapping functions (panning and zooming) faster if on internal memory?

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So other than being able to store maps on the internal memory rather than SD card what's the advantage of more internal memory?

 

That is a pretty BIG advantage.

Why?? Other than being able to store more mapping (I think I'd be happy with what can be stored on 2GB card) are the mapping functions (panning and zooming) faster if on internal memory?

 

The extra memory allows you to have two SEPARATE map files. This is an advantage to me because it allowed me to buy the CN NA NT microSD card and use it on two separate GPS units. Since you cannot add maps to a pre-programmed map card from Garmin, being able to put my topos on the unit got around that limitation.

 

If you don't consider being able to store maps in two places an advantage, then I guess it is of no value to you.

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Just remembered that you can use the Oregon as a picture viewer, although it escapes me as to why you would want to.

 

However, you can fill the memory up with pictures of your kids and dog and look at them as you are hiking down the trail.

 

You use it to store and view spoiler pictures for caching.

 

That is a great idea. I hadn't thought about that before. Thanks.

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Tequila and Red90 thanks for the answers.

The internal memory is available for loading maps, geocaches, tracks, Wherigo cartridges etc.

 

These can all also go on the card.

 

One more question about this. If tracks and waypoints can also be stored on the card are they limited to the numbers quoted in the specs?

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Waypoints are limited to 1000. Geocaches are limited to 2000 (separate from waypoints). No limit on custom POIs. Note custom POIs can have 20000 characters each. It does not matter if they are internal or on the card.

 

Number of TOTAL GPX files is limited to 200, so you need to be careful on that.

 

Nobody knows what the limit is on number of tracks. It is much more than 20. I've personally tried 100. Each track can be 10000 points each.

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I just got my Oregon 400T today for Christmas.

 

I'm sure this has been asked somewhere else (or maybe not) but for the paperless caching - is there someway to get the hints downloaded? I loaded the .gpx file in for a cache but it only gave me the text - the description and all of the logs. I guess the hint is considered a link so it didn't go in. Does anyone know how to get the hints in, or is this not possible? Kind of useless feature without the hint if you ask me.

 

Thanks :laughing:

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I just got my Oregon 400T today for Christmas.

 

I'm sure this has been asked somewhere else (or maybe not) but for the paperless caching - is there someway to get the hints downloaded? I loaded the .gpx file in for a cache but it only gave me the text - the description and all of the logs. I guess the hint is considered a link so it didn't go in. Does anyone know how to get the hints in, or is this not possible? Kind of useless feature without the hint if you ask me.

 

Thanks :laughing:

The hints are in the GPX file, are you sure that the caches that you are looking at have hints? Kind of useless looking for the hint if the cache doesn't have one ... if you ask me.

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I just got my Oregon 400T today for Christmas.

 

I'm sure this has been asked somewhere else (or maybe not) but for the paperless caching - is there someway to get the hints downloaded? I loaded the .gpx file in for a cache but it only gave me the text - the description and all of the logs. I guess the hint is considered a link so it didn't go in. Does anyone know how to get the hints in, or is this not possible? Kind of useless feature without the hint if you ask me.

 

Thanks :laughing:

 

you should have a tab that says "show hint"

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I just got my Oregon 400T today for Christmas.

 

I'm sure this has been asked somewhere else (or maybe not) but for the paperless caching - is there someway to get the hints downloaded? I loaded the .gpx file in for a cache but it only gave me the text - the description and all of the logs. I guess the hint is considered a link so it didn't go in. Does anyone know how to get the hints in, or is this not possible? Kind of useless feature without the hint if you ask me.

 

Thanks :laughing:

 

I have had the 400t for about 8 weeks.

 

You should have the files when you download the cache. Are you a full member? if not you will not get the full file when you download.

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Just remembered that you can use the Oregon as a picture viewer, although it escapes me as to why you would want to.

 

However, you can fill the memory up with pictures of your kids and dog and look at them as you are hiking down the trail.

 

I've used my GPSr to view the memory card from 'stealth cams' we have placed around the farm. It's a nice feature for that. I haven't used it on the trail yet, though.

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Some more examples of what you can use the picture viewer for:

 

Some of the rivers I float have guides that I store as jpgs so I can access them when floating the river.

 

Sometimes there will be trail maps of an area that you can store.

 

If ther ewas ever a need to view a USGS 24K mpa or aerial photos, you can view them.

 

I keep two map sets, on my card, I store City Navigator and mapsets I always use. On the GPS I have a very small mapset of custom maps I make. The trail maps are regularly updated. So it on takes a few minutes to download the updated mapset. It would be a royal pain to have to reload CN for the entire country every time I updated my trail map.

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I have been trying to figure out the best way to go between the 300 and 400T as well. I was looking at it as I could purchase the 300 and the 24K West DVD for close to the same as the 400T.

 

Would the 300 and 24K West give better detail and usability outdoors while geocaching and hiking than the 400T? I am not concerned about city maps, car navigation or highway maps. I am primarily geocaching on the West coast.

 

Sorry if this has been covered before, I am new to this forum and geocaching and these forums seem a bit overwhelming to search for me at his point in time.

 

Thanks

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Here is something I have not see mentioned yet...

 

I know of at least one person who has purchased a 400t unit. They then made a backup of the GPSr memory to DVD as is suggested several places. Next they did the rather unique process of deleting the Topo 2008 base maps that came pre-installed on their GPSR, and uploaded City Navigator NA 2009 NT into the internal memory. The new maps are just over 1GB, so when you remove the space used by the Topo maps (about 2.6GB) and add in the free space on the 400t to begin with (about 1.25GB) then subtract the space for the City Nav maps (about 1GB) you find that they now have about 2.85GB free space on their GPSr. In that space, they can choose to load any number of things, including additional detail maps, etc. They can do all of this while still keeping their SD card free for just about anything they want.

 

I found this a rather creative way to make better use of the memory in their 400t when they found that the built in Topo maps didn't give them as much value as they had originally expected. They already had the Topo maps on DVD, plus the backup they kept of the internal Topo maps, so they can get them back if they want.

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The internal memory is available for loading maps, geocaches, tracks, Wherigo cartridges etc.

 

These can all also go on the card.

 

Actually I don't think Wherigo cartridges do run from a card. They certainly wouldn't on my 300 with 2.80 which was the last time I played one, they had to go into the units internal flash.

 

Regards,

 

-Andy

Edited by iamasmith
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Now here's a thought question about the whole memory issue...Can you get the 300...Buy a large SD card and then get the DVD's of TOPO and Roads and then load those onto the SD card? Saving the system memory for geocaching...

 

Trying to nail it down between Colorado and Oregon....Ugh...

 

Nope. The gmapsupp.img file has a 4GB file size limit to it. Just trying to load the 48 "continental" US States to a single instance is more than the 4GB limit, and you still need another gig for the City Nav NT maps... Nice thought though...

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I have been trying to figure out the best way to go between the 300 and 400T as well. I was looking at it as I could purchase the 300 and the 24K West DVD for close to the same as the 400T.

 

Would the 300 and 24K West give better detail and usability outdoors while geocaching and hiking than the 400T? I am not concerned about city maps, car navigation or highway maps. I am primarily geocaching on the West coast.

 

Sorry if this has been covered before, I am new to this forum and geocaching and these forums seem a bit overwhelming to search for me at his point in time.

 

Thanks

 

To answer my own question here: I talked to a tech at Garmin today and posed the same question to him. He told me that buying the 24K West software to be able to use on the computer and upload to the 300 would be more beneficial since the maps would be in 1:24K detail instead of the 1:100K as loaded on the 400T. It's looking like the 300 plus another $100 for the Topo West 24K DVD.

 

I am looking at going this route unless you guys can point out things that my limited knowledge base is lacking.

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To answer my own question here: I talked to a tech at Garmin today and posed the same question to him. He told me that buying the 24K West software to be able to use on the computer and upload to the 300 would be more beneficial since the maps would be in 1:24K detail instead of the 1:100K as loaded on the 400T. It's looking like the 300 plus another $100 for the Topo West 24K DVD.

 

I am looking at going this route unless you guys can point out things that my limited knowledge base is lacking.

 

I won't try to "talk you out of it". For most people, the 300 + maps on DVD + micro-SD card is the more robust solution. That way you get the maps on the PC as well as on the GPSr, and the only real differences between the 300 and the 400t are the pre-loaded maps, and internal memory. The micro-SD card can compensate for the memory issue...

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To answer my own question here: I talked to a tech at Garmin today and posed the same question to him. He told me that buying the 24K West software to be able to use on the computer and upload to the 300 would be more beneficial since the maps would be in 1:24K detail instead of the 1:100K as loaded on the 400T. It's looking like the 300 plus another $100 for the Topo West 24K DVD.

 

I am looking at going this route unless you guys can point out things that my limited knowledge base is lacking.

 

I won't try to "talk you out of it". For most people, the 300 + maps on DVD + micro-SD card is the more robust solution. That way you get the maps on the PC as well as on the GPSr, and the only real differences between the 300 and the 400t are the pre-loaded maps, and internal memory. The micro-SD card can compensate for the memory issue...

 

Thanks for the reply. I wouldn't mind you "trying to talk me out of it" since it would be a learning curve for me as to the reasons for not going the route I plan on. I would like to know why someone would not go this route even it is for reasons that might not apply to the way I will use the GPSr. Enlighten me if you feel like it :laughing:

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Now here's a thought question about the whole memory issue...Can you get the 300...Buy a large SD card and then get the DVD's of TOPO and Roads and then load those onto the SD card? Saving the system memory for geocaching...

 

Trying to nail it down between Colorado and Oregon....Ugh...

 

Nope. The gmapsupp.img file has a 4GB file size limit to it. Just trying to load the 48 "continental" US States to a single instance is more than the 4GB limit, and you still need another gig for the City Nav NT maps... Nice thought though...

 

So if I get the 300...I buy maps on DVD and can I put them all on the internal memory? And then get the topo DVD and put those on a card and put that in...SO running roads off internal memory and then topo on the card? Will this also work in a similar way with the Colorado 300?

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Thanks for the reply. I wouldn't mind you "trying to talk me out of it" since it would be a learning curve for me as to the reasons for not going the route I plan on. I would like to know why someone would not go this route even it is for reasons that might not apply to the way I will use the GPSr. Enlighten me if you feel like it :laughing:

 

I bought a Colorado when they were released last year. After much deliberation and internal debate, I decided upon the Colorado 300 for just the reasons mentioned. I already owned the Topo 2008 DVD, and I could use an SD card to load the maps. I even spoke with several Garmin people at an event in their Chicago store, so I had not only salesmen, but some of the engineers there too. They all agreed that the Colorado 300 + Maps DVD + SD card was the same as a Colorado 400t.

 

After getting my 300, I quickly learned that this wasn't entirely true. When you have the Topo 2008 DVD, you don't have exactly the same maps as are pre-loaded on the 400t models. The maps pre-loaded on the 400t unit are about 2.7GB and only use about 500 segments (I might have the number of segments way off here). The Topo 2008 DVD maps are closer to 7000 segments and are larger than the 4GB file size limit for the maps file. This really disappointed me because I couldn't load "everything" from the Topo DVD as well as my City Navigator maps onto the 300 (even using the SD card). After a little moping, I accepted that I didn't really need to load the entire US Topo maps, and I loaded a sub-set of maps onto my SD card and was off working hapily for several months.

 

While visiting the MidWest Geo Bash last summer, I found my next limitation of going with the 300 over the 400t. When you pull your SD card out for any reason, you lose all of your maps... This isn't an issue for most people, but it became one for me. I keep my geocaches stored on the SD card so that I can have multiple GPX files with more than 2000 geocaches. I only put a sub-set of those GPX files into the /Garmin/GPX folder on the SD card, and can move them around using my PDA or my cell phone while out on a caching run. I was attempting to do just that on a Saturday afternoon when we met up with some friends for lunch. They gave us their address to go to their house, so I entered it into the GPSr and set it to route us there. Before leaving the restaurant I pulled the SD card to move the GPX files around on the PDA, and quickly learned that my GPSr could no longer route me to their house because it had no maps.

 

On New Year's eve last year, I took advantage of an exceptional opportunity. A local cacher had purchased an Oregon 400t and later decided to go with a Delorme PN-40, so they were selling their 400t with all of its accessories for $450. They told me that they had sent their GPSr back to Garmin for repairs/exchange and had been sent a replacement one that they had not used (or had used very little since getting it back). Now that I have the 400t, I am seeing that with the Oregon, Garmin made the differences between the 300 and the 400 much less "troubling". On the Colorado 300, the user only had about 390 MB of available memory for maps, etc. I hear that on the Oregon that is now up to about 850 MB. That 850 MB is much closer to the 1.25 GB free on the 400t, and therefore make it easier to suggest the Oregon 300 to people. The other thing I have learned is that very few people really "need" the whole US Topo map on their GPSr all the time so loading some maps on the GPSr internal memory and more on the SD card is an acceptable solution.

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So if I get the 300...I buy maps on DVD and can I put them all on the internal memory? And then get the topo DVD and put those on a card and put that in...SO running roads off internal memory and then topo on the card? Will this also work in a similar way with the Colorado 300?

 

They still won't all fit for you. City Navigator NA 2009 NT needs just over 1GB of space to load all the maps. The Oregon 300 only has 850 MB of memory available to the user, and the Colorado 300 only has about 390 MB memory available. You can get a little more memory available for user maps if you are willing to delete the pre-loaded base maps. On the Colorado 300, that will get you an additional 80-90 MB of space for your maps. You might be surprised by some of the things people will do to get more space for the maps they want loaded on their GPSr. :laughing:

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So if I get the 300...I buy maps on DVD and can I put them all on the internal memory? And then get the topo DVD and put those on a card and put that in...SO running roads off internal memory and then topo on the card? Will this also work in a similar way with the Colorado 300?

 

They still won't all fit for you. City Navigator NA 2009 NT needs just over 1GB of space to load all the maps. The Oregon 300 only has 850 MB of memory available to the user, and the Colorado 300 only has about 390 MB memory available. You can get a little more memory available for user maps if you are willing to delete the pre-loaded base maps. On the Colorado 300, that will get you an additional 80-90 MB of space for your maps. You might be surprised by some of the things people will do to get more space for the maps they want loaded on their GPSr. :blink:

 

So really to "get it a''" you need the 400T and then put the streets on the external card correct? Outside of that streets on one card and topo on another card? I seem to be getting more and more confused! :laughing:

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Thanks for the reply. I wouldn't mind you "trying to talk me out of it" since it would be a learning curve for me as to the reasons for not going the route I plan on. I would like to know why someone would not go this route even it is for reasons that might not apply to the way I will use the GPSr. Enlighten me if you feel like it :blink:

 

I bought a Colorado when they were released last year. After much deliberation and internal debate, I decided upon the Colorado 300 for just the reasons mentioned. I already owned the Topo 2008 DVD, and I could use an SD card to load the maps. I even spoke with several Garmin people at an event in their Chicago store, so I had not only salesmen, but some of the engineers there too. They all agreed that the Colorado 300 + Maps DVD + SD card was the same as a Colorado 400t.

 

After getting my 300, I quickly learned that this wasn't entirely true. When you have the Topo 2008 DVD, you don't have exactly the same maps as are pre-loaded on the 400t models. The maps pre-loaded on the 400t unit are about 2.7GB and only use about 500 segments (I might have the number of segments way off here). The Topo 2008 DVD maps are closer to 7000 segments and are larger than the 4GB file size limit for the maps file. This really disappointed me because I couldn't load "everything" from the Topo DVD as well as my City Navigator maps onto the 300 (even using the SD card). After a little moping, I accepted that I didn't really need to load the entire US Topo maps, and I loaded a sub-set of maps onto my SD card and was off working hapily for several months.

 

While visiting the MidWest Geo Bash last summer, I found my next limitation of going with the 300 over the 400t. When you pull your SD card out for any reason, you lose all of your maps... This isn't an issue for most people, but it became one for me. I keep my geocaches stored on the SD card so that I can have multiple GPX files with more than 2000 geocaches. I only put a sub-set of those GPX files into the /Garmin/GPX folder on the SD card, and can move them around using my PDA or my cell phone while out on a caching run. I was attempting to do just that on a Saturday afternoon when we met up with some friends for lunch. They gave us their address to go to their house, so I entered it into the GPSr and set it to route us there. Before leaving the restaurant I pulled the SD card to move the GPX files around on the PDA, and quickly learned that my GPSr could no longer route me to their house because it had no maps.

 

On New Year's eve last year, I took advantage of an exceptional opportunity. A local cacher had purchased an Oregon 400t and later decided to go with a Delorme PN-40, so they were selling their 400t with all of its accessories for $450. They told me that they had sent their GPSr back to Garmin for repairs/exchange and had been sent a replacement one that they had not used (or had used very little since getting it back). Now that I have the 400t, I am seeing that with the Oregon, Garmin made the differences between the 300 and the 400 much less "troubling". On the Colorado 300, the user only had about 390 MB of available memory for maps, etc. I hear that on the Oregon that is now up to about 850 MB. That 850 MB is much closer to the 1.25 GB free on the 400t, and therefore make it easier to suggest the Oregon 300 to people. The other thing I have learned is that very few people really "need" the whole US Topo map on their GPSr all the time so loading some maps on the GPSr internal memory and more on the SD card is an acceptable solution.

 

Thanks a bunch for your lengthy reply, completely understandable and applicable to my decision. Thanks for putting me back on the fence between the 300 & 400T again! :laughing:

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Thanks a bunch for your lengthy reply, completely understandable and applicable to my decision. Thanks for putting me back on the fence between the 300 & 400T again! :laughing:

 

Sorry. Just speaking from my [limited] experiences. Since about a year ago I was where you are now...

 

[ as you can now see, I really am a geek :blink: ]

Edited by GeekBoy.from.Illinois
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So really to "get it all" you need the 400T and then put the streets on the external card correct? Outside of that streets on one card and topo on another card? I seem to be getting more and more confused! :laughing:

 

Close. You can get the 400t, and them load the street maps on the internal memory as well. This will use almost all of the memory on the GPSr, but you can do that.

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So really to "get it all" you need the 400T and then put the streets on the external card correct? Outside of that streets on one card and topo on another card? I seem to be getting more and more confused! :laughing:

 

Close. You can get the 400t, and them load the street maps on the internal memory as well. This will use almost all of the memory on the GPSr, but you can do that.

 

Then I can assume that if you go the 300 route you have one card with topo and one with roads and swap them out as needed?

Edited by pklong911
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So really to "get it all" you need the 400T and then put the streets on the external card correct? Outside of that streets on one card and topo on another card? I seem to be getting more and more confused! :laughing:

 

Close. You can get the 400t, and them load the street maps on the internal memory as well. This will use almost all of the memory on the GPSr, but you can do that.

 

Then I can assume that if you go the 300 route you have one card with topo and one with roads and swap them out as needed?

 

Going with the 300, I would make one card with the entire US streets, and half of the US Topo, and a second card wit all the US streets & the other half of the US Topo. That way I would always have street maps, and I may have to swap cards out to get the correct Topo maps. (To be honest, I would probably have a state or two overlap in the Topo Maps to reduce the urgency for swapping cards when in working in an area near the intersection of the map sets.)

 

If you don't want to use 2 cards, you could also use a single card, but rename the map set files on your PC, then when out, you could use your cell phone or PDA to rename the map set files to change your set of active maps. This method assumes you have a PDA or cell phone that can be used to read the SD card, but so many of these devices can do that now...

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I purchased an 8 gig sdhc ard at Office Depot today for $15.

 

So now let me compliacate things more for you.

 

Check out:

 

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/

 

TopoUSA is 100K maps. A large part of the country has free 24K topo maps that are far superior to topoUSA.

 

But these free maps do not have DEM data. TopoUSA has DEM data. The CO/OR requires DEM data to show shaded relief. So if you want the ability to see shaded releif, you need topoUSA and the free maps. If you have topousa and the free maps active in the CO/OR, topoUSA will not be visable and you will see the free 24K maps with shaded relief.

 

Shaded releif makes the screen harder to see. One of the trade offs between the CO and OR is the OR's screen is much harder to see. I have the CO and I rarely use shaded releif since it makes it harder to see the map. So unless you need shaded relief, you don't need to load topoUSA for the states that have free 24K topo maps. More and more states are being done with the free topomaps.

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So really to "get it all" you need the 400T and then put the streets on the external card correct? Outside of that streets on one card and topo on another card? I seem to be getting more and more confused! :)

 

Close. You can get the 400t, and them load the street maps on the internal memory as well. This will use almost all of the memory on the GPSr, but you can do that.

 

Then I can assume that if you go the 300 route you have one card with topo and one with roads and swap them out as needed?

 

Going with the 300, I would make one card with the entire US streets, and half of the US Topo, and a second card wit all the US streets & the other half of the US Topo. That way I would always have street maps, and I may have to swap cards out to get the correct Topo maps. (To be honest, I would probably have a state or two overlap in the Topo Maps to reduce the urgency for swapping cards when in working in an area near the intersection of the map sets.)

 

If you don't want to use 2 cards, you could also use a single card, but rename the map set files on your PC, then when out, you could use your cell phone or PDA to rename the map set files to change your set of active maps. This method assumes you have a PDA or cell phone that can be used to read the SD card, but so many of these devices can do that now...

 

Ok...I think I can live / deal with a two card system...One final question, maybe...Having used both the CO and the OR which screen is nicer? I would use shaded on the topo but not as much as I would be using the roads map and the geocaching functions. I hear of the grumblings about the OR, but if using just mainly map and geocaching is that as much an issue or is it mainly with the shaded relief?

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Ok...I think I can live / deal with a two card system...One final question, maybe...Having used both the CO and the OR which screen is nicer? I would use shaded on the topo but not as much as I would be using the roads map and the geocaching functions. I hear of the grumblings about the OR, but if using just mainly map and geocaching is that as much an issue or is it mainly with the shaded relief?

 

To be honest with you, I would have to put both units side-by-side to really see a difference in the screen brightness. When the two are right next to each other, the OR is a little dimmer than the Colorado, but when I am out in the field using either unit for geocaching, the difference is negligible to me. What I find more awkward than screen brightness is the font size. When viewing a cache description, the font is a fixed size, and I have not seen a way to change that font size to make it easier to read. I guess the smaller font is forcing me to increase the screen back light level more to be able to read the text, but not really to see the map screen.

 

Everyone appears to be grumbling about using the OR (or the CO) in direct sun light. I don't have a problem with the unit in direct sun light, I have more issues with seeing the screen in the dim light of the early morning or early evening. It is at that time that I need to use the back light a more than I feel my wife needs on her 60Cx.

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I purchased an 8 gig sdhc ard at Office Depot today for $15.

 

So now let me compliacate things more for you.

 

Check out:

 

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/

 

TopoUSA is 100K maps. A large part of the country has free 24K topo maps that are far superior to topoUSA.

 

But these free maps do not have DEM data. TopoUSA has DEM data. The CO/OR requires DEM data to show shaded relief. So if you want the ability to see shaded releif, you need topoUSA and the free maps. If you have topousa and the free maps active in the CO/OR, topoUSA will not be visable and you will see the free 24K maps with shaded relief.

 

Shaded releif makes the screen harder to see. One of the trade offs between the CO and OR is the OR's screen is much harder to see. I have the CO and I rarely use shaded releif since it makes it harder to see the map. So unless you need shaded relief, you don't need to load topoUSA for the states that have free 24K topo maps. More and more states are being done with the free topomaps.

 

can you use this on the CO or OR? What will the result be?

37648_m.jpg

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WHO-DEY,

 

That appears to be the older version of TOPOUSA. Yes you can use it on the CO/OR. However, the older version does not have DEM data so it will not show shaded releif.

 

But one thing to remember is the free maps at GPSfiledepot are much better than the Garmin topo maps. They are much more accurate, up to date, and detailed than the TopoUSA maps. So you should only use the TOPOUSA maps if there is not a map for the area at gpsfiledepot. The exception is you need topousa to show shaded relief.

 

On the CO/OR question, yes there is a significant difference in screen brightness. I have a CO and I have been caching with friends who have an OR and I have compared them side by side. I could clealry see my screen and I had problems seeing the OR screen. Maybe you get used to it or maybe my eyes are not as good as others. But there is definatly a big difference. I think you should go to a store that will let you look at them outside before making up your mind.

 

This is really a personal preference issue, both have strengths and weaknesses. My preference is the CO. Screen visability is my main reason, but I would like to have a touch screen for data entry. With the CO, you zoom with the rock n roller. On the OR there are some orrows on the screen. I like the rock n roller and do not like the arrows showing on the OR screen. While I am not sure, but I suspect the CO is much easier to operate with one hand and not looking at it. The CO has two big buttons and the Rock N Roller with a select button in the middle of it. This hardware set up makes it real easy to do things with one hand and not looking at the GPS. A good example is when you are using road navigation to a cache and want to switch to off road navigation. I can do it with one hand not looking at the GPS in about 2 seconds. All I do is push the right button, move the rock n roller one click then push the select button twice.

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I forgot to add, shaded releif makes a major difference in screen visability even on the CO. With shaded relif on, it is much harder to see the screen. So I only use shaded releif when I need it. That is extremely rare. With teh big screen it is usually pretty easy to tell up from down without the shaded releif. But having the option for shaded releif is nice.

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...But one thing to remember is the free maps at GPSfiledepot are much better than the Garmin topo maps. They are much more accurate, up to date, and detailed than the TopoUSA maps. So you should only use the TOPOUSA maps if there is not a map for the area at gpsfiledepot. The exception is you need topousa to show shaded relief...

 

Any idea how the files from gpsfiledepot compare to the Garmin 24K series of topos? I have the older version of Topo pictured above and it is just OK. I have National Geographic Topo that I prefer to use on the computer but it isn't GPS compatable but the maps are so much better. I just download my GPSr data and overlay it on the National Geographic program. I was planning on getting the Garmin 24K West DVD to replace both of my mapping applications listed above. When I went to the gpsfiledepot all I saw that seemed applicable to Topo was a trails map of the NW. I didn't download it yet and don't know if this is the same style map that is better than the Garmin ones.

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