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Upgrade to the Oregon?


Devthor
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Here is my situation. I currently own the Magellan Triton 400, but have the opportunity to sell it for a fair chunk of my money back. I am trying to decide whether I should spend the extra money and go with the Garmin Oregon.

 

Features I want:

 

- Paperless Geocaching (I don't have a PDA, nor would I really use one)

- Decent Accuracy

- Good Track Management

- Electronic Compass (nice, but not necessary, I use a standard compass w/ my GPS currently)

 

Really my uses are:

 

60% geocaching

20% hiking

20% skiing

 

Currently in Minnesota so Terrain:

 

Mostly Tree Cover (ranging from heavy to light)

Some canyons (north shore), but nothing that major

 

I have been heavily considered going with the Oregon 300 series and picking up the topographic maps separately (I would love to get them pre-loaded, but having a viewer to examine maps and such on my computer really outweighs that, what was Garmin thinking?)

 

My only major concern is whether the Oregon has accuracy problems in geocacheing that people have noticed, or if they seem to have been somewhat resovled. (By accuracy problems I mean major drift issues where you get outside of the typical 30' search area)

 

I know this has been brought up a fair amount, but I am just curious if anyone has additional input on this particular situation.

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I've had my oregon 300 for a few months now and have found about 18 caches without problems.

 

It has track management, however I don't know the detail of what you want to do with it. I don't use it much.

Most of your questions can be answered at garminoregon.wikispaces.com

 

You may also want to consider the Delorme PN-40 it can be had at a much better price than an Oregon and all the maps are included with it.

 

The paperless caching on the Oregon is excellent, it holds the last 5 activity logs, plus the hint. It also stores child waypoints such as parking areas for caches if they are included on the cache description page.

You can also enter your logs right on the unit as you find them, then plug it into the computer and upload your logs to Geocaching.com.

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Curse you. The more I look at the Delorme PN-40 the more I like the features. Especially the cheaper maps. Now, if only their menu system and UI was built as well as the Oregon. The touch screen interface is very tempting for geocaching...

 

You've left me with more to think about, thank you.

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Everything that bcre8iv said about the paperless feature and the touchscreen interface is great. The only comparison on accuracy I can give is. It is right there with my Garmin 60csx. I was at a cache I had previously had trouble with and I brought both Gps's with me. Both the Oregon and the 60csx brought me to the same spot. It was just me that wasn't creative enough to get it the first time out. My daughter uses a 60csx and we cache together and it seems we are shoulder to shoulder at GZ. In my opinion its as accurate as the 60csx which is highly recommended by many people. I really like my Oregon.

Edited by mty55
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I have also had my Oregon for a few months now and have found a couple hundred cache swith it, done auto routing, used it on the water... it ROCKS....

 

Everything that bcre8iv said about the paperless feature and the touchscreen interface is great. The only comparison on accuracy I can give is. It is right there with my Garmin 60csx. I was at a cache I had previously had trouble with and I brought both Gps's with me. Both the Oregon and the 60csx brought me to the same spot. It was just me that wasn't creative enough to get it the first time out. My daughter uses a 60csx and we cache together and it seems we are shoulder to shoulder at GZ. In my opinion its as accurate as the 60csx which is highly recommended by many people. I really like my Oregon.

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I have both a 60CSx and an Oregon 300. Both are very accurate. It seems the 60CSx will "get" you there a couple of seconds faster but both will take you to the same spot.

 

I have found a few hundred caches with the Oregon and now use it exclusively. It seems to work quite well in cold weather.

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I upgraded to an Oregon for the paperless caching. At first I kept my Vista HCx along and checked a few times on caches I was having a hard time finding. They both took me to the same place.

 

I am not sorry I got it. I use GSAK to download the caches to it and the macro I use lets you download as many logs as you like. I do 10, anymore then that and it gets toooooooo sllllllllllloooow to open a cache page.

Also I am using the beta 7.5 and it allows you to upload the child waypoints as POI's saving you waypoint memory.

 

Don't really use the tracks except to see how far I hiked when I get home so can't help there and the compass seems OK but not great. I do use it to navigate to a cache but mainly make sure the numbers continue to go down as the compass sometimes seems to get stuck when you stop for a bit.

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It looks like I will probably go with the Garmin Oregon 300 and topo maps. I like a lot of the features of the Delorme, but the paperless geocaching features on the Oregon seem a step above and beyond what is offered by the competition (makes sense since they have been doing it for so long).

 

Since that is my main use for the unit, I am willing to sacrifice a bit in other areas for it. Though maybe Delorme will push Garmin to price their maps a bit better... Here's hoping.

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It looks like I will probably go with the Garmin Oregon 300 and topo maps. I like a lot of the features of the Delorme, but the paperless geocaching features on the Oregon seem a step above and beyond what is offered by the competition (makes sense since they have been doing it for so long).

 

Since that is my main use for the unit, I am willing to sacrifice a bit in other areas for it. Though maybe Delorme will push Garmin to price their maps a bit better... Here's hoping.

 

That sounds like a good call to me. There is NO difference between the 300 and the 400T, other than internal memory capacity and the Topo maps. I am not sure if the 300 does shaded relief, which I admit is mostly cosmetic, but looks REALLY cool. Not sure it's worth an extra 100 bones tho.

 

I have had my 400T for a month, and have found well over 100 caches with it now. While the CSx is a real workhorse and still sees some good use (mostly because after 4 years with the 60 series, I am still more comfortable with how it does the more advanced functions than I am with the same features of the Oregon (I finally had to use the Oregon to do a projection on Saturday for a multi cache, and it was actually VERY slick for it). It's all about the learning curve, really. The CSx with custom POIs is all the GPS anyone will ever really *NEED* but the Oregon with paperless caching is really REALLY sweeeeet. It's even made GSAK obsolete for me, since I have wireless internet on my laptop...I can instantly get any data I want in my Oregon in less than 5 minutes, straight from GC.com. Why mess with updating GSAK? I just let GC.com do it for me.

 

I hope you love it....get the topos, and a Micro SD (I got an 8GB on ebay for $40) and you will have all the 400T offers, and more. (minus, I suspect, the shaded relief)

 

Happy caching!

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I hope you love it....get the topos, and a Micro SD (I got an 8GB on ebay for $40) and you will have all the 400T offers, and more. (minus, I suspect, the shaded relief)

 

The 300 does have terrain shading. There is no difference between units except the 400T has Topo2008 loaded and the additional memory needed for that.

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If you're in the Minneapolis area go over to MicroCenter in St Louis Park (Hwy 100 and 36th) they have the cheapest prices I've seen on MicroSD cards, they have them like gum at a grocery store right at the checkout. I got a 2GB for under 10 bucks I think that holds all of my City Nav. maps for the entire US with plenty of space to spare. You can't beat their prices!

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It looks like I will probably go with the Garmin Oregon 300 and topo maps. I like a lot of the features of the Delorme, but the paperless geocaching features on the Oregon seem a step above and beyond what is offered by the competition (makes sense since they have been doing it for so long).

 

Since that is my main use for the unit, I am willing to sacrifice a bit in other areas for it. Though maybe Delorme will push Garmin to price their maps a bit better... Here's hoping.

 

Don't be so sure...the PN-40 is completely paperless! Also, the DeLorme people are coming out with a lot of toys which will really make the PN-40 shine for caching!!! The PN-40 comes with all the maps you'll need, but also offers MUCH more if you'd like! Aerial, Sat imagery, NOAA etc etc...for a very small price yearly too!!

 

And loading the GPS full of 500 caches was a BREEZE for me, as was the maps!! I loaded all of Michigan in minutes and with only a click or two!! Same with the caches, loaded the PQ without much trouble at all and now can do it in my sleep!!

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Don't be so sure...the PN-40 is completely paperless! Also, the DeLorme people are coming out with a lot of toys which will really make the PN-40 shine for caching!!! The PN-40 comes with all the maps you'll need, but also offers MUCH more if you'd like! Aerial, Sat imagery, NOAA etc etc...for a very small price yearly too!!

 

And loading the GPS full of 500 caches was a BREEZE for me, as was the maps!! I loaded all of Michigan in minutes and with only a click or two!! Same with the caches, loaded the PQ without much trouble at all and now can do it in my sleep!!

 

As paperless is a big deal to the OP, hard to recommend the PN-40 just yet. It is not completely paperless yet...restrictive word limit, no past log support without some jigging around using GSAK, no specific cache type icons yet, there is no found/unfound switch, no child waypoint support and no field note support....yet. The much promised update will take it to what the Oregon can do, but it still wont be as pretty or as inutuitive as the OR, which really shines for paperless caching. Once we can judge the new firmware for the PN-40, then sure. No comparison at the moment between the OR and the PN-40 until then. Cache loading for anything than native PQ's for the PN-40 is also tedious. Hallycat mentions a very easy GSAK macro which is awesome for the OR..children uploaded as POIs on the OR with specific icons automagically there and up to 2,000 loggable geocaches. Awesome macro, one click transfer of your current GSAK filter. Or just drag your PQ file onto the OR, voila. Done.

 

For imagery and choice of maps of an area you travel extensively in, the PN-40 is King. Not trivial to download and transfer but nice it's done, it's done.

 

My rule of thumb at the moment, with the state the units are in right now:

 

1. If your preference is for a unit that does paperless caching very well, and you want great autorouting in the same unit, Garmin Oregon 300 (+ City Navigator). Compared to a 60CSX you lose some functionality in the GPS per se, but gain all the extra ease of paperless.

 

2. If you'd rather have very detailed imagery and a good selection of loaded and cheap maps, particularly if you cache / hike in the same areas over and over, and you have no need for reliable auto-routing, PN-40 is it. Stay tuned for some great paperless additions.

 

Unless they drop the ball with the paperless caching (and cater a little more for the hard core cacher... children waypoint support, custom cache icons) and make the machinery a little more reliable, I can see the PN-40 being very popular and being the one to beat.

 

 

As an aside, there is a method to d/l the topo maps from the a 400t and use in mapsource.

Edited by Maingray
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Don't be so sure...the PN-40 is completely paperless! Also, the DeLorme people are coming out with a lot of toys which will really make the PN-40 shine for caching!!! The PN-40 comes with all the maps you'll need, but also offers MUCH more if you'd like! Aerial, Sat imagery, NOAA etc etc...for a very small price yearly too!!

 

And loading the GPS full of 500 caches was a BREEZE for me, as was the maps!! I loaded all of Michigan in minutes and with only a click or two!! Same with the caches, loaded the PQ without much trouble at all and now can do it in my sleep!!

 

As paperless is a big deal to the OP, hard to recommend the PN-40 just yet. It is not completely paperless yet...restrictive word limit, no past log support without some jigging around using GSAK, no specific cache type icons yet, there is no found/unfound switch, no child waypoint support and no field note support....yet. The much promised update will take it to what the Oregon can do, but it still wont be as pretty or as inutuitive as the OR, which really shines for paperless caching. Once we can judge the new firmware for the PN-40, then sure. No comparison at the oment between the OR and the PN-40 until then. Cache loading for anything than native PQ's for the PN-40 is also tedious. Hallycat mentions a very easy GSAK macro which is awesome for the OR..children uploaded as POIs on the OR with specific icons automagically there and up to 2,000 loggable geocaches. Aweosme macro, one click transfer of your current GSAK filter. Or just drag your PQ file onto the OR, voila. Done.

 

For imagery and choice of maps of an area you travel extensively in, the PN-40 is King. Not trivial to download and but nice it's done, it's done.

 

My rule of thumb at the moment, with the state the units are in right now:

 

1. If your preference is for a unit that does paperless caching very well, and you want great autorouting in the same unit, Garmin Oregon 300 (+ City Navigator). Compared to a 60CSX you lose some functionality in the GPS per se, but gain all the extra ease of paperless.

 

2. If you'd rather have very detailed imagery and a good selection of loaded and cheap maps, particularly if you cache / hike in the same areas over and over, and you have no need for reliable auto-routing, PN-40 is it. Stay tuned for some great paperless additions.

 

Unless they drop the ball with the paperless caching (and cater a little more for the hard core cacher... children waypoint support, custom cache icons) and make the machinery a little more reliable, I can see the PN-40 being very popular and being the one to beat.

 

 

As an aside, there is a method to d/l the topo maps from the a 400t and use in mapsource.

 

I agree the character limit of 800 is a problem on some of the longer worded caches, not many that I've come across though. I have NO problem with logs though, get them each and every time and I don't fiddle with GSAK (nor do I use it at all). Child waypoints?? Not seen a problem there either, but I haven't needed them either...I do know I can load them with my PQ though! I know you can mark the found caches if you want, I've seen that option on my unit! Since I only downloaded traditionals, I can't say as to icons for others. I can make all the field notes I wish on my unit too!!

 

Loading caches is a BREEZE...not sure what problem you're having with that?? I don't use GSAK at all, just the map software. It loads the PQ right in and all the info is there without ever needing to fiddle with a thing! I'll tell you right here that I'm slooow when it comes to computers and gadgetry, but I had no problem loading one, 20 or a PQ full of caches onto my unit!!

 

If you're going for "pretty" I guess the Oregon is what you want...what is pretty though?? I prefer the functionality and as I can see, the Oregon will soon be having less than the PN-40! Yes, the update is still in the works, but I can wait for it, I'm confident that'll make the PN-40 THE unit for caching! Best of all, the DeLorme team seems willing to work with their csutomers to bring what features we want to the unit!! And talk about CS...I feel like a family member when going after help (they have their own forums with plenty waiting to help...and they are happy to come here and help too!!!)!

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It looks like I will probably go with the Garmin Oregon 300 and topo maps. I like a lot of the features of the Delorme, but the paperless geocaching features on the Oregon seem a step above and beyond what is offered by the competition (makes sense since they have been doing it for so long).

 

The paperless geocaching features of the Oregon are really good. There is always room for improvement but Garmin has done a good job at simplifying the interface. Combine that with the OR touch screen and a few key macros in GSAK and it really makes the job of managing caches and cache data easier. The key feature that makes this very simple on the Oregon (and Colorado) is that you can load raw gpx files onto the device, no conversion necessary if you don't want to, no additional tools required. Garmin went through some pains to get to the point where they could read/display any cache, but now that they've fixed a number of issues it is a big advantage to have a native xml/gpx interpreter on the unit itself.

 

I think another point that frequently gets lost about the Oregon (and maybe to a lesser extent the Colorado) is that it isn't only a good paperless caching unit, it is also a good "all-in-one" caching GPS. Since getting the Oregon I no longer use my in car GPS on cache hunts. No need to plug in parking coordinates on the in car unit, only to use the handheld in woods. Data is all downloaded to one unit and never needs to be moved or shared. There are several things that enable this which I think are unique to the OR: the OR's big touch screen makes it easier to use and see in the car, Garmin's excellent (and fast) autorouting engine, and profile management which allows you to easily switch between modes. Not too many handhelds can claim this.

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I have to agree with g-o-cashers. I've had my Oregon for just over a week now and it's so easy to switch between street routing and Off-road routing. You don't even need to switch profiles. While the route is active (either one) you simply enter the "Where To" screen and have it re-route for the other mode. I tend to stay in the Automotive profile and start out street routing to a cache. Then when I get there, I quickly switch to off-road mode. My previous GPS was the Magellan CrossoverGPS, which I had hoped the transition between street route and off-road route would be as easy. It wasn't, but it was doable. Now that I have the Oregon, I don't really see a place for the CrossoverGPS except for cross-country navigation (the Oregon will do this, but the CrossoverGPS has some features that are better dedicated to cross-country navigation).

 

JetSkier

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It looks like I will probably go with the Garmin Oregon 300 and topo maps. I like a lot of the features of the Delorme, but the paperless geocaching features on the Oregon seem a step above and beyond what is offered by the competition (makes sense since they have been doing it for so long).

 

The paperless geocaching features of the Oregon are really good. There is always room for improvement but Garmin has done a good job at simplifying the interface. Combine that with the OR touch screen and a few key macros in GSAK and it really makes the job of managing caches and cache data easier. The key feature that makes this very simple on the Oregon (and Colorado) is that you can load raw gpx files onto the device, no conversion necessary if you don't want to, no additional tools required. Garmin went through some pains to get to the point where they could read/display any cache, but now that they've fixed a number of issues it is a big advantage to have a native xml/gpx interpreter on the unit itself.

 

I think another point that frequently gets lost about the Oregon (and maybe to a lesser extent the Colorado) is that it isn't only a good paperless caching unit, it is also a good "all-in-one" caching GPS. Since getting the Oregon I no longer use my in car GPS on cache hunts. No need to plug in parking coordinates on the in car unit, only to use the handheld in woods. Data is all downloaded to one unit and never needs to be moved or shared. There are several things that enable this which I think are unique to the OR: the OR's big touch screen makes it easier to use and see in the car, Garmin's excellent (and fast) autorouting engine, and profile management which allows you to easily switch between modes. Not too many handhelds can claim this.

 

The boldened part...do you think we PN-40 users need to do any differently?? I also plug in the raw data and go. Nothing else to use save the map software which came with the unit. No fiddling with GSAK, no altering anything...just open the PQ, export it to the GPS and GO!! Maps are the same way, load and go! Only, with the PN-40, you get use of DeLorme's extensive library of maps!

 

The DeLorme also auto-routes...both on the roads and trails. And, it does this with the maps already provided! Since the PN-40 has a dual-processor, it is fast at routing, fast at everything!

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The boldened part...do you think we PN-40 users need to do any differently?? I also plug in the raw data and go. Nothing else to use save the map software which came with the unit. No fiddling with GSAK, no altering anything...just open the PQ, export it to the GPS and GO!! ...

 

I think you missed his point. He was pointing out that you don't have to do anything with the GPX file you get from geocaching.com. You just put that file on the GPSr and go. I have actually downloaded a GPX file while out in the field using my smartphone, and saved it directly to the SD card which I can put into the Oregon (or Colorado) and go find the cache(s) contained there in. The only "computer" involved is the phone which is used to download the GPX file and put it on the SD card.

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The key feature that makes this very simple on the Oregon (and Colorado) is that you can load raw gpx files onto the device, no conversion necessary if you don't want to, no additional tools required.

 

The boldened part...do you think we PN-40 users need to do any differently?? I also plug in the raw data and go. Nothing else to use save the map software which came with the unit. No fiddling with GSAK, no altering anything...just open the PQ, export it to the GPS and GO!!

The DeLorme also auto-routes...both on the roads and trails. And, it does this with the maps already provided! Since the PN-40 has a dual-processor, it is fast at routing, fast at everything!

 

I think the main point that was trying to be made was that all the Colorado/Oregon needs is a computer (or not even that-see geekboys comment above). GPX files readily available from GC.com can be thrown onto the "mass storage device" and you're off! So I could be visiting my relatives on the other side of the country, decide I want to go caching in the area, hop on ANY computer and be on my way in about 30 seconds. No unit specific software of any kind needed. A stand alone unit not dependant on specific software at all to load caches. Heck, last week my GPS and I were on a university library computer, I decided to kill an hour and go snag a cache. All I had to do was download the GPX file from GC.com, throw it on my GPS and I was off and running. That wouldn't have been possible with a Delorme unit. Granted that scenario isn't very frequent but it does happen. It's a very forward thinking feature which is praisworthy.

Edited by yogazoo
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@yogazoo, GeekBoy: That's right.

 

It didn't seem like a big deal to me at first but the fact the that GPS itself can read and interpret gpx files is a simplification for users. The fact that Garmin can tell their customers to run a PQ and copy the file to their GPS instead of run a PQ, learn this entire new piece of software to convert the gpx file to some other format and then download it to their GPS is an advantage.

 

For a lot of us who are comfortable doing these types of conversions this may not seem like a big deal but I can tell you from developing and supporting the wikis over the past year there are a lot of people who aren't or who simply don't want to deal with it.

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@yogazoo, GeekBoy: That's right.

 

It didn't seem like a big deal to me at first but the fact the that GPS itself can read and interpret gpx files is a simplification for users. The fact that Garmin can tell their customers to run a PQ and copy the file to their GPS instead of run a PQ, learn this entire new piece of software to convert the gpx file to some other format and then download it to their GPS is an advantage.

 

For a lot of us who are comfortable doing these types of conversions this may not seem like a big deal but I can tell you from developing and supporting the wikis over the past year there are a lot of people who aren't or who simply don't want to deal with it.

On the DeLorme, four steps after download is hardly "learning a whole new piece of software".

The rest is at your own pace, and not as difficult as some may have insinuated, not even

on a Mac! Albeit, via Parallels 4, and Windows XP sp3, still . . . not an issue. I find the little

upfront effort and expense is worth the pay-out in the end, just like using the Mac in the first

place! It's all about the final result.

After learning to use a 3D CAD program, Topo7. . ."'tain't nothin'!" And really not that dissimilar,

although easier.

 

Norm

Edited by RRLover
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........ No fiddling with GSAK, ......

I guess that I need to learn GSAK to see that which I'm missing.

 

Only, with the PN-40, you get use of DeLorme's extensive library of maps!

Well, for me, not exactly regarding the maps in their extensive library.

 

OTOH, it is the Hi-Res City aerial photography from their extensive library that I use almost exclusively now for around town geocaching. About 4GB worth on my SD card and I've covered more than 500 nearby caches that I've PQ'd to my PN-40. When I park and then get out, I just get the cache symbol on the Hi-Res aerial on the screen. I see it displayed relative to the surroundings and I zoom the screen in as I walk towards the symbol. I don't bother with the maps, compass or coordinates.

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Check this for screenshots of how it looks to geocache with a PN-40 using the Hi-Res Aerial Imagery, and some shots of how it will look with the new Cache Register widget;

http://blog.delorme.com/2008/11/11/geocach...the-mac-and-pc/

 

One more item that I think has been overlooked is that the OP notes 20% skiing usage in Minnesota. Can anybody comment on using a touch screen model with gloves while skiing?

 

I'd like to help with that question, but I have some wickets to get through first:

1. I need to buy or borrow a handheld GPSr with a touchscreen,

2. I need to find or buy some ski gloves,

3. And can I really do a vaild test if it's the same tommorow as today at 84°F ? :anicute:

Edited by Team CowboyPapa
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The key feature that makes this very simple on the Oregon (and Colorado) is that you can load raw gpx files onto the device, no conversion necessary if you don't want to, no additional tools required.

 

The boldened part...do you think we PN-40 users need to do any differently?? I also plug in the raw data and go. Nothing else to use save the map software which came with the unit. No fiddling with GSAK, no altering anything...just open the PQ, export it to the GPS and GO!!

The DeLorme also auto-routes...both on the roads and trails. And, it does this with the maps already provided! Since the PN-40 has a dual-processor, it is fast at routing, fast at everything!

 

I think the main point that was trying to be made was that all the Colorado/Oregon needs is a computer (or not even that-see geekboys comment above). GPX files readily available from GC.com can be thrown onto the "mass storage device" and you're off! So I could be visiting my relatives on the other side of the country, decide I want to go caching in the area, hop on ANY computer and be on my way in about 30 seconds. No unit specific software of any kind needed. A stand alone unit not dependant on PQ or any software at all to load caches. Heck, last week my GPS and I were on a university library computer, I decided to kill an hour and go snag a cache. All I had to do was download the GPX file from GC.com, throw it on my GPS and I was off and running. That wouldn't have been possible with a Delorme unit. Granted that scenario isn't very frequent but it does happen. It's a very forward thinking feature which is praisworthy.

 

Unless I'm reading it wrong, this will be available for the PN-40 soon as well. Until then, I think it's fairly simple to do as I've always done, plan ahead! If I know I'm heading out somewhere and might want to cache, I can simply pull up a PQ and load. Now, on my old Maggie, I had to write everything down as it wasn't paperless, but not anymore!

 

I don't see much difference unless the Oregon can actually pull up the PQ for you? If you have to run the PQ before leaving, what's the difference? Unless you suddenly find yourself somewhere you had no idea you'd be maybe?? But then, my life isn't a lot of travel either.

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Observation:

Delorme folks get VERY defensive any time you mention anything that may be nicer or more intuitive for some folks on a Garmin unit.

 

Look, I've got an Oregon and I have aerial image envy ok, I'll admit it. But I like the terrain shading alot for hiking and hunting and I definately don't have interface, battery life, or form factor envy.

 

And for the Cowboy; I've been out icefishing in sub zero temps with heavy winter gloves on and my Oregon touchscreen works fine. No worse than trying to push tiny buttons. Worse comes to absolute worse (i.e. mittens) all I have to do is pick something, anything, up to use as a makeshift stylus (advantages of having a screen protector installed). :anicute:

Edited by yogazoo
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I agree the character limit of 800 is a problem on some of the longer worded caches, not many that I've come across though. I have NO problem with logs though, get them each and every time and I don't fiddle with GSAK (nor do I use it at all). Child waypoints?? Not seen a problem there either, but I haven't needed them either...I do know I can load them with my PQ though! I know you can mark the found caches if you want, I've seen that option on my unit! Since I only downloaded traditionals, I can't say as to icons for others. I can make all the field notes I wish on my unit too!!

 

 

 

If you haven't needed child waypoints, then you won't know what you're missing :anicute: Very handy addition to gc.com, handled very well on the OR / CO. Hopefully the new PN-40 update will handle them and their custom icons. Big limitation if not (IMO).

 

Again different strokes for different folks... I have need for all the things you don't / haven't run across yet, so this is why I have not recommended the PN-40 as a good paperless unit...YET :( It's still got a way to go.

 

 

Loading caches is a BREEZE...not sure what problem you're having with that?? I don't use GSAK at all, just the map software. It loads the PQ right in and all the info is there without ever needing to fiddle with a thing! I'll tell you right here that I'm slooow when it comes to computers and gadgetry, but I had no problem loading one, 20 or a PQ full of caches onto my unit!!

 

 

re-read my post... I said that it is fine for native PQ, which the PN-40 handles OK. Using native PQ is very restrictive though. Solved puzzle co-ords? I can think of many times i've wanted to slice and dice my current database of caches and quickly stick on my GPS...e.g. group hunt with 3 other cachers...we want no micros within 10 miles of point X and only caches that all three of us have not found and caches that have no more than three DNFs in a row as their latest logs. Few clicks, export from GSAK, drag onto OR.....done. Do that with PQs.

 

If you're going for "pretty" I guess the Oregon is what you want...what is pretty though?? I prefer the functionality and as I can see, the Oregon will soon be having less than the PN-40! Yes, the update is still in the works, but I can wait for it, I'm confident that'll make the PN-40 THE unit for caching! Best of all, the DeLorme team seems willing to work with their csutomers to bring what features we want to the unit!! And talk about CS...I feel like a family member when going after help (they have their own forums with plenty waiting to help...and they are happy to come here and help too!!!)!

 

Oregon is not a SERIOUS GPS...as I have often said, the 60CSX user will miss a lot of GPSr functionality if they switched to an OR. The PN-40 has a lot more in common with the 60CSX in terms of the GPS being a serious GPSr. The OR is not designed to be an all bells and whistles GPSr....seems that Garmin purposely dumbed down the GPS functions (too much at times...waypoint averaging, hulllo garmin?) but made a VERY good geocaching tool. The interface is extremely useable and functional, LOVELY large screen and a crisp interface. It's a fun companion plus it's an awesome road navigater as well with CN added...touchscreen is icing on the cake, I'm never going to go back to a button / joystick combo. The ability to TOUCH a cache on the map and pop-up it's details is awesome. I have finally got my caching devices down to 1. I dislike having to use a separate road navigation unit, gets tiresome on about the 50th cache in a day switching between devices ;). Device convergence rocks baby! The PN-40 is a bear when on the road...Topo map base (roads from topo maps always seem to be shifted away from actual location...need a dedicated road mapping data for that), weak POI coverage and lousy turn notifications. It's a hiking device.

 

Garmin CS is actually fine, read back over the last few years on this forum for example. Everyone loved them. They have got a bad rep recently with their apparent disregard for the CO and lack of communication. Firmware updates are stil coming out regularly. I have always had a great experience with Garmin CS on the phone or online. Check out Magellan for a bad CS. But I do agree that Delorme support is very refreshing nowadays and an official forum is always AWESOME...they have some very uhh zealous contributors which help people out enormously.

 

Cowboy...used gloves, but not in snow. No problemo.

Edited by Maingray
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I agree the character limit of 800 is a problem on some of the longer worded caches, not many that I've come across though. I have NO problem with logs though, get them each and every time and I don't fiddle with GSAK (nor do I use it at all). Child waypoints?? Not seen a problem there either, but I haven't needed them either...I do know I can load them with my PQ though! I know you can mark the found caches if you want, I've seen that option on my unit! Since I only downloaded traditionals, I can't say as to icons for others. I can make all the field notes I wish on my unit too!!

 

 

 

If you haven't needed child waypoints, then you won't know what you're missing :anicute: Very handy addition to gc.com, handled very well on the OR / CO. Hopefully the new PN-40 update will handle them and their custom icons. Big limitation if not (IMO).

 

Again different strokes for different folks... I have need for all the things you don't / haven't run across yet, so this is why I have not recommended the PN-40 as a good paperless unit...YET :( It's still got a way to go.

 

 

Loading caches is a BREEZE...not sure what problem you're having with that?? I don't use GSAK at all, just the map software. It loads the PQ right in and all the info is there without ever needing to fiddle with a thing! I'll tell you right here that I'm slooow when it comes to computers and gadgetry, but I had no problem loading one, 20 or a PQ full of caches onto my unit!!

 

 

re-read my post... I said that it is fine for native PQ, which the PN-40 handles OK. Using native PQ is very restrictive though. Solved puzzle co-ords? I can think of many times i've wanted to slice and dice my current database of caches and quickly stick on my GPS...e.g. group hunt with 3 other cachers...we want no micros within 10 miles of point X and only caches that all three of us have not found and caches that have no more than three DNFs in a row as their latest logs. Few clicks, export from GSAK, drag onto OR.....done. Do that with PQs.

 

If you're going for "pretty" I guess the Oregon is what you want...what is pretty though?? I prefer the functionality and as I can see, the Oregon will soon be having less than the PN-40! Yes, the update is still in the works, but I can wait for it, I'm confident that'll make the PN-40 THE unit for caching! Best of all, the DeLorme team seems willing to work with their csutomers to bring what features we want to the unit!! And talk about CS...I feel like a family member when going after help (they have their own forums with plenty waiting to help...and they are happy to come here and help too!!!)!

 

Oregon is not a SERIOUS GPS...as I have often said, the 60CSX user will miss a lot of GPSr functionality if they switched to an OR. The PN-40 has a lot more in common with the 60CSX in terms of the GPS being a serious GPSr. The OR is not designed to be an all bells and whistles GPSr....seems that Garmin purposely dumbed down the GPS functions (too much at times...waypoint averaging, hulllo garmin?) but made a VERY good geocaching tool. The interface is extremely useable and functional, LOVELY large screen and a crisp interface. It's a fun companion plus it's an awesome road navigater as well with CN added...touchscreen is icing on the cake, I'm never going to go back to a button / joystick combo. The ability to TOUCH a cache on the map and pop-up it's details is awesome. I have finally got my caching devices down to 1. I dislike having to use a separate road navigation unit, gets tiresome on about the 50th cache in a day switching between devices ;). Device convergence rocks baby! The PN-40 is a bear when on the road...Topo map base (roads from topo maps always seem to be shifted away from actual location...need a dedicated road mapping data for that), weak POI coverage and lousy turn notifications. It's a hiking device.

 

Garmin CS is actually fine, read back over the last few years on this forum for example. Everyone loved them. They have got a bad rep recently with their apparent disregard for the CO and lack of communication. Firmware updates are stil coming out regularly. I have always had a great experience with Garmin CS on the phone or online. Check out Magellan for a bad CS. But I do agree that Delorme support is very refreshing nowadays and an official forum is always AWESOME...they have some very uhh zealous contributors which help people out enormously.

 

Cowboy...used gloves, but not in snow. No problemo.

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Harder but not hard. You can see the screen just fine provided you angle it in the right way just as you would any GPS to achieve maximum reflectivity and as Red90 has mentioned the backlight plays no role in screen visibility in direct sunlight.

 

It may be an issue for bikers as they cannot always achieve that optimum angle as the unit is mounted in the handle bars and your position relative to the sun is constantly changing. I don't use it for biking, more for hiking/outdoor use and I've had no qualms with screen brightness. Granted not as bright as my old 60CSX or PN-40 but very readable and useable. The screen size makes up for any deficiency in brightness IMO.

Edited by yogazoo
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It's my understanding that the Oregon in direct sunlight is is harder to see than the 60csx. Even with the back light up bright.

 

It can be very hard to see in bright sunlight, but I've found that if I hold it so the screen is slightly diagonal it reads better - probably because it reduces some glare. It's the one main improvement that will surely be addressed by Garmin. I'm still learning mine, and love it. I've picked up a few routing pointers to try in this very thread. The only thing I wish it did was display distance to the cache while in the map mode. As far as I can tell it does not do that...

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It's my understanding that the Oregon in direct sunlight is is harder to see than the 60csx. Even with the back light up bright.

 

It can be very hard to see in bright sunlight, but I've found that if I hold it so the screen is slightly diagonal it reads better - probably because it reduces some glare. It's the one main improvement that will surely be addressed by Garmin. I'm still learning mine, and love it. I've picked up a few routing pointers to try in this very thread. The only thing I wish it did was display distance to the cache while in the map mode. As far as I can tell it does not do that...

 

Add data field?

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Hey, great answers on the issue of handling with gloves, thanks.

 

If you haven't needed child waypoints, then you won't know what you're missing :anicute: Very handy addition to gc.com, handled very well on the OR / CO. Hopefully the new PN-40 update will handle them and their custom icons. Big limitation if not (IMO).

 

Again different strokes for different folks... I have need for all the things you don't / haven't run across yet, so this is why I have not recommended the PN-40 as a good paperless unit...YET :( It's still got a way to go.

 

10-4 on the parent - child waypoints. I haven't really been negatively impacted as I just haven't encountered many locally. However, I do understand the issue hypothetically, and there will come the day when........

 

However, speaking of children, when I park near GZ, and this part of my team gets out and starts running around, do you think that they are clutching sheets of paper? ;)

Edited by Team CowboyPapa
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Robert posted a new review of the Oregon.

 

http://www.gadling.com/2009/01/13/product-...avigation-unit/

 

My comments:

 

For those who read it, I'd say it was pretty accurate *except* for the screen description. The screen is NOT easily readable in direct sunlight. I honestly don't know how the author could say that. Guess he never owned a Explorist XL. He is correct about the Topo maps though. Don't expect to use a Topo map and get to where you need to go via roads. Many roads are there, it's just that most times it shows you off of a road by 100' or more. You need the City Navigator map to show you the real roads and to get you directions to the next cache.

 

One major flaw is that you can not load separate geocache files and select them from a directory or folder on the device. I found this really useful on trips where I would load in separate files for different areas that we traveled to. Once out of the range of one cache file, I would just load another and have a different geographical area ready to do some geocaching. On the Oregon, you can not do that unless you have the USB cable connected and move files via the PC. Very problematic on trips.

 

Also, I have found that when going geocaching, I need a GPSr that can get me to the next cache - via roads. As we all know there are many caches in natural areas, but you need to get to those areas (and between them) by automobile. So you either need a GPSr that can do both or you need to get two devices. One for the roads and one for the woods. Again, the Explorist did this very well. I don't understand why the Oregon couldn't incorporate better auto navigation features. I can't even hear the beeper when the car is moving. You have the hardware there. You have the screen, the processor, and you have the memory. It's all there except the code.

 

The touch screen is fantastic. I made sure I put a screen protector on it before it left the room. Good thing I did. The protectors are already a bit scratched. I find the little dance you have to to in order to log finds a bit annoying. I also have a big issue with not having different gpx files to choose from. Yeah it holds 2000 caches, but I would much prefer having several different gpx files to choose from (on the GPSr). Particularly when I am traveling from area to area or city to city. As I see it now, you have to load different gpx files through your PC. My Magellan Explorist XL was great at this. Maybe I just haven't figured it out yet.

 

The screen brightness is downright awful. It's really hard to see in bright sunlight. I have been using the gold standard for displays (The Magellan Explorist XL) and am having a hard time with the Garmin's dull, hard to read, screen. It's a pretty lousy auto GPS which does impact its usefulness for Geocaching. You need to know where to go to find caches on the road. This unit does not do that well. It seems to gobble batteries too. I am only getting about 4 hours on a fully charged set of NiMH 2400mah batteries because I need to have the screen at full brightness all the time.

 

I was debating taking it back, but will take a gamble that Garmin will correct some flaws with new software revisions. The screen brightness is a hardware issue that won't get fixed without a pretty significant form factor change to add additional batteries. I simply can't understand how this made it out of testing with the screen the way it is. This flaw was known at design and testing but a deliberate decision to press on with production to make an arbitrary delivery date was made. Big mistake.

 

On the good side, I really like the ability to log finds. Very useful. The 3D view is cool too. Touch screen is outstanding. I also like the ability to transfer info from one unit to another through a wireless link. Pretty nice but all it transfers is the waypoint itself. Geocache descriptions and previous logs do not transfer. ??? Also you can only transfer one point at a time. Anyway it has already proved useful to us. The ability to change profiles is pretty nice as well. Have already used that too.

Edited by 7
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Wow, 007 it really sounds like your reviewing a completely different unit than an Oregon. Maybe you want to send it back or update it's firmware because everyone else is getting 12-16 hours on a set of NIMH's and that's with the Screen brightness cranked all the way up for the entire time.

 

I've also owned an explorist XL at one point in time and I thought the XL's screen was actually pretty lousy for reading in sunlight. If you think the XL is the "gold standard" then you never used a 60CSX or Delorme unit! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really don't think the screen readability is that bad on the Oregon in direct sun. I guess everyone will have their opinions.

 

As for the explorist and auto-routing. One of the biggest reasons I jumped the Maggie ship was because they couldn't figure out how to give you stats by road. What do I mean? For example, the distance to destination was always as the crow flies NOT as the road lies. To me, autorouting stats on the explorist were completely worthless. Not to mention all the errors with the DirectRoute/unit routing preferences. Auto-routing with the Oregon w/City Nav is, in my opinion, unparalelled in the handheld market. You dont get 3D road views anywhere else.

 

It always amazes me the differing opinions two human beings can have about the same product or products. No ones right or wrong, just differing opinions. Still amazing though.

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007-- what extra auto-navigation features do you want on a handheld? I assume you're using the automotive mode on the maps, with auto zoom on so it does that cool zoom-in of the upcoming turn.

 

I do agree on the beep..not quite as loud as the etrexes / 60 but I always hear. I would also like a little preview of the turn after the next, but I'm generally very happy with the OR car capabilities with City Navigator 2009 NT.

 

Battery consumption does sound off.....I use NiMH and get more than 10 hours. I'm about to try Lithiums.

Edited by Maingray
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007 - I have to disagree on many points here. My battery tests were getting anywhere between 10 and 14 hours with the screen brightness on and the backlit set to stay on. I used NiMH 2650mAh batteries.

 

I don't know how you were using your auto-navigation from one cache to the next, but I love it. I keep my unit in Automotive mode. When I go to a cache, it routes me on the roads, when I get there, I hit "Where To" then "Recalc for off road" then into the compass screen. Aside from voice recognition, I don't see how it could be done any easier.

 

The screen is very acceptable in direct sunlight. If you tilt it slightly, it's fully readable. I agree that the eXplorist is brighter and easier to read in the sun, but the Oregon is certainly not "awful".

 

I'm not sure why you can't simply load all of your GPX files at once and when you get to another area still have the ability to geocache. It sorts the caches by distance to your location so what's wrong with having several areas loaded at once?

 

Just my opinions and observations.

 

JetSkier

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I just received my 400t about a week ago and have had a bit of time to cache with it.

 

For those concerned about touch screens and cold weather, the unit performed great in -20F weather (found 3 caches over lunch) operated with ski gloves on. It fared much better than my hands when I had to take the gloves off to write in the journal :D.

 

So far I am quite happy with the unit. I do love the automotive routing to drive to the next cache location that I have found quite useful.

 

Thank you for all your comments in helping with the decision. There are many things I like about both the PN-40 and Oregon units after trying them both, but for my personal use, the Oregon seemed to fit better.

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One major flaw is that you can not load separate geocache files and select them from a directory or folder on the device. I found this really useful on trips where I would load in separate files for different areas that we traveled to. Once out of the range of one cache file, I would just load another and have a different geographical area ready to do some geocaching. On the Oregon, you can not do that unless you have the USB cable connected and move files via the PC. Very problematic on trips.

 

I read this part of your comment and had to do a double take. I even said out loud "You can't?!?!" I was totally surprised to read this because I routinely load over 9000 active geocaches on my Colorado 300 and now my Oregon 400t. Yes, the GPSr has a limit of accessing 2000 of them at a time, but I put GPX files with all 9000+ caches on my GPSr (well technically on the SD card in my GPSr). When I am leaving one area and entering a new area, I will stop at a convenient location and "do my magic". By "magic" I mean turn the GPSr off, pull the SD card and put it into my PDA and move GPX files so that the one(s) for the new area are in the folder Garmin references, and moving the "old area" GPX files out of that folder. The last time I had to do this, I moved 5 GPX files out of the folder (about 8MB size total for over 1800 caches) and replaced them with one file (9.8MB size for just a few less than 2000 caches). I then placed the card back into the GPSr and had it powered back an and ready to cache in under 90 seconds.

 

Before I switched to Garmin, I used to use a Magellan eXplorist 600. I recall the multiple file feature of the eXplorist and I had to start using that long before I reached the 1000 waypoint limit of my first Garmin. It is more of an issue on the Magellan GPSr only because it limits you to only 200 caches in your file, whereas the Oregon or Colorado allows 10 times than (2000 caches) in the unit at a time. Yeah, my method of using more files is a little clunky, but it is a lot easier to search than having to go into each of the 10 corresponding Magellan geocache files and search each of them separately. If I compare the time it takes to move files to the time it takes to search through 10 (or more) Magellan geocache files, one search on the Magellan can easily take more time than moving one file.

 

I have been using this multiple GPX file technique since I first got my Garmin Colorado 300 last February and it works great (for me). Now, I always keep my PDA with me because I also use it for things other than geocaching, so using it to move files on the SD card is not an issue for me. One person who adopted my technique does not carry a PDA with them, so they have modified my technique to put each file/group onto separate SD cards, and they just swap out cards when them move to a new area. For them the switch is even faster than for me because it is essentially the same about of time as shutting down to change batteries. I have yet to find any GPSr other than the newer Garmins and the old Magellan eXplorist models which allow you to store your Geoaches on the SD card, thus allowing you to manipulate them out of the GPSr and potentially away from your computer (like when out in the woods if you use your PDA as I do). It just takes a little creative thinking to get around some of these limitations.

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Check this for screenshots of how it looks to geocache with a PN-40 using the Hi-Res Aerial Imagery, and some shots of how it will look with the new Cache Register widget;

http://blog.delorme.com/2008/11/11/geocach...the-mac-and-pc/

 

One more item that I think has been overlooked is that the OP notes 20% skiing usage in Minnesota. Can anybody comment on using a touch screen model with gloves while skiing?

 

I'd like to help with that question, but I have some wickets to get through first:

1. I need to buy or borrow a handheld GPSr with a touchscreen,

2. I need to find or buy some ski gloves,

3. And can I really do a vaild test if it's the same tommorow as today at 84°F ? :rolleyes:

 

Team CowboyPapa.....we've "enjoyed" a cold snap here in the mid-Atlantic region for the past week or so, and I had the opportunity to use my Oregon 400t with heavy ski style gloves on the other day. Gloves did not prevent using the touchscreen for the Main Menu selections, and for selecting features, but...it was awful difficult to hit the right character/number from the alpha/numeric "keyboard" when naming or modifying a waypoint (the letter/number keys are really very small squares).

 

Bill

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Team CowboyPapa.....we've "enjoyed" a cold snap here in the mid-Atlantic region for the past week or so, and I had the opportunity to use my Oregon 400t with heavy ski style gloves on the other day. Gloves did not prevent using the touchscreen for the Main Menu selections, and for selecting features, but...it was awful difficult to hit the right character/number from the alpha/numeric "keyboard" when naming or modifying a waypoint (the letter/number keys are really very small squares).

 

Bill

In retrospect, I think that my request was a liitle ambitious. With the current cold snap, I doubt if any GPSr is all that tractable for extended outdoor use.

 

I was under assumption that Global Warming would persist a while longer, but not to be. :rolleyes:

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Can anyone tell how to download multiple caches to the Oregon. With my 60CSX I have been building bookmarks and bulk downloading through EasyGPS. When I do that with the Oregon I do not receive any more information than I get on my 60CSX.

 

The easiest way to do this is with a Pocket Query from geocaching.com (premium member feature). Set the parameters of the pocket query to what you want, such as caches within a radius, unfound, new, whatever. When the query is processed and arrives in your email, download it, zip open the file to expose the two contained files, and with your Oregon connected to the computer in hard drive mode, simply copy the two files in the appropriate folder on the Oregon.

 

The other way to do this is with a third party software program like GSAK for PC and MacCaching for the Mac. I use MacCaching. Since the Oregon isn't fully compatible with MacCaching's Send to GPS command, I save out my entire list of caches, or a smart list of selected caches, as a .gpx file and then move that single .gpx file to the Oregon in the procedure described above.

 

To delete "found" caches before your next go-round of caching, just run the same pocket query again after you've logged your previous finds, then on the GPS, overwrite the old query files with the new query (overwriting files with the same name).

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I should add that if you do a lot of editing to cache information before uploading it to the GPS (such as updating coordinates for solved puzzle caches), then using a third party software program is the way to go, since you can't edit the cache info once it's uploaded to the Oregon.

 

The direct-to-Oregon method is best if you want fast and easy, and don't need to edit cache info.

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Can anyone tell how to download multiple caches to the Oregon. With my 60CSX I have been building bookmarks and bulk downloading through EasyGPS. When I do that with the Oregon I do not receive any more information than I get on my 60CSX.

 

You can convert your bookmark list into a Pocket Query (in GPX format) or export a GPX file from GSAK. If you have the newest version of GSAK, you can use the new "Transparent GPS mode" to use the GSAK "Send to GPS" function.

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Now, I always keep my PDA with me because I also use it for things other than geocaching, so using it to move files on the SD card is not an issue for me. One person who adopted my technique does not carry a PDA with them, so they have modified my technique to put each file/group onto separate SD cards, and they just swap out cards when them move to a new area. For them the switch is even faster than for me because it is essentially the same about of time as shutting down to change batteries. I have yet to find any GPSr other than the newer Garmins and the old Magellan eXplorist models which allow you to store your Geoaches on the SD card, thus allowing you to manipulate them out of the GPSr and potentially away from your computer (like when out in the woods if you use your PDA as I do). It just takes a little creative thinking to get around some of these limitations.

 

Awesome tip. I had thought about this before but didn't want to play with laptop. For some reason I never thought about using my Palm for this. Duh. Here's to unlimited Geocaches (and not POI!) on the GPS!

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Awesome tip. I had thought about this before but didn't want to play with laptop. For some reason I never thought about using my Palm for this. Duh. Here's to unlimited Geocaches (and not POI!) on the GPS!

 

Yeah, other than the Colorado and Oregon, I have only seen one other GPSr line that supported writing the geocache data to the SD card, and allows you to manipulate it outside the GPSr and/or their software. That other line was the defunct Magellan eXplorist line. I will admit that I haven't looked at the Magellan Triton line to see if they still support this.

 

I love doing this to have essentially unlimited geocaches on my GPSr!

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