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Newbie Here... Decent Cheap GPS?


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I'm a newbie at geocaching and I would like to get a decent GPS but don't want to break the bank. Any good recommendations for one that will be accurate that is good for a beginner? I am currently using my Palm Centro with Tomtom. That's good for driving, but it doesn't put me at the exact lat/long.

Is there something good that I could just use the centro? Thanks for your suggestions!


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I don't really know... I was thinking of $100 or less. What would be the best for me is if I could find something that would work on my Centro, but I would be happy finding a heldhold. What do you have in mind?


You might be able to get something used for 100 or less, but I don't think you would be happy with anything new priced at less than 100 for geocaching.

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I am in the same boat. I am brand new at geocaching. I'm using a TomTom that was given to me 2nd hand. On the couple of caches I've tried... the coordinates have been close - but some are way off.


What is a good GPS unit to use if you are new? I'm not so much worried about the budget. So any additional suggestions for this thread would be appreciated.

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My personal favorite is the Delorme PN-40. About 339 bucks right now. (I still can't beleive how much they went up after Christmas.) My second choice would be the Garmin Oregon. About 500 bucks for the 400t which would have equivalent map set to the PN-40. Third choice would be Garmin 60Csx. Prolly can pick one of these up used for less than 200. (It was the gold standard for a long time.) Fourth and last choice is the Garmin Colorado. The first 2 choices are pure paperless which helps alot in the field, third choice would be best if your on a budget. I really wouldn't buy the Colorado again unless it was priced below about 150. Then when water leaked into the battery compartment and shorts out the unit I wouldn't feel bad about just throwing it away. :)

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I'm pretty sure that the second post Randy put up was a duplicate of the first one he did. He couldn't delete it, so he modified it. The forum server is sometimes a little slow, so it's not uncommon to hit the post button a second time to make sure it took...and you end up saying it twice.


To Randy's post, I'd add that with your apparent desire to keep costs down, that the Delorme PN-20 might merit your consideration. It's a very good value in that it includes topo and street routing software in the package. Prices were jumping up and down around the holidays, so I don't know if the $170 that TigerGPS is charging now is the best you can do or not.


The PN-20 is a couple years old now, and the main drawback with it is that the processor is not quite up to all that it's asked to do (the new PN-40 has a dual-core processor that is better up to the task). Slow screen redraws are the chief complaint, but with just a little patience you would find it quite satisfactory. The PN-20 itself is not especially complicated, but the capabilities of the TopoUSA software brings a bit of a learning curve that may not make it the best starter GPS. If having something simple to operate is a priority, then something else might serve you better to get going. But if you're willing to wrestle a little with the program, you will find something you can grow with. There's lot's of support available here and at the Delorme Users forum.

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Ok, what does dup post mean? Obviously we are talking about a duplicate post... could someone direct me to the original so I can see the whole thing? Like I said, I'm a newbie.


It just means that he accidentily posted the same thing twice, the one about the PN-40 and the Oregon 400t. It's a forum bug, it happens, so you didn't miss anything.


As for good beginner GPSrs, there are several units of various costs and abilities:


Garmin eTrex H $94: high-sensitivity receiver, but pretty basic otherwise.


Garmin eTrex Venture HC $133: high-sensitivity receiver, but also a color screen, makes for better veiwing.


DeLorme Earthmate PN-20 $180: high-sensitivity receiver, color screen, expandable memory for maps, plus it can do aerial imagery, which is pretty cool. Kind of a slow processor, though, makes for slow redrawand menu speeds.


Garmin eTrex Legend HCx $188: high-sensitivity receiver, color screen, and expandable memory for maps and route saving.


Garmin eTrex Vista HCx $225: Same as Legend HCx, but also includes an electronic compass and barometric altimeter.


Garmin Colorodo 300 ($315) and 400t ($420): high-sensitivity receiver, color screen, expandable memor, large screen, can do paperless caching.


DeLorme Earthmate PN-40: similar to the PN-20, but has a faster dual-processor setup for faster redraws, plus also includes an electronic compass and barometric altimeter.


Garmin Oregon 200 ($355) 300 ($395) and 400t ($475): very similar to the Colorado line, but has a touchscreen.


Hope this helps you narrow it down a little, you can at least figure your budget and go from there.

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I don't really know... I was thinking of $100 or less. What would be the best for me is if I could find something that would work on my Centro, but I would be happy finding a heldhold. What do you have in mind?

At $100.00 less, look at the basic Garmin E-trex.e-trexit is still in production.

but if you do a lot a caching you will also at some time want to buy the data cable so that you can load the caches to the gps with your computer, this will add to the cost. The next choice in Garmin is the e-trex legend $149.99 Legand

This one includes the data cable, but the software to load the maps is going to add to the price. If you are not planning on doing a lot of geocaching that requires hiking you may never need the maps.


I know lots of cachers that have been using the Legend for many years and they still find lots of caches. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get into geocaching. For the Difference in the price of a $300.00 GPS and a $150.00 GPS you could buy a really good pair of hiking boots which you may find more usefull then some bells and whistles that you really do not need.

Edited by JohnnyVegas
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Thanks again Randy! Sorry I didn't understand about that dup post thing. Someone else explained it a bit later. Now I get it! :angry: Thanks for the information about the gps too!


No problem. Hope you get one you like. In the long run I think you'll be happiest with one that has paperless capabilities like the Delorme PN-40, Delorme PN-20, or the Oregan series. I had forgot about the PN-20 option, but that would be the lowest cost paperless option I think. I just like the PN-40 better cause it has a dual processor. :D

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