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Geomate.jr Owners Report

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The other night, I had dinner with a friend (she has 2 younger kids... 9 & 7-ish). She'd noticed my geocaching themed updated on facebook, so she wanted the scoop. I let her play with Junior all the whole car ride home- she's now uber-excited to let her kids tag along with me! She's also already worrying about them fighting over it, & they don't even have one yet!

 

Warren- is there anyway I could get a GeoJr. cheerleader outfit? Pompoms could be optional.... :o

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:P I ordered mine Saturday night from REI - it was waiting for me Tuesday night when I got home from work. Installed batteries, took it outside and it was pointing to my closest cache placed in our woods in a matter of a couple minutes. Walked right to it without trouble - even had a decent reading under the heavy leaves. So far, I'm impressed. My original thought when I first saw this thing was that it would be great for our summer 5000+ mile road trip - we stop in random places and I can always know if there is a cache nearby. I can hardly wait to really give it a real workout this weekend. My daily unit is an Oregon, but with all its bells and whistles - it's not much good if you don't have caches loaded for where ever you are. :) I'm anxiously waiting for the update kit, but out of the box it seems to have real potential.

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The other night, I had dinner with a friend (she has 2 younger kids... 9 & 7-ish). She'd noticed my geocaching themed updated on facebook, so she wanted the scoop. I let her play with Junior all the whole car ride home- she's now uber-excited to let her kids tag along with me! She's also already worrying about them fighting over it, & they don't even have one yet!

 

Warren- is there anyway I could get a GeoJr. cheerleader outfit? Pompoms could be optional.... :P

> Me too, I want one to

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The other night, I had dinner with a friend (she has 2 younger kids... 9 & 7-ish). She'd noticed my geocaching themed updated on facebook, so she wanted the scoop. I let her play with Junior all the whole car ride home- she's now uber-excited to let her kids tag along with me! She's also already worrying about them fighting over it, & they don't even have one yet!

 

Warren- is there anyway I could get a GeoJr. cheerleader outfit? Pompoms could be optional.... :P

> Me too, I want one to

 

Oooh... a squad is forming! :)

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Can anyone tell me the significants of the date 04-19-09? It is the date that appears on the screen when my geomate warms up. Does anyone else's flash a different date?

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Can anyone tell me the significants of the date 04-19-09? It is the date that appears on the screen when my geomate warms up. Does anyone else's flash a different date?

 

That would be the software revision date.

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Warren- is there anyway I could get a GeoJr. cheerleader outfit? Pompoms could be optional.... :)

 

Geomate.jr cheerleaders? Simply brilliant! I'll get the engineering team some needle and thread right away! Problem though... We're stumped on what type of Pom Poms. Classic, plastic, glitter, metallic, solid color, mixed color.... Just too many choices!! :D

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Is there any chance for there to be a map of where you are located? So if you plan to look through at caches that are around you, because i have found the caches that are relatively close to where i am at and a map would be great so theres a general idea of where i am going to be traveling to.

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My guess would be that because of the type display the unit has there won't be a map. Of course future versions might change that.

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Can anyone tell me the significants of the date 04-19-09? It is the date that appears on the screen when my geomate warms up. Does anyone else's flash a different date?

 

That would be the software revision date.

 

Actually, thats the date of the last geocache database update. That date will change once the update kit is used to refresh your cache database. It's a nice indicator of how long it's been since the caches were updated.

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We love our geomate. Used it for the first time yesterday and walked right up to three caches. What a joy. I've been trying to use my blackberry. Big mistake. We're going out again today and looking forward to using our new little device :D

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Thought I would give you guys a sneak peek of what the web interface will look like for the updates. Please don't read too much into it as many things change at the 11'th hour (as always). That said, comments are welcome!

 

updatesneakpeek.jpg

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I bought one for my cousins, and we used it last weekend. I'm not sure if I like it, because I don't really know where the caches are. With my Garmin, I can see a map so I can plan how to get to a particular cache, but I can't do that with the Geomate.

 

That said, it was a very fun 2nd GPS. The kids had a blast following that arrow once we got to the general area using mine.

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This is a joke:

I uncovered the conspiracy between REI and Geomate.jr to take down geocaching.com for an extended period to sell more geomate.jr units using Greenpeace and PeTA as pawns to take out the server facility. B):D

 

But DID anyone go out and buy a Geomate.jr as a result of geocaching.com being all the way down for more than 24 hours? :anitongue::laughing::laughing:

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I bought one for my cousins, and we used it last weekend. I'm not sure if I like it, because I don't really know where the caches are. With my Garmin, I can see a map so I can plan how to get to a particular cache, but I can't do that with the Geomate.

 

That said, it was a very fun 2nd GPS. The kids had a blast following that arrow once we got to the general area using mine.

 

Actually, that's kinda why I like it... I don't have to plan out where I'm going. Not feeling an area? Just move on to a different one! And now that I've mastered the send-a-text-for-the-info-or-hint business, i like it even more! Im not really a fan of pre-planning... it requires work! Spontaneous works better for those of us lazy/procrastinating types!! :unsure:

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This little guy is amazing!!! :yikes: I talked my husband into letting our son go into his savings account to be able to purchase it for himself. We would have bought it but money is tight with the economy. We have gone out everyday since we picked it up on 07/03. I wish I would have know sooner I would have wanted the rebate but I suppose it wouldn't have worked for me anyway being a mac user. <_< My best friends daughter has even told all her relatives about it so they might get her one for Christmas. My husband who is normally way to busy to do things with us as a family is making time so he can join us in our treasure hunting trips. :) I can certainly see this as a way to bring our family closer as well as encouraging teamwork. Thank you for creating an affordable way for us to join this fun hobby that encourages people to get of their tush and enjoy the beautiful country that we live in as a family.

 

This really is Love at first use. :lol:

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This little guy is amazing!!! :yikes: I talked my husband into letting our son go into his savings account to be able to purchase it for himself. We would have bought it but money is tight with the economy. We have gone out everyday since we picked it up on 07/03. I wish I would have know sooner I would have wanted the rebate but I suppose it wouldn't have worked for me anyway being a mac user. <_< My best friends daughter has even told all her relatives about it so they might get her one for Christmas. My husband who is normally way to busy to do things with us as a family is making time so he can join us in our treasure hunting trips. :) I can certainly see this as a way to bring our family closer as well as encouraging teamwork. Thank you for creating an affordable way for us to join this fun hobby that encourages people to get of their tush and enjoy the beautiful country that we live in as a family.

 

This really is Love at first use. :lol:

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Hi Warren. Just wondering if you can give us an update on the update kit. I would like to see what this puppy can do. :unsure: Thanks.

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I bought one for my cousins, and we used it last weekend. I'm not sure if I like it, because I don't really know where the caches are. With my Garmin, I can see a map so I can plan how to get to a particular cache, but I can't do that with the Geomate.

 

That said, it was a very fun 2nd GPS. The kids had a blast following that arrow once we got to the general area using mine.

 

Actually, that's kinda why I like it... I don't have to plan out where I'm going. Not feeling an area? Just move on to a different one! And now that I've mastered the send-a-text-for-the-info-or-hint business, i like it even more! Im not really a fan of pre-planning... it requires work! Spontaneous works better for those of us lazy/procrastinating types!! :unsure:

 

I'm not saying I pre-plan. I don't, really. That's why I have paperless caching on my Garmin.

 

What I'm talking about is knowing things like which side of the creek the cache is on, or how the trail I'm on relates to the cache position so I can minimize bushwacking. The other thing that is important to me is that one of the caches that came up on the Geomate looked like it was 500 feet or so from the road, so we stopped. When I checked the cache description in my Garmin, we learned that approaching the cache from the road is not safe due to topography. My aunt and cousins wouldn't have had that information.

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What I'm talking about is knowing things like which side of the creek the cache is on, or how the trail I'm on relates to the cache position so I can minimize bushwacking. The other thing that is important to me is that one of the caches that came up on the Geomate looked like it was 500 feet or so from the road, so we stopped. When I checked the cache description in my Garmin, we learned that approaching the cache from the road is not safe due to topography. My aunt and cousins wouldn't have had that information.

 

Welcome to caching as it was a few years ago with the basic non mapping units when we were all following arrows on yellow etrexes around blindly :blink: FUN!

 

He is talking about pre-planning.. get the geomate owners to check on google earth etc for the terrain or gc.com pages. If they are going to get into spontaneous caching more deeply, they might have already grown out the geomate.jr

 

I've finally spent some time with kids on this unit... it's great. We took it on a numbers day with some geobuddies and yanked it out at times. Still a little confused about some missing caches...but it just works. Great gps reception as well.

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G'day all!

 

Just a really quick 'update' on the Update Kit. Well, I can proudly say we have functional update kits in house and they are looking sharp! But we still have a fair bit of work ahead of us until we can let 'em loose! Time wise, unfortunately we are still looking at 2 to 3 weeks before they will be on the shelves.

 

Thanks for your patience! We're as anxious to see them released as you all are I'm sure!

 

Cheers

 

Warren

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We bought one on July 8, for my 5-year old. We purchased this particular GPS because they do take out the "difficult" caches. We are completly new to this. We have searched for 7 and have found 1.

 

I cannot wait for the update to come out. It is a one time fee of $25. We ran across a cache that was not on the GPS but was online :anitongue:

 

Other than that good little machine. :laughing:

 

I need to find out how to figure out the coordiantes of WHERE I am though so we can hide some!

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G'day all!

 

Just a really quick 'update' on the Update Kit. Well, I can proudly say we have functional update kits in house and they are looking sharp! But we still have a fair bit of work ahead of us until we can let 'em loose! Time wise, unfortunately we are still looking at 2 to 3 weeks before they will be on the shelves.

 

Thanks for your patience! We're as anxious to see them released as you all are I'm sure!

 

Cheers

 

Warren

 

Hey Warren,

 

If you need some "in the field" testing by someone brave enough to take a chance with their own Jr....

Pick ME! Pick ME!! Pick ME!!! :anitongue:

 

jazzbiscuit

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I received my Geomate in the mail and I was read to go!! I am having a great time with it--is easy to figure out, just what I need. I did not want to spend a lot of money or carry around a complicated GPS. I think it is probably geared towards kids, or people like me who solely want to geocache and do not need anything fancy.

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I took our sons 9 and 4 to a free class offered today and we were hooked.Our guide an REI employee suggested we try the geomate jr. as our first gps and we picked one up. We were ready to go in 5 min. out of the box ,and spent a great afternoon outside. Thanks geomate for a great product ,and I we are looking forward to the update kit. :)

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G'day all!

 

Just a really quick 'update' on the Update Kit. Well, I can proudly say we have functional update kits in house and they are looking sharp! But we still have a fair bit of work ahead of us until we can let 'em loose! Time wise, unfortunately we are still looking at 2 to 3 weeks before they will be on the shelves.

 

Thanks for your patience! We're as anxious to see them released as you all are I'm sure!

 

Cheers

 

Warren

 

I've read that it will not work with Macs at the beginning. Will it be the same kit that will eventually will work with a Mac or will it be a completely different kit to purchase? I want to buy the Geomate Jr. but am waiting for the update kit. If the first release kit will be the same kit that will work with the Mac in the future then I can buy the Geomate Jr. today!

 

Thanks!

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From a Mac Head ... C'mon jump in the pool with the rest of us GeoJr. playmates. The update kit will sort itself out soon enough. FWIW 99.9% of my world is in the Mac Platform, however, a P.C. is kept in the stable just for geocaching. Cmon jump in the pool with us. No ... I don't work for them but I really like their stuff, in fact stuff that works as advertised without getting cranky floats my boat.

Edited by humboldt flier

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From a Mac Head ... C'mon jump in the pool with the rest of us GeoJr. playmates. The update kit will sort itself out soon enough. FWIW 99.9% of my world is in the Mac Platform, however, a P.C. is kept in the stable just for geocaching. Cmon jump in the pool with us. No ... I don't work for them but I really like their stuff, in fact stuff that works as advertised without getting cranky floats by boat.

 

I am READY to jump in the pool!!! :) I just want to buy one update kit and know it will work for the Mac someday. I may have to pull the ol' P.C. back out when the kit is available. Not sure I can wait for the Geomate Jr. any longer! :o

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so, you guys seem to like the geomate.jr! i am looking into getting a GPS... should i get a geomate or should i pay the extra bucks for an eTrex legend H? i am willing to pay for the legend H, but if you guys think the mate will work for quite a while and not be a waste of my money, i might be interested!

(I'd like a GPS that will work for a couple years, 50-200 more caches.)

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so, you guys seem to like the geomate.jr! i am looking into getting a GPS... should i get a geomate or should i pay the extra bucks for an eTrex legend H? i am willing to pay for the legend H, but if you guys think the mate will work for quite a while and not be a waste of my money, i might be interested!

(I'd like a GPS that will work for a couple years, 50-200 more caches.)

 

Having used both I really like a GPSr with a Topographical map... Helps you judge eleveation, creeks, streams, and any other obstacales... You can see whats 20 feet from you and whats a mile from you...

 

vs. ---> Just and arrow pointing thatway saying 900 ft....

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Well, As earlier stated I play at the top end of the scale ( 60CSX, Oregon 300, and PN40 ) Geo Junior speaks to those many instances where I have not loaded P.Q's or I am just motoring through an new area and wish to engage in a whimsy find. >>> I do remember the old etrex days and what an adventure it was to blindly follow a needle. Ahhhhhhhh to touch base with our heritage ... perhaps that is part of the allure of Jr. However, worthy of consideration is the heart in your throat feeling when one of the young one's says "ooooops daddy it just sort of dropped". Hmmmmmmm the mega-hundred bucks unit just got turned into a brick.

Edited by humboldt flier

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Hey Warren!

Just found out about the geomatejr today after geocaching the traditional way with my 7 yr. old nephew in CO. I am going to order one, but noticed the rebate expired on June 30th... :ph34r: Any chance of an extension? :ph34r: BTW- has anyone heard anything about GPS capabilities expiring sometime in 2010?! Ya gotta be kidding me, right?

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Hey Warren,

Are you out there? Still anxiously waiting to hear about the updates about to be released... My GeoMate Jr. arrived this afternoon (WOW! AMAZINGLY fast!!) and I can't wait to go try it out! :anicute:

I would love to be recruited as a cheerleader/bandwagon "climber onner" or just someone who really enjoys geocaching and will tell all my friends and Facebook friends as well about your new contraption that gets kids outside spending time with their families! THANK YOU!

Dawn ;)

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And now that I've mastered the send-a-text-for-the-info-or-hint business, i like it even more!

 

Mahini,

are you talking about traditional texting or something else?

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Here is my situation.

I currently have an eTrex Camo. the reception is not very good, so I am looking for a new unit.

I do not have, nor have I ever seen or used a gps w/ maps.

I am on the road alot and would like to do more on the fly caching.

As for on the fly caching now, I have created POI's on my Tom Tom. If I see a cache pop up as I'm driving, I do one of two things.

1. if there is not much to figure out, I just look (i.e.-I found one at the base of a road sign b/c it was the only thing in the area.

2. I fire up my laptop, turn on my wireless card, pull up gc.com, search the cache by name, manually enter the coords in my camo and then go find the cache. (does this still count as on the fly)

 

It really seems like the geomate Jr would be a step up in some ways.

 

I apologize if I missed the answer already, but does the Jr have a High Sensitivity Reciever?

 

Regarding RECEPTION ONLY, how does it compare to the Vista HCX, Venture HCX or eTrex H?

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regarding info about caching...aren't all caches supposed to contain a document that explains caching...just in case someone happens to find the cache?

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Here is something that might be a great feature once the download is available.

instead of having 250,000 caches w/o descriptions and hints...

how about 50,000 caches WITH descriptions and hints?

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G'day All

 

Sorry for disappearing for a bit there - actually managed to get away for a little scuba diving and geocaching R & R. But I'm back and eager to help!

 

To answer some of the recent questions:

 

For the Mac users, even though the Update Kit will only support PC on day one, you will NOT need to buy a different Update Kit when we do support Mac. It is only web/software development we need to complete in order to support Mac with no change to the hardware component needed.

 

High sensitivity GPS? Yep, the Geomate.jr uses the SiRFstarIII GPS engine which is arguably the best performing GPS engine on the market today and is what most of the high end, more expensive GPS receivers use.

 

If I've missed any other questions, please let me know!!

 

Cheers

 

Warren

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G'day All

 

Sorry for disappearing for a bit there - actually managed to get away for a little scuba diving and geocaching R & R. But I'm back and eager to help!

 

To answer some of the recent questions:

 

For the Mac users, even though the Update Kit will only support PC on day one, you will NOT need to buy a different Update Kit when we do support Mac. It is only web/software development we need to complete in order to support Mac with no change to the hardware component needed.

 

High sensitivity GPS? Yep, the Geomate.jr uses the SiRFstarIII GPS engine which is arguably the best performing GPS engine on the market today and is what most of the high end, more expensive GPS receivers use.

 

If I've missed any other questions, please let me know!!

 

Cheers

 

Warren

 

Somewhere you mentioned that you would hope that retailers would keep an update cable in store . Do you mean that they would do updates on units before selling them?

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regarding info about caching...aren't all caches supposed to contain a document that explains caching...just in case someone happens to find the cache?

 

It's optional. Nice, but optional.

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And now that I've mastered the send-a-text-for-the-info-or-hint business, i like it even more!

 

Mahini,

are you talking about traditional texting or something else?

 

this is what i do:

 

http://coord.info/textmarks.aspx

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I'm new to geocaching myself, and have been using a family friends out dated garmin etrex for the handful of caches I've been able to find while waiting to buy my own. I, like everyone else, is on a budget, and am looking at either the Etrex Venture H or the Geomate Jr. For the most part I'm just doing caching in my local area, but am planning a few road trips over the next few months from just and hour-ish away, to as far away as San Francisco and am planning on doing caching the entire time. I'm very much a planner (especially for the road trips) and have no problem doing PQ's and route plans for caches.

 

A few quick questions; 1. I live in the NW, so caching out of tree cover isn't really much of an option most of the time, how good is the reception in 'wooded' area's? And cloud cover for that matter (it kinda rains 'a bit' too lol) I'm more curious if the mate is more friendly for the 'lets go to the neighborhood park/sidewalk/shopping center/etc' and find a cache, or can I go into the state parks/hiking trails/etc and be able to do the same thing? 2. With the update kit, is it just going to be a new 'random 250k' or will we be able to choose the area/region of the caches? 3. How wide of a range is the 'closest 20' (if there is one)? With driving down the freeway, how often am I going to be having to turn the mate off and on to reset the closest list?

 

Also, in several previous posts, it was discussed about people buying the geomate not getting onto the geocaching.com website; might there be a possibility of maybe having like a free month subscription with purchase? Not only will it get more people on the site, but I'm sure a lot of people who are buying this specifically because of the low cost of it would love the free month. ;)

 

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the bit of rambles... :D

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I don't usually have issues with the cloud/tree cover. There are times when I can get a signal in the house, & then other times it takes 5 minutes in open, cloudless sky.

 

As for the update kit, the way I've been understanding it, you'll be able to do more picking & choosing, but I could be wrong. I'll let Warren have that one! :D

 

The closest 20 is exactly that. When you turn it on, it gives you the closest, no matter where they are. (We live in Iowa, so, as we were driving on a rural highway, I kept looking at it... There was some that were 20 miles away. But, in town, I usually have 4 or 5 within a .5 mile radius. I have found that once you get a signal/connection, you can turn it off & then on & that signal comes back immediately. We have a lot of bike trails & nature trails, so, when we walk those, sometimes I reset it as soon as we make a find.

 

When I plan ahead (not too often). I load up my palm & take that with me... and I've mastered the texting thing (that link I posted a few posts back), which will send you a basic desc. or hint, which helps with the lack of website access.

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I will start by saying that I don't have one of these, simply because I can't afford one and already have an Etrex. However if I didn't have an Etrex, then this would have been a great starter for me.

 

From what I have seen of the pictures, and heard from the reviews, it seems there is only a small list of issues that people would change, while the reasons that people like it are getting larger.

 

Some of the key points that make this a good product:

 

Allows holding more waypoints/caches then any other device (that I could think of)

Ease of use, not a lot of menus

Durability, although not tested much, it seems like it holds up pretty good to drops and such

Ability to update, although you have to get a cable it DOES allow it

 

Some of the points that I have read (or thought of myself) that would be good for a GeoMate Sr.

 

Backlit screen

full LCD screen, for ease of reading and more text area

a wireless connection so you can update without cables (if the ipod and zune can do it, it should be possible in a small pacakage)

ability to list nearest caches (show 4/5 on the screen) and be able to get basics of the cache (ID, Desc, Type, Terrain, Diff)

Ability of change status of a cache, Select Cache -> Found, Not Found, Cancel

 

Maybe the ability to mark up to 5 custom waypoints, just something so you can keep track of where you have been.

 

One of the biggest differences in this device and other GPSes, is that this doesn't have a map. I would keep it that way (although a map is nice), it keeps the device more basic, and has a specific use of finding Geocaches.

 

Overall it sounds like you have a winner. And if you made a second unit that was a Sr. then as long as you kept some of the key points then I think even at a higher price, it should sell.

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Allows holding more waypoints/caches then any other device (that I could think of)

 

 

Gonna be a pedant here, but no... not really... many many units can hold 1000s of caches with more information per cache. The reason the geomate is unique is that this was the first time there was a US-wide database of caches (albeit with limited .LOC-like information) available in one chunk for us. The update cable is going to allow even more value to this database.

 

My only bugbear with the unit to date is that the nearest list doesn't auto-refresh (but then again, neither does the list on my $500 Oregon). It does it's job well as it is, it was well market researched within geocachers as well as newbies.

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From a Mac Head ... C'mon jump in the pool with the rest of us GeoJr. playmates. The update kit will sort itself out soon enough. FWIW 99.9% of my world is in the Mac Platform, however, a P.C. is kept in the stable just for geocaching. Cmon jump in the pool with us. No ... I don't work for them but I really like their stuff, in fact stuff that works as advertised without getting cranky floats by boat.

 

I am READY to jump in the pool!!! ;) I just want to buy one update kit and know it will work for the Mac someday. I may have to pull the ol' P.C. back out when the kit is available. Not sure I can wait for the Geomate Jr. any longer! :P

 

I purchased the Geomate Jr. just under two weeks ago (I couldn't wait any longer!). It has been GREAT in getting us exactly where we need to be. It is dead on in all the cases I have used it so far. Much better than the printed map options we'd been using! :) I really like the simplicity of the unit and not having to be 'prepared' all the time. What I like best about it is my 5-year-old puts it around his neck and gets to be the 'leader' which really includes him in the process. I anxiously await the update kit. :unsure:

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Some of the points that I have read (or thought of myself) that would be good for a GeoMate Sr.

 

Backlit screen

full LCD screen, for ease of reading and more text area

a wireless connection so you can update without cables (if the ipod and zune can do it, it should be possible in a small pacakage)

ability to list nearest caches (show 4/5 on the screen) and be able to get basics of the cache (ID, Desc, Type, Terrain, Diff)

Ability of change status of a cache, Select Cache -> Found, Not Found, Cancel

 

It does tell the ID, the terrain & diff. It also shows the size of the cache.

 

As for showing the extra few caches on the screen, if you hit the big button 21 times, you're right back where ya started. (20 caches, plus home). or, just hold it, & it'll start the cycle over again!

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Some of the points that I have read (or thought of myself) that would be good for a GeoMate Sr.

 

Backlit screen

full LCD screen, for ease of reading and more text area

a wireless connection so you can update without cables (if the ipod and zune can do it, it should be possible in a small pacakage)

ability to list nearest caches (show 4/5 on the screen) and be able to get basics of the cache (ID, Desc, Type, Terrain, Diff)

Ability of change status of a cache, Select Cache -> Found, Not Found, Cancel

 

It does tell the ID, the terrain & diff. It also shows the size of the cache.

 

As for showing the extra few caches on the screen, if you hit the big button 21 times, you're right back where ya started. (20 caches, plus home). or, just hold it, & it'll start the cycle over again!

 

Some of that fits with my comment of not owning one, From the display I didn't see any screenshots of the details of the cache. Good to know that it does show that info. I did however hear someone say that it doesn't show the name, which I feel is almost as important as the ID.

 

I think that scrolling through one at a time works, but I think it would be better to use the full screen display and see a list rather then one at a time. Maybe that is just a preference of mine.

 

As for Maingray's comment, There may be GPSes that can handle more waypoints, but I don't know of any that I have seen that handle more then maybe 5000 max. I could be wrong, but if so, what is the cost of those types of devices.

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