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OK. I am just now starting geocaching and I need some help! I currently have a Garmin gpsMaps76 . This tracker is very hard for me to use and keeps saying "no signal". It does not work well in the woods and is meant for marine use. So, I want an inexpensive, durable, EASY TO USE, gps system that I can enter in coordinates easily and quickly head off to my destination. The main things I want this to be is EASY and Inexpensive.. Even ones made for children! Thanks so much and any help would be GREATLY appreciated! <_<

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OK. I am just now starting geocaching and I need some help! I currently have a Garmin gpsMaps76 . This tracker is very hard for me to use and keeps saying "no signal". It does not work well in the woods and is meant for marine use. So, I want an inexpensive, durable, EASY TO USE, gps system that I can enter in coordinates easily and quickly head off to my destination. The main things I want this to be is EASY and Inexpensive.. Even ones made for children! Thanks so much and any help would be GREATLY appreciated! <_<

 

Since you're already familiar with the Garmin system that might be a good way to go. I would suggest something in the etrex legend line as far as price point and capability. It wont have a lot of bells and whistles and depending on which one you get, the accuracy of the chipset will be a little worse than others but you'll be able to get to any cache you want and not spend a fortune. You might look at picking up one of these on ebay (the original legend used shouldn't run you more than 60 bucks or so and you can see if you like the hobby enough to spend a little more).

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Ok and I know this is going to be a really stupud question but

#1. Will we be able to put in exact coordinates of the caches and be able to follow the gps easily right to the cache?

#2. I am seeing three different eTrexs' - One that is yellow with just etrex on it, one that is yellow with etrex on it and a little globe on top of that and one that is blue and says etrex legend...which one is the best for me??? T

 

Thank You SO much for your help!

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Ok and I know this is going to be a really stupud question but

#1. Will we be able to put in exact coordinates of the caches and be able to follow the gps easily right to the cache?

#2. I am seeing three different eTrexs' - One that is yellow with just etrex on it, one that is yellow with etrex on it and a little globe on top of that and one that is blue and says etrex legend...which one is the best for me??? T

 

Thank You SO much for your help!

Any of the eTrex models will be just fine for #1

 

When it comes to #2, the big thing is your budget. I think that the series line works like this: The H designation (i.e. eTrex Legend H) denotes the lower resolution chipset... this would still work just fine for you. Then there is the HC line (i.e. Legend HCx) which has a different GPS chip and is a little more accurate. This will be quite a bit more expensive.

 

I believe that then among the H line the original was the yellow eTrex. The later one was the Legend and then finally the Vista. I used many many of the Legend H's in Guatemala and can tell you from experience that these are extremely durable and reliable. Garmin donated 21 of them to us (Habitat for Humanity) and so I'll be honest about my bias based on that corporate generosity without any request for thanks or red tape. I have played with the Vista HCx and it's a nice unit but essentially has the same operating system as the others.

 

When you mention ease of use, there is a little bit of a learning curve associated with any of these earlier GPS units but since you've got a Garmin already you might have a bit of a head start; the software will be pretty similar.

 

Hope this helps <_< If you have more questions, I'll do my best to answer them. Also if you end up getting an etrex model, I'd be happy to try to help you walk through everything. I've been doing it for years in spanish but I think I can swing it in english. Good luck and welcome to the hobby ;)

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Do some homework and see what you find. For just a few dollars more than the very basic etrex, you can buy the PN-20 by DeLorme. This unit is simple to use, pretty much as simple or even more simple than the etrex, but better reception and has plenty of extras you can grow into such as paperless caching and aerial map additions.

 

With the PN-20 and a premium membership, you can simply hit the send to gps link on the cache page and it's on your unit...info and all. For another $10 (Cache Register), you can send PQs to your unit (batches of filtered caches you choose). More features are there, but not needed or even a thing for you o care about until and unless you want to learn them!!

 

Simple, cheap (around $150 at this time) and reliable....a good choice! Of course, it's only a good choice if it's what YOU want!! <_<

 

edit to change a typo....I put PN-40 when I meant PN-20. The PN-20 is the cheaper unit.

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Do some homework and see what you find. For just a few dollars more than the very basic etrex, you can buy the PN-20 by DeLorme. This unit is simple to use, pretty much as simple or even more simple than the etrex, but better reception and has plenty of extras you can grow into such as paperless caching and aerial map additions.

 

With the PN-40 and a premium membership, you can simply hit the send to gps link on the cache page and it's on your unit...info and all. For another $10 (Cache Register), you can send PQs to your unit (batches of filtered caches you choose). More features are there, but not needed or even a thing for you o care about until and unless you want to learn them!!

 

Simple, cheap (around $150 at this time) and reliable....a good choice! Of course, it's only a good choice if it's what YOU want!! <_<

 

Rockin' Roddy has also presented a good solution ;) I was suggesting Garmin because of the fact that you already had one and an admitted sense of admiration into their corporate ethic. Delorme is, by all accounts, a great solution. The biggest problem when you're looking for a GPS, if you want to go cheap and older models, you can't go in to a sporting goods store and check it out. You could go into a store though and check out the PN-40 and one of the HC models from Garmin just to see which operating system makes more sense to you. RR's advice to do your homework is a good un though I totally understand that it's a pretty overwhelming thing to try to understand at first.

 

An idea of your budget and level of commitment to the hobby might help a little bit in tailoring advice ;)

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First off, the disclaimer - yep, I work for the company. My name's Warren and I'm the guy behind the Geomate.jr. As so many of your criteria hits our strengths, thought I might chime in. Oh, and I'll just give you the facts, no hype.

 

...and keeps saying "no signal". It does not work well in the woods and is meant for marine use.

 

The Geomate.jr is equipped with a SiRFstarIII GPS chip which is arguably the best performing GPS technology on the market and is what many of the expensive GPS receivers use. This technology is designed for good position performance in difficult places (like heavy tree coverage etc)

 

I want an inexpensive...

 

$69.95

 

...durable...

 

Designed for the outdoors and to be used by children.

 

...EASY TO USE...

 

To operate the Geomate.jr, you need to go outside and switch it on. It will work out the closest geocache to your current location and show the distance and direction to that cache along with size, difficulty, and terrain. All that is left is to follow the arrow. To move to the NEXT cache, just hit the NEXT button.

 

...gps system that I can enter in coordinates easily and quickly head off to my destination.

 

Unlike anything else on the market, the Geomate.jr works on the concept of 'load every geocache so I don't need to hand enter them'. It comes preloaded with about 250,000 goecaches that cover all 50 states, so there is no planning or entering of coordinates - they're already loaded! It will work anywhere in the US by turning it on. If you want more caches (as there are more than 250k in the US) you can get them with an optional Update Kit. Admittedly though, as easy as it is to just head off to search for geocaches, it is not suitable for multi-caches as you can't hand enter coordinates when you are in the field.

 

You can get more info at www.mygeomate.com and as mrbort mentioned, there's a thread called Geomate.jr Owners Report

 

Cheers

 

Warren

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First off, the disclaimer - yep, I work for the company. My name's Warren and I'm the guy behind the Geomate.jr. ...
OUTSTANDING!

 

Warren, some questions...

 

-- How "fresh" is your preloaded data?

-- Is it filtered in any way, or is it really EVERY cache that was available at the time of your build?

-- When if the update/refresh kit going to be available?

 

Those are the first three off the top o' me haid...

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No worries, happy to answer any questions...

 

-- How "fresh" is your preloaded data?

 

We create a new version of the database every time we build more units for distribution. There's obviously no guarantees, but we try to keep it as fresh as possible. We are also encouraging any new retailer to keep an Update Kit in the store that customers can use to make sure they have the absolute lataest. I believe Groundspeak is planning on updating every unit that they ship - so you will have data not much older than 24hrs in this case.

 

-- Is it filtered in any way, or is it really EVERY cache that was available at the time of your build?

 

The factory loaded/default cache list is filtered to try to give it as much staying power as possible as well as family friendliness. As a rule of thumb, we only include caches that have been around for at least 4 to 6 months (staying power) and we don't include anything above a difficulty 3 (for newbies and families). We also do a check to make sure that any cache has been found relatively recently.

 

Our thinking here, is to provide something that works out-of-the-box so anyone can give geocaching a shot without needing to spend a lot of money. For many people, this will be just fine and keep many families outdoors enjoying geocaching together for some time.

 

But as we all know, new geocaches are being added daily and some caches have a tendency to disappear. In this case, you will have the option to use an Update Kit. With an Update Kit, you will get access to EVERY traditional cache (premium member caches excluded) - for the US and other countries. We can only hold about 250,000 cache locations and information, and there are more than that in the US. So the way it will work, is you plug in your Geomate.jr with the Update Kit, go to www.mygeomate.com, select the list you want (e.g. all of the US but filtered, east coast all caches, west coast all caches, Europe, Australasia, etc...) click the magic 'UPDATE' button and you will get the latest and greatest for the area you selected. Cool hey?

 

-- When if the update/refresh kit going to be available?

 

It looks like the second week of July for the Update Kit. A little longer than we hoped, but to thank everyone for waiting for the Update Kit, we are offering a small rebate if you buy the Geomate.jr now. Details can be found at http://www.mygeomate.com/update_kit

 

I hope this helps!

 

Cheers

 

Warren

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