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vwcamper

Help me decide which GPS to buy-

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Hello Everybody, welcome to my dilemma.

 

I have been geocaching since Aug 2001 with my E-trex Legend. I only have 359 finds, so you can see I am a "leisurely geocacher". Without doing a heck of a lot of research, I bought- and just sold a Garmin Colorado 400t. The paperless capability was phenomenal, yet had too many downfalls- such as not being able to navigate to additional stages of multi cache. I wanted something that was going to "wow" me withreception and accuracy- locking in on satellites- but it did not seem any better than my old Legend (perhaps a calibration thing- who knows).

 

So now I have been researching these things to death. Scanning and reading thread upon thread as well as user reviews and reports on other sites. I am hoping those who most recently have used/compared these models can provide some insight on one thread for me.

 

I have been looking at these three listed below. I'll exlain what I like, and what I don't like and what I have questions about. In general, I just want the GPS to leisurely geocache with.

 

Delorme PN-40

Like: the paperless geocaching feature.

Dislike: All the different "map" features that I really don't think I'll use- and the learning curve I read about, short battery life, not knowing what the visual geocaching navigational screens look like compared to what I am used to on the Garmin

Questions:

(1) Is it easy to manually input waypoints (say when doing a multi-cache) and then navigate to them?

(2) Do you have choice of navigating via map screen, or compass screen like my old Legend?

(3) Are there any problems in general with the paperless geocaching features/capabilities of the PN-40?

 

Garmin Oregon 300t

Like: The paperless goecaching feature

Dislike: Nervous that it has same features/interface as the Colorado and I won't like it

Questions:

(1) Does this have the same problem as the Colorado where you can't navigate to a manually inputted waypoint

(2) Do you have the choice of navigating via map screen or compass screen like the Legend?

 

Garmin 60csx and used palm pda from EBAY

Like: The similar interface as the Legend and the overall praise this unit has gotten over years

Dislike: The idea of going "older technology" and having a pda to reference for paperless geocaching, as opposed to "All in one".

Questions:

(1) Who uses this paperless method and likes it (or thinks it is fine)- who uses this method and can't wait to upgrade to a fully paperless geocahing unit? I think if I did not have that Colorado in my hand for a few months that I would not know any different. I had the ease of downloading pocket queries along my road trip route and was easily able to have all that info available. Again, if I had the pda and gps and never had the Colorado, I'd think that was awesome too.

 

My main concern other than the geocaching capability is obviously the accuracy, and locking into satellites quickly. Especially under tree cover on an overcast day. No matter what the geocaching features are- accuracy/and holding onto the signal is important too. Of course with that, I read something in a thread that expressed concern of older caches being places with less than stellar gps's, thus, your new more accurate "right on" coordinates are not matching up.

 

Ok..thank you in advance.

Edited by vwcamper

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I use my 60csx, but not a palm for paperless. For the paperless option, i use a gsak macro and my ipod classic. The macro sends the details to all caches in the selected filter as individual ipod notes. It's worked for me thus far, and i have absolutely no complaints about the accuracy of the 60. I know this may not work for you however, since i mountain bike to most of my caches. You can bet that, when i'm on the bike, i've got tunes going as well. This makes the ipod great as a paperless buddy, since i have it with me most all of the time anyway. Another good thing about it, when i stop and hop off the bike to look for a cache, if i need to look up details or a hint, to the untrained eye, it looks like i'm doing nothing more than fiddling with my ipod. There are going to be tons of people that praise one unit over another, so be careful in wading thru all the stuff. My personal set up is only one option of many possible, but, as for now, it works for me. Until they come up with a unit that surpasses the accuracy of my unit, i see no reason to upgrade. Well, civilian level anyway, trimbles can get you to within centimeters of a point, but cost upwards of $10,000 for a complete set up.

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Delorme PN-40

Like: the paperless geocaching feature.

Dislike: All the different "map" features that I really don't think I'll use- and the learning curve I read about, short battery life, not knowing what the visual geocaching navigational screens look like compared to what I am used to on the Garmin

Questions:

(1) Is it easy to manually input waypoints (say when doing a multi-cache) and then navigate to them?

(2) Do you have choice of navigating via map screen, or compass screen like my old Legend?

(3) Are there any problems in general with the paperless geocaching features/capabilities of the PN-40?

The PN-40 is essentially your old Legend with paperless features.

(1)Yes, you can change the coords of caches, and mark waypoints with ease. It's easier than on a Legend.

(2)See for yourself: guy1.pngguy2f.png

(3)Nothing comes to mind.

 

Can't answer for any of the other models though.

Oh yeah, it's pretty easy to leanr!

Edited by Puppy Dawg

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Personally, I would recommend the Oregon line for paperless caching. I see the new Dakotas, but can't speak to that, as I have not tried them.

 

I haven't used the Delorme units either, so I can't speak to that, either.

 

I love the Oregon's paperless interface. It could not be any easier. And if you want to use GSAK, you can load almost unlimited caches in it. I have the whole state of Utah, and half of Idaho in it, with FULL cache descriptions and could take a lot more. (This is about 20k caches). You simply cannot overestimate the value of having such a large area of caches loaded, no matter where you are. Any time I have a little time to kill, I go find a cache. It just makes my life more fun, no matter where I am. I also got one of the GeoMate Jr. GPSs...it was only $80 or something, but I have used it on a few trips where I didn't have ANY data loaded, I was able to look up the nearest cache, and use my cell phone to get the data to put in my Oregon. I would not recommend the GeoMate as an only GPS tho.

 

If you plan on using something else to carry your cache data, the 60CSx is a great unit. It actually is more capable than the Oregons, (more tools) but the workarounds (GSAK macros) for paperless caching still leave a lot to be desired. I usually used a PDA with my CSx, and that was good..but then you still have to update and carry TWO devices, instead of just one, as with the Oregon.

 

Another possibility is to get a blackberry phone or iPhone. With a CSx and a smartphone/iphone with a Geocaching application, you have ready access to the database, which is even better than downloading data into a GPS like the Oregon. Downside, of course, is that you have to have cell service to use them, and the monthly fee for internet access. Personally, I use an HP mini, with wireless broadband internet, so I can download a Pocket Query from pretty much anywhere. The Mini was about $400 tho, the internet access is $60/mo, and of course the GC.com subscription (for PQs) is $30/year.

 

When I first got the Oregon, I was a little annoyed at how differently things on it worked than on my CSx. As I have moved along the learning curve, however, I like it better. I think the CSx and the Oregon are about even now, in my mind.

 

No matter which unit you get, I recommend getting very familiar and comfortable with GSAK and the accompanying macros database. 2000 caches maybe enough to get you around your area, but if you want to have real freedom to cache wherever, whenever, you will want to carry a lot more data. The GSAK macro is the only way to do that.

 

Regarding your two questions: The Oregon has a compass screen (I can't imagine any ourdoor GPS not having this). You can navigate with a map or a compass. I've never seen a recreational GPS that didn't have these features. As for navigating to a manually entered waypoint, I am certain that the Colorado also has this. It is the same as the Oregon, just with a different interface (wheel vs. touchscreen). I do multi caches and field data input all the time with the Oregon. For example, I get a text message on my cell phone that a new cache has been published in my area, and by sending the GC code to 41411 via SMS, I get the coordinates, and put them in my Oregon, and off I go to (hopefully) another FTF. I assume from your post that this is what you were asking. I have tinkered a bit with the Colorado, and while data entry is more cumbersome with the CO than with the OR, I know you can do the same with it.

Edited by bunkerdave

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Garmin 60csx and used palm pda from EBAY

Like: The similar interface as the Legend and the overall praise this unit has gotten over years

Dislike: The idea of going "older technology" and having a pda to reference for paperless geocaching, as opposed to "All in one".

Questions:

(1) Who uses this paperless method and likes it (or thinks it is fine)- who uses this method and can't wait to upgrade to a fully paperless geocahing unit? I think if I did not have that Colorado in my hand for a few months that I would not know any different. I had the ease of downloading pocket queries along my road trip route and was easily able to have all that info available. Again, if I had the pda and gps and never had the Colorado, I'd think that was awesome too.

 

I can answer this too--Both the 40 and the 60CSx are top dog when it comes to accuracy, followed closely behind by Legends. I used that method and was dying to upgrade to an all-in-one unit, because unless you're using pocket queries, or have lots of time, you leave the PDA at home and carry papers. It's a hassle to load into a PDA. Go for the 40.

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I myself use a Triton 1500, which is amazingly accurate. Better in fact than my Explorist 600, which was right up there with my buddies Vista HCX (which is also very accurate BTW). Its almost paperless but I don’t get recent logs.

 

Do you have a blackberry? I use cacheberry, which gives me the ability for unlimited caches. I just take my 500 cache PQ and that I just dumped on my Triton and drag it onto my Blackberry’s 8-gig SD card and ive got full paperless (even when I don’t have a signal). This has really been a great solution for me and the blackberry is also a backup GPS in a pinch which give me the ability to do a park and grab when I’m running errands.

 

bbscreen8.gif

Edited by Surferjo

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Garmin Oregon 300t

Like: The paperless goecaching feature

Dislike: Nervous that it has same features/interface as the Colorado and I won't like it

Questions:

(1) Does this have the same problem as the Colorado where you can't navigate to a manually inputted waypoint

(2) Do you have the choice of navigating via map screen or compass screen like the Legend?

 

I own a Colorado 400t. :huh:

 

1. Where did you hear that rubish? :blink:

 

I have absolutely NO problem navigating to a manually entered waypoint with my Colorado 400t. That's how I've navigated to stages of multi-caches since the first day I used it.

 

2. Are we talking about navigating to a geocache, a waypoint, or both?

 

I can't speak for the Oregon (because I own a Colorado) but I do know that the Oregon and Colorado are very similar.

 

The Colorado can display a bearing line, a bearing line & a small compass, or a full-screen compass when navigating to a geocache. And, if I've selected a waypoint to navigate to...I can either use the map, which is my default after I choose to GO to a waypoint, or I can switch to the full-screen compass and I'm still navigating to that same waypoint.

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Puppydawg:

 

Thank you for the screen shots.

 

guy1.png

 

I assume you can also change the driving distance to shortest distance (bird's eye view) to get to a geocache or as you get closer to a cache, is there a mode to change from driving to walking?

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Easy, check this ongoing, current thread and you will see that prospective purchasers are opting for the PN-40:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=229561

 

Note that the steep learning curve precautionary was brought up there to no avail - doesn't seem to have dissuaded anyone.

Seems reasonable though, can't get any real, specific definition regarding the steepness.

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I own a Colorado 400t. :huh:

 

1. Where did you hear that rubish? :blink:

 

I have absolutely NO problem navigating to a manually entered waypoint with my Colorado 400t. That's how I've navigated to stages of multi-caches since the first day I used it.

 

2. Are we talking about navigating to a geocache, a waypoint, or both?

 

 

Fegan,

Well, I guess I am just not technically savvy and gave up on the Colorado without realizing all its features. In attempting a multi- at the first leg of the cache, I manually entered the new coords as a waypoint (could not figure a way to manually enter a "cache"), then tried to "go to" that waypoint. The only thing I recall seeing on my screen was the direction and distance I was away, but no compass or little arrow leading me to the waypoint (like when I pull up a geocache that I downloaded from GSAK.

 

Just the process of entering the coords with the wheel drove me nuts (arrgghhh).

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No matter which unit you get, I recommend getting very familiar and comfortable with GSAK and the accompanying macros database. 2000 caches maybe enough to get you around your area, but if you want to have real freedom to cache wherever, whenever, you will want to carry a lot more data. The GSAK macro is the only way to do that.

 

Regarding your two questions: The Oregon has a compass screen (I can't imagine any ourdoor GPS not having this). You can navigate with a map or a compass. I've never seen a recreational GPS that didn't have these features. As for navigating to a manually entered waypoint, I am certain that the Colorado also has this. It is the same as the Oregon, just with a different interface (wheel vs. touchscreen). I do multi caches and field data input all the time with the Oregon. For example, I get a text message on my cell phone that a new cache has been published in my area, and by sending the GC code to 41411 via SMS, I get the coordinates, and put them in my Oregon, and off I go to (hopefully) another FTF. I assume from your post that this is what you were asking. I have tinkered a bit with the Colorado, and while data entry is more cumbersome with the CO than with the OR, I know you can do the same with it.

 

Bunkerdave,

 

I did use GSAK with the Colorado to upload several pocket queries- have not yet used "macros". The macros would be for uploading pocket queries as waypoints instead of geocaches so that you can get twice as much caches loaded onto the unit?

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Easy, check this ongoing, current thread and you will see that prospective purchasers are opting for the PN-40:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=229561

 

Note that the steep learning curve precautionary was brought up there to no avail - doesn't seem to have dissuaded anyone.

Seems reasonable though, can't get any real, specific definition regarding the steepness.

 

 

Wow Team Cowboy Papa....a wealth of info that I had not yet stumbled across. Thank you....will delve into reading that now.

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Puppydawg:

 

Thank you for the screen shots.

 

I assume you can also change the driving distance to shortest distance (bird's eye view) to get to a geocache or as you get closer to a cache, is there a mode to change from driving to walking?

 

Yes, easy to change. First pic is your initial choice. If you choose drive routing, when you get close to the cache you hit menu (pic #2) then switch to hiking (pic #3) and your done, as the crow flys to the cache/waypoint etc...

 

11.JPGthen to switch>>12.JPG13.JPG

 

Thanks to some advise from dakboy in the other thread, I have figured out how to screenshot the pages and transfer it straight from the PN-40 :)

 

Wow Team Cowboy Papa....a wealth of info that I had not yet stumbled across. Thank you....will delve into reading that now.

 

A lot of info there :huh: My apologies for a couple of the looooong posts there :blink:

Edited by radak9

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I myself use a Triton 1500, which is amazingly accurate. Better in fact than my Explorist 600, which was right up there with my buddies Vista HCX (which is also very accurate BTW). Its almost paperless but I don’t get recent logs.

 

Do you have a blackberry? I use cacheberry, which gives me the ability for unlimited caches. I just take my 500 cache PQ and that I just dumped on my Triton and drag it onto my Blackberry’s 8-gig SD card and ive got full paperless (even when I don’t have a signal). This has really been a great solution for me and the blackberry is also a backup GPS in a pinch which give me the ability to do a park and grab when I’m running errands.

 

bbscreen8.gif

 

If you want the logs, download SpoilerSync

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Wow Team Cowboy Papa....a wealth of info that I had not yet stumbled across. Thank you....will delve into reading that now.

 

A lot of info there :huh: My apologies for a couple of the looooong posts there :blink:

 

 

Thank you radak9 for the screen shots....they are putting the PN-40 in the lead for me right now.

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I myself use a Triton 1500, which is amazingly accurate. Better in fact than my Explorist 600, which was right up there with my buddies Vista HCX (which is also very accurate BTW). Its almost paperless but I don’t get recent logs.

 

Do you have a blackberry? I use cacheberry, which gives me the ability for unlimited caches. I just take my 500 cache PQ and that I just dumped on my Triton and drag it onto my Blackberry’s 8-gig SD card and ive got full paperless (even when I don’t have a signal). This has really been a great solution for me and the blackberry is also a backup GPS in a pinch which give me the ability to do a park and grab when I’m running errands.

 

bbscreen8.gif

 

If you want the logs, download SpoilerSync

 

I did and i cant seem to figure out how to grab the User logs. All it talks about is spoiler pictures.

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Ok, in the other current PN-40 thread, I posed the question of maps of foreign countries- this being for the 1x every few years I travel to Caribbean.

 

Am told the PN-40 has no maps with its preloaded software of foreign countries.

 

What about the CSX and the Oregon

 

I don't recall what the Legend has for maps when I cached in Barbados, St Thomas, St. John or Aruba. Would want something that at least compares to whatever the Legend has.

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Thank you radak9 for the screen shots....they are putting the PN-40 in the lead for me right now.

 

Glad to be of help, but let me tell you that the Garmin units are very good as well. If someone came along and posted a bunch of screens from the Colorodo or Oregon and there were none from the PN series, it could sway someone that way. There's positive and negatives on both sides.

 

I am VERY happy with this purchase and would not change it, but there are those in the Garmin camp that say the same thing also. It's all about what works for you, what you can afford, and what you are looking for in a GPSr. For me the PN-XX fit it perfectly.

 

Like with the Foreign Map issue. For me, if I were to be out of the US for ~7 days every 2 years, I would focus on a unit that I would be using for 723 days and get what works for me best there. If it happens to be one that has foreign maps - GREAT - if the best unit for me doesn't have foreign maps, I wouldn't sweat it, but I would get it and enjoy the 99% that I would use it in the US :blink: For that 1%, I would "borrow" a unit if I felt the need to cache there.

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Did somebody say 'screen shots of a Colorado' ... :blink:

 

Navigating to a geocache (3 views):

slide0070_image032.pngslide0070_image034.pngslide0070_image036.png

 

Yup, you're reading that right, 8 foot accuracy (WAAS Enabled):

slide0028_image082.png

 

Any particular screens you're interested in seeing? :huh:

Edited by fegan

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I use my 60CX and an older Ipaq 3955 pocket PC. I use a free utility, GPX view, to read the pocket query once it is loaded. Loading is easy. I used Active Sync on my older computer, now windows device center on my new center and just drag and drop the document onto my Ipaq. The Query lets me see all of the cache information excluding pictures, read the hint, and see the last 5 logs. I carry the Ipaq in a small padded case and have never had any issues with damaging it.

 

The only disadvantage my GPS has is that it does not have a barometer or an electronic compass. I carry a magnetic compass with me for the times when a compass is needed to find a cache, and I have never had any reason to have a barometer.

 

My brother-in-law has a new 300T, and he has to recalibrate the compass everytime we start caching or it wanders. It does not matter if he recalibrated when he changed batteries or not. Since the internals are the same as the 400 I would assume that they have similar issues.

 

It could be nice to have everything in one place, but I have had the Ipaq for several years and have never seen any reason to spend the additional money.

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Did somebody say 'screen shots of a Colorado' ... :blink:

 

Any particular screens you're interested in seeing? :)

Nice screens. You are right down the way from my Uncle and cousins in Port Orange. My parents owned a house just north of your location :huh: Small world!!!

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I did use GSAK with the Colorado to upload several pocket queries- have not yet used "macros". The macros would be for uploading pocket queries as waypoints instead of geocaches so that you can get twice as much caches loaded onto the unit?

 

You can't DOUBLE the number of geocaches on an Oregon or Colorado simply by using a macro.

 

You can load geocaches as Waypoints (why would you, you loose the paperless advantages)...but you're limited to 1,000 waypoints on a Colorado or Oregon while you can load 2,000 geocaches (5,000 on the Oregon 550).

 

You could load everything as Points of Interest (POIs) ... but again, why would you? Even though you're only limited by memory (so you could probably load millions) you can't take advantage of the paperless logging and there are limits to what you can load as a description/hints/logs. Also, the navigation to a Waypoint/POI is a little different than for a geocache.

 

I find the paperless logging as much of an advantage as the paperless description/hint/logs...maybe even more so, as I come home and upload a single file from the GPS to GC.com and I have field notes of everything I logged (Find/DNF/NeedsMaintenance), in the proper sequence I logged them on the GPS, ready to be submitted as on-line logs. Sure beats keeping track of that stuff on paper and typing a bunch of GC #s to log my finds...which you would have to do if you stored geocaches as Waypoints or POIs.

 

I use GSAK to filter some of the fluff out of my PQs. I've got about 5,000 geocaches in a 90 mile radius of me...but I have less than 2,000 of them loaded over the entire area so I can travel 60 - 90 minutes in just about every direction and I've still got plenty of stuff to look for. As I find some of them, I add new stuff in that area to replace the stuff I've found.

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Fegan, the first screen shot is what I saw in the Colorado (its defaulted view). I really like the second view. The arrrow tip on the map of "where I am now" never seemed to rotate its tip to point in the direction that I did, almost moved "sideways" if you can understand me. as I was walking...thus frustrating me.

 

Is it like that in the Oregon (or is there some calibration/setting that I was ignorant about?)

 

Can you also show me screen shot of a manual waypoint you enter and this same navigation screen type of shot? Thanks so much.

 

Another thing that frustrated me was the default setting on the screen shots put you at your current location in the center of the screen with no "arrows" to pan over to put the final cache at the center of the crenn. What is the default setting of what you see on the screen center, is your current location, or is it the location of your cache? Is it a setting that can be changed, or something you can pan across/over with touching the screen?

Edited by vwcamper

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Radak9, another question: What is the default setting of what you see on the screen center, is your current location, or is it the location of your cache. Is it a setting that can be changed, or something you can pan across/over with arrow buttons?

Edited by vwcamper

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Ok, in the other current PN-40 thread, I posed the question of maps of foreign countries- this being for the 1x every few years I travel to Caribbean.

 

Am told the PN-40 has no maps with its preloaded software of foreign countries.

 

What about the CSX and the Oregon

 

I don't recall what the Legend has for maps when I cached in Barbados, St Thomas, St. John or Aruba. Would want something that at least compares to whatever the Legend has.

 

There are lots of free maps of other countries for Garmin units. Check these out.. http://rwsmaps.griffel.se/

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So the Triton 1500 allows you to upload description/difficulty/travelbog inventory and hint? How many caches can you upload to the unit?

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I'm a bit surprised you had accuracy frustrations with you Colorado, accuracy is actually one of the Colorado's strengths, most people put it up to par with the Garmin 60CSx which has often been used as a benchmark for consumer grade GPSr accuracy. There might have been a problem with your unit or, maybe there was a calibration issue.

 

Garmin 60csx and used palm pda from EBAY

Like: The similar interface as the Legend and the overall praise this unit has gotten over years

Dislike: The idea of going "older technology" and having a pda to reference for paperless geocaching, as opposed to "All in one".

Questions:

(1) Who uses this paperless method and likes it (or thinks it is fine)- who uses this method and can't wait to upgrade to a fully paperless geocahing unit? I think if I did not have that Colorado in my hand for a few months that I would not know any different. I had the ease of downloading pocket queries along my road trip route and was easily able to have all that info available. Again, if I had the pda and gps and never had the Colorado, I'd think that was awesome too.

 

I'm in this camp :huh: I use a Garmin Vista Cx GPSr and a Palm Treo 650 Smartphone loaded with Cachemate for the paperless portion of Geocaching. Quite honestly the combo works extremely well, and although there is obviously an extra bit of work required to keep 2 units topped up (with data AND batteries) they do compliment each other quite well. PDA's are indeed more fragile than rugged outdoor GPSr's but, I only maintain "average care" of mine when out in the field. I've dropped it plenty of times (oops!) and it's still ticking away like a trusty Timex lol.

 

But having said all that, I really wouldn't recommend the 2-unit option for someone who's just getting into the sport and is now buying everything from scratch. Meaning, if you don't already own a PDA then it's probably better to go the single unit route like a Colorado/Oregon/Dakota/PN-XX, or maybe even a Magellan Triton (I don't know much about them so can't really comment). I'm doing the 2-unit-two-step because I sort of evolved into that way of doing things based on the stuff I already owned. I love it and REALLY enjoy the freedom paperless caching offers, but my next GPSr will likely have builtin paperless ability & my PDA can take a well deserved break :blink:

 

If you do have more question about this option though, ask away!

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Thank you radak9 for the screen shots....they are putting the PN-40 in the lead for me right now.

 

Glad to be of help, but let me tell you that the Garmin units are very good as well. If someone came along and posted a bunch of screens from the Colorodo or Oregon and there were none from the PN series, it could sway someone that way. There's positive and negatives on both sides.

 

I am VERY happy with this purchase and would not change it, but there are those in the Garmin camp that say the same thing also. It's all about what works for you, what you can afford, and what you are looking for in a GPSr. For me the PN-XX fit it perfectly.

 

Like with the Foreign Map issue. For me, if I were to be out of the US for ~7 days every 2 years, I would focus on a unit that I would be using for 723 days and get what works for me best there. If it happens to be one that has foreign maps - GREAT - if the best unit for me doesn't have foreign maps, I wouldn't sweat it, but I would get it and enjoy the 99% that I would use it in the US :blink: For that 1%, I would "borrow" a unit if I felt the need to cache there.

 

You can cache anywhere with the PN series, you just won't have anything but a simple basemap to use. In Mexico or Canada, you do get maps for routing, but they too are pretty simple. I do agree that the out-of-country usage wouldn't sway me to wanting a more expensive unit that does mostly the same as my PN-40, but we all have our priorities!

 

Having used a Garmin OR for a few weeks, I can say you get some nice features with it that the PN series doesn't offer...and vice versa! Both brands have their pluses and minuses, neither is a bad unit, it's just preference and price!! Me? If I had absolutely no budget worries, I'd still own the PN-40...and do!! :huh:

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I'm a bit surprised you had accuracy frustrations with you Colorado, accuracy is actually one of the Colorado's strengths, most people put it up to par with the Garmin 60CSx which has often been used as a benchmark for consumer grade GPSr accuracy. There might have been a problem with your unit or, maybe there was a calibration issue.

 

Garmin 60csx and used palm pda from EBAY

Like: The similar interface as the Legend and the overall praise this unit has gotten over years

Dislike: The idea of going "older technology" and having a pda to reference for paperless geocaching, as opposed to "All in one".

Questions:

(1) Who uses this paperless method and likes it (or thinks it is fine)- who uses this method and can't wait to upgrade to a fully paperless geocahing unit? I think if I did not have that Colorado in my hand for a few months that I would not know any different. I had the ease of downloading pocket queries along my road trip route and was easily able to have all that info available. Again, if I had the pda and gps and never had the Colorado, I'd think that was awesome too.

 

I'm in this camp :) I use a Garmin Vista Cx GPSr and a Palm Treo 650 Smartphone loaded with Cachemate for the paperless portion of Geocaching. Quite honestly the combo works extremely well, and although there is obviously an extra bit of work required to keep 2 units topped up (with data AND batteries) they do compliment each other quite well. PDA's are indeed more fragile than rugged outdoor GPSr's but, I only maintain "average care" of mine when out in the field. I've dropped it plenty of times (oops!) and it's still ticking away like a trusty Timex lol.

 

But having said all that, I really wouldn't recommend the 2-unit option for someone who's just getting into the sport and is now buying everything from scratch. Meaning, if you don't already own a PDA then it's probably better to go the single unit route like a Colorado/Oregon/Dakota/PN-XX, or maybe even a Magellan Triton (I don't know much about them so can't really comment). I'm doing the 2-unit-two-step because I sort of evolved into that way of doing things based on the stuff I already owned. I love it and REALLY enjoy the freedom paperless caching offers, but my next GPSr will likely have builtin paperless ability & my PDA can take a well deserved break :blink:

If you do have more question about this option though, ask away!

 

I agree and have stated this same thought a few times now! But Nordic, you might ant to knock on wood, my friend!! :huh::)

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... actually there is a huge possibility my next "1 unit solution" is going to be that brand new Palm Pre smartphone. We're just getting it here in Canada and the feature set appears to be very impressive! Time will tell. If I got one I would still keep my Vista Cx around for those days I truly need a rugged weatherproof GPSr.

 

While Smartphones's do have their limitations they also have some incredible advantages too, and need to be considered. Smartphones like the iPhone or the new Pre, (can Blackberry's do this too?) can grab Geocache information "real time" wherever you are! You can spontaneously fly across the country and as soon as you arrive you can go Geocaching! No need to pre-plan a Pocket Query ahead of time(!!) No matter where you are (that has cellphone reception of course!) it'll seek out any nearby caches and off you go!

 

Again, one more time, YES Smartphones aren't as robust as dedicated outdoor GPSr's. BUT if they suit your lifestyle then they're really worth considering :blink:

Edited by NordicMan

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... actually there is a huge possibility my next "1 unit solution" is going to be that brand new Palm Pre smartphone. We're just getting it here in Canada and the feature set appears to be very impressive! Time will tell. If I got one I would still keep my Vista Cx around for those days I truly need a rugged weatherproof GPSr.

 

While Smartphones's do have their limitations they also have some incredible advantages too, and need to be considered. Smartphones like the iPhone or the new Pre, (can Blackberry's do this too?) can grab Geocache information "real time" wherever you are! You can spontaneously fly across the country and as soon as you arrive you can go Geocaching! No need to pre-plan a Pocket Query ahead of time(!!) No matter where you are (that has cellphone reception of course!) it'll seek out any nearby caches and off you go!

 

Again, one more time, YES Smartphones aren't as robust as dedicated outdoor GPSr's. BUT if they suit your lifestyle then they're really worth considering :huh:

 

LOL, gotta love the disclaimer. I have a Blackberry, unfortunately it is a Verizon BB so the GPS is near useless :blink: I could definitely see going this route, especially for someone who travels. Even if I did do the smartphone, I would probably have picked up an inexpensive GPSr (like the Venture) for rugged/weather issues also.

 

Radak9, another question: What is the default setting of what you see on the screen center, is your current location, or is it the location of your cache. Is it a setting that can be changed, or something you can pan across/over with arrow buttons?

 

I believe this is what you are looking for, if not lmk what you need and I will try to get the shots for you.

1 - This is a local cache to me, and the first screen that pops up when I click Route>>Hike

2 - You can move the arrow with the rocker and it looks like this shot (under Best Friends shows terrain type)

3 - Zoomed in to the next level (under Best Friends shows elevation)

 

14.JPG15.JPG16.JPG

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... actually there is a huge possibility my next "1 unit solution" is going to be that brand new Palm Pre smartphone. We're just getting it here in Canada and the feature set appears to be very impressive! Time will tell. If I got one I would still keep my Vista Cx around for those days I truly need a rugged weatherproof GPSr.

 

While Smartphones's do have their limitations they also have some incredible advantages too, and need to be considered. Smartphones like the iPhone or the new Pre, (can Blackberry's do this too?) can grab Geocache information "real time" wherever you are! You can spontaneously fly across the country and as soon as you arrive you can go Geocaching! No need to pre-plan a Pocket Query ahead of time(!!) No matter where you are (that has cellphone reception of course!) it'll seek out any nearby caches and off you go!

 

Again, one more time, YES Smartphones aren't as robust as dedicated outdoor GPSr's. BUT if they suit your lifestyle then they're really worth considering :huh:

 

LOL, gotta love the disclaimer. I have a Blackberry, unfortunately it is a Verizon BB so the GPS is near useless :blink: I could definitely see going this route, especially for someone who travels. Even if I did do the smartphone, I would probably have picked up an inexpensive GPSr (like the Venture) for rugged/weather issues also.

 

Radak9, another question: What is the default setting of what you see on the screen center, is your current location, or is it the location of your cache. Is it a setting that can be changed, or something you can pan across/over with arrow buttons?

 

I believe this is what you are looking for, if not lmk what you need and I will try to get the shots for you.

1 - This is a local cache to me, and the first screen that pops up when I click Route>>Hike

2 - You can move the arrow with the rocker and it looks like this shot (under Best Friends shows terrain type)

3 - Zoomed in to the next level (under Best Friends shows elevation)

 

14.JPG15.JPG16.JPG

 

I limited the fields shown to two which opens the map a bit more. :)

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I limited the fields shown to two which opens the map a bit more. :huh:

I told you I only knew about 10% of the features, 11% now :blink:

 

Here are 3 more pics - No fields - 2 Narrow - 1 Wide (you can change any field to show the data you want)

 

17.JPG18.JPG19.JPG

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Thanks so much...now obviously, the green arrow of your location obviously points in the direction of your movement? This was something I could not figure out on the Colorado, and even if I was walking towards the cache, the arrow was moving along the path, but the arrow point would not change orientation.

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Well, I think I have been sold on the PN-40. With the included world map, at least I have something outside the US- as crude as it may be. Down the road, I can upload additional maps if/when I need.

 

The cheapest I found is Crutchfield.com. $299 no shipping or tax with $20 coupon code= $279 final cost.

 

Since they only ship Mon-Fri - I still have this weekend to decide...If they ship on Monday, estimated arrival is next Thurs.

 

Will keep you all informed. I can't tell you all how much I appreciate everyone's enthusiastic help.

Edited by vwcamper

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I limited the fields shown to two which opens the map a bit more. :)

I told you I only knew about 10% of the features, 11% now :P

 

Here are 3 more pics - No fields - 2 Narrow - 1 Wide (you can change any field to show the data you want)

 

17.JPG18.JPG19.JPG

:D Here to help, my friend!

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Thanks so much...now obviously, the green arrow of your location obviously points in the direction of your movement? This was something I could not figure out on the Colorado, and even if I was walking towards the cache, the arrow was moving along the path, but the arrow point would not change orientation.

Yes, the arrow points in the direction you are moving. The path will hilight toward the finish point (cache), which in the pictures above would be off to the side. If you are moving directly in line toward the cache, the arrow would be pointing straight up, and the path would be hilighted straight toward the cache, almost like this:

20.JPG

 

I zoomed in and walked a little towards the cache and the orientation moved toward the cache.

 

I have the settings for heading up - which keeps the arrow pointed toward the top of the unit, which I prefer. It lets me know in which direction the cache is in relation to my movement. There are 2 other settings North Up and Course Up. North Up is self explanatory - someone else will need to explain Course Up as I haven't used that at all yet.

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As a default, then, your current location is what is centered, not the location of the geocache. Is there a setting to change that or is panning the only option.

 

Can you edit the geocache waypoint such as entering new coords in the field when doing a multi or do you enter a new waypoint?

 

Are these same screen shots indicative of what you see when navigating to a manually entered waypoint ?

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As a default, then, your current location is what is centered, not the location of the geocache. Is there a setting to change that or is panning the only option.

 

Can you edit the geocache waypoint such as entering new coords in the field when doing a multi or do you enter a new waypoint?

 

Are these same screen shots indicative of what you see when navigating to a manually entered waypoint ?

 

You can edit the existing coords or mark a new waypoint and change the coords in that manner too.

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As a default, then, your current location is what is centered, not the location of the geocache. Is there a setting to change that or is panning the only option.

 

Can you edit the geocache waypoint such as entering new coords in the field when doing a multi or do you enter a new waypoint?

 

Are these same screen shots indicative of what you see when navigating to a manually entered waypoint ?

You can select and view the geocache location and it will stay there while you get closer but this is not a default behavior on any GPS that I'm aware of (I'll be delighted if I'm wrong) as it is not what the GPS is designed for. It is desigend to show you your location and how to get to point B from there.

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You can select and view the geocache location and it will stay there while you get closer but this is not a default behavior on any GPS that I'm aware of (I'll be delighted if I'm wrong) as it is not what the GPS is designed for. It is desigend to show you your location and how to get to point B from there.

 

Excellent! I am sure down the road I will appreciate all the advanced features over the 'Ol Legend, but want the comfort of familiarity (at least at first)-

 

Last question (yeah right)-Can you then zoom in and out of the screen with that location centered?

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You can select and view the geocache location and it will stay there while you get closer but this is not a default behavior on any GPS that I'm aware of (I'll be delighted if I'm wrong) as it is not what the GPS is designed for. It is desigend to show you your location and how to get to point B from there.

 

Excellent! I am sure down the road I will appreciate all the advanced features over the 'Ol Legend, but want the comfort of familiarity (at least at first)-

 

Last question (yeah right)-Can you then zoom in and out of the screen with that location centered?

 

Yes!! :P

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Fegan, the first screen shot is what I saw in the Colorado (its defaulted view). I really like the second view. The arrrow tip on the map of "where I am now" never seemed to rotate its tip to point in the direction that I did, almost moved "sideways" if you can understand me. as I was walking...thus frustrating me.

 

Is it like that in the Oregon (or is there some calibration/setting that I was ignorant about?)

 

Can you also show me screen shot of a manual waypoint you enter and this same navigation screen type of shot? Thanks so much.

 

Another thing that frustrated me was the default setting on the screen shots put you at your current location in the center of the screen with no "arrows" to pan over to put the final cache at the center of the crenn. What is the default setting of what you see on the screen center, is your current location, or is it the location of your cache? Is it a setting that can be changed, or something you can pan across/over with touching the screen?

 

It sounds to me like you never really learned how the Colorado operated before you gave up on it.

 

To change the views while navigating to a geocache simply press Up or Down on the Rock 'n Roller wheel to toggle between those views, while rotating the RnR would zoom in/out.

 

If you never calibrated your compass, or didn't re-calibrate it when you changed batteries, no telling where it thought North was...but the bearing line (magenta line pointing to the geocache) should always have pointed to the geocache. If the compass was behaving erraticly, that line would swing back and forth due to the un-calibrated compass. Of course, a recommendation a lot of folks make is to simply turn the compass off and it not only saves battery consumption but appears to stabilize the route to the geocache a little better.

 

When you're in geocache mode you can't scroll/pan the map...you can only zoom in/out. However, if you go to map view you can scroll/pan and zoom. A quick way to get to the map view, while navigating to a geocache in geocache mode, is to simply select Go To Location from the geocache Options menu (this is assuming you're not in Automotive mode which would calculate a driving route).

 

The blue arrow near the bottom of the screen (YOU) always points UP (although I have seen it wobble just a little now and then)...the assumption being you're always holding the unit upright in front of you and walking forward...the map rotates around you and the North reference (in the top-left corner of the map and geocache screens) will update accordingly.

 

Navigating to a waypoint you can configure which data you would like displayed (perhaps you like Distance and ETA, or Speed and GPS Accuracy, or Bearing and Distance, or you can hide the data completely). And if you have more than one map loaded, you can select which map to view (TOPO included with the 400t, City Navigator, 24k TOPO, etc. depending on what you have loaded). And as I mentioned earlier, you can scroll/pan to the destination and then zoom to see more detail.

 

There is also a 3D view, but I've never used it for navigation to see if it's useful simply because I do most of my caching in Florida and it's pretty flat here. One of these days I'll take a vacation to go geocaching and really put the TOPO data to good use.

 

Here are the screen shots of hiking to a destination (perhaps East and West are stages of a multi in this example).

 

Confirmation of the destination I've selected, which zooms in to show the destination (so I can see nearby roads, water, etc.):

1_wpt.png

 

After saying GO, I'm navigating to that destination showing my Distance and Speed:

2_wpt.png

 

And while I'm navigating I can scroll/pan to the destination and zoom in to get a better idea what the terrain is like:

3_wpt.png

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As a default, then, your current location is what is centered, not the location of the geocache. Is there a setting to change that or is panning the only option.

 

Can you edit the geocache waypoint such as entering new coords in the field when doing a multi or do you enter a new waypoint?

 

Are these same screen shots indicative of what you see when navigating to a manually entered waypoint ?

1 - Panning as has been said, trying to think why I would want the destination centered as opposed to my location while I'm heading to it... Not sure if that would help me.

 

2 - As RR said, you can either change the Cache waypoints to the new waypoint. Or what I will probably do is press the "Pin" button on the front of the unit and add the new waypoint as a separate entry, keeping the original co-ords intact (not sure why I would need them as I have found that cache, I guess I am just AR like that :P )

 

3 - Yes, afaik

 

It sounds to me like you never really learned how the Colorado operated before you gave up on it.

 

.... Of course, a recommendation a lot of folks make is to simply turn the compass off and it not only saves battery consumption but appears to stabilize the route to the geocache a little better.

 

...

I would have to agree as far as not understanding the full functionality of the unit. From everything I've seen here and elsewhere the features seem comparable.

 

As far as the built in compass. I have seen it mentioned before about using it at GZ. How is the compass used when you are close to the cache as opposed to knowing which direction North is while you are heading towards it and then knowing it while at GZ? Wondering if I should keep the compass on or turn it off to save batteries.

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As far as the built in compass. I have seen it mentioned before about using it at GZ. How is the compass used when you are close to the cache as opposed to knowing which direction North is while you are heading towards it and then knowing it while at GZ? Wondering if I should keep the compass on or turn it off to save batteries.

 

The only real advantage of the electronic compass is so the unit knows which direction it is facing when you're standing still. If you're moving, it can determine your direction of travel based on changes in coordinates. And, since the Colorado's compass (and many other GPS modesl) is 2-axis...you must hold the unit horizontal or vertical for it to operate correctly. If you're holding the GPS in a typical position it's probably in front of you at an angle so you can read the screen easily...so the electronic compass can't function properly.

 

That's probably why the Colorado only offers AUTO and OFF for options for the compass...there is no ON option as it would give poor results most of the time. I think the erratic behaviour we see is the result of the AUTO compass switching Off and On as it detects movement of the GPS which would invalidate it's accuracy.

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It sounds to me like you never really learned how the Colorado operated before you gave up on it.

 

You are correct indeed as you've showed me many screen shots that I was quite unaware of how to customize. And I never did calibrate it. Some regret now, but that "dial a wheel" really frustrated me anyway.

 

Thanks for your help.

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As far as the built in compass. I have seen it mentioned before about using it at GZ. How is the compass used when you are close to the cache as opposed to knowing which direction North is while you are heading towards it and then knowing it while at GZ? Wondering if I should keep the compass on or turn it off to save batteries.

I started geocaching with the PN-20 which does not have the electronic compass.

Consequently, it was not my habit to use it and I still don't with the PN-40.

 

When walking at 2mph, or more, the GPS derived compass kicks in and I just get the pointed end of the green indicator lined up towards the cache icon and walk towards it.

Actually, I almost always have the downloaded photo imagery on the screen when I zoom in.

Then I can see the location of the icon relative to its surroundings.

For example, a hide near a tree in a planter of a shopping center parking lot.

I don't care if it is N, E, S or W, I just walk towards the object as seen on the photo image.

 

I doubt if turning the electronic compass OFF would add 5 minutes to the depletion time of the batteries.

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As far as the built in compass. I have seen it mentioned before about using it at GZ. How is the compass used when you are close to the cache as opposed to knowing which direction North is while you are heading towards it and then knowing it while at GZ? Wondering if I should keep the compass on or turn it off to save batteries.

Tria-axial compasses have an advantage over 2-D compasses in that you don't have to hold it flat to gain an accurate orientation while standing still.

 

The other major advantage the PN has over other receivers with tri-axial compasss and when properly calibrated, is when you turn, and the building is physically on your right (or left), the GPS will show you the aerial correctly oriented with the building on your right (or left).

 

I know the other electronic compass enabled units show true orientation with and without shape files loaded, they really lack when considering what an aerial can provide in terms of additional detail of your surroundings.

 

Edited to add the following example of where an electronic tri-axial compass is handy to have:

The Bloated Festering Head of My First Victim

 

Tri-axial compasses coupled with the ability to point to the bearing of your Go To waypoint is a nice tool to have when you find yourself on a crazy network of trails, or bushwhacking. When I had my MeriPlat, I got into the habit of flipping from the map screen to the compass at about 300 feet, and started what I call a live triangulation of the waypoint as I walked closer to it. I still do this with the PN. It's proven quite effective.

Edited by TotemLake

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