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which gps do you recomend


mrh59
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Wow, it’s amazing how “Interesting” these discussions can get. To me, it kind of looks like the Fan boy thing with PN-40 is getting a little out of control again. To throw in my two cents worth of reality (Admittedly, like everyone else it‘s “MY VERSION“ of reality), while the PN-40 is a respectable unit, and a very decent bargain in my opinion:

 

............

 

WARNING: DeLorme Fanboy PRESIDENT comment coming:

 

.........

 

Roddy my man, you do indeed have passion for your GPS. I wouldn’t want you any other way than your highly passionate self. I would however suggest you might want to watch for areas where you passion might be somewhat affecting your powers of observation so to speak, and lead you to over hype the product so to the point where I think many may be somewhat disappointed in their Delorme GPS if they purchase one, then have to deal with the reality of it. As some examples:

 

If someone is venturing into areas where terrain or canopy cover are causing their “H” model eTrex, or 60 series unit some reception or accuracy issues, switching to a PN-40 isn’t going to solve that for them. It isn’t any more sensitive or accurate. On the other hand, in some situations it displays a more steady position indication, so if interpreting the screen (Jumping around stuff) is causing the individual issues, the Delorme unit might be something worth looking into.

 

If an individual is looking to upgrade from a modern non expandable memory unit because they can’t keep enough map data in their unit for their purposes, making it sound like you can cover all the area the individual might be looking to explore in aerial photos. When discussing using aerial photos with the unit, failing to spell out the memory, and downloading time requirements could result in individuals being quite disappointed in the unit.

 

Finally, while Delorme appears to be up and coming in the handheld GPS market, do you really think they represent more than maybe 1 or 2 percent of the handheld units out there right now? I haven’t seen any data that would help, but I see a lot of people using GPS on the trails, and back country roads. Of the hundreds of units I’ve seen out there, I think I’ve only seen one person that had a Delorme handheld. Even if they find a way to totally dominate sales, I would think it would take years to take a significant portion of the handheld user base. Store wise in my region of the US, which has a lot of outdoors types, the only two stores I've seen that even carry Delorme are REI, and Cabelas.

 

Keep the passion, and extol the virtues of the unit such as value, stable indications, paperless capability, and aerial photo capabilities. At the same time, don’t mislead, or avoid the shortcomings of the unit.

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Depending on how you do your off road exploring, there are a lot of good choices out there.

Like when I'm going from Pipe Springs NM to Kanab Point, I do it with the factory installed GPS/NAV in the dash on my Jeep GC turned off and my PN-40 turned on.

 

No clown faces intended.

Hmmm, someone is trying to make me jealous again. Seems the wife is working most of this weekend, and I didn’t get to head south to play with the guys. It’s a big off roading shindig involving over 200 vehicles. Even worse, had I been able to go, it would have only been as a navigator/spotter. My rock crawler was costing me way to much money, so I got rid of it a few years back now. My wife gets scared to death driving a quad, so that option doesn’t really work, but I’m politicking hard for a Polaris RZR. My 4X4 stock pickup has the turning radius of a bus, and hangs up on everything ruling it out for even moderate trail running. On the plus side, thanks to GPS I don’t have to work on her fear of my getting us lost.

 

One thing I might mention though, is that if you’re someplace where you can see the GPS in your jeep, you’re most likely not really off road, unless of course you just rolled off the mountain. In most areas, should you actually get off the road in your vehicle, you’re looking at a very expensive potential fine.

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Okay, the original question was what would be a good first GPS unit for geocaching, simple enough I would think but I guess that is wrong if you look at the 50 or so posts here. When I started caching 3 years ago I figured that I would just use what most cachers use because that in it's self tells me what is acceptable for this sport.

 

My choice was the Garman GPSMap 60C as I noted a whole lot of people used a unit in that series. At that time my daughter was using (and still is) a Garman E-trex venture which she just loves for it's simplicity and accuracy. That unit is 4 years old with no problems and my 60C is 3 years with no problems.

 

The 60 series is newer than the E-Trex and has a few more bells and whistles but in the end both have made exellent first GPSrs for us and I figure still would today. Most people, myself included, wind up getting a second or third GPS for the hobby and as you do you upgrade to whatever you find you need. Right now I'm considering a Delorme PN-40 as a second unit or possibly a Garman Oregon but am still checking things out. In the meantime the 60C gets me all the caches I want.

 

So, for mysef and my daughter anyway, we found that just the fairly simple but reliable GPSrs that most people use has worked well for us and probably would you too. If you check each persons site on geocaching.com you will notice a box that allows them to state what GPS they use and that might at least give you an idea of what is popular today and just go with that.

 

I know this post is not technical in any way so you won't get any advice about that but I'm just trying to infuse some common sense here as what you could do to get a good GPS to have fun with without stressing over details, it worked for me! :P

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Wow, it’s amazing how “Interesting” these discussions can get. To me, it kind of looks like the Fan boy thing with PN-40 is getting a little out of control again. To throw in my two cents worth of reality (Admittedly, like everyone else it‘s “MY VERSION“ of reality), while the PN-40 is a respectable unit, and a very decent bargain in my opinion:

 

............

 

WARNING: DeLorme Fanboy PRESIDENT comment coming:

 

.........

 

Roddy my man, you do indeed have passion for your GPS. I wouldn’t want you any other way than your highly passionate self. I would however suggest you might want to watch for areas where you passion might be somewhat affecting your powers of observation so to speak, and lead you to over hype the product so to the point where I think many may be somewhat disappointed in their Delorme GPS if they purchase one, then have to deal with the reality of it. As some examples:

 

If someone is venturing into areas where terrain or canopy cover are causing their “H” model eTrex, or 60 series unit some reception or accuracy issues, switching to a PN-40 isn’t going to solve that for them. It isn’t any more sensitive or accurate. On the other hand, in some situations it displays a more steady position indication, so if interpreting the screen (Jumping around stuff) is causing the individual issues, the Delorme unit might be something worth looking into.

 

If an individual is looking to upgrade from a modern non expandable memory unit because they can’t keep enough map data in their unit for their purposes, making it sound like you can cover all the area the individual might be looking to explore in aerial photos. When discussing using aerial photos with the unit, failing to spell out the memory, and downloading time requirements could result in individuals being quite disappointed in the unit.

 

Finally, while Delorme appears to be up and coming in the handheld GPS market, do you really think they represent more than maybe 1 or 2 percent of the handheld units out there right now? I haven’t seen any data that would help, but I see a lot of people using GPS on the trails, and back country roads. Of the hundreds of units I’ve seen out there, I think I’ve only seen one person that had a Delorme handheld. Even if they find a way to totally dominate sales, I would think it would take years to take a significant portion of the handheld user base. Store wise in my region of the US, which has a lot of outdoors types, the only two stores I've seen that even carry Delorme are REI, and Cabelas.

 

Keep the passion, and extol the virtues of the unit such as value, stable indications, paperless capability, and aerial photo capabilities. At the same time, don’t mislead, or avoid the shortcomings of the unit.

 

I'll have to disagree with you on the statement that if a person is having troubles with the accuracy of an H model GPSr that a PN-40 is basically made with the same type of components so therefore it will not work any better for them. I bought a Garmin Vista HCx this spring and straight out of the box it had troubles trying to figure out which way to send me. I was to the point of recalibrating the compass every 2 hours and that only had a minimal positive impact. Towards the end it got to where I wouldn't even follow my Vista HCx into the woods because it was very consistently sending me off in the wrong direction. Instead I'd follow my nephew who had a non H model eTrex and his was almost always heading in the right direction while the Vista HCx was almost always trying to point me in the wrong direction.

 

Why does the PN-40 outperform the Visa HCx? I don't know, I'm not an engineer. If I was going to hazard a guess I'd guess that maybe Delorme has figured out a way to position key components that make it function much better than the Vista HCx. Or maybe they use a little different plastic that is more compatable with GPSr usage. I don't know the why's of it, but I can tell you my PN-40 is a dream come true compared to my Garmin Vista HCx that wouldn't work right even with very frequently recalibrating it.

 

Then within 4 months the rubber banding that is integral in water proofing started falling off. What kind of garbage is that? I spend $200 on a GPSr and the rubber banding falls off within 4 months of very light use. I hate to tell Garmin, but taking my $200 and selling me an inaccurate and cheaply constructed piece of garbage is not how you win me over. Then to make matters worse when they send me back a refurbished GPSr I call Garmin back to ask if the GPSr that they certify as being as good as new has a warranty that starts when they mailed it to me and the customer service rep has me hold while she checks with her supervisor. She comes back on line and informs me that no the warranty start date stays the day I bought the original one. So now I've got a "new" unit that doesn't even have a full year that I can put it through it's paces. I do love the fact that when you call Garmin from here in the U.S. you get to speak to an American who can understand me, but that's not enough to overcome a product that falls apart, is inaccurate and not giving me a full warranty on the replacement refurbished GPSr.

 

Oh and before anybody tries to say my telling how my nephews GPSr that's a non H model out performs the Vista HCx is an endorsement of those models that would be very wrong. The rubber banding on his GPS (yeah another of those eTrex that everybody recommends to new people) has almost completely come loose too.

 

You say that people who listen to Rockin Roddy might be disappointed in their purchases when they find out the reality of the GPSr unit. Well, I recently bought my PN-40 based on what I read of the back and forth discussions with RR's words weighing heavily into my decision. I'm lazy when it comes to reading users manuals so with one minor exception I haven't even cracked the user guide for the PN-40 or for the Topo 8. So far I can easily load waymarks by hand, mark my current position, find geocaches with it, load pocket queries, download aeiral imagery from the map library, load that imagery into my GPSr, toggle that imagery on and off depending on my desires at any given moment and I'm sure there are some things I've forgotten. Oh yeah, I also download my field notes to gc.com.

 

The one time I cracked the user manual for my PN-40 was to try and figure out how to change the welcome message on the screen when it powers up. Now I'm not an idiot when it comes to computer stuff, but I'll freely admit that I'm very far from anybody ever calling me a tech savvy person so I'd say the Delorme PN-40 probably is pretty easy to use if I can do it without reading the owners manual. Also, I don't feel that RR or others gave me any unrealistic expectations for the PN-40. To put it very simply it's just an easy device to use. I'm still waiting to come up against that steep learning curve I've heard about. Personally I have doubts that it exists or if it does then it must be in the areas of very advanced GPSr usage which I and most geocachers would never use those functions.

 

I guess you could say I'm now a Delorme fanboy and to that I would say thank you for the compliment! :P

 

Edit to add a P.S. What I think some people don't get is that just because us new folks around here are new it does not mean we're stupid. I read RR's posts and how often does somebody throw out a "fact" and then when RR states it's inaccurate and explains why he frequently invites folks to correct him if he's wrong. How often do the people reply and explain to RR why he's wrong. Not a whole lot. What people don't realize is that just because we're new it doesn't mean we can't see when people are constantly wanting RR to answer questions, but they aren't confident enough in their "facts" to explain why he's wrong. If folks are constantly dodging his hard questions then they lose credibility in my eyes and probably in other peoples eyes too. There are a couple people who will have a back and forth discussion which I think is informative and I enjoy reading and I learn from it, but like I said dodging hard questions isn't how to convince me that your points are valid.

Edited by Michigan Cacheman
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Wow, it’s amazing how “Interesting” these discussions can get. To me, it kind of looks like the Fan boy thing with PN-40 is getting a little out of control again. To throw in my two cents worth of reality (Admittedly, like everyone else it‘s “MY VERSION“ of reality), while the PN-40 is a respectable unit, and a very decent bargain in my opinion:

 

............

 

WARNING: DeLorme Fanboy PRESIDENT comment coming:

 

.........

 

Roddy my man, you do indeed have passion for your GPS. I wouldn’t want you any other way than your highly passionate self. I would however suggest you might want to watch for areas where you passion might be somewhat affecting your powers of observation so to speak, and lead you to over hype the product so to the point where I think many may be somewhat disappointed in their Delorme GPS if they purchase one, then have to deal with the reality of it. As some examples:

 

If someone is venturing into areas where terrain or canopy cover are causing their “H” model eTrex, or 60 series unit some reception or accuracy issues, switching to a PN-40 isn’t going to solve that for them. It isn’t any more sensitive or accurate. On the other hand, in some situations it displays a more steady position indication, so if interpreting the screen (Jumping around stuff) is causing the individual issues, the Delorme unit might be something worth looking into.

 

If an individual is looking to upgrade from a modern non expandable memory unit because they can’t keep enough map data in their unit for their purposes, making it sound like you can cover all the area the individual might be looking to explore in aerial photos. When discussing using aerial photos with the unit, failing to spell out the memory, and downloading time requirements could result in individuals being quite disappointed in the unit.

 

Finally, while Delorme appears to be up and coming in the handheld GPS market, do you really think they represent more than maybe 1 or 2 percent of the handheld units out there right now? I haven’t seen any data that would help, but I see a lot of people using GPS on the trails, and back country roads. Of the hundreds of units I’ve seen out there, I think I’ve only seen one person that had a Delorme handheld. Even if they find a way to totally dominate sales, I would think it would take years to take a significant portion of the handheld user base. Store wise in my region of the US, which has a lot of outdoors types, the only two stores I've seen that even carry Delorme are REI, and Cabelas.

 

Keep the passion, and extol the virtues of the unit such as value, stable indications, paperless capability, and aerial photo capabilities. At the same time, don’t mislead, or avoid the shortcomings of the unit.

 

Allow me to correct a few of your points:

 

I can also only give you my own personal experiences. Having owned many models, I will tell you my PN-40 beat every single one I OWNED! Now, that may or may not mean anything, you can interpret the experience as you wish. Just realize I did return the OR as I thought it was defective since it obviously didn't operate as so many here have said it should (and BOY was I disappointed after thinking it would, darn those people who posted that info) (that was a joke, the disappointed because of the info part, I was disappointed, but not because I believed what people told me). I truly DID return it as defective, I did assume it had issues (I was going to sell it to a friend, but returned it instead). I also never said the PN would fix any problems with reception in areas, I told of MY EXPERIENCES and I told them honestly.

 

I also never said ANYTHING about how much aerial imagery could be held on the unit, I certainly never gave the impression you could load unlimited amounts onto the unit. I would HOPE anyone knowing anything about maps would realize they take up a lot of space. And, since you mention the time it takes and memory needed to load aerials, care to tell me how long it takes and how much memory is needed to load them to the Garmin units? :P (trick question for all the newbs out there, you can't load the aerials to the Garmins...or at least not a soul has shown an instance where they have). I would be curious how the new Lowrances handle the aerials though, would like to see a comparison of time and memory if anyone ever has the time... And, As for not stating the time it takes and such, have I not posted a thread outlining the downloading of aerial for the entire state of Michigan? I believe I have also stated many times how long it took and so on...in many threads (including this one now lol). How am I somehow hiding any info??

 

And to tell you the truth, I have seen 6 other units while at events and meeting with friends...all in Michigan alone! Now, that may be because many of the people I chat with also believed my "spew" and bought, (which is true for a few) or it may be because it truly is a GREAT unit and these babies sell themselves! I'd have to bet that, since it's the best paperless product you can buy in it's price range (I would say in any price range, but that's my opinion, the first comment is fact), many people are buying for the "BEST BANG" feeling! IMHO, Garmin's pricing has turned a lot of potential customers away, guess where many have gone!! BUT, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, not sure why you brought that up. I don't recall saying DeLorme was outselling Garmin (or any other brand for that matter). Does it make a difference if there's one or THOUSANDS of units in use? And, can you please tell me, how long has Garmin, Magellan and Lowrance been making units...compared to DeLorme?? I would HOPE there are far fewer DeLormes out there. But, I think you did understate how many happy DeLorme users there are...I believe that was my original point as well?

 

Oh, and after re-reading your post, I will say I am more than happy to mention any shortcomings and have. I wouldn't mislead purposely and try hard to make sure what I post is accurate. In short, you may come to find I don't lie.

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Wow, it’s amazing how “Interesting” these discussions can get. To me, it kind of looks like the Fan boy thing with PN-40 is getting a little out of control again. To throw in my two cents worth of reality (Admittedly, like everyone else it‘s “MY VERSION“ of reality), while the PN-40 is a respectable unit, and a very decent bargain in my opinion:

 

............

 

WARNING: DeLorme Fanboy PRESIDENT comment coming:

 

.........

 

Roddy my man, you do indeed have passion for your GPS. I wouldn’t want you any other way than your highly passionate self. I would however suggest you might want to watch for areas where you passion might be somewhat affecting your powers of observation so to speak, and lead you to over hype the product so to the point where I think many may be somewhat disappointed in their Delorme GPS if they purchase one, then have to deal with the reality of it. As some examples:

 

If someone is venturing into areas where terrain or canopy cover are causing their “H” model eTrex, or 60 series unit some reception or accuracy issues, switching to a PN-40 isn’t going to solve that for them. It isn’t any more sensitive or accurate. On the other hand, in some situations it displays a more steady position indication, so if interpreting the screen (Jumping around stuff) is causing the individual issues, the Delorme unit might be something worth looking into.

 

If an individual is looking to upgrade from a modern non expandable memory unit because they can’t keep enough map data in their unit for their purposes, making it sound like you can cover all the area the individual might be looking to explore in aerial photos. When discussing using aerial photos with the unit, failing to spell out the memory, and downloading time requirements could result in individuals being quite disappointed in the unit.

 

Finally, while Delorme appears to be up and coming in the handheld GPS market, do you really think they represent more than maybe 1 or 2 percent of the handheld units out there right now? I haven’t seen any data that would help, but I see a lot of people using GPS on the trails, and back country roads. Of the hundreds of units I’ve seen out there, I think I’ve only seen one person that had a Delorme handheld. Even if they find a way to totally dominate sales, I would think it would take years to take a significant portion of the handheld user base. Store wise in my region of the US, which has a lot of outdoors types, the only two stores I've seen that even carry Delorme are REI, and Cabelas.

 

Keep the passion, and extol the virtues of the unit such as value, stable indications, paperless capability, and aerial photo capabilities. At the same time, don’t mislead, or avoid the shortcomings of the unit.

 

I'll have to disagree with you on the statement that if a person is having troubles with the accuracy of an H model GPSr that a PN-40 is basically made with the same type of components so therefore it will not work any better for them. I bought a Garmin Vista HCx this spring and straight out of the box it had troubles trying to figure out which way to send me. I was to the point of recalibrating the compass every 2 hours and that only had a minimal positive impact. Towards the end it got to where I wouldn't even follow my Vista HCx into the woods because it was very consistently sending me off in the wrong direction. Instead I'd follow my nephew who had a non H model eTrex and his was almost always heading in the right direction while the Vista HCx was almost always trying to point me in the wrong direction.

 

Why does the PN-40 outperform the Visa HCx? I don't know, I'm not an engineer. If I was going to hazard a guess I'd guess that maybe Delorme has figured out a way to position key components that make it function much better than the Vista HCx. Or maybe they use a little different plastic that is more compatable with GPSr usage. I don't know the why's of it, but I can tell you my PN-40 is a dream come true compared to my Garmin Vista HCx that wouldn't work right even with very frequently recalibrating it.

 

Then within 4 months the rubber banding that is integral in water proofing started falling off. What kind of garbage is that? I spend $200 on a GPSr and the rubber banding falls off within 4 months of very light use. I hate to tell Garmin, but taking my $200 and selling me an inaccurate and cheaply constructed piece of garbage is not how you win me over. Then to make matters worse when they send me back a refurbished GPSr I call Garmin back to ask if the GPSr that they certify as being as good as new has a warranty that starts when they mailed it to me and the customer service rep has me hold while she checks with her supervisor. She comes back on line and informs me that no the warranty start date stays the day I bought the original one. So now I've got a "new" unit that doesn't even have a full year that I can put it through it's paces. I do love the fact that when you call Garmin from here in the U.S. you get to speak to an American who can understand me, but that's not enough to overcome a product that falls apart, is inaccurate and not giving me a full warranty on the replacement refurbished GPSr.

 

Oh and before anybody tries to say my telling how my nephews GPSr that's a non H model out performs the Vista HCx is an endorsement of those models that would be very wrong. The rubber banding on his GPS (yeah another of those eTrex that everybody recommends to new people) has almost completely come loose too.

 

You say that people who listen to Rockin Roddy might be disappointed in their purchases when they find out the reality of the GPSr unit. Well, I recently bought my PN-40 based on what I read of the back and forth discussions with RR's words weighing heavily into my decision. I'm lazy when it comes to reading users manuals so with one minor exception I haven't even cracked the user guide for the PN-40 or for the Topo 8. So far I can easily load waymarks by hand, mark my current position, find geocaches with it, load pocket queries, download aeiral imagery from the map library, load that imagery into my GPSr, toggle that imagery on and off depending on my desires at any given moment and I'm sure there are some things I've forgotten. Oh yeah, I also download my field notes to gc.com.

 

The one time I cracked the user manual for my PN-40 was to try and figure out how to change the welcome message on the screen when it powers up. Now I'm not an idiot when it comes to computer stuff, but I'll freely admit that I'm very far from anybody ever calling me a tech savvy person so I'd say the Delorme PN-40 probably is pretty easy to use if I can do it without reading the owners manual. Also, I don't feel that RR or others gave me any unrealistic expectations for the PN-40. To put it very simply it's just an easy device to use. I'm still waiting to come up against that steep learning curve I've heard about. Personally I have doubts that it exists or if it does then it must be in the areas of very advanced GPSr usage which I and most geocachers would never use those functions.

 

I guess you could say I'm now a Delorme fanboy and to that I would say thank you for the compliment! :P

 

Edit to add a P.S. What I think some people don't get is that just because us new folks around here are new it does not mean we're stupid. I read RR's posts and how often does somebody throw out a "fact" and then when RR states it's inaccurate and explains why he frequently invites folks to correct him if he's wrong. How often do the people reply and explain to RR that he's wrong. Not a whole lot. What people don't realize is that just because we're new it doesn't mean we can's see when people are constantly wanting RR to answer questions, but they aren't confident enough in their "facts" to explain why he's wrong. If folks are constantly dodging his hard questions then they lose credibility in my eyes and probably in other peoples eyes too. There are a couple people who will have a back and forth discussion which I think is informative and I enjoy reading and I learn from it, but like I said dodging hard questions isn't how to convince me that your points are valid.

 

MC and I met recently to discuss the PN and to hit a few caches, he told me about his experiences with his Garmin. Some of you may think he's embellishing things a bit here, but I can tell you how passionate he was about telling of his experiences and how he was completely frustrated with his supposedly more sensitive "H" model compared to his nephews...who also cached with us I might add.

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... do you really think (Delorme) represents more than maybe 1 or 2 percent of the handheld units out there right now?
Y'know, that's a really interesting question, and I was thinking about it in a different context yesterday.

 

Geocaching.com does have a section for GPS reviews:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/reviews/gps

 

and you can search for any specific brand or model. Along side each listing, there are a couple of interesting numbers: How many GC members have claimed to OWN that model, and how many have posted reviews of it in that section.

 

The actual content of some of the reviews was a bit sparse, but the numbers for owned/reviewed surprised me -- to the point of being suspiscious of how GC is collecting or reporting those numbers. You'd expect Garmin to outstrip DeLorme -- but would you believe there are FIVE TIMES as many Geocachers who own iPhones than the combined population of DeLorme PN-20/30/40 owners? It beggars belief!

 

Go have a look the numbers for your some of your favorites.

Edited by lee_rimar
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I'm new to geocaching (bought a Garmin Geko 201 *and* joined the site back in 2003, but only just began playing last month). The Geko has been okay so far, but I'm concerned about how well it'll serve me in forest settings. Navigating by compass is okay, but sometimes I'd just like to put the coordinates in and let the device direct me.

 

I got the email from REI this morning about their Labor Day GPS sale, and am considering buying the eTrex Venture HC for $124.99. I also have a Blackjack II with AT&T, but don't currently have GPS enabled. Any advice? Advantages/disadvantages? Will it lead me to a preprogrammed spot?

 

Thanks for any and all help for the newbie.

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... considering buying the eTrex Venture HC for $124.99.
For that price, I don't think you can beat it. Some Geocacher's reviews here:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/reviews/gps_garm...trex-venture-hc

 

I also have a Blackjack II with AT&T, but don't currently have GPS enabled. Any advice?
You're probably better off with a "real" GPS than a cell-phone, though if your phone has a data plan it can be an excellent accessory for "paperless" caching.

 

Will it lead me to a preprogrammed spot?
Your Blackjack, or the aforementioned Venture HC? Dunno about the Blackjack, but the Venture will!
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... considering buying the eTrex Venture HC for $124.99.
For that price, I don't think you can beat it. Some Geocacher's reviews here:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/reviews/gps_garm...trex-venture-hc

 

I also have a Blackjack II with AT&T, but don't currently have GPS enabled. Any advice?
You're probably better off with a "real" GPS than a cell-phone, though if your phone has a data plan it can be an excellent accessory for "paperless" caching.

 

Will it lead me to a preprogrammed spot?
Your Blackjack, or the aforementioned Venture HC? Dunno about the Blackjack, but the Venture will!

 

Awesome, thanks!

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I know this question has been asked countless times but here it goes again. I am a new comer to geocaching and I love it. I have an old unreliable lowrance gps. I cant even enter coordinates. I would like to buy a new unit but like most people these days my budget is limited. But I dont want to spend the money and later find out I did'nt get what I wanted. I have looked at the Garmin etrex and venture which are in my price range but I am not sure of there capability. Any suggestion are appreciated.

What about ZorroGPS? You could test it for a week before making a purchasing. I believe during the free trail you could test its capability by yourself.

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............

 

WARNING: DeLorme Fanboy PRESIDENT comment coming:

 

.........

 

...........

 

I'll have to disagree with you on the statement that if a person is having troubles with the accuracy of an H model GPSr that a PN-40 is basically made with the same type of components so therefore it will not work any better for them. I bought a Garmin Vista HCx this spring and straight out of the box it had troubles trying to figure out which way to send me. I was to the point of recalibrating the compass every 2 hours and that only had a minimal positive impact. Towards the end it got to where I wouldn't even follow my Vista HCx into the woods because it was very consistently sending me off in the wrong direction. Instead I'd follow my nephew who had a non H model eTrex and his was almost always heading in the right direction while the Vista HCx was almost always trying to point me in the wrong direction.

 

.........

 

Have you been sharing a beer with ol Roddy there? You’ve very much got the same passion going on there… Are you sure you two aren’t related?

 

It’s hard to say what you might have been seeing, but from the description, it sounds like it was probably compass issue rather than reception or accuracy. There is significant differences in the way a 3 axis compass works when compared to the single axis kind. Which people prefer is very much a personal preference thing, but myself I find the 3 axis units fit my usage style very nicely.

 

To do a good assessment or comparison you have to use both receivers in the same place, at the same time since conditions vary so much with even slight changes in satellite geometry, moisture content of vegetation etc. One of the best ways to compare units in the field is analyze actual your tracks, especially if you have them set to a time based recording. This enables you to record literally thousands of samples of where the receiver thought it was at any given time, and makes it easier to asses what you perceived at the time, vs. data you can actually analyze. As to why perception is sometimes bad, the fastest vehicle I’ve ever been in was a “Mini” I bought the first time I was stationed in England. While the speedometer would only read something like 60 mph when I was really cruising, My perception is that it was closer to 160 mph.

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............

 

WARNING: DeLorme Fanboy PRESIDENT comment coming:

 

.........

 

...........

 

I'll have to disagree with you on the statement that if a person is having troubles with the accuracy of an H model GPSr that a PN-40 is basically made with the same type of components so therefore it will not work any better for them. I bought a Garmin Vista HCx this spring and straight out of the box it had troubles trying to figure out which way to send me. I was to the point of recalibrating the compass every 2 hours and that only had a minimal positive impact. Towards the end it got to where I wouldn't even follow my Vista HCx into the woods because it was very consistently sending me off in the wrong direction. Instead I'd follow my nephew who had a non H model eTrex and his was almost always heading in the right direction while the Vista HCx was almost always trying to point me in the wrong direction.

 

.........

 

Have you been sharing a beer with ol Roddy there? You’ve very much got the same passion going on there… Are you sure you two aren’t related?

 

It’s hard to say what you might have been seeing, but from the description, it sounds like it was probably compass issue rather than reception or accuracy. There is significant differences in the way a 3 axis compass works when compared to the single axis kind. Which people prefer is very much a personal preference thing, but myself I find the 3 axis units fit my usage style very nicely.

 

To do a good assessment or comparison you have to use both receivers in the same place, at the same time since conditions vary so much with even slight changes in satellite geometry, moisture content of vegetation etc. One of the best ways to compare units in the field is analyze actual your tracks, especially if you have them set to a time based recording. This enables you to record literally thousands of samples of where the receiver thought it was at any given time, and makes it easier to asses what you perceived at the time, vs. data you can actually analyze. As to why perception is sometimes bad, the fastest vehicle I’ve ever been in was a “Mini” I bought the first time I was stationed in England. While the speedometer would only read something like 60 mph when I was really cruising, My perception is that it was closer to 160 mph.

 

SU, just because we're excited to share our experiences, it doesn't mean we've ben hitting the ale! :laughing::laughing: And no, not related, but friends! Isn't it nice that happy buyers can be excited about their purchase...to the point of being passionate?

 

Why aren't there any passionate Garmin buyers?? :anitongue::laughing::anibad:

 

BUT, if you'd have read the post he made, he stated his nephew and he cached together and the comparisons WERE made when both units were together. Also, since he stated he'd calibrated the unit often, I'm not so sure it's a compass problem.

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Hi Searching_ut. You mention I may be a bit on the passionate side with my love of my PN-40. I'll admit it I'm guilty as charged. It's not to the point that I bleed orange blood yet, but I suspect that by my one year anniversary of using my PN-40 I will bleed in the color orange.

 

On a more serious note though, I have to say I understand why what I experienced makes no sense to you and others, but it is a fact and it was constantly observed by my nephews who frequently cache with me. I'd be very surprised if any of those 3 young men would ever consider buying a new Garmin now that they've seen what all they can get from a Delorme for a much better price point.

 

There's a reason I'm pretty passionate about my Delorme PN-40 so let me try to boil it down to the simplest form since I know in my writings I get to rambling and sometimes bore folks with to many words. My story was I was sitting with a Vista HCx in for warranty repairs and for some reason I got bored looking at the other forums on here and jumped over to the Technology forum which I normally avoid like the plague since I'm not a tech minded person.

 

The first thread I read I see RR pointing out that for way less than what I paid for my Vista HCx that I'd learned to be embarassed of because of it's bad performance I could have bought a PN-20. Yes, from my understanding the PN-20 doesn't have quite as great of a receiver (or whatever the components are called that receive the GPS data) and for driving at highway speed the maps have trouble scrolling along. However, since I don't use a handheld GPSr for routing that's not that important so it would have been great my needs. I was just floored to find out I'd spent over $300 on a crappy Vista HCx and topo maps (yep mine was very crappy) and come to find out there was a unit that would come with FREE quality maps and more importantly be 100% paperless. Then of course the aerial imagery and I have to tell you I was wondering why anybody would ever waste money on a Garmin that is not paperless and pay way more than the Delorme PNs that are 100% paperless.

 

So all that and the point I'm trying to make is that if I see somebody asking about what the best GPSr's are you can bet your last dollar I'm going to be telling them about the Delorme PN series if I even suspect they may be open to a brand other than Garmin. I honestly don't want anybody else to ever have that sinking feeling in their gut that I felt when I found out that for less than half the price of a Vista HCx and a set of topo maps I could have gotten a much better deal in the PN-20 and when a buyer steps up to the PN-30 or 40 it just turns into an even sweeter deal. So yep, I want to shout it from the rooftops of our little virtual community and let others know that there is not just another option, but a better option with a much better price. To be truthful I don't care what brand anybody buys, but I don't want to feel guilty later if I keep quiet and let newcomers not even know that the Delorme PN series models are an option.

 

I can't rely on the Garmin loyalists to spread the good news of what a great deal the Delormes are (just like the people who love Garmins would be unwise to rely and me to spread their views). Yes, there are other much more knowledgeable PN series users here that can explain the Delormes much more eloquently and with greater technical knowledge than me, but sometimes numbers do matter and if me speaking up will maybe be viewed as confirmation that there are more than a few people who love their PN's then I owe it to others to speak up and be counted. I don't believe a person should base their decision on what the majority do, but I also know that to a degree that does happen so therefore I'm standing up to be counted as not only a PN user, but a very happy PN user!

 

Have a great weekend sir. I enjoy reading your posts here on the forum since it never hurts to hear what the others are thinking. :anibad:

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So all that and the point I'm trying to make is that if I see somebody asking about what the best GPSr's are you can bet your last dollar I'm going to be telling them about the Delorme PN series if I even suspect they may be open to a brand other than Garmin. I honestly don't want anybody else to ever have that sinking feeling in their gut that I felt when I found out that for less than half the price of a Vista HCx and a set of topo maps I could have gotten a much better deal in the PN-20 and when a buyer steps up to the PN-30 or 40 it just turns into an even sweeter deal. So yep, I want to shout it from the rooftops of our little virtual community and let others know that there is not just another option, but a better option with a much better price. To be truthful I don't care what brand anybody buys, but I don't want to feel guilty later if I keep quiet and let newcomers not even know that the Delorme PN series models are an option.

 

 

And you know what, THAT is exactly the feeling I have had since I bought MY PN-40! MC IS me, just at the new buyer stage...WOW! :anibad:

 

We think much alike, my friend!

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I need to repredict as we are now at #51 ... We will get to 100 by tomorrow or Sat.
Nah, we're not gonna make it, especially if we play fair and subtract your prediction posts from the count :anibad:

 

But maybe I can add some fuel to the fire here for ya, Cowboy. Though I've tweaked the noses of some folks given to hyperbole, I haven't really chimed in on the original question "which GPS do your recommend..."

 

I'll stay on topic, stick to what the OP seems to suggest as to purpose and price range, and offer a handful of very carefully qualified opinions:

 

- If you have a budget of between $200-$300, and your primary use of a GPSR is for geocaching in North America, a DeLorme PN-30 or PN-40 may be your best buy.

 

- As part of that "best buy" thinking, DeLorme's Topo 8 mapping software is a very good value. The core street and topo maps are included with the purchase of the PN, and a $30 add-on subscription increases the types of maps and imagery available.

 

- If you have a significantly smaller budget, the PN-20 is NOT a good alternative to the 30 and 40. The 20's hardware is not the same as the newer models; significantly poorer in many ways. In the under-$200 range there are better hardware choices from other vendors.

 

- The quality of DeLorme's Topo 8 maps, while "good enough" for many purposes, are not the best available. More detailed, accurate, and up-to-date maps are available commercially from Garmin, and free from open-source repositories like http://www.gpsfiledepot.com. But these are not available for the PN-series. If this is important to you, you might not be happy with a DeLorme.

 

- While DeLorme's PN-series can do road routing, many other handheld GPSR's do a far better job of it. Similar to the "good enough" qualifier about the maps: If trip planning and routing are important to you, you might not be happy with a DeLorme.

 

- I've glossed over a lot and skipped a lot of considerations the OP didn't mention but which might matter. The DeLorme PN series is not the unqualified best GPSR. At different price points and for different purposes, there are a lot of options and everyone's "best choice" will depend on their own requirements.

 

I offer those as endorsements of DeLorme's products to prospective buyers, being careful to qualify them so as not to raise unreasonable expectations. Fair enough?

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- While DeLorme's PN-series can do road routing, many other handheld GPSR's do a far better job of it. Similar to the "good enough" qualifier about the maps: If trip planning and routing are important to you, you might not be happy with a DeLorme.

 

........ Fair enough?

Totally fair enough!

 

One comment about the PN-40's road routing capability: Something is better than nothing.

However, we just got back from somebody's house several towns away to which I have never been.

It was a combination of two interstates, main multilane urban thoroughfares and some residential streets.

I never fired up the -40, I just went with the factory installed, in-dash GPS/NAV and the bundled electronic lady.

Incidentally, when she comes on with the voice guidance, it mutes the other AM/FM/CD/Sirius sound.

 

Yes, and even not counting my other two, 100 now looks unattainable. :anibad:

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But maybe I can add some fuel to the fire here for ya, Cowboy. Though I've tweaked the noses of some folks given to hyperbole, I haven't really chimed in on the original question "which GPS do your recommend..."

 

... a lot of pros and cons of the PN-XX which is pretty spot on, imo...

 

I offer those as endorsements of DeLorme's products to prospective buyers, being careful to qualify them so as not to raise unreasonable expectations. Fair enough?

As a PN owner, let me chime in for the other team :anibad:

 

If your budget is sub $200, then the Garmins are a very good deal and can be close to paperless with some tweaking and/or with a "pda" type of device (ipod touch also). With the Venture HC probably being the lowest recommended GPS that any new user should invest in, again imo. That can be found for under $129. The Vista HCx would be the next step up in the Garmin line, giving you Compass, Altimeter and SD card for more map storage, 1000 waypoints (instead of 500) and routing capability. This unit is in the ~$195 range.

 

Now, if your budget ends up going over $300 and up to $500 or so, we get into the Dakota, Colorado and Oregon lines, a couple of which have touchscreens and other goodies. Now, like the PN-XX, all of the Garmins have their pros and cons, AS DO ALL GPSr's :anitongue: And that is the rub right there... they still haven't made a unit that is perfect for everybody!!! And they probably never will - so don't wait around for it. Find a unit in your price range and get it and start geocaching :laughing:

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I was to the point of recalibrating the compass every 2 hours and that only had a minimal positive impact. Towards the end it got to where I wouldn't even follow my Vista HCx into the woods because it was very consistently sending me off in the wrong direction. Instead I'd follow my nephew who had a non H model eTrex and his was almost always heading in the right direction while the Vista HCx was almost always trying to point me in the wrong direction.

 

What in the heck does recalibrating the compass have to do with GPS accuracy? I've had plenty of good units that didn't even have an electronic compass.

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I was to the point of recalibrating the compass every 2 hours and that only had a minimal positive impact. Towards the end it got to where I wouldn't even follow my Vista HCx into the woods because it was very consistently sending me off in the wrong direction. Instead I'd follow my nephew who had a non H model eTrex and his was almost always heading in the right direction while the Vista HCx was almost always trying to point me in the wrong direction.

 

What in the heck does recalibrating the compass have to do with GPS accuracy? I've had plenty of good units that didn't even have an electronic compass.

When the compass is enabled and you're standing still and it requires calibration, the bearing it could be pointing you in might be incorrect. Which is worse than having to play the pinball in the woods when attempting to gain a correct bearing with GPS untis without the electronic compass.

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