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GPS buying help


JOPT
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Hey,

this is a newb to the geocaching scene and I have to say I love it and everyone has been so helpful with everything....thank you all again.

The only thing that is driving me crazy is having to borrow friends gps....and its a car device. Im looking for a moderately cheap device (around 200-250) and since im pretty electronically dumb when it comes to gps, I was hoping I could get some recomendations. I have been reading forums and found that people push companies but what gps is a tough call. As a college student, I have wanted to find a good one to last and work well, so I figured you professionals would be the best to ask....

thanks

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HI & welcome to Geocaching :laughing:

 

..most any "outdoor rated" GPSr will work for Geocaching, and as you probably guessed the more you spend the more features it'll have.

 

Your borrowed "car GPSr" isn't really optimal for Geocaching because they are usually too delicate to be romping in the woods with. Their battery life is usually quite poor, and some models just don't have the needed interface needed for this pastime. Do you want the GPSr you buy to help navigate your car too, like the one your borrowing?

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Hello and welcome to the game! Well you’ve asked my favorite question about which GPSr is good. The only thing is you asked for expert opinions and I am not an expert, but just somebody who loves his GPSr.

 

The GPSr line I’d like to recommend to you is the Delorme PN series of GPSr’s. They are a little more expensive than most starter units, but they are worth every penny! One of the things that sets them apart from a lot of the competition is they come with free maps included! So right out of the box you get the following maps at no additional charge: topo and street maps for the U.S., street maps for Canada and street maps for Mexico. Other “starter” GPSr’s will charge you about $100 for each of the their maps.

 

One of the biggest advantages with the Delorme PN series GPSr’s is that they give you paperless caching! If you’re not familiar with paperless caching it’s where right on your GPSr screen you see all of the information you’d see on the cache page on go.com. The only exception is you won’t see pictures in a cache’s logs.

 

A huge advantage that the Delorme GPSr's have over the competition is the fact that you can buy an optional $30 subscription to their Map Library. Don’t worry you really do get the free maps I mentioned above even if you choose not to subscribe to the Map Library. Of the products offered in the Map Library my favorite is the ability to download aerial imagery to be viewed on your GPSr. What that means is while your geocaching you can easily toggle between a normal map view and a view that looks just like Google Earth but with the caches on it and also the roads with their names highlighted on them. As far as I know Delorme GPSr's are the only ones that offer this awesome feature. In my opinion it’s well with the very low cost of the subscription.

 

I know that what I’m describing sounds like a very high dollar GPSr, but if you buy a GPSr that you need to buy maps for you’ll quickly find yourself up to the same price point or higher than the Delorme PNs so why not buy the best right off the bat and save some money?

 

I’m out of time so I must stop writing for a little while. There are a couple of cons to these awesome little geocaching machines and if nobody has mentioned them by the time I get back online I’ll address those concerns in a separate post.

 

Have a great day!!!!

 

Edit to add: It's now in the evening and I have completed a fun filled day of caching with my Delorme PN-40. I LOVE IT! One of the pro's I forgot to mention in this post this morning was the fact that you can write field notes and have them downloaded directly to geocaching.com . Yeah, that's nice but you know what there's one part writing field notes on my Delorme PN-40 that gets me really excited. I know other brands higher end GPSr's also have field notes too (I think they do anyways), but there's one part of my PN-40's ability to do field notes that really excites me. On my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx you could make notes and stuff (they weren't downloadable field notes, but you could write little notes if you wanted), but it really to me felt very awkward to use. There was this little toggle switch and you had to move that around and when the right character was highlighted then you'd need to press straight down on the toggle switch to save that character. As an example of how easy or hard they were to use I'll compare the Vista and the PN using examples of common things that people are familar with. I'd say the Vista was ok and it worked, but it was kind of a pain like typing a text message on an old cell phone. Now on the other hand the way Delorme has everything laid out on the PN series of GPSr's it's really very easy to input notes one handed while walking back to your car and I'd compare it to being like one finger typing on a keyboard. Nope, I can't say that I think the Delormes are like two hand typing on a compter keyboard, but it really is a huge improvement over what I'd previously had to use on my old Vista HCx.

 

If at all possible go to a store that stocks a nice variety of GPSr's and then try them out so see how easy it feels to type in text. Of course it's all a personal preference thing so your tastes may vary from mine. Good luck! :laughing:

Edited by Michigan Cacheman
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Ok, I've got some more time now so if you don't mind I'll take a few minutes to talk about the cons of the Delorme PN series GPSr's that I love so much and suggest that you seriously consider buying. One of the most common complaints is that these GPSr's really like to run down the charge in batteries. To that I'd say it's guilty as charged, but there really are a couple very easy solutions to this minor problem. The easiest solution is to take along 2 extra AA batteries when you go out so if you run low you can swap them out. Keep in mind that we're talking 2 little AA batteries so it's not like you're looking at lugging around 2 car batteries. The weight of 2 little batteries really is very minor and it only takes about 1 minute to change out the batteries if you need to. The other option would be to buy the power pack so you can recharge your unit in your car as you're heading from one cache location to another. Both options work nicely so I'd say don't worry about batteries to much.

 

Another con is related to a positive trait that I did not mention in my previous post. The street maps that come with your GPSr are capable of routing you as close to the cache as possible in your car and then you can easily switch over to hiking mode. That was the positive. The negative side of that is that in my opinion they are kind of slow in deciding what route to have you take and then if you have it set up to auto reroute you if you make a wrong turn or miss a turn then it seems slow in recalculating a new route for you. What I've found I like to do if I'm using my PN-40 to route me is I'll have it route me, but I'll have it set up to not recalculate the route if I leave it. That way rather than waiting for it to recalculate a new route for me I just double back and get back on the original route it had for me. You will probably see some posters that will say the routing on these units really stinks, you'll see some that say it's great and then there is me and probably a few others that say, hey it's not as great for routing as say a dedicated car GPS unit, but it does a pretty respectable job.

 

Another thing you'll probably hear a lot is the screen size is to small. That's going to have to be personal preference thing for you to decide. Personally for me I wouldn't want it any bigger because for me the unit now fits perfectly in my hand and I would hate to have a unit that feels big and bulky to me. Again, this is a personal preference, but for me the screen is plenty big enough to see all the detail I could ever want and it actually exceeded my expectations as far as how easy it is to see stuff even in bright sunlight.

 

That pretty well sums up the cons of the Delorme PN series GPSr's in my opinion. Of course others may have some other pros and cons that they think you should be aware of.

 

The last thing I'd like to do in this message is bring up an ongoing problem with another very popular line of GPSr's that nobody seems to like to tell folks asking for advice. That problem is with the Garmin eTrex line of GPSr's. On the outer edge of these units there is a rubber banding that has a history of falling off. My experience was that my $219 Garmin Vista HCx had it's banding start falling off after only 4 months of very light usage. My nephew who I frequently cache with also has a Garmin eTrex and it too has the banding falling off. Since the first time I mentioned this problem in a thread I've had several people contact me via E-Mail saying they have experienced the same problem. Those with lots more expertise than me assure me that this is really kind of a rare occurance. I have to tell you that while I know from reading the Technology Forum and what others have related via E-Mail to me make me believe that maybe it's not even a majority of the eTrex units that experience that flaw, but at the very least it is common enough that anybody considering buying a Garmin eTrex (the more basic ones they sell) should at least research the issue to see how widespread it is. You may decide this issue is not anything that bothers you and that would be fine. Or you may decide that you don't want to buy a product that has a known problem with it. At least now you can say you are aware so you can make an informed buying decision when you do choose to shell out your hard earned money. Personally I think when spending $219 I would not expect my GPSr to fall apart from a problem that I hear has been ongoing for quite some time and Garmin can't seem to fix the problem.

 

Good luck on finding the perfect GPSr for your needs. If you do your homework and read up on the different models you'll do ok. Happy caching!!!! :laughing:

 

EDIT TO ADD A P.S. One final thing and then I'll let somebody else share their views. If it would be helpful to you or anybody reading this feel free click my screen name and then at my profile page on gc.com click the link to send me a message. Just make sure that below where you write your message that you either check or uncheck the box allowing me to see your E-Mail address so I know where to write you at. Good luck and happy caching! :laughing:

 

One final thing to add for consideration. While the MSRP on these units can be intimidating when they are on sale it really drops the price down to lower than some starter units. Recently REI had the Delorme PN-40 on sale for $260 . Unfortunately that sale has ended, but if you check out Amazon.com, REI.com, Walmart.com, eBay.com or here in the forum's Garage Sale or other reputable businesses you can lots of times find very good deals. :D

Edited by Michigan Cacheman
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A few suggestions, Don't buy less than a Garmin eTrex Venture HC. Color screen, geocaching mode, long battery life, rugged, some map memory, high sensitivity chip, USb connections. About $130

 

For a bit more you can add expandable memory and the ability to have the unit autoroute to a destination in the Legend HCx. I own 2 and have never seen any problems. About $180.

 

For basic paperless caching and a nice POI database - I'd look into the Lowrance Endura Out&back. It is new a just a bit quirky but I am confident a software upgrade will make it better. About $180.

 

For better paperless caching in a Rock solid nice unit - Take a look at the Garmin Colorado 300. Around $260 when on sale (frequent).

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A few suggestions, Don't buy less than a Garmin eTrex Venture HC. Color screen, geocaching mode, long battery life, rugged, some map memory, high sensitivity chip, USb connections. About $130

 

For a bit more you can add expandable memory and the ability to have the unit autoroute to a destination in the Legend HCx. I own 2 and have never seen any problems. About $180.

 

For basic paperless caching and a nice POI database - I'd look into the Lowrance Endura Out&back. It is new a just a bit quirky but I am confident a software upgrade will make it better. About $180.

 

For better paperless caching in a Rock solid nice unit - Take a look at the Garmin Colorado 300. Around $260 when on sale (frequent).

 

While another nice unit, I would caution that this unit and the other Garmin(s) that are paperless have and have had their fair share of problems which I'm sure some will say have been fixed while countless others will tell you otherwise. It's the same for most all new handhelds these days, bugs need fixed when these hit the streets...

 

Just letting people know this "rock solid" unit isn't quite as rock solid as you might want to believe! :laughing: The one I owned was returned as defective....

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Garmin 60CSx. Can be had for less than $250 and, even though it's a slightly older device, it's still a wonderful and highly recommended unit. Very stable, rock solid and ACCURATE. The screen is nice and easily readable outside in all conditions without having to use the backlight during the day. There are applications (free) available so it can do paperless caching.

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For better paperless caching in a Rock solid nice unit - Take a look at the Garmin Colorado 300. Around $260 when on sale (frequent).

While another nice unit, I would caution that this unit and the other Garmin(s) that are paperless have and have had their fair share of problems which I'm sure some will say have been fixed while countless others will tell you otherwise. It's the same for most all new handhelds these days, bugs need fixed when these hit the streets...

 

Just letting people know this "rock solid" unit isn't quite as rock solid as you might want to believe! :laughing: The one I owned was returned as defective....

When the Colorado was brand new it had some shortcomings in the software because this model (IMO) was rushed to market. Most of those issues were fixed quickly, and they continue to make improvements.

 

I've never had an accuracy issue. I love the paperless capabilities. And I have over 2,000 finds with mine to back that up.

 

My only gripe with the Colorado/Oregon is that the basemap doesn't have routing information, so you have to purchase City Navigator to get auto-routing (or download one of the less-reliable FREE options available on the internet...OSM being the one I hear mentioned most often).

 

Sorry you had issues Rockin Roddy, but there are too many happy Colorado owners out there to believe that it's a piece of junk.

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For better paperless caching in a Rock solid nice unit - Take a look at the Garmin Colorado 300. Around $260 when on sale (frequent).

While another nice unit, I would caution that this unit and the other Garmin(s) that are paperless have and have had their fair share of problems which I'm sure some will say have been fixed while countless others will tell you otherwise. It's the same for most all new handhelds these days, bugs need fixed when these hit the streets...

 

Just letting people know this "rock solid" unit isn't quite as rock solid as you might want to believe! :laughing: The one I owned was returned as defective....

When the Colorado was brand new it had some shortcomings in the software because this model (IMO) was rushed to market. Most of those issues were fixed quickly, and they continue to make improvements.

 

I've never had an accuracy issue. I love the paperless capabilities. And I have over 2,000 finds with mine to back that up.

 

My only gripe with the Colorado/Oregon is that the basemap doesn't have routing information, so you have to purchase City Navigator to get auto-routing (or download one of the less-reliable FREE options available on the internet...OSM being the one I hear mentioned most often).

 

Sorry you had issues Rockin Roddy, but there are too many happy Colorado owners out there to believe that it's a piece of junk.

 

Did I say it was a piece of junk? No, I said it has and had issues which I also said were being reported as fixed or being fixed. I also stated this was about the same with possibly ALL the new tech units out today, far from calling it junk. If you'd like though, you could browse these very forums for threads detailing issues with this Garmin as well as the other ones and yes, DeLorme and Magellan and...

 

I misspoke too, I had the OR 300 and yes, it went back as probably defective. That's the way it went and I'm sure you can dig up some old threads which I left remarks in if you'd like to see the issues. :laughing:

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... Do you want the GPSr you buy to help navigate your car too, like the one your borrowing?

yes if it could, does not have to be a sure thing for google maps has always served me well, but when it comes to walking through the woods, the whole estimate of a forest and a 1 meter radius is a big difference lol

thanks

Edited by JOPT
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... Do you want the GPSr you buy to help navigate your car too, like the one your borrowing?

yes if it could, does not have to be a sure thing for google maps has always served me well, but when it comes to walking through the woods, the whole estimate of where and a 1 meter radius is a big difference lol

thanks

 

I'd second the PN series, either a PN-30 or PN-40. The maps for routing come with the unit, no maps needed to buy for routing. As MI Cacheman said, it's a great deal, probably the best bang for the buck!

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I'd second the PN series, either a PN-30 or PN-40. The maps for routing come with the unit, no maps needed to buy for routing. As MI Cacheman said, it's a great deal, probably the best bang for the buck!

 

The deleted by moderator fanboy PN love force flows strong from Roddy and I haven't been here that long, but I can plainly see it... Not sure what his affiliation is, but take his "all that is Delorme" recommendations with a grain of salt...

Edited by robertlipe
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I'm definitely not a DeLorme fan boy and for that reason frequently annoy members of the "all things DeLorme" crowd. But in this case, I'll repeat the recommendation for the DeLorme PN-30 or PN-40.

 

It's a perfect fit to the OP's request: Specifically for geocaching, in the right price range. Yes, there are better GPSRs available, and ways to cobble together a paperless geocaching system -- but the PN-30 & 40 both come ready with everything he's going to need.

Edited by lee_rimar
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Okay, the pro-DeLorme folks are only giving you part of the story. There are plenty of detailed topo maps available for Garmin units for free (http://gpsfiledepot.com). With the latest firmware updates, the Oregon and Colorado series are looking very good indeed. And that highway routing in the DeLorme isn't the best in the world; if you want NAVTEQ quality data, you have to pay for it.

 

And many of us dislike DeLorme's Topo USA, finding it quite unintuitive.

 

Despite that, I'm a big fan of the PN-30/40. I just want to be sure you're getting a balanced perspective.

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I'd second the PN series, either a PN-30 or PN-40. The maps for routing come with the unit, no maps needed to buy for routing. As MI Cacheman said, it's a great deal, probably the best bang for the buck!

 

The deleted by mod fanboy PN love force flows strong from Roddy and I haven't been here that long, but I can plainly see it... Not sure what his affiliation is, but take his "all that is Delorme" recommendations with a grain of salt...

 

And as soon as you can display that you know what you're talking about and not just being rude and crude, people might actually pay attention to what you're saying? You see, you have yet to show that you can carry forward a meaningful and helpful conversation, just the ability to shoot spew and foul wordings about with no intent on actually giving sound advice. :laughing:

 

As I said before, the PN series is the best choice for you, the best bang for the buck in your range. I would also consider the PN-40 to be the best geocaching unit out there, but others will surely interject their opinion on what they prefer (just as I am here...which I believe is what the OP is asking for).

 

RMB says there's free maps, I would agree to that except the map I downloaded (free from gpsfiledepot) was far from the map I envisioned when sooo many have praised them. My experience may have been a fluke, there's likely some nice maps in there and elsewhere, just remember you're downloading free maps made by other users and NOT bought maps guaranteed to be what they say they are. And, as far as I know (and I've been saying this for some time now and no one has corrected me, so I must be correct), NO free maps will give you routing, you must buy that map.

 

I have NOT mislead, I have NOT left anything out either intentionally or otherwise. And, while MI Cacheman did give a PN favored opinion, do you seriously think he left out the "free maps" fact because he was intentionally or even unintentionally misleading? Please don't make it out to look like ANY of us have or would do that. MC has simply given you his honest opinion complete with pros and cons for the PN SERIES, not any other product. If someone would like to make a recommendation for another brand and leaves out info on DeLorme, I don't consider that misleading at all (but apparently, if we suggest the DeLormes, we now have to give the pluses of other models or we're highly biased???).

 

Back to the OPs question, I stand by my recommendations and would ask that you not only take my opinion with a grain of salt as was suggested in that rather rude comment, but go beyond that and do some research of your own! I AM NOT affiliated with ANYONE and have no reason other than my own happiness with my PN-40 to offer my opinion here, and I truly would like to see you be a happy GPS owner yourself regardless what you decide upon! To do your own researching, I would suggest reading the amazon.com reviews on their sales pages for any models you're interested in, read any and all reviews you can find. Keep in mind that, the older the review, the less accurate it will be as to what the models are like today...they ALL have had their fair share of quirks and defects when first introduced (Garmin, Magellan and DeLorme alike), but most have been fixed and we now see mainly spotty problems which is understandable considering we're talking about electronics.

 

As for the rude comment, I've seen nothing but from that poster, you can check his post history through his profile and note how he's been asked plenty of times to mature and play nicely...we can all see this has yet to work... :laughing:

Edited by robertlipe
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Wow, you're wordy on a Monday morning... Need another cup of coffee?

 

Sir, I truly do wish you'd stick to the topic and not be rude or distracting. If all you can do is the latter, you're not helping a soul here and it would be better you not post at all. I know you've been told this before, I'm hoping you can figure it out and become a productive poster, but I'm thinking you're merely hurting your credibility with your posts so far.

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Okay, the pro-DeLorme folks are only giving you part of the story...

RMB, look at the original post again.

 

Total newb, only interest mentioned is geocaching, specific budget--that's the story outline. Didn't ask for road travel, extra maps, etc. And as a total newb, would probably benefit from getting a complete kit out of one box.

 

There absolutely ARE better GPSRs available--but for the OP, the DeLorme is a good fit.

 

As for getting the complete story on the DeLorme, I'd say Michigan Cacheman outlined problems with the PN series -- mixed in with his effusive praise. Small screen, poor battery life, not great for road routing. I could also mention maps limited to N. America, and little cross-platform support but I didn't think it was relevant to the OP.

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Sir, I truly do wish you'd stick to the topic and not be rude or distracting. If all you can do is the latter, you're not helping a soul here and it would be better you not post at all. I know you've been told this before, I'm hoping you can figure it out and become a productive poster, but I'm thinking you're merely hurting your credibility with your posts so far.

 

And you need to consider GPSrs OTHER THAN Delorme, which you fervently push every chance you get. There ARE other options you know. I am not the first one to have noticed this and/or called you out on it, either.

Edited by scotthsi
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There absolutely ARE better GPSRs available

 

As for getting the complete story on the DeLorme, Small screen, poor battery life, not great for road routing.

 

Uh, yeah...those first two things alone make it just peachy for geocaching, right? Just what people look for in a great outdoors use GPS. A small screen and poor battery life... 'Nuff said...

Edited by scotthsi
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Sir, I truly do wish you'd stick to the topic and not be rude or distracting. If all you can do is the latter, you're not helping a soul here and it would be better you not post at all. I know you've been told this before, I'm hoping you can figure it out and become a productive poster, but I'm thinking you're merely hurting your credibility with your posts so far.

 

And you need to consider GPSrs OTHER THAN Delorme, which you fervently push every chance you get. There ARE other options you know. I am not the first one to have noticed this and/or called you out on it, either.

 

And your way of pointing this out is by being rude and posting less than favorable comments? Let me know how that works for you, OK?

 

I believe I am free to offer my opinion whenever asked. If my opinion is in favor of the DeLorme line, then that's what I will post. I HAVE (although admittedly rarely) ofered up other brands, but I feel no need to offer opinion contradicting my beliefs and experiences...sorry. When I see that DeLorme is a fit or could even be a valid option, you can BET I will make that recommendation to consider it, just as I've noticed Garmin users are more than happy to do likewise when they suggest their favorite model. Besides, as I saw MC so nicely put it before, there's PLENTY of Garmin voices out there, someone has to bring in the somewhat unknown and new GPS brand (which not only is a very good product mind you, but again, often the best bang for the buck). Finally, it is odd that some call us fanboys yet rarely offer up suggestions other than THEIR favorite unit? It's ok for some to do this, but if it's DeLorme....

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I believe I am free to offer my opinion whenever asked.

 

In a cheerleader "rah rah siss boom bah" kind of way...um, okay then.

 

Finally, it is odd that some call us fanboys yet rarely offer up suggestions other than THEIR favorite unit? It's ok for some to do this, but if it's DeLorme....

 

Little touchy there, eh?

 

someone has to bring in the somewhat unknown and new GPS brand (which not only is a very good product mind you, but again, often the best bang for the buck).

 

It's one thing to recommend something, but it's another to foam and blather on about it like a rabid dog. You haven't been "that bad" in this thread, but others? Hoo boy... And, I'm by far the first from pointing this out, too.

 

Now, revisit your first quote and response above. :laughing:

Edited by scotthsi
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But he did say in a reply that highway routing would be nice.

 

However, I was confused (happens frequently!), mixing this up with another thread. As long as learning software doesn't intimidate him, the PN-30/40 is a great choice.

 

Rich, if routing was my primary concern, I'd buy a nav unit and be done with it. No handheld will make a great routing unit. Some ARE better than others, but nothing will compare to a dedicated car-nav unit. However, my experience has shown that the Garmins are just as likely to mislead as the DeLormes when it comes to road choices and would be happy to tell about the sandpit my OR led me to while on vacation awhile back...when it was supposedly taking down a "road". WHEW, lucky I was in my Jeep and not a car that time...OUCH! And, I could tell of the road that my PN-40 keeps telling me to use...which isn't even there. :laughing:

 

Since caching is the primary concern here, I'm happy to offer the PN series as an option and warn that, while it will route quite satisfactorily (for myself at least), it is a bit slow on calculating routes. Does this make it useless for that feature? Well, since I use it every time I cache, I'd have to guess that answer is "NO"!

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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I believe I am free to offer my opinion whenever asked.

 

In a cheerleader "rah rah siss boom bah" kind of way...um, okay then.

 

Finally, it is odd that some call us fanboys yet rarely offer up suggestions other than THEIR favorite unit? It's ok for some to do this, but if it's DeLorme....

 

Little touchy there, eh?

 

someone has to bring in the somewhat unknown and new GPS brand (which not only is a very good product mind you, but again, often the best bang for the buck).

 

It's one thing to recommend something, but it's another to foam and blather on about it like a rabid dog. You haven't been "that bad" in this thread, but others? Hoo boy... And, I'm by far the first from pointing this out, too.

 

Now, revisit your first quote and response above. :laughing:

 

 

I am more than happy to carry on in my helpful and enthused fashion, just as you seem content to carry on in your less-than-helpful and rude attacks. BTW, since you want to compare posts, would you please count the informative posts you've made in this thread?? I can count them on one fingerless hand...

 

If you would like to carry on your rantings, please take it to PM as it's distracting to the topic. I'll be MORE than happy to share my views with you there. And no, I won't then turn you in saying you're harassing me when that obviously isn't the case...no worries there. :laughing: However, I'll simply ignore you from here on as you're obviously not here to help.

 

Oh, and from the amount of emails and PMs I receive asking for more info (from posters to these forums mind you), I would have to guess some actually DO see my posts as helpful and not that "bad". I am and will always be more than happy to answer any and all questions sent to me and THANK those who value my opinion! Here to help whenever I can.

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Rich, if routing was my primary concern, I'd buy a nav unit and be done with it. No handheld will make a great routing unit.

 

SOMETHING we agree on. :laughing:

 

However, my experience has shown that the Garmins are just as likely to mislead as the DeLormes when it comes to road choices and would be happy to tell about the sandpit my OR led me to while on vacation awhile back...when it was supposedly taking down a "road". WHEW, lucky I was in my Jeep and not a car that time...OUCH! And, I could tell of the road that my PN-40 keeps telling me to use...which isn't even there. :laughing:

 

Really? I'd like to hear that story and I WILL admit to knowing nothing about the PN road navigation other that what I've read here...and it hasn't been too flattering. I've been using a car dedicated Garmin Street Pilot and Nuvi going on 4 years now and they have been very spot on with road directions. I do always keep the maps updated. My 60CSx routes every bit as well as my Nuvi and I compare them side-by-side a lot when I'm playing passenger. Sure, the interface isn't as "slick" without a touch screen or voice commands, but the quality of the navigation is excellent. And, my 60 has the 2010 update on it, too.

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Okay, the pro-DeLorme folks are only giving you part of the story. There are plenty of detailed topo maps available for Garmin units for free (http://gpsfiledepot.com). With the latest firmware updates, the Oregon and Colorado series are looking very good indeed. And that highway routing in the DeLorme isn't the best in the world; if you want NAVTEQ quality data, you have to pay for it.

 

And many of us dislike DeLorme's Topo USA, finding it quite unintuitive.

 

Despite that, I'm a big fan of the PN-30/40. I just want to be sure you're getting a balanced perspective.

Wow, I thought I'd actually worked quite hard to list not just the pros of the PN series GPSr's, but also the cons. I haven't bothered to count the number of words for the pros and the number of words I typed for the cons of the Delorme GPSr's, but I thought it was about evenly split. I'm sorry that the "cons" of the unit really aren't all that impressive of a list.

 

So that would leave me to ask a question of the Garmin loyalists. My question is, if my post was so incredibly imbalanced and not fair enough in pointing out the cons of the Delorme PN GPSr's could you please provide a link to just one of your posts where you've actually discussed in detail any cons of a Garmin unit you are recommending? Now to keep it on equal footing as my post you have to show me where you discussed the cons before anybody either pointed them out or asked about them. Maybe you folks have been just as up front about Garmins as I was about the Delormes which I am a HUGE fan of, but if you have been then I have to tell you I've missed those posts.

 

As far as our resident sarcastic troll goes ignore his comments since if you look as his past history of posts you can see his only goal here is to try and be rude and get people mad.

 

There is a reason I didn't mention the free maps for the Garmins. You see I don't claim to be tech savvy in the least little bit, but I do remember one fairly recent post where somebody posted they got some free maps off the internet and they fowled up that persons GPSr. So if I think there is even a small chance that they can cause a persons GPSr to malfunction (even if it is just a Garmin) then I can't recommend them. There was another point I had wanted to make about the free maps, but it's slipped my mind so I'll have to address that another time.

 

Gee, I really thought I was to point of being brutally honest about my evaluation of the PNs routing on the streets. I don't know what more you would like from me on this point. I told the positive, I told the negative, I told my personal preference and I told you how I utilize it to where it works best for my particular preferences. I guess that was not enough. All I can say is I wish the folks who are so brand loyal to the Garmin GPSr's would be equally as up front with the cons of those units. In case anybody's going to try and blow smoke up my rear and tell me Garmins are all perfect don't even try it, because I read these forums and I see all the posts about dead and dieing Garmins and I'm sure others see it too.

 

I see you say that Topo 8 that comes with the PNs is not intuitive. Personally I think that may not be the best choice of words when you look at the definition of it in the dictionary, but I think I understand that you're saying the PNs and their software have that "steep learning curve" that from time to time gets thrown out as an argument for those that hate the thought that any company could ever compete with your beloved Garmin.

 

Well I am VERY non tech savvy and let me list what I've learned to do with my Delorme PN-40 and I've done it without opening the owners manual for either the PN-40 or the Topo 8. Here's the list of things I can do so far: mark my position, change the coordinates on a waypoint (I'm not sure, but I think I may have read that some of the much loved Garmins don't have that option, if that's true that is just strange and it would make you wonder what they were thinking when the designed that), load individual caches into my PN-40, load pocket queries into my PN-40, send caches from GSAK to my PN-40, use the street routing to get me as close as possible on the roads to ground zero, easily switch from driving routing to hiking mode to get me the last leg of the journey (as the crow flies), I can delete waypoints, I can use it to trace my route to get back to where I started, I can download charts and aerial imagery from Delorme's Map Library, I can easily transfer those maps and charts from the hard drive on my computer to my PN-40, I can use it to easily type field notes that can be downloaded to to geocaching.com, I can easily toggle between regular map mode and aerial imagery on my PN-40 and I'm sure there are other things that I just can't think of at this moment.

 

Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that I did have to open the PN-40's owner manual one time. That was to try and find out how to change the welcome screen message that shows up when I power on my PN-40. What other troubles have I had? Well I did kind of figuratively beat my head against the wall for an hour or so when I was teaching myself how to download the aerial imagery. Do I blame Delorme for that? Heck no, that was my fault for not reading the manual.

 

My point here is that the steep learning curve is one of two things. Either it's greatly exagerated to the point of almost being funny considering what all I've taught myself without opening the owners manual. Or as a VERY non tech savvy person I just had the worlds best luck and miraculously figured out everything on my own that nobody else seems capable of mastering. In case anybody's wondering I really find that last possibility to be laughable since knowing my lack of computer and GPSr savvy I'd stand a much better chance of winning the lotto than of figuring out such a formidible piece of software. Ok, there may be one other option that I can think of. Maybe that "steep learning curve" is for features of it that as a geocacher I will never need. Now this is only my personal opinion, but I have to tell you the PN-40 and Topo 8 that came with it were easy to use and I love them.

 

To anybody that actually reads all this post I apologize for it being so long. I just got a little fired up that the Garmin loyalists were saying those of us that do like Delorme GPSr's were hiding the cons from folks. I'd love to see the Garmin folks be as open with disclosing the flaws in their units as I was in mine. Nope instead they just rely on flooding the forums with one liners say buy this Garmin or that Garmin and never tell folks about the cons associated with those units.

 

Ok, I'm off to go do some fishing and who knows maybe I'll take my oh so difficult to learn Delorme PN-40 with me and find some geocaches too. Good day everybody! :laughing:

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But he did say in a reply that highway routing would be nice.
Ah, he did... several posts in. Thanks for pointing that out, I missed it.

 

...As long as learning software doesn't intimidate him, the PN-30/40 is a great choice.
The stuff he needs for geocaching isn't bad at all. The one-off "Send To GPS" from the website works about the same as the plugin for Garmin. And if he can spring $10 for Cache Register, there simply isn't a better or easier to use "paperless caching" system on a dedicated GPSR (as distinct from smartphone paperless caching solutions devices like the iPhone).

 

To me, Cache Register is the KEY selling point of the PN series as a geocaching unit -- and the only reason I recommend it in spite of all its other flaws. If only DeLorme put as much effort into making the rest of their software as easy to use as Cache Register ... sigh.

 

As for Topo 8 being hard to learn/use -- yep. If later on he wants to dig into using that -- and finds it's over his head -- he can always dump the PN on eBay or Craigslist and look for something else.

Edited by lee_rimar
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I thought I saw more than one instance of the free maps causing GPS problems, but could be wrong...

 

MC, I love how honest you are and how we are soooo much alike in our thoughts! I can still remember your post telling of your passion for the PN and how you wanted to shout it out to all the forums readers...it reminded me of me when I was a new PN owner!

 

Let me add some things I've learned to do with the T8 software that is supposedly so hard to learn:

 

Creating routes and transferring them to my PN.

Geotagging.

Transfer a route or track from the PN to T8 and then sharing that with others.

Transfer maps of all kinds (aerial, topo, etc etc).

Transfer waypoints from T8 to PN (and vice versa).

 

And, like you, I'm certain there's much more that I merely overlooked or consider simplistic and not needing mentioned. My point being, with the purchase of the PN series, you get a powerful tool which gives you a lot of great features that are quite simple to learn. I know this because, just like MC, I am about as tech savvy as a duck! In fact, I'm as slow as a laid brick when it comes to learning things. I would even go further and say that MC is a ways ahead of me, I can't for the life of me figure out GSAK! Hey, it took me a long time to figure out PQs!

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Rockin Roddy I have to tell you sir that you sure do take a lot of heat for the team. Oh in case anybody's wondering I'm a very proud member of the Delorme Fanboy club! Well, so far nobody's sent me a membership application, but I'm claiming my status proudly even if it may not be official yet. Hey, RR as the President of the fan club you could probably make an executive proclamation making my membership official if you choose to (hint, hint). Now as soon as I hit transmit on this message then I really will turn of this computer and go fishing.

 

First I'd like to back up RR in his statement that lots of people contact him wanting more information on the Delorme PN series of GPSr's. No, I don't have any knowledge of how many E-Mails he gets, but I can tell you how many I get. In the last 2 weeks alone I've had probably 10 people contact me and say hey I read your post and you really have me interested will you answer some questions for me. Let me tell you a little secret. Since I recently bought my PN-40 and started telling folks how good it is there has been probably about 7 folks that have gone out and bought PN-40s, a few that aren't quite ready to jump off the Garmin bandwagon yet but they are seriously considering comint to the Delorme line of GPSr's and finally there are some that I wrote and never heard a word back from them and I would assume that those folks read what I said and there's a chance they went with another brand.

 

You see in the end whether a person buys a Delorme or not it really does not affect me the least little bit. All I want is for geocachers to know that there is not only another viable option, but a very good one at that. If wanting my fellow cachers to be informed is such a bad thing then I guess I'm a bad person.

 

To our resident troll. Yes, as you point out my posts are very wordy. Sorry, that's just my personal writing style. I guess I'll never get hired for a writing job, but that's ok because I don't want one. Just to give you some food for thought though the last gentleman who wrote me asking for information on the Delorme PN series of GPSr's was a very educated man and he stated the reason he contacted me was because he felt I was the only person on the forums who was taking the time to give insightful information and not just a bunch of one liners. So yeah, apparently my writing style is not for you and probably lots of others too, but there are a few people who do appreciate it.

 

Ok, I'm hitting transmit and then I'm off to the favorite fishing hole. Good day all! :laughing:

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Roddy, a couple notes about your last comment (post #33 here)...

 

1) DeLorme's software does not offer "TRUE geotagging" :laughing: It will let you see where a picture was taken--if the date stamp provided by your camera is synced to the time on a GPS track. But it does not tag the photos in any way to allow you to share this info.

 

2) My point 1 is purely academic, as are the other points you raised. The OP didn't ask about geotagging or any of the other stuff that we've wandered into here. Whether you, Rich, or I find Topo 8 or any of its other features easy or hard to use, it doesn't enter into the newb concern of looking for an easy system to use for geocaching -- because you don't need to use Topo 8 for geocaching.

Edited by lee_rimar
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Yes, as you point out my posts are very wordy.

 

Nope, never did that as I was addressing RR and NOT you. :laughing:

 

Sorry, I know I said I was done responding to you but, when you saw MC mention our "resident troll" you assumed it was you he was talking about. Isn't that telling of what your comments look like to others? Not trying to be mean, not picking a fight, just some friendly advice that, if you'd like to be taken seriously, maybe a change in your writing approach is a good start? :laughing:

 

I know some of us would truly appreciate not fighting with you but debating....there's a big difference, my friend!

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Rockin Roddy I have to tell you sir that you sure do take a lot of heat for the team. Oh in case anybody's wondering I'm a very proud member of the Delorme Fanboy club! Well, so far nobody's sent me a membership application, but I'm claiming my status proudly even if it may not be official yet. Hey, RR as the President of the fan club you could probably make an executive proclamation making my membership official if you choose to (hint, hint).

 

I duly poclamate Michigan Geocacher a proud member of the DeLorme Fanboy Club! You sir are in!! :laughing::laughing:

 

Welcome aboard!!

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Being a Garmin user and Love my garmins very much. BUt To do paper less I carry 2 GPS with me all the time My NUVI to do my road and GPSMAP 60CSx. I dont like that to do Road route I have to spend another $100 bucks.

 

BUt If I knew then what I know NOW. I would have been all over the PN-40. I have the PN-20 as a back up unit and it is a great little unit but I dont like how slow it is or I would be useing it as my main GPS especially for when I go caching on my Scooter. For the money I would look at Delorme PN- series They are very good units. I am considering getting rid of my Garmin 60 to go with a PN-40 next year.

 

Good luck on your Purchase.

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Being a Garmin user and Love my garmins very much. BUt To do paper less I carry 2 GPS with me all the time My NUVI to do my road and GPSMAP 60CSx. I dont like that to do Road route I have to spend another $100 bucks.

 

BUt If I knew then what I know NOW. I would have been all over the PN-40. I have the PN-20 as a back up unit and it is a great little unit but I dont like how slow it is or I would be useing it as my main GPS especially for when I go caching on my Scooter. For the money I would look at Delorme PN- series They are very good units. I am considering getting rid of my Garmin 60 to go with a PN-40 next year.

 

Good luck on your Purchase.

 

As an owner of quite a few gps units, to include the PN-40, I myself don't consider the PN-40 to be of any value for road routing. The map quality is hit and miss, depending on area, and in many of the areas where it's bad, it's off by so much the GPS can't figure out what road you're on so it can't route you. Route calculation is only so so at best, and can be downright awful quite often. If you deviate off route, it calculates so slow that it often can't re-calculate unless you stop. You're much better off going the two unit route like you're currently following, or getting a handheld unit that has decent street maps available for it, and the capability to actually utilize that data.

 

Back to the original topic, what things besides geocaching do you think you might be interested in using a GSP unit for? Do you golf? Are you a hiker? Do you venture into unknown areas often and maybe desire some vehicle navigation capability? Do the discussions on paperless caching interest you? GPS units are great tools, and like most tools, tend to be somewhat specialized. Some tools try to do it all, but are generally less than spectacular for most. Knowing what exactly you intend to do has a lot to do with making good recommendations.

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Being a Garmin user and Love my garmins very much. BUt To do paper less I carry 2 GPS with me all the time My NUVI to do my road and GPSMAP 60CSx. I dont like that to do Road route I have to spend another $100 bucks.

 

BUt If I knew then what I know NOW. I would have been all over the PN-40. I have the PN-20 as a back up unit and it is a great little unit but I dont like how slow it is or I would be useing it as my main GPS especially for when I go caching on my Scooter. For the money I would look at Delorme PN- series They are very good units. I am considering getting rid of my Garmin 60 to go with a PN-40 next year.

 

Good luck on your Purchase.

 

As an owner of quite a few gps units, to include the PN-40, I myself don't consider the PN-40 to be of any value for road routing. The map quality is hit and miss, depending on area, and in many of the areas where it's bad, it's off by so much the GPS can't figure out what road you're on so it can't route you. Route calculation is only so so at best, and can be downright awful quite often. If you deviate off route, it calculates so slow that it often can't re-calculate unless you stop. You're much better off going the two unit route like you're currently following, or getting a handheld unit that has decent street maps available for it, and the capability to actually utilize that data.

 

Back to the original topic, what things besides geocaching do you think you might be interested in using a GSP unit for? Do you golf? Are you a hiker? Do you venture into unknown areas often and maybe desire some vehicle navigation capability? Do the discussions on paperless caching interest you? GPS units are great tools, and like most tools, tend to be somewhat specialized. Some tools try to do it all, but are generally less than spectacular for most. Knowing what exactly you intend to do has a lot to do with making good recommendations.

 

This was my whole twisted point of another thread, this pretty much made my point. Inevitably, someone posts how horrid the routing is, to the point of calling it junk even when many more are happy to use it without many issues (or maybe they'll post how steep the learning curve or how hard it is to use or....whatever their gripe is). I was pretty much using a simple icon removal, but it's about the same, exaggerated weakness made to sound like the end of it all. While I don't doubt SU has had problems with routing (among other gripes he has aired here), I highly doubt it's so bad it's useless as he has stated. Especially when there are a few nearby owners who seem quite content using it to route? I know I have little issue using it every time I go caching or even sometimes when not caching.

 

The point of my rants (which really got those Garmin lovers in arms in that other thread...to the point of making it clear I was not welcome in their "turf" LOL, too funny), while I was being somewhat serious about the need for a computer to remove the caches (silly IMHO), was to show how misleading some statements can be and how aggravating it is to try to defend against such claims. I know the crowd over there sure got heated, reminded me of several back and forths I have been engaged in with a few "users" here. And what did they fall back on? Always the same "fanboy" attack. See, it's fanboy if we defend the name, it's fanboy if we try to praise the unit...we're automatically fanboys. Well, what would you have been calling those guys supporting the icon situation in that other thread? They truly acted like a pack of rabid dogs (to borrow a poster's saying from yesterday).

 

Anyway, while the routing isn't the best, it's far from useless in my experience, YMMV. Odd how I use it often and, aside from a misguided turn here or a slow recalc, it gets me where I'm going pretty much every time! Now, I'm not saying it's perfect (far from it actually), but it certainly isn't useless as some would have you believe! If routing is a main use for the unit though, possibly buying a dedicated car-nav is a good option? Again, I am quite happy with using it, it's the only routing unit I have ever owned and, as KAboom will tell, has got us away from circling to find the right spot since we are most often led right to the location.

 

The OP is looking for a CACHING unit which will route him. The PN series is a CACHING unit that will route him. The routing has it's flaws, but the OP didn't list routing as his primary usage. IMHO (and a few others has been demonstrated), the PN series will do you just fine!! And to those who have seen this post and are now shying away from a great unit, don't let this ruin it. My experience with the Garmin OR was such that I am confident most handhelds are about equal when it comes to assigning roads to follow and such (again, my OR had me take a back-country "road" during our vacation which, after driving a couple of miles, turned into one huge sandpit for about another 1/4 to 1/2 mile. Had I been in a car....OUCH).

 

I was going to start a new thread to explain all of this, but this truly demonstrated my point better than had I done so...now, how about the removal of caches?? :D

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I was just reading another thread and it reminded me of another reason I love my Delorme PN-40. On the Vista HCx I owned before caches had an icon of a treasure chest. While I was a Garmin user I just thought that was then neatest thing since after all to me geocaching is nothing, but a treasure hunt game. Then after I'd record my find on my Vista HCx the icon would change to an open chest. Again, I thought was too cool because it showed I'd found the "treasure" (yeah it's mostly McToys, but I'm just an overgrown kid when it comes to how I look at this game I love). So anyways I always thought that was a really cool thing with the cache unfound and found icons.

 

When I first got my Delorme PN-40 I was a bit let down that my PN-40 didn't have any treasure chest icons like I was used to. Thankfully my nephew is a bit more observant though and he picked up on something I had missed. He pointed out that yeah there were no treasure chests, but instead it used the same icons that gc.com uses, so therefore I didn't even have to waste my time opening a cache info page to see if it was a traditional cache, a multi, a puzzle, etc.. When it's getting close to the end of the day and daylight is quickly disappearing then you really appreciate how easy it is to tell from a glace at your GPSr screen what type of cache all the icons represent. Yes, I have to admit I do still miss the treasure chests, but if I had to choose one way or the other I would choose the way my PN-40 does it just for the extra ease all I have to do is look at the screen and I know what type cache it is without ever having to open the cache description page on my PN-40. Now if Delorme would change it from a smiley to an opened treasure chest for found caches then I could have the best of both worlds. However, I'm sure they are probably tryinging set themselves apart from Garmin models so that would probably never happen.

 

I do realize this sounds like a ridiculously small detail, and heck I'll even agree that it is. However, I do believe it is a culmination of adding up all the pluses and minuses, big and little, that help us to come to the decision to buy or not buy a particular unit. I certainly would never let a minor detail like this be the motivating factor in a buying decision, but in the event of a tie then I might look at the list of minor things like this that the different units have going for or against them and use that as a tie breaker.

 

Again good luck to OP on finding a unit that will be great for your needs. The research is a pain and can be almost to the point of being overwhelming, but you will feel much more certain you made the right decision if you research several different brands so you are truely making an informed decision. :D

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Being a Garmin user and Love my garmins very much. BUt To do paper less I carry 2 GPS with me all the time My NUVI to do my road and GPSMAP 60CSx. I dont like that to do Road route I have to spend another $100 bucks.

 

BUt If I knew then what I know NOW. I would have been all over the PN-40. I have the PN-20 as a back up unit and it is a great little unit but I dont like how slow it is or I would be useing it as my main GPS especially for when I go caching on my Scooter. For the money I would look at Delorme PN- series They are very good units. I am considering getting rid of my Garmin 60 to go with a PN-40 next year.

 

Good luck on your Purchase.

 

As an owner of quite a few gps units, to include the PN-40, I myself don't consider the PN-40 to be of any value for road routing. The map quality is hit and miss, depending on area, and in many of the areas where it's bad, it's off by so much the GPS can't figure out what road you're on so it can't route you. Route calculation is only so so at best, and can be downright awful quite often. If you deviate off route, it calculates so slow that it often can't re-calculate unless you stop. You're much better off going the two unit route like you're currently following, or getting a handheld unit that has decent street maps available for it, and the capability to actually utilize that data.

 

Back to the original topic, what things besides geocaching do you think you might be interested in using a GSP unit for? Do you golf? Are you a hiker? Do you venture into unknown areas often and maybe desire some vehicle navigation capability? Do the discussions on paperless caching interest you? GPS units are great tools, and like most tools, tend to be somewhat specialized. Some tools try to do it all, but are generally less than spectacular for most. Knowing what exactly you intend to do has a lot to do with making good recommendations.

 

This was my whole twisted point of another thread, this pretty much made my point. Inevitably, someone posts how horrid the routing is, to the point of calling it junk even when many more are happy to use it without many issues (or maybe they'll post how steep the learning curve or how hard it is to use or....whatever their gripe is). I was pretty much using a simple icon removal, but it's about the same, exaggerated weakness made to sound like the end of it all. While I don't doubt SU has had problems with routing (among other gripes he has aired here), I highly doubt it's so bad it's useless as he has stated. Especially when there are a few nearby owners who seem quite content using it to route? I know I have little issue using it every time I go caching or even sometimes when not caching.

 

The point of my rants (which really got those Garmin lovers in arms in that other thread...to the point of making it clear I was not welcome in their "turf" LOL, too funny), while I was being somewhat serious about the need for a computer to remove the caches (silly IMHO), was to show how misleading some statements can be and how aggravating it is to try to defend against such claims. I know the crowd over there sure got heated, reminded me of several back and forths I have been engaged in with a few "users" here. And what did they fall back on? Always the same "fanboy" attack. See, it's fanboy if we defend the name, it's fanboy if we try to praise the unit...we're automatically fanboys. Well, what would you have been calling those guys supporting the icon situation in that other thread? They truly acted like a pack of rabid dogs (to borrow a poster's saying from yesterday).

 

Anyway, while the routing isn't the best, it's far from useless in my experience, YMMV. Odd how I use it often and, aside from a misguided turn here or a slow recalc, it gets me where I'm going pretty much every time! Now, I'm not saying it's perfect (far from it actually), but it certainly isn't useless as some would have you believe! If routing is a main use for the unit though, possibly buying a dedicated car-nav is a good option? Again, I am quite happy with using it, it's the only routing unit I have ever owned and, as KAboom will tell, has got us away from circling to find the right spot since we are most often led right to the location.

 

The OP is looking for a CACHING unit which will route him. The PN series is a CACHING unit that will route him. The routing has it's flaws, but the OP didn't list routing as his primary usage. IMHO (and a few others has been demonstrated), the PN series will do you just fine!! And to those who have seen this post and are now shying away from a great unit, don't let this ruin it. My experience with the Garmin OR was such that I am confident most handhelds are about equal when it comes to assigning roads to follow and such (again, my OR had me take a back-country "road" during our vacation which, after driving a couple of miles, turned into one huge sandpit for about another 1/4 to 1/2 mile. Had I been in a car....OUCH).

 

I was going to start a new thread to explain all of this, but this truly demonstrated my point better than had I done so...now, how about the removal of caches?? :D

 

Roddy,

 

We were talking about whether or not someone would be satisfied stepping down from a Nuvi for street navigation (Arguably one of the best units out there for road navigation) to a PN-40, which in my experience does the worst job of any routing capable GPS unit currently on the market. You can make the argument of low cost for the PN-40, and some may find it better than nothing, or even acceptable for some types of trips, but lets be fair in comparisons and let it be known there are much better options out there if they’ll be using the unit very much for street navigation.

 

The same goes in other areas. Can you name a modern unit that does worse battery life wise? How does the PN-40 it stack up to other units in track recording options/capability? The PN-40 is a competent unit for basic navigation functions, stable position reporting, well implemented magnetic compass, accuracy right up there with any consumer unit on the market right now, nice paperless caching features, and good value. Depending on the individuals requirements and how they intend to use it, it may be a good choice, but the unit also has shortcomings that might not make it a good or acceptable option.

 

Again, from the experience of using a PN-40 for quite some time now, it I was looking to buy again, I go with a two unit set-up of a Nuvi for street navigation and paperless function, with a handheld unit for once I got out of the vehicle. That’s from the point of view of someone who caches only a little, but spends many a day from pre-dawn, to post sunset out exploring. If I was only geocaching in Urban areas, I’d probably lean more to a single unit to do it all.

 

As for removal of caches, are we talking those loaded as a group in a PQ or loaded individually like you do on the PN?

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I was just reading another thread and it reminded me of another reason I love my Delorme PN-40. On the Vista HCx I owned before caches had an icon of a treasure chest. While I was a Garmin user I just thought that was then neatest thing since after all to me geocaching is nothing, but a treasure hunt game. Then after I'd record my find on my Vista HCx the icon would change to an open chest. Again, I thought was too cool because it showed I'd found the "treasure" (yeah it's mostly McToys, but I'm just an overgrown kid when it comes to how I look at this game I love). So anyways I always thought that was a really cool thing with the cache unfound and found icons.

 

When I first got my Delorme PN-40 I was a bit let down that my PN-40 didn't have any treasure chest icons like I was used to. Thankfully my nephew is a bit more observant though and he picked up on something I had missed. He pointed out that yeah there were no treasure chests, but instead it used the same icons that gc.com uses, so therefore I didn't even have to waste my time opening a cache info page to see if it was a traditional cache, a multi, a puzzle, etc.. When it's getting close to the end of the day and daylight is quickly disappearing then you really appreciate how easy it is to tell from a glace at your GPSr screen what type of cache all the icons represent. Yes, I have to admit I do still miss the treasure chests, but if I had to choose one way or the other I would choose the way my PN-40 does it just for the extra ease all I have to do is look at the screen and I know what type cache it is without ever having to open the cache description page on my PN-40. Now if Delorme would change it from a smiley to an opened treasure chest for found caches then I could have the best of both worlds. However, I'm sure they are probably tryinging set themselves apart from Garmin models so that would probably never happen.

 

I do realize this sounds like a ridiculously small detail, and heck I'll even agree that it is. However, I do believe it is a culmination of adding up all the pluses and minuses, big and little, that help us to come to the decision to buy or not buy a particular unit. I certainly would never let a minor detail like this be the motivating factor in a buying decision, but in the event of a tie then I might look at the list of minor things like this that the different units have going for or against them and use that as a tie breaker.

 

Again good luck to OP on finding a unit that will be great for your needs. The research is a pain and can be almost to the point of being overwhelming, but you will feel much more certain you made the right decision if you research several different brands so you are truely making an informed decision. :D

 

Yep! It seems there are some nice "subtle" pluses which tend to be overlooked but truly do make the choice for some. I like the use of the same icons GC uses, my PN has all the trads and other cache icons right there so I know what I'm looking at before opening the cache page (much like the actual search feature on GC.com. Having the smilies is really cool to! When I first bought the PN, we didn't have those icons, they were the generic treasure chest (like you see on most every other unit I suppose), I was a bit discouraged at this and really loved when we were given the actual icons!

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Now if Delorme would change it from a smiley to an opened treasure chest for found caches then I could have the best of both worlds. However, I'm sure they are probably tryinging set themselves apart from Garmin models so that would probably never happen.

 

In the older Garmin units' defense, I used to have better custom icons than even the PN-40 / Oregon / CO / Dakota has... as these old units allowed uploading of custom icons. I used to have a film canister for a micro, ammo box for a traditional, an inverse "?" for a solved puzzle... great days.

 

It's a little step back for me to see these newer units (Delorme and Garmin alike) not allow use of custom icons on the *unit*.

 

And of course, you both know that the equivalent paperless Garmin units (OR / CO / Dakota) also use the standard geocaching.com set of icons on the unit. Plus an open chest for finds. Just added that as to not confuse people who might think you were comparing the Delormes to the newer Gamin units.

 

(not "in box", but Garmin does allow overlaying of POI on their icons, so I have actually got back to having container size, solved status, DNF etc overlaid on top of the geocache icon on screen..and do-able with a VERY ingenious one click macro over on the GSAK boards. So I'm almost back to the halycon days of custom icons that the old garmin units provided)

Edited by Maingray
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Being a Garmin user and Love my garmins very much. BUt To do paper less I carry 2 GPS with me all the time My NUVI to do my road and GPSMAP 60CSx. I dont like that to do Road route I have to spend another $100 bucks.

 

BUt If I knew then what I know NOW. I would have been all over the PN-40. I have the PN-20 as a back up unit and it is a great little unit but I dont like how slow it is or I would be useing it as my main GPS especially for when I go caching on my Scooter. For the money I would look at Delorme PN- series They are very good units. I am considering getting rid of my Garmin 60 to go with a PN-40 next year.

 

Good luck on your Purchase.

 

As an owner of quite a few gps units, to include the PN-40, I myself don't consider the PN-40 to be of any value for road routing. The map quality is hit and miss, depending on area, and in many of the areas where it's bad, it's off by so much the GPS can't figure out what road you're on so it can't route you. Route calculation is only so so at best, and can be downright awful quite often. If you deviate off route, it calculates so slow that it often can't re-calculate unless you stop. You're much better off going the two unit route like you're currently following, or getting a handheld unit that has decent street maps available for it, and the capability to actually utilize that data.

 

Back to the original topic, what things besides geocaching do you think you might be interested in using a GSP unit for? Do you golf? Are you a hiker? Do you venture into unknown areas often and maybe desire some vehicle navigation capability? Do the discussions on paperless caching interest you? GPS units are great tools, and like most tools, tend to be somewhat specialized. Some tools try to do it all, but are generally less than spectacular for most. Knowing what exactly you intend to do has a lot to do with making good recommendations.

 

This was my whole twisted point of another thread, this pretty much made my point. Inevitably, someone posts how horrid the routing is, to the point of calling it junk even when many more are happy to use it without many issues (or maybe they'll post how steep the learning curve or how hard it is to use or....whatever their gripe is). I was pretty much using a simple icon removal, but it's about the same, exaggerated weakness made to sound like the end of it all. While I don't doubt SU has had problems with routing (among other gripes he has aired here), I highly doubt it's so bad it's useless as he has stated. Especially when there are a few nearby owners who seem quite content using it to route? I know I have little issue using it every time I go caching or even sometimes when not caching.

 

The point of my rants (which really got those Garmin lovers in arms in that other thread...to the point of making it clear I was not welcome in their "turf" LOL, too funny), while I was being somewhat serious about the need for a computer to remove the caches (silly IMHO), was to show how misleading some statements can be and how aggravating it is to try to defend against such claims. I know the crowd over there sure got heated, reminded me of several back and forths I have been engaged in with a few "users" here. And what did they fall back on? Always the same "fanboy" attack. See, it's fanboy if we defend the name, it's fanboy if we try to praise the unit...we're automatically fanboys. Well, what would you have been calling those guys supporting the icon situation in that other thread? They truly acted like a pack of rabid dogs (to borrow a poster's saying from yesterday).

 

Anyway, while the routing isn't the best, it's far from useless in my experience, YMMV. Odd how I use it often and, aside from a misguided turn here or a slow recalc, it gets me where I'm going pretty much every time! Now, I'm not saying it's perfect (far from it actually), but it certainly isn't useless as some would have you believe! If routing is a main use for the unit though, possibly buying a dedicated car-nav is a good option? Again, I am quite happy with using it, it's the only routing unit I have ever owned and, as KAboom will tell, has got us away from circling to find the right spot since we are most often led right to the location.

 

The OP is looking for a CACHING unit which will route him. The PN series is a CACHING unit that will route him. The routing has it's flaws, but the OP didn't list routing as his primary usage. IMHO (and a few others has been demonstrated), the PN series will do you just fine!! And to those who have seen this post and are now shying away from a great unit, don't let this ruin it. My experience with the Garmin OR was such that I am confident most handhelds are about equal when it comes to assigning roads to follow and such (again, my OR had me take a back-country "road" during our vacation which, after driving a couple of miles, turned into one huge sandpit for about another 1/4 to 1/2 mile. Had I been in a car....OUCH).

 

I was going to start a new thread to explain all of this, but this truly demonstrated my point better than had I done so...now, how about the removal of caches?? :blink:

 

Roddy,

 

We were talking about whether or not someone would be satisfied stepping down from a Nuvi for street navigation (Arguably one of the best units out there for road navigation) to a PN-40, which in my experience does the worst job of any routing capable GPS unit currently on the market. You can make the argument of low cost for the PN-40, and some may find it better than nothing, or even acceptable for some types of trips, but lets be fair in comparisons and let it be known there are much better options out there if they’ll be using the unit very much for street navigation.

 

The same goes in other areas. Can you name a modern unit that does worse battery life wise? How does the PN-40 it stack up to other units in track recording options/capability? The PN-40 is a competent unit for basic navigation functions, stable position reporting, well implemented magnetic compass, accuracy right up there with any consumer unit on the market right now, nice paperless caching features, and good value. Depending on the individuals requirements and how they intend to use it, it may be a good choice, but the unit also has shortcomings that might not make it a good or acceptable option.

 

Again, from the experience of using a PN-40 for quite some time now, it I was looking to buy again, I go with a two unit set-up of a Nuvi for street navigation and paperless function, with a handheld unit for once I got out of the vehicle. That’s from the point of view of someone who caches only a little, but spends many a day from pre-dawn, to post sunset out exploring. If I was only geocaching in Urban areas, I’d probably lean more to a single unit to do it all.

 

As for removal of caches, are we talking those loaded as a group in a PQ or loaded individually like you do on the PN?

 

I must have overlooked this post as SURELY I would have responded earlier.

 

Fair, is that how you'd rate your post? Let's try to follow your suggestion sir:

 

Battery life...OK, it is a con for the PN. BUT, have you EVER seen anyone say differently? As well, since you seem determined to report as to YOUR standard and usage, it's good that you DID remind people that CACHING is NOT your primary usage in a GPS. I keep trying to figure out WHY you feel the need to run down the PN when OBVIOUSLY, you aren't even using it for what MOST people will be (you know, the ones ASKING the questions??). Battery life is a serious problem...for YOU! As has been demonstrated, anyone who will be in their vehicle for any time can get around the problem, thus it's basically a NON-issue for most cachers. And, for those looong trips, as has been suggested several hundred times now (yes, an exaggeration...but sheesh), carry a spare pair of topped off batteries and you're good for a whole day of fun. Is the battery life a problem for most...I'd have to say NO!

 

Reception, tracking etc...I seem to recall more than a few comparissons which have resulted in the announcing that the PN is right on par with the 60CSX in this arena. You made it clear how badly it works in canyons and such..not all of us are in that kind of environment. Most of us see darned good readings here and find the PN to be as good as or even better than some other new units out (remember reading those posts a while back??). I'm glad you're able to warn of potential problems in certain conditions, but let's make sure peole realize that this is the norm EVERYWHERE.

 

And finally, ROUTING...I keep pointing out how the PN is about the same as any other routing handheld out there (road choice-wise) and yet, you shoot at it as if it's just junk. Well, having USED the almighty OR, I KNOW better. Yes, it is quicker, yes, it gives more detail (heh, I've even admitted this and praised the OR for this). BUT, the two are still about the same as far as road choices and mistaken guidance goes! I KNOW this because I used both and, let me say, in the short time I used the OR, I found it led me astray MORE often that the PN had. And YES, the sandpit story is true and YES, had I been in a car, I'd likely STILL be there (yes, another exaggeragion...but sheesh!). You want to be fair, tell it like it is and not make it out to be horrid. It's slow, it's not as good as some with the info and some are a bit better, but stop telling people it's junk OK? If you're main goal is misleading prospective buyers, you're doing a good job! The roads in your area don't match up...fair enough, glad you reported that (over and over and...). It would be nice (and fair) if you'd point out that this is how you see it and not likely the norm as many others have pointed out! The way you phrase it, it surely looks otherwise. And YES, there ARE better options out there. Most of us would agree that buying a dedicated car-nav is best if your PRIMARY usage is routing (can't tell you how many times I've said that). That goes for DeLorme as well as Garmin or Lowrance or...

 

Competent? You bet! More than competent IMHO! You seem more than happy to point out all the cons, I wonder where the balanced side to this is? Good thing there's us "fanboys" out here to keep the balance!

 

Oh, and if you doubt my comment on my usage of the PN for routing me everywhere I need it for, guess again. I truly DO use it and use it often! Has it led me astray? You bet, but it has also put me right where I need to be...more often than being led astray I might add!

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Hi Maingray. My point was actually kind of a wash since I was on one hand I said I really preferred the same icons on the Delorme as on gc.com and then what I was trying to get across and maybe I didn't do it clearly was that I wished the Delormes had an opened treasure chest for found caches like what I was used to on my Vista HCx that I'd previously owned. So on that point it really was not intended to bash on any particular GPSr I was just stating my personal preference of one little fairly inconsequential feature. I've never even held one of the Garmin paperless machines so I had no idea what they had in that area so I wasn't trying to say one way or the other what those units have for features. If my wording was vague and not very clear and my comments came across as meaning something other than what I intended I'm sorry and I will try to be clearer from now on.

 

Next I'd like to address Nordicman's comment about why do these threads always turn into a verbal slugfest? All I can say is I really did try to give a balanced evaluation of the pros and cons of the Delorme PN-30 and 40. I know that one flaw I have (actually I have lots, but I'm only addressing one at the moment) is that I don't catch even not so subtle hints. So if you or anybody else is ever referring to any comments I've made then please do feel free to mention me by name because there's almost no chance that I'll catch any hints. So unless somebody says hey MC I'm talking about you then I'm going to assume that their beef is with somebody else and not me. So if you have a problem with me please let me know in no uncertain terms and if not then there's a very good chance I'll stay out of the fray unless I feel I have something that really needs to be contributed to the discussion.

 

Happy caching everybody! :blink:

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For crying out loud! Why does nearly every "Which GPS should I buy" thread turn into a big DeLorme-vs-the-world battle??

 

Sheesh :blink:

 

Try looking up a few posts to where you have the cutdowns about the DeLorme and you have your answer. It would be nice to see fair and balanced,....just saying! If I were to jump in and give such unbalanced comments as above (oh, wait...I did that in my experiment and we all saw how that went)...

 

SHEESH is right! :huh:

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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