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Gator5713

Narrowing down (or at least trying to...)

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Last week I decided to help out a new cacher and sold my old unit to a couple of broke college students which gave me an excuse to get a decent unit! (I told them that the unit was very basic and most certainly NOT the best, but would get them started on the cheap. I bought it for about $100, and sold it to them for $30... Its a Cobra DLX1000...) So, basically anything is going to be a step up for me, but I can afford to get a good unit, so I want to make sure that I get the best I can 'FOR ME'!

 

I have been reading, reading, reading for about the last week... and am trying to narrow down what I am looking for, but don't seem to be getting any closer, and unfortunately there aren't too many models on display anywhere near me! Even though I had the Cobra, I am familiar with the use of some other units, and GPSs in general (I also have a receiver mounted on my truck that attaches to my computer that helps me out greatly on the road! I'm a truck driver by trade!)

 

I am an avid hunter, fisher, outdoors enthusiast, cacher, and traveler! I am also fairly tech savvy.

So here's the list of 'wants':

>Paperless is fairly important, I am not the best organized and more paper is not a good thing...

>Easy to read/see/large display; my vision is not the best, and I am fairly light sensitive, so reflection could be bad. Color would be nice also.

>Mapping ability, topo/terrain/road (trail-primary, road-secondary)

>Controls

>not a fan of touch screen, had too many problems in the past with other TS devices. (If you can convince me that the TS isn't glitchy, I may be willing to consider it, as it does make things more user friendly in most cases...)

>I seem to like bottom controls over top controls (The Colorado series looks good so far except for the controls being on top...)

>I like 'quick buttons' or 'shortcut buttons' as long as they are helpful and not directed to useless features... (programmable?)

>Decent functioning compass (some things electronic will never be as accurate as old fashioned... but the feature would be nice in order to limit the number of devices I need to carry...

>Altimeter is not as important, but has been useful in finding caches in the past (was right on top of one for 2 hrs until I finally scaled down the nearby cliff and found a cave!) And I do like hiking in hilly/mountainous terrain...

>Price: Around $300+- (I'm not opposed to buying gently used - feel free to tell me what you have for sell as long as thats not against forum rules! I LOVE bargains!)

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Thats a lot of "wants" for that price range. Especially if you expect it to include all the maps. (do you??)

 

Only one that comes real close is the Delorme PN40.

 

A somewhat distant second would be the Colorado 400T plus City Nav maps - or you might get by with the free maps at gpsfiledepot.com without autorouting.

 

A very close third would be the Oregon 400T (plus City Nav) - its touchscreen interface is simply amazing and has caused me no issues whatsoever.

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A couple of unit specific questions...

 

Garmin Rhino and Astro vs GPSmap 60csx... They appear to be similar units, Are the Rhino and Astro basically a GPSmap 60 with the additional feature of a radio/tracker respectively? These features could be handy, but I don't know if I'm willing to sacrifice on the GPS functionality to gain them...

 

GPSmap 60csx - Looks like a front runner for me, but how is it on paperless caching? It seems some of the reviews have it lacking in this department?

>>>Is the 76 basically the same unit just with better waterproofing? Or are there other feature differences?

 

DeLorme PN40 - Also looks like a possible front runner, but please don't turn this into a Garmin/DeLorme my $!#* is better than yours discussion... I have already read too many of those...

 

Magellan - Not a whole lot of big discussions about them, is there a good contender here that I'm overlooking? I've used some of the lower model Magellans before and don't have anything against them as of yet... (Triton?)

 

Am I missing a biggie?

So far I've intentionally left off Oregon and Dakota due to the touch screen, but if enough people have had these units in the field for a long period of time (couple of years?) without ANY TS glitchy issues, I will consider them... I have had a few 'smart phones' and PDAs with TS, but the screen inevitably goes out/gets glitchy and causes more problems/headaches than it was worth, and a GPS is likely to be subject to tougher conditions than a phone/pda (although I am fairly hard on those alread, recreational GPSing may be easier on a device than my normal work day...)

 

I also haven't seen much discussion of the Garmin Edge line...

 

Thanks in advance for all your input and advice!

 

(If we do this thread right it could be a good 'pinned' thread for the $300 range... Then we would need to do a $200, and $100 thread...) :)

Edited by Gator5713

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Thats a lot of "wants" for that price range. Especially if you expect it to include all the maps. (do you??)

 

Only one that comes real close is the Delorme PN40.

 

A somewhat distant second would be the Colorado 400T plus City Nav maps - or you might get by with the free maps at gpsfiledepot.com without autorouting.

 

A very close third would be the Oregon 400T (plus City Nav) - its touchscreen interface is simply amazing and has caused me no issues whatsoever.

 

I'm not opposed to getting the maps separately, either through purchase or freeware. The ability to utilize them is the required feature here... As I learn more, I will be able to figure out which features I am willing to skimp on...

 

I am probably truthfully looking at the $400 range new product, then going to attempt to find a gently used one for $300... (or might be persuaded to put off another 'wish list item' in order to boost my budget for a GPS!) :)

 

ETA: I am a firearms enthusiast, so my firearm savings/budget is a bit larger than my GPS savings/budget... I am approaching this much as I do firearms purchases: 'best bang for the buck' but enough bucks to get the best bang!

Edited by Gator5713

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A couple of unit specific questions...

 

Garmin Rhino and Astro vs GPSmap 60csx... They appear to be similar units, Are the Rhino and Astro basically a GPSmap 60 with the additional feature of a radio/tracker respectively? These features could be handy, but I don't know if I'm willing to sacrifice on the GPS functionality to gain them...

No very different units in software and capabilities. If you want Geocaching as a primary focus - forget the Rino units - the radio is not as useful in the real world as you might think.

GPSmap 60csx - Looks like a front runner for me, but how is it on paperless caching? It seems some of the reviews have it lacking in this department?

>>>Is the 76 basically the same unit just with better waterproofing? Or are there other feature differences?

The 60CSX and the 76CSX have nearly identical guts and software. Both are waterproof - One floats - 1 doesn't. Neither does paperless geocaching without GSAK and a macro. Even then it isn't really a paperless unit as it can spread 1 cache description over multiple POis. It jsut isn't the same.

DeLorme PN40 - Also looks like a possible front runner, but please don't turn this into a Garmin/DeLorme my $!#* is better than yours discussion... I have already read too many of those...

It is a bit rough on batteries but the Delorme Units are king for mapping abilities.

Magellan - Not a whole lot of big discussions about them, is there a good contender here that I'm overlooking? I've used some of the lower model Magellans before and don't have anything against them as of yet... (Triton?)

Bad reputation for customer support is the issue here.

Am I missing a biggie?

Lowrance Endura Series - very promising but very new and need a few kinks worked out

So far I've intentionally left off Oregon and Dakota due to the touch screen, but if enough people have had these units in the field for a long period of time (couple of years?) without ANY TS glitchy issues, I will consider them... I have had a few 'smart phones' and PDAs with TS, but the screen inevitably goes out/gets glitchy and causes more problems/headaches than it was worth, and a GPS is likely to be subject to tougher conditions than a phone/pda (although I am fairly hard on those alread, recreational GPSing may be easier on a device than my normal work day...)

The Oregon's are just a tad over a year on the market - so far I've read no real issues with the TS

 

I also haven't seen much discussion of the Garmin Edge line...

Don't know much about them

Thanks in advance for all your input and advice!

 

(If we do this thread right it could be a good 'pinned' thread for the $300 range... Then we would need to do a $200, and $100 thread...) :)

Go with the high end Colorado or get over your fears of the TS and go with an Oregon 400T - either way - add the Garmin City Nav maps.

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Only one that comes real close is the Delorme PN40.

A somewhat distant second would be the Colorado 400T plus City Nav maps ...

Going to have to agree with the PN-40 suggestion. I've been using a Garmin for ages and just recently starting playing with an PN-30 and I'm very pleased so far. I don't have a dog in this race really, having owned a Garmin and now using my first DeLorme. Like you, I'm a shooter and general outdoorsy type so my budget has to cover my ever increasing appetite for .45 ACP ammo. If you've looked at factory ammo prices lately, you know what I'm talking about. Give the PN-40 a close look. If you don't need an altimeter or an electronic compass (I live and die by my magnetic compass so I could do without either) the PN-30 will shave a few bucks off the bottom line. The Oregon 400T is one sexy unit though... I think either would suffice. I am liking all the DeLorme map options though.

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Only one that comes real close is the Delorme PN40.

A somewhat distant second would be the Colorado 400T plus City Nav maps ...

Going to have to agree with the PN-40 suggestion. I've been using a Garmin for ages and just recently starting playing with an PN-30 and I'm very pleased so far. I don't have a dog in this race really, having owned a Garmin and now using my first DeLorme. Like you, I'm a shooter and general outdoorsy type so my budget has to cover my ever increasing appetite for .45 ACP ammo. If you've looked at factory ammo prices lately, you know what I'm talking about. Give the PN-40 a close look. If you don't need an altimeter or an electronic compass (I live and die by my magnetic compass so I could do without either) the PN-30 will shave a few bucks off the bottom line. The Oregon 400T is one sexy unit though... I think either would suffice. I am liking all the DeLorme map options though.

 

Glad to hear from a fellow 'nut' :P My firearm budget does seem to need ever increasing! :D But I figure getting the right GPSr is worth the bucks up front, as GPSrs shouldn't have near the appetite of my firearms habit! I am constantly watching for ammo deals, and have a few items on my 'wish list' that I am ever watchful for the right deal on, thus why the money set aside that could potentially be raided if need be to get the GPS (although I will seriously kick myself if I raid it too much then run across that 'right deal' and don't have the cash for it, it has happened before... :) )

 

I 'played' with a PN-40 at Gander yesterday, and it seemed ok, but no signal in the store, plus on a 'leash' so couldn't get a real feel for it, and I think some of the other units have better screens (yes, I'm one of the 'blind guys') I guarantee you will have to refocus any of my scopes to even be able to see the target!

 

Keep the comments/suggestions/reviews/comparisons coming!

Thanks again, and in advance of the more that is to come!

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Before I suggest the PN-40 route, what do you mean by you travel alot? If travel is primarily in the USA, the PN-40 is the one to beat IMHO.

 

With the other Garmins, I was shown where you can get ree routing maps, but am not sure of quality at all and, I notice that most of the "pros" (or who I would call pros at least) have no mention of the free routable maps...so you would be best to check that out fully before depending on getting free routable maps.

 

With the PN-40, you get a VERY nice working electronic compass, something I had fits about (and was told it was best to simply turn off) on the OR 300 I owned (which is, I believe, very similar in workings compass-wise as the CO series). If the electronic compass is a must, I again suggest the PN-40.

 

Paperless caching...the PN series and the CO/OR/Dakota series' do this very nicely, all about the same there.

 

My one concern is your eyesight, the PN series screen is a touch small. I can see it very clearly, no issues at all, but some have complained they need reading glasses (it's quite the opposite for me, I tend to take my new glasses off so I can read the screen clearly UP CLOSE...when on my dash, not a single gripe).

 

Routing...the Garmins are quicker on calculating and tend to give more info splashed across the top of the screen when a turn comes up, but I use my PN-40 exclusively for routing and caching and have NO problems with it. I owned an OR 300 and, my experience at least, it was comparable in giving me mistaken turns or phantom roads (roads they say to take which aren't there). I reported often about the "road" the OR 300 told me to take while on vacation, it was nothing more than a bac-country lane which then, a couple miles in, turned into a 1/4-1/2 mile sandpit which, if not in my Jeep, would have left me stranded for certain. But, as I said, that isn't usually the norm. As I said, other than quicker calculating, the units are pretty much comparable with the Garmins having the edge.

 

Touchscreen....wasn't as useful as I had imagined it would be, and I often felt the need to clean the fingerprints off. I mean OFTEN! I personally (and this is my preference alone) would not buy a TS...again, that's just my opinion.

 

Hope this helps. :)

 

ooops, forgot to mention the AWESOME aerial imagery, the NOAA charts and the now available Navionics maps (not sure what those are, but heard mention of them and that they have even better detailed maps than you get free with the PN series??). For a $30/yr subscription, you can have the aerials and NOAA charts, I believe the Navionics are a different map software??

Edited by Rockin Roddy

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Thanks Roddy! I did read extensively of your 'adventures' with the Garmin...

 

Routing is purely secondary as far as I'm concerned... I use a a Garmin receiver mounted on the roof of my truck plugged into my laptop for highway routing and actually rarely need it. (I'm a trucker and can get to most any city in this country without a map at all! I use it primarily for finding drilling rigs (I'm a hot shotter now..) and when I have to get INTO big cities to help me get around...)

So routing on the hand held would mainly be used on the motorcycle, or in the hunting rig or the car, again, not a big deal. Making my own 'trails' and being able to follow my breadcrumbs back out of where I managed to get myself into is much more important!

 

As for my vision... I am far sighted and very 'light sensitive' so I have to wear polarized lenses. This creates problems with many electronic devices... All of my glasses have a reading lens in them (progressive tri-focals), but the easier to read the better! The Higher the contrast the better! This also means that I am likely to have to 'tilt' or 'turn' the device to see the screen through polarized lenses...

If I remember your (RRs) review properly along with some other reviews, the Garmin needs to be held really level for the compass to work properly?

 

These are the comparisons that I'm looking for! Keep 'em coming!

 

[side note: why are 'Garmin', 'DeLorme', etc not recognized in the dictionary on this site of all places??? Spell check keeps highlighting them! Weird...]

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This place just got a lot more comfy with gun folks close by! :PB)

 

An Armed society is a polite society!

An Armed man is a citizen where an un-armed man is a subject!

etc etc etc....

 

Another requirement of a GPS: Must look good on my belt next to my 1911! :)

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Thanks Roddy! I did read extensively of your 'adventures' with the Garmin...

 

Routing is purely secondary as far as I'm concerned... I use a a Garmin receiver mounted on the roof of my truck plugged into my laptop for highway routing and actually rarely need it. (I'm a trucker and can get to most any city in this country without a map at all! I use it primarily for finding drilling rigs (I'm a hot shotter now..) and when I have to get INTO big cities to help me get around...)

So routing on the hand held would mainly be used on the motorcycle, or in the hunting rig or the car, again, not a big deal. Making my own 'trails' and being able to follow my breadcrumbs back out of where I managed to get myself into is much more important!

 

As for my vision... I am far sighted and very 'light sensitive' so I have to wear polarized lenses. This creates problems with many electronic devices... All of my glasses have a reading lens in them (progressive tri-focals), but the easier to read the better! The Higher the contrast the better! This also means that I am likely to have to 'tilt' or 'turn' the device to see the screen through polarized lenses...

If I remember your (RRs) review properly along with some other reviews, the Garmin needs to be held really level for the compass to work properly?

 

These are the comparisons that I'm looking for! Keep 'em coming!

 

[side note: why are 'Garmin', 'DeLorme', etc not recognized in the dictionary on this site of all places??? Spell check keeps highlighting them! Weird...]

I wear polarized glasses with my PN-40 and have had no issues being able to clearly see the screen. YMMV with your sight so I would strongly suggest you hook up with a nearby owner and give it a whirl.

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As for my vision... I am far sighted and very 'light sensitive' so I have to wear polarized lenses. This creates problems with many electronic devices... All of my glasses have a reading lens in them (progressive tri-focals), but the easier to read the better! The Higher the contrast the better! This also means that I am likely to have to 'tilt' or 'turn' the device to see the screen through polarized lenses...

If I remember your (RRs) review properly along with some other reviews, the Garmin needs to be held really level for the compass to work properly?

 

These are the comparisons that I'm looking for! Keep 'em coming!

 

[side note: why are 'Garmin', 'DeLorme', etc not recognized in the dictionary on this site of all places??? Spell check keeps highlighting them! Weird...]

 

You would need to hold the Garmin exactly flat at all times for it to work smoothly...a position not exactly comfortable or natural IMHO. As I said, I was told to turn it off.

 

I also wear polarized (Transition lenses are polarized) glasses and have no issues at all. I just bought these glasses a month ago, but have not noticed any problems save the urge to take the glasses off when trying to see the PN when around my neck.

 

And, no problem with the reviews, glad I can help!! :)

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This may be a moot point with the units that we are discussing, but...

Did I mention computer interface capabilities?

I'm on a PC, multiple platforms... (primary laptop is Vista, primary Desktop is xp)

Are these units basically plug and play? Interface easily with 'EasyGPS' or one of the other GeoCaching softwares to load in my waypoints and maps?

Can I create trails on my computer and load them into the GPS, and vice versa can I load traveled routes into my computer?

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Actually, RR... Transitions are NOT polarized... Unless you got both polarized AND transition, in which case the transition doesn't work very well... I have been fighting that battle for a long LONG time and have spent untold THOUSANDS on glasses in an attempt to get the best possible... I also carry a set of 'Transitions' with me for after the sun goes down/reading inside/etc... but they don't 'filter' the light in any way, they just get darker. Not the same thing. SO... Unless they just came out with a brand spankin new way to make 'clear' polarized lenses... (if they did, I haven't seen them yet, but will certainly give them a try!, but I doubt it because I would have heard about it by now...)

 

Not trying to bust your b### or be abrasive... Just informative... :)

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Some of the Garmins have the 3-axis compass where you don't have to hold it horizontal. I believe the Dakota series and the Oregon 500s ... I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

 

JetSkier

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[side note: why are 'Garmin', 'DeLorme', etc not recognized in the dictionary on this site of all places??? Spell check keeps highlighting them! Weird...]

That might be why around here they are sometimes called "Ford" and "Chevy" (And being manufactured in Asia, maybe "Chery" or "Chang Feng" would be more appropriate). :)

 

I would think the spell checker is not on the site, but in you internet browser. Right click on one of them and select "add to dictionary" and see if that cleans it up for you.

Edited by JDiablo

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Actually, RR... Transitions are NOT polarized... Unless you got both polarized AND transition, in which case the transition doesn't work very well... I have been fighting that battle for a long LONG time and have spent untold THOUSANDS on glasses in an attempt to get the best possible... I also carry a set of 'Transitions' with me for after the sun goes down/reading inside/etc... but they don't 'filter' the light in any way, they just get darker. Not the same thing. SO... Unless they just came out with a brand spankin new way to make 'clear' polarized lenses... (if they did, I haven't seen them yet, but will certainly give them a try!, but I doubt it because I would have heard about it by now...)

 

Not trying to bust your b### or be abrasive... Just informative... :P

 

Then the sign and the sales lady lied to me....I asked specifically and even tried to order it that way and was told they were indeed polarized. :)

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Ok, On to strict reliability...

Does the PN40 have a 3 axis compass? What about the 60CSx? Colorado?

 

Realizing that the 60 CSx is not strictly paperless, it seems to be a super rock solid unit for reliability and accuracy! How does the PN40 compare in that area? Colorado?

 

I can probably live happily without true/full paperless in exchange for a more solid/reliable/accurate unit...

Also, which is best in heavily wooded/canyoned areas? East TX has lots of really tall trees, and the hill country has lots of crevices/canyons/hills/rocks/etc. These would be my two primary caching/traveling/hunting/playing locations....

 

Anybody anywhere near Aggieland, TX with any of these units????

 

Also, I will likely be buying sometime this week, so if any of you know of any deals on used units please point me in the right direction! (yes, I have looked at the garage sale forum, and am keeping an eye out there...) The right deal on one of these units could very easily make up my mind!

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Then the sign and the sales lady lied to me....I asked specifically and even tried to order it that way and was told they were indeed polarized. :)

These ones look like they are unless I'm mistaken:

http://www.safevision.net/drivewear/index.html

 

AWESOME!!! Thanks for the info, I will most definitely have to look into these!!!

 

RR- Are yours clear when indoors/at night? One of the problems with trasitions is that auto glass has a uv filter in it, and the lenses require uv light to 'activate' (darken) I have still never seen or even heard of CLEAR POLARIZED lenses... But I will be more than happy to be corrected!!!! :P

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I'll stack my Colorado unit (with the newest firmware) up againist any 60CSx for solid lock and accuracy.

 

The few folks I know (currently) with a PN40 tell me that it will on occasion lose sat lock while the 60CSx holds onto it. But that seems like it is limited to a few very tough conditions that you may only rarely encounter.

 

I will be running a side by side test of a Colorado 300 and a Delorme PN30 starting next week. I'll let you know the outcome of my "tough sat conditions" test.

 

Link to thread: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=232570

Edited by StarBrand

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Then the sign and the sales lady lied to me....I asked specifically and even tried to order it that way and was told they were indeed polarized. :)

These ones look like they are unless I'm mistaken:

http://www.safevision.net/drivewear/index.html

 

AWESOME!!! Thanks for the info, I will most definitely have to look into these!!!

 

RR- Are yours clear when indoors/at night? One of the problems with trasitions is that auto glass has a uv filter in it, and the lenses require uv light to 'activate' (darken) I have still never seen or even heard of CLEAR POLARIZED lenses... But I will be more than happy to be corrected!!!! :P

 

Clear. I am now wondering if the sign and lady were lying and will be certain to check into it further!

 

As for comparison to the 60 series, many have stated they are comparable (the PN-40 and the 60CSx), I haven't owned a 60 series so can't really say for certain myself. I do know my PN seldom loses signal even in very heavy tree coverage, but have yet to really hit a big city with tall (as in skyscraper) buildings nor have I been in mountainous/canyon type areas...

 

I'll also say that my PN-40 reports +/-5' often and more times than not, I see a WAAS lock. The WAAS lock has been more often the last few months!

 

One last thought, and this is experience alone...the PN-40 has led me straight to the cache almost every time. Not 15' away, not 10'...we went caching Sunday and, awhile most were in cemeteries and in farly open sky, I commented to KAboom (my son) that te PN was leading us within .4' and such (even zeroing out) more times than not! Now, people will tell you that this means nothing, that the hider was likely using a different unit etc, I am merely giving my experiences!!

Edited by Rockin Roddy

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RR- Take any digital screen and turn it sideways with your glasses on... If it goes black at one angle and is clear at another, your lenses are polarized...

 

"Polarized" lenses are actually 'filters' that only allow one 'direction' of light through... Think of the blinds (likely) on your windows - They all go in the same direction, if you were to put a second set of blinds in front of them, one way they would line up and you would still be able to see (both horizontal), the other way they would cross each other and you wouldn't be able to see through them (one vertical, one horizontal)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarization

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Well I have no 1st hand knowledge about any higher end GPSr's except for the PN-40 that I'm a huge fan of. So everybody seems to be giving you expert advise so I'll leave all the tech talk to those that are much more knowledgable than me.

 

What really got my attention was when you said you have eyes that are very sensitive to sunlight. Now I can't guarantee you that my eyes are having exactly the same problem, but I have a medical condition and one of the side effects is that I too have eyes that are real sensitive to sunlight. I don't have to wear my polarized prescription glasses at all times when I'm outside on sunny days, but on the days I do it really helps me to be able to not walk around all squint eyed. Also, just to give you a bit more info so you can decide if my eyesight resembles yours if somebody is across the room from me and standing in front of a window I can't make out any details and I just see a totally black figure. The last thing about my eyes that may or may not be something you deal with is I'm colorblind.

 

So with all that medical history on my eyes I just went outside and did a little experiment to see how my eyes reacted to looking at my PN-40 while wearing polarized prescription sun glasses and my regular prescription glasses. Oh one other thing that may affect the way I view my PN-40 screen is that I have an InvisiShield screen protector on it and I think they are kind of lightly tinted with a light smokey color. Now of course I'm color blind so hopefully somebody else can speak up and either correct my observation of the InvisiShield's color or confirm if I'm correct. Personally I sure wouldn't bet my check that I'm correct on anything color related.

 

Sorry about this being so wordy, but that's my personal writing style and especially in this case I think the more info you have about my eyesight the better for you to make an informed decision on whether to seriously consider my observations or discard them if your eyesight seems significantly different than mine.

 

So anyways, today is completely cloudy here in my area of Michigan with 0% blue sky. Basically it's a miserable drizzly Michigan Fall day. My little exeriment surprised me and at least for my eyes I found a very slight improvement when viewing the screen outside a few minutes ago when wearing my polarized prescription sunglasses. Please note that I said very slight since it was only a very slight improvement in viewability when I was wearing my polarized sun glasses compared to when I was wearing my normal glasses. Whether I was in regular map view or viewing aerial imagery of this area it was still the same result for me which was polarized prescription sunglasses were very slightly better than my regular prescription eyeglasses.

 

Well, there's no way this can guarantee you any particular results since the odds are that we are suffering from different conditions and probably at different light sensitivity levels, but maybe it will help you make a slightly more informed decision one way or another.

 

Like I've seen some of the pros on here recommend, make sure you buy from reputable retailer that has a good return policy and if whatever unit you choose isn't a good fit for your eyes then you can rebox it up with the receipt (or copy of it) and return it to try a different one. Normally you can find some really good deals on the Groundspeak GPS Garage Sale or sometimes on eBay, but with some sight limitations it may be best to have the option to return a unit if it isn't compatible with you. Good luck! :)

 

Edit to add: I don't know if this makes any difference, but my observations above were with no backlight being used at the time of the "experiment".

Edited by Michigan Cacheman

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Mich Coach - Other than the color blind part, you seem to have fairly similar issues (backlit signs are also a particular problem...) But, unlike my brother, I can tell the difference between red and green! (but he doesn't have the sensitivity issues, go figure...)

 

So... Thanks for the test! That does help a LOT!!!

 

The PN-40 definitely seems to be the front runner of this discussion, but I think I need to get a Colorado in my hands if at all possible. I just wish it looked more like the 60csx (I just like the way that one looks for some reason... but have no other reason to lean that direction...)

 

Also, if anyone can verify if the Astro series is as stable/reliable as the 60csx even if not as full featured as the other units for caching... I do want a unit to keep track of the dogs..., but that will come later and out of a different budget, so I don't necessarily mind having a dedicated unit for watching them, even if its a plugin for my laptop, they can be watched from the truck and location radioed to foot traffic... We all carry radios anyway when we are out hunting/playing... Too bad there isn't one REALLY full featured unit that would paperless cache, track the dogs, and radio! But I probably wouldn't want to pay for it if there was...

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Some of the Garmins have the 3-axis compass where you don't have to hold it horizontal. I believe the Dakota series and the Oregon 500s ... I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

 

JetSkier

So does the PN-40.

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This may be a moot point with the units that we are discussing, but...

Did I mention computer interface capabilities?

I'm on a PC, multiple platforms... (primary laptop is Vista, primary Desktop is xp)

Are these units basically plug and play? Interface easily with ........one of the other GeoCaching softwares to load in my waypoints and maps?

Can I create trails on my computer and load them into the GPS, and vice versa can I load traveled routes into my computer?

Yes, the PN-40 will connect to your PCs and the Topo USA 8.0 mapping application is included.

You can transfer recorded tracks from the PN-40 to the Topo 8 application on a PC.

You can edit those tracks, or create new trails, and transfer them back to a PC.

Here are some examples from another recent thread requesting the same.

 

Aerial showing faint trace of 4WD trail - going to the east of the bonfire symbol:

http://mapshare.delorme.com/Consumer/V.aspx?p=5sc8c7wx

Here, the red was recorded at I drove and the red squiggly to the east of the icon is where I lost the trail.

The blue is where I drew in a trace over the 4WD trace barely visible on the photo image:

http://mapshare.delorme.com/Consumer/V.aspx?p=wxjgk7fx

Now, I have the red and blue superimposed on the aerial and the composite uploaded to my PN-40 GPS.

I'll be going out there in a week, or so, and I'll be very interested to see if I can transition from the red to the blue as indicated.

 

Now what I have shown above are recorded tracks with edits and some created portions superimposed on color aerial photo imagery.

Of course, the same can be done with the USGS 3DTQ 24K imagery and the DeLorme Topo maps.

 

Outside of that, when one buys a PN-40, they don't leave much on the table. :)

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OK.... I'm about to pull the trigger on the PN-40.

Amazon - $309.xx including 2-day shipping...

Any last minute thoughts (ie: know someone selling a good used one cheaper?) before I go bang?

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Maybe you might want to check out the GPS Garage Sale section for a used one.

 

I did... they all look to be sold :) Unless I missed one... Did you happen to see one still up for grabs? I will check again real quick, but don't feel like posting a wanted ad... there are a couple on e-bay, but I don't feel like waiting (almost 3 days for the soonest) just to end up spending just as much there...

 

I'm one of those that likes to find a great deal, but on some things once my mind is made up, I don't always like to wait... :P

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Maybe you might want to check out the GPS Garage Sale section for a used one.

 

I did... they all look to be sold :) Unless I missed one... Did you happen to see one still up for grabs? I will check again real quick, but don't feel like posting a wanted ad... there are a couple on e-bay, but I don't feel like waiting (almost 3 days for the soonest) just to end up spending just as much there...

 

I'm one of those that likes to find a great deal, but on some things once my mind is made up, I don't always like to wait... :P

I know of no deals, it was just a thought. If you have checked there then it doesn't matter.

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Order placed, I should have it Thursday! Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

 

Thanks all for the advise/discussion/comparisons/etc!

 

Still curious about the Astro, and other dog tracking devices... Anybody have any experience with them?

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OK.... I'm about to pull the trigger on the PN-40.

Amazon - $309.xx including 2-day shipping...

Any last minute thoughts (ie: know someone selling a good used one cheaper?) before I go bang?

Ok, last thoughts from me. Has anybody mentioned the PN-40s tend to deplete batteries faster than other GPSr's? Now don't get me wrong, you won't have to carry 15 pounds of AA batteries just to do a days caching, but you will want to take a 2nd pair of AAs with you.

 

There is a power unit you can get for the PN-40. I think it's available on Amazon.com and Delormes web site. I think it's about $50 and it supplies you with a rechargeable CR-V3 battery (the PN-40 takes 2 AA batteries or one CR-V3) and what makes it so sweet is it allows you to recharge the CR-V3 rechargeable while it's in your GPSr. You can charge it either by a wall socket at home or use the car adapter to keep it charging while you're driving from one caching location to another.

 

Now I don't know this for a fact, but I'm guessing you can probably get the power pack for about $30 or less on eBay versus say $50 on Amazon.com . I didn't think of checking until after I'd spent $50 on Amazon.com and have not bothered looking at eBay because it would make me cry if I found out I'm right and I could have saved a lot by shopping eBay instead. Like I told another person recently though I'd wait to purchase the power pack until you're sure you're going to keep the PN-40 since it would be a bummer to buy the power pack and then maybe end up returning the GPSr it's intended for.

 

Good luck! If you decide to go for the PN-40 it really is a sweet geocaching machine, but of course owners of other GPSr's feel the same about their preferred units. Paperless caching is the best! :)

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Congrats on your purchase! If you are a GSAK user GSAK now has a Beta version out that provides support for the PN series of GPSr's!!!! :) If that's anything you're interested in look for the thread titled, "GSAK to PN" or something very similar to that here in the Technology forum. It's usually on either the first or second page of threads.

 

If you're not a GSAK user there is a widget to make it real easy to get pocket queries into your PN. It's called Cache Register and it is available at Delorme's site for a 1 time only fee of $10. If you don't want to spend the $10 you can still load PQs into your PN you'd just have to get the how to's from some of the more knowledgeable folks here.

 

Enjoy your new PN-40! I'm predicting that orange will quickly become your favorite color, I know it's now mine!!!! :P

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OK.... I'm about to pull the trigger on the PN-40.

Amazon - $309.xx including 2-day shipping...

Any last minute thoughts (ie: know someone selling a good used one cheaper?) before I go bang?

Ok, last thoughts from me. Has anybody mentioned the PN-40s tend to deplete batteries faster than other GPSr's? Now don't get me wrong, you won't have to carry 15 pounds of AA batteries just to do a days caching, but you will want to take a 2nd pair of AAs with you.

 

There is a power unit you can get for the PN-40. I think it's available on Amazon.com and Delormes web site. I think it's about $50 and it supplies you with a rechargeable CR-V3 battery (the PN-40 takes 2 AA batteries or one CR-V3) and what makes it so sweet is it allows you to recharge the CR-V3 rechargeable while it's in your GPSr. You can charge it either by a wall socket at home or use the car adapter to keep it charging while you're driving from one caching location to another.

 

Now I don't know this for a fact, but I'm guessing you can probably get the power pack for about $30 or less on eBay versus say $50 on Amazon.com . I didn't think of checking until after I'd spent $50 on Amazon.com and have not bothered looking at eBay because it would make me cry if I found out I'm right and I could have saved a lot by shopping eBay instead. Like I told another person recently though I'd wait to purchase the power pack until you're sure you're going to keep the PN-40 since it would be a bummer to buy the power pack and then maybe end up returning the GPSr it's intended for.

 

Good luck! If you decide to go for the PN-40 it really is a sweet geocaching machine, but of course owners of other GPSr's feel the same about their preferred units. Paperless caching is the best! :P

 

GREAT!!!! Already trying to talk me into extra accessories and I haven't even received the unit yet!!! :)

 

Yes, the battery life was mentioned, both here and in my research prior to posting this thread...

I know, however, that this unit has far superior battery performance to my old unit, as well as a habit of carrying extra rechargeable batteries! ("Be Prepared".. I am an Eagle Scout afterall...)

Plus my 'go pack' includes a mini-mag (also AA) and other basic emergency supplies so 4-8 extra batteries is kinda a given, but thanks for the recommendation on the kit!

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LOL, I too would suggest the power kit. The battery pack can be charged while on the go in your vehicle, you'll usually not have to even open the battery compartment (I haven't had to since I got this unit, no battery swaps for me) and it'll make the unit capable of floating! Plus, you get a screen protector.

 

Just a suggestion though! :)

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LOL, I too would suggest the power kit. The battery pack can be charged while on the go in your vehicle, you'll usually not have to even open the battery compartment (I haven't had to since I got this unit, no battery swaps for me) and it'll make the unit capable of floating! Plus, you get a screen protector.

 

Just a suggestion though! :)

 

Do tell more!

1) Just how long can I expect a couple a regular old AAs to last?

(I actually typically use Energizer NiMH Rechargeables...)

2) How long will the battery pack last?

> How long does it take to recharge?

3) The battery pack makes it FLOAT? Really? Cool!

And, yeah, a screen protector is probably a pretty good idea...

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I have used the PN-40 on kayak trips and the battery pak lasts about 7-8 hours of constant use. Plugging it in when driving and caching, we cached 8 hours the other day and could have gone much longer...

 

Most batteries (rechargeable) will last about 8-10 hours, maybe 11 or so if you get the right ones.

 

Recharging is usually overnight and done before morning, I plug it into the computer and leave it go.

 

Float, yes. Right at water level, but it stays afloat. How long? Not sure, I haven't tried it for too long, but I have tested this more than once while kayaking. :)

 

Considering the price of screen protectors alone, the deal isn't bad at all!!

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I have to concur with RR on the floats part while it has a CR-V3 in it (one of these days I'll have to test it with regular AA type batteries. In the past I'd tested it and let it take a short soak, and I just finished doing it again. Only for about 30 seconds this time, but just like RR says it floats at the water level. Only one end stays at the surface while the other end dangles straight down. So I'd say it doesn't float as good as I'd like (I'd prefer it float like a tennis ball, but that's probably a pretty unrealistic wish), but at least it doesn't sink like a rock! :)

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Cool! I will probably start watching for a kit on e-bay...

 

How'd the polarization test on your glasses go?

Like I said, if there is true polarization in a clear w/transition package, I really want to know about it!

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So much great information in this thread. Thanks very much for sharing.

 

I've done my first 26 caches with my iPhone. I think its time to purchase an actual GPSr. I currently have a Nuvi360, but that doesn't work the best either. I do some off-roading with my Jeep and it will be nice to have a unit to mark trails, geocache, hike, and all the other benefits I'll get from this unit.

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So much great information in this thread. Thanks very much for sharing.

 

I've done my first 26 caches with my iPhone. I think its time to purchase an actual GPSr. I currently have a Nuvi360, but that doesn't work the best either. I do some off-roading with my Jeep and it will be nice to have a unit to mark trails, geocache, hike, and all the other benefits I'll get from this unit.

 

This unit is right at $300 from Amazon. And if you're willing to wait longer than I you might be able to get it cheaper from e-bay, or watch for one here... But since I am GPS-less at the moment (other than my computer attached unit) I didn't feel like waiting... I knew what i had in my budget before I sold mine, and knew I would be able to make my decision quickly...

 

I will probably be keeping my eyes open for a good deal on a map60csx just cause I think that looks like a really good unit as well (read: great backup unit) Unless I can find a good deal on an Astro; and I would still like to get a Colorado in my hands, but I'm confident that I will be perfectly satisfied with the PN40!

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LOL, I too would suggest the power kit. The battery pack can be charged while on the go in your vehicle, you'll usually not have to even open the battery compartment (I haven't had to since I got this unit, no battery swaps for me) and it'll make the unit capable of floating! Plus, you get a screen protector.

 

Just a suggestion though! :)

 

Do tell more!

1) Just how long can I expect a couple a regular old AAs to last?

(I actually typically use Energizer NiMH Rechargeables...)

2) How long will the battery pack last?

> How long does it take to recharge?

3) The battery pack makes it FLOAT? Really? Cool!

And, yeah, a screen protector is probably a pretty good idea...

Alkalines will net you between 4-6 hours depending on usage if you don't charge in the car between caches. There is a Carbonay battery pack that will last much longer.

I use Energizer Lithiums x8 for a run of 18+ hours. I've heard reports up to 22.

The battery pack is lighter than alkalines so reduces the weight just enough to allow it to float. It takes about 2-4 hours for a first full charge after that about 2-3 hours depending on usage.

Screen protector might come with the GPS so hold your horses till you get it. Mine came with 2.

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Congrats on your purchase! If you are a GSAK user GSAK now has a Beta version out that provides support for the PN series of GPSr's!!!! :) If that's anything you're interested in look for the thread titled, "GSAK to PN" or something very similar to that here in the Technology forum. It's usually on either the first or second page of threads.

 

If you're not a GSAK user there is a widget to make it real easy to get pocket queries into your PN. It's called Cache Register and it is available at Delorme's site for a 1 time only fee of $10. If you don't want to spend the $10 you can still load PQs into your PN you'd just have to get the how to's from some of the more knowledgeable folks here.

 

Enjoy your new PN-40! I'm predicting that orange will quickly become your favorite color, I know it's now mine!!!! :P

 

Somehow, I didn't see this post earlier... First, thanks for the info on GSAK and the Widget!

As for the orange however, I have a natural aversion to that color... I much prefer MAROON! I do live in Aggieland afterall..... Might have to get some 'Fusion' paint out for it, or at least an A&M case to carry it in!

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Wooo WHooo!!!! Got my unit today!!!!

Now, a couple of questions... I'm sure that most (if not all) of this is answered in the user manual, and while I will be getting to that at some point, I'm sure that you guys can probably answer these few minor questions more thoroughly and quickly and with better real world experience than the manual...

 

I am currently loading the maps for Texas, although I haven't gotten to the Toto 8 CD yet...

The Texas maps alone are taking up most of the 1g SD card that it came with! How big of a memory card will the PN40 handle?

I also still need to load my PQs! I travel all over Texas and Louisiana mainly, but also get into OK and AR from time to time... I would like to be able to have all of that loaded without having to load the specific areas that I'm going to be traveling...

Will the internal memory handle my PQs? How many PQs will it handle? And should I just keep extra memory cards with the other states loaded?

 

Ok, I think you get the gist of my questions for the moment... As I play with it more, I am sure that I will have more...

Thanks in Advance,

Gator

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32GB cards have been confirmed to work in the PNs, though many of us use 16GB cards as they seem to be at the sweet spot for value. Depending on your data types, you can get a lot of coverage in 16GB. As you've found, 1GB is just getting started.

 

Currently you are limited to 1000 waypoints/geocaches in internal memory. We have been begging for SD card support for more waypoints/geocaches, so I am maintaining hope for the future.

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Ahh... Bittersweet news... So, $30 for a 16g SDHC and I've got my maps loaded, but I've gotta keep the computer handy when traveling for on the fly PQs... Still WAY better than I had before!

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