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GARMIN etrex or iPhone?


TheWonderDog
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TheWonderDog is fairly new to GeoCacheing also. Starting with the Garmin etrex ... it's a little tedious inputting coordinates for GOTO and such. Well - quite tedious actually. Have been considering an iPhone for quite some time. Would an iPHONE be superior to the Garmin etrex for GeoCacheing purposes? I know there are some glitches in using download functions from MACs to GPS gizmos.

 

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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I started with iPhone 3G in July. The Groundspeak Geocaching app is just awesome for paperless caching. I found my 1st 100 caches without too much trouble but I started to get frustrated with signal loss in the woods and short battery life (2 hours or so of use. )

 

I then borrowed a Garmin eTrex Legend C. That was a big step up in accuracy but I used the iPhone for the paperless part anyway. Both Motion-X GPS and the Groundspeak app are great. Go with a premium membership for geocaching.com and you can download pocket queries into Motion-X.

 

You can get USB drivers and browser plugins for the Garmin from Garmin.com to push caches to the eTrex from the geocaching.com web site. . That is far better than typing them in but you might need to anyway if you find one on the iphone in the field and want to seek with the Garmin.

 

Signal was way better with the eTrex but still crapped out under thick cover.

 

I got my new Delorme PN-40 2 days ago and could not be happier with the accuracy and signal strength. I get 3D in my house and got it under the thick brush I was in today. The paperless caching works very well on the PN. My only complaint about the PN-40 is that they don't have hi-res aerial photo maps for Indianapolis. For the 122 cities they do have.. WOW. But none for me.. The regular aerial maps, sat maps, and 24k Topos are very, very nice tho. Just wish I had that Google or Bing map view on the PN but hey, the iphone is always in my pocket!

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Just one thing to clarify from Parknet's comments. The performance of the eTrex Legend C will not be comparable to the Venture HC or Vista HCx or Legend HCx. The newer high sensitivity receiver technology in the "H" models is far superior. From the various discussions I've seen, the performance of the eTrex "H" models is quite comparable to the PN-40.

 

There are functional differences related to geocaching. The PN-40 seems to have more features devoted to paperless caching than the eTrex models. It looks like a great geocaching device if you live and cache in the United States. Outside the US, not so much. No maps worth talking about.

 

If you just want a cheap eTrex H model to use in conjunction with the iPhone, eg. let the eTrex do the GPS work and the iPhone handle the storage and display of the cache info, the Venture HC would be a good choice. It's inexpensive and you can load caches to it from Geocaching.com (so you would load the caches twice, once to the iPhone and once to the eTrex). The Venture does not allow you to load the full description/hints of the cache information and it doesn't have a memory card slot so you can't load very much map data if you want maps on it.

 

The eTrexes with an "x" in the model type have great battery life. My eTrex Legend HCx is rated at 22 hours on a pair of alkalines. I got 24 hours out of my first set of alkalines. I get around 16 hours hours out of NiMH rechargables. That's on the golf course where I have it on continuously for four to five hours at a pop.

 

I need to mention that I have not had my hands on a PN-40 so I am only going on performance reports in here. I can say that my eTrex Legend HCx will hold a lock in some pretty awful conditions so I feel from the various comments in here that they are very similar in performance.

 

...ken...

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Ask yourself these questions about the Iphone. Is it water resistant? Will it handle a drop onto a rock as your climbing around in the wilderness. Will it track your route as you hike so you can find your way back? What happens when the batteries die out, can you replace them as you can in a regular GPS to continue your search or find your way back to your car?

 

I think the Iphone with it's app is good for some situations but not for others. I have one and use it mainly for when the kids and I are somewhere and they ask, "Dad, do you think there's a geocache around here?" and I am able to reply, "Let me check it out on the Iphone." I also use it for the offline PQ's. It's nice to have that paperless feature.

 

Just think about where and when you are going to geocache.

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TheWonderDog is fairly new to GeoCacheing also. Starting with the Garmin etrex ... it's a little tedious inputting coordinates for GOTO and such. Well - quite tedious actually. Have been considering an iPhone for quite some time. Would an iPHONE be superior to the Garmin etrex for GeoCacheing purposes? I know there are some glitches in using download functions from MACs to GPS gizmos.

 

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

I have been using a explorist 600 and my iPhone for the last few months together to do the paperless caching and just finding caches while out traveling about. I just ordered a Delorme PN-40 today for the reciever part since it is supposed to have tremedous reception in the woods. Which I need, but I will probably still use my iPhone for for posting field notes. I have a standby battery pack from kensington for the iphone for the really long days of caching and using my iphone for directions and caching.so If you cell contract is up and you need a new phone get the iPhone, but always carry a regular GPSr with you for the route and marking where your car is.

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