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Garmin Nuvi 215

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We spent a great weekend in PTA with some friends, and along the way, introduced them to Geocaching. They'd love to participate on their own, and at them moment they have a Garmin Nuvi 215. Is it possible to load points and use this to geocache? Any instructions would be appreciated as we tried without much success.

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We spent a great weekend in PTA with some friends, and along the way, introduced them to Geocaching. They'd love to participate on their own, and at them moment they have a Garmin Nuvi 215. Is it possible to load points and use this to geocache? Any instructions would be appreciated as we tried without much success.

 

Yes you can and its quite easy.

 

Google for "paperless caching" and you will find all you need.

 

To summarize

 

1. You need a premium account to make pocket queries. +- $30 per year

2. You need GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) about $30 - you can use it for free after the trial but believe me you will soon pay for it after that!

3. Pilotsnipes macro for GSAK (free) there is also another more advanced macro that I have not tested yet.

4. POILoader from Garmin (free)

5. Usb Cable to connect your Garmn to your PC - don't waste your money on a Garmn cable - the cable you have from your camera will probably work or buy one for about R50

 

Trev

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We spent a great weekend in PTA with some friends, and along the way, introduced them to Geocaching. They'd love to participate on their own, and at them moment they have a Garmin Nuvi 215. Is it possible to load points and use this to geocache? Any instructions would be appreciated as we tried without much success.

 

Yes you can and its quite easy.

 

Google for "paperless caching" and you will find all you need.

 

 

Are you sure - can it be true? I am planning on buying a sat nav, and the research I've done seems to indicate only the Nuvi 500 and 550 can be used for paperless caching, although they are a bit more expensive and hard to find!

So with the 215 I can upload the gsk files and will be able to read the cache page info from the GPS?

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I cached for a couple of years with a Nuvi 310.

Yes Discombob, you can load all that your caching heart desires onto any old Nuvi. (We had a "Techno" event cache recently where all this was presented...but you do want to go off and live in the cold.....) :ph34r:

First become a premium member and set up the Pocket Query (PQ) you want to load on the Nuvi.

Get GSAK

Next add the PQ to GSAK by dropping and dragging the zipped file you recieved by email into an appropriately named GSAK database.

Next install the pioletsnipes macro into GSAK as detailed by this thread

After installing the macro you should end up with a button in GSAK called "Nuvi". When you click it, it will convert all the cache info into a file your Nuvi understands.

Generate the file and load it onto the Nuvi using the POI loader. If you want to keep all the speed camera info, you have to load that at the same time, also via the POI loader.

It sounds complicated but each step has got a very detailed tutorial to it than can be accessed on the relevant sites. You will be able to teach yourself the process and once you have got it all sorted and set up it's quite easy.

 

You end up with just about everything about the cache on the Nuvi and you can navigate quite easily to any cache.

 

The 500 range make life a lot easier, but you end up with about the same info.

So, to answer you Discombob, yes we are sure and, yes it is true! :ph34r:

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Hey I saw that techno event. That has never been my strong point in geocaching. I still write all my cache descriptions out by hand :)

And have never used GSAK even though I have had it for the last year :(

 

I guess I shall save myself a few bob and try your suggestion on a cheaper Nuvi then, and will still use my hand held for walking caches in conjunction with the nuvi for paperless.

I was wandering if I should buy a famous Oregon, but decided its not great for driving really at all that extra cost too!

 

Don't be surprised if I mail one of you pleading for help with your technical skills :tongue:

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I guess I shall save myself a few bob and try your suggestion on a cheaper Nuvi then, and will still use my hand held for walking caches in conjunction with the nuvi for paperless.

I was wandering if I should buy a famous Oregon, but decided its not great for driving really at all that extra cost too!

 

Don't be surprised if I mail one of you pleading for help with your technical skills :tongue:

 

I can't comment about the Oregon never having used one - so not sure if it has voice which is very useful while driving - but I am sure the navigation will be the same!

 

If you are after a Nuvi specifically for paperless caching try getting a second hand Nuvi 200 - this model I recommend as you able to revert the firmware where Garmin enable a proper tracklog albeit through hidden menus. This feature should be standard on all GPSrs but it would seem Garmin want you to buy more than 1. The only thing I would watch out for in a second hand unit is the battery life. My 2 year old Nuvi 200 can still give me about 4 hours on battery. This is where the handhelds come into their own as you can replace batteries on the go.

 

Further Garmin - at least in SA dont' replace the battery for you on a Nuvi - they either give you a discount on a new model or a refurbished unit - but I am sure you could hack battery replacement your self if needed.

 

I have been very happy with my 200 for caching and navigating.

 

And if you need help just shout

 

Trev

Edited by trevorh7000

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Thanks for the tip, although I'm one of those techno idiots that have never used a tracklog, so don;t know what I would use that for :unsure:

Is that in case you get lost?

I tried to use that on my current GPS but don't think it has that option either.

It seems to record the tracks, as it shows how full it is, but there is no way of accessing it :unsure:

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Thanks for the tip, although I'm one of those techno idiots that have never used a tracklog, so don;t know what I would use that for :unsure:

Is that in case you get lost?

I tried to use that on my current GPS but don't think it has that option either.

It seems to record the tracks, as it shows how full it is, but there is no way of accessing it :unsure:

 

Tracks are for that and also to overlay on maps/Google Earth to see where you have been, and so forth. The tracks on the Nuvi 200 woudl not help you in this regard anyway! They are only accessible by some third party software but its easy.

 

If you are not worried about logs then any Nuvi will do

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide on

 

Trev

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I think BruceTP has a Nuvi 200 and something and he uses it for paperless caching all the time. In fact, he bought an extra memory card, and has all the caches in RSA loaded on his GPS which he refreshes every month. So no matter where he goes in SA he has all the cache info. on hand. Find him on GC.com and drop him an email for the details! He has successfully found all his caches with his Nuvi!

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I think BruceTP has a Nuvi 200 and something and he uses it for paperless caching all the time. In fact, he bought an extra memory card, and has all the caches in RSA loaded on his GPS which he refreshes every month. So no matter where he goes in SA he has all the cache info. on hand. Find him on GC.com and drop him an email for the details! He has successfully found all his caches with his Nuvi!

 

wow thats pretty sweet!

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What I find can be useful is to save a screen shot of Google Earth of the area where you intend to do some caching. Save it as a JPEG onto your Nuvi, this is then accessible on your Nuvi amongst the photos when you are out caching and you can zoom in to a certain extent. This helps when you are not familiar with the paths in the area. You could also save markers on GE so you can see where the caches are located.

 

I doubt this has any benefit to Discombob or any of us doing Discombob caches because most of his routes are along almost vertical paths that cant be seen on Google Earth.

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What I find can be useful is to save a screen shot of Google Earth of the area where you intend to do some caching. Save it as a JPEG onto your Nuvi, this is then accessible on your Nuvi amongst the photos when you are out caching and you can zoom in to a certain extent. This helps when you are not familiar with the paths in the area. You could also save markers on GE so you can see where the caches are located.

 

I doubt this has any benefit to Discombob or any of us doing Discombob caches because most of his routes are along almost vertical paths that cant be seen on Google Earth.

 

Wow, that is a great tip. Just a pity that our Nuvi is a bit of a dud...must take it up with garmin sometime soon. Nothing really seems to work properly on it so I doubt the photos work too!

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The Oregon doesn't do voice. The reason I switched were the battery issue, and the ruggedness of the unit and the ability to record tracks. I recently was crawling in a cave with my nuvi (before I lost it...fell out of my pocket) and somehow my pockets filled with sand. A bit of sand got stuck between the frame and the screen, activating a hidden menu which asked "are you sure you want to erase all your data?" and because the sand was stuck there I couldn't say "No". Fortunately I figured it out and the problem went away after I cleaned out the sand.

Tracks can be really helpful 'bob. Recently the Pooks and I hid a cache (one you would like) and would have never found the subtle paths unless we were following one of Larks's tracks.

I think your idea of both units is not a bad one. Best of both worlds.

If you are had on units like long hikes, then handheld best. (I bought the Oregon second hand through gumtree for R3500 including maps and 1 gig SD. Maps cost about R1000 these days (Yes Trev, I hear you sigh)...so it works out at about R2500 for the unit.) I am sure you could get one for even less in the UK)

If mainly easy terrain, then Nuvi.

Best "crossover" device is probably a nuvi 500 series as it is tough and waterproof, makes paperless easy. Might be worth looking for a second hand one, with cautions as mentioned above.

Edited by CapeDoc

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Wow, that is a great tip. Just a pity that our Nuvi is a bit of a dud...must take it up with garmin sometime soon. Nothing really seems to work properly on it so I doubt the photos work too!

 

GEO936 please check your firmware version - and make sure t is updated to the latest. There is a web updater app that takes care of all of this for you - if you do not have web updater download it from Garmin

 

http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=931

 

There are further instructions on the Garmin site.

 

Perhaps this will sort you out, other wise a Visit to EX Avnic and now Garmin Distribution Africa - you;'ll find them in Capricorn Park Muizenberg

 

Garmin Distribution Africa (Cape Town Branch)

+27 21 788 9015 / +27 861 427 646

Capricorn Business Park, Capricorn Drive,

Muizenberg, WESTERN CAPE

S34.08778 E18.48837

 

Oh and if you are not already a member make sure you register your units at garmap.co.za and join their forum for lots of useful ideas and help.

 

Good Luck

 

Trev

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I think what nobody is mentioning, is the compass function for the last mile or meters (or is it only me using it??) The Nuvi 200-types only have numbers to work with, whereas the Oregon (and Nuvi 500, CSx, etc.) have the compass. I don't know if you can add that option to the Nuvi as well, but I was present when BruceTP used his Nuvi in the beginning - you have to do the compass thing in your head: " .123 is more South, where is South again, oh that way, wait... where is .089 oh that's East. Let's see, let me cross the river here... over to that boulder... wait the numbers are going to the wrong side! Mmm, let me go back... Oh, it's West. Just leave that, the tree over there looks like the spot... What is Drix doing in the smaller tree? Oh, it's the cache..."

 

Hehe, love you Bruce! LOL

 

Bottom line, I used my Nokia for months and many caches, but I did use a compass option. If I didn't lose it, I probably would have used it today still! But I do love my Oregon, only drawback is poor visibility on the bike if the sun is not directly from the back or the front.

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I think BruceTP has a Nuvi 200 and something and he uses it for paperless caching all the time. In fact, he bought an extra memory card, and has all the caches in RSA loaded on his GPS which he refreshes every month. So no matter where he goes in SA he has all the cache info. on hand. Find him on GC.com and drop him an email for the details! He has successfully found all his caches with his Nuvi!

 

I think what nobody is mentioning, is the compass function for the last mile or meters (or is it only me using it??) The Nuvi 200-types only have numbers to work with, whereas the Oregon (and Nuvi 500, CSx, etc.) have the compass. I don't know if you can add that option to the Nuvi as well, but I was present when BruceTP used his Nuvi in the beginning - you have to do the compass thing in your head: " .123 is more South, where is South again, oh that way, wait... where is .089 oh that's East. Let's see, let me cross the river here... over to that boulder... wait the numbers are going to the wrong side! Mmm, let me go back... Oh, it's West. Just leave that, the tree over there looks like the spot... What is Drix doing in the smaller tree? Oh, it's the cache..."

 

Hehe, love you Bruce! LOL

 

Bottom line, I used my Nokia for months and many caches, but I did use a compass option. If I didn't lose it, I probably would have used it today still! But I do love my Oregon, only drawback is poor visibility on the bike if the sun is not directly from the back or the front.

 

Let me reply and set the record straight....

I have the Nuvi 360 which I acquired in 2008 and have been very happy with it.

I bought the extra memory card to accomodate the extra maps and music as it can also double up as an MP3 player. It can also be a back up for photos from your digital camera which I found useful when travelling. So currently I am running City Navigator Europe; (I was so pleased to have it when I was touring through the UK as it helped me out of some situations where I found my bearings temporarily misplaced!) I also have the Garmap Africa Series and South Africa Streetmaps loaded.

If my memory serves me correctly the Nuvi 360 can handle 20000 points of interest which is more than ample for all of the caches in South Africa, Swaziland and all their associated waypoints. In total it is just over 8500. Courtesy of Damhuisclan, he gave me the 7 queries needed to access all of this data. I run them every week over the Thursday and Friday (GS has a limitation of 5 pocket queries per day) and so when I come to cache over a weekend, I have the very latest data. The joy of paperless caching is the availability of the last 10 logs as well. This is very useful to read what previous cachers had to say.

 

As for taking offence at dakardrix, I am forever indebted to him for introducing me to geocaching and yes, in the early days I did take a bit of time to narow the search down to Ground Zero. (Thank you for your patience with me. You can count on me to help you organise the microfest.) But now it is second nature and I can hold my own. In time I may consider getting a more ruggedised unit but the Nuvi will never be far away. In terms of that, I have been caching with GreenJaM whose arsenal (at one time exceeded 10 units) included a Nuvi 500. It does seem a more robust and rugged construction and has dedicated geocaching functions to make it more user friendly. In the end it still remains a personal preference and what you get used to using.

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Wow, that is a great tip. Just a pity that our Nuvi is a bit of a dud...must take it up with garmin sometime soon. Nothing really seems to work properly on it so I doubt the photos work too!

 

GEO936 please check your firmware version - and make sure t is updated to the latest. There is a web updater app that takes care of all of this for you - if you do not have web updater download it from Garmin

 

http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=931

 

There are further instructions on the Garmin site.

 

Perhaps this will sort you out, other wise a Visit to EX Avnic and now Garmin Distribution Africa - you;'ll find them in Capricorn Park Muizenberg

 

Garmin Distribution Africa (Cape Town Branch)

+27 21 788 9015 / +27 861 427 646

Capricorn Business Park, Capricorn Drive,

Muizenberg, WESTERN CAPE

S34.08778 E18.48837

 

Oh and if you are not already a member make sure you register your units at garmap.co.za and join their forum for lots of useful ideas and help.

Good Luck

Trev

Tks Trev - much appreciated. We've actually been to the one place near to us in Kya Sand, Randburg and they have tried all sorts of things. We've had issues with it since we got it, but we were a bit slow on the take, and only took it in after its first year. We'll check out the links and will definitely make use of your advice - Thanks!

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Silly me for thinking you were in Cape Town!!! But hope you come right.

 

As for homing in on a cache with no compass on a Nuvi its not that bad. Set to off road it simply shows a straight pink line to the cache and you zoom right in and follow that. When I am really close then I change back to the trip info page and it tells me exaclty how many metres to go - I keep going in the right direction and wait until the metres gets to the lowest and there you are - as accurate as any gps.

 

I do however have a yellow Etrex H basic with compass which I do obviously find easier and more convenient to use - not to mention the fact the battery lasts longer and its water proof!

 

Some of the Nuvis have a satellite page with compass or some kind of direction indicator I believe but any nuvi is a capable cache finding machine and with the caches info, hint and logs accessible they my Nuvi 200 is indispensible on any cache outing I go out on.

 

Trev

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Tks Trev - much appreciated. We've actually been to the one place near to us in Kya Sand, Randburg and they have tried all sorts of things. We've had issues with it since we got it, but we were a bit slow on the take, and only took it in after its first year. We'll check out the links and will definitely make use of your advice - Thanks!

 

Go ask Avnic for a 'core swop'.

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Also got a Nuvi 200 that I have loaded all the caches in SA onto. Just make sure you have all the latest PQ's on and away you go. I used it extensively om my trip to Bloem over the last 2 days. and I used it to find about 90% of the caches I found. Not one DNF in 53 caches.... As mentioned earlier. Just set it to offroad navigation and follow the pink line... easy.

 

I also Use my Etrex Vista HCX for hikes where the Nuvi is just too big and bulky....

 

Plus I have a Mio C510 to listen to my MP3's and use the blootooth, 2 phones with GPS So 5 GPSr's... really paperless.... but can be better....

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I seem to be struggling with that site to get anything other than the one option to download, is there a problem for anyone else?

 

Its working fine for me.

 

The current selected vehicle shows as an animation on the Nuvi screen. I can select any of the categories down the right and left hand sides and then the vehicles in the category are selectable from the bottom.

 

The movie loads up an shows what the vehicle will look like and you hit the green download? button and it offers up a zip of the vehicle for download.

 

Using Firefox 3.5.7 Win XP SP2

 

Trev

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:)B) Just got all my "still to find" onto my Nuvi - wow - thanks Trev and CapeDoc for your input via this thread - it still took some doing for this technically challenged oldish lad! - Even had one beep at me when i went past it - pity it was mine!! ;):huh:

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:):D Just got all my "still to find" onto my Nuvi - wow - thanks Trev and CapeDoc for your input via this thread - it still took some doing for this technically challenged oldish lad! - Even had one beep at me when i went past it - pity it was mine!! :):P

 

Ha Ha - before you run the Nuvi macro - just filter out the caches you own as well - then you won't be beeped as you drive by!!! I just checked it out and maybe you missed it but when you use the filter function in Gsak and select Not Found it pops up a check box automatically checked to exlcude caches placed by you! Easy as that. Then apply the filter and run the macro and it will only export the filtered data set.

 

I found this out the hard way at the breakfast on the rocks cache event. After I had downloaded an updated Pq I filtered in Gsak on just the event cache. I did not clear the filter before running the macro. I guess I shoudl have noticed that it must have run very quickly. It really confused me when there were not other caches on my Nuvi except the event cache!!!!

 

Good to know we have taught and old dog a new trick!!!! Once set up its much easier to maintain.

 

A very cool feature is to set up GSAK to automatically download your PQ. To accomplish this I set up a separate email account to which only PQs get set. GSAK checks that account and then deletes the message after downloading it. Very convenient.

 

Trev

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I have done just over 100 caches this month using mostly my Nuvi. I must say though that it is a little harder than what my etrex is at finding the caches. But so far not one DNF. I did try one Tonteldoos cache in a heavy rainstorm with mostly a clue and 9 possible waypoints as I couldn't find one of the stages of the multi, with no success, but I put that down to the heavy cloud cover and rain as well as the fact that I was soaked to the bone.... So I gave that up for another day.

 

In general I think the Nuvi is not too bad for caching. Works great for paperless caching and with a little perseverance it can be used for finding caches. Just remember to always set it to offroad mode when near the cache and you can be directed to the cache. From there it is a case of looking under every stone, up every tree and in every hole till you find it....

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Tried out my Nuvi yesterday. I can say its not fun driving and caching in London, as there is never any parking, so you often tend to just drive by and not do the caches :)

 

What I found hard was routing to a new cache. The new cache would appear on my map, but you couldnl;t just press that and select to go there instead. you had to click MENU>GO TO>OTHER>CUSTOM POI and it wasn;t ideal for driving at all, too dangerous.

I think once it let me press the cache to reroute but not other times?

Any tips?

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What I found hard was routing to a new cache. The new cache would appear on my map, but you couldnl;t just press that and select to go there instead. you had to click MENU>GO TO>OTHER>CUSTOM POI and it wasn;t ideal for driving at all, too dangerous.

Any tips?

 

Learn to do it quick. It is irritating i must say but soon enough you sort of learn it off by heart. I know Neville Baily does it by just pressing on the alert. The nuvi 200 doesn't allow that. Neville has a 610 I think. At least you are paperless at a slight disadvantage but it is nice to have it at hand so easily....

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