Sign in to follow this  
Followers 10
DorkX2

My First Impressions - Magellan Explorist GC

97 posts in this topic

Went out caching after having it for 2 hours. In my results, I will refer to is as the MEGC. So my thoughts, I didnt write them down, but I will post more as I remember them:

 

Pros -

 

*I like the feel in my hand, it is small like my Dakota 20

*The screen is brighter than my Dakota 20

*It looks nice, with the green and gray colors

*The search option is very nice, being able to list a cache by type, size, D/T is very nice, if you want to find an easier one for the kids

 

Cons -

 

*The compass is very clunky - when I was standing on GZ with my Dakota 20, it said zero feet. The MEGC said it was 6 to 7 feet away. When moving forward only one foot, it didn't register. I continued moving forward about 1 feet every 30 seconds to test it. Finally after moving about 15 feet, it re-registered and said the cache was now behind me

*The paperless caching feature is OK, I personally like the paperless caching options better on the D20. After a cache is found on the MEGC, and you mark it found, rather than hiding it until you log it, it puts a smiley face next to it and leaves it in the main list of caches, with the added smiley face.

*When you mark the cache as found, it doesn't ask you if you wanna find the next closest cache like the D20 does.

*the map included with the unit is HORRID! But maybe I am just used to the Garmin.

*Once you locate the cache you want to find and hit go, it stays on the same screen, you have to backtrack 2 screens then either choose "Map" or "Dashboard" to see it on the screen. On the D20, when I hit go, it went to the map track screen and I dint have to go anywhere else.

*I constantly had to use my D20 to find the cache location. I am not very patient and the map updates when walking are not that dynamic on the MEGC. On my D20, if I move 6 inches it is completely dynamic on the map track.

*If a cache has multiple trackables in it, it didn't tell me. It just said there was one there. On the D20, it would tell me the number of trackables in the cache.

*Cannot find a place to enter my current stats (# of caches I have found) It seems to only recognize the caches you have found on this GPSr. Id like to load my previous finds so it tracks my lifetime finds.

 

Most of this are probably settings. I am going to dig in tonight and see about playing with some options. My first impression, there is NO WAY I would replace my D20 with this. But, give me a little more time.

 

************ADDITIONAL NOTES**********************

 

CONS -

 

*The first time I went to upload my field notes from this unit, I browsed to the newlogs.txt file on the unit and hit upload, nothing happened. I tried it again, rebooted, and nothing worked. I did the normal upload from my D20 like normal so I assume it was not something wrong with the site. I will try again some other time

*I am not finding anywhere to update the clock. When I am outside with GPS signal on, it picks up the right time. Every time I turn it on, it has the incorrect time. After a minute or two of being on, it sets the correct time. Next time I power it off and back on, the time is off again. By like 3-6 hours.

Edited by JeLyDaSh
0

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for your thoughts! Can you put a YouTube video up of the menus and general operation of this unit? I can't believe that Magellan doesn't already have some video up about this unit. I'd love to see it in action! :) Have fun!

0

Share this post


Link to post
*Once you locate the cache you want to find and hit go, it stays on the same screen, you have to backtrack 2 screens then either choose "Map" or "Dashboard" to see it on the screen. On the D20, when I hit go, it went to the map track screen and I dint have to go anywhere else.

When you highlight a cache on the geocaches screen or actually open the cache information if you press the stick left it shows it on the map and if you press right it makes it your destination and starts tracking.

0

Share this post


Link to post
*Once you locate the cache you want to find and hit go, it stays on the same screen, you have to backtrack 2 screens then either choose "Map" or "Dashboard" to see it on the screen. On the D20, when I hit go, it went to the map track screen and I dint have to go anywhere else.

When you highlight a cache on the geocaches screen or actually open the cache information if you press the stick left it shows it on the map and if you press right it makes it your destination and starts tracking.

 

Thanks - I don't know if I would have figured that out.

0

Share this post


Link to post

How is the screen visibility outdoors in bright sunlight, especially compared to the D20?

0

Share this post


Link to post

Wow, you really don't like the map? Its a complete street map, vs just a basemap on the Dakota (unless you have City Navigator or a topo loaded).

0

Share this post


Link to post
...

Cons -

*The paperless caching feature is OK, I personally like the paperless caching options better on the D20. After a cache is found on the MEGC, and you mark it found, rather than hiding it until you log it, it puts a smiley face next to it and leaves it in the main list of caches, with the added smiley face.

The filter options will allow you to hide found caches by deselecting the Found button. This will "remove" the cache from the map and list of cache. Thus you have the option to show or not show those you've found.

 

*Cannot find a place to enter my current stats (# of caches I have found) It seems to only recognize the caches you have found on this GPSr. Id like to load my previous finds so it tracks my lifetime finds.

True, but I always clear mine on my Oregon to count how many I've found that trip, not total. Have reported it may be an issue to others such as yourself.

 

*I am not finding anywhere to update the clock. When I am outside with GPS signal on, it picks up the right time. Every time I turn it on, it has the incorrect time. After a minute or two of being on, it sets the correct time. Next time I power it off and back on, the time is off again. By like 3-6 hours.

Do you have it set to the wright time zone? and have daylight savings time selected? I've not noticed that problem at all.

 

In addition to the pluses you noted I like these features listed below.

Having pictures from a cache on the GC - don't know how many times I've wished I had a picture with me I saw on line.

 

Holding 10,000 caches for those long wandering trips

 

Ability to load single or multiple files. - I can see having my normal load of caches in my area and throwing a second file for a location I am traveling through or to then removing that file upon return home.

 

Child waypoints placed in separate waypoint section and identification of parent's GC# and Name

 

Displaying cache attributes

 

Geocaching FAQs and explanation of different type of caches. - especially nice for newbies.

0

Share this post


Link to post

As far as field notes, I had the same issue on my Vista computer. I was able to resolve it by opening the caches_found.txt file in notepad and saving under a different format. I believe it was in ANSI and I changed it to UTF-8. I was then able to load it up into field notes with no problem.

 

I have to agree it is tough going from a full featured product to an entry level product. It took a bit of adjusting on my part. I wanted my touch screen back like you wouldn't believe. Once I got past that, it was OK.

0

Share this post


Link to post

In regards to problems with field notes, I've only done it once but I was successful in uploading field notes using VantagePoint. I've currently got Magellan Communicator and VantagePoint installed, not sure if that matters. This is also my first Magellan GPS, so all drivers were fresh installs.

 

So far my only con is that there is not a full manual in the box. For those interested it can be found here:

http://www.magellangps.com/assets/manuals/...serHandbook.pdf

Edited by Frenzalo
0

Share this post


Link to post

Just got mine last night. First impression is good. Dragged two .gpx files to geocaches and two wpt.gpx files to waypoints and it was loaded and ready to go. Lots of features, readable map, fieldnotes, etc. I will take it for a full test drive this weekend. So far, so good. Peoria Bill :>) :)

0

Share this post


Link to post

As far as the filter -

I have changed the filter to not include "found", but it is still showing them. I don't know why, but I am trying to figure it out. It is more than likely a user error.

 

As far as the time -

The time zone and DST setting are set correctly on the unit. I set the correct settings, and it said the date/time fine. I turned it off, and it was 3 hours ahead. After finding signal, it updated the time. I turned the GPS off, turned the unit off for about 20 minutes, turned it back on, the time was off by 6 hours. Maybe this is by design, but I don't know why it wont hold the correct time.

 

I agree with the positive feature you listed above. I am just writing my initial responses and I am sure we will get used to how this unit works. It will be a good unit, just the perspective from a current D20 user to this GPSr

0

Share this post


Link to post

As far as field notes, I had the same issue on my Vista computer. I was able to resolve it by opening the caches_found.txt file in notepad and saving under a different format. I believe it was in ANSI and I changed it to UTF-8.

 

THe right people at Magellan already know about that file not being correctly encoded at UTF16-LE. A fix is on the way.

0

Share this post


Link to post

JaLyDaSh,

My guess is that you have a defective unit, concerning the time thing. Most units will hold close to correct time, and get corrected by the Sats on start up. Some of the old Maggies would get several min off, and might not correct after Sat connected, but that was after they had aged a bit, if I remember right.

All of my units hold the time ok. even the older ones. The worst is from an eTrex that I got in 2000. and it is only off a couple of min each month, when I update the almanac. If this dosn't seff correct, I would exchange the unit, because this is not how it should be.

0

Share this post


Link to post

,,,

I agree with the positive feature you listed above. I am just writing my initial responses and I am sure we will get used to how this unit works. It will be a good unit, just the perspective from a current D20 user to this GPSr

Just wanted to let you know about the other features if you hadn't found them yet. Sorry if it came across otherwise. As xyzee said, think there maybe something wrong with your system if not holding correct time as you have it set to the proper time zone. You maybe the test to see if customer service has improved with the introduction of the new system.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Well good news tonight - it along with my D20, we hid a new cache tonight and the waypoints were only 2 seconds off. I took 6 readings from each one and averaged them, very very close!

 

It doesn't seem as "clunky" to me after using it for the second day. I will continue my reviews after i use it some more this weekend.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Hmmm - it was sitting on my desk. I turned it on. The time was 3 hours ahead again. I have the Satellite signal off. I was watching it without doing anything, the time jumped ahead 2 more hours. With no satellite signal.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I think I'm sold on getting an Explorist as a step up from using my iPhone...

 

Anyone know when it's going to be sold in the UK?

 

Cheers,

 

Jamie.

0

Share this post


Link to post

How is the screen visibility outdoors in bright sunlight, especially compared to the D20?

 

The visibility is not great outside in direct sunlight. I will, however, say that it blows the D20 out of the water as far as resolution, clarity, and over-all brightness.

Edited by JeLyDaSh
0

Share this post


Link to post

Does this unit have the "Average a Waypoint" location function? :D

0

Share this post


Link to post

I think I'm sold on getting an Explorist as a step up from using my iPhone...

 

Anyone know when it's going to be sold in the UK?

 

Cheers,

 

Jamie.

 

A few of the Insiders feild testing the GC are in Europe. Leads me to believe they will be sold over there.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I like the idea of the GC, but it seems to be too much of a unitasker if I am going to spend $200 for it.

0

Share this post


Link to post

These post are totally BOGUS. I admit it does take about a day to get used to the layout. It is very accurate and very family friendly. I love my Explorist GC and I have found all of my caches with it. People read the directions (that is what they are made for) and learn about all of the features that the GC has!

0

Share this post


Link to post

Does this unit have the "Average a Waypoint" location function? :)

 

Isn't labeled as such, but when creating a new waypoint there is an option to "set accurate position". If you select that option the gps takes about 2 minutes to determine the position. I haven't read the manual yet, but it sure acts as if it is averaging a waypoint.

 

Edit to add: according to page 26 of the manual what I described is the waypoint averaging feature.

Edited by SgtSue
0

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks - I was able to find this function in the .PDF manual I downloaded. That's great news! I don't think you can average a cache hide on the Oregon/Dakota series, so that's a plus!

 

Does this unit have the "Average a Waypoint" location function? ;)

 

Isn't labeled as such, but when creating a new waypoint there is an option to "set accurate position". If you select that option the gps takes about 2 minutes to determine the position. I haven't read the manual yet, but it sure acts as if it is averaging a waypoint.

 

Edit to add: according to page 26 of the manual what I described is the waypoint averaging feature.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks - I was able to find this function in the .PDF manual I downloaded. That's great news! I don't think you can average a cache hide on the Oregon/Dakota series, so that's a plus!

 

 

 

The Oregon has a Waypoint Averaging function. Not sure about the Dakota.

0

Share this post


Link to post

More, more, more, I would like to hear more about this unit. I have been waiting for final reviews and first looks from people that got one. Sorry, Im looking for something new and had stumbled upon this and want some of the honest opinions from people with hands on before I go and buy one.

Edited by USMCGecko
0

Share this post


Link to post

I am new to geocaching and thinking this might be a good purchase for me as my first GPS device. Thoughts for first time users?

0

Share this post


Link to post

I am new to geocaching and thinking this might be a good purchase for me as my first GPS device. Thoughts for first time users?

IMHO - I think this would be a very good unit for a newbie. Easy to operate and it has a section in it that has geocaching FAQs, lists the different types of caches, explains difficulty and terrain, and probably a few other things I can't remember off the top of my head. It is simple to operate yet accurate and supports paperless caching (you may very well want to become a premium member and enjoy the Pocket Queries to make full use of this feature). It doesn't have the bells and whistles other more expensive units have but is still a good quality device.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I am new to geocaching and thinking this might be a good purchase for me as my first GPS device. Thoughts for first time users?

IMHO - I think this would be a very good unit for a newbie. Easy to operate and it has a section in it that has geocaching FAQs, lists the different types of caches, explains difficulty and terrain, and probably a few other things I can't remember off the top of my head. It is simple to operate yet accurate and supports paperless caching (you may very well want to become a premium member and enjoy the Pocket Queries to make full use of this feature). It doesn't have the bells and whistles other more expensive units have but is still a good quality device.

 

Thanks for the reply! I have been researching so much because I really don't want to get the wrong device and ruin my geocaching experience. I need something that is easy to use, paperless, and accurate to get me right on top of the cache. I think I'm going to go with this one, I just hope I don't outgrow it too fast or become envious of other people's GPS devices when I'm out there! Though usually for me personally, the more tech involved with the device the less likely I am to spend the time trying to figure it out.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Does the GC support the loc format?

0

Share this post


Link to post

I am new to geocaching and thinking this might be a good purchase for me as my first GPS device. Thoughts for first time users?

IMHO - I think this would be a very good unit for a newbie. Easy to operate and it has a section in it that has geocaching FAQs, lists the different types of caches, explains difficulty and terrain, and probably a few other things I can't remember off the top of my head. It is simple to operate yet accurate and supports paperless caching (you may very well want to become a premium member and enjoy the Pocket Queries to make full use of this feature). It doesn't have the bells and whistles other more expensive units have but is still a good quality device.

 

Thanks for the reply! I have been researching so much because I really don't want to get the wrong device and ruin my geocaching experience. I need something that is easy to use, paperless, and accurate to get me right on top of the cache. I think I'm going to go with this one, I just hope I don't outgrow it too fast or become envious of other people's GPS devices when I'm out there! Though usually for me personally, the more tech involved with the device the less likely I am to spend the time trying to figure it out.

 

In all honesty speaking from opinion not personal experience as ive never touched the unit. i can see a lot of things that are going to really start to annoy people with the GC, lack of routing and no electronic compass are a major weakness. Whilst im sure the GC is going to be a smashing unit for starters and children it seems a touch too pricey for what your getting in a unit, id say check out some of the lower end garmins like the 300 or the dakota 20

0

Share this post


Link to post

As I mentioned in an earlier post I would post my initial impressions of the Magellan GC after finding a few caches. This GPS has a lot of features and is great at doing many tasks well. On the other hand I have a couple of observations that could be improved:

1. I don't like the triangle arrow. It operates like a boat or plane without a rudder. Specifically, when you get close to the cache it loses its functionality and ceases to point towards the cache. I had to back up and mentally project a line to the cache. I did this OK on open ground type caches. However, the next cache I searched for was in a thicket and I had to work around stumps, trees, rocks, vines, etc. to get to the cache. At the slow pace I had to walk the arrow did not function. I bounced around for awhile till I could get it to get me close to the cache. I remember a similar problem on the Garmin Vista HCx when it first came out, but they fixed it. Also, GPS like the 60CSx will hold the arrow on the cache location regardless of your pace or zig-zagging towards the cahe.

2. The track feature is an elastic line that similar to the old Magellan Pos-Des line that follows you around and shows a straight line back to your origination. In the woods or thicket, I do not need a straight line, but an actual track of where I have walked so that I can retrace my path closely if needed. The track feature does not follow a road either

Overall a GPS with a lot of good features, but it will not be a snap for new users since they loose sense of the cache location at the most critical time. A good start, but this one need some improvements.

 

Peoria Bill :>)

0

Share this post


Link to post

How is the screen visibility outdoors in bright sunlight, especially compared to the D20?

 

The visibility is not great outside in direct sunlight. I will, however, say that it blows the D20 out of the water as far as resolution, clarity, and over-all brightness.

 

Do you miss the larger screen of the D20?

 

Also, a review I read said that the response of the unit was a little slow. Do you find that to be the case? That review also mentioned the infamous Magellan slingshot effect. Have you noticed that?

 

This sounds like a very good unit for the price, but I think I'll wait for an upgraded model that has auto routing. LOTS of attractive features though!

0

Share this post


Link to post

will this unit work with macs? been looking at the magellan site and dont see the answer right off.

thanks

0

Share this post


Link to post

will this unit work with macs? been looking at the magellan site and dont see the answer right off.

thanks

 

Yes. When connected the GC appears as a thumb drive. I don't know if Vantage point software works though.

0

Share this post


Link to post

nice so i could just load the .gpx files directly onto it right?

0

Share this post


Link to post

As far as field notes, I had the same issue on my Vista computer. I was able to resolve it by opening the caches_found.txt file in notepad and saving under a different format. I believe it was in ANSI and I changed it to UTF-8. I was then able to load it up into field notes with no problem.

 

I had to download the VantagePoint software from Magellan to up load my finds.

I emailed geocaching.com, and they stated that it was a problem on their end, but VantagePoint will take care of the issue.

 

I just start the program, plug in my gps, turn it on, connect to pc, then I get a prompt on the screen to add both my finds and my hides (if I put one out that day). Oh you must be connected to the internet for it to upload!

0

Share this post


Link to post

Ok. Started having a strange problem with my GC starting yesterday. Issues also with Vantage Point syncing as well since the night before.

 

I'll start with the Vantage Point problem. Everytime I try to do a sync between the computer and the gps, VP crashes, no matter what if anything I have selected. Still can't figure out what's causing that to happen, but it may be the reason why the GC is doing what it's doing.

 

Now for the GC, when I fire it up, the screen comes on and the little radar thing comes on and starts spinning, it loads up the software version and my name/number at the bottom and then from there it just sits spinning forever. If I press the little reset button by the usb connector I have a random chance that it'll actually start up normally, but I have found that I have to press it several times before it does start up normally and then it works fine. Can connect it to the pc and transfer files, etc. This all started after I had set a waypoint, set tracking on and had left it on the dash of the van so that it held gps signal while we were driving. When I got back to my gps a while later I found that it had froze and I had to pop the batteries to turn it off, although I hadn't tried the rest button at that point but I think it would have done the same thing.

 

So my question is, is anyone else seeing any of these two problems right now?

0

Share this post


Link to post

Yep. Check This Review to see how a dude does it with his Macbook Pro. To me it looks super awesome, just drop your PQ onto the unit and away you go!

 

nice so i could just load the .gpx files directly onto it right?

0

Share this post


Link to post

Explorist GC works pretty well on a Mac. All the screen grabs and data loading on http://www.gpsfaqs.org/faqs/magellan/explo...c/overview.html was done on one.

 

Just drag your (unzipped) PQ to the device in Finder and eject it and go caching. (OK, there's a bug where it immediately reconnects on Mac after you eject it, but as long as you eject it once and then put up with the "OMG, you unplugged a mounted volume" warning, it's cool.)

 

Vantage Point is Windows-only. You're unlikely to miss it.

 

The encoding of the 'found caches' file is known to be broken (that's not OS-specific) and Magellan has a fix in progress for that.

0

Share this post


Link to post

On another Forum I know one dude was disappointed (with Magellan in general) that GSAK won't place nice with his Triton. But with the GC unit, just drop your PQ and sort what you want. In my opinion, there's no need to use GSAK if you have a paperless unit that can store thousands of caches like this GC. But I also don't use GSAK as I have been Windoze free since 2000, so what do I know. :D

0

Share this post


Link to post

Well, the GC can also display images from cache records so you still need a program like GSAK or Vantage Point to go out and pull the images when it transfers the waypoints to the unit. But your right, other than that you really don't need any software, just drag and drop the files right to the folder in the unit.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Other than coolness, why would anyone want picture galleries of the caches with them in the field anyways? :D

 

Well, the GC can also display images from cache records so you still need a program like GSAK or Vantage Point to go out and pull the images when it transfers the waypoints to the unit. But your right, other than that you really don't need any software, just drag and drop the files right to the folder in the unit.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, I'm not really going to disagree with you there, unless the pictures provide some kind of hint or something...

0

Share this post


Link to post

I just installed the Beta firmware upgrade. Glad to see the found caches turn into smilies! It was a bit bother some seeing found and unfound caches looking the same on the map. We told them, they fixed it. Now to take it out and see what else they fixed.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Well... seems like everyone has the beta firmware update but me. Haha. Come on Magellan, I want to try it out already.

0

Share this post


Link to post
*The compass is very clunky - when I was standing on GZ with my Dakota 20, it said zero feet. The MEGC said it was 6 to 7 feet away. When moving forward only one foot, it didn't register. I continued moving forward about 1 feet every 30 seconds to test it. Finally after moving about 15 feet, it re-registered and said the cache was now behind me

 

I reported this issue to Magellan and they said "Currently, this is already an ongoing issue that has been escalated through out internal department.", so hopefully they will have fix with the next firmware upgrade.

 

I also would like to find a way to modify my stats, but as of yet have been unable to find where this is kept.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I like this unit for the most part.

A quibble (and sometimes a major annoyance) is that when I put the unit in suspend mode and fire it back up, the unit freezes and won't respond to anything. I have to remove the batteries and wait for it to lock on to the satellites again.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 10