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My First Impressions - Magellan Explorist GC

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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.

 

I have the same problem. I'm running v1.4 of the firmware. Anybody else seeing this behavior? It's very frustrating!

 

Mike

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Well, time for me to put my two cents in as this is my primary unit. Understand, I have been only geocaching for a month but love going out on the weekends to locate geocaches and I travel during the week on business so I love geocaching as I travel. Therefore, I use it quite a lot. So I am writing this to bring up some of the various issues with the unit.

 

First, I must say, this is a great unit to get for any beginner in geocaching. Since I did not have to enter coordinates of the cache and just simply pick the cashe I wanted to go to, this was a special treat. The origional issue I had was using the interface. Any time I left the map to do something then returned to it, it would loose the "track". Since I didn't care about it keeping track of where I was going, it was not a real issue. However, the system keeps track of the total miles you traveled so that becomes very inaccurate. Magellan release version 1.4 of their software which address this issue partially, but does not address it for multicache issues.

 

The street map was better then I expected in such a small unit. Granted it is not extreemly detailed, but detailed enough to geocache. You can not load any topographical maps (or any other map) into the unit so you are stuck with the map that comes with the unit.

 

The unit allows you to enter field notes. I found it too clumsy for me to enter them in the unit. Personally, I used my iPhone to enter the field notes. However, some people may not have any problem entering field notes if they simply use the standard ackranims. (I am not a big fan of that as we should be sharing our experiences, and not just TFTC).

 

The unit is made for you to use Magellan's Vantage Point Software (free from their web site) in order to pick up your pocket queries and download them into your GC. It will also upload your field notes. However, the Vantage point software is poor at best. Yes it is great to see your pocket queries, but the base map they use does not have any real streats (just some interstates). So planning a route to find geocaches with it is not worth it.

 

Further, the Vantage Point software takes forever to transfer the geocaches to the GC. I found it easier to simply download them from the geocaching.com site and place them in the geocache folder on the GC itself. (when you plug in the GC to the computer, you can see its file system like a flash drive. Therefore you can transfer the caches to the geocache folder).

 

AN IMPORTANT NOTE HERE IS THE VANTAGE POINT SOFTWARE CAN MESS UP YOUR GC. DURING A DOWNLOAD FROM THE VANTAGE POINT SOFTWARE TO THE GC, IT STARTED TO TRANSFER IMAGES TO THE GC. SINCE THAT IS NOT NEEDED I CANCELED THE DOWNLOAD (BY HITTING THE CANCEL BUTTON). ALTHOUGH IT SEAMED TO CANCEL SUCCESSFULLY, THE GC WOULD NO LONGER BOOT. AFTER A FEW HOURS ON THE PHONE WITH MAGELLAN, THE UNIT HAD TO BE RETURNED. Therefore, be carefull with this function.

 

If you don't have the 1.4 version of the os for the GC, you definately need it. 1.4 corrected many of the origional issues on this GPS and i expect them to come out with further updates in the near future.

 

The satelite pickup seamed to be fine. It is poor in the woods however. This was expected with this unit. I found if you slow down and let it get your position (about a minute or so) it is more accurate.

 

Although I have not placed a cache yet, there is a function on the GC to do this. It will even make you wait two minutes to make sure the coordinates are correct. I found that is a great feature and will minimize anybody changing coordinates.

 

I had no problems with the screen. It is a bit small, but big enough to use. I had to modify the configuration to keep the screen lit, especially in the sun.

 

The GC is very rugged. It can get wet with no problems and can even take a fall. IF YOU USE THIS UNIT, MAKE SURE THE USB PORT IS CLOSED TIGHTLY AND PROPERLY OR THE UNIT WILL FAIL IF YOU GET IT WET.

 

Overall, I would love to see magellan or another provider come up with a better version of this GPS. A better keyboard (Perhaps a touch screen), a stronger antanna would also be nice especially in the woods. perhaps a bigger screen would also be nice. I think anybody just starting into geocaching would like this unit. The price is right for just starting out and it is very easy to use.

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The satelite pickup seamed to be fine. It is poor in the woods however. This was expected with this unit. I found if you slow down and let it get your position (about a minute or so) it is more accurate.

 

I'd have to disagree with this statement. I've tested this unit under HEAVY redwood cover among some of the tallest and biggest trees out there and it holds reception and accuracy as good as any other GPS on the market that I've seen.

 

I'm talking about dense forest under redwood canopies. Note, this is my own experience and I can't talk to the technical aspects of the antennae.

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I just bought this unit yesterday and am loving except for one thing: multi-caches.

 

I have yet to find a way to update the coordinates in the cache profile (on the unit) so that I can move on to the next part of a multi... is this possible?

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I just bought this unit yesterday and am loving except for one thing: multi-caches.

 

I have yet to find a way to update the coordinates in the cache profile (on the unit) so that I can move on to the next part of a multi... is this possible?

 

Yes, here's how:

 

When you have found the first part of the multi and have the "new" coordinates in hand.

Press the "Back" button on the GC so your at the main menu screen.

Next toggle up to "the way-point flag" press the "Menu" key toggle down to "Add Way-point" press the joystick button.

 

Toggle down to "Coordinates" press the joystick button. Use the joystick button the move left or right up or down the it highlight the field needing to be changed. Press the joystick button then move the joystick left or right to highlight the digit needing to be changed and move the joystick forward or back to change the digits and press the joystick to make them "stick".

 

Once the new coordinates have been selected use the joystick to toggle down the the "OK" icon the press the joystick. At that point you are taken to the new way-point you just created labeled "WPT-1" or something like that.

 

Press the "Back" key and confirm you wish to save the new way-point by pressing the joystick button. Press the "Back" key once more and use the joystick to highlight the new way-point then press the "Menu" key and highlight "Go" press the joystick button again and cancel your current route at which point the compress screen comes up and you follow the compass to the next stage.

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Adding to Rick's comments, if your Multi needs a Projection to the next waypoint, the GC has a waypoint projection feature. Enter the direction and distance, and then save and access as above. The direction (bearing) entry is more precise than many GPSrs because it allows decimal degrees.

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Thank you Rick345 & EScout.

 

This way is not perfect (because it will be a pain going back and forth between the waypoints menu and the geocache details), but it will work, I'll just need to get used to navigating the menus a bit more ;)

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Picked up a Explorist GC last week. My opinions.

 

The good.

1) Reception is good, as is any GPS unit made on the market today.

2) Geocaching feature works very good with a few exceptions, I'll cover those in the cons.

3) Good feel in the hand.

4) Much easier to learn than the Triton.

5) Accepts up to 10,000 geocaches w/o any need for SD card (it doesn't accept them)

6) Works just like an external drive, and I can use this unit even within Linux w/o any problems.

7) For those who use VantagePoint with this, the transfer rate are much faster.

8) Uses standard USB cable, nice to see Magellan get away from propitiatory cables

9) Good basemap, covers all my local roads, including the dirt roads.

10) Can sort through geocache types, ratings, terrains etc.

11) Plenty of memory for data, more then you will ever need.

12) Menus work pretty quick

 

The cons

1) Why doesn't this thing have a flat back? It literally rocks on it's back and impossible to keep on a dashboard.

2) Battery life is less than the Garmins although it's slightly improved over the Triton.

3) No auto-routing, not a big deal to me.

4) Maps are out of date, I-520 in North Augusta which was opened last year is missing north of US 1.

5) Rubber protector for the USB ports keeps coming undone. Can't see how rain is going to stay out.

6) Only a 500 waypoint limit for non-geocaches. Not a biggie but if you search for Benchmarks, this might come into play.

7) Hard learning curve for multi-caches, this forum covers how to do them.

8) Maybe it's me but I had a fit replacing the back after putting in batteries.

 

Verdict

It's okay but the Delorme PN-30 does everything this does plus a whole lot more for the same price range. Certainly superior to the horrible Triton line in every possible way.

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One other thing about the Explorist GC although this has nothing to do with accuracy but it numbers the satellites different then both the Magellan Triton, Etrex Legend, and Magellan Explorist 100.

 

Example.

Explorist GC is picking up birds 3,5,8,13,30 etc

 

The other units shows these birds as 2,4,7,12, 29 etc... Always one number behind the Explorist GC.

 

Check it yourself, it's not a big deal but just weird.

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One other thing about the Explorist GC although this has nothing to do with accuracy but it numbers the satellites different then both the Magellan Triton, Etrex Legend, and Magellan Explorist 100.

 

Example.

Explorist GC is picking up birds 3,5,8,13,30 etc

 

The other units shows these birds as 2,4,7,12, 29 etc... Always one number behind the Explorist GC.

 

Check it yourself, it's not a big deal but just weird.

 

I checked it out and your correct and it is odd. The GC must have a numbering clitch but, as you said it doesn't effect accuracy. It's just an oddity.

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The cons

1) Why doesn't this thing have a flat back? It literally rocks on it's back and impossible to keep on a dashboard.

2) Battery life is less than the Garmins although it's slightly improved over the Triton.

3) No auto-routing, not a big deal to me.

4) Maps are out of date, I-520 in North Augusta which was opened last year is missing north of US 1.

5) Rubber protector for the USB ports keeps coming undone. Can't see how rain is going to stay out.

6) Only a 500 waypoint limit for non-geocaches. Not a biggie but if you search for Benchmarks, this might come into play.

7) Hard learning curve for multi-caches, this forum covers how to do them.

8) Maybe it's me but I had a fit replacing the back after putting in batteries.

 

 

I have ahard time putting the back, back on after replacing the batteries. And to cons I would add it has no way to add or update maps. While presently that isn't a big problem for me but, if I were caching in a state forest or other remote location I'd like to be able to upload topo maps to plan my route a little better. But, GC is what it is and that ain't bad.

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The cons

1) Why doesn't this thing have a flat back? It literally rocks on it's back and impossible to keep on a dashboard.

2) Battery life is less than the Garmins although it's slightly improved over the Triton.

3) No auto-routing, not a big deal to me.

4) Maps are out of date, I-520 in North Augusta which was opened last year is missing north of US 1.

5) Rubber protector for the USB ports keeps coming undone. Can't see how rain is going to stay out.

6) Only a 500 waypoint limit for non-geocaches. Not a biggie but if you search for Benchmarks, this might come into play.

7) Hard learning curve for multi-caches, this forum covers how to do them.

8) Maybe it's me but I had a fit replacing the back after putting in batteries.

 

 

I have a hard time putting the back, back on after replacing the batteries also.

 

And to cons I would add it has no way to add or update maps. While presently that isn't a big problem for me but, if I were caching in a state forest or other remote location I'd like to be able to upload topo maps to plan my route a little better. But, GC is what it is and that ain't bad.

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I'm coming from an aging 60Cx. I got a GC. My M.O. with caching these days is route with a dashboard unit, get to the cache with my handheld.

 

Having an all-in-one field unit is great. All the description, logs, hints, etc. are right there. No need for another paperless unit and my iPod can stay safely in the car.

 

I got a GC and I'm really enjoying it. The basemap has much better detail than I expected, all my local roads are on it.

 

Loading GPX files to it is a breeze, just plug in the USB, drag and drop. Having up to 10,000 caches is amazing.

 

I found that you can edit the field notes file on your computer when it's mounted. If you do this, you can make much nicer, much longer default field notes. I use the field notes extensively and love them. What I really like about them is that they don't get deleted when you update the GPX files. This was a big problem with my 60Cx. If I forgot to look at the "calendar" and log my finds (manually) before I deleted and re-loaded the waypoints I was fubared.

 

I like the size, weight, etc. I wish it came with a dash mount.

 

But... for $200 out the door and with the instant gratification of being able to pick it up at Target... it was a great deal IMO. No additional maps are needed (or even possible) but for me, that' no biggie. I route with the Nuvi and the GC actually has lakes, streams, golf courses, etc. in my area so everything I need and care about really.

 

My main areas of discontent are the display and the response of the GPS updates. The display really needs to have some level of backlight on at all times for me. That obviously dings battery life, but so far I've probably had it on 5-6 hours and the battery indicator is still half full (or empty - your call).

 

The GPS updates slowly. It feels "rubbery" or "springy". It's not AS noticeable when you're on the ground, but when you pull up to the park and grabs - you really get it. 300 ft, 200, 100, 50, 10, uh... 175? WTF? And when you're walking around it does take more than a foot or two to get the display to update, which is minorly problematic since there is no electronic compass (usually I do this just for the "which way again?" kind of help but I end up having to walk away for a few steps, wait for the udpate, and then walk back again.)

 

Overall, I'm extremely pleased. Which from me, is saying a lot. I've never owned anything but Garmin units, but I decided to give this one a try and I really do like it.

 

It works great for me and unless you absolutely have to have everything in one single unit - I'd seriously suggest exploring a lower end Nuvi paired with this unit for your caching setup. One can route you there, one can get you into the field with all the info you need to complete the hunt. You can buy both GPS units for less than the price of a Dakota 20, and you avoid the extra buy of maps.

Edited by trippy1976

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I found that you can edit the field notes file on your computer when it's mounted. If you do this, you can make much nicer, much longer default field notes.

 

I hadn't thought about trying that - nice! I'll play with that in the next few days. A few common ones I use are things things like "geocoin/travelbug listed is not in the cache" so it will be nice to put those in via the PC.

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Ok, I've been using this unit for a few weeks now.

 

A great combo (for me) is Google Nav (on my android phone in the car) to get into the area, and then using my GC to get to the cache. Most of my caches have been 1.5 miles or less from where I park. I'm a newbie, and using geocaching to lose wait, so I'll work up to the longer hikes later.

 

From my experience caching with my family (wife, 12 yr old son, 14 yr old daughter) it seems to be that you either get used to it right away (me & son), or it takes a bit of teaching (wife & daughter).

 

The dashboard on this unit kicks butt, and is damned accurate, but as someone else said it can be slow to update sometimes.

 

Not being able to update a cache's coordinates (you have to set a new waypoint with new coords instead) is a pain when doing puzzle or multicaches, but it can be done (did 2 today in fact).

 

Battery life is fantastic, in fact I use rechargeable batteries and have used it for a whole day without having to charge the batteries or swap them (I have 4 rechargeable AA batteries just in case).

 

Ok, this kind of rambled on, but I will say this: I love my GC, and it's a great upgrade for anyone using a mobile phone app for geocaching (as I was).

 

I may post again later if I think of anything else.

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I'm coming from an aging 60Cx. I got a GC. My M.O. with caching these days is route with a dashboard unit, get to the cache with my handheld.

 

Having an all-in-one field unit is great. All the description, logs, hints, etc. are right there. No need for another paperless unit and my iPod can stay safely in the car.

 

I got a GC and I'm really enjoying it. The basemap has much better detail than I expected, all my local roads are on it.

 

Loading GPX files to it is a breeze, just plug in the USB, drag and drop. Having up to 10,000 caches is amazing.

 

I found that you can edit the field notes file on your computer when it's mounted. If you do this, you can make much nicer, much longer default field notes. I use the field notes extensively and love them. What I really like about them is that they don't get deleted when you update the GPX files. This was a big problem with my 60Cx. If I forgot to look at the "calendar" and log my finds (manually) before I deleted and re-loaded the waypoints I was fubared.

 

I like the size, weight, etc. I wish it came with a dash mount.

 

But... for $200 out the door and with the instant gratification of being able to pick it up at Target... it was a great deal IMO. No additional maps are needed (or even possible) but for me, that' no biggie. I route with the Nuvi and the GC actually has lakes, streams, golf courses, etc. in my area so everything I need and care about really.

 

My main areas of discontent are the display and the response of the GPS updates. The display really needs to have some level of backlight on at all times for me. That obviously dings battery life, but so far I've probably had it on 5-6 hours and the battery indicator is still half full (or empty - your call).

 

The GPS updates slowly. It feels "rubbery" or "springy". It's not AS noticeable when you're on the ground, but when you pull up to the park and grabs - you really get it. 300 ft, 200, 100, 50, 10, uh... 175? WTF? And when you're walking around it does take more than a foot or two to get the display to update, which is minorly problematic since there is no electronic compass (usually I do this just for the "which way again?" kind of help but I end up having to walk away for a few steps, wait for the udpate, and then walk back again.)

 

Overall, I'm extremely pleased. Which from me, is saying a lot. I've never owned anything but Garmin units, but I decided to give this one a try and I really do like it.

 

It works great for me and unless you absolutely have to have everything in one single unit - I'd seriously suggest exploring a lower end Nuvi paired with this unit for your caching setup. One can route you there, one can get you into the field with all the info you need to complete the hunt. You can buy both GPS units for less than the price of a Dakota 20, and you avoid the extra buy of maps.

 

As I said over at the Pathtag forums, I agree 100% with what you said. I too was Garmin only, and I am loving my Magellan. I use a Nuvi with mine and it is working out great!

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I found that you can edit the field notes file on your computer when it's mounted. If you do this, you can make much nicer, much longer default field notes. I use the field notes extensively and love them. What I really like about them is that they don't get deleted when you update the GPX files.

 

Can anybody tell me which file in which directory you can edit to do this?

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Hey - regarding the Nüvi combo, do you load the caches into the Nüvi as POI or as waypoints? I tried with my Nüvi to load caches as waypoints and the icons showed so big they were very distracting.

 

It works great for me and unless you absolutely have to have everything in one single unit - I'd seriously suggest exploring a lower end Nuvi paired with this unit for your caching setup. One can route you there, one can get you into the field with all the info you need to complete the hunt. You can buy both GPS units for less than the price of a Dakota 20, and you avoid the extra buy of maps.

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Yea, add my complaint to those about the unit updating very slowly when you are moving slowly. To test this, I took my Explorist GC to a benchmark with adjusted coordinates. When I walked up quickly to it and suddenly stopped, it was always within 10 feet. However, if I walked away from it slowly, I could walk 60 feet from the benchmark with the unit still saying it was within 10 feet before it would update. I noticed this today while looking for a geocache also.

 

To me, it appears when you go slowly, the unit does not update or updates very slowly.

 

The Triton, Explorist 100, and Garmin's don't have this problem.

 

To me, this is a big deal because no one just walks up to a cache at normal walking speed. We tend to slow down when we are nearing ground zero...

 

I guess one other complaint is the number of clicks and buttons you have to press getting around the menus and such. Just getting the unit to cancel a geocache involves moving the click stick down 10 times while at the map screen.

 

I also took this unit on a bicycle ride. The MPH lags behind badly and it gives a false average speed and moving time. Not that this unit is meant for bike riding but if they are going to include those features, I expect them to work.

Edited by gpsblake

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Yeah, I have the slow updates around GZ problem too...Is there anyone using an Explorist GC that doesn't have this problem? I'm hoping it's a firmware issue and not a hardware error.

 

Mike

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Yeah, I have the slow updates around GZ problem too...Is there anyone using an Explorist GC that doesn't have this problem? I'm hoping it's a firmware issue and not a hardware error.

 

Mike

 

I have the same problem plus the least little bit of leaf cover seems to block the signal from the satellites.

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Just a place marker so I receive email notifications of additional replies. I'm considering buying one of these units to replace my Magellan Meridian (yup, an old green one that's served me well for over six years now) and would like to see how others feel about them.

 

One interesting note: I've always had the experience with my Meridian that when walking at normal speed the unit was slow to update and I would frequently overshoot the cache; however, if I slowed when approaching ground zero it was dead on. Sounds like the Explorist is just the opposite.

Edited by catcher24

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we picked one of these up last thursday at best buy.

been wanting to get into caching since jan and well finally had to get something.

we were 0-4 this past weekend looking, but idk if it is due to lack of experience or the gpsr.

hopin to look this week for some that are local to us. last weekend we were visiting family where we grew up.

 

i too noticed the clock thing when it was first turned on and even after it updated to 1.4. once it finally found the right time it has been good with that.

 

the interface is not as easy as i was hoping it to be but with no prior experience idk if it is good or bad.

 

i do like that it can hold so many caches in it.

 

making use of the free 30 day premium here and i do like the PQ's.

using vantage point for now.

 

gimme some time and will see what else i have to say about it.

 

Monty

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we picked one of these up last thursday at best buy.

been wanting to get into caching since jan and well finally had to get something.

we were 0-4 this past weekend looking, but idk if it is due to lack of experience or the gpsr.

hopin to look this week for some that are local to us. last weekend we were visiting family where we grew up.

 

i too noticed the clock thing when it was first turned on and even after it updated to 1.4. once it finally found the right time it has been good with that.

 

the interface is not as easy as i was hoping it to be but with no prior experience idk if it is good or bad.

 

i do like that it can hold so many caches in it.

 

making use of the free 30 day premium here and i do like the PQ's.

using vantage point for now.

 

gimme some time and will see what else i have to say about it.

 

Monty

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I'm a newbie, and went out today with my new MEGC to try for some caches. I'm still figuring out how everything works on the machine, but my first impression is that it's rugged and is fairly easy to use. I do like the paperless feature and the very small size. I was able to upload the update easily and transfer caches one at a time, and I still need to learn PQ's and how to get 'em in.

I did find three caches on my own, but I did have some of the same issues others here have described. I had the arrow go funky near GZ on one tree-covered cache and needed to rely on visual clues to score the cache, but had no issues with the other two- everything was straightforward and clear. I had no trouble with the map function, but I'm used to maps-- this is my first ever GPS. I didn't care for the compass, especially since these were city caches, and I'm still unclear how to invoke and remove it from the map. I might find it to be handy, though, especially out of a city.

I also had an issue today with the time. The GC stayed about one hour behind Western time all day.

By and large, though, it's easy to use out of the box, and seems to have good features.

The price is excellent, especially getting it through Groundspeak and getting the geocoin and travel bug free with my purchase. I'll post again once I run it through more caches and get used to all the features.

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Hey fellow geocachers,

 

Wanted to relate my experience to you guys and gals. I got the Explorist GC a week ago for my birthday. Was fairly happy with it, but I experienced the issue described here where the coordinates stop updating when walking slowly and approaching a cache (especially when under cover). I have the latest (1.4) firmware on my explorist GC.

 

I called Magellan tech support and explained the problem to them and pointed the tech support rep (his name was Jules, a pretty nice guy, by the way) to this thread. After being on hold a couple of times, where Jules presumably was talking about the issue with colleagues/superiors, he got back on and told me that they believed that the unit shouldn't be doing that and told me they would replace it with a new unit.

 

This was a surprise to me, given that other reports in this thread stated that Magellan was aware of the issue (and were presumably working on a firmware fix).

 

Based on the fact that they are replacing mine, I'm drawing the conclusion that they are thinking it's a hardware issue instead.

 

Thought people might like to know about this.

 

-- Jason

Edited by jlhorner1974

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...I do like the paperless feature and the very small size. I was able to upload the update easily and transfer caches one at a time, and I still need to learn PQ's and how to get 'em in.

 

Read THIS thread. There's no reason the instructions for Mac should be any different than those for a PC. This may not be the way everyone does it, but it should work in principle.

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I decided to do some very unscientific experiments. I compared reception of the Magellan GC to the Magellan Triton. I also decided to try them in some of the hardest reception conditions, inside my house at various locations. Basically, the Triton blows the pants off the GC in tracking birds. Here's just an example, and this was after the units sat in the same location for 10 minutes. Firmware 1.4 on the GC.

 

exploristvstriton.jpg

 

If you notice the Triton is tracking 4 birds with a strong signal.

The GC is showing tracking no birds with 2 in the yellow. However, if you look at the big screen, it is showing tracking 2 birds in the green. Really odd. However, 2 birds can not give you a good fix.

 

Seems the GC was also trying to get receptions from a bunch of satellites but getting none (those are colored white on the GC). Those birds were right at the horizon according to the GC.

 

This repeated itself in various locations, that the Triton certainly had a lock on a lot more satellites.

 

When I was outside, I also noticed the Triton was tracking 7 to 8 in the green while the GC was tracking 4. While 4 is acceptable, the Triton clearly was able to track more at one time, thus giving you a better fix as you move along.

 

One other thing I did notice, the GC would pick up better reception when held VERTICALLY, just like the old Magellan Meridians liked to do. The satellite signal meters would go up when the unit was held this way.

 

My unscientific conclusion. The GC certainly chokes up when placed under less than perfect conditions.

 

Not good for the GC.

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Hate to follow up on myself, but a little bit of research does show that the Magellan Explorist GC, 510, 610, and 710 do use a quad helix antenna. Thus, that answers why it does so much better being held vertically instead of horizontally. I'll have to try this out in the field with a geocache in the woods to see.

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I'm coming from an aging 60Cx. I got a GC. My M.O. with caching these days is route with a dashboard unit, get to the cache with my handheld.

 

Having an all-in-one field unit is great. All the description, logs, hints, etc. are right there. No need for another paperless unit and my iPod can stay safely in the car.

 

I got a GC and I'm really enjoying it. The basemap has much better detail than I expected, all my local roads are on it.

 

Loading GPX files to it is a breeze, just plug in the USB, drag and drop. Having up to 10,000 caches is amazing.

 

I found that you can edit the field notes file on your computer when it's mounted. If you do this, you can make much nicer, much longer default field notes. I use the field notes extensively and love them. What I really like about them is that they don't get deleted when you update the GPX files. This was a big problem with my 60Cx. If I forgot to look at the "calendar" and log my finds (manually) before I deleted and re-loaded the waypoints I was fubared.

 

I like the size, weight, etc. I wish it came with a dash mount.

 

But... for $200 out the door and with the instant gratification of being able to pick it up at Target... it was a great deal IMO. No additional maps are needed (or even possible) but for me, that' no biggie. I route with the Nuvi and the GC actually has lakes, streams, golf courses, etc. in my area so everything I need and care about really.

 

My main areas of discontent are the display and the response of the GPS updates. The display really needs to have some level of backlight on at all times for me. That obviously dings battery life, but so far I've probably had it on 5-6 hours and the battery indicator is still half full (or empty - your call).

 

The GPS updates slowly. It feels "rubbery" or "springy". It's not AS noticeable when you're on the ground, but when you pull up to the park and grabs - you really get it. 300 ft, 200, 100, 50, 10, uh... 175? WTF? And when you're walking around it does take more than a foot or two to get the display to update, which is minorly problematic since there is no electronic compass (usually I do this just for the "which way again?" kind of help but I end up having to walk away for a few steps, wait for the udpate, and then walk back again.)

 

Overall, I'm extremely pleased. Which from me, is saying a lot. I've never owned anything but Garmin units, but I decided to give this one a try and I really do like it.

 

It works great for me and unless you absolutely have to have everything in one single unit - I'd seriously suggest exploring a lower end Nuvi paired with this unit for your caching setup. One can route you there, one can get you into the field with all the info you need to complete the hunt. You can buy both GPS units for less than the price of a Dakota 20, and you avoid the extra buy of maps.

 

I have a nuvi 500 that I can load with caches so I use it to navigate to a good parking spot thine use MEGC to go find the cache. That system works great. My only problems with the MEGC are the slow to update problem that everybody talks about and I'm trying to figure out the value added of the Vantage Point software. It appears to be useless.

 

Other than that I love the small size of the MEGC, the great battery life, and the large capacity of caches it'll hold.

 

Overall I'm pretty happy with it. I've had two Garmins and two Lowrances and this is my first Magellan product.

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i too will have to try the vertical position to see if it helps or not.

 

slow refresh on maps as well as slow update location are prolly my biggest issues with the GC.

batt life is ok, but not as good as i hoped it would be considering it claims 18hrs. i do know the lithium batts are alot better then the alkalines. thinkin i might want to give rechargeables a go due to the one time expense and then recharge them after that. will see.

 

Monty

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Unless I'm drawing the wrong conclusions, I can't say I'm excited about what I'm seeing in reviews about the eXplorist GC updating very slowly at times, difficult to use for multi-stage caches, the limited quality of the base map, and that as a dedicated geocaching device it's unsuitable for other navigational uses (e.g. hiking).

 

What models from Garmin also enable paperless geocaching, and are in a similar (or slightly higher) price-range as the Magellan eXplorist GC?

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with this being my first GPS i dont have previous models to compare it to. i just know that previous cell phones i have had are more responsive at times when compared to the GC.

i have had a few hundred to 8000 caches on it and it doesnt seem to make much difference on how responsive it is. mayb some one on one time with it would help alot. specially to those who are interested in it. then they can compare to previous models on this aspect.

 

i know last night i was so frustrated with it as we were driving around and by the time i had any info on the cache we were long past it if i didnt speak up before hand and let my gf know there was one coming up. to me that is not acceptable. then again mayb i am asking to much from the device?

 

tonight i went to bass pro shops and got some time with the demo units they had. the delorme ones were not wrking so i was disapointed. and they didnt have magellan hand held units. so i got some time with the dakota 20, oregon 450, 450t, 550t, 62s, and 62st. the touch screen was ok, but i liked the buttons better on the 62's.

i ended up leaving with a 62s. though if i had played with the delorme 60 i might have had a tougher choice.

i know they are both new and have seen issues with them as with the GC in the forums....so will see what happens.

now me and my gf have our own gpsr's.

 

Monty

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Monty, let us know how the 62 display is during the daytime in the sunlight. If it is like the 60CSX, it should be really readable. Garmins do get most of the attention here, because it's the unit most people use. But Garmin also has an outstanding history of listening to their customers and patching bugs. Magellan has gotten better with that also since MiTac bought them out last year.

 

Oh yea, another quirk about the GC, the Odometer is inaccurate, at least on mine. The last couple of nights I"ve been taking walks... the Odometer on the GC only shows about 0.7-0.8 miles walked for every mile I actually do walk. However, the gpx track file when downloaded to a computer is very accurate. Tonights walk was 1.295 miles but the GC only showed 1.0 miles on it's odometer.

 

Magellan had this same issue with the Triton's when they were first released and it took them about 18 months to correct the problem. However, that was the old ownership of Magellan.

Edited by gpsblake

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since i have no experience with the 60csx i will have to get with a local who has one and compare the 62s to it.

from my outting on saturday i am impressed with the 62s. yes a learning curve, but so far i have found it to be a much better unit. yes it cost alot more and for some ppl that is not worth it. 200 for the GC and 400 for the 62s.

today i figure how to get maps on it. i hope to get out tonight and see how the maps are in the real world.

 

i have read that many a time on the forum here about the love and support Garmin gives its customers. have read some about Magellan, but it is not as often. seems alot of frustration for Magellan customers.

 

i haven yet to pay attention to the mileage on either the GC or the 62s yet. well for caches i have, but not for traveled distance.

 

Monty

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One other thing about the Explorist GC although this has nothing to do with accuracy but it numbers the satellites different then both the Magellan Triton, Etrex Legend, and Magellan Explorist 100.

 

Example.

Explorist GC is picking up birds 3,5,8,13,30 etc

 

The other units shows these birds as 2,4,7,12, 29 etc... Always one number behind the Explorist GC.

 

Check it yourself, it's not a big deal but just weird.

That is strange. I checked my Triton 300 with my Garmin Vista HCx and SAT numbers and locations were identical.

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I got the GC for Christmas yesterday and have been reading some reviews as to whether it will be a good for me or not.

 

We aren't "extreme" geocachers by any means- we will do a few here and there...then some more a couple weeks later...etc etc. Been doing it for about 2 years now and you can look at my profile and see that we often forget to log them on this site.

 

At any rate, I am worried about one feature: the lack of an internal compass. I don't know if I can handle being stationary and it not be able to respond with how far the cache is, or in what direction. I don't want to have to be constantly moving for the device to operate as it should.

 

Long story short, the person who gifted this to me paid $200 at Best Buy for it. It is $149 there (now) and don't know why he was charged that much, so we are taking it back to get a $50 refund.

 

Are there any other devices on the same price range I should look at and consider getting instead? I'd like one that was geocaching-friendly...but definitely was just a good overall device as far as performance and functionality goes. Right now, we have a Garmin eTrex that a family member hasn't been using for quite some time.

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I don't know if I can handle being stationary and it not be able to respond with how far the cache is, or in what direction. I don't want to have to be constantly moving for the device to operate as it should.

 

It will give you the distance to the cache whether you are stationary or walking. The direction to the cache would simply be in relation to your last movement, and would not update if you simply stood still and turned (sometimes it changes as your position settles if you stand in one spot for a bit and the position fluctuates though). I just got a 710 and it is my first GPSr with an electronic compass, while I admit I like the feature I cached for a long time without one and had no problems.It really depends if an electronic compass is worth the price difference to you, the cheapest Magellan Explorist with an electronic compass is the 610 and costs around $400, twice the GC. My suggestion is try it out on a few caches and see if you can live without it.

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i saw a cpl days ago there is new firmware for the GC. figured this 4th one has been working fair for almost 3 months now i will let it be til after the first of the year. then will get the new firmware. as i thought i had seen something on magellans FB page that they were hoping for something after the first of the year to fix a few things. idk if this one fixed them or if it was something to start on that to make some owners happy.

 

for myself i really wanted something up the food chain, but thought that the GC would fit out needs. we got into caching the end of july. today i hit 275 found in that time. most of them have been found with my 62s as i couldnt deal with the GC verry well. while i do like the electronic compass, it is not perfect by any means. i still have to start moving at times to get it to tell me the correct direction. not all the time but at times. now with the GC you have to be moving for it to tell you direction.

as was said i would try it out and see. it might be ok since you are a casual cacher.

mayb get with a local and see what they have for a gps and see if you like it. or like some of the features.

the GC does have a few good things, but also some not so good.

 

Monty

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From Magellan's website about the 1.6 Firmware update.

 

1. Bad Nav Fields (related to bad positioning close to destination).

2. Position averaging bug when placing geocaches.

3. Smart Arrow slow down.

 

1 and 3 were critical needed fixes. Didn't notice #2 as I have only placed one geocache in a past few months and used the Triton to calculate. I'll test it tomorrow and see if the fixes means we can start turning back on features that don't lag the unit down.

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I am very new to Geocaching and have been using my iphone4 as my primary GPS unit. It works ok... but when i began to do more research it seems that there are obviously many other devices that are better. Would purchasing the Magellan Explorist enhance my experience? Is it more accurate? It is on sale at a local store - so just lookin for some advice. Thanks!

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I just picked the GC up and after initial inspections I basically found just 2 bad points but which irk me greatly:

1. Firstly, it is marking my current location as being in California. I live in Malta, a small republic situated on a tiny island south of Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea, Europe. Now it is signalling that I have no reception whatsoever. Could it be that there is no satellite signal in my house and this is the cause? I haven't tried it in the open yet to be honest.

 

2. The second great annoyance is the map. There are accurate road maps of basically EVERYWHERE in the world BUT my country!!! I mean come on! All it marks is 3 main roads! My country is 300 squared kilometeres approx. and is heavily built so there are A LOT of roads. The map will be of no use at all! Will I be successful in geocaching without the map? Also do you think Magellan could post an updated firmware with more detailed maps? I'm really disappointed about this map issue. :/

 

Thanks,

Sindagon

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I just picked the GC up and after initial inspections I basically found just 2 bad points but which irk me greatly:

1. Firstly, it is marking my current location as being in California. I live in Malta, a small republic situated on a tiny island south of Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea, Europe. Now it is signalling that I have no reception whatsoever. Could it be that there is no satellite signal in my house and this is the cause? I haven't tried it in the open yet to be honest.

 

2. The second great annoyance is the map. There are accurate road maps of basically EVERYWHERE in the world BUT my country!!! I mean come on! All it marks is 3 main roads! My country is 300 squared kilometeres approx. and is heavily built so there are A LOT of roads. The map will be of no use at all! Will I be successful in geocaching without the map? Also do you think Magellan could post an updated firmware with more detailed maps? I'm really disappointed about this map issue. :/

 

Thanks,

Sindagon

 

Yes, you should try going outside with the unit. My older Magellan Meridian, as well as my brand new DeLorme PN60, receive very little or no satellite reception when inside. If you read some of the cache notes, you will find that even in heavy leaf cover like a heavily forested area the satellite signal can be seriously compromised. So go outside and give it another try. Good luck with the road map problem. Maybe if you get onto the forums, either here or over at Magellan's forum, someone could help with that.

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I just got the Magellan Explorist GC and I was wondering if there was a turn by turn feature available.

 

Thanks in advance if anyone can help.

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I just got the Magellan Explorist GC and I was wondering if there was a turn by turn feature available.

 

Thanks in advance if anyone can help.

 

No there is no "turn by turn" directions built into the Explorist GC. What my wife and I do is use our Tomtom to direct us to the coordinates of the cache (or at least as close as we can get to it by driving) and then we use the Explorist GC to walk to the actual cache.

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