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HELP!...Just starting


lilyandjude
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:D Trying to get into geocaching with my kids. I bought a Magellan eXplorist 500 which was very affordable and, from what I read, a decent starter GPS.

 

Here's my problem, and I feel pretty stupid posting it here...I can't read the darn thing. I'm not sure what I'm looking at or what I should be looking for.

 

I am able to download coordinates and we went out to seek our first cache but, should I be using the compass or one of the other screens? Plus, other than the coordinates, I'm not even sure what the other numbers mean and, nowhere in my GPS box or in the manual does it tell me what all the different numbers etc. represent.

 

I know this isn't rocket science so, why is this so confusing to me. I'm just about ready to return this GPS and call it a day on geocaching.

 

PLEASE HELP!

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I perfer to use my compass screen when seeking a cache. As for the other numbers what does the heading say above the numbers. with the compasss it should give you the distance to your next turn or your distance to destination, if yoy want to keep it simple taht should really be all you need to find a cache and get started in this great game.

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:D Trying to get into geocaching with my kids. I bought a Magellan eXplorist 500 which was very affordable and, from what I read, a decent starter GPS.

 

Here's my problem, and I feel pretty stupid posting it here...I can't read the darn thing. I'm not sure what I'm looking at or what I should be looking for.

 

I am able to download coordinates and we went out to seek our first cache but, should I be using the compass or one of the other screens? Plus, other than the coordinates, I'm not even sure what the other numbers mean and, nowhere in my GPS box or in the manual does it tell me what all the different numbers etc. represent.

 

I know this isn't rocket science so, why is this so confusing to me. I'm just about ready to return this GPS and call it a day on geocaching.

 

PLEASE HELP!

 

I have just started also and am learning as I go. I have a manual but I don't understand all those technical words and phrases. So, I learned how to reset my GPS so no matter how much I play with it I can go back to the beginning. Then I just started messing with the different screen and buttons and messed things up a lot but RESET and I am ok again. I still have no clue how to do more then basic searching of a cache.

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:D Trying to get into geocaching with my kids. I bought a Magellan eXplorist 500 which was very affordable and, from what I read, a decent starter GPS.

 

Here's my problem, and I feel pretty stupid posting it here...I can't read the darn thing. I'm not sure what I'm looking at or what I should be looking for.

 

I am able to download coordinates and we went out to seek our first cache but, should I be using the compass or one of the other screens? Plus, other than the coordinates, I'm not even sure what the other numbers mean and, nowhere in my GPS box or in the manual does it tell me what all the different numbers etc. represent.

 

I know this isn't rocket science so, why is this so confusing to me. I'm just about ready to return this GPS and call it a day on geocaching.

 

PLEASE HELP!

 

Yes, having never used a GPSr can be confusing. If you know a hunter or fisherman who has a gps, perhaps they can give you a few tips-and thats all it will take to get you comfortable learning your unit. Also consider a high school or college student to help you out. You would be surprise how tech saavy they are and are not afraid to explore new technology. Give them some pizza and a coke and turn them loose with it :wacko: If nothing else, you will have a good time. Good luck and hang in there--you will catch on quickly.

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Most geocachers use the compass screen and follow the arrow to the cache. There should also be a distance field on the compass screen. Follow the arrow and watch the distance count down. When you get to about 20 ft, start looking.

 

The distance is the only number you really need to know the meaning of. Another is EPE which is the estimated error of your unit at that moment.

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Most geocachers use the compass screen and follow the arrow to the cache. There should also be a distance field on the compass screen. Follow the arrow and watch the distance count down. When you get to about 20 ft, start looking.

 

The distance is the only number you really need to know the meaning of. Another is EPE which is the estimated error of your unit at that moment.

 

My gps compass screen shows two arrows. A red one and a yellow one. There are also two markers on the outside of the compas which are supposed to represent the direction of the cache and I'm not sure which the other is. Are the numbers at the top right my distance from the cache in miles? eg. 0.46 mi.

 

If I follow the map function on the navigate option, the arrow changes as my direction changes but, the distance from the arrow to the cache never changes. Is this screen just supposed to tell me that I am heading in the right direction?

 

My kids are getting pretty pumped about finding and possibly hiding their own cache but, unless I can get results soon, I'm afraid they will lose interest.

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First off, here is the manual for it. I would save it to your computer.

 

I have a 600 so I think it is similar to yours.

 

You can adjust the screens to your preference. Once you have it set to go to a waypoint the red arrow will point to the direction of the waypoint (cache) you are heading toward. Note that you have to be moving for this to point in the proper direction. Otherwise you can carry a real compass to orient the compass screen with the proper direction or use the icons to the side of the compass screen. Do you see the sun icon or the moon icon? Just turn the unit so they match up.

 

See page 23 in the manual. (30/119 in the PDF)

 

To customize page from compass screen... MENU > CUSTOMIZE PAGE > (Highlight box you want to customize) press ENTER > Scroll down to "Dist. to Next". I usually adjust the other box to "accuracy" so I can tell how accurate my readings are.

 

I know this is confusing at first. We were just like you when we started. Please let us know when you get it figured out. :D Welcome to the fun. :D

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My gps compass screen shows two arrows. A red one and a yellow one. There are also two markers on the outside of the compas which are supposed to represent the direction of the cache and I'm not sure which the other is. Are the numbers at the top right my distance from the cache in miles? eg. 0.46 mi.

does it look like this? http://www.gpsinformation.org/larry/exploristse/Compass.JPG

 

in this picture, red seems to be north and yellow seems to be south. the numbers in the circle are the degrees (3 = 30 degrees), which you can pretty much ignore. the black arrow seems to be the direction you're currently headed, but note that this will only be right if you're actually moving. the yellow dot outside the circle is where the sun is at. if you put the GPS on the ground and rotate it so that this yellow dot points to where the sun is at now, then all the other arrows and markers will be correctly aligned too.

 

in this screenshot, apparently there is no active waypoint set. when searching for a cache, the cache is your waypoint, and in the top right corner it will show you the distance to this waypoint (the cache). if there's a second marker on the outside of the screen, that's probably pointing to the waypoint as well (OR it could be the moon - for the active waypoint you should see another arrow then). in order to use this marker properly, you need to make sure the circle in the display (and thus maybe the GPS itself) is rotated and aligned the right way. you can do this either by holding it in your hand and start moving in a straight line, or by aligning it with the sun as described above. note that once you stop moving, the circle won't update or rotate any more, so if you stop and then turn around on the spot, they arrows and markers will all point in the wrong directions.

 

note that the two text fields shown in the compass screen are user configurable, so they may not show the distance to the waypoint on your GPS yet. if that text field doesn't show, you need to set up the screen so that it does.

Edited by dfx
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GOOD LUCK!!

 

We found our first one today. Why was I surprised it was in the woods? I hate being a cliche - my hair isn't even THAT blonde - it is more brown and I hang out with blondes so I THEREFORE look blonde

 

SO THERE!!

 

Anyway - good luck to everyone!

:D

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My gps compass screen shows two arrows. A red one and a yellow one. There are also two markers on the outside of the compas which are supposed to represent the direction of the cache and I'm not sure which the other is. Are the numbers at the top right my distance from the cache in miles? eg. 0.46 mi.

does it look like this? http://www.gpsinformation.org/larry/exploristse/Compass.JPG

 

in this picture, red seems to be north and yellow seems to be south. the numbers in the circle are the degrees (3 = 30 degrees), which you can pretty much ignore. the black arrow seems to be the direction you're currently headed, but note that this will only be right if you're actually moving. the yellow dot outside the circle is where the sun is at. if you put the GPS on the ground and rotate it so that this yellow dot points to where the sun is at now, then all the other arrows and markers will be correctly aligned too.

 

in this screenshot, apparently there is no active waypoint set. when searching for a cache, the cache is your waypoint, and in the top right corner it will show you the distance to this waypoint (the cache). if there's a second marker on the outside of the screen, that's probably pointing to the waypoint as well (OR it could be the moon - for the active waypoint you should see another arrow then). in order to use this marker properly, you need to make sure the circle in the display (and thus maybe the GPS itself) is rotated and aligned the right way. you can do this either by holding it in your hand and start moving in a straight line, or by aligning it with the sun as described above. note that once you stop moving, the circle won't update or rotate any more, so if you stop and then turn around on the spot, they arrows and markers will all point in the wrong directions.

 

note that the two text fields shown in the compass screen are user configurable, so they may not show the distance to the waypoint on your GPS yet. if that text field doesn't show, you need to set up the screen so that it does.

 

So, based on the picture you linked to; and by the way, that is exactly what my gps looks like...thank you; do i make sure that when i am moving, the black arrow lines up with the waypoint of the cache?

 

If I understand you correctly, i need to move so that the waypoint is always at 12:00 oclock ideally.

 

Also, the numbers in the top right field...does this represent my distance to the cache and is it in miles?

 

Will try again tonight.

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Also, one thing that I always recommend is looking for local cachers in your area, (you can look at who has logged the cache before you, for example, or look in your local forum) and ask for help, someone may even help by taking you out caching to show you how it's done!

 

This is what helped my husband and I the most when we first started.

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do i make sure that when i am moving, the black arrow lines up with the waypoint of the cache?

 

If I understand you correctly, i need to move so that the waypoint is always at 12:00 oclock ideally.

ideally yes, if you can and want to move in a straight line, but in reality that won't always be possible and most of the time won't even be a good idea to do. for example when you're on a trail in the woods, you most probably want to stick to the trail for as long as possible. only when you GPS shows you that the waypoint is straight to your left or right or actually already behind you, then you may want to consider leaving the trail and start bushwhacking. depends on the distance it shows you of course, if there's a long way to go, then chances are there's another part of the trail that gets you much closer. the map view may help you with figuring that out, if you have good maps with trails on the GPS etc. on the other hand, if the terrain rating of the cache is high, then it may actually be intended and required that you bushwhack a long way to the cache.

 

Also, the numbers in the top right field...does this represent my distance to the cache and is it in miles?

in the screenshot i posted it does, but your GPS may be set up differently. it should tell you in the box what the numbers stand for, if it says "dist. to next" then it's the distance to the waypoint. if it says "mi" next to the numbers, then it's miles, if it says "ft" then it's feet etc. you can set it up so it shows you exactly what you want it to show, check your manual for info on that.

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