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FloridaFour

Do I really need the Topo Maps or the 3 axis compass?

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I'm looking at Black Friday Deals and see the main differences in price being with the 3 axis compass and the TOPO maps. Do I need either or both of these? I live in flat Florida. I was thinking I might like the better compass, but can maybe do without the extra maps or add them later if I decide I need them?

 

So far, I am looking at Delorme PN40, Dakota 20, Oregon 450 (If I can get a super great deal)

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These are 3 great units. Do not go with a T on the 450. I have had all 3 units and have stayed with the PN-40. It has all the maps you would need and is a great unit. The compass for me is a must.

Thanks

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"Flat Florida" may not have mountain ranges in it, but it does have lots of soggy lowland everglades? Topo maps are handy for spotting that stuff out too <_<

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Get a Nuvi 295 $80 @ Compusa it has Wifi, compass, and a 3mp camera.

Get a very nice free topo map @ gpsfiledepot.

Get a compass for a few $$ at a marineshop, if you don't like the Nuvi compass.

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Get a Nuvi 295 $80 @ Compusa it has Wifi, compass, and a 3mp camera.

Get a very nice free topo map @ gpsfiledepot.

Get a compass for a few $$ at a marineshop, if you don't like the Nuvi compass.

Also, buy a waterproof case and don't hike more than two hours away from a recharging source. I actually got pretty excited when I went to the Garmin site to check this out until I realized it really isn't suited for the way I use a GPS receiver.

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...Nuvi 295 ...has Wifi, compass, and a 3mp camera.
Dang, Klatch beat me to it: Battery life of 4 hours, and not waterproof.

 

Fine for the fair-weather, urban cache. But if that's acceptable now, let's not hear any more knocks against the cellphone caching crowd.

Edited by lee_rimar

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Hey, thanks! These are ALL helpful comments for me, including the Nuvi. I have a Nuvi right now, which I think is a 350 or something, and works nicely for short caching trips as long as I don't go very long. It actually works better than my mom's Magellan Explorist as far as getting me to the cache. I have had the Nuvi run out of charge on me. But, gotta love that big easy to read screen. But I haven't tried to do the very complicated downloading of caches on it.

 

I am glad to hear of free maps!!!!!!!

 

And I didn't know topo would be helpful for swamps, etc. Any details it adds would be helpful in giving me a sense of where things are.

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And I didn't know topo would be helpful for swamps, etc. Any details it adds would be helpful in giving me a sense of where things are.

Just winding up on the right side of a creek can be a real time-saver! Before I loaded the area from gpsfiledepot, I kept having to do the long walk-around as I'd find myself on the wrong side of something that I couldn't jump and was WAY too cold and/or full to wade across. Since a lot of caches around here are placed along paths by creeks, ditches and small "rivers" where it's not always clear which side you're on, it's well worth it.

 

As for the 3-axis compass, it's a matter of caching style. I find myself in a lot of situations here where being able to just stop where I am and shoot a bearing to the cache is really helpful. That requires the electronic compass. So at a minimum, my style makes good use of either a 2-axis or 3-axis device (I started with a Summit HC). The 3-axis model doesn't require that I pay quite so much attention to the angle at which I'm holding the unit. With the new batteries I've been using, I don't have to deal with the calibration issues in mid-hunt like I used to, either.

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I didn't know I needed topo to see the creeks. I gotta get my mom to load some for her Explorist. My Nuvi has creeks and walk paths on it already. So that has helped me a lot, to get my bearings. I am SOOOO glad I can get free maps. <_<

 

What kind of batteries are you using?

Edited by FloridaFour

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I didn't know I needed topo to see the creeks.
The built-in basemap covers the known universe, but not at very good resolution. Some water is shown, but not a lot of it. Remember that your Nuvi is probably running a 2GB file just to cover the U.S. The Oregon covers the whole world using a much smaller file... hence the need for something at a higher resolution to do the job.

 

I gotta get my mom to load some for her Explorist. My Nuvi has creeks and walk paths on it already. So that has helped me a lot, to get my bearings. I am SOOOO glad I can get free maps. <_<

 

What kind of batteries are you using?

I'm using the NiZn (nickel zinc) cells made by Powergenix. There's a thread on that topic around here somewhere. They give me almost as many hours as a good NiMH when it's warm outside, but without the problem of voltage change that requires compass recalibration. In the cold, the NiZn wins hands-down. All cells/batteries produce a lower voltage when cold, and because the NiZn cells start at a considerably higher voltage than NiMH, they're still usable when it gets pretty brisk out there. I left mine 450 in the garage last night in the car, and we got down pretty close to single digits. Fired it up and let it run for a bit, and it was happy as a clam on the battery indicator. There's a thread on the subject here -> http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=238898

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I waffled for days on this. I really want my cake and eat it, too. I wanted the screen brightness of the PN40, and all the features of the Dakota 20, including the free maps. BUT, I found the Oregon 450 on sale for $229 and could not pass up that deal. With a fancy adjustable mount for my bike, it should be ok to see, as I can tilt the angle for better screen viewing. I hope I made the right choice, I am still worried about screen brightness, but owners have said it's just a matter of tilting the unit, and using the backlight. So I am hoping this is true. it is SO hard without having really tried it. I tried a Dakota 10 in a store, seemed ok indoors.... But I loved that deal, so couldn't pass it up. I am excited to have finally made a choice!

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Didn't realize your specific application was for the bike, but I can tell you that I've used both my Dakota 20 and my Oregon 450 for long bike caching runs, and have found both to be entirely adequate in the screen department in that application. My only gripe (minor) was the way Garmin is doing their bike mounts now vs the old eTrex way, but I got used to it.

 

You just got yourself one heck of a deal on the 450. Assume that was from gpscity.com?

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What kind of mount do you have? I have an OR 550t and a standard bike mount. It works well most of the time, but sometimes I cannot read the GPS. But with the standard mount you cannot do much adjusting. I use a laynard or clip it to my backpack when I have problems seeing it.

 

Make sure you get my trail map:

 

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/53

 

Its a transparent overlay map with lots of coverage in FL. I've got lots of bike trails on it. If you ever bike a trail not on it, you can send me a track of the trail and I can add it to the map.

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If you ever bike a trail not on it, you can send me a track of the trail and I can add it to the map.

 

I see you have a ton of mountain trails and some others in Colorado, but don't see all of the many urban trails that run along the creeks and rivers in towns along the Front Range. What kinds of trails take your interest? As an example, the run I did the other day took us all down the Sand Creek trail in north Denver. The Highline Canal trail runs pretty much the whole width of the city. Guess I'm not 100% sure about what you're collecting. I assume you want *.gpx ... at what resolution for distance between waypoints?

 

As for the mount, I have the "generic" one now. I really liked the old ones where you replaced the battery cover. They seemed easier to release and insert.

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If you ever bike a trail not on it, you can send me a track of the trail and I can add it to the map.

 

I see you have a ton of mountain trails and some others in Colorado, but don't see all of the many urban trails that run along the creeks and rivers in towns along the Front Range. What kinds of trails take your interest? As an example, the run I did the other day took us all down the Sand Creek trail in north Denver. The Highline Canal trail runs pretty much the whole width of the city. Guess I'm not 100% sure about what you're collecting. I assume you want *.gpx ... at what resolution for distance between waypoints?

 

My goal for My Trails is to have the best trail data available for all kinds of trails. So any trail data is always welcome. I have two sisters in Denver so I get out there a lot. As a result, many of the trails along the front range I have traced with GoogleEarth. Some of the data I have is better than others. So I am also always looking for errors to be corrected or for more accurate data. While the map is free (donations appriciated), I am amazed with the thousands of people who use the maps, only a handful ever send me additions to the map. The more people contribute by GPSing missing stuff, the better the maps will be. I wish more people would be involved in improving the maps.

 

When someone GPSs something for the My Trails project, I advise them to set the GPS track function to automatic and most often. That tends to provide the best quality track. I also like to ask the person to clean up the track first. (The problem with most sites for tracks is they show where someone has been and My Trail shows where the trail is.) So I prefer for the person to download the track into Mapsource (you can send it to me in mapsource no need to export to GPX) For example, if you bike a trail and go off the trail to find a cache, the part of the trail where you go off the trail needs to be deleted using the erase tool. Particularly when you go over parts of the trail more than once, what is generally the best option is to use the draw tool and draw the track over your track. If the trail has a name, name the track the trail name (if you need more than one track, just add a number to the name). If someone sends me thier email address, I can send them some sample mapsource files to show what I am looking for. I also like waypoints for things like parking, water, bathrooms, scenic areas, or anything you think should be on the map. You can also GPS roads City Navigator does not have.

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These are 3 great units. Do not go with a T on the 450. I have had all 3 units and have stayed with the PN-40. It has all the maps you would need and is a great unit. The compass for me is a must.

Thanks

What is wrong with the 450t units

 

Thanks

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What is wrong with the 450t units

some people don't like to spend 100 bucks for topo maps which they can get for free in better quality.

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You just got yourself one heck of a deal on the 450. Assume that was from gpscity.com?

 

Yep! :rolleyes: Although I think it's about time, personally! Phones and cameras have such great technology for such comparatively cheap rates. Now that geocaching biking, hiking usage of gps is getting so popular, I think we should have better prices!

 

I ordered the RAM Mount Garmin Oregon Series Stainless Steel U-bolt mount. It says it's for motorcycles, but other people have used it for bikes. It has a ball/socket swivel and looked a lot sturdier than the other one I saw that was just a plain bike mount. Looks promising.

 

Myotis, thanks for the info on the bike trails. I noticed in a park nearby me, the larger trail is marked, but not the smaller trail. So I am sure I will run into that again.

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I've seen GPSCity mentioned a few times in the forums. Looks like they are pretty reputable?? They have the 450 today for $230. Do they have bargains like that a lot? Been looking to upgrade, just not sure how long to debate between the three I have it narrowed down to before deciding on something.

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I've seen GPSCity mentioned a few times in the forums. Looks like they are pretty reputable?? They have the 450 today for $230. Do they have bargains like that a lot?
Not THAT cheap, no. It's exceptional even for them.

 

Been looking to upgrade, just not sure how long to debate between the three I have it narrowed down to before deciding on something.
I wouldn't wait long. What we're talking about here are mostly Black Friday seasonal deals.

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I'm looking at Black Friday Deals and see the main differences in price being with the 3 axis compass and the TOPO maps. Do I need either or both of these? I live in flat Florida. I was thinking I might like the better compass, but can maybe do without the extra maps or add them later if I decide I need them?

 

So far, I am looking at Delorme PN40, Dakota 20, Oregon 450 (If I can get a super great deal)

no you do not needs maps or a 3 axis compass, In the early days of geocaching you could not even find a hand held GPS with a map or three axis compass, Most of my early caching was done with the basic yellow Garmin e-trex.

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If you can get a Garmin 450 for $230 I would jump on it. You can get all the free maps you want from gpsdepot.com, they have a great Florida 24K TOPO WITH marine.

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CRAP!!!!! I was waiting to hear from all of you on what you thought of GPScity before ordering from them, and now that $230 price is $339.... Crap, crap, crap.... should have gone for it!!! For some reason I wasn't getting notices that there were posts added to this thread. Ugh.... so GPScity is a good site to deal with then?? (just so I know for when the next great deal comes along...)

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CRAP!!!!! I was waiting to hear from all of you on what you thought of GPScity before ordering from them, and now that $230 price is $339.... Crap, crap, crap.... should have gone for it!!! For some reason I wasn't getting notices that there were posts added to this thread. Ugh.... so GPScity is a good site to deal with then?? (just so I know for when the next great deal comes along...)

no complaints about gpscity here, i much prefer it over gpscentral.

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CRAP!!!!! I was waiting to hear from all of you on what you thought of GPScity before ordering from them, and now that $230 price is $339.... Crap, crap, crap.... should have gone for it!!! For some reason I wasn't getting notices that there were posts added to this thread. Ugh.... so GPScity is a good site to deal with then?? (just so I know for when the next great deal comes along...)

 

If you still need an Oregon 450 check http://GPSCity.ca or http://GPSCity.com next week. You will not be disappointed!

Edited by Jordan@GPSCity

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If you still need an Oregon 450 check http://GPSCity.ca or http://GPSCity.com next week. You will not be disappointed!

Oh no, another round of temptation, just when I've heroically fended off the last one! :D

 

And to answer questions about whether GPSCity is reputable, I've ordered from them twice without any issues. You can check http://www.resellerratings.com for any stores you're not sure about. GPSCity has a fantastic rating with them, though# of reviews (58) is on the low side.

 

Edit to add : hmm, $270 at Amazon right now. Nowhere near as attractive as the Black Friday deal, but fairly decent.

Edited by Chrysalides

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I've never had much use for TOPO maps.

 

A three axis electronic compass is the single best feature for geocaching on a handheld.

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Thanks for the heads up Jordan!!! (I got your message as well). I think I found my new GPS, just have to wait for that deal to kick in.

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Thanks for the heads up Jordan!!! (I got your message as well). I think I found my new GPS, just have to wait for that deal to kick in.

Looks like the deal is live now. Not as good as Black Friday, but still the best price I found online.

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These are 3 great units. Do not go with a T on the 450. I have had all 3 units and have stayed with the PN-40. It has all the maps you would need and is a great unit. The compass for me is a must.

Thanks

What is wrong with the 450t units

 

Thanks

There are free maps out there that are just as good.

Thanks

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If you still need an Oregon 450 check http://GPSCity.ca or http://GPSCity.com next week. You will not be disappointed!

Oh no, another round of temptation, just when I've heroically fended off the last one! :anicute:

 

And to answer questions about whether GPSCity is reputable, I've ordered from them twice without any issues. You can check http://www.resellerratings.com for any stores you're not sure about. GPSCity has a fantastic rating with them, though# of reviews (58) is on the low side.

 

Edit to add : hmm, $270 at Amazon right now. Nowhere near as attractive as the Black Friday deal, but fairly decent.

GPSCity has the Oregon for $250 right now...

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Just ordered the Oregon 450. It's actually $240. Now, I just have to be patient for it to get here :-) Merry Christmas to me!!!

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