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Geocaching on Tablet

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If you decide to get an iPad as your tablet I suggest you spend the extra money for the model with the 3G chipset so you get the built-in GPS. You don't have to activate the 3G on a carrier, but you will want the chipset. The Wi-Fi only iPad does not have a built-in GPS, though you could buy a Bad Elf GPS after the fact to add it. The Bad Elf does stick out a bit off the bottom of the unit though so if you can get the built in one you may be happier with that.


If you get an Android tablet (Motorola, Samsung, etc) check the specs for a hardware GPS.


I'm also in the camp that you will want the official app for iOS or Android.

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If I was to buy one right now I would seriously look at the Asus Transformer. They make a Transformer and a Transformer 2. It has a GPS and if I'm reading it right a tri-axle electronic compass. It can be bought as a stand alone tablet or with an optional docking keyboard which actually makes it a netbook. The tablet itself has fairly decent run time and docked to the keyboard it gives around 16 hours run time. Also is cheaper then an ipad.

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I've not used the official app, but I have got an Asus Eee Pad Transformer. It's got a pretty good GPS built in, and the battery lasts ages. It's also got loads of memory to store offline maps. It doesn't have a 3G connection built in, but I can get that via an Android phone. That said, because it's got a 10" screen, it is a little bit too big for waving about while rummaging in bushes, so to actually find caches I tend to use an app on my phone instead.


Where the tablet comes into its own is showing maps on the big display, so you can plan a caching expedition. Actually, the Geocaching.com website would function as a pretty good geocaching app on its own, if I could get it to work. Most of the site is OK, but the Beta Maps page loads the cache details so slowly on the tablet that it's unusable.


Is anyone else having problems with Beta Maps on a tablet? This thread explains what I'm on about.

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The new Asus Transformer Prime looks REALLY great, but the new shell design is seriously flawed. It interferes with both the wi-fi function and the GPS, so much so that Asus took the GPS function off the Prime's listing of accessories. They've already announced a "new" Prime that fixes these two issues (and added a slightly better video screen) due out in Q2.

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What is the best way to do paperless, with tablet?(don't actually have one though) :anitongue:

The Lenovo Ideapad A 1, 7 inch,$170, is supposed to have a good GPS receiver. Get a geocaching App, and some GPS Apps like "GPS Essentials", and get your PQs sent to an accessible email. Soon, google maps

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Are there external GPSr's that can plug directly into a tablets micro USB port?


Possibly, depending on your tablet.


First you need to check that your tablet has the right hardware. It has to be able to act as a USB host. If it can read a memory stick, that's fine, but some devices just have USB so they can act as a peripheral for a desktop computer.


Next, you need software that knows what to do with a USB GPSr. For high-end tablets that run Windows, that ought not to be a problem. I've not come across any Android software that can use a USB GPS, even if the hardware is physically compatible (probably because a lot of Android tablets have built-in GPSrs), and I don't have any experience of Macs.


You may have more luck with a Bluetooth GPSr. I have got a Globalsat BT-338and a Qstarz BT-Q1000, which I have used with Windows and Linux laptops, a Palm Tungsten T3 PDA, and an Android tablet. The Qstarz GPSr also has a USB connection, but I've only got this working on Windows and Linux. For Android, there is a handy Bluetooth GPS app that makes either device work.

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Thanks jri, I assume by host cable you mean like a OTG USB adapter?


Not quite - I think you may have mixed up my reply with one on another thread!


In the past, USB used a master/slave architecture, where only the master (or host, i.e. a computer) could set up a connection to a slave device (memory stick, bluetooth dongle, GPSr, etc). OTG is the technology that lets one device act as both a master and a slave, depending on what you plug it in to.


Old Android devices were just slaves - you could plug them in to a computer and read them like a memory stick, but they weren't able to use other USB peripherals. Newer Android devices have OTG: you can still plug them into a computer as a slave, but you can also use them as a master for other devices. AFAIK OTG is only supported in Android 3.1 and above.


From what I can see, the OTG adapters only change the size of the USB socket, so that you can physically plug in a standard device. I don't think they will add OTG functions if your tablet didn't support them in the first place.



I hear a lots about Bluetooth GPSr, does anyone know if bluetooth dongles work on android tablets though a OTG USB adapter?

I don't think so. I can use a bluetooth GPSr via the internal bluetooth on my Asus Transformer, and I can use the same GPSr with a D-Link DBT-120 bluetooth dongle on my PC. However, when I try plugging the dongle into my tablet, nothing happens...


If your tablet supports OTG, then the hardware should be compatible, but you probably need driver software installed on the tablet to tell it what to do next.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure that these drivers exist - but hopefully someone can prove me wrong.

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