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need suggestions for GPS to buy


soulranger
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Hello everyone. I am what I would consider an occasional geocacher (72 finds over the last 2 years). I have been using the Garmin Geko 201. It has worked very well but is obviously very basic. I am looking to purchase a new one that has the following features: waterproof, basemaps, ability to add and use topo maps, plenty of memory (or ability to add a memory card), USB, paperless geocaching (i want to be able to use pocket queries), color display, and I want to be able to read the entire cache descriptions and user logs for the cache. And I am hoping to do this for under $300 (actually under $200 would be better!). Is this possible at this price point? Any suggestions? I see that there are GPS reviews on geochcaching website, but you can only see a few at a time and there is no ability to sort the results by features. Thanks so much!!!

 

Soulranger

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Garmin eTrex 20; Delorme PN-40; Magellan GC all fit within the less-than $200 range.

 

First two can do it all, third one can almost do it all.

 

All are color, all have basic mapping -- must acquire more complete mapping for Garmin; Delorme comes with Topo 9 which is near perfect; Magellan supposedly comes with better than basic mapping.

 

Garmin and Delorme accept additional memory cards, I do not believe the Magellan does.

 

There you go.... down to a choice of three. Not bad, eh?

 

EDIT to add: All of these selections are paperless. All will load geocaches by hand or Pocket Queries.

Further: Approaching Christmas time may well produce even better prices!

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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Thank you so much for your input and suggestions! Now I will ask a stupid question.... What exactly is a 3axis compass and why would I want or need it? I assume my current unit has it? Thanks again!

 

Like unabowler mentioned...

 

If you're holding the compass in your hand facing the geocache...and you swivel around...the arrow on the compass will still point in the direction of the cache.

This is a neat video (short)

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I am looking at purchasing a better GPS. The Garmin Oregon 450 and 550 looks good. In addition to paperless caching I am also looking to be able to do caches that are Wherigo and Chirp. Do these 2 GPS models support that?

 

Yes, they do. I did the demo Wherigo on my Oregon last weekend and it looked like a neat feature, so sometime this weekend I'm going to do a Wherigo cache. I haven't used Chirp but it's on there.

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I am looking at purchasing a better GPS. The Garmin Oregon 450 and 550 looks good. In addition to paperless caching I am also looking to be able to do caches that are Wherigo and Chirp. Do these 2 GPS models support that?

 

Yes, they do. I did the demo Wherigo on my Oregon last weekend and it looked like a neat feature, so sometime this weekend I'm going to do a Wherigo cache. I haven't used Chirp but it's on there.

 

Thanks

Edited by mimandpap
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I have used the Chirp on my 550 for one cache in my area. The clue for the multi was in a locked box, and the Chirp transmitted the combination to the lock. It was fun and worked great.

 

The Oregon can also use its wireless capability to share data (waypoints, routes, tracks, geocaches) between 2 Oregons. I have not used this feature but it could be useful if you have multiple devices.

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Thanks for everyone's comments and help. I have looked at the different models recommended to me, as well as a few others, and have a few more questions. What is the difference between the DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 and the PN-60? I would assume the PN-60 would be better since it has a higher model number, but I looked at the specs on amazon and cannot figure out the difference. The PN-60 is actually like 90 bucks cheaper, and the item description specifically talks about geocaching, whereas the PN-40 does not (the PN-40 doesn't mention paperless geocaching). I also looked at the Oreogon 450, 450T, 550, and 550t. All GPS reviews seem to have really good reviews, and some really bad reviews. I just don't know.... Any more thoughts/suggestions? Thanks again!

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ok, I think I have made my decision (finally lol). I think I am going to go with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60. Any final thoughts on this unit? I believe it meets all of the specs I was looking for (waterproof, basemaps, topo maps, ability to add a memory card, USB, paperless geocaching with entire cache descriptions and user logs for (i think?), and color display). Plus it has the 3axis compass. Final thoughts? Thanks!

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ok, I think I have made my decision (finally lol). I think I am going to go with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60. Any final thoughts on this unit? I believe it meets all of the specs I was looking for (waterproof, basemaps, topo maps, ability to add a memory card, USB, paperless geocaching with entire cache descriptions and user logs for (i think?), and color display). Plus it has the 3axis compass. Final thoughts? Thanks!

 

Of the ones mentioned I'd go with the Oregon 450.....works great and has all you want....$199 and free shipping as we speak.

 

Prior to buying a Delorme, please read all you can find on them in these forums.....they are not for everyone and recent posts have indicated that Delorme as a company may have issues.

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If you don't mind a manufacturer refurbished unit, you can get the Oregon 450 refurb direct from Garmin for $179 and free shipping on Garmin's eBay storefront: http://stores.ebay.com/Garmin?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

 

I purchased my Oregon 550T refurbished in April. It was just like new with all accessories and full manufacturer warranty. I have been very pleased with it.

Edited by alandb
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I have an Oregon 450 coming from REI as we speak. It is $200 and free shipping until Nov. 26, Hope I am as happy with it as others have been and I don't see how you can beat that price.

 

Thats a great deal .....really nice unit for caching.

 

Cabelas had the same deal as others but with REI's return policy that was the place to get it.

 

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Garmin174-Oregon-450-GPS/709846.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3DGarmin%2BOregon%2B450%2BGPS%2B%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All&mid=ebs4d123d235279550b10cbe48fa9260268799265784105sbe&rid=11&WT.mc_id=cj1916129&WT.tsrc=AFF

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ok, I think I have made my decision (finally lol). I think I am going to go with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60. Any final thoughts on this unit? I believe it meets all of the specs I was looking for (waterproof, basemaps, topo maps, ability to add a memory card, USB, paperless geocaching with entire cache descriptions and user logs for (i think?), and color display). Plus it has the 3axis compass. Final thoughts? Thanks!

 

Hard to go wrong with that one. I have a PN40 and it has been my primary geocaching unit for several years. The PN60 is a newer and improved version.

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I have a PN-60 also. This model is great but does have a few known quirks.

 

(1) The send to GPS add on to use with your browser will cause a minor bug. If the name of the cache is too long and there are a series of caches with same name but diff. number you will wind up overwriting the last one sent. But if you do a pocket query this wont happen. Somehow the pocket qwery gives each one a different name.

 

(2) If there is some kind of symbol in the cache discription or a log then it will cause some kind of hexadecimal code issue and wipe out all geocache loads past the problem cache. I once lost 500 geocaches from that.

Exampel the Registered mark an R in a circle. The trademark symbol A T in a circle. Again these issues only pop up when you use the send to GPS add on. They do not happen if you do a pocket query.

When you do get your PN-60 get it with TOPO 9 or TOPO 10. Update the firmware for the PN-60 right away. Best to do it with the TOPO software.

Dont do the pocker query through TOPO do it on the Groundspeak site. Then send it to your email address, connect your GPS to the computer as the internal drive or as the SD card and drag the pocket query into that location.

 

(3) Some times when you do a sinc to TOPO an alarm may pop up unable to analyze GPX file no object identifier. Delorme still has not figured out how to fix that issue.

Work around is to resave the geocache file in the GPS unit as the same name. Esentialy overwritting the file then Sinc will work.

check out the forums page on the delorme website for lots of help from users.

 

I am running the highest Firmware on mine and still get these issues. I just work around them when they pop up.

I store my geocache files in Topo in case that hex issue pops up then I can reinstall them back into the GPS unit.

Welcome and have fun.

Edited by Mn-treker
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Just got the pn-60 with topo NA 10. Great little gps and a big improvement Over my Magellan from 2002. The included set of topo maps made it worthwhile. I put in an 8gb memory card and loaded 3gb worth of southeast maps the first day.

 

The topo NA software was tough to get used to but I'm getting better at it.

I haven't tried to upload many caches directly from the web site, but the few I did did not give me problems. I mainly do pocket queries which topo NA will grab for me.

 

Pretty nice upgrade.

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Thank you so much for your input and suggestions! Now I will ask a stupid question.... What exactly is a 3axis compass and why would I want or need it? I assume my current unit has it? Thanks again!

 

Like unabowler mentioned...

 

If you're holding the compass in your hand facing the geocache...and you swivel around...the arrow on the compass will still point in the direction of the cache.

This is a neat video (short)

 

You really hate units without a 3-axis compass, don't you? :laughing: The Gecko 201 is so old, it most likely pre-dates any GPSr unit having a 3-axis compass. :P

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