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Afew questions from a newbie-ish


tarantula393
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hello all.

 

im returning to caching after a very brief run afew years ago.

Can you tell me the benefits of premium. when I click on premium it just

takes me to a pay screen.

also at the moment I'm using my

mobile to run c:geo and find it excellent. but it eats my battery and a long day

out caching has been ruined by a dead phone. any suggestions for a good but not too

expensive caching gps device up to the £100 range ( or less )

I know there are pros and cons to each of them, maybe you guys know which one to stay

away from even.

 

Is c:geo the best android app or are there better.

and anyone using it can tell me I remember using a radar on c:geo

to locate caches but can longer find this. has it been removed??

 

Thank you for any replies.

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hello all.

 

im returning to caching after a very brief run afew years ago.

Can you tell me the benefits of premium. when I click on premium it just

takes me to a pay screen.

also at the moment I'm using my

mobile to run c:geo and find it excellent. but it eats my battery and a long day

out caching has been ruined by a dead phone. any suggestions for a good but not too

expensive caching gps device up to the £100 range ( or less )

I know there are pros and cons to each of them, maybe you guys know which one to stay

away from even.

 

Is c:geo the best android app or are there better.

and anyone using it can tell me I remember using a radar on c:geo

to locate caches but can longer find this. has it been removed??

 

Thank you for any replies.

 

I tried c:geo briefly but didn't get on with it. In any case I think it violates Groundspeak's terms of use so would urge caution there.

 

Premium membership allows you to use pocket queries and email notifications, and also to view premium member only caches.

 

Pocket queries let you set up a query to return a collection of caches that meet certain criteria. The most obvious example would be something like "show me the 1000 caches nearest my home, that are active, that I haven't found". You can then download the file, copy it straight to a modern GPS and roll with it. It is so much faster than manually entering individual geocaches.

 

Email notifications are pretty much what they sound like - you can set up notifications along the lines of "for traditional caches within 50 miles of home, email me whenever any one of them is archived or disabled or enabled". Notification of archived caches can be handy if you run your own software to maintain an offline database of caches, because when a cache is archived it will simply disappear from pocket queries.

 

Premium member only caches are what they sound like - caches that are only visible to premium members.

 

There may be other benefits but they don't come to mind. IIRC you don't get adverts if you're a premium member but I use ad blockers so wouldn't see them anyway.

 

In terms of a GPS, a lot will depend whether you like a touch screen interface (in which case you'll want a Dakota or Oregon) or something using buttons (in which case the eTrex range will suit you better). With a budget of £100 you're going to be looking at the cheap end of the market but might pick up a used unit if someone upgrades.

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The Oregon may be over your budget at the mo.

Of the Etrex range the 10 is the cheapest, but it doesn't do mapping which for me is a must now, so the next model up is the Etrex 20, normally about £120 or so, but in Amazon's Black Friday deals before Chrismas it cropped up several times for under £90, and it's also been on their daily deals offer since at the same price, so it may be worth signing up for Amazons Emails and keep an eye on them for a bargain. OpenStreetMaps are perfectly adequate for the GPS and can be got easily and free courtesy of a fellow cacher, search these forums for "TalkyToaster maps".

 

As for Android apps, I've only ever used one - Cachesense which I think is excellent, you can install "Cacehsense demo" from the google play store for nothing, it's a full functioning version but limited to 30 days, if you like it buy the full product, if you don't then it didn't cost you anything. It uses the Groudspeak API so is less likely to be broken when the GC.com website has an update.

 

I've never used C:geo but have seen several people mention it drains batteries, that may be down to the way it scrapes the web pages for data, which probably requires much more processing and bandwidth than an app which uses the API, but that's just speculation.

 

Have fun!

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Team Tisri pointed out a few of the benefits of Premium membership....Pocket Queries being chief among them, and alone well worth the investment in my opinion. I don't see how folks do any serious caching without Pocket Queries. Load up to 1,000 caches at a shot instead of one at a time. Tisri also mentioned Instant Notifications and access to PMO caches, also great features.

 

A couple of others that make it worth the price, are Bookmark Lists and Favorite points. Bookmark lists let you create cache lists under your profile, for whatever purpose you wish....for example, I maintain a list of caches where I got the FTF, just for my own reference, and another I call my "Wish List" of cool caches I've heard of that I plan to go after when I get the chance. I have another bookmark list of puzzle caches that I've solved or am in the progress of solving. Favorite points are a great means of rewarding quality caches, and consequently of identifying the better caches in a given area that I may want to make a special effort to find if I have the chance.

 

Caches Along a Route are another PM feature...a type of Pocket Query that comes in handy if you're planning a vacation or road trip and want to hit some caches along the way.

 

That's a lot of entertainment for 8 cents a day B)

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I prefer c:geo to the other apps I've tried. I use it on an old phone with no SIM so that extends the battery life. What really soaks up battery, and data, is using on-line Google Maps which is the default. Switching to Open Street Maps extends the battery life considerably. You can also buy 3 or more spare batteries for about £100 - cheaper than a GPS and good to have, anyway, in case of emergency.

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c:geo is not an app supported by Groundspeak, and c:geo violates the terms of use. And as such should not be recommended or discussed on Groundspeak forums

Sorry, I hope this doesn't count as discussing it. I'm just curious, I had no idea it violated the terms of use, so I was wondering how exactly? And are there any alternatives to the Groundspeak app (you don't need to give me names if that's against the rules of these forums) that wouldn't violate the terms of use, or is it simply the case of "you're not using our app, you are violating our rules" policy?

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c:geo is not an app supported by Groundspeak, and c:geo violates the terms of use. And as such should not be recommended or discussed on Groundspeak forums

Sorry, I hope this doesn't count as discussing it. I'm just curious, I had no idea it violated the terms of use, so I was wondering how exactly? And are there any alternatives to the Groundspeak app (you don't need to give me names if that's against the rules of these forums) that wouldn't violate the terms of use, or is it simply the case of "you're not using our app, you are violating our rules" policy?

It doesn't use the API but gathers its information by a technique called "screen scraping", i.e. downloading the normal cache page and processing the text data on it. There are some disadvantages to this method - it transfers more data than other methods and throws most of it away, and it usually breaks when the site is redesigned. When you accept the sites terms of use you agree not to use any program that employs this method.

 

Clearly they have reasons to do it that way which for them outweigh the disadvantages.

 

Edited to say that there are several alternatives, but as I'm not an Android user I'll leave someone else to discuss which is best.

 

Rgds, Andy

Edited by Amberel
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c:geo is not an app supported by Groundspeak, and c:geo violates the terms of use. And as such should not be recommended or discussed on Groundspeak forums

Sorry, I hope this doesn't count as discussing it. I'm just curious, I had no idea it violated the terms of use, so I was wondering how exactly? And are there any alternatives to the Groundspeak app (you don't need to give me names if that's against the rules of these forums) that wouldn't violate the terms of use, or is it simply the case of "you're not using our app, you are violating our rules" policy?

 

There aren't a whole lot in the area of free apps that do the job (which is what I assume you're looking for, but for my money $10 is pretty cheap entertainment :) ). Are we talking about iPhone here? Geo Bucket is a free app which I think is kosher with Groundspeak's Terms Of Use. GeoSphere is only about $8 and has much more features than the Groundspeak official app. I've only used the official app and Geosphere so I can't really speak for how good any of the others are.

 

Of course, there are a whole lot of free GPS apps that would work for basic navigation, but not made for Geocaching specifically....you'd have to enter the coordinates manually.

Edited by Chief301
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All navigation apps are going to be a big battery drain on a smartphone, because the phone's GPS receiver draws a fair amount of power. Look for apps which have the option of disabling the GPS while the screen is switched off - it means you don't get a fix so quickly when you turn on again, but the battery will last longer. Another major power drain is the radio connection to the internet. Geocaching apps will generally use the network for getting downloading maps and Geocache data. The radio will use more power when the connection is weak, which is often the case when geocaching out in some shady countryside valley. However, there are offline solutions that avoid this problem.

 

For maps, you can download free offline vector maps from OpenAndroMaps. These are based on OpenStreetMap data, and are available for most of the world at varying levels of detail. See their FAQ page for the list of apps the maps work with. The GB map is about 650MB, which fits OK on a modern smartphone. Alternatively, some apps let you cache small portions of online maps, but these take up a lot more storage on your phone compared to the amount of detail you get.

 

Most geocaching-specific apps should be able to work with offline geocache data. If they get the information directly from Geocaching.com, then they are supposed to use the Geocaching Live API. Unfortunately, this is rather limited unless you are a Premium Member. There is a list of Geocaching Live apps at http://www.geocaching.com/live/partners/. However, many apps can also accept Geocache data as .GPX files. GPX files (either pocket queries, or from individual cache listings) are also a Premium Member feature, but they can also be generated in various other ways, e.g. basic members can download .LOC files and convert them using GPS Babel. GPXs made this way won't contain so much information as the ones from the website, but should have the essentials: name, GC-code and coordinates. GPX files can also be created by other navigation programmes and websites, to show routes, tracks and other, non-geocache waypoints.

 

As Tyke points out, the Radar navigation function is part of the GPS Status app, and can be used as a plug-in to various other navigation apps. GPS Status is worth having in its own right as it lets you download Assisted GPS (AGPS) data, which makes the GPS time-to-first-fix much shorter.

 

One free Android app that works with all the above is Locus (with its Geocaching plugin). It displays various online map services (either live or cached offline) as well as offline vector maps, can take cache data from either Geocaching Live or GPX files, and will integrate with GPS Status. That said, it does come with hundreds of configuration options, and isn't so user friendly as other apps you may have tried.

 

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hello all.

 

im returning to caching after a very brief run afew years ago.

Can you tell me the benefits of premium. when I click on premium it just

takes me to a pay screen.

also at the moment I'm using my

mobile to run c:geo and find it excellent. but it eats my battery and a long day

out caching has been ruined by a dead phone. any suggestions for a good but not too

expensive caching gps device up to the £100 range ( or less )

I know there are pros and cons to each of them, maybe you guys know which one to stay

away from even.

 

Is c:geo the best android app or are there better.

and anyone using it can tell me I remember using a radar on c:geo

to locate caches but can longer find this. has it been removed??

 

Thank you for any replies.

Link to comment

I also use c:geo and really can't fault it now I've got used to finding my way around the various options.

Before I settled on c:geo I tried most of the free App's and in my view c:geo was head and shoulders above the others.

I also use an eTrex Legend Hcx which I find better when searching under tree cover but I have to say I like being able to log the cache on the spot so I'm increasing using the phone (An HTC Desire S so not latest technology)but I found that I'd be lucky to get half a day's caching before the battery died.

Solution? I just bought a couple of used phone batteries on eBay for a couple of £££'s each so the only thing I worry about now is getting the phone wet so now carry a small clip-lock box and when the weather turns foul I put the phone in the box and revert to the weatherproof eTrex (bought on eBay for £20!).

I can also use the eTrex when navigating by road as it's got full UK mapping and gives me routes much quicker than the phone and does not need a phone signal either. This gives me a perfect combination for the sort of caching I do and I've also found it useful having two devices so I can double check coordinates.

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