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[new to geocaching] QUESTION about GPS models

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Hi, I'm new to geocaching (haven't started yet), and want to purchase a GPS online (probably eBay).

 

There are a TON of models and features to choose from, and the price range is very large.

 

Some background about me: I am an avid outdoorsman, expert hiker and camper (not survivalist, but with minimum equipment), and am no stranger to technology (I have a couple of college degrees in tech fields).

 

I use a GPS (TomTom) for my car, but have never owned/used a portable one for hiking (yes, I know my car GPS is portable too) :) ...

 

I'm looking for an all-around GPS model that has the following features (in no particular order):

 

- Weatherproof/waterproof

- durable (If I drop it I don't want to have to buy another one or be lost in the woods)

- fairly inexpensive (I've seen a few used on eBay from about $40 -- Magellan eXplorist 200, but probably won't pay more than $75)

- B&W or color -- I don't care (I've read that color drains power quicker, so I'd probably go for B&W if it lasts longer, unless it's miminal)

- long lasting (battery life should last a few hrs).

- easy to use (I'm a newbie so I don't want to have to jump through a ton of hoops to use it, and I might want someone else to navigate for me, like my wife, so it should be fairly intuitive)

 

I guess that's it....If I missed something that is an important feature, please let me know.

So, what do you guys recommend for models to search for online?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I would suggest going to a geocaching event to meet other cachers and have them show you what they are using and what they like and don't like. A couple of things you need to decide ... touch screen vs button interface, magnetic compass (works when standing still) vs motion based compass (only works when moving). I suggest avoiding the low end models like the Garmin Etrex 10 which has very limited memory and no SD card slot for expansion.

 

A couple of older models that may be a good starting place for comparing features would be the Garmin etrex 20 (button interface and no magnetic compass) and the Garmin Oregon 450 (touch screen and magnetic compass).

Edited by alandb

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Thanks for your input. What's your take on the Magellan SporTrak Map ATV?

 

I picked a used one up on eBay for cheap money so if it doesn't work out I can go get another one.

 

Thoughts on that model? I don't mind the buttons...I think I actually prefer them over the touchscreens....

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Sorry, I don't know much about the Magellan products. Maybe someone else can comment on the SportTrak.

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Sorry, I don't know much about the Magellan products. Maybe someone else can comment on the SportTrak.

 

Do yourself a favor...stay away from the Magellan. go buy a Garmin Oregon 600T.... and you won't be disapointed. Lot's of folks here have them. Can't go wrong. Can't get any better ..on on and on..

If you get off on the wrong gps you'll never get it right. Or loose interest and or get a wrong impression. The Oregon will hold it's value real well if you want to sell it sometime.... My wife has one and I love it.

We bought it a couple of weeks ago at Cabelas for $300 in store price. If you buy it online at Amazon it's only $368 with a return policy if you don't like it. Cabelas has a 60 day return.

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We bought it a couple of weeks ago at Cabelas for $300 in store price. If you buy it online at Amazon it's only $368 with a return policy if you don't like it. Cabelas has a 60 day return.

 

You must have missed the "$75 max" part :ph34r:

Most of the time the "T" model is not needed. Check OSM for free maps.

 

to the TS

As for ebay "cheap" GPS's. Maybe one of the Etrex models might be available. I would recommend Garmin as you'll find a broad userbase for it.

If at all possible and if you can find one for a decent price I'd recommend a model that allows for "paperless caching". You might not need it now but you'll probably will soon enough B)

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Thanks, I was looking at the Etrex models but people were complaining about them a lot on this site...And yeah, I think that other person missed the $75 max part -- no way I'm putting down $300 for a device that I have never used and don't even know if I'll keep or continue to use...

 

Basically I bought the Magellan as a "throw-away" device for $10. Seemed reasonable to me. If I find that I need a better device then I can go on these boards and start asking about upgrading it, etc.

 

But for now, my intent was just to get my feet wet. I figured I would use the Magellan just to go and find one local cache in an area of my town that I am very familiar with. If I can't even find it with this device, I think I wouldn't bother continuing on....but something tells me that this device will be good enough to start with.

 

Are there any opinions out there that this thing won't do what I just described? It's a cheap burner...that's it....no need to tell me all of the great features of other devices (yet), right?

 

I mean, if I was a newbie to computers and wanted to start learning MS Word, and went to a Best Buy, would you try to upsell me on the greatest hardware known to man? Or tell me that the $200 notebook won't have enough memory to do what I need to do? If I'm just getting my feet wet, don't I just need advice on a good starter model, and nothing more?

 

Thanks for all your feedback. It helps. I'm interested to hear your opinions on this....

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Hi, I'm new to geocaching (haven't started yet), and want to purchase a GPS online (probably eBay).

 

There are a TON of models and features to choose from, and the price range is very large.

 

Some background about me: I am an avid outdoorsman, expert hiker and camper (not survivalist, but with minimum equipment), and am no stranger to technology (I have a couple of college degrees in tech fields).

 

I use a GPS (TomTom) for my car, but have never owned/used a portable one for hiking (yes, I know my car GPS is portable too) :) ...

 

I'm looking for an all-around GPS model that has the following features (in no particular order):

 

- Weatherproof/waterproof

- durable (If I drop it I don't want to have to buy another one or be lost in the woods)

- fairly inexpensive (I've seen a few used on eBay from about $40 -- Magellan eXplorist 200, but probably won't pay more than $75)

- B&W or color -- I don't care (I've read that color drains power quicker, so I'd probably go for B&W if it lasts longer, unless it's miminal)

- long lasting (battery life should last a few hrs).

- easy to use (I'm a newbie so I don't want to have to jump through a ton of hoops to use it, and I might want someone else to navigate for me, like my wife, so it should be fairly intuitive)

 

I guess that's it....If I missed something that is an important feature, please let me know.

So, what do you guys recommend for models to search for online?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Casio C811 (smartphone) for around $30-40 on ebay.

 

waterproof, rugged, big display, additional batteries are about $8 each, IF you can out-hike one of them ;-)

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Casio C811 (smartphone) for around $30-40 on ebay.

 

That's a phone? Does that work without a carrier? I don't think that would work for me...I think I'm looking for a standalone GPS unit here, preferably without a touchscreen, too. I actually like the button models better...

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As long as the phone has a GPS receiver (most do) and is capable of installing the Geocaching app and cache files over wifi, it should work with no need for a carrier or data plan. As it would support paperless caching, IMO it would be far more functional than the old Sportrak device you bought.

Edited by alandb

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As long as the phone has a GPS receiver (most do) and is capable of installing the Geocaching app and cache files over wifi, it should work with no need for a carrier or data plan. As it would support paperless caching, IMO it would be far more functional than the old Sportrak device you bought.

 

Interesting...ill have to look for some used ones on eBay. Meanwhile, I'd like to see what the Sportrak can do. I'm not looking for overkill, so as long as it gets the job done, I don't think I will care about bells and whistles...just yet...

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But for now, my intent was just to get my feet wet. I figured I would use the Magellan just to go and find one local cache in an area of my town that I am very familiar with. If I can't even find it with this device, I think I wouldn't bother continuing on....but something tells me that this device will be good enough to start with.

Keep in mind that GPS signals can be jumpy in urban areas if there are tall buildings nearby. I'm not sure where your 1st cache is going to be, but if there are a lot of buildings nearby then it might be tough to judge the GPSr's accuracy. Also, consider that the person hiding the cache might not have gotten good coords, so your GPSr may take you to the cache's coordinates, but the cache may not be exactly at those coordinates.

 

I bought a GPSr that I considered to be a 'starter'. It's an eTrex 20 that I bought as a refurbished model, so it was priced pretty low. The eTrex 10 costs less, but it's very basic. You may be able to find a used eTrex 20 at a good price, as they have now come out with upgraded 25t (touchscreen) and 20x (buttons) models.

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Casio C811 (smartphone) for around $30-40 on ebay.

 

1) That's a phone?

2) Does that work without a carrier?

3) I don't think that would work for me...

4) I think I'm looking for a standalone GPS unit here, preferably without a touchscreen, too.

5) I actually like the button models better...

 

1- yes

2- of course, all smartphones with a gps antenna will work without cellular service

3- really ? why not ?

4- touchscreen is pretty nice for caching, try entering text to a field with a non querty keyboard, and two buttons. it's tiresome.

5- got it. :)

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Casio C811 (smartphone) for around $30-40 on ebay.

 

1) That's a phone?

2) Does that work without a carrier?

3) I don't think that would work for me...

4) I think I'm looking for a standalone GPS unit here, preferably without a touchscreen, too.

5) I actually like the button models better...

 

1- yes

2- of course, all smartphones with a gps antenna will work without cellular service

3- really ? why not ?

4- touchscreen is pretty nice for caching, try entering text to a field with a non querty keyboard, and two buttons. it's tiresome.

5- got it. :)

 

Thanks but some of those questions were rhetorical :)

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Keep in mind that GPS signals can be jumpy in urban areas if there are tall buildings nearby. I'm not sure where your 1st cache is going to be, but if there are a lot of buildings nearby then it might be tough to judge the GPSr's accuracy. Also, consider that the person hiding the cache might not have gotten good coords, so your GPSr may take you to the cache's coordinates, but the cache may not be exactly at those coordinates.

 

I bought a GPSr that I considered to be a 'starter'. It's an eTrex 20 that I bought as a refurbished model, so it was priced pretty low. The eTrex 10 costs less, but it's very basic. You may be able to find a used eTrex 20 at a good price, as they have now come out with upgraded 25t (touchscreen) and 20x (buttons) models.

 

Those are good points. I'm well aware of the GPS accuracy thing. I think the idea is, as long as it can get me to the general area, I can do the rest. I don't need something to pinpoint it to within a fraction of an inch (now what fun would that be?)

 

I have heard a lot of people slamming the eTrex models (all of them) and I don't know if that is because they are being snooty or if those models actually make life totally miserable :)

 

I'd like to hear more about the eTrex and similar models as to this point: Why do people bash them? Are they just snobs because they have superior models? Or is there are real drawback to using them to even the most green newbie of geocachers??

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Newer etrex models (20, 30, 20x, 30x, 25, 35) have a pretty good reputation IMO and a lot of loyal users. The Etrex 10 is a capable GPX, but has the limitation of a small memory and no SD expansion slot. That makes it limited in its ability to install maps of any significant size.

 

The main thing to avoid on the older etrex models are those that have the old serial interface instead of a USB interface. That type of connection is very difficult (or in some cases impossible) to support on modern computers.

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I really like my etrex 20 and I saw quite a few of them being handled by other cachers at the Block Party. I don't recall much bashing of the 20/30 series, but I'd definitely recommend against the 10.

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Keep in mind that GPS signals can be jumpy in urban areas if there are tall buildings nearby. I'm not sure where your 1st cache is going to be, but if there are a lot of buildings nearby then it might be tough to judge the GPSr's accuracy. Also, consider that the person hiding the cache might not have gotten good coords, so your GPSr may take you to the cache's coordinates, but the cache may not be exactly at those coordinates.

 

I bought a GPSr that I considered to be a 'starter'. It's an eTrex 20 that I bought as a refurbished model, so it was priced pretty low. The eTrex 10 costs less, but it's very basic. You may be able to find a used eTrex 20 at a good price, as they have now come out with upgraded 25t (touchscreen) and 20x (buttons) models.

 

Those are good points. I'm well aware of the GPS accuracy thing. I think the idea is, as long as it can get me to the general area, I can do the rest. I don't need something to pinpoint it to within a fraction of an inch (now what fun would that be?)

 

I have heard a lot of people slamming the eTrex models (all of them) and I don't know if that is because they are being snooty or if those models actually make life totally miserable :)

 

I'd like to hear more about the eTrex and similar models as to this point: Why do people bash them? Are they just snobs because they have superior models? Or is there are real drawback to using them to even the most green newbie of geocachers??

 

it's just old, not a touchscreen, and like having a big watch with limited functionality.

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it's just old, not a touchscreen, and like having a big watch with limited functionality.

 

I like watches :)

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Keep in mind that GPS signals can be jumpy in urban areas if there are tall buildings nearby. I'm not sure where your 1st cache is going to be, but if there are a lot of buildings nearby then it might be tough to judge the GPSr's accuracy. Also, consider that the person hiding the cache might not have gotten good coords, so your GPSr may take you to the cache's coordinates, but the cache may not be exactly at those coordinates.

 

I bought a GPSr that I considered to be a 'starter'. It's an eTrex 20 that I bought as a refurbished model, so it was priced pretty low. The eTrex 10 costs less, but it's very basic. You may be able to find a used eTrex 20 at a good price, as they have now come out with upgraded 25t (touchscreen) and 20x (buttons) models.

 

Those are good points. I'm well aware of the GPS accuracy thing. I think the idea is, as long as it can get me to the general area, I can do the rest. I don't need something to pinpoint it to within a fraction of an inch (now what fun would that be?)

 

I have heard a lot of people slamming the eTrex models (all of them) and I don't know if that is because they are being snooty or if those models actually make life totally miserable :)

 

I'd like to hear more about the eTrex and similar models as to this point: Why do people bash them? Are they just snobs because they have superior models? Or is there are real drawback to using them to even the most green newbie of geocachers??

 

it's just old, not a touchscreen, and like having a big watch with limited functionality.

What is "it" that you are referring to?

Old - new GPSr units are being produced, so what makes it 'old'?

Not touchscreen - there are plenty of people that prefer "not a touchscreen". In fact, here is a recent thread about it.

Big watch - GPSr's are not worn on the wrist, so not sure what type of analogy you're trying to make here.

Limited functionality - functionality only 'seems' limited if there are functions the user needs, but are missing. For many cachers, the GPSr provides all the functionality they need, or they supplement with a smartphone.

 

In every topic, you proclaim how ineffective GPSr's are compared to your preferred Casio smartphone. Most of the cachers that like using GPSr's have stated that smartphones are useful for some aspects of caching, yet you consistently bash GPSr's and tell people that use GPSr's that they should use a smartphone instead. It seems like you consider GPSr users' opinions as invalid. Personally, I put more weight on the opinions of other cachers that have more experience with searching for caches in various locales and terrains.

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Keep in mind that GPS signals can be jumpy in urban areas if there are tall buildings nearby. I'm not sure where your 1st cache is going to be, but if there are a lot of buildings nearby then it might be tough to judge the GPSr's accuracy. Also, consider that the person hiding the cache might not have gotten good coords, so your GPSr may take you to the cache's coordinates, but the cache may not be exactly at those coordinates.

 

I bought a GPSr that I considered to be a 'starter'. It's an eTrex 20 that I bought as a refurbished model, so it was priced pretty low. The eTrex 10 costs less, but it's very basic. You may be able to find a used eTrex 20 at a good price, as they have now come out with upgraded 25t (touchscreen) and 20x (buttons) models.

 

Those are good points. I'm well aware of the GPS accuracy thing. I think the idea is, as long as it can get me to the general area, I can do the rest. I don't need something to pinpoint it to within a fraction of an inch (now what fun would that be?)

 

I have heard a lot of people slamming the eTrex models (all of them) and I don't know if that is because they are being snooty or if those models actually make life totally miserable :)

 

I'd like to hear more about the eTrex and similar models as to this point: Why do people bash them? Are they just snobs because they have superior models? Or is there are real drawback to using them to even the most green newbie of geocachers??

 

it's just old, not a touchscreen, and like having a big watch with limited functionality.

What is "it" that you are referring to?

Old - new GPSr units are being produced, so what makes it 'old'?

Not touchscreen - there are plenty of people that prefer "not a touchscreen". In fact, here is a recent thread about it.

Big watch - GPSr's are not worn on the wrist, so not sure what type of analogy you're trying to make here.

Limited functionality - functionality only 'seems' limited if there are functions the user needs, but are missing. For many cachers, the GPSr provides all the functionality they need, or they supplement with a smartphone.

 

In every topic, you proclaim how ineffective GPSr's are compared to your preferred Casio smartphone. Most of the cachers that like using GPSr's have stated that smartphones are useful for some aspects of caching, yet you consistently bash GPSr's and tell people that use GPSr's that they should use a smartphone instead. It seems like you consider GPSr users' opinions as invalid. Personally, I put more weight on the opinions of other cachers that have more experience with searching for caches in various locales and terrains.

 

this is clarification to your questions, that's all :-)

 

old: the design, not the manufacturing date

 

big watch: toggling with a few buttons to enter text fields instead of a qwerty keyboard.

 

limited: record a track or waypoint on the way to the cache. share that waypoint or cache with another person... without supplementary hardware. this is the missing functionality.

 

the stand-alones are just missing functionality, that's all. they can cache yes, but beyond that, lots of help is needed from additional hardware and software.

 

this old smartphone ain't perfect, it's no longer manufacturered (yours is), doesn't get firmware updates (yours does) and I'm sure lots of other things someone can point out.

 

the point is, exploit the hardware fully, instead of falling into the same old misconceptions.

 

opinions are great, when they are based on experience instead of repeating bad info.

:-)

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the point is, exploit the hardware fully, instead of falling into the same old misconceptions.

 

opinions are great, when they are based on experience instead of repeating bad info.

Misconceptions? Based on experience?

The question was about eTrex models and how they compare to other models. If you don't have any experience with eTrex models or the more advanced GPS models, then I'm not sure how you intended to contribute a meaningful answer to the question.

 

The question was: "I'd like to hear more about the eTrex and similar models as to this point: Why do people bash them? Are they just snobs because they have superior models? Or is there are real drawback to using them to even the most green newbie of geocachers??"

 

Your response was: "it's just old, not a touchscreen, and like having a big watch with limited functionality."

Old - you meant the design. Okay, but just because they've stuck with the same design doesn't mean it's bad. It's a personal preference and some might actually like the design.

Not touchscreen - personal preference.

Big watch - you meant a few buttons and no keyboard. Okay, but eTrex models actually use a joystick to select letters on a qwerty display, and other models use a directional keypad. Using abbreviations makes this less tedious.

Limited functionality - you meant no sharing without supplemental hardware. Some of the Garmin handheld GPSr's are able to wirelessly share data (tracks, wp's, caches) with compatible units. No additional hardware or software required.

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the point is, exploit the hardware fully, instead of falling into the same old misconceptions.

 

opinions are great, when they are based on experience instead of repeating bad info.

 

a) Misconceptions? Based on experience?

The question was about eTrex models and how they compare to other models. B) If you don't have any experience with eTrex models or the more advanced GPS models, then I'm not sure how you intended to contribute a meaningful answer to the question.

 

c) The question was: "I'd like to hear more about the eTrex and similar models as to this point: Why do people bash them? Are they just snobs because they have superior models? Or is there are real drawback to using them to even the most green newbie of geocachers??"

 

Your response was: "it's just old, not a touchscreen, and like having a big watch with limited functionality."

d) Old - you meant the design. Okay, but just because they've stuck with the same design doesn't mean it's bad.

e) It's a personal preference and some might actually like the design.

f) Not touchscreen - personal preference.

g) Big watch - you meant a few buttons and no keyboard. Okay, but eTrex models actually use a joystick to select letters on a qwerty display, and other models use a directional keypad.

h) Using abbreviations makes this less tedious.

i) Limited functionality - you meant no sharing without supplemental hardware.

j) Some of the Garmin handheld GPSr's are able to wirelessly share data (tracks, wp's, caches) with compatible units.

k) No additional hardware or software required.

 

a/b- the experience i've had is that entering text without a touchscreen, or a full sized (think desktop computer) keyboard, and only using a toggle joystick... is very poor.

 

c- i answered with my understanding of other people's reasons for bashing devices that don't have intuitive interfaces, ie: things that require multiple toggles to enter 'plane jane cache ####'. i've heard several people complain about similar things, and experienced this myself. the OP asked, I provided an answer. I'm not bashing the unit, i like the compact size, think they're slick, but entering data or manuevering through the menus is... less than optimal. keep in mind the OP asked, I'm only answering.

 

d- i read my post, i didn't call it a bad design, i said it was old or dated. bad design is having to unplug the battery to get to the sdcard slot. or installing a stylus to make touching tiny icons possible (think back to windows 6.x days)

 

e/f- yep, but the OP asked for why people bash it

 

g- which is still tedious to navigate or input text with, when compared to slick on screen keyboards.

 

h- less, but still, tedious.

 

i/j/k- to quote you directly.... "Some of the Garmin handheld GPSr's are able to wirelessly share data (tracks, wp's, caches) with compatible units."

very very few, even in the same manufacturer's family of devices. outside that family = no

 

which means sharing to laptop, desktop, phone, tablet, other standalone MIGHT work, but more than likely not... and you'll need cables/software to get it done.

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It's a bit of a crap shoot since they say it hasn't been tested (could ask them to pop in a pair of AAs to see if it at least lights up), and you have to wonder what the final bid will be, but here's something that popped up on my radar screen recently:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-Oregon-450-Handheld-used-/331862585685?hash=item4d448d3155:g:PEwAAOSwmc1XPL8H

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It's a bit of a crap shoot since they say it hasn't been tested (could ask them to pop in a pair of AAs to see if it at least lights up), and you have to wonder what the final bid will be, but here's something that popped up on my radar screen recently:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-Oregon-450-Handheld-used-/331862585685?hash=item4d448d3155:g:PEwAAOSwmc1XPL8H

 

Thanks, but yeah, I tend to stay away from the 'crapshoot' unless I am willing to gamble about something I am very familiar with....and I'm not... yet :)

 

Thanks though.

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Well, the seller does list a 30 day return policy so if the unit arrives DOA all you would be out is the shipping and return shipping costs. Also, the fact that it has the original box and all the parts is a good sign. If you asked the seller to install batteries and if it powers up OK ... then if they include that info in the listing, you can bet the bidding (and selling price) will increase. The Oregon 450 is a solid performer with lots of features including barometer (for more accurate elevation readings) and magnetic compass and is used by many experienced geocachers. If I needed a good cheap geocaching device I would probably take a chance on this if the bidding remains low (< $50) knowing that I could return it for refund if it doesn't work.

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Indeed - he's not dealing with your average 'unknown' seller in this instance. If I didn't already have a backup, I'd snipe this one if the price remained reasonable.

 

To the OP: As alan notes, the 450 is still a very solid performer with plenty of features.

 

Also, if you aren't already familiar with turning the cache files from gc.com into *.ov2 files for your TomTom, let me know. I load up about 3800 each week here.

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Yikes. I see the bidding is already up to $103 from the $26 or whatever it was last time I looked.

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Casio C811 (smartphone) for around $30-40 on ebay.

waterproof, rugged, big display, additional batteries are about $8 each, IF you can out-hike one of them ;-)

 

Hey Ohgood,

 

I bought the model you suggested: Casio Commando C811. I have been using it (without a SIM) and don't need to have a service (e.g. Verizon) for it to work on my home wifi, etc. just like I use my iPad.

However, the problem is that once I leave my home network, and wifi is no longer available, the geocaching app does not work. It has a 'no network service' screen, and is locked up. So the app appears to need a valid signal from either wifi or your service provider to function properly.

 

I have no doubt the GPS receiver works, as I also installed the Waze app and it was able to track my location as I drive (although the other functions such as live traffic would not work, obviously). So I now have a smartphone with a GPS receiver and an app that does me no good unless I happen to be geocaching near a free wifi hotspot :(

 

So, is there something I'm missing here? This was what I originally said to you when I asked if this would work, as I had my doubts. How can this process work without a SIM??? I thought that was pretty clear that I did not intend to subscribe to a service provider and install a SIM on it...

 

Am I missing something, or was I correct that this solution simply won't work in my case? (Anyone else have an idea? please chime in if you have something useful to suggest).

 

Thanks

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just like any electronic device, it's not much use without loading some maps and waypoints. I'm the case for caching, the waypoints are called geocaches.... everything else is the same.

 

what I like to use for caching and mapping, is Locus. you can search the Android market for Locus and it's really well done helper for caching called "geocaching4locus". it's basically a plugin that allows you to use your caching login to download caches prior to heading out side of your cellular or wifi range.

 

you can download maps for offline usage also, I use the vector based maps from the Locus store because I'm lazy, but there are lots of web sites that allow for free map downloads on a state by state basis. here is a good one:

http://www.locusvectormaps.com

 

I normally download 1-200 at a time for an area before heading out, and hop to the ones close by. call it lazy caching, or whatever. :-)

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for offline routing (turn by turn directions) to be possible while offline, you'll want either brouter, or graphhopper, and the routing sets that go with your state, or location in the world.

 

or, you can be even lazier than I am and use Google maps offline mode for routing. I know a lot of people like Google maps, totally up to you.

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I tried to get by with the official gcing application, but it was too limited and basically useless while offline, so I normally don't recommend it.... but hey if it works for some that's great :-)

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just like any electronic device, it's not much use without loading some maps and waypoints.

 

Ok, so basically, I have to load a bunch of data first, from my home wifi, and then go out looking for the cache?

I'm guessing that I need a different app other than the official one, because it totally doesn't work when there is no network connection.

Any ideas which apps will work offline? I don't necessarily need to have live cache updates -- I just want it to guide me to the cache that I have selected ahead of time. I heard good things about c:geo...I might try that one...

 

I think I would have been better served to just use a traditional GPS unit (like the Garmin extrex series) because all this overhead is annoying for a newbie to just get up and running with it. I'd much have rather preferred to just write down some coords and then punch them into the GPS unit to help me locate it. I don't need all this 'fancy' map loading and other stuff which requires extra steps and preparation and things that can go wrong, etc. ... I'm a bit old-school, so this all seems like overkill to me to get up and running to find my first cache.

 

Anyone have any other ideas? This is becoming more difficult for me than I think needs to be... :(

Edited by tm2fan

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Ok, so basically, I have to load a bunch of data first, from my home wifi, and then go out looking for the cache?

I'm guessing that I need a different app other than the official one, because it totally doesn't work when there is no network connection.

Any ideas which apps will work offline? I don't necessarily need to have live cache updates -- I just want it to guide me to the cache that I have selected ahead of time. I heard good things about c:geo...I might try that one...

 

I think I would have been better served to just use a traditional GPS unit (like the Garmin extrex series) because all this overhead is annoying for a newbie to just get up and running with it. I'd much have rather preferred to just write down some coords and then punch them into the GPS unit to help me locate it. I don't need all this 'fancy' map loading and other stuff which requires extra steps and preparation and things that can go wrong, etc. ... I'm a bit old-school, so this all seems like overkill to me to get up and running to find my first cache.

 

Anyone have any other ideas? This is becoming more difficult for me than I think needs to be... :(

 

Take a look at GDAK (Android). It's designed for offline use.

You can create databases, import GPX, PocketQueries, load via API, log via API, have offline maps, have spoiler images (just all info you have on the website).

I use it in combination with GSAK (windows) where I keep all caches in different databases. GSAK databases can be copied to GDAK without a problem.

I use my Oregon 600 for caching but have my tablet with GDAK in case I need to have a larger screen for images, more logs than I loaded onto the GPS or better (larger) overview on the map.

 

BTW, you mentioned the "unmentionable" B) I have that on my tablet too but never used it. It's a backup for my backup...

Edited by on4bam

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Take a look at GDAK (Android). It's designed for offline use.

You can create databases, import GPX, PocketQueries, load via API, log via API, have offline maps, have spoiler images (just all info you have on the website).

I use it in combination with GSAK (windows) where I keep all caches in different databases. GSAK databases can be copied to GDAK without a problem.

I use my Oregon 600 for caching but have my tablet with GDAK in case I need to have a larger screen for images, more logs than I loaded onto the GPS or better (larger) overview on the map.

 

BTW, you mentioned the "unmentionable" B) I have that on my tablet too but never used it. It's a backup for my backup...

 

Cool, I'll check it out....BTW, why is that app considered "unmentionable"???

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Cool, I'll check it out....BTW, why is that app considered "unmentionable"???

 

GS considers it to violate their terms. In short, if you use it, don't say it here :ph34r:

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just like any electronic device, it's not much use without loading some maps and waypoints.

 

1) Ok, so basically, I have to load a bunch of data first, from my home wifi, and then go out looking for the cache?

2) I'm guessing that I need a different app other than the official one, because it totally doesn't work when there is no network connection.

3) Any ideas which apps will work offline? I don't necessarily need to have live cache updates -- I just want it to guide me to the cache that I have selected ahead of time.

4) I heard good things about c:geo...I might try that one...

 

5) I think I would have been better served to just use a traditional GPS unit (like the Garmin extrex series) because all this overhead is annoying for a newbie to just get up and running with it.

6) I'd much have rather preferred to just write down some coords and then punch them into the GPS unit to help me locate it.

7) I don't need all this 'fancy' map loading and other stuff which requires extra steps and preparation and things that can go wrong, etc. ...

8) I'm a bit old-school, so this all seems like overkill to me to get up and running to find my first cache.

 

9) Anyone have any other ideas? This is becoming more difficult for me than I think needs to be... :(

 

1- you don't have to load any data if you don't want to. punch in the waypoint coords (ok, GEOcache cords!) and follow the compass pointer until you're there. it's a LOT easier to use turn by turn driving directions along the way, and use a map to reference where a good parking spot would be.... but you don't have to. :)

2- it's just a gps waypoint. yes, you can walk right up to that point without any problem at all, no maps, no geewiz features, sign the log and walk away. it's REALLY nifty to keep up with stuff all in a database though... so you can see where the cool caches are, and take someone else next time.

3- maverick, locus, oruxmaps, osmand, just about any offline mapping program that accepts waypoint inputs.

4- haven't used that in a while. i think it's the red headed step child of this website or something.

5- that'll work too, it's just missing a lot of features folks have gotten used to with smartphones. no biggie.

6- yep, see 1 and 2 please

7- i give you fifteen minutes trying to make BASECAMP work before you set it on fire, or call geocaching a total loss.

8- yep

9- you can always go hiking without the caches. i have 6,000 on my phone, and am in the woods several times a week, but only actually cache once or twice a month.

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Cool, I'll check it out....BTW, why is that app considered "unmentionable"???

 

GS considers it to violate their terms. In short, if you use it, don't say it here :ph34r:

 

Sorry, I'm a newbie, I just don't understand...how is it that you can talk about all sorts of other apps but not that one?

Why does that one alone violate their terms?? And what specific terms would those be??

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Cool, I'll check it out....BTW, why is that app considered "unmentionable"???

 

GS considers it to violate their terms. In short, if you use it, don't say it here :ph34r:

 

Sorry, I'm a newbie, I just don't understand...how is it that you can talk about all sorts of other apps but not that one?

Why does that one alone violate their terms?? And what specific terms would those be??

 

Hey look, you're doing it again.. :lol:

 

OK, it seems "that app" can get cachedata by "scraping" the website. That means it calls a cachepage like a human does in a browser and than analyses the data and imports it so you can use it offline in the app. GS does not allow this method of getting data.

 

On the other hand, if you just import GPX files then I doubt there are violations of GS terms. As I said, I have it on my tablet but never used it. Info I have on this app is from what I read elsewhere.

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OK, it seems "that app" can get cachedata by "scraping" the website. That means it calls a cachepage like a human does in a browser and than analyses the data and imports it so you can use it offline in the app. GS does not allow this method of getting data.

 

On the other hand, if you just import GPX files then I doubt there are violations of GS terms. As I said, I have it on my tablet but never used it. Info I have on this app is from what I read elsewhere.

 

Ok, well the *app* might violate the terms *if* that is true, but I can hardly see how Groundspeak can expect every person, especially newbies, to be held responsible for knowing the technology behind every app in the world...Besides, how am I violating terms? I'm not the app author....they should take it up with whoever wrote the app, right? I'm just a user, and I can use whatever app I feel like.

 

Do we or do we not have free speech in this country? It has been said time and again that our free speech allows you to say that you hate the president, or say racist things or burn the flag (even if said actions put you on some government watchlist).

 

So why can we not talk about using a third party tool, without the website admins slapping us on the wrist and lecturing us about how we all have to be technology experts in the field of mobile applications??

 

Am I crazy? Or is this madness??? I have never been on a site like this, but if this is how they really are, I have to take issue with that. That's just plain Nazism, IMO. They have no right to tell us how educated we have to be on the kinds of apps that violate their terms. That's THEIR problem, not mine.

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Am I crazy? Or is this madness??? I have never been on a site like this, but if this is how they really are, I have to take issue with that. That's just plain Nazism, IMO. They have no right to tell us how educated we have to be on the kinds of apps that violate their terms. That's THEIR problem, not mine.

 

Nobody says you can't use the app you just can't discuss it HERE (there are other forum where it's no problem). The app has over 1.000.000 downloads so it's widely used and talked about but, again, not HERE.

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For $40, maybe look at an older used eTrex model. Legend, Venture, Summit etc. Just make sure there is a "H" in the model name (eg. Venture HC). They aren't slick but they work great. You can get free maps online (just google it, it's easy). Don't over pay. You should be able to get one never opened for $40. Don't feel bad about giving people low ball offers if they are asking $100+.

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But for now, my intent was just to get my feet wet. I figured I would use the Magellan just to go and find one local cache in an area of my town that I am very familiar with. If I can't even find it with this device, I think I wouldn't bother continuing on....but something tells me that this device will be good enough to start with.

Keep in mind that GPS signals can be jumpy in urban areas if there are tall buildings nearby. I'm not sure where your 1st cache is going to be, but if there are a lot of buildings nearby then it might be tough to judge the GPSr's accuracy. ...

I did an experiment...

http://coord.info/GC5F825

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But for now, my intent was just to get my feet wet. I figured I would use the Magellan just to go and find one local cache in an area of my town that I am very familiar with. If I can't even find it with this device, I think I wouldn't bother continuing on....but something tells me that this device will be good enough to start with.

Keep in mind that GPS signals can be jumpy in urban areas if there are tall buildings nearby. I'm not sure where your 1st cache is going to be, but if there are a lot of buildings nearby then it might be tough to judge the GPSr's accuracy. ...

I did an experiment...

http://coord.info/GC5F825

 

that's interesting, thanks to the testers and you for compiling the results.

 

looks like you've duplicated both my findings:

1smartphones are usually more accurate

2averaging makes a huge difference

Edited by ohgood

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I did an experiment...

http://coord.info/GC5F825

I notice that only one set of coordinates is really close to posted - Kinder Ken's Garmin Oregon 650, and THAT was the only one where waypoint averaging appears to have been employed in making the measurement (per the notes associated with each on the page). That's a variable for which one might have wanted to control specifically - just to see how much difference it makes.

 

CANNOT overemphasize how important it is for those placing caches to NOT use a simple 'snapshot' reading of coordinates, and your experiment, such as it was conducted, seems to point that out.

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Ok, well the *app* might violate the terms *if* that is true, but I can hardly see how Groundspeak can expect every person, especially newbies, to be held responsible for knowing the technology behind every app in the world...Besides, how am I violating terms? I'm not the app author....they should take it up with whoever wrote the app, right? I'm just a user, and I can use whatever app I feel like.

There are apps that are authorized API partners. c:geo is not an authorized API partner. The technical details behind what being an authorized API partner means is beyond me.

 

Do we or do we not have free speech in this country? It has been said time and again that our free speech allows you to say that you hate the president, or say racist things or burn the flag (even if said actions put you on some government watchlist).

Geocaching.com is a global community. The USA's Bill of Rights does not apply to many of the cachers that participate in this hobby and on this website.

 

So why can we not talk about using a third party tool

If a company (Groundspeak) provides a service (Forums) and does not want to allow promotion of a product that violates their TOU (c:geo) within the confines of said service (Forums), then isn't that their prerogative? The existence of this Forum is not 'free' to Groundspeak, so why shouldn't they exert some control over what's included here?

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Do we or do we not have free speech in this country? It has been said time and again that our free speech allows you to say that you hate the president, or say racist things or burn the flag (even if said actions put you on some government watchlist).

[OT] Have you actually read the First Amendment? (Hint: Groundspeak is not a government agency.)[/OT]

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Do we or do we not have free speech in this country? It has been said time and again that our free speech allows you to say that you hate the president, or say racist things or burn the flag (even if said actions put you on some government watchlist).

[OT] Have you actually read the First Amendment? (Hint: Groundspeak is not a government agency.)[/OT]

 

It doesn't have to be a govt agency. There are plenty of cases where the gov has stepped in and ruled that people have the right to say what they want when being censored by private parties.

 

This forum might be owned by Groundspeak, and they can do what they want with it, but they can't control my right to TALK about something. I think that's the point we're missing here. I'm not violating their terms. I am merely TALKING about something.

 

On an mlb forum, for example, I am allowed to TALK about steroids, even though it is illegal and a clear violation of both the law and of the mlb terms. However, I am not DOING anything, and therefore not violating them. If they ever censored me, I could take them to court on the basis of First Amendment rights and I'd win, and they know that.

 

Think about it...if that weren't the case, how could Sportswriters talk about it freely? It's just TALK. It doesn't violate anything.

 

I think you guys might need to go back to law school ;-)

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If a company (Groundspeak) provides a service (Forums) and does not want to allow promotion of a product that violates their TOU (c:geo) within the confines of said service (Forums), then isn't that their prerogative?

 

No, actually it isn't. That's called censorship and we had a whole thing about that in the 1950s. ;-)

 

To be clear: USING the app = violation of terms. (technically that isn't even a violation, really, because we are not the content owners -- the content owners are violating the policy...but for the sake of argument, I'll just give that to you).

 

But TALKING about it cannot be, and yes, I am indeed covered by 1st amendment rights on this. I have a right to say whatever I want, and they can censor me, sure. But I could always take them to court (not that I would) because that would be considered a violation of my human rights.

 

Trust me, there is no way that TALKING about something is a violation of anyone's terms for a forum. I'm not being mean, or derrogative or infringing on anyone else's rights by hating on them or something. Forum moderators have the right to moderate based on EVERYONE's rights, so if were being a jerk, they could kick me out for that. But not for merely TALKING about a product when no harm is done.

 

Where did you guys hear about this anyway? It seems like more than one of you came to this conclusion, or perhaps one person did, and then evangelized it to everyone else, and so on. But where is this actually said in print? I read the terms page, and there is no evidence that this is the case. I think someone might have taken things a bit too far and everyone else just acquiesced because they didn't disagree....

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Where did you guys hear about this anyway?

 

Maybe because mods have said so and even closed threads?

 

 

Fortunately this is not the only forum and elsewhere he app can be discussed.

Fact remains that the app can be used without TOU infringement (import GPX/PQ instead of "scraping")

Edited by on4bam

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