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Tablet in Desert with no wifi or cell


K7CJS
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I have a Oregon 600 but am looking for something bigger to assist, not replace, my 600 with my hunting of caches in the desert and other remote areas...a large area. I'd like to be able to see a large area on the map. I was thinking of an Android tablet with GPS that works without wifi or cell coverage. I also want the usb to be OTG so it will be slave and master. Would I be able to find a tablet like this that shows my location, movement and the caches? Am I making sense?

Thanks

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I looove my 7" Android tablet for trip planning with its big(gish) screen.  I run the same app and load the same PQs and maps as I do on the phone, which I use for the actual caching; the tablet is for around the campfire and figuring out tomorrow.  (Nothing stops me from caching with the tablet, other than it's awkward to carry around.  It serves as a backup in case the phone breaks.  It's an older model, no longer available, but I think all Android tablets have USB and a GPS chip.)

Also, check out Locus Map Pro, which must be the best outdoor-focused map app available.  It's also an official-partner caching app, and it works fully offline, or online, your choice.  To tease you, this is a screenshot from the phone (imagine tablet):

e579b4ea-8c9f-42a4-b3a1-d10150991dd2_l.j

Oh, and you want OpenStreetMap in one of its various forms, such as shown.  Great for trails.

PS, for longer trips in the desert/bush/boonies, a solar panel with USB connector is a great accessory.  They're cheap and good nowadays.

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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PS, truth in advertising:  That screenshot was from my earlier phone, a very high-res model.  I think my tablet actually has less pixels than the phone.

But even my low-res current phone has waaay more pixels than the highest-spec Garmin.

My next frivolous gift to myself will be a very large tablet with an insane pixel count.  Just for the maps.

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I use an Oregon600 too and have Samsung Galaxy Tab2 with GDAK (Android) with me when caching. As a GSAK user I can copy my database(s) to the tablet including cache and log images. I also have an OTG adapter that I use to connect the GPS to the tablet in case I want to load an extra cache. GDAK is designed for offline use but is an API partner so it will work with data and/or WiFi. Having a 10" screen for overviews is a bonus.

Of course, the tablet has all decoding tools also.

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I'm not at all happy with my Oregon 600. My old 60cx was a breeze and very accurate. My Oregon is just not at all user friendly for geocaching and I'm sorry I ever bought it. I have reset it and resetup the screens and it's still a PITA to geocaching with. I can never find what I want on the 600 (screen stuff, not the caches, lol). Maybe I just need to get everything off (menus, screens, etc) and have a few basic ones for geocaching only....what a waster for the money I spent for it plus cost of maps...aargh. But, now that I have it I'm looking for perhaps a 10" tablet so am very happy with all of your responses. Will look into all you posts.

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52 minutes ago, K7CJS said:

what a waster for the money I spent for it plus cost of maps...aargh

In the future try to get OpenStreetMap maps for your garmin, that saves you the cost of the maps (in return you could contribute your local trail knowledge to make the map better and benefit yourself of it)

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1 hour ago, K7CJS said:

I'm not at all happy with my Oregon 600. My old 60cx was a breeze and very accurate. My Oregon is just not at all user friendly for geocaching and I'm sorry I ever bought it. I have reset it and resetup the screens and it's still a PITA to geocaching with. I can never find what I want on the 600

Too bad. I did have a few issues with my 600 but I can't complain about accuracy. I use my 600 intensively and except for some lockups (annoying) every once in a while it's doing what it's supposed to do. I keep a backup of my profiles on my PC and tablet and if something gets messed up I just overwrite the profile again (hasn't happened in a long time). Maps are OSM and OCM so no extra cost (use them at home and on holiday).

I operate my 600 almost blindly, All that's needed is on the main screen, less needed stuff needs an extra swipe.

 

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3 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

Which OpenStreetMap variant is that? I have a couple of different OSMs on LocusPro but that seems to have more detail and look "cleaner" than the ones I'm using.

Not sure if that helps you, but on openandromaps.org you can get theme files, so you can adjust how your map looks like in locus maps.

I especially use them to clean up maps and highlight essential stuff.

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5 hours ago, K7CJS said:

I'm not at all happy with my Oregon 600. My old 60cx was a breeze and very accurate. My Oregon is just not at all user friendly for geocaching and I'm sorry I ever bought it. I have reset it and resetup the screens and it's still a PITA to geocaching with. I can never find what I want on the 600 (screen stuff, not the caches, lol). Maybe I just need to get everything off (menus, screens, etc) and have a few basic ones for geocaching only....what a waster for the money I spent for it plus cost of maps...aargh. But, now that I have it I'm looking for perhaps a 10" tablet so am very happy with all of your responses. Will look into all you posts.

First, you don't need to pay for maps for the Oregon 600.  The Open Street Maps for Garmin or gpsfiledepot sites have all the maps you'd ever need, for free.

I had a Garmin 76Cx (basically the same as a 60Cx but with a different case) and, after it got stolen, bought a Oregon 450.  I preferred the buttons to the touch screen but at the time the 62 had not yet come out.

Garmin used to make a product called nRoute.  It was a windows application that used Garmin maps (the OSM, or GPSFileDepot maps would probably work as well) and would use a GPS plugged into a USB port so that you could essentially navigate using the "big screen" on a windows device.  I have not idea if it would run on windows based tablet.  It sounds to me that using an Android based tablet with a geocaching app that uses offline maps (such as the Locus app that Viajero Perdido showed) would be the way to go.  

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11 hours ago, K7CJS said:

My Oregon is just not at all user friendly for geocaching and I'm sorry I ever bought it. I have reset it and resetup the screens and it's still a PITA to geocaching with. I can never find what I want on the 600 (screen stuff, not the caches, lol). Maybe I just need to get everything off (menus, screens, etc) and have a few basic ones for geocaching only.

 

The 600 allows a lot of customization.  It's not necessarily factory set in an ideal way for Geocaching, and the "Geocaching Profile" sure wasn't suited for me.  I changed it all, once I got the hang of changing things.  Copy, rename, and back up "Profiles", and you don't have to reset the device if a Profile gets messed up.  Just restore the Profile.

I set up two main profiles, Geocaching (for hiking) and CachingCar (driving with street routing).  Both are based on the factory Geocaching profile, but I placed only the most used icons on their top screens.  I have the "Geocaching dashboard" on their main menus, but on the Map and Compass screens, I have the four indicators that I've found most handy for each.  I hardly ever have to scroll around for an icon, and that's how I like it. :anicute:

 

Geocaching Profile:

IMAG0080[1].jpg

 

CachingCar Profile:

IMAG0081[1].jpg

 

Compass screen with Small Data Fields dashboard, and custom fields:

IMAG0082[1].jpg

Or for a very uncluttered Compass, set just one large data field "Distance to Destination".

Edited by kunarion
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8 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

Which OpenStreetMap variant is that?

In the screenshot I posted?  That's OpenAndroMaps (Alberta) from a couple of years ago, with a slightly tweaked version of the Voluntary UK theme that's available through the Locus store.  (I didn't like brown roads or overly dense contour lines at low zooms, so I tinkered a bit.)

I still use OAM, but now find I like OAM's Elevate/Elements themes better.

Also note, Locus' own maps via their store (LoMaps; they cost a pittance after the first-three-free) look roughly the same as OAM, and I'll use those instead if they're newer.  A difference with LoMaps is the POIs are "live", in that when you slide one under the crosshair, a little box pops up with the info.  Haven't decided if I like that.

OAM and LoMaps include contour lines; the other compatible sources I've seen (MapsForge etc.) don't.  The slope shading is a separate download.

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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23 minutes ago, K7CJS said:

kunarion

How did you get the "Destination" in the Dashboard? I can't find it anywhere.

I reset my 600 and have started from scratch. I think it will make it much easier. Thanks for your help. Tho I think I might have another question, lol.

 

 

 

That one is in the "Navigation" section, and it's called "Waypoint at Destination".  It shows a cache name when you're navigating to a cache.

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12 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

That one is in the "Navigation" section, and it's called "Waypoint at Destination".  It shows a cache name when you're navigating to a cache.

Found it!!!! Thanks again. If you are ever in Pahrump let me know and I'll take you around on my Polaris.

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11 minutes ago, K7CJS said:

Found it!!!! Thanks again. If you are ever in Pahrump let me know and I'll take you around on my Polaris.

 

Cool!

When you get the data fields organized the way you like, tap the little hamburger menu icon in the lower right corner of the screen, and click "Lock Data Fields".  Otherwise, they are easy to change by accident.

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27 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Cool!

When you get the data fields organized the way you like, tap the little hamburger menu icon in the lower right corner of the screen, and click "Lock Data Fields".  Otherwise, they are easy to change by accident.

I don't see the hamburger menu icon to lock the data fields.

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It looks like you are on your way.  I just want to vouch for Locus Map, Geocaching4Locus and GPStrace4Locus.  I have them all loaded on my Note4. A relatively large screen. 

 I have cached all over the Arizona desert, Mexico desert, Yucatan,  Puerto Rico and Cuba with it and no phone signal.  There are OSM maps for all these places all the way down to street names and popular POIs already labeled.  Best thing is you can also load other POIs such as restaurants, hotels, and tourist spots all on one map all with definitive icons of your choosing.  This helps with always having the nearest cache to your places especially if your with others.   You can also load info such as hours, address, and phone #s that pop up.  You only have one map to reference for the entire trip which makes it so awesome.

Many times we would get to a tourist spot and had to wait for our turn or a restaurant and I would order then take off around the corner, returning before the food arrived. That way the family wouldn't have to be held up for the addiction.

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17 minutes ago, OwenfromKC said:

Locus Map, Geocaching4Locus and GPStrace4Locus.

Yep, yep, what?

I had to look that last one up.  It doesn't exist anymore; the Google result into the Play Store says "not found".

So don't delete it from your tablet, because it sounds like you'll never get it back.

Though it sounds like Locus has something similar built right into it now.  Live Tracking I think it's called.  (I'll never figure that entire app out; he adds features faster than I can learn them.)

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11 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

  It doesn't exist anymore; the Google result into the Play Store says "not found".

So don't delete it from your tablet, because it sounds like you'll never get it back.

Though it sounds like Locus has something similar built right into it now.  Live Tracking I think it's called.  (I'll never figure that entire app out; he adds features faster than I can learn them.)

Quite possibly. I don't even remember exactly what it does.  I think it automatically records your location at intervals so you could find your way back.  I am sure it has been rolled into a regular feature.  I loaded it about 5 years ago. 

Yes, Locus is a very robust app with screens and abilities, I still haven't fully explored.

I kept the Note4 for the swappable batteries.  I prefer that to having a brick tethered to it.  That's why I haven't had to reload the apps.

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