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geospyder

6 year old Etrex30 - Upgrade to what?

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We use a six year old Etrex30 for geocaching.  The last couple years we average about 125 caches a year.  mainly in foreign countries when we travel.  Today we participated in a local Poker Run and while we had fun we were frustrated.  Not having a computer or a master GPS to transfer the cache coordinates, we had to enter each cache by hand.  Maybe there was a better way but we entered each of the caches as "waypoints".   Not much I could do with "waypoints" other than go to them.  I couldn't "Find" them to differentiate the found ones from the unfound ones.  Also couldn't find a way to update the coordinates of the waypint on the puzzle ones.  Long story short - we were wondering if an upgrade would make things easier?  If so, what is the most popular GPS at the moment?

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35 minutes ago, geospyder said:

We use a six year old Etrex30 for geocaching.  The last couple years we average about 125 caches a year.  mainly in foreign countries when we travel.  Today we participated in a local Poker Run and while we had fun we were frustrated.  Not having a computer or a master GPS to transfer the cache coordinates, we had to enter each cache by hand.  Maybe there was a better way but we entered each of the caches as "waypoints".   Not much I could do with "waypoints" other than go to them.  I couldn't "Find" them to differentiate the found ones from the unfound ones.  Also couldn't find a way to update the coordinates of the waypint on the puzzle ones.  Long story short - we were wondering if an upgrade would make things easier?  If so, what is the most popular GPS at the moment?

 

Do you still have no computer to transfer cache coordinates?  If you do, the Etrex 30 can load GPX files.  If not, in many cases you might be back to what you had, waypoints, even with a new GPS.

 

Some higher-end GPSs can pull paperless Geocache info over wifi.  That could work if you have a smartphone, or access to a hotspot. 

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I think they were at an event where the new caches weren't published ahead of time. Usually for these kinds of events, the coordinator is nice enough to bring a computer or two for people to hook up and transfer caches to their device. But I suppose that isn't always the case.

Rather than just get a new GPS, I do recommend the smartphone method. After all, even if you were to buy an Oregon 700 and find yourself in the same situation where caches publish during the event, you'll still need the same connection to the internet (IE your phone) to download caches wirelessly to the GPS. 

Many of us understand that geocaching by phone when you're used to a GPS isn't as optimal, but it's not a deal killer. Even the official app is useable, though there are several 3rd party API apps that you might like - more choices for Android than iOS, but still choices. 

The eTrex 30 is still a capable GPS device and unless you are running into its limitations, such as the 5000 geocache limit, or aren't happy with the joystick interface or the device has stopped working properly, there's no NEED to upgrade (I do understand the want and desire). At the moment, the only GPS that will let you geocache without connecting to a computer is the Oregon 700 series. But that may change in the near future. 

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16 minutes ago, Mineral2 said:

I think they were at an event where the new caches weren't published ahead of time. Usually for these kinds of events, the coordinator is nice enough to bring a computer or two for people to hook up and transfer caches to their device. But I suppose that isn't always the case.

 

Yeah that's probably what geospyder meant.  I've never had the convenience of a provided computer.  Often I just find a table to type the list as waypoints, while everyone else runs off and types on the run.  Either way, it's waypoints and the printout, regardless of GPS fanciness.  It's out in the boonies anyway where the phone won't connect.

 

For a couple, including the most recent in-town "GeoPath", I brought my laptop PC.  This time I was at a Hotspot, and when the caches were published, I created a public bookmark list, and saved the whole shebang with the PC.

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1 hour ago, Mineral2 said:

I think they were at an event where the new caches weren't published ahead of time. Usually for these kinds of events, the coordinator is nice enough to bring a computer or two for people to hook up and transfer caches to their device. But I suppose that isn't always the case.

Rather than just get a new GPS, I do recommend the smartphone method. After all, even if you were to buy an Oregon 700 and find yourself in the same situation where caches publish during the event, you'll still need the same connection to the internet (IE your phone) to download caches wirelessly to the GPS. 

Many of us understand that geocaching by phone when you're used to a GPS isn't as optimal, but it's not a deal killer. Even the official app is useable, though there are several 3rd party API apps that you might like - more choices for Android than iOS, but still choices. 

The eTrex 30 is still a capable GPS device and unless you are running into its limitations, such as the 5000 geocache limit, or aren't happy with the joystick interface or the device has stopped working properly, there's no NEED to upgrade (I do understand the want and desire). At the moment, the only GPS that will let you geocache without connecting to a computer is the Oregon 700 series. But that may change in the near future. 

That was the situation - caches had not been published and the organizer didn't bring a computer to load the coords.  Was surprised how frustrated I got trying to load 18 caches into my GPS using that mini joy stick.  Might be worth it just to get a touch screen.  As you said - there is no NEED to upgrade but... <_<

Edited by geospyder

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41 minutes ago, geospyder said:

That was the situation - caches had not been published and the organizer didn't bring a computer to load the coords.  Was surprised how frustrated I got trying to load 18 caches into my GPS using that mini joy stick.  Might be worth it just to get a touch screen.  As you said - there is no NEED to upgrade but... :-)

 

Using EasyGPS (and other software), you can type GPX files that are seen by the GPS as Geocaches.  I've only done that for a handful of caches for personal testing, never tried it at a Poker Run style event.  I don't bring my laptop to the forest.  Anyway, it's kind of over-kill if there's a cache info sheet.  But at least the cache pages are composed on a PC, for easier data entry and where you can then load all of them to show whatever icons seem best.

 

Edited by kunarion

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OK - no new GPS  :( Just searched the Owner Manual and found that there is a Waypoint Manager that allows you to modify the waypoint and/or delete it.  Wish I had known that this morning :-)  A lot easier to learn the functions when you aren't under a time pressure of the Poker Run.   Also learned how to use smiles :rolleyes:  I'm getting educated tonight.  Now if I can just get my changed title and signature to show.

Edited by geospyder

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If you are looking to upgrade I might suggest the Gpsmap 64st.  Garmin is updating this model shortly, and you may be able to find this model for a little over $200. The new model will be $499.  This gps has the .ggz file capability and you can load all your .gpx files into the gps using GSAK.  If you get new coords in the field, then you can get coords from a similar device sent to your gps.  Granted this is not a speedy process, but it works.  Just another couple of ideas to consider.  PeoriaBill :>)

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On 9/2/2018 at 9:48 PM, geospyder said:

That was the situation - caches had not been published and the organizer didn't bring a computer to load the coords.  Was surprised how frustrated I got trying to load 18 caches into my GPS using that mini joy stick.  Might be worth it just to get a touch screen.  As you said - there is no NEED to upgrade but... <_<

Your experience is almost identical to mine 6 or so years ago. Poker Run, eTrex 30, unpublished caches. CO handed out a printed sheet with GCCodes, Name and coords. Manually entering all the waypoints was quite tedious. 

 

Bad news - Regardless of touchscreen or not, they would all have to be entered as Waypoints. But it would indeed be faster with a touchscreen unit.

 

What I would do differently today: Just use a phone app for the Poker Run and enter the caches as additional waypoints to the event cache that you already have loaded. Much easier entry using the phone touchscreen and you can navigate to each waypoint individually. If you already have a fairly recent model phone, there would be no expense involved. 

 

Of course if you really WANT to upgrade to a new Garmin, this issue would provide a good justification to obtain spousal approval for throwing more $$ into your hobby. 😁

 

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