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RobertAeiouy

GPS watch with lat/lon display?

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I am considering buying a GPS wristwatch, but I want one that I would consider user-friendly.

 

First, a bit of background on what I consider user-friendly. I wear a "traditional" digital wristwatch. Its job is to show me the time and the date. That's it. That's all I need. No bells, no whistles, no graphics, no animations, no alerts, no reminders, just the time and the date. OK, I lied. It has a stopwatch and an alarm which I occasionally use, but that's beside the point.

 

I want a GPS watch that shows me where I am the same way that my current wristwatch shows me when I am. In other words, I want one that will STFU and show me degrees, minutes, and seconds the way my current one shows me hours, minutes, and seconds. The "STFU" part is important. I am old enough to remember a time when a machine did one thing and one thing only, and that's how I want this watch to behave. (OK, I also want it to tell time, but the time is really just another "coordinate", so I don't mind.)

 

Any recommendations?

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I'm not sure you have come to the right place.  Being a Geocaching forum, people here need their device to do a lot of things.  I'm sure most GPs watches will do that, but obviously they would do a lot more as there would be no market for what you ask.  You are best to go to a store and play with them until you find one that works in a way that is acceptable to your desires.

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1 hour ago, Red90 said:

Being a Geocaching forum, people here need their device to do a lot of things.

I don't understand. What "things" comprise this "lot", and what is it about geocaching that makes this "lot of things" necessary?

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12 hours ago, RobertAeiouy said:

I am considering buying a GPS wristwatch, but I want one that I would consider user-friendly.

 

First, a bit of background on what I consider user-friendly. I wear a "traditional" digital wristwatch. Its job is to show me the time and the date. That's it. That's all I need. No bells, no whistles, no graphics, no animations, no alerts, no reminders, just the time and the date. OK, I lied. It has a stopwatch and an alarm which I occasionally use, but that's beside the point.

 

I want a GPS watch that shows me where I am the same way that my current wristwatch shows me when I am. In other words, I want one that will STFU and show me degrees, minutes, and seconds the way my current one shows me hours, minutes, and seconds. The "STFU" part is important. I am old enough to remember a time when a machine did one thing and one thing only, and that's how I want this watch to behave. (OK, I also want it to tell time, but the time is really just another "coordinate", so I don't mind.)

 

Any recommendations?

 

You will need to be more specific on what you plan to do. There are inexpensive “fitness” watches that can collect GPS data, yet don't display coordinates and don't have a magnetic compass. More expensive “smart watches” can show and even save current GPS coordinates, and may have a compass. But the price goes up from a “fitness watch”, and many more features are available. Using the watch becomes more complicated with more features, and there will be controls to learn. The prices vary widely, as does the quality and the features.

 

I found out that I can't find a Geocache by simply watching numbers change, trying to match coordinates on the device to coordinates on a cache page. If you prefer that process, look for smart watches that show current GPS coordinates, and have a compass. You didn't mention what kind of phone you have, but if you hunt caches where there's a phone data signal, you may find a smart watch that works well with a phone.

 

Here are some, and again, you must first decide what you want to do, so these are just examples:

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074RDC8BC/ref=psdc_7939901011_t3_B075L2CN83

 

https://www.mensjournal.com/gear/best-rugged-outdoors-focused-smartwatches-2018/

 

 

The first one shows a screen of coordinates right there on the page. Maybe that one would do.

 

But if you wish to find caches conveniently wherever you are, you'd be better off with a device that can load cache info, at least coordinates to the cache. There's important information on a cache page beyond just the posted coordinates, and certainly not all smart watches will be able to handle all of that. They also have strict limits on the amount of data they may hold.

 

OK, the subject is new watches, and maybe a “watch” alone is the only thing you'll consider, and that's great. But you could instead get a handheld GPS, and pre-load a large number of caches that can be found regardless of a phone signal. And some GPSs can get data directly from a connected phone. And of course many phones work fine offline or online, with various Apps. I could recommend some of those for sure, which provide everything you need to find Geocaches in the wilds.

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1 hour ago, RobertAeiouy said:

I don't understand. What "things" comprise this "lot", and what is it about geocaching that makes this "lot of things" necessary?

 

Perhaps I should use the word "want" and not "need".  But really why spend a lot of money on a GPS that does very little?  Watches are generally not a great choice for a Geocacher.  They are mostly used by runners.  Runners want lightweight and they want to see running centric information.  The other main users are hikers.  They want maps, waypoint location information, and track information (distance covered, distance to remain, elevation history).  Very few people care about what are their current coordinates.

 

Geocacher desired features:

Have a map to see how to get there.

Have a direction arrow and distance to zero in on the location.

Have the geocache description, hint and previous logs available to read when needed.

Be able to store notes for logging later on. 

Enter new waypoints and navigate to different waypoints for multi and mystery caches.

Do projections.

Edited by Red90
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12 hours ago, RobertAeiouy said:

I am considering buying a GPS wristwatch, but I want one that I would consider user-friendly.

First, a bit of background on what I consider user-friendly. I wear a "traditional" digital wristwatch. Its job is to show me the time and the date. That's it. That's all I need. No bells, no whistles, no graphics, no animations, no alerts, no reminders, just the time and the date. OK, I lied. It has a stopwatch and an alarm which I occasionally use, but that's beside the point.

I want a GPS watch that shows me where I am the same way that my current wristwatch shows me when I am. In other words, I want one that will STFU and show me degrees, minutes, and seconds the way my current one shows me hours, minutes, and seconds. The "STFU" part is important. I am old enough to remember a time when a machine did one thing and one thing only, and that's how I want this watch to behave. (OK, I also want it to tell time, but the time is really just another "coordinate", so I don't mind.)

Any recommendations?

 

You don't say if this is for caching, but IIRC,  one of the Fenix  watches might be what you're looking for.

There's also apple watch and Samsung gear for android (you didn't say what if any, phone you're using either)

 

The other 2/3rds used assorted GPS watches when riding her Harley for routes and caching (I used my 60csx in a RAM carrier)..

IIRC ... forerunner, and that clunky foretrex... and a couple of no-name brands,  but none worked well enough (for her).

Her iphone does all that now, simple carrier on the bike, with an earbud under her older helmets, built in with the new one.

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4 hours ago, Red90 said:

 Very few people care about what are their current coordinates.

I do not understand.

 

A traditional watch gives me one of my four spacetime coordinates. I simply want to be able to see at least two more coordinates than what I can now see.

 

No, really, how is "meet me at so many degrees, minutes, and seconds latitude and longitude" much different than "meet me at so many minutes past such-and-such an hour"? Other than the fact that, with time, you can't backtrack.

 

You (plural) apparently aim to avoid looking at those icky, icky coordinates.

I aim to avoid 21st-century information overload.

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4 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

one of the Fenix  watches might be what you're looking for.

I cannot justify spending six hundred dollars on a material object.

 

If I wish to keep track of more numbers, I use pen and paper for that. If pen and paper were too much of a hassle, I would probably come up with some stupid mnemonic for the numbers and just remember them that way.

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2 hours ago, RobertAeiouy said:

I cannot justify spending six hundred dollars on a material object.

 

You didn't specify your budget. What about the $100 one I posted?

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16 hours ago, RobertAeiouy said:

You (plural) apparently aim to avoid looking at those icky, icky coordinates.

I aim to avoid 21st-century information overload.

 

I understand what you want.  You just should try and understand that your desires are not a common one.  Not being a common desire, it is not likely someone will build a device to meet them.

 

Most GPS watches will display coordinates and time.  BUT, they also do many other things.  As I stated earlier, YOU will need to actually look at them YOURSELF to determine that if the way in which the information is displayed and accessed is in a way that YOU prefer,

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21 hours ago, RobertAeiouy said:

I aim to avoid 21st-century information overload.

So you aim to avoid information overload, but need to know something as inconsequential as your coordinates at any given time?

 

21 hours ago, RobertAeiouy said:

No, really, how is "meet me at so many degrees, minutes, and seconds latitude and longitude" much different than "meet me at so many minutes past such-and-such an hour"?

Everyone understands time. However for you to ask of someone to meet you at these coordinates requires that the recipient(s) also understand their location according to those coordinates. It's much easier to say "meet me at this address" or "meet me at this restaurant/store/place of interest."

 

 

21 hours ago, RobertAeiouy said:

If I wish to keep track of more numbers, I use pen and paper for that. If pen and paper were too much of a hassle, I would probably come up with some stupid mnemonic for the numbers and just remember them that way.

What other numbers do you refer to? A GPS (and by extension, a GPS watch) only really keeps track of four numbers - latitude coordinates, longitude coordinates, elevation, and time. Everything else - speed, direction of travel, distance travelled - those are all calculations made by the internal computer - calculations that you don't really want to be making by hand with pen and paper, but are inconsequential for a simple computer to make. Watches tend to be made for fitness, so they also include a heartrate sensor and maybe an accelerometer that can detect movements to count steps and sometimes help with more accurate speed calculations. 

The point is, these devices make use of very few raw data points to extrapolate all of the extra variables that you can track. Also, as I mentioned above, GPS watches are made for fitness gurus, so just reporting your coordinates isn't going to be enough for these devices to sell. Of course they're going to do extra things like record whole tracks of your activity, include elevation, speed/pacing, heartrate (if available) and estimate calories burned. And for those using GPS for navigation, almost nobody wants to know their coordinates in real time. That's not how havigation works. Instead, people are more interested in the direction and distance to a destination. The GPS takes your location coordinates and the coordinates of the destination and computes a more useable and relatable metric for output. And if you want to know the coordinates of a particular location based on you being there, you would just mark a waypoint rather than look at the GPS and write down the coordinates on paper. Of course, the option to display coordinates is there if you really want that - if you need it to transfer your navigation methods to a map and compass to chart a route.

So yes, you can buy a Garmin Fenix or similar watch and make it only display the time and coordinates. But it will come with other features. Just ignore them. But the most basic GPS watches won't even do that. They'll just log your activity for you to retrieve later when you get home and download the information to a computer, showing you only the time on your wrist.

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