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buffalowind

Need a good, modern, moderate priced handheld. Suggestions, please

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Posted (edited)

Hiya. My old Garmin is no longer able to connect with my PC, so I need to upgrade.

The array available is so confusing now, was wondering what are the most useful attributes and maybe even the best models, please?

I looked at the Garmin Etrex 32x with the three axis compass etc. Is this a good unit? Need to be able to get the cache details either from my phone or my PC.

I tried using my phone, but it's not accurate enough

Thanks for any help / suggestions

Regards

Steve

Edited by buffalowind

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I moved this thread from the Geocaching Topics forum. 

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More or less all the Garmin handhelds do what you want.  The difference are the input method (buttons or touchscreen) and screen size.  Also the lower priced models run a bit slower.  My suggestion is to find a store to look at them in person and see what you like versus the cost.

 

The newest models Gpsmap 66 and Oregon 700 series have wifi and bluetooth to get live information through a phone.  But these are pretty expensive. 

 

You can also still read the cache info on your phone and navigate with the GPS, if you want.

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Sometimes you'll find the previous generation of GPS on sale. So an Oregon 600, for example, is still a great workhorse GPS unit but can be found for the price of the new  eTrex 32x, or even less. 

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Look into a Garmin that is Wherigo compatable.  I've seen several geocaching tours/adventures.

 

I have an Oregon 400

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15 minutes ago, mksamelson said:

Look into a Garmin that is Wherigo compatable.  I've seen several geocaching tours/adventures.

 

I have an Oregon 400

The new Garmins have no Wherigo player anymore.

 

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10 hours ago, buffalowind said:

Hiya. My old Garmin is no longer able to connect with my PC, so I need to upgrade.

The array available is so confusing now, was wondering what are the most useful attributes and maybe even the best models, please?

I looked at the Garmin Etrex 32x with the three axis compass etc. Is this a good unit? Need to be able to get the cache details either from my phone or my PC.

I tried using my phone, but it's not accurate enough

 

You don't say what phone you're using,  or what GPSr is now not able to connect.  

See you had a nine-year break.  I remember some phones  then had issues...

I prefer a handheld GPSr to a phone for reasons other than "accuracy" in modern devices.      :)

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Posted (edited)

A ruggedized Android phone from AliExpress, unlocked without contract (I paid US$150 for a Blackview BV6000s), plus a quality caching app (eg Locus Map Pro), in combination, functions as a complete Garmin replacement.  Readability in brightest sunlight is the only issue; I have to turn so it's in my shadow.  I can live with that.  But in other areas, a phone outperforms.  Screen resolution alone beats the pants/skirt off even the priciest Garmin.

 

Nothing says you have to use such a unit as your regular phone.  If you don't bother putting in a SIM, you essentially have a PDA with lots of functionality.  Or a GPS unit ...with lots of functionality.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido

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58 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

A ruggedized Android phone from AliExpress, unlocked without contract (I paid US$150 for a Blackview BV6000s), plus a quality caching app (eg Locus Map Pro), in combination, functions as a complete Garmin replacement.  Readability in brightest sunlight is the only issue; I have to turn so it's in my shadow.  I can live with that.  But in other areas, a phone outperforms.  Screen resolution alone beats the pants/skirt off even the priciest Garmin.

 

Nothing says you have to use such a unit as your regular phone.  If you don't bother putting in a SIM, you essentially have a PDA with lots of functionality.  Or a GPS unit ...with lots of functionality.

 

I've been exploring the phone option but have one question, are GPX files loaded online only or can you load a custom GPX from a computer?

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

I've been exploring the phone option but have one question, are GPX files loaded online only or can you load a custom GPX from a computer?

 

Depending on the App, there are ways to load GPX files onto the phone where the App can read them.  I used to load directly to a phone or tablet, or I used wifi and hotspots.  I have a Blackview phone but had bad luck with it, and I also had other even cheaper used phones and a tablet, each for Geocaching and loaded usually over wifi, without a data subscription.  But I can't stand not being able to see anything on the screen in daylight, and the limited battery and heating of phones/tablets, and I don't care for "the Apps" because of the menu maze and how they always seem to need to "go online" for something (frequently), so I use a Garmin GPS for most Geocaching.

 

But you have more App options (and it's more convenient) if you have access to wifi to load them in advance or at Hotspots along the way, rather than loading from a computer.

 

Edited by kunarion

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35 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

I've been exploring the phone option but have one question, are GPX files loaded online only or can you load a custom GPX from a computer?

 

Depends on the app.

 

In Locus, you can "push" GPX files into it (eg tapping on the file-downloaded notification, or trying to open one in a file manager), or "pull" in GPX files directly from Groundspeak (by going "Load Pocket Queries").  In the latter case, you don't have to handle GPX files directly at all.

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3 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

 

Depends on the app.

 

In Locus, you can "push" GPX files into it (eg tapping on the file-downloaded notification, or trying to open one in a file manager), or "pull" in GPX files directly from Groundspeak (by going "Load Pocket Queries").  In the latter case, you don't have to handle GPX files directly at all.

I should probably explain what I'm doing. Once I have a list of caches I want to use I add notes, change child waypoints from POI to geocaches, and include spoiler pictures. The only place the modified GPX exists is on my desktop, just drag and drop to the GPSr. I'm wondering if there are phone apps that will do the same, I'm clueless about phone file systems. Apologies to the OP for the hijack I should probably start a new thread with this question.

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Posted (edited)

I have answeritis, sorry, can't resist.

 

Yes, with (presumably) any caching phone app, you should be able to move your custom GPX into the phone, eg via a file manager, then "activate" it somehow, eg by a double-tap.  Then, any app registered as understanding GPX files should wake up and say, I'll handle that.

 

If you'd like to open a separate thread, I can elaborate, especially regarding spoiler pictures...

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido

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23 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

I have answeritis, sorry, can't resist.

 

Yes, with (presumably) any caching phone app, you should be able to move your custom GPX into the phone, eg via a file manager, then "activate" it somehow, eg by a double-tap.  Then, any app registered as understanding GPX files should wake up and say, I'll handle that.

 

If you'd like to open a separate thread, I can elaborate, especially regarding spoiler pictures...

 

Thanks, I'm on the road right now so any conversation will be hit or miss until I get back home around the first of the month.

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Nothing else but Garmin? It's sad. :( Seriously there is no any other brand for handheld gsps? :O 

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On 7/20/2019 at 8:12 PM, cerberus1 said:

 

You don't say what phone you're using,  or what GPSr is now not able to connect.  

See you had a nine-year break.  I remember some phones  then had issues...

I prefer a handheld GPSr to a phone for reasons other than "accuracy" in modern devices.      :)

Thanks for your response. I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 now and I had an old Etrex. The Etrex was no longer compatible with either Windows or my Macbook. I have tried the Samsung and it is SO inaccurate on the Geocaching app, we were never sure exactly where the item actually was, until we found it.

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5 minutes ago, klaszlo89 said:

Nothing else but Garmin? It's sad. :( Seriously there is no any other brand for handheld gsps? :O 

Thanks for the response. Not really sure what you are suggesting? I have used Garmin for the last 30 odd years and I am used to them. Maybe you could have used the comment to suggest something else, if you also have a preference or suggestion? 

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7 hours ago, klaszlo89 said:

Nothing else but Garmin? It's sad. :( Seriously there is no any other brand for handheld gsps? 😮

Nope. Smart phones have outcompeted the handheld market. Garmin already had a majority of the market share of handheld GPS receivers. Magellan stopped making them. DeLorme was bought by Garmin. Lowrance... few people used these to begin with. So while Garmin is the last brand standing, it's still contending with a shrinking niche market.

 

7 hours ago, buffalowind said:

Thanks for your response. I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 now and I had an old Etrex. The Etrex was no longer compatible with either Windows or my Macbook. I have tried the Samsung and it is SO inaccurate on the Geocaching app, we were never sure exactly where the item actually was, until we found it.

Check your location settings and make sure it is set to high accuracy. An S7 should be able to give you a location as precise and accurate as any GPS. My Galaxy S6 works. The lag is a bit slower than a Garmin, but i can still get there when i don't have my Garmin on hand.

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8 hours ago, buffalowind said:

Thanks for your response. I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 now and I had an old Etrex. The Etrex was no longer compatible with either Windows or my Macbook. I have tried the Samsung and it is SO inaccurate on the Geocaching app, we were never sure exactly where the item actually was, until we found it.

 

I'd agree with Mineral2, that maybe there's something not quite right with your phone.

Anyone I've bumped into using one of the same (galaxy 6-9 so far) was within feet of me.  My nephew uses a 9. 

Bounce is the same whether you have a handheld or phone, and civilian GPS "accuracy" hasn't changed since you took a break.

These days phones are just as "accurate" as a handheld GPSr, but JIC you were hoping  for someone to say go for it on that 32x ...

Go for it.   :)     

 - But scan a few pages in these GPS forums first, and see that a bunch of newer units are having too many issues.

 

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8 hours ago, buffalowind said:

I have tried the Samsung and it is SO inaccurate on the Geocaching app

 

That app might filter the GPS signals too much, or not enough, dunno.

 

One nice thing about phones: you can choose from multiple caching apps.  Try another, also the settings suggested above.  Garmins give you one choice of app, take it or leave it.

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Sounds like a locations settings issue on the S7.

 

I had an S7 Edge (now have an S9+) and there were times when the S7 was able to zero in on the cache location better than my Oregon 600 could.

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