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Warbones

Magellan Meridian Color paperweight.

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I've done a few using my Android but really enjoyed using a GPSr. Maybe the ruggedness of the device? At any rate I dug out my Meridian color and thought I'd see if it was possible to update the maps...etc. Didn't have any luck calling Magallen direct and in fact was given another number which played a recording that and hangs up after giving you a web address for technical support...which also doesn't list my device. SO...I need to find it a home and start looking into what else is new and available or get into the habit of using my phone. It does have a bigger screen which is nice.  Any other Pros or cons?

Edited by Warbones

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Unless you live in Australia, Magellan has closed shop on its recreational handhelds. There's nothing wrong with using an Android phone. Some phones even connect to the GLONASS satellites in addition to GPS. 

 

I've been a fan of Geooh and GCDroid as alternative apps to the official app. Geooh even has a built in Wherigo player. 

 

But if you do find yourself pining for a standalone GPS receiver, you're nearly limited to a Garmin.

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What a great series.....I have at least two of every model and several of the Platinum, many new in the box. I still think the Platinum had the best three axis compass ever. I used to cache with a friend who was cripple and couldn't walk much but with the Platinum he didn't have to.

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I still have three Magellan Meridian Platinum GPS's (not color) and still use them on our Polaris RZR for navigation. We also still have Magellan's old MapSend software that has TOPO maps for the entire country and we use it to put the necessary maps into the GPS. It's definitely old-tech, and takes seemingly forever to find the sats, but once it does it works fine. I've been thinking of upgrading to something new (I'm not a big fan of the phone app, but that's just me). I see that Magellan has bailed out of the hand-held market so that pretty much leaves Garmin the only choice. I like to get 'wordy' when I log finds, but the phone limits that, and also limits the number of pics you can upload.

 

Upwards of $400 for the top of the line Garmin is a bit much. I can afford it, I just can't get past the price!

 

We've been down here in Quartzsite, AZ for the past week (dodging the virus!) and doing lots of Geocaching with our phone(s). The distance jumping around that we get sometimes when zeroing in on a cache is what makes me think we should get a new dedicated GPS that might be a bit more accurate. Is this a logical assumption?

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You can use the phone to save draft logs and finish then on the computer later.

 

You also don't need the lastest or most expensive Garmin to get a significant update from the Magellan you are currently using.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/25/2020 at 12:59 PM, T & G's Adventures said:

Upwards of $400 for the top of the line Garmin is a bit much. I can afford it, I just can't get past the price!

 

We've been down here in Quartzsite, AZ for the past week (dodging the virus!) and doing lots of Geocaching with our phone(s). The distance jumping around that we get sometimes when zeroing in on a cache is what makes me think we should get a new dedicated GPS that might be a bit more accurate. Is this a logical assumption?

 

You're gonna get a few replies that insist phones are just as good if not better than dedicated GPSr, and you will get a few replies that say the opposite.

 

I personally like to use a dedicated GPSr, especially on my side by side.

 

Garmin is the only game in town now.

 

I know you are having some trouble swallowing the $$ you are seeing for some of them, but they do so much more than the devices you are replacing, and, adjusting for inflation, the pricing on top end units has actually dropped over the years.

 

If you do not have to have a new GPSr now, I strongly suggest waiting a few months to see what (if any) new equipment Garmin may announce later this summer.

 

 

Edited by Atlas Cached
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8 hours ago, T & G's Adventures said:

 

 

Upwards of $400 for the top of the line Garmin is a bit much. I can afford it, I just can't get past the price!

 

Etrex 30x is about $130 and just as accurate as a $400+ GPS unit. 

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11 hours ago, gpsblake said:

 

Etrex 30x is about $130 and just as accurate as a $400+ GPS unit. 

 

Indeed.

 

However, the screen is especially small even for handheld use, much less trying to use the device for navigation on an off-road vehicle.

 

There are (and will be) much better options with larger screens for this purpose.

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20 hours ago, T & G's Adventures said:

We've been down here in Quartzsite, AZ for the past week (dodging the virus!) and doing lots of Geocaching with our phone(s).

The distance jumping around that we get sometimes when zeroing in on a cache is what makes me think we should get a new dedicated GPS that might be a bit more accurate. Is this a logical assumption?

 

Well...maybe, but signal bounce is a handheld GPSr thing as well.   Civilian GPS is only "accurate" to around ten feet too. 

If "zeroing in" means 25 feet or so, we already have our GPSrs put away and looking by then.    :)

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I think you should use your Meridian Color......with the latest firmware installed it will take a 2G card with maps of the whole US plus over 1,000,000 caches stored as waypoints. I think the maps were Mapsend and would be old but very usable for caching.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, BAMBOOZLE said:

I think you should use your Meridian Color......with the latest firmware installed it will take a 2G card with maps of the whole US plus over 1,000,000 caches stored as waypoints. I think the maps were Mapsend and would be old but very usable for caching.

 

Hmmm, my AZ maps are more than 2GB alone. So I guess it just depends on how much map data you need or want. Some early eTrex models had a complete US map under 8MB.... not much map info there though.

 

Edited by Atlas Cached

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The Meridian *is* one of those turn-of-the-century models that had an 8MB base map. You could get POIs for cities that included data like population (which was presumably used for ranking search output and for deciding how to format the drawn image. It had interstates and state route highways that were so coarse they simply disappeared below the 2Mi/tick scale. If you haunted an area small enough to fit into the other 8MB, life wasn't too bad with the M330/Meridian  Adding more via the SD card helped. IIRC, other developments in the industry killed the Meridian. 

If you don't compare the Mericolor to anything modern and set your expectations for spring of 2001, you'll probably be reasonably pleased with it. Check the https://forums.geocaching.com/GC/index.php?/topic/140085-collection-of-faqs/ doc and be aware of the following age badges for these:
The color one doesn't hold up well in sunlight. It was just the panels available at the time.
If you have units that have been in use all this time, be prepared for battery pads. Stock up on springs and your soldering skills.
These units were designed when Selective Availablity was a thing. They use "static inertia" to compute your location based on a decayed position of your laster several (15? 20?) seconds. If you're speed hunting, this will drive you crazy because if you jog up to it, it's going to keep jogging. You may walk past the geocache in this time. It's what they do and there is no fix If you accept it and learn to just tie it into a tree for a few minutes and looking around before picking the GPS settles.
The case (buttons, charger, speaker, etc.) tends to age less well than the main PCB. If you have electronics skills, often the easiest (non-urgent) way to fix them is to buy slightly brokens ones  

Use the searc forums here. Since Yahoo canned the archives, this is one of the better places to look for info.

Enjoy!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all this info on 'new' GPS's. We're still doing  combined searches using both our phones and our ancient Magellans. The cool thing about the phones is that we can be driving somewhere (towing our RV) and wifey will spot an upcoming cache where we can pull over and nab it. But, as I and others have mentioned, the phone maps are hard to see if we're in our RZR bouncing along out in the boonies. So is the old Magellan for that matter, but it beats NO GPS at all.

I guess we need to go "GPS shopping" at a sporting store that has a big display of various GPS's that we can look at, hold, and get a feeling for. It would also help if the guy or gal behind the counter has actual experience with the products. Not sure how much of that there is out there.

Again, thanks for the info and tips. Gives us something to think about.

Added later:

Speaking of "Thinking about", I just read something about the phone app. I totally forgot about how caches we were out looking for would not show up if there was no cell service. Where we do a lot of caching (NV, AZ, ID, etc), we often run out of cell service, and once that happens, the phone apps are pretty much worthless. Dang! This is where a good old fashioned GPS shines, as long as it doesn't need cell service to work. Totally forgot about that.

Edited by T & G's Adventures

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1 hour ago, T & G's Adventures said:

Speaking of "Thinking about", I just read something about the phone app. I totally forgot about how caches we were out looking for would not show up if there was no cell service. Where we do a lot of caching (NV, AZ, ID, etc), we often run out of cell service, and once that happens, the phone apps are pretty much worthless. Dang! This is where a good old fashioned GPS shines, as long as it doesn't need cell service to work. Totally forgot about that.

 

The newer Garmin GPSr with GCLive capability can load geocache data directly on the device using your phones internet connection. For ares like you mention, it only takes a few minutes before you enter these dead zones to download that data on the GPSr  while you still have cell service. Still much easier than planning everything at home days or weeks ahead of time, only to find out the cache you are looking for had an important status update since then, or a new one was hidden you do not even know about until after you are back home!

 

I couldn't imagine caching without a Garmin GCLive GPSr, especially in these environments. (I'm not talking about the urban caching)

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1 hour ago, T & G's Adventures said:

Speaking of "Thinking about", I just read something about the phone app. I totally forgot about how caches we were out looking for would not show up if there was no cell service. Where we do a lot of caching (NV, AZ, ID, etc), we often run out of cell service, and once that happens, the phone apps are pretty much worthless. Dang! This is where a good old fashioned GPS shines, as long as it doesn't need cell service to work. Totally forgot about that.

The Groundspeak app will let you download lists and pocket queries (have to run them first) for offline use. It downloads the "trails" map along with it, so you get a basemap under all those caches. Other apps have offline options as well. You don't need cell service to cache with your phone. But like with a GPS, you do need to plan ahead.

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