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Hey O

Functionality of newer Garmin GPS units

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Over the last several years I have been my iPhone app when geocaching.  However, often I find myself in areas where I have no cell coverage, thus I can't geocache.  I use to use my Garmin 60 series GPS to download caches, but it is no longer supported by geocaching.com.

 

I'm looking for a new GPS system to use, especially in areas where there is no cell coverage.  However, I have a few questions about the newer GPS units.

 

1.  When I used my old GPS (before I started using my iPhone) I would go online and search the area I intended to geocache and then download each cache individually.  With a new GPS, such as the 66i ) will it inherently know where I am and show caches near me or will I still have to either use a computer or tether the unit to my cell phone?  If I still have to use a computer or cell phone then I may not be better off than I was with my old GPS.

 

2.  In addition to needing a computer to download coordinates I would also print a description of each cache, and the carry the paper descriptions with me (including the hints).  Do the newer GPS systems display the descriptions/hints or will I still have to carry paper if I want that information?.

 

3.  Does anyone have recommendations of which GPS units work well.  I have been casually looking at the 66i and Oregon 750T, but if there if no real difference in these over less expensive models I don't see a reason to spend more.

 

Thank you in advance for your help.

 

Keith

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I am pleased I still can use my Etrex30. It would be a sad day if all I could use would be a phone, as I dislike (hugely) using clunky phones. Then I would need to consider whether to continue with geocaching. But I am very happy with my very easy to use, and user-friendly GPS. I do need to plug into a computer though to download the query, which is a weakness. But I am usually an organised person, so rarely a problem.

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3 hours ago, Hey O said:

1.  When I used my old GPS (before I started using my iPhone) I would go online and search the area I intended to geocache and then download each cache individually.  With a new GPS, such as the 66i ) will it inherently know where I am and show caches near me or will I still have to either use a computer or tether the unit to my cell phone?  If I still have to use a computer or cell phone then I may not be better off than I was with my old GPS.

 

All GPSr know where you are, and will display Geocaches near your present location, but they still have to be loaded to the GPSr FIRST. No device can display geocache information before it is loaded to the device, not even your phone. The newer models with GCLive capability (such as the GPSMAP 66 and Oregon 7x0) can load this information directly in the field (without a need to connect computer) via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi internet connection. Even so, you would still be better off with one of these models compared to the older GPSMAP 60 series units.

  

3 hours ago, Hey O said:

2.  In addition to needing a computer to download coordinates I would also print a description of each cache, and the carry the paper descriptions with me (including the hints).  Do the newer GPS systems display the descriptions/hints or will I still have to carry paper if I want that information?.

 

All Garmin GPSr since the Colorado do 'Paperless Geocaching', which means no need to print any information ahead of time - It is all available on the unit itself. So, no, with one of tehse newer units, you do not have to carry printouts to have access to that information.

  

3 hours ago, Hey O said:

3.  Does anyone have recommendations of which GPS units work well.  I have been casually looking at the 66i and Oregon 750T, but if there if no real difference in these over less expensive models I don't see a reason to spend more.

 

You get what you pay for. Some GPSr models are not more expensive because someone in marketing thinks there are people out there that will pay more for a device that does nothing more than a less expensive unit. You can find a lot of good information for both of the units you mentions at GPSrChive.com

  

3 hours ago, Hey O said:

Thank you in advance for your help.

 

Keith

 

You're welcome!

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4 hours ago, Hey O said:

I have no cell coverage, thus I can't geocache

The conclusion is wrong. You can download caches for offline use to your smartphone. Your smartphone's GPS receiver doesn't need cell phone coverage.

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Guess you now know, if your phone has GPS, it works.  :)   The other 2/3rds preferred to use her phone.

 

Curious, do you plan on something other-than the way you've  been caching ? 

No offense, but 86 caches since '07, do you feel all those bells n whistles of a new model will be worth it ?  

I still use a 60csx, and have loaded caches manually since starting.  Simple to do.   I just bought another 60csx.  They work.

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All,

 

Thanks for all the responses.  Just a few comments to some of the responses.

 

1. 

11 hours ago, HHL said:

The conclusion is wrong. You can download caches for offline use to your smartphone. Your smartphone's GPS receiver doesn't need cell phone coverage.

 

I know I can download caches to my cell phone when I have cell coverage, and then geocache offline.  The problem is when I don't have cell coverage and want to geocache and didn't download them in advance. 

 

2. 

4 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Guess you now know, if your phone has GPS, it works.  :)   The other 2/3rds preferred to use her phone.

 

Curious, do you plan on something other-than the way you've  been caching ? 

No offense, but 86 caches since '07, do you feel all those bells n whistles of a new model will be worth it ?  

I still use a 60csx, and have loaded caches manually since starting.  Simple to do.   I just bought another 60csx.  They work.

 

We have only logged 86 caches, but have found a lot more and often we are with others and using their equipment.    I still use my 60csx and manually enter the coordinates, but now the 60csx doesn't appear to be compatible with geocaching.com so I can't download them from the website.  If the 60csx still works with the website I'd like to know how to connect it.  When I try I'm told my device is no longer supported.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hey O said:

I know I can download caches to my cell phone when I have cell coverage, and then geocache offline.  The problem is when I don't have cell coverage and want to geocache and didn't download them in advance. 

Yes, but if this happens with a GPS, you're in the same boat. Whether GPS or Phone, if you plan to go out of cell range, you must plan ahead. And just to reiterate, only the Oregon 700 and GPSMap66 series have live geocaching abilities, and this must be paired with either a wifi connection or your cell phone's data to work. They do not connect to 4g/5g natively. Otherwise, you must plan ahead with a GPS for all geocaching activities. Pocket queries are your friend either way.

 

 

1 hour ago, Hey O said:

We have only logged 86 caches, but have found a lot more and often we are with others and using their equipment.    I still use my 60csx and manually enter the coordinates, but now the 60csx doesn't appear to be compatible with geocaching.com so I can't download them from the website.  If the 60csx still works with the website I'd like to know how to connect it.  When I try I'm told my device is no longer supported.

No GPS connects to the website anymore. The communicator plugins are no longer supported. A newer model will interface with GPX files and geocaches better than the 60 series. Again, you could go back to the Colorado series (not recommended) or even a 62(s) to get this functionality at an inexpensive price point, though current models have removed the limit on the number of geocaches you can load, making them great for larger trips.

I'm not trying to talk you out of a new GPS, just give you an accurate portrayal of their limitations along with the functionality of your phone. I'd hate to see you drop $3-400 and be disappointed. That said, when you work within the limitations, the GPS can be more useful than the phone. But both will get the job done.

Edited by Mineral2
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Curious, do you plan on something other-than the way you've  been caching ? 

No offense, but 86 caches since '07, do you feel all those bells n whistles of a new model will be worth it ?  

I still use a 60csx, and have loaded caches manually since starting.  Simple to do.   I just bought another 60csx.  They work.

 

Number of finds is not always indicative of GPSr usage. Other than in a couple of early years when my younger children loved searching, I have a very modest or small number of finds every year.  Again, other than in those early years, I tend to search for out of the way caches so that is a factor.   If I could get non-navigating proximity alerts working, I would likely have a lot more finds!!  So, looking at my statistics, one may think I use a GPSr very little but that would be the opposite of reality.  This is because never a week goes by where my GPSr does not get used hiking and/or mapping trails, often several times a week. 

 

Your recommendation of the 60csx to the original poster is a good one.  I had a 60csx for over 10 years before it gave up. I loved it and I would have been fine caching to this day with an identical replacement.  But because of my heavy use for hiking, camping and mapping trails, I decided to go with a new 66st.  I am glad I did. In fact, I find I use the GPSr even more now that I have additional capabilities. From my personal experience, I would say anyone that enjoys the GPSr "hobby", and can afford one, should look seriously at one of Garmin's latest units.  I am a convert to the 66 for sure.

 

My wife has recently expressed an interest in getting a "real" GPSr to use instead of her phone. I am delaying her a bit not only for the reasons Mineral2 just posted, but for selfish reasons!  I have seen a few rumours of a new Garmin GPSr of some kind or form being released this summer.  I know nothing about it, whether it is a device or new technology, or really even if any of the rumors are correct.  But I am waiting to see what might happen just in case I want whatever it is! Then I will pass on my 66 to my wife. Wish I could find out more, but I have not been able to.  It may be a mistake to be waiting though as one thing I have learned for sure over the years is:  Whether it is for a new, rumored device, or a long awaited software or firmware update, you can grow old waiting for Garmin to make you happy!  But truthfully, I am very happy that they are at least still producing, selling and supporting handhelds.

Edited by Cheminer Will

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2 hours ago, Hey O said:

We have only logged 86 caches, but have found a lot more and often we are with others and using their equipment.   

I still use my 60csx and manually enter the coordinates, but now the 60csx doesn't appear to be compatible with geocaching.com so I can't download them from the website.  If the 60csx still works with the website I'd like to know how to connect it.  When I try I'm told my device is no longer supported.

 

We don't log all caches as well, events mostly.    :)

Guess I don't get it.    When you enter coordinates into a GPSr manually, there's no need for it to be "compatible with the site".

 

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52 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

We don't log all caches as well, events mostly.    :)

Guess I don't get it.    When you enter coordinates into a GPSr manually, there's no need for it to be "compatible with the site".

 

 

You are correct.  I just liked the ease with which I could download them from the website, as opposed to manually entry. 

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Posted (edited)

I use a 64st and Delorme PN-40 mostly. The 64st is my workhorse, but I prefer the interface of the PN-40 over the Garmin. It's too bad they don't make them anymore. You can pick them up used on ebay for pretty cheap though, and as such, they are a better value than the 64st, IMO. I'd recommend it, especially if you are not looking to pay a lot, but need mapping, and geocache support. 

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000

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1 hour ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I'd recommend it, especially if you are not looking to pay a lot, but need mapping, and geocache support. 

 

Where do you get updated mapping for these units?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

 

Where do you get updated mapping for these units?

 

I'm not exactly sure as I still use the Topo 7 maps that came with mine (~12 years old now). 

 

I believe Garmin offers map updates for them as they bought out Delorme. You can also still find copies of Topo 10 for sale (the latest version before Delorme got bought). 

 

https://support.garmin.com/en-HK/?faq=Lk2XHiRVvX3ueQLUQb0cn6

https://www.amazon.com/DeLorme-US-Software-AO-008517-101-America/dp/B009S4JZ9G

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000

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1 hour ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

 

I'm not exactly sure as I still use the Topo 7 maps that came with mine (~12 years old now). 

 

I believe Garmin offers map updates for them as they bought out Delorme. You can also still find copies of Topo 10 for sale (the latest version before Delorme got bought). 

 

https://support.garmin.com/en-HK/?faq=Lk2XHiRVvX3ueQLUQb0cn6

https://www.amazon.com/DeLorme-US-Software-AO-008517-101-America/dp/B009S4JZ9G

I started caching with a PN-40 in 2010, upgraded to a PN-60 a few years later, and always tracked all the DeLorme releases and web site, and I *never* saw any map updates. I'm not going to check, I'm guessing that the maps you're pointing to are the very same maps you got with Topo 7. The only map updates I ever saw were the space view overlays you could download if you paid for the service. I assume that's the issue Altas Cached is subtly hinting at.

 

I agree with you that the PN user interface is vastly superior, but because of the flaky proprietary cable, I never use my PN-60 anymore.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, dprovan said:

I started caching with a PN-40 in 2010, upgraded to a PN-60 a few years later, and always tracked all the DeLorme releases and web site, and I *never* saw any map updates. I'm not going to check, I'm guessing that the maps you're pointing to are the very same maps you got with Topo 7. The only map updates I ever saw were the space view overlays you could download if you paid for the service. I assume that's the issue Altas Cached is subtly hinting at.

 

I agree with you that the PN user interface is vastly superior, but because of the flaky proprietary cable, I never use my PN-60 anymore.

 

Upon looking at the Garmin page on Delorme map updates, it looks to be for the basemap. There's no date on the page though, so I have no idea how 'updated' they actually are. Regardless, for topo purposes, I find that even the old Topo 7 ones work just fine. If you want street maps, then obviously that could be an issue.

 

It's funny you bring up the cable... they are next to impossible to find, even on ebay. I thought there might at least be some Chinese knock offs out there, but nope. You have to be sure to look for a used PN-20/40/60 for sale that comes with one, and take extreme care of it. Fortunately, mine hasn't been flaky. Still working fine after 12 years. I've owned a lot of GPSrs over the years, but for whatever reason the PN-40 is my favorite to use. I wish Garmin would remake this line with modern tech, but retain the same UI look/feel. I'm not a fan of the UI used in modern Garmin GPSrs.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000

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1 hour ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Upon looking at the Garmin page on Delorme map updates, it looks to be for the basemap. There's no date on the page though, so I have no idea how 'updated' they actually are. Regardless, for topo purposes, I find that even the old Topo 7 ones work just fine. If you want street maps, then obviously that could be an issue.

I was always reasonably satisfied with the old PN maps, I just wanted to be clear they were never updated. I was always amused by walking through a 10 year old neighborhood that my PN-60 thought was a field in the middle of nowhere. I thought it was funny since DeLorme was, as I understood it, a map company with a GPSr sideline, yet it was the map support that was the most pathetic part of the PN experience. The space views you could get off the web were newer, but even they were pretty old.

  

1 hour ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

It's funny you bring up the cable... they are next to impossible to find, even on ebay.

Tell me about it! I was sure I'd find cables all over the place on ebay, but nothing. I'm pretty sure Garmin burned any left over PN cable inventory when they bought DeLorme, and I can't say I blame them. Supporting those cable was probably the death of DeLorme!

 

1 hour ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

You have to be sure to look for a used PN-20/40/60 for sale that comes with one, and take extreme care of it.

I actually don't remember whether my current cable has any problems, but I went through enough cables to not want to trust it. In fact, I suspect my thinking about my PN-60 is a little rosy precisely because I haven't had to try to get the cable to lay down just right so the data connection would work.

 

1 hour ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I wish Garmin would remake this line with modern tech, but retain the same UI look/feel. I'm not a fan of the UI used in modern Garmin GPSrs.

I'd be happy with the old tech. My PN-60 was much faster than my 66st. The 66st is doing all kinds of cool stuff, but nothing I find very useful. And because it's so complicated, it's slow enough to remind me of my PN-40 and how glad I was to leave it behind when I got the PN-60. I cleaned up some old PQs from my 66st the other day, and it took an hour and a half to reload with the fresh set of PQs. I had to cache using my phone. The 66st finally finished and showed the map as I walked up to the car to go home.

 

But a revived PN line will never happen. My guess is that Garmin bought DeLorme because they were sick of people comparing the two.

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Garmin bought DeLorme for the inReach technology. And possibly also for DeLorme's in-house mapping data. At the time of acquisition, the earthmate GPS line was not a serious competitor in the handheld GPS receiver market.

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20 hours ago, dprovan said:

I agree with you that the PN user interface is vastly superior, but because of the flaky proprietary cable, I never use my PN-60 anymore.

The SD card can be removed from a PN and opened in a PC after insertion.  Copy the geocache files (gpx format) into the folder named "waypoints" on the SD card.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, dprovan said:

But a revived PN line will never happen. My guess is that Garmin bought DeLorme because they were sick of people comparing the two.

 

I'm just thankful that someone is still making handheld units period. I've been using them for about 20 years, and to be honest, I thought they would have been discontinued by now with everything moving to smartphones and watches. 

 

There's nothing quite as satisfying as a good quality handheld that uses traditional batteries though. 

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000

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5 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

Garmin bought DeLorme for the inReach technology. And possibly also for DeLorme's in-house mapping data. At the time of acquisition, the earthmate GPS line was not a serious competitor in the handheld GPS receiver market.

I'm sure that's the business case. But I'm also sure the people that competed against and beat the PN product line were thrilled to finally stomp it into the ground for good.

 

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