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NetraLee

Equipment Advice

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Truly enjoy geocaching - but after discovering my perfectly-functioning Garmin is no longer able to connect/download (too old????)

 

I' m looking for a handheld that is easier to see, easier to input.

As I get older, it's more challenge to see the screen and use the unit when it's cold outside!

 

Any advice would be appreciated. 

Thanks!

NetraLee

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9 minutes ago, NetraLee said:

I' m looking for a handheld that is easier to see, easier to input.

 

Do you already have a smartphone? ;)

If so, stick to it.

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1 hour ago, NetraLee said:

Truly enjoy geocaching - but after discovering my perfectly-functioning Garmin is no longer able to connect/download (too old????)

I' m looking for a handheld that is easier to see, easier to input.

As I get older, it's more challenge to see the screen and use the unit when it's cold outside!

Any advice would be appreciated. 

 

Curious ...If viewing the screen in cold weather is a challenge, wouldn't any gizmo have to be viewed in the same, cold weather ?  Thanks.

You don't say what you're using, but if you're still going to do only a couple caches a year, why not just load them manually ?    :)

I've done that since starting, also on a long-discontinued model (60cxs), and simply bring a pocket notepad for notes n stuff.

 

Like RuideAlmeida, if you already have a sorta-smartphone, and going after a couple caches a year, I'd use that.

 - Realize though that as a basic member, the caches you can view on the website above D2/T2 aren't available on the app. 

You'd have to load them manually into the app too.  ;)

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Besides "the app" which is somewhat beginner-focused, there are other quality caching apps for both Android and iOS.

 

And the better apps do allow you to magnify things for old eyes, so you don't need to keep pulling out the reading glasses.  :)  With the bigger screen of a phone, even in magnified mode you still have a usable display.

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I'm actually quite torn. I used to cache with a 60csx. Loved that thing to death. Literally.

 

I had a bit of a lull in geocaching from 2015-2020. I still did it casually. Mostly with an iPhone. Currently have an iPhone XR, and I've found hundreds of caches with it. It's great for casual caching - you've always got it with you, the data plan lets you pop open a map and see what's around, you can log and post photos from it, etc etc. Phones are great for casual geocaching.

 

However, if you plan to do more than a few, you'll kill the battery pretty quick. The reception and accuracy isn't quite as good as a real handheld GPSr. The "compass" is laughably bad. If you lose cell reception in the woods, suddenly you feel very nervous. And in the bitter winter cold, all of that is exacerbated. Touch screens are not great with gloves on. And better make sure you don't ever drop it, or you're totally out of luck.

 

I've started to pick up the hobby again and starting to do more substantial hikes into the woods instead of just park and grabs and short walks. I learned the hard way last week that when you're bushwhacked into the woods a few hundred meters from the trail, relying on the phone to get you back out was iffy.

 

So I bought a GPSMAP 66s. And, well, I kinda hate it. Compared to my previous experience with my 60csx and spoiled by the responsiveness and giant screen of the iPhone. I find the geocaching function on the 66s to be slow and clunky. Takes forever to download a pocket query. Something as simple as the "Found" button on the compass view of my 60csx, is not available on the 66. If I want to mark that I've found the cache, I have to push something like 6 buttons (menu - arrow down to Log Attempt - Found). And the map view with a dashboard is really small.

 

I see that the 64 and 65 do have the Found button on the compass. I'd almost switch just for that. But then I give up the nicer screen of the 66, and other nice features. I'm really torn about whether to just keep the 66 and learn to live with its quirks, "downgrade" to a 64 or 65, or just return it and go back to just my phone (and carry a large power bank in my backpack).

 

Edited by GreyingJay
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7 hours ago, GreyingJay said:

However, if you plan to do more than a few, you'll kill the battery pretty quick.

 

Some of your complaints will be lessened if you save your desired caches (or a PQ, or a List) for offline use, by instance.

Edited by RuideAlmeida
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I am sorry to read that GreyingJay doesn’t rate the 66s.

I have had mine for two years having gone thru the 60,62,64 versions

 I would not go back

Ok the FOUND Key has gone but if you set the Compass screen to have the geocaching dashboard then from an active cache. - Hitting Menu>  Geocache> enter takes me to the log screen. The 66 will generally remember your last page to page sequences

Once you have done the sequence a few times......It takes me 1-2 seconds

 

 The other thing I have done is to remove many of the screens on the opening ribbon 

I just have 4 .  Map (1st opening screen) , Compass with GC dashboard, Geocaching and Trip Computer. ( I have 10 fields set up)

 With this set up I can page quickly in a loop to anything I need for GCing very quickly , literally in seconds

 

I generally find it quicker to load PQ via a Pc. None of the other  devices using “over the Air “downloads are very quick ( I have an Oregon 750 and that is the same)

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I went out again this morning to further shakedown my 66s experience. I think it is growing on me, though I still don't like the multitude of button presses to note a cache as found. I will look into your suggestions, mikeD. Maybe with some unit customizations I will learn to love it. I know on the forum I see many people who say they love the 66s over the 60/62/64. Maybe a future software update will bring back my beloved "found" button :D

 

I am still experiencing issues with live syncing of pocket queries and lists (it is SLOWWW!! and I must have aborted the process mid-transfer because some of the trads I hoped to find today weren't on the unit -- yikes!) so I agree I think I'll just load PQ's from my PC like I used to do.

 

Edit 1:

mikeD - I just tried your suggestion to put the GC dashboard on the compass page. Doesn't that mean you end up with two compass dials on the same page?

 

Edit 2:

I just set up my main menu ribbon to be simpler, like mikeD suggested, and turned the scroll animation/preview off. I like this better already.

 

Edited by GreyingJay

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Another user here that upgraded to the 66s from a 60CSx absolutely hated it at first also.... But now he very much enjoys the 66 and would never go back...

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I suspect this is the journey I will be taking too...

 

Anyway, I hope my feedback is of help to @NetraLee. The 66s is a good unit with a bigger and more hi-res screen than the other GPSMAP series. Same screen and interface as the Oregon 7x0 series. You just have to decide if you prefer a touchscreen or clicky buttons. Each have their pros and cons.

Edited by GreyingJay

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4 hours ago, GreyingJay said:

I am still experiencing issues with live syncing of pocket queries and lists (it is SLOWWW!! and I must have aborted the process mid-transfer because some of the trads I hoped to find today weren't on the unit -- yikes!) so I agree I think I'll just load PQ's from my PC like I used to do.

 

It is not extremely fast, for sure - but you can check your PQ/List downloads on the device to be sure the SYNC is complete before you disconnect the GPSr from the internet connection (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi).

 

If your PQ's or Lists have hundreds or even thousands of geocaches loaded, may I ask how many of those you are certain to hunt for and find on any given day?

 

I find it much easier to use the GCLive feature to simply download local geocaches on the fly, when and where I need them, instead of using a lot of valuable time contantly downloading and refreshing large PQ's and Lists.

 

You may find some helpful information about your Garmin GPSr here.

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1 hour ago, Atlas Cached said:

 

It is not extremely fast, for sure - but you can check your PQ/List downloads on the device to be sure the SYNC is complete before you disconnect the GPSr from the internet connection (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi).

 

If your PQ's or Lists have hundreds or even thousands of geocaches loaded, may I ask how many of those you are certain to hunt for and find on any given day?

 

I find it much easier to use the GCLive feature to simply download local geocaches on the fly, when and where I need them, instead of using a lot of valuable time contantly downloading and refreshing large PQ's and Lists.

 

You may find some helpful information about your Garmin GPSr here.

 

I've found the GPSrChive website to be most helpful. I assume you run it? Thank you for putting together such a great resource.

 

As for PQ's, you're right, perhaps I need to rethink how I do things. My PQ's date back quite a few years and include searches for things like "1000 traditional/multi/virtual caches near me". The thinking dates back to pre-iPhone days. The idea was that I never knew when or where I might desire to cache, so I'd keep as many as possible loaded up (1000 was the limit of the 60csx) "just in case" and refresh every week or so to keep it up to date. Now that data is so ubiquitous (and now that I can do live searches from the unit itself) this approach probably makes a lot less sense.

 

I do have a bookmark of "solved puzzles - go get 'em!" that currently consists of about 230 caches with corrected coordinates. (Including a set of 150 geo-art caches that were put together for Canada's 150th birthday in 2017) I'm obviously not going to go get them all in one day, but up until now there had been no reason to keep the list small. I hope to connect the 66s to WiFi and sync the list live - and just keep it synced as the bookmark list evolves as I remove the ones I've found and add new ones I'd solved. However, it appears that when I try to sync, it takes the GPS quite a few minutes to do its thing. Maybe I just need to go find those 150 caches - then my bookmark will be a lot smaller and more realistic to keep synced going forward.

 

Edited by GreyingJay

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“Edit 1:

mikeD - I just tried your suggestion to put the GC dashboard on the compass page. Doesn't that mean you end up with two compass dials on the same page?”

 

 Yes it does but it speeds up  access to the GC info. Btw I change my compass pointer ( menu>Heading set up>Small) to the. Thin pointer-  It makes for a better page view IMHO

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