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You're right... it's the "dogs danglies" !

 

Have a look at my profile and you'll see what I use along with links to the manufacturers.

 

The best place to get info about what's available is the PocketGPS website. It's geared more towards navigation than caching but you'll find huge amounts on info and reviews of hardware, software, what works with what, and a very active forum system.

 

If you fancy a trip across London to north Hampshire then I'd be happy to show you 1st hand what it's all about...

 

Steve

 

If you can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel', it's usually a train coming !

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I use an Compaq iPAQ 3660 with a Navman 3000 GPS Sleeve. The sleeve takes a compact flash card, mine is 128 meg, amnple for my use.. (dont use a micro drive, takes far to much current).

 

You can expect to get about 2 hours from a fully charged battery, as the iPAQ feeds the GPS.

 

I use it in the car most of the time to get me to my start point.. after that its the GPS and a map.. icon_smile.gif

 

Do what I did.. try and find a second hand unit.. then bought the sleeve.

 

Thats my recomendation

 

Moss de Boss... Sorta

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I've got an IPAQ 3970 and I love it to bits. It's main disadvantage is that they are dead expensive, but now that H.P. have taken over Compaq and launched their own IPAQ versions, you will able to get a decent bargain on Compaq 3800's and even 3900's if you shop around.

As you say, there are lots of PDA's on the market running Pocket PC or Palm operating systems, but I'll give you the main reasons why I love my Ipaq.

It's really well built. Mine has been off the car roof onto the road and it's little protective plastic sheath did the job. It's also been dropped naked onto hard surfaces and survived without a scratch. It's powerful with a big processor and lots of internal mamory. The display is brighter and clearer than anything I've seen and you can read it in bright sunlight. It's fantastically upgradeable and you can buy all sort of accessories including (if you're flush enough) a GPS attachment that slips over the top of it and turns it into a GPS receiver.

If you are a charter member you can produce a query on caches near a certain area and down load all the pages found, into your machine. You can connect a GPSr to it and get a fix on all sorts of mapping software and if you are really ambitious (I'm not), you can use Bluetooth to connect up to your compatible mobile phone and surf Geocaching.com from the top of that mountain.

But you do need more money than sense - or an very accomodating credit card.

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I used to use a palm PDA, but have recently "upgraded" to a fujitsu/siemens Loox pocket PC. To be honest, If I'd read the support forums on the siemens website before I bought it, I might've been put off by the many horror stories over there... but I'm glad I didn't - I've haven't had any problems with it!

 

The display works well both indoors and outdoors (the lighting automatically adjusts according to the ambient light level), and the processor puts it at the better-perfoming end of the market (memorymap and gpxview seem to do quite a bit of number crunching when you initially fire them up!). It has bluetooth built in, and an IR port, so surfing the web "in the field" isn't a problem if you've got an appropriate mobile phone. It accepts SD (secure digital) and CF (Compact Flash) memory cards. I guess the fact that you can put two memory cards in at the same time would be useful if you want to use a compact-flash slot for a GPS add-on... but I use an old-fasioned cable link and connect the PDA directly to my yellow etrex. The PDA is useful for navigating by car (you can set memory map to ring alarms as you approach significant road junctions etc), but I would be reluctant to use it for the "final" stages of a hunt, due to the risks of damaging it - once we're out of the car, it tends to stay in my pocket until I want to read a map, or check out a cache page or whatever.

 

In terms of price-to-features ratio, I think you'd be hard pushed to find a better machine. (and I reckon it's one of the better looking PDAs on the market too!)

 

PDAs make a fantastic geocaching tool - it's really cool to have several volumes worth of Ordnance Survey maps literally in the palm of your hand, with the location of every cache marked... and all the cache details, logs, hints etc instantly viewable thanks to the magic of gpxview - we haven't printed out a single cache page since I got it(!)

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quote:
Originally posted by The Scout:

I've just bought a Palm Tungsten (from Staples, excellent price) and I would like to know what mapping or Geocaching related software can be recommended. (I already use Mobipocket to read the cache download from GC.com)


 

Mobipocket is a terribly unwieldy way to read cache descriptions - not many people like it. Ideally you want some software that can interpret the new gpx-format files that geocaching.com produces. I use gpxview, which is a fantastic bit of software, but unfortunately it's for pocket pc and not palm OS. I believe the preferred solution for palm afficianados is to use something called gpx2html.

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quote:
Originally posted by The Good Shepherds:

 

Mobipocket is a terribly unwieldy way to read cache descriptions - not many people like it. Ideally you want some software that can interpret the new gpx-format files that geocaching.com produces. I use gpxview, which is a fantastic bit of software, but unfortunately it's for pocket pc and not palm OS. I believe the preferred solution for palm afficianados is to use something called http://home.attbi.com/~fizzymagic/gpx2html.html.

 

Ok, so where do you get gpxview from?

 

Btw, I use an iPaq 3870 with a MiniDome GPS, TomTom Navigator and the 'cache locations' POI from Teasels web site.

 

WoodSmoke

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I used to use mobipocket but found it to be slow and clumsy.

 

I have started using geoclipping and it works great, you just clip a page from GC.com and it automatically saves it into the notepad.

 

OK so you only get the text of the page, but that is all I really need to seek a cache.

 

You can find it HERE

 

I woke this morning and my boat was not rocking...for one horrid moment I thought I lived in a house!

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I also use a Palm based PDA ( Handspring visor )

and find Geoclip fantastic and easy to use.(I have just over 300 cache pages in my PDA) I became a charter member partly to get the downloads for my PDA but really don't like Moby Pocket, It just does not seem to work for me.

 

(Every one needs a bigger letterbox!)

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GPXView can be found here and is excellent!

 

I use it in conjunction with the excellent Watcher program on the PC, which can be found here. This allows me to merge and filter the GPX files and use the merged/filtered file on the IPAQ.

 

Also, VITO Navigator is a great tool which basically gives you the visual functionality on a PoctetPC that you get on a 'normal' GPS (i.e. waypoints, tracks, compass with directional arrow, etc).

 

Hardware wise, I use an IPAQ 3870 with a single slot CF expansion sleeve, connected to an EMTAC Bluetooth GPS which means no wires!

 

To protect the IPAQ is use an Otter 'Heavy Armor' Case which is fantastic. You still get full usability but it's fully protected. Mine's been dropped, bashed against trees, in a river, and it's still in perfect condition.

 

I use TomTom to get me to carparks and back home, and Memory-Map at home and on the IPAQ.

 

I export the caches from GeocacheUK in both TomTom POI and Memory-Map formats. I then do all the goundwork at home on Memory-Map PC and export to Memory-Map PocketPC on the IPAQ.

 

The whole setup works superbly.

 

Steve

 

If you can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel', it's usually a train coming !

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What about autoroute?

 

So far no mention in this thread. Is it any use as a route planner/digitizer. I only ask 'cus it's cheaper.

 

I have a garmin venture and recently acquired an Ipaq and would be very keen to marry the two without horrendous expense.

 

So Geoclipping versus GPX

GPSU -v- expert GPS -v- mapsource

autoroute -v- memory map -v- mapsource

 

Pick your side and defend your setup. Cost is one factor, ease of use, available mapping (must have Irl) import/export formats, input/output of maps routes etc.

 

I have managed without such a setup so far, so I would be keen to hear what exactly makes it a "must have" combo to the supporters of these options

 

Lance

It's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.

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GPXView on the PocketPC is by far the easiest to use, get data into and the 'cleanest' visually... and it's free. Combined with 'Watcher' on the PC, you can download, then filter, then transfer a very precisely tailored cache list to your PocketPC, complete with logs. It will even decrypt the hint for you at the touch of a stylus. The only downside is the unreliability of the scheduled .GPX file delivery and the lack of being able to create 'on demand' GPX files from geocaching.com

 

Memory-Map is the 100% outright winner. It works on both PC and PocketPC, provides OS 1:50,000 maps (same as the paper ones), can import cache data from GCUK, can import and export data to/from the PC and PocketPC versions and also your GPS (waypoints, routes and tracks), works with most GPS hardware and not just for data transfer but also as a live moving OS map on both PC and PocketPC versions. You can print from it in true OS scale. You can even get some 1:25,000 maps and 1:25,000 arial photo maps for it (at a price). Fantastic - Yes. Expensive - Yes... but you get what you pay for...

 

That's my side picked and defended icon_smile.gif

 

Steve

 

If you can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel', it's usually a train coming !

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Paradise:

Hardware wise, I use an IPAQ 3870 with a single slot CF expansion sleeve, connected to an http://www.emtac.com.tw/products/bluetooth/datasheet_btgps.html which means no wires!

 

To protect the IPAQ is use an http://www.armorbyotter.com/heavyarmor.cfm which is fantastic.


 

Wow, very similar setup here....though I just picked up a 54xx series iPAQ.....which was surprisingly easy (to me) to get working with the Emtac BT GPSr. Also store the maps on an expansion card.

 

I am using the 'Pocket Navigator' solution from maptech.com (from the memory-map.co.uk site, it would seem the companies have some sort association) on the 54xx. And for topo s/w, it seems far more than adequate...though this being my first foray into GPS stuff, I don't have much basis for comparison.

 

And before I went to bed tonite, one of the things on my todo list was to order an 'OtterBox'.

 

So ya see, our setups are very much alike!

 

-=BottomFeeder=-

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I use Autoroute on my PC with the caches downloaded from Teasels site.

 

After the recommendation in here, I now also use GPXView on my iPaq (although there is a problem with setting your home location if your longitude is less than 1 deg west, I've emailed the author awaiting reply) and Watcher on my PC.

 

For navigation on my iPaq I use TomTom Navigator, which is marvelous, to get me to the cache, when I start walking I change to Vito Navigator which makes it work like a hand GPS :-)

 

WoodSmoke

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One big problem with the Ipaq plus Navman GPS setup is that the pair gulps battery volts and amps when used in the field. SO I have made a mobile battery pack that is attached to the ipaq via the mobile power lead. This plugs into a female end of an extension lead that in turn is attached to a battery pack of 8 rechargable AAs. I also have a small 12 volt rechargable sealed lead acid battery that chan be used.

<p>

As mentioned the TomTom maps are superb.

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Originally posted by McDehack:

A cheap PDA that will work with an Etrex Yellow. Is a Psion.

 

We are currently 'borrowing' a Sony Clie which is Palm-based. Palms are abit cheaper than Win-based PDAs.

 

It seems to be working quite successfully with GPX Spinner to create the webpages.

 

Kerry

 

Phil'n'Kerry

 

[This message was edited by Phil'n'Kerry on April 17, 2003 at 02:26 AM.]

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icon_biggrin.gif Bought my PDA - used creative accounting and old fashioned badgering to get an Ipaq 3950.

 

The story so far;

 

Tried Mobipocket - but not impressed.

 

Tried GPXview - brilliant.

 

Got memory-map already, but it does seem to be a bit slow transferring the maps to the PDA.

 

Failed the idiot test (not unusual) and can't work out how to download watcher.........lack of patience Ali says!!

 

Thanks for all the advice....

 

Can we go geocaching today?

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I have been looking at getting a PDA as my next big waste of money. My old Handspring Visor is looking really dated now and really has little use when Geocaching.

 

I have some questions for those of you who have used high end PDA's for Geocaching:

 

It seems the iPaq is the most popular PDA in Geocaching. I have lots of Sony kit so I have Sony Memory sticks and don't want to have to a whole bunch of new media.

 

However if I was to buy a Sony CLie PDA I would want the following options:

 

A ruggedised water resistant cover

 

Some good O/S mapping software. I am not sure if Tom-Tom/MemoryMap and GPXview are available on PalmOS but I would want the same functionality of these aps on a Clie.

 

Last but not least I would like a Bluetooth GPSr that has the track functionality (i.e. Leaves a breadcrumb trail that you can save). I believe the EMTAC does not do this.

 

If anybody has experince with a Sony Clie or PalmOS based PDAs using the above could you offer some advice?

 

Thanks

 

Chris

 

LASSITUDE- (noun) Tiredness and apathy: a state of weariness accompanied by listlessness or apathy[15th century. Via French from Latin lassitudo , from lassus 'weary'.]

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Chris,

 

You'll find that ruggedised cases and other such accessories are almost exclusively only availabe for the IPAQ (in the world of PocketPC as opposed to PalmOS) as it has massive market saturation compaired to all the others and therefore these niche products tend only to be produced for the IPAQ.

 

Memory-Map is PC and PocketPC only, as is TomTom Navigator. TomTom do some PalmOS stuff but make no mistake, they are NOT Navigator.

 

The EMTAC doesn't have a 'built-in' track function but it doesn't need one when used with Memory-Map, as that does. Remember, most if not all Bluetooth GPSr are 'blind' from a user interface viewpoint (ie. there isn't one!) so rather than the hardware do breadcrumbs, let the software/PDA do it. Literally all the EMTAC does is pump out NMEA or SiRF format data to a bluetooth serial port, the end. But... it is very sensitive even under tree cover and also had WAAS/EGNOS, so it's real accurate!

 

Media wise, the usual for IPAQs and most other PocketPC PDAs is either SD or CF, both of which are way cheaper (less than 1/2 the price) and larger capacity than Sony Sticks, plus you'll need the capacity for Memory-Map and/or TomTom !!!... So I wouldn't let the fact that you already have Sony media be too much of a swaying factor.

 

The CLie sure is pretty but for GPS use/compatibility/addons it's really a non-starter, espectally for geocaching where Memory-Map is the 'killer' application, as the CLie is of course still PalmOS based.

 

Just shout if you want to have a look at my setup on action!

 

Steve

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick & Ali:

Got memory-map already, but it does seem to be a bit slow transferring the maps to the PDA.


Get a card reader for the SD card. Much quicker than transferring maps using the pda interface.

 

A.

 

---------------------------------------------------

Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout.....

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True that a card reader will be much quicker, but if you're just transferring a portion of map from Memory-Map, then there's no option to export/copy the map to anything other than the PDA directly. If you have a BIG SD/CF card then you can user a card reader to copy the whole map (300+ MB), but not a portion (or at least no way that I've ever found).

 

Steve

 

If you can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel', it's usually a train coming !

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Paradise:

True that a card reader will be much quicker, but if you're just transferring a portion of map from Memory-Map, then there's no option to export/copy the map to anything other than the PDA directly. If you have a BIG SD/CF card then you can user a card reader to copy the whole map (300+ MB), but not a portion (or at least no way that I've ever found).


 

Not sure if this helps but I spotted this whilst looking for something else on the memory map site:

Is there a faster way to send maps to the Pocket PC?

 

If you are using a serial ActiveSync connection try upgrading to USB - this provides a much faster connection.

 

If you're already using USB then try copying the maps using Windows Explorer. This is faster than using the Memory-Map Navigator Send Chart to PDA command.

 

Tip: If you click on Explore in Microsoft ActiveSync you can simply drag and drop tiles between your PC and Pocket PC.

 

If you're using an additional storage card (such as Compact Flash) it's about 100 times faster using a dedicated USB Card Reader than your Pocket PC's built in card slot. These are available from most good PC shops - as well as most good camera shops - or buy direct from Memory-Map.

 

hope it helps.

Chris

 

Bear rescues a speciality!

London & UK Geocaching Resources: http://www.sheps.clara.net

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Paradise:

You'll find that ruggedised cases and other such accessories are almost exclusively only availabe for the IPAQ (in the world of PocketPC as opposed to PalmOS) as it has massive market saturation compaired to all the others and therefore these niche products tend only to be produced for the IPAQ.


 

I've just taken a scoot around, there are hard cases for the major PocketPC brands, plus Palms and Psions, but no Sony that I can see.

 

quote:

Memory-Map is PC and PocketPC only, as is TomTom Navigator. TomTom do some PalmOS stuff but make no mistake, they are NOT Navigator.


 

Tom-Tom started off with Route Planner and Street Planner (now CityMaps) on the Psion, then did a Palm version, then PocketPC and Nokia. They then went on to develop Navigator, and now Navigator 2 for the PocketPC.

 

I have Street Planner and Route Planner on my Psion, the main areas they are lacking in the Psion version is in integration between the two applications, and also they don't have the automatic route recalculation if you stray from a route. However they both quite happily support GPS, support overlays that allow you to load in all the Geocache locations you like.

 

What suprised me when I looked at Navigator was that the one feature they both have which Navigator lacked is the ability to use vias, which I always find useful if I'm planning to visit a number of caches in sucession - I'm not sure if this has been addressed since but it certainly seemed to be a major ommission.

 

Looking at MemoryMap, on the Psion side there has been an application called RealMaps around for a number of years, although it does involve a bit of work to get OS maps into it the general principle is the same as MemoryMap as it's plotting a GPS location on a raster in memory rather than the vector maps that TomTom and Garmin use.

 

Although I have been tempted by the PocketPC combination in the past, at the moment I am waiting to see what the new Garmin iQue 3600 is like when it comes out as it certainly seems like a more viable option than the current cable tangle needed to power and link a separate GPS and PDA.

 

I have also been put off by the cost in the past, although there are a few features of the navigator/memory map combination that I can't do on the Psion, and it certainly makes things simpler, at the moment I can't really justify the amount of money to buy a suitable PocketPC setup when the Psion still meets all the other needs I have from a PDA.

 

Richard

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Paradise:

True that a card reader will be much quicker, but if you're just transferring a portion of map from Memory-Map, then there's no option to export/copy the map to anything other than the PDA directly. If you have a BIG SD/CF card then you can user a card reader to copy the whole map (300+ MB), but not a portion (or at least no way that I've ever found).


You can do it but it depends on what version of Windows you use. What are you on?

 

A.

 

---------------------------------------------------

Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout.....

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Thanks to Slytherin we now know how to transfer partial Memory-Map files to the PDA via a card reader. It's easy with Win9x but a bit quirky with W2K and WinXP. Drop me an email if you want instructions...

 

Steve

 

PS. Thanks for the help Andy!

 

If you can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel', it's usually a train coming !

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quote:
Originally posted by McDehack:

<snip>

SO I have made a mobile battery pack that is attached to the ipaq via the mobile power lead. This plugs into a female end of an extension lead that in turn is attached to a battery pack of 8 rechargable AAs.


 

How long does that setup last on a charge?

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I think I am convinced that the IPAQ is the way to go. I am fed up with waiting for Garmin to prvode Topo maps for the eMap so I will probably be selling the eMap when I get round to buying the IPAQ/EMTAC solutiuon. I suppose I had better start saving up....

 

I wonder if HP will rename the IPAQ to IKARD? icon_wink.gif

 

Thanks to all for the assistance.

 

Chris

 

LASSITUDE- (noun) Tiredness and apathy: a state of weariness accompanied by listlessness or apathy[15th century. Via French from Latin lassitudo , from lassus 'weary'.]

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quote:
Originally posted by Lassitude:

I think I am convinced that the IPAQ is the way to go. I am fed up with waiting for Garmin to prvode Topo maps for the eMap so I will probably be selling the eMap when I get round to buying the IPAQ/EMTAC solutiuon. I suppose I had better start saving up....


 

Don't think the iPaq is the cure for all :-(

 

I have been using an iPaq, and I have just bought a Sportrak to accompany it.

 

The iPaq is very good for finding your way to the caches by road, and for storing the info from g.com and guk, but it's crap at finding the cache.

 

I use Vito Navigator which is the only software that makes the iPaq work like a normal GPS (waypoints, track etc) and it's very poor.

 

It is still in development and I have spoken to the author, but it is not reliable and doesn't always update quick enough.

 

I know it's that, cos the TomTom Navigator (which I use in the car) updates all the time correctly.

 

So before you decide to sell up and go the other direction, look into it more.

 

Also, besides using an Emtac, on eBay someone is selling a bluetooth solution to go with the iPaq, costing about £150 here

 

WoodSmoke

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Wood Smoke

 

If you use an IPAQ with Memory-Map, then it's absolutely superb!... If you've never seen it, it will blow you away. Basically it's an accurate, fast updating, realtime moving OS 1:50,000 map on the IPAQ. It's way better at finding the cache than ANY 'normal' GPSr that I've used (which is quite a few and I own an Etrex Summit, but rarely use it these days). If you also have the 1:25,000 arial photo maps then it's truely amazing.

 

It's this application that makes the IPAQ a great tool for geocaching. Without it, I'd agree that the IPAQ would be of limited use.

 

Indeed Vito is quite buggy.

 

Steve

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I have just started using a Vista with a Jornada 928 and MemoryMap. To link the two I needed a Null Modem adaptor and would think the same should apply for an IPAQ3950 as I assume it has a RS232 serial connection. Having done this all works well. The snag is the amount of cabling between the two - a GPSr sleeve or a CF GPSr attachment would be neater - but they cost money!

Edited -- Having just read Team Paradise's posting forget the Null Modem as I hadn't realised that there was a direct link available from IPAQ to Vista. I endorse the recommendation to Lynks Cables - they gave me first class service.

 

[This message was edited by jstead on May 02, 2003 at 01:46 AM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood Smoke:

That's all ok, but Memory Map has a steep price at £290 :-(

 

It's cheaper to have a GPSr.

 

WoodSmoke


 

Yes, a GPSr on its own is cheaper - but until topographic maps are available in the UK (if ever) use of a PDA or one of those big pieces of paper seems the only practical way to get detailed maps in the field away from roads. True they can be used separately but it is very nice to have one's position pinpointed on a copy of the OS.

There are of course several ways to get scanned maps into the PDA but Memory Map beats them all for convenience, the only snag being at present limited to 1:50000. If you don't want the whole country sets of MM Navigator are £159.95 + p&p to cover the Northern or Southern halves or Central which covers Carlisle to Gloucester. If you subscribe to WalkingWorld.com for £14.95 you can get a discount of 15% (£24) on MM plus the use of their walk guides for a year.

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood Smoke:

 

That's all ok, but Memory Map has a steep price at £290 :-(

 

It's cheaper to have a GPSr.

 

WoodSmoke


 

PDA geocaching and 'cheaper' is an oxymoron!

 

Nobody ever said it would be cheap for it to be good...

 

If you can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel', it's usually a train coming !

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For those like Chris that are considering a bluetooth GPSr, you might want to take a look at this. £199.75 from Expansys.

 

It appears to be a 'standalone' GPSr with Bluetooth !... possibly the best of both worlds.

 

I've never seen or used one, so I have no idea if it's any good...

 

Steve

 

If you can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel', it's usually a train coming !

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