Jump to content

Is A Pda A Useful Tool?


Geo_cats
Followers 4

Recommended Posts

So far, even while being a lover of most things techie, I have resisted buying a PDA. Mostly because I haven't thought of what one would be good for. I mean, I carry little notes and lists with me in my wallet that I guess I could enter in a PDA but then I wouldn't be able to put the PDA in my wallet. So paper notes have sufficed. :blink:

 

But now I find myself printing out page after page of caches and maps etc. To keep them organized I keep them in a looseleaf binder. Now, maybe a PDA makes sense? :huh:

 

Do others of you use PDAs in your geocaching and to what uses to you put them to? Can the webpages be easily downloaded to the PDA? How about the maps?

Has anyone written a hint decoder for their PDA?

Link to comment

There's actual software written for PDA's and geocaching.

 

I personally use the spinner/plucker combo. Spinner takes pocket queries (premium membership) and makes them into their own little webpages. Plucker than takes those and makes them readable by your palm. It has the full cache page, last five logs, and closest caches. In fact, it even has the hints loaded on. You don't even have to decode them, you just click a link that says "hints" and their there for you.

 

I find it highly useful for my purposes, and it's great if your caching and you don't really have a set plan of caches you want to hit. Like vacations where you don't have internet access you can have 1000s of cache pages in your hand and the ability to look at anyone you want...

 

Lazyboy, aside from setting up your PDA just to start, (I can't help you much there) Cybret's Geocacher-U site has a great tutorial for setting up pocket queries on your PDA..

 

Click Here

Edited by TeamK-9
Link to comment

I posted this in a moved topic below just a few hours ago...

 

Since you are a premium member, yes.

 

A tutorial for this can be found in several places.

 

Spinner/Plucker (my preference) -- http://www.geocacher-u.com/

 

Cachemate -- http://www.ggaonline.org/resources/paperle.../cachemate.html

 

Good luck and have fun.  Paperless is the only way to go.

 

By the way, the main bulk of the discussion for this is in the GPS Units and Software Forum.

 

Please note Angel & Hugbaby that you would need to be a Premium Member and then get Pocket Queries to take full advantage of what a PDA can do for you.

Edited by mtn-man
Link to comment

I've just done this.

 

1. Already a premium member.

 

2. Started using G)eocaching S)wiss A)rmy K)nife - aka GSAK. I set up some pocket queries and receive them by email from Groundspeak. I made sure to choose the GPX format, not the LOC format. GSAK reads the .zip files I receive via email and shows them in a grid which I can maniuplate and edit offline.

 

3. Bought a used Palm Zire 71. (other models apparently work just as well)

 

4. Downloaded and installed Cachemate software for the palm. Purchased and used the code emailed to me to unlock the software so it now supports 100s caches rather than the 10 you get in demo mode.

 

5. Used the Export feature of GSAK to create a .PDB file, which is what the palm uses. GSAK automatically puts the exported file in a place where it needs to be in order to be transferred to the palm when I hotsync the palm.

 

6. After hotsync, I run Cachemate on the palm. It sees the newly uploaded files and offers to import them. I choose the 'not found' category when I do this.

 

7. I also use GSAK to upload the same waypoints to my GPS.

 

Now I have 100s of caches in my palm, the same set as is in my GPS. I can turn on my GPS and see what's closest, and I can use Cachemate on the palm to see it's details, size, hint, etc. I can also make notes on that cache page for later reference. In fact, I change the cachemate category from 'not found' to 'found' or to 'did not find' (a category i added), as I search. At home later I can filter the cachemate records by these categories to see which I found and which I didn't, along with the stored notes.

 

If you're only going after one or two caches, and you know pretty well what they are and where they are and you're traveling to them expressly to get them... then a scrap of paper is all you need, imo.

 

If you live in a cache-rich area and you travel with your kit, and you're never really sure if you might want to find one or four... or if you go out on expeditions where you're gathering up 10 or 20, then having something other than paper is durn helpful.

Link to comment

yes, it is very nice to have the info in the Palm whilst out in the field. I used to print them out, then resorted to writing down the pertinent info...that never worked when the going got tough :blink:

Now it's all in the palm, I keep it in my camera bag, just for those times that I'm out and about, and might want to bag a quick cache.

Link to comment

I picked up a "gently" used Palm M130 off ebay and downloaded cachemate. I have hundreds of caches on it and the part I like about it is that if I decide to just do a quick cache after work or while the wife is at the mall, I have all the info with me. Don't have to go look for a cache description at home on the computer. It allows me to spontaneously cache.

Link to comment

I'm still learning to use mine but here is what I have come up with so far. I bought a Palm m500 from ebay for about $85 including shipping. I haven't been able to get the spinner and plucker method to work, none of the units will talk to each other that way. There is an option in pocket queries to send the information in an ebook format. I downloaded mobipocket and it works just fine. I find the nearest cache with my GPSr and then find the cache on the PDA. My only complaint was that I enjoyed using the "smart name" from GSAK. Now its more efficient to use the cache code but its harder to know what cache I am seeing on the GPSr at a glance. I'm doing great now but I could still use more advice. I definitely suggest paperless.

Link to comment

I do exactly what WalruZ does except I have a Palm Zire that I bought new on ebay for $42 shipped. It only has 2MB of memory but I've loaded about 700 caches onto it. That takes up most of the memory, but caching is the only thing I use the PDA for. I like using it because I can be driving around, check out my GPSr if there's any nearby caches, and the info about the caches will be right there on my PDA.

Link to comment
So far, even while being a lover of most things techie, I have resisted buying a PDA. Mostly because I haven't thought of what one would be good for. I mean, I carry little notes and lists with me in my wallet that I guess I could enter in a PDA but then I wouldn't be able to put the PDA in my wallet. So paper notes have sufficed.  :blink:

 

But now I find myself printing out page after page of caches and maps etc. To keep them organized I keep them in a looseleaf  binder. Now, maybe a PDA makes sense? :huh:

 

Do others of you use PDAs in your geocaching and to what uses to you put them to? Can the webpages be easily downloaded to the PDA? How about the maps?

Has anyone written a hint decoder for their PDA?

Yes, I use a PDA for caching because I was sick of printing out cache pages. I use a Palm Tungsten E and it's been great!

 

I use Cachemate which is a great program for Palm PDAs. The cache pages are transferred to the PDA (without the maps) and it decodes hints for you if you need them.

 

I'm glad I made the switch. It makes caching a lot easier for me.

Edited by Imajika
Link to comment
How much memory is 'necessary' on the plam to run these programs/store the data? I've tried searching the tech forums, but get lost in too much data.

I have an OLD OLD OLD Palm III with 2 MB of memory. So far, with 5 logs, I can store well over 300 caches. On Sunday night at work I am going to run an experiment to see how many caches it can hold with 0, 3 & 5 logs.

 

And Cachemate for the Palm costs $7. Cheap money, very well worth it.

 

Also, Cachemate has a conversion utility to creat .PDB's for the Palm.

Link to comment
The coolest thing that I've found is a Palmphone. As long as I have cel phone coverage I can whip out the phone, look up a page, search for nearby caches, and even log finds.

A hiptop is also very cool. As long as I have coverage, I can look up the answer to trivia questions on my web browser. Makes multis significantly more pleasant.

 

The hiptop (Sidekick) also has PDA functions, email, AIM, as well as being a phone, but they don't matter for caching, as the Sidekick web browser gives you access to the real cache page....assuming coverage of course. Coverage is an issue, but when it's there, it's great.

 

Logging finds works great too, and unlike most phones I've seen, the keyboard is big enough to be comfortable (still thumb typing of course).

Link to comment

This is what I do/did for my PocketPC, step by step.

 

Become a premium member

Setup a pocket query for your local area

When you get the file copy it to your PocketPC

Use the free and excellent GPXSonar to view the caches

Use the free EasyGPS to upload the waypoints to your GPS

 

Also you can:

 

Buy Microsoft Streets and Trips (usually comes with a rebate giving a final price of around $13)

Copy a map of your local area to your PocketPC

In GPXSonar export the caches as Streets and Trips waypoints.

 

Off you go! You now have cache listings along with a map of where they are and all the waypoints in your GPS. All modern PocketPCs should be able to handle all of this. You can copy the GPX file and maps to a memory card if needed.

 

I create pocket queries of 400 waypoints because my GPS can hold only 500. That leaves 100 for any waypoints I want to mark while I am out and about.

 

Groover

Link to comment
So far, even while being a lover of most things techie, I have resisted buying a PDA. Mostly because I haven't thought of what one would be good for. I mean, I carry little notes and lists with me in my wallet that I guess I could enter in a PDA but then I wouldn't be able to put the PDA in my wallet. So paper notes have sufficed.

Check out the software section on PalmOne. If there's really nothing you can use out of the 20k titles listed, then you probably don't need one. Since you're a techie, I'm betting you'll find something that'll make you want to go get a Palm.

 

Some examples off the top of my head that a techie could find useful:

 

ASCII chart

VNC client

Telnet client

FTP client

Conversion tools

Many DB apps

IR printing

Etc.

 

A palm is a mini computer. There's a Palm replacement for just about any desktop app, hardware permitting (you won't see HalfLife for the Palm...). Spreadsheets, word processors, databases, games, etc. Besides caching, I use mine for:

 

Wireless modem (built in [PalmOS cellphone])

Keeping all my financial accounts balanced (every transaction in every bank/credit card account I have is in there)

Remembering easily forgotten dates (birthdays etc.)

Tracking the mileage and maintenance of my cachemobiles

Keeping track of rebates I've sent off

Converting from one standard of measurement to another (great freeware program called Converter)

Maintaining all information for all my contacts (both of them LOL)

Games, of course

MP3 player

Much more...

 

I don't consider myself a Palm "power user" and yet I still find it indespensible. It helps that it's integrated with my phone. When I had a Palm IIIxe, I found that I didn't use it as much as I wanted, mostly because I didn't want yet another gadget hanging off my belt all the time. The PalmOS phone is perfect.

 

You can get a Kyocera 6035 off eBay for well under $100, if prices haven't changed from the last time I checked. It's basically a Palm IIIxe built into a cellphone. I used one for two years before I got my 7135 a couple of months ago.

 

So are you sold yet? :P:P:huh:

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 4
×
×
  • Create New...