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First Gpsr For Geocaching And Use With Pda

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I know there's millions of "which GPS receiver should I get" but I just wanted to be specific in my question and see what people thought. I'm looking to get a GPSr to use for geocaching, but I'd also like it to be usable within a car when connected to a PDA. My feeling is that for geocaching I really need a proper handheld GPS rather than just a receiver for use with the PDA? Is this a reasonable assumption or should I considder the bluetooth receivers? Some of them support things like xTrac? might that be helpful?


Then, assuming I'm getting a "proper" GPSr, which would people recommend. I've seen some recommendations for the eTrex Legend but it's only got the patch antenna and I keep reading that those aren't great, particularly if you wanted to use it say, in a car. I guess I'm not fussed about mapping, as I could always connect it to my 2210 and use mapping software on that? again, is that reasonable?


I'm then left looking at a standard eTrex for about £70 which is cheap, but doesn't support WAAS/EGNOS and only has a patch aerial. I've seen a Garmin GPS72 or Garmin GPS76 for about £140/£160. What are these like? They have the quad thingy helix antenna and support WAAS and I read some reviews suggesting they worked well with PDAs, but obviously don't support mapping. Does anyone have these? they dont' seem to be mentioned much on the forums?


I'm starting to feel that maybe something like the Garmin GPS76 would be my best bet along with some interface cables from pc-mobile.net and something like mapopolis or tomtom navigator on the PDA?


Please help!! Any guidance is very welcome!

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Saying that you want to use it with a PDA doesn't change much over the age old "What GPS should I get" question. Really about all it does is eliminate the Garmin Geko 101 because it has no computer interface.


Bluetooth sounds like it would be very nice to have because connecting/disconnecting the PDA is going to get old quick.


I guess the first question is just what is the PDA going to be used for? I think most of us just use it to hold data sheets and the like and except for uploading waypoints really doesn't need to be connected. If you want mapping and auto routing, then buy a GPS that does that from the get-go. Something like the aging Garmin GPS V or newer GPSMAP 60C/60CS.

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In terms of geocaching I obviously only need the PDA for the things you describe, but I'd also like to be able to interface the GPSr to the PDA and use something like TomTom Navigator to give me mapping, voice prompts and routing for use in a car. I really can't afford a handheld that does all that and while I appreciate it'll be a bit fiddly connecting and disconnecting the wires between pda and gps I can live with that.


I guess the main questions are, would a pda with GPS CF card or bluetooth receiver be ok for geocaching or am I better off with a handheld (I got the impression from reading the forums that you really need a handheld for battery life, avoiding puddles, e.t.c).


Also, does anyone have any experience with the Garmin GPS 76 or GPS 72? Are these decent enough receivers and are they better than the eTrex?

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I think you pretty much have done your own research. I am actually in a similar situation as you. In the car I'm using a Dell Axim with a CF GPS and Pocketmap Navigator as mapping/navigation solution. I'm also using this hardware setup out in the field for geocaching. It works, I've been using it for about a year, but I'm not very happy with it. The PDA+CF GPS combo is just not rugged enough, even in a hard plastic PDA case. The CF part sticks out and I'm afraid of breaking it off (I wear the PDA on a belt clip and sometimes when I step up somewhere there is a bending force on the CF part). It's not waterproof at all. I bought an Otterbox 3000 which fits the PDA with the CF GPS but I realized that the whole setup is so heavy and bulky that it would be quite inconvenient to use. Besides, the box prevents me from using the PDA touchscreen. So I'm seriously considering buying a handheld GPSr, which is smaller, lighter, waterproof and rugged. I want something with an electronic compass, and that narrows down the choices a lot. The new Magellan eXplorist 300 looked promising until I learned that it has no PC connectivity. That rules it out. Currently I think the Magellan Meridian Platinum will be my choice. If you don't insist on an electronic compass, you have many more choices. Any unit with a quad antenna and NMEA output will work fine for you. Since you don't need mapping, the GPS76 or 72 seem excellent choices to me. Certainly they are better under heavy tree canopy than the Etrexes or Gekos (which are known to lose lock easily under those conditions).

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