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cederkc
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Does all Palm Pilots or PDA's work the same. Can they all download the info from the website and give the same info. What is the best one and least expensive? Not looking for anything to fancy but one that is good for paperless geocaching. Any info will help.

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There are three classes of PDAs: Palm OS, Pocket PC (including the older WinCE), and everything else. Of the three, only consider the first two.

 

The choice between Palm and Pocket PC is as emotionally charged as picking Mac or PC. Both are fully capable, but I think you'll find older used palms for sale real cheap on eBay.

 

Just like Mac/PC, both use different programs so once you make your choice you're stuck. Be sure to look at both before deciding. Once you buy one, you'll probably want to use it for what it was built for - a personal digital assistant.

 

Not all PDAs can connect to a GPS. You have to find one with a serial port. Even then it's not obvious which ones have serial ports. Sometimes they have "universal" ports but only give you the USB cable. You have to hunt for someone to get you the right serial cable and GPS connections.

 

Another consideration is that geocaching is not nice to fragile electronics. Almost no PDA is as rugged as a GPS. They are not rain resistant and may shatter if dropped. As such it doesn't make much sense to buy and expensive unit for geocaching. You'll cry a lot less over a $30 loss then a $500 one.

 

Once you pick Palm or Pocket PC, we can give you more specific pointers. Or just check the archive here.

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Thanks for the info. So the Palm or pocket is the same? All I want it for is to not have to print paper for caches. I was only looking for a 30 dollar unit or so but did not know what is what when it comes to PDA's. SO what is the best on the market for about 30 to 50 dollars? Does that mean like any series of Palm is ok for what I would like to use it for? Thanks for the help.

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Thanks for the info. So the Palm or pocket is the same? All I want it for is to not have to print paper for caches. I was only looking for a 30 dollar unit or so but did not know what is what when it comes to PDA's. SO what is the best on the market for about 30 to 50 dollars? Does that mean like any series of Palm is ok for what I would like to use it for? Thanks for the help.

For that price you are in the world of the used palm based PDA's.

 

Cachemate, or Spinner or Plucker (someone help me here I'm Pocket PC guy!) are what you will end up using to go paperless.

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A few months ago, I bought a refurbished Palm IIIxe from MicroCenter.com. I forget what I paid for it, but it was CHEAP!

I have found the IIIxe to be more than adequate for paperless caching, so you might try looking around on eBay, Overstock.com, etc. to find one.

When I get a few minutes, I'll try to do a bit more research and post my results (or lack thereof) here.

GSAK (on my PC) and Cachemate (on the handheld) are what I use for my paperless endeavors. Both work very well.

 

Good luck and happy caching!

 

Dave

 

(edit: Just got through looking at Overstock.com. They have quite a few to choose from, mostly in the $50 - $70 range. Prior to my purchase, I heard that 8MB of memory is the minimum required to run the Cachemate application on the handheld, so you will want to keep that in mind as you shop. If paperless caching is all you need one for, go as cheap as you can, because it would suck to drop a high-end model in the creek, over the cliff, down in the "holler", and so on...) :tired:

Edited by Team Flashncache
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I think the IIIxe uses OS3.5. The current OS is 5.2, and OS6 is on the way - it has been released but no hardware has been released using it.

 

It will work fine for caching. You don't need the latest and greatest hardware to just read cache pages. In fact, you're better off with an older monochrome model, because the batteries will last far longer. New models, with high-resolution color screens and very fast CPUs take lots of power, and have to be recharged daily or more often.

 

For starting out, I recommend GSAK and Cachemate. GSAK runs on the PC, and will take the pocket queries and let you filter, sort, and do whatever you like with the caches, and maintain a database of them. One click on the Cachemate icon in GSAK puts the caches you select into a Cachemate Palm database, queued for hotsync. Then you just hotsync your Palm, and the caches are transferred to it. Run Cachemate on the Palm and you have everything you need. You can use GSAK to transfer the waypoints directly to your GPS, or you can have Cachemate do that, depending on the cable you have for the GPS. It's likely you have a PC cable and not a Palm cable, so do the transfer from GSAK while you have it open. One program on the PC does everything you need, and one program on the Palm does the rest. I use Plucker also, for a variety of reasons, but for a new Palm user, it may be more hassle than you need right now. Cachemate works, and is easy to use. It takes some experience to get everything possible out of GSAK because it does so much, but you can get the basics done without even reading the help file. Read it anyway, because you need to know all that stuff eventually.

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What is newer in series or technology the IIIxe, the Vx, or the VII?  Also is there a cable to connect the Palm to a GPS and where could I find one?  I have a map330 from magellan.

They are all about the same technology wise .

 

Palm Vx

· Memory: 8 MB

· Display colors: Grayscale

· Display size: 160 by 160 pixels

· Processor: 20 MHz Motorola 68EZ328

· Operating system: Palm OS 3.5

· Battery type: Rechargeable lithium ion

· Weight: 4 ounces

 

Palm VII

· Memory: 2 MB

· Display colors: Grayscale

· Display size: 160 by 160 pixels

· Battery: 2 AAA batteries

· Processor: 16 MHz Motorola 68328 Dragonball

· Connectivity: Built-in 2-way wireless radio transceiver with antenna (requires subscription to use the wireless)

· Operating System: Palm OS 3.5

· Weight: 6.7

 

Palm IIIxe

· Memory: 8 MB RAM

· Display colors: Grayscale

· Display size: 160 by 160 pixels

· Processor: 16 MHz Motorola 68328 Dragonball

· Operating system: Palm OS 3.5

· Weight: 4 ounces

 

A Palm with 2MB of memory is enough to run cachemate but 8MB is much better. If you have the data cable to attach your map330 to your PC, all you have to do to get it to attach to a Palm IIIxe or VII is go to PAWGO and purchase the "null modem adapter". It's what I use with my Palm IIIxe to to transfer waypoints out of CacheMate to my Magellan SporTrac Map and my wife's Magellan 315 (basically the same GPSes as yours). Checkout my article on paperless caching with a Palm at Floridacaching.com or email me if you still need help.

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Thanks that really helps me out.  One more question.  Is there a map program for the IIIXE and when you hook up your GPS to the palm can it show you where you are and show tracking like when you are using a laptop?

I've never used it so I can't vouch for how good it is or how easy it is to use, but Delorme makes a handheld version of thier mapping software (DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2004 Handheld) for $40 at CompUSA. Another product I've never used is Mapopolis. Make sure you get the correct version for what your Palm is running (PalmOS 3 for Palm IIIxe, Vx or VII). Since you have a mapping GPS why run mapping on the Palm ? Since I have a SporTrac map I've always used it's mapping and never worried about buying map software for the Palm. Another useful program is CetusGPS, a freeware Palm app. I use it to save tracklogs that can then be uploaded to GPSVISUALIZER to create some cool maps showing where you've been.

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One comment about the Palm VII, the radio link is (was) a subcription based service through some sort of existing comms like cell or similar. But it has been discontinued and you can no longer use this feature of the VII.

 

They have new units with a similar capability, but it works with a different service and is incompatible with the VII. On the other hand, there are some newer units that have bluetooth (lower bandwidth to/from PC and cell phones) as well as 802.11 (high speed to/from PC). But these units go for $150 used at the low end.

 

You might consider a slightly more expensive unit with a color screen since the monochrome can be a bit hard to see under lots of tree cover. I had a Palm V (before I dropped it flat on the screen) and found the screen very hard to see using the backlight. I never used the backlight and just held it under a light. My Merigold GPSr on the other hand has a very nice backlight and can be used pretty much anywhere.

 

I was looking at getting a Zire 71 (color) which I have seen go as low as $80 on eBay and includes a built in camera (640x480) which would be very handy. But I can't seem to be the winning bidder at those low prices. If I want it, everyone else does too! It is easy to get one for $110 though (+ shipping).

 

Finally, someone posted a list of the Palm units that can communicate directly with the GPSr via a serial port. The older units only have serial, but the newer ones have USB. Some have both. I recommend the ones that have both since you may want to connect your Palm to your GPSr. The Zire 71 and the M505 have both, IIRC.

 

Palm thread

 

I think the prices he posted are a bit high. You can get the M505 on eBay for $50 or so. The SD card slot lets you expand the storage to virtually unlimited amounts. The ARM processor provides much higher processing speeds if you are using maps. If you want to search eBay for a Palm M505, you need to exclude the other models to keep all the cables, chargers and misc stuff from showing up...

 

search on "m505 palm -tungsten -zire -125 -500 -515 -T3 -m125 -m500 -m515"

 

Cheap is ok, but you may want a better unit later. But then they will be cheaper too! ;)

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I recomment a Palm OS with color screen and memory card. You can get one like my Sony clie for under $100. The screen is high resolution TFT, works great in sunlight. The memory card is good for backup, maps, etc.

 

I use GSAK>Plucker for paperless and it works great. There are other good programs to use in the palm OS such as Navigate, map programs such as Street Atlas, read .jpg files of topo and aerial photos.

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Thanks for the info. So the Palm or pocket is the same? All I want it for is to not have to print paper for caches. I was only looking for a 30 dollar unit or so but did not know what is what when it comes to PDA's. SO what is the best on the market for about 30 to 50 dollars? Does that mean like any series of Palm is ok for what I would like to use it for? Thanks for the help.

Palm IIIxi is a good choice for about 30 bucks on ebay. There are a numbre of programs that you can use. That being said I had a Palm IIIxi and a couple of PocketPC and I find the PocketPCs ueasier to use. The off set is for a PockePC your pay a few hundred bucks for a Palm your pay 30. If you don't have a PocketPC PDA and you buy a Palm you never know the differance and it will work wonderfully for you.

cheers

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