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cederkc
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I am looking for an inexpensive PDA for paper less geocaching. I can not

figure out if every PDA is the same for this option. Is every PDA able to

download the info off the web site and able to hook up with any GPS? Do they all work pretty much the same? Any information would help.

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I am looking for an inexpensive PDA for paper less geocaching. I can not

figure out if every PDA is the same for this option. Is every PDA able to

download the info off the web site and able to hook up with any GPS? Do they all work pretty much the same? Any information would help.

I would say go for a Palm unit, you can get an older version from eBay for <$50.00. As for connecting it to the GPS, they're not all the same, and I can't say for sure if cables are available for older models, but it's not really necessary. I use Cachemate on my Palm but I don't connect it to my GPS.

 

Decide on a model of PDA and then see what cables are available from retailers/eBay for that unit.

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Unfortunatly they are not all the same for connecting to GPS. Some later Palms have no support for a serial connection and USB to USB connection will not work unless one device is a USB host which no handheld device is likely to be.

 

If yo uare just gettign into paperless caching, keep it simple and cheap until you understand it -

 

Premium Membership (only $2.99 a month if you don't want to pay for a full year) + PalmIIIxe on ebay for about $30+ Cachemate for $7 is all you need.

 

If you want the GPS to talk to the PDA and vice versa, you need cables which can be expensive. If you use the serial leads that come with the devices you will need a crossover (null modem) adaptor and you will have yards of cable to carry arround. A better solution is to buy a dedicated cable from somewhere like pc-mobile.com

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:tired: Or you can go with a....NAVMAN 3450GPS Sleeve/ IPAQ PDA 3900. This is the setup that I have and it works GREAT. I put a 512mb chip for map storage on the PDA. I use memory map software which is super. The 3450 lets you add an external antena that is a must have for using the unit in the truck. Just a thought!
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I use a Sony Clie SJ20, but a SJ22 is basically the same unit. They are cheap, now, I have seen them as low as $79. They have the necessary serial connection to allow use with the GPS. Cables can be had from PC Mobile. I use it as a storage device for my tracks, since my GPS has limited track strorage. Using GPilotS software the unit can emulate a GPS with regard to downloads/ and uploads from the computer. Geoclipping software is used to load cache descriptions into the Clie'.

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I have a Vista and the aforementions Palm/Cachemate/GSAK combo for paperless caching. I have only recently got into this far better way of managing caching and can heartily recommend the process to other geo-geeks.

 

I have not got a cable to connect the GPS to the Palm - it costs more that the Palm and registering the shareware programmes did!

 

The cheap and cheerful solution I use it to keep a log of the co-ordinates of frequently used starting points such as the home of family and friends, holiday hotel (or whatever) in a memo file.

 

When required, I simply "cut 'n paste" the required co-ordinates into the "Nearest Caches" function in Cachemate - bingo!

 

This search function "remembers" the last set of co-ordinates so they can easily be modified with a bit of stylus bashing in the field.

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I use the Palm Zire with 2mg of memory and it works great. I use cachemate as well. You cant hook the zire up to your gps and because of space I dont think you can put maps on it either. But that is what the gps is for.

I would suggest a pda with at least 8mg of memorythough. The 2 mg works great and is all you need to use cachemate, but the more caches you request with your pocket queries the more space it uses and leaves little for the rest of the things you use a pda for, like addresses and phone numbers.

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I've been using pocket queries/spinner/plucker to get stuff onto my Palm, and it works great. My problem is with the weekly updates. How do I get caches that no longer exist (arhived) out of my GPS? If I just upload the GPX into my GPS, it adds new caches, but the old ones stay there. This is my biggest problem with managing waypoints.

 

I have tried making a set of waypoints I want to keep (everything but geocaches), then deleting all waypoints in the GPS, and uploading my pocket query plus the other set of "keepers". In order for this to work though, I have to make sure I add any new waypoints other than geocaches that I want to keep to my special set. Obviously, this is very time-consuming and error-prone.

 

Anybody have an elegant solution to this problem? Thanks!

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I use GSAK to do this. I periodically download the waypoints in my GPS to a separate database, for backup purposes. I use GSAK to send the waypoints to the GPS as I get updates, and it's easy enough to use GSAK to select the waypoints in your 'special set' and send them to the GPS after deleting everything in the GPS. GSAK works much better for me than Spinner, because it does a lot more. You can generate the html files for Plucker with one click on an icon, it has tons of filtering capability, and you can set as many locations as you like for the search capability in Plucker.

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kpqdenver:

The elegant solution is to use a Meridian with a memory card. You can create a file with your "permanent" waypoints such as home, work, etc. Save it to the memory card and it is always there. You can clear the working memory any time and instantly load your file.

If you are going caching, create the appropriate query, load all the waypoints into a clear working memory, and then load your permanent file from the memory card. You can save in your card as many files as you want, of any combination of waypoints, and have access to them in the field any time you need them.

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I use a Dell AXIM X5 (cost $299) with a 512mb SD card to hold the map and GPX data files. The X5 has both a CF and SD card slot so instead of trying to find a serial cable that would work with my Garmin 12CX, I purchased an Americom CF GPS card (including an external antenna). Used with Mapopolis and GPSSonar, it has worked out to be a totally paperless system for me. I download the GPX file for the area of interest from geocaching.com using my premium membership. I can convert that file into a maplet file for the Mapopolis program and it will show me all the geocaches as dots on the map. The GPSSonar program allows me to display the equivalent of the cache web page from the data stored in the GPX file and notes for specific caches. After entering notes, you can sort the cache list to find all the entered notes for entry onto geocaching.com

I just used this combination to find 21 caches during my vacation. The GPS card and Mapopolis also served as a great navigation / routing tool. This combination provided verbal turn by turn driving directions.

Dave Rounds

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