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kbootb

Gpsr - What Do You Use Yours For?

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Just a straw poll, I know it's not a representative sample of all cachers, but;

 

Did you buy your GPSr to start geocaching?

 

If so, do you use it for other purposes.

 

How many of you used a GPSr for other purposes before getting into caching, and do you still use it for both purposes.

 

Just to reassure you all, I was musing on writing an article for 'The Magazine' about what motivated me to get a GPS and get into caching and wondered about other people's starting points.

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Bought my Geko 301 purely for Geocaching. I also bought a bike mount for it thinking I might use it as an alternative to a bike computer but have not fitted it yet.

 

I will upgrade the 301 if I ever decide to use it for vehiclular navigation.

 

Hope that helps...

 

Simon

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I bought my GPS to start caching!

I had an unusually large amount of money (£60) that I'd saved from my birthday and my Scout leader told me about caching so I decided, like most 12 year olds do, just to spend it on eBay. I bought a lovely litte eTrex.

 

However now, I have found another purpose for it. Finding the car in massive car parks! It's brilliant because we lose the car regularly :D.

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Cannot recall exactly how long we've had our Garmin GPS12XL, but it was long before we'd even heard of geocaching - probably around 10 years. We are birdwatchers and often drive to remote areas of the country and used it primarily for that purpose until we started geocaching a few months ago. Our GPS always used to be set to OS Grid so we could check our position on Landranger maps but now it's usually on WGS84!

 

It's been worth its weight in gold and we still have it on the dashboard whenever we go out, not just when we go geocaching.

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We bought our first GPSr (Yellow Etrek) so we could start geocaching back in March 2002.

For the first year geocaching was the only purpose it got used for. However with the subsequent purchase of a PDA (For paperless caching) and Memory Map (To help get to the cache) it now gets used along with MM to navigate around traffic jams when out driving and also when out hiking across the moors and walking the coastal paths down here in the southwest. :D

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Did you buy your GPSr to start geocaching?

 

If so, do you use it for other purposes.

 

How many of you used a GPSr for other purposes before getting into caching, and do you still use it for both purposes.

No, had it already

 

If so...... (N/A)

 

Yes, still use it for walking

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Bought a Garmin GPS III+ four or five years ago for use on the motorcycle for road going navigational rallies. The backlit basic road mapping display has proved invaluable for riding and navigating at night. Was on one of these rallies last year when another competitor advised me about Geocaching. I soon added a second III+ so I had one for car/motorcycle mount and the other for hand held (saves having to keep extracting the vehicle mounted unit from its cradle.

 

My job being 24/7 I was Geocaching juggling a phone, PDA and GPS. I have now added to my arsenal of navigational aids a Garmin NavTalk which does all three in one! Handy considering I have now have the flexibility to give the hand held III+ to my son, Cyoung1s, to lead with whilst I monitor progress from behind with the NavTalk!

 

I'm still using the units for both activities. In addition to navigation the III+ provides a very useful dash board/handle bar mounted trip computer. So it gets used as such on all long journeys.

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I bought a Geko 201 (a cracking bit of kit except for the AAA size batteries) to complement my map reading when walking in wild places....when it was discovered that I had this GPSr it was suggested that I try geocaching to add some interest to my walks.

 

I listened to all the pro's and con's (or should that be pros and cons...nah that doesn't look right LOL) and was sold on the advantages of the quad helix aerial as opposed to the one in the Geko 201...so I sold it and bought a Garmin Marine 76 which not only had the supposed better aerial but used AA batteries...OK it was a much bigger bit of equipment ... but that was an advantage to me because of the bigger screen size....unfortunately the recorded track points displayed are just on the border of what I can reasonably see....as they are so small!!

 

You just can't win them all :D

 

I might consider getting a backup GPSr sometime....maybe something like an Etrex Legend or even the Geko 301 ... but I have well over spent my pocket money for this year :mad:

 

Ullium.

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I purchased my Magellan Sportrak Pro for road trips and walks. I learned about Geocaching from a friend about a month after I bought my GPSr. I've used it for all of the above ever since.

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We got our legend because A. it's a gadget! and B. So that my wife and her friend could tell how far and fast they walked when they were training for the Moonwalk last year. (charity walk for breast cancer 26 miles around London at night wearing a bra!)

Then a work mate (Posties brother-in-law I think) told me about this geocaching lark and here we are now!

Kiteflyer

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We bought a Geko 201 solely for caching use. I had read about geocaching on the bbci site and just had to have a go. So we quickly purchased a Geko to try out our new hobby!

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Bought mine to use as a speedo on my kite buggy. Then found out about geocaching.

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Sue & I bought a Garmin eTrex (yellow job) for use on our longer bike rides. If you have every cycled round the country lanes of Norfolk, you will know that you can quickly find yourself charging down the wrong route.

 

We found that our progress was constantly hampered by the need to consult the OS map - GPS seemed to be the answer...

 

...and that dragged us into geo-geeking. Now we have gone full circle - we use distant caches to provide the focus for our bike rides!

 

Now we have a Vista on the bikes and a big Street Pilot 3 for the car. Both are loaded with loads of caches and we do not leave home without at least one of them.

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Adam bought our first GPSr - a Magellan 2000 - about 4 years before we discovered geocaching. He spotted it in a Cash Converters and bought it for no better reason than it looked like a cool gadget. Gadget freaks :) .

 

Lisa

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I had a Garmin 45 in the days BG (before geocaching) and used it to record waypoints when walking. Upgraded to a Vista about two years ago adn have added a Bluetooth GPS to use with an Ipaq for TomTom in the car and MemoryMap when walking. Yes - I am a gadget freak and enjoy it. :)

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Bought our first GPSr about 5 years ago (etrex) as I got lost too many times when away on business and left the hotel for a walk in the evening :huh:

 

Having been rescued by it a few times, we recognised the nenefit of GPS navigation as such we got a SPIII to provide street navigation .... Then got into GeoCaching around 2 years ago using the etrex - decided to get the best of both worlds (small enough to geocache and with street mapping) and got a Euro Basemap Garmin V. Needed to buy USA CitySelect for a US buisness trip, but worked out buying a US base map Garmin V in the USA (which comes with City Select USA) was like 20 GBP more expensive than buying USA CitySelect in the UK ... go figure Garmin UKs pricing...

 

SO we sold the Etrex on ebay, still use the SPIII for European driving - and the two V's are used for business trips and Geocaching ...

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Yep, bought an Garmin emap purely for geocaching. Liked the idea of having some sort of map, all be it basic, but couldn't afford the better options. Must say the emap has served us well! :cry:

 

Other use ... answering the age old question ... "are we there yet?". We were lucky enough to go to California earlier this year on a bit of a driving tour, by entering waypoints of caches near where we were going or staying we could tell if a. we were going in the correct direction and b. how far away, in crow miles, we were! This proved extremely useful when trying to find our hotel in LA ... LA is jungle, thankfully there was a cache half a mile away from the hotel!! :lol::lol:

Just out of interest this has now become almost Choccy standard if we are travelling an distance within the UK - find a cache near where we're going, put the waypoint on the GPS ... are we there yet?

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I've had 3 GPS's now started with a Magellan 3000 back in 1997 bought for using whilst hill walking and canoeing. Replaced it 3 years later with a Magellan 315 for the same purpose.......then started using it for Geocaching last October...really happy with it i've no need to replace it (i said). Then found a Garmin Legend for sale in Staples for £124 including Map Source!!!!! so i had to have that..too much of a bargin to overlook..... primary use geocaching now. Does get used for other events still.

 

Mart

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brought mine to go geocaching as a way of getting some exercise.

2nd gps was a magnetic roof mount for the car/pda to autoroute me to the caches. You don't loose the car, especially at night (as I found out tonight) as if you leave it plugged into the cigarette light, the red led flashing is a useful point to take a bearing on where the car is if you didn't waypoint it!

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...I fancied a 60CS but I would have had to buy City Select - having to keep City Navigator up to date is expensive enough thank you! I hope the MG Europe I have will autoroute with the new Vista....

I'd be very interested to know if MetroGuide Europe works with the new Vista C. I was thinking about buying one too and like you, I already have MG Europe.

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I'd be very interested to know if MetroGuide Europe works with the new Vista C. I was thinking about buying one too and like you, I already have MG Europe.

Me too!

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got a geko 201 purely to start caching. have considered upgrading but don't think the extra expense will be worth it. geko gets me to the cache most days and is easy to use. i started as doctor wanted me to do more exercise so walking seemed good idea, then decided to make the walk more interesting with a purpose.

 

i am a gadet freak and would upgrade in a minute but too many different models with only slight differences. can't choose between them let alone between manufacturers!

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I originaly bought one that plugged into my notbook to use for in car navigation. The software I had was pretty dire and I went on a internet search for some better software. I came accross Geocaching by accident last October and registered on the site.

 

On new years eve I was driving over the peak and decided to try and find one. So there I was wandering around with lap top in hand and gpsr slung over my shoulder. It worked, I found Natty Boushkas cache "Robrovski". Thought there must be an easier way most of my friends are walkers (behave) and had handheld units htat i took the rise out of being a ba humbug map and compass man.

 

Left it alone for a few weeks, while I was working my notice with my then employers. Took the cheque (thank you) and made a spur of the moment purchase of a Geko 101, which I soon changed for the yellow etrex and a data cable before my thumbs got worn out.

 

So still use it for: in car navigation

geocaching

walking

finding the car (thanks for reminding me usb)

Finding peoples houses (a cachers house who I was meeting for a pint)

keeping the kids quiet listening to the nice lady telling us where to go in the car (the voice on sat nav not the ex)

 

A colleague fo mine used it for finding friends at Glastonbury

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My first GPS was a Garmin 12, which I wanted to add to my camping equipment.

 

Later I used it with the laptop for navigation both in the UK and on a road trip in the USA.

 

Combined with the likes of Netstumbler I also use(d) that GPS for WarDriving, where I mapped and pinpointed wireless access points for internet connection whilst on the road :huh:

 

Some time later I discovered geocaching by accident from the results of a google search.

 

Now the navigation and wardriving can be harnessed in the sport of geocaching :blink:

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Is it too late to post on this one?

 

Our first GPSr was an Eagle Explorer given to us in '98 as a present to take on our round the world trip (we never actually took it as before leaving we read a (reliable) newspaper report about someone seen using one in Russia being jailed). Mr JJNFC had always wanted one but having got one never found any practical use for it and it had sat in it's box for 5 years until the Radio 4 slot about geocaching. Went out that weekend, found our first 2 (after learning about datums the hard way) and haven't looked back.

 

Within a week we'd upgraded the EE to a SporTrak Pro bought just for caching. Now with the use of MapSend we often use the GPS just for navigating us to where we're going on the road. I've also used it to measure how far I've run in training (though really should get a forerunner).

 

JJNFC.

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My initial reason for buying a Geko 201 was to navigate the remote regions of Northern Finland (went on snowmobile trip last year and lack of daylight in the forests was a bit of a setback - nothing to aid visual navigation and too cold to keep pulling out maps and compass!). However, I have now started to use it for geocaching and as an alternative to a bike computer. Also took it on holiday in July and used it to mark points of interest ("That looks like a nice restaurant. I must remember where it is so that I can have dinner there this evening" or "Which way was my hotel?")

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Just bought my 3rd GPSr. I've been using them for more than 10 years, mountianeering, mountain biking and general navigation. Very new to geocaching - can't believe it's taken me so long to get involved having first heard about it years ago.

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I bought my sportrak pro because I was fed up with getting lost during counrty walks. I discovered geocaching even before my equipment arived and now my walks inevitably involve a hunt.

 

Otherwise I use the kit to find my car in the car park.

 

Aisledog

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I was going skiing this year and decided I needed walkie talkies in case me and the wife got separated. A mate suggested the Garmin GPS walkie talkies as it's easy to see where your errant partner has got to. I then decided that the GPS bit was a compromise and that I should have a real GPS and separate walkie talkies. We never took the walkie talkies out of the packet, although we take them on caches now, to keep the 5 year old amused.

 

Used the GPS to plot routes and measure distance and speed. Got a Vista as it is good for altitude apparently and even now I don't have the altitude calibrated.

 

While I was looking for the best place to buy the GPS, I found out about caching and did my first before the vista arrived.

 

Ended up getting a new vista on ebay (£100) from USA and metroguide v6 for £20 off ebay (risky I suppose).

 

Been thinking about the Vista C...

 

Nice idea about measuring kite buggy speed, it always feel really fast.

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Just added the Garmin iQue 3600 to my inventory of GPS gizmoes! The integeral GPS/antenna is the biz. Still getting to grips with using it. Works brilliant in the car and it talks to me! Set a route for it the other day then did a few laps round a roundabout:

 

"off route, recalculating!"

"off route, recalculating!"

"off route, recalculating!"

"off route, recalculating!"

"off route, recalculating!"

 

Aren't I cruel! Well they shouldn't have given it a lady's voice!!

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I was just in England. It helps to have a GPS just to find your way back to the hotel

Edited by AddedValue

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The first GPSr I ever used was the size of a picnic hamper and cost $98,000!

 

It was in Iran, close to the front line in the war with Iraq in 1985. The satellite constellation was incomplete and we considered ourselves lucky if we could get four satellites in view for as long as 40 minutes twice a day. It was a great boon in surveying the location for Syledis and Trisponder beacon positions, but it was a pain in the neck in some ways.

 

Legally, we were on dodgy ground as the system was the property of the US military and there was an embargo on exporting military technology to Iran at the time, but our friend Oliver North was selling much more lethal hardware to the Iranians, so we felt vindicated in making good use of what was at the time a truly revolutionary piece of position-fixing kit.

 

My first personally owned GPSr was a Magellan Nav 5000 Pro aviation receiver which I bought circa 1991. It was the size of a brick and guzzled batteries, 8 at a time, at a spectacular rate. It navigated me around Europe and North America in private aircraft for several years, including a spectacular trip across the Southern States of the US from Alabama to Arizona. It was a five-channel sequential receiver, greatly inferior to modern 12-channel simultaneous receivers, but I learned how to use it in averaging mode to make some remarkably accurate static position fixes in land survey applications. When I was ready to pension it off, I volunteered it to the then new national museum in Edinburgh. It was going to be placed in a cabinet directly opposite one which houses Tony Blair's electric guitar! We devised an antenna feed and a mains power supply so that it could display co-ordinates in real-time. Sadly, it was stolen from my house together with its successor while I was absent in a burglary which also robbed me of a couple of GPSrs and many other personal treasures.

 

My next GPSr was an aviation-specific Garmin. Hardware-wise, it was basically the same as the Garmin 12. The aviation software made it the Garmin 95. It was great little machine; very small and easily fastened onto the yoke of any aircraft.

 

Sadly, that machine was nicked during the invasion of my house while I was absent.

 

My next and current GPSr is a Magellan SportTrack Pro. The two features which I love about it are the WAAS capability and the ability to average fixes.

 

I'm a born sceptic, so I didn't believe the boast on the cardboard box which claimed that the machine will produce 3 metre accuracy. I almost immediately tested it on a known trig point and then on several others. Their boast is not idle. I've found that when there is a good WAAS signal, this wee thing really can produce co-ordinates which are within a couple of metres of the true value. That's quite amazing.

 

The ability to average raw data is even better than WAAS. By averaging data, you can smooth out the random effects of tropospheric, ionospheric and clock errors. The longer you average; and the more averaged measurements you make: the better.

 

Cheers, The Forester

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The ability to average raw data is even better than WAAS. By averaging data, you can smooth out the random effects of tropospheric, ionospheric and clock errors. The longer you average; and the more averaged measurements you make: the better.

Although I use my trusty ol' Legend when hunting caches, I always use my GPS III when placing a cache. It, too, has the averaging feature (but no WAAS) and I usually leave it in position on the cache for anything up to half an hour. At one reading every second, the final co-ordinates are the average of up to 1,800 consecutive readings. It's not very often that I get the "co-ords are way out" messages in the logs on my caches :blink:

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My first one was a Magellan ( pacer i think ) about 5 years ago that i used to take on my boat for safety in case of fog, then when we found geocachin it wasn't quite accurate enough and had limited waypoints.

Have now got a Garmin GPS 76 which has nav Aids more waypoints & it floats which has to be good. :blink:

Edited by mike & jude

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