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D0T-C0M

So Where Are The Explorists 500 And 600??

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The Magellan Geocache Manager software supports GPX, LOC and GEO files.

I have uploaded the Geocache Managers's mask and populated it with a few caches, which I downloaded from geocaching.com as LOC file. So, here it is ....

 

http://rapidshare.de/files/1077812/magella...anager.doc.html

 

Here is more of the same page all to the right side. You also see the manual entry mask.

 

http://rapidshare.de/files/1078043/magella...ager_2.doc.html

These links just seem to get me to a Rapidshare info page

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That sheds light on things...what I'm struggling with right now is envisioning how this data is displayed on the GPSr. Can you describe what it's like using the data?

 

Looks like just about everything but the description and the last few logs make it in. It appears I'll still want GSAK html on my PDA. Is the hint decoded?

 

...and SwissTeam...have you decided if you like it or not yet?

 

These links just seem to get me to a Rapidshare info page

 

Go to the bottom of the page, click Free, wait 45 seconds, and click the download link.

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That sheds light on things...what I'm struggling with right now is envisioning how this data is displayed on the GPSr.  Can you describe what it's like using the data?

 

Looks like just about everything but the description and the last few logs make it in.  It appears I'll still want GSAK html on my PDA.  Is the hint decoded?

That is odd that the description is not included. I can understand leaving out logs because they would take up a lot of space and mostly include spoilers, but it would be nice to have the option to include. But the description? Leaving that out kinda goes against the point having a Geocache manager. For most Geocaches you *should* read the description before taking them on, but even I have been known to try some when I see the waypoint on the GPSr nearby.

 

And then there are those who would have a 1GB card in the Explorist, why not have all of the above and let the user decided if they want it.

 

That said, the explorist really has me drooling. I am almost glad they did not included the description because I might be trying to do something stupid like buy one before I can afford it :)

Edited by Dan_Edwards

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It seems to me, that according to the geochaching.com download rules, that you have to be a Premium Member in order to download the more detailed GPX files. Without that you just get the bare bone info via LOC files and have to fill in the blanks. I also tried to just copy/paste the description from one of the caches pages into the "Hint" field which worked fine (it took all the text I pasted, which was fairly long). I will try to upload it to my 500 later in the day to see how it worked.

Edited by SwissTeam

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It seems to me, that according to the geochaching.com download rules, that you have to be a Premium Member in order to download the more detailed GPX files. Without that you just get the bare bone info via LOC files and have to fill in the blanks. I also tried to just copy/paste the description from one of the caches pages into the "Hint" field which worked fine (it took all the text I pasted, which was fairly long). I will try to upload it to my 500 later in the day to see how it worked.

There is a sample GPX file on ClayJar's Watcher download site. You can get it HERE

Edited by Stunod

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Thanks Stunod, I went to that website you mentioned and downloaded that GPX file and opened it in the Magellan Geocache Manager without any problem. At the link below, you see a mask of the Manager with the GPX file extracted, (because of space reasons) only the right side including the "Hint" field, which takes underneath much more text than you can actually see in the field itself. One can also manually copy the description from the cache web page and paste it in that field as well. O.K. here is the link ...

 

http://rapidshare.de/files/1080652/magella...ager_3.doc.html

Edited by SwissTeam

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The Geocaching Manager looks cute, but if anyone can try I'd like to know if you can just send plain old waypoints to an Explorist from GSAK or EasyGPS(like I do on my old Meridian) and totally ignore the Geocaching Manager.

 

Thanks in advance if someone can give it a try.

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You can not upload files from EasyGPS to the Explorist 500 yet because the EasyGPS program has the Explorist not yet listed as one of the supported GPSr.

 

It's just a question of time until the Explorist 500 will be included, after all, the Explorist 500 is less than a week on the market.

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I'd like to know if you can just send plain old waypoints to an Explorist from GSAK and totally ignore the Geocaching Manager.

I'd like if GSAK were to eventually emulate the geocache manager. I like to use GSAK, but I'd also like to utilize the additional geocache fields the Explorist likes to have.

 

Right now, it seems that you could manipulate your caches in GSAK, save them as a .gpx, and then use the Magellan geocache manager to send them to the GPS. Perhaps in the future, sending the caches (along with all the additional data) to the GPS directly with GSAK will be possible.

 

It's looking more and more like I'll be purchasing either a 500 or 600. The question now is whether the 600 is worth the extra cost.

 

Jamie

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It's looking more and more like I'll be purchasing either a 500 or 600. The question now is whether the 600 is worth the extra cost.

 

Jamie

It's only $28 more at Tigergps.com...it's the extra wait for the 600 that's killin' me <_<

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I posted this in the wrong thread earlier (stupid Dialated eyes), so I thought I would post it here now.

 

I thought I would add a little more information re my explorist 500, I joided a friend for a ride of about 30 mile to see the reception would be from inside his truck. With the explorist on my lap not on the dash, it maintained a lock on 6 sattellites except for a time while we were crossing the north end of San Francisco bay on the bottom level of a bridge, then it was locked onto 3 satellited with an accuracy of around 60 feet.

 

Later in the day I used it to place a new cache and took my Meridain along also.

The satellite reception was the same most of the time, under tree cover both fluctuated about the same level.

 

I have been saving waypoint onto the Exp, in a couple if ways. In some cases I have sent them to Topo 3D with GSAK and then used the conversion software to send them to the SD card on the GPS.

 

Other times I have sent them to my Meridian gold (I keep the gold for auto nav between caches while driving) from the Meridan I send them to Topo 3D and then to the explorsit the same way as above.

 

Once they are on the SD card you can rename them. sent them to another folder or creat a new folder for them.

 

To actvate a waypoint file you use the menu option and select Preferences, you enter Preferencesn and select active Setup, From there you can select My POIs or go to the Geocache files From those you can select which file of waypoints you want to activate and have on the Map screen. or you can select a group of caches you do not want to see on the map screen and De activate that group.

 

More to follow

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Later in the day I used it to place a new cache and took my Meridain along also.

The satellite reception was the same most of the time, under tree cover both fluctuated about the same level.

 

Great to hear the Meridain was about the same.

That is one thing I alway's liked about the Meridain I had.

 

I no longer have the Meridain only the Legend to compare my Explorist 100 too.

 

Not being able to use AA's does not seem to bother me so much now.

It would be nice if I could use my old Topo software from my Meridain, but the new 3d topo sounds kind of cool too.

 

Looking forward to anything else you can tell use about your new Explorist 500. <_<

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It's looking more and more like I'll be purchasing either a 500 or 600. The question now is whether the 600 is worth the extra cost.

The difference was only $30 bucks when I ordered mine, which made it a pretty easy choice. Of course, that choice caused me to not have mine yet, so I don't know if it was that good a choice. <_<

 

--Marky

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I didn't realize the price difference was so small. Probably I'll go with the 600.

 

There has been some conflicting reports about whether the Explorists will work with MapSend Topo (not the 3D) of which I own. It'd be a great disappointment if my software didn't work with the GPS. Even a greater disappointment because I have found a source for some detailed maps of Russian cities which worked fine on my Meridian, but may not work on the Explorist.

 

Jamie

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I have been comparing the 500 to the Meridian Green and Legend, which I have owned and used extensively for over 2 years each. Here are some initial observations.

 

The 500 has an excellent and bright color screen, with almost as good resolution as the Legend (which is grayscale), and much better than the Meridian (although the Meridian’s screen is much larger.)

 

The quality of the case/buttons appears very good on the 500. The size is a little longer and thicker than the Legend, and much smaller than the Meridian. I find it more difficult to use one handed than both the Legend (very easy to use with left hand) and the Meridian (easy to use with either hand, pushing buttons with thumb.) A wrist strap will be helpful to prevent dropping.

 

The data cord on the Legend is quickly snapped in place, the cord on the Meridian is easily positioned and attached, but on the 500, it is awkward and takes some fumbling to get it attached. I was hoping for a quicker plug-in cord since it will have to be attached often for charging. It comes with a wall wart, that plugs into the USB cable with a “Y”. I tested charging from a computer’s USB port, a cig adapter with USB port, and a wall wart with a USB port and these all worked to charge the unit. As for battery life, I can’t comment yet. I calculated the total power of the battery pack (considering voltage and capacity) to be about equal to 2 AA Nimh at 2000 mAh. While charging, there is no indication (such as an LED) that the unit is charging or done, when the 500 is turned off. When on, the battery meter will tell you everything.

 

The number of screens on the 500 is surprising and disappointing. The 500 has 4 screens, Satellite, Map, Position, and Compass. The Compass and Map screens each have 2 customizable fields. The Meridian has 8 screens, which you can choose to activate or not. I like the “Data” screen which has 6 customizable fields. The Legend has the “Trip Computer” with 8 customizable fields. I like to use these screens when travelling in planes, trains and boats, and also like to use the speed, avg speed, time, distance fields, when on exercise hikes. I feel that the 500 is one screen short.

 

I have found some features missing on the 500 compared to the other 2. It has degrees, but not mils, which I have found useful when needing more precise direction than degrees. Also, I cannot find a means to do waypoint projections. If someone knows where this is, please let us know. I have spent a lot of time looking for them. On the Meridian Position page, I like the two position formats and datums showing, which is not an option on the 500. The 500 does not appear to let you know when you are receiving WAAS. Although, the Ws turn to green and a W will appear next to the sat numbers in the signal meter. Can we assume when this happens you have WAAS corrections?

 

Regarding waypoint and file management, the 500 has 2 advantages over the Meridian: a directory/folder system and the abiltiy to read/write without removing the SD card. (The Meridian actually has a very good system, where only waypoint files will show when you choose to load waypoint files. Same with Tracks. And you can put any extension on any file, such as .wpt, so that when you look at files in your SD card in your computer’s card reader, you easily manage them.) If you are creating many waypoint files from pocket queries for different areas while traveling, the 500 will be nice to use.

 

Regarding reception, the 500 performs very well. I have tested all three in some difficult locations. In one, the Legend did not receive any satellites and the 500 showed 4 to 5, and the Meridian showed 5 to 6. The Meridian seems to show a slightly better EPE/accuracy than the 500. Of course, this is just observing the signal meters, and EPE reading, which can show differently depending on how the manufacturer decides to calculate and display them (and at selected locations.) As for accuracy, I plan to go to one of the super accurate benchmarks and test the 500 like I have done with the other two.

 

Regarding maps, my Mapsend Topo 4.20 will not work on the 500. Looks like Topo 3d is needed.

 

So there you have some info on my observations. Some good stuff, some bad.

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After all the things said here in this forum about the explorist,I must conclude that,even though it's got some very interesting features,this is still not the "holy grail" of GPSr's!!

It has been said before,and I will say it again:"Why is it so difficult to put a GPS on the market,that has:TFT,USB,SD,AA(and long operating time on AA)"

They both make nice GPS's (Garmin and Magellan),but it's just not quite what it could be!!!

Hmmm.... :D .....I guess we'll have to wait for a long,long time untill they get it right...... :lol:

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EScout Thanks for the review. very informative. The only comment I will make it that many of the concerns you raised could be fixed with a future firmware. I kinda think/hope magellan was rushed a bit to get these units out and the firmware side of things has not yet fully matured. I hope a future firmware release will address most of your concerns. I aggree totally about the need to have a quick connecting method for data/power cord.

Edited by D0T-C0M

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Regarding reception, the 500 performs very well. I have tested all three in some difficult locations. In one, the Legend did not receive any satellites and the 500 showed 4 to 5, and the Meridian showed 5 to 6. The Meridian seems to show a slightly better EPE/accuracy than the 500. Of course, this is just observing the signal meters, and EPE reading, which can show differently depending on how the manufacturer decides to calculate and display them (and at selected locations.) As for accuracy, I plan to go to one of the super accurate benchmarks and test the 500 like I have done with the other two.

Last month I bought an Explorist 100 ( a 500 without ALL the bells and whistles LOL). It was painful to buy a GPSr without a data interface but the $ 60.00 sale price at Fry's was too good to pass up - at least it uses AA's.

 

I bought it as a backup for my wife. Our previous backup was a Handspring Visor with a Magellan GPSr module attached. It works but is rather fragile and got waterlogged a couple times.

 

I'll assume the 100's GPS signal processing is the same as the 500 just with many less display features. Since we got the 100 my wife finds most ALL of the caches(about 200 the last month) well before I do with my old trusty Meridian. She'll have the find with the 100 while i'm often still 50 - 100 feet away. The Meridian gets me to the same point eventually - the 100 gets there A LOT QUICKER - its been rather amusing. It's so noticeably better that I'd go out and buy a 500 or 600 but do not like the battery situation so most likely will not - at least not as an early adopter. As posted elsewhere, my previous experiences with proprietary rechargeable ONLY devices has been rather miserable.

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Also, I cannot find a means to do waypoint projections. If someone knows where this is, please let us know. I have spent a lot of time looking for them.

 

The user's manual (the larger, downloadable one) for the explorists covers this. Even though the manual is not yet available for the 500, just download the one for the 200 and you will have essentially the same thing. I have the explorist 200 and tihs question came up on another thread. Here's the answer I posted there:

 

1. Go the the map screen and move the joystick/enter button so that a cursor forms. Look in the lower left corner of the window and note that the customizable information area has changed and is now showing the distance and bearing of the cursor from your present position. For example, it may show 211° at .12 miles. Also note that next to the heading is either a "M" or a "T" to indicate whether the unit is set to show Mag. north or True north.

 

2. Move the cursor until the heading/distance figures are what you desire. You'll find that if you want to get precise with the distance you may need to zoom the screen in so that a given movement of the cursor results in a shorter distance moved on the screen.

 

3. Once the cursor is at your desired you can do either of two things:

 

a. You can simply press the GoTo button and the gps will ask for confirmation of this. Depending upon whether you are already following a GoTo, you will be presented with one or more confirmation windows. Follow the screen prompts, clicking yes where necessary, and go to your new waypoint using the gps as you normally would. This method does NOT save the destination as a POI.

 

b. Alternately, when the the cursor is at your desired location, press the Mark button. This will bring up the edit waypoint screen to that you can give it a name, make notes, etc., and then save the projected waypoint as a POI. If you follow this option, then you will need---once you're back on the map page---to bring up the menu, go to your Points of Interest, highlight the POI you just created (or any other POI you want to visit), and click the GoTo button.

 

Either method works fine.

 

As with many things, it takes much longer to describe than to do. In the time it took to type this I probably could have projected 50 waypoints.

 

Good luck.

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EScout Thanks for the review. very informative. The only comment I will make it that many of the concerns you raised could be fixed with a future firmware. I kinda think/hope magellan was rushed a bit to get these units out and the firmware side of things has not yet fully matured. I hope a future firmware release will address most of your concerns. I aggree totally about the need to have a quick connecting method for data/power cord.

I had the same thought--which causes both optimism and pessimism: there's a good possibility of adding these features, but the miserable way that Magellan has been dealing with Meridian firmware updates in the last year or two does not bode well.

 

While it's a bit of a disappointment that the data cable is not an easy connect, I remedied that situation with my Meridian with the swivel GPS mount staying hooked up to my PC so I can click the Meridian in and out as needed. I expect I'd do the same with the explorist. (edit: and since the connection with the PC is USB, it's an easy matter to pull the mount for car duty.)

 

I also have to observe that while I liked the options that the Meridian afforded me, the ones I used are the ones on the explorist. So my gripe on the missing features would be muted.

Edited by embra

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Does the Eplorist 500 show sunset and sunrise time?

 

I check sunset time a lot on my Legend.

 

I was kind of surprized sunset info was not displayed anyplace on my Explorist 100.

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Embra,

what is the "swival gps mount"?

The explorist version looks like this. Although I prefer RAM mounts for their superior strength and durability, the Magellan mounts have the advantage of letting you secure the data cord in such a way that when you slap the GPSr in, a secure data/power connection is made.

 

I got tired of having to screw and unscrew the connection to my Meridian every time I needed to attach or detach. If Escout says the hassle factor is worse with the explorist, I'm pretty sure the price of a swivel mount will be worth it.

 

The mount can also be used in vehicles. Again, I've used the RAM in the past, but while it has a space for the cord to be accommodated, you have to make and unmake the connection itself manually each time. For driving to a number of caches and taking the GPSr with you out of the car, the Magellan solution has a big advantage. I'll probably try mounting the swivel to the dashboard with velcro to see how that works for me.

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Embra,

what is the "swival gps mount"?

The explorist version looks like this. Although I prefer RAM mounts for their superior strength and durability, the Magellan mounts have the advantage of letting you secure the data cord in such a way that when you slap the GPSr in, a secure data/power connection is made.

 

I got tired of having to screw and unscrew the connection to my Meridian every time I needed to attach or detach. If Escout says the hassle factor is worse with the explorist, I'm pretty sure the price of a swivel mount will be worth it.

Not so sure that will work for the Explorist - the Meridian has external pins that make the connection. Haven't seen any mention of a similar arrangement for the Explorist. Maybe someone who has one in front of them can comment :lol:

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The notch in the bracket at the top looks like it is made for the USB conection, there is a lilttle tab on the cable that that has nothing to do with the explorist so I am guessing it is for holding the cable in place while on the bracket.

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Not so sure that will work for the Explorist - the Meridian has external pins that make the connection. Haven't seen any mention of a similar arrangement for the Explorist. Maybe someone who has one in front of them can comment :lol:

Yeah, this is all theoretical until someone verifies with real world experience. However, the explorist mount looks vaguely similar to the Meridian mounts, and this picture posted by Milbank and MysteryLady suggests that the explorist uses the external pin arrangement, too. So I'll be surprised if it doesn't work (surprise *is* a part of my daily experience :D )

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Although I prefer RAM mounts for their superior strength and durability, the Magellan mounts have the advantage of letting you secure the data cord in such a way that when you slap the GPSr in, a secure data/power connection is made.

 

I got tired of having to screw and unscrew the connection to my Meridian every time I needed to attach or detach.  If Escout says the hassle factor is worse with the explorist, I'm pretty sure the price of a swivel mount will be worth it.

 

The mount can also be used in vehicles.  Again, I've used the RAM in the past, but while it has a space for the cord to be accommodated, you have to make and unmake the connection itself manually each time.  For driving to a number of caches and taking the GPSr with you out of the car, the Magellan solution has a big advantage.  I'll probably try mounting the swivel to the dashboard with velcro to see how that works for me.

I got tired of attaching/re-attaching the cable with my RAM mount also. That is why I modded my RAM mount and attached the cable to it. Since I drive Jeep, I'm hoping I will be able to do the same thing with the eXplorist.

 

Alan

 

Pics:

 

im001634.jpg

im001637.jpg

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Regarding maps, my Mapsend Topo 4.20 will not work on the 500. Looks like Topo 3d is needed.

I can not believe that all our software will not work for the Explorists!

 

I thought the stupid battery would be the deal breaker. This is unacceptable! I will not waste my money on one of these. It's plane that Magellan has descended into a proprietary black hole. Starting with directroute. Copy protection almost made it unusable. Now the battery and you can not even use existing software.

How could this be good for business?! :lol:

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Got an email today from Harmony Computers, advertising the 500 for $279.

 

http://www.shopharmony.com/product.asp?i=M...&file=MAR302005

 

The review by Escout sheds some sobering light on the GPS, though. Four navigation screens is disappointing. I used the 6-field data screen on my Meridian all the time.

 

Is there a list somewhere of the data that can be displayed in the fields? I always thought the Garmin data options were much more useful, such as Moving Average, and a timer. Does the Explorists have these?

 

Can't use my Topo software? Grrr. That means I can add another $80 to the price just to get maps that I already own. Something tells me that someone will figure a way to load the old Topo maps into an Explorist. Hopefully.

 

Jamie

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If people would download the manual for the explorist200 at the link below, they would find the answers to many of the questions on this thread, including the navigation screens, data fields, etc.

 

Specifically, the data fields are covered on page 21, while the navigation screens have their own section.

 

Granted, the 500 has extra features, but many questions about the screens, antenna (look at the Specifications page here), etc. are all covered.

 

http://www.magellangps.com/assets/manuals/...st200Manual.pdf

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escout...re: your question about WAAS....

 

Look at the Position screen. When WAAS is being received, it will be indicated in the "Accuracy" window by the word WAAS, displayed diagonally next to the accuracy number (at least, that's how it is in the explorist 200).

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The only thing that would save Magellan is if they put a modern color screen on all the other models. Like Garmin did.

They don't need to change anything about the Meridian. It's five years old and still the best GPSr. Add a modern color screen and call it the Meridian Color 2.0!

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They don't need to change anything about the Meridian. It's five years old and still the best GPSr.

I love my old Meridian too and it had gotten us thru 2k+ cache finds and hopefully many more but as mentioned previously the Explorist 100 I purchased really seems to process satellite data MUCH better/faster. If they added some I/O to it, with its AA batteries it could be the perfect geocaching tool. I could do without all the other stuff, maps, compass, alltimeter, geocaching manager, etc. Just get me the cache...

Edited by maleki

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maleki, you're absolutely correct.

 

Any reader of these boards probably knows my of my love affair w/ the ex200. Although I don't do the volume of cacheing that would benefit by a PC connection, I can certainly echo your comments that having one, along w/ the PC manager of the 500, would produce the ultimate device (at least for now).

 

I still plan to buy a 500, when funds allow, despite my wish for AA batteries in it. I can understand now, though, that the move to a thin Li-ion battery was probably done in order to save space to allow the SB card. Otherwise, they would most likely have had to go to a bigger device.

 

For geocaching and day hikes, the 500 would be awesome. For extended trips, I'll use my 200.

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I would love to see some screen shots of the unit. I am really interested in seeing pictures of what I would see in the field trying to find the details for a geocache I happened to notice was nearby. How the icons look. Is there a Geocaching icon?

 

Some stated they had cut and pasted the cache description data into the hint field. Is there any limit to how much you can paste there? If not, then GSAK could create a custom export that included the cache description with the hint.

 

I have never been much of a fan of color screens because here in Colorado under the bright sun all but the best are useless. So far though the comments have been very good about the screen? Has someone tried this under bright outdoor conditions?

 

I noticed on the magellan site they quote the 400 as having the same battery life as the 500 & 600. In the past B/W screens have always had more battery life then color, but maybe that has changed.

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I've been reading this thread with a lot of excitement. I ride my motorcycle on back roads and this would be invaluable to me. But, I'm very, very, very new to GPS and trying to follow some of the things you're all talking about leaves me scratching my head. :lol:

 

One of the features I'm not sure about the 500 is if it comes with street level maps or not.

I'm also lost on how the SD card is used. I read that the 500 has unlimited memory with a card and then someone else said it'll only use 64mg. I didn't see that this was ever resolved.

 

So, what do the cards do? Just save extra way points or addresses?

 

No where can I find the screen size. The pixels, yes, but the measurements of the screen, nada.

 

You folks are a great source of information. Keep up the great work.

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Hi SnaptheFrog,

Welcome to the forums.

The 500 comes with an 8 MB base map. The base map will most likely have most of the major roadways on it but probably not a whole lot more.

Now, when you add an SD memory card to it, you actually increase the memory capacity to it. Kind of like the hard drive on your computer except no moving parts.

The more MB of storage your SD card has the more maps and data you can upload to it

 

Your screen size/resolution was mentioned by Horay on the first page of this thread. Below was his posting:

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

Just got off the phone with Magellan Customer Service. They gave me screen size (in pixels) for eXplorist 500. It's 176 x 220, much better than 100/200/300 (120 x 160).

If you calculate actual resolution, it would be (1.4" x 1.8") ~123 dpi (dots per inch). For comparison, Garmin GPSMAP 60C/60CS has 160 x 240 (1.5" x 2.2") which gives us resolution ~107 dpi, Garmin eTrex Legend C/ Vista C has 176 x 220 (1.3" x 1.7") - ~131 dpi.

Its' fair to compare screen of eXplorist 500 with screen of Garmin eTrex Legend C - they are very close the same (Yes, I know about 16 colors vs 256 colors smile.gif). Actual size of units is also close.

Customer Service Rep. didn't know when manual will be available for download.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I hope this at least sheds some light on your questions.

Have fun.

 

-Jeff

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I followed Jamie Z's link to the Harmony Computer site and could not pass up $279 for the Explorist 500. I did find that they also had it listed for $399, listed under Handheld GPS. I really think they screwed-up. Well I placed the order and copied all of the pages showing the price, shipping instructions and a copy of the confirmed order. If they honor the purchase, I will have saved about $30 over the best price I have been able to find. $30 toward the 3D TOPO software or an extra battery, or a dash mount.

 

Thanks Jamie Z

 

Cheer

 

Muddler

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SnaptheFrog,

I posted some pictures on the other thread. (thought we were switching) It is "Explorist 500" - shows several views of the unit. Mine arrived broken (won't communicate so I have not downloaded any maps, etc. Just took pictures so far. Several other geocachers have firsthand knowledge of the unit in field testing - sounds promising.

 

Most of the map software allow you to load whatever area you wish - in other words you don't have to load the whole eastern part of the US if you are only interested in the midwest. Obviously the larger the SD card the more maps you can load.

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Some updated info and thoughts.

 

Regarding the mount: The swivel mount looks good. Remember, the 500 has a patch antenna, so it is best used horizontal (flat). Not as good when used in a car, but with the mount, you can swivel it in both positions.

 

Regarding the connector pins, there are six of them surrounding the screw hole. They are flush mounted connectors. The reason the connector is harder to attach is that it is small, and hard to grip, and it does not fit in a recessed space like the Meridians.

 

The data fields are mostly the same as the Meridian, although they changed some of the names. These are the differences.

500:<> Meridian:

Distance to Next<> Distance

Distance to End<> (none)

(none)<> VMG

(none)<> ETS

Time to Next<> ETE

Time to End<> (none)

Off Course <> XTE

Direction<> Turn

Accuracy<> EPE

 

So, some added, some left out. No moving-average-speed or time-stopped or time-moving like Garmins.

 

WAAS: Yes, it shows when WAAS corrections are made on the position page. I guess where I was yesterday, I did not get a good enough signal.

 

Screen in sunlight. Yes, it looks great in the sun. As good as my Sony TJ25, PDA with a 320x320 color screen. There are 3 levels of brightness/backlight. It is typical for these type of screens to have some backlight on.

 

Waypoint Projection: As described by Jaques0, there is a crude projection ability, from your current position, but does not compare to most Garmins or the Meridian. For example, on the Meridian’s Projection page, you can project from your current position or any waypoint. You can choose the distance in 1/100s of a mile, or yards or meters, and the bearing in 1/100s of a degree or mils. It shows the projected coords on the Projection page. I find this useful and have used it for caching and applications other than caching.

 

Finding a waypoint: With the Meridian in one hand and the 500 in another, walking to a waypoint, approaching from various directions, the two seemed to perform very close. Watching the Compass screen, the distance, bearing, responses to moving, all seemed to be close. They seemed to be receiving the same satellites. The EPE/Accuracy differed from time to time, but the coords showed very close usually not more than 1 digit difference.

 

Waypoints transferred to 500. I found a way to transfer waypoint files directly to the 500. This means that you can use GPSBabel or GSAK and create Meridian files from .gpx. Or use all of your current Meridian files. All you need to do is name the file with an extension of .upt for the eXplorist to recognize the file (yes, .upt not .wpt) I took the SD card out of the 500 and copied the file to it in a card read/writer (when you first put a card in the 500 it automatically creates folders for you.) You then have to go into Active Setup and choose this file as “My POIs” (they use the term Points of Interest, instead of Waypoints.)

Another thing, is that you can move or copy waypoints from one file to another, whether on the SD card, or in internal memory. You can also create a file and store it where you want.

Edited by EScout

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Remember, the 500 has a patch antenna, so it is best used horizontal (flat). Not as good when used in a car, but with the mount, you can swivel it in both positions.

 

I only have the Explorist 100, but I'm sure it's the same ant. as the 500.

The patch antenna in my 100 does not seem to be as picky as the patch ant. on my legend as far as having to lay the gps flat.

 

In fact I can't really tell any difference in laying the 100 flat or standing it up. It's very good both ways, unlike my legend.

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Finding a waypoint: With the Meridian in one hand and the 500 in another, walking to a waypoint, approaching from various directions, the two seemed to perform very close. Watching the Compass screen, the distance, bearing, responses to moving, all seemed to be close. They seemed to be receiving the same satellites. The EPE/Accuracy differed from time to time, but the coords showed very close usually not more than 1 digit difference.

Wow, It appears that there is really no real advantage to upgrade your GPSr to a 500 if you already have a Meridian. With the exception of maybe higher resolution screen with the 500.

 

Comparisons

(from what I can see and read from the resources provided)

 

Meridian

Satellites- Up to 12

Accuracy: Less than 3 meters

Expandable memory: Yes

Batteries- AA. Cheap and easy to replace on the fly.

Mapsend Topo: V:4.20d and Topo 3D

Navigational Displays: 8

 

500

Satellites- Up to 14

Accuracy: Less than 3 meters

Expandable memory: Yes

Batteries- lithium-ion. Spare battery, $40 (also need to be near a power source to recharge)

Mapsend Topo: Topo 3D only

Navigational Displays: 4

 

Am I missing anything? I thought the 500 would be a great thing but after reading all these posts I find it hard to see the justificatin in buying a E-500 to replace my Meridian.

If all you want is an inexpensive GPSr then you can get a cheap E-100 for as low as $80.

I just did a search on ebay and found a New MeriGold for $155. See it here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...ssPageName=WDVW

 

I don't know. Magellan is going to have to do a heck of a lot more for me to trade my Meridian in for an Explorest 500

 

Just my thoughts. I know you all wanted to hear my thoughts. LOL :lol:

 

Have fun. And remember, don't get any on ya.

 

-Jeff

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The data fields are mostly the same as the Meridian, although they changed some of the names. These are the differences.

500:<> Meridian:

Distance to Next<> Distance

Distance to End<> (none)

(none)<> VMG

(none)<> ETS

Time to Next<> ETE

Time to End<> (none)

Off Course <> XTE

Direction<> Turn

Accuracy<> EPE

 

 

 

I made a chart of both sets screen options

 

d7469415-c61e-4009-8424-a0d43f7388aa.jpg

 

Today I use my explorist 500 next to my Sport track color, the dim seting on the Explorist loks like the Bright seting on the Sport track map, huge improvment on the Explorist 500, I was using them under a some tree cover, The sport track did a better job as far as finding waypoints in one case, but after a couple of minuted the Explorist 500 match it for accuracy, the day before I did the used the Explorist 500 with my meridian gold and that time they performed the same under tree cover

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Am I missing anything?
  • USB data transfer
  • Geocaching Manager
  • Good color screen.
  • Smaller size.
  • New toys are cool.

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My Mapsend TOPO works fine with the SporTrak Color GPS, and it looks like I am staying with the SporTrak Color that I got for $199 for some time. What a Dummy I was, that I did not bring the SporTrak Color to my last Geocaching Event. The GPS 60C was a worthless GPS for the 6 temporary Geocache Event Caches, because the 60C had no watar features showing up on the screen, even with the reservoir there, that the caches were scattered around.

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Am I missing anything?

  •  
  • USB data transfer
     
  • Geocaching Manager
     
  • Good color screen.
     
  • Smaller size.
     
  • New toys are cool.
     

 

Yes. I'll agree, new toys are cool

However, the serial data cable works great with my Meridian. It stays pluged into my PC. If I ever wanted to use my USB port, I could buy a USB Serial Accessory Adapter for super cheap.

The GSAK is a superb GeoCache manager.

With the exception of being able to create seperate folders like you can with the 500 (which I know is a great feature) I just can't see it happening for me.

I don't know. I'll just have to stay tuned to this thread and read futher results from everybody's field testing.

 

So Marky, when you get your 600 in, give it a thourogh field test and post your findings here. Who knows, maybe I'll get one. But right now It's just waaay to soon to jump in on the band wagon.

 

-Jeff :o

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I have one of these for my cell phone, with the right connector (homebrew) I think it would work on the ex 400-500-600, I believe the voltage is in the ballpark or maybe I'm blowing smoke

www.chargetogo.com

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