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Pocket PC GPS sofware for Geocaching


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I am getting ready to purchase a compact flash GPS unit for my Dell Axim pocket pc and wanted to know what people are using for navigation software.


I am looking for something that will give me a bearing and distance once I get to the general area. A lot of the software out there appears to be geared for driving directions, not hiking related uses like geocaching.


I know the arguments for buying a standalone unit but in my opinion a low end gps unit will cost $100 and for about $100 more, I can get a GPS unit for my pocket pc that can be used for this as well vehicle navigation and GIS data collection.


I have found a dry-bag for about $25 that will cushion the unit as well as protect it from moisture and dirt so I am not as worried about having the pocket pc in the “great outdoors.”


Thanks in advance,


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Personally I'd buy a base etrex before I'd buy a GPS addon for a PDA. That's from someone that owns one.


There are some great programs for vehicle use with a PDA, Mapopolis and Destinator come to mind. At $89 for Mapopolis and/or $249 for Destinator you've now paid for a base yellow eTrex. Neither of those two programs will do waypoint routing in the boonies based on co-ordinates. I haven't found one that does, and I have Ostia, Mapopolis, Pocket Streets, and Pocket Co-Pilot


Not to mention the chance of dropping your Axim on a rock, or in a stream.


Just my thoughts..


Sometimes a majority only means that all the fools are on the same side

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You might not be too happy about the battery life of the whole setup.


I have a HP Jornada 568 and the battery life stinks with a low power wifi card. I'd hate to see what happens if I stick a power sucking GPSr on to it.


I got an eTrex Vista. If i really want to play with it and my laptop or pocketpc I'll use the cables.


You will probably be better off buying a standalone unit.


Opinions based on experiences with eTrex Vista...

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We use an iPAQ with MS Pocket Streets for on-road navigation and OziexplorerCE for off road.


But we also use GPS's for caching, because they are:

more rugged,

have longer battery life,

use AA's for spare batteries,

have display features more suited to the directional searches in caching, and

because we like techy stuff icon_rolleyes.gif.


Good luck whichever product you choose. icon_cool.gif

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Looks like Dell is coming out with a serial cable which would allow you to connect to any stand alone GPSr. The following is quoted from a posting to the GPS newsgroup


The serial cable was released yesterday. Many of the different Dell sales channels don't know yet. You have to call Software and Peripherals and ask for:


DPN: 310-3474 - cable - $19


DPN: 310-2944 - cradle.


A null modem adapter may be needed...

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I have a Dell Axim and use the TeleType GPS and Software for on road navigation and it is awesome while on the road, it does not do too well out hiking and geocaching, I was trying to use it this last weekend for both. The battery life isn't bad, My CF wifi card drains it faster then the GPS, but it will go dead in a couple of hours. I use a car lighter adapter to keep it charged while driving so that isn't an issue, it will charge up while Im driving to the next cache site. The problem I have with it is, after I find the first cache it can't lock onto the next one if Im closer then about a 1/2 mile and tells me it can't find a route. I have emailed TeleType about it to see if there is a way around it or if they might decide to put a way to geocache into it, I haven't heard back yet but they have been responsive to my other suggestions. I have been using my eMap for a couple of years, I still have it but wanted to use my PPC for as much as I can.

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RE: the first post


Im in the same situation as you. The only program i found that does what you want is VITO Navigator.


i contacted the developer about a certain bug that was critical to geocaching, he has since fixed it in v2.25 icon_biggrin.gif


Other programs exist that need raster/vector maps (like OziExplorer), however they are more expensive and more cumbersome.

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I downloaded Vito Navigator last night and just went and got 2 more caches with it. It does exactly what I need, nothing more, nothing less. It's very easy to use. So now I use TeleType street navigation to get me close then switch to Vito Navigator for the kill icon_biggrin.gif.


Thanks for the info.


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I use an HP Jornada 567 (identical to 568) with a TeleType CF GPS running through ArcPad. For navigation, VITO Navigator seems similar, but ArcPad is a pocket GIS program, so it can display a background image. I also use it to build a shapefile of the caches and benchmarks I find.


I have tried a Pharos and Pretec CF GPS unit, but like the TeleType better. The Pharos was especially jumpy. I have not used any street navigation software yet, but just print (ugh) the map from mapquest. The caches I have searched for are SF Bay Peninsula caches though, not deep woods where a topo map is useful.


Oh, I have also used a tethered (serial cable) GPS unit too. That was a pain because I only have two hands. Trimble sells a baseball cap with a pouch in the back designed for their version of a DeLorme Earthmate. That frees up a hand and gets the GPS unit higher.

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Scary, I have the same setup. Although I just purchased it last week. Early Fathers day gift. Any pointers you might have would be appreciated. The manual that comes with the GPS is not very detailed. I want to use it for hunting caches. If you would let me know how it works for you, that would be great.

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