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Jamie Z

The Explorist 500 Experience

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:D Unsure of what I'm doing wrong, bought the explorist 500LE last week, and the darn thing won't download sites from my laptop. Everything else seems to work. I read the manuals till I'm blue in the face.

This is my first GPS and a new geocacher. Any help? Or did I just get a bad one.

I think we need more information from you as to what is not working...there are many ways for things to go wrong. *Are* you able to connect the 500 to your computer in data transfer mode as has been described?

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I tried to read all postings and search using Direct Route.

Has anyone use the Goto Line to a waypoint and have the GPS give you turn by turn directions?

 

I helped someone who has a 500 with DR 3.0 load some geocaches, but we couldn't get the gps to give us turn by turn directions after we found our first geocache.

 

thanks for any assistance.

BTW, I wish I could have bought one of these traveler bundles. They are gone from costco.com crutchfield and tigergps.

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I tried to read all postings and search using Direct Route.

Has anyone use the Goto Line to a waypoint and have the GPS give you turn by turn directions?

 

I helped someone who has a 500 with DR 3.0 load some geocaches, but we couldn't get the gps to give us turn by turn directions after we found our first geocache.

 

thanks for any assistance.

BTW, I wish I could have bought one of these traveler bundles. They are gone from costco.com crutchfield and tigergps.

I just mark the current cache as found, then hit goto, street route, geocache points, then I select the next closest cache and hit enter.

 

or am I missing something?

 

Also, you can move the cursor over the next cache, hit goto, and it will ask you if you want to go there, and by what means (point to point, or street route.)

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Well i hate to drag out an old thread but i thought it would be better than starting a new one.

 

My MeriGold of <3 months (new) is having trouble. The buttons are sticking and it is getting worse and worse. When i try to turn on the backlight by holding power, the button sticks and the unit powers off. Several other buttons also stick and it locks the unit up. This is crazy- it is new from WalMart!

 

As far as functionality i am pretty satisfied with the unit. (Except for the Magellan boomerang.) I did have a hard time with the learning curve, but now we have figured it out for the most part.

 

I contacted CS about the problem and they would like to replace with a remanufactured eXplorist 500LE since according to them the MeriGold "no longer serviceable/repairable".

 

My main concern is the maps. I have MapSend Topo V4.20D and it works for the MerigGold. Will this work with the proposed replacement? I cant seem to find any info anywhere on it and CS is so spotty... If it doesn't then the replacement will do me no good.

 

I would really like to go with Garmin but simply put i cant afford to buy one that will include maps like the Magellan does now (with MapSend Topo). Which really stinks because i hate the idea of getting more involved in what i feel like is a lost cause.

 

I also hate that they want to exchange a basically new unit for a remanufactured one.

 

It looks like the 500 has a smaller screen. I dont like that.

 

I cant find how many track points the MeriGold keeps. The 500 keeps 2000. How does that compare? We use this on a high setting to tag our photos.

 

I am very unhappy with my situation.

 

Any info on the MapSend Topo or comparison of the two units? (I have read this thread.)

 

Also i found it very queer that CS said if my unit was not under warranty that they have a trade up program. For about $20 less than what you could buy a new unit for they would trade you your old unit? Seems like a rip off to me...

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My main concern is the maps. I have MapSend Topo V4.20D and it works for the MerigGold. Will this work with the proposed replacement?

 

No, these maps will not work with any explorist model, you need the newer version of topo us.

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Also i found it very queer that CS said if my unit was not under warranty that they have a trade up program. For about $20 less than what you could buy a new unit for they would trade you your old unit? Seems like a rip off to me...

Their trade up program is not an especially good deal...sometimes you can even do better retail than what they offer.

 

If you could use the old maps it would buy you some time to move up to the explorist. But if you're feeling like drawing a line someplace, this may be it...you'll be having to buy new software one place or another.

 

What I'm wondering about is that the Meridians used to carry a one-year warranty. Is Magellan saying that they no longer honor it? If they're trading you an explorist even that's not a bad deal (although I understand how the software issue sours it considerably).

 

I liked the Explorist moving from my Meridian Platinum. As a hiker, I liked the smaller form factor of the Explorist, and although the screen is smaller, it has a higher resolution, so the screens seem to contain comparable amounts of information that I am able to read as easily. Color is great on the 500/600, but I'll bet they want to give you a 400. Some complain that it's too small for their eyes. Some also complain that the buttons are harder to push (i.e., smaller) than the Meridian. With the latest firmware revision, one can choose from all of the screens (I think) that were on the Meridian. Explorists have a lot in common with Meridians. The Explorists have a less agressive movement averaging, so they are much less prone to the Meridian boomerang effect.

 

Two other thoughts: (a) Geognerd (or Escout or someone) had some sort of fix for stuck buttons on the Explorist. Maybe he'll mention it so you could see if it does any good on your Meridian. It might be worth taking apart and reassembling. I don't know if sticky buttons are due to hanging up the case (in which case some WD40 might help) or due to something on the board (probably beyond user influence).

 

(:angry: If you don't like the options Magellan offers you, I wonder if Wal-Mart might honor the waranty by letting you return the product.

 

Good luck.

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Thank you for the replies. :angry:

 

I really am not sure what to do. Besides the trouble with the buttons i think the Magellan product is very good. Every time i have contacted their CS i just have a really hard time. Sometimes they dont respond. Twice i was told that a separate issue was escalated to their second tier of CS and both times did not get a response.

 

What was funny about CS is they acted like they didn't know if my unit was under warranty even though i gave them all my info and contacted them with my account through their site.

 

Here is an excerpt from their email:

I understand from your email that your unit has some issues. I would like to

inform you that the unit need to be sent for repair. However, I am afraid

that your unit is no longer serviceable/repairable.

 

...If your unit is under warranty, then you can replace your unit with Explorist

500LE(Remanufactured). I request you to contact our technical support (Voice

team) regarding the replacement.

If the maps i have do not work, then that just makes it all more difficult. I am on a tight budget and it would be very hard to buy another set of maps. If Walmart will let me return then i would like to go with a Garmin w/maps but currently i cant quite afford that either.

 

Does anyone know about the track info on the 500? I have my MeriGold set at .05 miles and after a day of caching with the family it is all used up. (Track memory.) How does the explorist 500 compare?

 

Ughh. This bums me out.

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Does anyone know about the track info on the 500? I have my MeriGold set at .05 miles and after a day of caching with the family it is all used up. (Track memory.) How does the explorist 500 compare?

 

I think there are similar memory stores and settings for the two model lines. I usually keep mine set at .01 mi for optimal hiking trail detail, but if you are using up the 2000 trackpoints per track at .05 intervals, you could either change the setting to .1 mi or save the track once and start over halfway through. If you are driving (it sounds like you are getting close to 100 miles of track), .1 mi would give you 200 miles per track, or you could use auto/auto detailed to get more efficient use of available track points (in those modes, a trackpoint is laid down only when there is a change in direction...if you drove in a straight line, you might only have two trackpoints to capture it even if 10 miles long).

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For sticky buttons you might want to try some canned air I know its helped on my 500 more then once

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I usually keep mine set at .01 mi for optimal hiking trail detail, but if you are using up the 2000 trackpoints per track at .05 intervals, you could either change the setting to .1 mi or save the track once and start over halfway through.

:angry: Well , duh. (I feel stupid.) I never thought about saving the track to the sd card! Thanks!

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Regarding sticky buttons on the Meridian, I am surprised. I have a 4 year old Meridian Green and the button quality is one of its best features. Assuming no one spilled juice on it, it may have been assembled with the buttons misaligned. You might want to see if reassembling it might help.

 

Regarding the tracts, embra has some good suggestions. It is a good idea to default your setting to "auto detailed" unless you have a reason to use another setting.

 

Saving the tracts to individual files that you name is a key feature of the Meridians. The eXplorists carry this one step more with the ability to store the files in multiple folders that you can create. You also can access and upload these files without taking out the SD card.

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Yeah i just fooled with it and the button sticking is just getting worse. Even though i don't care for Magellan i do like the unit and wish it would just keep working.

 

Nothing has ever been spilled on it and it has been pretty well cared for. I just turned it on and i did not the the PWR button would unstick. After about a minute of fooling it did though. The NAV and PWR buttons stick.

 

imagesn8.th.jpg

 

We use the track feature to tag our pictures so the exif data has the coords for where the picture was taken. It is not totally accurate but within 100 feet at the most i think. The auto-detailed does not record it accurately enough for this feature.

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DirectRoute, Topo 3D, or Garmin?

 

I'm trying to decide between buying directroute v.3 for $100 or topo 3D for $68 for my explorist 400, a Lowrance iWay 250c for $185 on eBay, or selling my explorist 400 and getting a Garmin eTrex.

 

I got a great deal on a returned 400 on eBay. It has some pixels out, but otherwise works perfectly. I have had some fun with it finding a few caches, and I hooked it up to my laptop and used it as a receiver for an older version (2004) of mappoint. It showed me right were I was and mappoint let me plan my trip and look up POIs while traveling, but I had to have the laptop up and running.

 

I would like to have detailed road maps on my GPS unit, look up POI's, and I have a casual interest in topo maps (I live in Kansas where I would not use them often, only on vacations to more hilly states) I also think I would like turn by turn directions, but have found that just being able to see where I am at vs. where I want to be is a great benefit.

 

Sorry for the long post, I wanted to let you know where I'm coming from.

So here are my questions:

1. Has anyone had much experience with directroute auto navigation and do you recommend it?

2. I heard that Topo 3D has detailed streetmaps. Does it also have POI's like gas and restaurants? Is it as up to date as directroute v.3's 2005 maps?

3. I've read that directroute's auto navigation does not let you pick shortest vs. quickest and sometimes chooses sideroads over interstate. Has anyone experienced this, and does anyone know if a Garmin eTrex with city navigator does any better?

 

If directroute's navigation is useful, I might go for that, otherwise I'm leaning towards Topo 3D to get the topo and detailed road maps, but only if it has useful POI info too.

Thanks for your help!

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I can't answer some of your questions but the street info on Topo 3d is pretty detailed even in the small towns around this area. It also has the gas stations, diners and other POI's. Of course accuracy isn't always great. I've noticed a few landmarks being a good distance off in error. The software is very nice on the eXplorist XL I have though. I've an older version of Mapsource here (will have to look at it again for version sometime) and I like the Topo 3D better. I've used USGS 7.5 minute 1:24000 Quadrangles for years for reference.

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I can't answer some of your questions but the street info on Topo 3d is pretty detailed even in the small towns around this area. It also has the gas stations, diners and other POI's. Of course accuracy isn't always great. I've noticed a few landmarks being a good distance off in error. The software is very nice on the eXplorist XL I have though. I've an older version of Mapsource here (will have to look at it again for version sometime) and I like the Topo 3D better. I've used USGS 7.5 minute 1:24000 Quadrangles for years for reference.

 

Thanks for your two cents! So one vote for Topo with POI's. I'm leaning further that way.

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I have both Direct Route and Topo installed on my eXplorist. I use the Topo if I am hiking, and leave it on most of the time because it has all of the streets. It also has the POIs such as restaurants. The topo lines and elevation are very accurate, and can help in your off road traveling.

 

As for DirectRoute, it appears to use the most direct route....the shortest. Sometimes it is very good at a route, sometimes not very good. You cannot give it any instructions as to preference. I rarely use it in my local area because knowledge of traffic patterns is the most important factor, and no GPSr has what it takes years of driving the area to learn.

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Thanks EScout. Another quick question; can you use Topo to look up an address?

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I have a question not touched on here. Is there a way to get the whole description to display on the eX500? It has the option to look at a hint, but never has information there when selected. I'm using the MapSend Lite, and the .loc files from the cache pages.

Edited by Layman

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I found that Mapsend Lite loads the gpx files from Pocket Queries and exports tha date directly to the Ex500 as a gs file. The Geocache data then contains more information like cache size, difficulty and the hint (first 50 characters only). I speak under correction, but EasyGPS and the Geocache Manager (that is packaged with the unit) does not load as much info on the GPSr. In my opinion Mapsend Lite is the way to go - they have made it more Explorist friendly, so that all sorts of conversions are not required.

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Thanks EScout. Another quick question; can you use Topo to look up an address?

Yes, you can look up an address and it will show it on the map, and you can mark it as a waypoint/POI.

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I have a question not touched on here. Is there a way to get the whole description to display on the eX500? It has the option to look at a hint, but never has information there when selected. I'm using the MapSend Lite, and the .loc files from the cache pages.

The .loc files only contain coordinate information. You need to use .gpx files (premium members) to get hints.

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