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Need Help Finding A Geocaching-friendly Pda

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Hey all.


I apologize if this has been a forum discussion in the past. I don't mean to re-hash an old discussion and will gladly review other forum topics if people can point me to them.


I am in the market for a PDA as the paper caching is starting to kill me. I don't care about speed, but care about ease of use, and readability for Geocaching docs(obviously duh!)


Does anyone have any recommendations/resources that would be of benefit for my search?

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I really like my Zire 72 GPS Navigation pack although to be honest, I use it more for it's voice guided turn by turn street navigation than I do for CacheMate, but over all it's a pretty sweet package. Probably more money than you were considering, but I love mine and thing it was worth the price.



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A quick search of the Forums will bring up many threads on this subject.


My personal preference is my Palm M500. I already had it, but they can be bought on eBay now for less than $60.00.


I really like the little $8.00 program Cachemate, and GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) is indispensible. :)


You can spend a lot more money, but since Geocaching can be a rough sport/activity/obsession at times, why risk more expensive electronic gear when this unit will do the job? :)

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Hi Swifteroo, hey I think we 'cache in the same general neigborhood :)


The best & most cost effective combo would be a basic Palm PDA, one with even 8mb of internal memory would be more than sufficient. Don't spend too much $'s on one, as PDA's aren't very rugged and could be easily damaged out on the trail by either water or impact etc.. so get a cheap one you won't cry as loud if/when it breaks :)


Add to that the Cachemate software and you're good to go! :lol: You'll have 100's of detailed cache site in the "Palm" of your hand!

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I was able to pick up a Palm IIIxe for $50.50 plus shipping. I can't imagine relying solely on paper again. I might make a quic printout if I'm looking to grab a new cache to try and get a FTF or something, but mostly I go out, have a cache or two in mind to do, and then check out other close by caches.

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most any will do for Geocaching if you can load cachemate or another page viewer. There are other options. Look in the resources pages on GCDC. If you want to do other cool stuff you may need to spend more to have that flexability...


I got a TungstenE but wish I had kicked in some more Jack for a more capable unit...

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Survey says to go with something with 8mb or better. Not the older 2mb standard. A bit too restrictive, especially if you want anything else on there.


I have about 1200 caches, a few games and some webpages via AvantGo and still have about 50% free space with my 8 megs.

Edited by Marcie/Eric
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Get one as expensive as you could possibly afford. The more bells and whistles and colours and stuff, the happier you'll be.


Unless, of course, you drop it on a rock. Or in a pond. Or in a pool of mud. Or get sand scratches on the glass. Or...


Personally I use an IBM WorkPad c3. Which actually is a Palm V with an IBM logo on it. It's got 8MB RAM and no colours. It's old and scratched, I've had it for more than 5 years. Works fine for me, there's room for thousands of caches and several useful programs too.


Here's a link on how to use it: http://www.geocacher-u.com/resources/paperless.html

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For mostly geocaching use, I would buy a monochrome LCD Palm that supports external memory cards (that way you can keep backups on your PDA). Something like the M125 will fall into this category and costs under USD100 on eBay.


Why monochrome? Because it is VERY readable outdoors, even under bright light. I love my colour PDAs (had a Zire71, not have a Tungsten T3) but for outdoor use, the monochrome screens are best, as far as Palms are concerned (the colour screen on my Garmin 76C is fantastic for outdoors use).


The M125 also uses removable batteries which is handy.


There are other Palms with specs similar to the M125, btw, I just don't have the time to list them all.



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I love my m505. I have considered upgrading to a T3, but it might be a bit too fragile for field use.


I am also very satisfied with the spinner/plucker combo to get the pages on my pda, although I use Sunrise Desktop instead of Plucker's desktop application.


I also use Cache Log Book to record my adventures. It is a great little tool.

Edited by sbell111
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I like the Palm Tungsten T5 because of it's non-volatile memory (flash). That way when I forget to charge the batteries it won't loose all the programing. There is also a new Tungsten E2 with the same type of memory. I would also invest in the hard case so that when you drop the PDA, the case will take the brunt of the fall. With 156mb of internal memoryand support of SD ram, you can also carry as many maps and other assorted data as you could possibly want to on the T5.

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Don't all palms made in the last several years have a secondary battery to protect the data if you run out of juice? I know that I've had my pda shut down due to low power twice and my data has been protected on both occasions. Also, this brings up the importance of syncing your palm regularly to back up all your data. If you fall and smash your pda against a rock your data (and pda) will be lost.

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Don't all palms made in the last several years have a secondary battery to protect the data if you run out of juice?

They do but the duration of the backup battery is quite short, at least in my experience. In fact, I think it's a capacitor and not a backup battery that they use.


My solution has been to use a Palm that supports external data cards so I can always back up onto them. That way, if my data ever gets lost, I don't have to wait to get to my home or work PC to resync my data; I just restore it from the card.


The newer ones with Flash memory get around this problem at the cost of slower memory access. Nothing horribly wrong with that but it's good to be aware of it. I'm happy with my faster volatile memory but I would definitely try out the T5 or TE2 before denouncing their memory speed as too slow for my uses.



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