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What do you use/recommend?

 
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shaggy
Geocacher


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:56 am    Post subject: What do you use/recommend? Reply with quote

Hey everyone, I'm just getting into geocaching and don't own a gps yet. I am wondering what everyone uses or recommends to use. Ive been thinking of picking up a Magellan eXplorist 210 , any thoughts on that?
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are plenty of GPS units available for everyone to buy and use that fit different budgets, needs, etc.

Most people start with a lower end unit and end up moving through newer units as they gain interest in the activity. We don't need to get into a Garmin/Magellan war here b/c the GPS units themselves all work about the same.

My suggestion is to start out with something that's about what you can afford and what you think you will use it for. If you're looking to *just* geocache w/the GPS then a GPS with a computer interface (which the Explorist 210 has) is about all you need.

If you're looking to use it for your car as well, I suggest a color screen, autorouting, and a lot of memory (plenty of GPS units from multiple companies support these features).

What do I use? A Garmin 76CS -- doesn't help me find caches -- that's why I bring Moe the Sleaze along Wink
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving this over to Tech Talk.
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 586

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use mine only for geocaching and I'm a less-active cacher than many. The lowest price I found at the time I decided to purchase was $99 for an ETrex and it's fine by me. The only minor frustration I have is in low-signal environments. My guess is that higher-priced units probably have better antennas.
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KC0GRN
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 22 Feb 2004

Posts: 1424

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spinowner wrote:
I use mine only for geocaching and I'm a less-active cacher than many. The lowest price I found at the time I decided to purchase was $99 for an ETrex and it's fine by me. The only minor frustration I have is in low-signal environments. My guess is that higher-priced units probably have better antennas.


Not neccesarily. Some might argue the best solution is to get an external antenna, but when ya get right down to it, some places just aren't very condusive to good signal reception, no matter how fancy your gps is. Typically caches placed in those areas are tougher to locate, especially if someone decided to use a micro Rolling Eyes
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Arcticabn
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2003

Posts: 1846

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now who would do something so evil as to find a place that seems to have bad reception and then to place a micro there. Don't we call those areas "Black Holes" Twisted Evil
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Lyverbird
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Oct 2003

Posts: 443

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No not Black holes, "Spiders and Snakes."
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Buzzygirl
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2004

Posts: 499

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use an eXplorist 100 (real-low end) which does not even have a computer interface-- this makes it an automatic non-consideration for many cachers, but the danged thing sure works great for me. It's tough, too... mine even survived a wash/dry cycle about a year back, none the worst for it. I would recommend it if you only have <$100 to spend and don't mind entering waypoints by hand, and don't mind it not having any advanced mapping capabilities. It locks the signals very well and the readings rarely bounce around while I am moving. I had some issues with my yellow eTrex not giving steady readings, so I got rid of it.

The eXplorist 210 does have a computer interface, I believe, and it's reasonably priced.

As someone else said, both Garmin and Magellan are really pretty equal in terms of how well they work; the factors to consider are price and which features are really critical, "must-haves" for your particular purpose.
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fidian
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Nov 2005

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Garmin GPS 60. 2 AA batteries last about 10 hours, and it claims it has a super-awesome-spiffy antenna that sucks in signals like a Hoover. At least it is better than the Garming GPS 12 that I was using before. I've dropped it onto cement numerous times (butterfingers), really whacked it good on the corner of my desk and scratched the screen, dunked it in mud and water, and basically abused it. It still loves me.

I've sometimes been wanting the built-in compass, but I don't know if I can justify the added $100 for that little thing. Other times, I want to store more than 500 points, but then I usually just get my laptop and send nearby points to the GPS as I need them.

When I was looking for a new GPS, I looked for kicking-neato-wonderful antenna, long battery life (2 AA for 10 hours is far better than 4 AA for 15 hours if you do the math), a cable to hook it up to my computer, and a pretty rugged device. The Garmin GPS 60 was about the only thing that had good reviews, fit into my price range, and had the best set of features for me.

If you are going to buy one, I strongly suggest borrowing one or more from friends and go caching with it. Heck, go caching with me and I'll let you borrow mine. Sample a few to make a good, informed decision.
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fireman121
Geocacher


Joined: 06 Feb 2005

Posts: 550

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Garmin GPS72, I bought a step up due to the fact I use it for fishing. It has a lot of features on it that I havent fiqured how to use it yet. Buy what ever you can aford and the brand that you like. All the major brands are about the same. Good luck and welcome aboard.
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RINO SHAWN
Geocacher


Joined: 18 Nov 2004

Posts: 194

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mainly use a Garmin Rino 110 (with the additional Mapsource Software). The main reason I chose the Rino was since I do A LOT of camping, and use the "family radios" while camping....Well, it was (I think still is) the only line of GPSr that comes with the family radio built in. It uses a rather large Quad Helix antenae wich seems to work pretty good.

I had a yellow Etrex for awhile...works Ok enough to get the job done but found the Rino still easier to use/ navigate the buttons "on the fly"

Sold the etrex and now have a cheap Lowrance Ifinder GO that has mapping. That cheapy is actually a pretty decent GPSr. My only real beef with it is that it doesn't have computer interface ability. The mapping reminds me of an etrex Legend, the battery life is the best I've seen...period. (48 hours and it actually gets that) The reception/lock onto satellites is also very good (way faster than the quad helix on my Rino)

I doubt that the Ifinder GO will ever be my main geocachig unit simply because I can't download waypoints from the laptop...but I like it enough to make me take a second look at Lowrance as an option instead of just Magellan and Garmin. The pricier models use SD cards to store very detailed mapping and have lots more features.

Shawn
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