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Newbie thread: Which PDA/GPS combination to buy? 
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Joined: 07 October 03 11:54 am
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If you've already got a 60csx, you may already have a suitable companion... If you have a recent model Nokia phone, you might just need to add SmartGPX, and have a nice portable (and free!) solution
http://www.smartcaching.de/smartgpx.html

These days i've been preferring SmartGPX over my iPaq (running GPXSonar), mainly for size and portability (and the fact that I usually have it on me). I havent done any serious multi's with it yet, so the lack of pocket word/notepad might be a bit of an inconvenience, but as mentioned earlier, a pen & paper might be a better solution for that anyway. The other nice thing with the newer SmartGPX on a 3G/NextG phone is the ability to use the "Download pictures" option, so I can grab photos from cache pages while in the field, without having to download them all beforehand...

And if you dont have a Symbian based Nokia, there is also Pocket Pocket Query (PPQ), which supports other mobile phones. Look it up here on the forums.


05 May 08 11:15 pm
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As we are still pretty new to all this, we are still adapting what we use.
We started off with a Sony Clie PDA with cachemate, our trusty eXplorist 500 & eventually added GSAK to the PC (can't live without that now).
Echo was recently allowed to get a Nokia N95 to which he added SmartGPX, Geocache Navigator & Nokia maps, making the Clie PDA totally obsolete overnight!
Now with the combo of the eXplorist 500 & the N95 we can cache anywhere at anytime & the only thing we use paper for is the google maps printout of the area that we are going to cache in for that day. We can go out caching for the day updating any info that we need as we go & log finds as we find them.
Between GSAK on the PC & SmartGPX on the N95 all cache info is covered, we love those two products.


06 May 08 1:08 am
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I have a slightly different approach. I have GSAK on my PC, which is constantly updated using an email interface and pocket queries. It contains all 15,000 or so Australian caches.
On my GPSMap 60CSx I have all 3,500 Victorian caches stored as Custom POIs.
On my IPAQ 2490b I have Cachemate running 4 databases. Using Melbourne CBD as the centre point, it has all 3,500 or so Vic caches divided up into 4 databases, NE, NW, SE, SW. This splitting is handled by GSAK. I have it set up like this for performance reasons.

When I'm out and about, I can see the nearest caches from the Custon POI list in the GPS. Then I can retrieve the cache details from the IPAQ.

When I bought the IPAQ on eBay, it came with a bluetooth GPS, but this is not necessary the way I operate. Was a bit fiddly anyway.


05 July 08 6:51 pm
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Being new I initially used just my Tomtom for the first couple of caches. This meant printing out pages and carrying them with me. It meant that I could only do the caches that I had on paper with me.

I just happened to remember I had a Ipaq and a Navman sleeve stashed away in a drawer from years ago.

Using GSAK I now have:
1. Tomtom with Traditional and Non-traditional caches on it . Use this for driving around and doing caches along the route and also for "emergency" caching when I go past a traditional cache and don't have my Ipaq with me.
2. Ipaq with Oziexplorer again with Traditional and Non-traditional markers. Also used for finding caches on a route.
3. Ipaq with Beeline GPS. This allows me to find caches both traditional and non-traditional. Can get the cache information, hints , last few logs.

All works well, but I still carry a notebook and pen with me as well for writing quick notes, something not easily done on a PDA.

Hope this helps.

btw I might have a couple of spare Ipaq's hanging around too if anyones interested.


05 July 08 7:24 pm
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I've stuck with the iPaq since the beginning.
The only thing that has changed has been the software.

Started with GPSDash...nice bit of software, very unfiddly and very accurate for some reason. Loads basic cache info in OK, but no details.

GPSTuner is just a flashier version of GPSDash, but has better map import and calibration tools. Liked this a lot...but was very manual in set up to put all the info in.

now using GeoScout. This is by far the simplest geocaching software. I just bring up the geocaching google map and ponder where I will go next, and then all I do is punch in the geocache code into geoscout and it goes off to the geocaching website and scrapes all the information down and also grabs maps covering either 9sq km or 25sq km around the cache area. I also downloads all the waypoints if applicable. On the map page for each cache, it also shows nearby caches. very handy if you're trying to head in a specific direction...I got suckered into going to the "next nearest" cache one day when I was down in Narre Warren area and I found myself going back and forth constantly retracing routes...silly really.

Only things I'd like improved now are; previous logs to be added. Better map resolution for when you're in close.

No premium membership required for sucking data down.


18 March 09 11:00 pm
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After posting to this thread last year Istarted using Cachemate on my HPC PDA/Phone and is works fine for me. :D :D :D


19 March 09 7:53 pm
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gmj3191 wrote:
I have GSAK on my PC, which is constantly updated using an email interface and pocket queries. It contains all 15,000 or so Australian caches.

I have GSAK and I am a premium member of GC.com. Can you tell me how you get all 15000 Aussie caches downloaded. I am now a rep and my call area is Australia and New zealand so I would like to have them all loaded on the pda.
My PDA GPS combination is a HP RX5670 PDA with built in gps. I run Oziexplorer and use the Ozi macro in GSAK to view caches for paperless caching. It works great, almost too easy really.
If I get caught out unprepared, (ie no caches loaded into the pda for where I am) I use my Nokia 6110 and Trimble's Geocaching Navigator. This is a brilliant bit of software but only good in mobile coverage areas. I noticed when I was in NZ last, the topo map background works in Trimble in NZ. I tried it in the ACT last week but still not available here yet.
cheers
bshwckr


11 May 09 9:23 pm
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The whole of Australia might be tricky with only one premium account... but it should be do-able with the "Updated in the last 7 days" option in pocket queries.

The basic principle is to use a combination of state and date ranges to build a set of pocket queries that cover the area you are after. A single premium account would not give you enough PQ's to get a full update of Australia every week (5 PQs/day x 7 days = 35 PQs, whereas Australia needs at least 40 PQs: http://geocaching.com.au/stats/range/ )

There is plenty of good info about on "How to", so I wont replicate it all here... a good start:
http://wiki.geocaching.com.au/wiki/Pocket_queries
and
http://www.markwell.us/pq.htm#attributes

Good Luck!

PS. using a GSAK macro to download the emailed PQ's can make life a LOT easier, especially when it comes to marking caches as archived. But that's a whole other topic


11 May 09 10:10 pm
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bshwckr wrote:
gmj3191 wrote:
I have GSAK on my PC, which is constantly updated using an email interface and pocket queries. It contains all 15,000 or so Australian caches.

I have GSAK and I am a premium member of GC.com. Can you tell me how you get all 15000 Aussie caches downloaded. I am now a rep and my call area is Australia and New zealand so I would like to have them all loaded on the pda.
My PDA GPS combination is a HP RX5670 PDA with built in gps. I run Oziexplorer and use the Ozi macro in GSAK to view caches for paperless caching. It works great, almost too easy really.
If I get caught out unprepared, (ie no caches loaded into the pda for where I am) I use my Nokia 6110 and Trimble's Geocaching Navigator. This is a brilliant bit of software but only good in mobile coverage areas. I noticed when I was in NZ last, the topo map background works in Trimble in NZ. I tried it in the ACT last week but still not available here yet.
cheers
bshwckr


I'm using GeoScout on a HTC Touch HD. By identifying a cache ID in the area I am headed, I then just say "Import Nearby Caches" while I have either WiFi or HSDPA data link and it will suck down all the cache information I could ever need including all the Google maps (map + satellite + topo) within a 5x5km area around each cache + 10 latest logs (can get more if you want). It does this directly off the geocaching website and you don't even need to be a premium member to use it this way...I find it so much easier than the old pocket queries.


25 May 09 11:06 pm
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Post Re: Newbie thread: Which PDA/GPS combination to buy?
Guys, I'm new and am wondering what is a cheap, good, gps too buy?


21 October 09 5:57 pm
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Post Re: Newbie thread: Which PDA/GPS combination to buy?
I missed the query from bshwckr above, sorry.
Here's how I get all the Australian caches into my GPS.

1) I maintain a database of all Australian caches in GSAK using PQs to update them each night. I'm currently using 28 PQs a week to update all Australian caches showing activity in the last 7 days. Soon I'll need another one. I suck them down each night which only takes a few minutes.
2) I export a GPX file from GSAK with a Waypoint name of " %smart-%typ1 %con1 %datepl %by "
and a description of " Hint {%hint} %last4 Last found %datelf %des "
This gives me the key data for most caches right in the GPSMap 90 CSx. It doesn't get all the data for complex multi's or mysterry's but is fine for 90% of caches.
3) Then I use POILoader to load them into the GPS. It currently holds about 23,000 caches. I usually only do these last two steps once a month, or if I'm planning a trip.

This way I have enough information on my GPS to do unplanned caches whenever I'm in a new area and the opportunity arises, which isn't all that often with me. I used an IPAQ for a while with Cachemate, but it was too fiddly, and was another thing I had to keep charged, and carted around with me.

Additionally, I now use an IPod Touch to listen to mp3 audiobooks while I'm driving around. The groundspeak application is great for keeping full details of caches I plan for at the ready.


21 October 09 7:18 pm
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Post Re: Newbie thread: Which PDA/GPS combination to buy?
jimmyrc wrote:
Guys, I'm new and am wondering what is a cheap, good, gps too buy?


This link will let you look at the debate between getting a Garmin or a Magellan (the two main brands of handheld GPSr) viewtopic.php?f=12&t=9016

This one goes into more details about Garmins (and I started caching with a simple yellow eTrex, and there are cachers with thousands of finds who still use one of these)
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=9017

And this one is about Magellans
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=9018

(re Garmin vs Magellan: like Mac vs PC or Ford vs Holden you will find people who swear by one and at the other. I think it's probably true to say that there are more Garmin owners than Magellan owners)


21 October 09 8:16 pm
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Post Re: Newbie thread: Which PDA/GPS combination to buy?
[quote="HardcoreHarris"]iPhone 4 + Groundspeaks Geocaching app = everything you could possibly need for Geocaching. \:D/ =;[/quote]

I would have thought iPhones are far too fragile to be used for serious bushwacking or scrambling around rocks or in wet locations. Am I wrong in thinking that?
If you go for a multifunctional unit you're going to have to live with compromise.

I recently bought an Oregon 550 which has caching covered beautifully.


19 December 10 3:39 pm
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