RE: [CentralTexasGeocachers] Re: Best GPS for the Texas Challenge?
- For what it's worth, I have the Oregon 550. (That bluetooth thing you mention would ROCK.)Took a while to adjust to the difference in operating algorithm between it and the 60cs I switched from. For a while I thought that when this one bites the bucket I'd go back to the 60 series, but I think I've been corrupted (being able to quickly log from the compass is wonderful, and the touch-screen allows more efficient movement between functions).As opposed to the 450 description -- my unit gives me half a day between low battery warning and needing to change batteries. So I run 'em dry. (Penny wise, pound foolish!)The function I dream of is a dropdown for next cache -- because sometimes we don't want to go 'nearest.' Would save me, oh, two or three screens! LOL.Accuracy most days is pretty darn good, and when we got it, it was the unit that could look up cache pages. Now all of ours does it. It's still the only one in Team WATT that plays WhereIGo. Except for the occasional wait for the unit to update and shift from the current location, I haven't noticed any bugs. But then, I've only done two WhereIGos.USB access to finds, etc. Good.Various views. Good (though I wish their color choices had more contrast)Camera is also good -- but I tend to use my phone instead -- or my real camera.That's my 10 cents.A lot of GPS choice depends on how you think -- and then what you get used to.Having used the Garmins so long, they've become 2nd nature to us. So that's where our prejudice lies. And their customer support has always been very good to us, as well.Are they the best out there? Well, I don't know. But they do the job with minimum fuss for us.BarbJ/Tygress
---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Dave Read" <dave@...>
Subject: RE: [CentralTexasGeocachers] Re: Best GPS for the Texas Challenge?
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 10:44:26 -0600
I cache with an iPhone (3GS but will upgrade to a 4S as soon as my company ships the new phone to me) and a Garmin Oregon 450. I can tell you that in the situations when the iPhone is “good enough,” I use it over the Oregon. Those situations are usually in urban environments when the overhead (satellite) view is good enough to locate the cache. Many a time, I can count parking lot stripes, locate a park bench or a street corner, etc., and lay hands on the cache right away. However, in a forest environment with dense tree cover, the iPhone is hopelessly inaccurate (100+ feet) and the satellite view is no help because it’s all just a textured carpet of green. In this case, the Oregon 450 is my go-to tool.
· The touch screen beats the ever-lovin’ snot out of a joystick. My only complaint is that you have to touch it once to wake up the screen, then again to register the button click
· Customizable screens for the “compass” view means I can have the data *I* want instead of the Garmin defaults.
· Chirp receiver (not used frequently, but cool anyway)
· Wherigo player (buggy but mostly usable)
· Excellent position accuracy – most of the time. I “expect” 10 feet or less. Tree cover and clouds can raise this, though.
· I like the built-in waypoint averaging feature for when I am placing caches
· Cache management on the device is super easy because it looks like a normal USB drive to your computer. My only complaint here is that geocaching.com won’t let me build a 5 kCache pocket query. One of these days I am really going to have to learn how to use GSAK.
· The start-up time of the Oregon is amazing, assuming you haven’t changed locations drastically. It takes a few minutes to locate satellites after I fly somewhere else, but as long as I’m at home, it typically starts up in <30 seconds.
I have a few wishes for the Oregon 450, if I could talk with someone on the engineering team at Garmin.
· It would be GREAT to be able to receive cache data over Bluetooth from the iPhone. That way when I’m out “ad hoc” caching and do the “nearest caches” search on the iPhone, I could beam the data to the Oregon instead of fat-fingering it. I travel enough that ad-hoc caching is a frequent activity.
· Update the Wherigo player to some modern version
· Fix the startup bug where the 450 sometimes crashes if you have changed too many GPX files at once
· It would be nice if the thing had a small capacitor in it that would keep it alive long enough for me to switch batteries
· For the love of god, get the lanyard on the proper end of the mounting clip. It’s like the guy who designed the back of the device never went hiking or caching with it.
Just one warning - once you get a GPS you won't want to go back to using your phone! I suggest you try to set up some geocaching trips with locals who can show you how their units work, what map software they use, and will let you get a feel for it. I've always used Garmin products - I'm still with a GPSMAP 76CSx simply because I can't afford to upgrade to the latest and greatest "standard" handheld (although I know some people who don't like the latest generation as much as the gen I'm using), nor have I ever had the chance to try out the tough-screen line from Garmin either. I know people who own DeLorme's and love them, but I've never had the chance to try one out. In any case, once you get a chance to try a few out, buy a unit from a place that will allow you to return it in a reasonable time frame if you decide you hate it. You'll pay more for that luxury but it is worth it.
--- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "jddaleske" <john@...> wrote:
> Next, I need recommendations on best GPS.
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- I absolutely LOVE my 60csx, even with its limitations. And after long discussions with folks about the newer Garmins and the Delorme's, I will most likely replace it with another one when it dies if I can still find one by then. They are tough as nails, absurdly accurate, a breeze to use, and have a killer signal lock. If you want to go that route, you can find them for a LOT less than the cost of most, if not all, of the top-of-the-line gizmos with all the uber-cool bells and whistles out there today.
For the paperless part, I use Cachemate for my regular PQ-loaded caches (using GSAK, of course) to see the descriptions, hints, prior logs, and to post field notes. I use the Geocaching app on my phone for on-the-fly lookups and to get more logs on my pre-loaded caches. But even when I use that, I very nearly always put the coords into my trusty 60csx to make the find. Most of the time the phone GPS is too wonky and the Geocaching app is too slow for my taste.
OK. So call me old school if ya want. At least I'm not still using my old Maggie ST Map and reams of paper! :D
--- In CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com, "jddaleske" <john@...> wrote:
> Next, I need recommendations on best GPS. Will need to get one (more rugged than my Android phone) fairly soon so I can be competent for the competition. Shawn indicated the PN-60 (if I recall that was the one) is the one he loves to use.
> There are pros and cons of touch screen versus button driven.
> The Android capacitive touch screen is great for quick selection and entry. It does not work at all if you're wearing leather gloves as I do when going through those nasty thorn vines. Button operation might be better for those situations.
> I wonder if there is a combo where one can use buttons and/or touch screen?
> For longer term considerations, downloading cache info is a snap on the Android. I use c:geo which even adds a button to the online cache page so one click and that cache is selected and on its way to the phone. Very convenient.
> One thought I had was that the rugged GPS does not need its own phone connection, but might be nice to be able to connect to the phone to get updates when I want.
> Or maybe that's an app I need to develop? Market out there for that?
> + John