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Re: Newbie Questions about Handheld GPS Units

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  • Teeje
    There are no such things as stupid questions, cept the ones that aren t asked! If you have a question, there s a really good chance that several others have
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 7, 2005
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      There are no such things as stupid questions, 'cept the ones that
      aren't asked! If you have a question, there's a really good chance
      that several others have the same question!

      When I started geocaching, there was no one to ask, so I had to do my
      own groundwork on the internet and in stores checking out GPS units.

      Not only do you *not* need to subscribe to any service for your GPS to
      work, Geocaching.com doesn't require subscription either. Given,
      there are a few really nice benefits to being a subscriber, but no
      requirements too. Very, very nice!

      When you buy a GPS unit, you have to look at your own needs to decide
      on which one to get. My requirement was that it MUST hook to the
      computer. Okay, so I'm a computer geek... Now, however, my needs
      have changed to include needing a storage card so that I can more
      easily handle trips and multiple sets of cache data depending on where
      I find myself during the weekends.

      Software is of two types: Map data (usually from the GPS
      Manufacturer) and Geocache/waypoint manipulation software.

      Map software can be as simple as road or location information that
      loads directly to the GPS and enhances the built-in maps, or as
      complex as, say, Microsoft Streets or Delorme Topo that also require a
      computer.

      Geocache/waypoint manipulation tools include such items as GSAK
      (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) which can take thousands of geocaches
      and select them on location/difficulty/etc, EasyGPS which simply loads
      waypoints from a computer to your GPS, and even some software that
      comes with certain GPS units to load information or file sets onto
      your GPS.

      There is also software to load sets of geocache page descriptions into
      a handheld computers, such as Palm, WindowsCE, or even some cell phones.

      Just remember that you can have plenty of fun geocaching with *just* a
      simple, low-end GPS and a hand-written list of cache waypoints. Even
      with all the electronic gadgets I have around, paper backup has been a
      Godsend on many occasions.

      Oh, and of course, remember the spare batteries! (rechargable work too!)

      > Be gentle, oh kind people, I have a sensitive soul.
      B*B.

      -- teeje (Yar?Yar!)
    • bintigger@aol.com
      Hello We have a Magellan Gold hand GPS held but we just got our son a Garmin Geko 201 that has computer access on it. You can find them on ebay also, we
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 7, 2005
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        Hello
         
        We have  a Magellan Gold hand  GPS held but we just got our son a Garmin Geko 201 that has computer access on it. You can find them on ebay also, we paid 110.00 for his brand new. I don't know how much the Magellan was as it was a gift. We are giving the Garmin to our son as a gift to see if he likes geo caching or not. It will give him something to do while he is off duty, He is  in the ARMY. in Tennessee  soon to be leaving for Iraq. So we did not spend a lot on it but got one that can be connected to the computer just in case he does. IF he doesn't well then looks like hubby has his own GPS.  We tried his out along with the Magellan and they were pretty much exact on cords. Although I like the (stealth) of the Garmin I like to be able to see easier on the Magellan and also it can store a lot of more info then the Garmin as it has a memory card. Not sure if this helps you or not. As I am no way totally experienced with them but I can find caches. :)  
         
        Welcome to the world of Treasure hunting
        Geotigger
        Lora  
      • bintigger@aol.com
        And just where and when are these classes for GPS basics? I know how to find caches but would like to be able to understand my GPS and its capabilities more.
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 7, 2005
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          And just where and when are these classes for GPS basics? I know how to find caches but would like to be able to understand my GPS and its capabilities more.
           
          Thank you
          Lora
        • Escapades
          Hello, Please don t slap yourself in the head! You obviously aren t ignorant or you wouldn t be willing to get involved in this simple, complex, puzzling,
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 7, 2005
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            Hello,
            Please don't slap yourself in the head! You obviously aren't ignorant or you wouldn't be willing to get involved in this simple, complex, puzzling, satisfying, entertaining, frustrating, and all around addictive hobby/sport!
             
            This has been a great hobby for our family. It gets our 9-year-old away from the TV, video games, etc. and into the great outdoors. She is learning a lot of history, geography, computer skills, problem-solving and also exploring some absolutely beautiful places.
             
            We began Geocaching when my brother was showing us his GPSr at a family picnic. He said "I think there is one not to far from here..." and that was all it took. We were at Costco and they had a Magellen SporTrak Pro set and we decided to buy it. It was a $300 investiment which seemed like a lot so we were sure hoping that we stayed enthusiastic about this thing.
             
            Two years later.....we still have that same GPSr which our 9-year-old now uses (she broke off from our family group and now has her own Geocaching name) and we now have a Magellan Explorist 600 that we are still learning how to use.
             
            Our son has a Garmin Etrex (aka Old Yeller) that we purchased for him at Target at $90.00 and it gets the job done as well.
             
            Downloading coordinates for the caches directly from the computer is great, however, hand entering the coordinates works just as well. Some people don't even enter coordinates at all (Rock and Crystal can tell you about that!) and manage extremely well. No matter what you decide to do and how you decide to do it, there is someone else here in this group that is doing something similar and will be able to help you out.
             
            Welcome aboard!
            Escapades
             
            svbrosa <electra_eos@...> wrote:
            Questions: When you buy a GPS unit, do you need to subscribe to some
            kind of service for it to work? Do you need to buy software? What
            function does software serve?

            Okay. You can laugh all you want at this one. I know that someday
            I'll
            look back on this and slap myself in the forehead for being so
            incredibly ignorant.

            I am VERY new to Geocaching. Actually, I only learned of its
            existence
            last Friday night. It intrigued me so much that I went out and made
            my
            first find this past weekend. My youngest child is so into this now,
            that she talks of nothing else. I should correct myself and say that
            SHE made the first find, I was yards behind her when she found it.

            But, we don't have a GPS unit - which makes this activity fairly
            difficult. And, having no clue about the GPS units - I thought I'd
            ask.

            Be gentle, oh kind people, I have a sensitive soul.

            svbrosa


          • Escapades
            Hi Lora, Mike from Escapades is going to be teaching a class on how to use a GPSr through Oroville Adult on Sept. 27th and Don from Rock and Crystal is going
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 7, 2005
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              Hi Lora,
              Mike from Escapades is going to be teaching a class on how to use a GPSr through Oroville Adult on Sept. 27th and Don from Rock and Crystal is going to be teaching a class through Oroville Adult on Geocaching on Sept. 28th. I don't know if the classes are full yet but here is the link to the Oroville Adult website and you can scroll down to course descriptions.
               
              Have a great day!
              Gail (Escapades)

              bintigger@... wrote:
              And just where and when are these classes for GPS basics? I know how to find caches but would like to be able to understand my GPS and its capabilities more.
               
              Thank you
              Lora
            • bintigger@aol.com
              Hi Gail Thank you I will see if they are full yet. I should be back from Vacation by that week. Lora Geotigger
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 7, 2005
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                Hi Gail
                 
                Thank you I will see if they are full yet. I should be back from Vacation by that week.

                Lora
                Geotigger
              • svbrosa
                Thanks to all who gave me answers to my questions. I am signed up with geocaching.com. They provide a lot of information there. I am still trying to digest
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 8, 2005
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                  Thanks to all who gave me answers to my questions.

                  I am signed up with geocaching.com. They provide a lot of information
                  there. I am still trying to digest what I've read.

                  I've enjoyed this sport so far, even though we've gotten skunked a
                  few times (due to the lack of a GPS unit - no doubt). But, it is a
                  great way to get out of the house and get the kids busy doing
                  something (and me too!).

                  Thanks again.

                  svbrosa

                  --- In nuts_@yahoogroups.com, Escapades <escapades4cache@y...> wrote:
                  > Hello,
                  > Please don't slap yourself in the head! You obviously aren't
                  ignorant or you wouldn't be willing to get involved in this simple,
                  complex, puzzling, satisfying, entertaining, frustrating, and all
                  around addictive hobby/sport!
                  >
                  > This has been a great hobby for our family. It gets our 9-year-old
                  away from the TV, video games, etc. and into the great outdoors. She
                  is learning a lot of history, geography, computer skills, problem-
                  solving and also exploring some absolutely beautiful places.
                  >
                  > We began Geocaching when my brother was showing us his GPSr at a
                  family picnic. He said "I think there is one not to far from here..."
                  and that was all it took. We were at Costco and they had a Magellen
                  SporTrak Pro set and we decided to buy it. It was a $300 investiment
                  which seemed like a lot so we were sure hoping that we stayed
                  enthusiastic about this thing.
                  >
                  > Two years later.....we still have that same GPSr which our 9-year-
                  old now uses (she broke off from our family group and now has her own
                  Geocaching name) and we now have a Magellan Explorist 600 that we are
                  still learning how to use.
                  >
                  > Our son has a Garmin Etrex (aka Old Yeller) that we purchased for
                  him at Target at $90.00 and it gets the job done as well.
                  >
                  > Downloading coordinates for the caches directly from the computer
                  is great, however, hand entering the coordinates works just as well.
                  Some people don't even enter coordinates at all (Rock and Crystal can
                  tell you about that!) and manage extremely well. No matter what you
                  decide to do and how you decide to do it, there is someone else here
                  in this group that is doing something similar and will be able to
                  help you out.
                  >
                  > Welcome aboard!
                  > Escapades
                  >
                  > svbrosa <electra_eos@y...> wrote:
                  > Questions: When you buy a GPS unit, do you need to subscribe to
                  some
                  > kind of service for it to work? Do you need to buy software? What
                  > function does software serve?
                  >
                  > Okay. You can laugh all you want at this one. I know that someday
                  > I'll
                  > look back on this and slap myself in the forehead for being so
                  > incredibly ignorant.
                  >
                  > I am VERY new to Geocaching. Actually, I only learned of its
                  > existence
                  > last Friday night. It intrigued me so much that I went out and made
                  > my
                  > first find this past weekend. My youngest child is so into this
                  now,
                  > that she talks of nothing else. I should correct myself and say
                  that
                  > SHE made the first find, I was yards behind her when she found it.
                  >
                  > But, we don't have a GPS unit - which makes this activity fairly
                  > difficult. And, having no clue about the GPS units - I thought I'd
                  > ask.
                  >
                  > Be gentle, oh kind people, I have a sensitive soul.
                  >
                  > svbrosa
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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