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Topic: GPS / SatNav choices, I'm new to GeoCaching< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
cbucks Offline
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Posted: Mar. 28 2009,4:00 pm QUOTE

Hiya.

My wife and I want to start GeoCaching in the UK.

Not wanting to waste money or kit that turns out to be useless and also wanting to buy a SatNav for use in the car, can anyone recommend a SatNav which is suitable for GeoCaching too?

I would like to be able to update the satnav and download files with points of interest etc. but most seem to do that.

Anyway, any help gratefully received people!


Chris :D
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Amberel Offline
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    Posted: Mar. 31 2009,12:54 pm QUOTE

Quote (cbucks @ Mar. 28 2009,6:00 pm)
Hiya.

My wife and I want to start GeoCaching in the UK.

Not wanting to waste money or kit that turns out to be useless and also wanting to buy a SatNav for use in the car, can anyone recommend a SatNav which is suitable for GeoCaching too?

I would like to be able to update the satnav and download files with points of interest etc. but most seem to do that.

Anyway, any help gratefully received people!


Chris :D

I can't answer your question directly, but I may be able to tell you what to look for. The requirements for a car SatNav and a geocaching GPSr are very different.

A car SatNav is likely to have a form factor that is less convenient than a GPSr designed to be held in the hand. It is likely to be less rugged and water resistant. Most will not have replaceable batteries, and the internal rechargeable batteries may not last long because it might be designed to be plugged into the lighter socket most of the time. Most car SatNavs also normally work in a mode whereby they "snap" to the nearest road, great for car navigation but bad for caching.

If you decide to get a dual purpose unit, it's worth checking out these factors.

If you get separate units for each job, then the eTrex from Garmin is a good range. Try to get a high sensitivity model, it will work better under trees. Don't bother with the electronic compass version. The units really come without maps - there is a base map, but it is such poor resolution as to be pointless for caching. You don't have to have maps, but they are nice. GB Topo maps cost extra, quite a lot extra, and they require a model with sufficient memory to hold them. Ideally this means a version that accepts a uSD memory card. The GB Topo maps really aren't wonderful, but they are much better than nothing. They do "routing", i.e. a sort of SatNav function, not really quite as good as most dedicated SatNavs, but good enough for me to use on my motor-bike. Also available are "openstreetmap" free maps, variable quality, good where there is coverage but poor where there isn't, but improving all the time. These ones don't do routing.

Another route is to get a PDA with a built in GPSr and run TomTom for car SatNav and MemoryMap or another mapping program for caching. You should ensure that the PDA you choose does not have a thing called "static navigation filter" enabled, or that it is possible to disable it. This filter stops the position updating unless you are moving, no problem for car SatNav application but a real nuisance for caching. PDAs are less rugged and water-resistant than an eTrex and the display can sometimes be difficicult to read in bright sunlight. Battery life varies with make/model and is not as good as an eTrex, but my PDA/phone/GPSr lasts for 11 hours on a charge. Maps are the best, OS 25000:1, but VERY expensive.

The subject is really too complex to do deal with in a msg like this, but hopefully it gives you some ideas.

Rgds, Andy


Edited by Amberel on Mar. 31 2009,12:58 pm
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cbucks Offline
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    Posted: April 01 2009,1:39 am QUOTE

Thanks for the very helpful response.

It does seem I will need to get a Garmin specifically for cacheing then.

As always, it seems hard to get one thing that doesn't everything you want.  I don't fancy paying nearly 400 for an iPhone, which is probably the nearest to what you're describing.

Thanks again mate.

Chris
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