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EnergySaver
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-28
Posts: 1440
Location: Ozaukee County

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top

jerrys dad wrote:
We go paperless using our nuvi 200. We upload our waypoints using GSAK. It contains all we need, the cache discription, cache page, the last five logs and even the hint when available. I have used the pedestrian mode a few times but it is not as accurate as an etrex and usually I end up finding the cache by going through the likely spots.


That's true too ... I use the GSAK macro with my nuvi. But I'm a bit scared to concern carrying the unit out in the woods ... doesn't seem sturdy enough and isn't water proof. But depending on the cache ... sometimes you can glean enough information and store it in your head to make your approach leaving it in the car ... but I'd hate to be 2 miles into the woods, and wish I had the hint that was sitting on my dash Smile

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jsdad
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-08
Posts: 29
Location: Stratford, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

OK, I think I got it... I read a cache page @ geocache.com and I believe there is a tab you can hit to download the cache coordinates and notes directly into some GPS units (paperless). Is that the same as "GSAK macro"?

Also CodeJunkie, I have Mapsoure already installed on my PC from my old Garmin 2610. It was easy to add routes/waypoints to my 2610. I could also use this to add maps to a Legend or my Nuvi 255? I was thinking I needed a unlock code for each GPS unit to use Mapsource with other units at yet another cost from Garmin? Or download a newer version of Mapsource at a cost?

Sorry for all the stupid questions, still trying to get the ins and outs of the workings of GPS units.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8145
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

jsdad wrote:
OK, I think I got it... I read a cache page @ geocache.com and I believe there is a tab you can hit to download the cache coordinates and notes directly into some GPS units (paperless). Is that the same as "GSAK macro"?

This only downloads the location information. Speaking of course for the ETrex Legend HCx only that I'm using. The legend doesn't store cache size, difficulty, terrain, hints, description, etc. You'll need a higher end model, paper, or Ipod like device for this type of stuff.
jsdad wrote:

Also CodeJunkie, I have Mapsoure already installed on my PC from my old Garmin 2610. It was easy to add routes/waypoints to my 2610. I could also use this to add maps to a Legend or my Nuvi 255? I was thinking I needed a unlock code for each GPS unit to use Mapsource with other units at yet another cost from Garmin? Or download a newer version of Mapsource at a cost?

The GPSFileDepot maps are "Free". Just install them and then you can select the map within Mapsource. You then select the portion(s) of the map you want and download it to the GPSr.

jsdad wrote:
Sorry for all the stupid questions, still trying to get the ins and outs of the workings of GPS units.

There are no stupid questions and feel free to ask any time. You can also PM me anytime if you'd like more specific info.
 
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jerrys dad
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-01-07
Posts: 1386
Location: Mukwonago

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

EnergySaver wrote:
jerrys dad wrote:
We go paperless using our nuvi 200. We upload our waypoints using GSAK. It contains all we need, the cache discription, cache page, the last five logs and even the hint when available. I have used the pedestrian mode a few times but it is not as accurate as an etrex and usually I end up finding the cache by going through the likely spots.


That's true too ... I use the GSAK macro with my nuvi. But I'm a bit scared to concern carrying the unit out in the woods ... doesn't seem sturdy enough and isn't water proof. But depending on the cache ... sometimes you can glean enough information and store it in your head to make your approach leaving it in the car ... but I'd hate to be 2 miles into the woods, and wish I had the hint that was sitting on my dash Smile


I usually have the little ones with me so I don't have to worry about water or long hikes. I will usually throw the nuvi in my pocket and go on my hikes if I'm alone. If the whole family is with one takes the nuvi and another tales our etrex legend cx.

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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2373
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Welcome to the addiction, jsdad. All the advice you have received here is basically correct, but it sounds like you aren't all that familiar with downloading coordinates/caches from the website. Here are some options:

1. You have already seen the link to download the cache coordinates directly into your GPS. This only works for Garmin GPSes (most of the newer models, including etrex) and loads only the coordinates and the GC code (GCXXXX) into your GPS as "waypoints". If you want the name/description/hints/size/difficulty/terrain/type, you will either need to print out the cache page or use one of the methods below.

2. There is also the option of downloading a LOC file. Basically, the LOC has the same information as the Garmin download, so if you are downloading one cache at a time (more on that later), there is no real advantage. Once you have downloaded the file, you can load it into various waypoint managers (more on that later) and then use that manager to send it to your GPS.

3. If you are premium member, you can also download a GPX file of an individual cache on the cache page. The GPX file contains virtually all the information about the cache, including name, description, size, hint, etc. You would still need to load this file into a waypoint manager to get it into your GPS. Normally, when you load this file into your GPS, it will STILL only load the GC Code and coordinates, but some waypoint managers allow you to change the "name" of the waypoint to include other information, such as the name or the terrain/difficulty. This also depends on which waypoint you select.

4. Finally, if you are a premium member, you can set up what is called a Pocket Query. With a pocket query, you specify criteria for a set of caches which will be emailed to you in a GPX file. Currently, the most caches you can get in a single GPX file is 500 caches, but the limit is moving up to 1000 soon. Like option 3, this option will include all the information about your caches.

You will find that nearly all experienced geocachers will use option 4. It is too time consuming to download caches one at a time. The question then, will be what to do with this big file of 500 caches. That is where a waypoint manager comes in.

When you buy a GPS, it will come with waypoint management software. For Garmin GPSs, it is called Mapsource. For Magellan, it is called Mapsend. For Lowrance, GPS Data Manager (GDM). For Delorme, you can use any of the Delorme mapping software packages, and they provide you with one of the packages with your purchase. All of these are suitable for downloading coordinates to your GPS, basic mapping, keeping track of your finds, etc.

I would estimate that probably 25% so of experienced geocachers use the included waypoint manager. The rest use third party managers which provide much more features. When you first start out, I would recommend that you stick with this free version for your first 100 caches or so. Other popular options are EasyGPS (free), ExpertGPS ($60), and GeoBuddy ($60), but most people around here are using GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) ($25, Shareware). If you want to go this route, you probably should buttonhole someone into showing you how they use GSAK (everyone will have different answers) to see whether or not you want to mess with it. I will say that the best feature of these programs for beginners is the ability to combine multiple caches (with all the information) onto a single sheet of paper, assuming someone doesn't try to replicate War & Peace in the cache description (you know who you are...) You can also print a grid of the caches you want to find, with most of the required information.

Once you get this far, you may want to stop printing out cache sheets and carry the cache information with you. Up until about 2 years ago, this would mean using a Palm or PocketPC device and downloading the information from your waypoint manager. Now, however, I would say the best approach is to use a Smartphone. Software applications are available for Blackberry, Iphone (and Ipod Touch), Droid, and Window Mobile. If you don't already have a smartphone, the cheapest approach is probably to get an old Palm off of Ebay and use that. Most of us old timers can walk you through the process, even though we don't do it ourselves anymore.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:36 am Reply with quote Back to top

Holy cow...that's a lot of information you put out there...you might want to sticky this (or something similar) someplace on the site.

...and as an aside,
Team Deejay wrote:

I would estimate that probably 25% so of experienced geocachers use the included waypoint manager. The rest use third party managers which provide much more features. When you first start out, I would recommend that you stick with this free version for your first 100 caches or so. Other popular options are EasyGPS (free), ExpertGPS ($60), and GeoBuddy ($60), but most people around here are using GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) ($25, Shareware). If you want to go this route, you probably should buttonhole someone into showing you how they use GSAK (everyone will have different answers) to see whether or not you want to mess with it.

Approaching 3,000 finds now...and I still haven't figured out that whole GSAK thing. Maybe some day someone will show me how to go about this whole geo cashing thing correctly.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8145
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:17 am Reply with quote Back to top

I thought that was well stated as well. I didn't go into the nitty gritty details or even the 10,000 fly over like this, but this is really good. Definately maybe something that could be placed in a more visible location for new cachers.

I remember being just as confused 9 months ago about this very same topic. Of course I'm still a little confused about GSAK, but like any feature rich softward tool, I have a good handle on the 50% of the functionality that I use regularly. The other 50% is good stuff if you need it, want it, etc. But the basics get me by.
 
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jsdad
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-08
Posts: 29
Location: Stratford, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:31 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay ,
WOW, EXCELLENT INFO GIVEN! THANK YOU! Good idea for a sticky for 1st time clueless folks like me. I've been reading the newbie info @ geocach.com trying to get up to speed on this. That is a big part of the confusion, trying to get all the info from the web to my GPS in order to use it correctly. Way more info to get to a GPS than just a simple waypoint for car nav.

I just downloaded a manual for the Legend HCx. Will read thru that as well. I assume most of the better units including the legend can leave bread crumb trails? I'll want to also use this for deep trail hikeing as well.

Thanks again everyone for all the great info. Can't wait to get started this weekend. Very Happy
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8145
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:39 am Reply with quote Back to top

jsdad wrote:
I assume most of the better units including the legend can leave bread crumb trails? I'll want to also use this for deep trail hikeing as well.

The ETrex Legend does have breadcrumb trails and they're pretty good. I've used them for trail hiking as well as keeping track of where I've walked around GZ (i.e. I think this is the right cedar tree - inside joke but you'll see what I mean after a few caches). One important thing is to remember to mark your parking spot though. This comes in handy for a variety of reasons including alternate routes back.

To not make this even more complicated - you can actually upload the tracks from the GPSr to the mapping software after the fact. This is helpful for trail mapping (i.e. to your favorite hunting spot, fishing spot, etc.), analyzing how far you went, etc. Lots of stuff I've used this for. I've also done some "walk-bys" of some urban caches and then analyzed the track log to see how close I actually was. This works good for those times when muggles are in the area and you have to pass on a cache for a return trip later.
 
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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6014
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:34 am Reply with quote Back to top

Team Deejay wrote:

1. You have already seen the link to download the cache coordinates directly into your GPS. This only works for Garmin GPSes (most of the newer models, including etrex) and loads only the coordinates and the GC code


Send To GPS works very well for Delorme units also and includes GC #, name, size, D/T ratings, description, hint, last logs, hidden by, date hidden and a few other bits of info.
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2373
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Interesting. When did they add the Delorme support? Does it work without a premium membership?
 
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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6014
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:50 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Send to GPS for Delorme was added about a year ago.
I just tried it with a Non-PM account and it sent all the info including 11 past logs.
 
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jsdad
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-08
Posts: 29
Location: Stratford, WI

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

What is the difference between Garmins 100K "All Us Map Set" and their more reigonal map sets 24K? The more regional ones are more expensive! Do they have more detail or something to warrent the extra cost? Otherwise why bother with them?

Thanks
 
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