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Ashen15
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-04-08
Posts: 139
Location: Rock County

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Is anyone using the Apisphere Geomate Jr. Geocaching Handheld GPS?

Currently we're using the app on my Palm Pre which works just fine for local hiking - direct link to geocaching.com, my coords, cache coords, and a compass and we're happy but it's not water friendly and dies quickly.

I'd be happy with something that cheap and simple but I know the update kit is required for new caches. Does the update kit include, say, the cache from a notification e-mail about a brand new cache or is it another preloaded program that doesn't pick up new caches but just has more caches than the original unit?

All of the units I'm looking at appear to need some prior planning uploading rather than a real time connection?

Any input on any of the above would be greatly appreciated. We've logged a grand total of 4 caches and 2 DNFs; our trip to Janesville today was cut about 2 hours short due to a dead phone.

I've read a bunch of reviews on Amazon and Geocaching.com but anything tech talk makes my eyes cross. Not my strong point; I'm trying to do my homework but everything seems high end. I've been on some forums for various hobbies that jump down your throat for asking so many questions so I'm cringing a bit already.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8223
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Great questions and exactly why the WGA and it's members are here. There are no dumb questions and don't feel intimidated for asking anything here. There's a great group of people always willing to help.

As for the geomate jr device - I looked at it for my kids but thought it was too restrictive and didn't lend itself well to updates (but that was also 6 months ago so maybe things have changed).

I use an ETrex Legend HCx and it does all the basics (as well as some advanced features). It allows me to bulk download waypoints as well as hand enter in the field for multi's, the one ups, the FTF's, etc. If you're a premium member the pocket queries load pretty easy without too many hoops. Otherwise you can also download cache by cache from the cache page (assuming you have a premium membership). I would definately recommend spending the ~$30 / year for this as it really makes things easier. I've been very pleased with the value (~$200 for mine last year) that I've gotten out of the Extrex. It's not high end, but works really well. My only suggestion is to ensure it has expandable memory.

I also just recently added an iTouch to my caching gear (after 400 caches) to start doing paperless caching.

Gear really depends on how much you want to spend and how many bells / whistles you want. Feel free to ask more questions and I'm sure others while chime in as well.
 
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huffinpuffin2
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2647
Location: Puffindoofer

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:50 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Just a note about the Palm Pre battery. Can't address a water issue, other than to use a baggy Embarassed ,but we had to go to the extended life battery to use the Palm for geocaching, as the GPS function drains the life out of the stock battery in a matter of hours. The Pre comes with a tiny 1150mAh battery, and we replaced it with the Seidio 2600 mAh Extended Palm Pre Battery. It now runs essentially all day.
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2390
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

Going back to your original questions about the Geomate Jr. It comes with a set of caches that are:
1. Only traditional.
2. Difficulty and terrain 4 or below.
3. Active as of a particular date (depending on when it was manufactured).

Without buying the upgrade kit, you are limited to the caches that are preloaded. The upgrade kit allows you download a new set of caches from the Geomate Jr. website (the rest of the caches meeting the restrictions above, most of which were published or enabled after your unit was manufactured). You cannot enter a new set of coordinates, although you can mark a single location (so that you can mark your car when heading to the woods.)

Note that if you are used to a full featured app on your phone, you will be surprised at the lack of useful information. The GMJ records include size, difficulty, terrain, and code. I don't believe the name of the cache is displayed.
 
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Ashen15
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-04-08
Posts: 139
Location: Rock County

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:46 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks everyone for the info. I'll definitely look into the bigger battery for my phone then; I'm guessing it will be a cheaper solution over all. I had heard BBs had an app as well but no luck finding it on my husband's phone.

Are there any GPS units that have a direct real time link to the site?
 
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EnergySaver
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:48 am Reply with quote Back to top

I checked out those GeoJr's a bit online too (mainly to see if they're viable as loaner units at a state park) ... I just don't think they're worth the limitations vs. the cost.

If you want a low cost GPSr and don't need/want to pay for any bells n' whistles ... I'm willing to make an offer:

I recently upgrade to a new unit ... so I have a Garmin GPS-72 that is gathering dust. It has no mapping ability, but finds caches and has no limitations on loading caches on it. It's in excellent shape ... it's always been our backup unit and used when we take first-time "visitors" out caching so they have their own unit to hold.

I'd be willing to ship it out to you ... you'd get the unit, the cable to upload caches, a set of rechargable (used) AA batteries and I'd pre-load it with 200 caches centered on your zip code. $20 plus $5 shipping.

If interested, Private Message me with your address ... I'll send it out with no money up front ... try it out. If you like it mail me $25. If you don't want it, mail it back with $5.

I'm not actively trying to sell it ... but I'm not using it and I'd rather see you shy away from the Jr. If any one out there thinks I'd be robbing him ... please speak up, as I've not researched what it's worth.

_________________
EnergySaver
John 8:12 
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Ashen15
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-04-08
Posts: 139
Location: Rock County

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:08 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks so much for the reply Energy. I've sent you a PM.

And thanks to everyone else for being so helpful!
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-10-02
Posts: 2390
Location: Rochester, WI, US

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If you want a Blackberry geocaching program, the two I know of are Trimble Geocaching, and Cacheberry. I don't use a Blackberry, so someone else will need to give you a real review.
 
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Run N Search
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-07
Posts: 160
Location: Darboy WI

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:56 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I use a geomate Jr as a secondary GPSR. When we went on a road trip to the east coast and back, we used it to find caches wherever we stopped for a rest. With the limitations noted above, the unit is cheap and accurate.

You can only get the GC number, not the cache name. It points out distance and bearing to the next cache. It gives you the cache size and difficulty/terrain number.

So if you don't know where you will stop, and don't have the time or inclination to load in caches along a route, then this works fine. We found about half of the 57 caches found on our trip using the geomate Jr.

My primary unit is an Oregon 400T.

Rich
 
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kc9gbo
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-06-07
Posts: 254
Location: West Salem, Wi.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Sent the Geomate with my two oldest kids this last week on their trip with Grandma and Grandpa. Chose it over a regular gps as like the last poster pointed out that it looks like it would be good for them to use as they don't know exactly where they will be and have access to a computer to keep adding/removing caches on their trip. Haven't heard back from them yet if they've tried using it, I hope they do just to see if it is good for this type of use.
 
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Run N Search
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-07
Posts: 160
Location: Darboy WI

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The Geomate Jr is a good tool to use for some basic caching.

It has limitations, because it only shows caches of difficuty 4 or less, and the screen is monochrome without a backlight. It also only gives you a direction an bearing, so you have to navigate to GZ by watching the navigation arrow and distance for the driver, and tell them where to turn. After finding the cache, you then read the GC number, to write it down so you can log the proper cache later.

We used it on a trip to the east coast and wherever we stopped, we turned it on to see if there were any closeby caches. We grabbed over 30 caches that way on the trip.

It has the same 3-meter accuracy rating as more expensive units.

The update kit allows you to update the caches stored in memory to the latest active cache database. Right now, there is no limitation to how many times you can update the unit.

We usually bring it along on our caching runs, but only use it if we get out of our pocket query range.

Regards,
Rich
 
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