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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:33 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I just bit the bullet and bought a Magellan ToughCase for my iPod Touch (rev 3). I've read a number of reviews and all seem pretty postitive and not much at all for any significant negatives. After dropping mine in the snowbank this last weekend and about having a heart attack seeing the snow packed into all the nice little openings I got very nervous. I remembered the notice in last weeks Groundspeak letter with the hefty discount making it $99 + shipping ($7). I'll post followups here after I get it and give it a whirl.

If anyone else has any experience with it, feel free to post it here.
 
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dsuperfan23
WGA Friend



Joined: 2010-12-27
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have made the same mistake that you have made. I purchased the Toughcase two weeks ago and tested it out last week. It simply is not made for geocaching. I wrote on an article by lincoln adams on geocaching with the ipod + dual about my experience with the toughcase. He was reviewing it and we both came to the same conclusion: the toughcase is simply not a handheld gps made for geocaching. Here is the article

http://www.habitationofjustice.com/magellan-toughcase-review-what-you-need-to-know

If you have a better experience PLEASE let me know. I am trying my hardest not to get a refund for the product. I am displeased with groundspeak for advertising a GPS that simply isn't a GPS.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I took the device for a test spin this afternoon on a few known caches and also a Whereigo catridge using PIGO as the application. I used multiple GPS / Map applications to test the update speed and they all exhibited the same behavior. Based on the consistency of my results I think it's either an OS issue with slow updates (i.e. the ipod Touch itself) or the Magellan device sending slow updates. I've passed a message back to Magellan for comment on the update speed.

I concur with dsuperfan23's assessment of the product for the slowness of the updates. I slightly disagree with some of the other comments he makes on his blog regarding mountability, power, etc.

Here's my observations.

The Pro's
1) The case is well built and handles my iPod Touch well and appears to seal well. I did not submerse it to test the waterproof claims however.
2) The internal battery works as advertised to extend the life of the internal iPod Touch battery.
3) While driving in the car the GPS updates were very responsive. I can't attest to the accuracy however because I only compared the map position to my actual position.
4) The GPS coordinates appeared to be very accurate compared to my Garmin Etrex Legend that I had with me. I say accurate based on the fact that they only differed by 0.002 at most.

The Con's
1) The GPS update while walking (i.e. geocaching) was horribly slow. The GPS coordinates (via multiple applications) would only update after stopping for 30 seconds to a minute. If you continued walking they may or may not update.
2) The on/off switch for the toughcase requires you to remove the iPod Touch to get at the switch which seems very cumbersome. There are multiple external buttons for other functions, but not to turn the device off.
3) The square corner bezel around the touchscreen portion makes it hard to accurately touch anything near the edges and the corners are more troublesome.
4) The screen is a thin sealed plastic device and I'm not sure about putting a screen protector over it. I go through a screen protector every 6 months on my device and would be concerned about this one getting scratched and not being replaceable.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I was on the phone with Magellan today to try and return the ToughCase. What a disaster. 40 minutes on the phone and it took me over 15 minutes to have them route me to the proper "service group". This is all after a number of email exchanges via their online support option. I have made Magellan aware that I am making this post in quasi-protest of poor customer service that I received and their unwillingness to let me speak with the engineers regarding a serious design flaw with this device.

Apparently their process is that you call Level 1 support and that's as far as the customer gets to go even though the support staff (all 3 that I initially talked with) speak very broken English. The "escalation" method is to put you on hold while they consult with their lead who then talks to the support engineer. I've never heard of such an unwillingness to work with a customer on a specific issue. On top of that I'm only the second person to report this as a problem (and the 1st reporter is from NY and has also posted to this thread).

The Design Flaw
The ToughCase only sends continuous updates to the iPod devices when your travel speed is greater than 3 MPH.

This makes the device almost useless for geocaching unless you're walking at an extremely fast pace towards the cache. Once you near GZ if your speed goes below 3 MPH it switches to "periodic" updates. My experience is that "periodic" means every 30 seconds - 2 minutes, but Magellan did not comment on the specific timeframe.

Because my complaint (and reason for returning) was the update speed when going less than 3 MPH, they want me to wait before issuing me a Return Authorization so the engineeers can do some additional investigation. I'm supposed to get a call back on Monday from the support staff, but I was insistant that I wanted to speak with the support engineer directly. As a software developer, past help desk analyst, and avid geocacher I told them I have some definate skills that could help them analyze / refine the device to make it way more user friendly. I also informed them that I actively participate in a statewide geocaching forum and would be writing a post about the experience (to be edited / deleted if the problem was resolved).
 
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kmhiker
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-10-04
Posts: 134
Location: West Bend

PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you. I almost bit the bullet and bought one. The way it's advertised as a "God Send" for geocacher's BULL! Keep up the good work!!!

_________________
To be as good a person as my dogs think I am.
God loves man so much that he gave us his name backwards!\"DOG\" 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:50 am Reply with quote Back to top

Don't get me wrong. I love the theory and it appears to integrate well with the device and apps. If the update speed were better (or reasonable) I'd be singing it praises.
 
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mattysea
WGA Member



Joined: 2011-01-04
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Where can one find the groundspeak letter offering the discount for the Magellan Toughcase or perhaps someone would be so kind as to post the discount code??
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:18 pm Reply with quote Back to top

CouponCode = GeocacheWithToughcase
Offer expires 1/23/11
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:20 pm Reply with quote Back to top

No response from Magellan as promised so tomorrow I'll be calling the credit card company to "Dispute the charges". Maybe that will give me the leverage I need to return this dysfunctional product. I don't like doing this, but they won't even talk to me at this point and won't issue a "Return Authorization"
 
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TyeDyeSkyGuy
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-03-18
Posts: 2231
Location: Kenosha, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:51 am Reply with quote Back to top

CodeJunkie wrote:
No response from Magellan as promised so tomorrow I'll be calling the credit card company to "Dispute the charges". Maybe that will give me the leverage I need to return this dysfunctional product. I don't like doing this, but they won't even talk to me at this point and won't issue a "Return Authorization"


It's magellan. Don't expect a response, and I don't just mean a timely one. I've used magellan as my handheld since I started caching in 2006. I've been waiting for a reply on an issues since spring of 2007. I've made several call backs, and still no answer. Yes, I gave up after just one year but...
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks to Discover Card (giving credit where it's due) I'm now in possession of a free ToughCase. After filing my claim just asking for help in getting this returned, they reversed the charges temporarily. Then I waited the 60 days for the "investigation" phase and neither they nor I received any response from Magellan. Yesterday I got an official letter in the mail stating the reversal of charges is now permanent.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8206
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:16 am Reply with quote Back to top

Latest update on the ToughCase situation.

Magellan has fixed the firmware with the ToughCase making it a viable geocaching device. They offered a free exchange for my unit so I returned the device and just received the new unit a few days ago.

It tested it out while doing some caching over the weekend and the update speed was working perfectly giving me regular updates to my position. I used it with the Geosphere app and went 6 for 7 with it. The device seemed to be spot on for the caches I found. Everything worked exactly as it was advertised and I would consider it to be just as accurate as my trusty Garmin Etrex Legend HCX.

Notes:
1) Used in conjunction with the Geosphere application I didn't have any track maps which I've become used to with my Garmin device. I'm exploring another app that provides this functionality.
2) The Geosphere app only pointed me towards the cache which worked fine until I decided to head back to the geomobile. At this point I realized I didn't have my track logs nor did I have a parking WP which was a little unnerving. I wasn't really "lost", but in an unfamiliar area where a track log / parking WP would have been helpful. The other application (see #1 above) would have fixed this issue though.

All in all I like the device and I'll definately use it more.
 
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Captain and Mate
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-09-25
Posts: 294
Location: Burlington, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:04 am Reply with quote Back to top

We just got one this week and used it on a test run doing some caches yesterday. It worked well and we'd say Codejunkie's review is right on. We probably won't rely on it as our number 1 unit, but it was a nice complement to our Legend CX.

_________________
\"Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right.\"
-Grateful Dead 
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Matter23
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-12-31
Posts: 29
Location: West Bend, Wi

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:25 am Reply with quote Back to top

I am thinking about purchasing a toughcase unit and have a couple of questions.

How is the unit handling now? Is it durable and reliable still?

What version do you have? Model #?

Would you still recommend it for geocaching and turn by turn directional navigation?

Thanks!
 
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Captain and Mate
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-09-25
Posts: 294
Location: Burlington, WI

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:16 am Reply with quote Back to top

We use it with an iPod, so we can't speak to the turn-by-turn question. However, we have used it quite a bit with Geosphere for caching, and it's worked well. Generally, it seems more accurate than the Garmins we've used for several years. We haven't given it any tests of its waterproof claims, but we did hear of a cacher recently who had a bad experience in this area (it turned out not to be waterproof and his iPod was damaged as a result). We also used it with the Geocaching.com app and our wireless device for caching "on the fly", where no caches were preloaded and had pretty good luck with that, too. It's battery life is a little short for a long day of caching, so a car charger would be a good idea. All in all, for $99, we're pretty satisfied. We just don't plan to let it get too wet.

_________________
\"Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right.\"
-Grateful Dead 
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