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jseymour84
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-15
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I've been caching for a while now and I have been using my iPhone with the Groundspeak app. About the only real complaint I have is that sometimes the app freezes up on my phone and if I forget to download the maps and other data for a cache before I get there I can't look it up if I don't have a good enough signal. Needless to say the iPhone setup is nice but it has made me overly reliant on always having Internet access at each cache.

I've been thinking about getting a dedicated GPS device and digital camera to replace the functionality my iPhone provides. One of the benefits to that is not having to use a $600 cell phone out in the woods where it could get broken but one of the drawbacks is having two devices to carry and charge.

If you were in my shoes would you keep using the iPhone or would you switch to a dedicated GPS unit? If so, which one would you recommend?
 
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CacheNoTrace
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-11
Posts: 2336
Location: Rothschild

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:57 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I would get a handgeld gps. I have had my Garmin Oregon 500 for over a year now and I love it! Very user friendly!

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-cheeto-
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Joined: 2007-06-12
Posts: 4538
Location: Appleton, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:34 pm Reply with quote Back to top

My iphone 3 has no service in adams county with at&t. No sevice = No GPS and no Groundspeak app. Not everywhere you want to geocache will have phone service.

Nothing beats a "real" GPS receiver.
 
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Mister Greenthumb
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-03
Posts: 2632

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:20 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Drop your phone on a rock or into a creek and then decide. I have had the same Garmin for 5 years and have done both several times.
 
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jseymour84
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-15
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Mister Greenthumb wrote:
Drop your phone on a rock or into a creek and then decide. I have had the same Garmin for 5 years and have done both several times.


Its this exact fear that has me looking into a GPSr. I was looking at the Garmin Oregon series and I really like the features of the 550t. Now with these devices do I still load the cache data onto the device or do I have to print out the sheets and enter the coordinates by hand?
 
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Thraxman
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-23
Posts: 395
Location: Janesville, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

jseymour84 wrote:

Its this exact fear that has me looking into a GPSr. I was looking at the Garmin Oregon series and I really like the features of the 550t. Now with these devices do I still load the cache data onto the device or do I have to print out the sheets and enter the coordinates by hand?


I have a Garmin GPSMAP 60csx, and I just connect it to my computer and load all the waypoints I want to it. Most GPSrs support this. I like to use my phone along with it. The GPSr gets me to the cache, but the phone with the app allows me to read the cache description, recent logs, and hints when I want them. Of course, as Cheeto said, you can't count on your phone to have reception all the time when caching. There have been plenty of times I wanted to check something and didn't have any signal.

[FAKE GRUMPY OLD MAN VOICE]
"When I started Geocaching, we found the caches using a GPSR with a patch antenna, and they cost a NICKLE! And we printed the cache sheets out at home. On PAPER! Of course, paper was only a NICKLE! And oh yes, we DID use cell phones. To TALK to each other... heheheheHHEEEEE! I think minutes were only a nickle back then...
[/FAKE VOICE]
 
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CacheNoTrace
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-11
Posts: 2336
Location: Rothschild

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:01 pm Reply with quote Back to top

You can download the caches onto the Oregon. A cool feature with the Oregons is that if you are caching with someone else with an Oregon, you can bluetooth the info back and forth. Completely paperless except of course when you are doing puzzles.

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hack1of2
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Joined: 2010-11-30
Posts: 984
Location: Wauwatosa, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

jseymour84 wrote:
I've been thinking about getting a dedicated GPS device and digital camera
The Garmin Oregon 550t that you're considering is an excellent choice. Not only is it one of Garmin's top-of-the-line handheld units, but it's also a digital camera (3.2 megapixel). The only other GPSr worth considering for photography and caching, at least for me, is the Garmin Montana 650t (5 megapixel). And the 550t does support paperless geocaching; i.e. it will show you the hints, description, previous logs, etc. I don't care as much for the 650t because it's bigger and heavier, but some may like that.
 
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hack1of2
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-30
Posts: 984
Location: Wauwatosa, WI

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

David Cantrell wrote:
A cool feature with the Oregons is that if you are caching with someone else with an Oregon, you can bluetooth the info back and forth.
Actually, an Oregon can share info wirelessly (caches, tracks, waypoints etc.) not only with other Oregons, but also with the Dakota 20, GPSMAP62, GPSMAP78sc, and Montana models.
 
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sweetlife
WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member



Joined: 2005-01-17
Posts: 2497
Location: Mountain, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

Here is a lot of great info on the Oregon

http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/Home

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jseymour84
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-15
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:41 am Reply with quote Back to top

Well after checking the specs on the Oregon 550t I discovered that it is not Mac compatible. The only Mac compatible Oregon that I found was the 450. Is this still a pretty good unit for geocaching or should I start looking at a different make / model of GPSr?
 
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Team Deejay
WGA Member



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:02 am Reply with quote Back to top

I'm not a Mac expert, but I believe all the Oregon models use a standard USB protocol, which is compatible with almost all Macs (OK, if you have one of the old "toaster" Macs, maybe not, but...) Where you might run into some issues would be trying use third party map downloads, which might not have a Mac installer available (and this would apply to ALL Oregons). Also, I have heard that Garmin doesn't provide downloads of the beta firmware in Mac compatible form, so if you really want to be a guinea pig for Garmin, you might have to get a friend to download and install it for you. Otherwise, your Mac should be good.

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Thraxman
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-02-23
Posts: 395
Location: Janesville, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I used to use Mac exclusively. I had no problem loading waypoints from PQs to my Garmin, never tried maps. I easily found Mac compatible software for free. The one I used was called "Maccaching" from http://www.maccaching.com/ .

If your Mac is Intel based, you always have the option of dual-booting or virtualizing, giving you access to all Windows applications.
 
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Curly Girls
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-05-05
Posts: 494
Location: Fox Valley/Appleton area

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

I have the Oregon 450 and LOVE IT! I also use an iPod Touch with Geosphere loaded on it when I want to more rapidly pan the map and look up cache info. Geosphere loads the info via Wi-Fi, once it is in, then you don't have to be back on the internet to access it. That I like alot!
 
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jseymour84
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-03-15
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Well I pretty much had my decision made for me on this issue today...

My wife and I took a day trip down to Oconomowoc to visit her niece's grave and on the way back up we stopped by the Cabela's. Of course we made our way back to the Bargain Den first and my eagle-eyed wife happened to spot a Garmin Oregon 550t. She got really excited which made me cringe inside as I would have to tell her that we didn't really have the money for the 550t because according to my research it was a $600 item.

Then she told me the price... $390.00. Of course that got me excited because we did have that kind of cash on hand. I had the guy take it out of the box so we could check it out and everything was still factory packed, even the factory tape was in place.

Needless to say I walked out of that store clutching my new toy tightly to my chest.
 
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