March 13th 2017

When I established the forums in 2005 it was to offer a more richer web experience and greater functionality than the platform where we started this social adventure in 2003, Yahoo Groups. The forums were once a busy hive of activity and provided locals and visitors with a wealth of information just like the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook today.

It was a time where we didn't have the many social media platforms we have today, and it was a different time in terms of mobility and technology. There was no instant access to information, no Google Maps and a very limited base map on your GPSr. Mobile connectivity for me was a 9600bps Infrared connection from a Nokia to a laptop and in later times to a PDA using WAP.

As we moved into the social media era so did our forums users. Geocaching Ireland moved there too, and we have a thriving community on the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook. As a result, forum activity isn't what it used to be and I have taken the decision to disable new registrations to the forums and to make the forums read only so any information there can still be accessed.

The discussion hasn't ended, it has just moved. Join us on the Facebook Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group .

Donnacha

What do you use and what do you think

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Jonathanwpurvis

What do you use and what do you think

Post by Jonathanwpurvis » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:11 am

Morning all

Since I started to cache last year I used my iPhone.now It let me down last year when the wifi gave up the ghost and finding anything with it became impossible I'd be at home and it thought I w 5 k away. All my geo location activity stopped foursquare geocaching finding my way home!! So I got a new phone a few months ago and I'm back on the trail.

But I'm curious to know what domirish catchers use. I keep looking at handhelds but TBH the phone does the job with my car sat nav working to get me parked somewhere. I am going to add the Leinster caches to my sat nav as POI so I will hopefully get a warning when close. So I think a handheld would be a nice to have but not a neccesity. However I'm interested to know what you think.

Cheers

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Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by SargeNI » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:16 am

I have been caching before phones became so popular so have never considered using my phone except in an emergency. I tend to plan all my caching and would do between 20-40 caches at a time so would be worried about the battery life on my phone, my android has quite good battery life but I could not see it lasting more than 2-3 hours with the GPS on. I'm old school, a phone is for making calls and until they get the battery life up to a few days using all the functionality I still tend to think the GPS on the phone is a gimmic.

On the other side of that arguement is without the smart phone there would never have been so many people getting into caching.

I was very lucky and picked up a Garmin Oregon very cheap, its great as it can store all cache info and can run all day on one set of batteries. It has much better accuracy, especially under tree cover. On the downside you need to be a little more organised as Oregon can only hold limited number of caches and you can't load caches easy away from your computer link.

Caching is like all hobbies/sports the more you get into it the more anal you become about your kit. In the end its all about getting out and caching and what ever works for you, that's all you need.
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medic143

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by medic143 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:23 pm

When I started the first thing I used was a PDA with some generic navigation software and a blue tooth GPS receiver. Needless to say it was the most accurate tending to lose signal in any kind of woodland.

I've used the iphone on a few occasions and have met others using it in the field and don't find it accurate enough unless the hide is obvious. This is especially true in woodland where it tends (for me anyway) to perform poorly. At this point it has been relegated to providing back up info (additional logs, spolier photos etc).

I've used a variety of handsets over the past five years. Currently I have a Monatana with Lisa using an Oregon 550T. We don't find much difference in the quality of the GPS signal but if pushed at the moment I'd have to admit the Oregon can be more accurate in a shorter time frame but they both tend to get to the same result eventually. Oregon is more practical at times since it can be mounted on a bike - haven't seen a montana bike mount yet.

The Montana upgrade was designed to replace the car sat nav. Handy only having to load one unit especially on holidays, screen is big (maybe too big for smaller hands) and I think the menu structure makes the unit a lot more user friendly. Biggest minus is the cost. Even shopping around cost €378 for the basic unit.

If you could pick up an older Oregon (sold one on to Mental Medic recently) I reckon that's probably a good all rounder. Keep in mind if buying a unit whether or not you'll be doing hiking or similar as some of the cheaper units don't display maps or dont have compatible OS maps.

Zoe andDaddy

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by Zoe andDaddy » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:03 am

Does your phone have a built in GPS receiver or is it assisted? I know you can (though I have never done it myself) download maps to your phone so it does not need wifi or signal to work if the phone has a built in GPS receiver. You can also get a bluetooth GPS receiver for your phone but this does kill the battery.

I have a Garmin GPSmap 60Cx which I would no go caching without, the device does have maps and you can store up to 1000 caches but does not have the cache information or the ability to write field notes which I use cachesence on my blackberry for.

I would recommend you get a handheld GPS if you plan to cache off road or in the mountains, there are loads of places in the mournes where there is no signal this includes some of the roadside caches.

ClannTeam

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by ClannTeam » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:47 am

I use my Android phone. I have a GPS tool app and CacheSense loaded and I find that's about all I need. If I peruse a map of the area I'm heading to in an area with a strong signal I find it tends to work well enough if there is no signal when I get to the location. Saying that though, CacheSense and the GPS do not need network access to work so I have very few problems on that front.

I also have an in car charger so that the battery is charging whilst I'm driving along which allows me to have the GPS on constantly.

Step_7

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by Step_7 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:37 pm

I started with just an iPhone but quickly bought an Etrex as the battery life wasn't great on the phone. These days I tend to use both devices depending on the type of caching I happen to be doing. If I've planned a day out then I load up the Etrex with waypoints and use the iPhone for backup data (logs, hints, descriptions etc.) but If I'm out and about and find I have a spare hour I'll just use my phone - I find the iPhone 4 to be accurate enough in most situations to find most caches.

Having said all that, I'm considering an Oregon or even the New Etrex 30 to go paperless in one unit as there are times where faffing about with 2 devices can be a right pain.

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Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by THE_Chris » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:55 pm

I use a Garmin GPSMap60csx with OSM mapping. I also have a PDA for paperless.

If I could justify it, I'd get one of the new 62 models.

Jonathanwpurvis

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by Jonathanwpurvis » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

thanks everyone the overwhelming thing i get from this is ill need more then the phone!

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Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by THE_Chris » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:22 am

If you get a person whos placed a cache and gotten the co-ordinates with say a Garmin GPSmap 60csx, then you have a unit of a similar quality, you'll usually get to within ±3m of the cache location, probably closer. Full mapping and contours on the units is really nice, with the new 62 models allowing you to upload .gpx data to be paperless and also supporting satellite photos as maps. Great system!

Zoe andDaddy

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by Zoe andDaddy » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:11 pm

The other problem you might face is when you hide caches, I have had problems with the co-ordinates being out when taken with a phone.

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Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by dino » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:24 pm

I use CacheSense on my Android but not much for finding caches unless I'm just finding one or two.

I also have a handheld and if I'm out for a day's caching or even just for a couple of hours then that becomes the finding GPS. The phone becomes the database and logging tool (I log as I go through the live API connection).

If you already have the phone and app I would recommend buying something reasonably basic that you can transfer caches too either as a GPX file or as POIs. The basic eTrexH would be a good purchase, especially if you are unsure if you need a handheld. I have a 76CSx that I bought because I wanted the mapping option but rarely use it for that now unless I'm hillwalking and unfortunately I don't get the chance much anymore!
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ClannTeam

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by ClannTeam » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:54 am

The other thing I like about using my phone is that should someone come along it's very quick and easy to just hold the phone up to your ear and pretend you're making a call instead of staring stupidly at a little green box spinning round in circles on your crazy radar.....

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Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by klossner » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm

ClannTeam wrote:The other thing I like about using my phone is that should someone come along it's very quick and easy to just hold the phone up to your ear and pretend you're making a call instead of staring stupidly at a little green box spinning round in circles on your crazy radar.....
I have done that with my Garmin GPSr. :lol:

Jonathanwpurvis

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by Jonathanwpurvis » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:35 pm

Right the truth I'd love a really good garmin .

The reality is I can't afford it I can go to 150 so I m seriously thi king sort the Magellan GC has any one used one of these. It can hold 10000 caches so that's everything in Ireland enough to keep me going.

So has anyone here used it and if yes what you think?

medic143

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by medic143 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:30 pm

Haven't used it but having used a lot of models over the years and having looked at the specs I'll offer a few observations.

It hasn't a touch screen and if you're used to one going back to old tech can be a bit off putting. I've still got a Colorado (the closest thing garmin has to the GC) as a spare and on the odd occasion it has to be pressed into service it's just annoying compared to touch screen stuff.

The mapping seems to be focused on the USA although there does seem to be an European option for the unit it's for car navigation rather than offroad.

If you plan on doing hill walking type stuff the free contour maps of Ireland (I think) are only available for garmin units.

For the same sort of Money you could get the Garmin Dakota 10. Similar in size, it's a touch screen unit. The downsides to this one compared to the GC. It holds 2000 caches against 10000 (do you really need to carry round all of Ireland all the time?), it has only it's internal memory - no SD card - so you're restricted on the maps you can load, the screen will appear small (the GC will as well) when compared to even Ipods, smart phones etc. Depends what you're used to.

The Odies had a Dakota if you want to ask them how they get on. One of my colleagues has the 20 model and seems happy enough but they're only a casual cacher so their usage is light.

Jonathanwpurvis

Re: What do you use and what do you think

Post by Jonathanwpurvis » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:57 pm

Good points medic guess il be sticking with the phone for now so :)

I don't think I would like none touch screen the 10 isn't bad but black and white. Guess I'm being greedy wanting all Irish caches on it :)

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