[GeoStL] caching with a plane ole PDA. almost a review

  • From: Glenn <GLNash@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "St. Louis Area Geocachers" <geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 19:25:54 -0500

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My old Toshiba PDA gave up the ghost sometime last year. It is hard to paperless cache without some sort of paperless doodad like a PDA. I finally got another one last week. I had always used Mapopolos maps and GPX Sonar for mapping and gpx file reading on the old PDA. I saw Cachemate and it looked about the same as Sonar so I spent $8.00 and got a copy. Mapopolus is no longer available. :( Went out for lunch yesterday, RGS wanted to see what the PDA does. "PDA Stuff", thats about all I know. Cool. Need to put some caches in Cachemate tho, Hmmmm. Well, I run about a zillion PQ's I think I can dig one up. I logged into a google account where I stash stuff like PQ and found one that I liked. "500 nearest caches that I haven't found". That should get me started. Press that button. "click", "ding" and in about 2 seconds it said I was now in possession of a 750K file of stuff.

Well, now what and where did it go? Donno but press that little button that looks like an "import thing" OK. I did that and zoom. I was now loading cachemate with caches. "That was pretty cool". Time for another soda, things are getting interesting. . . Lets go find something close. Of course I cant find the GPS and it has all old stuff in it anyway. Rats. More pecking on the screen turns on a big arrow. More cool. "It is pointing west". "Which way is west?" "Looks like whichever way we turn the PDA is west so just pick a Nice West that you would like to go and we can follow the arrow that way. Maybe it will do something."

By now we have finished the burgers and several sodas while pressing all the buttons and making the thing go "ping" a few times. Progress.

"We need maps", "I don't have any maps, I just spent my $8 on cachemate, not maps". Rats. So we just looked at the cache page and got a good idea of where we need to go. Click on the map thing on the cache page. Ping, now at least we have a map of the area. It was on the corner about 1.5 miles away. "West" said the arrow, 1.5 miles away. At least we agreed with the arrow. What does the corner look like, click the satellite view on the cache page. :-) Clump of trees. sweet. Not bad ciphering from the lunch table. We still need a route. Push the google map thing there. "ping" and now we have a routeable map from where we are to where I think I want to go. Sweet. Off goes RGS outside to see if the westerly pointing arrow does anything. Swing around and point west sure enough it does. More coolness and not bad for $8 cachemate. We drove to the clump of trees and approached. "Ya think we are going to find anything besides a clump of trees?" Slowly walking to where the arrow said to go and I stopped when it said I was 2 or 3 feet away. Looked around and found a microcache right there! Amazing. There was another little button, a "voice tag" thing. Click then talked myself a note that will get attached to that cache listing in cachemate for retrieval later. I haven't tried it yet but I am assuming that someday I can go back and listen to all my notes and relive all these good times. Now I will have a record of another cache that I probably wont get around to logging. Sweet. That voice tag thing could be handy on those hectic 4 caches/day cache runs.

Conclusion:
Well, it worked. We populated cachemate with a new PQ while eating, found a map, made a route, got there and found the cache with just the PDA. Thats better than what I can do with the 60csx! So I guess my afternoon trying to make the PDA do something worked out OK.

I still think I would like to have some real maps like the garmin xt ones. That would be cool real voice commands for turning and all that.
Beam us up Scotty.




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