I’ve always wanted to give geocaching a try. Wikipedia calls it outdoor treasure hunting and I’m going to need a GPS unit. (gettin’ geeked gettin’ geeked)
I’ve been checking them out a bit and found a good deal on the Magellan eXplorist 200 for $75 CDN. Rob asked the advice of his friend Jason who it turns out is some kind of a GPS guru. Now we know that even thought the eXplorist 200 has a nice price ($75 CDN) its limited features would make us sad before we got halfway down the highway.
But wait! It turns out that for just a little bit more money I could get this one: the Garmin eTrex Legend 8 MB GPS with PC Cable, which I’m sure would get Jason’s approval since he even thought Garmin eTrex GPS (basic) would both suit our needs and pass his inspection.
I guess the thing is that the demands that this thing is going to face are kind of diverse (and still mostly unknown). I want geocaching power. I want kid-friendly. Rob (thinking ahead) wants streets and maps for next time we’re in LA or somewhere else. I hadn’t thought that far ahead and didn’t think that something that could do both would be in the price range I was willing to consider.
Jason says that a pc connection is essential. I can see his point. Since it’s not much more $$ expandability and future use really should be a consideration. It turns out that these better GPS units come with either a serial or a usb option, depending on how much you’re willing to spend. He also says to look for WAAS technology, which is Wide Area Augmentation System. WAAS helps find the cache (or destination) with more accuracy and precision than a basic GPS that is not WAAS enabled. WAAS technology corrects info sent to a GPS using a combination of satellites and ground-based stations which sounds good to me! I’ve read too many stories about getting close to a cache and then not being able to find it.
Even Amazon.com says the Garmin eTrex Legend is the choice made by most of their customers who view the Magellan 200. After viewing the Magellan 200, 71% go on to buy the Garmin. Jason and Amazon can’t both be wrong.
I just noticed that my laptop (a Compaq Presario R3000z) doesn’t have a serial port. I have to say I’m shocked. When I bought it I didn’t care since it seems like everything is going USB. Now it looks like it might actually be a problem.
Maybe a USB Serial Adapter then?
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