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Forums —» General Caching —» How To? —» PDA's and GSAK
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PDA's and GSAK
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LFITQ



Joined: Jan 20, 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Prince George, BC

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

Ok I've just about had it with printing and carrying reams of paper around while I geocache.

I'll print out a bunch of caches for a route I going on and then put them aside after the trip. Next time I go on that same trip I am finding I am having to print the list again (minues the ones I've already found) because there may be changes to the coords or hints or what have you.

So now I'm looking for some suggestions on what type of PDA to get. I've never had one, never really had the need for one, but with geocaching I'm thinking I would much prefer one over the mounds of paper and pools of ink I have been using. Plus I may be able to find one that I can use for other things too.

I have a Garmin Venture Cx GPS and am using GSAK. My camera takes SD cards so expandable memory that takes SD cards would be a nice feature as well. I'm also curious about the ability to have a USB port in one for my flash drive for work.

I'm a complete noob when it comes to PDA's so any help is appreciated.

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HwyGuy



Joined: Oct 25, 2005
Posts: 128
Location: Langley BC

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

I purchased a Palm Zire 31 secondhand over the Internet for $35. I use Plucker and GSAK to get the coordinates of the caches into the Palm.

I watched Icenrye's video #2 or 3? and the Geocaching U page on paperless caching on geocaching.com to figure out the steps. Between the two you should have no problem.

Then it is trial and error to get the settings for how many layers deep you want to go for links etc. I use the ones Icenrye used, and have added digital images for pictures so I can have the hints for caches like the BC Spirit Quest series. Every extra layer or image takes longer in Plucker so beware.

Good Luck
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gotlost001



Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Abbotsford

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:55 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

I use a Palm Tungsten, and I use cachemate and GSAK. Cachemate is free to try and less than $10.00 to register a full version. The two programs work great together and have made my time caching much more productive. I used to cary a binder of cache page printouts and spent more time trying to find the corect paper for the cache than the cache itself. If you can try to get a Palm PDA with Wifi so you can take a rest, log your caches at a Starbucks, then go out and find a bunch more.
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Technic



Joined: Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

I use GSAK and Cachemate. I started with a Zire 31 a few weeks back, having purchased it from an XS type store. It crapped out on me so I thought, get one that will do what I need, and have BlueTooth and WiFi. So I settled on the Palm TX, which was on sale at an office supply store that sells staples. I transferred my Cachemate to it, and along with GSAK I am now paperless. A couple words of caution. The unregistered version of Cachemate will work forever, but will only allow you to see 10 caches. Once you register it (same copy) you punch the registration code into the PDA and you now can list all the caches you send to your PDA. Another word of caution. The CD with the software that comes with the Palm TX does not work with the TX. It is for something else. The web version from the Palm site does not work. I ended up getting tech support from Palm and they directed me to a web Palm web site where I could download the proper software and USB driver for the TX. Go figure.

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Aerodoq



Joined: Apr 01, 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

I see the others chipping in about Palms, so I thought I'd add something about Pocket PCs. We use an old Dell Axim 5 and GPX Sonar (WM2003). GSAK will write out GPX files containing the caches we've targeted (and we keep local lists to 25 km and 100km in case we end up roaming beyond our target area) and I transfer these to the PDA by SD card. GPX Sonar opens the GPX files quite fine and when you select a cache, it opens up an offline page in Pocket Explorer. I suppose if you've got a PDA that can use the cell system to connect to the internet then it'll fill in the pictures, but I get by with out them. The offline page contains the cache details, hints if any, and some (all?) the logs for the cache.

I don't think you'll find any USB ports on any PDAs.

However, Asus sells a completely solid-state 'ultra-portable' PC (the Asus Eee PC) that is essentially a laptop with a 7" screen and is the same size as one of those portable DVD players. It runs ~$400 (depending on the model). It comes natively with Linux installed, but you can install windows XP on it without any problems and in fact it comes with drivers for XP too. With this you could run GSAK directly on it. It's a little bigger than a PDA, but it might be small enough to carry around comfortably. It does have USB ports on it.

I've been considering getting one, but haven't made the jump yet.

However, in the end I don't think it matters much. Whether you go low end and get a used Palm or go high end, you will have viable options and won't be printing out cache listings anymore!

Good luck!
A>
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

I too use a Pocket PC. On it i have a GPX viewer, and Mapopolis. I Use GSAK to generate various sets of data, then convert some to Mapopolis files and use a BlueTooth GPS connected to my PDA to navigate (much better tha the routing on the handheld gps).

I also have a script on GSAK that I modified a lot (got it from GC forums) that can generate 10's of thousands of POI's (points of interest) form all your caches in GSAK with hints and all and create files that can be loaded on to smoe Garmin Models. It essentually makes your GPS into a cache database. All organzied by type, found, not found etc.

I will post the GSAK script somewhere soon.

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Chilcotinsam



Joined: Mar 18, 2008
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

I too used to have a binder with many many pages. Just got started with a Palm500 that I got for $35 on ebay. Its not color but works great...I can put lots of caches on it. I use GSAK and Cachemate...but havent totally figured it out yet. I keep forgetting how or what sequence to do it all in but I did it twice so far so I know I can do it again! Its way better than carrying around alot of paper and its fun. The only thing I would worry about is losing power if I'm camping maybe and WIFI would be nice and I might upgrade eventually but its all an adventure isnt it! Hope you find what works for you...and then you can teach the next person too! Happy caching!
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Technic



Joined: Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

This is not an endorsement for any one particular store or product, but in today's paper was a flyer from one of those business depot stores that sells staples Wink and they were clearing out refurbished Palm E2 handhelds, c/w a wireless keyboard. I know that you can get cheap ones on eBay, but as I get up on my soapbox, I prefer to buy local (back down off my soapbox). This one was going for under $150. You can read about it at:
www.palm.com/ca/produc...dhelds/e2/
I would probably have bought this one if I hadn't already bought the Palm TX. The E2 has Bluetooth, but not WiFi, as the TX does.
I have been using the TX, along with GSAK and CacheMate for paperless caching now for a few weeks. It works well until you get to one of those puzzle caches or a multi. Then it is a bit of a pain to drag it out, fire it up and make notes.
Never the less, I do like the idea of paperless caching (PLC).
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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

Oh great gods of gps knowledge - we don't carry around reams of paper(think we've printed off a total of 20 caches) just upload the coordinates and go - after one too many adventures of not finding the cache due to well not having full hint or the cache should be clasified as a letter box as it's not at the coordinates you know that.. now stand at the coordinates and look 50 meters to your left while...

Anyway I know GSAK requires windows. We want to get a PDA, however am wanting to get a new phone. Now the new phones have PDA's built into them. Will the "windows 6.0" work with GSAK?

We're finally looking at using it - as it will make a nice addition when we get to ground zero and the cache doesn't appear. So the next time we e-mail an owner that we can't find a cache that hasn't been attempted since 2006 we'll know if it's truly gone or our missing something.
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goaliegirl38



Joined: Apr 19, 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, or driving in between

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

Right now I use GSAK on the PC and then it converts the file into a Cachemate file for my PDA. I believe Cachemate does make versions for windows based PDA's and smartphones. It will cost you a whopping $8US!!! But very worth it!

The only thing I print now is the occasional puzzle or multi, just so I can easily make quick notes.

Check it out: www.smittyware.com/
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gotlost001



Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Abbotsford

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

TulameenTurtles wrote:


Anyway I know GSAK requires windows. We want to get a PDA, however am wanting to get a new phone. Now the new phones have PDA's built into them. Will the "windows 6.0" work with GSAK?

If you get a phone with the Palm OS like a Palm Treo then you can run cachemate on your phone. It is easy to use and you will have less DNF's. Very Happy
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Aerodoq



Joined: Apr 01, 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

TulameenTurtles wrote:

Anyway I know GSAK requires windows. We want to get a PDA, however am wanting to get a new phone. Now the new phones have PDA's built into them. Will the "windows 6.0" work with GSAK?

Well, the "Windows 6.0" that you refer to is really "Windows Mobile 6.0". GSAK won't run directly on that (as you note, it really only runs on Windows {2000, XP, Vista, etc} ).

However, as others have noted, you can run GSAK at home or on a laptop, and export the caches, notes, hints, logs, etc., to other programs. On Windows Mobile, I use GPXSonar. It's been tricky to find recently for some reason, but you can find the most recent version here (free!): http://geocaching-hamburg.de/2007/10/10/gpxsonar-download/

Cachemate (previously mentioned) also runs on WM6.

Have fun!

A>

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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

Thank you all for your quick and timely replies

So in order to actually get 100% of the cache page information though - which is normally where that - stand at the coordinates and now look 50 meters to your left and the ones that require pictures, we'll still have to tote the laptop out with us. Guess it's time to invest in that adapter for the car to give normal electricity(same cost as just computer adapter) - hmm benefits can watch movies and make pina colada's in blender while camping after caching.. hmm that could work

As well invest in PDA/Phone and ensure for hikes to review cache on GSAK, and take picture of page and pictures on page for hike up to cache page - then can get remainder of info by carrying pda and camera..

Third option - continue to learn SQL and become computer master and make my own program to convert a full gsak to pda.. or become rich and pay him to do it.. hmm

Will take #3 as first choice - but in interm will do #1 & 2
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Technic



Joined: Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:21 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

PDAs with memory expansion slots will allow you to store pictures. That is what I do. I will even use Google Earth to plot my strategy and then save the Google Earth view as a JPEG and then copy that picture to my PDA for field reference.
You can do the same with a Mapsource track. Save it as a GPX file, then load that file into Google Earth, and then save that view as a JPEG and then load it onto your PDA.
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goaliegirl38



Joined: Apr 19, 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, or driving in between

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

TulameenTurtles wrote:
So in order to actually get 100% of the cache page information though - which is normally where that - stand at the coordinates and now look 50 meters to your left and the ones that require pictures, we'll still have to tote the laptop out with us.

No, Cachemate gives you the entire cache page (minus pictures) including the decoded hint and last 5 logs. You can also make notes about the cache to yourself. I've never had a DNF due to lack of information using Cachemate!
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gotlost001



Joined: Nov 06, 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Abbotsford

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

Technic wrote:
PDAs with memory expansion slots will allow you to store pictures. That is what I do. I will even use Google Earth to plot my strategy and then save the Google Earth view as a JPEG and then copy that picture to my PDA for field reference.
You can do the same with a Mapsource track. Save it as a GPX file, then load that file into Google Earth, and then save that view as a JPEG and then load it onto your PDA.
This is the best tip I have read since I found out about GSAK cachemate. Thanks! Very Happy
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Technic



Joined: Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

As an example, here is a cache on a mountain side and as seen, has many roads branching from the main road. Using Google Earth, you can plot your way up to the cache using "pin" point coordinates at the critical turns on the road, thus avoiding costly turn arounds. When done, you save the Google Earth view as a JPEG file and copy it to your PDA memory expansion card and view it using the PDA photo viewer.

[img]http://photos.globetrotter.net/albums/photo.asp?param=2349613[/img]

Link to photo
Hope this attachment works.
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Technic



Joined: Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

Sorry, I guess I have to go back and learn how to attach pictures to forum posts, as the previous picture doesn't work.
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Technic



Joined: Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 73
Location: Kamloops

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: PDA's and GSAK Reply with quote

By golly, it does work. Just click on the "Link To Photo" line.
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