From:
"Neil R. Ormos" <ormos-lists@n9nl.com>
Sent: 3/5/2007 11:55:27 AM
To:
"GPS Stash Y! Grp" <gpsstash@yahoogroups.com>
Cc:
Bcc:
Subject:

Re: [GPSstash] Which GPS Device?wi


Steve Turney wrote:

> I'm thinking about thinking about getting into
> geocaching. What would be a good GPS device? I
> don't want to get a "beginners" unit then move
> up after I get experience. I want to start off
> with one I can use for a long time.

The list might be able to better assist you if you
told us a little more about your situation, such
as:

how much you're willing to spend initially;

how much you're willing to spend over time for
map data updates;

how comfortable you are with technology (i.e.,
is initial ease of use important to you or are
you willing to invest some time in reading the
manual);

whether you have any affinity for a particular
brand (i.e., Garmin, Magellan, etc.),

whether you need a color display;

whether you want an internal compass and
barometric altimeter;

whether you prefer a unit that has a
rechargeable battery;

whether you might want to use the GPS receiver
for in-vehicle navigation; and the like.

It doesn't make much sense to recommend a $350
Garmin GPSMap 60CSX if your upper limit is $200.

If you're really insistant on expecting your first
GPS receiver to satisfy you for a long time, you
should do a lot of your own research to supplement
any recommendations you get here.

> Also, could a GPS device used for geocaching
> also be used for hiking (like in the woods).

Most GPS receivers sold in the consumer market,
excluding those designed for in-vehicle
navigation, and excluding multipurpose devices
(e.g., cell phones, PDAs, etc.), would be suitable
for hiking. The features that make a GPS receiver
good for hiking include (1) presence of
recreational navigation features, including
appropriate displays, a large number of waypoints,
deep track memories, track-back features, etc.;
(2) light weight; (3) good battery life; (4) water
resistance; and (5) a highly effective receiver
and antenna.

Receiver performance varies among brand and model
and can be important when hiking (and geocaching)
because tree cover attenuates GPS signals. As an
example, here's a web page that reports a
comparison of two high-end consumer GPS receivers,
in which one receiver appeared to perform
significantly better than another in terms of the
number of satellites the receiver was able to use
to calculate a fix. This might (or might not)
translate to better performance in the field.



--Neil Ormos