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eXplorist GC

caryrae 92 Points
edited November -1 in Magellan Handheld Forum
How are the Magellan handhelds? I like to go geocahcing and haven't in a while but just went yesterday used the geocaching app on my iPhone 3gs. Worked ok but not as accurate as handhelds. The new eXplorist GC coming soon sounds like a great handheld for me since I would only use it for geocaching.


  • zee 97 Points
    The GC looks interesting, like the start up of a new line from Magellan.
    The way I feel about my Meridian and SporTrak is, you will get them when you pry my cold dead fingers....

    The Triton 1500 purchase, was to see how Maggie "did" the SiRF chip, and the touch screen. Mine won't do the Lambert con in the User Grid. I started on Feb 20th, trying to find out from Maggie, if it was just my unit, or had the feature just not been implemented, yet. 4 emails, 3 tickets, one request via the Triton forum help support method, and one last week direct to Maggie, has no response, as of today. My "anteek" ears really hate having to make those phone calls, but next week.....

    Gotta hold out hope for the new series.
  • Tim 1501 Points
    I hope to have more details up later in the week provided some of the snow around here starts melting. But I've had a couple of weeks to play around with it. So far I really like what I see and it looks like the most solid product launch Magellan has had in quite some time. The only big flaw I've come across is that the rocker switch/button sometimes doesn't do what I want it to-- in other words sometimes it will register a "up arrow" as a "click" and mess me up. There are a few other small issues as well but that is the only big pain point I've had.
  • caryrae 92 Points
    Well I saw the Magellan website said it was in stock so I decided to buy and give a try. It was a nice surprise because I have a AAA membership and I was able to get a $30 discount and got it for $169 instead of $199.
  • caryrae 92 Points
    Well I used it a little today. Loading caches is easy and was able to find all caches we looked for. One thing I don't like which I don't know if all handhelds do is it won't start tracking unless your moving. So like when we would start out it wouldn't follow you when you were just turning around to help point you in the right direction. A few times when we stopped we had to walk to get the gps to track and get us to go in the right direction. Would I need to find a handheld that says it has a built in compass to do this?
  • zee 97 Points
    Thanks for the AAA discount tip.
    Magie sure sent the unit to you fast! I figured it would be a couple of weeks,at least.
    One of the biggest problems that I read about, is with the compass. When I use the regular compass, it stays pointed in the direction that I'm moving, if/when I freeze in place as I stop. Now ,as one moves about , it can be fun. I tried the Electronic compass on a 60CSx, and yes, as one closes in on the waypoint, it will bounce around on you. I very seldom use the compass, as I get everything that I need from the Map Page, on a Garmin. The Map Page on my Meridian only goes down to 100 feet, making it harder to use. I read where the GC will zoom down to 10 feet, and I sure hope so. I also wonder if it has the waypoint projection feature, and will do averaging of a waypoint.
  • Boyd 2045 Points
    One thing I don't like which I don't know if all handhelds do is it won't start tracking unless your moving.
    "Real" handhelds have track settings that control this. On all the Garmin models you can choose to record the track depending on time (eg: 1 point per second) or distance (eg: 1 point when you move 10 feet) or automatically, which is a mixture of both that the GPS chooses. Recording by time will steadily update the screen, but can create big logfiles since it is constantly saving points, even if you're just sitting there. Does your Explorist have track recording options like this?

    Regarding zoom settings - that is relative number which I doubt that you can compare between different brands. Just realize that all consumer GPS'es have a maximum accuracy of about 5 meters (16 feet). So if you zoom in to a 10-foot scale, you are probably going to see a lot of "noise".

    Here are some screenshots of a map I made for the Garmin Oregon from source data where each pixel represents a rectangle 8 inches x 12 inches (this is really high resolution aerial photography). It gives you some idea of how large an area is shown at different zoom levels. I don't have my Oregon here and don't remember whether it has a 10-foot setting.

  • Marc 301 Points
    Well I used it a little today. Loading caches is easy and was able to find all caches we looked for. One thing I don't like which I don't know if all handhelds do is it won't start tracking unless your moving.
    I don't think a built in compass will tell you which way you are facing, only which way are the various compass points. It has no idea how you are holding the GPS relative to the direction you are standing. To know which way you are traveling you actually have to move. Yes, the built in compass, or even a hand held one will tell you the direction of the bearing you need to follow.
  • caryrae 92 Points
    I just didn't like when you start out you don't know for sure if you are walking the right way until you start moving, then when we would get close to the cache and stop moving to look around we would have to walk a few seconds before the gps knew we were walking. I figured at least with the built in electric compass you would at least know which way to walk. Like with my iPhone 3GS and geocaching app when when standing still and turning the map will turn with me so I know which way to walk. The iPhone works rather well but not as accurate and drains the battery pretty fast.
  • Marc 301 Points
    edited April 2010
    I believe the Iphone has an accelerometer in it that detects movement. However, at rest, unless it has a built in compass it cannot detect absolute bearing.
  • Tim 1501 Points
    The iPhone 3Gs has an electronic compass, the explorist GC does not:
    What is an Electronic Compass?
  • caryrae 92 Points
    That was very helpful. Thanks Tim.
  • Marc 301 Points
    So a way to get around this is to buy yourself a handheld compass. If the GC has a choice select magnetic bearing to make it more accurate. In any case look at the bearing on the GPS and use the compass to point you in the right direction. I do this with my Extrex, where I have a cheap liquid filled compass attached to the lanyard.
  • caryrae 92 Points
    I think it may just be something I need to get used to the more I use it. The price was very good ($169).
  • zee 97 Points
    Will the GC average a Waypoint?
    How about making a waypoint projection?
    I wouldn't expect for it to have a User Grid, buy I just had to ask. I've been surprised before.
  • caryrae 92 Points
    I decided to return the eXplorist and get the Dakota 20 instead which I like better. I like how when I start out or stop walking when I get close to a cache the map will turn as I turn. The thumb stick/button on the GC got old, like Tim said when you go to push a direction you would sometimes push to hard and register a button press (did that a few times). I love the touch screen on the Dakota works very well.
  • zee 97 Points
    Thanks for the update, and the good news. Happiness is hard to beat!
  • Hi folks,
    I've just purchased a GC. It's a good device for affordable price - only $149. It runs Windows CE and has USB storage interface, which is convenient to manage files inside. The CPU is pretty powerful 400MHz ARM. The only problem I have at the moment is the lack of topo maps. The GC comes with world base map in a single file "map.dat" of 1GB in size. There is also .ini text file describing what and how to display (colors, zoom level etc.). I'm trying to understand what format is used for the map. Since there is "INTERMAP" word in the file header, I've downloaded Global Mapper 11.02 software from, but it does not recognize that format. It would be great to understand it and to try to convert maps of different format in it. The "Summit series" maps sold by Magellan won't fit, since they require 4GB space, but GC has max 1.7GB (if I delete the basemap).

    Any ideas/advices?
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