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Garmin Nuvi 200

#1 User is offline   HuntleyWD 

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 03:32 AM

So after discovering the wonderful world of Geocaching, I went off to BestBuy with the wife to purchase a GPS. I fully intended to purchase a Etrex or the Legend HCx (looking in the ~150 price range). After a bit of looking in the store. My wife convinced me to buy a Garmin Nuvi 200. I realize that the Nuvi is more car navigation than Geocaching, but will the Garmin Nuvi do what I need it to? I mean I can put in the gps co-ords and load caches straight to the GPS from GC.com. I guess my basic question is should I return this for a more Geocaching friendly unit? Or will the Nuvi suit this newbie?

Garmin nüvi® 200 Link to Garmin Nuvi

This post has been edited by HuntleyWD: 05 May 2008 - 03:36 AM


#2 User is offline   Miragee 

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:36 AM

Welcome to the Forums! :lol:

You can use that GPSr, but . . . it is not durable, nor does the battery last very long.

I would recommend getting the Legend HCx, although you might not get it for a good price at BestBuy. They are selling online for less than $200. The maps are an additional expense, but you can use it for Geocaching without getting the maps right away.

To see what your other options are, go to the Garmin website and check their comparison page for the 'H' units. Those have the "High Sensitivity" receiver. You want to get one that connects to your computer with USB, instead of with the Serial Port.

#3 User is offline   HuntleyWD 

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 09:25 AM

View PostMiragee, on May 5 2008, 07:36 AM, said:

Welcome to the Forums! :lol:

You can use that GPSr, but . . . it is not durable, nor does the battery last very long.

I would recommend getting the Legend HCx, although you might not get it for a good price at BestBuy. They are selling online for less than $200. The maps are an additional expense, but you can use it for Geocaching without getting the maps right away.

To see what your other options are, go to the Garmin website and check their comparison page for the 'H' units. Those have the "High Sensitivity" receiver. You want to get one that connects to your computer with USB, instead of with the Serial Port.


Indeed, I'll check out the Garmin site right now. Are there any other "good" gps units that you would recommend? I mean I'm really new to this but I don't want to get a GPS that'll only last a month or two before I go and try to get another one :). Thanks for the help.

#4 User is offline   donc30 

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 05:38 PM

I had pretty good luck with my Nuvi 200 by using a compass and watching the coordinates when you got close.
But. of course, I HAD to have a Venture HC and then the Topo maps. Ha!
Part of the fun is buying the stuff and learning to use it but there are some who like the challenge of using minimum equipment. Something for everyone. Wonderful hobby.

#5 User is offline   Aye-Ch 

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 05:56 PM

I received a Garmin Nuvi 350 for Christmas, and although I had vaguely heard of geocaching I had no intention of using it for the activity. After caching for 1 1/2 months, I can say that I am quite happy with my Garmin. I can use it to give me street by street directions to the coordinates that I want to go to, and then I switch it to "off road" and "pedestrian" modes, and off I go. I can follow the purple highlighted line to ground zero, or if I need extra help then I put it on "my location" where I can watch my current coordinates change as I walk, which gives me my exact location. Granted, I don't know what using a typical geocaching GPS is like, from the one person I've talked to, it doesn't give them street directions to the coordinates, which is a must for me. I've been told I can download cache coordinates to the Garmin, and no hand-entering is necessary. The only reason I haven't done that is that I don't want to spend the time learning how to do it (lazy when it comes to that kind of thing, same reason why I haven't gone paperless). As for the battery, I keep it plugged in when in the car, but I'm pretty sure that if I tried going all day without a recharge it would be dead.

I'd like to go to an event cache this summer, but I'm kind of afraid that my non-traditional GPS will leave me in the dust compared to others. But for my purposes right now the Nuvi 350 works great.

Also, I don't believe that the Nuvi series is very water resistant, so I always carry a couple small freezer bags to put the Nuvi in. It has a touch screen so the bags don't interfere with operation.

This post has been edited by Aye-Ch: 05 May 2008 - 06:00 PM


#6 User is offline   HuntleyWD 

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 05:57 PM

I can't seem to get the co-ords page with the satelite strengths to show up. I read on another post to push the signal strength (green bars in upper left). It doesn't work. Donc30 seems to have it when he says he watched the co-ords. Any help?

#7 User is offline   subgenius13 

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 10:05 AM

View PostHuntleyWD, on May 5 2008, 05:57 PM, said:

I can't seem to get the co-ords page with the satelite strengths to show up. I read on another post to push the signal strength (green bars in upper left). It doesn't work. Donc30 seems to have it when he says he watched the co-ords. Any help?


On my 360 it is under my locations then "My current Location"

Hope this helps

SUbg

#8 User is offline   starscream2 

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 11:17 AM

I use the Nuvi 200 to geocache with. Although I am a new cacher as well, but so far I have found it to work very well even in a side by side comparison with a co-worker who caches with a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx.

Sometime I will post a full review/instructions on how I use the Nuvi 200 for geocaching. IMO it is underrated, a lot of people assume it is a bad unit and don't give it a fair try. Certainly it doesn't have the bells and whistles some of the handhelds do, but it works pretty well IMO. I will give a brief overview:

Drawbacks:
Not waterproof
No wrist strap
Fragile
No built in compass
Does not show real-time cordinates
Does not show detailed satellite screen (only a cell-phone like bars indicating general signal strength)
No "tracks" to show your course.
Might have more difficulty getting signals in forests or heavily wooded areas than some handhelds (no forests where I live, but in heavily wooded parks I have not had problems so far with mine, but in theory there are models with better antennas)
5 hour battery (realistically probably 3-4 hours, as you will want the screen to be bright)

Pros:
Obviously can double a car routing GPS, which means you don't have to buy two GPS, one can do it all.
Is very inexpensive, and comes with city maps pre-installed (NOTE: if you want topo maps they must be bought separately)
It has very good accuracy, same accuracy as my friend's eTrex Legend HCx.
Nice big, bright screen
Easy to use

Bottom Line: It can geocache, and works pretty well. The goal is to get to some listed cordinates, and the nuvi 200 is certainly capable of doing that.

TIPS:
Obviously you need to be in "pedestrian" and "off-road" modes to geocache. Also zoom all the way in when you are close.

Bring a handheld compass, and set your display so "north is up".

Ignore the cordinates really. Just walk the direction you see the destination point is, until the GPS reads you are within 5 feet, then you are there. Ignore the "Arrived at Destination" sound and box the GPS pops up. That is still 100 feet away. Look only at the number of feet you are away, and direction it is from you.

Download new icons. The pre-install icons are 1) too big 2) show your position in the center of the icon, even the arrow you are not at the tip, but in the middle of it. There are 3rd party icons available to install where you can be at the "tip" of the arrow, or a cross hairs showing exactly where you are at.

If there is any chance of rain, or wetness, put the GPS unit in a clear ziplock baggie.

If you are concerned about dropping it, you can secure it to your wrist via large rubber bands.

Set a "car" point in the parking lot to help find your way back to the car, since this model does not show your "trail" to follow back on.

Be aware of your limited battery life. Dim the screen or turn it off when traveling long distances between caches. Plug it in to your car if driving between caches. Make sure it is fully charged before long caching trips. It is not that hard to milk that five hours of battery life into a full day of caching.

If you are "regular" member you can either type in the cordinates by hand, or probably use the "send to GPS" option on the computer. Either way they get added into the GPS as favorites.

If you are "premium" member and run a pocket query of the caches, you can use the free POI loader from the garmin website to upload the whole .gpx file into the GPS. Then they will show up under "extras" -> "custom POIs". This is better than them showing up as favorites.

To answer you specific question about the satelite strength, on the nuvi 200 those green bars in the upper left is all you get. The nuvi 3xx series and above has an additional screen that shows the satelites in greater detail, but the 2xx series does not have this. Basically just make sure you are at full green bars when at GZ, if you are not, then the margin of error is greater.

This post has been edited by starscream2: 08 May 2008 - 11:19 AM


#9 User is offline   pilotsnipes 

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 06:50 AM

There's a full discussion of Nuvis and Geocaching here on these forums AND via this site:

http://pilotsnipes.g....com/index.html

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