MICROSOFT STREETS & TRIPS WITH GPS MODULE
As we get back into the swing of things. We are trying to update things a bit. One of those considerations is adding MICROSOFT STREETS & TRIPS WITH GPS MODULE to our laptop. Also the KML patch that places the caches on the screen. Will that be uncomfortable to use while the vehicle is underway ? Our laptop has a 15.5 inch screen to help these feeble old eyes and I worry that it will be clumbsy in the cachemobile. Your input in this will be appreciated.
I have thought about it myself but just haven't put out the money yet. It really depends on the size of your vehicle. In a fullsize truck it probably wouldn't be that bad.
I know they make vehicle mounts for laptops. On one of the podcasts I listen to the host carries his laptop and keeps GSAK loaded for looking up caches on the go instead of using a PDA. He said he used to carry the laptop with the GPS on it out into the field to search for caches.... now that would be awkward!
This is how I navigate most of the time when I geocache. I use GSAK macros to get the geocaches into Microsoft Streets & Trips. Then I use the Streets & Trips with GPS to identify the roads to drive on. When I get to the parking area, I hop out with my handheld and head down the trail.
This works pretty well because I have a teenage son who wants driving time. So he drives while I use the laptop to navigate. I would be careful trying to drive and use the laptop.
Either S&T or DeLorme SA for the laptop and handheld for the hunt once close. The small screen of the GPS is frustrating occasionally when you would like a bigger picture with the same detail. Definately a plus in a larger urban area. If you can resolve the issue of placement and securing the laptop (mount) I bet you would like the arrangement.
Thumbs up on Streets and Trips! www.ram-mount.com if you want a mount for it. Uses the bolts that holds the seats down and uses a variety of stems from flexible to solid. Extremely well built stuff.
Just my 2 cents:
Lacey and i have been using Streets And Trips on a laptop for geocaching for a while and love it. We use GSAK to import the cache icons also.
Since there is 2 of us,whoever is in the passenger seat gets navigation duties .Ever so often we switch up,it can get nauseating for the navigator if you are hitting a lot of quick caches in a busy downtown area...lots of turns.Make sure you have a power invertor to power the laptop and keep the battery charged if you plan on being out any time.The only problem we have had is the Streets and Trip program locking up when we zoom all the way in .This may be just a Windows Vista quirk though.
Sunday afternoon we headed to Mena to catch up on some caches that had been placed during the year we weren't able to cache. There are nine of them in the downtown area.
Our old Magellan Gold was getting pretty dated when we left the sport for a bit. So it wasn't a big supprise when I had trouble uploading the caches to it. Windows Vista and magellan just don't Gee/Haw togather. It was so exasperating that butcherknife and I started shopping for a new Garmin.
Planning to load the caches from data on the laptop, we went to Mena, looking for caches we hadn't found yet. Using the laptop, we navagated within feet of the first cache.
Then we had to change the coordinate system in the Magellan to the one used by the Microsoft S&T. Made a call to CACHEMATES to see if we were anywhere near the actual cache after the changing of the coord system. Then finaly found our first of eight for the day. Things went slow, but navagating to the cache with the laptop went fast and smooth. But having to stop , enter the coords in a format we weren't used to, then navagating to the cache sure slowed things down.
Our first experience with MS S&T was a good one. We have ordered a ram line laptop mount on line and look for that to be a big help also.
Can anyone remember when Max and I got a big Magellan vs Garmin stirr going ? Don't anybody tell him that we are looking at Garmins !!
You are almost home. One more step and you will be a happy camper getting the equipment to work together. That step is GSAK. You can mass upload the cache coordinates to the Garmin and also to S & T. I guess there is actually two steps. You need a premium membership on GC.com so you can do pocket queries.
Also with the Garmin, you can upload the coords to it directly from the Geocaching web page of the cache you are looking at. Look for the "Send to GPS" button near the top of the page.