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Old 01-27-2009, 08:41 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default I'm Looking for a GPS Gadget...

I'm looking for a particular type of GPS gadget, and I'd like some input from Pocket PC Thoughts readers. I saw one of our banner ads here for Radio Shack advertising a gadget from Bushnell called the BackTrack (see? advertising can be helpful!). I did a bit of reading on it, and it seems to be the exact type of thing I'm looking for. When I was on vacation in Japan in early 2008, there was more than one occasion when I had trouble finding my way back to our back-alley rental condo at night. The funny thing is that I brought a TomTom GPS with me, assuming (yeah, exactly) that even without maps it would still do basic point A to point B guidance - and it did not. Talk about technology failing me! So I've on the hunt for a cheap, simple GPS device that will allow me to mark a geographical point then be able to find my way back there again. This Bushnell Backtrack looks like it will do the trick, and it's not too expensive at $79.95 CAD from an online store. Any other devices I should be considering?

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Old 01-27-2009, 09:25 PM
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Nice find, actually I would like something like this too! It has SiRF Star 3 which is extremely nice and is "weather resistant". One thing I would research if I were you would be how long this thing lasts. It uses 2 AAA batteries so unless you buy rechargeable ones, wouldn't it be slightly troublesome? It would be nice if you found one with a replaceable Li-Ion which might make traveling and charging a little more convenient. I'm just suspicious how long these AAA batteries can power a GPS unit.

As an aside, if you are a Windows Mobile user going to Japan, you should have probably considered Super Mapple Digital ( It's probably one of the best GPS softwares for Japan and has a native WM client.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:56 PM
Brainiac 5
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The BackTrack does look interesting - do you know how big it is? I guess big enough to hold 2 AAA batteries, but I can't find any specific size information. I'm wondering how "pocketable" it is.

I know that Garmin has some lower-end hiking models that don't even have mapping capability - those would probably also fit what you're looking for. For instance, the eTrex H, which is $99.99 US.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:35 PM
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Smile More expensive, but might be more useful

I do a lot of hiking and biking and when I'm in a new area, I use my Garmin GPS to map the trails that I'm on. The cool part to this is that you can track how far you've gone, view a map of your path, then download it to your computer.

Garmin GPS's also have a backtrack feature to them that will guide you along the same route you took, not just the direction back to where you started. This is especially handy when hiking because its generally frowned upon to make your own trails.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:04 AM
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Default Look for yesterday's gear

My old Magellan 4000XL will do this, and those can be found used for under $40 (USD) now if you watch for them. Sometimes the latest gadgets fail to see the forest 'fore the trees and leave out basic functionality that should not be removed.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:07 AM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Um, won't a GPS phone do this, and with maps to boot? Mark the location as "Home", then from wherever you are just enable directions to "Home". Depending on the software, you can get walking directions even.

That said, I like the Garmin GPS devices a lot. Though they're quite a bit more expensive than the Bushnell, they offer a lot of functionality.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:01 AM
Chris Gohlke
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I'd look at a low end Garmin etrex. You'll get a lot more functionality. I just looked on Amazon and the cheapest is about $100 but the backtrack is only $53. I'd say the difference is the backtrack is a one trick pony, but therefore has a very simple interface the Garmin will do what you like but will do lots of other things and have a bit of a learning curve.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:18 AM
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Assuming you have a Windows Mobile w/ GPS, why not use one of the phletora of ` breadcrumbs` software?

NoniGPSPlot is a very good example, but there are many others with various degrees of user friendliness/ease of use and features.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:00 PM
Brad Adrian
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Originally Posted by Brainiac 5 View Post you know how big it is?
I couldn't find any actual specifications, but if you look at the user's manual on the Bushnell site, you'll see a couple of photos showing its size relative to the hand holding it.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JesterMania View Post
As an aside, if you are a Windows Mobile user going to Japan, you should have probably considered Super Mapple Digital (????????Super Mapple Digital ???????????????). It's probably one of the best GPS softwares for Japan and has a native WM client.
Trouble is, he may not have heard of Windows Mobile....

Joking aside,I know this is OT, but I get increasingly irritated when I read smartphone articles including a recent Wired roundup of 10 applications for GPS enabled Smartphones,WM devices and applications were completely ignored; despite that fact that the same or an equivelant app exists for almost every entry on the entire list.
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