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Cheap GPS Unit Answered

Where can I find an incredibly basic GPS? I am looking for bare minimum, something that just showed its location or that had an LED that got brighter as you got closer to an entered point. I am just trying to determine if simplistic GPS units are still available amidst the flurry of moving map, full-color, talking, computerized models with built-in A/C and a fridge. I would like to get into Geocaching, and just have a cheap GPS, but the cheapest ones I can find are still LCD screens with moving maps that cost $200. I'm hoping for well under $100, but I'm not holding out. I'm a geeky high schooler with no budget to speak of.

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trialex (author)2007-03-14

I do a little bit of geocaching using a Garmin Forerunner 201. It doesn't have the features of the big boy units, but it's got everything you need. You can't upload waypoints directly from your computer, but you can input them manually using up/down buttons, which is OK if you are just doing a few at a time. It's got a good sized screen that will display an arrow to point you in the right direction, and it will make a map of where you have been looking. You of course also get all the awesome features that you'd use for running - current pace, distance, time etc. Afterwards you can transfer a history of your search, import it into Google Earth etc... Looking on ebay.com, the 201 model is under $100, and the 101 even lower. the difference between models is the ability to download your runs to the PC, so if that's not important to you you could save even more.

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CameronSS (author)trialex2007-03-14

That's almost exactly what I'm looking for, even simpler would suffice. Unfortunately, I'm going to Florida (Kennedy Space Center), Wisconsin(EAA Airventure Oshkosh), and Colorado (I live in Topeka, KS-do I need a reason to go to the Rockies?) this summer and I'm saving every penny. Sad face. Possible tear.:-(

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LasVegas (author)2007-03-14

Look for the Holux GR 213 USB GPS receiver on ebay. You should be able to pick one up for under $30.

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CameronSS (author)LasVegas2007-03-14

I probably should mention that by "geeky" I don't mean "has a MacBook, Blackberry, and Four Smartphones." Should have specified that. But thanks!

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LasVegas (author)CameronSS2007-03-14

Huh? The receiver I references is about as basic as you're going to get. Of course, you need some sort of computer to read it. You can't read a GPS receiver with an LED! A GPS receiver provides a bunch of numbers telling you exactly where you are. You need a computer of some sort to decode those numbers. That's why a self contained GPS system is so expensive.

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CameronSS (author)LasVegas2007-03-14

sorry...I guess I still wasn't very clear. I was hoping for a self-contained unit that I could take outside. The closest thing I have to a portable computer is an old Compaq iPaq Pocket PC from around 2001 that I picked up last week for ten bucks at a garage sale. The Li-Ion battery is shot, so I have to hook up the cigarette lighter adapter to a 12V gel cell to make it semi-portable. It doesn't have a USB port. Side note: does anyone know where I can find a cheap replacement battery for an iPaq 3635?

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jeffreyf (author)CameronSS2007-03-14

I've never seen anything like what you're describing. I think your best is to try and find a used self-contained gps unit on ebay or craigslist. I'm sure you can find one for under $100. Alternatively, if you have a laptop, or a USB enabled palmtop, you can do with LasVegas suggested and get a cheap GPS receiver.

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