Sunday, March 18, 2012

Geomate.jr review

UPDATE: This product has been discontinued. Here are my current geocaching GPS recommendations.

The Geomate.jr is designed solely for geocaching, but more than that, its designed to make geocaching drop-dead easy. The Geomate.jr is pre-loaded with 250,000 caches, covering the entire U.S.

Geocaching simplified

Having so many pre-loaded caches eliminates the need to download them from geocaching.com and transfer them to your GPS, making this the ultimate grab n’ go solution.

Compare prices on the Geomate.jr

Priced at a reasonable $69.95, the Geomate.jr is a lightweight one trick pony. It’s not designed to be used like a traditional GPS, though you can store one custom location in it (home, a trailhead, etc.) to direct you back to your starting point.

Using the Geomate.jr

Getting started with the Geomate.jr is simple. Turn it on, let it lock onto GPS satellites, and it will point you to the nearest cache. Push the Next button and it will guide you to the second closest cache. You can scroll through the 20 nearest caches in this manner.

Geomate.jr-screen-shot On the main screen, shown at right, you’ll see ratings for Find Difficulty, Terrain Difficulty and Cache Size. Inside the compass circle is an indicator of satellite signal strength, distance to cache, and which cache you are viewing (1 through 20).

The Navigation screen allows you to scroll through latitude, longitude, elevation and the number of satellites being tracked and used.

A Found screen displays the number of found caches, the geocaching.com GC code, the date a cache was marked as found and the order it appears in the found list.

The Geomate.jr compass on the main screen points you to the nearest geocache, but it’s not an electronic compass, so it doesn’t know which way you are facing. You have to take a few steps before it will point you in the correct direction.

An update kit will allow you load an updated database of geocaches, load caches for other countries and more.

Geomate.jr specificationsGeomate.jr-side-view

The 1.2” x 1.2” monochrome screen is not what you’d want on a full-featured GPS, but it works just fine for what the Geomate.jr is. It has a 12 hour rated battery life (2 AAAs) and weighs a scant 3.2 ounces with batteries.

More Geomate.jr reviews

Geomate.jr resources

Conclusion and recommendation

I was very impressed with the Geomate.jr. Sturdy and accurate, it directed me right to ground zero for the caches I sought. It is an excellent choice for a wide range of people including:

  • The casual geocacher who wants a grab n’ go unit
  • Families who want a sturdy and inexpensive unit to put in kids hands
  • Seasoned geocachers who want to keep a unit in the car, for those unexpected geocaching opportunities

Compare prices on the Geomate.jr at these merchants:

Related posts:


About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. Dreamcacher707 says:

    Anyone know where I can pick up a geomate jr and upate kit in the uk or online fo the uk??

  2. Rich Owings says:
  3. We bought the Geomate Jr for our family. It is feature packed in a simple design. We liked the fact that all the caches were pre-loaded onto the device so no matter where we are we can run out and start a search without first planning an area and printing out the information. Only downside we have experienced is that even with a clear blue sky, the device has trouble (in our area) locating satellites (no bars). (our Garmin Nuvi has no issues in the same area with multiple bars of strength)

  4. Rich Owings says:

    Have you tried letting it sit still under open sky for half an hour?

  5. Rich Owings says:

    Hope it works. The idea is that it will download satellite ephemeris data for the next couple of weeks and be able to predict where satellites will be upon subsequent use, speeding lock. Of course if you leave it unused for an extended period, you may want to rinse & repeat!

  6. iamthathero says:

    How does this work with ? caches? We have a Bazillion of those in my home town, we have Geocaching’s version of Will Short, the NPR puzzle master living here! How about multistage caches?
    Thanks!

  7. Can you put in your own gps coordinances?

  8. I bought this and have a hard time with the direction arrow. i tried it and it would lead me 3 feet this way > and then say 12 feet that way ^
    and i couldnt find it??? I don’t know, i really want it to work

    • There are several things that could be going on here:

      - It’s not an electronic compass, so it won’t point the correct way until you’ve taken a few steps.
      - Once you get close, be that 3, 12 or 20′, you’re within the limits of its accuracy. Stop looking at your GPS and start looking for good hiding places.
      - You can approach the cache from different directions for a visual picture of where it might be placed.
      - If you’re a new cacher, look for full size, large caches first. Micros are hard!

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