Monday, August 10, 2009

Geocaching Revival: Teaching an old dog (Axim X30) new tricks

Wow, another big gap. And my cache count has dropped. Wait, what? Dropped?! Yep. So much time away, and the slow decomposition of old finds has seen our find count drop to the 60s. Definitely not cool, and definitely time to get out there and get back to it. We’re done having kids and both kids are walking and always looking for excuses to get out. What better reason than treasure hunting?

So for the third time, we’re reinventing our little family team with a new name and improved technology. Always a stickler for making old dogs learn new tricks, I’ve decided to blow the dust off of the old Axim X30 and turn it back on again. In digging out the old trusty Axim and blowing the dust off of it’s various components (literally), I began the BDA (battle damage assessment for you non-military types).

As I suspected, the battery and the backup battery were near useless after 5 years of use and 2 years of inactivity. The internal emergency battery was drained and the portable USB cable was MIA. Oh and I’d cannibalized the SD card it once depended on, so that’s going to need replacement too. Here’s the good news. As far as hardware is concerned, larger higher-capacity batteries are now available for the Dell Axim series at a very low price. SD cards are also cheaper and much higher capacity. So I dropped about $20 at eBay and picked up a replacement oversize battery and a flush 900mAh battery. I put in a bid on an OEM replacement USB cable, and will likely head down to a local store for a cheap 2GB replacement SD card.

On the software front, there’s been a number of changes as well. After a quick trip to Dell and Microsoft’s websites for the latest ROM updates to my Axim X30, I began poking around at the software companies where I’d purchased my custom GPS and geocaching software packages previously.

Certainly they would have released more advanced versions of these programs, and with any luck these upgrades would be free! I can’t test them out yet until I get the SD card (all software will be installed on the SD card to keep plenty of operating memory available and free on the device) but a few tests proved that BeeLineGPS has been updated to fix bugs and provide new features. I still have my TomTom software package, so I’ll be using that as well.

Lastly, the Mrs. bought me an iPod Touch for my birthday so I’ll be looking to download the Geocaching app for that as well to enhance my multitasking paperless capabilities on the trails.

More to follow as our GPS geocaching hardware is updated and upgraded.

1 comment:

team spongebob said...

way to go! it's always good to start fresh! :D good luck!