- These devices are great because they help automate the process of data entry. I was pleased for the most part with how the PDAs worked in the field. Here are some of my complaints with these devices, in no particular order:
- There were some bugs in the database program HanDBase. The data fields would often show up differently on the PDAs and on the computer. Also, linked data on the PDAs would always show up as unlinked when downloaded. To fix this, we had to manually update every data form for the relationships to reappear. All in all, these are minor problems.
- Perhaps because of the climate, the PDAs have a tendency to stall or crash. This can usually be solved by the "soft reset" button on the back of the Palms, but on several occasions I had entire databases go missing, requiring a reinstall.
- The stylus is very easy to lose because it is kept outside of the Aquapacs that protect the Palms.
Telenics telemetry devices
- The biggest problem with these is that their performance is, for the most part, inconsistent. At times, thse are able to pick up a strong signal from over 500m; at other times, they have trouble picking up a signal even when the radiocollar is within sight. The coaxial cables involved are quite fragile and all of the units have problems with the battery cases. In general, many design aspects of the telemetry receivers can be greatly improved.
- The Garmin units work very well in rainforest conditions. The only complaint I ever had was with the limited memory capabilities, but they seem to be able to accommodate micro SD cards, which should great increase data capacity. The time it takes to acquire enough satellites is quite good (2-5 minutes) and the ability to maintain the connection under canopy is phenomenal.