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Everything posted by captain454

  1. Hey all, I'm a longtime, hardcore user of Garmin's etrex Vista line, I've owned at least one of every single one of them (from the old black and white to my current Vista HCx). Anyway, here's the deal: I just got myself a new car, which has a double DIN slot, and that means I can install a GPS system in-dash. Now, with my old car, what I did was hard wire my etrex and suction cup it tot the window, and that worked *really* well. There were a lot of features about using the etrex for car navigation that I really liked, but the one that really did it for me was that the etrex could store months of track logs onto the microSD card, and if I ever wanted to go back and figure out when/where I went somewhere, boom, there it was. I also like being able to pull those track logs and archive my history data, it's especially cool when I come back from the racetrack, I can analyze my track speeds and times for future reference. So here's my question: does Garmin make an in-dash GPS that not only takes full advantage of all that real estate offered by the double DIN slot, but also stores track logs which I can transfer to my computer and view in Mapsource (that is, does it record .gpx files everywhere I go)? I didn't believe that Garmin made an in-dash unit, but then I realized that they have licensed their units for integration into other manufacturer's products, specifically I've started thinking about purchasing a Kenwood DNX8120, which uses what looks like a Garmin streetpilot type interface. Will this do everything I want, or is it going to be "dumbed down" to the point where I might as well stick with my etrex again? Thanks for any help of suggestions!
  2. Hi all, After reading through a lot of messages on this board and getting a lot of conflicting results on just what the heck happens if you try to use a 4GB microSDHC card in the vista HCx, I just bought one and tried it out myself. Here's what happens: It's true that you can only access half of the card for uploading maps, HOWEVER, this still makes it a bigger card that the 2GB microSD, because half of the the 4GB microSD card allows you to upload 2048MB of maps, whereas with the 2GB card I could never load more than 19xxMB (I forget what the acutal limit was, but the point is you get about an extra 100 MB of maps with the 4GB micro SD card). Furthermore, after absolutely filling the 4GB microSDHC card with over 2GB of maps (all of mapsource NA NT, Mexico NT, and western europe (CNE NT), I checked how much space was available on the card for track log storage, and it said that the card was 1/2 full, which I'm assuming means I still have ~2GB remaining for track logs, which should last me the rest of my life. So the bottom line is, I think everyone should be running the 4GB cards in the Vista HCx devices, I know I'm glad I made the switch. Finally, it seems pretty clear to me at least, that if I can load 2GB of maps on to one part of the card, access these maps with the Vista HCx, whilst simultaneously saving track logs to the other 2GB of the card with the same device, that in one way or another, the Vista HCx CAN access all 4 GB of a microSDHC card. So the question is, why hasn't Garmin come out with a mapsource/Vista HCx patch/firmware upgrade that allows us to upload up to 4GB to a microSDHC card and access all 4GB simultaneously on the GPS device? The size of all Garmin's city navigator NT products is somewhere between 2 and 4 GB, but still well under the maximum map number limit (whatever it actually is, I don't know, although I'd say the max map number limit should also be fixed).
  3. I think it's becoming fairly obvious that, despite all the pre-release hype, the Colorado is a total POS. I'm glad I never got one, and I feel sorry for anyone who made the mistake of buying one. Looks like Garmin has entered the "we're going to rely on our name, rather than the quality of our product" phase. Pathetic.
  4. Well I don't. The price is the last thing I'm going to worry about, especially with something I use this much. I would be more than happy to pay well over $1000 dollars for a GPS if it was the same size/shape as the eTrex but had greatly improved features. Just point me in the right direction...
  5. Get the compass, you can't take a sighting without it. Sure, you can use a normal compass, but it won't be automatically corrected for declination like it is in the Vista. And, even if you do carry a normal compass, you will now have a back up with your Vista. If you don't like the compass, turn it off. Get the Vista.
  6. one thing I've done is change the track log to manual distance logging, and set the distance between breadcrumbs to 0.00 miles. Sure, it takes up a lot of space, but you can literally see every step you take, and if you use one of the 2GB microSD cards, you'll never run out of space anyway.
  7. The "calibrate compass" reminder really sucks, it has to go. I had to remove my compass page as well just to get rid of the dadgum reminder, as I hardly ever use the magnetic compass (especially since I use my etrex mounted to the windshield of my car 80% of the time).
  8. So, I just updated to this version, wow that "hint" message is really annoying, it pops up over and over again as I cycle through the pages... is there any way to turn it off (other than turning on the magnetic compass)?
  9. I really wish they had made the new H-series units compatible with the new HC (high capacity) card standard. I would love to have a 4GB card in my Vista HCx, then I could load street maps of US, Canada, Europe, and Australia all on one world-ready unit. For now the best you can get is US/Canada/Western Europe.
  10. Hey all, Just wanted to let you know, the "hard reset" fixed the on/off problem, so everything's OK now! Only bugs that remain are the WAAS auto off bug and my weird wrong bearing bug that happens with long range navigation on a mercator projection. I don't think Garmin's ever going to fix the Mercator projection bug, but maybe if some more people on here speak up, they'll do something about it. Thanks again for the tip on the hard reset, that really saved the day!
  11. Well OK. Looks like the auto resetting of the WAAS is a problem we all have, but my on/off/on problem is just a screw up with my unit. So I'll try the "hard reset" suggestion, and if that doesn't help I guess it's off to Garmin. BTW, I forgot the mention, the Vista HCx has a hold-over bug they never fixed from the old Vista Cx. The unit doesn't plot the correct bearing on the map page when you route over long distances. For example, if you live in the US, try telling the unit to navigate you to let's say, London (not following the road, obviously). Now, the unit will plot a straight line on the map towards London, even though the map, being a mercator projection, should require a curved path for the shortest route. Now I know what you're thinking, maybe the vista HCx just doesn't understand mercator projections... but it does. If you go into the map options and switch the "go to line" to "course", all of a sudden it actually projects the correct, curved shortest distance path. Furthermore, if you look at the compass page, it always gives you the correct bearing (which is mostly to the north), even though the bearing line on the map will tell you to follow a mostly east direction (the wrong direction).
  12. Mine came with software (or firmware) version 2.20 & GPS software version 2.10. I checked earlier today using webupdater to see if anything newer had been released but nothing so far. Same situation here... you haven't had any of my on/off problems, I'm guessing? Just the "auto" turn off of the WAAS bug?
  13. More about my problem: If I leave the unit "off" for a long time, it will turn back on normally, but the amount of down time it needs varies quite a bit, sometimes 10 minutes will do it, but I've had it not word after an hour of being off. I think it all started when I tried to power it up while connected to the USB cable... although this is probably just a coincidence. Dammit, I'm starting to think something is screwed up on my device... but it may be fixed with an update anyway. It's definitely not a battery connection problem or anything like that, I've check and they're all clean and it does the same thing even if I'm using the USB power cable. Here's how I have to "restart" the device. Step 1: Power down. Step 2: Attempt to power up and get nothing. Step 3: Take out the batteries, then put them back in (actually you only have to take out one) Step 4: Attempt to power up again, and it will work. WTF?!? An additional thought... what happens if I need to get a replacement? Will Garmin give me a new set of unlock codes for my city navigator programs or am I just screwed?
  14. OK, some more testing updates: First of all, the power on/off situation, I think I've figured out what my problem is. If I turn off the unit, and then try to turn it back on a few seconds later, it screws up and won't come on, but will if I take the batteries out and put them back in. However, if I turn it off and leave it off for at least 10 minutes (could be less, haven't figured out the minimum time yet), then it turns on fine?! I don't get it. So I took it on another short hike today, I kept the Vista Cx in my left pocket and the new HCx in my right pocket, just to get as poor reception as possible. Under tree cover the Cx lost signal a couple of times, if you look at the track log, there are lots of "straight" sections over twisty parts of trail. The HCx stayed on the trail the whole time. Also, there was a blank section where the old Cx lost reception for a significant amount of time, but the HCx kept recording perfectly. Finally, right now as I type this indoors, I'm getting 3 stong satellites and 3 weak ones on my HCx with a location fix of +/- 35 ft; my old Cx has "lost reception" and only shows a weak signal from one satellite. Finally, as I pan around the maps, the HCx is much better too, it never "chokes" on refreshing the new map detail, whereas the old Cx frequently chokes up and makes you wait to see map detail. Re the loss of WAAS on restart... mines definitely doing it all the time, the unit itself always gets a strong WAAS signal, so it's not like it's looking around and defaulting to off simply because it can't find anything. Although, if I'm the only one who seems to be having these off/on restarting problems, I guess my unit could be screwed up somehow? Forgot to mention: the backlighting is slightly improved on the HCx (vs. the Cx) as well; it definately brighter and more contrasty on any given setting.
  15. OK, So I just received by eTrex Vista HCx from TVNAV as well, so here's my 2 cents. The GPS it's replacing is an eTrex Vista Cx, so that will be my basis of comparison. First off, the rear cover is almost identical to the one included on my old Cx, I think they're both metal, and they both weight in at the same 1.1 oz. However, the new HCx cover is a *much* tighter fit, my guess is that this makes it substantially more water resistant. The little twisty metal loop you use to tighten it into place is larger, and allows you to put MUCH more torque on it when closing. Reception: Yeah, it's a lot better. Hard to measure exactly how much better, I'd say 3x at least, based solely on running them side by side and comparing the size of the reception bars. However, in actual real world use, I'd say the reception is almost infinitely better, since I've taken both units through several heavy cover areas and I never could get the HCx to lose reception, but the old Cx lost signal several times. So in terms of total "downtime" the HCx is infinitely better. Finally, when it's switched on (which can be a pain, see below), the satellite aquisition time is so fast I can't even see it, it's almost instantaneous. There does seem to be something quirky about the way the HCx tracks movement, at least at low speeds.... sometimes it doesn't respond to turns fast enough, it's almost as if it's trying to guess ahead on where you're going, but then sometimes it doesn't seem to do this, sorry I can't explain it well enough, I'll have to do a more detailed comparison today. The interface/menus are identical with the only exception being that you can now program what color (both during the day and night) you want your routing path to be (the default is still purple). Speed: Yep, the HCx is also quite a bit faster, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3x faster when it comes to calculating long, complicated routes. Scrolling across the map seems a lot better too. Problems: Yes, there are some big bugs I've discovered already. The first is that the WAAS setting returns to disabled every time I turn my unit off and restart. Also, I've never been able to get the thing to turn on when powered by the USB/external power cord. At this point, I can't seem to ever get it to turn on without first pulling the batteries and restarting, so this is a serious problem. I don't know if the "I can't shut off my GPS and restart it without taking out the batteries" problem is caused by some strange combination of settings on my unit or what, because there's no way they would have shipped a GPS you can't turn on, and I know it did turn on the first time I threw batteries in it and started it up... who knows what's going on? Hopefully is a firmware fix that will come down the pipe soon. Other than the massive on/off bug, I'd say this is by far the best handheld GPS I've ever seen or used. This GPS takes all the features we liked from the old Vista C/Cx, and adds a much improved antenna and faster processor.
  16. Hey all, I was under the impression that you could enable terrain shading, to give maps a 3D look, in Garmin Mapsource with TOPO and hi-res TOPO (24K) maps. I turned "terrain shading" to "on" under the Mapsource "Preferences" but I don't see any difference in any of the TOPO maps. Am I missing something? I also haven't been able to see any "terrain shading" in my handheld unit (Vista Cx). Thanks in advance for any help or pointers. P.S. forgot to mention, I'm using the latest version of Mapsource (I think), version 6.12.4
  17. Well, how 'bout this for starters. City Navigator North America NT + City Navigator Europe NT = 274 maps and 2234 MB of space. Lots of room for more maps, but you aren't going to fit them on a 2GB card.
  18. I really hope they add support for the newer MicroSDHC (high capacity) cards. This will allow us to use 4GB+ microSD cards, essentially giving you the ability to put just about every topo and street map in the entire world on one data card. A Vista HCx w/ a high sensitivity receiver and MicroSDHC support would make for the best handheld GPS yet.
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