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Everything posted by Crid

  1. Crid

    Colorado Fixed?

    If you press the power button between sunset and sunrise (ie. "night"), the backlight comes on at the lowest setting. Doing it during "day" doesn't switch it on. Only the first time, but since you're then on the screen to change the backlight setting, it does mean you can see what you're doing. It's only a small thing, but I think it's actually quite neat. I'm also impressed with the smart averaging that the Colorado seems to do. If I walk straight then take a 90 degree turn, it starts off cutting the corner (averaging the points), then as I continue walking it figures out what I've done and snaps back to the turn. I think this was added in a later firmware as I previously had problems with the Colorado cutting the corners (and don't get me started on the "drift" issues). Overall I think the Colorado is a pretty good unit with the newer firmware. There are some baffling omissions (lack of waypoint averaging, for instance), but the paperless features are really useful if I'm doing a flying visit to an area and don't know in advance exactly which cache I am likely to want to go for.
  2. Crid

    HOW TO

    I've found the Colorado do be a bit cumbersome when it comes to switching tracking on and off. (Several steps through the menus to do it). I ended up creating a "Tracking" profile with tracking switched on, and my normal profile has it switched off. That made swapping between the two much easier. To get to tracking normally, you have to do: Preset the Shortcuts button Pick the "Setup" item Scroll down to "Tracks" Pick "Track Log" Switch it on Rather cumbersome I think.
  3. If the Oregon works the same way as the Colorado, all the tracks, waypoints and routes are in a single GPX file (current.gpx). The checkboxes on GPSBabel don't actually filter these (I think it only does it when using the older communcation method with other Garmin GPS units). What I do is run the GPX file through GPSBabel first. I set it to read the current.gpx file as input, setting the input and output file format to GPX XML, and write the output file to my hard drive. It's then a fairly easy process to open the resulting GPX file in a text editor and separate out the bits I need. Tracks begin with <trk>, waypoints begin with <wpt> and routes begin with <rte>. I run it through GPSBabel because the GPX file on the Colorado has all the XML on one line, which isn't easy to edit. GPSBabel reformats the XML and makes it easier to edit. Another quirk of the Colorado (and probably the Oregon) is that if you turn tracking off and back on again, there's no guarantee that it will start a new track in the GPX file. I used to use this technique with my 76CSx to split tracks up while on the ground - for instance when I stop walking and get into my car. Sometimes the Colorado will continue the same track in the GPX file and sometimes it will start a new track.
  4. The walk back is longer than the walk there.
  5. Crid


    Edit? One Line? Please explain what I would be editing. I'm not experienced enough (yet) to know what I'd edit. To me, it looks like the Garmin software replicates the cache webpage on the GPS unit. Just to confirm, GPSBabel will replicate the webpage and transfer the waypoints to my Garmin 300. Yes? Once transfered I won't need to enter waypoints or copy the cache description. Thanks for the help and response. I use the GPS for more than just geocaching. If you use GPSBabel with a GPS like a 76CSx, the software talks to the GPS and allows you to just download the waypoints, or tracks, or routes (or any combination). On the other hand the Colorado (and presumably the Oregon) mount as a USB drive and you can just copy the files on and off (that's how you load pocket queries straight into them too). The problem with that is that the tracks, waypoints and routes are all in a single XML file and all the data is on a single line. It's a plain text file that you can read using a text editor. The problem is that the things I do ideally need the waypoints and tracks in separate files (and sometimes I even want to manually split a track into pieces). By running the data through GPSBabel first I get the XML in a format that easier to edit. It's pretty geeky stuff that I'm doing and most people probably wouldn't want to do it quite as manually as me. But GPSBabel is a cross-platform thing so I can run it on the Mac or the PC. GPS track data + Google Earth can be lots of fun, if you haven't tried it yet. A few months ago I lent my 76CSx to a friend who went paragliding in the south of France. Looking at his track data in Google Earth was fun - especially when we got it to display the track data at the recorded altitude rather than "clamped" to the ground.
  6. I own both a 76CSx and a Colorado 300. The 76CSx served me well (and still does, as well as being a unit I can now lend to friends either when they come caching with me, or if they want to try caching on their own). My primary reason for getting the Colorado was the paperless features. I'd previously been using a GSAK macro to store cache details in the contact list on my iPod. It worked fairly well but did have its limitations. Initially I was rather disappointed with the Colorado. The interface is a bit clunky compared to the 76CSx, but I was willing to overlook that. My main issue was with accuracy problems - specifically the "drift" issues that could sometimes be as much as 600ft. Not much use for caching if you're not even in the right ballpark. A firmware upgrade a while ago (2.7? 2.8? I forget) appears to have fixed the accuracy issues and I'm now very happy with the Colorado. The interface is still a bit clunky, and for some baffling reason you can't do waypoint averaging (there simply isn't an option to let you do it). Prior to the accuracy problems being fixed, I would not have recommended the Colorado - I would have suggested the 76CSx instead. For non-geocachers I probably still would, but if paperless caching is something you want I'd say the Colorado with the latest firmware is pretty solid.
  7. Crid


    I haven't even bothered with the software myself (either on my Mac or my PC). I use GPSBabel to pull down the GPX file (source and destination both set to GPX) because it reformats the XML as it does it. Makes it much easier to edit when it's not all on one line.
  8. Thanks for the feedback. I feel a bit more informed now. I've got tomorrow off work so I may have another stab at this (once I'm done wrapping presents).
  9. In the Colorado 2.9 firmware thread there was a mention of TYP files and how they can modify how various attributes appear on the GPS (I compared it to CSS, perhaps incorrectly). I don't seem to be having much luck finding a decent walk-through showing me exactly what I need to do in order to use a TYP file on the Colorado. It appears I have to use genTYP and/or MapSetTookKit, but that's about as far as I've managed to get. I'm not sure if I have to extract the TYP file from the map file and compile it somehow. In particular I'm interested in changing some attributes on OpenStreetMap maps I've generated using mkgmap (so I can distinguish between non-road lines like footpaths, bridleways, byways, etc). At present I'm cheating by using things like contour lines and depth lines, but it's far from ideal. Can anybody point me in the direction of a decent walk-through showing me the steps I need to follow in order to end up with customised map features? Thanks in advance.
  10. It is a way to customize the appearance of the maps and yes, it will work with the Garmin branded maps. http://cypherman1.googlepages.com/gentyp Wow! That looks incredibly useful - a bit like CSS for Garmin maps. I'll have to investigate further.
  11. http://www.openstreetmap.org/ is an open-source mapping project that I use quite a bit (and contribute map data to). http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map...Garmin/Download has a variety of map files using OSM data converted to Garmin format using the MKGMAP utility. These maps can't route, but they do often have features like footpaths that commercial maps won't include. Because these maps are open-source, coverage can vary (ie. some areas are mapped more extensively than others).
  12. Crid


    I believe the European ones are 33, 37 and 39.
  13. I've been using UK maps built from OSM data for over a year now (using mkgmap, so I can include the features I want). Coverage is obviously patchy, since it's an open source project, but I find them really useful for geocaching because things like footpaths are often marked. I also built a map from OSM data when I went on holiday in the Toronto area in May. Toronto itself is very well mapped, although I did manage to grab some tracks of unmapped roads when we took a bus trip to Niagara. I also find mapping to be quite addictive. Having found maps of other areas useful, I'm sure that somebody out there has probably found some of the things that I've mapped to be equally useful. I know there's at least one other local geocacher who contributes to OSM because I've encountered several places where a footpath is only mapped as far as a geocache.
  14. Yes, I must say that 2.80 seems to be a major improvement for me too. I haven't seen any big drifts with it, and I have done a fair amount of mapping with the Colorado since upgrading. I've seen small drifts, but that's to be expected with any civilian GPS. It may still be too early to declare it "fixed", but at the very least it's improved.
  15. I'm wondering if you're experiencing the same Mass Storage glitch that I'm experiencing. I've got an SD card in my Colorado, so when I plug it in it SHOULD show as two drives. For some reason sometimes one of the drives (and it could be either of them) fails to show up. It's a very odd glitch which never seems to happen when I plug the Colorado into my PC. It also reminds me of another glitch I had trying to use my 76CSx in Mass Storage mode on a couple of Macs. On one (an Intel-based one), it worked fine. On the other one (an iBook G4) it failed to show up at all. That turned out to be that the device didn't have a volume name and presumably OSX decided it was having none of that. I set the volume name using the Mac that could see it and then it showed up quite happily on the iBook after that. It might also be worth checking the setup on the Colorado, because you can set its communication mode to different settings. Go to the main menu, then Setup, then System. Go down to Interface and make sure it's set to Garmin Serial.
  16. You could try Open Street Map data. I see you're in Finland, so try this URL: http://www.asmweb.de/OpenStreetMap/Europe/Finland/index.html
  17. I also own a 76CSx and that behaves in a different way when plugged in to a computer. Software can talk to it (GSAK sending waypoints, or using GPSBabel to download my tracks). If I want it to run in USB Mass Storage mode I have to tell the GPSr to do that using the menus. The Colorado, on the other hand, automatically switches to Mass Storage Mode when you plug it in to a computer. You can download the waypoints and tracks (and presumably routes - I never use them) as a single GPX file straight from the device. You can also upload GC.com pocket query GPX files straight to the device for paperless caching. When you next start the device the child waypoints get imported and the geocache information is available. Perhaps some software (especially if it's third-party) hasn't been modified to use this new interface method yet? I think the only issues with the Mac accessing files on the Colorado (other than the Mass Storage glitch I've already mentioned) is the Mac's habit of putting hidden files all over the place. I think I read somewhere that deleting a file isn't necessarily enough unless you also empty the trash while the device is connected. (Presumably because it's still there as a hidden file, which the Colorado can still see).
  18. I can't speak for your particular maps, but I have City Navigator maps for the UK on SD card. I bought it when I bought my Colorado, and having it on an SD card means I can have open source maps in the internal memory and easily swap between the two. I use my Colorado with both a PC and a Mac (two Macs actually - an iBook G4 and an Intel desktop machine). About the only issue I've had on the Mac is that sometimes the USB Mass Storage Devices don't both show up when I plug it in. (There seems to be no pattern to it - sometimes it's the internal memory, sometimes it's the SD card).
  19. Have you tried Open Street Map? (openstreetmap.org). There is a tool to convert OSM data to Garmin IMG files, called mkgmap. There are also some premade IMG files that other people have generated (saving the trouble if the technical aspects seem a bit daunting). I've just checked the map on my Garmin (generated from OSM data) and there are certainly roads mapped for the Isle of Man.
  20. I'm trying to find a sample contact letter, for contacting a landowner to ask about placing a cache on their land. I thought there was one somewhere on GC.com, but I don't seem to be able to find it. Is there one here? Or did I - as George Bush would say - "misremember" where I saw it?
  21. Unit firmware (2.7) and GPS firmware (2.8). Webupdater should tell you what's available.
  22. I'm not sure - I installed it about a year ago. My iPod is quite old too. I'm not sure of the generation, but it's only got a mono screen.
  23. The editing of geocache coords really isn't a big deal. You simply add a new waypoint and edit that. If a cache has child waypoints already, the cache detail isn't editable but the child waypoints are simply imported as regular waypoints. A slight annoyance (for me anyway) is that although the caches will disappear if you delete the appropriate GPX file from the Colorado, the child waypoints don't and you have to delete them manually. It's not a big issue, but it's annoying if I do a PQ for a different area for a vacation or flying visit. There's not much I've noticed that the Colorado can't do that my 76CSx can. I assume the majority of the "missing" stuff consists of things I don't use anyway. The only thing missing for me is waypoint averaging. I have no idea why Garmin haven't included that - it seems like a no-brainer to me. Somebody has created a Wherigo cartridge that can do it, although I haven't tried it myself.
  24. Have you tried turning off the basemap? I had a similar problem until I did that.
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