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Posts posted by user13371

  1. And if you don't like Garmin's Basecamp, you can also use Google Earth. Connect your GPS to the computer in mass storage mode" - wait for it to show up on the computer - launch Google Earth and select File/Open -- just open all of them and then you can sort them any way you like.


    Unlike tr_s, I don't have a problem with waypoints being in a files with "waypoint" in the name, saved tracks in files names containing "track" and so on.


    GPX format os widely used, it's not just a Garmin thing. So there's quite a bit of software available you could use with your GPS. I only offer the example of Google Earth because it's what I use most of the time.

  2. ...my perhaps exotic usage scenario that makes this device disappointing to me...
    You could be on to something there. How is your usage scenario different from the other geocachers or users at large?


    -edit to add, I just noticed you called that "last addition to this thread" ... feel free to fire up another thread if you feel like it.

  3. ... I have observed the same behavior on three other eT 20/30 units by my own eyes. Several other people in here ... also several Amazon reviews have noted similar behavior...

    Conducting a somewhat wide survey...


    - Amazon.com has 82 combined reviews for the eTrex 10/20/30, and they are decidedly mixed. Some folks love the thing and some hate it. The complaints that exist range over a wide number of issues, not just the ones you reported. REI.com has 14 reviews for the e20 and 4 for the e30, and they are more favorable than Amazon.com.


    - Geocaching.com's own review page has 555 users rating eTrex 20, and 756 for the eTrex 30. Both sets of reviews average 4 stars out of a possible 5. There are actually several times more users who claim to OWN those devices - over 7000 combined - but not everyone who fills in that item on their GC.com profile bothers to rate the product.


    The larger data set suggests the issues you're having are not as widespread or having as much impact as you think. Forum denizens aside, you're far more likely to hear from someone who has a complaint than those who don't. The vast majority of happy customers won't bother to say "mine's working fine" unless you ask them.


    In case anyone is interested - mine's working fine.

  4. ...the device apparently pulls ~180 mA w/full backlight and GPS only. Add 10 mA when Glonass is thrown in. Turning off the backlight completely drops ~100 mA of draw.

    So you can already save that 10mA by turning off GLONASS but it bugs you that you can't go the other way and use GLONASS only? Hpw much extra would you be willing to pay for an eTrex or other receiver that would let you have a GLONASS-only mode? Do any exist outside of Russian market?


    Perhaps Garmin made GPS the "always on" system because it's been in service longer, a better known quantity to work with -- and only included GLONASS to avoid Russian tariffs on non-GLONASS devices (which seems to be a common rationale given for it's inclusion come other devices as well).

  5. ...the system draws 10-15 mA more current if you use dual satellite systems....

    Gee, I don't if I should ask "Where'd you get that number?" or just "So what?"


    With both G{S+GLONASS on, I get over 20 hours of life from cheap AA alkaline batteries -- and so much from lithium batteries that I gave up trying to do rundown timing. Even if the 10-15 mA extra draw is a fact rather than a number you made up, it's insignificant in actual use.


    But I guess I would still like to see a citation for your current draw figures.

  6. Tr_s, that's the funniest problem you've reported to date.


    It's obvious Garmin is targeting you for problems (or testing new features, like GPS flatulence), and nobody should have to put up with that. You should return your eTrex to vendor, or donate it to a jumble sale, or smash it with a hammer. Anything to get rid of it - and go buy something else.

  7. Every GPS I've ever had (Magellan, Lowrance, DeLorme, and Garmin) has done this, to some degree. More noticeable to me on tracks that were recorded at slower places -- that is, worse for walking than cycling, and worse for cycling than for driving. Every GPS I've ever owned has also under-reported speed at low speeds and gets better at higher speeds.


    I take it for granted now and always just figured it to be a collection of rounding errors. If I really need a more accurate measure of the track afterwards I'll load the track in Google Earth and measure it that way.

  8. K, I think you've already outlined the "best" solution. You're gonna need to scan, OCR, and proofread the caches, run them through GSAK, and load them.


    The proofreading is going to be very, very important - because a mistake in OCR will be as likely to drop you in the ocean as fat-fingering it the old fashioned way. Maybe a valuable exercise for you students.

  9. Ike - thanks! From your explanation I can ensure this fits as puzzle, by not listing waypoints for each stage. I can set it up so the description and things found along the way will guide you from point to point


    12 miles is a lot of walking and the bulk of the route is on a multi-use path that does not allow motor vehicles. Overview map:




    The starting point could be any place downtown (purple oval upper left), the final will be in the Lents neighborhood (purple rectangle on right). Majority of the puzzle will be found along the Springwater Corridor (red path in lower third of map. I said the FASTEST way to do it would be by bike, but if you wanted to section it over a number of trips you could parking at nearby trailheads each day and walk whichever part you want. So is this still a T3 in your view?


    There are a lot of other folks' caches along the way, just in case mine at the end of the path isn't enough to hold someone's interest.

  10. 1) Thanks for all the feedback, especially the "I like it" encouragement.


    2) I'm still a little hazy myself on the distinction between puzzle, multi, mystery etc. My thinking was not "multi" because I'm only placing one physical container - everything else will be already in place. And more "puzzle" because I'm expecting you'll need to figure out things from description and from each point you're directed to, to find your way from the beginning to end. Whichever type I list it as, I'll happily change it if the local reviewer wants me to.


    3) As far as the puzzling details go, they'll be easy to do but hard to brute-force. The math will be simple A+B+C kind of stuff and most of the A's and B's will be easy to find. But you'll need to extract some numbers from the last few locations to find the final, and THOSE won't be easy to find. You'll absolutely have to visit the penultimate spot and use your noggin. Something like "You should be at a train station by now. Get the last digit from the serial number on the phone box. If even, go north - if odd, go south - to the next station on the line ..." Simple but not easy to find from your arm chair.


    4) Regarding terrain, I'd call the terrain 1.5 or maybe a 2 if you're really out of shape. I'd put time & distance required up front in the description:


    "This trek starts downtown Portland and ends in southeast, Lents Neighborhood. The route is approximately 12 miles, paved all the way, not very hilly, and can be done fastest by bicycle - this is how I get home from work when the weather is nice. The cache is within a ten minute walk of a light-rail station that can get you back downtown in less than an hour, if you don't mind buying a ticket."

  11. This would be a puzzle that COULD be armchair solved, but more fun if you actually did it as intended: By walking (3-4 hours) or bicycling (maybe an hour or so) from downtown along the Springwater Corridor -- a rails-to-trails multi-use path in Portland Oregon.


    Would go something like this: "Start in downtown and walk or pedal across the oldest bridge; note the year it was built (A) When you get to the east side, find the submarine; note the number on its sail (B). ... etc ... "


    So each stage would be something interesting to look at and have some number to collect. Near the end there'd be somewhat obscure info on how to turn all the collected numbers into the final coords. I'd purposely make it difficult or impossible to drive the route, and the last stage would be within a 10-15 minute walk from the light-rail that could take folks back downtown to their starting point.


    Fun? Or too much bother?

  12. Sussamnb and TR_S, it's a waste of time to look at the the GPS "accuracy" figure on screen - once or a dozen times - to decide if WAAS or GLONASS are actually useful.


    Here's a minimal description of the only testing that can be meaningful: Set a waypoint on a known location you can get back to. And do it again lots and lots of times over a period of many days. Then graph the points. The smaller the scatter plot, the better.


    The problem is, you gotta repeat that LOTS of times, with various the various features you want to test ON or OFF, to collect enough data. A single user testing a single GPS is going to need a lot of patience and a lot of time to do that properly.

  13. Patty,


    Short answer: Basecamp does fully delete waypoints and other items when you tell it to. No need to worry about emptying the trash.


    Longer answer: Most Mac programs with a delete command do just that. Mac users only have to think about "emptying the trash" in the Finder (Mac equivalent to Windows Explorer) when they drag an item to the trash. Just like Windows Explorer, files you put in the trash (or recycle bin) are really just set aside in a special folder so you can recover them later if you change your mind. Because this special folder (a hidden folder called ".Trashes") resides on each disk/device (GPS, hard drive, thumb-drive, etc) , you do need to empty the trash while that device is connected.


    You can also delete a file or group of files immediately without sending them to the trash folder -- by selecting files in the Finder and pressing Command-Delete.


    And making this an even longer answer: Blue Harvest lets users configure non-Mac volumes and network drives to NOT have a trash folder (or any Mac specific hidden files) at all. I highly recommend it to Mac users who frequently connect DOS/Windows-formatted devices to their computers.



  14. that's crazy

    My guess is Garmin thought it easiest to load all user-provided GPX files at power-up time. It would have been harder to also include a file & database manager that would let the machine select, load, and unload those while the GPS in on, along with all the complexity of resolving differences betwene what's in active memory and what might be on files you loaded.

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