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Ken in Regina

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Posts posted by Ken in Regina

  1. Another site annoyance ... can't go back and edit a post once someone has posted after it.


    In my last post I made a big deal about the eTrex Legend HCx not being as useful for golf yardages as it might be because it won't display distances in yards.


    I was wrong. It does display in Yards.


    Now that I have it displaying in Yards I will continue to play with it to see if it can replace my iQue 3600 with Intelligolf.


    I used a power cart today and discovered something nice about the Legend. You can just drop it into one of the cup holders in the cart so it's handy to grab whenever you want a yardage. My iQue is a PDA and will not stand up to being bounced around like that.


    There are a few holes where I want to know the layup yardages to avoid going into a hazard so it's worth adding those in and see if that's enough to get me to switch to my Legend as my primary golf gps. Beats heck out of having to pay big bucks for a dedicated golf gps that you can't use for anything else!!!



  2. I tried it out today and the results are mixed.


    First, yesterday I used the Don Barger map page to create a GPX file for the course I would be playing today. I did as KMonster and just created a center-of-the-green pin location for all 18 holes. Then I compared the coordinates to the coordinates I have surveyed for the same golf course with Intelligolf in my iQue3600. I didn't like the differences so I manually edited the GPX file to include the coordinates from my Intelligolf survey that has been working well for me for a few years.


    With the course loaded as a custom POI database in my eTrex Legend HCx I set off for the golf course this morning to test it's usefulness.


    It's generally quite useful with KMonster's approach. I know that the greens on this course are generally about 30 yards deep so just having the centre marked is no problem. It's really easy to get the list of POIs displayed.


    Here's where things get a little dicey. On the screen with the POIs all listed, you can highlight any one of them and the distance is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Problem: the distance is listed in Miles or Kilometers, depending on your "Units" setting. That's not terribly useful, especially when you're close to the green and the distance reads as 0.00 (Mi or Km).


    Not a real big issue because you can select any individual POI to get more detailed information. If you do this, the distance readout at the bottom of the screen goes to a finer resolution. Problem: in Metric, of course, it's Meters. But I play in Yards and I only know my club distances in Yards.


    Switching the Units display to Statute is not as helpful as I would like because now it displays the yardage in Feet.


    So you need to be able to either quickly divide by 3 in your head if you use Statute, or do a Meters-to-Yards conversion in your head if you use Metric.


    Aside from the Units issues it seems to work great. Now I just need to add a few hazards to the file. The nice thing about it being a GPX file is that it's simple XML and really easy to edit manually. So when I do the hazards I can easily merge that with the holes I've already done so I don't have to do them again.


    I don't know that I'm ready to give up Intelligolf on my iQue 3600 but it's a close call at the moment. The Legend HCx is more convenient to pack around and the battery life is spectacular. After 18 holes the battery indicator is still "full" and I did not start with a fresh charge in the NiMH batteries.


    Overall, if I was a geocacher who golfs and owned a nice little Garmin handheld that accepts custom POI databases and wanted a basic GPS rangefinder capability, this would save a bunch of money over buying a dedicated golf GPS. It's especially good if you don't mind surveying the course yourself to get better accuracy than you'll get with Google Maps satellite images. I also did that today and have a new set of middle-of-the-green waypoints that I'm going to use to update the GPX file.



  3. That is, the actual point on the face of the earth is 380 meters away, on a heading of 86.26 degrees (almost due West) from the point you select on the satellite image.


    This is not especially good, even for someone who plays as poorly as I do. ;)



    I'm confused........do you meen plotting the waypoints or your golf shot :unsure:

    You have no idea how I wish I could hit a golf ball 380 meters ... in ANY direction!!!



  4. No, Xport does not do any translation. GPSGate does.


    My eTrex Legend HCx outputs NMEA and it works great with MS Streets&Trips and Mappoint, DeLorme Street Atlas, iNav's iGuidance and Navmii. The only thing that has a problem with it is Garmin's Mobile PC. Go figure.... :unsure:


    Oh yeah, the Legend HCx will also output Garmin protocol if the nav program asks it to. When I connect the Legend and start up Garmin's old nRoute program, which only understands Garmin protocol, the Legend sweetly switches to Garmin protocol and nRoute works happy as a clam.



  5. I love the approach that KMonster documented and posted yesterday. It really makes it so much easier. My earlier suggestion above requires a fairly lengthy naming convention so the holes are associated with the correct golf course. That is, the waypoint name has to include a reference to the golf course.


    By using custom POI files, as KMonster laid out above, that issue goes away. You can just use Hole 1, Hole 2, etc. for any golf course. So simple. Thanks KMonster.


    Also, the Google Maps mashup at that link that Bob Morphew and KMonster reference lets you just point and click instead of having to read the coordinates from Google Earth and manually type them in. Much easier than my suggestion.


    I did three of my local courses in under an hour.


    Then I ran into the problem you have any time you try to use the satellite images in Google Maps/Earth for accurate coordinates .... they're seldom accurate. The calibration of the satellite images is really awful in some places. I checked one of the golf courses I just did for calibration accuracy and the calibration of the satellite image on Google is off by 380 METERS. That is, the actual point on the face of the earth is 380 meters away, on a heading of 86.26 degrees (almost due West) from the point you select on the satellite image.


    This is not especially good, even for someone who plays as poorly as I do. :ph34r:



  6. The reason for the "create new user" error is that Vista is causing the Palm Desktop to look in a different place for the data files. The Palm Desktop looks there and sees there are no data files yet and gives the error. I don't have my Vista laptop handy right now so I can't tell you exactly where to look for those files, but you can do it yourself. All you need to do is let the install create a new user for you. Then, if you know the names of any of the data files, use the Search feature in Windows Explorer to find them.


    You will find the old files in C:\Program Files\Palm... I can't remember where the new ones will be in Vista.


    Anyway, once you find out where the new ones are you can copy the old ones over the new ones and you should be back in business.


    Make sure you have backups of the PC data files. Also make sure that you have the files on your handheld backed up to the SD card, if you have a model that has an SD card. I use CardBkup on the handheld and it works really well for total or selective restores.


    Another trick that works in Vista is to force the installation program to run as Administrator and to run in XP compatibility mode when it does the installation. That will force it to use the old file locations when it's doing the installation.


    If I recall correctly, you will also probably need to force the Palm.exe program and the Hotsync.exe program to run as administrator and run in XP compatibility mode.



  7. ....commercial topo products out there do not have the ability to search addresses and intersections.


    FYI (for Ken), the new Topo Canada does do full address and intersection searching as well as routing. It has all of the information in MG Canada this time...

    Hi Red90,


    Thanks. Yes. Wish I had known that was going to happen before I bought the update for Metroguide Canada.



  8. Back in the day .. when computers were slower ... yada, yada ... we used to have a trick when we encountered problems like that. Just reload the maps. Sometimes Mapsource can corrupt the database search files or its indexes when it's compiling them. I know it's a pain but it's surprising how often that solves problems like this.



  9. I downloaded the Texas Topo (the entire state) from GPSFileDepot to my etrex Vista HCx this weekend. I was surprised that it was full of streets too. Though I'm sure the Garmin City Navigator will have more streets.

    Yes, any topo map will display the streets and highways, just the same as road maps will. The diffierence with many (most? ... all?) of the free topo maps out there is that they do not contain the necessary database to search for addresses, intersections and so on. Even some (most?) of the commercial topo products out there do not have the ability to search addresses and intersections.



  10. Hi pratzert,


    Why not just email cartography, explain the situation and ask them to send you an update?


    Have you phoned customer service and explained that your Nuvi was purchased with both maps preinstalled? Their web site update system is pretty limited to the most common configurations and often quite frustrating touse. But customer service has the ability to handle exceptions and are usually quite good at doing so if you approach them reasonably.



  11. You can run both the new and old versions at the same time. Just rename the old executable to something else. They both work fine at the same time.

    But ... but ... but.... I already said you can do that (see my Aug 9 post). BUT ... You cannot display CNNA 2010.2 in the old version of Mapsource. The file format of 2010.2 is incompatible with the old versions. You can only display it in the new version. (But you know that.)


    And that's the problem.


    The original problem is that his custom icons that he created in an older version of Mapsource do not display correctly in the new version. Instead of being transparent, they have a magenta background.


    That's a well-known issue that has had a lot of discussion in here.


    Running two versions of Mapsource does not solve that problem. And I can't find the thread with the extensive discussion about the icon transparency.



  12. Actually there is a utility out there that will help you "uncompile" the mapset into something Mapsource can use.


    It's not easy to do. It requires messing with the Registry. And the results are not especially satisfying.


    The better approach is to phone Garmin and ask them to send you a DVD. Make sure your Nuvi is registered before you phone them so they can verify that you do have a legitimate Garmin device.



  13. BTW, through my various trials and errors trying to get this to work; does CN North America NT need to go on a disk formatted in FAT, or FAT32??

    Not relevant. You don't have a large enough mapset to transfer for it to be an issue. There's nothing about City Navigator that would require a specific disk format. The only reason you would need to go from FAT to FAT32 is if the file size of the mapset you're trying to create is too large for FAT. Your 450MB mapset will work fine in either FAT or FAT32.


    Now if you were to try to compile the entire North American continent into a single mapset to download, then you would create the issue. :D


    The number of tiles in a mapset is not relevant to the disk format. It's only relevant to some Garmin handheld devices that have an upper limit on the number of tiles they can handle, irrespective of file size. Your 570 tiles is less than a third of the upper bound on those devices that have the limit.


    Re: the sudden problem ... Is it possible you are starting to have difficulties with the USB port(s)?


    On older, slower computers we used to always make it a rule to never run anything else when Mapsource was compiling maps, especially if we were compiling directly to the handheld device. Otherwise it would do bad things like you are experiencing. I don't know if that has any relevance here.


    Regarding your recent upgrade of the firmware, I'm always suspicious when a change was done right around the time a problem starts.



  14. Thanks for the info. It is appreciated. Sadly I wasn't expecting the upgrade so I hadn't saved the previous file. I am sure I can find it somewhere however. In all actuality I can adapt to what I have. Its the dang magenta boxes that I have to deal with that really cheese me off.


    Here's a link to version 6.13.7 which is a nice stable version.



    There are a couple of issues to be aware of.


    1. With that link he'll have to uninstall the newer version, install the older version, copy the executable somewhere safe, reinstall the new version (if he's got a copy of the installer around) and, finally, copy the old executable to the Garmin folder with a different name.


    Shucks, I'd be happy to just PM or email him the 6.13.7 executable to save all that messing around. He already has a newer version so it's legal.


    But I didn't offer because of one other, perhaps more important issue.


    2. He won't be able to read his spiffy new 2010.2 maps in 6.13.7. He'll still have to use the newer version of Mapsource to do that.


    So it doesn't solve his custom icon problem when he wants to use his 2010.2 maps.


    You may recall that it's his custom icon issue that started this thread. Seems to me there's another thread around that addresses the custom icon issue.


    Of course he could also go the other direction and convert the 2010.2 maps back to the old Mapsource format. Seems to me there's a program available now that makes that relatively easy to do. I don't know what the implications are for unlocking the new maps in the old Mapsource, though.



  15. Do you have a card reader on your PC or one that you can plug into a USB port on the PC? If so, don't connect the handheld. Just plug the card into the card reader and let Mapsource find it. Select the card reader when you do the TRANSFER > Send To Device screen. This is way faster than transfering through the handheld and should be less hassle.



  16. Thanks for the info. It is appreciated. Sadly I wasn't expecting the upgrade so I hadn't saved the previous file. I am sure I can find it somewhere however. In all actuality I can adapt to what I have. Its the dang magenta boxes that I have to deal with that really cheese me off.

    I'm pretty sure there is at least on discussion thread on here somewhere, maybe more than one, that discuss exactly your problem. Seems like someone came up with a solution. I don't have the problem so didn't pay a lot of attention. It's in one of the many Mapsource update threads.



  17. I have three iQue 3600s. Two are backups because I love mine to pieces and there's nothing else like it on the market. So if my original ever packs it in I want replacements available.


    However, it has limitations when using it for caching. As Red90 said, battery life is limited. If you decide to do much with it, get the 2000mAh battery. It makes a huge difference (original is only 900mAh). Turn the backlight completely off. That makes a huge difference, too. Makes it harder to read in sunlight but just angle it so the sun is shining directly on it and you're good to go. Set the GPS on battery-saver mode until you're quite close to ground zero. That's another bit of battery saving.


    The receiver in it is previous generation technology. If you are generally hunting caches in locations with open views of the sky you won't have any difficulty. If you try to use it when the view of the sky is obscured, you will not have much joy with the built-in flip antenna. If you want something that comes pretty close to the performance of units with current technology, plan on buying an external antenna and using it for caching any time you're in an area with poor reception.


    As Red90 mentioned, there's good software for it. It runs the Palm operating system so any caching software that runs on Palms will run on the iQue 3600. This means you can have a complete paperless caching experience with a single device.


    Since you already own it it costs you very little to download some software like CacheMate and give it a go. If you like the experience but want the bigger battery there are a number of sources. Some will install it for you. If you are interested, just holler and you'll get some recommendations.



  18. Nope, you don't need to have it. If it helps then by all means go for it. But it doesn't always make lots of difference. Sometimes it makes a little difference. Sometimes it makes no difference. Sometimes it can make it take longer to get a fix.

    I, on the other hand, always use both of these features and never miss an opportunity to promote their use.

    Hi Pete,


    That's why I said ... well, see above for emphasis. My comments were to ensure that the original poster's expectations were realistic. Lots of people hear from WAAS disciples and expect that all of a sudden they'll be able to walk straight to every cache. Ain't gonna happen.


    I'm pleased when perceptive folks like hammer1nj ask really good questions like he did. That shows they are thinking about it and their expectations will be realistic. That's all I want to see.


    Sometimes it works for me, sometimes not. If I haven't used the GPS for awhile it can take quite a bit of time to reload the almanac. If the almanac is out of date your position could be worse if you have a unit that will try to use the old data for corrections until the almanac can be updated.


    Everyone should make their own decision about its usefulness on their unit in their location for their types of usage.


    If it works for you, go for it.



  19. EDIT: Okay, so I googled WAAS and found it is a good thing, so maybe I should assume that I need to have WAAS enabled.

    Nope, you don't need to have it. If it helps then by all means go for it. But it doesn't always make lots of difference. Sometimes it makes a little difference. Sometimes it makes no difference. Sometimes it can make it take longer to get a fix.



  20. Andrew, you can still run the old version side by side with the new version of Mapsource.


    I have the latest version of Mapsource installed. Before I did the upgrade I saved a copy the executable (mapsource.exe) from 6.13.7 (my favorite version) in a different folder. After the upgrade I renamed the older executable to be "mapsource6137.exe" and copied it to the c:\Garmin folder along with the new version. Now I can run either one.


    This doesn't help you use any of your old symbols with the new maps, of course.


    You can convert the new maps so that they will work with the old version of Mapsource. There's a utility out there that makes it pretty easy but I can't recall what it's called. Perhaps someone else can point you to it.



  21. Ooops, my bad. Thanks, jotne, for the correction on which 60 models work with which maps.


    Nevgar, I'm not much of a geocacher. I sometimes take the info for a few caches along when I travel. When preparing for the trip I see if there are any caches near some out-of-the-way place I want to see anyway. That way I can combine the cache hunt with the trek to the scenic location. But I'm not terribly diligent. I have not found many. If it's difficult to find I don't spend a lot of time on it. I'm more interested in exploring what's around and nearby than the cache itself. My last hunt was up in Skagway, Alaska, at the end of May. But my main goal was to see an old cemetery and a lovely waterfall. The three caches in the same area were only of minor interest. We took a look but didn't find any. We had a splendid time wandering through the cemetery and viewing the waterfall. The failure to find any of the caches didn't detract at all from the pleasure of the hike. :laughing:


    I think I've only registered one find. I only did that out of curiousity, to see what the process was like. I don't see the attraction to recording finds and keeping a running count. I'm not knocking it. I'm plenty old enough to understand the concept of different strokes (I'm a golf nut; my wife loves to shop ... we get along just fine). It's just not something that interests me.


    I've never hidden a cache. That interests me even less than recording finds. If I make a hide, I've obligated myself to, first, make sure it's okay to hide one there and, second, look after it in perpetuity. I'm just not that into it.


    Frankly, it's the technology that interests me the most. That's why I check into this particular section occasionally. It's one of the best places on the net to keep up on the latest handheld GPS tech. I don't think I've looked at any other sections on Geocaching.com except the "Canada" one once in awhile.


    Is the username you are refering to different than the user name at the top of my posts?



  22. If you want to take the 60 along so you can use it in the airplane, instead of fighting with the electronic altimeter in the 76CSx in a pressurized cabin, you don't need detailed maps for that. If all you want to do is capture a track file to view later, that will work fine without detailed maps. You can just transfer the tracks into Mapsource at any time and look at the track files in Mapsource. Or use them in Google Earth or whatever.


    If you want to be able to see where you are during the flight and you don't like watching the nav display on those little TV screens in the airplane seats, you can just load one of Garmin's free basemaps into the 60. At least I think you can do that, if it doesn't already have one in it. If it has just a North America basemap in it, you can download a world basemap from Garmin. But I think it's about 32MB so it might not fit. .......... Fooey... just ditch the 60 and simplify your life. :laughing:



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