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Ken in Regina

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Posts posted by Ken in Regina

  1. I received my Etrex Venture Hc and it's a lil confusing for me, lol. I was hoping it would be more like the Nuvi I have. When viewing the map all i see is towns no roads. I set waypoints for home and work and it showed a straight line, although while driving the pointer would change direction and showed each turn i made ending at the location. Unfortunately I have been unable to go caching yet to really try this out, but i will let you know soon. :laughing:

    The Venture HC does not have detail maps in it like your Nuvi does. It only has a basemap that has some gross details like cities and towns and major highways, as you have already seen. There is no street detail so it can't route you on streets that it doesn't know anything about. But if you already have a Nuvi to get you over the street/highway portion of your route, the Venture HC will get you from the parking spot to the cache.


    You can add detail maps to the HC but it's limited to the internal memory. It doesn't have a slot for a memory card. So you can't add a lot of map detail. Mostly this probably won't matter for getting the last little ways to a cache. It will be much better for that part than your Nuvi.



  2. City Navigator and cityXplorer are really two very different products so it's not really fair to compare them on price.


    If you want a tourist view of a city with more touristy points of interest and extra information about things like public transport, etc. cityXplorer is a good product. But it's not useful for travelling between cities. And the small price only buys one city.


    City Navigator, for one reasonable price, buys you a complete roadmap of North America. This includes street detail for all the cities and towns, and all highways and roads.


    If you just want a roadmap of Canada rather than all of North America, either Metroguide Canada or Topo Canada will give you all the street detail for cities and towns, all the highways, more secondary roads than City Navigator and loads of good hydrology detail that City Navigator doesn't have.


    You need to be very careful that you have a supported device when purchasing cityXplorer because it is currently only supported by a tiny number of Garmin devices. According to their website, that's the Nuvi 1200, 1300, 1400 and newer. The older model Nuvis are not supported. And none of the other handheld models are even listed, e.g. eTrex, GPSMAP, Oregon, Colorado, Dakota.


    City Navigator will work on all Garmin devices that can have maps loaded to them, except some really ancient models that only take non-NT format map files. Metroguide Canada and Topo Canada will even work on those ancient clunkers as well as all the newer ones because they are still in non-NT format.


    Making decisions about Garmin-compatible maps is not easy. :laughing:



  3. Ibycus has a lot of data that Topo Canada does not such as vegetation cover and cutlines, both very important around here. Ibycus also has more up to date road information.

    For that reason, and the reasons I listed above, I load both. After all, Ibycus Topo is free and Topo Canada is cheap, so why not? :laughing:



  4. There is only one map product that will do all of the things you want in a single set of maps: Topo Canada v4.


    First, it is topographical maps with all the topographic details. It may not be quite as detailed in some areas as Ibycus but it has other advantages that Ibycus does not. See below.


    Second, it has all the road routing data that Metroguide Canada road maps contains. The street data in major cities is not quite as up to date in new subdivisions as City Navigator North America but City Navigator has no topographic data and it's coverage of natural features and parks and hydrology is terrible compared to Topo Canada.


    Third, it contains all the searchable items that Metroguide Canada has, e.g. POIs, addresses, intersections, city names, etc. Again, it's probably not quite as good as City Navigator but it is a topo product not a road map product.


    Fourth, it will allow you to create routes and will provide guidance as you walk or drive (set a preference for type of use, e.g. hike/walk, car/motorcycle, etc.). It will not give you voice guidance like an car navigation device. It will beep when you are approaching a turn and display the turn information on the screen so you can see what to do next.


    Topo Canada does not require an unlock code.


    An alternative is to use two products. For road maps and routing, use either Metroguide Canada v4 (isn't locked but isn't updated as frequently as City Navigator) or City Navigator North America (locked to a single device, is updated quarterly if you want to subscribe to the lifetime updates). For offroad use the Ibycus topos (free, no routing).


    I hope that helps.



  5. The differences from a use perspective are that:


    - Topo Canada v4 has autorouting data. Ibycus does not.


    - Topo Canada v4 has all the searchable points of interest (POI) that Metroguide Canada contains. Ibycus does not.


    - Topo Canada v4 has all the searchable addresses, city names, intersections, etc. that Metroguide Canada has. Ibycus does not.


    - If your use requires none of that, Ibycus is free. Topo Canada v4 is not.



  6. I found the dusty old box and retrieved the adapter from inside it that I never even knew I had. I am now eager to purchase the handle bar mount for my mountain bike and see if the supplied adaptor will work.

    Wow! Congratulations on finding the original box. I would never be able to.


    The adapter will work just fine on the bike mount. I have the bike mount on my mountain bike and the adapter screwed onto the back of my Legend HCx and it's all good. Some folks like to use a lanyard through the connector on the base of the unit and tied to the handlebar just to be competely safe if they're riding on rough roads. I did that when I was doing some downhill riding in the Rockies last year. It was never needed but I felt safer with it there.



  7. If it works in Vista it should definitely work in Windows 7. I have Topo Canada v4 loaded in Windows 7 on my laptop and it works fine.


    What errors are you getting when you try to install it?



  8. It would be cheaper to buy the topo maps sold on Garmin's website for all of canada then to buy 1 province from them. Also they only have 2 provinces out at the moment.

    Of course it would be cheaper. But that says nothing useful.


    The decision is not nearly as simple as comparing the purchase price. The two products are not the same. The Backroad GPS Maps have so much more trail coverage than the Garmin topos. Check the first three images near the beginning of this review to see the stark difference in coverage between Backroad GPS Maps versus Topo Canada v4 and Ibycus' Topo for the same area.




    Additionally, more of the backroads are routable than Topo Canada and some of the trail systems are routable (none of the trails in Topo Canada are routable). They have a lot of POIs in the Backroad GPS Maps that aren't in the Garmin topos. And they have a large custom POI database for recreational and geographic features that Garmin doesn't have.


    The Backroad GPS Maps have the same information in them as the paper versions. People buy the paper versions instead of topos, or as a companion to paper topos, because of all the extra information.


    Most people only do their offroad recreational activities in limited areas so most won't need all of Canada. Or even all of a specific province. The Backroad GPS Maps are broken out into the same regions their paper mapbooks cover so you can get just what you want at a price that is quite reasonable for the information you are getting. (Garmin also understands that and sells Topo Canada in pieces.)


    It's not a question of what the Backroads GPS Maps cost versus Topo Canada. It's a question of getting the information you need at a price that you think is fair. I think the price for the Backroad GPS Maps is fair for the information they provide.


    Your mileage may vary. :)



  9. What about doing screenshots of the PDF and saving them as .jpg files? That's probably way too simple so I'm likely overlooking something important.


    When National Geographic says the Garmin map format is "proprietary" it doesn't mean they can't produce maps that would work on your Garmin device. It just means they don't want to pay Garmin a license fee for the documentation and tools they need to produce Garmin-compatible maps. Garmin will gladly license the necessary stuff to anyone.


    Here's an example of someone who is doing Garmin-compatible topo maps.



  10. ... or is it just a clunky unintuitive system?

    That's the most likely answer. It would not be the only glaring inconsistency in Garmin's programming.


    Is the best fix to plan my routes in reverse on tracklogs, save as tracks to my GPS, then use trackback to navigate the desired route??? - this cant be right can it?

    It looks like Garmin has placed the abilities you need in the trackback functions and has not bothered to make them available in the normal autorouting functions. That would not be unusual for Garmin.


    <rant>It might even be a Marketing decision. There is so little real difference among many of their various devices that the Marketing people impose arbitrary software function differences, like, this one can't store routes and that one can store one route and that one can store 10. Silly stuff like that.


    Similar to what you've run into, the devices will capture tracklogs with many hundreds of trackpoints in them -- most will do more than a thousand in the log -- but when you save the track log or transfer it to Mapsource or Basecamp they trim the resulting file to 500 trackpoints. What's with that?? It seems reasonable to assume that your computer will have far more hardware capacity than the navigation device so why arbitrarily limit the size of the track file to something less than what the track log contains.



    For the record, I've been a Garmin user for about six years (iQue 3600, Legend HCx, GPS10x, Mobile PC, Mobile XT, many of their maps) and reasonably happy with their stuff mostly. It's annoying but there is usually some sort of workaround to most of their cockups. Looks like you've found a particularly good one for your situation. Good work, even though it should be unnecessary.



  11. Mapsource does not do real time tracking.


    You need to use either nRoute or Mobile PC.


    nroute won't work as I am using v4 topo maps, and windows 7. Will Mobile PC allow me to load my garmin topo maps ?


    Also, do I need to use the 20x gps antenna or can I get by with my garmin handheld (Etrex Legend HCx)


    also, apparently you don't need a liscense key for that software if you have a garmin gps unit plugged in via USB, however I can't find a place to download the software, only the upgrade off garmin's site which won't install without having a previous version of mobile pc installed. Really though, what a bunch of bs, google earth will do realtime tracking for free, yet garmin mapsource/basecamp won't.

    You can reverse convert Topo Canada v4 so it will work with nRoute. Google "MapReverseConverter".


    You can buy a DVD version of Backroad Mapbooks. It works in nRoute.


    You can connect your Legend HCx to the laptop and it will work as a GPS receiver with nRoute (and many other laptop nav programs).


    Mobile PC is a whole different product. It's sort of like stuffing a Nuvi into your laptop. If you want to learn more about it check the Garmin Mobile PC section on www.laptopgpsworld.com.


    For what it's worth, Google does nothing for free. They make their money from your eyeballs ... advertising revenue, just like commercials pay for "free" broadcast TV. If you're in love with "free" Google stuff, download Google Earth and either GooPS or EarthBridge, connect your Legend HCx and give it a go.



  12. Not to spoil a joke, but the cache count is close. I've actually gone after about a dozen and found half of them. I have insufficient interest in caching to get into all the logging and such. I logged my very first one just to understand the process. My eTrex Legend HCx is used mostly on the golf course and for hiking and biking.


    I'm mostly interested in the related technologies and this forum is an excellent place to follow its development. One of the best.


    I have the Powerex (Maha) C9000 charger. It's my second one .. first was defective. It's a fine charger.


    Figure out how many alkalines it takes to pay for that sucker at 48 batteries for $13.


    I bougth eight of the Powerex 2700 mAh batteries at the same time as I bought the charger. They lasted a fraction of the time of my cheap Sanyo 2300 and 2500 mAh batteries. Less than a year before they were pretty much useless. They were charged faithfully in the Powerex charger from Day 1. By contrast, the Sanyos have been charged in a variety of chargers, starting with the cheap wall charger that comes bundled with a four-pack. My experience with Sanyo's Eneloops has also been pretty good.


    A pair of cheap alkalines lasts 22 - 24 hours in my eTrex Legend HCx.


    My NiMH batteries do not last nearly as long on a charge as a pair of alkalines, even when new and properly charged. They get worse as they get older. I have not found that the Powerex C9000 makes a lot of difference to either the amount of charge you can get into the batteries or the total battery life.


    The disposable Lithium AAs last a little bit longer but not a lot. The first set I tried (Eveready) lasted the same time as the house brand alkalines I use. The second set - provided as a free replacement when I complained about the life of the first set - weren't much better. Not a good deal. And lithium is poison when disposed of.


    I also waste huge amounts of electricity - relatively to the battery use - charging and recharging.


    As the jokester implied, I don't use my batteries a lot. My most-used devices (PDA, small camera, phone) have rechargable lithium ion batteries in them. The camera and handheld GPS that use AA batteries don't get used as frequently. So, often, the NiMH rechargables will get charged and rundown and charged sometimes as much as three times before they get used.


    When I stopped and actually looked at how I use AA batteries I quickly discovered that rechargables simply make no sense for me with my particular usage patterns.


    I offer this not to discourage people from using rechargables but to think really seriously about their usage patterns before commiting to them. Don't automatically buy into the babble about how they are cheaper and better for the environment.


    They might or might not be cheaper. You need to do the math for your own usage patterns.


    And they are definitely not better for the environment. They are poison. The fact that you might use fewer of them doesn't change that.



  13. There should be a world basemap in your Nuvi that includes gross features like major highways and city names. There will not be any street level detail but at least you'll be able to see your relative position on a map even without detail maps.


    As ecanderson pointed out, you can get free maps. In addition to the site he linked, you can also look at Malsingmaps.com and see what is available there ("Malsing" is a concatenation of Malaysia and Singapore).



  14. I just got my new Magellan Triton 2000, and being the cheapskate I am, want to use rechargeable batteries. The manual, however, says that recharegeable batteries "are not recommended." No explanation given. Does anyone have any insight as to why Magellan wants us to steer clear of rechargeables? (Audio Technica likewise advises against rechargeables for my noise-cancelling headphones -- is there a trend here?) Thanks.

    If you are truly a cheapskate you should really do the math. Be honest and include all the costs of the rechargables. If you do, you will likely find that alkalines are cheaper than rechargables.


    I bought into the nonsense about rechargables being both hugely more economical and more ecologically responsible. After using them for a few years and finally doing a little research and calculation I discovered what a load both arguments really are. I no longer use them. I just go pick up house brand alkalines in bulk at Costco (48 pack for about $13) or Superstore (40 pack for about $13).



  15. Ok I'm obtaining a UMPC with a ARM processor and a LINUX OS here in the not so distant future.


    It does not have a GPS device include. Are there USB GPS units I can plus in to gain this feature?


    I work with kids and would like to do an event featuring geocaching and dont want to have to drop 300 on a GPS unit if it isnt nessecary.

    1. Yes, there are many inexpensive USB GPS receivers available. You should be able to find a good one for $25-$30. You should be able to find a good Bluetooth GPS receiver for $30-$50. Of course you can pay a lot more for either type if there are other features you want, like data logging.


    2. You cannot get anything useful for geocaching by simply plugging in a GPS receiver, no matter what type you use. You will need navigation software and maps as well. One popular product for Linux is GPSDrive.




    For more options just do a search for "linux navigation software".



  16. Walmart new low regular price . . .

    60cx - $228

    HCX Hike and drive bundle (includes Legend HCX) - $200

    That's a pretty nice price on the HCx. Too bad it's Wal-Mart. If I never buy anything there it will be way too soon.



  17. Got that link to work. Color me confused.

    I tried to make it clear in my initial post. I wrote it because you have confused two seperate issues, like many others do. Garmin's policy is consistent and not particularly confusing.


    The problem is that people confuse what's going on on eBay. They overlook that eBay has two things going on.


    1. eBay has auctions where people bid on stuff. This is the wild west. Pretty much uncontrolled and your caution of caveat emptor is absolutely correct. Garmin states that they will not support stuff purchased from these auctions. I can sympathize with them on this policy and they make it clear.


    2. eBay also has online stores that use eBay as their "storefront". These stores sell stuff just like any other online mailorder outlets. If you buy a Garmin factory refurbished unit from one of them Garmin will support your use of the unit and honour the warranty as long as you make sure you get a receipt. Garmin makes that equally clear and we have feedback from buyers that Garmin does exactly what they say they will.


    eBay has two different selling services. Garmin has two policies to deal with them.



  18. You just need to understand the difference between an auction where you do not get a receipt versus buying from an online device dealer who will provide a receipt upon request. All online eBay dealers have a link on each item that allows you to Ask Seller A Question. Just click the link and be sure you will get a receipt included with the device when they ship it and your golden as far as Garmin is concerned. If you have a receipt for the purchase of one of their refurbed units they will honor the warranty.



    The difference is that neither Garmin nor TomTom will honor any implied warranty from an eBay dealer, receipt or no.

    That's simply not true, at least where Garmin is concerned (I have no experience with TomTom).


    Check this FAQ on Garmin's support site:




    Pay particular attention to the last sentence:


    PLEASE NOTE: If purchased from an online store on eBay our normal warranty applies.


    Over on Laptop GPS World we have had a number of users who have purchased Garmin's Mobile PC package with bundled refurbished receivers from eBay dealers. They have contacted Garmin and been told that Garmin will definitely support the devices and the warranty. We've had feedback from users that they do exactly that.


    Read this post:




    And this one:





  19. Regarding the caveat emptor about eBay purchases of refurbished units, it's worth emphasizing that eBay is not a bad place to buy refurbished Garmin units. You just need to understand the difference between an auction where you do not get a receipt versus buying from an online device dealer who will provide a receipt upon request. All online eBay dealers have a link on each item that allows you to Ask Seller A Question. Just click the link and be sure you will get a receipt included with the device when they ship it and your golden as far as Garmin is concerned. If you have a receipt for the purchase of one of their refurbed units they will honor the warranty.



  20. One thing I noticed right away in this beta version is GPS Map Detail is not displayed under map scale on lower right side in MapSource as it has been displayed in all previous versions.

    Yes. It still displays "overzoom" if you get in too tight but it does not revert to "GPS Map Detail" when you are zoomed within the correct limits of the map detail levels.



  21. Is it my imagination or is the vertical (North/South) distortion even worse than it was in 6.15.x?? It looks like it's much worse and shows up even further south than it did before. Tested with Metroguide Canada v5.


    Okay, switched to City Navigator North America NT 2010.4 and it's just the opposite. It's squashed N/S rather than elongated that way in MG Canada.


    What's with that???


    Ibycus 2.1 and Topo Canada are elongated N/S like MG Canada.



  22. Thanx for the info,it might be somthing to mess with on my laptop when i learn a little more about it.sounds like you could use it to navigate if it were hooked to a laptop with some map sortware.

    Yes. You would be able to use it with programs like Microsoft Streets&Trips, DeLorme Street Atlas or Topo 8, iNav iGuidance, Odyssey Navigator and a number of others on the laptop.



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