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Posts posted by Grasscatcher

  1. Just KNOW that there is a reason that Delorme has such a small market share.....software and hardware both.


    Historically, THEY tell YOU what you want and need, not the other way around. That SEEMS to be changing. The PN-40 introduction in Oct, and the following reactions will be very interesting to watch. If that unit is as good as it sound like it will be, Delorme better be ready to (continue to...) make some major changes very quickly.

    If, and when, "the masses" of new customers start responding to real or perceived problems they will either sink or swim.


    Spend some serious time reading the Delorme Forums about map/data transfers, and aquisition times/ signal reception . Maybe what Delorme users are willing to "put up with" or "settle for" or "consider acceptable" is just different.


    Compatibility with third party developers of other softwares is just about non existent.


    However, after all of that, I may still try a PN-40 in October, but you can bet I'll get it at REI for obvious reasons.

  2. There are trade offs to everything.....

    I have . NG TOPO, Mapsource, Expert GPS, Arcview, Trackmaker, USAPhotomaps,....plus 20+ different data format conversion software titles and use them all at different times.

    In one software, I can zoom in and edit tracklogs overlayed on aerial photos and edit the detail down to individual trackpoints. If you want to fully see every switchback and every minor detail, like when you went over to the side of the trail to rest on a rock...you can do it. When you zoom back out to a reasonable map scale and want to talk about a smooth trail??? it's like unto a baby's bottom!

    I even have an old version of Delorme SA(for use with APRS) For a number of years, I've considered anything with Delorme's name on it to be total "Mickey Mouse". Delorme, as a company, has a history of developing a product and then telling the user that it what it is that they need, instead of listening to the user and developing a product accordingly. Some of what I've seen as far as examples of data overlayed onto Delorme maps as recent as TOPO USA 7 is almost cartoonish in quality.

    Here's the kicker.......as far as GPS, I'm 110% Garmin....maybe even 125%, HOWEVER I'm seriously considering getting a Delorme PN-40 when they come out, and yes, TOPO 7, and XMap6 also.....Why? Because right now Delorme seems to be the ONLY ones listening, and developing accordingly. BIG CHANGE !!

    The real test is going to be equipment /data compatibility with other softwares. Delorme has historically been almost paranoid along those lines, refusing to provide necessary data to third party software developers.

    No ONE software (or GPS, or....) does EVERYTHING best.

  3. This partial quote came from the OP's initial entry....


    "If this doesn't make sense then don't do it, and I don't expect anyone to actually go to Smith Rock State Park."


    You guys are comparing the accuracy of map after map and noting omissions etc.,all the time knowing that no map is perfect.


    Here's another perspective........

    The main omission is that you are missing the fun of actually being "out there" walking the actual trail and logging it on your GPS and then coming back and downloading/plotting the data onto whatever run of the mill map is available. That way,now you really have something.

    When you zoom in to see the actual switchback data you'll remember exactly how many times you had to "stop and let your eyes get uncrossed" or to let your heart get back into your chest, or exactly where it was that you saw a big pile of bear poop with little bells and a pepper spray container lid in it.....Ha!


    Then I'm satisfied as long as I have any old map that has basic and general reference data on my GPS. Back at home, I can add the specific and actual trail data, and will have enjoyed every minute of gathering, and having the most accurate trail maps.

    The absolute best or "top quality" maps are really of marginal benefit over general reference data on a 2" screen. (just my opinion)

    What is really impressive is when you can come back home and display your accurate "actual" trail data on a big high resolution raster map or big computer monitor.

  4. It's not Spot OR Ham radio....they, of course, are two totally different "cats". Each complimenting the other, and each having it's own place.

    After you've sent out an emergency signal by Spot, and when the SAR personnel get to you, you'll probably find that they have been communicating amongst themselves by, or have been directed by, a portable Ham radio operator/station. Having access to both is just another insurance policy.


    Hiking or snowmobiling less than ten miles from my home, my cell phone won't get out, my ham radio HT won't get out, but Spot will...... Having to call SAR less than 10 miles from home would be embarassing, but probably better than having your spot in the gene pool eliminated.


    I GPS a lot of trails and quite often also carry an APRS Ham radio rig with me where anyone (wife) can see where I am at any time on aprs.fi. Trying to track someone that way, it's easy to see really quickly that there are lots of places where radio signals just won't get out, even in areas with quite a few repeaters. Deep canyons, high mountains, and thick forests can be real "signal stoppers".

  5. Thanks Grasscatcher, we're working hard to keep up with all the great requests that come from forums like this one. Unfortunately, the PN-40 will not have an external antenna. Our new GPS chipset is very powerful... signal from the floorboards of the car kind of powerful. I've used it in a backpack pouch, a bird vest pocket, a cycling jersey, and even a winter jacket without any loss of signal but I do keep it facing out. Describe where you store your device when your hands are occupied and I'll run some tests for you. When you snowmobile do you keep your device against your chest for heat? I used the PN in Yellowstone last winter and had success that way, although the cold sapped the battery life on my GPS and my digital camera faster than I would have liked... I still had a complete track log from inside my jacket... again, attention paid to device orientation.


    I hear your concern about proprietary formats. We added support for GPX with Topo 5 or 6... I can't recall... allowing communication between our software and other applications. We're working on protocol improvements and will share those when they are ready. Feel free to describe any additional compatibility concerns that you have in more detail... perhaps I can help. Thanks for your feedback...


    Chip Noble

    Team DeLorme



    It sounds like you're doing all the things that I would do to test it maintaining a signal lock. (and it's sounding promising!) You might try kind of a double whammy that would simulate mountain snowmobiling conditions a little better, and that would be traveling under heavy tree cover while inside a heavy jacket too.


    I am using a 76CSx inside a GPS Outfitters case with flap velcro'd closed and attached to a front pack strap for access, and also an external antenna velcro'd to the top of my pack's carrying handle. The 76CSx will also maintain a good lock while inside the top of my pack and inside a coat pocket so the x ant is an insurance policy so that I don't have to retrace and re map if I unknowingly get in a low signal area.


    Another test you might do is in a narrow, deep canyon environment where there is a physical elevation mask of 45-50 deg on two sides. That's just everyday standard conditions around here in the mountains.



  6. Topo USA, XMap, and Street Atlas can Import and Export GPX files for waypoints, routes, and tracks. It also supports exchange with 3rd party GPS devices.


    Our XMap product allows users to view GeoTIFF files and MrSID Files from your state GIS web site as well as register scanned maps to view as overlays with the topographic data.


    We're working to expand our protocol to make it easier for third party software to interact with our PN series devices. Currently the documentation is all that is available. We'll be in touch with the right people when we have something to share...




    Chip Noble

    Team DeLorme



    OK, then I'm sure you know that one of the "right people" is Robert Lipe (GPS Babel) who made the post just above yours. It would be in DeLorme's best interest for them (Delorme) to provide whatever information is needed, protocol wise, to make it possibe for third party applications to "assist" with cross application compatibility.

    Another "r p", in my opinion, would be Dan Foster (Topografix Expert GPS).

    The statement in my OP was not just a casual musing...."The lack of an external antenna for hand's free use and DeLorme's previous proprietary paranoia still would be a concern."

    Where and how I hike for trail mapping often requires "personal 4WD" where both hands and both feet are "occupied". I don't have a prehensile ? tail......Mapping snowmobile trails requires the antenna to be exposed to the sky at all times but the unit to be inside a coat for protection from sub zero temps for extending battery life, and other outdoor activities often require unit protection from the elements and/or damage.

    Constantly holding a GPS in one hand is not an option, neither is signal loss. X Antenna is an absolute MUST.


    As far as the last part of my earlier sentence....Delorme has a lot of "proprietary paranoia dirt" to kick off ( that they have previously shoveled onto themselves) if they expect to be able to grow. They seem to be making strides toward doing that. We'll be able to tell more by their actions, not words, and how well they continue listening.

  7. Thanks. I ran out and bought Pocket Topo today for $25 at the local REI. It comes with 4.x version. It should work, hopefully. Thanks for the tip about uninstalling first.


    The v4 you got with PT will work fine.

    Then go to the link below and see what you ver you need to upgrade to for what.

    [NG TOPO


    State Series 4.2.8

    BRE 4.2.3

    NPE 4.3.2

    Old Regional series 2.7.7


    Here's wiki for NG NG Wiki

    Hunt around there and you'll see instructions on installing different versions.

    Just FYI....the TOPO Explorer you'll see mentioned there ain't ready for primetime yet. It will only confuse the issue. But the other information is good.

  8. Embra or Cowboy Papa or ???......


    The last time I had anything to do with DeLorme, they had the mindset that THEY, (not the user) were the only ones to decide what the user wanted /needed.


    Thinking ahead toward PN-40 ....., can DeLorme Topo USA 7 import AND export a data file in GPX format, and/ or shapefile formats?


    What about reading a GPX format file with Waypoints, Tracks and Routes in it...can it do that? I'm not interested in reading a PQ.


    You can only transfer "stuff" back and forth to the unit (PN-20/40) using T7 software right? Will it handle GeoTiff files?


    GPS Babel converted files work OK?


    Just concerned, more than a little bit, about compatibility with other softwares, formats and know that you guys are experienced with DeLorme and the PN-20. The lack of an external antenna for hand's free use and DeLorme's previous proprietary paranoia still would be a concern.

  9. Thanks for the quick answer.


    I wonder why that is, since the receiver can log tracks with many more points.



    In Mapsource, select the track, click on Track properties, then Filter, and filter the number of TP to 500 and your track will not be "truncated" (from one end).

    The number of TP will be limited to 500 for upload , but the entire length will be there.

    If you "Save" a track in your GPS that also limits the number of TP to 500


    There is a way to upload to the internal memory by naming the track Active Log but it's really not worth the trouble. The main thing is to maintain the entire length. On the small screen of the GPS m you may not even notice the difference.


    Another way is to break a longer trail into segments with no more than 500 points each, and upload each segment as a separate track. Working with a "saved" track is the only way you can use the navigate and track back features anyway

  10. Red 90....

    You can take the pre-trip Route created in Mapsource, save it as a gpx file.

    Import the gpx file into NG TOPO and with the route tool, using "shift", go point to point just recreating the Route you can already see. (You can't just "select" the route)

    Right click on the new route and choose create profile.

    The "Route Profile" will look just like your "Track Profile", except it is getting the DEM info from the map from where the straight "route" lines cross the contour lines. ......Raster maps vs Vector maps......


    ..........Or, just do it all in TOPO to start with.....the only reason to have Mapsource is really just to transfer MAPS into your GPSr. For everything else, it's kinda a PITB.

  11. If the information in MapSource contains a track or tracks, GPS TrackMaker and MapSource both will show profile information of the tracks.


    Routes do not contain profile information.


    The profile (i.e., altitude information) comes from you actually traversing the track and the GPS unit collecting that data as you go.


    Routes that you plan but haven't traveled do not contain this data.


    Motorcycle Mama, BAD information.....except for the first paragraph, TOTALLY INCORRECT.


    It is strictly software dependent.

  12. I'll bet most of the people that don't understand the compass are directionally challenged people that use "Track Up" orientation instead of "North Up".
    :rolleyes: Maybe instead of being directionally challenged, they just prefer to do things the easy way instead of the hard way.


    Until you get to where you understand how each works and that they both work independently, try these settings. Later , you can vary them and start noting the differences.


    Use North Up map orientation

    A personal bias which has no relevance to a compass discussion.


    Realistically you should leave the compass turned off except when you need to take a reading. Turn it on, Calibrate it and take a reading. (then turn it back off)

    Only determine Compass direction when STANDING STILL with GPS held flat & Level

    For the most part not bad advice, until you get to this bit…
    and only pay attention to the RING and line at the top of the screen. (ignore the red pointer)
    The ring and line tell you only what direction the unit is pointing. It tells you nothing about the direction to the point you are navigating to. That’s exactly and entirely what the red pointer is for! The compass (ring and line) tells you what direction you are going; the red pointer is supposed to tell you what direction you need to go. You seem to know that, so I guess the reason you wrote the preceding is because you have a misconception about this:
    Only pay attention to the Bearing pointer when you are MOVING, because it has to detect a direction of movement to know where to point.

    For units that have a magnetic compass (which is what you’re talking about, since you mention calibration) this is simply incorrect. One of the greatest benefits of the integrated magnetic compass is to be able to stand in one place and have it point toward a waypoint. I do this a lot when hiking, and it does work. Your statement would be true of models without the magnetic compass, but not of those that have it.


    Considering that you got such a basic fact wrong, maybe you ought to reconsider the sneering, condescending, pontificating, I’m-an-expert-and-the-rest-of-you-are-morons tone that seems typical of your posts, and try just politely helping people. Obviously you've been a member here a long time. Maybe it’s time for you to reread the posting guidelines.


    Until you got to the last two condecending paragraphs, we both are saying the same thing.


    1.The ring and mark are the compass and show the direction the unit is pointing.

    2. The red pointer points the direction to the GoTo point independent from the compass

    Until a user gets those two facts straight in their head, using settings other than those I mentioned above really confuse the issue. That's also the reason I suggested STARTING with those and then varying and noting any differences.

    By doing so, what the user is doing, is essentially working one step at a time to learn their unit, where they actually understand what their unit is "telling" them. (Essentially in the beginning, the user would be simulating the actions of a non compass model but still have the benefit of having the compass available)


    Your comments about magnetic vs non magnetic units are correct. There are other acceptable settings combinations.You understand that..... but most people apparently do not. The results are the numerous posts on "compass problems" . Again, that is specifically the reason to START with the suggested settings.


    I apologize that I so ineloquently wound your spring.

  13. Sorry, you have this all wrong. The arrow is an integral part of the compass, it is the part that is magnetized and points to magnetic north (on non-electronic versions). The outside ring just tells you where the arrow is pointing in relation to your direction of travel. Take away the arrow and there is no compass, take away the ring and you still have a crude compass in which you know where north is. You can't have a USEFUL compass without either part so this argument is rather POINTLESS :grin:


    Hey, I like the "Pointless" ....! Good one....


    I'll bet most of the people that don't understand the compass are directionally challenged people that use "Track Up" orientation instead of "North Up".


    Here are some things that you can prove to/for yourselves.

    The Red Arrow on your GPS compass is NOT an integral part of that compass. (Yes, I understand the above poster was talking about a magnetic compass). On your GPS, the Red Arrow is a separate and distinct tool. It is either a Bearing Pointer or a Course Pointer, depending on the user's preferences/settings.

    If you are not navigating, (to a Go To point) ....notice....you don't have a Red Arrow at all...but the compass still works fine!


    NOT having a red arrow has absolutely NO effect on the compass. NONE. NADA

    The compass is the Ring with NSEW. You can have it on or turn it off. Hold the GPS screen flat and level and determine the direction by the relationship of the ring to the "fixed" line at the top of the screen.


    Until you get to where you understand how each works and that they both work independently, try these settings. Later , you can vary them and start noting the differences.


    Use North Up map orientation

    Use Bearing Pointer instead of Course (BP will point to the GoTo point during Navigation)

    Realistically you should leave the compass turned off except when you need to take a reading. Turn it on, Calibrate it and take a reading. (then turn it back off)

    Only determine Compass direction when STANDING STILL with GPS held flat & Level and only pay attention to the RING and line at the top of the screen. (ignore the red pointer)


    Only pay attention to the Bearing pointer when you are MOVING, because it has to detect a direction of movement to know where to point.

  14. I want to obtain projection information for two known points. I know the location of both point A and point B and can calculate the distance between them but how to I obtain the direction and degrees from A to B? I am using a Garmin 60CSx and can project from one point by inputting the degrees and feet but don’t know how to work this backwards. There has to be a simple why to do this. I am finishing up a 6 part multi cache and this will be used to locate the final hide.


    I don't believe the first reply will work....you would have to be standing at the first point with your GPS and then read where the second one was from there.


    However, you can easily do what you want in Mapsource.


    Make a Route of those two points. Select it and choose Route Properties, then the direction Tab, and the directions will tell you the bearing from the first to the second.

  15. Stop and think about what you are asking for.......A GPS that doesn't lock onto satellites and determine your position EXCEPT when you "WILL" it to.


    Sorry, but that AIN't gonna happen!


    When you get back to the house, download the track and edit out that part that you don't like.


    If you "Clear" the track log before your ride and "Save" the track at the end of your ride. that "saved" copy of the track won't have the "tail" that you don't like , but it also will be limited to 500 trackpoints and will not have the elevation and speed data for the track.

    When you download your GPS to your PC you will have two copies of the track. One will be the "saved" copy described above, and the other will be the "Active Log"

    The "Active Log" copy will have "ALL" the data....but will also include the "tail".

    Just edit off the unwanted portion, rename the "Active Log" to ...whatever....and go on your merry way and be happy!

  16. This is a nit picky thing, but I can't figure out if I can or how to do this on my 76Cx.


    I'd like to reset the sequential numbering of waypoints back to zero on occassion. Right now I only have a couple, but they are like 177, 178..... etc.


    Is there a way to reset this feature? Thanks for any info. :D


    On my 76CSx, if I have deleted some previous waypoints "in the list", the next time I save a waypoint, the unit automatically numbers that one by going back and "filling in" the gaps in the sequence.


    The next time you're going to save a waypoint, see what number it is going to save it with before "saving". If it is "001" then fine, but if not, renumber it to "001" before saving and then your unit will pick up the sequence from there. When it gets to , in your case 178,179, it will skip those and pick back up with 180,etc

  17. Wow, I guess I really know how to stir up the pot-o-poop huh?






    Yeah, and really that's all it is. They are just trying to impress each other and ????? when it really doesn't amount to a hill of beans.


    Take your GPS and use it, experiment with it, play with it, change the settings and see what results you get, learn from it , but most of all, enjoy it!

  18. Try this experiment for yourself.

    Next time you go on a hike, have your unit on for a few minutes before you get to where you are going to start. In your car,or while you're getting your gear together,etc. Then when you save your starting point , "average" until the epe is under 20 ft or so.

    GPS units don't "develop their thought processes " instantaneously or immediately when first turned on. You will sometimes, but not always, get inconsistent results then, so if it's important ....save more than one and compare.

    Do the above and very likely, you won't have any complaints about your unit's accuracy.

  19. Hello all,


    I've had this little problem of my North Pointer in Map mode getting stuck in one position while walking. I can change directions and it stays frozen. The solution is to page forward to the compass page and then back. Works every time.


    So I've done everything that Garmin and you helpful folks on Groundspeak have advised me to do which include....


    Upgrading the OS from 3.5 to 3.6

    Master Reset

    Making sure the GPSr is not exposed to metal on my body like belt buckle, knife, etc..


    hold it level So I see one more suggestion somewhere out there on the web - Turn off the electronic compass. Did that and it didn't work.


    But my real question is this....


    When I turned off the electronic compass, it (the compass) still seems to be pointing north. Also when I asked to GOTO a waypoint, the red arrow on the compass started navigating me that way. I turned the e-compass on and off several times with the PAGE button, so I know it was off.


    So if I've turned off the e-compass, how is it still working?




    Thanks, Beck


    Don't be confused...it's just that you have been given a whole bunch of "half information". There are WAY more people that think they know all about the compass and really don't know squat!


    If you use the compass as it was intended, calibrated and held flat & level, preferably standing still, you won't have any compass "problems". That described above is really the only correct way to use the compass. Now, before you start walking toward your destination again using the GPS, Turn OFF the compass.


    If you want to know which direction is what when standing still, then turn the compass on and calibrate it,

    hold it level, and it will accurately tell you. You will note that this position is NOT the correct position for the GPS to function most accurately, which is near vertical. Held in THAT position, the Compass quits working.

    It's kinda the law of physics, you can't hold the GPS in two different positions at the same time so in reality, the GPS and the compass can't both function accurately at the same time. Who cares anyway, the compass doesn't have a clue where to "go to" point is anyway. It only knows N,S,E,W, anywhere on earth.


    The GPS determines your present location and you tell it the coordinates of a "go to" point and, when you start moving, the GPS displays a Red Arrow that points to that point. (the arrow will appear earlier while standing still but won't accurately point to the correct destination until you're moving)


    NOTE: the RED ARROW is NOT the Compass. That is the Bearing or the Course pointer, that appears when you are actively navigating to a "Go To" point. When you do a Go To , the red arrow appears and if set on "Bearing" (SETUP,MAP,MENU, SECOND ICON FROM LEFT, GO TO LINE,BEARING) points to the chosen destination.


    At least for a while, until you get your "head on straight", keep the compass OFF, use only North Up for map orientation, and set the "go to" pointer on Bearing.


    Later you can experiment with other settings.

  20. It will find caches just as good as a newer one,never had a problem with my GPS 12 ,........


    This (partial) quote is the "bottom line" to all of the above posts.......all the rest is just opinion and "fluff"


    Just use your "12" and ,while doing so, decide what newly available features you absolutely just can't do without.


    And then, later on, you'll look back, and fondly remember your "12".

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