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Everything posted by gps_dr

  1. The waterproof rating is for gentle submersion in water. Hitting water with force may exceed the pressure rating of the unit.
  2. All of the GPS manufacturers have had issues with new releases. Magellan had two failures in a row, first Explorist and then Triton series that were quickly abandoned. (Latter had some major features not working for a year after release.) Don't have any hands on experience with their current Explorist X10 series, but problems getting some basic info from their tech support. Hopefully can get some more info thru the new magellaninsiders.com website. Some mention of custom maps there. Have a Garmin 12XL, 76, GPSmap76CSx and DeLorme PN20, PN40SE and PN6SE/W with spot communicator and a Lowrance iFinder (Brunton MNS). Always have been able to get questions answered by Garmin. DeLorme is more of a peer to peer support, but lots of people ready to help quickly. Ability to create Map Overlays for Garmin and DeLorme are a huge asset for me and others. The Lowrance has a sensitive receiver, but topo on black & white display is hard to use. Unit claimed it could support 100 tracklogs, but the software would crash if you tried to rename one of the tracks. Lowrance support told me they were a GPS company, not a software company. (That was when it was a current unit.) Since then they came out with an Endura series - combination of buttons & touch screen. But they still seem to have some issues regarding GPX file structure. The Lowrance product manager now works for Magellan, and worked for National Geographic before Lowrance stint. (BTW I know a Garmin employee that was a rep for National Geographic before the Lowrance person.) So they bounce around industry. I don't use any of them for geocaching. (bike trail mapping and hiking/hunting) The Garmins have been very reliable and the 76CSx has great battery life and great mapping with the HuntingGPSmaps. Both the Garmin and DeLorme screens have better viewability than the newer units when mounted on handlebars. BTW, next planned unit is a Montana 650. Almost same H&W as my 76CSx, but a lot more screen & ability to handle aerial imagery like my DeLormes. Lastly, Garmin is a large company with a vast range of products catering to commercial and recreational users. The breadth of a sub-section of their recreational products alone far surpasses any of their competitors. It has been my personal experience that they are more responsive to work on issues than their competitors.
  3. NO, Garmin GPX files are different from Lowarance are different from Magellan! (additionally, Lowrance does not use the same GPX format standard that everyone has been using for the last 8 years.) (based on files provided to me by Lowrance) Basic items like waypoint having lat long & ele are the same Vendors have proprietary extensions to add other information. Each vendor has their own header information pointing to their schema. Most vendors use a symbol name to refer to icons for waypoints, Lowrance uses a table look up scheme, the same symbol may appear in multiple rows! Symbol names for the other vendors match on very few. e.g, for "Park" Garmin, "Evergreen Tree" DeLorme, "Park Recreation" Magellan, "Tree" Lowrance "Campground" Garmin, "Tent" DeLorme, "Campground" or "Camping" Magellan, "Camp Site" Lowrance (The GPX info for Lowrance provides a row & col, not the symbol name shown, that is from lookup.) Most applications only use the base/common information and ignore extensions. Symbols provide very useful information, a shame that they aren't usable on other vendors units. (Symbol sets also can very between different model series within a vendor.) That's why I wrote a table driven translation app to do the conversion including track & route colors. It also converts to Google Earth KML using their placemark symbols or a 269 icon set. It doesn't currently handle geocaches though..... so I haven't looked into how they are handled between the vendors. DeLorme separates theirs by symbol name, don't know about the others. App vendors write the appropriate headers for the destination GPS if they want to provide more than basic information.
  4. I know what the current gpx format is (gpx 1.1, and vendors have their own extensions). However, the Lowrance created .gpx files sent to me from a Lowarance employee are gpx 1.0 that was superceded in 2004 and the route file contained waypoints and not routepoints as per standard usage. Not having a current era Lowrance unit, I can't generate them on my own to view the extensions. Part of my translation is mapping track/route colors as well as symbols. Was hoping to get information that should be easily available.
  5. There has been a fundamental change in how caches are loaded to a GPS. In new units like the 62, caches are loaded via .gpx files, which contain 1 - many caches. Caches are deleted by deleting the .gpx files which contain them. The WHY you can't delete them on the GPS is because the GPS does not have the capability to let the user browse its file system on the device itself. Why Garmin hasn't implemented this I can't answer. Maybe there is something posted on a GARMIN forum. I have an Oregon, which has a touch screen. To see a distant map, I do what you did above, but instead of hitting "GO", I just touch the map and can then just explore that area. Can you just move the cursor off "Go" and then hit enter? That should be pretty close to what I do by touching the map. You sort of answered your own question but didn't realize it. I think that cache limits are limited by memory. When you said memory, you were referring to the amount of storage space on the card. Memory is the temporary working space on the GPS (think RAM on a computer). The GPS has to load all those stored caches into it's memory, which is limited. So it's the GPS' memory (and to an extent its operating system) that is likely dictating the limits, not the amount of storage space internally or on the card. The DeLorme PN60 (and PN40 with 2.8 or 2.9 firmware) allow you read in waypoint/track etc files from memory, I believe it is a 2,000 waypoint|cache limit per file though. The Garmins allow you to load multiple files with an overall limit. My issue with newer Garmin units is area calculation. The new method is a "user friendlier" read "single/simple minded" method that is more apparent to the user. Simply start the function, walk the boundary and complete it to get result. Older method was to start a tracklog - walk the boundary (mark corners etc as averaged waypoints) - save track and view area. New Method is simple, more visible Old Method allows you to mark boundary corners etc as you go. Have had a number of people complain about having to walk the boundary multiple times to get the information they need. May not be an issue on smaller parcels, but out west with large boundaries and steep terrain, it is an issue! An option for them is to try to manually create a waypoint based on tracklog information, but that position is up to 52.7 feet off without averaging based on distance settings. (This is without considering GPS errors) Time settings for plotting closer points won't work and you can't change this mid process on newer units. (You might get some results by walking a around the point on an auto more/most setting hopping fences/cliffs as you go?)
  6. In the GPS world they are called routes. From page 11 of the owners manual: Routes A route is a sequence of waypoints that leads you to your final destination. Creating a Route Select Route Planner > Create Route > Select First Point Select a category Select the first point in the route. Select Use > Select Next Point Repeat steps 2-4 until route is complete. Select (return arrow) to save the route. Naming and use of the route are listed on subsequent pages.
  7. My application now supports Magellan Explorist 10 series as well. I downloaded their vantage point software to get info on input/output files and test my input/output code. Also added capability to generate a set of waypoints in alphabetic order of all the symbols of each vendor/series that I support in the translation file. Works for Garmin, DeLorme, Magellan 10, Google Earth (their symbols and my NicolasMollet set). Have nice image files for symbol sets from each of the above. It reads current Endura waypoints and tracks and can translate to other vendors etc. Am stopping trying to get the Lowrance stuff working better until I get info on current GPX formats. Need to get on with rebuilding my GeoBiking website on a new host....
  8. Has Lowrance made any changes to .gpx output to help them come more into conformity with GPS standards? I received some sample .gpx files from Lowrance (1 each waypoint, route & track) to allow me to add Endura support for an application of mine. The files specify gpx 1.0 that was superceded in 2004. My code barfed on them, but if edited to refer to 1.1 they could be read. The big problem is the route files contain waypoint instead of routepoints as is standard. I have a PC app that does translation (not simply conversion) of GPX information. It translates symbols, route/track colors between vendors/series as well as direct output to Google Earth KML. Other than the bad route files from Lowrance, it currently handles Garmin, DeLorme and Endura .gpx files. So the question is have they fixed the .gpx outputs & I need samples. Thanks
  9. If you want to make the tracks part of a real map overlay, you can use gpx2img. Works fine for me to display network of 204 tracks covering over 1,900 miles.
  10. Only special batteries can be recharged in DeLorme GPS (3V Lithium ion), not AA. They don't want you to blame them when U connect to external power with regular batteries installed and unit blows up. The Montana units will only charge with the included expensive Lithium ion battery pack installed. Haven't seen any small handheld to use the same setup as DeLorme. Even then, that battery pack does not pack same power as 2 separate rechargeable AA batteries.
  11. Garmin eTrex 20 & 30 are paperless GeoCachers, $200 & $300.
  12. Unless you have a serial port on your computer, the cable won't do you much good. You would also need a serial to USB adapter. The Etrex Legend H comes with a USB connection port and cable and easier to use than the antiquated Etrex H.
  13. It's also quite slow in displaying the HuntingGPSmaps.
  14. The 60 series also has a 10K track point limit. And that is for the active track only! Limit of 20 saved tracks on unit 500 points each max. The 62 allows 200 tracks, 10K limit each. Nice for maintaining a network of trails. However, I've seen some indications that if you have multiple segments in the active track log, it will only show the current one. On the 60 & 76, it will show all of the segments in active track. (A requirement for me as I may turn track off/on or change batteries and want to see my way back.) Will have to validate this on a 62 at work, hopefully tomorrow. Also the area calculation is a little cleaner (function on menu) on newer units. But some people like to record waypoints as they walk a property border and you can't do that with newer units. (have to exit area calculation function) My 76CSx is still working fine...
  15. On the 62 & 78, the old page/quit menu access is still available instead of clunky ribbon if you desire. I find it easier & quicker to use "Classic" menu while pedaling, don't have to look at screen. I do like the larger buttons, and newer body seems easier than old one for my big hands. The hill shading makes the display too dark for my tastes, and takes an extra moment to update screen.
  16. Venture was lowest price color eTrex! like other base models, memory was intentionally limited so they could charge more for a device capable of holding more maps. It was not designed for cross country/globe use. They want you to buy maps, therefore only primitive "base maps" are included.
  17. The only settings I've found so far are the ones you see on that screen, but I have yet to find thorough documentation for the device (the owner's manual only partially does the job), so who knows? To use GPS satellites only, go into Device Setup -> System. You can also show multi-color satellites instead of scheme shown in screen shots above.
  18. Hi ventura_kids, thanks for the reply. I guess what you suggested shall work. Basically, save the current location (where GPS unit is) as a waypoint, and then edit this just-saved waypoint (update its coordinate to that of wherever other location/spot I meant to save as waypoint, and then perhaps also edit the name of this waypoint "Waypoint x" to whatever is more meaningful and/or representing the actual spot saved). Cool! Thanks again. When you mark the current spot, you can immediately go to coordinate field to edit it. No need to go to waypoint manager. Remember, if you are using a map to get your coordinates, you need to change the map datum on the GPS to match that of the map before entering data. You can change it back after entering the coordinates.
  19. currently: Garmin 12XL Garmin 76 (non-mapping) Garmin 76CSx DeLorme PN20 DeLorme PN40SE DeLorme PN60w Lowrance iFinder (AKA Brunton MNS) past: Garmin Colorado Future: PN60wSE with Spot communicator Maybe a Garmin 62st
  20. I dislike the clickstick select/enter mechanism --- too easy to select a different item Bigger screen is easier to view.
  21. Still useful for a Garmin user. Doesn't put maps on the unit but is a real mapping program unlike MapSource and Base Camp. With map subscription, you can download USGS, NOAA, etc for planning. Or just use the vector topo maps included. Unlike National Geographic TOPO!, you can create a track on it using the maps/imagery and transfer the track to the GPS.
  22. I set my PN to record track points every 10 feet. Helps improve turn accuracy over Garmin set to auto most detailed or .01 miles. Also can do 20,000 point tracklogs with auto-start new tracks - load/save to card or internal memory. The bigger advantage is that you can easily copy tracks in software to a draw layer to show them above any map/imagery shown in virtually an unlimited amount without affecting performance. I currently have a draw file overlay of 188 "tracks" covering over 1,700 trail miles stretching from Ft Collins to Colorado Springs. Don't have to spend more money or countless hours trying to create a transparent Garmin map overlay. Data layering and visibility is easily controlled.
  23. Under ideal angle usage, most GPS are readable. If you are not using them on a fixed mount (e.g. handlebar), you can tilt to make them more readable. I sold my Colorado, and use a DeLorme PN60w and Garmin 76Csx for my bicycle trail mapping expeditions. I liked the heart rate monitor and higher resolution on the Colorado, but visibility and interface issues doomed it for my usage. The 60/76 are more viewable under a wider varieties of lighting conditions (angle, brightness/cloud cover). Even the 60/76 are challenged under some conditions. My initial impressions of the 62, left me thinking it has a narrower viewing angle than the 60/76. I do like the change in shape and mounting though. Haven't had one for a day long bike ride yet.
  24. Bingo! Seems to have worked. Will leave it off for the night and see if it continues to work tomorrow. As my old buddy used to say to me...."Saved your bacon again!" Thanks and hopefully this will be the answer. I will post again tomorrow. 7/22/10 So far so good. Started up again this AM and cycled through all pages. Will take on a bike ride to see it is still tracking correctly. One of the Garmin newsgroups reported that Mac OS leaves "invisible" files on the memory card that are causing the problem. A resolution was given in the link., pasted below This last weekend my 60CSx died in the middle of a 12-mile hike. Probably the batteries. If it did give me a beep warning, I must have missed it. I was already familiar with the trail, and was just RE- recording my hiking track for the fun of it. I decided to just leave it be and not replace the batteries in the field. When I got home, I popped in a new set of batteries only to discover that my MAPS on the SD card weren't being recognized. The card was seated correctly, and I had been using that map set for over a year without changing it. So, what the h*ll?? I popped the card into a card reader and found the .img file was there like it was supposed to be. So after playing around a bit and doing some experiments, I eventually re-wrote the .img file back to the card. Popped it in, turned it on, and it seemed to be working. But then I tried turning the handheld off and I got the dreaded "beeeeeeeeeep" that wouldn't go away. Dang. Removed the batteries and tried again. Same thing. Popped in ANOTHER card with a different mapset on it that had been working before, and everything seemed okay. Turned off the unit and again, "beeeeeeeeeep"!! Removed the batteries again. Shoot. Was it the cards? The handheld itself? I dunno. Was it time to call Garmin -- again!! -- for some repair work? I DID remember that writing an SD card using MapInstall on the Mac would leave extraneous INVISIBLE flies on the card that could cause the incessant long beep and failure to power off. So I researched that again and found a free application called "CleanEject" that erases all of those invisible files on a USB volume and immediately ejects the volume so the Mac Finder can't write anything to the card. I tried CleanEject and it worked flawlessly. BOTH SD cards are working again, the 60CSx turns off as expected with no long beep that won't stop, and I'm back where I was before this weekend. What caused the foul-up on my SD card though? Maybe during writing the track to the card on the weekend? A glitch in a memory location on the card? Guess I'll find out if it happens again anytime soon.
  25. Newer higher resolution units do not allow as much light to reflect back to increase visibility. I got a Colorado from Garmin, and was never satisfied with handlebar visibility. I do handlebar testing on any units I even think about using now. Using a Garmin 76CSX and DeLorme PN40SE with much better results. I don't do geocaching, the DeLorme could handle that and has better trail mapping than alternatives.
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