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Everything posted by Wampus-N-Pickle

  1. Garmin limits the number of custom map data tiles you can load onto a device (100 tiles for the Orgeon and 500 for the Montana). If you want to bypass this limitation - and are more technically minded - check out the link referenced in the last post here. The technique described there is on my list of "to-do" things... but I haven't gotten around to trying it out yet.
  2. Found this one under a rock - a cardboard (thick paper, really) chewing gum package. It rained recently so it turned into a wad of muddy wet mush that just might be mistaken for trash...
  3. A family member with a GC had this same issue. I was able to resolve it by deleting the GPX files off of it. The GPX contained a cache that was causing the buffer overrun.
  4. Like CN, all of the Garmin Topo US 24K maps are routable. However, the Navteq/POI data on the 24Ks are a few years old. The CN info is updated 4x a year. The US is divided into 6 topo DVDs. Theoretically, you can throw more than 1 topo onto a DVD. However, Garmin tends to impose arbitrary limits on things (i.e., 5000 geocaches, etc.). The units have a "map tile" limit. For example, Topo US 24K West eats up most of the tiles on an Oregon 450. The entire tile set on the CN North America is smaller than Topo 24K West. If you have a large memory card, the best way (although not entirely convenient) to handle multiple Garmin 24K maps is to use a PC and rename the regions on the SD card you are not using. Changing the extension from .IMG to .IMX works great. Save your money and skip the 't' series. The 100K topo is not very good. Hope this helps!
  5. Howdy - We're from Laguna Beach. Offhand, one really nice caching trail goes from GC1RJ9J to GC1RJA5. You're high above Laguna Beach - and on a clear day, you can see Catalina Island and Palos Verdes Pennensula to the north and down south, you're overlooking Dana Point Harbor and San Clemente. Great sunset walk! As far as maps go, for Santa Monica and Southern Orange County, your best friend will be street maps. Around Laguna, Cystal Cove State Park, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park have some great hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty. Unfortunately, quite a few of the trails do not show up on 24K topos (even Garmin's 24K West). Surprisingly, they do show up on Magellan's x10 series as well as Open Street Map. You can get routable OSM maps (for free) at Garmin OSM Wiki. Knowing the difference between I405, I5, SR91, etc. can be very helpful! =) Most of the topos at gpsfiledepos come with Windows installers. A good suggestion might be downloading them and viewing them with Basecamp or Mapsource to get an idea of the coverage. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions =) - Steve
  6. No worries! Actually, this is a legit download. Magellan puts their x10 firmware up on Amazon's Cloudfront. It looks like the GC firmware is up there as well. Their dropbox is d1yle3idvjeby9.cloudfront.net. If you look on the offical website, all the firmware will come down from that domain. When Magellan had password-protected beta firmware for the x10, various users were able to guess the filename and download it directly from Cloudfront. Just keep in mind: if you grab a piece of firmware directly from cloudfront BEFORE the link is posted on their website, you're downloading beta firmware - with all the caveats that go along with it. Regards, - Steve
  7. Ah - missed your post. I just saw the request for the copy/paste. - Steve
  8. This seems like an endian issue. "geocache_vists.txt" file is a UTF-16 file. In other words, instead of an old-school ASCII text file where each character is one byte, a UTF-16 file typically uses 2 bytes (there are some exceptions) to represent each character. That gives a range of 64K characters - plenty to support extended character sets. The first two bytes in the file are read to determine whether the file is a "big" or "little" endian. It appears that somewhere along your chain of events, this value is getting swapped - and then subsequently read incorrectly. So, instead of the number '1' being stored (or read) as character code 0x0031, it's 0x3100 - which is probably a Chinese or Kanji character. You might want to change up your workflow (use a PC instead of a MAC) to find out what step is messing up the endian-ness of the file. Hope that helps! Regards, - Steve
  9. For Los Angeles: Hopefully, you'll be flying into LAX - you should be able to rent a car for a reasonable rate. Rentals are more expensive at SNA (Orange County). I worked for the Mouse for 6 years back in the late 80s/early 90s. Things have changed since then... if you want to stay next to Disneyland, go for walking distance to the Park - it'll save you $15.00 in parking... just don't stay _too_ far away down Harbor Blvd - back when I worked in the Park, it was noted for 'interesting' nightime sidewalk activity. If you don't mind driving a bit to get to Disneyland, Irvine has some nice hotels around the OC Airport. San Francisco: San Francisco is like New York City - don't get a car! Free parking is very hard to find - but expensive pay parking is everywhere. Unlike Los Angeles, it is a very pedestrian-friendly city. From the airport, you have the BART that'll get you into the city. An epic place to eat is the "House of Prime Rib" on Van Ness. They have only one thing on their menu. Also, be sure to check out "Sounds of the Bay" (GC30CB). Las Vegas: Unless you plan on going outside of the city, skip the rental car. Cab fare from the airport to "The Strip" is a good deal. Most of the hotels on the strip are nice - it just depends on the tackiness level you require (New York/New York, the Luxor, etc.) The Bellagio (a very nice and expensive hotel) has an outside water show at night. Downtown ("Old Vegas") has been turned into a tourist destination over the past decade or so. Here you'll find all the classic hotels on Fremont Street (the Golden Nugget, etc.) Fremont is now an enclosed pedestrian area... and in Vegas style, they project a huge light show on the dome above the street. If you want to treat yourself to a show you'll never forget - book tickets to see Cirque du Soleil. My favorite show is "Mystere" which is shown at Treasure Island. Hope that helps! - Steve
  10. Your geocaching life will not be complete without doing the Na'ili'ili-haele WaterFalls cache. Just a few pointers on that one: when you navigate thru the bamboo forest and get to the stream that you cross over... go STRAIGHT up the hill. I know the cache description says "upstream" - but don't go off to the left our the right (previous log entries will confirm that). Also, we used a dry bag that we picked up at REI and that worked just fine keeping our camera dry. Watch out for the floating mangos - they can get nasty! Have fun! - Steve
  11. The 610 and 710 come with the Summit Series USA (or Canada). This is a 24K topo with shaded relief and a POI database that covers the entire region. The 710 adds street routing. The 310, 510 and GC come with a different basemaps and lack the electronic compass that the 610, 710 and Garmin 450/550s have. The basemap that is included with the Garmin Oregon (non-T) is pretty useless - unless all your doing is driving on interstates and major routes. You can get maps for free at www.gpsfiledepot.com. Garmin sells two topos: 1) the USA 100K (previously Topo 2008, and included in a map-tile optimized form on the 't' series Garmins) and 2) regional 24K DVDs (also on SD cards). The 100K topos are non-routable - and depending on where you live - the TIGER (road) data can be off as much as 1/4 a mile - which is pretty bad. The 24K topos are routable, have shading/DEM data and contain a POI database similar to the City Navigator series. We live right next to a wilderness park where we go hiking. A PDF is available for it here: Laguna Wilderness Park Map. I'll give you a quick list of differences between the maps we've discovered when hiking this park. I'm not sure if the results are typical for other regions... Now, calling your attention to the upper left of the map: 1) Garmin TOPO 100K / Topo 2008. The only trail shown is West Ridge Trail. West Ridge is actually an old fire road and is shown on USGS 24K topos. Here, it is not named and shown only as a dotted line. 2) Garmin 24K West DVD - Shows no indication of any trails at all - not even the West Ridge Trail. 3) Magella Summit Series - All trails in the wilderness park are shown with the major trails labeled - very surprising! Hope that helps some... Regards, - Steve
  12. About 6 months ago my wife put her foot down and said that geocaching with me and my Garmin Oregon 450 is not much fun. I couldn’t argue with her on this one: it really isn’t fun following around someone with a GPS. She said she wanted her own GPS. Being a guy, how could I pass up a chance to spend money on an electronic device – and have the wife’s approval at the same time? I decided to go with a different brand than Garmin. The consensus here on the forum is that nobody made the perfect GPS. Combine my Garmin with another brand, well, then between the two of us, we might have the near-perfect GPS. After doing some feature searching, I decided to get her the PN-60 (without the SPOT). She liked it because it was bright red. All of my observations here are based on the PN-60 and its firmware from a few months back. I do not know if the unit’s performance has been improved in future firmware released. PN-60 advantages Over Garmin: • Maps! Maps! Maps! The unit comes with a bunch of discs containing maps! How awesome is that? A GPS that comes with maps! Take that, Garmin! • Unlimited Geocaches. Being a geocacher, this seemed like a big plus. More on that later, though… • Image download subscriptions: pretty much everything but the kitchen sink – satellite, 24k maps, etc. • Comes with Topo USA 9.0. I never used it before, but I figured anything was better than Basecamp and/or Map Source. Note that Basecamp has improved quite a bit since then. So, I went to REI and picked up the PN-60 and brought it home. First thing I noticed was that it didn’t use a mini-USB connector. Well, I figured Delorme would probably argue that their funky port was more waterproof than Garmin’s… not really a big deal – just one more custom USB cable I needed to keep track of…but if I lost it, I’d be hosed. Reading thru the PN-60 docs, I noticed mentions of a “1,500 geocache limit”. Yes – you can have unlimited geocaches – but you can only have 1,500 geocaches in a single GPX – and only one GPX enabled at one time. I live in Orange County, California. I have 1000s of caches within a 10 mile radius of me. I generate a large GPX (4000 or so caches) using GSAK and send it out to the Garmin. With the PN-60, I needed to come up with a way to sub-divide Orange County into caching regions (i.e., north, south, east, west) to keep the PN-60 happy…luckily GSAK had a macro for that. Once the aches were on the unit, I noticed that instead of parsing the HTML tags, it simply displayed them in the cache description (i.e., ‘<bold>’, etc). That made it really hard to read cache descriptions. I’m not sure if that’s Delorme’s problem or GSAKs… but luckily, GSAK had a macro that removed HTML from the cache descriptions. So, finally, I got GSAK to send 4000 or so caches placed into multiple GPXes to the PN-60, but it takes multiple steps/macros to make it happen. I figured that once we got the caches onto the PN-60, we could go out and have some fun and find caches. Using the Oregon, I hit the “Geocache” button and instantly, a list of nearby caches comes up. With the PN-60, EVERY TIME I requested a list of caches, the unit comes up with a “sorting…” message. 20 to 30 seconds later, the cache list appears. I think the sort time on the PN-60 might give a bubble sort on an Apple IIe a run for its money. This is the 21st century - sorting 1,500 items should be INSTANT. Seesh – I’d have argued that point 15 years ago. The unit is pretty much a doorstop during the sorting process. It isn’t even like you could use the SPOT to send a message to your friend caching with his Droid who’s already run off ahead of you and say, “Wait for me! My GPS is busy doing something annoying!” Having the unit crash a few times (don't press buttons too fast!) was icing on the cake. I brought it back to REI.
  13. Yes - the tide prediction is available on the 450 (non-T) (Where To->Tides).
  14. Ok... first of all, if you want to smoke your friend, stand in one spot, hold out your Oregon and turn around 360 degrees. Show him how the map rotates without waving your arm around, politely smile, and say "3-axis electronic compass." Now... on to the Magellan. My wife's sister has a GC and my wife has a Explorist 610. I use an Oregon 450. DFX is right - GPX files do not contain images. If they did, they'd have to be encoded as an MIME or another ASCII subset (as XML files can't use a full 8-bit character set) and would be quite a bit bigger than their binary counterpart. Both the GC and 610 store images on the unit. The 610 stores them in "\media\images\geocaches". Using GSAK, the first time a set of caches are transferred to the unit, the associated images are fetched from the internet. The images are stored in the GSAK's database and the XML in the GPX is tweaked to point at the pictures which will be downloaded into the "\media\images\geocaches" directory. Vantage Point does the same thing...but instead of a few minutes, it takes hours. Once GSAK or Vantage Point grab the images, they do not need to fetched from the Internet. Once the images have been x-fered to the Explorist, they do not need to be downloaded again. As far as transferring PQs directly to the unit - well, they don't have the tweaked XML to point to the "images" directory. At this point, one of two things MUST be happening: 1) the Explorist is smart enough to recognize cache namess from the new file - and realizes that it already has images for them... or 2) Dragging/dropping a new GPX doesn't always cause the unit to refresh - in which case the old GPX is still in the units database and is being used. As a test... use Windows, browse to the GC's "images" directory (not 100% sure if that's the place on the GC... but it should be easy to find as it has many JPGs in it) and delete all the images. Then, create a pocket querty for a region you've never visited. Then, drag-drop that GPX directly into the unit - without using Vantage Point or GSAK. You'll see the caches there - but without any images. Regards, - Steve
  15. They must have run out of numbers for "new" Nuvi models....
  16. We use both an Oregon 450 and a Explorist 610. Both units have nice features which make them attractive geocaching / outdoor units. For the Oregon - well, it's a Garmin. Sorry for the generalization here, but almost everyone uses a Garmin. As such, it's really easy to get your questions answered either here or on the Oregon Wiki site: http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/. The Oregon does have some minor downsides (i.e., some reproducable crashes) but Garmin tends to update their firmware regularly - although sometimes, it is argued that they do this just to introduce new bugs. Garmin sells countless maps (I think it's upwards of the number of Nuvi variations that they sell). Pretty much anything you want to buy, Garmin will sell it. Don't get the 450t - it uses the 100K topo. Depending on the area, I've found the TIGER/road data to be upto 1/2 a mile off. Fortunately, gpsfiledepot.com has a good selection of free topo maps. Now for the the 610/710. You get 2x the number of paperless caches (10,000, vs. 5,000). The 610 comes with really nice topo maps (more on that later). The 710 comes with topo plus street/route navigatable maps. Clyde just patched GSAK to allow cache page pictures (not gallery photos) to be displayed as part of the cache description - very nice! There's been talk here about Magellan's tech support for their products - most of it has been negative. I haven't had any problems with the unit yet (nor have I owned it long enough to see how often the firmware gets patched)... so I can't comment on that. A big selling point for the x10 is the amount of FREE map data you can throw onto it. Unlike Garmin's custom map limit of 100 tiles, you can pack a 32GB memory card full of the highest resolution satellite images available from Google Earth (typically much nicer/sharper than Garmin's BirdsEye) using Mobile Atlas Creator. Only caveat is that if you need to break up your maps if you go over a 2GB file size. BirdsEye limits the download size to around 100MB per BirdsEye map. You can also create very pretty MyTopo 24K raster maps using Mobile Atlas Creator (although you don't get the 3D data you do with Garmin's 24K maps). One suprising thing I've found is the amount of detail in Magellan's Summit Series that isn't even on my Garmin 24K West TopoDVD (+$100.00 or so, retail). For example, ALL of the Aliso/Wood Canyons trails located here on OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=33.57065&lon=-117.7485&zoom=15&layers=M) are present on the x10's Summit Series. Garmin's 24K West Topo has no trails in this park. Both units are nice - and I don't think you'll be bummed out if you get a 610/710 or a 450.
  17. So - we decided to pick up a second GPS for a weekend geocaching trip to the San Bernardino National Forest. The two contenders looking to join our current GPS (an Oregon 450) was a Delorme PN-60 and the new Magellan Explorist 610. After trying out the PN-60 for a day - the Delorme maps and 'unlimited' (kinda) geocaches were great selling points - but the sluggishness of the unit was a deal-breaker. We swapped that out for the 610. Compared to the Oregon, the 610 seems a little quicker. Scrolling over satellite images or raster maps, the 610 wins hands-down. The display seems a tad more colorful and vivid as well. In the field, both units gave similar results in navigating to GZ. The 610 ate thru the rechargable AAs a tad faster. At first glance, there's no easy way to get satellite imagery (like Garmin's BirdsEye on the unit.) WIth a little help from Google, I located Mobile Atlas Creator (MOAC). In every way possible, grabbing maps using this application is superior to BirdsEye. In my cases, the Google Earth images fetched by MOAC surpassed BirdsEye. The download speed was light-years faster - and the file size limit (supposedly) is 2GB. The largest Explorist map I created was about 400MB and that worked just fine. BirdsEye seemed on par with a "level 17" zoom in MOAC. MOAC has two levels beyond that that are even sharper - but you'll have some really big files. MOAC also allows you to create HUGE 24K raster topos using the MyTopo service. I've done this on my Oregon using TopoFusion - but you're limited to 100 tiles on the Oregon. The 610 does not have any such limitation. It was just a couple of clicks to create one big 24K raster topo covering the entire San Bernardino National Forest. Oh - best of all MOAC is free! Getting caches on the 610 was easy using GSAK (GPS->Send Waypoints). With a cache limit of 10,000 (2x the Oregon's 450) - there was no problem fitting our local cache area on the unit. One weird thing is that the mini-USB connector is on a 45 degree angle... not sure what they were thinking with that one. On the downside, there are a lot of menus and a lot of scrolling thru menus. For example, on the Oregon, if I wanted to search for all caches beginning with "Alpine": Main Menu -> Geocaches -> Find -> the 'ABC' button and type in the name - no scrolling, very quick. Using the 610: Main Menu -> Geocaches -> Lower Right Menu Button -> Sort and Search -> Scroll all the way down to 'Search by Name or ID". Kind of a pain. The unit comes with a camera, but I won't be ditching my SLR any time soon. Anyways, to sum it up - a very nice unit.
  18. Yeah - $250 is a fantasic deal for that unit. Here's some answers for you: 1) gpsfiledepot.com - more maps that you can possibly ever need. Great resource. 2) I've used a 4GB, 8GB and 16GB on my Oregon 450. If you don't use BirdsEye satellite imagery, then you can probably get away with a 4GB card. I store about 4000 caches (in 2 GPXes exported from GSAK) on mine - which takes up about 25MB of storage. Maps and BirdsEye will take up the majority of your space. 3) To manage pocket quieries on your Oregon, you'll need to connect it via USB to your computer. PQs are placed in the garmin/gpx directory. Simply delete them, reboot the 450 and they'll be gone. Important Note: if you are updating your PQs on your Oregon, some people have reported lockups if you simply overwrite the GPX with a newer version. The safest way is a multi-step approach: delete the GPXes, re-boot Oregon. Add new GPXes - re-boot Oregon. 4) The latest beta (v3.74) has a rather complicated update procedure. Some users have reported bricked units. v3.71 is an easy update. The betas have some bugs - so you might want to stick with the installed firmware until you get the hang of using the unit. A great site for Oregon users: http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/ Regards, - Steve
  19. Just an issue that I found while using a 16GB card in my Oregon 450: Living in the greater Los Angeles area, I found it really easy to quickly accumulate quite a bit of BirdsEye imagery - hence the need for the 16GB card. My 16GB card contains approximately 1.5GB of BirdsEye and about 3.5GB of map data (well under the Oregon's tile limit). Also, about ~4,000 caches spread into 2 GPX files (GSAK export, each file represents a country where I regularly cache). With the 16GB card inserted, the following occurred twice during normal operation: while brining up a cache (either a description, hint or logs), the Oregon would freeze, requiring a battery pull to restart it. Meanwhile, the unit deleted both of my GPX files from my 16GB card. Ouch! I re-formatted the card and copied all the data back and the unit worked fine for a week or so then the same thing happened again. That was a few weeks ago. Since then, I copied my GPX files onto the Oregon's internal SDRAM - leaving just BirdsEye and map data on the 16GB card. The unit has worked fine since then - over 50 more caches found since the last crash. Caveat: I'm running the beta firmware (3.61). The issue also occured while I was on 3.52. It did not occur during the weeks I was on 3.50. There's always the possibility that it is a faulty SD card, but it seems to work flawlessly when connected to my PC...
  20. I had the exact same problem (same setup as you as well). Just one day, the site decided not to remember me anymore. Although there's probably a more surgical way to fix it, what worked for me is: IE8 -> Tools -> Internet Options On the 'General' tab, click "Delete..." under browsing history. Make sure everything is checked EXCEPT for "Preserve Favorites Website Data" - that seemed to be the magic bullet. Then click "delete". Anyways, I've had the problem occur one additional time - but I couldn't figure out what I did to cause it. I'd suspect that there's a MAGOR bug somewhere in IE8....
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