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Everything posted by jmundinger

  1. When I have hidden caches, I plotted three waypoints and for each of those waypoints, I used the averaging feature. Then, before leaving the site, I checked each of the three waypoints to make an initial assessment of each. Before writing up the cache, I plotted the three points in USAPhotoMaps and then chose the plot that I thought was best.
  2. I'll second the vote for USAPhotoMaps. You could then make the map on either a Topo map or landsat imagery. Another option - it would cost about $100 - would be to get the AllTopo Maps for Oregon (version 6) (http://www.alltopo.com/). This program will communicate with your GPSr. It has a seaming tool that you can use to combine maps (or cut out just a portion of the map). You can also print the map directly from the program. You can write notes associated with waypoints and display those notes on the map and, using html, you have options regarding font, color and size for those notes.
  3. No. This is an issue with the trip computer. It does not affect tracking.
  4. You can transfer waypoints, tracks and routes back and forth between your computer and the GPSr with the basic MapSource program that came with your unit. It is a very basic map - the same map is in the GPSr. If you have Google Earth loaded on your computer, MapSource has a function - look under "view" in the menu - that will display your data in Google Earth. You can also download a piece of shareware (free or, better yet, send a donation to the developer) - USAPhotoMaps - from jdmcox.com. USA Photomaps downloads USGS quadrangles and aerial photography from the Terraserver website. You can transfer data back and forth between that program and your GPSr. With the waypoints plotted, you can create a jpeg from the image on the screen and then print that image. Although you can transfer waypoints, tracks and routes back and forth between your GPSr and USA PhotoMaps, you can't load this map data to your unit. The basemap is loaded in the unit, not on the card. The card is used to store additional map data. If you don't purchase mapping software, you have no use for that card. The CD is used to install MapSource and the base map that is in your unit onto your computer. Once installed, you do not need the CD again. If you buy additional maps, e.g. City Navigator or Topo USA, that data also is loaded onto your computer and accessible through MapSource. Once on your computer, you can select segments of the map to create files that you can then transfer to your GPSr.
  5. I had several email exchanges with Garmin regarding this issue. I got a measure of what I though was run-around, but was never informed that stock answer regarding 2.2 mph. Fwiw, someone else mentioned in one of these threads that the speed threshold was 2.2kph - not 2.2 mph. That would be closer to what my unit does. The trip computer seems to fail at about 1.6 mph.
  6. I have a Vista HCx. I purchased it from OffRoute.com at a better price than that listed on Garmin's website. It is a good unit. It locks up more quickly than my LegendC and typically displays a smaller margin of error than the Legend. I checked it on a couple of benchmarks in my neighborhood - with an open sky and reading 8 or 9 satellites, the unit was off by 4 feet. The HXc series have one glitch. Garmin is aware of it but have not yet assured me that they can fix it. You have to be moving about 1.5 miles per hour for the speed and odometer to work properly. Below that pace, the unit assumes that you are not moving, the speed registers as zero and the odometer does not move.
  7. I have no idea. I followed that link. And, from that link you can get to an explanation regarding WebUpdater. But, at that link, I couldn't see how to download anything except by running WebUpdater. Except to follow the link from this board, I couldn't figure out how to navigate to that page within Garmin's system - so, except for the connection to WebUpdater, I have no idea what that update is about. Regardless, if you have WebUpdater installed on your computer, that is the easiest way to update the Vista HCx. And, if you have version 2.30 installed (the August 3, 2007 update) and run WebUpdater, you will get the message that there are not updates for the unit.
  8. I am running firmware 2.30 for the Vista HCx - which shows as the current firmware for this unit on Garmin's site. Also, when running web updater I get the message that I am running the current firmware version.
  9. I have an eTrex and a Legend C - both obsolete models. I have not experienced this trip computer issue with either of those units. The principle advantage of the H series is the high sensitivity receiver. With that, in any given situation, the H series unit will "see" more satellites than the older models and will be less prone to lose the satellite signal all together. For the hike that I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, I had a complete track log. The first mile of that trail was on a timbered slope. Had I been carrying one of the older models, I would have lost the signal several times on that slope - due to the topography and the overhead canopy - and the track log would have had several breaks in it for both the hike up and the return to the parking lot. I also heard back from Garmin, also. They are aware of this issue now. I also brought these discussions to their attention. I'm optimistic that they will get this issue resolved eventually but who knows how long eventually will last. If the trip computer is a critical feature in your choice of a unit and you need the unit now, you should consider something else. If you like the portability and want the greater sensitivity and can put up with the faulty trip computer, get something from the H series and keep your fingers crossed that Garmin will live up to their reputation and correct the problem.
  10. I've done it two ways. The easiest is to download the track into MapSource and then look at the track profile - if you select the entire track, it will give you the sum of the legs. I also have downloaded tracks into AllTopo and then traced the track to measure the distance.
  11. Go for it. I think you will enjoy it. One suggestion. The owner's manual for the HCx models is sparse compared to the manuals that came with the earlier models. You might go to the Garmin website and download the manual for the Vista or Vista HC. They contain more information about using all of the various pages and most of it will be applicable to the new model.
  12. No. With the improved sensitivity, the unit is also a little more accurate that older units in the eTrex series, especially in situations where signal reception is not quite as good. Thus, the Vista HCx is very good for caching. The trip computer tells you how long you have been on the trail and, of that, how much time you have been moving; velocity while moving; average velocity; highest velocity; and, the length of the trip. If you need that information while hiking on the trail, the data currently is not reliable. But, it has not effect on your ability to either find a cache or accurately locate a cache that you intend to hide. I'm optimistic that Garmin will correct this issue - eventually - with a firmware update. But, who knows how long it will take. I'm guessing that the Legend HCx has the same issue. The difference between the two units is that the Vista has an electronic compass and an electronic altimeter. In the earlier models (I also have a Legend C), I didn't think the price differential was worth those two features. But, with the availability of the HCx series from some online stores that are selling the units at less that suggested retail, the price wasn't that great and I decided to get the Vista this time around. If I really need a trip computer - which I use for applications other than caching - I will rely on the Legend C and put up with the occasional lost signal, until Garmin corrects this issue.
  13. Another test you might try is to search for a couple of benchmarks in your area.
  14. After my experience and reading posts that others had the same issue, I also sent an email. In mine, I referenced the discussion that we were having here.
  15. Thanks. That could well be the issue. The first mile of our hike yesterday was a steady climb - slow walking through switch backs and frequent brief pauses. The trail leveled out on top and we beat feet - the leg where things worked normally. After reading the other thread related to this issue, it seems this issue is related to the unit firmware. I sent Garmin a note through the support link at their site. I encourage others with HCx units to check to see if they have the same issue and, if so, contact Garmin and request that they resolve this issue with their next firmware update.
  16. I had a strange issue with my Vista HCx yesterday. I did a 5 mile hike to log a couple of caches. I turned the unit on at the trail head, reset the trip computer and turned on the track log. I first looked at the trip computer about a mile into the hike - at which time the trip odometer read 0.27. I thought that was odd, but, as I checked it several times between that point and our destination, the trip computer seemed to be working normally. I continued to monitor the trip computer on the return leg and, for awhile, it appeared to be working normally. However, I checked it at one point on the lower end of the trail and noted that the trip odometer was not recording. To add to the curiosity, I noted that the total time recorder had stopped. At that point, I reset the trip (without resetting the track log) and the trip computer then appeared to be functioning normally. When I returned home, I downloaded the track log and it had a complete record of the trip. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any thoughts regarding the cause of this issue?
  17. ...waiting for a cache to get approved? I've had one sitting for eight days without a review and without any comment.
  18. If it is a Legend that connects to the computer with a USB cable, it probably came with one.
  19. Perhaps one way to deal with this issue would be to include a rating scale for cache quality on the page for logging caches. Another site that I play on does this - but, then, part of that site's purpose is to promote quality caches, with quality related to the overall experience of finding the cache. A cache like this one would rate pretty well on that site: GCVXM6 The reason that cache would rate highly is self-evident from the description - a three part cache, with the first two requiring solving a puzzle in order to proceed; a four-mile hike; and, the opportunity to experience one of the outdoor treasures in our community. What you refer to as spew would not pack it on that site - the users would be too embarrassed to post them. At the same time, however, there still is room for more accessible micros - having a lot to do with location and/or the mental challenge associated with finding the cache. Having said that, one of the values that GC offers, relative to that site, is the fact that it makes caching approachable to a broader audience. Not everyone is up to a 4-mile hike around a mountain and they should not be excluded just because they can't.
  20. So, if I wanted to start a geo-post office in my community, what would I need to do other than hide an ammo can in a spot that was reasonably accessible to people passing through town (preferably also in a spot that had some sort of tourist appeal) and post the cache, designated as a geo-post office?
  21. They aren't signature, but they are handmade - I have left flies that I have tied in caches. Considering this thread, perhaps I should do that more often.
  22. I have AllTopo. I also have Acrobat Elements - you can't build pdf files in Elements, but you can use it to convert files build in other programs to a pdf file. Acrobat Elements appears as one of the printer options on the printing preferences screen in AllTopo. To convert an AllTopo map to a pdf file, I select Acrobat as the printer and then print the document. Rather than turning on the printer, a window pops up asking where to store the pdf file. I presume the routine would be similar for Topo because that also is the routine for Word, PowerPoint, etc.
  23. You might try AllTopo for your state www.alltopo.com
  24. That was my first thought. D M.m look similar to D.d when displayed on the screen but look a lot different on the ground. I wish that I could say I had made that mistake only once.
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