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Everything posted by jmundinger

  1. I think the Vista HCx is a good option for hiking. It took several updates, but I think Garmin has finaly worked out the worst of the kinks. Two things to remember - a gps is no substitute for a map and compass if you are thinking about serious hiking. And, the gps is vulnerable to do strange things when you do not have an unobstructed view of the sky. These caveats apply to all units, not just the Vista HCx (but, if you are hiking with a 76 csx, I suspect you already knew this )
  2. The Vista HCx had odometer issues when it was first introduced - the speedometer/odometer would stop plotting when the unit was moving slowly (about 2 mph), which was an issue for hikers. The unit also had some issues with "multi-path", i.e. location errors because the high sensitivity had difficulty distinguishing signals that bounced off near by objects from the real signals. Multi-path caused both location errors and serious errors in the track log. In my experience with the Vista HCx, I have been satisfied with its performance using software version 2.80 and chipset 2.50. I tried a couple of the updates since then and was not happy with the performance. But, I recently updated to the current configuration - software 3.20 and chipset 2.90 - and, thus far, I like it. My initial results (x-country skiing, not hiking) have produced crisp track logs (i.e. well within the standard error for the unit) and improved consistency between the odometer and the track log.
  3. Just about any gps that comes with a usb cable should work. If you are on a budget, I'd suggest a Garmin Venture HC. It will come with MapSource. Install that and then download/install Ibycus USA from this site - http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/19/ and download/install nroute from the following site - http://www8.garmin.com/support/agree.jsp?id=575
  4. The software configuration that I prefer is firmware 2.80 and chipset 2.50. However, I don't know how that configuration performs with the gps games.
  5. Go to the Map Setup Page and scroll to the information tab on that page. The display should include the name of every map segment that you have loaded on the card. If none are displayed, something did not load properly. There also should be a check in the box for each of those segments. If not, the segment will not display.
  6. Download this manual: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/store/manual.js...167&pID=263 That is the manual for a discontinued gps that has the same functionality as your Vista HCx. The manual for the old model was a lot more comprehensive than the manual for the newer model. And, fwiw, you could also plot the final coordinates for that cache on your computer - using mapsource and the distance/bearing tool. Download the coordinates for each of the reference points into mapsource. Use the distance/bearing tool to project a line from each reference point and make a waypoint at the spot (probably a small quadrangle) where the four lines intersect.
  7. A Garmin Venture HC doesn't cost much more than the other low end gps units and offers a lot more functionality.
  8. First, you will need to have a memory card for your gpsr to be able to load maps to the unit. 1:24k will give you more detail - most of which you will be able to see on the small screen. 1:100k will allow you to cover a larger area for the same amount of memory. Assuming that it is available from gpsfiledepot, the 1:24k can be downloaded for free. Topo2008 is available for purchase.
  9. Thanks for the tests/comparisons. I have a couple of comments: 1) Obviously both units perform well within the probable error that Garmin describes for these units. 2) I wonder what effect different firmware/chipset configurations would have had on the results and, assuming that there is such a thing, that the pairs of units in these tests were using comparable configurations. Obviously there is no way to run a simultaneous test on the same unit using different software configurations, but my sense is that, with the Vista HCx, the unit seems to perform more erratically with some configurations than with other. And, if the high sensitivity eTrex units use the same chip as that in the Dakota, presumably they both would be prone to similar potential for erratic performance associated with variable software configuration.
  10. It depends on the nature and scale of the map segments that you are trying to load. I have topo 2008 (1:100 scale) loaded on my Vista HCx. At the moment, I have all of Montana, most of Wyoming about half of Colorado, a piece of Idaho and segments of several other states and am using about 750 mb of space on a 2 gb card.
  11. I expect the unit the perform within the probable error described for the unit. The software configuration that I recommended seems to do that and to generate a track log that is consistent with that level of accuracy. And, fwiw, the unit is more accurate than my car because my car doesn't go to the places where I use that function.
  12. You can also use MapSource - the software that came with your unit - to download caches. Now, a couple of questions? 1. Does EasyGps know that you are using a gps on a usb and not on a serial port? 2. I'm suspicious that your computer is not seeing your gps. If it is showing up as a drive (i.e. f:), the gps is looking at the card, not the unit. Waypoint and track data are filed in the fixed memory, not on the card. When you connect the gps to the computer it should default to the unit, not to the card. Check your device manager (this is an XP solution - someone can correct me if the device manager in Vista is different) and see if there is a yellow question marks associated with one or more USB hubs. If so, your computer is not seeing the device. Unistall the driver associated with the usb hub that has the yellow question mark. Turn off Easy GPS. Connect your gps to the computer and turn it on, again, and then let the operating system try to reconfigure the driver for a usb hub.
  13. You are welcome. That's what this forum is about. I presume that the installation process worked for you. Now, I hope that the firmware/software change produces the kind of results in use for you that I have experienced with that configuration.
  14. To install the firmware (i.e. 2.80), connect your device to the computer and turn it on. Double click on the file that you downloaded and everything else should be intuitive. Installation of the chipset is a little more complex. Put the *.rgn file (i.e. the file that you downloaded) into a folder (or on your desktop). Create a shortcut to WebUpdater and put that shortcut in the same place where you put the *.rgn file. Connect your device to the computer. Open the file. Drag the *.rgn file on top of the WebUpdater shortcut. This procedure should open WebUpdater and, when you continue, WebUpdater will install that *rgn file rather than connecting to the internet and installing something from the Garmin website. This really is easier to do than it might sound. But, if you have problems with it, drop me an email. The first is the firmware. The second is the chipset I have had little need for that operation, so I am probably not the best person to ask.
  15. I would NOT update it with WebUpdater. Instead, set it to 2.80/2.50 using the files from the links in that other thread.
  16. You are welcome. The trip computer and track log are two features that are important to me. Of the various software configurations, I have had the best results using the combination that I recommended, i.e. firmware 2.80 and chipset 2.50. There are still some minor discrepancies between the track log and the trip computer and, when those happen, I tend to trust the track log. With this configuration I have had consistently crisp track logs. I have yet to experience the drift/multi-path problem and the corresponding significant error in current location. I suspect that you will see a noticeable improvement if you install the equivalent configuration for your Legend HCx. You should be able to find them at the links in the other thread. Download them to your computer and then install them from there. The procedure will employ WebUpdater to accomplish the task but it will use the files that you downloaded rather than connecting to the Garmin website to get the current versions.
  17. You noted the issue. The odometer drops to zero when you are walking at slower speeds. This was an issue with the earlier firmware and chipset software versions. I have a Vista HCx rather than the Legend HCx and experienced the same issue when the unit was new. I am now using firmware version 2.80 with chipset version 2.50. With that configuration, the odometer and track log show a similar distance traveled and the track log doesn't "drift" (another issue related to the high sensitivity chip). I can't say for certain because I have the Vista, but I suspect the equivalent configuration would also work best for the Legend. Scroll down the page(s) for a recent thread that I started about chipset 2.90, the most recent update for these units. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=229219 There are posts in that thread that have links to a place where you can find the firmware and chipset software for these units. They are not available from the Garmin website or with WebUpdater because these are no longer the current software for these units.
  18. If you are using the vista hcx for trail mapping, I would strongly encourage you to use the configuration of firmware version 2.80 and chipset version 2.50. With that configuration, I get consistently track logs that are well within the probable error that you should expect from a recreation grade gps. With any other configuration, I have experienced issues with drifting. There is another recent thread that I started regarding problems (serious problems) with chipset 2.90. In that thread, you can find links for the firmware and the chipset versions that I prefer.
  19. Some folks might disagree, but I don't think it is that big a deal. It just means there is a practical limit on the amount of map data you can store in the unit. It thus is an issue of convenience - not essentials. The venture HC has a 24mb internal memory. That is where you would store additional map data if you wish to download that data to your unit from mapsource (you can download some pretty cool stuff from http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/). With 24 mb of internal memory, I have a swath of Montana that goes from Glacier Park to Yellowstone Park of Topo 2008 loaded in my Legend C (an older version of the Venture HC). That is a fair amount of country. The 24 mb limit is an issue only if I want to use the unit someplace else and want the map data for the other location. You would have to clear the memory and install the new map data. By comparison, if you had a unit with that takes a card, the limit on map data would be determined by the size of the card and you can put a lot of 1/100 topo map data on a 2 gb card. I think there is a second issue with not having a card. I don't think POI loader works with units that don't have a card. If it is important to store a large data base of customized points of interest, this would be a limitation. It would primarily be of concern if you wanted to do paperless caching. Since I'm replying to you anyway, I'll play my favorite broken record. Go to the garmin website and download the users manual for the Legend C (in the discontinued trail models). That unit is essentially the same as yours and the manual that came with it was very comprehensive.
  20. I would suggest getting a Garmin Venture HC. You won't be out a lot of money if you decide that caching is not for you. You will get a unit with most of the functionality of the high end units - just not all of the bells and whistles. And, if you later decide to upgrade, you'll still have a quality backup unit. The Venture HC comes with a USB cable and I agree with you that feature is an essential, not just for caching but for a variety of other applications.
  21. Go here for downloading Chipset software. Unfortunately, I don't see a copy of the 2.50.rgn file at that link.
  22. Here is the user's manual for a Legend C, a discontinued model. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/store/manual.js...167&pID=255 Except for the lack of a high sensitivity chip, it is essentially the same unit as the Venture HC. The manuals for the discontinued models were more comprehensive. As the other poster noted, the function you are looking for is "project a waypoint"
  23. Here is the firmware: http://www.garmin.com/software/eTrexLegendHCx_280.exe I'm not sure where to find the earlier versions of the chipset.
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