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Everything posted by jmundinger

  1. I finally had a chance to try out the recent chipset update for the Vista HCx, i.e. chipset 2.90. The following screen shot says it all. I walked the pink path (clockwise). The recorded log is the yellow line. I am reverting to firmware 2.80/chipset 2.50 asap.
  2. Ditto! There is a difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable. And, there is a difference between attacking issues in dispute and attacking the person with whom they disagree. And, fwiw, as I have read most of the equipment/manufacturer rants in this forum, I often am left scratching my head. There is a difference between legitimate complaints and unrealistic expectations and too many of the rants sound like the latter to me.
  3. As the other poster indicated, first you have to install MapSource. Then install the map that you downloaded in gpsfiledepot. Then, open MapSource. There is a small window on the left hand side of the tool bar that has a menu with all of the installed map layers - go into that menu and select the map that you downloaded. Then, use the map tool to select quadrants from the map. The quadrants that you selected will turn pink and the names of each quadrant will appear in the sidebar. At the bottom of the sidebar you will see an indicator for the size of the file that you are building. The Venture HC will accept a file up to 24MB (actually a little smaller than that). After you have built the file, use MapSource to send it to your gps (it will take several minutes to complete the transfer). Depending upon how intend to use the maps, you might want to save the map set. Then, if you transfer a different map set to your gpsr and then want to revert, you will have it.
  4. It would be one step above basic - more that enough to get you started (but, I wouldn't go with less) and enough to keep you going without upgrading for quite awhile - I would get a Garmin Venture HC. You don't need an electronic compass and altimeter. But, if you want those features, I would get a Garmin Summit HC (essentially the same unit as the Venture HC, but with the additional features). The user's manuals for the newer units are not as complete as those for the older models. But, the functions on the newer units are essentially the same. If you get the Venture HC, go to the Garmin site and download the manual for the Legend C (a discontinued model). Or, if you get the Summit HC, get the manual for the Vista C (also a discontinued model). I have had good service - and the prices are attractive - by dealing with offroute.com.
  5. I installed chipset 2.9 along with firmware 3.0 - they came about about the same time - on my Vista HCx and reverted to firmware 2.8 with chipset 2.50. I have yet to experience "drift" with that configuration and what appear to be the best track logs, when plotted on a topo map.
  6. If you really want to check the accuracy of the unit, I would hunt up a few benchmarks so that you can compare the unit against surveyed points on the ground. When you are running these tests against google earth, how clear is your view of the sky? Some of the firmware/chipset software combinations are prone to inconsistent behavior. To be honest, I don't have a lot of confidence in the most current versions (3.0/3.0), although that combination is more reliable than some of the earliest configurations. My personal preference is for firmware 2.80 with chipset 2.50.
  7. try downloading the coordinates from your gpsr to MapSource and then select view in GoogleEarth from MapSource and see how the two compare.
  8. The eTrex H should do that. Based on your description of how you will use it, it sounds as though they will be writing down the coordinates rather than recording the location with the gps. I'm guessing they can do that just fine with the eTrex H and probably able to do it by just turning the unit off and on. If you want to record the location with the gps rather than writing it down, I would take one step up and get the Venture HC - that unit comes with a USB cable that enables communication with the computer.
  9. Egami - I don't have me hTrex anymore (it wasn't the H model, but the functions would be the same). The satellite page shows a simulation of the sky and the relative position of the satellites that the unit is looking for. After the unit is locked on the satellites, the current position of the unit - lat/long - also displays on that page. I don't remember whether the unit stays on that page after getting a lock or if it automatically scrolls to one of the other pages. But, even if it does, it is easy enough to scroll back to the satellite page. Having said this, if you want to navigate to a known location, I don't think that is the page you want to use (or, I'm not quite understanding the question that you are asking). Instead, I think you want the compass page - you can use that to get information about direction and distance to that location. With any of the units in the Garmin eTrex series you would have to scroll to get to that page.
  10. Correct, and when the gpsr gets a lock, the coordinates for the current location are displayed on that page.
  11. Open the track log in trip&waypoint manager/mapsource. On the top menu, select "view" and, under that menu, select view in googleearth. In googleearth, select "view" and, under that menu, select "sidebar". In the sidebar, under "Places", there is a tree that includes "temporary places", "mapsource" and the file that has your tracklog. Right click on the tracklog and select "properties". On the pop-up window, select the "style,color" tab. Under that tab, you can edit the size of the waypoints in the tracklog and the color of the line.
  12. What gpsr do you have and did it come with software? If you have a garmin and it came with mapsource, you can download the track to mapsource and then, from there, view the track in google earth. I don't use EasyGPS very often. That is a piece of free software. You can download the track to that program but, I'm not sure that you can do much except view the track log on your computer screen after that. There is a piece of shareware - USAPhotoMaps - available from jdmcox.com (free, but a donation is requested by the author). That program downloads topos and satellite imagery from the TerraServer website. It is also compatible with most gpsr's. You could also purchase topo maps - there are several different versions. The one that I use is AllTopo (about $100/per state).
  13. Merry Christmas, in July. Another suggestion, go to the Garmin website and download the user's manual for the Vista c (a discontinued model) - the functions of that unit are the same as yours. The manual is much more comprehensive than the manual that comes with the current units.
  14. I don't think clearing poi's, tracks and waypoints would have been the cause of your issue. I would use a benchmark or two to confirm that you have an accuracy issue. If you still think you have an issue, I'd start by removing and reinstalling the batteries (or, replace if the current set is not reasonably fresh) and then reacquire the almanac - turn the unit on, and, on the satellite page, select "new location" and leave the unit with a clear view of the sky for several minutes.
  15. I agree with the others who recommended something from the H series. My suggestion would be a Venture HC. If you buy it from someplace like OffRoute.com or Amazon.com, the price will be less than MSRP.
  16. I'm not sure how that analogy applies to this thread. EasyGPS is free. MapSource is included in the purchase price of most Garmin units. GSAK, however, requires a purchase and, a premium subscription is necessary to take advantage of GSAK's functionality.
  17. I agree! And, even if you don't get the Venture HC, scratch the Legend (decent unit - but it is outdated). Also, scratch the eTrexH. It is a good unit and with the newer, high sensitivity receiver. But, you will soon get frustrated that it does not work with a USB cable - a nice feature for transferring data back and forth with your computer. And, for about the cost of that unit plus the cost of a serial cable and usb adapter, you can purchase the Venture HC - which comes with a usb cable and has more functionality. I'm not familiar with either the Magellan or the Lowrance. But, I'm a very satisfied Garmin customer. I'm confident that you would be satisfied with the Venture HC.
  18. If you are buying a Vista HCx, it will come with MapSource. I haven't spent a lot of time bothering to learn all of GSAK's features, but my impression is that MapSource is perfectly adequate for managing waypoint files and transferring data between your computer and your gpsr. Set MapSource as the default program and it will open when you click on "LOC Waypoint File" from the cache description. You can use MapSource to edit waypoint properties. For caching, you will want to make sure that the waypoint symbol is a "cache" (that will instruct the gpsr to use geocache mode for that waypoint). If sent from the cache description, it will already have that symbol. Depending on how you choose to identify/organize waypoints, you might want to change the waypoint name. For sure you will want to edit the comment field - use shorthand and put the most important information first because there is a limit on how much information will show up on your gpsr. When operating in geocache mode, you can display the comment field by selecting "note" from the compass page. If you are transferring multiple caches from the website to your computer, a new instance of MapSource will open with each transfer. But, you can still build a single file with multiple caches - simply copy the waypoint from the new instance of MapSource and paste it into the other instance, etc. If you also are buying a mapping program, e.g. Topo 2008, it will show up as a data layer in MapSource. Even if you are not, you can view a MapSource file, i.e. the waypoints, in GoogleEarth.
  19. That is the unit that I would have recommended in response to your initial post. The step up from eTrexh is well worth the difference. The Venture HC has several useful features that the eTrex doesn't have and the Venture comes with a USB cable. After you get your new gps, go to the Garmin website and download the user manual for the Legend C - it is essentially the same unit as the Venture HC, except with the newer chip set. The functions are the same and the old users manual is more comprehensive. The last time I checked, the price of the Venture HC was $130 at offroute.com
  20. I apologize if you took offense at my post. That wasn't my intent. With each geocache, you have the option of using the option of downloading the "LOC Waypoint File". Associate that feature with your preferred software for managing waypoint files. In some situations, you might prefer to edit the waypoint before you send it to your gps, e.g. change the waypoint name or to add information to the note. So, even when the "send to gps" is functioning, you might appreciate the alternative approach.
  21. What am I missing here? I understand that the "send to gps" function might have been down. But, I don't understand why that necessitates a manual entry. You still would have the option to open the *.loc file with MapSource, EasyGPS, GSAK or whatever. Then, in that routine, you would have the option to further edit the information in the note and then send the waypoint to your gps.
  22. ...except that when it got to the "first new locked point" it was off by about 400 ft.
  23. To be honest, I don't understand your issue - I've never seen squares on tracks in mapsource. Tracks on my computer always display as a series of small, connected black dots, with the selected tract highlighted in yellow and, if a leg within that track is selected, it is highlighted in cyan. I have only seen the large black squares when I view the track in Google Earth. The description above was specific to GE.
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