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Everything posted by jmundinger

  1. It is a simple process to downgrade both the system and chipset software on the Vista HCx (and, presumably, all of the units in the eTrex series that connect to the computer with a usb cable). The only difficulty, is that you have to have a copy of the older version and, sometimes, that is difficult to come by. It's not to big a deal with the system software because that can be installed with either WebUpdater or by downloading the file from Garmin. The only way to install the current version of the chipset software is with WebUpdater, so it is a little more difficult to find the older versions - that's the reason I noted the availability of a link to chipset 2.50 in one of the other threads. And, to repost a tip that someone else mentioned in a different thread - even when you use WebUpdater, the chipset software is first downloaded to your computer. You can find it in the temporary internet folder - if you are running xp, you have to have the folders option set to show hidden files to be able to find that folder. So, after running WebUpdater, retrieve the updates from the temporary internet folder and save them somewhere else. That way you will have a copy of the software if you do a future update and want to revert to the software you just installed.
  2. The chipset 2.50 that I mentioned is for the Vista HCx. I don't know whether the Colorado 300 uses the same firmware.
  3. If you are using a Vista HCx, there is a link to chipset 2.50 available in another thread on this board. If you are going to backdate, go to that, not 2.60.
  4. If you have WebUpdater installed, put a short cut to it in the same folder as the *.rgn file and follow the same procedure. I see the unit software at that link. I don't see the chipset software there.
  5. I'll try. The file is compressed. It has to be uncompressed ("unzipped") before you can use it - use a program like Winzip or something similar. If you don't have a program that will do that already installed, you should be able to locate a free or trial version someplace on the internet. When you decompress the *.zip file, you will have get two files. Put both of them on your desktop or store them in a separate folder - which is what I did. My folder looks like this: Open that folder and simple click on the *.rgn file and drag it onto the updater file. When you do that, it will initiate updater. If you have your gps connected to the computer and turned on, it will begin to install the chipset software, following the same prompts that you would get if you were using WebUpdater.
  6. It's not that I don't appreciate all of the correspondence that I have received, but one of the persons to whom I sent 2.50 put it up as a link on the German equivalent to this board: http://www.naviboard.de/vb/showpost.php?p=...mp;postcount=70 You don't need to be able to read the German in order to distinguish the hotlink for the zip file from the text.
  7. Based on your description, it sounds like you have the location setup using UTM coordinates. You want to switch to degrees, minutes, decimal minutes. Main Menu < Setup < Units Setup < Position Format select hddd mm.mmm
  8. Greenleaves - I tried sending it but your mail server apparently doesn't like stuff coming from a gmail account. Please try contacting me again and, if you have another email address, put it in the message. I also tried to send you a couple of follow ups, but those bounced, too.
  9. As I have noted in the email that I sent to everyone to whom I sent the 2.50 chipset, I think we should share our results so that we have an idea about how the Vista HCx performs with 2.70/2.50 compared with other software configurations. I think it would also be a good idea to share our results - politely and constructively - with Garmin. If, as suggested by the discussion of a similar issue with the Colorado, Garmin is working with the chipset vendor to correct the "drift" issue, they would benefit from our results and, in turn, we would benefit from improved performance. Also, I forgot to mention in my emails that, if you reverted to chipset 2.50 and don't like the way it performs, simply do the WebUpdater routine to reinstall 2.60.
  10. Ja, wohl! I have a copy chipset 2.30; 2.50 and 2.60 on my computer. I know I have the "drift" issue with 2.70/2.60 - I even experienced a mild form of it on a neighborhood walk - with little overhead obstruction and tracking about 8 satellites. I downgraded to 2.70/2.30 but shortly after the downgrade I turned the gps on and it failed to get a good lock on the satellites - I turned it off, restarted and it locked on right away. So, I decided to try 2.70/2.50. I have not yet tried that combination with a compromised view of the sky. But, my initial hikes - all with a solid lock on 8 + satellites - were more that satisfactory. The trip computer functioned during the stretches on which I was moving slowly (<1 mph) and I got nice trip logs, including return legs that retraced the out-going legs, well within standard error. Understand that this was with good satellite connections and just a few trials. But, I think I will stick with this configuration for awhile. drop me an email if you want the zip file. You will have to un-package it and then drag one of the files over the other to initiate webupdater and install the chipset.
  11. I have experienced a similar issue when first turning on the unit and had it happen running 2.70/2.30. I have since switched to 2.70/2.50 but have not had a chance to field test it. Does anyone know where to find a copy of chipset 2.40??
  12. Please provide a little more information about where to find the speed filter. On my Vista HCx, there are two places to change marine settings: Main Menu > Setup > Marine - on that page, there are two options: Anchor Drag Alarm and Off Course Alarm Main Menu > Setup > Map > Marine - on that page, there are four options: Marine Colors, Spot Soundings, Light Sectors and Symbol Set
  13. Two options: press and hold the rocker key and the unit should default to the waypoint page. Alternatively, scroll through to the main menu and select "mark". Another suggestion, go to the garmin website and look for the description of the Vista C, a discontinued model. From that page, download the pdf file for the user's manual - it is more detailed than the manual that came with the Vista HCx.
  14. In my on-going email exchange with Garmin tech support, I asked regarding the chipset used in the Vista HCx. The initial response (not unexpected) was that she could not answer the question because the information was proprietary. I assured her that I respected Garmin's concern about protecting proprietary information. I also advised that I was just curious whether the more recent production had a different chipset than the older versions (I have one of the early ones) and the related concern that, if production involved more than one chipset, then the chipset software updates might function better on one chipset than the other. Her response was that her supervisor had confirmed that all of the chipsets are the same. And, thus, suggestions to the contrary on this forum would be incorrect. My impression is that she has been candid (within reasonable limits) throughout these exchanges and I have no reason to suspect that she might not have been straight with me on this one.
  15. Based on my experience (which is probably not as much as that of some others who have posted about this) is that it affects the track log, probably affects the data on the trip computer and affects accuracy after the drift occurs. There are probably a couple of things to try. First, record a track log for your hike and download it to MapSource (or other program) and view it. The "drift" will appear as a distinct aberrant leg somewhere along the track. Note that this is a noticeably distinct jog in the track - not just a variation, within standard deviation, from the path that was actually walked. Another thing to note is the level of accuracy. My Vista HCx typically operates at 12 ft. +/- accuracy. When I have experienced the "drift" issue, the accuracy level is considerably larger than than. Third, if you are close to gz and think that drift has occurred, turn it off and back on. If an error occurred, it should clear and the gps will show you at a different spot than it recorded before you turned it off. In my experience, I have noticed that this issue does not consistently occur. It seems to be related to recording while moving at a walking pace, especially when walking slowly and with something less than an optimal view of the sky. But, I have had it occur when I was walking with a good view of the sky. I've also hiked in situations with slow uphill stretches and the skyview compromised by both terrain and trees and still recorded a pretty good track log.
  16. Sort of, but not quite. The actual hike started at the Lazyman Gulch trailhead, i.e. where the yellow track started. The hike followed the road to the hairpin and then followed the trail east from there to a point on the sw side of the know on the righthand margin of the image. So, based on the path that I actually followed, the unit started deviating shortly after I started hiking. Then, the unit regard a major aberration. Then, it sort of caught up with itself and started recording a more normal looking track again. But, I think most of that track log is in error. After, I turned off the unit and restarted it, the unit showed I was in a spot that actually corresponded to the terrain and it led me right to the cache that I was looking for. I didn't post the log here, but after finding that first cache, I hiked another mile to the south to find another cache - through steeper terrain than the first leg and portions of it also were more heavily timbered. Then I backtracked to the trailhead. Throughout, the unit performed normally and laid down a track that was well within the standard error for the unit. There are a couple of other recent threads regarding the recent software updates for the Vista HCx that also discuss this issue. There is at least one post of a track log that shows an aberration similar to what I posted here. There also have been a couple of posts in which people have talked about a track that plots on the map/photo differently than the path that they actually walked. That may be an issue, but it's probably something different from what others have described as "drift".
  17. Just to be clear, here is a visual of the issue that we are talking about. Note the highlighted leg - somehow I managed to walk a distance of a half-mile in 24 seconds, at a pace of 78 mph. And, even though the log after that point is back on the trail that I actually walked, the gps was actually lost by about a quarter of a mile. I couldn't specifically from the log except that, at the end (right hand side) I was near a cache that the gps said was still another 0.25 miles away. After turning the unit off/on the unit said that I was about 100 ft. from it. The general location of the cache was near an obvious topographic feature, i.e. the knob that shows on the right hand side of the screen shot.
  18. I have been trading emails with Garmin tech support regarding the "drift" issue with the Vista HCx. The conversation has been cordial and my sense is they are genuinely interested in resolving the issue. I had sent them a track log - not just a screen shot, but the *.gdb file that was saved in MapSource - from a hike that contained a very obvious "drift". I also included some description of the hike that corresponded with various points in the log. I also brought to their attention a couple of the threads on this board where we have discussed the issue. "drift", as we have used the term here, apparently is not part of their vocabulary. They did mention an issue with "multipath" but, as they described the issue, that issue does not seem to account for the fact that the Vista HCx has difficulty "finding" itself again after the "drift" has occurred. Here is the last response that I received: " We have contacted the Engineer's with your last information and they have stated that they are working on a software update that should help resolve this issue. They believe this is partly due to this unit being a high sensitive GPS receiver. Imho, as end-users, be are, in effect, beta-testers. That is not intended to be a criticism of Garmin but the reality of being consumers of all of these interesting electronic toys. Thus, it seems to me, that, if we really want these toys to perform to our expectations, we have a responsibility to make it easy for Garmin (or the other manufacturers) to fix these issues. I would encourage others to share track logs that have an obvious "drift" with Garmin. Note, that the "drift" issue is a track log with an obvious aberrant track leg that significantly deviates from the actual route and then has the appearance of returning to normal.
  19. Good enough? yes Good idea? I don't think so. Two footnotes. The eTrex is archaic - don't get it. If he does get an eTrex, make sure he gets the eTrex H, which has a more sensitive chipset in it and it should sell for about the same price. But, for just a little more (he might have to get it online), he'd be much happier with a Venture HC.
  20. I think only you can answer that question? You've got a good basic unit that will do well everything you should expect from a consumer grade gps designed for outdoor recreational use. Do you need an electronic compass, and electronic altimeter, more than 24mb of memory or autorouting? If so, how often will you use those features?
  21. I have. But, I didn't send the screen shots - I sent the track log from the file created in MapSource. I suspect that the track log would be more helpful to them than the screen shot because they would get the data, as recorded. It's also a smaller file. I'd also encourage people to be polite. I have had a few exchanges with Garmin since I purchased the Vista HCx and I have always had the impression that they are trying to be helpful. Based on the posts here regarding issues with the Vista HCx, the Colorado and the Oregon, I get the sense that us end users might be beta testers for Garmin. But, if that is the case, it's a management decision, not a decision made by the people who are trying to provide us with tech support.
  22. Either the Venture HC or, if you want an electronic compass, the Summit HC should be sufficient. One of my units is a Legend C which, essentially, is an older version of the Venture HC. Like the Venture, it has 24mb of internal memory. The portion of Topo 2008 that I keep loaded on it includes the south half of Glacier National Park, most of Yellowstone National park, and the portion of Montana that lies between the two. It takes a little time to load the maps - although, with only 24 mb, it's not that time consuming. It is easy enough to configure and save different map sets in MapSource and then load the map set that corresponds to the area where you intend to use the unit for a particular adventure. One final note, if you get either the Venture HC or the Summit HC, go to the Garmin website and download the users manual for either the Legend C or the Vista C (both discontinued models). The functions are the same as the current models - the older users manuals are more comprehensive.
  23. Main Menu > Setup > System Setup and, at that page, press the menu key. One of the options on the menu for that page is "software version". That option will display both the software and chipset versions.
  24. Unlike the other units in the eTrex series, the cable for the basic unit is an extra and it connects to the computer through a serial port. If your computer does not have a serial port, you will also need an adapter so that you can connect it through a usb port.
  25. Thanks for the explanation. If that is the issue, it sounds like a) there might not be an easy fix for it and some of the criticism directed at Garmin might be overly harsh. By the way, the Garmin tech person reminded me that, for proper functioning, the unit should be horizontal and away from the body. If there is a problem with multipath, as you described it, I suppose carrying the unit in a front shirt pocket might exacerbate the problem. However, hiking with the unit stored in the top of a fanny or back pack would make it difficult to periodically check the unit while walking.
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