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JFDavis (Orion 6)

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Everything posted by JFDavis (Orion 6)

  1. Got mine 2 days ago. Bought the city navigator 2012 and did the '.2' update slipping the whole mess into an existing mapsource install. I'll be getting the 100 topo in a couple months but I was able to put an old, unprotected topo onto a micro SD and get it to work well with the entire CN product loaded into the native unit memory. Impressions so far: it's fast; it seems (almost) to keep a lock on position for several hours as it was ready to go in the time it takes me to walk a few feet to the car and start the engine this morning; in truth it started very fast straight from the box. It seems odd to (me) that one must spend some time selecting pages and putting them into order, but after working up a couple profiles it's almost second nature now. Lots of clicking! First problem: it doesn't transfer Waypoints back to the PC (Mapsource). The map (segments) highlight, the tracks appear but waypoints and routes (even those started off unit) don't transfer or come back from the GPSr to the PC. Reported to Garmin this morning. I was able to open an empty GSAK archive and collect the waypoint data to import but the icon is lost. Something unusual. Both my older units 76csx/Vista hcx zoom-out on the map view when following a route--an annoyance if you like matching map details to actual features. The Etrex®30 seems to hold whatever zoom level you pick--the map does move very fast in some situations--cute! The back button is something of an undo. I started building a route, got lost and just back-ed out until it disappeared and I was back where I first started---this may be useful, twt. Some things are nuvi-like: you need to go to the 'where to' item off the 'main' page to stop navigation. Most 'pages' in the older Etrex style of naming have relatively few menu items on the 30-several just dead-end; this is probably a different strokes, different folks issue. Well, that's my nickle tour. I got my pet bug/feature to watch. Now it's your turn. I'm going out to play some more; back soon. John
  2. I've been off this site for some time-long enough to change credit cards and have my membership lapse. Looks they are giving me a week to renew. I'm in one of those 'review???' phases----is renewing an internet site membership worth the dollars? Well who knows??? I like the Geocache ragchew idea, but I'm not going to scan the entire band looking for it. How about picking a couple frequencies, say one to start and a couple more to avoid interference with others, then a time with either a zone stamp(I'm MTN Daylight) or UTC and lets see if we can stir up some interest. I'll be mobile (HF too) in Salt Lake City this Saturday--I'll listen and return a call but propagation being what it is, who knows?!?! I'll be back home the following Saturday-better antenna! Checking back tomorrow for a response, 73, John AE5RY-good on QRZ.
  3. Anyone actually reading through 44 pages of this? Well here's hoping somebody does: AE5RY, John. Albuquerque, NM, USA. New to amateur radio, intermittent geocacher.
  4. Now that you know what it does, drive it a little crazy: with it 'locked on to roads' find an intersection-like a highway cloverleaf that's been restructured and where the map is incorrect. Make a few quick lane changes and take an off-ramp or intersection fly-over that didn't previously exist. Roads under development in a new housebuilding zone also work. Darn thing will jump from road to road to road and still not know where it is. Zooming in on the tracks overlaid on the 'roads' makes you question your sobriety. Amusing but harmless.
  5. I had the entire v8 loaded to a 2gb card-a 3+hour transfer. In a rush I tried to add a couple dozen topo tiles, just the area around a certain wilderness area I planned to visit. Found out the hard way that you need to load all the maps at the same time! Perhaps there is also a way to tell Mapsource to include what is already on the device, I didn't find it yet. Returning to my gaff, I selected a state's worth of CN AND a chunk of Topo, putting both into the list at the same time-transfer went fine, both are visible with enough 'zooming'.
  6. I'm not sure you actually need to stand still; more likely it's keep clear (of obstructions). I'm not sure what the time-limit is on breaking track-that is, what interval might cause a skip in odometer readings/samples. I suppose it could be determined empirically.
  7. I'm pretty sure the answer to all your questions revolves around a central theme-the almanac. A new receiver (or one that's been off for some period of time) must first refresh it's internal schedule of what satelites are visible and where they are before it can locate itself. The more interference you have during this acquisition, the longer the process requires. Once completed it can often track for some period of time without much new data. The process is essentially continuous, but some 'gaps' are expected and normal. However, when the 'gaps' become too numerous, then it stops knowing where it is and starts searching all over again. Buildings, large metal surfaces, roofs and trees overhead all contribute to gaps; sometimes they contribute to reflections and really wild positions are reported. Sitting in the clear is the solution. I haven't played my an Etrex in a while. I believe it only calulates distance when it actually has position and track-so yes it thinks you teleported across loss of signal/track gaps.
  8. Prepared 'how'? A unit that has been on a retailers shelf for any period of time will need to have it's firmware updated-a two part affair. And you will need to load the waypoints. Strictly speaking you don't need any mapping software as it has a basemap--and even that is not vital--but something like Topo is useful offroad/offwater. And the unit has an interesting feature called auto-routing that uses the City Navigator maps. About all you need otherwise is a handful of AA batteries and a spirit of adventure.
  9. We have a large chunk of mountain nearby. In addition to large sources like National Geographic and the US Forest Service, there is a Friends of the 'XXXXX' group. They have monthly meetings, plan trips etc. In my case at least one of the group members has written a hiking guide to XXXXX; complete with waypoints both in the book and online. Try google with your area of interest in the search, along with 'friends of'; maybe...
  10. Looks like I got into this late; you got or will get most of the necessary 'gps' gear. Take a day off work, remember to fill the vehicle gas tank, grab pen or pencil, hat, sunscreen, water and a snack. Some cache swag. And spouse, friend or child. Good Luck!
  11. AHH, no easy way to break this to you, so... Even the more expensive maps-Metroguide, City Navigator, Topo, have errors. Sometimes the cause is obvious-a new road or feature has just been built and therefore isn't included on a map written/drawn prior to the construction. Other times it's not so obvious why: the location for the University of NM Arena for instance. The Pit has been in the same location for about 30 years. Metro guide has it about 2 miles away in a heavily residential area. City Navigator shows it on a major intersection where a convienence store stands and has been for nearly 35 years-but it has the lot where the Pit stands correctly labeled as university property. My favorite barbershop is transposed with a popular restaurant and both are on the wrong side of the street. Oddly the older Mapsource product shows a particular highway interchange correctly, but the newer Navigator product has the same intersection drawn before the latest renovation. But don't blame this on Garmin, it's common to all map making. Simply, maps are out-of-date before their ink dries. Sometimes it frustrating, but with a GPSr you can zoom-out and look around; what you want is probably there somewhere. Just make finding it another ground search-it can be quite entertaining!
  12. I'm beginning to agree with you--very strange behavior. Walking the route didn't prove useful, I'm always too close to the route. Driving was a different story. 'On road' navigation from any direction always took me to the start point (wpt 1), but 'off road' navigation is strange. The route is shaped like your leg from the knee down. Wpt 1 is the heel, wpt2 is under the toe, wpt3 above the toe, wpt4 near the ankle front of leg, wpt5 front of the knee, wpt6 back of the knee, wpt7 mid-calf back of leg. Near wpt5 or 6 the GPSr navigates to wpt6 regardless of wpt5 being closer. I had to move away from wpts 2, 3&4 by almost a 1/4 mile, but then it would navigate to the closer point each time. Except for near wpt1, whenever I recalculated the route in the GPSr it would navigate on the second try to wpt 6 then a third recalculate would navigate to wpt7. Only when very near wpt1 would it consistantly navigate to wpt1 regardless of the number of recalculations. I think the 'size' of my route, the proximitaty of the wpts and the short leg lengths contributed to the strange behaviors. I'll be repeating this experiment with a longer/larger route in the next few days.
  13. Your description is correct, matching what I tried to say. Your test is interesting. It seems the unit works correctly in your case ( i.e. guides you first to Point 1). But are you using off-road or follow-the-roads navigation? I use off road mode. Unit is still relatively new to me; point me in the direction to take it 'off-road' and I'll test again. Like I said, this is an interesting 'feature'; I'd like to 'see-it-thru'. UHH, Duh, nevermind, the off-road option is in the path of menus to get it to navigate. Bingo; are you physically closer to point one than point two on your route? Here's why the question. As stated nice square block in my neighborhood. I placed pt 1 sw about four block as the crow flies, pt 2 west a couple blocks, point 3, 4 5 north of 2 two, four and seven blocks, pt 6 east of pt 5. Point 7 is south of pt 6 and also sw of my home starting point (a big rectangle route)--it's also the closest point to my home as that silly crow flies. When I go 'off road', pt 7 is closer than pt 1 and I'm directed to it immediatly. I'll soon be walking the route again and I check in several location to see where I am directed. My gut feeling is that the unit will navigate to the nearest point 'on the route' in the 'off-road' mode. This could be cludgy and ackward; one would need to specifically navigate to point one, then follow the route.
  14. OK, that was interesting. Here is what I did; first I live in a typical middle-class US neighborhood. Nice N-S/E-W streets, a few dead-ends, some loops. I picked 7 intersections in Mapsource and set 7 waypoints (one to seven). I created a new route (Route One) sequentially from one to seven. Loaded to the GPSr via USB. After allowing the GPSr (76CSx) to acquire a fix, I called up Route One and clicked the Navigate buttion. I'm 1000 or so feet (4 blocks) from Point One. Immediately the GPSr went to calculating and then set both the route and the path to Point One from my home. It did not go to Point Two. I got in my car and started driving toward point One . I then tried to confuse the issue by going in the wrong direction. At each intersection I got new directions that would take me back to Point One. At one pont it advised making an immediate U-turn. Three miles from point one I let the GPSr have it's way and I started back toward Point One. Interestingly it had me turn on a residential street instead of a major feeder street at one point-that would have been my choice. I followed the route to point seven without problems. I had also prepared a loop: Route Two. Point One at start and finish. I drove off, some distance away from Point One of Route Two and then selected Route Two and clicked the Navigate button. Calculating and both the route and directions for it's start point were forthcoming. I drove the provided directions to Point One, Route Two, then followed the route without problems. I had the Auto zoom on and that feature is quite annoying--in out, in out. My speed was between stop and 25mph on route. I had about 200 feet of turn warning. Where I simply passed a point it indicated which side the point appeared--that was rather funny as I thought I selected the center of the intersections and one time it pointed at a fire hydrant sitting on the corner. Residential streets here are about four car widths. I had road lock on during route one and off during route two. Where routes overlapped, tracks are nearly coincidental. I am very glad the thing doesn't talk, As I drove in the wrong direction, those corrective directions would rapidly become annoying. I sorry, I don't seem to be able to reproduce either of your problems. In hindsight I wonder if maybe you did all your waypointing and routing in the GPSr???
  15. I'm landlocked, but the problem sounds interesting and I think I can simulate. Let me restate your problems, so I get them set correctly and I'll try. In the first case (1) you have some arbitrary route; essentially a list of waypoints and an associated path. But you are not at the first point or on the path when you start navigating. And the GPSr thinks you are, so naturally you want to go to the second waypoint. And this is dangerous because the route/path from wpt 1 to wpt 2 is the only safe path. In the second situation (2 & 3) you want a loop or circular route and the GPSr doesn't follow the loop, but instead goes directly to the end/closest wpt. I think somebody else addressed the auto zooming. Be back soon.
  16. Loaded to GPSMAP76CSx. A bit wide but not statistically significant--fairly typical from what you describe as the process. Within the typical GPSr positional error, not conclusive as significantly larger than a typical WAAS positional error. For units of this type.
  17. OOOw, OOOOw OOOOW, I need it, I need it! What other reason for a toy?
  18. Wear glasses? With a polarizing lens? My Problems too. Twist/rotate the unit 45 degrees or take the glasses off. Especially in a newer car with a dark windshield, UV protection.
  19. I'd be happy to loan you my voice navigation unit-a try before you buy thing. Now I know she is slightly used, but she is still pretty. And loud; you'll never miss a message. Being an older model, you will need to stay on your toes; often she will tell you to "turn, back there stupid". She comes with a collision avoidance and driving FAQ function. If you drift in the slightest, tailgate, turn to sharp, speed, go too slow or try to do anything but drive, she shrieks and presents you with a visual clue of your error: She grabs the handle above the door, slaps the dash, or stomps on the floor as required. And there is always the hissing and the icy stare that will freeze you in your seat. And did I mention the voice recorder function. Yep, she is a constant joy at family get-togethers; every bump, goof or slip-up will be joyfully recalled in full detail complete with animations at the push of a button. On the other hand if you just need a good map and a direction to follow, I'd recommend any unit that allows some storage space for those maps and a dash mount of some sorts. I use several different Garmin units but find a retailer and feel-up a couple.
  20. I'm feeling old. As a graduate student I helped string some of the original internet 'wires' way back when. dadgum, it seemed like a great idea back then! This is the third or fourth or fifty-ith message system that I've seen fall to 'number chasing' rants and counter-rants. Considering that most folks cannot count without using their fingers it's all rather surprising! Here is a simple fix: stop. That's right, just don't respond one way or the other, don't participate in any form of discussion involving counts or any of it's related subjects. Talk about caching or socializing with cachers or dining with cachers or anything except 'counting' anything in the game. I'll start-this will be my one and only comment about counting things in the caching game. I feel better already.
  21. Garmin doesn't think we're stupid. They do know two other things: They need to sell products to survive and the average person doesn't understand much mathematics--even less statistical math. We talk about EPE as though it is some absolute, and as an absolute it is some measure of the quality of the GPSr, or the GPS/WAAS system as a whole. This furthers Garmins belief that we are mostly inept, quite possible ignorant. Our own arrogance as consumers-the customer is always right thing does little to dispel this belief. Looking at the various threads concerning this issue; especially at those where copies of the correspondence has been included one can see a definite trend. If you write to them in general terms or make errors in terminology you get a generic denial--blame it on the satellite realignment. As you include more information, especially correct information such as a reproducible bug list, Garmins response becomes terse, denials cease and they become almost lawyerly. I sent a bug list of approximately 10 issues in my e-mail to them. The response came more than two days later and contained a one sentence 'explanation': We are working on problems with the SiRF interface and expect to have updated software for users to download in the near future. So, with a substantial portion of the unit working as expected, Garmin did as many other high-tech businesses do: they moved to production and distribution with the intent of fixing and fine tuning the tool 'on the fly'. Simple business sense-annoying to those who jump-up and buy first, disappointing in some ways but all too typical of 20th/21st century commercialism.
  22. I'm using a Legend Cx, and the WAAS seems to be working fine... Even in the woods. I get the little D's consistently!! You're right of course, I should have been more precise. I apologize. The SiRF units are having the 'interface difficulties'; this does NOT affect all 'x' units.
  23. That's the nature of USB; especially on laptops. You can plug many items into the ports, but communicate reliably with only one, sometimes two at any given time. I must be particularly carefull with any external harddrive and printing-the printer will hang the entire system if the disk needs any kind of routine maintainence signal-most do. You may also experience problems with a pcmcia (cardbus device:modem, extra ports, card readers, small harddrives) device and USB. PCMCIA is a fading technology but it's present if you have a long thin slot on the side of the laptop and you don't typically know what to do with it. Glad you got yours working!
  24. This is a bit confusing. The cord on my brand-new Legend is serial (so was the older unit). I have a serial to usb converter and its drivers. Used it for an older PDA too. The line from GPSr to PC: the Garmin 4pin sideways plug, several feet of wire, a nine pin female plug, ---a matching male plug, the converter, several inches of cable, a USB plug --- (fitting into an empty USB on the PC). (" ---...---" =>the converter) It shows as com 5 on my laptop. Fifteen pin plugs are usually video on new laptops (last 5-10 years); for an external monitor. My converter was made by IConcepts. Got it at one of the major computer stores about $15.00US. Got any more information?
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