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Glenn W

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Everything posted by Glenn W

  1. The old USA TOPO maps use scanned 1970s-era USGS maps for both topo and streets. Needless to say, accuracy is marginal at best. The Topo 2008 (100K scale) product is an improvement in that it uses satelite-based DEM data for topo, and Tiger data for the roads. However, Tiger data is much cheaper, and far less accurate than the Navteq data that City Nav maps use. Errors such as you describe are common, even in older section of the city where nothing has changed in decades. The latest 24K topo maps use Navteq data for the roads, which is why they support autorouting. However, this level of accuracy comes at a premium price. The following website has 24K topo maps for most (if not all) of the US; they don't support autorouting, but I've found the accuracy to be quite good. The maps are generally free, or if you like, donations are accepted. http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/
  2. I'd steer clear of the 765T for outdoor use. It's a very nice car navigator, but the the battery life off external power is miserable, especially if the screen is set to 100% (needed in bright sunlight).
  3. Garmin removed the lithium battery option to protect the 60CSX from overvoltage. Brand new lithiums initially deliver almost 1.8V; after a couple of minutes, the voltage stabilizes at just under 1.6V. There have been reports of the 60CSX acting strangely with fresh lithium batteries. Seems that if you run down the batteries just a bit first (i.e., in a flashlight), they are ok to use in the 60CSX. However, because the battery type setting no longer includes "Lithium," the battery charge indicator will not be properly calibrated. Ditto what jholly said about the NiMH batteries not charging in the unit. These rechargables need an electronically-controlled charge cycle. Simply feeding voltage fron a USB would damage the batteries.
  4. Look for a refurbed Nuvi 750. Last time I checked, they were the best deal out there.
  5. When the 60CSX is moving, the gps fixes drive the heading arrow. When stationary, or below the set threshold speed, the magnetic compass takes over after a set time. Be sure the compass is properly calibrated, and learn the proper holding technique. While you are moving above the set threshold speed, hold the unit with antenna up for best reception. When stopped, or moving below the set threshold speed, hold the unit level with the ground, and away from any metal, to maximize the compass accuracy. I found that lowering the set threshold speed and time delay improved the performance of the heading arrow at slow walking speeds.
  6. Please note that the antennas on most receivers are directional, and that your body interferes with the signal. Some receivers perform better when held horizontally, some when held vertically; I believe the eTrex units should be held horizontally. All receivers should be held as far from the body as practical, and make sure your hand isn't blocking the antenna.
  7. That is an update version which requires that you have a previous version installed.
  8. There are dozens of comparisons between the Colorado and the 60CSx elsewhere on the board, so I won't add my opinion. However, if sailing is a major part of your planned activity, I'd consider the 76CSx instead of the 60CSx. The 76CSx has virtually the same hardware as the 60CSx, but floats much better. The 60 series barely floats when used with light-weight NiMH batteries. The 76 is unsinkable. I have the 60CSx, but it is rarely used on the water; I attach a floating key fob on those occasions.
  9. Garmin eTrex H is about as basic as you get while still getting a high sensitivity receiver. B&W screen, no map capability, no electronic compass, optional serial data cable (no usb cable). Costs about $100. For about $130 you could upgrade to the eTrex Legend H which has a built-in B&W basemap, can store 24 MB of supplemental maps, and includes a USB data cable. OR For about $140 you could upgrade to the eTrex Legend HC which has a built-in color basemap, can store 24 MB of supplemental maps, and includes a USB data cable. I included the two options to show that the most basic unit is often not the best value. Unless you prefer to manually enter coordinates for the caches, the lack of a USB data cable will be a limiting factor. Also, given that there are very good street and topo maps available free at www.gpsfiledepot.com, a color screen and the ability to store maps may be worth the extra $40.
  10. Well that's dissapointing. Takes away most of the benefit of the autorouting feature, if there are no trails shown. Looks like Garmin is investing a lot of money in a product that isn't worth the high cost. Guess I'll stick with the quite good free maps. Since my 60CSx can't display the DEM shading, the autorouting trails was the only real lure for me.
  11. Another home remedy that works well to dry electronics is pure silica gel kitty litter (usually sold in grocery stores in the form of white and blue crystals) in a zip-lock bag or tupperware container. This is not the same as regular kitty litter made mostly of clay. The silica gel kitty litter is virtually the same product that comes in the "do not eat" desiccant packs used to keep food fresh. You can even use the leftover kitty litter (tied in old, but clean socks) to keep drawers and closets dry in humid environments. Also useful to keep boating supplies dry.
  12. I agree that the gpsfiledepot maps are a great free alternative to paying the high prices for the Garmin maps. However, if you want autorouting trailmaps at 24K scale, and you want to take advantage of the Colorado/Oregon's ability to display shaded relief, you have to use the Garmin's maps. Note that DVDs for the new 24K topo maps are being released, but they are lagging behind the SD card releases.
  13. The Southwest and Northwest US topo maps at http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/109/ and http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/134/ are very good (20 ft contours), and are free (or cheap if you care to make a donation). I use these more than the commercial-grade Garmin 2008 Topo maps. They won't display shaded terrain on Mapsource but that's no big deal for me. My 60CSx and your Vista HCX can't display shaded terrain, so it's not much of a sacrifice. I've also tried this map http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/28/ but I didn't like the lack of street names.
  14. The free Northeast US Topo maps (Parts 1 through 3) at the links below should suit your needs. I have used the equivalent maps for the Southwest US on my Garmin 60CSx with great success. With 20 foot contour intervals, they are even more detailed that the typical 1:24K scale Garmin maps. http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/200/ http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/201/ http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/202/ I can confirm that the Delorme and National Geographic maps will definately NOT load on your Garmin.
  15. Could be an interesting tool, but it doesn't like one of my custom topo mapsets, and will not start unless I uninstall the offending maps from Mapsource. Strange that Mapsource works fine with the custom maps, but BaseCamp is completely imcompatible. I guess I can't fault Garmin engineers for not making a product compatible with an unsanctioned custom map that I made. Edit: Based on the responses below, it seems that most home-made maps installed in Mapsource will not prevent Basecamp from starting. Not sure why my custom map is doing so.
  16. When transfering maps from Mapsource to the reciever, you must select two set of map tiles for the area you want: both the bluecharts and the marinas & tides mapsets. Also, both sets must be set to display on the receiver. GW
  17. Both the Nuvi and the 60CSx can use the same maps (CNNANT2009.11 is the latest version). The Nuvi displays the maps in a much more readable format and data entry is much easier. The spoken directions makes all the difference. I found the 60Csx to be a poor street navigator in that the screen is too small, the alert tones are too quiet, and the data entry is cumbersome. Rather than buying CityNav for the 60, consider buying one of the discontinued Nuvis (ie. the 660 or 760) for just a little more. If you want detailed non-routing street maps for the 60, the Ibycus maps are free and are pretty good.
  18. When you upload a route from mapsource to the reciever, only the start point, the end point, and any intermediate waypoints are imported. The unit must then calculate the route using its own routing algorithim. An important thing to note is that the unit typically calculates a route that is not identical to the route mapsource generated. The best way around this limitation is to set enough waypoints in Mapsource to force the receiver to calculate a similar route.
  19. A properly functioning 60CSx is capable of very good accuracy; a good way to test this is to record the position of a precisely surveyed point (USGS benchmarks work well). Garmin's on-screen maps are not as good as they should be, and cannot be trusted to test the accuracy of the receiver. Similiarly, the accuracy of a geocache location is a subject to several variables. When I tested my 60CSx against a surveyed point (an environmental monitoring well location), the reported coordinates were only about 3 feet off from the surveyed coordinates. This was with an open view of the sky and favorable PDOP conditions. At the time, the 60CSx was displaying an estimated error of 9 feet.
  20. I've heard it explained that the primary reason the elevation fix is not as accurate as the horizontal fix is due to the relative positions of GPS satelites. Assuming a clear view of the sky is available, the satelites your receiver "see" are horizontally spread out over large distances. This is ideal for triangluating the horizontal X and Y components of your position. However, the satelites are all orbiting the earth at similiar altitudes, yielding far less vertical satelite separation. Therefore, the elevation fix (Z coordinate) cannot be determined with any great degree of accuracy.
  21. I always recommend updating or reloading the firmware using webupdater when things get wonky.
  22. Unfortunately, the Garmin maps cannot be trimmed down to work with the older units. Also, it sounds as if you have CityNav 2009 NT. The Legend C is not compatible with the NT compression standard. Only the "x" units (e.g., 60CSx and Vista HSX), the new Colorado/Oregon, and most car navigators support NT maps. I would not buy CitySelect as this product was discontinued and is now out of date. I would get Metroguide and modify it using Metrogold to support autorouting. http://www.geodude.nl/community/content/view/15/31/
  23. Be sure you do not attach any restraining device to the large hole on the right side of the antenna; the rubber material is weak and tears easilly. The small lanyard attachment point on the left side of the unit near the top is a little stronger, but mine has already broken. Really, the only strong attachment point is the belt clip post. There are adapters for clipping a carabiner to this post (see link), but because I have never used one, I can't tell you how well they work. http://www.gpscity.com/item-garmin-belt-cl...r/beltcarab.htm GW
  24. The 660 cannot efficiently charge from the car's 12V supply while the unit is operating, especially with the large screen set to maximum brightness. Periodically, when you don't need navigation, leave the unit plugged in, but turn it off manually; this will put it into charging mode.
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