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Geocaching With A Garmin I3


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Geocaching with an i3 is a mixed bag. There are two possible approaches to get the caches into the unit. I assume you have some other plan to compensate for the absence of a "compass" screen (follow the arrow...) on that model and are either prepared to mentally compare lat/lons in your head or use the iX/C3xx to get to the parking spot and then use a handheld for final approach.

 

The first option is to use some software to get your caches to the unit as user POIs. The trips and waypoint manager or Mapsource will do this.

 

The second is to create user poi files and then use the POI converter from Garmin's site to stuff them into the unit. This is more of a pain, but it does allow you longer descriptions.

 

If you know all of this and can be more specific on what "didn't work to well" by describing what approach you tried to take, what software is involved, and so on we can be more helpful.

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First off - you have already been helpful.

 

I tried Garmin's PI software and created a CSV file from the GPX that contained only the Long/Lat and GCxxxx. The software created a Custom option in the POIs of the i3, but was empty.

 

The i3 came with Mapsource 7, but I couldn't find the option you are referring to. Could the included Mapsource for i3 be dumped down?

 

The i3 is a great car Nav unit for the price. I use a handheld Garmin eTrex Legend for caching, but would like to use the i3 to get me close enough to park.

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I can't recall what version of Mapsource ships with i3, but since updates are free and later versions handle GPX and LOC much better, be sure you're on the latest Mapsource. Slurp your PQ into Mapsource, verify they show up on the map on the PC as you expect, then send those waypoints to the i3 in exactly the same way as I trust you're accusomted to doing with the Legend.

 

If you want to pursue the POI Converter approach, you need software that will convert to a format that POI Converter can read. GPSBabel will do that when you pick output type "garmin_poi". You can then feed that file of waypoints (of note, lat and long are reversed from the common way) into POI converter and send that to the unit.

 

I'd find the number of manual steps in approach #2 combined with the inability to edit on the unit a deal-breaker, but some folks like being able to schlep around a few thousand geocaches this way.

 

The key word in the first sentence of your last paragraph is "car". Garmin's speciality seems to be specializing. This GPS is great for business travellers. That one is great for hikers. That one is meant for boaters. The other one is meant for powerful street navigation. That's why they have a bazillion models.

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I tried Garmin's PI software and created a CSV file from the GPX that contained only the Long/Lat and GCxxxx. The software created a Custom option in the POIs of the i3, but was empty.

 

 

OK I had exactly this problem, and have resolved it. Your file has to have this format (see sample below). You couild simply copy this, paste it into Notepad, and try it out as an experiment. My file has about 9800 UK cache sites in it. The example has just two.

 

;Longitude,;Latitude,;Name,;Details

-2.230147,55.43058,GC132F Reivers Revenge ,N 55.43058 W 2.230147

-2.262358,55.428455,GC1330 Where's Georges Kidney Stone ,N 55.428455 W 2.262358

 

Notice the first line.

 

The longitude and latitude are the reverse of what we normally get in geocaching (they put W before N)

 

The I3 only allows just four data fields, so after the Longitude and latitude that allows 2 more. So I combined the waypoint and Cache name as a 3rd field and then gave the normal geocaching LAT/LONG format as single final field.

 

This shows up nicely on the screen, with the full LAT LONG in small numbers

 

HOWEVER - despite the fact that it has a <spell> line when you look at this on the I3, you CAN'T search for caches by name. All you can get is the nearest caches to where you are. This is a shame really, and I'm going to ask Garmin about it.

 

I called my cache RedlightCaches.csv Any file with Redlight at the berginning of the name will cause the GPS to beep when you get in range and tell you which cache you are near to.

 

David Landin

 

Happy :lol: Landins

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The longitude and latitude are the reverse of what we normally get in geocaching (they put W before N)

 

The I3 only allows just four data fields, so after the Longitude and latitude that allows 2 more. So I combined the waypoint and Cache name as a 3rd field and then gave the normal geocaching LAT/LONG format as single final field.

 

GPSBabel knows this and writes files very much as you describe:

 

[robertl@rjloud mgpx]$ ~/src/gpsbabel/gpsbabel -i gpx -f MyMiddleTN -o garmin_poi -F - | head -2

-86.87595,35.92428,GCRG41 Trad/Micr (1.5/1.5),Dear John Letters

-86.86180,35.90455,GCTF7B Trad/Smal (2.0/1.5),R. I. P. 11-A

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