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New firmware for Magellan explorist arrived


DocW
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A positive sign I note: the web site lists what's new for a change. It had always been a puzzle for users to figure out before.

 

If they're updated the 210, my bet is they'll be forthcoming with an XL update to at least bring it in line with the other explorists. Since it's been about a year from the 2.03 releases for the 4/5/600, I'll even hope they update those models, too.

 

Edit: the observation that the 210 has "caught up" to the Meridian is on beam. I see this as another positive sign that somebody is listening to user feedback. Hooray! (haven't seen a lot of that in the past couple years)

Edited by embra
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Doc W, where did you see there were improvements made to the Geocaching function? It's not mentioned in the change list linked by Embra. I have a 210 as a spare to my 400, and an improvement to the 210's Geocaching mode would make it less of a compromise to use.

 

I'm a bit ambivalent about the new nav screens. I guess it's nice that they're there, but I don't know what I would use them for. Since I've never used the Meridian, I never missed these extra screens. To me, it looks like the new screens are just different packages of the data fields. Not about to drop my 400 just to use the 210 and its new set of data screens.

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Since the screen shots are in colour (in fairness, I'm guessing they were done on a simulator and not capturing via a camera) one might infer that some thought has been given to units other than the 210 which doesn't do colour.

 

A 210 user (it's one of the few models I don't have :-) could quickly infer if they brought the Dec '05 geocaching improvements from 400/500/600 into the codebase just by observing the button at the bottom that marks a cache as found and the options in setup to make them disappear from the map (but, alas, not the 'goto nearest') after they're found.

 

Note the reference to the NMEA cable. It sounds like they're productizing something like the PC-Cable product that clips into the battery compartment and adds the inverting line drivers to that port.

 

I do applaud the availability of the 'what's changed' notice. I haven't seen that from this group since early in their Thales days and had grown weary of the efforts in places like the yahoogroups and here to take every screen apart and try to figure out what had changed.

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Being an old Meridian user, I missed the old screens, especially the one with 6 fields. This makes the 210 an even better overall unit/starter unit/backup. I hope they add this to the 400/500/600/XL.

 

Take a look at the "Legacy" products list. The eXplorist 500 NA is there. Firmware upgrade? Don't hold your breath.

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XL_154_1.jpg

 

The above screen shots are from http://www.magellangps.com/support/softwar...210_3253_rn.asp

 

These screens look like exact screen captures of my eXporist XL in about every way including, in that they are 320x240 pixels in which my XL is at that resolution. I am thinking that I will get the update as a christmas present, and this will make it better than the Map60Cx for when I need the 320x240 pixel screen, since there are times that the little map60Cx's screen is too tiny.

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Doc W, where did you see there were improvements made to the Geocaching function? It's not mentioned in the change list linked by Embra. (...)

I got it from a 210 user here in Germany in another Forum. But I must confess, I haven't double checked this information, the guy just mentioned that there is something new in the Geocaching functionality.

He also posted the projection function (which is also not mentioned in the change list)

The guy also mentioned something about much faster map redraw and sat fix.

 

BTW: 2.02/2.03 for 4/5/600 also had a change list.

Edited by DocW
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Take a look at the "Legacy" products list. The eXplorist 500 NA is there. Firmware upgrade? Don't hold your breath.

I think I will hold my breath. They just released the upgrade for the 400. Also, they are still selling the 500LE. Buyers of the 500LE are reporting that included in box, was a coupon for discount purchase of LiIon battery. Possibly the 500s are being sold cheaper this way, with the battery as an accessory. The 500LEs are now being packaged with lake maps and topo maps.

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Take a look at the "Legacy" products list. The eXplorist 500 NA is there. Firmware upgrade? Don't hold your breath.

 

I think I will hold my breath. They just released the upgrade for the 400. Also, they are still selling the 500LE. Buyers of the 500LE are reporting that included in box, was a coupon for discount purchase of LiIon battery. Possibly the 500s are being sold cheaper this way, with the battery as an accessory. The 500LEs are now being packaged with lake maps and topo maps.

Have a look on the accessory page on their home page: You can buy there the Power unit for US-outlets with the LIion-battery for just 19,99 EUR (which is close to 25 bucks). Ihs 42 EUR cheaper than those pieces bought separatly

 

But you cannot even buy the 3x AAA Adapter for your 400/500/600 anymore.

Edited by DocW
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I just installed the new firmware on my 210, and I can confirm that Projection is now available in the Advanced Features menu. I can also confirm that the Geocaching POIs on the 210 can be marked as found now, just like on the 4/5/600. I can't really comment on any type of improved performance right now. Though I will say that I have a position fix in my half-basement with a lock on 7 satellites plus WAAS. But I've had similar performance before with my eX400. I'll see how it performs outdoors tomorrow.

 

Edit: You can turn off some of the new nav screens. For example, if you don't want to see the Road screen, you can toggle it off. There is a new Nav Screens choice in the Preferences menu. And not that it makes a big difference, but on the startup screen, it says copyright "Magellan 2006." Before I think it said Thales Navigation.

 

I didn't mind jumping in and doing the update on my 210 right away, since it is a spare. But I think I will hold off on doing my 400 until the new firmware has been out in the wild for a while. Wait and see if any bugs crop up.

Edited by geognerd
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I didn't mind jumping in and doing the update on my 210 right away, since it is a spare. But I think I will hold off on doing my 400 until the new firmware has been out in the wild for a while. Wait and see if any bugs crop up.

So long as you've got a copy of the 2.03 firmware around (always a good idea to keep old firmwares on the hard drive) it's usually not a big deal to downgrade if you find things you don't like.

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I just wish Magellan could help me download the 2.03 firmware for my 500 Ive had it since last feb. or march and havent gotten any help that has worked yet. I just bought my father in-law a 500 and it has the newer firmware and I think it seemed better. Magellans tec support is the worst thing Ive ever dealt with.

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Messing around with magellangps.com, I can only find the updates to the Europe version of firmware updates for the eXp 210 and 400, and not the North American version. Still no updates to the North American eXporist 210. Very strange, but hopefully they get the updates to us here in the USA.

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Messing around with magellangps.com, I can only find the updates to the Europe version of firmware updates for the eXp 210 and 400, and not the North American version. Still no updates to the North American eXporist 210. Very strange, but hopefully they get the updates to us here in the USA.

What is the difference between NA and EU version of the firmware?? Was there ever one?

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Messing around with magellangps.com, I can only find the updates to the Europe version of firmware updates for the eXp 210 and 400, and not the North American version. Still no updates to the North American eXporist 210. Very strange, but hopefully they get the updates to us here in the USA.

What is the difference between NA and EU version of the firmware?? Was there ever one?

 

 

Aw...I got my hopes up for nothing! Sure enough, if you go to the support page and click Explorist 210 North America there are no firmware updates. It only shows up on the Explorist 210 Europe.

 

 

Edit: I just sent a support request to magellan to find out what's up. In particular, I asked if this version can be used on a 210 north america...and if so what are the known side effects. Also, asked when the north american version will be released if the answer to the first question is no.

Edited by rhelt100
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Messing around with magellangps.com, I can only find the updates to the Europe version of firmware updates for the eXp 210 and 400, and not the North American version. Still no updates to the North American eXporist 210. Very strange, but hopefully they get the updates to us here in the USA.

What is the difference between NA and EU version of the firmware?? Was there ever one?

 

 

Aw...I got my hopes up for nothing! Sure enough, if you go to the support page and click Explorist 210 North America there are no firmware updates. It only shows up on the Explorist 210 Europe.

but its the same firmware! They are identical in hardware and firmware.

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I didn't mind jumping in and doing the update on my 210 right away, since it is a spare. But I think I will hold off on doing my 400 until the new firmware has been out in the wild for a while. Wait and see if any bugs crop up.

So long as you've got a copy of the 2.03 firmware around (always a good idea to keep old firmwares on the hard drive) it's usually not a big deal to downgrade if you find things you don't like.

Good point, embra. I still have the 4.2.02 version on my PC, and plan on keeping a copy of it indefinitely. Just in case I or anyone else needs it and it is no longer available on Magellan's site. Though I do hope Magellan keeps all versions on their site.

 

As for NA versus European versions of the 210 firmware, my 210 seemed fine during the drive to work. Though I did wonder if I had European firmware installed because when I cleared the memory afterwards and started the receiver, it had metric units as the default. No biggie, as that is easily changed. I'll install the NA firmware when it comes out even though I don't expect any difference.

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but its the same firmware! They are identical in hardware and firmware.

This seems right to me...multiple language support is in the firmware (and DocW can surely see if English is available on his unit). Again, with the older firmware available as a fallback, I personally would feel fine about loading the new firmware on my North American unit. Really, the only differences in NA/Europe/Aussie are the basemaps included.

 

I think we're seeing either a purposeful or happenstance delay in rolling out updates across the board. Magellan may want to do a controlled release to see if there are any emerging bugs to squash out before a more broad release.

 

Edit: Just read geognerd's post; looks like his experience supports the notion of equivalency.

Edited by embra
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Downloaded latest 210 firmware 12/05/06! It may just be me but the acquisition time seems quicker. I'm getting more satellites with a more accurate EPE. This may all be based on something else but I've used this unit a lot and all of a sudden I'm getting 7 to 13' EPE (compared to 20 to 23') and 2 or 3 more satellites along with 2 Waas bars! I had an old MAP330 and loved all the different screens, well now my 210 has them all + projection. Love it. I wish you could add more than 200 geocaches though. I'll continue to add my caches into the Points of Interest and use my PDA until they up the caches to 500.

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I updated my 210 last night and I think it does indeed acquire faster. It also has 3-4 more satellites and 2 waas which it didn't before. It seems to be right on per the map which I used today coming to work. All in all it seems to be a good upgrade. I tried the found on the Geo Cashes it just puts a check mark on the cashe on the map. The new screens seem to be an improvement, I will see when I go out cashing

 

<_<

Edited by pmfischer61
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Any news about new firmware to the Xl / 600 / 500 models ? It's strange... usually customers paying more receives better service. Not with Magellan, it seems. XL / 600 / 500 owners are still stucked to the limitations of its units firmwares, which are still lousy. I would love to have the new features in my 500.

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Just wanted to post an update to my support question about this to magellan. Let's just say...Magellan has definitely outsources their customer service to somewhere in Asia. It's obvious that the customer service rep didn't understand my question. I can't post a direct cut/paste because I'm at work...and the email is at home. However, the jist of it was:

 

 

I see you want to know about firmware upgrade for exp 210. There is not one at this time. Thank you.,

 

 

<sarcasm>There you have it! Straight from magellan! There's no firmware upgrade for any exp 210. The website it obviously wrong! It's obviously been hacked by some geocacher who wrote his own firmware and wanted more features. </sarcasm>

 

 

Regardless, I brought my data cable to work and I'm going to upgrade the firmware at some point today.

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Even more from the Horse's Mouth...

Here is the response I got from them this evening...

 

Thank you for contacting Magellan. This email is in response to your query about the Explorist 210.

I understand from your mail that you are looking for a firmware update for your explorist 210 NA.

I would like to inform you that version for explorist NA cannot be upgraded for explorist Europe. I am afraid, there are no firmware updates as of now for this Explorist. Map updates are released once every 12 - 18 months. Once the map updates are released the information regarding the map update would be posted on the website www.magellangps.com

I am confident that the above information would help you in resolving the issue. If you have further queries, please get back to us.

You can also contact our Technical Support at 1-800-707-9971 for further assistance.

Regards, Magellan Email Support.

 

So now I direct the Q to the forum members...for those who have NA units and upgraded to Europe...is everything working on them?

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:wub::P:):):D I saw the post on my yahoo explorist group about the firmware update, I took a shot and did my 210 and gained the extras and faster lock on. When I looked I found it was only listed for the europe models, and that the 400 had an update as well so I flashed the 400 now aside from the sd card expandability they both work identical and I have had no issues with either one. Geocaching was fine with both units and they seemed to show the same difference in readings beteween each other as they did before. I am using these in upstate ny with no problems even the base maps were unaffected. The only glitch is the updating software doesnt stop when done its finished when the gpsr turns itself back on to normal. and the units will have to be set to mph vs kph for those of us in the states. Good luck and go ahead and try it. Edited by malamute1
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I'll throw my two cents in as well. I flashed mine yesterday afternoon. I haven't been able to go caching with it yet...due to whiteout conditions in the area. However, I walked around in the yard a bit and experimented with it. As others have said, acquisition times are much improved. Before the upgrade it took anywhere from 3-5 minutes to get a 3 satellite lock. After upgrade, it found the first satellite in about 5 seconds, at the 30 second mark it had locked one and found another 6...3 Satellite lock in under a minute. Map draw times are also significantly improved and really, it could be my imagination, but it seems like the unit responds faster all around to button pushes. I'm pleased :wub:

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I can vouch here in Australia, that the upgrade for the 210 is nothing short of amazing. I liked it beforehand, but it has supercharged the GPSr.

 

Love the new screens, I also now also get the quoted times for a warm acquisition (about 20-30 seconds) and up to 7-8 satellites in the fisrt minute.

 

Haven't tried projection, but the ability to mark a cache as found, and have it disappear off the list is great.

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Ever tried this tool: Found2Log ?

 

It can read in the found cache file (*.fnd) on the explorist unit and offers you the found caches in a list. You can then click on each of the cache-lines which opens the add a log page on geocaching.com.

The coolest automatic log and document tool anywhere avialable.

This is true paperless caching!

Anyhow, the geocaching functionality of Magellan is way ahead of anything else on the market (IMHO)

Edited by DocW
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Ok, I went for, the EU update, (i live in southern on canada) i have had NO problems, the new screens are pretty cool, i like the large font screen

and the "analog" style speedo and the VMG funtion. .

i don't know if the unit is any faster aquiring though...

i may get out today to run the geocaching screens/functions

:D

Edited by daseeg
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I updated my eXplorist XL the other day and it works goooooood.

 

I forgot how I am supposed to take advantage of the explorist found log, how to I utilize the found log for my records???

Half the utility of the feature is to remove caches from "to be found" consideration while in the field. Beyond that, the Found2Log applet that DocW referenced a couple posts up looks like a good way to pull the list out for use (haven't tried it yet myself).

 

One needs to delete the file to reset. Is the kind of stuff you were wondering about?

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I updated my eXplorist XL the other day and it works goooooood.

 

I forgot how I am supposed to take advantage of the explorist found log, how to I utilize the found log for my records???

Half the utility of the feature is to remove caches from "to be found" consideration while in the field. Beyond that, the Found2Log applet that DocW referenced a couple posts up looks like a good way to pull the list out for use (haven't tried it yet myself).

 

One needs to delete the file to reset. Is the kind of stuff you were wondering about?

You dont have to delete it. If you are loading an updated version of the .gs file, the adjacent .fnd file is deleted automaticly.

 

And to operate found2Log you dont need to know german language even if it is not translated to english.

 

Just start the program, hit "Datei öffnen" on top (which means "open file"), move to your unit's geocaching folder, select the wanted *.fnd file and open it.

I guess everything else is self explanatory.

Just hit the GC-code, the geocaching.com page of that cache comes up, enter your log and there you are.

You can click on each item of the top row to sort the found files according your wishes. Makes most sense when sorting for timeline.

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Can one . . . .

"Simply translate the 'constants.ini' to your own language"

in the 'found2Log' application?

A Mac person trying to look through Windows!

Whom, by the way, doesn't speak any foreign languages.

Norm

 

P.S. : I feel this topic may be drifting afield.

 

I updated my eXplorist XL the other day and it works goooooood.

 

I forgot how I am supposed to take advantage of the explorist found log, how to I utilize the found log for my records???

Half the utility of the feature is to remove caches from "to be found" consideration while in the field. Beyond that, the Found2Log applet that DocW referenced a couple posts up looks like a good way to pull the list out for use (haven't tried it yet myself).

 

One needs to delete the file to reset. Is the kind of stuff you were wondering about?

You dont have to delete it. If you are loading an updated version of the .gs file, the adjacent .fnd file is deleted automaticly.

 

And to operate found2Log you dont need to know german language even if it is not translated to english.

 

Just start the program, hit "Datei öffnen" on top (which means "open file"), move to your unit's geocaching folder, select the wanted *.fnd file and open it.

I guess everything else is self explanatory.

Just hit the GC-code, the geocaching.com page of that cache comes up, enter your log and there you are.

You can click on each item of the top row to sort the found files according your wishes. Makes most sense when sorting for timeline.

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Saturday, I had a look on a 210 already updated with the latest firmware, property of our friends NFreitas.

 

Besides the faster lock on and the small changes on the geocaching mode (the fact that the hint is limited, on the 210, to the first 50 initial characters is a no brainer to me... ), I was suprised to see the "real changes" on this latest update.

 

I have a Magellan Sportrak Pro, which is dated 2004, I think... I was suprised to see that the big changes over the NAV screens on these latest models are the "old and normal" screens that Sportrak had for years!

 

Why couldn't they launch those new receivers, such as the 210, 500 or XL with these screens? I don't get it.

 

Still, the 210 is better than my Sportrak:

 

- It doesn't suffer from the "slingshot effect" that my Sportrak has

- The geocache mode is nice, and the last update with the possibility of ticking the geocache found is great (altough the limitation of 200 caches per file is a bit limitative and the hint thingy is weird, too)

- The faster lock on

- A slight better reception than the Sportrak.

 

Guess a pretty good firmware update would be a one that would cover those lacks on the geocache mode.

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Why couldn't they launch those new receivers, such as the 210, 500 or XL with these screens? I don't get it.

Lots of us wondered the same thing. Magellan claimed that their marketing research showed that customers wanted a simpler interface. I had to begrudgingly admit that the screens they kept where the ones I used 90% of the time. But I sure liked the options afforded by the others.

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Did the change the compass screen to make the big needle point to the cache instead of pointing north, and having to look for the little icon to see what direction the cache is? My sport track pointed the big needle at it, but my XL doesn't, ver 1.05.

 

Unfortunatly the big needle still only points North. I just updated to 1.55 and no change to that screen except I don't see the sun and moon any more. Could be because it is night here but that's just a guess. I'll check again tomorrow.

 

I am very pleased with the added features that the upgrade brought.

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Ever tried this tool: Found2Log ?

 

It can read in the found cache file (*.fnd) on the explorist unit and offers you the found caches in a list. You can then click on each of the cache-lines which opens the add a log page on geocaching.com.

The coolest automatic log and document tool anywhere avialable.

This is true paperless caching!

Anyhow, the geocaching functionality of Magellan is way ahead of anything else on the market (IMHO)

 

I downloaded Found2log and tried using it today to log the caches I found. I ran into some problems, but I'm wondering if its related to how I have GSAK setup to export caches to the 210. When I opened the found log central_oregon.fnd with Found2log, it listed the caches by size, and when I clicked on them, it opened a URL similar to http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=small. Which is not a valid URL. So my question is, is anyone using Found2log with a 210 and GSAK, and what do they have their export settings set to? Do i need to change the cache id form to %code instead of what I have it set to now which is showing %con (container size). If i do this, is there anyway to have th 210 show the size of the cache in addition to the gc.com cache id?

 

Oh! As I stated above, I live in Central Oregon USA and I have uploaded the new EU version of the firmware and I love it! Very fast acquisition, great accuracy and cool new menus. Is there a manual out there that explains how to use some of those new screens and what some of the stuff on them mean? My manual that came with the unit doesn't explain them, and the manual downloadable from Magellan's website doesn't contain the new menus either.

 

Ben

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My wife and I are interested in Geocaching. Recently a Magellan Explorist 500 was on sale and we wondered if this is a good unit for Geocaching. IF you know anything about this model could you e-mail me or reply to this post. THanks cehenleyca@yahoo.ca

 

Just a friendly tip seeing this is your first post here. Maybe you should try to start a new thread instead of HiJacking this one. You will get more responses to your specific questions because a greater amount of people will see your question. It also keeps this one on topic which is talking about the new firmware from magellan.

 

Merry Christmas Everyone

Edited by D0T-C0M
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My wife and I are interested in Geocaching. Recently a Magellan Explorist 500 was on sale and we wondered if this is a good unit for Geocaching. IF you know anything about this model could you e-mail me or reply to this post. THanks cehenleyca@yahoo.ca

 

Just a friendly tip seeing this is your first post here. Maybe you should try to start a new thread instead of HiJacking this one. You will get more responses to your specific questions because a greater amount of people will see your question. It also keeps this one on topic which is talking about the new firmware from magellan.

 

Merry Christmas Everyone

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