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Compass course using GPS


cdmorten
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Hi,

 

I'm in charge of a scout troop and we occasionally like to do an orienteering course using compasses. I'd like to make the course using my GPS but am not sure how. Typically I'll have about 12 waypoints on the compass course. For example, the first one might say head to 182 degrees south for 500 feet. I then leave a small marker for them so they know they're in the right spot, the next one will say go 160 degrees for 200 feet and so on.

 

Is there a way that I can use my GPS to just walk to spot and then see what bearing and distance it was from the last point and can I do it in feet or yards? Mine seems to only show everything in miles.

 

By the way, I have a Garmin eTrex Legend Cx.

 

Thanks.

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You probably can force the unit to use particular units as what they tend to do is produce "friendly" numbers. i.e. 500 feet (ish) becomes .1 of a mile. I'm sorry if this sounds sarcastic, but you might just have to read the manual.

 

However, let me suggest a different approach for you. Rather than trying to get your GPSr to fit your current methodology, why not use the facilities the GPSr and software provide for you?

 

If I understand what you are trying to do how about if you clear your track log at the start (good practice anyway) walk to the various waypoints, then mark that waypoint. Repeat until done. Then save track and eat some chocolate (always a good practice).

 

Then, back at base you can upload your waypoints and tracks to your PC. Now, in Mapsource you can use the "ruler" tool which will give you all the information you want (bearing and distance) between waypoints or you can manipulate your tracks to your will.

 

If you've never done the above before it will seem awkward and clunky but after a while you'll find that the tools you have with the GPSr are incredibly powerful and open up so many new possibilities and opportunities.

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Hi,

 

I'm in charge of a scout troop and we occasionally like to do an orienteering course using compasses. I'd like to make the course using my GPS but am not sure how. Typically I'll have about 12 waypoints on the compass course. For example, the first one might say head to 182 degrees south for 500 feet. I then leave a small marker for them so they know they're in the right spot, the next one will say go 160 degrees for 200 feet and so on.

 

Is there a way that I can use my GPS to just walk to spot and then see what bearing and distance it was from the last point and can I do it in feet or yards? Mine seems to only show everything in miles.

 

By the way, I have a Garmin eTrex Legend Cx.

 

Thanks.

:rolleyes:

 

Good Cdmorten,

 

I have the same type of device. I just bought it and have yet to find my first cache. I'm still going through a learning curve.

 

Start out in page 48 of the manual which is the compass page. Then move on to page 50 for course pointer and bearing information. There is a lot of pull down menus, etc. that takes a little getting used to. It's like a small PC!

 

It make take some time to navigate through the menus/icons and menus on your screen. It would be nice if they had some shortcuts.

 

By the way you should try the mapping software that comes with the device. If you have a Windows XP PC you will need to use a USB port that's not being used for your printer or other type of device. My wife's XP machine has three USB ports so I'm using a port that was open. I couldn't get the USB port to work on my PC and interface with my Legend Cx. I was able to set-up some point on my mapping software and upload that onto my Legend Cx.

 

That way you can upload or download data from your Legend Cx to your PC. I was even able to get my old Windows 98 PC to talk to my Legend Cx without any problem.

 

Good luck with your Legend Cx,

 

drwilkow

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cdmorten,

 

keep working with them scouts i have been in the same boat - it is a great experience. I also have the legend cr and i just tried to use it for what you are asking about.

 

on the unit i can only get measurements in tenths of miles, which we both know is not good enough for orienteering.

 

But! i used the garmin mapsource cd and uploaded the coordinates to my computer. then i used the measuring tool from the software and got this:

 

Distance .0928 mi, area 0 sq ft, bearing 79 degrees true, from [other cache]

 

.0928 of a mile is (i believe) 489.98 feet. So that is acurate enough for your boys who are taking paces at about 2.5 feet give or take a quarter foot.

 

so it looks like the software it the way to go - one problem - it costs $150.

 

Whatever happens, i have a request, and i ask this of everyone who works with scouts: Teach them to triangulate - and acurately. A lot of poor fellas don't know about triangultion, then when they get lost they pull out their map and compas and say "ok........now what........"

 

Keep up the good work.

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just an update,

 

i just found this: if you go into the setup menu, then "units", you can change "distance/speed" to yards from statute. that will give you a measurment distance in feet for a while and then it will switch to yards for the longer measurements. that might work for you too.

 

let me know how it goes, i'll probably be doing something similar soon enough.

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just an update,

 

i just found this: if you go into the setup menu, then "units", you can change "distance/speed" to yards from statute. that will give you a measurment distance in feet for a while and then it will switch to yards for the longer measurements. that might work for you too.

 

let me know how it goes, i'll probably be doing something similar soon enough.

 

Thanks for the info, I'm going to give it a try. And yeah...I'll teach them to Triangulate...as soon as I learn how to. ;)

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Sounds like you are trying to do what we did in desert warfare training in NV. This was a number of years before Geocaching was ever conceived and before most people had ever heard of GPS. The cadre set up a course with ammo cans hidden all over the desert. We ran it with both map/compass and with GPS. We were put in 2 man teams and each team given an identifier. For starting out each team was given a different WP. Your team had to find the ammo can at your WP. In the can was a card. On the card all the team identifiers were listed along with the next WP for each team and a code word for each team. You looked up your team identifier and then the next WP for that identifier. You had to write your code word so the cadre knew you were at your correct location. With each team always going to different WPs that prevented one team from following another as every team was looking for a different WP at different times. The WPs might be 1 kilometer or could be 7 kilometers apart. We started out at dusk and you had to be back at the end point in 12 hours with all your code words. Getting from one point to another really wasn't that difficult other than the usual problems of desert movements and the harrassment the cadre inflicted occasionally. To get completed meant it was pretty much double time the entire course in full field gear all while doing tactical moves to keep from being discovered and seen by not only the cadre but also the other teams. Then when you got to your WP you had to find the 30 cal ammo can in the dark. I don't have any idea how many miles we covered each night but by the next morning you pretty much had all the fun worn off.

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Hi,

 

I'm in charge of a scout troop and we occasionally like to do an orienteering course using compasses. I'd like to make the course using my GPS but am not sure how. Typically I'll have about 12 waypoints on the compass course. For example, the first one might say head to 182 degrees south for 500 feet. I then leave a small marker for them so they know they're in the right spot, the next one will say go 160 degrees for 200 feet and so on.

 

Is there a way that I can use my GPS to just walk to spot and then see what bearing and distance it was from the last point and can I do it in feet or yards? Mine seems to only show everything in miles.

 

By the way, I have a Garmin eTrex Legend Cx.

 

Thanks.

There is a free program called Geocalc 0.94 that might do what you want there is one section of the program that will let you enter a starting lat/lon an azimuth and a distance, it will then give you a new set of coordinates that you could go to using the gps and place your marker. The only thing you would have to do is enter your feet as a devimal fraction of a mile because you can't enter units as small as feet. The website is: [url=http://www.windreader.com/geodesy/download.htm

Edited by DWBur
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