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eXplorist 500/600 (EU) Firmware Upgrade Version 2.57

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Embra does your 500 seem to be a little more sensitive, where I sit in the MH it seems like it is picking up a few more sats, also I've noticed 13 sats a little more often now

Not ignoring you, vagabond, but I've not had it out enough to tell anything. I just stuck it outside for a while and found it tracking 9, but I live in a bit of a hollow that blocks anything close to the horizon.

 

I have to admit that I find it hard to determine sensitivity and reception comparisons without a side-by-side.

Edited by embra

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I don't know whether this is an issue with the new software or if there is another problem. My clock is off by about 4 minutes (slow). When I set it to the correct time under preferences/clock, the change doesn't "take". Am I missing something? If I change the hour, it will take that change but not the minutes. Is it reading the UTC time from a satellite. If so, why is it off by 4 minutes?

 

Find-me

Edited by Find-me

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I don't know whether this is an issue with the new software or if there is another problem. My clock is off by about 4 minutes (slow). When I set it to the correct time under preferences/clock, the change doesn't "take". Am I missing something? If I change the hour, it will take that change but not the minutes. Is it reading the UTC time from a satellite. If so, why is it off by 4 minutes?

Magellan GPS clock time has been notoriously off for many models, firmwares, and years. I don't know if anything has finally changed here, but checking my 500 just now it was within a second of this atomic clock site. I remember having to set the hour because of the DLS time change, but I can't remember if I needed to do anything with minutes following the firmware update. I don't recall seeing that the time display issue had been listed in the firmware change list.

 

Have you tried leaving it on a while with a lock to download an almanac and synchronize (if indeed it does that--and I'm not sure that it yet does)?

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It has been on with a good satellite lock for about an hour. It is exactly 3 minutes and 51 seconds slow. I'll leave it on for a little while and see if anything changes.

 

As I mentioned above, when I go to the clock set page, I can set the hours and minutes but the change for the minutes doesn't take. I can even change it by 30 minutes (i.e. NFLD time zone) without any problem (but not by 10 or 20 minutes). It looks like it's getting UTC from somewhere and allowing the user to set for the time zone. If you choose UTC as the time option, you cannot change it at all.

 

I'll report back if the time corrects itself; otherwise I'll be geocaching 4 minutes late from now on!

 

Find-me

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The clock on my 500 was 2 minutes slow before I did the firmware update this week. The last firmware update was in Dec 2005. Now I am about 3 seconds slow.

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I like the trip odometer - but HOW do you reset it for a new trip.

We went geocaching with it and worked great. But now I want to reset the odometer so next time I go - its fresh from zero.

I have cleared the active track and started a new track but the trip odometer still says 15.3406 miles

thanks in advance

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From any screen that shows the odometer, press menu and then Reset Trip, to set it to zero. This should also clear fields like Avg. Spd.

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Has anyone else had a problem swapping geocache files,

The first 3 or 4 times I swapped files no problem know its hanging on one file, if I try swapping to another file it will show the original file list

and the caches on the map and show the caches from the file that I swapped to but not the cache list. I removed and reinstalled the SD card and then I could

place a new cache file and then it hangs again.

I'm going to try a clear memory and see if that takes care of the problem

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I have had no difficulty changing files.

 

One observation I do have since updating: In both my POI folder and geocaching folder I keep subfolders. For example in the geocaching folder I have sub folders for each state I regularly cache in. In the previous firmware if I had the North Seattle file active when I went to change that file to South Seattle it would automatically open to the sub-folder that contained the active file. With the new firmware it opens to the main folder and I need to navigate to the sub-folder. This is also the case with POI folder/sub-folder.

 

While I like not having the active map command hidden in preferences, now there are more steps in changing active files.

Edited by The Man

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Does this update include the "Auto Reroute" option I have seen on other models?

 

Well, I've got the update successfully loaded on my eXplorist 600 NA, and it's working great so far. Nothing in the menus that I can find mentioning "Auto Reroute" though. I suspect the CPU in the 500/600 just isn't up to doing auto-rerouting in realtime.

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Has anyone else had a problem swapping geocache files,

The first 3 or 4 times I swapped files no problem know its hanging on one file, if I try swapping to another file it will show the original file list

and the caches on the map and show the caches from the file that I swapped to but not the cache list. I removed and reinstalled the SD card and then I could

place a new cache file and then it hangs again.

I'm going to try a clear memory and see if that takes care of the problem

 

Reinstalled the firmware and no problems so far, maybe just a glitch in the first install

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I upgraded from 2.03 to 2.57 and everything went great. I like the new screens and can't wait till they make a fix for the DST for Canada/USA on the eXplorist 500. I would like to see up to date base maps as well. I did notice one thing though, before upgrade, my detail map would show when zoomed in a 2.5km, now with new upgrade, detail map zooms in at 750m. Can't see a bigger area of detail map. Just wondering if anybody elses did the same?

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I upgraded from 2.03 to 2.57 and everything went great. I like the new screens and can't wait till they make a fix for the DST for Canada/USA on the eXplorist 500. I would like to see up to date base maps as well. I did notice one thing though, before upgrade, my detail map would show when zoomed in a 2.5km, now with new upgrade, detail map zooms in at 750m. Can't see a bigger area of detail map. Just wondering if anybody elses did the same?

 

Go into your map setup and change your map detail to highest. AS to what resolution the details of your map will start to come on is determined when you compiled the detailed map in your mapsend program meaning you can manually configure what details will show at highest, high ... low, lowest by changing how your detailed map is compiled in mapsend but its requires modifying a configuration file within mapsend.

 

But to answer your question go into the mapsetup in your GPS and set map detail to highest to restore what you had previously prior to your gps upgrade.

Edited by D0T-C0M

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I'm a HAM radio operator here, and I use a lot of APRS. My radio requires a Serial NMEA GPS, and I basically drive around with two GPS units in the car - my eXplorist for me and my eTrex for the radio.

 

So.... reading the "What's new in 2.57" notes I see this:

 

4. Communication screen modified to add configuration between (USB and serial) for usage of new NMEA accessory cable

 

and I'm thinking woo-hoo! I confirm that the serial mode does indeed show up in the menus, and seeing all that talk it looks like I won't have to build the inverter myself. So I check the Magellan website for the new accessory cable. Nope, nothing here.

 

Call their sales department... who tell me that point 4. is intended for use with the USB cable and that I need to use the Magellan CD to create a virtual com port on my Windows based computer. Eventually I plead my case and get transferred to Tech Support.

 

Tech Support looks into the problem intently, then advises me that the cable does not, has not and never will exist. They end the call gracefully by reminding me that use of a third party serial inverter will void my warranty (which expired long ago anyway).

 

Has ANYONE seen this "new NMEA accessory cable", or hey how about a spot to pick up an eXplorist - RS232 cable ? It sure would be great to remove a few cables from my dash, and stop feeding the eTrex batteries when I have a much more advanced GPS already on the dash.

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The new cable has bigfoot-like characteristics. There are lots of speculation and rumours about it, but it's never been seen in captivity. There are several folks that have gotten the same runaround that you've gotten.

 

Rhamphornix.ru documented some time ago that the USB cable on these things was apparently tristated and shared between the line-level EIA drivers and the USB transceivers.

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True rs232 mode

 

This article descibes building an interface. Looks like simple parts and constuction. Let us know if you do this and how it works.

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I wonder aloud in passing whether the guys at pc-mobile would build something like this for you. They don't seem to have anything on the page like it currently. But if they went to the trouble of making some of those connection cables for the 1/2/300, I can't help think this might be something with a somewhat bigger market.

 

I'll also observe in passing that Magellan seems to be or play dumb about the European firmware features.

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Update is working great for me. Still not familar with the new screens (or even sure what some of them are). I seem to connect to 13-14 sats much more often now (my opinion might be somewhat biased on this point though).

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Hi there

 

I also did the upgrade (my god, why did I do that !!!!!!!) to version 2.57, but ... forgot to backup the basemap from memory.

Now, everytime I switch on the unit, it stucks, trying to find the basemap. I have to remove the battery or use the combination NAV+MENU+PWR to switch off (better this)

 

I have already the BASEMAP.MGI (got it from Rhamphorinkx) in my PC, ready to be transfer to the memory of the explorist (folder background maps).

 

PROBLEM: in the USB file transfer mode I'm trying to switch from SDcard to memory but it doesn't work. The memory is not recognized, my PC shows always the SDcard folders. This way I'm not able to transfer the basemap to memory.

 

By removing the USB cable and switch to "Power only" I access the menu but clearing the memory leads to "Please wait" forever ... the same with the "Active map" option

 

Do I have a serious problem in the memory ?

 

I'll be grateful for your help

Thanks

 

Carlos

Lisbon-Portugal

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Carlos, can you connect in data transfer mode to internal memory if you remove the SD card?

 

Edit: If that doesn't help you, see if any of the service function menus help. There are another one or two ways to clear memory. You may need to go to the #95 (clear serial flash memory)--that hoses the basemap, but sounds like you're pre-hosed. Alternatively, you could try the #98, basemap upload--I've never tried that, so I don't know how it works.

 

Please do let us know how you make out.

Edited by embra

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Hi "embra"

 

well... what can I say ?... my first post, reporting my first problem (a serious one...) and solved in one shot.

now the unit seems to work fine, I'll test it on field tomorrow, geocaching with the family ..

 

fyi, before I suceeded by formating the memory with #95:

- without SD card, USB drive was not detected in my PC;

- without USB connected, with and without SDcard appeared always the msg:

"UNIT CURRENTLY CONTAINS NO MAP !

INITIATING MAP UPLOAD"

combination NAV+PWR didn't work either ...

 

- only with the SDcard inserted and removing the USB cable, I could access to the explorist menu.

Here, I could finally choose the "95 option

 

Thank you very much for your fast reply and the good hints

 

keep well

 

regards from Lisbon

Carlos

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Thanks for the feedback, Carlos, and glad you are back in operation. Your GPS was doing some strange stuff there...

Edited by embra

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hi "embra"

 

today (not that bad!...), I've got an answer from Magellan (I asked for their support on the same day I've post it here), regarding the problem you already help me to solve.

 

"You downloaded an old version of the version 2.57. The size of this file was 1.49 Mo. I would advise you to wait for the new version that has a size of 11 MO. This new version will include the basemap. It should be available in the next days.

If the unit is still recognised by the PC, you will just have to reload it"

 

Upload a new FW is something I'm not willing to do again ...would you do that ? ;-)

 

regards

Carlos

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that's interesting...it sounds like they may have decided it's a good precaution to include a basemap install with every firmware upgrade. Perhaps too many people shared your experience.

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Ok,just updated my 500,Seems like I have a new customized field ,VMG? What is VMG mean or was it always there?Everything else is cool.

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Ok,just updated my 500,Seems like I have a new customized field ,VMG? What is VMG mean or was it always there?Everything else is cool.

 

VMG is: Velocity Made Good, basically if I understand it correctly, it is the speed at which you are heading for your target.

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I'm having the same messahe no basemap on my explorist 500LE since the try for the upgrade from Magellan. Do you Think the new release from Magellan with the Basemap will come soon ? I have try a lot of thing and not able to make it work

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I'm having the same messahe no basemap on my explorist 500LE since the try for the upgrade from Magellan. Do you Think the new release from Magellan with the Basemap will come soon ? I have try a lot of thing and not able to make it work

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It could be soon, but I put my money on nigh on forever.

 

We've not yet updated the FAQs, but if you click on the link on my sig line look for the directions on how to solve the continuous NAND loop problem. That will be your quickest fix.

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It could be soon, but I put my money on nigh on forever.

 

We've not yet updated the FAQs, but if you click on the link on my sig line look for the directions on how to solve the continuous NAND loop problem. That will be your quickest fix.

 

Use the DOS command "attrib s+ BASEMAP.MGI", executed from the folder containing BASEMAP.MGI or providing the appropriate path.

 

What do they mean by this command and how do i do this? I have transfer the basemap to my gps...

Thank you in advance

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It could be soon, but I put my money on nigh on forever.

 

We've not yet updated the FAQs, but if you click on the link on my sig line look for the directions on how to solve the continuous NAND loop problem. That will be your quickest fix.

 

Use the DOS command "attrib s+ BASEMAP.MGI", executed from the folder containing BASEMAP.MGI or providing the appropriate path.

 

What do they mean by this command and how do i do this? I have transfer the basemap to my gps...

Thank you in advance

 

I finally did it..yes it is working...oufffffffffffffffffffffff

nice changing things....

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Well, I bit the bullet and dug in to upgrade my eXplorist 600 North America unit. Short answer: it seems to be working fine... after some workarounds.

 

I followed the instructions explicitly. They didn't work explicitly.

 

BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP your data, including hidden folders, before you do this update! (Yes, I did... good thing.)

 

Because: Step one is a memory wipe.

 

After doing the memory wipe, the unit reported that my basemap was messed up, and would power up directly to a "UPLOAD TO BASEMAP" screen and would not allow me to bypass that screen without the NAV/MENU/POWER button "force quit" combo. (See here: http://rhamphorinkx.newmail.ru/sf.htm) After much fussing around, I found I could go into the maintenance menu mode (power up with NAV held down) and even without changing the "00" I could then see the memory contents as a USB disk drive, as usual. After I reloaded the basemap.mgi file from my backup (did I mention before, do a backup?), it booted normally, and finally let me do the update.

 

The update itself also took some fussing... the update utility kept telling me that it couldn't find the unit, even though I could navigate the memory contents from Windows, as usual. I have that problem often when trying to upload caches, however, so I was used to that fiddling. I did notice a report earlier in this thread that you need to have the USB plug AND the wall wart power adapter both plugged in for this to work... so I tried that, and after a little more fussing it finally let me upload the update. (I have no idea if the wall power was the key.)

 

After the update loaded, the unit reported:

SOFTWARE UPLOAD MODE ACTIVE / WRITING

then showed "update complete", and then it did a restart.

 

When it was up and running, version 2.5.57 showed on the welcome screen, and the first thing it did was ask for my language choice. After that screen the unit was operating as usual.

 

I don't seem to have any extra click-thru screen on boot, unlike other reports here.

 

I can see the new screens, which look like they'll be useful. I like the "slant view" when street routing. I think that will be useful. I for one have never owned another routing GPS from Magellan, so I have no comparison.

 

I just noticed (on the USB drive) in the USBTRANS folder (which is hidden), the POI.DAT file includes this section:

[Geocache]

MAX=200

NAME=20

CACHEID=8

OWNER=16

TYPE=20

HINT=25

(or something like those numbers - I've already fiddled with them...) Verrrrrry interesting. I'm going to see if anything changes if I change those numbers.

 

I've restored all my POI and track and cache files (did I forget to mention how important it is to do a backup FIRST?), and everything seems to be working. I did a quick navigation and it loaded the detail map and created an appropriate route to a previously-saved POI.

 

I don't have time to really play around with it in depth right now, but I did want to report on workarounds I used during the basic update process, in case it helps anyone else do the update.

Edited by Goldenhawk

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Ah, well, so much for changing the POI.DAT file. Apparently the unit recreates it each time you switch USB modes - it will only show me the default-limit data no matter what I upload to it.

 

Hrumph. Of all the things they SHOULD have changed. I cannot believe the silly small limits. The geocache .gs files, even with 200 caches, are <50kb. Not like they can't fit 100kb somehow. At the least it would be nice if someone explained why the limits existed. Wish I could find that in the raw firmware file and hack it to 500 caches.

 

As to other things... Everything else on my unit works just fine.

 

I do now see there's a brief "Navtec data" splash screen on boot, but it only persists for a few seconds and self-closes. Not too annoying.

 

I can't find "TRACK" or "COURSE" on the list of viewable parameters any more. They seem to have been replaced by "HEADING" and "BEARING". (Maybe that's a European thing?) The only way to display the direction of motion (as indicated by GPS track) is to turn off the e-compass. Otherwise, the unit only seems to be able to show me the direction the unit is POINTED - and with the e-compass enabled, my direction of actual motion is often quite different than the direction the unit thinks it's pointed (especially in a car, with metal all around). Heading seems to be only from the e-compass if it's on, and bearing is which way to the next waypoint or cache (or intersection if routing). I think this is the same as it used to be, just with new words, but I wish they'd added the direction-of-actual-travel as a parameter. I know they KNOW this value, since it's used in routing regardless of the compass.

 

I found this definition of "VMG", or "Velocity Made Good" via Google:

Digital speed reading, similar to Speed Over Ground (SOG), that compensates for progress being made toward a waypoint. For example, when traveling directly on course toward a waypoint, the SOG and VMG readings may match. However, when traveling off course, the VMG reading will typically be slower than the SOG. VMG is a true indication of the speed being made to the selected waypoint.

Basically just closure rate.

 

The new "ETA" parameter seems to only show ETA to the next waypoint, not end-of-routing. Annoying.

 

I also wish the ETA accounted for non-linear approaches. My van's built-in GPS does that, and it's usually more accurate than Google Maps' estimates.

 

The new oblique routing view mode is interesting, but why couldn't they show the surrounding roads too? All it shows is the plotted course, and that often shows a straight line between the two intersections even if the road wanders significantly. I don't think I'll be using it all that often, because it's way too simplified to be valuable.

 

All in all, a good update, but it doesn't seem to have accounted for what I find as the eXplorist's main limitations: the 200 cache limit, the hint-length limit, the lack of a cache size parameter, and MOST ANNOYING, the five to seven minute time it takes to open the active track file.

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I upgraded from 2.03 to 2.57 and everything went great. I like the new screens and can't wait till they make a fix for the DST for Canada/USA on the eXplorist 500. I would like to see up to date base maps as well. I did notice one thing though, before upgrade, my detail map would show when zoomed in a 2.5km, now with new upgrade, detail map zooms in at 750m. Can't see a bigger area of detail map. Just wondering if anybody elses did the same?

 

Thanks for the tip, it worked.

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All in all, a good update, but it doesn't seem to have accounted for what I find as the eXplorist's main limitations: the 200 cache limit, the hint-length limit, the lack of a cache size parameter, and MOST ANNOYING, the five to seven minute time it takes to open the active track file.

Wow, you really put this upgrade through its paces. Thanks for sharing your observations (and trying out those POI.DAT edits...too bad they don't make a difference). I think I concur with your assessment of the upgrade. The main benefit I find is easier access to additional data fields.

 

One thing that might help on those excessively long track loads is to try to keep the number of tracks stored in the active track folder to a minimum. It seems that the firmware wants to run through and measure every track there whenever you go in. I use subfolders to shunt less-frequently used tracks available, but not *too* available. This seems to speed up access to the main folder considerably. See if it makes any difference for you. I felt like tearing my hair out after a minute or two, I can't imagine what my blood pressure would be like after 5 minutes. It sounds like you have a lot of long tracks saved.

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One thing that might help on those excessively long track loads is to try to keep the number of tracks stored in the active track folder to a minimum. It seems that the firmware wants to run through and measure every track there whenever you go in. I use subfolders to shunt less-frequently used tracks available, but not *too* available. This seems to speed up access to the main folder considerably. See if it makes any difference for you.

Gee, whadayaknow.

 

I moved all the tracks out (I had about 50 stored) and now the active track pops up in about 3 seconds.

 

Go figure.

 

Stupid software design, if you ask me. I can see NO reason that such a design would make sense. Until the user asks for a track to be loaded or used in some fashion, the unit really ought to ignore those files. The active track isn't even stored in the same folder - why even look there? (Sorry, gripe mode OFF now.)

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POI.DAT is a read-only file and is meant to be used by program so they can create appropriately dimensioned data for the unit. For example, GPSBabel *could* look in this file and find that the max # of geocaches is 200 instead of hardcoding it inside the GPSBabel source to be "200". (The next version might actually change that limit, you know...) I could explain why that doesn't actually work, but that's not the point. The point is that .usbstrans is expored for things on the host to read, not write.

 

ETA works in exactly the same way we wanted it to NOT work when DR was released in '03.

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Im Ok will all revisions except as previously mentioned the ETA only giving us to the next waypoint or turn.I need Eta to be ETA,arrival at end of destination.Any way to change it?

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Im Ok will all revisions except as previously mentioned the ETA only giving us to the next waypoint or turn.I need Eta to be ETA,arrival at end of destination.Any way to change it?

No direct way. The closest you can get would be Time to End. If you display the current time adjacent, then you can use your organic calculator to compute ETA at destination. Other than that, let Magellan know what you want (or trade in for another brand).

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I don't know whether this is an issue with the new software or if there is another problem. My clock is off by about 4 minutes (slow). When I set it to the correct time under preferences/clock, the change doesn't "take". Am I missing something? If I change the hour, it will take that change but not the minutes. Is it reading the UTC time from a satellite. If so, why is it off by 4 minutes?

Magellan GPS clock time has been notoriously off for many models, firmwares, and years. I don't know if anything has finally changed here, but checking my 500 just now it was within a second of this atomic clock site. I remember having to set the hour because of the DLS time change, but I can't remember if I needed to do anything with minutes following the firmware update. I don't recall seeing that the time display issue had been listed in the firmware change list.

 

Have you tried leaving it on a while with a lock to download an almanac and synchronize (if indeed it does that--and I'm not sure that it yet does)?

 

Just rechecked my 500 and its still within 1 second of the atomic clock, 1 second slow.

My problem with my geocache icons seems to have been taken care of with the reinstall of the firmware :cry:;):)

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I to upgraded a 600 from firmware 2.03 to 2.57 an all seemed to work OK (after a full recalibration of the compass!). However, I have now found that caches that are marked as "Found" become "Unfound" once the GPS is switched off, then on again? It seems to retain only 3 "Found" caches. Anyone else with the same issue?

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I to upgraded a 600 from firmware 2.03 to 2.57 an all seemed to work OK (after a full recalibration of the compass!). However, I have now found that caches that are marked as "Found" become "Unfound" once the GPS is switched off, then on again? It seems to retain only 3 "Found" caches. Anyone else with the same issue?

 

My 500LE does that now, without the upgrade.

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I to upgraded a 600 from firmware 2.03 to 2.57 an all seemed to work OK (after a full recalibration of the compass!). However, I have now found that caches that are marked as "Found" become "Unfound" once the GPS is switched off, then on again? It seems to retain only 3 "Found" caches. Anyone else with the same issue?

 

My 500LE does that now, without the upgrade.

 

I upgraded 2.57 and now that lost "found" caches too!

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Why Magellan site have no more 2.57?

Have they detect that 2.57 is not good?

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I just checked the Magellan sight and they have indeed pulled the 2.57 update. Anyone with any clues as to why ?

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