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WAAS and Magellan GPSr's


trainlove
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Hi,

 

I am a little confused about the WAAS Sats. I have 120 and 138 are these the correct ones? And if not how come I am showing WAAS on my GPS Explorist 400 when I have it on.

 

Thanks

 

I had a very interesting discussion with Magellan today regarding the 500 I've been trying to get to work with WAAS. The tech rep informed me that ALL eXplorists are no longer WAAS compatible, even if WAAS shows up in your accuracy window. How did I get this information, I asked why my 210 still shows this and my 500 doesn't? Thats when the tech told me this.

 

After asking the representative why Magellan still advertises the unit as WAAS capable on their box and website if it isn't (mis leading and not as advertised), they offered me a free promotional trade in for a Triton 400.

 

Hmmmm.... do I trade or do I keep it?

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I called magellan customer service about the brand new 400 I just got. They told me that the explorist series was made a legacy product in Jan 08 and would not have any more updates. She also stated the explorist series no longer supports WAAS and hasn't since "our" government changed satellites. I complained a little, ok more than a little, about the fact that the box, manual, and advertising for the 400 said it was WAAS capable. She then started saying how sorry Magellan felt about this problem and could offer me a brand new Triton 400, no charge. All I have to do is send in the explorist 400 when the Triton gets here. Was it a good decision to accept their offer? A Triton 400 ($189) for my explorist 400 ($89), plus I'm getting a unit with a color screen and will be able to get WAAS.

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Was it a good decision to accept their offer? A Triton 400 ($189) for my explorist 400 ($89), plus I'm getting a unit with a color screen and will be able to get WAAS.

 

As of today it's probably a wash. The Explorist will be more stable right now. But in a year when they get all the bugs worked out the Triton will be a better unit. And as usual the Tech support people at magellan have their heads up you know where. Alot of the explorists were legacied (SP?) but not the 100, 210, 500 LE, 600, or XL. I just sent my Explorist 600 in for repairs and from everything I've seen around here I'll probably be getting a triton 500 back. So I'll be in the same boat as you if my triton is a dog. If you haven't already go to tritonforum.com and check out the info there.

Edited by sanramonhunter
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Well I have read this topic twice from front to back and I have gained quite a bit of knowledge. I was totally unaware of the WAAS, or lack there of, issue. Now thanks to you very knowledgeable and helpfull folks I now have WAAS.

There is no doubt I couldn't/wouldn't have attempted this without the help from this forum.

Kudos to you all, Megellan shame on you.

Mudslinger2

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I called magellan customer service about the brand new 400 I just got. They told me that the explorist series was made a legacy product in Jan 08 and would not have any more updates. She also stated the explorist series no longer supports WAAS and hasn't since "our" government changed satellites. I complained a little, ok more than a little, about the fact that the box, manual, and advertising for the 400 said it was WAAS capable. She then started saying how sorry Magellan felt about this problem and could offer me a brand new Triton 400, no charge. All I have to do is send in the explorist 400 when the Triton gets here. Was it a good decision to accept their offer? A Triton 400 ($189) for my explorist 400 ($89), plus I'm getting a unit with a color screen and will be able to get WAAS.

 

Did you send your 400 back for the Triton trade?

 

Im curious. I was offered the same deal, did not commit as I was thinking about it. I did not send it back, and they sent me the T400 anyway.

Edited by Jhawk0769
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I got the Triton 400 3 days ago. I have been playing with it since, trying to figure it out, seems just about everything is different. Going to take it caching this weekend and see how it does. If it works ok, I think I'll keep it and send the explorist back in, if not I'll probablly send it back to them and say no thanks. Or better yet, keep the Triton, sell it, buy a Garmin, send the explorist to them, and be a happy cacher.

So far it has been pretty accurate. I have taken a few waypoints: one in an open field, and a couple in different tree coverage. The one in the field got me within 3ft, 7 out of 10 times. The ones in tree coverage were all within 15ft, most under 10.

 

Some pros and cons that "I" have noticed so far:

Pros: Mine came with the latest firmware already on it, so I didn't have to mess with the downloads.

I love how easy it is to load GPX files right to the GPS.

As stated above, it does seem to be more accurate than the explorist that doesn't get WAAS.

Cons: A LOT bigger learning curve compared to the explorist.

More difficult to navigate thru the different screens, can't just go "back" to some of them.

I do think the screen is hard to see in bright light without the backlight on, seems to drain the batteries. Why did they go to AA batteries instead of a rechargable battery pack? The one in my explorist 400 lasted a couple 8 hour days.

 

Just my opinions that I am sure I will update after using it to cache this weekend.

Edited by wyld_bill2003
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There is an issue for at least some Magellan GPSr's where the WAAS satellite numbers are hardcoded in the firmware. Since the owners of PRN122 moved their satellite last summer and the Government decided to change over to a new PRN my Magellan does not know about that change. And even though my GPSr does receive the other WAAS satellite on the east coast (PRN120) it never says WAAS Averaging on the Position Screen.

 

Regular satellite changes of PRN are automatically handled by ALL GPSr's since all 32 possible standard satellites are part of the almanac download. Only FAA approved GPSr's automatically do the same for WAAS satellites.

 

I have posted some information in 2 other forums and will post workarounds I'm trying to engineer.

 

1. The yahoo Magellan_Meridian forum. Get yourself a free yahoo email account and you can read these messages. That group also has other great information. A must have for all Magellan users.

2. The gpsinformation.net forums in their Magellan hardware section.

 

My thought to date have included:

A. Writing a firmware update to re-program the firmwares PRN table and WAAS almanac.

B. Writing an almanac upload/download utility similar to parts of the shareware program G7toWin but for Magellan users with the $PMGNCMS,ALMANAC propriatary NMEA command. Sadly this will not help since the WAAS satellites are not part of the GPS Navigation Messages.

C. Program a data generator to transmit on a microwave transmitter I own a command similar to the temporarily transmitted signal of last summer that fixed this problem. Well it fixed it for you if your GPS was n during the transmission and you have never done a reset since then.

D. Just provide information that one can use to find the specific part of Magellans firmware and allow everyone to Hex Edit their own and upload their own. I hate this idea and thing if I can do A above there would be less likelihood of major problems.

 

Check out those 2 forums.

But I guess I should say, don't hold your breath for Magellan customer support to help on any of this, they have washed their hands of their Legacy Product line and probably will ignore future product lines when they feel like it.

 

 

So is my explorest 500LE effected?? :D

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There is an issue for at least some Magellan GPSr's where the WAAS satellite numbers are hardcoded in the firmware. Since the owners of PRN122 moved their satellite last summer and the Government decided to change over to a new PRN my Magellan does not know about that change. And even though my GPSr does receive the other WAAS satellite on the east coast (PRN120) it never says WAAS Averaging on the Position Screen.

 

Regular satellite changes of PRN are automatically handled by ALL GPSr's since all 32 possible standard satellites are part of the almanac download. Only FAA approved GPSr's automatically do the same for WAAS satellites.

 

I have posted some information in 2 other forums and will post workarounds I'm trying to engineer.

 

1. The yahoo Magellan_Meridian forum. Get yourself a free yahoo email account and you can read these messages. That group also has other great information. A must have for all Magellan users.

2. The gpsinformation.net forums in their Magellan hardware section.

 

My thought to date have included:

A. Writing a firmware update to re-program the firmwares PRN table and WAAS almanac.

B. Writing an almanac upload/download utility similar to parts of the shareware program G7toWin but for Magellan users with the $PMGNCMS,ALMANAC propriatary NMEA command. Sadly this will not help since the WAAS satellites are not part of the GPS Navigation Messages.

C. Program a data generator to transmit on a microwave transmitter I own a command similar to the temporarily transmitted signal of last summer that fixed this problem. Well it fixed it for you if your GPS was n during the transmission and you have never done a reset since then.

D. Just provide information that one can use to find the specific part of Magellans firmware and allow everyone to Hex Edit their own and upload their own. I hate this idea and thing if I can do A above there would be less likelihood of major problems.

 

Check out those 2 forums.

But I guess I should say, don't hold your breath for Magellan customer support to help on any of this, they have washed their hands of their Legacy Product line and probably will ignore future product lines when they feel like it.

So is my explorest 500LE effected?? :D

YES . . . not even the lower end Tritons get WAAS either, my top of the line eXplorist, the XL doesn't

'do' WAAS any more, and Maggie couldn't give a ratz ____!

 

Norm

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I just purchased a new Explorist 600 that had 5.1.67 firmware dated Sept 8, 2005. Thats even older than 5.2.03 by a few months. Looks like this one has been in the box for while. Secret menu #3 confirmed it was looking for old Sats 122 and 134. I didn't see 5.1.67 mentioned in this thread, but based on the theory that the new firmware needs to be newer by date, I decided to try going directly to 5.2.57. I downloaded the file from: http://www.nextdestination.com.au/Pages/Do...aspx?BrandId=13 as mentioned earlier in this thread and loaded it. All went perfectly and after the upgrade I now have WAAS in the display and secret menu #3 confirms I'm looking for sats 135 and 138.

 

I mostly wanted to pass this along for any one with the 5.1.67 firmware to be aware that they can go directly to 5.2.57 without first loading 5.2.03. Also, just to confirm, my unit has a 118 SN with the green circuit board. None of the other existing files were lost or changed. The base map remaind NA 1.12 as it had been. I had made a copy of it just in case.

 

I also have a 500 and a 600 with 2.03, which I have had and used for about 18 months now. Both of them have WAAS active on the correct 135 and 138 birds, so I think I will leave them as they are for now unless I decide I just have to have some of the new screens that come with 2.57.

 

Thanks to all for the great information in this thread! :D

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This seems to be about the best place I can think of to ask some questions. I have an Explorist 210 which I have not used since late 2006. Decided it was time to break it out and start geocaching again. Before I head out though, I fired up the unit last night and let it get satelite info for about 10 minutes.

 

Here's my questions:

 

1. On which Nav screen do other Explorist 210 users see where you've got WAAS acquistion? I assume it's on the satelite screen?

 

2. What WAAS numbers are you getting? On the satelite screen I see a lot of two digit numbers and I'm seeing on this thread that WAAS appears to be in 3 digit numbers.

 

3. Last but not least. On that same satelite screen I have two spots marked W. One on the right and one on the left. Does that W indicate WAAS?

 

I would appreciate any help and information you can give me. Haven't used my Explorist for a while and even back then I was still pretty much new to it.

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1. On which Nav screen do other Explorist 210 users see where you've got WAAS acquistion? I assume it's on the satelite screen?

 

2. What WAAS numbers are you getting? On the satelite screen I see a lot of two digit numbers and I'm seeing on this thread that WAAS appears to be in 3 digit numbers.

 

3. Last but not least. On that same satelite screen I have two spots marked W. One on the right and one on the left. Does that W indicate WAAS?

 

1.)The secret menu 03 is where you want to go. go through the thread and you'll see how to get to it. I forget the exact combination. It's something like hold menu and power button down and hold them during power-up. then you'll get a box in the middle of your screen with numbers. use the click stick to make the numbers say 03 and click enter. It will then tell you the sattelites your unit is looking for.

 

2.) Again read the thread I think you want 135 and 128 but not possitive.

 

3.)The W's indicate that Waas is turned on. If they have a lock on the WAAS sattelites they W's are enclosed in boxes.

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1. On which Nav screen do other Explorist 210 users see where you've got WAAS acquistion? I assume it's on the satelite screen?

 

2. What WAAS numbers are you getting? On the satelite screen I see a lot of two digit numbers and I'm seeing on this thread that WAAS appears to be in 3 digit numbers.

 

3. Last but not least. On that same satelite screen I have two spots marked W. One on the right and one on the left. Does that W indicate WAAS?

 

1.)The secret menu 03 is where you want to go. go through the thread and you'll see how to get to it. I forget the exact combination. It's something like hold menu and power button down and hold them during power-up. then you'll get a box in the middle of your screen with numbers. use the click stick to make the numbers say 03 and click enter. It will then tell you the sattelites your unit is looking for.

 

2.) Again read the thread I think you want 135 and 128 but not possitive.

 

3.)The W's indicate that Waas is turned on. If they have a lock on the WAAS sattelites they W's are enclosed in boxes.

 

Thanks for the info.

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I recently upgraded my exp 400 from 2.02 to 2.57 eu.

 

I was expecting to get prn 135 & 138, but see what I have now.

 

http://img.geocaching.com/user/a6519ebe-94...b3f419852ee.jpg

 

http://img.geocaching.com/user/fb3d82e5-fe...a605eb2d4b5.jpg

 

http://img.geocaching.com/user/3b986d64-7c...709ff99b6be.jpg

 

Thank's to "Trainlove" who teached me one more thing (How to show pictures in a post).

Edited by mothe
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OK. I took the new Triton 400 out caching today and I am NOT impressed at all. We took the old explorist 400 with us just in case the Triton froze, like some people say it does. So here is what I think:

 

Both units locked on to sats pretty quickly. The Triton usually had accuracy below 13ft, while the exp 400 was usually around 20-30 ft. But the exp 400 was a LOT closer to the cache (5-10ft) when it zeroed out. When we could get the Triton 400 to zero, which was almost impossible to do, it was easily 20-40ft off the cache.

 

The exp 400 is a lot easier to use in the field, especially when trying to load in the next GOTO. It is also way easier to navigate thru the different screens on the exp 400. No way to go back from the map screen on the Triton, which is where the compass screen is, and those are the 2 screens you want to use most when caching. Maybe magellan should have updated the hardware to the Triton but used the old explorist software and user interface. At least til they got the new stuff to run as good as the explorist.

 

The Triton froze up 2 times with the Nav error thing, not hard to fix, power off and back on, but very frustrating in the middle of a hunt. The exp 400 just kept going and going, no problems except I couldn't get it away from the wife.

 

In my opinion, if you have an explorist that works, and are thinking about upgrading to the Triton, save your money and wait til they have it fixed. I know the exp 400 I have is not perfect, but it beats the triton hands down.

 

Just my opinions, take them as you will.

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I'd like to thank everyone for sharing their hard work here. I just picked up an Explorist 500EL off of ebay and didn't have a clue about this issue and probably never would have. After reading this I realized that I didn't have WAAS. I just did the upgrade and it was very painless. Now I have WAAS. Thanks!

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OK. I took the new Triton 400 out caching today and I am NOT impressed at all. We took the old explorist 400 with us just in case the Triton froze, like some people say it does. So here is what I think:

 

Both units locked on to sats pretty quickly. The Triton usually had accuracy below 13ft, while the exp 400 was usually around 20-30 ft. But the exp 400 was a LOT closer to the cache (5-10ft) when it zeroed out. When we could get the Triton 400 to zero, which was almost impossible to do, it was easily 20-40ft off the cache.

 

The exp 400 is a lot easier to use in the field, especially when trying to load in the next GOTO. It is also way easier to navigate thru the different screens on the exp 400. No way to go back from the map screen on the Triton, which is where the compass screen is, and those are the 2 screens you want to use most when caching. Maybe magellan should have updated the hardware to the Triton but used the old explorist software and user interface. At least til they got the new stuff to run as good as the explorist.

 

The Triton froze up 2 times with the Nav error thing, not hard to fix, power off and back on, but very frustrating in the middle of a hunt. The exp 400 just kept going and going, no problems except I couldn't get it away from the wife.

 

In my opinion, if you have an explorist that works, and are thinking about upgrading to the Triton, save your money and wait til they have it fixed. I know the exp 400 I have is not perfect, but it beats the triton hands down.

 

Just my opinions, take them as you will.

 

I share the same views as you on the Triton. The NAV screen would also not allow you to get a very good proximity for distance to destination, opting to display in miles. Nothing personal, but I would like to have a destination in feet, not in 0.01 miles. I had to result to using the last 2 digits of the Lat/Long info.

 

Another item I didn't like was the lack of ability to cancel a GOTO. You can't unless you start another GOTO, or turn it off and back on. I did not experience any lockups while using it.

 

Klunky is the best term to use at this time.

 

I really do share your opinion on your assessment of the Triton 400 at this time.

Edited by Jhawk0769
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I recently upgraded my exp 400 from 2.02 to 2.57 eu.

 

I was expecting to get prn 135 & 138, but see what I have now.

 

http://img.geocaching.com/user/a6519ebe-94...b3f419852ee.jpg

 

http://img.geocaching.com/user/fb3d82e5-fe...a605eb2d4b5.jpg

 

http://img.geocaching.com/user/3b986d64-7c...709ff99b6be.jpg

 

Thank's to "Trainlove" who teached me one more thing (How to show pictures in a post).

 

What are "Piles" ??? Piles of what? :o

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I recently upgraded my exp 400 from 2.02 to 2.57 eu.

I was expecting to get prn 135 & 138, but see what I have now.

http://img.geocaching.com/user/a6519ebe-94...b3f419852ee.jpg

http://img.geocaching.com/user/fb3d82e5-fe...a605eb2d4b5.jpg

http://img.geocaching.com/user/3b986d64-7c...709ff99b6be.jpg

Thank's to "Trainlove" who teached me one more thing (How to show pictures in a post).

 

French is a default language but english must be available too.

 

configuration = setup

langue / langage = language

réinitialisation = reset

 

bon courage !

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This has all been quite interesting. I made the mistake of trying to update the firmware in my 500le a couple weeks ago and in the process lost my WAAS. (lost my MIND!) Reading all this convinced me that restoring my GPSr was extremely unlikely and also encouraged me to see what I could get from Magellan. After three calls to their "technical" help they agreed to send me a new Triton 400.

 

But the tech guy, Alfred, said that none of their GPSrs are WAAS capable now. He said the Triton they send me won't work with WAAS. He said NONE of the GPS manufacturers make WAAS enabled units now. I hate to criticize this guy because he was very friendly and seemed like he sincerely wanted to help me - but he didn't know what he was talking about.

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I have a Explorist 600, I have firmware 2.03. I checked it tonight and I do believe WAAS is working. How can I confirm this? On the sat screen it shows all the sattelites its connected to and then there are two that have the letter W and they are colored green. On the location screen it shows Accuracy with WAAS next to it. I am on the west coast also. How do I know what the numbers are on the waas sattelite since I just see them with the letter W and in green?

 

Storm180

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Ok this just slays me.

 

My wife's North American eXplorist XL cannot do WAAS until I perform a firmware update to an unsupported (wait aren't all eXplorists unsupported) configuration by forcing the European firmware on there. Ok, it's a legacy unit, can't expect them to support it forever. I get it.

 

Now, for giggles, I pull out my Garmin eTrex Legend, the one I bought back in 2003. Fire up webupdater and get this:

 

---

 

eTrex Legend software version 3.90 as of March 18, 2008

 

Changes made from version 3.70 to 3.90:

 

* Updated WAAS.

* Updated GEOID model.

 

---

 

So, Garmin will update their 5 year old products, and Magellan will offer you credit toward a brand new GPS unit on the GPS we bought last year... One just has to laugh at this :rolleyes: .

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I have a Explorist 600, I have firmware 2.03. I checked it tonight and I do believe WAAS is working. How can I confirm this? On the sat screen it shows all the sattelites its connected to and then there are two that have the letter W and they are colored green. On the location screen it shows Accuracy with WAAS next to it. I am on the west coast also. How do I know what the numbers are on the waas sattelite since I just see them with the letter W and in green?

 

Storm180

 

Ok just to update myself it appears I receieved the waas updates and waas is working and I am getting 135 and 138 as the waas sattelites from secret menu 03. Good to know that my GPSr actually still usuable with waas without having to do the EU firmware fix.

 

Storm180

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I have a Explorist 600, I have firmware 2.03. I checked it tonight and I do believe WAAS is working. How can I confirm this? On the sat screen it shows all the sattelites its connected to and then there are two that have the letter W and they are colored green. On the location screen it shows Accuracy with WAAS next to it. I am on the west coast also. How do I know what the numbers are on the waas sattelite since I just see them with the letter W and in green?

 

Storm180

 

Ok just to update myself it appears I receieved the waas updates and waas is working and I am getting 135 and 138 as the waas sattelites from secret menu 03. Good to know that my GPSr actually still usuable with waas without having to do the EU firmware fix.

 

Storm180

 

Storm,

 

From all I've gathered on this subject the right WAAS sats are 135 and 138, so your's is working.

 

Before I Euro-FW'd my Explorist 400 I never saw the word "WAAS" next to the accuracy box in the NAV screens and on the Sat-Status screen I could see the "W" sats but the "W" signal strength bars never appeared. They do now. The secret menu boxes now show 135 and 138. Before the Euro FW install the sats in the secret menu were both in the 120's.

 

I've checked mine a time or two to see I've I was really getting 10' accuracy. To do this I went to a hilltop and checked my accuracy box until it said accuracy was down to 10' then set a waypoint. I chose a hilltop to make sure I's seeing a lot of sats. After this I walked away and did a GOTO to that waypoint. The last time I did this it put me within 6' of the exact spot when the accuracy box was close to zero. I'm not GPS or computer expert, but that's close enough for anything I'll ever need a GPS for. I reckon it's doing it's thing.

If yours is seeing the right sats, don't mess with it.

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I have a Explorist 600, I have firmware 2.03. I checked it tonight and I do believe WAAS is working. How can I confirm this? On the sat screen it shows all the sattelites its connected to and then there are two that have the letter W and they are colored green. On the location screen it shows Accuracy with WAAS next to it. I am on the west coast also. How do I know what the numbers are on the waas sattelite since I just see them with the letter W and in green?

 

Storm180

 

Ok just to update myself it appears I receieved the waas updates and waas is working and I am getting 135 and 138 as the waas sattelites from secret menu 03. Good to know that my GPSr actually still usuable with waas without having to do the EU firmware fix.

 

Storm180

 

Storm,

 

From all I've gathered on this subject the right WAAS sats are 135 and 138, so your's is working.

 

Before I Euro-FW'd my Explorist 400 I never saw the word "WAAS" next to the accuracy box in the NAV screens and on the Sat-Status screen I could see the "W" sats but the "W" signal strength bars never appeared. They do now. The secret menu boxes now show 135 and 138. Before the Euro FW install the sats in the secret menu were both in the 120's.

 

I've checked mine a time or two to see I've I was really getting 10' accuracy. To do this I went to a hilltop and checked my accuracy box until it said accuracy was down to 10' then set a waypoint. I chose a hilltop to make sure I's seeing a lot of sats. After this I walked away and did a GOTO to that waypoint. The last time I did this it put me within 6' of the exact spot when the accuracy box was close to zero. I'm not GPS or computer expert, but that's close enough for anything I'll ever need a GPS for. I reckon it's doing it's thing.

If yours is seeing the right sats, don't mess with it.

 

I usually keep up on things and I didn't notice this until tonight and was like I wonder if my Exploirst 600 is really getting waas. I didn't use the gps that much last year before July 31st because we just bought a house and geocaching was put off on the side till we got the house stuff done. I went through my gsak logs to see when I was geocaching prior to July 31st and it was about 15 times so I guess during that time it did get the new updates. Phew.

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If you ever have to do a reset . . . "Na, Na, Nana, . . . Nah, Nah, Nana, . . . Hey, Hey, good- bye!" to WAAS! Magellan raises it's finger to the

American hand-held market. The Euro software won't do that, but only works on the earlier units, S/Ns w/the 118 prefix! Talk about offering a

carrot then yanking it away.

 

Norm

Edited by RRLover
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Hi all,

 

Figured I would add some more on my finds.

Well I had some battery trouble where my battery was not charging.

Also seemed to had some dead pixels on the screen since I got this unit as a replacement about a year and a half ago. So I ordered a battery off eBay.

Oh I was at 2.57 getting 120 and 135 saying I had WAAS.

So I down graded to 2.02 and got both WAAS sats in the 120's no WAAS.

Received my new battery and chucked it in the GPS explorist 400. And hooked up the charger and it worked. And I also noticed that my dead pixels were no longer dead. Put 2.57 back on and WAAS changed back to 120 and 135 and now receiving WAAS again. Very confused here. Does anyone know if the firware can be de compiled or has anyone tried.

 

Here is a website claiming to be able to fix the WAAS issue. http://billsgps.tripod.com/

I have dealt with this guy for a warranty issue with my gps and it was a really good experience. Has anyone on here got there gps corrected with his WAAS fix.

 

Thanks

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Here is a website claiming to be able to fix the WAAS issue. http://billsgps.tripod.com/

I have dealt with this guy for a warranty issue with my gps and it was a really good experience. Has anyone on here got there gps corrected with his WAAS fix.

 

I did email Bill about the WAAS fix about a week ago. Having an Explorist 500LE with 2.17 firmware and a SN# starting with 133, I am still out of luck. The 2.57 firmware will fix the WAAS issue but under certain conditions.

 

If you currently have WAAS, do not, I repeat do not, clear all memory. You will lose the WAAS. This was my mistake. I cleared all memory before trying to upload the 2.57 firmware. This was before I realized my 500 would not accept it.

I keep hoping that someone will be able to come up with a fix. It boggles my mind that Magellan can release an updated firmware for the EU but not NA. Other than the basemap, how much difference can there be?

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Hi all,

 

Figured I would add some more on my finds.

Well I had some battery trouble where my battery was not charging.

Also seemed to had some dead pixels on the screen since I got this unit as a replacement about a year and a half ago. So I ordered a battery off eBay.

Oh I was at 2.57 getting 120 and 135 saying I had WAAS.

So I down graded to 2.02 and got both WAAS sats in the 120's no WAAS.

Received my new battery and chucked it in the GPS explorist 400. And hooked up the charger and it worked. And I also noticed that my dead pixels were no longer dead. Put 2.57 back on and WAAS changed back to 120 and 135 and now receiving WAAS again. Very confused here. Does anyone know if the firware can be de compiled or has anyone tried.

 

Thanks

 

Fab Four,

 

You mentioned having FW 2.57 and getting sats 120, 135 on your 400 model. What are your first three SN digits of your 400?

 

I've redone two 400's with the 2.57 and both seem to be getting the right WAAS sats now. Both of my units have SN's that start with 119. I'm thinking that production time and serial number ranges do make a difference with this.

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Magellan offered to replace my eXplorist 500LE with a new Triton 400 - this was on Monday. They mailed the new unit immediately and it arrived here on Friday. I still have my eXplorist.

 

First day's impressions:

 

Buttons are little tiny bumps on a slanted surface at the bottom of the front of the GPSr, They take quite a bit of force to activate. Not a big problem here in Florida but I would guess this unit would be impossible to operate while wearing even very thin gloves.

 

Also not easy to maintain a good grip on the unit and operate the buttons with one hand.

 

There are many more screens to cycle through than with the eXplorist. Some of these might be useful, some not. I do the one with the extra big font size.

 

I thought I had heard that you could not cycle "backwards" through the screens using "esc" but only move forwards using "page go to". Friday this seemed to be the case but the next day I found that "esc" does indeed work to move backwards through the screens.

 

The whole interface is extremely confusing compared with the straightforward one I was used to in the eXplorist. I am still trying to figure it out. I did manage, finally, to change the mode from DEG.DDDDD to DEG/MIN.MMM.

 

I tried to use VANTAGE POINT software to load geocaches onto the unit. This software is also extremely confusing. After digging through the manual and many attempts, I did manage to load my Pocket Queries onto the GPSr. However I have yet to sort out how to REMOVE them from the GPSr except by CLEARING the memory. I hope there is some less drastic method than this. There has to be - right?

 

With the eXplorist I was used to being able to access the GPSr memory from the PC as I would any attached removable drive. But the Triton does not seem to work in this manner.

Second Day's impressions. (took the Triton and the eXplorist out caching)

 

I did eventually upload data from three separate pocket queries onto the Triton. A real plus for this new GPSr is the is no longer a 200 caches per file limit to worry about. I loaded over 700 caches - they are all in the unit and I don't have to switch geocache files to see them all. (used nearly all the internal memory to do this.)

 

Now maybe I could make one pocket query, center it on Orlando, set it to maybe 1500 caches max, and have every cache in the county. (provide I could store them on an SD card)

 

Drawback - this full cache info loads onto the Triton v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. You'll want to go make yourself a cup of coffee and come back later.

 

Paperless caching - The eXplorist would show only brief info about each cache but the Triton will display ALL the description and hink text, even shows all the html code. This is very nice as I would often get out to find a cache somewhere and realize I needed some clues or information that wasn't loaded on the eXplorist.

 

Regarding the "Accuracy" that the GPSrs report. Both the new Triton and my old "WAAS-less" eXplorer reported almost identical accuracies. Best accuracy reported was around 16 feet, typical was closer to 20 or 25. Before my eXplorer lost WAAS it would often report 7 or 10 foot accuracy.

 

I would guess that this means that the Triton is NOT WAAS enabled. There was no indication of any "W" satellites on the sat screen. But isn't the Triton supposed to be WAAS enabled??

 

Setting a "GOTO" for a new geocache is more complicated (more keystrokes) that with the eXplorist - unless there is a shortcut I have not found yet. Also I cannot sort out how to CLEAR a GOTO and haven't sorted out how to set the TIME (These things must be somewhere in the menus - but functions and settings are extremely hard to find)

 

Summary

 

Is the Triton 400 better than the eXplorist 500? Not sure really. If the Triton has WAAS I'd probably say YES. If my eXplorist still had WAAS I think I'd KEEP it and send back the Triton.

 

I need to play with the Triton some more, maybe it will grow on me.

 

Anyone know if there is a way to enable WAAS on the Triton or even check to see what SATs it is looking for?

Edited by Bismuth
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Trainlove is an expert on this subject...but for some reason he isn't allowed to post in the forums anymore. I wonder if that could be fixed...he loves helping people out on the Magellan issues.

My understanding is :

Due to a lack of being able to come to terms with an element of power at Groundspeak,

Trainlove has 'chosen' to withdraw, probably not the best of circumstances for members

who suffer Magellan issues, but probably makes Groundspeak feel more comfortable.

 

Like Groundspeak needs to worry about what the "hamstrung" Magellan twerps think.

The Shah Group took a world leading technology innovator and pratt felled it into the

laughing stock of the GPS world.

 

Let's just hope that embracing this new chipset that Garmin doesn't get "Magellanized"!

 

I'm looking forward to DeLormes next move, it should prove interesting, not 'knowing',

just 'suspecting', in light of how the players "move on the field".

 

Norm

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This has all been quite interesting. I made the mistake of trying to update the firmware in my 500le a couple weeks ago and in the process lost my WAAS. (lost my MIND!) Reading all this convinced me that restoring my GPSr was extremely unlikely and also encouraged me to see what I could get from Magellan. After three calls to their "technical" help they agreed to send me a new Triton 400.

 

But the tech guy, Alfred, said that none of their GPSrs are WAAS capable now. He said the Triton they send me won't work with WAAS. He said NONE of the GPS manufacturers make WAAS enabled units now. I hate to criticize this guy because he was very friendly and seemed like he sincerely wanted to help me - but he didn't know what he was talking about.

 

I was told the same thing my a nice young lady when I called and they sent me the Triton. My question at that time was "why are you going to send me another one if it wont be any better than the last one?"

 

And the response was "Thats just what they are telling us to do".

 

So if the two WAAS Birds were deactivated, then why does my old 210 still pick up two birds that enables my WAAS? Does anyone know the answer to this riddle?

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Sure. No riddle. The two old ones that were deactivated last year (or was it the year before?) were replaced with two new WAAS satellites (well, technically, transponders on communications satellites). Magellan is just so out of it that the firmware in their Meridian Series (and I guess some Explorists) will not recognize the new WAAS birds after being reset.

 

If you had been using your Meridian or Explorist "during" the change-over period (months?), you were OK. Your unit "got it". Then if you have to do a complete reset for any reason (they happen), you are out of luck (and out of WAAS. Or, if you happened not to be using your unit during the transition, same result.

 

Just a %$^& poor design decision made by Magellan years ago, and a complete lack of support since then. Some Exporists were still under warranty and couldn't get WAAS!

 

Remember Magellan went through several ownership changes in the last 3 years or so. I think they lost so many people (and files / documents), they no longer have the ability to support units they made before the latest "crew" came aboard.

 

Makes you wonder what will happen after the next ownership change, to their support capability of your nice new Triton, huh?

 

And the fact that they are "training" their "support" people to tell customers that "no one" has WAAS capability is just so pathetic, I don't have the words for it in a nice polite forum like this.

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama
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And the response was "Thats just what they are telling us to do".

 

So if the two WAAS Birds were deactivated, then why does my old 210 still pick up two birds that enables my WAAS? Does anyone know the answer to this riddle?

 

That quote didn't seem to gain much sympathy at Nuremberg either.

 

As to your eXplorist 210, was it turned on during the period when the 're-direct signal' was broadcast?

If so, then it'll only get WAAS until such time as some software/hardware glitch forces you to do a

'reset all' memory clear, then it's curtains for WAAS. Depending on where you live, and what uses your

210 is put to, it may not be a big deal, for those that relied on it for certain endeavors (lure course setup)

it's been a costly issue in both effort and $$$$.$$

 

In light of the fact that the code to fix this issue exists (witness the Euro upgrade) and certain eXplorists ability to

receive WAAS unhindered by the 'reset phenomenon' using that upgrade :

I have no respect for a company that can tread on it's customers in such a roughshod way, none whatsoever!

They've shown their true colors; . . . $|-|!+ brindle!

 

Norm

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I was just reading this forum and I know that I currently do not get the WAAS sats on my explorist 500NA. I noticed that a lot of people are upgrading to 2.57 on their 500LE's but has anybody tried it on the 500NA's? and does it work fine.

Thanks in advance for any info.

 

The only difference between the 500NA and the 500LE were the accessories included (and perhaps newer firmware in the 500LE but not necessarily). The 500LE did not come with a Li ion battery or an AC adapter but came with a battery pack to use 3 'AAA' batteries.

Below I've quoted the conditions necessary to be able to update to the 2.57 firmware. As mentioned in many previous posts, make sure you back up your basemap.

 

Here's a copy of that info...Can't find the original post, but this was within another one

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...p;#entry3399161

 

**********

Bottom line, it would appear that you can run the update to 2.57 IF you meet the following requirements:

 

1) You're running firmware 5.2.03 - not 5.2.17

2) You have a green printed circuit board beneath the battery.

3) Your serial number starts with a 118, or 0118. It *cannot* start with 133 or 0133, or you're screwed.

4) You must be using Windows XP or 2000 - NOT Vista

**********

 

HOPE THIS HELPS

 

Good luck!

Cheers! :wub:

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JABs:

 

Shouldn't matter Down Under. No WAAS down there (yet). Maybe someday. But: If you have a Meridian series, I would do a complete re-initialization (save all your data first!) now, if you haven't done one, then once every 6 months or so. The stupid firmware looses a "tiny" bit of time perioodically, and the accuracy goes down the tubes (over years). Having to do that lost me WAAS.

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JABs:

 

Shouldn't matter Down Under. No WAAS down there (yet). Maybe someday. But: If you have a Meridian series, I would do a complete re-initialization (save all your data first!) now, if you haven't done one, then once every 6 months or so. The stupid firmware looses a "tiny" bit of time perioodically, and the accuracy goes down the tubes (over years). Having to do that lost me WAAS.

Accuracy does not go down over time. And I I am finding the clock is good also.

Regarding the clock:

I got my explorist 500 when they first came out. I remember that the time shown on the clock was off, sometimes a minute or more. Later in the year I did the firmware update. I think the time continued to be off.

 

When the European firmware was released, I updated to this. I have never re-initialized this GPSr. The time shown on the clock is now very accurate and has been for at least a year. I know because I use the time stamp of the tracks for Geotagging my photos, and I compare the time shown on it to my "atomic" clock, and the time broadcast on HF radio. I just checked it and it is within one second.

 

My Meridian Green, that I have had for over 5 years, had one firmware update, 4.02, dated Nov 15, 2002, installed beginning of 2003. No re-initialization ever done. The time on this is also within one second of true time. I just checked it while writing this.

 

The only thing that I can think of is that after the last change in WAAS satellites, the time shown on the clock is working great here on west coast of USA.

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I've been reading up about the magellan gps's on here just after i had bought the explorist 210. I was a little upset to find that magellan was still selling these units when they are discontinued and they do not pick up the WASS satellites. I called them and basically they gave me the run around and said they would give me a triton 200 for $117.00 with the trade in of my explorist. I flipped out at them because you can buy the 200 for $129.00. Long story short i would not give into them and they finally decided to give me a 300 at no charge as long as i send back the other unit. Anyone having these problems ......just dont give into them, if it suppose to get waas and it dont , it's not your problem for buying it ........its theirs!!!!!! :yikes:

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I just want to add a very rare comment. Yesterday I called Magellan support about a new Explorist 400(purchased through Ebay) and the WAAS situation. I told them up front that I was not making an "angry" call and that I just wanted to know if I had any options. I even said if I had no options, that was OK (I was aware of the WAAS problem before purchase so in my case I didn't feel I had any rights).

 

I have to say the Magellan representative was extremely courteous and merely went through his flowchart of offerings and told me that if I sent in my unit, they would give me a new Triton 400 at no cost. I told him I'd have to think about it and if I decided to take the offer, I'd call back (I've since decided against it). He then suggested that I let him write up an account ID for me, he'd summarize our conversation in his report and when I call back, just give the account number and I wouldn't have to go through the whole exercise with the other rep. Given all of the complaints I've read about Magellan support, I was very pleasantly surprised.

 

P.S. I'm going to offer the Explorist 400 for sale (with full WAAS disclosure) on the "Garage Sale" forum.

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... Magellan representative was extremely courteous and merely went through his flowchart of offerings and told me that if I sent in my unit, they would give me a new Triton 400 at no cost....
I'll go one better. I have a broken Explorist 400, called Magellan, and they're sending me a Triton 400 at no cost -- and I don't have to send back the Explorist. According to FedEx tracking, the Triton should be here on Monday.

 

They DID give me a return authorization for the Explorist it, but told me I could hold on to it until the Triton arrived. And since they aren't going to fix the Explorist, it didn't really matter if I sent it back or not.

 

Admittedly, letting the phone rep go through his scripted steps was a bit comical. And Triton won't be a good replacement for the Explorist (no decent street mapping software, no mass-storage support, it runs on WinCE, etc.) -- but we can flip it on eBay or craigslist to get money out of it.

 

SO... unlike a lot of others who are FURIOUS at Magellan for failing to support discontinued products, I'm not too upset. I'm really quite happy with my OTHER Magellan (Explorist 210) and enjoy picking up other used 210's and 400's at closeout sales and eBaying them :)

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