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TravelingViking

Garmin nüvi 550 Geocaching mode

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In the previous 500/550 threads I didn't find anything on this issue: did anyone actually use the Geocaching mode of this unit yet?

 

I of course ran Webupdater to make sure I have the latest software.

 

I am trying to use the Geocaching mode, so I copy GPX files (PQ or single) to the GPX directory. I tried both manual copy as well as communicator plug-in copy - both on internal memory as well as on card. That process works fine so far.

 

On the map, the cache symbols show up fine. So GPX files are there.

 

I can read the cache description OK too, as long as it does not contain too much HTML - cache descriptions with tables are unreadable.

 

The real issue: if I want to go to a cache and press the big green GO button - the device switches itself off...

 

Now that is a killer, as it happens every time.

 

When I type in the coordinates manually as a destination waypoint (not geocache) the GO button works fine.

 

What also annoys me "a bit" is that on the compass page the data fields are fixed - and do not contain the distance to the destination - duh - I think that's the most important field for caching...

I wish they would be configurable like on all the outdoor devices.

 

So, is this just my unit (in which case I would return it) or do others have the same problem (in which case I would wait for a software update)...

 

Thanks,

TravelingViking

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I don't own a Nuvi 5xx so you can take this with a grain of salt but I'm going to assume that this works like the Oregon and Colorado.

 

First thing I would do is delete all of the gpx files you can find on the device, particularly those in the Garmin\GPX directory. You'll want to copy them off to your computer first if you need them later.

 

Then reboot the Nuvi 500 without any GPX files. This should clean out the internal geocaching databases.

 

Next I would run a Pocket Query, extract the 2 gpx files and copy them over to Garmin\GPX, power on and see if things work any better.

 

There are some limits you need to take care not to break, the total number of gpx files (200) and the total number of geocaches (2000). If somehow you've loaded more than that you may see strange behavior like you did. Also make sure you are using pocket queries to start with to make sure that works.

 

The only other options is a master reset, assuming there is one for the Nuvi. Again, remove all of the gpx files, master reset and then reload.

 

If that doesn't work I'd call Garmin.

 

GO$Rs

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I don't own a Nuvi 5xx so you can take this with a grain of salt but I'm going to assume that this works like the Oregon and Colorado.

 

First thing I would do is delete all of the gpx files you can find on the device, particularly those in the Garmin\GPX directory. You'll want to copy them off to your computer first if you need them later.

 

Then reboot the Nuvi 500 without any GPX files. This should clean out the internal geocaching databases.

 

Next I would run a Pocket Query, extract the 2 gpx files and copy them over to Garmin\GPX, power on and see if things work any better.

 

There are some limits you need to take care not to break, the total number of gpx files (200) and the total number of geocaches (2000). If somehow you've loaded more than that you may see strange behavior like you did. Also make sure you are using pocket queries to start with to make sure that works.

 

The only other options is a master reset, assuming there is one for the Nuvi. Again, remove all of the gpx files, master reset and then reload.

 

If that doesn't work I'd call Garmin.

 

GO$Rs

 

It works "in general" but on some caches when selecting them and hitting the Go button - the unit switches itself of - on others it doesn't.

 

Here is one that causes a switch off: GC1622A

 

So hopefully this is something they can fix with a SW update...

 

Olaf

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I am returning my Garmin 550!!! Mine also shuts down when I hit the GO button and it will only hold 124 Geocache files. They sell this as holding 1000 waypoints and I assumed (you know what that means) I could hold 1000 geocache files. Wish I could design one for them that did what we want it to do!!! :laughing::ph34r::ph34r::laughing:

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I have a 760 that also shuts down every time you hit the go button. Would not function in any mode until I cleared memory. Still does not want to play in the Geocaching arena. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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i have a nuvi 500 and had a glich in the soft ware went to garmin support and called them they walked me thru the master reset and a update works fine now found 4 caches yesterday very helpful when i called in connected to computer and have seen no more problems. on my compass screen it will go down in distance down to zero it was right on hunting yesterday. :D

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Ibought the 550 and found and took up Geocatching.1 sofar as the 550 is a pain,same probs so sent it back to Garmin and it was replaced havent had time to check it yet. Very dissapointed as this looks like fun :laughing:<_<:huh:

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Ibought the 550 and found and took up Geocatching.1 sofar as the 550 is a pain,same probs so sent it back to Garmin and it was replaced havent had time to check it yet. Very dissapointed as this looks like fun :laughing:<_<:huh:

 

Did you update the firmware first? The original firmware had a lot of problems, but they have mostly been fixed, AFAIK.

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I am returning my Garmin 550!!! Mine also shuts down when I hit the GO button and it will only hold 124 Geocache files. They sell this as holding 1000 waypoints and I assumed (you know what that means) I could hold 1000 geocache files. Wish I could design one for them that did what we want it to do!!! <_<:huh::(:laughing:

This is what Pocket Queries are for - you can have up to 500 geocaches in one GPX file.

http://markwell.us/pq.htm

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I have a nuvi 760 and I tried to use it for geocaching but thought that little arrow in the corner was annoying and went back to my legend. Is there another screen I dont know about or are you using the little arrow in offroad mode?

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I have a nuvi 760 and I tried to use it for geocaching but thought that little arrow in the corner was annoying and went back to my legend. Is there another screen I dont know about or are you using the little arrow in offroad mode?

 

Regular Nuvis don't have an off road mode. They are intended for road use only.

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Regular nuvis do have an off road setting, in the settings menu you can select fastest time, shortest distance or off road as the route setup

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Regular nuvis do have an off road setting, in the settings menu you can select fastest time, shortest distance or off road as the route setup

 

He said "off mode mode". It does not have that. i.e, there is not a "navigation" screen. Also the units loack to roads and this can not be turned off.

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I just got my Nuvi 500 after sending back my Oregon for a refund (very disappointed for the high $$ tag). The 500 has an Off Road function that does remove the "lock to road" feature. And switching to this mode is as easy at tapping an icon on the main menu (to go from auto mode to walking mode).

 

So far, the 500 has worked flawlessly. I haven't experienced the powering off problem as above. I wish it came in a widescreen format, but I suppose that would be too big/squarish to hold while geocaching. Auto mode works wonderfully... even downloaded the "Elfred" voice from Garmin.

 

IMHO, I'd completely recommend the 500 for someone who needs a good geocaching GPS AND something made for easy use in the car.

Edited by yehawdude

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Regular nuvis do have an off road setting, in the settings menu you can select fastest time, shortest distance or off road as the route setup

 

He said "off mode mode". It does not have that. i.e, there is not a "navigation" screen. Also the units loack to roads and this can not be turned off.

Hi Red90,

 

When you select "off road" in the routing preferences, it does not lock to roads. So, when you select "off road" as the routing preference you have, effectively, put it into off road mode. That is, it does straight point-to-point "routing" and it ignores roads (ignores all of the routing data, actually). I don't know what more you want from an "off road mode". ;)

 

...ken...

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For a little bit of clarity.

 

I have a Nuvi 500.

 

The GEOcache ICON shows up in 2 places. In the settings/ tools screen. And when in WALKING MODE.

 

As of previous updates to 3.30, I believe I had 3.20, I had a couple of geocaches that would shut off the GPS. but not all would do this.

 

I am updating the firmware and will report back when I know if this helps. I do know I deleted the troublesome geocache data.

 

You can also load or get the geocaching icon in the tools screen to have geocaching data if you use GSAK.

 

If you use GSAK, or try to send data to the Nuvi 500 using the native website tool to send data to GPS using the GARMIN comunicator plugin, you will find that you get the description of

 

Receive more information such as cache descriptions and hints with a Premium Membership. Visit http://www.geocaching.com/subscribe for more details.

 

in the description of the geocache. You need to get premium content to get this automatically filled in, or if you edit the *.GSX file you can add in the description your self, but the file is pretty tough to edit and maintain.

 

Try Reading this thread It has a lot of good information for nuvis. Explains how to load thousands of geocaches http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=193374

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I discovered that the shut down experienced by the OP is due to the geocache name/description having too many characters. In GSAK I changed the Export GPX setting to read: %smart=20 in both the Waypoint Name and Cache Description boxes. Since then I've had no issues with the shut-down. I have a Nuvi 500 with current firmware.

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I discovered that the shut down experienced by the OP is due to the geocache name/description having too many characters. In GSAK I changed the Export GPX setting to read: %smart=20 in both the Waypoint Name and Cache Description boxes. Since then I've had no issues with the shut-down. I have a Nuvi 500 with current firmware.

Changes made from version 3.30 to 3.40:

download the Text to Speech from the garmin site . After updating your nuvi 5xx, you must return to WebUpdater to install voices to enable Text to Speech.

Improved G2 map compatibility by adding topmark display and the option to switch between IALA and NOAA icons, if supported by map.

Improved highway avoidance behavior.

Corrected issue when saving coordinates as a Favorite.

Corrected issue where Optimally Reorder Points could cause final destination to be lost in some custom routes.

Fixed some issues with handling certain Geocache files.

Allow handling of maps larger than 2 gigabytes.

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Long cache names will still cause the Nuvi 500 to shut down.

Firmware's at 3.40

GSAK GPX export settings:

Waypoint Name %code

Cache Description: %Name

 

Exporting/loading caches with long file names, Passport to Adventure (Central Jersey Challenge) for example will cause a shut-down.

 

Changed settings back to Cache Description: %smart=20 solves the problem

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Can someone explain me how to do a master reset on a nuvi 550, because I can't find it anywhere.

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Page 39-40 of the manual.

Reset:

Hold on/off power button down for at least 10 seconds. Or remove then re-install battery.

 

Clearing All User Data

1. Turn off

2. Press finger on lower right corner of touch-screen

3. While holding finger down on lower right corner of touch-screen, turn on Nuvi. Keep holding down your finger until message appears

4. Touch yes to clear all data.

Edited by CondorTrax

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Does anyone know how to get the Nuvi 550 into the pre boot mode? Thanks for anyone that can help.

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Nuvi Geocache Shut Down - Crashes

 

GSAK Setting under GPX Export:

 

I used the following settings:

Cache description: %des

Wavepoint name: %code

Also apply to cache name (checked) %smart=20

 

Working Great. Thanks for your help.

Edited by The Randaddy

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I found a strange problem that I can not seem to fix with my NUVI 500. It is related to the other issues on this thread.

 

I can not seem to get rid of old caches in the unit and load a new .gpx file. I have been doing this now for over 6 months and it has worked up to now. I delet the old .gpx file and load the new file, biut the old data stays in the unit. I even deleted the GPX folder. When I did this it initiated the start up geocaching sequence and built a new GPX folder, but when I load a new .gpx file I continue to get the old data.

 

I am running the latest firmware.

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Make sure you did not accidently copy the geocaches to the Current Folder inside the GPX Folder.

Edited by The Randaddy

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Nuvi Geocache Shut Down - Crashes

 

GSAK Setting under GPX Export:

 

I used the following settings:

Cache description: %des

Wavepoint name: %code

Also apply to cache name (checked) %smart=20

 

Working Great. Thanks for your help.

 

Where exactly are you putting those settings? Is it in your GPS or somewhere on the website? I'm having issues with the long file names but I can't figure out where these settings need to go.

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Nuvi Geocache Shut Down - Crashes

 

GSAK Setting under GPX Export:

 

I used the following settings:

Cache description: %des

Wavepoint name: %code

Also apply to cache name (checked) %smart=20

 

Working Great. Thanks for your help.

 

Where exactly are you putting those settings? Is it in your GPS or somewhere on the website? I'm having issues with the long file names but I can't figure out where these settings need to go.

 

The settings are entered into GSAK export GPX, not on the nuvi.

 

GSAK is geocaching software for the PC.

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Boy I'm glad I found this thread. I went caching yesterday with my new Nuvi 550 and had the same issue with it shutting down on certain caches. Now I see they were the caches with long names. I'll try the recommended GSAK settings and see how it goes.

 

On another note, whenever I plug my Nuvi into my computer, I get this popup box:

 

01857633-e448-49e4-8b15-eb26a3ec9dfc.jpg

 

Anyone ever get that? I tried clicking on "Scan and fix" once, but I got another message that said the device could not be scanned while it was in use. If I "Continue without scanning" everything seems to be OK. Odd...

 

Lastly, page 33 of the Owner's Manual says "NOTE: You can also download geocaches to the optional microSD card...." I tried putting the GPX file on the SD card, but the Nuvi couldn't "see" them. The manual wasn't much additional help. Anyone have any experience with this?

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Please post info also to Garmin so they know this long cache name problem really exist. I did so and they haven't heard about this according to reply I got recenty.

 

"Thank you for contacting Garmin Europe.

 

Thanks for your email I will be happy to help. This isn't an issue that

we have come across before with the Nuvi 550. Please could you email me

one of the geocaches that you have been experiencing a problem with so

that I could see if this issue could be replicated on a unit here. If we

can replicate this issue then I can get this reported as it could be

something which is fixed."

 

And I sent this just two weeks ago and nuvi 500 has been about year now on market.

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On another note, whenever I plug my Nuvi into my computer, I get this popup box:

 

01857633-e448-49e4-8b15-eb26a3ec9dfc.jpg

 

Anyone ever get that? I tried clicking on "Scan and fix" once, but I got another message that said the device could not be scanned while it was in use. If I "Continue without scanning" everything seems to be OK. Odd...

Same problem here

I plugged my device in the USB, and got that screen, then went ahead, with windows checking the device, then it found no errors. Any USB mass storage device, whether GPS or like my 120GB camcorder, if it's unplugged, without clicking "Safely Remove", it sets up an error condition in Windows. Windows seems to remember the premature unplugging when the device is plugged in again, bringing up that screen again.

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I discovered that the shut down experienced by the OP is due to the geocache name/description having too many characters. In GSAK I changed the Export GPX setting to read: %smart=20 in both the Waypoint Name and Cache Description boxes. Since then I've had no issues with the shut-down. I have a Nuvi 500 with current firmware.

Thanks for the tip about %smart=20. It solved the problem for caches with long names causing the device to shut down.

 

Unfortunately I have discovered another problem relating to geocaching. Sometimes the device hangs when trying to display the cache description. Example: GC16YJ8 (Swerail #01 - Göteborg). When the device hangs like this the only that works to get it back up again is to remove the battery or to hold the power button pressed for a couple of seconds to reset the device.

 

How should I report this problem to Garmin in the best way? I have tried their online e-mail form before without getting any answer. And the local Garmin support in my country (Sweden) only have a telephone number for support and I don't think it is fruitful to try to explain this problem over the phone.

 

Apart from the obvious bugs in geocaching mode I don't find the geocaching features of Nuvi 500 to be very well thought through anyway. There is no way to set for what zoom mode geocaches should be visible which means that the map will be full of geocaching icons everywhere if you load a Pocket Query on the device. It is not possible to point on a geocache and get its description (except when in Boating/Marine mode). Geocaches seems to share space with other waypoints which severely limits how many geocaches you can load on the device. Etc etc...

 

I have loaded my geocaches on Nuvi 500 as POIs and use it only as an information library. This way I can keep information about several thousand geocaches (incl. pictures) on my Nuvi 500.

I use my eTrex Vista HCx for the actual navigating to the geocaches.

 

iller

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Excellent tread as I am considering purchasing a Nuvi 500 right now. REI has them for $ 224 US.

 

I want paperless caching and using only one GPSr sounds great too. Would any of you that have the Nuvi 500 or 550 not buy it again ? If not, what would you buy ? I am looking at the Delorme PN-40 and Garmin Oregon 400t as well....but like the Nuvi because of the lower price and road navigation.

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I currently use a Garmin 2610 (yeah, one of those big, mongo HUGE car gps) as my traveling companion. I can send up to 500 caches directly to the GPS, and when I am on the map screen, I can see ALL the caches that I downloaded. (and I can VERY easily delete these caches, in two or three easy keystrokes).

 

I am also looking to upgrade to a NUVI; however, I want the basic geocaching functions. I want to be able to look at my map screen and see where the caches (and cache pockets) are. Does the 500 or 550 offer this capability? This is an imperative function.

 

I haven't seen any screen shots of the geocaching functions. I also haven't really been sold as to the pros or cons of this. Should I invest the money?

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I really like the 500.

 

 

It works well in geocaching mode when in walking mode.

 

You really need GSAK to go with it though.

 

 

PROS:

 

Small enough.

 

durrable.

 

Battery lasts for most hikes. 4-6hrs.

 

Car and geocacheing.

 

 

Cons:

 

limited to 2000 geocaches. Or you have to use POI database. While is not hard, is more complex. (medium)

 

Does use non standard battery, not AAs. (not a big deal.)

 

A more sensitive receiver would be nice. (not a big deal most times.)

 

 

If you want a good crossover tool. This is not a bad choice. If you are going to geocache 3-10 times a month, this is probably fine, and mostly it is for the car navigation. If you are going to only use it only for geocaching in the field, I would say maybe an Oregon might be better, but the Oregon does not resolve all of the items above.

 

 

For me I might get or upgrade to an Oregon, but I do like to use the the GPS for the CAR most of the days, and the real time traffic that the Nuvi 500 has is awesome.

 

 

;)-->

QUOTE(brian b @ Dec 31 2009, 07:51 AM) 4174246[/snapback]
I currently use a Garmin 2610 (yeah, one of those big, mongo HUGE car gps) as my traveling companion. I can send up to 500 caches directly to the GPS, and when I am on the map screen, I can see ALL the caches that I downloaded. (and I can VERY easily delete these caches, in two or three easy keystrokes).

 

I am also looking to upgrade to a NUVI; however, I want the basic geocaching functions. I want to be able to look at my map screen and see where the caches (and cache pockets) are. Does the 500 or 550 offer this capability? This is an imperative function.

 

I haven't seen any screen shots of the geocaching functions. I also haven't really been sold as to the pros or cons of this. Should I invest the money?

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Yes, the 5xx units will show the icons of the geocaches when in both driving and walking mode. I don't have my 500 unit in the house right now but if you would like I will take some pics of the Geocaching mode to show you what it looks like.

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With the newest firmware for Nüvi 500/550 that was released just before Christmas (version 3.50), the two serious Geocaching bugs are fixed. Upgrade at once if you use the geocaching mode!

 

The device no longer turns off when pressing the "More" button the read the description of some caches with long names. And the device doesn't hang when you tried to read the description for some caches with complicated html code.

 

The geocaching mode works pretty well on Nüvi 500/550 now.

 

iller

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Thank you all for you advice. I currently use a 60csx for my handheld, on the trail geocaching. But I want a car gps that will function as both an aid to caching as well as an aid to getting to a location. (MY 60 has all topo maps; otherwise, I would use that as a driving companion.)

 

Most of my questions were answered here. Now I just need to know if the wife will explode if I shell out the money for ANOTHER gps!!!

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MustangJim

 

I would love to see some screen shots.

 

(And Ohio State looked quite good in the Rose Bowl. I grew up in Ohio, but ended up in KY before NY.)

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:anibad:-->

QUOTE(brian b @ Jan 2 2010, 04:58 PM) 4176682[/snapback]

Thank you all for you advice. I currently use a 60csx for my handheld, on the trail geocaching. But I want a car gps that will function as both an aid to caching as well as an aid to getting to a location. (MY 60 has all topo maps; otherwise, I would use that as a driving companion.)

 

Most of my questions were answered here. Now I just need to know if the wife will explode if I shell out the money for ANOTHER gps!!!

 

I am using the 60csx and the Nuvi 550. I think it's an excellent combination. It took a little while to figure out the 550 to transition from using it in the car to using it on foot looking for the caches. But now that i've solved that I like it.

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Ok, I took a few pics for those who want to see what the Nuvi 500/550 is all about....

 

In the first pic this is in driving mode. As you can see you can see the caches as you are driving.

4241747260_eb33c819eb.jpg

 

This is 2D mode with both roads and Topo maps loaded. You can move around to see where large pockets of caches are.

4241000371_c6a717089b.jpg

 

When you choose GO TO from the main menu Geocaches is an option.

4240978609_ea3117d85a.jpg

 

Once you choose Geocaches it automatically shows all the caches in order of distance.

4241783730_0b6aae0970.jpg

 

When you choose one it shows the terrain, difficulty, size and if there are any trackables in it.

4241774574_3c1f993f3a.jpg

 

From that screen once you click "More" you get these options about the cache

4241786934_f49757aa03.jpg

 

If you choose to log the cache these are the options presented.

4241030675_3c5e35fa91.jpg

 

Yes you get full discriptions!

4241797494_8a516a6caf.jpg

 

Previous Log attempts are there as well

4241799604_ffb2287eeb.jpg

 

If you have any more questions let me know.

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Perfect. I think you helped me make my decision! Thank you for the pics (and your time).

 

Absolutely perfect!

 

Now, I must decide on the 500 or the 550. I think I'll go for the one with the Canandian maps . . . . especially since I have a hand held for hiking.

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Ok, I took a few pics for those who want to see what the Nuvi 500/550 is all about....

 

In the first pic this is in driving mode. As you can see you can see the caches as you are driving.

4241747260_eb33c819eb.jpg

 

This is 2D mode with both roads and Topo maps loaded. You can move around to see where large pockets of caches are.

4241000371_c6a717089b.jpg

 

When you choose GO TO from the main menu Geocaches is an option.

4240978609_ea3117d85a.jpg

 

Once you choose Geocaches it automatically shows all the caches in order of distance.

4241783730_0b6aae0970.jpg

 

When you choose one it shows the terrain, difficulty, size and if there are any trackables in it.

4241774574_3c1f993f3a.jpg

 

From that screen once you click "More" you get these options about the cache

4241786934_f49757aa03.jpg

 

If you choose to log the cache these are the options presented.

4241030675_3c5e35fa91.jpg

 

Yes you get full discriptions!

4241797494_8a516a6caf.jpg

 

Previous Log attempts are there as well

4241799604_ffb2287eeb.jpg

 

If you have any more questions let me know.

Thank you for posting these images-that is very helpful in deciding to purchase a 550. Is there a screen for off road navigation to a cache with a pointer and distance as on a handheld gps? :unsure:

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Thank you for posting these images-that is very helpful in deciding to purchase a 550. Is there a screen for off road navigation to a cache with a pointer and distance as on a handheld gps? :D

 

Haha. Cant believe that I missed that one. If left my GPS outside so I had to find a pic from another site. The compass screen looks like this. You can hop back and forth from it from the map screen.

compass.jpg

Edited by MustangTim

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So I've purchased (and received) the 550; I updated the software and maps. I am having problems, however, in getting caches (in the form of a PQ) sent to the geocaching icon.

 

Using GSAK, I am sending to the GPS, and the .gpx file is finding its way into the Garmin/GPS folder on the Nuvi. The real issue is that they are showing up under My Favorites AND under Geocaches. I do not want them to show up under favorites, since I have to delete them one-by-one (if I don't want to lose all my favorites).

 

However, when I send them as an export .gpx file, I do not get the name of the cache on the screen.

 

When i send them as a "send to gps" file, I get them in both the Favorites and in the geocache, but the name is on the favorites.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions? I really do not want to have to send this thing back and resort to my old 2610.

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Give your nuvi a chance..

- Do pocket query from your selected area and when you got the gpx file save it in Nuvi's Garmin/GPX folder.

- Or sometimes if you want only one cache, use GPX exhange file option on cache page instead of send to gps function. You get gpx file with one cache that you copy into Garmin/GPX folder.

- In Gsak there is an option to make gpx file also that can be found on File->export->gpx/loc file. I don't use any macro's just that export and some filtering when I select caches. Copy that gpx file in Nuvis Garmin/gpx folder.

 

I do this way and I'm totally happy geocaching with my nuvi 500. It works just like on pictures above, with cache names and descriptions and most recent logs.

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Small Oaks --

 

That is exactly how I transfer my PQ to the gps. What I am looking for is to have the names of the caches appear on the map screen. This happens when I export them (as you described), but then they show up in My Favorites, which then causes havoc when needed to delete them.

 

Is there a way to get the names (or even GC numbers) of the caches to show up above the cache other than through the export?

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