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Oregon File Explorer


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I've had my Oregon for a while now and I totally love it. It's a great unit.

 

With Garmin being so supportive at the current time I thought I'd poll the folks here and see what you guys thought and encourage feedback to Garmin if you think this would be a good idea.

 

The Oregon limits us to 2000 Geocaches (on the 400t anyways) and while this is more than sufficient for most of use I think it would be nice to have a way to access files on the unit to make file modifications while 'in the field' without having to connect a laptop.

 

So here's what I think would be a good feature:

 

What: File manager/editor/selector that could launch on the Oregon and allow editing / filename changes on the Oregon WITHOUT having to hook up to a computer.

 

Why: The ability to carry large numbers of GPX files on your device is limited by the 2000 cache display limit. I often find myself with a variety of GPX files created from different PQ's for different purposes. For example: Several PQ's to display all Regular sized Traditional caches in the Louisville Metro (more than one is needed to cover the metro area due to the 500 cache limit on PQ's. Another for Small Traditional caches, another for EC's, etc...

 

Having the ability to change the file extension (say to .BAK) and 'disable' the GPX file from loading would allow flexibility in the field to overcome the 2000 cache limit based on your needs at that moment.

 

Even easier would be the ability to just select which GPX files will be displayed (say on a page similar to the map selection page).

 

Other reason for being able to rename files: Changing map .img file names to enable use of more than one mapset on your microSD while in the field. I currently have several maps loaded on the microSD and change the file extension to enable/disable maps - but I have to hook to a computer to do this. A modified way to select maps or just ability to rename would overcome this limitation as well.

 

It would be fine with me if I had to take the unit out of GPS mode into a 'loader' mode that allows working with the file system.

 

I drive a Jeep (Wrangler) while caching and toting around a laptop and leaving it in the car isn't a very good idea. Those of you with a Jeep know - the only thing you should leave in a Jeep is something you don't mind getting stolen.

 

Opinions?

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I posted the Wherigo file manager idea several months ago and I have a sample cartridge that tries to file swap on the the SD card. Unfortunately the low level calls that the cartridge needs to use to move files either aren't supported or have bugs on the Oregon and Colorado.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=203441#

 

edit: added link to prior discussion

Edited by g-o-cashers
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I posted the Wherigo file manager idea several months ago and I have a sample cartridge that tries to file swap on the the SD card. Unfortunately the low level calls that the cartridge needs to use to move files either aren't supported or have bugs on the Oregon and Colorado.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=203441#

 

edit: added link to prior discussion

 

That thread refers to a cartridge that let's you create waypoints etc. I don't think it has anything to do with a file manager.

 

I have created a thread here:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...p;p=entry

Edited by Tequila
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It would be great if we could enable and disable GPX files on our Oregons in the same way we can enable and disable maps. I frequently download several PQs to my Oregon and easily exceed the 2000 limit. If I could easily choose which GPX files to enable I could download everything that interests me and only show what is currently needed and stays under the 2000 limit.

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The Wherigo approach would work for me - if it can be made to work.

 

It would just seem pretty simple to integrate such a simple file manager into the Setup menu. I don't care if I can even cahnge file names but rather specify which files are referenced for loading the GPX files for Geocaching purposes - and for loading maps for map purposes.

 

I honestly don't see why there needs to be a limit on the map that can be accessed on the SD cards. It really seems like situation where the programming is lagging behind the hardware technologies. Granted it originally seemed to make sense to try and sell maps but vast storage available on microSD cards and the huge volume of GPL maps out there I just don't see why Garmin won't modify their code to allow referencing more than one mapset on the microSD. Heck - I would just be happy (for now) if I could access one or two additional maps (gmapsupp2, 3, etc..).

 

I've sent a request via Garmn's site. I'll also try to follow the Wherigo conversations.

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Yep Yep - that older thread did address the issue. There's a Wherigo call for a function that appears to do what we want but it freezes the unit.

 

So - yes - we have keys for the car but when we turn the key it blows up.

 

Bummer - - -

 

Maybe (just maybe) the addition of the camera on the 500/550t will help push demand for a file manager. . .

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As g-o-casher already mentioned I tried to write a Wherigo-Cartridge that uses os.rename(oldFileName, newFileName) to rename files like .gpx files on the Oregon. When played in the Wherigo-Emulator on a PC it is actually possibly to rename files. However, if played on the Oregon calling the os.rename function will make the unit crash. I was playing around again with this lately but still didn't get it to work.

 

As to the 2000 geocaches limit I totally agree: It feels kind of strange to me to carry a unit with more than 4GB storage, yet I'm not able to use more than 2000 geocaches or more than some hundred waypoints. Basically you should be able to have unlimited geocaches, waypoints, tracks and so on. I just don't get why Garmin differs between information stored on the internal "harddrives" and information stored on the internal memory.

 

In addition to this limit this also causes another problem which I mentioned in several other posts: You always have to manage two geocache databases as well as two waypoint databases. That is if, e.g., I delete some waypoints on my unit, they will still remain in the file on the SD card but will be ignored on the until I change the corresponding gpx file. If I then add a new waypoint to the gpx file all deleted waypoints are also back again on the unit. In my opinion, this really unecessarily complicates waypoint management.

 

Why can't the waypoints on the SD card just be the same as those displayed by the unit. If I delete/create/change a waypoint either using the unit or directly in the gpx file the changes should affect both the gpx file and the waypoint displayed by the unit....

Edited by binzi
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Just for those of you that do not allready now. You can use the Advanced Nuvi macro (for GSAK) to keep a lot (unlimited?) of caches as POIs to overcome the 2000 cache limit (yes, it supports Oregon although it is mostly used for Nüvis). You propably still want to use the built in paperless functions for the closest 2000 caches though but it cannot hurt to have 10000 or more POIs available just in case.

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Just for those of you that do not allready now. You can use the Advanced Nuvi macro (for GSAK) to keep a lot (unlimited?) of caches as POIs to overcome the 2000 cache limit (yes, it supports Oregon although it is mostly used for Nüvis). You propably still want to use the built in paperless functions for the closest 2000 caches though but it cannot hurt to have 10000 or more POIs available just in case.

 

The goal is to come up with a way to manage the files without a PC while on a trip or out on the road. The macros and GSAK are great at helping to manage things when at homebase or when traveling with your laptop, just not so handy when trying to travel light.

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Just for those of you that do not allready now. You can use the Advanced Nuvi macro (for GSAK) to keep a lot (unlimited?) of caches as POIs to overcome the 2000 cache limit (yes, it supports Oregon although it is mostly used for Nüvis). You propably still want to use the built in paperless functions for the closest 2000 caches though but it cannot hurt to have 10000 or more POIs available just in case.

 

Do that already with a few thousand "found" caches, but yeh... paperless mode is what we need, and the ability to quickly move / change name of a file on the unit on the fly would be wonderful. This unit could carry a massive amount of true geocaches if that was possible.

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I just occurred to me after posting above:

 

We have a 2000 cache limit. How is this limit imposed? Is it a limit for parsing the 2000 closest caches available based on the files loaded in the GPX folder, or is this a total limit?

 

If it's simply a parsing limit (not a limit on the total) then I guess 2000 caches really isn't too much of a problem.

 

Hypothetical Example:

 

You are near Cyber City and there are approximatley 2900 caches within the 25 mile metro radius. You load a GPX file that you created with GSAK that contains all 2900 caches for the metro area. In addition you have loaded a GPX file with 1500 caches for Shelbyville a few counties over.

 

You head out into Cyber City and turn on your Garmin Oregon to pickup a few close by caches before driving to see your aunt sally in Shelbyville. Once in Shelbyville you want to get that cleverly hidden micro cache located in the middle of a wooded municipal park before stopping at aunt Sally's house.

 

When you are in Cyber City, will a cache search (or map view) show the closest caches (up to the 2000 cache limit) to your current fix, and then when you arrive at Shelbyville will the unit then display those caches?

 

Or will the unit only show the first 2000 caches it parses from the GPX files, and if so what order does it process the GPX files for geocaches?

 

Not in a position to test right now - but I'll try to see about doing a little test later (unless someone knows the answer).

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I have not tried it but I suspect it only holds 2000 caches, not the 2000 closest to your position. If you think about it, how would it adjust as your drive???

 

There is another option if you have a PDA that takes an SD card. You can use one of many available file managers for the PDA to move / manipulate files on the SD and return it to the OR. A bit cumbersome but still eliminates the need for a laptop.

 

I am still hoping the Wherigo Illuminati can come up with a solution.

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I've never sat down and figured out exactly which caches the Oregon picks for it's 2000 but it is done once when the gpx file is read at boot time and that's it. The limitation has to do with internal resources (ie. geocache database and associated memory) which we can't see not the amount of available memory on the drive memory we can see. When gpx files are parsed the first time (based a new filename or updated timestamp for an existing file) the contents are parsed, the internal databases are built and that process is complete until new or modified files are discovered on a subsequent boot cycle.

 

You need some way to either create a new file or modify the timestamp of an existing file while not attached to a computer if you want the Oregon to update it's internal database.

 

Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

@binzi, To solve the waypoint management issue have you tried the GSAK export macro? It exports child waypoints as POIs (which is what they really should be) which makes managing waypoints much easier. I never (or very infrequently) import a waypoint from a gpx file which means all of the waypoints I have were created on the unit so I never have to deal with managing the associated files.

 

It would be nice if Garmin could track which waypoints were marked on the unit vs. those imported via gpx file so that the latter could be removed when you delete the associated file, but I'm sure you get into some corner cases that they didn't want to deal with (like what happens when you modify a waypoint imported from a gpx file).

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Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

But that still requires moving them to the garmin/gpx folder though..on the unit?

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Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

But that still requires moving them to the garmin/gpx folder though..on the unit?

 

I think you can have your .gpx files on the card as long as they are in the /Garmin/GPX folder on the card.

 

g-o-cashers' post explains an anomaly I experienced yesterday. I had a single gpx file that contained 25 tracks. I loaded it into the OR with no problem. However, when I modified the file to change the name of a track, I wound up with 26 tracks. The one that did not exist was still there in name only. I could not make any button like View Map work.

 

To resolve, I had to delete the file, go through a power cycle and reload the file. This must have rebuilt the internal database. So this suggests you need to change the file names, not just the extensions.

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Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

But that still requires moving them to the garmin/gpx folder though..on the unit?

 

Nope, just put them in \Garmin\GPX on the SD card.

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The Oregon limits us to 2000 Geocaches (on the 400t anyways) and while this is more than sufficient for most of use I think it would be nice to have a way to access files on the unit to make file modifications while 'in the field' without having to connect a laptop.

 

What: File manager/editor/selector that could launch on the Oregon and allow editing / filename changes on the Oregon WITHOUT having to hook up to a computer.

 

Why: The ability to carry large numbers of GPX files on your device is limited by the 2000 cache display limit. I often find myself with a variety of GPX files created from different PQ's for different purposes. For example: Several PQ's to display all Regular sized Traditional caches in the Louisville Metro (more than one is needed to cover the metro area due to the 500 cache limit on PQ's. Another for Small Traditional caches, another for EC's, etc...

 

Having the ability to change the file extension (say to .BAK) and 'disable' the GPX file from loading would allow flexibility in the field to overcome the 2000 cache limit based on your needs at that moment.

 

Even easier would be the ability to just select which GPX files will be displayed (say on a page similar to the map selection page).

 

Other reason for being able to rename files: Changing map .img file names to enable use of more than one mapset on your microSD while in the field. I currently have several maps loaded on the microSD and change the file extension to enable/disable maps - but I have to hook to a computer to do this. A modified way to select maps or just ability to rename would overcome this limitation as well.

 

I think this would be a great feature. The lowrance expedition C that I use has the ability to clear waypoints and then load a different set from the memory card on the fly. Makes it nice so I can just have an easy macro in gsak that dumps a number of different files to the memory card and then load up which ever one I need when I start driving. This is the one feature that keeps me on my lowrance vs getting a garmin.

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There is another option if you have a PDA that takes an SD card. You can use one of many available file managers for the PDA to move / manipulate files on the SD and return it to the OR. A bit cumbersome but still eliminates the need for a laptop.

However it introduces the need to carry another device. I spent the big $$ on an Oregon to hopefully avoid needing any other devices. I'll qualify that with the fact that I knew of the limitations (with both Maps (4 available IMG file names that can be recognized and only one of those on the SD Card, as well as 2000 cache limits).

 

I'm just hoping to find a way to eliminate the need to travel with a laptop or other device to make such simple file modifications.

 

@G-O-Cashers: That's what I figured. I would imagine the is done at least in part based on the last known location (as saved in the current.gpx file). It would be nice to see if the code used to support the different units and these types of features will be made consistent since I suspect mostly a memory addressing limitation in Software (not hardware) for the different flavors of the Oregon. I know Garmin uses some of these features as selling points (# of waypoints, tracklogs, Geocaches, etc..) however the platforms all (starting with the 300 anyway) have the same built in memory so...

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Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

But that still requires moving them to the garmin/gpx folder though..on the unit?

 

Nope, just put them in \Garmin\GPX on the SD card.

 

I had no idea. Good stuff, easy to prepare an SD card for big days coming up. I have CN on the internal memory, Topo maps for more specific areas on the SD card. Easy to make a new card for a new area far away from home, with gpx file in place.

 

GW7 card coming up :)

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g-o-cashers' post explains an anomaly I experienced yesterday. I had a single gpx file that contained 25 tracks. I loaded it into the OR with no problem. However, when I modified the file to change the name of a track, I wound up with 26 tracks. The one that did not exist was still there in name only. I could not make any button like View Map work.

 

To resolve, I had to delete the file, go through a power cycle and reload the file. This must have rebuilt the internal database. So this suggests you need to change the file names, not just the extensions.

 

That actually might be a bug. I haven't played around with tracks and routes as much as waypoints, geocaches and POIs.

 

From your description it sounds like your Oregon imported correctly the first time but after your modification the second import should have detected two things: one deleted track and one new track. The add worked fine but the delete didn't work properly for some reason. The way to resolve this is just what you did: remove everything from \garmin\gpx restart (this should purge all of the internal databases), reload the gpx files and reboot.

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The Oregon limits us to 2000 Geocaches (on the 400t anyways) and while this is more than sufficient for most of use I think it would be nice to have a way to access files on the unit to make file modifications while 'in the field' without having to connect a laptop.

 

What: File manager/editor/selector that could launch on the Oregon and allow editing / filename changes on the Oregon WITHOUT having to hook up to a computer.

 

Why: The ability to carry large numbers of GPX files on your device is limited by the 2000 cache display limit. I often find myself with a variety of GPX files created from different PQ's for different purposes. For example: Several PQ's to display all Regular sized Traditional caches in the Louisville Metro (more than one is needed to cover the metro area due to the 500 cache limit on PQ's. Another for Small Traditional caches, another for EC's, etc...

 

Having the ability to change the file extension (say to .BAK) and 'disable' the GPX file from loading would allow flexibility in the field to overcome the 2000 cache limit based on your needs at that moment.

 

Even easier would be the ability to just select which GPX files will be displayed (say on a page similar to the map selection page).

 

Other reason for being able to rename files: Changing map .img file names to enable use of more than one mapset on your microSD while in the field. I currently have several maps loaded on the microSD and change the file extension to enable/disable maps - but I have to hook to a computer to do this. A modified way to select maps or just ability to rename would overcome this limitation as well.

 

I think this would be a great feature. The lowrance expedition C that I use has the ability to clear waypoints and then load a different set from the memory card on the fly. Makes it nice so I can just have an easy macro in gsak that dumps a number of different files to the memory card and then load up which ever one I need when I start driving. This is the one feature that keeps me on my lowrance vs getting a garmin.

I didn't know Lowrance had that kind of feature. Hope it makes it to the new Endura line.

 

It sounds like what the Oregon owners want is the Magellan eXplorist's file management system. The geocaching POI files were limited to 200 caches per file, but you could put as many files onto your card as it will hold. Just go into the Active Setup menu and choose whatever file you want to use for your active Geocaching POIs file. A separate "found cache" list was kept for each POI file. I thought Magellan's implementation of a file manager was ingenious. An easy way to keep different files of caches that will suit your location or caching mood. I can't believe they tossed it aside with the introduction of the Triton, and that no other GPSr manufacturer has created something similar since then. The eXplorists came out nearly 5 years ago and apparently we have made no progress in the way our units handle waypoint files.

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As g-o-casher already mentioned I tried to write a Wherigo-Cartridge that uses os.rename(oldFileName, newFileName) to rename files like .gpx files on the Oregon. When played in the Wherigo-Emulator on a PC it is actually possibly to rename files. However, if played on the Oregon calling the os.rename function will make the unit crash. I was playing around again with this lately but still didn't get it to work.

 

 

That would make sense. The os.rename is obviously looking to interface with some sort of file manager and the OR does not have that. Or at least one that lua can interface with.

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As g-o-casher already mentioned I tried to write a Wherigo-Cartridge that uses os.rename(oldFileName, newFileName) to rename files like .gpx files on the Oregon. When played in the Wherigo-Emulator on a PC it is actually possibly to rename files. However, if played on the Oregon calling the os.rename function will make the unit crash. I was playing around again with this lately but still didn't get it to work.

 

 

That would make sense. The os.rename is obviously looking to interface with some sort of file manager and the OR does not have that. Or at least one that lua can interface with.

 

Not sure why it locks up - I suspect however the files in the GPX directory have a file lock on them while the GPSr is running in normal boot mode. This is probably the source of the OS lockup. I bet you can rename files in another directory that isn't part of or locked by the Garmin OS. Of course that isn't very useful to us in this case if it does work that way.

 

It sounds like what the Oregon owners want is the Magellan eXplorist's file management system.

Yes - know any Magellan programmers that want to defect to Garmin?

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I doubt you can rename anything. The lua functions that perform the name change need to be able to interface with a known file management system and the OR needs to have the proper hooks to handle that type of call. I doubt the OR Wherigo player is that sophisticated. And hanging/crashing/power off is the standard for how the OR Wherigo handles anything out of the ordinary.

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Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

 

Couldn't you load, say, 5 different SD cards with your one legal copy of City Nav (a locked map), then each of the 5 different cards with a unique collections or gpx files, and swap at will (into the same GPSr of course, that the map is locked to) depending on what gpx you want to see?

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Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

 

Couldn't you load, say, 5 different SD cards with your one legal copy of City Nav (a locked map), then each of the 5 different cards with a unique collections or gpx files, and swap at will (into the same GPSr of course, that the map is locked to) depending on what gpx you want to see?

 

Yes and No. If you have CN on DVD and your PC you could create multiple cards. However, I have CN on the prebuilt microSD. I have not been able to make a backup card.

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Note you can always carry multiple SD cards with different databases and swap them around. Pretty cheap and easy solution if you aren't using the SD cards for maps (or you can preload all of your cards with the same maps if they aren't locked maps).

 

 

Couldn't you load, say, 5 different SD cards with your one legal copy of City Nav (a locked map), then each of the 5 different cards with a unique collections or gpx files, and swap at will (into the same GPSr of course, that the map is locked to) depending on what gpx you want to see?

 

Yes and No. If you have CN on DVD and your PC you could create multiple cards. However, I have CN on the prebuilt microSD. I have not been able to make a backup card.

 

 

That makes sense.

 

Any scheme where we could have more information (caches, gpx files etc...) the better.

 

How do they get 5000 on the 550/550T?

 

The 2000caches/200gpx files seems like like a artificially imposed limit. Maybe they knew they were going to offer 5000 on the next model...

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How do they get 5000 on the 550/550T?

 

The 2000caches/200gpx files seems like like a artificially imposed limit.

 

Exactly right. It's a limitation in the firmware/software. There's no real difference in the platform between most of these units.

 

Honestly I wonder if there is any difference in the 300, 400, 500, 550 at all (with the obvious exception of the camera - which could be plugged into an interface that's on the circuit board of all models). The 200 has a different amount of built in memory so it may actually be a different board (also is missing electronic compass and barometric altimeter).

 

I'm speculating based on the fact that it is almost always less expensive to have a single circuit board manufactured and control the features in software for various models.

 

Somewhat Off Topic: I wonder if anyone will ever make custom software for these units?

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