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Paperless caching for non-paperless Garmins


Hultis-
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Ever since I started geocaching I have used a GSAK script to make it possible to do more or less paperless caching on my Legend HCx, and it has worked well. However, that is the only thing I use GSAK for, so I don't feel like buying it. Also, even without the nag screens it would take unecessarily long time to create the caches.

 

So I created a program which does pretty much the same thing but without GSAK, aiming to make it fast and simple. Also, the program is portable to other operating systems than Windows (since it's Java you might even be able to run it on your cell phone, whatever good that would do). Using the program is simple: just put the pocket queries you want to export in the same folder as the program and run it. After a few seconds you can find the results in the csv folder, just run POI Loader (or similar) on that folder and you're done. This will create several caches for each real cache, containing the information you deem necessary (this can be changed using the config.txt file): difficulty/terrain, last found, logs, hint, short description, long description and some more. It also has support for some non-english characters, and I will add more if you want it.

 

Compatibility: I created the program for Garmin eTrex Legend HCx (and for personal use, but sharing is caring :blink: ), but it should work for all models that use the same format: Garmin 60Cx, 60CSx, 76Cx, 76CSx, eTrex Venture Cx, eTrex Venture HCx, eTrex Legend Cx, eTrex Legend HCx, eTrex Vista Cx and eTrex Vista HCx.

 

The program is available here.

Feel free to download and use the program however you wish, it is open source (BSD license). Feedback and suggestions are more than welcome.

Edited by Hultis-
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Sorry, I didn't know the name was already taken, neighter did I consider the fact that this was a reproduction of their artwork and that it was prohibited. The artwork is now removed so if someone wants to have specialized icons they will have to create/get them by themselves. Instructions are available in the readme. The program also has a different name now, one that didn't yield a single Google result.

 

I have no interest in gaining anything from the program or messing with those who want to gain something from theirs, I just wanted to share something I thought the community might have use for, just like me and my friends have.

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Just a note....I have a GPS60CSx and I have used GSAK to make my 60csx a "modified" PDA with just the info I need....type of container, type of cache (traditional, Multi, Puzzle, etc.....and best of all the "hint". This info is in my 60CSx.....check my profile page near the bottom for more info.....Of course you need to be a PM and have GSAK or a simular program....If you are not a PM, you really should be, caching would be a lot more fun...Stay safe....

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Ever since I started geocaching I have used a GSAK script to make it possible to do more or less paperless caching on my Legend HCx, and it has worked well. However, that is the only thing I use GSAK for, so I don't feel like buying it. Also, even without the nag screens it would take unecessarily long time to create the caches.

 

So I created a program which does pretty much the same thing but without GSAK, aiming to make it fast and simple. Also, the program is portable to other operating systems than Windows (since it's Java you might even be able to run it on your cell phone, whatever good that would do). Using the program is simple: just put the pocket queries you want to export in the same folder as the program and run it. After a few seconds you can find the results in the csv folder, just run POI Loader (or similar) on that folder and you're done. This will create several caches for each real cache, containing the information you deem necessary (this can be changed using the config.txt file): difficulty/terrain, last found, logs, hint, short description, long description and some more. It also has support for some non-english characters, and I will add more if you want it.

 

Compatibility: I created the program for Garmin eTrex Legend HCx (and for personal use, but sharing is caring ;) ), but it should work for all models that use the same format: Garmin 60Cx, 60CSx, 76Cx, 76CSx, eTrex Venture Cx, eTrex Venture HCx, eTrex Legend Cx, eTrex Legend HCx, eTrex Vista Cx and eTrex Vista HCx.

 

The program is available here.

Feel free to download and use the program however you wish, it is open source (BSD license). Feedback and suggestions are more than welcome.

Will this work on a Garmin Venture HC or is the unit's memory too small for this program? Also, with the link you give, what is the program's name and how is it downloaded? Anyone know answers to these questions? Thanks.

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Ever since I started geocaching I have used a GSAK script to make it possible to do more or less paperless caching on my Legend HCx, and it has worked well. However, that is the only thing I use GSAK for, so I don't feel like buying it. Also, even without the nag screens it would take unecessarily long time to create the caches.

 

So I created a program which does pretty much the same thing but without GSAK, aiming to make it fast and simple. Also, the program is portable to other operating systems than Windows (since it's Java you might even be able to run it on your cell phone, whatever good that would do). Using the program is simple: just put the pocket queries you want to export in the same folder as the program and run it. After a few seconds you can find the results in the csv folder, just run POI Loader (or similar) on that folder and you're done. This will create several caches for each real cache, containing the information you deem necessary (this can be changed using the config.txt file): difficulty/terrain, last found, logs, hint, short description, long description and some more. It also has support for some non-english characters, and I will add more if you want it.

 

Compatibility: I created the program for Garmin eTrex Legend HCx (and for personal use, but sharing is caring ;) ), but it should work for all models that use the same format: Garmin 60Cx, 60CSx, 76Cx, 76CSx, eTrex Venture Cx, eTrex Venture HCx, eTrex Legend Cx, eTrex Legend HCx, eTrex Vista Cx and eTrex Vista HCx.

 

The program is available here.

Feel free to download and use the program however you wish, it is open source (BSD license). Feedback and suggestions are more than welcome.

Will this work on a Garmin Venture HC or is the unit's memory too small for this program? Also, with the link you give, what is the program's name and how is it downloaded? Anyone know answers to these questions? Thanks.

 

pA2csv.zip would be the name used in the link, not sure about the usability for your unit, but I'd say give it a try and find out. To download, I would guess you'll need to be logged in?

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Since I have allready paid for GSAK and also use it for other things like statistics this is nothing that I will likely use but it sounds like a really great tool.

 

As for Venture HC I am pretty sure it will work unless you have an old firmware. Custom POIs was added in the later firmware versions (same should apply to Summit HC units).

 

As for Nüvis (and Zumos) I suppose it should work too, I've accindently installed my HCx POIs on my Nüvi at least once and as I recall it worked. However it won't look as nice as the really cool Nüvi GSAK macros that exists but GSAK can be a bit complicated for some people and then this program could be a very good alternative.

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Since I have allready paid for GSAK and also use it for other things like statistics this is nothing that I will likely use but it sounds like a really great tool.

 

As for Venture HC I am pretty sure it will work unless you have an old firmware. Custom POIs was added in the later firmware versions (same should apply to Summit HC units).

 

As for Nüvis (and Zumos) I suppose it should work too, I've accindently installed my HCx POIs on my Nüvi at least once and as I recall it worked. However it won't look as nice as the really cool Nüvi GSAK macros that exists but GSAK can be a bit complicated for some people and then this program could be a very good alternative.

Thank you for letting me know it should work on an HC. Now all I need to do is

1.)figure out how to download it from supplied link. (Yes, I have signed up for free membership on linked site but still unable to figure out how to download the program pA2csvzip.)

2.) figure out how to use it. Any instructions on its use available?

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It seems so much simpler than GSAK. Even though I already have GSAK I would use it if I had a Garmin.

 

Agreed ;it's very simple & effective, whereas GSAK is powerful & complex. Depends what you're looking for. At the moment I tend not to store caches as POIs (too many other things there already..), but if I do go down that route in future, then this is the simplest option I've seen so far.

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Is this true paperless caching?

 

 

No....

 

How come?

 

Well, if you want to call it true paperless caching, you can do so...but to me, true paperless caching is the ability to have ALl the info just like the cache page, all the icons and such and have it readily available in one listing. Also, to me, true paperless these days means the ability to actually enter field notes...but that's just my definition of "true" paperless.

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Well, if you want to call it true paperless caching, you can do so...but to me, true paperless caching is the ability to have ALl the info just like the cache page, all the icons and such and have it readily available in one listing. Also, to me, true paperless these days means the ability to actually enter field notes...but that's just my definition of "true" paperless.

 

I take your point. I've never bothered with all of that - I just took paperless to mean, well, not having any paper, but maybe that's because caching isn't my main interest, so I tend to only do a couple at a time.

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Is this true paperless caching?
No....
I disagree. If you're not using any paper to go geocaching, then by definition, it's truly paperless.

Not if you redefine paperless to mean something other than 'sans paper'. :laughing:

 

You guys and gals can define it to mean anything you like, I told you my definition. If it's not up to par for you, then please follow your own definition. Having all the info, complete cache description, previous logs, ints etc really does have it's benefits over having "some" of the info.

 

Having field notes is simply icing on the cake!

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...define it to mean anything you like, I told you my definition.
Also known as Humpty-Dumptyism.

 

If you say a integrated system for paperless caching (such as the DeLorme PN series) has advantages over a cobbled-together system (such as an older Garmin + any combination of GSAK, macros, PDA, etc) few people would argue. But when you start redefining terms to mean whatever you want them to mean (and contrary to how most people use them), you're practically inviting an argument.

 

Now, here's a nice knock-down argument for you: Paperless means "without paper." "Paperless caching" to most people means carrying around geocache info without printing it on paper. "True paperless caching" means, um, you didn't really take any paper? Honest?

 

More on a working definition of paperless caching systems HERE.

Edited by lee_rimar
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Sorry for not answering, it seems the auto-notice system had been turned off for this thread.

 

Knight2000: Yes, you can use it on your Nüvi. Most Nüvis have a higher description length though, so check what the max length is for yours and set it in the config file (I changed the program slightly to allow different description lengths) or just use the original length if you're not sure.

 

NickParker: Yes, it will work for Etrex Legend H.

 

HC Venturer: As answered by others: Yes it will work. The memory will be more than enough, if you don't use it for anything else than caches you should be able to fit about 200 000 caches in it. I'm sorry if the description isn't clear enough, but there is so little to write! If you haven't already done it, read "README.txt". All you do is put the PQ:s in the same folder, run pq2csv.jar, wait a moment, and run POI Loader, choosing to take the data files from the csv folder. I've also added another mirror, aside from the horrible one I used earlier.

 

Yes, the title is slightly deceiving, but it's as close as you can get to paperless caching with a non-paperless GPS. You CAN have all the information on a cache if you really want to, which in my opinion is what paperless caching is all about, but it's not really a viable option. I tried it once, I got 20000 caches from a 500 cache PQ.

 

The new version is available here (no uptime guaranteed) as well as on the old mirror: here. Just wait 30 seconds then click the download link if you use the second mirror.

Edited by Hultis-
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I've seen these word games regarding "true paperless." I was "true paperless" before the GPS units came out with the capability built-in.

 

Yes it was via PDA. Yes that meant I was carrying another battery run device. Yes it was considered "true paperless". It was considered the premier way of playing the game before the built-in capability came along. Now it's considered a work-around. Does it make it less "true paperless"? No. True paperless means you don't have to reference a sheet of paper to play the game.

 

Let's not redefine it to mean just on premier GPS units.

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Woodstramp: Unfortunately I don't have a Nüvi and haven't found the character limit yet, but the program should work out of the box (although you may be able to stuff more information into a single POI, making it a little easier to read).

 

Try doing this:

1. Download one or several pocket queries and put them in the same folder as pq2csv.jar.

2. Run pq2csv.jar

3. Run Garmin POI Loader and make sure to set "choose the folder where the data files are" (free translation from my non-english POI Loader) to the csv folder in the program folder.

4. Finished - start GPS and see if it worked.

 

And if it worked you may want to change a few settings in "config.txt" to suit your taste.

 

Also: I couldn't agree more with TotemLake, paperless caching is paperless as long as you don't need a paper with cache information, it's that simple. We don't need any more consumerism than we already have...

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I've seen these word games regarding "true paperless." I was "true paperless" before the GPS units came out with the capability built-in.

 

Yes it was via PDA. Yes that meant I was carrying another battery run device. Yes it was considered "true paperless". It was considered the premier way of playing the game before the built-in capability came along. Now it's considered a work-around. Does it make it less "true paperless"? No. True paperless means you don't have to reference a sheet of paper to play the game.

 

Let's not redefine it to mean just on premier GPS units.

That's what I thought, thanks for clearing that up.
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Try doing this:

1. Download one or several pocket queries and put them in the same folder as pq2csv.jar.

2. Run pq2csv.jar

3. Run Garmin POI Loader and make sure to set "choose the folder where the data files are" (free translation from my non-english POI Loader) to the csv folder in the program folder.

4. Finished - start GPS and see if it worked.

 

Hultis,

 

Tried your instructions but I can't seem to be able to "run" the jar file. I can "open" it, but nothing seems to happen. I never see a pop-up.

 

Details....downloaded your pq2csv zip file ---Open that and you have csv(folder), config(text), pq2csv(jar file) and a readme(text).---

 

Opened that pq2csv zip and I see the pq2csv folder you mentioned. I first tried dumping a zipped PQ in this folder and follow your instruction. Nothing happened, so I got rid of the zipped file and replaced it with an unzipped GPX. Nothing happened.

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Details....downloaded your pq2csv zip file ---Open that and you have csv(folder), config(text), pq2csv(jar file) and a readme(text).---

 

First, make sure you unzip the program somewhere. Then you place the unzipped pocket queries (ending with .gpx) in the same folder as pq2csv.jar and double click pq2csv.jar. It will show the popup even if there are no pocket queries in the folder. You will however need java to run it, so if you don't have it (if you don't get a popup when you run the program unzipped you probably don't) download it here. You should see .csv files in the csv folder if the program ran successfully.

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Is this true paperless caching?

 

Can I use this with my Nuvi 2xx?

For nuvi True paperless I have found GSAK and the NUVI macro is great. I load my whole database into it all the time. I use it for Road navigation. I keep only traditionals on my hand held then when I run accross a multi I want to do with the NUVI most of time you just are going to a location to get info anyways I enter the final coords by hand into the hand held.

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Would it be possible to get a working link? Thanks. :)

 

To you and others who have asked, here is the newest version. Me and my friends have used it for years so it's well tested. I included a very old PQ anyway so you can easily test it without having to do anything but click the program.

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I use GSAK to create a garmin export file and then load it into my Etrex Vista using poi loader. I would like to find a way around the character limit on Custom POIs and have he3ard that the limit is located in POI loader. In your process of writing your java prgram, have you learned where the limitation is located?

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I would like to find a way around the character limit on Custom POIs and have he3ard that the limit is located in POI loader.

 

I would like to find such a way too, but I don't see why they would introduce such a limit in POI Loader. Unfortunately, the .gpi file format is closed and when I wrote the program I couldn't find any documentation of it. Now I see that the writers of GPSBabel apparently reverse engineered the format, and it's open source. Looking at their code, my guess is that a Custom POI is split into two 128 byte parts - one for metadata and one for text (44 characters title, 88 characters description). In other words, the 88 character limit isn't arbitrary at all and wouldn't be easy to circumvent.

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