+RykoalaTeam Posted October 6, 2009 Share Posted October 6, 2009 OK I have pieced together a very inexpensive caching setup, using my own eTrex yellow, the TomTom One that my boss supplied me for my work vehicle (refurbed for $50), and free software. DISCLAIMER: Do this at your own risk. Its a lot easier to go buy a GPS that has mapping and navigation capabilities, and requires less work. If ease of use is more important to you, go that direction. If you have a TomTom and a cheap GPS, and want to make them mutually useful, follow this tutorial. The idea here is that you can navigate to cache with your TomTom, which gives you the map and directions, and then find the cache with the eTrex. Caches are recognized by the TomTom by adding them as a POI (Points of Interest) file. For this tutorial I'm going to refer to all 3 files needed as the "geocache" file, each with its own extension. Please note that the TomTom will use the filename as a literal name for the POI. If you want it named "Geocache" instead of "geocache" then make sure to capitalize the file. So, here is how to get the tools you need and the procedures to use them. 1) You'll need EasyGPS. Its a free program, and you can get it at www.easygps.com I personally use 4 pocket queries, updated weekly, to find all the caches I want. I use EasyGPS to create a new GPX file and them merge all 4 pocket queries into the new file, and then save it. If you don't do this, or don't want to worry about it, then you can skip EasyGPS. 2) You'll need a program called gpsbabel, available free at www.gpsbabel.org This is the program that converts the .GPX format to the .OV2 format needed by your TomTom. IF you use GSAK, you can skip this. It will export to the .OV2 format, but even it uses gpsbabel in the background to do it. 3) A pocket query. (see step 1 for combining) 4) Save this image to your desktop: martinp13.virtualave.n...ocache.bmp I will not cover the details of running each program or installing them, as that is well documented on their websites. Now, let the fun begin! 1) If you are combining pocket queries as I do, then use EasyGPS to do this, and save the resulting file as geocache.gpx. If not, then just rename your pocket query to geocache.gpx. Save the file on your desktop for ease of use. At this point, you should have geocache.gpx and geocache.bmp on your desktop. 2) Let GPSBabel do its magic. Open GPSBabel by double clicking on the GPSBabelGUI icon. There are two sections: The input, at the top, where you get your data to convert to the TomTom format, and the output below it that translates the GPX file into any format you want. A) In the Input, select the format as GPX XML (.gpx), and at the "file" row, click the shining document icon on the right side. Navigate to your desktop and select "geocache.gpx" as the file. In the Output section, Select the format as "TomTom POI file (.ov2) and then click the "Save" icon (disk -> document icon) on the far right. Navigate to your desktop and for file name put in "geocache" and click "Save" C) Now click on the "lets go" icon below the "Save" icon. You can now close the GPSBabel program. On your desktop there is now a geocache.ov2 file hot out of the oven! This is the file your TomTom wants so that it can help you find geocaches. D) Last but not least lets get those files into your TomTom. Luckly, when you connect your TomTom to USB it shows up as a storage device under "My Computer" in Windows (Or just "computer" in Vista and 7) and you can open it. So, open it up! On my computer it is the D: drive, but on yours it may be different. Whatever the case, it will say "TomTom" and have the TomTom logo. Now, go back to your desktop. Select the geocache.bmp and geocache.ov2 files and drag and drop them into the USA_and_Canada directory on the TomTom. You're done! It takes a LOT longer to explain it than it does to do it, so don't be afraid to give it a shot. The end result is that your TomTom now as POI's that are geocaches. They'll show up on your TomTom with the geocaching.com icon, and when you select Navigate to POI's in your TomTom, Geocache will be an option. You can also select that geocaches are the only POI shown on the map, and you can even make the TomTop audibly notify you when you're within a few hundred feet of one. I made mine "moo" at me for a while, but it drove me nuts. I just turned audio off. As for cache details, I use EasyGPS to decode all the hints at once (Select all, then decrypt hints in the menu) and then have it print all the caches out, landscape style, 4 pages per page. For 450 caches that is 9 pages, but it condenses to 3 pages when you combine 4 pages per page in the print setup. Yes, its awfully small! I have good eyes. I also make sure to SORT the geocaches by their waypoint ID so that they are in ascending order. That makes finding gc123c4 easy, its like looking in the phone book. I hope this is useful to somebody! Quote Link to comment
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