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Wintertime

GPX file on Mac --> Garmin eTrex

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Okay, I'm finally joining the 21st century by getting a GPS receiver that can display .gpx data as well as coordinates. An eTrex 20 is winging its way to me from REI's warehouse in Washington. So it's time to figure out how I'm going to use the thing. :)

 

From a discussion in the GPS & Technology forum, I understand that I can use Garmin's BaseCamp for Mac software to transfer a GPS FileDepot California topo map to the receiver. The BaseCamp page on Garmin's website leads me to believe that I'll be using the same program to transfer geocaches. So, can I also use it to transfer .gpx files derived from NGS datasheets?

 

Next question: where do I put them? The specs on Garmin's website say that the eTrex 20 can hold 2,000 "Waypoints/favorites/locations." It also supports POIs. And it accepts a microSD card. So can I mix and match geocaches and benchmarks in that 2,000-waypoint data space? Or should I put the benchmarks on the microSD card? How do I determine where BaseCamp puts data? Or do I use another program to load up a microSD card?

 

In other words, all help gratefully received!

 

Patty

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It is possible that Geocaches may be loaded as a custom form of Points of Interest, in which case that particular limit might not apply.

 

One question is what program did you use to create the benchmark .gpx file? NGS-GPX does a much better job of it then BMGPX.

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It is possible that Geocaches may be loaded as a custom form of Points of Interest, in which case that particular limit might not apply.

I've never used POIs; do they have enough data space for geocache descriptions, logs, etc.? That is, they aren't just a name and a set of coordinates?

 

One question is what program did you use to create the benchmark .gpx file? NGS-GPX does a much better job of it then BMGPX.

I haven't done any conversions in a long time, but BMGPX has worked fine for me. Is NGS-GPX also a UNIX program?

 

Patty

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It is possible that Geocaches may be loaded as a custom form of Points of Interest, in which case that particular limit might not apply.

I've never used POIs; do they have enough data space for geocache descriptions, logs, etc.? That is, they aren't just a name and a set of coordinates?

 

One question is what program did you use to create the benchmark .gpx file? NGS-GPX does a much better job of it then BMGPX.

I haven't done any conversions in a long time, but BMGPX has worked fine for me. Is NGS-GPX also a UNIX program?

 

Patty

 

I have managed (with a Nuvi macro for GSAK) to put NGS datasheets into POI files. I made a .gpi file that had all the benchmarks in my state (aside from newly made/added ones) that worked on a Nuvi 1300. (A non-paperless GPS.) I had kind of forgotten that you use a Mac, both GSAK and NGS-GPX are Windows programs. (Though they might work in WINE.) Now if only I could find a way to make the gmapprom.img file smaller so I'd have room for the 80 meg .gpi file on the internal memory. :)

 

NGS-GPX can do things like convert recovery reports to Geocache style logs, set the cache icon to indicate Scaled/Adjusted/Intersection Station, translate reference marks into child waypoints, and do other stuff. (BMGPX does not create .gpx files that are standard enough for my Geocaching programs to read. Of course, my programs are probably pickier then a regular GPS.)

 

Also note that a change in the datasheet format is comming which might cause problems with BMGPX if it doesn't get updated. (I haven't tried it. I know NGS-GPX will need to be updated, and I don't know if BMGPX's author is still active.)

Edited by EdrickV

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I haven't done any conversions in a long time, but BMGPX has worked fine for me. Is NGS-GPX also a UNIX program?

Patty

 

For $10 I'll send you a 3 CD set with .gpx files for every county in the 50 states.

These were made on a Windows machine, so I don't know if your MAC can read them.

 

I can't help with how to get them into your new GPSr, or where to put them when you do.

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For $10 I'll send you a 3 CD set with .gpx files for every county in the 50 states.

Yeah, I saw you offer that to someone else. Do you download the files right then, or did you do it a while back?

 

These were made on a Windows machine, so I don't know if your MAC can read them.

They're regular .gpx files, right?

 

I can't help with how to get them into your new GPSr, or where to put them when you do.
I found some information on another site that sounds like I can just drag them into a folder called "gpx" on the GPSr. We'll see!

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GPX files created by NGS-GPX are basically the same as the GPX files you would get from a Pocket Query. But quite a bit bigger since there's a lot more info. They should not be any different on a Mac then on a PC or Linux system.

 

As far as the thing about dropping the files into a GPX folder, I know that works for some Garmin units. (Whether that is the proper way to add Geocache style gpx files or not for your GPS I don't know.)

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My eTrex 20 arrived about an hour ago. Drag-n-drop into the GPX folder works great! More comments will come in a separate thread...

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I've never used POIs; do they have enough data space for geocache descriptions, logs, etc.? That is, they aren't just a name and a set of coordinates?

I have managed (with a Nuvi macro for GSAK) to put NGS datasheets into POI files. I made a .gpi file that had all the benchmarks in my state (aside from newly made/added ones) that worked on a Nuvi 1300. (A non-paperless GPS.)

 

And you're able to view the entire datasheet?

 

I just found some old threads about POIs that mentioned a 30-character limit in the "Comments" field. Obviously, that wouldn't work for NGS datasheets.

 

What I'm looking at is reserving the "Geocaches" section of my eTrex 20 for, well, geocaches, then putting benchmarks as POI files on a micro-SD card, with a separate file for each county. Does that sound like a plan?

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I think the comment character limit was for the old versions of the Etrex. (Some of which only support 6 character waypoint names.) The Etrex 10/20/30 are an entirely different system I think. I don't know for sure how well the macro would work with the newer Etrex units, since it predates them. (Might be some info on the GSAK forums, but I haven't looked.)

 

The site that talks about the macro is here:

http://geocaching.totaltechworld.com/

 

And this page shows pictures of the results (for a Geocache) on a Nuvi:

http://geocaching.totaltechworld.com/spin.html

 

It is possible there is a character limit, and it may vary between devices, I don't really know. But it is much higher then 20 characters. The downside, at least with the Nuvi I tried it on, is that the datasheets for my state in .gpi format take up about 80 megs and there wasn't enough room on the internal memory. Putting it on the MicroSD card caused a prompt on boot-up asking if I wanted to copy the new Points of Interest to internal memory. (The file did work on the MicroSD card, the prompt was just annoying so I've been looking at ways to free up space on the internal memory, but right now I don't have the Nuvi to experiment with.)

Edited by EdrickV

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