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Specific Montana Questions


gcfishguy
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Hi folks...considering upgrading to a Montana from my 60CSx.

 

I've been doing some reading, and have a couple questions that I don't have definite answers to.

 

Can I use Mapsource, as opposed to Basecamp? (I like Mapsource, I hate Basecamp...let's just leave it at that)

 

When installing maps, can they be written to the internal memory (3GB), or do they have to be written to the micro SD card?

 

I usually install several maps and overwrite them often. I have topo, city nav, a 3rd party set for the snowmobile trails, and a 4th that's built by gpx2img. I edit the 4th frequently, so I'm always resending. (It's a network of ATV trails and I add to it when I find new ones and remove ones I've collected from others that are no longer usable. Does this throw the montana for a loop? Meaning, I'm seeing that I can't go into the map setup and show or hide map products..... The latest and greatest and it can't do what the older units do? (grumble grumble)

 

Is there any sort of issue with it using the maps and software I'm currently using? (gpx2img, etc) I can't tell you much on the snowmobile trail map...it comes as an exe, installs, and then it's in the Mapsource dropdown of map products.

 

I don't NEED to replace the 60, so I'd rather not shell out $500 and then find that the way I'm doing things won't work with a Montana...

 

Thanks

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I upgraded to the Montana 600 from a 60CS (not 60CSx) and really enjoy the bump up.

 

I spent several months using Mapsource (didn't have Basecamp installed) before I realized that Mapsource didn't fully support the Montana line. I was mainly using it to load maps into the Montana but down the road I found out that I could not pull waypoints out of the Montana. So, I had to install Basecamp. I must say I am not a big fan of it. Some things were much easier in Mapsource.

 

That aside, I don't have a micro SD card in mine, so all my maps are loaded into the main memory. I learned, the hard way, that I need to upload a map to the unit and them immediately rename it from the default name (gpsmapupp.img I believe) to something else. So when I uploaded a whole slew of maps from my old City Select v6, I renamed the file to CitySelectv6.img. Then I went back to Basecamp (or Mapsource) and selected a bunch of Topo 24k maps and uploaded those. I renamed that one to Topo24K.img. Anyway, I have several maps uploaded and all renamed from their default name to something else. On the Montana map setup page, I can select which map I want active. Since the Montana has profiles, I set the profile to Automotive and THEN set the map to City Select v6. Next I went to the Recreational profile (which I use for hiking) and set the map to the Topo 24k map. So when I switch profiles for the different activities I am doing, the proper map is activated.

 

That's as much as I can answer of your questions. I totally love this thing. The larger display is great in my truck in the automotive mount and I love that it TALKS to me when I am driving to an address/waypoint/whatever. The large display is also great when hiking. Its nice to be able to see a lot more of the trails. I also load up some aerial images of the areas I am hiking so I can use those too, if needed (although scrolling around on an aerial image map is rather slow). There are still some bugs that Garmin needs to work out, but they have been pretty steady about putting out updates (although its been a few weeks since the last one - they seem to slow down the updates when the chatter in this group also slows down).

 

Good luck with your decision!

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I have the Montana 650t and love it. You shouldn't have any problems with copying your map files over. Just be careful to rename the .img files to something other than the stock base map image or you could erase it. (Back up your unit before using it). You can easily select what map you want to enable or disable. As the other user stated, I have two profiles set up, a walk/hike/geocache mode, and a Nuvi mode. The first mode has 24k topo maps, trails, custom sat maps enabled, while the Nuvi mode only has the CN map enabled. The Montana is extremely customizable. The larger screen is a pleasure to look at and use. It really is an all in one device for me. I use the Nuvi mode while driving around and the unit charges in the cradle mount. When I arrive at my hike/geocache location it pops out charged and ready to go mobile. I was surprised how light the unit was too. Very comfortable in my hand or attached to a 1 inch wide lanyard.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Andy

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Thanks folks!

 

I'm seeing that Basecamp is prety much a must with the newer units, so the other night I uninstalled all map products, and gpx2img, and just installed TopoCanada V4, then gpx2img...determined to get more familiar with Basecamp. Well, every time I generate a map with gpx2img, it doesn't show up in the dropdown in Basecamp. I tried changing the output directory, etc...no joy.

 

I emailed Joel, the gpx2img guy, but haven't received a reply. By the lack of activity on his help site/blog, I may not get a reply at all...not sure if it's been abandoned or what.

 

I often update my big gpx of ATV tails, and generate a custom map and push it and the usual other topo maps and stuff to the GPS, so not being able to use gpx2img with Basecamp is a real kick in the stones. I think I could make it work with a couple other pieces of software map toolkit or something, but I spend enough time with PQ's, organizing waypoints, tracks, etc already and honestly don't feel like bringing two more pieces of software into the mess.

 

If people are able to see the gpx2img-generated maps in the Basecamp dropdown, I'd like to know what the secret is....

Feel free to share if you know...

 

Thanks!

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If people are able to see the gpx2img-generated maps in the Basecamp dropdown, I'd like to know what the secret is....

Feel free to share if you know...

 

Thanks!

 

You should be able to copy the IMG file out to the Garmin Folder on the SD card or on the Montana without using MapSource/BaseCamp.

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I guess if you have to rename and copy the img for each map product over to the Montana one by-one, finding the one that gpx2img generates shouldn't be too horrible... I'd hate to drop $500 on a 'should be'.... No offence to your answer RSAXVC!

 

I think that Basemap vs Mapsource is just a case of things always working a certain way and then suddenly being bass-ackwards. I think I read the explanation somewhere that Mapsource is file-based and Basecamp works more like a database. I gave it a chance on more than one occasion and it just bugs me that you can't just open/close/save the way that you do with any other software.

 

If you haven't tried gpx2img, you have to. All this junk about running stuff through 6 different programs and so on, just to make a transparent layer...gone. It's literally one click. I have all the ATV trails I've run and collected from others in one gpx..point gpx2img at that file and in a few seconds it makes a map layer out of them. Awesome program, just too bad the support seems to be dropping off. I say 'seems'...I saw a few comments like that on his forum and it's been a couple days and no reply to the email (except for the auto-reply that it was received). I'll keep my fingers crossed though. It may just be something simple to get Basecamp to see that img as a map product, but I can't figure it out. Hopefully it's an easy fix...

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