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Garmin eTrex 30 -- Track navigation question


happydutch
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I'm planning to upgrade from my Garmin Legend HCx to the eTrex 30. One thing I like about the Legend is that it beeps when you approach a track waypoint.

 

How does track navigation work on an eTrex 30?

Will it beep if you get close to a track waypoint?

 

On the Legend it works as follows:

- Select track

- Select "Tracback"

- Select the point

 

Now it will follow the track and the dashboard will show you how far from next track waypoint. It will beep when you get close to one.

 

Could anyone who owns an eTrex 30 walk me through track navigation on that unit?

 

Thanks!

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I'm planning to upgrade from my Garmin Legend HCx to the eTrex 30. One thing I like about the Legend is that it beeps when you approach a track waypoint.

 

How does track navigation work on an eTrex 30?

Will it beep if you get close to a track waypoint?

 

On the Legend it works as follows:

- Select track

- Select "Tracback"

- Select the point

 

Now it will follow the track and the dashboard will show you how far from next track waypoint. It will beep when you get close to one.

 

Could anyone who owns an eTrex 30 walk me through track navigation on that unit?

 

Thanks!

 

I don't believe it will beep, but it will show you upcoming points ( waypoints, peaks, valleys ) along the track as you travel.

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It does better than that. Navigate a track and it will include any waypoints along it in a route. It will also (I think you have to have a DEM map loaded for this) create temporary waypoints for high and low elevation points along the track. You can set data fields to show distance to next and waypoint at next, and it will give actual track mileage to the next waypoint. I think it beeps too, but I'm not sure. It is freaking awesome!

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It does better than that. Navigate a track and it will include any waypoints along it in a route. It will also (I think you have to have a DEM map loaded for this) create temporary waypoints for high and low elevation points along the track. You can set data fields to show distance to next and waypoint at next, and it will give actual track mileage to the next waypoint. I think it beeps too, but I'm not sure. It is freaking awesome!

 

That sounds pretty good! What is a DEM map?

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It does better than that. Navigate a track and it will include any waypoints along it in a route. It will also (I think you have to have a DEM map loaded for this) create temporary waypoints for high and low elevation points along the track. You can set data fields to show distance to next and waypoint at next, and it will give actual track mileage to the next waypoint. I think it beeps too, but I'm not sure. It is freaking awesome!

 

That sounds pretty good! What is a DEM map?

 

Digital Elevation Model. The newer Garmin 24K topo series maps have it.

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Hi,

 

I am reviving this topic because I own a Garmin eTrex 30x for a few months (I upgraded from a Vista HCx which I've been using since 2007).

 

This is one feature that I still did not manage to figure out. In my old Vista HCx all I had to do was to select a track, select trackback and the GPS unit would make a beep not only for each waypoint, but also for sharp corners on the track (which I guess are automatic waypoints generated by the GPS unit).

 

In my new 30x I simply cannot do this. I can use the "Where To" feature to follow a track and have the Distance to Destination information, but I do not get any beep of any sort when I am following a track.

 

Does anyone know if this is even possible with these new eTrex units?

 

One other question: is there a way to make the unit beep as soon as you wander off the track, so that you don't have to keep looking at the display to make sure you are on the track?

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There are too many instances of incorrect / mis-information in the 7 posts (both old and new) above to even try to sort out and correct.

 

Posters are confusing tracknpoints, route points, waypoints as well as confusing how to navigate tracks, how to navigate routes, or how to navigate to a specified waypoint, and also how the GPS unit reacts differently when performing each of those different tasks.

 

Create your own short course around 3/4 of your own block, with a start point at home and a different end point at the last corner before you get back home, with several twists and turns. Clear Current Track log at the beginning before starting.

 

Walk it and save it as just a Track. (no waypoints)

Now, convert it to, and save it as, a Route by placing Route points at the turn corners. (Use Route Planner)

 

On your Compass page use Small Data Fields, and choose from multiple ones that might apply.

Suggestions: Dist to Destination, Waypoint at Dest, Waypoint at next, Dist to Next, To Course AND Off Course (they are different).

 

Be sure that Lock On Road is OFF.

 

Now, "Navigate" your course as a Track, both forward and as a Trackback.

Then Navigate it as a Route.

Then navigate directly to one of the furthest corners.

 

Watch the pointer AND all the different data fields to see what each is telling you and understand why.

Change data fields, different ones tell you different things. Understand why they are telling you what they tell you.

Intentionally go off course and see what / how your GPS directs you to get back on course. (closest point or closest route point or last point or?? )

Is that the same for navigating tracks and for routes both? Surprise , surprise...

 

Plan on taking LOTS of trips around the block.

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@Grasscatcher, I guess you are right... when I mentioned "waypoints" I could as well refered to them as "route points".

 

Anyway, what I wanted to determine on my original question is if there is an easy way to navigate / follow a track on the eTrex 30 as easy as it as on the old Vista HCx.

 

As I mentioned before, all I had to do in order to follow a track on the Vista HCx was to trackback a track (which could have as much as 500 points) and the GPS unit would take care of creating as many route points as needed to navigate through that track.

I can even say that I must have used routes in my Vista HCx 2 or 3 times at most, and I was expecting the same from the 30x unit. I mean, the used did not even had to know what a route was, he/she only had to deal with tracks in order to use the device.

 

By the way, are your instructions based on the eTrex 30 or 30x unit? I cannot recall seeing any option to save a track as a route, or to trackback a track (one is supposed to save a track with reversed points and navigate it afterwards in order to trackback a track to its beginning point).

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Sorru, but you still seem confused about the difference between trackpoints,route points and waypoints.

 

When a GPS unit logs a track, it consists of multiple point locations automatically saved based on a user selected basis based on time or distance or Auto (unit does the selection)......those points are "Trackpoints"

Those trackpoints create a "breadcrumb trail" of the path you traveled.

 

Those are Not Route points OR Waypoints.

 

Try this.....Google " Trackback Garmin" you will find detailed instructions.

 

To do a Trackback, note that you have to be currently on the specific track. (otherwise you won't see the Trackback option)

Go to Where To, Tracks, Current Track, (that's the track that the unit is currently logging so you will obviously be actually on it) Look at the bottom of the screen.....there you should see TRACKBACK.

 

My previous instructions were not for any specific unit.

You cannot "save" a track as a Route in the unit. You have to "Create" a Route (in the unit or in BaseCamp or??). Create a route in your unit (don't you have a Route Planner icon ?) use the map and pan between start ,first corner, second corner, etc and choose "Use" to add each one in succession to make your "route".

 

You do NOT have to save the track with reversed points to do a Trackback. The unit automatically recognizes where you Currently (that's the key word) are and that you want to go back exactly the way you just came from. Note that if you wandered around a big circle at the end, the Trackback option is going to direct you back around that big circle....because that is exactly where you just came from before starting the "Trackback"

 

To follow a previously saved track in reverse, that's when you have to save the track in reverse order. After saving a previously saved track in reverse order, then go to Where to,Tracks, select the R order track name, then GO and your unit will direct you to the new Start Point (which previously was the end point)

 

Use BaseCamp or whatever software you have to create a "Route" and send it to your unit , or do it within the unit for the small course describe in the previous post. Follow the previous instructions until you truly understand what those data fields are telling you and why?

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Also note that along with Grasscatchers excellent explanations your new unit uses a very different way of displaying tracks compared with your old. When you select Where to, Tracks or do a 'go' via Track Manager your new unit uses what Garmin call 'Advanced track navigation', there is info on that here:

 

http://garmin.blogs.com/softwareupdates/2009/12/getting-more-out-of-track-navigation.html#.VouBtcsnzcs

 

You might also find these videos useful:

 

 

Edited by sussamb
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I'm not confused about trackpoints vs route points... I am aware that trackpoints are points logged during the usage of the GPS unit while recording a track. I could even get into track segments (trkseg), track points (trkpt), route points (rtept), etc, that are part of the GPX format to state this, but I guess that is enough to pass the message that I am aware of the differences between all of them.

 

Thank you both for the tip about the trackback feature, I really did not know that it existed on the 30x. I'm not sure what was Garmin thinking of when they decided to "hide" this feature on such a deep menu/screen option (according to the video link provided by sussamb), when it is surely one of the primary actions performed on a GPS track and should be available right at the first screen when a track is accessed.

 

Anyway, the original question remains and it seems there is no clear answer to that. For what I see, I have to conclude that the 30x simply is not able to automatically create route points from a saved track similarly to what the Vista HCx does.

Unless the "trackback" feature you have just told about is the anwser to my question, based on what 93RyanB says in another forum thread about the very same question. At this moment I cannot try this as I am at my workplace, but as soon as I get the chance I'll try the trackback feature to see if it behaves just as my good old Vista HCx behaved.

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@ sussamb,

Have you ever seen, or are you aware of any model of Garmin GPS that "automatically creates Routepoints" ?

 

@ nfh,

In the other forum thread you noted, surely you noticed that the different posters were totally unfamiliar with the differences between and advantages of each, when talking about Tracks and Routes.

 

See if this is clearer.....A TRACK is a path,trail,breadcrumb record of a trip that has already been DONE.....past tense. "Done" meaning either being drawn in some software or physically traveled by either you or someone else and recorded.

 

A ROUTE is a preconceived idea / descriptive path of where you "want" to go.....future.

Routepoints are pre_placed at "General" or "Best Guess" locations such as turns, etc. based on whatever data source you are using. Examples: Countour lines on a Topo map, Visible trail portions on an Aerial photo, obvious obsticles, where to leave a trail to reach nearby POIs.

Routepoints tell you "approximately" how far to go "that direction" and "approximately" where to turn and what direction.

 

When you "actually navigate somewhere" using that Route, on the ground you will follow a game trail or other obvious logical path of least resistance only recognizable "when you are there".

 

When you finish, your TRACK will show exactly where you actually went, and how it differs from your ROUTE will also show how accurately you interpreted the Pre-Trip data.

 

Navigating a ROUTE you travel from RPT to RPT in a general direction for a general distance based on what you encounter on the ground. The GPS will tell you when you are approaching a turn, etc.

 

Navigating a Track is best done VISUALLY. User must constantly be looking at the GPS screen to be assured that they are still on the track, when really all the user NEEDS is to know which general direction and when to change.

Edited by Grasscatcher
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You have to test a Garmin Vista HCx device and use the "trackback" feature (the only way I know to follow a track on that unit) with "Off Road" option in order to see the "automatic route points" you are not aware of. The Vista HCx does create a route from the track, creates route points on "edges" of the base track and gives you warning beeps as soon as you get near those route points.

I am not making things up, this has been my experience with this GPS for so many years.

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Ok, I fetched my old Vista HCx, created a GPS track with lots of details (points) in Google Earth, converted it to GPX and sent it to the GPS unit.

I also used this track to automatically create a route along it, as I mentioned before on my replies.

In the following video you can see what I mean:

 

The track is represented by the cyan line, whereas the route is represented in magenta as soon as I hit the trackback button.

 

As I zoom in the viewport, you can notice the difference between the route and the track (you can clearly see the detailed curves of the track and the straight lines of the route beneath it). That can be seen in the video as well.

 

And by looking at the "Distance to Next" field, you can see that there are route points being created based on the track:

23lmy4y.jpg

 

And although I cannot demonstrate it in this video, as I approach sharp corners of the route I get a warning beep to tell me that somehow I have to turn (no turning directions, however).

Edited by nfh
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There's something wrong somewhere then in my understanding as 'Trackback' is meant to take you back along the same track, not create a different route which seems to be the case in your video. If I do a trackback on my current handhelds (Etrex 20, Montana) the 'track' is an accurate reverse of my outgoing track.

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No, I would say your understanding is right... that is my understanding of "trackback" as well, but as far as my experience goes, "tracking back" was the only way to follow a track on the old eTrex models. That is why you are allowed to select the point to which you want to trackback (I can select any point of a track and the unit will know if it should head backwards or forward on the track).

Furthermore, by doing this "trackback", I also get a straight line on my route from where I stand to the first point of the track (if I do not start from the beginning of the track), or to the nearest route point if I am far from the track. The "Where To" navigation on the 30x doesn't do anything like that.

 

But anyway, I was able to live with this ambiguity for many years, what I cannot live without is a feature like this in the 30x :). I still was not able to try the trackback feature on my 30x, hopefully that will do it.

Edited by nfh
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New models will do the same actions and are more flexible/versatile than older models.

 

In the last post above, based solely on the indiscriminate switching between terms such as track point,route point,track,route,trackback as if those totally different terms are interchangeable, I honestly wish you luck in learning how to use your new GPS.

 

Easy Fix....go back to your Vista HCx.

Edited by Grasscatcher
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@Grasscatcher, I don't mean to be rude, but your insistence on saying that I am not aware of what all those different terms are is becoming a little bit inappropriate.

If I am talking about tracks, it makes sense to talk about track points;

If I am talking about routes, it makes sense to talk about route points;

If I am explaining how I use the trackback feature (and by that I mean how Garmin devices allow you to use it, even though it might not stick to the fundamental definition of tracking back), it makes sense to talk about trackback.

 

Nowhere I even grasped the idea that all of these terms are interchangeable and I really do not understand how did you come up with that conclusion.

 

Furthermore, every single reply of yours enforces the idea that you are the only one who knows what all these terms are and how a GPS is used, which you must agree that is not true. For instance, I had to create the video that I shared with you in order to make you realise that "Have you ever seen, or are you aware of any model of Garmin GPS that "automatically creates Routepoints" ?" does actually have a YES answer. Based on your previous replies, it is fair to say that you did not know that it was possible and I really hope that is not the reason for your rather harsh reply.

 

I am pretty sure that newer devices allow you to perform some actions better than old ones and I will not even discuss that. Nonetheless, the fundamental question of this topic, which I will not repeat again and again, still does not have a conclusive answer / solution. If you don't know how to do it, that is just fine, no one is obliged to know everything about their devices. But please don't make it sound like I (and anyone who is trying to achieve the same goal, as @happydutch) am not capable of using or learning to use a new device.

 

In the end I appreciate all the time you took to reply on this topic, and don't get me wrong for getting this out of my chest, but I think the original question by @happydutch is fair and you will have to agree that up to now no reply addressed an explanation for doing what we are asking about. And that is all I wanted in the first place, to find someone that has some more expertise than I on these devices so that he/she could help me figuring out how to do it. I'm somehow frustrated because that did not happen, but that is just how things are.

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@ nfh,

Go back up to Post #3- Your question (and @happydutch's)was fully answered before you even asked your's.

 

Now, since you apparently did not understand that one,and made your post anyway, go down to Post #11 and go to sussamb's first link. Read that and re-read it as many times as necessary for you to understand. Go to every bit of referenced info in that link. Do you understand what "Active Route" is? Look at the list of points.

 

It's not a matter of your question not being answered, the problem is that you don't recognize that it has been answered, and also have refused any assistance in creating a method to prove it to yourself....and learn.

 

I apologize for trying to be of assistance, it won't happen again.

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It is somehow strange to say that you are trying to be of assistance, when your first concern is to try to show me how wrong I am about all these concepts related to GPS navigation... I did notice that this is somehow a pattern on some of your "assistances" (I'm not a first "victim" of your nice mood), but I've been participating in forums for so many years and the way this escalated was really a first for me.

 

You do realise that post #3 refers to something that I actually mentioned on my first post on this topic:

[...]

In my new 30x I simply cannot do this. I can use the "Where To" feature to follow a track and have the Distance to Destination information, but I do not get any beep of any sort when I am following a track.

[...]

 

Using the "Where To" there is no guidance to the nearest route point if you are off the track/route, and there is neither an audio warning nearby turns (or what can be seen as a turn, since we are not talking about routing on a routable map).

 

Also, I am aware of what the Active Route is... but again it is not related to what I am trying to do... I don't need a list of waypoints. I think I could not be clearer than I was on the video I shared to describe what I am trying to do.

 

One possible conclusion is that more recent Garmin devices simply cannot do the same things that older models do. But don't worry, if somehow I find out how to do what I want to do, I'll make sure to update this topic.

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Hi

I'm sorry but at first I would like to say that the forums are to help each other. Be patient B)

 

If I well understood the question and if I remembered well the old etrex models allows to follow a track with notifications (compass, on track, off track, ...) directly. Now, with the new models, I have to create a route based on the track you want to follow. I usually do that with basecamp.

 

This is valid for hiking or riding.

 

Good rides / hiking

 

Best regards for you all

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I had a Vista and used the track back feature several times to follow my track back to the start.

 

I now have an Etrex30, and while I've never done it I believe you can still follow the track by:

 

  • From the main menu select Track manager.
  • Select the track you want to backtrack on, probably "Current Track" in most cases.
  • Select View Map
  • Then press the Menu button (bottom left button)
  • Select Review Map
  • Select TracBack

 

As I say I haven't used this on the Etrex30, but it sounds like it should do what's being asked for here, I might have a play with it at the weekend if I get the chance. In the meantime if someone want's to try it and report back I'm sure everyone will be relieved if we can put this thread to bed.

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