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New Garmin Oregon 600 Series


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Hi I've been following this topic for a while as I'm looking to buy a GPS because the battery on my iPhone doesn't last long enough. I notice a while ago that this unit used a different file type than the one (.gpx?) that geocaching uses. Is this true? How easy is it to upload caches to it and is there a good guide? Being my first GPS I'm a bit nervous about investing and then struggling to use it. I don't use gsak or any other caching software than geocaching.

 

Thanks

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Hi I've been following this topic for a while as I'm looking to buy a GPS because the battery on my iPhone doesn't last long enough. I notice a while ago that this unit used a different file type than the one (.gpx?) that geocaching uses. Is this true? How easy is it to upload caches to it and is there a good guide? Being my first GPS I'm a bit nervous about investing and then struggling to use it. I don't use gsak or any other caching software than geocaching.

 

Thanks

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Hi I've been following this topic for a while as I'm looking to buy a GPS because the battery on my iPhone doesn't last long enough. I notice a while ago that this unit used a different file type than the one (.gpx?) that geocaching uses. Is this true? How easy is it to upload caches to it and is there a good guide? Being my first GPS I'm a bit nervous about investing and then struggling to use it. I don't use gsak or any other caching software than geocaching.

 

Thanks

 

It does use the .GPX format (as well as others). It will be just as easy to use this unit as it is to use previous models. Just download the GPX (geocaching.com or opencaching.com) and place into your GPX folder.

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It does use the .GPX format (as well as others). It will be just as easy to use this unit as it is to use previous models. Just download the GPX (geocaching.com or opencaching.com) and place into your GPX folder.

I'm waiting for my 650 to be released and delivered (waiting rather eagerly since reading the reviews you and Kolenka have been good enough to post).

 

Is the directory structure essentially the same as the one used in previous models, specifically the Oregon 5xx series? If so, it will make for a smooth transition for folks like me who use GSAK to manage their cache information.

 

--Larry

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There is a new battery option in the battery type selection menu (to increase the accuracy of the battery meter). There is "AA Alkaline", "NIMH", and now "Pre-Charged NIMH" (Sanyo eneloops, etc). The battery meter, using any type of battery, is very accurate. Another previous thorn in early adopters sides. Not with the Oregon 6xx.

 

I'm assuming that when you use the battery pack the GPS senses it and the options disappear.

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It does use the .GPX format (as well as others). It will be just as easy to use this unit as it is to use previous models. Just download the GPX (geocaching.com or opencaching.com) and place into your GPX folder.

I'm waiting for my 650 to be released and delivered (waiting rather eagerly since reading the reviews you and Kolenka have been good enough to post).

 

Is the directory structure essentially the same as the one used in previous models, specifically the Oregon 5xx series? If so, it will make for a smooth transition for folks like me who use GSAK to manage their cache information.

 

--Larry

 

Hi Larry, I don't normally use GSAK so I'm no help there. I did load an old Pocket Query from geocaching.com and it worked as expected. I'm going to guess it will work the same. The only variable is the ggz format which I haven't seen anywhere yet (none come with the unit). Perhaps it's on it's way and the new Oregon 6xx will be compatible when it arrives. So far though, every old GPX file works as expected.

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It does use the .GPX format (as well as others). It will be just as easy to use this unit as it is to use previous models. Just download the GPX (geocaching.com or opencaching.com) and place into your GPX folder.

I'm waiting for my 650 to be released and delivered (waiting rather eagerly since reading the reviews you and Kolenka have been good enough to post).

 

Is the directory structure essentially the same as the one used in previous models, specifically the Oregon 5xx series? If so, it will make for a smooth transition for folks like me who use GSAK to manage their cache information.

 

--Larry

 

Hi Larry, I don't normally use GSAK so I'm no help there. I did load an old Pocket Query from geocaching.com and it worked as expected. I'm going to guess it will work the same. The only variable is the ggz format which I haven't seen anywhere yet (none come with the unit). Perhaps it's on it's way and the new Oregon 6xx will be compatible when it arrives. So far though, every old GPX file works as expected.

As long as GPX files are stored in M:\Garmin\GPX (M: being the drive letter for the unit), GSAK users shouldn't have any problem.

 

As far as the so-far-hypothetical ggz format is concerned, I'll bide my time and see what happens. I never became involved with Garmin's caching site, so unless either Groundspeak or GSAK begins using the format, it doesn't matter to me.

 

--Larry

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How accurate is the temperature reading?

 

Like on the 450, the temperature reading only works with the temperature sensor (which I don't have). Can't imagine that'd it be any better/worse than the small sensors you find for things like the Honeywell/Acurite temperature devices available.

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How accurate is the temperature reading?

 

Like on the 450, the temperature reading only works with the temperature sensor (which I don't have). Can't imagine that'd it be any better/worse than the small sensors you find for things like the Honeywell/Acurite temperature devices available.

 

Then where is it pulling the temp data from in your screenshots?

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The temperature readings in my screenshots are from my Tempe Sensor. It's accurate, stores the min/max data on the sensor itself so you DO NOT have to be running the GPS to obtain the min/max data. It connects via the ANT wireless protocol. For $25 it's a great accessory, well thought out, and worth the money.

 

ADDED: I also wanted to point out that the Tempe, even though the manual says it's minimum reading is -4F will go lower. I've recorded -12 this past winter. Probably a battery thing but not a limitation of the sensor itself.

Edited by yogazoo
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If you have any tracks that you've chosen to show on the map it will now be highlighted with the color you chose for the track on the left hand side of the entry in Track Manager. So if you have multiple tracks saved in the track manager you can scroll through the list and visibly see which ones are shown on the map and what color they are just by scrolling down the list. Another very thoughtful feature.

I am very interested in the improvements made to track and waypoint management, being somewhat frustrated by the number of button presses it takes on my 62st to do what I want... make visible, change color, view on map, view track length, etc. Are some of these options quickly available from this Track Manager screen?

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If you have any tracks that you've chosen to show on the map it will now be highlighted with the color you chose for the track on the left hand side of the entry in Track Manager. So if you have multiple tracks saved in the track manager you can scroll through the list and visibly see which ones are shown on the map and what color they are just by scrolling down the list. Another very thoughtful feature.

I am very interested in the improvements made to track and waypoint management, being somewhat frustrated by the number of button presses it takes on my 62st to do what I want... make visible, change color, view on map, view track length, etc. Are some of these options quickly available from this Track Manager screen?

 

Schweady, The new "Current Track" screen addresses every one of your concerns. On the 6xx, Garmin has re-invented how you control and manage your current track. Vastly improved and vastly more user friendly. You can take a look at my screen shots in my previous posts but you can control ALL of your current track options from one screen with ONE tap.

 

The Track Manager (managing multiple recorded tracklogs) is much better as well. Garmin has gone to a "toggle switch" for many of it's configuring options. So for example when you're choosing to enable or disable various maps (Map Setup Menu) you no longer have to go in and choose "Enable", rather you tap the switch from the main screen and move along. They use the "toggle switch" on many of the track management and current track options. One thing that does concern me is how the unit sorts the saved tracklogs. There doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to how their sorted. You'd think the one you just saved would show up on top of the list, not in every case. I've sent an email to the beta team about this so I would expect it to be corrected shortly (since there isn't much else to be addressed). It's not really a big deal unless you have a ton of tracklogs saved.

 

((EDITED TO ADD: I STAND CORRECTED - Garmin has added a Sorting Menu to the Track Manager Screen (v2.60). I totally missed it. The sorting works like a charm! WOOT!))

 

The toggles aren't even available on the Montana series and that is one reason why the Oregon 6xx is more advanced from a user interface standpoint than the Montana.

 

I'll post some detailed screenshots of the "Current Track" screen and all of it's various options a little bit later today or tonight.

 

Again, I've been using the heck out of the 600 and still have not found any major concerns, issues, nor have I gotten it to crash since updating the software to v2.60. Impressive, I think Garmin finally got the memo.

Edited by yogazoo
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I have a question regarding this gps unit. What is the advantage of having the built in camera and would it be worth the increase in price? I'm actually leaning toward the 600 and buying any additional maps I would need. Thanks for your help and I look forward to the replies.

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"Current Track" options and screens: You can see the buttons along the top which takes you to the following screens.

 

Controls:

1366483106.jpg

 

Options/Info:

1366483154.jpg

 

Map (shows the entire tracklog):

1366483212.jpg

 

Elevation (regardless of the Altimeter plot setting it will show you the elevation of the current track).

1366483247.jpg

Edited by yogazoo
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Track Manager Menu: Loaded up some older tracks from another unit (Montana).

 

Main Screen: Tapping on the menu button on the lower right allows you to sort your tracks by 1) Alphabetically, 2) Most Recent, and 3) Nearest your Current Position.

1366483598.jpg

 

Main Screen, scrolled down (shows you tracks "Shown on Map" with color to the left. Again, tracks recorded earlier on a Montana.

1366483674.jpg

 

Specific Track Info-- When you tap on a specific track.

 

Options/Info: The gold star, if disabled (tapped on) moves the tracklog to "Archived Tracks". In the Archived Tracks menu enabling the golden star moves it back into the main tracklogs list.

1366483471.jpg

 

Map (shows entire tracklog):

1366483509.jpg

 

Elevation:

1366483553.jpg

Edited by yogazoo
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I have a question regarding this gps unit. What is the advantage of having the built in camera and would it be worth the increase in price? I'm actually leaning toward the 600 and buying any additional maps I would need. Thanks for your help and I look forward to the replies.

 

I have a 650 on pre-order. When that ships I'll be bestowing the 600 to my daughter. I decided to go with the 650 (eventually) due to the better camera, camera flash, and LED flashlight. I will use the LED flashlight for night-time navigation, flash for night-time pictures, and the increase in pixels will give me better photos. I use my GPS for field use at work and having the improved camera taking geo-referenced photos is important for me. The flashlight is GREAT since I always forget to either grab my dedicated flashlight or forget to load it up with fresh batteries. BUT it depends on your own personal use. You should decide for yourself if the above benefits would benefit you.

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Several more hours of configuring and accessing menu's and I simply cannot find an issue, bug, concern, whatever you want to call it and believe me, I'm trying to find one. If the Oregon 600 never get's another software update it will be fine with me. For once, I don't feel like a beta tester upon product release!

 

I look forward to hearing from other early adopters. Kolenka, did you perform a hard reset after you upgraded to v2.60? If not you probably should just to clear all any beta residual stuff out.

Edited by yogazoo
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Several more hours of configuring and accessing menu's and I simply cannot find an issue, bug, concern, whatever you want to call it and believe me, I'm trying to find one. If the Oregon 600 never get's another software update it will be fine with me. For once, I don't feel like a beta tester upon product release!

 

 

Wow really? That might tempt me to get one :)

Edited by sussamb
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Very nice, yogazoo. Are archived tracks still counted in the unit's upper limit? Does the same feature exist for waypoints? How about creating groups/folders for tracks or waypoints (and allowing sorting by group)? Wishful thinking?

 

Waypoint management has had some great improvements. You can view a list or groups of waypoints to review based on symbol, spelling, or a waypoint near: a recent find, a waypoint, current location, or map point. Once you have your list you can also sort the entire list by nearest and alphabetical. The selection and review options are enough to easily find any waypoint you might be looking for regardless of how many waypoints you might have. Your "wishful thinking" is mostly realized on the Oregon 6xx.

 

Batch deletion. If you select "delete" while on the Waypoint Manager main screen (with all of the waypoints listed) you are then given the option of scrolling down the list or finding waypoints from the sort options above. You can then choose each waypoint by tapping on it which highlights a triangle on the right hand side. A tally of the number of waypoints you've chosen for deletion is shown along the top. Once you select all the waypoints you want to delete, all you have to do is tap the red delete button at the top. A heck of a lot easier than having to go into the info screen for each waypoint and hitting delete from there.

 

As for upper limits, I'm just not sure without hitting the limit myself. Give me a few days. :)

Edited by yogazoo
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Batch deletion...Once you select all the waypoints you want to delete, all you have to do is tap the red delete button at the top.

Sure hope there's an 'Are your sure you want to do this?' message box. :)

How about batch renaming?

 

There IS an "Are You Sure" dialogue screen when you go to delete your waypoints.

 

No batch renaming that I can find. You could probably do that in BaseCamp?

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Several more hours of configuring and accessing menu's and I simply cannot find an issue, bug, concern, whatever you want to call it and believe me, I'm trying to find one. If the Oregon 600 never get's another software update it will be fine with me. For once, I don't feel like a beta tester upon product release!

 

 

Wow really? That might tempt me to get one :)

 

Really! After updating to WebUpdater v2.60 and a hard reset I haven't had a freeze, hang, shut-down, or glitch yet. No apparent bugs either. I'm sure, over time, once thousands get their hands on one that a few things will surface but I've been running it through it's paces and I haven't found one yet.

Edited by yogazoo
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I have a question regarding this gps unit. What is the advantage of having the built in camera and would it be worth the increase in price? I'm actually leaning toward the 600 and buying any additional maps I would need. Thanks for your help and I look forward to the replies.

 

1) The camera will come in useful for earthcaches where you are asked to prove your visit with a photo, or when you want to record details of the cache or cache location.

2) But the 650 also comes the rechargeable battery pack as standard (and although it can be added to a 600, Garmin UK aren't showing a price for it yet so doesn't seem available here yet) and also 3.5GB of memory rather than 1.5GB.

 

I'm waiting for the 650 to arrive as IMHO the extras are worth the delayed delivery and higher cost.

 

Chris

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Hi

 

Hope this isn't a daft but has been bugging me for a while....

 

So the Oregon 600/650 can hold "unlimited" geocaches, but how do you get them off of geocaching.com when the pocket queries are max 1000.

 

Thanks

 

Ps screenshots are great thanks. Any chance of a video ?

 

Nick

 

The "unlimited" geocaches feature refers to Garmin's plan to supply geocaches in a .GGZ file from their own website. So far this is still vapourware and hasn't yet been demonstrated as far as I know.

 

However the 600 series will also hold 12,000 geocaches using .GPX files. You can presumably load 12 PQs using different file names to fill the Oregon 600/650, or use GSAK to handle your PQs, and then combine the 12,000 geocaches you want to find into a single file for the Oregon.

 

Chris

Edited by Matthew 7:7 Too
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Does this new unit still erroneously record the extra mileage and track between power cycles / location changes like all of the earlier generations do?

 

NO! What's interesting about this new unit is that the track distance appears to be compiled using trip data (once per second) regardless of the actual distance or frequency of the track points. In other words, your track distance data is only recorded when you have it going and it is recorded at once per second even if you have it set to once (one track point) every 5 minutes. And to answer your specific question, no the unit does not record the distance between power cycles even if you move a great distance.

 

It does draw the straight line from the last known location if the tracklog is disabled but it separates once you begin recording again. So you won't have straight lines all over the place.

 

The days of tracklogs differing from trip data due to a setting like "Most Often" truncating track distance are gone. Tracks are handled very differently, much improved, over any previous unit I've used.

Edited by yogazoo
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No batch renaming that I can find. You could probably do that in BaseCamp?

No thanks. BaseCamp has its own waypoint naming limitations, e.g.: not allowing identically named points even if in different folders.

Thanks for your deliberate attention to all of our questions. I'm surprised that you have time to play with the unit. :)

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1) The camera will come in useful for earthcaches where you are asked to prove your visit with a photo, or when you want to record details of the cache or cache location.

2) But the 650 also comes the rechargeable battery pack as standard (and although it can be added to a 600, Garmin UK aren't showing a price for it yet so doesn't seem available here yet) and also 3.5GB of memory rather than 1.5GB.

 

I'm waiting for the 650 to arrive as IMHO the extras are worth the delayed delivery and higher cost.

 

Chris

Good points about the battery and memory, thank you for pointing that out.

Edited by Alewood
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I always advise screen protection. I had a ZAGG screen protector waiting to be cut to fit before I received my unit. I always protect my electronics regardless of screen material. That said, the material on the Oregon 6xx appears to be some type of ultra-hardened plastic. It could be glass I suppose but regardless of material, it will scratch eventually if not protected.

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Has anyone tested the bluetooth connectivity yet? I am asking because there are nearly no details available what this means e.g. for transfering .GPX data from smartphone to the oregon. Is it only possible with the garmin iphone app or does it support standard bluetooth profiles?

 

It would be incredibly smart to retrieve cache descriptions as GPX files on a smartphone out in the field and to transfer them via bluetooth to the oregon.

Edited by Schatzfinder
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Has anyone tested the bluetooth connectivity yet? I am asking because there are nearly no details available what this means e.g. for transfering .GPX data from smartphone to the oregon. Is it only possible with the garmin iphone app or does it support standard bluetooth profiles?

 

It would be incredibly smart to retrieve cache descriptions as GPX files on a smartphone out in the field and to transfer them via bluetooth to the oregon.

 

So far, it only supports Basecamp Mobile and other Oregon 600s. Not sure exactly what Bluetooth profile is used though. I'll need to dig through some diagnostics to find out.

 

On the iOS end, it is kinda annoying that you can't send GPX files to Basecamp Mobile from other apps. It prevents that exact scenario. Makes it mostly useful for moving between Garmin servers and the Oregon.

Edited by Kolenka
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...On the iOS end, it is kinda annoying that you can't send GPX files to Basecamp Mobile from other apps. It prevents that exact scenario. Makes it mostly useful for moving between Garmin servers and the Oregon. ...

Dang, that was the one thing I *wanted* it to do. It would have been so easy for Garmin to add a hook to "Open With... (Basecamp)" for GPX files downloaded via web pages or email messages.

 

Can you go the other way is there an iOS or Android supported way to push GPX files you have up to Garmin's cloud so you can turn around and download them back into Basecamp and your Oregon?

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Dang, that was the one thing I *wanted* it to do. It would have been so easy for Garmin to add a hook to "Open With... (Basecamp)" for GPX files downloaded via web pages or email messages.

 

Yeup. I was hoping for that exact behavior, but it doesn't work. Since Basecamp Mobile is a free download, you can actually play a bit with the "cloud" functionality without a 600 to see how it behaves. But it is a simple enough feature that we can request it and see what happens. We aren't exactly asking for the moon.

 

Can you go the other way is there an iOS or Android supported way to push GPX files you have up to Garmin's cloud so you can turn around and download them back into Basecamp and your Oregon?

 

Basecamp Mobile is it. It's the only app I know of that can talk with Garmin's servers. :(

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I've read that Garmin is looking into an android app. The GPS works great but the bluetooth options are limited at the moment if you don't own an Apple product. I guess with a lack of bugs and issues we need something to gripe about huh? :)

Edited by yogazoo
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I look forward to hearing from other early adopters. Kolenka, did you perform a hard reset after you upgraded to v2.60? If not you probably should just to clear all any beta residual stuff out.

 

I've trimmed down the maps a bit and done a reset, and can't reproduce the bug with the 3D map view anymore. The other two crashes I got were not reproducible at all, and came up because the device got into a weird state. 2.60 does look to be about as stable as the 450 on current firmware overall so far. But edge cases might still be a problem:

 

There is one repeatable bug I'm hitting which may be Mac-only that I'll be reporting. When ejecting the SD card on the Mac, it remounts both the internal memory and the SD card. I can reproduce it 100% of the time, but only happens when the SD card is ejected. Ejecting the internal memory by itself is fine. Thankfully I haven't had any data corruption from this on the SD card.. yet, anyhow.

 

As another note, the touch screen will behave oddly in the rain as some suspected. Light rain will make it a bit harder to use some gestures (still easier than the 450 in my opinion). Really heavy rain will start to introduce spurious touches, so locking the screen when in a really heavy downpour is probably a good idea.

 

Still, the 600 is in, the 450 will need to find a new home. The device is pretty much what I wanted and needed it to be.

 

I've read that Garmin is looking into an android app. The GPS works great but the bluetooth options are limited at the moment if you don't own an Apple product. I guess with a lack of bugs and issues we need something to gripe about huh? :)

 

Even the iOS app isn't quite featured enough to be terribly helpful (yet). It's really just a bridge between Garmin's cloud storage and the Oregon 600, and a viewer for that data. If I could, say, grab a GPX from a website and send it to the Oregon at the trail head, it'd be a very useful tool for that one feature alone. Without it, the usefulness is more limited.

 

How? I don't see any way to do anything without a connected device.

 

It can interact with the Garmin cloud data without a device connected. So you can view, delete, and do some superficial editing on the iPhone.

 

Are these units in stores yet?

 

The Sacramento REI has the 600t in stock, but I don't think they have the stock for display models just yet. Not when REI just got stock to start filling back-orders on Thursday (online orders, specifically). Everyone else is expecting their stock early next week for their online orders, and I haven't seen any other chain even hinting that they will carry them in brick and mortar locations yet.

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...when ejecting the SD card on the Mac, it remounts both the internal memory and the SD card. I can reproduce it 100% of the time, but only happens when the SD card is ejected. Ejecting the internal memory by itself is fine. Thankfully I haven't had any data corruption from this on the SD card.. yet, anyhow.

That sounds vaguely familiar and may not be new. Mac specific, I've had similar behaviour from other devices with memory cards - cameras and GPSRs.

 

How? I don't see any way to do anything without a connected device.

It can interact with the Garmin cloud data without a device connected. So you can view, delete, and do some superficial editing on the iPhone.

But I don't already have content in myGarmin. How do you get it there to begin with?

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That sounds vaguely familiar and may not be new. Mac specific, I've had similar behaviour from other devices with memory cards - cameras and GPSRs.

 

I didn't see this with the Oregon 450, Explorist 610 or an eTrex 20. It is also the only device I've run into that is forcibly remounting itself on eject. If I run into issues, usually it is because they refuse to eject at all.

 

But I don't already have content in myGarmin. How do you get it there to begin with?

 

Basecamp on the desktop.

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