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New Garmin Oregon 600 Series


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If the 600 won't accept GPX files I won't be getting one anytime soon......dang, it looked pretty good.

 

Well, I don't think I have seen reports either way about whether the new Oregons will accept GPX or not. They might, after all...who knows? That's not to say that someone wouldn't be able to come up with a converter really quickly even if they did end up dropping GPX. Either way, I think it'd be stupid to shut out GPX altogether.

Edited by Arthur & Trillian
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I do not believe they will be limiting GPX file compatibility. Too many other uses that are integral to using a GPSr.

So, exactly how many geocaches (in GPX files, not GGZ files) will the 600 series hold? It's obviously not unlimited, since to get this "feature" you have to play by Garmin's rules, not the rules of the rest of the world. That could well be a make-or-break spec for mainstream geocachers.

 

--Larry

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I do not believe they will be limiting GPX file compatibility. Too many other uses that are integral to using a GPSr.

So, exactly how many geocaches (in GPX files, not GGZ files) will the 600 series hold? It's obviously not unlimited, since to get this "feature" you have to play by Garmin's rules, not the rules of the rest of the world. That could well be a make-or-break spec for mainstream geocachers.

 

--Larry

 

That spec has not yet been published. I want to know as much as anyone else, so I can update the wiki :)

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I was wondering if the GGZ format "in concept" might be similar to the GPI format (and possibly with a new "loader") where the only limitation is the size of the memory card. I'm not a programmer so I don't know if that would even be possible. I'm sure changes would be required to handle the different functionality required for caches instead of POIs.

 

The current "POI loader" of course converts a GPX file to a GPI .

Edited by Grasscatcher
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I do not believe they will be limiting GPX file compatibility. Too many other uses that are integral to using a GPSr.

So, exactly how many geocaches (in GPX files, not GGZ files) will the 600 series hold? It's obviously not unlimited, since to get this "feature" you have to play by Garmin's rules, not the rules of the rest of the world. That could well be a make-or-break spec for mainstream geocachers.

 

--Larry

 

Wild guess here - no less than Montana or Oregon 400 :)

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I do not believe they will be limiting GPX file compatibility. Too many other uses that are integral to using a GPSr.

So, exactly how many geocaches (in GPX files, not GGZ files) will the 600 series hold? It's obviously not unlimited, since to get this "feature" you have to play by Garmin's rules, not the rules of the rest of the world. That could well be a make-or-break spec for mainstream geocachers.

 

--Larry

 

Wild guess here - no less than Montana or Oregon 400 :)

 

That's a big range (12,000 caches Montana and 2,000 caches Oregon 400).

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Im wondering if this new format was created because of what Garmin calls Adventures that can be created in Basecamp that works as a container like the same way as a MKV file!

As I understand an "adventure" can be made of several things like a route, a cache, a road trip, etc and I think GPX is not able to have all of that.

Just a guess.

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Groundspeak will actively work in the opposite direction in an attempt to drive geocachers away from Garmin products.

 

Why would they try to alienate what's probably their largest demographic, i.e. Garmin users?

 

Garmin's alienated a ton of people on their own with their Opencaching antics, so Groundspeak doesn't have to do a thing in that department.

 

The fatal flaws of this new system are:

 

1. It is meant to replace a very solid and favorite file system used by many programs and devices seamlessly with unknown tech, and

 

2. It's nothing more than a publicity stunt. Honestly, is there really a need to load ALL the geocaches out there on one machine, especially given that even 5000 is more than virtually anyone needs at one time?

 

They are trying to introduce a file standard that just isn't needed.

.

Actually, yes there is a need. Why do you think so many people like geocaching with their smartphones(and don't feel the need to purchase a dedicated GPSr)? Because they can go caching on-the-fly without the need to pre-plan cache trips ahead of time. They can just whip out their phone and have access to an unlimited amount of caches. No need to create PQs limited to 1000. No need to go through the trouble of figuring out how to best optimize those PQs, etc.

Now with this new file type, Garmin can effectively do the same with a gpsr AND you aren't limited to having a data connection to do it. These new Oregons can hold ~4 million caches with new file type and there are currently ~2 million caches on gc.com (hence how they are able to get away with using the "unlimited" term). If you still want to filter out certain caches, the Oregon has that built-in so you can do that on-the-fly too.

In an ideal world, i'd own one of these new Oregons and gc.com would make PQs less restrictive with the new file-type. I'd then be able to use my Oregon like I use my smartphone and only have to update my Oregon every so often(once a month maybe).

 

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My wishful thinking/guess on GGZ files is that they are simply zip'd GPX files -- and that new Garmin devices will be able to read the and ZIP files without unpacking/unzipping them first.

 

Throw in bluetooth file transfer to get them wirelessly to GPS from computer or smartphone, and it's be perfect.

Edited by user13371
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See here for an update:

 

http://gpstracklog.c...ile-format.html

To quote from that update:

 

"The Oregon can hold an unlimited number of geocaches and supports GPX files from OpenCaching.com for downloading geocaches and details straight to the unit." [emphasis added].

 

Could this be a hint that GPX files from other sources can't be used? One would hope they wouldn't make such a suicidal move, but based on that wording, I have to wonder.

 

I have no particular reason to want to "update" from my Oregon 550t, but I certainly wouldn't even think about the 600 series until these ambiguities are cleared up.

 

--Larry

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Since Garmin has been in a urination festival with Groundspeak for awhile now, they would not plug their competition's web site in their own marketing materials.

 

GPX files are not specific to Geocaching, so for Garmin to outright exclude them would be commercial suicide.

 

On the oddball chance that Garmin did excluded GPX files, I am sure someone would come up with a way to make it work.

 

Either way, the Oregon 600 is the unit I am interested in as my next GPS, but i will not purchase one until I know 100% that it supports GPX files the same way my eTrex 20 does right now.

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GPX files are not specific to Geocaching, so for Garmin to outright exclude them would be commercial suicide.

That update on GPSTrackLog specifically mentions GPX files, so Garmin isn't excluding the general file type. However, what I'm concerned about is the possibility of their putting some sort of screwy constraint on the contents of the files, ones that would cause the unit to choke on Groundspeak's extensions to the standard.

 

Until someone confirms that GPX files from Groundspeak, including pocket queries, can be read by a 600 series GPS without loss of any functionality, I'm not interested.

 

--Larry

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... in threads seems Garmin, realizing they're losing out to the phone crowd, has figured a way to turn their devices into high-end Geomate Jrs. - Is that about right?

Nope, that's tunnel vision. Garmin embraces smartphones, and offers lot of software and services on iOS and Android - including OpenCaching apps.

 

As for "losing out to the phone crowd" that may be true in terms of the market segment of "handheld navigation units for finding geocaches" (and some portion of the car navigation market). But it may come as a surprise to some folks here that Geocaching is really a tiny segment of the overall market for GPS devices.

Edited by user13371
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Just a guess about GGZ format (which I've already mentioned elsewhere)... I expect GGZ to be for Garmin pretty much was KMZ is to Google Earth – zipped bundle of many other file type(s). Would not surprise me if it contains GPX as well as other file types internally – geotagged images, map bundles, etc.

 

The big gain in usability there if Basecamp will package it and you send it over one file, instead of a bunch of different files and types. Really, it amazes me today that you can’t even drop a zip’t GPX file into your GPS, that you have to unzip it first. How many bytes do you need to write a zip/unzip routine?

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If the 600 won't accept GPX files I won't be getting one anytime soon......dang, it looked pretty good.

According to this Garmin blog (see section "Unlimited Geocaching"), GPX files will still be supported.

 

Garmin are not stupid enough to stop the new Oregon 6xx series from importing GPX files. Why would they ?? Just because they have come up with a clever way of zipping and importing 1000's of geocaches from their own Opencaching website ( and why shouldnt they) doesnt mean that non Opencaching user will be able to use it. If they did they wouldnt sell any.

 

I have a Etrex 30 and it doesnt import photos from the pocket queries from Geocaching.com. Appartently this feature only works with Opencaching.com. Its annoying but not the end of the world.

 

Garmin are just trying to get more people to use their own website.

 

So.. LOOK forward to this new device and stop slagging it off until the facts are found out. Why doesnt someone ask Garmin to do a English video review then all might be revealed.

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Any chance we could get back to discussing GPS units and file formats, sometime this weekend?

 

Any thoughts on my earlier guess that GGZ will be a zip file containing multiple other files, GPX, images, maps all in one bundle?

 

I think your guess about a multiple-file zip is a good one. I can see how it would appeal to people who want an all-in-one package, so I think it's a good possibility.

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Grumpy Moderator Note If I'd seen the behavior in this thread before it escalated, I'd have issued personal warnings to those engaged in personal attacks instead of engaging in respectful technical discussion. As it stands, I've just hidden the offending post. Those involved know who they are, so I'll issue a public request to keep this thread specifically and the forums generally civil and respectful. Failure to do so can result in having your posting privileges revoked.

 

Play nicely.

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I have a Etrex 30 and it doesnt import photos from the pocket queries from Geocaching.com. Appartently this feature only works with Opencaching.com. Its annoying but not the end of the world.

GSAK and a macro for that!!

 

Back OT, They will support GPX files from GS...

 

1. It's an open standard used for lots of other things.

 

2. Commercial suicide if they don't.

 

It seems than Garmin are tailoring their units to work better with Open Caching, but allowing it to work with GS. I guess their idea is that users will say "hey it's so much easier on OC, lets use that"...until they look how many caches there are that is!

 

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GPX files are not specific to Geocaching, so for Garmin to outright exclude them would be commercial suicide.

That update on GPSTrackLog specifically mentions GPX files, so Garmin isn't excluding the general file type. However, what I'm concerned about is the possibility of their putting some sort of screwy constraint on the contents of the files, ones that would cause the unit to choke on Groundspeak's extensions to the standard.

Obviously you've never look inside a GPX file from OpenCaching.com, as they contain .... wait for it... Groundspeak extensions.

 

They also contain a few minor things in a "ox:opencaching" extension, but all the real meat is in a Groundspeak extension. All the older "paperless" GPS units won't recognize the OX extension, so they have no choice but to use Groundspeak's extension.

 

I'm sure this will remain true with the newer Oregons. What I predict, is some limit, say 5000 caches if GPX, but 4 million caches if GGZ.

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You can be pretty certain it will need to be the new format. The GPX format just takes too much processing to go through. They need a compact and indexable format to handle large quantities of data.

 

Right you are. And my uneducated guess is that it will be a database solution. (SQL).

 

Hans

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You can be pretty certain it will need to be the new format. The GPX format just takes too much processing to go through. They need a compact and indexable format to handle large quantities of data.

 

Right you are. And my uneducated guess is that it will be a database solution. (SQL).

 

Hans

 

Or it's compressed with an index at the top.

 

Back in my old PDP-11 days I wrote some quick indexing routines into a very compact table in the first block of a very large static file, which indicated where messages began and for how many blocks they ran. Doing fast math from indexes meant a very fast retrieval on nominally slow RP04 drives. It was for a forum, much like these, but back when drives were tiny by comparison.

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I thought this of interesting note.

 

The Oregon 300, which is basically the same design and software build as the Oregon 450/550, has been around since July 11, 2008 (see the product description date on Amazon).

 

This means that basically, the Oregon line hasn't seen a major revision, other than light cosmetics, in nearly 5 years! Imagine any other piece of electronics with a basic production life, relatively unchanged, of 5 years. Few. Gezus, phones change weekly, tablets, desktops, laptops etc. monthly.

 

The Oregon 300/450/550 has been a great unit for many people and continues to be so to this day. I'm counting on the new Oregon 600/650 being a giant leap forward in terms of functionality and user friendliness.

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One thing that does concern me about this new unit is whether it is using the same setup for the electronic compass as the one on the eTrex 30.

 

After 3 or 4 firmware updates, Garmin still has not been able to get it working properly on the eTrex 30.

 

It is very frustrating that new units get introduced ( full of bugs ) before existing units are fixed.

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Bluetooth implies SPOT connectivity. From Garmin's OR 600 page:

Wireless Capable: Bluetooth® and ANT

 

SPOT Connect is a Bluetooth device, that how it talks to a Delorme PN-60W

 

41v70gNMTsL._SY300_.jpg

 

Where before I was totally disinterested in an OR 600, SPOT/Bluetooth changes everything.

 

The only bad news, it will likely take Garmin 2-years to get the Bluetooth bugs solved.

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SPOT Connect is a Bluetooth device, that how it talks to a Delorme PN-60W

They also connect to smartphones.

The DeLorme version of Spot (and InReach for that matter) uses ZigBee, not BlueTooth.

There are BlueTooth models of both that work with smartphones, but there's a reason there are two versions or either.

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The DeLorme version of Spot (and InReach for that matter) uses ZigBee, not BlueTooth.

There are BlueTooth models of both that work with smartphones, but there's a reason there are two versions or either.

Okay, you've only added to the mystery. Would you care to expand?

 

Will the bluetooth Spot work with the OR 600?

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No mystery.

 

DeLorme PN models do not have BlueTooth. The -W models use Zigbee protocol ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZigBee ) to talk to compatible Spot and inReach devices. As neither Android nor iOS devices support zigbee, making a smartphone compatible inReach meat bringing out a different model. I'm sure that's a support and supply line headache for DeLorme..

 

It may be noteworthy that you can't buy a NEW model of any PN series GPS on DeLorme's website anymore, the only ones they list are refurbished. This may signalt new models are coming out -- and if so my guess would be the next DeLorme PN WILL support Bluetooth and they're going to drop Zigbee altogether.

 

But this thread is to discuss Garmin... Sorry for the diversion. On the surface I would expect the Oregon 6x0 models will use Bluetooth for GPS-GPS and maybe GPS-computer data sharing. Maybe some kind of connection to Garmin apps on smartphones, too. But I consider a SPOT or other PLB connection a little less likely.

Edited by user13371
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I preordered a 650T from L L Bean at the beginning of the month. At that time the web site was saying it would be available on Feb. 22th. Today the date has ben pushed back to Feb. 28th. Only time will tell :P

 

hmm LL Bean has 15% off if you sign up for their card and no tax in my state, I might just do that instead of amazon.

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I preordered a 650T from L L Bean at the beginning of the month. At that time the web site was saying it would be available on Feb. 22th. Today the date has ben pushed back to Feb. 28th. Only time will tell :P

 

hmm LL Bean has 15% off if you sign up for their card and no tax in my state, I might just do that instead of amazon.

 

The best part of buying from Beans is they will always allow you to return the item for a refund. Very similar to REI. I'm funding this new Garmin in part by returning an old Delorme PN-40 that I purchase in the past. They gave me a Full refund via a store credit even though I didn't request it, which I put total the new 650t. You gotta luv Beans :)

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