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New Garmin Montana ~ map/memory options?


T!mberwolf
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I purchased a Garmin Montana 600 last night and I am waiting for it to arrive. Before I start purchasing memory cards and maps I want to ascertain what would be the best set up for me. I will be primarily using the unit for geocaching and hiking; in the past I have typically stored up to 3000 to 4000 caches on my gpsr. I would like a 24k topo map, but was trying to decide between microSD card or DVD version. I also understand GPSFiledepot has a topo of Florida (where I live); does anyone have experience with this and how much memory space do I need? I also am considering a birdseye view subscription as well, but need to read more feedback on it. I really don't want to be switching out multiple cards. I was thinking the internal memory should easily handle the cache volume I indicated and then get a microSD card to load the 24k topo map (DVD or Florida download) onto the card along with birdseye view. Any thoughts??? Recommended memory card size?

 

Can anyone recommend a good brand for a microSD USB card reader that is reliable or a good SD/microSD card reader? My MacPro has USB or Express card slot option.

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Until this unit there was a Maptile max, with this unit this might have changed because they advertise 'unlimited' but we are not sure what Garmin means exactly.

 

Anyway you could buy a 16gig SD on the Sd you create a Garmin folder and then download the map from gpsfiledepot, the resulting file should be called gmapsupp.img, this you rename to Floridatopo.img or similar and place this file in the Garmin folder.

Gpsfiledepot maps are free and most of the times better than onther maps.

If you buy maps, buy the DVD.

 

Your gps will reconize you own name maps and you should be ready to go.

 

You don't need a fast SD because the gps cannot handle that.

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I have a Montana 600 and have had it for a couple of years. I too am in Florida and the GPSFileDepot topo is the only one I use for geocaching. It serves my purposes just fine. I haven't gotten into the birdseye stuff yet and probably won't. I don't see any advantage to it for me. I'm sure some will disagree. I have an 8 gb sd card in my Montana and have never put anything on it. When I load my caches, I normally load the 1500 closest to my location and exclude the unavailable ones and my finds. This gives me more than enough to search for. If I'm going very far from my GZ, then I run a PQ for the area I'll be in and add that to my Montana also. I've never run out of memory. I would recommend that you use the GPS for a while before you sink any more money into it. You might find that you don't need to.

 

Good luck and happy caching.

Edited by Fiver1
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I purchased a Garmin Montana 600 last night and I am waiting for it to arrive. Before I start purchasing memory cards and maps I want to ascertain what would be the best set up for me. I will be primarily using the unit for geocaching and hiking; in the past I have typically stored up to 3000 to 4000 caches on my gpsr. I would like a 24k topo map, but was trying to decide between microSD card or DVD version. I also understand GPSFiledepot has a topo of Florida (where I live); does anyone have experience with this and how much memory space do I need? I also am considering a birdseye view subscription as well, but need to read more feedback on it. I really don't want to be switching out multiple cards. I was thinking the internal memory should easily handle the cache volume I indicated and then get a microSD card to load the 24k topo map (DVD or Florida download) onto the card along with birdseye view. Any thoughts??? Recommended memory card size?

 

Can anyone recommend a good brand for a microSD USB card reader that is reliable or a good SD/microSD card reader? My MacPro has USB or Express card slot option.

 

Most of (if not all) the answers you seek can be found at the Montana Wiki.

 

I also use the GPSFileDepot maps almost exclusively, with Garmin City Nav for automotive routing, when desired.

 

Always buy the DVD version, never download or uSD card version of Garmin maps. (Why?) is explained at the wiki I linked to above.

 

Also, ALWAYS put your custom maps and geocaches and other files on the uSD card, never internal memory. (Why?) is also explained at the link above, if you do some reading.

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He said "custom maps" which are bitmap type maps, probably not what you think he is talking about.

 

The reasoning is that is there is a freeze or lockup during reading of the maps or the geocaches and they are within the internal memory, there is no way to recover without connecting to a computer. When they are on the card, you can remove it, reboot, reinsert and fix the problem in the field. This is the same with all Garmin handhelds.

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Thanks for the replies, helpful. BMW Jedi thanks for the Wiki link. I decided to get 16GB microSD card - will down load Florida topo and my geocaches onto this. If anyone has experience with birdseye satellite, I would appreciate comments on it (not worried about getting it right away, but would still like to hear personal reviews on it).

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He said "custom maps" which are bitmap type maps, probably not what you think he is talking about.

 

The reasoning is that is there is a freeze or lockup during reading of the maps or the geocaches and they are within the internal memory, there is no way to recover without connecting to a computer. When they are on the card, you can remove it, reboot, reinsert and fix the problem in the field. This is the same with all Garmin handhelds.

 

Had that happen on a long bike/caching day just recently. Followed aforementioned procedure and back on two wheels to the next cache shortly. Be careful though that little sucker can slip out of your hand real easy.

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Be careful though that little sucker can slip out of your hand real easy.

I'll second that warning. In my case, it actually slipped out of my GPSr. I was looking for a cache and walking through some tall weeds when my Oregon 550T warned me the batteries were almost dead. I removed the battery cover and pried out the batteries; the card somehow popped out with them, flew through the air, and landed in the weeds. I never did find the tiny thing, and since my maps were on the card it pretty much ended my caching day. These days whenever I change the batteries I make sure the card is locked in place.

 

--Larry

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He said "custom maps" which are bitmap type maps, probably not what you think he is talking about.

 

The reasoning is that is there is a freeze or lockup during reading of the maps or the geocaches and they are within the internal memory, there is no way to recover without connecting to a computer. When they are on the card, you can remove it, reboot, reinsert and fix the problem in the field. This is the same with all Garmin handhelds.

 

Had that happen on a long bike/caching day just recently. Followed aforementioned procedure and back on two wheels to the next cache shortly. Be careful though that little sucker can slip out of your hand real easy.

 

Wow! I purchased a microSd card and didn't realize how small they actually are. In past I have used SD cards or memory sticks or larger. Good tip on the little sucker. I'll be careful!. I want to hunt for caches, not a micro... card.

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Note that the little metal flip cover on the micro SD card holder locks in place by sliding it up or down with your fingernail. If you have it locked, it should prevent the problem of the micro card falling out when you change batteries.

Edited by alandb
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Note that the little metal flip cover on the micro SD card holder locks in place by sliding it up or down with your fingernail. If you have it locked, it should prevent the problem of the micro card falling out when you change batteries.

 

However among the Montanas many flaws, the lock on the card fails more often than it works so be careful, especially when doing a battery change. I also think you were asking how many caches it will hold. It is 12000. PoIs are only limited by memory size.

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Hi,

 

I have a Garmin Oregon 450 and the first thing I noticed was how small the MicroSD card was, and how it easily slipped out of place when changing the batteries.

 

This may not be an approved fix, but this is what I did. I cut a piece of black electrical tape the same size as the MicroSD card. I then carefully put the MicroSD card in the GPS. Once the card was in place, and the metal lid was put down on the card, I applied the cut electrical tape on the top of the metal holder. I then carefully pushed the electrical tape down so it held the MicroSD card in place.

 

Now when I open the metal retainer, the card lightly adheres to the tape and can be easily removed by carefully pulling the card away from the tape - the card will not fall out accidentally. If the metal lid is just pushed back into place, the card goes where is suppose to.

 

Another hint. Take a toothpick, dab it into red nailpolish or paint and dab it in the GPS battery compartment close to your batteries positive (+) end. Now when you put new batteries in, you will always know the proper battery orientation easily. You couls also dab black at the negative (-) end if you wanted to.

 

I hope you find the above useful, if so, let me know.

 

Best regards,

 

Wayne

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I then carefully put the MicroSD card in the GPS. Once the card was in place, and the metal lid was put down on the card, I applied the cut electrical tape on the top of the metal holder. I then carefully pushed the electrical tape down so it held the MicroSD card in place.

 

I missed the part where you slid the metal retaining plate into the 'Lock' position?

 

If you are not doing this, I can understand:

 

I noticed was how small the MicroSD card was, and how it easily slipped out of place when changing the batteries.

 

Now when I open the metal retainer, the card lightly adheres to the tape and can be easily removed by carefully pulling the card away from the tape - the card will not fall out accidentally. If the metal lid is just pushed back into place, the card goes where is suppose to.

 

The uSD card is not supposed to move when you 'slide' the metal retainer between 'Lock' and 'Unlock'.

 

Is the tape moving the card when the retainer is slid either way?

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You said "You could also dab black at the negative (-) end if you wanted to."

 

If I remember right the plastic tn the batterycompartment is black.

 

And for the people who didn't read anything about their gps the slider setting is supposed to LOCK, doing so the Sd is locked and will never fall out or similar..

Edited by splashy
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And for the people who didn't read anything about their gps the slider setting is supposed to LOCK, doing so the Sd is locked and will never fall out or similar..

 

That is the way it is SUPPOSE to work. More often than not, it does not. Use one of the fixes mentioned or simply be careful, it will eventually fail.

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Hi Splashy,

 

I have a Garmin 450 (Oregon) as mentioned and the battery compartment is orange so I dabbed paint for a quick reference. If the compartment is black on yours, just a dab of red on one end would do if you want a quick reference for the positive end.

 

========================

Hi BMW JEDI,

 

To be quite honest, I did not know about the lock, I just put the card in and slid the cover forward, but still it would open when I sometimes took the batteries out. The small piece of tape mentioned does the trick and it is still easy to remove/replace the card and the tape is re-usable.

 

Best regards,

 

Wayne Miller

4evrCking

Edited by 4evrCking
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