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Copying caches from iPhone to GPS


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This subject comes up often - and there's a lot of information to cover - so I figured I'd start this thread to collect all the answers in one place.

 

Apple iThings (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) do not include any way to connect external USB devices like hard drives, card readers, or (most importantly here) GPSRs to copy files back and forth. But the lack of an Apple-branded solution doesn't mean it can't be done - you just have to install the right hardware and a third party app.

 

The hardware you'll need is a WiFi router with a USB port on it. Apple's AirPort Extreme is one example, but there are others. You can connect your GPSR (or SD card reader, hard drive, etc).to the router, and transfer your files over your network.

 

Apart from a router, you need an app to manage your files. Currently I use FileBrowser from Stratorspherix. FileBrowser can open email attachments and downloads, unpack zip files, and copy files to and from your network-attached storage.

 

Not everybody has a WiFi router with a USB port. And most folks who do, have it at home - which leaves a geocacher with no way to load new pocket queries in the field.

 

The best portable solution I've found for this is the RavPower WiFi Disk. This is a recharchable, battery operated WiFi router with both an SD card slot and a USB port. It's only slightly larger than an iPhone and can even be used as a backup battery in an emergency. At the time of this writing, it's available on Amazon and NewEgg for around $50.

 

Whether or not that's an expensive piece of kit for geocaching is a matter of opinion. It's certainly more than Apple's more limited Camera Connection Kit -- but less than a Rove. And if you're going to use it for more than just geocaching, the WiFi Disk might be a reasonable expense.

 

That's an overview of what's needed. I can post more instructions and examples if anyone wants them. And I'd also be interested in hearing from other iThing users who have come up with other solutions for this.

Edited by user13371
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lets make sure i got this right.

 

wifi link the router to my ipad

use filebrowser and link with it.

plug my Montana into the USB port (probably have to use the double in model to get enoughn power)

i can now transfer qpx files from the iThing to the garmin

 

The only question i have is where to find the gpx file. when i download one the iThing offers me a couple of choices (i use geosphere) and it imports it to there but i wouldnt know what folder to look in to find the moriginal.

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...where do I get the GPX file...?

With FileBrowser is installed on your iThing, if you click any link to download a file (could be on GC's pocket query page, an email attachment, etc) you'll be given the option to "Open In..." FileBrowser. This puts it in FileBrowser's own folder space, and from there you can unzip it and copy it to your GPS.

 

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa_tMzFmbEU&sns=em

Edited by user13371
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Well got phase one done. I downloaded it to my ipad and it was saved by filebrowser. Now have to order the card/hub/router/wifi thing and see if when I hook up the gps it works. Still will lose the filter (last two DNF's) and of course the multiple log upload but looks much easier. Should have it Tuesday

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Well got phase one done. I downloaded it to my ipad and it was saved by filebrowser. Now have to order the card/hub/router/wifi thing and see if when I hook up the gps it works. Still will lose the filter (last two DNF's) and of course the multiple log upload but looks much easier. Should have it Tuesday

 

Looking at the specs it shows the USB port as 5V/1A which should be more than enough for a GPSr. I guess I'm going to have to order one of these also. Nice find user11371!!

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... specs it shows the USB port as 5V/1A which should be more than enough for a GPSr.

It will - at least an eTrex 20. I pulled the AA batteries out of mine and plugged it into the WiFi disk -- the GPS powered right up.

 

Unsure about a Montana or heftier device though. Even though RavPower positions this product as a back-up battery, their own docs caution that it'll charge a cell phone but not necessarily a tablet. It would depend on the current draw of the device and if it reports it power requirement correcty back to the USB host - not every device does.

 

And... The rechargeable battery in the WiFi disk is 3000 mAH. That should be good to recharge an iPhone maybe once in the field, or run a WiFi hotspot for a few hours. Not sure how long it would keep a GPS running.

 

Nice find user11371!!

Thanks, but, um, that's user13371. My friends call me 337 :laughing:

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Still will lose the filter (last two DNF's) and of course the multiple log upload but looks much easier.

Not sure what you mean by "losing the filter." Are you using GSAK or some other app on another device to process your GPX files?

 

For log uploads from an iThing, I use Geosphere.

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As an aside - the RavPower WiFit manual is very simplistic and doesn't explain how to do a lot of the things mentioned in this thread. feel free to post questions here if you have problems figuring it out.

 

There's also software available from RavPower to use it - which i tired brielfy and gave up on. FileBrowser works for me so I didn't spend a lot of time with RavPower's software. If you find other software that works better than FileBrowser, post it here.

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The comments on Amazon mention quite often the poor documentation.

 

I download my PQ's to GSAK and then run a filter calle Last 2 DNF and then delete them. It runs between 5% and 10% that i get rid of. I hate getting to a cache and after spending time find the last two say "It's not here."

 

I am guessing I will be able to upload my visits file to the froggie but will miss the multiple logging when i do a bunch in a day.

 

Should be interesting.

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Yeah., it's a pity about the poor docs: basically a tiny print pamphlet tellin how to turn it on, what the various indicators lights do, default addresses and passwords. Not much more. There is a link to a slightly better manual online - http://www.ravpower.com/downloads#RP-WD01 - but really, some of the Amazon reviews have more useful tips and tech info than what comes with the product itself.

 

I did find one glitch (something not well documented, of course): you need to set the time on the WiFiDisk using its web client, and if you ever push the reset button you lose the time setting. You can end up with incorrect file date/time stamps that way - not sure it matters for geocaching but may for some activities.

Edited by user13371
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Long before the RavPower WiFi-Disk, there was the HyperShop CloudFTP -- now sold as the iUSBport.

 

http://www.hypershop.com/iUSBport-by-HyperDrive-formerly-CloudFTP-s/218.htm

 

At $99 I wasn't able to justify one for myself -- while the $49 for the WiFi Disk was an easy purchase. But I'd still like to get my hands on one (or hear from someone who has one) and compare it to the WiFi--Disk.

Edited by user13371
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...can't get my iphone to connect to the Montana.

Is your Montana in USB Mass Storage mode? Which app are you using to make the connection?

 

I accidentally deleted the instructional "slide show" I posted earlier, and been meaning to do a new one with better detail.

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Gee, I feel kinda bad -- you got this piece of gear at least partly on my recommendcation and now it's not working right. I'd like to help - PM or email if you like, or we can cover the details here in the forum. Might help the next person down the line that way.

Edited by user13371
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Gee, I feel kinda bad -- you got this piece of gear at least partly on my recommendcation and now it's not working right. I'd like to help - PM or email if you like, or we can cover the details here in the forum. Might help the next person down the line that way.

 

No reason to feel bad. I'm usually in your shoes trying out new things and sharing it with everyone else.

 

I did get it to work though.

 

What I had to do was make sure my Montana was in Garmin Spanner mode so it was selectable for mass storage. What I then had to do was plug in and turn on the wifi disk and let my Montana sit asking whether to go to mass storage or not. Then once the wifi disk had started and was ready I then selected yes and it went to mass storage mode. Then I manually added a NAS connection with the address of the wifi disk and entered the stock admin username with no password and it fired right up and showed on my phone.

 

So it works to transfer files and it will also charge my phone or my GPSr as long as I have the right cable. So for $50 it is well worth the money. I can also pull pictures off of my Montana for posting.

 

The only thing I see that I would like differently is it only shows the internal storage on my Montana. It doesn't show the uSD card which isn't that big of a deal because I can always pull the card and place it in the slot on the wifi disk if i need to get at any of the data on it.

 

Edit: One side effect that I'm not able to get to stop is I'm having to force mass storage mode and manually update to whatever firmware I'm currently on because I lose all of my profiles after being hooked up to the wifi disk. It doesn't seem to actually update but there must be some file that's getting damaged when hooked up and by installing the GCD file it fixes it.

Edited by Bullygoat29
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Good that you got it working. I use mine for more than geocaching and it was indeed money well spent.

 

But the bit about your GPS losing its profiles is exceedingly weird. Can't think of any reasonable explanation for that. So let's try something unreasonable: did you set the date and time on the RavPower gizmo? You can do it from their app, or you could point your web browser to 10.10.10.254 while connected to the RavPower and get to the settings from there.

 

It seems a long shot, but I know the date/time stamps is copied over to my eTrex were completely wrong before I did that. Wondering if impossible file dates on any thing in the Montana file system could make it act weird in other ways.

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I am very interested in the wiFi storage thingy so that I can download a pocket enquiry on my iphone and then transfer it to the Montana all the links on here take me to AMAZONE U.S.A. Is their a UK one that works and reasonable priced also easy to operate Thanks

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... best portable solution I've found for this is the RavPower WiFi Disk. This is a recharchable, battery operated WiFi router with both an SD card slot and a USB port. It's only slightly larger than an iPhone and can even be used as a backup battery in an emergency. At the time of this writing, it's available on Amazon and NewEgg for around $50. ...

So here I am, a little over a year later, with a broken Ravpower filehub. The micro-USB port on the side for connecting power broke. I don't think the wiring is broke, but the connector inside snapped and it's fallen inside the case.

 

So I emailed SunvalleyTek, the vendor, and asked what my repair options were. A couple of email exchanges and they're sending me a new one. No need to return the old one. Good service!

Edited by user13371
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Just noticed this morning... But apparently there's been a newer versoon of RavPowers's WiFi disk/fi,ehub thing for some time now...

 

http://www.amazon.com/RAVPower-FileHub-Wireless-Portable-External/dp/B00ICEWB58

 

Bigger battery but smaller card slot (microSD instead of SD) and addition of DLNA. Wonder if they added/fixed the ability to mount multiple volumes for devices attached via USB (example Garmin internal storage as well as memory card at same time)?

 

I don't NEED a new one at this time, but ...

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I received my RAVPower but I am now finding that I am not successfully moving files, probably because I don't understand enough. I can get virtually all of the pieces to work separately, but can't seem to take the final step to transfer files. More specifically, I can get the GPX file to show up in file browser, I can get my Garmin Oregon files both internal and Micro SD card to show up in the file hub app, but I can't figure out a way to get the GPX file moved to the Garmin using either file browser or file hub. This might be in part because I also haven't found a way to set the date or personalize login and password on the RavPower. I tried pointing my browser to it, but didn't find the place to make personalized log-in. In many ways I know just enough about gadgets to get myself confused, so would love any step by step directions any one can suggest. Like others before me I've found the manual to be lacking. I sure would have loved to have access to User13371's tutorial. I guess I need a RAVPower for dummies book!

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It's been a while since I used this myself, but I just blew the ducts of my file hub and updated the firmware to 2.000.30.30. I may be able to put up a new step-by-step tutorial late on Sunday if nobody beats me to it.

 

There are a few possible variations - Which version file browser are you using, and which mobile device (iPad, iPhone, Android)?

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Thanks so much for your quick response. I am using an iPad mini with the newest update, and after your question, I discovered that I was using file explorer, not file browser. My mistake as I was trying to get the same thing you suggested. I just purchased the file browser app so I can try it with that. BTW, I did figure out how to set the time and date on the RavPower. I do appreciate any suggestions. Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by blew the ducts?

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I received my RAVPower but I am now finding that I am not successfully moving files, probably because I don't understand enough. I can get virtually all of the pieces to work separately, but can't seem to take the final step to transfer files. More specifically, I can get the GPX file to show up in file browser, I can get my Garmin Oregon files both internal and Micro SD card to show up in the file hub app, but I can't figure out a way to get the GPX file moved to the Garmin using either file browser or file hub.

 

I do not use RavPower, but I assume that the wifi router I use (Kingston MobileLite Wireless) has a similar work flow since the principle is the same. I first open up the GPX file in a file browser (in my case, FileExplorer or the proprietary Kingston App). For simplicity's sake, it can be saved locally as an offline file within the app, although this is not strictly necessary since it can be be saved directly to the GPSR once it is opened in the file manager.

 

Using FileExplorer, the wifi router shows up as an NAS device. Pressing on the file that I saved in the local/offline folder gives me options to copy or move it. When copy is selected, it is just a matter of selecting the router as a destination and following it until the appropriate Garmin/GPX folder is reached -- and then saving the file there.

 

I don't know if the RAV device shows both the SD and internal file structure when the Oregon is plugged into the USB port. Mobilelite shows one or the either through the USB connection (without taking the sd card out of the unit), but cycles betweem the two if I unplug/plug the Oregon in.

Edited by geodarts
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Thanks for all the information. I have now been successful with the RAVPower and file browser. Like geodarts, my Oregon GPS cycles through the internal and external storage, going to one and then the other each time I connect it. I have not found a way, short of taking the internal card out, to have it always go to the internal, but that isn't really much of a problem. I tried the GPSr in both spanner mode and Garmin serial, and it didn't seem to make any difference. So the only other thing I have not been able to do, which may not be possible based on limitations of IGeo knife, is to filter on igeo knife and find a way to export the filtered data base instead of downloading a pocket query from www.geocaching.com. With or without that, I am very thrilled to think about the possibility of traveling with just my IPad, RavPower and GPSr instead of also caring a netbook. When one only carries a backpack, space is really a premium. If there is a different IPad app others think is better I am certainly all ears. I love GSAK on my PC, and know GDAK is available for android, and maybe that would do the filtering and exporting, but at this point, the purchase of another tablet isn't likely.

Thanks again for all you help!

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So the only other thing I have not been able to do, which may not be possible based on limitations of IGeo knife, is to filter on igeo knife and find a way to export the filtered data base instead of downloading a pocket query from www.geocaching.com.

. . . .

If there is a different IPad app others think is better I am certainly all ears. I love GSAK on my PC, and know GDAK is available for android, and maybe that would do the filtering and exporting, but at this point, the purchase of another tablet isn't likely.

 

I use Geosphere, in part because it allows me to search through the Groundspeak API or import pq's and other GPX files, maintain separate groups (lists) of caches, filter or merge the results, and export whatever caches I choose. It will export any list I have created through its own file manager, save them to Dropbox, or email the results.

 

It saves the exported lists as zip files, but can unzip them in its file section, so that the resulting GPX files may be opened in other apps or transferred to my gpsr. I rarely use GSAK anymore to maintain lists of unfound caches, since it is easier for me to keep the groups I want to have on the iPhone or iPad.

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