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Brand new Geocacher with Garmin Oregon 600


WildMidwest

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Hi from a first-time poster. I just received my Garmin Oregon 600 last evening and I have been busy loading it with Pocket Query GPX files and topo maps from gpsfiledepot.com. I updated the Oregon' firmware as recommended by WebUpdater to 2.7.0. I read lots of posts in these forums which got me started using my Oregon 600. I just returned from finding my first four Geocaches today and I already love Geocaching. I will take the kids out this afternoon for their first Geocaching experience on local level 1-1.5 sites.

 

My 12 year old son and I are scheduled to leave on a four week cross-country road trip leaving in six days. We will be traveling from our home in Wisconsin, through Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. Our return path is to be determined. We will be tenting most of the way, staying in motels every third or fourth night, and hitting as many National Parks as possible: Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Natural Bridges, G.C. North Rim, Death Valley, Mammoth and Yosemite. Our itinerary is pretty tight and we are not looking for specific trip advice. We will likely prune some destinations as we go. We will bring our iPad, Oregon 600, Garmin Nuvi, and a couple of iPods for road muisc... no laptop or other electronics. I suppose that is what passes for "back to basics" traveling these days.

 

My question is pretty broad, and I am looking for GPS-Geocaching guidance to make our trip successful. Other than the iPad, I will not have regular access to a computer. I am trying to load as many caches onto our 32 GB microSD card as possible before we leave. I will make best use of Pocket Queries in the days ahead.

 

I see other people using beta firmware. Is this a good idea for people who are leaving on a long road trip and who have just begun to learn the Oregon 600? How does someone even obtain beta firmware?

 

Is there any reason to turn off GLONASS / WAAS / EGNOS? Are there any other settings we should change from default settings.

 

I am thinking about buying the Geocaching iPhone app I but am unsure if it works on an iPad, or if it's worth having (versus logging with an iPad browser).

 

Any other specific guidance?

 

Sorry if I don't know everything about the Oregon 600 or Geocaching yet. Learning is part of the adventure. I have been ricocheting from forum topic to forum topic, trying to learn what I can, preparing for our departure, making sure our tents and other gear works, making reservations, managing two homes and working a full time job. I have not read every piece of info out there... just what I can in my limited time. I am working my way through the long Oregon 600 thread a few pages per day.

 

Sincere thanks in advance for helpful advice.

 

P.S., I have been making point-to-point Pocket Queries with a 4 mile radius and destination Pocket Queries with a 100 mile radius covering one or more National Parks. I have yet to experience results of my Queries, other than the four local sites I mentioned above. Perhaps I should limit my searches to level 3 and below, or something like that. What do people think?

Edited by WildMidwest
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I see other people using beta firmware. Is this a good idea for people who are leaving on a long road trip and who have just begun to learn the Oregon 600? How does someone even obtain beta firmware?

There haven't been any beta releases for the Oregon 6x0.

 

Is there any reason to turn off GLONASS / WAAS / EGNOS? Are there any other settings we should change from default settings.

There is a slight decrease in battery life when WAAS is enabled, but you probably won't have to worry about that. WAAS only really helps if you have a decent view of the southern sky (in the US) because the WAAS satellites are in geosynchronous orbits. That means they stay (roughly) above the equator. Since you'll be in the US, that means the WAAS satellites will be to the south of you and closer to the horizon rather than being overhead. I always leave it on, but I know not to get frustrated when I can't get a lock on a WAAS satellite. When you do get a lock on a WAAS satellite, it does help your accuracy noticeably. I find GLONASS helps you get a quicker position fix when you turn on the device, and it helps out when you can only see part of the sky. If you're in a canyon, chances are that you might only be able to pick up a couple GPS satellites, while if you have GLONASS on, you can probably pick up one or two a GLONASS satellites, too. In that instance, it would be a great benefit to your positional accuracy.

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OK, I had a suggestion but then I checked the specs on the Oregon 600. It is supposed to be able to hold 4 MILLION Geocaches (can anybody confirm if this is so?). If that's the case, there are only 2 million Geocches in the whole world.

 

Load North America. That oughta cover ya....

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If you're not getting results on your PQ, there are two usual causes for that. One, not specifying a day for it to run. Two, giving conflicting filter parameters,,such as checking "caches I have found" and "caches I haven't found". No caches exist that meet both requirements, therefore no results.

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There haven't been any beta releases for the Oregon 6x0.

 

There is a slight decrease in battery life when WAAS is enabled, but you probably won't have to worry about that. WAAS only really helps if you have a decent view of the southern sky (in the US) because the WAAS satellites are in geosynchronous orbits. That means they stay (roughly) above the equator....

Insig, that is very useful information. I am on the fast track to gaining GPS knowledge. Thank you so much!

 

If you're not getting results on your PQ, there are two usual causes for that....

I am getting lots of PQ search results and they appear to be loading into my Oregon 600. I was just asking for PQ search strategy tips. My question probably wasn't well phrased. I have figured out how to search, just not sure I am going about it most efficiently for a whirlwind northwestern U.S. tour.

 

As a Geocaching newbie with a twelve year old son in tow, I doubt we'll be doing level 5 Geocaching. Maybe by the end of the trip we'll have a couple of level 4 caches under our belts, or maybe not. I am only guessing how difficult these must be. It probably doesn't hurt to have level 5's in our Oregon 600 even if we don't attempt those just yet. I have little GC perspective to aid my PQ search strategy.

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There haven't been any beta releases for the Oregon 6x0.

 

There is a slight decrease in battery life when WAAS is enabled, but you probably won't have to worry about that. WAAS only really helps if you have a decent view of the southern sky (in the US) because the WAAS satellites are in geosynchronous orbits. That means they stay (roughly) above the equator....

Insig, that is very useful information. I am on the fast track to gaining GPS knowledge. Thank you so much!

 

If you're not getting results on your PQ, there are two usual causes for that....

I am getting lots of PQ search results and they appear to be loading into my Oregon 600. I was just asking for PQ search strategy tips. My question probably wasn't well phrased. I have figured out how to search, just not sure I am going about it most efficiently for a whirlwind northwestern U.S. tour.

 

As a Geocaching newbie with a twelve year old son in tow, I doubt we'll be doing level 5 Geocaching. Maybe by the end of the trip we'll have a couple of level 4 caches under our belts, or maybe not. I am only guessing how difficult these must be. It probably doesn't hurt to have level 5's in our Oregon 600 even if we don't attempt those just yet. I have little GC perspective to aid my PQ search strategy.

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A couple more Oregon 600 questions:

 

(1) Has the NiMH battery question been resolved yet? I did not purchase Garmin's expensive 2-battery pack. I can get four 2300 mAh NiMH batteries at my local hardware store for <$10. (I am using alkaline cells for now.)

 

(2) When topographical maps overlap, how does the Oregon 600 resolve discrepancies? Does one map win over the other?

 

I tried to load a KMZ map of Bryce National Park (USGS high resolution) but the Oregon 600 didn't recognize that file type. Expanding the KMZ into a folder of jpg images didn't work either. The Bryce KMZ file works fine with Garmin BaseCamp on my Mac, though.

Edited by WildMidwest
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A couple more Oregon 600 questions:

 

(1) Has the NiMH battery question been resolved yet? I did not purchase Garmin's expensive 2-battery pack. I can get four 2300 mAh NiMH batteries at my local hardware store for <$10. (I am using alkaline cells for now.)

 

(2) When topographical maps overlap, how does the Oregon 600 resolve discrepancies? Does one map win over the other?

 

I tried to load a KMZ map of Bryce National Park (USGS high resolution) but the Oregon 600 didn't recognize that file type. Expanding the KMZ into a folder of jpg images didn't work either. The Bryce KMZ file works fine with Garmin BaseCamp on my Mac, though.

 

The special battery pack is the only one that will be recharged in the device. Some people have theorized that it might be possible to recharge any NiMH batteries with a bit of jiggery-pokery, but it'll void your warranty if something goes wrong.

 

Here's a place that you can get some help with KMZs for Garmin handhelds.

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The kids and I completed six level 1-1.5 geocaches this evening. They wanted to keep doing more but we were all hungry and needed dinner. So, three new Geocaching converts today.

 

Regarding KMZs, here is what Garmin has to say:

 

Dakota, Colorado, Oregon, Montana and eTrex 20/30 are all listed as compatible with Google Earth KMZ files. Maybe Oregon 600 is the exception?

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More on KMZ/KML files and Garmin Oregon here:

 

Time to move onto another subject. No time to get bogged down on any one issue.

 

I am apparently making excellent progress completing Pocket Queries for all our major destinations with some overlap. I am curious how the system chooses PQ hits when a radius is selected. Is it like a shotgun with a variable choke, or is that a poor analogy?

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A couple more Oregon 600 questions:

 

(1) Has the NiMH battery question been resolved yet? I did not purchase Garmin's expensive 2-battery pack. I can get four 2300 mAh NiMH batteries at my local hardware store for <$10. (I am using alkaline cells for now.)

 

(2) When topographical maps overlap, how does the Oregon 600 resolve discrepancies? Does one map win over the other?

 

I tried to load a KMZ map of Bryce National Park (USGS high resolution) but the Oregon 600 didn't recognize that file type. Expanding the KMZ into a folder of jpg images didn't work either. The Bryce KMZ file works fine with Garmin BaseCamp on my Mac, though.

 

1. Batteries:

If you're bringing rechargeables with you, be sure to bring the low discharge, or "precharged" batteries or, after 3-4 days, you might find your batteries having lost a significant amount of charge. Eneloops are great for this, though I get about 9-10 hours out of a pair. Alternatively, stock up on Energizer Lithium Ultras, which work great in an Oregon. They tend to last around the 16-hour mark. I'd shy away from regular Alkalines, buying them only in an emergency when lithiums aren't available. Alkalines give me about 6-8 hours of usage.

 

2. Maps:

Maps are rendered according to draw order, and that's not something you can easily change. If maps are in conflict at a given area, you can always go to settings > map > Map Information (the exact path may have changed in the 600's) and disable/enable the maps you want. I imagine that custom maps should draw over the regular maps, but I've never used them.

 

Instead, there's a great topo map of the Desert Southwest that includes all of the southern Utah national parks available at www.gpsfiledepot.com. In fact, there is a whole repository of great maps you can load on top of the base map.

 

One more thought: you might think about bringing a laptop instead of an ipad since you'll be stopping at hotels every couple of days. Hotels usually have free wifi and it's a good time to re-evaluate your route of travel for the next few days and modify or run new pocket queries. I don't know how well GPSr's connect to tablets, so a laptop might be more useful.

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More on KMZ/KML files and Garmin Oregon here:

 

Time to move onto another subject. No time to get bogged down on any one issue.

 

I am apparently making excellent progress completing Pocket Queries for all our major destinations with some overlap. I am curious how the system chooses PQ hits when a radius is selected. Is it like a shotgun with a variable choke, or is that a poor analogy?

 

I suppose it's random if there are more than 1000 hits within your radius, though I think it may just give you the first 1000 closest to the center point. You might shrink your radius or add filters to bring your hits down below 1000 to make sure you're getting all of the hits you want.

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If you have laptop or netbook they are handy for getting caches. Especially easy with GSAK and the API interface. If not what kind of phone do you have. With all androids recently released you can use a OTG cord to hook up to the phone and download pocket queries to the device and the geovisits back up.

 

Probably easier to do the PQ on the iPad and then use the phone to load it.

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OK, I had a suggestion but then I checked the specs on the Oregon 600. It is supposed to be able to hold 4 MILLION Geocaches (can anybody confirm if this is so?). If that's the case, there are only 2 million Geocches in the whole world.

 

It can only handle 4,000 waypoints not 4 million *.gpx files. The reference to 4 million geocaches is to Opencaching.com geocaches, i.e., GGZ files. That said I understand that you can use the latest version of GSAK to convert Groundspeak gpx geocaches to GGZ format to make use the capabilities of the Oregon 600.

 

Andrew

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Mineral, thanks for the tip on Eneloops batteries and the info on maps. I have an 8-pack of Eneloops on order. I'll bring my favorite "old faithful" MAHA NiMH AA cell charger and recharge batteries every 3rd - 4th night at a hotel. Not sure I trust jiggery-pokery for charging NiMH batteries inside my new Oregon 600 with a rental car's cigarette outlet... it sounds too risky.

 

Walt, I thought about bringing a laptop but I don't currently own one since my Mac laptop was swiped from my office last year. Somehow the video camera outside my office seemed to 'malfunction' the night it was taken, and Security staff and the Sheriff's office couldn't figure out how that could have gone unnoticed. The thought of a laptop sitting in a locked car in Death Valley gives me gooseflesh. I don't own a smartphone and I don't want one.

 

I now have about 20,000 geocaches loaded into my Oregon covering most of our major destinations, and plenty of road-side caches to keep my boy engaged. If we have a few miles with no caches, that will be OK. I'm filling in gaps as time allows. No need for 4 million geocaches on this trip. We'll be lucky if we find 100-200 caches.

 

BTW, I solved the issue of the Bryce National Park custom bitmap. It ended up being something fairly obvious, not a defect of gpsfiledepot's map. Custom maps apparently must be loaded into a folder strangely named CustomMaps inside the Garmin folder. Once that is done, the map works fine. Sometimes it is slow to load and I have to be at the right zoom level and scroll around to see it. It's fun to see it work, but maybe not ultimately that useful. We'll see if it's worth the trouble when we're at Bryce.

 

I loaded four regional maps in: DesertSouthwest, us_p_nw, us_p_nc, us_p_cc. I generally prefer the appearance of individual state maps (less cluttered), but it's great to have regional maps as a backup in states that have block-gaps or other weirdness. With all of these maps now loaded I can pick and choose which best suits our needs. It's easy enough to turn them on or off.

 

Now all I have to do is learn all the Oregon 600 features and jargon. I'll take the Owner's Manual pdf on my iPad for a little light reading, and check back at this site periodically.

 

Thanks, everyone, for some great tips! We're really excited about our departure in 3 days.

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OK, I had a suggestion but then I checked the specs on the Oregon 600. It is supposed to be able to hold 4 MILLION Geocaches (can anybody confirm if this is so?). If that's the case, there are only 2 million Geocches in the whole world.

 

It can only handle 4,000 waypoints not 4 million *.gpx files. The reference to 4 million geocaches is to Opencaching.com geocaches, i.e., GGZ files. That said I understand that you can use the latest version of GSAK to convert Groundspeak gpx geocaches to GGZ format to make use the capabilities of the Oregon 600.

 

Andrew

 

You can still use GPX exclusively and get lots of caches on it. At one point, I had about 40,000 on mine -- all using solely GPX.

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Hi,

 

I'm another brand new geocacher who is considering the purchase of a Garmin 600. I appreciate what I have been learning by reading this thread.

 

At the moment, I just have one hopefully simple question. My laptop is a MacBook Air (OS X lion) and I am wondering: Is the Garmin 600 Mac-compatible?

 

This is my third day reading reviews/threads/posts . . . I'd really like to have the "which GPS to buy" issue resolved so I can move away from my computer and toward my next geocaching adventure . . . and I'd really appreciate some simple, straightforward input from you GPS vets.

 

Thanks in advance,

Alana

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At the moment, I just have one hopefully simple question. My laptop is a MacBook Air (OS X lion) and I am wondering: Is the Garmin 600 Mac-compatible?

 

 

Yes. It is compatible. I believe all Garmins are mac compatible, but especially any "newer" unit that connect via USB.

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Hope you enjoy your trip to so many great places. I applaude your enthusiasm in gathering together so many geocaching resources. I don't want to work that hard. The difference in the 600 and the 600t is what $80.00. The next time you go somewhere, you will have to repeat the whole process you described. Also, make use of cache along a route. You can travel 500mi or 1,000 caches. A few of these will link the whole trip together. If there is an area you really want to pursue, then drop a query on it and get the 1,000 caches. If you don't have wireless access no problem. Squirell away you queries using GSAK. Your cache along a route will meet most of your travelling needs. Just recenter your file and send another 4,000(?) to your GPS. Also, pick out some outstanding caches to visit. I get tired doing repetitive caches and always want to look for something unique or different to find. Good luck on your trip. Have a great time.

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I am liking my Oregon 600 pretty much overall. It's totally Mac friendly except for OSX' stupid warning every time I eject the Garmin volume. Basecamp app is a bit rough around the edges but it works ok on a faster Mac with plenty of HD space. My advice is to plan on several days of futzing with the Oregon 600 before hitting the road, at least for anyone who is not reasonably comfortable with an earlier Garmin model. I am glad I bought it last week and had some time to play.

 

For the life of me, I can't figure out what Worldwide DEM Basemap, NR does. Turning it off doesn't seem to make a difference. A number of the "maps" that come on the 600 appear to be useless in N. America, such as BirdsEye Select Kompass Switzerland / Select EIRE / Select France / Austria + East Alps. I am thinking about deleting those to get them out of my way on the Maps settings page.

 

I wish there were a simple way to alphabetize my maps. I have a hodgepodge of the seemingly random order in which I originally loaded maps. The difficulty of finding a particular map to turn it on/off grows as more maps are added. Imagine trying to find the right map to turn on/off when you have 100+ non-alphabetized maps to scroll through.

 

Regarding Garmin's 100K maps (on the 600t / 650t) I read too many people gripe about the poor 100K quality and errors. I am pretty impressed with GPSFileDepot's maps overall but I can't get some of them to load. I'll post details about those problem maps below.

 

So the Oregon 600 is mostly a positive experience in the one week I've had it. It's pretty snappy moving maps around, and the screen is bright and clear. Those are two complaints with the Oregon 400-500 series and I think Garmin has done a pretty nice job addressing the complaints. My 600 freezes up every time I attempt an Elevation Plot but that is not a feature I need. I haven't enough experience to know what causes the Elevation Plot freeze. I haven't had any other crashes or freezes.

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Regarding GPSFileDepot's Central and Western US state maps, most of them are amazing. There's no state-to-state color scheme consistency and some states are more pleasing to the eye than others. Montana's map is gorgeous. Idaho on the other hand has a nasty "feature" of putting a white (or black) border around the state. I didn't explore every mile of Idaho's periphery, but it's pretty bad on the southeastern edge where up to 2.5 miles of Wyoming is whited out. Up by Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Idaho's white-out is not as bad, only about 1/2 - 1 mile missing from Wyoming. Turning off Idaho's map brings back the missing parts. With US Planimetric map "U_P_NW" installed I hardly care about GPSFileDepot's Idaho map being turned off. I am not sure we'll enter Idaho on this trip, so no great loss. Idaho residents might feel differently.

 

I can't find a way to get my Garmin 600 to recognize GPSFileDepot's New Mexio, Washington or Illinois maps. They appear to have been installed on my 600's 32GB SD card, but the names don't show up in my 600's Map Settings, nor do they appear on the visible map. I want to be able to use New Mexico state map on this trip if we have time to swing through Santa Fe. The Desert SouthWest Planimetric map isn't adequate compared to the gorgeous Colorado, Utah, Arizona and other state maps. Illinois will only be important to us after we return home. I have the same problem with three US Planimetric maps not loading: US_P_CC, US_P_NC, US_P_SC.

 

Removing and reinstalling NM, WA and IL maps using Garmin MapInstall did not solve the absent map problem. I am not sure how many other states might fail to load. Other than TX, OK, KS, AK and LA (which I didn't try to load), everything else west of the Mississippi River works fine. If anybody knows a trick to make the missing maps load, I'm all ears. Garmin MapInstall tells me they all installed correctly.

 

The Oregon 600 seems pretty smart about how it handles overlapping maps. It seems to pick the higher resolution map over the lower res map. I have four layers of Yellowstone maps: US_P_NW Planimetric, Wyoming state, an appendage of Montana state map, and JBensman's "My Trails". Yellowstone looks perfect with no lagging or weirdness.

 

One minor gripe: my Oregon 600 gobbles batteries when it's on standby. Unlike our iPods & iPads, digital cameras, camcorders, and our old Garmin Nuvi 1350, the Oregon 600 never seems to enter deep hibernation automatically. I have to remember to press and hold the power button to avoid dead batteries.

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Regarding GPSFileDepot's Central and Western US state maps, most of them are amazing. There's no state-to-state color scheme consistency and some states are more pleasing to the eye than others. Montana's map is gorgeous! Idaho on the other hand has a nasty "feature" of putting a white (or black) border around the state. I didn't explore every mile of Idaho's periphery, but it's pretty bad on the southeastern edge where up to 2.5 miles of Wyoming is whited out.

 

I live in Idaho and use the Idaho map quite a bit. One way of getting around the problem is to install with MapInstall, choose cusomize, and don't install the border tiles. I have a 450t with the 100k topo map, so I'm not going to miss much around the borders if I have to default to that map, but if the adjacent state has topo data that spills over, you can use the custom install to piece those together as best as possible. One of the nice things about the Idaho map that other maps don't have are trails. They're not 100% accurate, but enough so to get an idea of where you can hike. Anyway, I've learned to just disable and enable maps when I'm in or not in a certain area. If I happen to be hiking on the state line, I figure something out, maybe disabling the state maps altogether and just using the 100k maps on my device.

 

If you're coming through western Montana into northern Idaho and into Washington, try using Northwest Topos for a nice seamless map. It covers quite a bit of area and also includes trails from the Northwest Trails map (also recommend installing. It's transparent and covers a larger region).

 

Finally, don't fret too much about the maps. Overall, for trip planning, nothing beats a paper map. The base map that comes with the 600 might not be as detailed with roads and waypoints as City Navigator or the Topo Series (100K is actually pretty good, has all major and minor roads except for some forrest service roads, and most trails). You can find a geocache just fine with a blank map page. The map just adds some landmarks for reference, but I wouldn't count on it solely for navigational planning.

Edited by mineral2
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One minor gripe: my Oregon 600 gobbles batteries when it's on standby. Unlike our iPods & iPads, digital cameras, camcorders, and our old Garmin Nuvi 1350, the Oregon 600 never seems to enter deep hibernation automatically. I have to remember to press and hold the power button to avoid dead batteries.

 

GPS units are set to continuously contact the satellites even when the screen turns off (battery save mode). So, yes, it is using more juice than our cameras or other electronic devices that go into standby. But this is also a good thing. When you're out hiking, or even driving, you can just turn it on, let the screen shut off, and retrieve your track later. It's useful for geotagging photos or analyzing your tracks' stats.

 

In the car, you can always plug your Oregon into the power source. Just get a USB plug adapter and use a standard USB to mini USB cable and you don't have to run the GPS unit off of batteries while you're driving.

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Regarding maps that don't load, here's the answer: the Oregon 600 tops out at a maximum of 20 user installed maps. Small single-park hiking maps count as one of the 20. So, it may be best to install your big regional maps first, then put in detailed maps afterward - being careful to count them as you go. MapInstall does not gripe about putting the maps on the media, but the Oregon 600 won't look at any of them past #20. This seems a fairly arbitrary number and it's a limitation for people (like me) doing extended travel in places with lots of small maps, unless you bring along a computer and spend hours juggling maps in-and-out of your Oregon.

 

So at least I know why Washintgon, Illinois and the US regional maps weren't loading even though they are on my SD card. There's nothing wrong with these maps.

 

It raises a question about where there's any value to an SD card larger than 8 GB for your Oregon 600 series, unless you bought a Garmin with a camera. Maybe I'll find a use for my bigger SD card when I install all the US regional maps + Canada, and get rid of the National Park maps.

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P.S., turning maps off under Setup - Configure Maps doesn't allow you to access any additional maps. You need to use MapInstall to remove maps from the Oregon 600 and add in new ones.

 

I hope someone finds a work-around for the 20 map limitation, though it won't help us any on our trip.

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And, to gripe just a little more about my Oregon 600, it's no competition for my cheap old Garmin Nuvi 1350 when it comes to road navigation (Where To?), finding hotels / restaurants / gas stations, etc. The routes I create in BaseCamp are at best crude and time-consuming, versus the Nuvi's much more refined road map tracking. I would have to drive through a lot of cornfields, creeks, and people's yards if I followed one of my Garmin BaseCamp routes on my Oregon 600, even using a bunch of waypoints. So I won't be selling my Nuvi anytime soon.

 

My posts will become significantly fewer now. We're headed into the wilderness. Best wishes to those who have posted here!

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And, to gripe just a little more about my Oregon 600, it's no competition for my cheap old Garmin Nuvi 1350 when it comes to road navigation (Where To?), finding hotels / restaurants / gas stations, etc. The routes I create in BaseCamp are at best crude and time-consuming, versus the Nuvi's much more refined road map tracking. I would have to drive through a lot of cornfields, creeks, and people's yards if I followed one of my Garmin BaseCamp routes on my Oregon 600, even using a bunch of waypoints. So I won't be selling my Nuvi anytime soon.

 

My posts will become significantly fewer now. We're headed into the wilderness. Best wishes to those who have posted here!

 

Just some thoughts. Your Oregon can be used like a Nuvi if you purchase the City Navigator North America. With routable road maps, you can route along roads just like you're used to, but unlike the Nuvi 1350, you can save your routes and and insert multiple via points. I wouldn't discard your Nuvi, though, because it's certainly easier to read while driving. The Oregon's smaller screen makes using routable maps good for bicycling, but less so for driving. (note, if you ever upgrade your Nuvi, the higher end models do allow for multiple routes with multiple via points.)

 

a large SD card is useful when loading large maps. The OpenStreetMap of the entire US is almost 4GB, the City Navigator North America is also in the 2-3 GB range. You may have a 20 map limit, but you can put 20 very large maps on a 32GB card, plus use the card to store all your tracks and waypoints and geocaches. I currently use an 8GB card and don't have 20 maps on it, but the OSM US map is using most of the card. With less than 2GB left, I'm afraid I may need to get a larger card as I keep collecting maps. Then again, MapInstall used to combine all the extra maps into a single file, gmapsupp.img. Now it puts each map on the device as its own file, so adding and removing maps is as simple as deleting the .img file and dragging another from my computer (I back up all the map files to a single folder for this purpose).

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Very bad news on our Oregon 600. Day #2 on the road with the Garmin sitting in a padded case at 72 degrees in our rental car on an overcast day and the maps suddenly all disappeared, even including basic pre-installed maps. There is now only a picture of some mountains where all the maps used to be in Setup - Configure Maps. Also no satellites register on the Oregon 600, so it's completely useless as a GPS. Removing and replacing freshly charged batteries multipe times didn't help, nor did removing the SD card, nor reinserting the SD card.

 

We're on our way across the nation, presently in Minnesota, and the Garmin Oregon is dead. I don't know whether to return it to Amazon, send it to the Garmin repair center in Kansas City, or do something else. I am frustrated to have a total equipment failure so soon after leaving home, especially given all the time I spent loading maps and geocaches in and the way I babied this unit. We accomplished exactly ONE geocache find on our trip. My son and I are very disappointed in this fragile piece of equipment. It didn't even get dropped six inches once onto a soft mattress.

 

I am not sure I will buy another Garmin. F-minus for durability!

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I decided to see if Amazon Prime membership is worth my fee. I have been a frequent Amazon customer since the 1990’s and I never returned anything before. I arranged for a Garmin Oregon 600 replacement to be shipped to Cody, WY, for pick up on Wednesday. I hope the replacement arrives on time and that it works with my SD cards. Being extra careful, I made a duplicate SD card before we left home in case anything bad happened on the trip. I was thinking about a bad SD card, not a Garmin failure. Data redundancy is a good concept.

 

Now onward to Devil's Mountain, Badlands and Mt. Rushmore. Spirits are rising.

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Now just a few miles from Devil's Tower, we're hoping to make Cody, WY, tomorrow afternoon for package pickup. I don't expect it's simply a matter of swapping SD cards to get the new Garmin behaving like the old Garmin was before it stopped working.

 

Are there certain files I can copy over via USB cable from one Oregon 600 to the other to make the maps work, or do I have to go through the whole lengthy MapInstall process again? Map image files should still be intact on my Sandisk SD cards.

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I created a side topic about replacing a dead G600 device & on-the-road data recovery. I am so happy I made a backup of my SD card before leaving home, as the primary card got wiped out when our G600 died. The new G600 seems to run fine on the backup card:

 

 

Back to happy geocaching now as we enter Yellowstone National Park and head south through Grand Teton to Utah.

 

Paul, I think you'll love your G650t. Just bring plenty of batteries. I get 8-16 hours from a set of NiMH cells, depending on the brand and how many recharge cycles they've been through. I haven't started using my Eneloops yet, so maybe those will last longer.

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Paul, I think you'll love your G650t. Just bring plenty of batteries. I get 8-16 hours from a set of NiMH cells, depending on the brand and how many recharge cycles they've been through. I haven't started using my Eneloops yet, so maybe those will last longer.

 

I do semi pro photog. I have over 30 AA Eneloops :) I charged the garmin "pack" which is two AAs binded together with some plastic and put it to the side.

 

I have got some PQs Downloaded already. Just need to make some travel PQs to get the hang of it. Going up into some mountains this weekend. 8800~ Feet. Cloud croft, NM and Ruidoso, NM

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We're just out of Yellowstone and it's the first time we've had wireless access since Cody, WY... now in SE Idaho and headed for Utah. The replacement G600 worked beautifully through Yellowstone. I calibrated the barometric altimeter at various locations through our hiking / backcountry adventures and it was within 5 feet of the official USGS altitude (10,243 ft) at Mt Washburn summit. I presume multiple calibrations are better than a single calibration, however the Owner's Manual doesn't say. Does anybody know if this presumption about multiple calibrations is correct? (Nevermind that the official USGS altitudes may be incorrect due to old technology, but those altitude numbers are generally the most consistent available to the general public.)

 

On the subject of the Oregon 600's altimeter, has anybody experienced repeated G600 crashes when accessing Altitude Plot? It happened numerous times with our old G600 and also with the replacement G600. Sometimes it does nothing but crash, leaving a greyish image with random vertical bars on the screen, requiring a reboot, and other times the G600 seems to work perfectly. I haven't seen this bug described at GarminOregon6xx.wikispaces.com yet. Altitude Plot causes a 100% repeatable crash at times, and other times it only crashes once then works fine the next six or ten times. Bizarre -- I hope they fix the altitude crashing bug in the next firmware update.

 

Edited to change wikispaces.org to wikispaces.com.

Edited by WildMidwest
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We're just out of Yellowstone and it's the first time we've had wireless access since Cody, WY... now in SE Idaho and headed for Utah. The replacement G600 worked beautifully through Yellowstone. I calibrated the barometric altimeter at various locations through our hiking / backcountry adventures and it was within 5 feet of the official USGS altitude (10,243 ft) at Mt Washburn summit. I presume multiple calibrations are better than a single calibration, however the Owner's Manual doesn't say. Does anybody know if this presumption about multiple calibrations is correct? (Nevermind that the official USGS altitudes may be incorrect due to old technology, but those altitude numbers are generally the most consistent available to the general public.)

 

On the subject of the Oregon 600's altimeter, has anybody experienced repeated G600 crashes when accessing Altitude Plot? It happened numerous times with our old G600 and also with the replacement G600. Sometimes it does nothing but crash, leaving a greyish image with random vertical bars on the screen, requiring a reboot, and other times the G600 seems to work perfectly. I haven't seen this bug described at GarminOregon6xx.wikispaces.com yet. Altitude Plot causes a 100% repeatable crash at times, and other times it only crashes once then works fine the next six or ten times. Bizarre -- I hope they fix the altitude crashing bug in the next firmware update.

 

Edited to change wikispaces.org to wikispaces.com.

 

I have crashed when zooming/panning in maps on my 650T multiple times already.

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I have crashed when zooming/panning in maps on my 650T multiple times already.

 

I don't recall having any crashes zooming / panning our G600. That would be such a major flaw, if frequent, that I would probably return the device. You make me happy I didn't get the camera or the 100K maps on my Oregon. I figured this device was already complicated enough without a digital camera and all it's troubleshooting.

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I have crashed when zooming/panning in maps on my 650T multiple times already.

 

I don't recall having any crashes zooming / panning our G600. That would be such a major flaw, if frequent, that I would probably return the device. You make me happy I didn't get the camera or the 100K maps on my Oregon. I figured this device was already complicated enough without a digital camera and all it's troubleshooting.

 

The only real advantage of the 100k maps is that it comes with elevation data. It's useful for looking at the elevation profile in front of your route (behind is taken from your track/computer log). So far, I haven't come across any free maps with elevation data. Does that make it worth the extra cost? I dunno. At the time, I wasn't aware of the repository of awesome free maps, so I figured the 100k was better than the recreation base map. If I ever upgrade, I'll probably skip it.

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The altitude plot crash happens approximately two out of three times I use our G600. Curiously it didn't crash last evening or today with the negative altitude (below sea level) of Death Valley, CA.

 

Mineral, I am not sure what you mean about elevation data. GPSFileDepot 25K maps contain elevation numbers on the contour lines.

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The altitude plot crash happens approximately two out of three times I use our G600. Curiously it didn't crash last evening or today with the negative altitude (below sea level) of Death Valley, CA.

 

Mineral, I am not sure what you mean about elevation data. GPSFileDepot 25K maps contain elevation numbers on the contour lines.

 

The contour lines are just a visual layer on the map. But if you use Topo 100k or any of the 24k Topo series, the elevation data is embedded in the map itself such that you can:

Display the map in 3-d in basecamp

Get the elevation profile of your planned route in basecamp

See the elevation profile of your route *ahead* of your in your GPS.

Use the 3-d terrain feature in your GPS (this one is mostly useless and a battery hog anyway)

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry if this has been asked, but...

 

When I'm navigating to a user waypoint, for some reason the compass screen shows the distance and name of the nearest geocache instead of the waypoint I'm trying to navigate to. If I switch to automotive mode the geocache goes away but its kind of annoying if I have to constantly switch modes. Has anyone else had this problem?

 

I assume there's some setting I have to fix, but I don't know where to find it.

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Sorry if this has been asked, but...

 

When I'm navigating to a user waypoint, for some reason the compass screen shows the distance and name of the nearest geocache instead of the waypoint I'm trying to navigate to. If I switch to automotive mode the geocache goes away but its kind of annoying if I have to constantly switch modes. Has anyone else had this problem?

 

I assume there's some setting I have to fix, but I don't know where to find it.

 

You should change the dashboard so that it is not set up for geocaching. From the menu screen on the compass (the three lines) select change dashboard to something you like better. I use small data fields but you can customize it a number of ways according to your preferences.

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