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Robmac123

Garmin Monterra help with loading GPX files and generating them on the Monterra

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I'm just getting to grips with my new Monterra. I have been struggling with several things, but have worked out most of them now. I'm still struggling with GPX files.

 

Initially I could not access any of the internal files/folders on the Monterra to drag/drop my GPX files, other than the DCIM pictures folder (like on a smartphone). I added a micro SD card to try loading my GPX files onto the SD instead on the Monterra itself, and now I can access both the Monterra and the SD card fully from my PC via the USB lead. Weird ! Anyhow, it seems OK now so I'll just leave an SD card in it, whether I need to use it or not.

Incidentally, I also found that I can't drag/drop or copy/paste the GPX files to the Monterra from the download window they appear in from the geocaching website. They just will not copy, and I get the red 'no entry' sign when I try.I have to drag them to my desktop first, and then the Monterra will accept them dragged, or pasted.

 

Just to back up a bit, I recently lost my Garmin Montana and replaced it with the Monterra. The main draw of the Monterra for me was being able to generate and load in PQ's while out and about (subject to finding WIFI). I rarely use my PC these days, and found all I was using it for was to put my PQ's onto my old Montana. Firing up the PC just to do that seemed like something I could avoid with the Monterra, but it's not as easy as I thought.

 

I downloaded the C:Geo app, and the app they call Pocket Query Generator (I think it's made by C:Geo as an addition to their C:Geo app). Now I have managed to generate the GPX files on the Monterra from the Generator app I have had an issue where all the caches appear but the previous logs are all blank on every cache (when you slide the screen left from the cache page to the Logs page).

It seems that if I produce a pocket query from the pocket query generator app on the Monterra and use winzip to unzip it and then copy it to the Garmin/GPX directory using android file manager (more steps there than I imagined I would need to do this!) then all caches previous logs are missing. If I download the GPX files on my PC and drag and drop them into the Garmin/GPX folder I do get the previous logs on each cache. I haven't tested this extensively, copying from PC vs generating on the Monterra, but it seems to be the case.

I can only assume the PQ Generator app is not generating the previous logs, or maybe the previous log fields in the GPX file are being misplaced/deleted by the winzip app ????

 

My questions are:

 

Is there better way to generate my PQ GPX files on the Monterra to avoid firing up my PC ? (I saw Cachesense app got mentioned when I googled this) I'd love to find an app that can generate them already unzipped and place them in the Garmin/GPX folder to avoid all the messing with different android apps to unzip and copy them across to the correct place (I'm not familiar with android, I usually use apple stuff - for my sins)

I imagined that Garmin would have a slick process for this on the Monterra. My previous experience with newish Garmin products should have told me otherwise.

 

Has anyone else had the missing previous logs issue on the Monterra and could shed any light on what is happening ?

 

To avoid 3rd party apps and issues they seem to have introduced, I looked at using the Official Geocaching android app on the Monterra to generate my PQ's. As far as I can see the official app can't do this. Can anyone confirm this ?

 

Lastly, If anyone has found a slick way of logging their cache finds from the Monterra I'd love to know how. I have managed to email the geocachevisits text file from the unit, but then I need to use the PC again (cant see any way of using the geocachevisits file i emailed to myself on my ipad to log finds). The other way I can see is to log the finds on the official Geocache app, C:Geo or Cachesense apps on the Monterra then upload them from the app once I have wifi. This seems it would work, but then I have to use both the native garmin app to find a cache and then find the same cache using C:Geo/Cachesense to log it. That just seems like a lot of duplicated effort. It would be great to use the garmin generated geocachevisits file rather than duplicate everything.

 

I appreciate I'm asking a lot of questions, but I'd really appreciate any tips from people using the Monterra who might have found slicker ways that I have dreamt up.

My solution seems to involve an app to generate the PQ's, another to unzip them, another app to copy them to the GPX folder, the Garmin app to navigate to and find the cache, a geocaching app to look up the same cache I just found and then log the find. There must be a better way !!

 

If I have to resort to doing the PQ's on my PC and copying the geocachevisits file back to the PC to log finds then the Monterra is doing nothing my Montana could do (in terms of caching anyway).

Edited by Robmac123

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Can you run a web browser on the Monterra? If so, use that for some of the operations that the PC might do. I used a free file manager App when testing some ideas (moving cache files between Android and a non-wifi Garmin GPSr). Some issues are that not everything on the web site works on a browser App, and the teeny screen will be kind of a pain to navigate a web site.

 

This post that mentions a somewhat inexpensive and portable Windows Tablet may be worth a look. Plug in the GPSr (most any Garmin, in case you ever change GPSr models), and perform all the necessary actions without the desktop PC.

 

If you come up with a decent process, post it.

Edited by kunarion

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If you put CacheSense or c:geo on there, why not just use them to do the navigating, too? That would simplify things.

 

With CacheSense on my phone, I can save a GPX to any folder on the phone, including saving to the Garmin when it's tethered via USB cable so I'm sure you could output directly to the Garmin/GPX folder on the Monterra.

 

I have done this a couple times while traveling, and I like that I can tell the app to capture more than the 5 logs that a PQ will get.

Edited by JohnCNA

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Thank you for the input.

The main reason I didn't plan on using the mapping in Cachesense or C:geo is that the monterra has no 3G/4G, so I would be relying on the small map areas that I understand you can download into these apps along with the cache information. I've used Cachesense on an android phone and it worked fine, as I could get live mapping via the 3G. I have some good maps and Birdseye Satelite imaging in the Garmin side of the GPS.

The maps sections you get in Cachesense are probably ok just to cache with, as you'd presumably be looking for the cache in the close vicinity of it's location, but If I am, say, hiking on a trail finding caches, I want to have track logging, elevation contours and caches all in one place.

In C:geo you can search for a cache from the downloaded database, select it, then tell it to navigate to that cache in an external app (ie the garmin maps app). I though this would be a great hybrid solution (using CGeo to look up nearby caches and log the finds, but push the cache out to the garmin maps app to actually find it) but unfortunately the location output from Cgeo doesn't seem to be understood by the Garmin app as it says 'location not found'. dadgum!

 

If I'm missing something on the offline mapping in Cachesense or Cgeo please let me know, as I'm not that familiar with them.

 

There must be a logical way to get GPX files in and geocache_visits files out without a PC.

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Thank you for the input.

The main reason I didn't plan on using the mapping in Cachesense or C:geo is that the monterra has no 3G/4G, so I would be relying on the small map areas that I understand you can download into these apps along with the cache information. I've used Cachesense on an android phone and it worked fine, as I could get live mapping via the 3G. I have some good maps and Birdseye Satelite imaging in the Garmin side of the GPS.

The maps sections you get in Cachesense are probably ok just to cache with, as you'd presumably be looking for the cache in the close vicinity of it's location, but If I am, say, hiking on a trail finding caches, I want to have track logging, elevation contours and caches all in one place.

There is a way to download offline maps in both apps. I still prefer navigating with my Garmin for the same reasons as you mention. I use CacheSense mostly for reading descriptions and logs and posting field notes from the field. And on rare occasions, send GPX or PQ to the Garmin in the field. Combining both devices into one like the Monterra sounded pretty interesting to me, too.

In C:geo you can search for a cache from the downloaded database, select it, then tell it to navigate to that cache in an external app (ie the garmin maps app). I though this would be a great hybrid solution (using CGeo to look up nearby caches and log the finds, but push the cache out to the garmin maps app to actually find it) but unfortunately the location output from Cgeo doesn't seem to be understood by the Garmin app as it says 'location not found'. dadgum!

That's a pretty cool feature of CacheSense, too. Tap the compass icon and select Driving Directions instead of Map/Compass/Radar and it passes the coordinates to the Google Navigation app. I know both apps will search online and then you can save out to a GPX file. You should be able to save the GPX to a folder that the Garmin software would recognize.

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Yeah, I have the same issues.

Right now I tend to find the caches with my monterra and then log them on the phone.

I found out convenient ways though to get the pocket queries in though.

At First I downloaded the pocket queries from Geocaching.com but they only have 5 logs attached. Sometimes with tricky caches I tend to cheat and read the logs for tips on how to find them.

I solved it by using Locus Maps Pro, sure it is not freeware but bar none the best map app I have seen on Android. In there you can both use the app as a geocache app but also export into many formats. So I downloaded the caches in the area where I do my geocaching and then chose to export them. I exported them right to the GPX-folder and then selected settings->apps-manager->Garmin Outdoor Apps and then press force close to index the GPX file without having to restart the device. Bam! They show up in my geocaching app on the monterra and with the extended descriptions.

 

You can do the same thing with the C:Geo app as someone stated earlier but with more work. I am not sure about the extended descriptions but someone probably know if it is possible.

 

I would also like to see what is the easiest way to log the caches. The obvious ways right now is to either copy the geocache_visits.txt file from the device to a computer and then upload to geocaching.com. That is just annoying because of the use of a cable. An easier way is to mail the file but even that is annoying. I would like to see an app with just that function. Hmm, I will ask the Locus guys to implement such a function.

 

Any ideas on how to transmit the visited file with the fewest clicks would be appreciated.

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I've spent a little time testing and I have established a workflow that allows me to download Pocket Queries, find caches and then log my finds on my iPad once I'm home. All from within the Monterra - No cables in sight !! It seems a bit contreived but, once you get used to it, it works fine and is quite usable. Garmin really need to implement an app to do the steps I have used 3rd party apps to do. Then the Monterra would actually be a useful WiFi caching device. I feel that I have (once again) done Garmin's testing and development, even though the Monterra is hardly a new device by this stage.

 

Anyhow, I thought this might be useful to other people who are struggling with the Moneterra. I'm sure you could fine tune the process, or use different apps maybe, but this is proven to Work:

 

Apps you will need:

Pocket Query Generator (made by C:Geo, although it seems to stand-alone, so you don't need the C:Geo app itself if you don't have another use for it)

 

Firefox Web Browser (or similar browser that allows you to attach files from the Monterra via a webpage) Note - Chrome browser would not let me do this so I tested Firefox and it worked. I didn't try others.

 

Winzip (Possibly other android unzipping app, but I know this one works)

 

File manager App

 

Step 1 - Downloading PQ into Monterra

Open the Pocket Query Generator app and click the refresh symbol to update your PQ's ready for download. Click the PQ(s) you want and then the Download symbol at the top right. Wait for the download and the message to tell you where it is located. It goes into the sdcard/Download folder by default (note - SDcard is the name that the apps seem to give to the internal storage of the Monterra, it is not actually copying the files to my installed SD card)

Click OK and close the PQ Generator app, or just click the Home button.

 

Step 2 - Unzipping and Copying the PQ into the Garmin/GPX folder

Open WinZip app, browse to the zipped PQ(s) in the sdcard/Downloads folder. Click on the PQ once and click UnZip at the bottom. Then browse to the sdcard/Garmin/GPX folder (Note - there is a gpx (lower case) folder in the main drive of the Monterra, you need the GPX (capitals) folder insode the Garmin folder or it won't work) and click 'unzip here' at the bottom of the screen. This places the unipped GPX files into the Garmin GPX folder, but it seems to put them in a folder within the GPX folder, where they are not read by the device. There may be away to change this in the winzip app, but I just browse to the unzipped GPX files with Winzip again, select both files, click copy, then browse to the garmin/GPX folder and select 'paste'. you can then delete the folder winzip originlly put them in, just for the sake of tidyness. You can browse to the sdcard/Downloads folder and delete the zipped PQ also, although you don't have to, as you can see the date stamp on these files and select the newest one next time you do it.

Note - If you are just updating a PQ that already exists in garmin/GPX with a newer version then winzip will ask you if you want to over-write the existing. I have found that if you say Yes it says 'caclulating file size' and then locks up. To avoid this i go into the Garmin/GPX folder using Winzip and delete the old file beofer I unzip and copy the new one in.

 

Step 3 - reading in the PQ GPX Files

I have found the only sure-fire way to bring in the new caches is to power off and back on the Monterra. You can close the Garmin Outdoor app and re-open it, but then the previous logs seem to be missing from every cache. Rather than spend time bottoming out a better way I propose just to power cycle the unit.

 

Step 4 - Finding caches

I just use the Garmin outdoor app to look up, select and find caches. I then log my finds on the Garmin app also, and this creates a geocache_visits.txt file, just as it would on any other Garmin GPS I've used. The only downside to this, vs using a 3rd party Geocaching app such as the Official App, C:geo or Cachesense, seems to be that you can only create a basic text log, and can't add pictures or log Travelbugs. (even though the Monterra has a Camera - come on Garmin, really, you need to ditch Opencaching, shake hands with Geocachin.com, catch up with the 3rd party apps and get these features in your own Outdoor app so integrates with the unit ! The Monterra is only a part-solution as it stands) If I want to log pics and TB's I can always log them using C:Geo and upload the logs once I'm back on wifi.

 

Step 5 - Once home, or somewhere on WiFi, uploading field notes

The only way I can see to get the geocache_visits file uploaded to geoaching.com without using a PC and cable is via a web browser. Chrome will not seem to allow you to attach the file, so I use Firefox. you don't really have to use Firefox for anything else. I just opened it and navigated to the upload field notes page at geocaching.com then made a shortcut to this page on the main screen on the Monterra. As the shortcut to that page was made using Firefox it always opens using Firefox - perfect ! Assuming you make the shortcut, just click on this, click the 'attach file' button (you will have to pinch to zoom in and find it unless your eyesight is better than mine). It will ask you what app you want to use to browse and attach, select File Manager and browse to sdcard/Garmin folder and select the geocache_visits file. Then click 'upload field note' and wait for the message confirming how many field notes are uploaded.

I now use my iPad to go to geocaching.com at my leisure to complete the field notes. I tend to just type abbreviated logs on the Monterra, so the option to amend or elaborate them before sending works for me. You could actually complete and submit the field notes on the web browser on the Monterra, but the screen is too small for me to do this.

 

If anyone finds better ways or shortcuts to this process I'd love to hear them. I'm still learning my way around Android in general. I just wanted to get this out there as a working solution as I couldn't find any other wifi based process documented anywhere, and Garmin support really didn't know how to advise on this.

 

If Garmin could/would bring their Outdoor app for the Montana up to the level of functionality of the 3rd party android apps the Monterra would be a great caching unit. The hardware is great, has Wifi, decent camera, even a torch!, everything I need, but the software is once again their let-down. If they sell a wifi GPS which has Geocaching functionality then they really need to complete the loop and make their caching software fully functional.

I, naively, thought that I would have the functionality above out of the box.

 

Happy caching !

Edited by Robmac123

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That's pretty sweet! The process you're using is about what I'd expect, without some App to combine functions. There are automation Apps that run other Apps, and even run actions within those Apps. And they can be set to act at certain locations (such as when you're back home and therefore can connect to the Internet). Maybe your field notes could be uploaded automatically.

 

Garmin has its own form of "Geocaching", called "Opencaching", so if that company makes Apps that streamline things, I'd expect it would work mainly with Opencaching.

 

The idea to turn off the Monterra to get it to recognize a PQ database is similar to the way previous GPSrs work -- load those through USB, unplug, and the GPSr "turns off then on". Maybe a future update on the Monterra will eliminate the off/on thing.

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I am looking into the possibility to make an Android app with just the purpose of uploading a geocache_visited.txt file to geocaching.com.

I was thinking just setting up login credentials and then have a button, preferably a widget that will just upload your file.

 

As I work as a PHP/Obj-C developer and only on the Apple platform I am totally new to the Android world I give no guarantees that I will ever accomplish this given I have very little free time to work on it. I will give it a shot though. It would be fun to see how Android does things.

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I'll be looking forward to that app Arogen :-)

I wouldn't know where to start with something like that.

 

Yeah, it looks like it won't happen now. Geocaching.com does not accept any more API applications. I'm guessing people prefer to not buy their expensive app and this is an attempt to force people to use their app.

Sure I could hack it by using the webpages but it will be slower and, well just sloppy.

 

These things make me really annoyed and makes me want to support open source even more. Why should I help a company for free that won't help it's users?

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Hi, there is a pretty simple way to download GPX-files from Geocaching.com to the Monterra.

The apps you need: Pocket Query Creator (PQC) and 7-Zip for Android.

On your Monterra:

Make your pocketquery in PQC and have it downloaded to your Download directory on the Monterra

Start 7-Zip and have the files unzipped directly to your Internal Storage/Garmin/GPX-directory.

 

Works fine on my Monterra.

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2019 : CGEO, Cachly, Geocaching, Geosphere - not one of them are available

Geocaching buddies - eeehhh , does not have much to work with, very basic.

Geocaching App preloaded on Garmin Monterra shipped as is, same...

none of them have the attributes.

 

Have not found anything to run on android system, unless it is a phone !

 

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=GEOCACHING+ATTRIBUTES&c=apps&androidId=117248039764560150127

Edited by K-and-K
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Attributes are not standard in GPX files, but GSAK - in combination with the GarminExport macro - can add them as the first log in the log section.

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The small market size makes it hard to attract and keep independent developers of apps. Unfortunately for the hobby, when Groundspeak replaced the API (the way the apps communicate with the site) without compatibility, many developers were faced with costly reworks for which they wouldn't recoup costs and just shuttered the apps. My phone has several dead (and paid-for :-( ) apps. 

Anything using the API can get to attributes, I think, but some ten years later, the attribute data just isn't in a PQ, as I recall. Whether that's out of caution to protect apps that don't follow decent XML handling of ignoring unknown attributes, an inability to sufficiently version the produced PQs, or just attributes not catching on (cause or effect?) we'll never know.  The weird three-state nature of them made them hard to work with.

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Whaaaattttt ! no way!

 

Show me how ! :rolleyes:

 

StefandD

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Attributes are not standard in GPX files, but GSAK - in combination with the GarminExport macro - can add them as the first log in the log section.

Edited by K-and-K

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I Got it !

Figured it out on my own, I am the smart !

Thanks for the posts, I followed the links and learned a lot.

 

Even the webrowser on the unit is now out of date and does not function well.

Edited by K-and-K

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And then I was dumb, wait I'm smart again.

So 2015, its now closing to 2020, why am I wasting my time you read? , and why am I wasting yours ??

 

Read on and you will see.

 

- My first advice : Do not overload your device with crap, Skype worked great but added another account which slowed down the device. Adding other stuff such as survival apps seemed like a pretty good idea, probably a total of 20 or so were eventually installed when we were done. Simply to test out the device's capabilities if we liked it, we treated it like a cell phone with no service fees. Deleted some that didn't work, then just before I uninstalled half of them the unit simply crashed.

- There are very few apps that work now at this time being for this device as, and a lot of other convenient apps that ended up crashing after the device was filled, I had to finally reset the unit which meant re-installing everything, but I wanted it to work completely off grid.  And that's when I remembered the saying "keep it simple stupid" (KISS), its just a GPS, and that's its purpose. So after installing the Garmin North American maps and updates ect... I had to do it all over again. Unfortunately the preinstalled device and android apps all get updated too, Knowing now those updates which were the last to work on the device are also simply no longer functional. Not a surprise as it appears 3 months must be the maximum lifespan of a download, before it requires another update.  When is this madness going to stop.

- I looked to Geocaching website for its genuine geocaching apps, to which none will work anymore as the obsolete Android O/S is below 4.1 (4.0.4 current). Such a shame. The preloaded Garmin Geocaching app may or may not work to your liking, but if you treat it more like the Nuvi or less like a GPSmap series it can be still an awesome device. Just know that you may need to scroll virtually to the edge of the world and zoom into the less than 2km radius of your liking to get the presto remarkable feeling we all look to achieve. I can click on them on the map but they still did not appear in the generic geocaching garmin app preloaded to the device.

- I have GSAK and Basecamp, but prefer the drop method too, as the device is only seen as a USB connection without a drive letter I can only assume using it while plugged in may also corrupt the drive due to O/S's fighting each another competing to access certain folders at the same time.  It does not truly shutdown when you unplug it like the GPSmap series. However the real reason I wanted all the bells and whistles with this touch screen series was the fact you can mount the device in a cradle that has robust terminals unlike the delicate micro USB updating cable. Let it be known that those serial hardware wires thru the AMPS rugged mounts are also not for that purpose, Bluetooth and Wifi were the last options.

- I found all the geocaching apps that can be installed today, are crap. Attributes are not added, pictures and maps are not supported and lets face it the smart phone simply beat it up. The price value for this image.png.2625b24b07f1a12214ea2c88be7944a3.png Deorean simply dropped exponentially on the day it was released, and folks stupid enough like me to get the Kijiji experience , eBay everything for it, before its really gone for good. All to find out just to get what they were not expecting was a lot of work.  So many promises on the outside, but hard to get it to run on the inside.  You need a lot of spare time and resources. But in the end I will continue this note because I am still pleased with it as a GPSmap series replacement.

- C:Geo sent me a download and it worked awesome, but because so much has changed it will not connect to the server as it is out dated, but I was told that would happen.

- GSAK and the geocaching's garmin express download procedure only allows single files so far. Groups that are zipped... good luck at trying to unzip them without a computer connected to it. One worked and the other may or may not work for you. I eventually got both, but not the way I wanted it to. I used GSAK to add attributes to a log entry as a log entry using the MACRO function , re-saved or exported onto the desktop. I then installed the only operation that was able to allow me to download that file onto my device without cables. other than sending it to myself in a email I used Googles cloud using an app called Google Drive and it's all free and supported by google , so no 3rd parties, no paying websites whom might have sketchy software. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs

- Thanks to StephanD I was able to work out the bugs for our trip where our purchased maps don't cover every square inch of the planet. And was able to add those attributes to the cache log entries a month in advance before we travel. Nothing better then having to travel in an unknown country, language barrier, no attributes, no phone communication, no pictures, minimal log entries, no web access and no maps, then expect to find a nano in a storm drain of a 3 world country. Fun, fun, fun.

 

 

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