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tomandsue

Purchasing a 64st. Best way to load geocaches without a premium membership?

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Ok, so after giving up on my 60cx, I have ordered a 64st. What is the best way to load geocaches onto it without a premium membership? I plan on using it with a Mac if that makes a difference.

 

thanks!

Tom

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The best way is with a premium membership. That way you get the description, hint, cache type, container size, logs, etc. The non-premium .loc files contain only a tiny fraction of the data. You can convert .loc to .gpx via GPSBabel, but there is no alchemy; it can't produce the data I listed earlier because it's just plain not there in .loc files. The $30USD/year to use your $300 GPS to its fullest is worth it.

 

Mac and 60cx worked lovely for over 10 years via GPSBabel.

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I should have been a little clearer in my post on your other thread.

 

Your two best options going forward were either:

  1. Premium membership + iCaching
  2. premium membership + new GPS

 

The premium membership is key. It lets you download GPX files directly. LOC files are not natively compatible with Garmin GPS units.

 

You can still use iCaching without a premium membership to download caches. You'll get 3 per day will full details, and 6000 with just the name and location. I believe you're limited to searching only traditional caches.

 

The death of the communicator plugins has sorta paralyzed basic members who rely on the website. But even when it was working in full, the benefits of the premium membership outweighed the $30 cost. You won't need an extra program such as iCaching to load caches, and in a single file, you can load many caches in an area at once. Try it for a year. If you don't feel the benefits, then you don't have to renew.

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Best way without a premium membership?

 

Download the individual .loc files to your computer.

Use third party software to convert the loc files to gpx files.

Copy the gpx files to the garmin/gpx folder on your gps.

 

Print the geocache pages if you need to reference any info about the geocache.

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As a Basic Member, you'll be downloading loc files from the site.

Cache title, GC Code, cache type.

No text, no hint. I don't recall if it's got D/T or not.

 

That said, the best way to download is to do 20 cache loc downloads at a time. You can do this from OLD Search, or from the "nearby caches" page on any listing. Also, from OLD Search, you can get to OLD Advanced Search, which allows you to some filtering.

 

You'll see a page of 20 caches, and all those that are not PMO will have a checkbox to the left of the cache title. Check the ones you want, then at the bottom of the page, enter the captcha text, and download.

You'll have an LOC file, somewhere on your computer -> notice where it goes ;-).... hook your gps to your computer, drag the loc file into its file folder - probably default named GPX, and within a folder called GARMIN. If your GARMIN has a memory card, put it there.

 

To get the rest of the info, text, hints, you can PRINT pages (there's still a print friendly box on each cache page, cleans up the amount of ink and space used), or just go through them and take notes. I used to get 20 - 30 caches on a single sheet of paper, back when...

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Ok, so after giving up on my 60cx, I have ordered a 64st. What is the best way to load geocaches onto it without a premium membership? I plan on using it with a Mac if that makes a difference.

 

thanks!

Tom

 

As a Basic Member you are able to download 10,000 caches/per day in Light Format (that' s similar to the .loc file) and three caches in Full Format via Groundspeak's api.

Use GSAK to connect to the api.

 

Hans

Edited by HHL

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You'll have an LOC file, somewhere on your computer -> notice where it goes ;-).... hook your gps to your computer, drag the loc file into its file folder - probably default named GPX, and within a folder called GARMIN.\

 

I don't think that'll work. I don't believe the Garmins will read a loc. They need a real GPX file. As Great Scott said, you'll need to convert them. GPSBabel will do that, but it can't make up data like difficulty, terrain, hint, container size, etc. that's not in the original. For example, gpsbabel converting a .loc to a .gpx will result in something like:

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gpx version="1.0" creator="GPSBabel - [url="http://www.gpsbabel.org"]http://www.gpsbabel.org"[/url] xmlns="http://www.topografix.com/GPX/1/0">
 <time>2017-07-02T16:44:57.830Z</time>
 <bounds minlat="35.972033333" minlon="-87.134700000" maxlat="36.112183333" maxlon="-86.620116667"/>
 <wpt lat="35.972033333" lon="-87.134700000">
   <ele>0.000000</ele>
   <name>GCEBB</name>
   <cmt>Mountain Bike Heaven by susy1313</cmt>
   <desc>Mountain Bike Heaven by susy1313</desc>
   <url>http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=3771</url>
   <urlname>Cache Details</urlname>
   <sym>geocache</sym>
 </wpt>

Observe that it's a pretty mechanical translation of what's in the .loc


<?xml version="1.0"?><loc version="1.0" src="EasyGPS">
 <waypoint>
 <name id="GCEBB"><![CDATA[Mountain Bike Heaven by susy1313]]></name>
 <coord lat="35.972033" lon="-87.134700"/>
 <type>geocache</type>
 <link text ="Cache Details">http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=3771</link>
</waypoint>

 

Not everthing that GPSBabel does is terribly hard. :-)

 

Even that may not be enough information to trigger "geocaching mode" on the unit, but it at least should show up as a named waypoint.

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On 6/22/2017 at 11:17 AM, tomandsue said:

Ok, so after giving up on my 60cx, I have ordered a 64st. What is the best way to load geocaches onto it without a premium membership? I plan on using it with a Mac if that makes a difference.

 

thanks!

Tom

 

Return the 64ST and get a 64S. Load it with free OSM mapping and use the money you save to pay for 2-3 years of premium membership.

Edited by fishgeek

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