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Release Notes (Website: Downloading caches to GPS devices) - August 28, 2018

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2 hours ago, jean1955 said:

I think I'm missing something. Where has it been discussed for at least 2 years that this change was going to be made? Is there something on the website that I should be reading?

 

Release Notes: are a good place to start.  "Send To GPS" going away was mentioned in a  Release Note: 

 

They will announce a change in "Release Notes". Be warned, however. There will be no notice when something breaks and that it's to be fixed after “at least 2 years”. The notice happens at about the time of the fix. And some things are broken to this day, no Note, nobody knows when they may be fixed.

 

But there's a bigger issue.  Your computer and its software tell you that updates need to occur.  You need to keep your Internet-connected computer updated, and if you did, security risks may cease to function.  That's the whole point of patching security risks.  It's annoying to lose the convenience, but technology changes all the time.  You can to this day load some of the oldest GPS devices, but if that's what you wish to do, you must be willing and able to make the change.

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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4 hours ago, Ewe&Me said:

My heart goes out to all the seniors who are unable to load geocaches in to their GPS. I too have not figured how it works for my Garmin eTrex20 since the changes.  I’ll keep trying but for now I load them manually just so we can keep geocaching.  

 

It would be a shame for older folks to have to give up their favourite sport because it really is a great way to combine exercise, fresh air and a hobby! 

 

Thanks to those who have tried their best to explain the new process.  

 

As a senior, I have been using Pocket Queries, Garmin POI loader, and the GSAK macro for ten years.  So, not all seniors are having this problem.

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2 minutes ago, jean1955 said:

ok....dummy me...where do I find "Release Notes"

You just did. :grin:

 

This is a Release Notes discussion in the Release Notes sub-forum.

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I only found it thru an e-mail that geocaching sent me. But, in looking around, I found it myself too.....so, thank you.

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When we download geocaches (by using pocket query, List or gpx) the description, hint, and recent logs don't download.

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14 minutes ago, Al81 said:

When we download geocaches (by using pocket query, List or gpx) the description, hint, and recent logs don't download.

You apparently just downloaded the PQ's preview which is a loc file and lack the items you've mentioned.

After selecting a day to run the PQ you will get an email with a link to download the complete PQ.

You may also go to your PQ site:

https://www.geocaching.com/pocket/#DownloadablePQs

Click on the desired PQ name and the download will start immediately.

 

Hans

Edited by HHL

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On 10/24/2018 at 7:42 AM, Ewe&Me said:

My heart goes out to all the seniors who are unable to load geocaches in to their GPS. I too have not figured how it works for my Garmin eTrex20 since the changes.  I’ll keep trying but for now I load them manually just so we can keep geocaching.  

 

It would be a shame for older folks to have to give up their favourite sport because it really is a great way to combine exercise, fresh air and a hobby! 

 

Thanks to those who have tried their best to explain the new process.  

The Garmin eTrex 20 was always able to load GPX files directly. The removal of the button only affects those using legacy GPX devices that predate direct GPX file support and mass storage mode. In the Garmin universe, that's the eTrex Legend and Vista lines and the GPSMAP60 line and anything released prior to any of those models. Basically, any GPS that garmin released prior to 2008. I know those users exist, but at this point they're kind of an endangered species (kinda like the endangered population of those who still insist on using Windows XP as their primary operating system).

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On ‎8‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 11:32 PM, Go Play Outside said:

I would like to speak up for my parents Oldsters Go Play Outside who like "fraager" above are 80 years old and like "horseshoechamp" above have older GPSs that cannot accept a GPX download file directly.

 

This change has completely blocked my parent’s ability to geocache as they have for the last 14 years.

 

They have 4 different Garmin GPSMap 60 series devices that they have accumulated over the years and have found over 10,000 caches, all of which were individually loaded (and in to separate GPSs) using the "Send to GPS" feature of the website.

My parent’s computer literacy is very limited, compounded by my father’s recent and inexorable decent into Alzheimer/dementia.  My parents learned how to use the internet and email in the last 15 years just to Geocache after we introduced them to the sport.  Geocaching is their main source of physical activity and recreation.  
I moved them off of Firefox last year on to their old Internet Explorer to allow them to continue using Sent to GPS when that stopped working.

 

My parents bought a new GPS a couple of years ago, a GPSmap 62 but the new navigation and menu system completely stymied them and I ended up exchanging my 60CS with them so they could continue using an user interface they were familiar and comfortable with.  Changing to a new GPS compatible with GPX files is not only expensive but in their case not practical.
As for using a desktop program as an intermediate, I have used GSAK for a decade or more and I know that my Mom will not be able to use it or likely any of the other GPX management programs without constant assistance.

 

When my Mom called this evening to ask for help when the Send To GPS button disappeared I offered to load up all the caches in the city they are travelling to tomorrow using GSAK remotely on their computer but bulk uploads are not practical either.
As I said, they are both 80 and the caches they can do these days are limited. And those limitations are not just defined by the Terrain rating.  
My Mom carefully reads every potential cache including logs, attributes, and D/T ratings to decide if they could or should try to go after it.  Only then does she load it into the 2 or 3 GPSs they usually use.  One for each of them and a spare in case one does not work properly (like I said, the GPSs are old too).  She then prints out the cache page for reference and to make notes on.

 

Because of this a bulk download of caches in an area would just add a lot of unwanted caches to their GPS and make it confusing and difficult to navigate cache to cache.

They like to go on caching trips out of town and with a limit of 500 waypoint storage, bulk downloads are often not practical way to load the GPS anyway.
 

The only solution I can think of so far is a scripted or automatic way of passing a downloaded GPX straight to a connected GPS without user intervention but I can’t see a way to do that yet.
Failing that, this change that has been made that is supposed to remove a feature that was getting little use is going to have a huge effect on my parents and I can’t imagine they are alone in this. 

 

My father has lost the ability to read, he is almost deaf (has been for decades) but can no longer read subtitles on TV and his remaining forms of entertainment and passing the time are getting very limited.  Geocaching is the one thing he wants to do to alleviate the boredom and this may be being taken away from him as well.
I know this may seem like a unique and limited use case but it affects us and I imagine others as well.

 

I hope there is a solution but I can’t see one yet.
Lee

 

Edit: update, just talked to my Mom again and she says that she is too old to learn a new GPS or new software.  If I can't find a seamless transparent way to load caches on their GPS then they are done caching, which would be heart-breaking for them

 

 

This is one reason exactly why, and all software development organizations should know this, you enhance or create new features without ending or preventing existing functionality from working.  What was two clicks for me to load a 'cache is now seven clicks, a drag and drop and another two clicks to close opened windows.  A pain, but at least I can keep 'caching... :)

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On ‎10‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 7:44 PM, Mineral2 said:

The Garmin eTrex 20 was always able to load GPX files directly. The removal of the button only affects those using legacy GPX devices that predate direct GPX file support and mass storage mode. In the Garmin universe, that's the eTrex Legend and Vista lines and the GPSMAP60 line and anything released prior to any of those models. Basically, any GPS that garmin released prior to 2008. I know those users exist, but at this point they're kind of an endangered species (kinda like the endangered population of those who still insist on using Windows XP as their primary operating system).

 

Sure, there may be few of us, but why kill us off?  The introduction enhanced or improved features for the new could have been done without affecting the old.  (And XP still really is the best OS of all time... ;) )

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16 minutes ago, $cammer said:

 

This is one reason exactly why, and all software development organizations should know this, you enhance or create new features without ending or preventing existing functionality from working. 

You realize the plugin support was dropped for security reasons, do you? Do you really want to continue using unsecure technology? It's too bad that some people will not be able to adjust to the change but it had to be made, in fact it was long overdue.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, on4bam said:

It's too bad that some people will not be able to adjust to the change

Everyone can adjust to change. Some people are unwilling.

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4 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

Everyone can adjust to change.

 

No, as eloquently stated by Go Play Outside, and re-quoted for convenience just a few posts above.

 

People with dementia, seniors often, cannot learn new things.  My dear mother forgot how to make coffee, something she used to do every day. I tried to teach her how to use a microwave oven to reheat meals-on-wheels. There are a lot of steps when writing that down as a procedure, and sadly she couldn't manage it.

 

We can't fix dementia, but the more logical/clean/simple a user interface, the better the odds that someone suffering from it can still manage.

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how can I transfer a pocket query to my GPS (transfer in bulk). If this is not possible, the Pocket queries have no use for me. some time ago whenever I created a PQ,  I received a mail with the pocket query attached (GPC file) and I could download the query as whole (1 file) to my computer (MAC). afterwards it was easy to transfer that one file to my GPS (Garmin Etrex 30) and 1000 caches were uploaded  immediately. Now it seems to be not possible anymore.

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23 minutes ago, lowie14 said:

how can I transfer a pocket query to my GPS (transfer in bulk). If this is not possible, the Pocket queries have no use for me. some time ago whenever I created a PQ,  I received a mail with the pocket query attached (GPC file) and I could download the query as whole (1 file) to my computer (MAC). afterwards it was easy to transfer that one file to my GPS (Garmin Etrex 30) and 1000 caches were uploaded  immediately. Now it seems to be not possible anymore.

 

The process for transferring PQs hasn't changed. After you've run a PQ you'll get an email containing a link to a zip file. Download that file, unzip the two GPX files (one for the caches and the other for any waypoints) from it and copy them to the Garmin\GPX folder on your Etrex 30.

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30 minutes ago, lowie14 said:

Some time ago whenever I created a PQ,  I received a mail with the pocket query attached (GPC file) and I could download the query as whole (1 file) to my computer (MAC). Afterwards it was easy to transfer that one file to my GPS (Garmin Etrex 30) and 1000 caches were uploaded  immediately. Now it seems to be not possible any more.

Your issue is off topic for this Release Note thread.

Anyway: You still got an email but nowadays it contains a download link instead of an attached file. Hit the link and the PQ will download immediately.

Edited by HHL
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On 10/24/2018 at 4:42 PM, Ewe&Me said:

My heart goes out to all the seniors who are unable to load geocaches in to their GPS. I too have not figured how it works for my Garmin eTrex20 since the changes.  I’ll keep trying but for now I load them manually just so we can keep geocaching.  

 

It would be a shame for older folks to have to give up their favourite sport because it really is a great way to combine exercise, fresh air and a hobby! 

 

Thanks to those who have tried their best to explain the new process.  

 

Hmm, what do you mean by "manually"? The etrex 20 is new enough to be used as flash device, so you "just" download the gpx file to the GPS and that's it. I think it's just one click more than with the plugin. And you even can create lists and send the whole list to the GPS. OR create pocket queries which in my eyes is the best option.

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On 9/11/2018 at 2:55 PM, Fah-Troop said:

I too struggled with the lose of the send to GPS function and it took a few times to get the correct procedure.  on the garmin GPSMAP64 once you go to the download and it asks run save or cancel, you need to click the save button and go to save as then be sure it's going to the garmin and open the GPX file folder.  then  it should show up like all the other caches that were downloaded with the go to GPS button, hope this helps.  A lot better then creating a list and then transferring that list from/to the computer then  to the GPS.

 

Sorry, I don't think saving every single cache as a file is the best idea ;) Your GPS supports so many caches that you'd better go for pocket queries ;)

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On 10/25/2018 at 7:29 PM, Al81 said:

When we download geocaches (by using pocket query, List or gpx) the description, hint, and recent logs don't download.

 

Not enough info... If you check the files they DO have the info you're talking about! So you either have a GPS that isn't capable of showing this info or you're using some weird way to send these files to your GPS.

So please, if you want to solve this, get us some more info regarding what EXACTLY you're doing!

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If I did correctly add some geocaches to my Garmin eTrex20 where on the gps would I look for it?  I don’t use maps on my gps.  In the past when out searching for caches I would go to Geocaches, choose one and it goes to the basic map, then click Go and go to Compass.  

Now with the changes and my inability to figure out how to get geocaches from my laptop to my Garmin I manually enter the coordinates under Waypoints - time consuming but at least we can continue to geocache!  

The laptop does indicate that I have moved a file to the gps but I can’t find it.  

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16 minutes ago, Ewe&Me said:

If I did correctly add some geocaches to my Garmin eTrex20 where on the gps would I look for it?

It would be under geocaches. The eTrex 20 has a separate geocaching section/app where you can search for installed geocaches and read the description and hint etc. This is assuming that you put the GPX file in the GPX folder on the GPS.

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I haven’t found anything new under geocaches.  Every once in a while I go back at it and try something new but still without success.  I won’t give up!  Right now my biggest problem is that I don’t understand GPX files enough to ask an intelligent question in this entirely new to me process.  

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Question 1: Are the geocaches that you are loading near your current location? To keep the devices operating quickly and smoothly, Garmin limits the list to caches within a certain radius from your location, usually around 100 miles. If you're loading caches farther out, they may not appear in your list.

Question 2: Do you have any filters active? It's possible that no caches are being displayed because they are being filtered from view. Check your geocaching filters and make sure it is set to "Show All."

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30 minutes ago, Mineral2 said:

It would be under geocaches. The eTrex 20 has a separate geocaching section/app where you can search for installed geocaches and read the description and hint etc. This is assuming that you put the GPX file in the GPX folder on the GPS.

 

You need to be precise: The folder's name is \Garmin\GPX

 

And the files just need to be stored there. That's it!

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I’ve never had a problem until we lost the ‘send to gps’ function.  But yes, the geocaches are all fairly close to home.  I doubt that I would have any filters active.  I’m not a Premium member so i’ve never downloaded lists or used filters.  Previously it was never a problem to download many geocaches individually and quickly.  I know, I know - many of you are rolling your eyes!  😂 

I’m sure this entire problem is due to me not knowing how to handle gpx files.  I will ask more direct questions as I play with it some more!

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Thanks to all who have replied and tried to help this old dog learn new tricks!  I have no doubt that eventually I’ll get there!

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3 hours ago, Ewe&Me said:

If I did correctly add some geocaches to my Garmin eTrex20 where on the gps would I look for it?  I don’t use maps on my gps.  In the past when out searching for caches I would go to Geocaches, choose one and it goes to the basic map, then click Go and go to Compass.  

Now with the changes and my inability to figure out how to get geocaches from my laptop to my Garmin I manually enter the coordinates under Waypoints - time consuming but at least we can continue to geocache!  

The laptop does indicate that I have moved a file to the gps but I can’t find it.  

 

It's a process that you would never guess.  It's strange, not intuitive at all.  You have to follow steps.  But it's actually pretty easy to place one GPX file from a cache page.  It's a breeze to place a bunch of selected caches using "Send To Garmin", but requires some setup first.  And Pocket Queries are also pretty crazy, but with practice, not so bad.  Handheld GPSs are all manually loaded (except for the latest models).  I just spend a few minutes the day before a cache run, and load caches.

 

As mentioned, place a GPX file into the Garmin's "Garmin/GPX" folder.  There may be a bunch of ".GPX" files there already.

 

To save one cache file, click "GPX File" on a cache page, and save it to the proper folder on the GPS.  On a modern Garmin GPS, the folder is Garmin/GPX.

 

Premium Members can save "Lists" of select caches or "Pocket Queries" of entire areas.  Lists and Pocket Queries each work differently and have their own benefits, yet have features that overlap.  It's good to learn both.  And yes, if you're not a paying member, you won't have the convenience of Premium Features.  But you can save one GPX file from a cache page.

 

It's tough to provide specific steps when your system is unknown.  But for example, in IE11 in Windows 10, click the "GPX File" button on a cache page, and a box pops up at the bottom of the page.  Now you can choose "Save As..." which allows you do choose where to save the file, to the folder on the device itself [Garmin GPS Drive]:/Garmin/GPX.  Or you can let it go into the default "Downloads" on your PC and copy it from there to that Garmin/GPX folder on your GPS.

 

For a List, you will use a new(ish) button to the right of each list, called "Send To Garmin", for easy one-click loading of all the caches you picked for the List. 

For a Pocket Query, uznip the file, place the GPX file(s) into [Garmin GPS Drive]:/Garmin/GPX.

 

It's good at that time to remove old GPX files, place new ones.

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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So I had a look at your profile - 378 finds, plus I assume some DNFs in there as well.

Let's assume that you have only ever loaded geocaches using the Send to GPS button, which creates a GPX file for each geocache. And if you've never bothered to explore the contents of your GPS by opening it up its file folders as a mounted drive, you're going to have at least 378 gpx files in that /Garmin/GPX folder, all named <gccode>.gpx. 

The eTrex 20 is limited to having 2000 GPX files at any one time, and when you reach that limit, it just simply refuses to read any more than that. Though you may also have waypoints marked and some tracks and routes saved, I doubt you have 2000 gpx files causing your problem. Still, it's a good idea every now and then to go through and delete unnecessary files.

So, I would recommend plugging your GPS into the computer and when it mounts as a drive, open up an Explorer window (not Internet Explorer, but your local files and folders) and go to the drive that your GPS mounts as - might be E: or F: etc. If you happen to be a mac user, just open up a Finder window and it'll show up in the list of devices by the name Garmin. Within the initial drive, there will be a folder called Garmin, and within that is everything that the GPS uses. the GPX folder has the GPX files and you can delete any files that begin with GC#####.gpx where the # represents the rest of the GC code. Again, if you're a mac user, you'll need to empty the recycle bin after deleting them to actually purge them from the device. If you don't have any other data that you wish to keep - non-geocaching waypoints, routes, or tracks, you could simply delete everything in the GPX folder. This folder is also where you need to save GPX files that you download.

The other thing that you can do is delete the databases in case they became corrupted and are causing you not to see any geocaches. Back in the Garmin folder, you will see another directory called SQL. You can delete this whole directory outright. The GPS will recreate it and its contents upon next boot.

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The easiest way to load caches on the Garmin Etrex 20 is to follow the directions on this blog post https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2017/04/new-a-magic-button-for-your-garmin-gps/

If you don't have anything on your device you want to save, you might want to reset your device to factory settings. This should eliminate any anomolies that were introduced during your unseccesful  efforts to load caches.

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I have thought about reset my Etrex to factory settings but I don’t want to lose all the geocaches that I entered prior to losing the Send to GPS function.  I’ll do that as a last resort.  Let me boot up the old laptop and have another go at it.

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Yay, after an hour and a half of trying everything but the right thing I finally somehow managed to get one geocache on to the gps.  Hopefully tomorrow I can do a second one in minutes - if I remember what I did!  lol

 

Thanks for all your help and encouragement!  

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On 8/29/2018 at 10:49 PM, noncentric said:

The removal of the "Send to GPS" and "LOC" buttons made the "Read about waypoint downloads" link that is directly next to "Downloads" more noticeable, to me. I clicked on it and it seems out-of-sync with what the website currently offers.  The linked page mentions:

  • .loc  and  .kml  files as waypoint file formats
  • Various software programs that purportedly support GPX files.  Not sure if that list is up-to-date. I was surprised the Garmin Basecamp wasn't listed.
  • Sounds generally out-dated from this line " Some devices support and read Geocaching GPX files directly, like the Magellan Triton and Garmin Colorado.

I'd think it better to remove that "Downloads: Read about waypoint downloads" line and rename the download button to "Download GPX" - so that it matches the labeling that appears in the map pop-up window.

Or even change both the pop-up and cache page to read "Download GPX File".

 

Just noticed that this actually happened.  The OCD side of me thanks you for that!

 

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