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kunarion

How To Load An Old GPS with GPSBabel

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The old "Send To GPS" button is gone, like it or not.  So how do you load your "old" GPS that can't accept ordinary "GPX" files?

 

JimJinks made a great post about how to set up a Windows PC in a way where you may load files in a pretty simple way.  It will require some setup, but that's what this thread is for.  Info on how it works using GPSBabel.  This is not the only way to load a GPS.  If you have other software ideas, start a thread, post the steps.

 

Here's where to get GPSBabel:  https://www.gpsbabel.org/

 

 

From the JimJinks post:

I'll throw this out as a quick fix for older GPS owners, utilizing GPSBabel as the interface program.

Create a batch file on your desk top containing the following command:

"c:\Program Files (x86)\GPSBabel\gpsbabel.exe" -i gpx -f "%1" -o garmin -F usb:

(assuming that is where you have GPSBabel installed)

Then you can drag/drop a gpx file onto the batch file and it will be sent to your USB attached Garmin device.

Tested on a 60Cx.

 

 

 

From on4bam, on how to make the "batch file":

Open notepad

Copy/paste c:\Program Files (x86)\GPSBabel\gpsbabel.exe" -i gpx -f "%1" -o garmin -F usb:

Save as >> name.bat to your desktop.

Done (don't forget to install GPSBabel and/or change the path if you install in another location)

 

 

 

==============================================================================

 

Note: Load a modern GPS many ways, including by clicking "GPX File" on any cache page and saving the file, in the case of a Garmin, to the folder "Garmin/GPX".   This thread is mostly for those who have a GPS maybe 8 years old or more, you know who you are.  They don't directly load "GPX" files.  Newer ones do, which although the above should work fine anyway, you can load them in other ways.

 

Edited by kunarion

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Instead of downloading the gpx file and then drag/drop it onto the batch file, I wonder if there is a way to run the batch file automatically when clicking the gpx button.

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52 minutes ago, JPatton said:

Instead of downloading the gpx file and then drag/drop it onto the batch file, I wonder if there is a way to run the batch file automatically when clicking the gpx button.

 

That would be awesome!  Or at least somehow do a "Send To:" that the PC may remember.  It could save a step or two.

 

I'll set it up and try some ideas. The basic plan should work for most any GPS that can be loaded at all.  With the added benefit of not having to do anything different when switching to a different GPS.

 

Edited by kunarion

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I can't locate my 60csx now, so I can't test this, but if anyone wants to give this a try:

 

Download and install GpsBabel to the default folder www.gpsbabel.org

Create a shortcut on the desktop

  Right click on an empty spot on the desktop-->New-->Shortcut

  In the location box put: "c:\Program Files (x86)\GPSBabel\gpsbabel.exe" -i gpx -f "%1" -o garmin -F usb:    Click Next

  Type in a name for the shortcut and click Finish

On the cache page click the 'GPX file' button

In the dialog box, check 'Open with" and click the dropdown arrow

Click other and browse to select the new shortcut on the desktop

Click Ok

 

If this doesn't work, hopefully someone more familiar with gpsbabel can help with the correct parameters

 

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On ‎9‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 11:13 AM, kunarion said:

The old "Send To GPS" button is gone, like it or not.  So how do you load your "old" GPS that can't accept ordinary "GPX" files?

 

JimJinks made a great post about how to set up a Windows PC in a way where you may load files in a pretty simple way.  It will require some setup, but that's what this thread is for.  Info on how it works using GPSBabel.  This is not the only way to load a GPS.  If you have other software ideas, start a thread, post the steps.

 

Here's where to get GPSBabel:  https://www.gpsbabel.org/

 

 

From the JimJinks post:

I'll throw this out as a quick fix for older GPS owners, utilizing GPSBabel as the interface program.

Create a batch file on your desk top containing the following command:

"c:\Program Files (x86)\GPSBabel\gpsbabel.exe" -i gpx -f "%1" -o garmin -F usb:

(assuming that is where you have GPSBabel installed)

Then you can drag/drop a gpx file onto the batch file and it will be sent to your USB attached Garmin device.

Tested on a 60Cx.

 

 

 

From on4bam, on how to make the "batch file":

Open notepad

Copy/paste c:\Program Files (x86)\GPSBabel\gpsbabel.exe" -i gpx -f "%1" -o garmin -F usb:

Save as >> name.bat to your desktop.

Done (don't forget to install GPSBabel and/or change the path if you install in another location)

 

 

 

==============================================================================

 

Note: Load a modern GPS many ways, including by clicking "GPX File" on any cache page and saving the file, in the case of a Garmin, to the folder "Garmin/GPX".   This thread is mostly for those who have a GPS maybe 8 years old or more, you know who you are.  They don't directly load "GPX" files.  Newer ones do, which although the above should work fine anyway, you can load them in other ways.

 

I appreciate the work you put into trying to make this easier for us.  The problem I have is that I am so computer-illiterate that "Create a batch file" is something I don't even understand.

 

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25 minutes ago, steben6 said:

I appreciate the work you put into trying to make this easier for us.  The problem I have is that I am so computer-illiterate that "Create a batch file" is something I don't even understand.

 

 

You may need someone to set up the whole thing.  That is, everything must be planned, installed, and tested.  The "batch file" will have differences depending on different equipment.  It's just an interesting idea right now.  Nobody's returned to say what they've done and how well it works.  I'm anxious to give it a try, after the upcoming site updates.

 

"GPSBabel" is not the only way to load a GPS.  The cool thing is once it's up and running, it looks like it's not an excessive amount of work to load the GPS.

 

But there's a particular situation where you would even need a pretty much automatic way to load a bunch of caches.  The older GPSs have strict limits on the amount of caches they can hold.  And if it's just one or two caches at a time, you can type them manually.  So you have to weigh the benefits of the extra software.  At the very least, you will need to keep it functional, to know what to do if something goes wrong.

 

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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Hello all,

Success!  I have come up with 2 methods to load individual caches onto older Garmin GPS's

Note I have edited Method 2 since my original post after JimJinks pointed me to a utility that will convert a batch file to an executable .exe file.

 

I left a posting on the original Release Notes thread a while ago where I explained how this change affected my parents and their ability to selectively load caches in their older GPSMap 60 series GPS s. The post is here:

Over the last few months I have been loading their GPS s with GSAK for them but I have been meaning to get back to this issue to see if there was a solution that would allow them to regain the ability to load a cache, one at a time.

This weekend I knuckled down and came up with two methods depending on your version of Windows. 

 

Method 1 with EasyGPS you can do it in 5 clicks per cache

Method 2 and GPSBabel (using a slight variation of above technique) you can load a cache in 2 clicks!

 

I use Windows 10 at home and worked out the first system  but could only get it down to 5 mouse clicks.  I went to my parents who use Windows 7 but could not get the first method to work on their machine. I tried variations of the batch file technique from @JimJinks as posted by @kunarion above and got it to work and it is more streamlined than any version I have seen so far. 

 

Method 1, Windows 7, 8 or, 10 and EasyGPS program

Do once to set it up:

  • Install the Free version of EasyGPS. Download it here https://www.easygps.com/download.asp
  • Run the downloaded installer program to install the application.  Follow the prompts and use the default location for installation.
  • Run the EasyGPS program and under the "Edit" window choose "Preferences" and Add your GPS Make and model so it knows how to talk to it.
  • This will also associate GPX files with the EasyGPS program

To load caches with the GPS connected and turned on :

  • On the cache page click on “Download GPX” near the top of the page below the coordinates, or from the pop up window on the map page when you click on a cache.
  • Make sure “Open with” is selected and EasyGPS is next to it.  Click on “OK”
  • When the EasyGPS program opens: Click “Send” button near the top of window
  • Click "OK" on Send to GPS popup window
  • Click the “X” in the top Right corner of the EasyGPS window to close it.
  • Go to the next cache and repeat

 

Method 2, Windows 7, 8, or 10 and GPSBabel program.

Do once to set it up. It seems like a lot but it is a detailed step by step and only needs to be done once:

  • Install free GPSbabel program. Download it from here: https://www.gpsbabel.org/download.html
  • Run the downloaded installer program to install the application.  Follow the prompts and use the default location for installation.
  • Create a batch file in a folder on your computer.  Here is the step by step:  Note a click on something uses the normal Left button on the mouse and Right click uses the other button on the right side, that you usually don't use.
  • I have put a copy of this batch file on my Google drive and the link below will allow you to download it.  You can preview it to see what it contains.
  • https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_unRSYD9cDiOSxSQbBCqM5Pux63mzNBY/view?usp=sharing
  • The above section with the line through it will only work on Windows 7.  A better solution now is this next section which will work with all versions of Windows.
  • I created a tiny program called SendToGarmin.exe which replicates the actions of the batch file JimJinks created.  You can actually put it anywhere on your hard drive.  My instructions below specify a new folder step by step. Feel free to put it somewhere else if you are comfortable with Windows.

  • Here is a link to it.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/19xkd_wXWTD7F59XFF9C7lVwucF4ZF8-h/view?usp=sharing

  • Right click on the line above and select "Open in new tab" on the popup window.

  • Go to that tab and choose "Download" to save it to your computer. 
  • When prompted click on "Save File"
  • In the new window where it prompts you where to put it, scroll up or down on the left pane of the window to find your the "C Drive" and select it by clicking on it. 
  • Click on the "New folder" button near the top of the window.
  • Type LoadGPS to name it and press the Enter key to name it.
  • Double click in this new LoadGPS folder to open it.
  • Click the "Save" button to save it there.

 

This is what is in the batch file:  If you or someone you know wants to, you can create your own batch file by copying these commands into a text file and renaming it to a bat file.  It is essentially the same as the command in the top post except I removed the quotes around %1 in the first line and added a second line to delete the downloaded GPX file after it gets sent to your GPS.

"c:\Program Files (x86)\GPSBabel\gpsbabel.exe" -i gpx -f %1 -o garmin -F usb:
del %1
  • Click on the windows icon on the bottom Left corner of your monitor and type "internet" on the keyboard.  It will pull up a list of programs and commands that start with Internet.
  • Click on "Internet Options" under the heading Control Panel
  • Click on the "Programs" Tab
  • Click on the "Set Programs" button
  • Click on the line "Associate a File Type or Protocol with a Program"
  • Scroll down the list until your see ".gpx" on the left and click on that line to select it
  • Click on the button on the top right called "Change Program"
  • Click on the "Browse..." button to bring up a selection window
  • In the box near the bottom next to File name type in C:/LoadGPS/Sendtogarmin.bat  Or alternatively you can navigate to this file using the folder and file lists windows
  • Click on the "Open" button to set the batch file as the program associated with gpx files
  • Close the windows to get back to the desktop.  You are done the one time setup!

 

To load caches with the GPS connected and turned on :

  • On the cache page click on “Download GPX” near the top of the page below the coordinates, or from the pop up window on the map page when you click on a cache
  • A small window will appear at the bottom of the screen prompting you to open the gpx file.  Click "Open"   The file is converted and sent to the GPS by GPSBabel.

That's it. 2 clicks!

 

Method 1 is an easier setup but more steps to load each cache.  Method 2 it is more complicated to set up but it is as easy to load as it was before.

 

The only thing keeping Windows 10 from being able to use the second method is that you can not associate a  file type to a batch file, as far as I can tell.  Only .com and .exe files.  If someone can find a way it would allow you to use the second method. 

We have to use a batch file to allow us to pass command line arguments to GPSBabel.  I tried to use a shortcut to the program and add the arguments to it's properties but that did not work.  Fixed now that I created an exe file.

 

The first method would work better if repeated downloads of .gpx files would load into an already open instance of EasyGPS.  You could download a bunch and send them all to the GPS at once.  Unfortunately each time you download a .gpx it opens a new copy of EasyGPS with that single cache in it.  You have to send the cache to the GPS and close each window.

 

If anyone finds a better method or a tweak for one of these please let me know or comment in this thread.

 

If you need more details for some of these steps I or others on the forums will be glad to help.
 

Thanks @JimJinksfor the batch file and @kunarion for starting this thread, contributing to the other ones and working toward a solution.

My Mother is very happy that she has the ability to load caches again like she used to.

Lee

Go Play Outside

Edited by Go Play Outside
Update with executable version of batch file.
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One of the nice things about GPSBabel is that also runs on a Mac.  The only difference here is that instead of using a windows batch file, and invoking it from a DOS prompt window, one can use iTerm (I prefer iTerm2) to get a terminal session, then use a bash script to invoke GPSBabel.  It also runs on Linux.  

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8 hours ago, Go Play Outside said:

 

The only thing keeping Windows 10 from being able to use the second method is that you can not associate a  file type to a batch file, as far as I can tell.  Only .com and .exe files.  If someone can find a way it would allow you to use the second method. 

 

 

You may be interested in this utility @Go Play Outside

 

Advanced BAT to EXE Converter

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13 hours ago, JimJinks said:

 

You may be interested in this utility @Go Play Outside

 

Advanced BAT to EXE Converter

Great suggestion.  I looked at this website but found one big limitation of this app.  The Free version will not allow you to use it on more than one computer.

 

I looked around a bit more and found a similar tool that actually let me convert it online with out downloading a program to do it.  http://www.f2ko.de/en/ob2e.php

I created an executable file and it works great on my computer under Windows 10.

 

I called it SendToGarmin.exe and you can put it anywhere you your hard drive and associate it with .gpx files in Internet Options.  It will call EasyGPX and silently send a downloaded .gpx geocache file to a USB connected Garmin GPS.  Just like the batch file version.  This will work with all versions of Windows and is easier to set up.

 

Here is a link to the SendToGarmin.exe I created.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/19xkd_wXWTD7F59XFF9C7lVwucF4ZF8-h/view?usp=sharing

 

I will update my post above with this extra functionality.

 

Thanks

 

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