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Editing cache names for GPS


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I'm getting on well with my new Garmin etrex 20x, but one thing that would be useful is to be able to edit cache names before loading onto the device, because the display only shows the first 15 characters of the cache name.

So, for instance in a series of 50 caches called THE SERIES NAME #1-50, the display for each will be "THE SERIES NAME #", thus all cache names appear the same.

Ideally I'd like to edit the name so that the number appears at the start i.e. "1 THE SERIES NAME", "2 THE SERIES NAME".


Can they be edited/renamed? And at what stage of the process? (I've tried at List stage and that doesn't work).




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As on4bam says, using GSAK makes this a simple job. Learning how to use GSAK can be a little tough.  Load your cache list into gsak, put the number you want to add to the name in the User Data column then click on GPS and send to GPS. When the pop-up box appears, enter in the "Name" box - %User %Name.  That's it. Send it to the GPS.  Of course you will have to set up GSAK to recognize your GPS.

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GPSBabel was the first program that implemented smart name truncation - and for that very problem.

If you're a Windows user, it's hard to argue that GSAK doesn't make this easier, but for any other OS or if you just want to use open source  GPSBabel, use the global smartname option (-s) to enable it, and then use the snlen option in the GPX writer to tell it how long this month's model of Garmin wants the names to be. It can also handle sending to your GPS directly. There's code there to detect trailing numbers and tries to keep them, but even it if fails, it'll do better than having fifty points truncated to "The Series Na", but the numbers might not match.

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For the Garmin protocol devices (pre-GPX) the most definitive list that I know of is in the GPSBabel school-of-hard-knocks.


receiver_short_length is the length that GPSBabel will try really really hard to keep the names unique to.
receiver_must_upper is true/false on whether the device can handle those newfangled lower case characters.

The Magellan case is a bit harder to follow, but traces down to wpt_len as in 
It decays approximately to 
second-gen explorist: 20 (the potato shaped ones, not GPX)
map330, second gen Meridians, sportrak: 8 (what this group calls "meridian", not the one from early 1990s)
315, 310, map410: 6

You can tell that GPSes went through a pretty rapid change between hard-coded data structures that you could reasonably code in assembly, to "long enough to not be a total nuisance", to "probably the primary key in a sqlite3 table or the index in a hash map".

The code in GPSBabel came around when I was caching in the early days, and a series of Dalmatians came out. I loaded everything into my GPS (this probably even predates PQs) and got to that side of town to find only one of them in my GPS. It doesn't handle every possible case (trailing english words only to "nine", for example) but when I was done, everything that went to the GPS was actually unique, even if not exactly the best reduction from the <name> tag.

I'm pretty happy to not have to worry about such things these days. Modern GPSes just handle this better.


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