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Do I need a card reader/writer?


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I just purchased a meridian platinum, Topo CD, interface cable, rechargeable batteries and case for 275 on ebay. Anyway, I have been reading the forums and am trying to decide if I need a card reader to speed up map downloads. I don't really anticipate the need to download new maps that often. What are the benefits to having a reader? By the way, I am a newbie and am looking forward to finding my first cache! This is also my first GPS, although I have used the PLGR in the Army.

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The reader would be nice in that you could read and write the card from windows/USB interface rather than the serial connection. You can also use the reader for any other devices that use the storage cards. You can get a great deal on a 6 in 1 reader from Crucial at www.crucial.com. Its like 38.00 delivered and Crucial is a great company to deal with.

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The greatest feature that Magellan Meridians have is the SD card expansion.

Having said that there are some steps you have to take in order to fully appreciate this feature.

First you need firmware version 3.12 or higher. You can find the latest version at http://www.magellangps.com/en/support/products/ or earlier versions at the Yahoo group. The Yahoo group is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Magellan_Meridian/ you will need to sign up to access the group. There are detailed instructions at both sites for upgrading your firmware. Be sure to follow them closely. If a mistake is made and the upgrade fails you may have to send your Meridian in for maintenance.

There is a very useful feature in firmware 3.12 or higher. Card Utilities will be found in the main menu. With card utilities you can easily switch between as many maps as can be stored on your SD card. You will be able to store a relatively unlimited amount of waypoints, routes and tracks.

Your Mapsend software will only allow you to load four maps/regions to your Meridian at a time. Additionally you have to delete those maps in order to load any more. The maps may-not exceed 32megs. To increase the quantity of maps and their sizes you will need a SD card reader/writer. When you go shopping for them you may find that they are only referred to as readers. Those will do as they all read and write.

 

The generation of maps for the reader is very much the same. However you do not connect your Meridian to your computer. Once you select your map/regions and name them, check mark the maps/regions then select regions/upload to GPS… in the above tool bar. Regions upload will appear select ok to continue. Mapsend will begin generating the maps and attempt to connect to your GPSr. The connection will fail with an ERROR alert. Select OK. Now you can close out of your Mapsend program. The next steps will not need Mapsend.

Make sure that your SD card reader is connected to your computer. Insert your SD card into the reader. It may self open, if not than navigate to the reader directory in My Computer/C:. Now navigate to the maps/regions you created. Select this path My Computer/C:/Program Files/Magellan/your Mapsend software/Export/Images. In this directory you will find .img with the map names you assigned. Now simply drag and drop or copy and paste or cut and paste these on to your SD card.

You’re done. Take out your SD card and insert it into your Meridian.

To load a map from your SD card, select menu/card utilities/change map/. Detail map will be highlighted. Click enter. Select the .img file you want, click enter, then save. Repeat this step each time you want to change maps.

Let me know if I missed anything.

 

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I am the result of genetic manipulation of superior Geocacher DNA. Faster, stronger with superior reasoning and logic.

Mokita!

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Thank you all very much for the info. I went ahead and bought a Sandisk Reader. Works great. "Leatherman", your instructions were flawless. There was one thing though, when I clicked the upload to GPS button, it gave me an option to save the region directly to the removeable storage device. Very easy. Now I have my detailed map loaded in my GPS and I am ready to start caching in!!!!

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quote:
Originally posted by Morrisk & Family:

There was one thing though, when I clicked the upload to GPS button, it gave me an option to save the region directly to the removeable storage device. Very easy.


 

Ah...you are very lucky to have the latest release of MapSend Topo. This feature was just added.

 

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"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand."

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

The generation of maps for the reader is very much the same. However you do not connect your Meridian to your computer. Once you select your map/regions and name them, check mark the maps/regions then select regions/upload to GPS… in the above tool bar. Regions upload will appear select ok to continue. Mapsend will begin generating the maps and attempt to connect to your GPSr. The connection will fail with an ERROR alert. Select OK. Now you can close out of your Mapsend program. The next steps will not need Mapsend.

Make sure that your SD card reader is connected to your computer. Insert your SD card into the reader. It may self open, if not than navigate to the reader directory in My Computer/C:. Now navigate to the maps/regions you created. Select this path My Computer/C:/Program Files/Magellan/your Mapsend software/Export/Images. In this directory you will find .img with the map names you assigned. Now simply drag and drop or copy and paste or cut and paste these on to your SD card.

You’re done. Take out your SD card and insert it into your Meridian.

To load a map from your SD card, select menu/card utilities/change map/. Detail map will be highlighted. Click enter. Select the .img file you want, click enter, then save. Repeat this step each time you want to change maps.


 

I am thinking that I have too old a version of the Mapsend Topo software, because when I follow Leatherman's directions and get to the end where I selc=ect the .img file from 'Change Map', I get a message: 'Invalid Detail Map File'. BTW, it's Mapsend Topo 3.0

 

Can someone confirm that it is my software version, and/or is there something else I am missing , etc., etc.

 

"Could be worse...could be raining"

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Everything Leatherman said is right on.

Another useful reason for the card reader:

I recently went on a short trip out of my area. Before leaving, I did a pocket query for the area. I took the .gpx file and converted it to magellan format in GPSBabel. I then loaded this file named "Trip" directly to the card in the reader.

Putting the card back in, I saved all of my local stuff to the card in a file named: "Local" and then cleared the memory. I then loaded the "Trip" file with all of the cache waypoints. When I returned home, I cleared the memory and reloaded the "local" file. This is all done with the card in the Meridian.

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