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Feeling Stupid


farklefamily
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I am a complete newbie to this sport and clearly have a lot to learn. I thought I could get by without reading a big book on the topic, but I'm having my doubts. I bought the recommended Garmin e-trex from Amazon.com. I have a Dell Inspirion 15100 laptop running Windows XP home edition. Silly me, I thought that was all I needed. I then realized I needed the interface cable to be able to download the waypoints. I dutifully ordered a Garmin PC Interface Serial Port Cable with a standard 9-pin D connector. I plugged that into the Targus serial reset thingy into which all sorts of other cables from the computer go and proceeded to geocaching.com where I found the free download which would enable me to download the *.LOC files. I tried to download one and keep getting a message that says "No data was received from the GPS! You should quit this program and turn your GPS off before proceeding." Did that. Same thing when I tried again. And again. And again. I am clearly choosing the transfer info TO GPS option, but the message keeps saying nothing RECEIVED FROM the GPS. The computer does not appear to recognize the connection of the cable. I am not very computer literate, so any help anyone can provide should be dumbed down so I can understand it. I was so excited by the prospect of going geocaching, and this whole computer thing is totally depressing me! Is there a way to somehow put in waypoints manually on the GPSer? I couldn't even figure out Garmin's instructions on that. I must be a total technophobe, yet I am proficient in information searches and using Word and other software. What am I doing wrong? Should I just break down and to buy the GPS Made Easy book?

 

Thanks for any help you can give.

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I recently had to connect my ETrex to a new computer and had to relearn all the steps to doing it.

 

Make sure that you do not have anything using the same COM port that the ETrex is trying to use. I had another device trying to use COM 2 and had to remove it before the EASYGPS software would see my ETrex. :laughing:

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Farklefamily -

 

Several of your comments/questions have not been addressed - hope this helps

 

I am a complete newbie to this sport and clearly have a lot to learn. I thought I could get by without reading a big book on the topic, but I'm having my doubts.

 

Probably not necessary unless you feel you need it - most of the info is here on the GC site and in the forums. You did the right thing asking. Tho, you do have to dig some to find some of the info - you said you were good at searches here so that should help you find what you are looking for.

 

I bought the recommended Garmin e-trex from Amazon.com. I have a Dell Inspirion 15100 laptop running Windows XP home edition. Silly me, I thought that was all I needed. I then realized I needed the interface cable to be able to download the waypoints.

 

I believe you are confusing downloading waypoints from the web site and from the GPS. You generally do not want to download from the GPS - at least not yet.

 

I dutifully ordered a Garmin PC Interface Serial Port Cable with a standard 9-pin D connector.

 

Sad you did not get the cable with the GPS - you will need it to UPLOAD the waypoints TO the GPS.

 

I plugged that into the Targus serial reset thingy into which all sorts of other cables from the computer go and proceeded to geocaching.com where I found the free download which would enable me to download the *.LOC files.

 

The free program will allow you to UPload the waypoint to the GPS - you download the *.loc files form the GC web site.

 

I tried to download one and keep getting a message that says "No data was received from the GPS! You should quit this program and turn your GPS off before proceeding." Did that. Same thing when I tried again. And again. And again.

 

The above implies that you are trying to go the wrong way - below not - but now I am wondering just WHERE you are making this setting. In the GPS - wrong - you need to make it in the GSAK.

 

I am clearly choosing the transfer info TO GPS option, but the message keeps saying nothing RECEIVED FROM the GPS.

 

See previous note about wher to make the settings.

 

The computer does not appear to recognize the connection of the cable. I am not very computer literate, so any help anyone can provide should be dumbed down so I can understand it.

 

When you run the GSAK program there is a setting for the serial (COMM) port and you can then test it. You must also tell the program whigh make and model GPS you have. The error indicates that you are not getting data FROM the GPS - this is because there is none. Since you did not get any connection or can't find the GPS error that part seems ok and you have a good connection.

 

I was so excited by the prospect of going geocaching, and this whole computer thing is totally depressing me! Is there a way to somehow put in waypoints manually on the GPSer?

 

YES! This is the way I did it for my first cache until I understood what had to me done - but I am a compurer pro who just hates to read the directions. Sometimnes you still have to enter them manually. In my Magellan I make a mark (create a waypoint where I am at the moment) then edit it for the coordinates I need to look for. You should have much the same functions - someone with your model will have to give info there - and you should find instructions on same in your manual.

 

I couldn't even figure out Garmin's instructions on that.

 

OOPS :laughing: havaing said that --- all I can say is to take you time - try to follow the instructions step by step until you get the feel for them. I will have to admit that most instruction manuals suck and are written for those who already know what to do. You might try their tech support line - hopefully an 800 call.

 

I must be a total technophobe, yet I am proficient in information searches and using Word and other software. What am I doing wrong? Should I just break down and to buy the GPS Made Easy book?

 

Well - it might help - and surely couldn't hurt - but you have to wait for that and you don't get to go play. But you should - maybe you can find someone locally who is willing to take you on his/her/their next hunt to give you the pointers you need.

 

So much for your notes - now on to downloading the .loc files -

 

Go to GeoCache and open up and old cache page - now look right above the little map icon at the upper left of the white area of the page. Just above that is the icon that says LOC Waypoint file (just above Read about waypoint downloads). You click that and you get the standard Windows download dialog - rename the file name part (not the .loc) to either the coord name (i.e GCJKVP ) or a short form of the actual cache name. All loc files have the SAME name so you have to rename it.

 

Make a folder in your My docs folder called GPS or Cache or some such and inside that another one named waypoints and then aim your download at that folder. It is this file that you will now use GSAK to upload to your GPS.

 

I hope I have not gone too basic on you here - I just have a feeling that you are not understanding the process. Once you get the waypoint into the GPS and then select it as a GOTO you should see a bearing and distance on several of the GPS screens. Many of us use the compass screen but you can read the threads on that here also.

 

Feel free to go to my profile and contact me off line if you wish.

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If Compucache didn't cover it all then email me if you need more help.

 

I have a eTrek Vista and use GSAK as reccomened above. I am a premium member and save wayspoints as .gpx file format, not .loc. The .gpx format works better, haven't had much luck with .loc when downloading multiple waypoints from the website.

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Just to add a note.....I want to tell you, if you still have trouble with uploading and downloading .loc files check those COM port issues!!!!!!! Eventhough I had my Jornada PDA on a USB cable my Activesync software kept tying up my COM 1 port. Just made sure that the properties on Activesync were set to look at the usb port only! I am a premium member too and load my Sporttrak Map with the .gpx files. It may be worth becoming a premiuim member. How's that for a Geoplug!!! :(

 

Good Luck! and just like Compucash said take your time......get used to the unit then add to it. My $.02 worth.

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I was so excited by the prospect of going geocaching, and this whole computer thing is totally depressing me! Is there a way to somehow put in waypoints manually on the GPSer?

 

YES!  This is the way I did it for my first cache until I understood what had to me done - but I am a compurer pro who just hates to read the directions.  Sometimnes you still have to enter them manually.  In my Magellan I make a mark (create a waypoint where I am at the moment) then edit it for the coordinates I need to look for.  You should have much the same functions - someone with your model will have to give info there - and you should find instructions on same in your manual.

 

Works in the same way on Garmin.

 

Go into way point menu and click mark. You will then get an entry with a speech bubble asking ok?

 

Use the buttons on the left to scroll down to the co-ordinate box and enter there. This will allow you to edit the co-ords. It's a bit tricky, scroll using the top left buttons to the digit you want to edit. Click the bottom left enter button, then use the top two buttons again to find the number you want. A bit like entering your name on the high score table on an arcade game.

 

When you have done all you scroll down to OK button and enter to confirm.

 

You are then back at the details screen. You can scroll to the top entry and use the same technique to edit the name. The gps automatically generated them in numeric order e.g. 001 002 etc

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