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Etrex Downloading?

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Probably a dumb question... sorry, just a newbie and a non-technical one at that, got the basic etrex last month, thought I couldn't download wayponts from my computer with this, but there is a data connector port. I would like to know from anyone, is this possible, and is it hard to do if possible?

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Yes, you can download waypoints to the yellow eTrex from a PC. If your eTrex didn't come with a data cable, you can purchase one at a Garmin retailer or online. I've seen them at Fry's, if you are fortunate (or unfortunate as the case may be) to live near one. RV and boating centers also carry Garmin accessories.


Online, you can get the cable at GPSDiscount.com and GPSGeek.com, among others. The cable shouldn't cost more than $15 or so.


After that, you need a waypoint manager. Garmin's MapSource product line includes a waypoint manager function with their maps. You will not be able to download maps to your GPS, but if you get a Garmin mapping unit in the future, you could use these maps. Also, it's nice being able to lay out your journey on the PC using the maps, even if you can't take them with you. If you have a laptop, you can cable your GPS to your PC and let the PC display maps in real time as you drive. Plan to spend around $100 depending on the product you buy.


EasyGPS is a free waypoint manager with a few nice features. It's big brother, ExpertGPS, is also a waypoint manager with Topo mapping features. easygps.com


GSAK is a waypoint manager with tons of features for geocachers. You can try it out for free, but after a month or so you will need to register for $15. A lot of geocachers use GSAK and the author is very responsive. gsak.net

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Agreed. Get the cable and GSAK. It's very easy to up and download waypoint (cache) location information. Much better than entering it manually. Since your unit won't support downloaded maps, there is no reason to buy Mapsource. I have it so I can download detailed maps to my eTrex Legend, but, I use GSAK for downloading cache info from geocaching.com.


When you go to any of the cache pages, you'll see links to download .loc data, or on the search results page, you'll see the check boxes to the right of each cache so you can check off a number of them you are interested in and download a .loc file. When geocaching.com downloads this to your computer, just select "open" and GSAK will launch and prompt you to load them to it's database. Then under it's GPS menu, select "Send Waypoints" and, voila, all the work is done!


As for maps, at the bottom of each cache page are links to all sorts of maps. I mostly click on Rand McNally for road maps, Topozone for topographical maps, and Terraserver for aerial photographs, each comes up centered on the cache site and allows you to do some zooming. It's all available to you free.

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You need to be a premium member to have access to pocket queries. Pocket query data has tons of information about the cache. You can use the basic LOC files that you download from the cache search page as a non-paying member but they will have only the waypoint ID and location--none of the cache information. GSAK will accept LOC files, it just has empty values for all the other fields.

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