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Etrex Yellow And A Laptop - Questions..

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Hello all,


I will apologize now if this question has already been answered. I tried searching and didn't come up with much.


I just receieved an Etrex yellow this holiday season and am looking to interface it with my laptop. I understand that I will need an interface cable. Is it better to get the serial or USB connection, my laptop supports both?


Second, I am thinking that GSAK would make for a good 'tried-n-true' waypoint manager.


Now here's were my understanding of this technology and software goes to crap. Is there a software program that I can get which I can load on my laptop and have moving maps (while connected to the GPS)? Also, I've seen people talk about the city street map packages, where the GPS (or hopefully laptop) can provide street level data for an area; can these be loaded on a laptop and used in the same mannor? If so, what package would you recommend?


I'm sorry if my questions are vague, they will get better as my understanding gets better.





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If you have a Garmin Map and Mapsource loaded on your laptop, you can use Mapsource to use you laptop as a giant GPS map display. Hook up your GPS, and it will track you in real time on your laptop. Add Nroute, and it will give you turn-by-turn directions.


I'm pretty sure this works with Old Yeller. You may may want to check out the Garmin site for a discussion of MapSource and NRoute.


BTW, always go USB if your GPSr supports it. It is much faster. Again, I'm not sure what sort of connectivity the Yellow supports.

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The basic eTrex only has an RS-232 serial interface so it would be easiest to cable that directly to your laptop. Using a USB cable would require that it have active electronics to do the conversion along with driver software on the laptop so there's a lot more to go wrong and it would generally be more expensive. The pfranc site is one place to get reasonably priced cables.


For street maps on your laptop there are quite a few choices. Microsoft's Streets & Trips is frequently available quite inexpensively with rebates or other specials. Another one is DeLorme's Street Atlas which has more voice support and also better GPS support for downloading routes, etc.


Another worthwhile program is USPhotomaps which is downloadable from jdmcox.com and displays both topo maps and aerial photo views on your PC screen and lets you see your tracklog on it. Here's an example of part of a kayaking trip:


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You can get a Serial cable for your yellow etrex, there is no USB cable. For mapping programs that will show your position when reading data from the GPSr: Streets and Trips 2003 will do this on your laptop. I am not sure about the 2004 version. On a Palm OS PDA, Street Atlas 2004 will do the same. You will need a serial cable for your PDA and a null modem to do this.

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How did u import the kayak's track log?

It's a feature of the USAPhotoMaps program. Use the 'GPS' menu and choose Tracks/Receive to download the tracklog from your GPS receiver.


The program also lets you create routes and tracklogs by clicking with your mouse along the trails/etc. visible in the aerial photos and USGS topo maps. I use this to create a pseudo-map of local hiking trails using the Saved Tracks feature of the eMap (and other Garmins).

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