Author Topic: Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)  (Read 4333 times)

Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)
« on: 10 May, 2008, 10:10:40 pm »
To the GPS gurus: I have a myriad of questions. Most can wait, but this one in particular cannot:

In MapSource I plot two waypoints, say 60km apart, then ask the software to plot me a route, which it does, I then go to transfer the saved route [only comprising two waypoints 60km apart] to the GPS, which it seems to do successfully. But when I go to load the route [menu/menu/routes/load route/navigate] the GPS does the calculations, but arrives at a different route. Destination is right, but the route is not ???

From the best of my knowledge I've tried to match the parameters up in both units [the PC and te GPS] ie 'bicycle', 'shortest distance', avoid this avoid that etc

I'm as bit confused here. I thought I'd saved a route in MapSource already and all this information would automatically be loaded to the GPS without needing to calculate the route again?

I've left all this a bit late, but I'm looking to take a trip abroad next week from Thursday and was looking to use the GPS to help guide me on my way. I'm looking to Mapsource to help sort out a route, because I just don't have the time to sit down and plot hundreds of way points before then. Help appreciated. Ta.
Garry Broad

Re: Etrex Vista hcx question....
« Reply #1 on: 10 May, 2008, 10:38:55 pm »
Annoying that. I don't have an Etrex but my PDA sat nav does that - the device recalculates its own route. I usually get round it by using a few points that the route must pass through. I'm sure there are other methods.

Experts will be along shortly.  :)

Wowbagger

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Re: Etrex Vista hcx question....
« Reply #2 on: 10 May, 2008, 10:49:55 pm »
I've go the Vista HCX but I haven't got Mapsource. I use a Mac.

I plot my routes using gmap-pedometer. Take a look at these, from the High Easter 100k last weekend:-

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1848416
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1848449
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1848479

I don't give the machine the chance to autoroute when I'm on an audax. I want it to follow the route on the route sheet. I was particularly careful when plotting these and they didn't deviate from the planned course once.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)
« Reply #3 on: 11 May, 2008, 12:01:47 am »
The GPS does, as you've found, recalculate the route from just the waypoints.

The mapsource routes can be a bit weird anyway, so it could be that the GPS route is the right one.
If I ask Mapsource for the shortest route for a car from Tregaron to Rhayader, it takes me the shortest way via Pontrhydygroes and the Cwmystwyth mountain road. If I change the vehicle setting to bicycle (everything else the same), it takes an 18.5km longer route through Pontrhydygroes, then via Devils Bridge and the A44/A470. What's even weirder is that if I ask for a bicycle route from Pontrhydygroes to Rhayader, it takes me the right way up the Cwmystwyth mountain road.

There is another setting on the GPS that you could try playing with - the calculation method is settable from "fastest" to "best".

I think the thing with auto routing is that the waypoints are places you want to visit, rather than a definition of the roads you want to take. That way, if you miss a turn, you just get directed along a new route to where you want to go.
If you want the route to be constrained to go where you want, just put more waypoints in. I've found that one every 10 to 15 km is adequate for rural areas. That's still a lot less than you would need on a turn-by-turn route set up manually. The downside of a constrained route is that if you miss a turn at the wrong time, you could end up doing extra distance to reach the waypoint you were about to miss rather than going directly to the one after.


Re: Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)
« Reply #4 on: 11 May, 2008, 01:17:52 am »
The GPS does, as you've found, recalculate the route from just the waypoints.

Right, well that's lesson one learned I think.

So it would appear that the GPS is only 'seeing' the waypoints and not the route? And yet when I download from Mapsourse, the transfer option gives me the choice of what I want to transfer: maps, waypoints or routes? So if it's downloading a route, why does it feel compelled to 're-navigate'? It's a bit late in the day now, but I think I know the answer :-\ Like, a route is not actually a route, but  collection of way points, and the GPS does the rest? It fills in between the way points. And basically your job is to put it in a position where it cannot do anything other than what you want it to? Whereas I was thinking a route was the 'final thing', road by road, turn by turn....like what I've been viewing in MapSource.

I do understand, as WB explained, that most people use a GPS to follow a specific route, without deviation. Similar to all technology - rubbish in, rubbish kind of thing.  On all the Audax rides I've done, I don't see many people who display both a routesheet and a GPS on the handlebars. They might have a routesheet stuffed in a bag somewhere as a backup, but it's invariably one or the other. That's the whole point of a GPS, to replace navigating with a routesheet.

It's a quick learning curve here, and I don't have much time [like 3 days!], so I was interested in using the unit to 'take me there' under its own steam, to hand the decision making process over to 'it' rather than me having to worry about where I was going. Not because I can't read maps, or don't want to work out a route [I enjoy doing both], but taking into account the length of tour I'm looking at doing [down through France into southern Spain] I just don't have the time to sit down and plot the route through individual roads etc. I really don't have the time, I screwed up on the planning front a bit with this.

In one sense, when I get off the ferry at St Malo and ask the GPS to plot a route between two points 200km apart, it's neither here nor there if I'm taken 20km off course, providing that course doesn't involve motorways or crazy dual carriageways that most sane individuals wouldn't go near etc.
It will still be better than stopping ever 2 km, getting the map out deciding which road I'm supposed to be taking, because I just don't know the area at all . Fine if you've got loads of time, but I want to do about 180km a day, so I need to keep moving, and certainly nobody appears to have dropped a routesheet through my letterbox hitherto!

I have a test run in the morning to Oxford and back, about 120km round trip. The GPS has to get me there [even though I know where I'm going!], we'll see how it does.

Once again, thanks for the replies folks.



Garry Broad

Re: Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)
« Reply #5 on: 11 May, 2008, 08:05:39 am »
I hope RB doesn't mind me piling in here but I was just about to start a new thread on the same receiver.  I use a Mac to upload routes when at home, but am doing a LEJoG in a few days and want to have back-up routes in case of unseen accidents.

So, can PC users recommend a simple, easy to install (on someone else's PC), preferably small bit of software that will upload routes to an eTrex HCx?  What I'm looking for is the equivalent of LoadMyTracks (freeware for Mac) that is about 1mb in size and does the job simply and quickly.

The idea is that I'll take the s.ware and routes with me on CD and if disaster strikes I can find a PC and upload the routes to a repaired (or new) GPS unit.  I'll take a USB cable with me.  Cheers.
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andym

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Re: Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)
« Reply #6 on: 11 May, 2008, 09:57:58 am »
If you've got them in .gpx format, then EasyGPS.
Pop it all on a USB key.  Can't remember if it needs to be installed on host comp though, so don't know what issues you'd have in an internet cafe.
AndyM

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Re: Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)
« Reply #7 on: 11 May, 2008, 04:30:24 pm »
If you've got them in .gpx format, then EasyGPS.
Pop it all on a USB key.  Can't remember if it needs to be installed on host comp though, so don't know what issues you'd have in an internet cafe.

+1 for EasyGPS.   :thumbsup:

EasyGPS is your friend.  Plot your route in whichever programme you want to use, save it as a .gpx file, open it in EasyGPS and then use EasyGPS to transfer it to your GPS. 

Also, for a route, you need more than a start and finish - you need to put some waypoints in between.  The best way to do this is manually I'm afraid.  If you use an autorouting system it doesn't always insert waypoints.

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Re: Etrex Vista hcx question.... (GPS)
« Reply #8 on: 11 May, 2008, 04:40:56 pm »
I hope RB doesn't mind me piling in here

No, not at all.

I have a test run in the morning to Oxford and back, about 120km

Well 120km turned into only 80km in the end, but it was a very worthwhile exercise all the same.

I think I should be able to get something out of it in time for what I need it for.

But one thing is obvious - that the auto-routing behaves very oddly sometimes. Whatever setting I tried it on, it seems to have some kind of aversion to going down the lanes, much preferring to mix it with the big boys in the more major roads. This made me realise one thing - if it's behaving like this on my own patch, then it will do the same in France, most probably. Whatever I did I just could not get it to navigate along side roads that were very obviously much better for cycling, and also quicker. I could understand the GPS unit wanting to short-circuit a lanesy route in favour of a quicker, more busy, route, but to take you further a field with an increase in traffic, was at best, baffling.

And also, does the back light level need to be set every time you switich the unit on? 

Anyway, an intriguing bit of kit.
Garry Broad