Author Topic: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?  (Read 742 times)

Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« on: September 03, 2018, 11:40:04 am »
I have a fairly elderly Garmin eTrex Vista HCX, which I've basically stopped using because I no longer have a PC and therefore don't have Garmin Express, and so can't load tracks or routes. My Edge 500 connects fine, but is of limited use for navigation.

Before I ditch it altogether, does anyone know of a way to get it to talk to the Chromebook?

Re: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2018, 11:45:56 am »
Mine (a 2011 etrex 30) shows up as a removeable drive when plugged into my Chromebook.  Getting GPX files onto it is as simple as copying them to the correct folder from Files.  Have you got a USB cable for yours?

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2018, 11:49:16 am »
You could run proper Linux in Crouton in order to use gpsbabel or whatever, but that's going to be one of those "now you have two problems" things.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2018, 11:52:59 am »
Mine (a 2011 etrex 30) shows up as a removeable drive when plugged into my Chromebook.  Getting GPX files onto it is as simple as copying them to the correct folder from Files.

Well yes, that's because you've got an eTrex 30.  All you need is something that can mount a USB storage device and copy files around (basically anything other than an iThing) for one of those.

Older HCx-series Garmin devices spoke a proprietary USB protocol for exchanging routes/tracks/waypoints, except for accessing the (single) map image and backup tracklog GPX files on the SD card, which was done via USB-storage.  It was basically a USB version of the way the serial Garmins worked, and requires specific software.  There are open-source programs that can do it from a non-Windows OS, but they're very much products of their era.   :hand:
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2018, 12:06:33 pm »
There are a few Android apps that support the Garmin USB protocol, so could work with the older Etrex. Not sure if it would work on a Chromebook.
eg Sportablet http://www.sportablet.com

Re: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2018, 12:18:00 pm »
Thanks Kim. I’d assumed that a) Garmin weren’t quite as shit as that and b) phantasmagoriana hadn’t tried connecting the HCx to the chromebook.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 01:16:05 pm »
There's nothing shit about the Vista HCx - a mint-condition one would be better than any subsequent or current Garmin model IMHO.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Garmin eTrex with a Chromebook - can it be done?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2018, 01:28:11 pm »
There's nothing shit about the Vista HCx - a mint-condition one would be better than any subsequent or current Garmin model IMHO.

The rubber surround that goes slack with age/sunlight is a bit shit.  I'll forgive the slightly old-fashioned approach to data transfer, because it was actually the most functional software version.

The eTrex 30 improved the hardware (better mounting system, no rubber surround, doesn't seem as prone to internal battery contact problems) and gave us a more contemporary filesystem-based approach to transferring data, but several useful features were lost in the transition.  (I particularly liked the way that tracks logged to GPX files on the SD card were effectively write-only on the HCx - no risk of accidentally deleting them through addled brain or cold fingers.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...