Author Topic: Dullard GPS newbie question ?  (Read 1533 times)

pompey phill

  • OH UR !! it's only me !!
Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« on: December 01, 2008, 12:46:16 pm »
sorry to be so thick !!  but i've just purchased a Garmin etrex H,  and all i need to know, is there any UK settings i should make sure it has set ?  but most importantly i just need to know how to plan routes on some form of map type software thingy, and then be able to download it to the etrex, i'm not after a whizzy, all singing, all dancing thing,  just your basic map that i can plot a route and very simply down load it.
please help a poor simple minded dullard like me  THANKS !!! 

 ;D ;D ;D ;D
"Yer but this goes up to eleven !!!"

Re: Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2008, 03:45:14 pm »
Have a good read of these pages on the AUK site first.  The Garmin Etrex H is the bog-standard yellow one which doesn't (and can't) have mapping installed on the unit itself.  The only setting you'll need to change for the UK is the grid/datum.  If you bought a UK unit, it's probably already setup correctly.  If not, it's fairly easy to change I think (Main Menu > Setup > Units > Map Datums?).

The basic process for getting aroute you can follow is: Plot route > convert to .gpx > download to GPS.  There are lots of tools that will do each of these steps, but most of them have been covered here on yacf or in Francis' pages linked above.

The way I do it:

  • Plot route in bikely, naming the turns as I go.
  • Export .gpx file
  • Manually tweak .gpx file so it's a route not a track
  • Run tweaked .gpx file through GPS Babel to ensure ouptut is readable by GPS Trackmaker.
  • Use GPS Trackmaker to download the route onto my GPS.

A bit clunky, but works ok once you get the process sorted.

pompey phill

  • OH UR !! it's only me !!
Re: Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2008, 04:39:08 pm »
Thanks Chris, i'll take a look at the links and stuff
"Yer but this goes up to eleven !!!"

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 11:59:49 am »
I recently added A Google Maps Workflow to my set of GPS essays
http://www.aukadia.net/gps/lwg_7.htm
which might be of interest to you.

Although this article doesn't touch on the GPSBabel side of things, it is worth getting to grips with that software as well - its a good 1-stop shop for most knotty problems (but rather geeky).

You may also need to set the Time Zone in your GPS - but you probably did that first off anyway.  I'm still mystified why a GPS can't do this for itself ...
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

pompey phill

  • OH UR !! it's only me !!
Re: Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 02:19:05 pm »
how the hell do i get my GPS to connect to my PC ?  i've try allsorts  but i it just not seeing the unit, what am i doing wrong ????
"Yer but this goes up to eleven !!!"

Re: Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2008, 02:48:55 pm »
Got the right cable?  IIRC, the USB ones need a driver, but the serial ones don't.  I'm using a serial cable with GPS Trackmaker to talk to my GPS.  Other software is available to do the same thing, eg. GPS Babel, Easy GPS.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2008, 02:55:19 pm »
the USB ones need a driver

Its on the CD that came with the GPS.

Serial connections are a bit of a lottery I find - most times, they just work, to my amazement. 
Sometimes, you have to get your hands dirty in the Hardware Properties menus.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Dullard GPS newbie question ?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2008, 03:39:10 pm »
Another useful thing about GPSBabel is the ability to filter your route or track to make sure that it doesn't have too many points. My Garmin has a 500 point limit for tracks and Bikely often makes tracks with thousands of points.

...snip...
The way I do it:
...snip...
  • Run tweaked .gpx file through GPS Babel to ensure ouptut is readable by GPS Trackmaker.
  • Use GPS Trackmaker to download the route onto my GPS.
...snip...

If you're using a Garmin GPS with a USB cable then GPSBabel will output the route/track directly to the GPS*. You don't have to go through GPS Trackmaker. You need to use the "garmin" format and output file "usb:" for the command line version. It's simpler in the graphical version

The AUK GPS pages recommended above are very good.

Dave

* Well, almost any. Certainly the Etrex models should work.