Author Topic: New Garmin Oregon 300  (Read 9672 times)

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
New Garmin Oregon 300
« on: November 25, 2009, 11:00:49 am »
Well it's arrived... and Uncle James won't let me open it until Christmas. So there it sits, in its box, with its bike mount kit, looking forlorn. My Edge 205 has become very dodgy (battery connections fail regularly so it switches off over bumps) so I can only use that in my jacket pocket as I'm going along.

My original plan was to get a Garmin Edge 605, having had a good look at Delthebike's. However, on a ride last Saturday with Dasmoth and Emily I saw his Oregon 300 and rather liked the look of it. Price is similar between the two gadgets and the Oregon seemed to have more useful features for me (touch screen is good). The larger size doesn't matter unduly as it will be fixed on to the boom of my trike via a genius stem mounting thingie I have ordered.

I look forward to fiddling around with maps and things on it (either OSM or a 2-year-old copy of Mapsource which is available). Does anyone have any general recommendations/hints about it before I start (on Christmas day)? I'm using a Mac and although I have a PC available if the software requires it, I prefer not to switch the PC on if at all possible as I always end up wanting to kick it within 5 minutes. I will be using Ascent software to download my rides and bikehike to upload courses.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 11:07:37 am »
I look forward to fiddling around with maps and things on it (either OSM or a 2-year-old copy of Mapsource which is available).

You'll be able to have both, because the Oregon supports two mapsets**, one on the data card and one in memory, and pretty easy to switch between them (or have both at once, but in practice that usually gets messy).
[edit] with the latest software update, the Oregon can now work with a scanned and geocoded map - copyright permitting of course, you can scan any local map, say of a country park, and display it on screen on top of all the other mapsets.  Or an aerial photo.  More of a curiosity than a practical thing.

My top tip would be, first time you connect to the computer - backup everything in the Orgeon memory, to HD.
Then when you've eventually got it set up how you like it - make a 2nd backup.

** actually 3, if you count the basemap as well.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2009, 11:53:24 am »
Any picture?  That's really cunning.  That's "photos of tourist guidemaps turn into magic 'You Are Here' machine" cunning.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2009, 12:46:01 pm »
Any picture?  That's really cunning.  That's "photos of tourist guidemaps turn into magic 'You Are Here' machine" cunning.

I'm holding out for a system gives a head up display on my glasses/visor, a realtime digital overlay of the analog world.

Once that is in place I can start integrating the weapons systems...

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2009, 02:48:35 pm »
I'm saving my pennies to buy an Oregon 550t...


Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2009, 02:55:43 pm »
Thanks for all the comments, chaps.

You can't imagine the frustration looking at this gadget in its box and not being allowed to open it for a whole month!!!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 02:59:24 pm »
You can't imagine the frustration looking at this gadget in its box and not being allowed to open it for a whole month!!!
You've got to test it otherwise on the day of opening and it fails it'll be several days before you can get it replaced. You'll need at least a month of testing. ::-)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 09:54:00 pm »
You can't imagine the frustration looking at this gadget in its box and not being allowed to open it for a whole month!!!
You've got to test it otherwise on the day of opening and it fails it'll be several days before you can get it replaced. You'll need at least a month of testing. ::-)

Besides which, it's like those electronic pets that kids used to take to school (Tammygotcha?). Unless it gets taken out regularly it pines & dies.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 10:12:57 pm »
got one of them - oh - about a year ago :-)

It is indeed a very nice piece of kit.

My one bit of advice is to turn of the topographical display on whatever map you use. This turns the background white (From green) giving much better contrast.

Oh yes - and read everything here, including the details of firmware updates.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300 (software update, and Dakota)
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009, 05:53:31 pm »
Garmin have released beta software updates for both Oregon and Dakota types, which are a bit more than just a tidy-up of existing features.  [edit - Jan'10 - now out of beta]
The update adds several new display options, and in particular some interesting new features are available when following a Track, making this a more usable option than previously.

Whether it also addresses any of the issues that I've identified with my Dakota, I don't know yet, but will be checking it out in the next day or 2.
Warning: The update was quite stressful - warning fit very fresh batteries before starting, and a known good micro-SD card - on my unit the update took nearly 45 minutes after untethering from the PC (ie self-powered) - if the battery fails during this time you could end up with a small but perfectly formed brick.

See this
http://garmin.blogs.com/softwareupdates/trail-tech/
and this
http://www.gpsfix.net/garmin-oregon-beta-dashboards-tracknav/
for more info including screenshots.

Update
No it doesn't address any of my issues - but one or two of the new options are truly nice, and especially useful for people who prefer to work with Tracks rather than Routes.  One or 2 new screenshots added to the end of the Dakota review - they would be the same on the Oregon (just bigger/higher res).
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2009, 10:32:10 pm »
Well Oregon is unpacked :)

I inserted the micro SD card which contains some files of the Europe maps... but it won't read them. I think perhaps I was supposed to load some software somewhere to use the maps but nothing was evident. I'm a Mac user but have just fired up the PC and showed it the files and it's rather uninterested too.

Question 2, how do I get OSM on the gadget? I shall try further with the Garmin Maps, possibly reloading my Garmin software that came with the car satnav, which I know did various things with the data.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2009, 10:39:43 pm »
Did it say "Cannot unlock Maps"?

If so, I have an email with attachment, sent to me by Garmin only yesterday, which worked for my new Vista HCX.

I'll forward the email.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2009, 10:41:10 pm »
No, I think the problem is the way in which the DVD of the maps is mounted.

We have a slight issue in that our PC doesn't have a DVD drive, although the Macs do. I checked my old City Navigator disc and that's a DVD too... and only works with PCs, not macs. I was rather hoping to go out riding tomorrow with the Oregon showing me maps but that's not looking likely now :(
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2009, 10:44:19 pm »
Here's the thing. The main file (1.4gb) is called GMAPSUPP.IMG which my Mac identifies as an IMG file (no, really!) which is a disk image which it wants to mount... but can't. The other file I have is the GMAPSUPP.UNL. I put these two files directly onto the SD card but no joy.

Anyone got any advice?

Apart from having no maps, the gadget is just fab!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2009, 10:51:24 pm »
Dez can do some funny things with his Mac in which he runs windows within it. Would that help?
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2009, 10:54:02 pm »
Well we can fit a DVD drive to the PC tomorrow if necessary (we have an external one), but don't feel up to it today.

I can then load my Garmin City Navigator v7 that I have from my in-car SatNav. Assuming that's the most suitable option.

I'm now faffing about trying to work out how to load Open Streetmap onto the gadget - I can't currently find an easy way to do it.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2009, 11:08:50 pm »
Right, made SOME progress.

I was reading something on the OSM website and it said the maps had to be in a folder named 'Garmin' so I put the Mapsource stuff in a folder named Garmin, rather than directly on the SD card.

Now when I switch the gadget on it sees them but says 'Can't Unlock Maps', with either the unlock code on the original disk or with another one that I have. Any suggestions?
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2009, 11:19:21 pm »
Is the .unl file also in the Garmin folder?
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2009, 11:22:08 pm »
Yes it is. Is that the right place?
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2009, 11:24:46 pm »
Mine worked yesterday when I put it in there.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2009, 11:26:21 pm »
The .unl file is an unlock code, which is specific to the serial number of the Garmin or the serial number of the SD card. So it wont work if you just copy it from another card etc. There is an unlock code generator available.

Or the easy way to get OSM maps is this website: Worldwide routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap
Pick the area you want, and it will email you a link to a gmapsupp.img file. Just copy that to a card in the Garmin folder, and it should just work.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2009, 10:35:17 am »
And remember you have a Garmin/ folder on your SD card, and another one on the GPS memory itself - and you can have a different gmapsupp.img file in each, and access them either/or/both via the menus.
I would recommend finding a cheap copy of Metroguide to tide you over - no unlock issues at all with Metroguide.
I couldn't possibly recommend googling for Softsalez because I doubt if their stuff is kosher.

I believe there's also an issue between Macs and Oregons, whereby the Mac when it sees the Oregon (the GPS that is, not the SD card) as an external drive, puts a 'waste bin' (recycle bin, whatever they call it in Mac-land) on it.  I can't remember the details, but apparently this can cause some problems.  
And the solution is to remove that directory, and write a file of the same name instead (and maybe write-protect it).
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2009, 08:58:51 pm »
Well I've been out for 40 miles today with the Garmin Oregon.

First thoughts.

The screen is indeed very tricky to read in daylight. My Oregon is mounted at about a 30 degree angle (it's facing me as I lay back on my recumbent trike, mounted at the end of the boom). As dusk approached I switched on the backlight and then it was wonderfully clear to read. Not sure long term what to do about this.

The OSM mapping works excellently round here.

I liked the way I could rearrange data fields in the Trip Computer. However it's driving me barmy that I can't seem to reset the overall Odometer (although I can reset the Trip Odometer) and I can't stop it recording if, for example, I walk into the house with the unit still switched on.

I have been able to download the data from the Oregon to Ascent but it does give me a warning about various things and tends to offer me a few extra rides of 0.00 which I think are related to GPX routes/tracks I've loaded on the machine but am not using. I'll have to work at finding out the best way around this.

There's no obvious place to do 'Delete History' so I'm not sure how long it retains the information.

The unit is twice the size of my Edge 205 but I do love the clarity of the screen (with backlight!) and the ease of navigation around the menus.

I don't yet know the difference between Tracks, Routes and Courses. I got it all worked out for the Edge (used Courses) but I think I'm going to have to do quite a lot more investigation as to the best way to use this. I haven't yet found a way of finding out how much further I have to go on a track when running one, for example, which is a feature I used all the time on the Edge.

I definitely think it's worth the money so far :)

My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2009, 09:39:14 am »
The screen is indeed very tricky to read in daylight. My Oregon is mounted at about a 30 degree angle (it's facing me as I lay back on my recumbent trike, mounted at the end of the boom). As dusk approached I switched on the backlight and then it was wonderfully clear to read. Not sure long term what to do about this.

I decided on my Dakota (similar type of screen) that the main problem is when it is reflecting the sky at me.  On an upright bike this is fairly easy to handle because by angling it backwards on the bars, it soon comes to a point (about 30 degrees) where its reflecting my own upper body at me, and not the sky.  (Narcissist, moi?)  I do tend to loom over the bars which helps as well.  Provided I'm wearing a fairly dark top this does the trick, and the screen visibility (no backlight) is then comparable to the Etrex C types.  NB this is not quite the same thing as simply shading it from bright light.

On your setup this trick isn't going to work of course.

Quote
There's no obvious place to do 'Delete History' so I'm not sure how long it retains the information.

I think its the usual Trackpoint limit of 10,000 - which with the default recording settings is well over 24 hours of continuous running.  When it gets over about 8,000 it starts auto-archiving the earlier sections of the Track before deleting them. The archives are in [Oregon]\Garmin\GPX\  and all track data is included.
If the archives are never cleared out it will eventually start deleting old archive files - but you might have moved on to another GPS before getting to this stage ...

Tony mentioned the Oregon Wiki which is a very worthwhile resource and much more informative than the manual.

I haven't yet found a way of finding out how much further I have to go on a track when running one, for example

If you have simply set the Track to 'show on map' and are following it in that way - scrolling highlighted map - there won't be any way of doing this.
If however you do 'Where To' and 'Track' and choose your Track and 'Go' - yes that should work.
Just setup the map to show 2 data fields and make one of them 'Distance to Destination'.

The latest software (still in beta so not recommendable on that basis) does have several Track-related improvements.  When it comes out of beta (maybe in 1 or 2 months time) I'd definitely recommend doing an update, if you prefer using Tracks.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: New Garmin Oregon 300
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2009, 09:30:13 pm »
Thank you Frankly Frankie for your informative reply - I've found your posts most helpful when considering all this stuff.

So, day 2 with the Oregon, 41 miles today.

Firstly, the screen thing has improved as I've turned up the contrast a fair bit; I could view the map reasonably well in bright daylight. I turned the contrast down again when riding after dark as I have the backlight on all the time and it's dead easy to read.

Have done 4-5 hours on a new set of NiMh rechargeable batteries and the battery meter is still on 3/4 so that's looking good. I have turned off the compass as was suggested to help preserve battery life. I have a spare set of batteries with me all the time so that's no problem.

It appears I can't get the proper Garmin map to work but having loaded AndyGates' OSM I'm really happy with that anyway. I need to find a good quality OSM of Germany for my tour in May but that should be fairly easy; I've downloaded a sample cyclists' OSM Germany map and will have a look at it in due course.

I've fiddled with the data fields on the trip computer and stuff like that so it's set up more as I would like, although I'm a bit irritated that on the 'Default' setting it insists on showing elevation (which isn't much point for me) at the top; I'd rather have something more useful - like the Time Of Day. A minor niggle.

Routes/Tracks/Courses. Well I'm beginning to get an idea of these. Having used only an Edge 205 before, which has a course (easy to follow breadcrumb trail you download from Bikehike) or a track (more faffy and doesn't follow the road, not something I've used on the Edge) I found I was all at sea with the Oregon. I think I'm getting a bit closer to what's what now, which appears to be:

Tracks - this is where you've been, rather than where you're going. However you can use a track to follow (which works rather more like the course on the Edge 205m but without coursepoints). The Tracklog continually records where you've been as one long ride unless you break it up by saving it. This is what I was trying to get at earlier when I said I couldn't delete the history - what I mean is that if I go out for three rides over the day, then plug the Oregon into Ascent, it downloaded it as one ride; the Edge would have it as three separate rides, several of which have laps (when I turn the unit off if going into a shop, etc). This was fairly automatic on the Edge but isn't quite as easy on the Oregon.

Routes - this is where you plan a route by plopping waypoints on the map as you look at it (I think). I imported a route from Bikehike and it didn't work at all well - it's just got HUNDREDS of waypoints which makes it hard to read.

Courses - don't seem to exist.

Trip Computer - this starts automatically when you turn the Oregon on and you can't pause it. You can reset the Trip Computer but then you lose its data. On the Edge the data that you'd see on its equivalent of the Trip Computer was what was stored, and you could zero it and then download the data later. With the Oregon it seems the Trip Computer is just for your own interest and the Tracks are where all the real info is stored (I may be wrong with this).

I have read the manual and haven't learned anything particularly helpful.

What I'd still like to manage to do is plot a route on BikeHike which has a couple of coursepoints (i.e. cake stop, lunch stop) which I can then follow on the Oregon, with a field which is "distance to next coursepoint". This is how I used the Edge 205 in pre-planned group rides where we were all following a route and I liked that feature. However it seems that the Oregon is less about pre-planned rides and more about using the mapping to trailblaze, which makes sense but seems to have done without a feature I rather like.

My husband is a sailor so he may try out the Marine side of the Oregon when the weather gets better although we would have to invest in a Marine Map, unless there are OSM versions.

I still really like the unit, particularly its display. The interface with the computer is less easy than the Edge and I'm still struggling with my pre-planned routes but I shall test out a track/route tomorrow and see how that goes.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk