Author Topic: Etrex Vista HCx help please  (Read 3183 times)

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Etrex Vista HCx help please
« on: April 30, 2012, 10:15:09 am »
I have read all the recent threads regarding this device but I'm still struggling.

I have an Edge 705. If I'm going on a trip or doing an audax I plot the route on bikehike, which I like with the OS panel, I tend to download it as .gpxx to my computer. Then I copy and paste it into a folder called GPX on the 705. I like the prompts that it gives me on approach to a junction, it gives me the stripe to follow and the whole process is fast. I was happy with all of this but went for the Etrex Vista HCx on recommendation and for the ability to change the batteries on longer rides.

Now I find things aren't the same. I'm not really interested where I've been. I need at the least a stripe to follow or even better some prompts at junctions for planned rides.

I have made a route on bike hike and downloaded it as a 'gpx route' directly using Garmin communicator plug in (which doesn't seem to like Chrome), it said that the route was downloaded but where is it on the Etrex? Its not in routes.

when the plug the Etrex into the computer as a usb drive it shows the map,and two other files, there isn't anywhere to drop the gpx into.

Now, am I wasting my time with routes, lord only knows how you guys are running routes and tracks at the same time, should I just be tracks only and take more time over things putting waypoints at the directions on a routesheet?

I don't like the look of the garmin software that came with the device and I am aware that .gpxx is for Edge's only.

So in summary, my questions are:
1. what is the best way to get my audax route off bikehike and into my Etrex so that it can be used inconjunction with the routesheet on the day and so that it beeps if I go off course?
2. where will I find it on my gps?
3. Are there any crucial settings within the gps to achieve this? I have track log set to data card.

I know this is similar to problems that others have had, and I'm sorry to keep flogging this, but I haven't been able to find a clear solution.

Ta.

Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 10:22:12 am »
Ok, here is what I do:

I don't use routes. Use Tracks instead (these show up on the map as a line you can follow - or not, as you choose).

Install GPSBabel - it is free and easy to use.
Create your route online. Download it as a route or track.
Import into GPSBabel and set up your filters. The Garmin has a max number of trackpoints, if you set it to filter down to, say, 250, you'll be ok.

Plug in your Garmin (you might need to install drivers for your Garmin). Tell GPSBabel to export to the Device - Garmin.

The track should be stored in your SD card. Go through to the main menu in your GPS, select 'Tracks'. You should see a list of track, select one, set up the options (display on the map, change the colour, etc).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 02:49:47 pm »
No, you cannot send GPS files to the Garmin eTrex devices by connecting it as an external drive.  Your mapping program has to send it straight to the device - Memory Map (for instance) can do this, and no doubt others can too.  Otherwise you need to import it into Garmin Trip and Waypoint Manager or the newer BaseCamp and then send it on to the device.

The tracks and routes you send are not saved on the SD card.  That only holds maps and tracks that you have recorded on the device (and then only if you set it up to do so).

Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 02:51:01 pm »
My tracks are saved on SD card. Configured that way.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 02:54:54 pm »
...............I don't use routes. Use Tracks instead (these show up on the map as a line you can follow - or not, as you choose).............

This is like the Campag / Shimano conundrum - ask 3 users how they prefer to do it and you'll get (at least) four different answers  ;D

Whichever works for any given user is the right way (for that user)!

As it happens I use both - tracks and routes, navigated "off road".

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 02:56:55 pm »
I don't like the look of the garmin software that came with the device and I am aware that .gpxx is for Edge's only.

So in summary, my questions are:
1. what is the best way to get my audax route off bikehike and into my Etrex so that it can be used inconjunction with the routesheet on the day and so that it beeps if I go off course?
2. where will I find it on my gps?
3. Are there any crucial settings within the gps to achieve this? I have track log set to data card.

I know this is similar to problems that others have had, and I'm sorry to keep flogging this, but I haven't been able to find a clear solution.

Ta.

I've been a happy mapsource user since day one. It's all the other junk I have trouble with. If you insist on  not using mapsource - for I assume that is what you have  - then I cannot help you.

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 03:01:48 pm »
No, you cannot send GPS files to the Garmin eTrex devices by connecting it as an external drive.  Your mapping program has to send it straight to the device - Memory Map (for instance) can do this, and no doubt others can too.  Otherwise you need to import it into Garmin Trip and Waypoint Manager or the newer BaseCamp and then send it on to the device.

The tracks and routes you send are not saved on the SD card.  That only holds maps and tracks that you have recorded on the device (and then only if you set it up to do so).

I sent a gpx route from bikehike last night directly to gps but couldn't find it on the gps, it wasn't in routes, where should a route be?

My SD card is set up to hold maps and tracks from the GPS.

I'll try again tonight, and report back, thanks for the help.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 03:08:28 pm »
Downloading direct from Bikehike to the Etrex using the Garmin Communicator Plugin works for me.
Checking the obvious, is the Etrex plugged in and switched on? And is it in normal USB mode, not USB mass storage mode?
Is it detected if you use the test page here? http://www8.garmin.com/products/communicator/

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 06:37:58 pm »
Cracked it!

I was connected to pooter in USB mode. I shall plot route to work tomorrow and see how it goes, and I'll have a dabble with a track with turns put in as waypoints (?). I have downloaded a route successfully to the GPS and it appeared under routes.

Thanks for your help and patience.

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 09:04:21 am »
Tried the route this morning. It had 'point 1' to god knows what displayed along the route every 30 m or so and it beeped and displayed arrival at this place everytime, which Im put up with for about two minutes.

Should I be using bikehike to filter down the number of 'points' to stop this happening?

On the other hand my newly downloaded OSM maps from the Wiki look great on it.

Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 01:35:44 pm »
Track created in bikehike (and filtered down to 500 points)
then
in Mapsource - creating sequentially numbered waypoints, then highlight them and select "Create Route from Selected Waypoints".

Navigate the route in "off-road" mode (because most of my routes have more than 50 junctions/waypoints)
Have Off-Road Transitions (Routes - then Menu key) set to Auto, so unit beeps and backlight comes on approaching every waypoint,

Belt & braces?  Yes.   
Long winded ? Yes
Works every time ? Yes

Is there a quicker way?  Probably
Have I found it?  No

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 10:15:52 am »
Tried the route this morning. It had 'point 1' to god knows what displayed along the route every 30 m or so and it beeped and displayed arrival at this place everytime, which Im put up with for about two minutes.

You can turn the beeping off.  You can turn the 'next turn popup' off.

But the real problem is that a Route shouldn't have points every 30m or so - that is more typical of a Track.
A Route only needs a point at every turn. That way, the beeping and the popups makes sense.
BikeHike will provide a Route of this type if you use it with the autorouting option turned off, but it's a bit clumsy in this mode.

By moving from an Edge to an Etrex you're unfortunately moving from Garmin's modern, preferred way of doing things (Edge) to their outmoded and soon to be abandoned way of working.  The Vista is a very competent device, but the learning curve is a bit steep, and possibly even worse if you're having to 'unlearn' at the same time.
Use of the SD card is a case in point.  Forget about how it works on the Edge - here it's quite different.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2012, 01:16:35 pm »
Afternoon.

I've spent some time on mapsource. If I make a track on there from bikehike (reduced down to 500 points) then add waypoints, named as per type of turn required, will it beep and light up when I approach them?

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Etrex Vista HCx help please
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2012, 02:26:52 pm »
Afternoon.  No.  The Legend/Vista can't do this.  The E20/30 is a bit better and will detect and count down to upcoming waypoints in Track mode but even so I don't think it prompts (bleep/light).

And you can add and name the waypoints direct in BikeHike, using Mapsource doesn't add anything to that other than its inbuilt 'snap' feature which is very useful for pinpointing junctions quickly.

If I understand correctly, you have Mapsource but no Garmin maps.  Have you got your OSM maps displaying in Mapsource?
If not, that's your best next step.
If so, I'm not sure that you gain much from using BikeHike.  It's so easy just to plot a point-to-point ('direct' or 'off road') Route on the map in Mapsource, and uploading to the Garmin is integrated here too. 

OK, how about this for a workflow?
1. Generate and download your Track (or obtain it from Organiser, or whatever), and display it in Mapsource overlaid on your OSM map.
2. In 'Properties' colour it green, downsample if necessary, and name it something sensible.
3. Use the 'Waypoint' tool to lay down and name waypoints at all significant turns, and controls etc.  Each name must be unique, and I advise not more than 6 characters.
4. In Edit/Preferences set 'Routing' to 'Direct'.
5. Use the 'Route' tool to draw the route, joining the dots from waypoint to waypoint.  Avoid 'closing the circle' by using the same waypoint more than once.  If its a circular Route (most cycle day-rides are), draw two routes, one out and the other back. 
6. Check the route(s) doesn't exceed 250 points (and actually that's far too many for a single day ride - too many prompts just gets annoying).  Name the route(s) something sensible.
7. Save your file (optional).
8. Connect your GPS, clear memory, and 'Transfer' Tracks, Routes and Waypoints (but NOT Maps).

Takes longer to write than to do!
On the road, you will get turn prompts (beeps, lights, messages) and you will see the Track as a green highlight on the screen.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.