Author Topic: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)  (Read 4546 times)

nfh

 Hi,

 I recently upgraded my good old eTrex Vista HCx to a brand new eTrex 30x.

 I am still trying to fiddle with the new user interface (which I am still not sure if it is either improved or worse), but there is one very simple action that I used to do all the time with my Vista HCx that I cannot seem to perform on the 30x.

 How can I navigate a GPX track on a 30x unit by following the track? I mean, with my Vista HCx I can backtrack any loaded track, point to a point along the track and my GPS unit will automatically route that track without relying on any map to plan that route (I can do this even without any active map).

 If I try to do the same with the 30x unit, all I get is a straight line from where I'm standing to the point that I selected on the track.

 So, can anyone please help me figure out how can I follow a track like this?

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Not quite sure what you were able to do with the Vista (not a device I know) and what you're doing is not something that I've tried on the Etrex but if it's drawing a straight line then it may be that, in your settings, routing is set to off-road. If this is the case then change to on-road for distance or time (not sure there's much practical difference between the two.

Not sure if I've answered the question so it may be worth waiting to see what other folk with proper Etrex knowledge come along with.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Navigating using a Track actually works much better on the new Etrex - once you know how!

Use Where To? and then there should be a sub-menu Tracks, select your Track in there.  You should get a nice thick purple wiggly line to follow.  Whatever your routing setup is, has no effect on this - it's just a dumb Track.
A useful tip is that if there are any Waypoints on or near the Track, the GPS will use them so that you can have 'Next' and 'Distance to Next' data fields showing and they will work, just like they do when following a Route.

Following a Track with Waypoints on an E30
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

nfh

Well, that's my bad. For some reason I thought I had to choose a point on the track right after pressing the "GO" button, but now I realise I don't have to do that.
As with Vista HCx you always had to use the trackback option to follow a track, it was mandatory to click on a point on the map to tell which direction of the track we wanted to go and up to where on the track.

Nonetheless, I noticed that by following a track as you described, you don't get a straight line from where you stand now to the first point of the track, right? I would get that on the Vista HCx and that is kind of useful to give you some guidance to get to the beginning of the track.

By the way, if I want to navigate through the track, let's say, up to the middle of it, is there a way to do it? As I mentioned before, on the old Vista model we always had to click on the desired point of the track (or somewhere nearby) to where we wanted to go. With the new method it seems that we are limited to the whole track or to use waypoints.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Well any Track has a 'direction' - ie it starts at the first trackpoint listed and ends at the last one - and the old Vista and Legend types didn't really recognise this, hence you had to choose which way you wanted to travel along the Track when using Trackback.  You could of course just colour the Track a nice bright colour and not bother with Trackback at all, you can still follow it just the same, and in either direction.
You can do that on the new models too, though because the map rendering is a bit heavier, the coloured Track doesn't stand out so well on the screen as it did on the old models.  (The 30x with its higher-resolution screen may be better - or worse - than the 30 in this regard.)  And, unlike the older models, by default Track displays are turned OFF - so to see a Track in this way you have to go into the menus to 'Show' it (not to be confused with 'See on map' - which is quite a different thing).
But otherwise the wiggly purple line mode only makes sense if you travel along the Track in the right direction.  (Here I dig out my E30 to check something, which I don't use much, preferring my old HCx - now where is it - ah, found it, wrapped in a glove, in a shoe, in a touring pannier - it's my travelling spare.)  So you have an option in the menus - in Track Manager - to 'Copy reversed' a Track.  This is the new equivalent to picking which end to start from in Trackback.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

nfh

Yep, I realised that I have to use the Copy Reverse feature to follow a track to its starting point. Nevertheless, I am yet to find a way to follow a track to a particular point of it instead of its finish point without having to rely on additional waypoints.

By the way, my Vista HCx is smart enough to give audible warnings when the approaching a hard corner on the followed track (kind of a direction warning without an auto routing map). I'm not sure if the 30x also has this feature, but I'll try that on my next outdoor adventure.

321up

  • 59° N
A useful tip is that if there are any Waypoints on or near the Track, the GPS will use them so that you can have 'Next' and 'Distance to Next' data fields showing and they will work, just like they do when following a Route.
I've not been able to get mine to work like that.  The 'Distance to Next' value is usually within about 5km even when the next waypoint might be ~50km away.  I've just tested it again following a track as you described on both an Etrex30 and an Etrex30x:  I walked to the start of the track and when I got there I expected to see distance to next display ~50km to the next waypoint, instead it said 3.6km on both devices - I've no idea what that value relates to.  In the past when I'd tried it with routes I'd assumed that it was giving the distance to the next rtept, but there should not have been any rtept's in the test I just did.  Aside from that issue, do the waypoints need to be in the same gpx file as the track or can they be in different gpx files?

Thanks.

321up

  • 59° N
A useful tip is that if there are any Waypoints on or near the Track, the GPS will use them so that you can have 'Next' and 'Distance to Next' data fields showing and they will work, just like they do when following a Route.
I've not been able to get mine to work like that.  The 'Distance to Next' value is usually within about 5km even when the next waypoint might be ~50km away.  I've just tested it again following a track as you described on both an Etrex30 and an Etrex30x:  I walked to the start of the track and when I got there I expected to see distance to next display ~50km to the next waypoint, instead it said 3.6km on both devices - I've no idea what that value relates to.  In the past when I'd tried it with routes I'd assumed that it was giving the distance to the next rtept, but there should not have been any rtept's in the test I just did.  Aside from that issue, do the waypoints need to be in the same gpx file as the track or can they be in different gpx files?

Thanks.

I think I've figured out part of it:  Looking at 'Active Route' shows the waypoints as I expected, but it also shows 'High Points' and 'Low Points', I think it is these that are causing the mystery values in 'Distance to Next'.  Can these high/low points be turned off (otherwise distance to next does not give me the value I want to know)?

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Yes the high/low points can be a pain, depending on the terrain.  (In properly mountainous coutry the high points are quite good.)  Of course they depend on the Track being followed having elevation data embedded -some Tracks do, some don't.  No elevation data, no high/low points.

Aside from that issue, do the waypoints need to be in the same gpx file as the track or can they be in different gpx files?

They can be either, in the same or in different files.

"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

321up

  • 59° N
Yes the high/low points can be a pain, depending on the terrain.  (In properly mountainous coutry the high points are quite good.)  Of course they depend on the Track being followed having elevation data embedded -some Tracks do, some don't.  No elevation data, no high/low points.

Aside from that issue, do the waypoints need to be in the same gpx file as the track or can they be in different gpx files?

They can be either, in the same or in different files.

New track with no elevation data and a few waypoints:  'Where to', 'Tracks', 'TestTrack', 'Go'... "Loading track with elevation data from the map" [long wait...] ...and the high low points are back  :facepalm:

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2015, 09:59:21 am »
:facepalm:  :facepalm:
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

321up

  • 59° N
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2015, 03:35:22 pm »
Yes the high/low points can be a pain, depending on the terrain.  (In properly mountainous coutry the high points are quite good.)  Of course they depend on the Track being followed having elevation data embedded -some Tracks do, some don't.  No elevation data, no high/low points.

Aside from that issue, do the waypoints need to be in the same gpx file as the track or can they be in different gpx files?

They can be either, in the same or in different files.

New track with no elevation data and a few waypoints:  'Where to', 'Tracks', 'TestTrack', 'Go'... "Loading track with elevation data from the map" [long wait...] ...and the high low points are back  :facepalm:

I discovered a solution:  set all the elevation values to zero, then it doesn't load them from the map data and there are no high/low points.  I've created a separate topic:
How to make "Distance to Next" work correctly (Etrex)
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=91916.0

nfh

Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2015, 12:21:02 pm »
I am still trying to figure out how to properly navigate a track... this is becoming frustrating.

@frankly frankie, I read about a method you proposed on another thread. By using the method you proposed you are always bound to the map's road coverage. I mean, "On Road for Distance" (or for time, for all that matters) will force the unit to create a route across existing roads on the map (if the map is routable).
Furthermore, as far as I know, when you navigate a track using Where To?->Tracks->Track->GO you do not get prompted about the routing method. At least in my experience all I get from that is the calculated distance from where I stand to the end of the track. Besides that, I do not get any audio warning when there are sharp corners on the track.

It seems to me that the Vista HCx would automatically create a route when navigating a track, thus creating a series of waypoints which would later trigger an audible warning (at least some of them). It was not turn-by-turn instructions (as it worked even without routable maps), but was the next best thing.
 With eTrex 30x navigating a track seems something way too passive for it to be 100% useful.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2015, 11:25:02 am »
I don't think anyone has said that the E20/30 are better than the older Etrex Legend/Vista - or if they have, they are mistaken - it's just that these (or now the E30x) are the current models so we have to work with what we've got.

@frankly frankie, I read about a method you proposed on another thread. By using the method you proposed you are always bound to the map's road coverage. I mean, "On Road for Distance" (or for time, for all that matters) will force the unit to create a route across existing roads on the map (if the map is routable).
Furthermore, as far as I know, when you navigate a track using Where To?->Tracks->Track->GO you do not get prompted about the routing method.

Yes.  I think I expressed myself badly in the reply on that thread, and my recommendation to set Guidance method to 'Prompted' was (and is) a general setup recommendation rather than specific to navigating with (or following) a Track, where, I agree with you, it would have no effect.

I also agree with you that the audible warnings in this mode are sadly lacking on the E30.  Where the E30 does have the advantage is in displaying the Track as a solid Magenta line, easy to follow, and in allowing the integration of any nearby Waypoints for 'distance to next' information. 
FWIW, I have both models (E30 and Vista) and for as long as it keeps going, I'll continue to use the Vista.  But then I also have a preference for using (direct) Routes, not Tracks, for navigation.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

nfh

Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2015, 12:22:51 pm »
Thank you for your explanation.

I was hoping that I just wasn't using the E30x as it is supposed to be used in order for it to automatically create a route along a track when navigating a track (that is why the old Vista HCx shows a straight magenta line from where I stand to the first point of the track, because it creates a route based on the track). Now I see that we stand on the same deadlock on this :(.
We can always submit a product improvement request to Garmin, who knows if they give it a thought.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2015, 12:26:42 pm »
My preferred method is to create a Route for auto-navigation in Basecamp, and display the track I've based it on at the same time using "show on map" as a backup against routing gremlins.  I tried navigating a track this weekend and was reminded of how pointless the feature now is.  All it does is give you the blue line to follow with some dubiously useful elevation points.  No arrows, beeps or backlight at turns :(
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2015, 02:24:04 pm »
The elevation points are of interest in 'real' cycling country - it's only in the generally undulating small-beer terrain of the UK where they are an irritation.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2015, 02:31:46 pm »
The elevation points are of interest in 'real' cycling country - it's only in the generally undulating small-beer terrain of the UK where they are an irritation.

I have contours for that.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Phil W

Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2015, 08:57:21 pm »
If you want prompts put proximity alarms on your waypoints.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2015, 09:03:28 pm »
If you want prompts put proximity alarms on your waypoints.

This is good for info controls, but useless for improving the readability of the display.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

contango

  • NB have not grown beard since photo was taken
  • The Fat And The Furious
Re: "Follow Track" navigation on an eTrex 30x (vs the good old Vista HCx)
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2015, 01:16:50 am »
The elevation points are of interest in 'real' cycling country - it's only in the generally undulating small-beer terrain of the UK where they are an irritation.

They're also only useful when they are accurate. I remember riding a horribly hilly route and using the "max elevation" points as encouragement that I was almost at the top. It wasn't long before I realised they were somewhere within maybe half a mile of the top, so it often meant when I thought I was just about there it turned out I wasn't. And when you're fat and slow the last thing you need is the GPS tricking you only to realise there's yet another half a mile of that sodding hill to climb.
Always carry a small flask of whisky in case of snakebite. And, furthermore, always carry a small snake.