Author Topic: Etrex Vista HCx wrong date...  (Read 14587 times)

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2016, 11:32:39 pm »
Worth contacting Garmin support to see what they say. There have been a couple of previous models that went weird after a few years, and displayed the wrong date etc. eg the Geko 201, a firmware update was released to fix that.

Anyone else using a Vista HCx, and does it still work? It seems some of these sorts bugs are only on specific hardware versions or chipsets etc, so it may not affect all of them.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2016, 11:40:40 pm »
Thanks Samuel /  fuaran.   Will drop garmin an email.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2016, 11:53:18 pm »
My HCx is fine (on 3.20). So is the OP's spare.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2016, 09:30:13 am »
The garmin units have a 'Time Zone Map' which maps GPS time to local time.
it's called gmaptz.img, IIRC.

I could be wrong but I doubt if the Vista HCx uses this.  Time zones offsets have to be set manually in that model.  Bizarre but true - it can locate itself anywhere in the world to within a few metres, but it doesn't know what time zone it's in.

Andy could try altering the time zone to something outlandish - Bombay is good because the offset is not a whole number of hours, it's 5h30 - and see if the date comes right?  Under Settings->Time.

Have just checked one of my stable of now-retired HCx's - seems fine, after a cold start.  Firmware 3.40 software 2.90.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2016, 11:17:06 am »
The garmin units have a 'Time Zone Map' which maps GPS time to local time.
it's called gmaptz.img, IIRC.

I could be wrong but I doubt if the Vista HCx uses this.  Time zones offsets have to be set manually in that model.  Bizarre but true - it can locate itself anywhere in the world to within a few metres, but it doesn't know what time zone it's in.

Andy could try altering the time zone to something outlandish - Bombay is good because the offset is not a whole number of hours, it's 5h30 - and see if the date comes right?  Under Settings->Time.

Have just checked one of my stable of now-retired HCx's - seems fine, after a cold start.  Firmware 3.40 software 2.90.

bombay no cigar.  Date still 1935.

Apparently there is an executable available from Garmin called "timeset", and I also found out there is a super master reset (holding down the "Page, "Enter" and "Find" while powering up), which has worked for some...   May be should wait for Garmin to respond.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2016, 04:49:21 pm »
Powering up while just holding the front click stick down brings you this diagnostic page (this is a Legend, the Vista shows more stuff than this)



But, nothing to see there - maybe check for all 4 of those 'Pass' marks near the bottom.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2016, 05:29:28 pm »
Thanks ff.  All = Pass.

Spoke to Garmin.  v3.30 for the HCx seems almost to have the status of 'mysterious aberrant software' and "v3.20 is the most recent".  Tech recommended doing a super master reset, 3 buttons + power up, then installing v3.20 if doesn't work.

super mst reset = 1935 still.  So will have to do an install of v3.20 later I guess.

OK - update.

Did install of v3.20 and the date is still 1935, even after 30mins of unit outside!  Very strange, what error would cause this incorrect date to persist?

After everything I've done from first noticing the date on Sun was 2 Dec 1935, it's now 4Dec 1935; so the time record still survives and advances.

meh...
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2016, 11:23:59 am »
I have found I can edit the gpx, by doing a replace all of 1935-12, with 2016-04.  Not the best having the unit's date decades out, but could be a work around.



Here's a photo, I sent Garmin...   

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2016, 12:03:48 pm »
I have found I can edit the gpx, by doing a replace all of 1935-12, with 2016-04.  Not the best having the unit's date decades out, but could be a work around.
Another method would be GPSBabel, with the 'move' filter. It can shift all of the timestamps by a specified offset.

Samuel D

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2016, 12:31:32 pm »
Ah. I have an idea about what’s going on here.

Your device doesn’t think it’s December 1935; it thinks it’s December 2035! Which is … precisely 1024 weeks (2^10 weeks) in the future.

(That it interprets 35 as 1935 rather than 2035 when writing the GPX file just confirms that Garmin’s left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.)

The problem must be that the GPS time signal is ambiguous to 1024 weeks and your Garmin thinks it’s in the wrong epoch. If there is a way to manually set the date on the device, that may fix it. However, it may be difficult to get it to stop fixating on the future while in range of a GPS signal. So if you can set the date manually, do so underground. Be careful; not being able to compute a position fix does not mean it isn’t receiving signals from at least one satellite.

If there is no way to manually set the date, I would try removing all batteries (including any clock battery if possible) and letting it sit for as long as you have patience and at least a day or two. Then power it up and let it bask in a field for an hour. You never know.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2016, 12:52:29 pm »
Ah, that makes sense!

Looking it up, the time signal only contains the 10 least significant bits of the week number, so you need an external source to tell it what epoch it's in.  In the absence of anything better, the receiver can write the current date to non-volatile storage and assume it's in the same epoch on start up.  Which works fine as long as you don't leave it switched off for 1024 weeks, or the non-volatile storage is corrupted.

Perhaps this is what the Garmin/.Position.gpx file on the eTrex 30 is used for?

Unfortunately, even if it is, I'm not sure how you'd access the equivalent on an HCx.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2016, 12:56:15 pm »
So, thinking this can't be unique, I did a bit of googling:

http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?s=b97d3b6de27ec92f67362cbe4d6867b7&showtopic=177915&view=findpost&p=3169159

Quote
Coggins, thank you! The "super master reset" seems to have worked, at least for now.

Specifically, a normal "master rest" on the eTrex Vista is accomplished by holding down the "Page" button and "Enter" (i.e. the click stick) while powering up. You are prompted that a full reset will occur, and after confirming, the machine is reset. However, in my case, this achieved a full reset, but did not fix the date problem.

However, the undocumented "super master reset" on the eTrex Vista is achieved by simultaneously holding down the "Page, "Enter" and "Find" buttons while powering up. You have to hold all buttons in for about 5 to 7 seconds, and you DON'T get the warning message, but when the machine finally restarts, it is fully reset. After acquiring a satellite fix (took several minutes) - lo and behold - my time AND date both seem to be correct!

A later post suggests that a Garmin Protocol command to set the date on the unit exists, and hints at a mysterious tool for doing so.


Thinking about it, I'm not sure why the super master reset would solve the problem, unless it writes a default date that just happens to be in the current 1024-week epoch.  Unless it can extract a full date from the almanac signal(?), and knows to do that on account of not knowing what date it is...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Samuel D

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2016, 01:25:34 pm »
Now we’re getting somewhere!

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2016, 01:30:52 pm »
I have found I can edit the gpx, by doing a replace all of 1935-12, with 2016-04.  Not the best having the unit's date decades out, but could be a work around.

Sorry, I meant replace 2035-12 in the gpx with 2016-04...   :-[  HCx Unit time = 1935, gpx time = 2035.  Does that change anything?

I did the reset followed swiftly by 'super master reset' again.  1935 remains.

I can try draining the internal battery for a long period.  To date only done o/n; though who knows it could take months to discharge...

Someone has looked at the circuit board battery for a HCx satellite issues:

Quote
This is a small ~6mm diameter coin cell located near the ribbon cable connector for the micro SD card. I'm not sure if this cell is rechargeable or not. I do know that I measured the cell's voltage at about 0.25V. I desoldered the cell, and briefly applied 3V to the terminals to charge it up past 2V. Once I soldered the cell back in, the unit immediately acquired satellites upon rebooting.

This is interesting, from t'interweb:

Quote
I had this problem when I first got my legend. The problem is (apparently) that when the almanac was downloaded from the satellites it got corrupted, and that causes a date offset. The almanac won't expire for something like 6 months, so until then, you will have the problem. What you need to do is a master reset on the unit, and that will force it to download the almanac again. However, you will lose all stored waypoints, tracks, routes, etc. (Strangely, you don't lose loaded maps).


Update - Garmin support option hit the buffers.  Corrupted almanac/time can't be reset it seems, and they no longer take in units for repair (which I wouldn't do anyway).

So it's wait for the battery to discharge, or use & edit the gpx file.



edit.

Interestingly Garmin says 'there is no internal battery in the eTrex Vista HCx. ... It relies solely on the AA batteries inserted'. 

That's it with this unit I guess (so edit 2035 in gpx to 2016).

In the course of reseting, I discovered that the test data screen can be made to change to multi coloured rectangular frames moving out towards the edge of the display.  Funky.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2016, 02:03:36 pm »
+4 months


Thought I'd fire up the offending HCx to see if a few months without batteries achieved anything - unit now states 1936.   ;)   I left it in the garden all day basking under satellites, having done a uber-master-reset; still on 1936 later.  If anyone else has further thoughts feel free to share...   :)

In the meantime will probably get on and renew the DIY doublesided tape (under the 'rubber band') on my back-up HCx, and carry on using that. 
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2016, 04:11:46 pm »
Has it got a battery backed real time clock inside it, perhaps the battery is fubar? (long shot, but dont think I saw it in any of the above replies?)
Regards,

Joergen

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2016, 06:20:54 pm »
Has it got a battery backed real time clock inside it, perhaps the battery is fubar? (long shot, but dont think I saw it in any of the above replies?)

I can't remember how the HCx woked, but on the eTrex 30 the RTC runs from the main battery.  Remove the battery for more than a minute or so and the clock will be wrong on startup and it will take longer to get a first fix.  It remembers what GPS epoch it's in, though, presumably by writing to flash memory (perhaps that position.gpx file).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2016, 06:27:57 pm »
That file contains a single timestamp and a single waypoint, marking the time and place it was powered down,  eg
Code: [Select]
... (header stuff) ... <time>2016-02-13T10:00:56Z</time></metadata><wpt lat="54.383525" lon="-1.059999"/></gpx>
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Samuel D

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2016, 11:36:42 am »
Surely it’s worth manually editing that file then? Since the device is useless as it stands anyway. Save a copy of the original file just in case.

If this fails, I think your last hope is to keep bugging Garmin until you get the attention of a bona fide engineer. I cannot believe Garmin doesn’t have a way to nudge these devices into the correct epoch. But the customer service reps may not know about it.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2016, 02:01:27 pm »
Thanks all.

Where would I find the position.gpx file to attempt an edit?

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #45 on: August 25, 2016, 02:20:19 pm »
Where would I find the position.gpx file to attempt an edit?

On an eTrex 30.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2016, 02:39:26 pm »
There is a utility that Garmin support provided to some people in the past, called something like garmin_timeset.exe, but I've not had any luck tracking it down.

In the meantime, have you tried poking the GPS chipset software with this?
I know it's quite old...

https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=3731#Instruct

Samuel D

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2016, 02:57:19 pm »
I get unreasonably excited every time someone, Feanor now, provides a glimmer of hope.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2016, 04:07:23 pm »
Where would I find the position.gpx file to attempt an edit?

On an eTrex 30.

ah yes.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Etrex HCx wrong date...
« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2016, 04:07:53 pm »
There is a utility that Garmin support provided to some people in the past, called something like garmin_timeset.exe, but I've not had any luck tracking it down.

In the meantime, have you tried poking the GPS chipset software with this?
I know it's quite old...

https://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=3731#Instruct

Thanks - may try this.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.