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Old 08-06-2014, 03:57 PM   #1
Goofaroo OP
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Need quick help with GPS choice

I'm leaving in two weeks to ride the COBDR and up until now my plan has been to just use the Butler map. Now I'm having second thoughts.

So I decided I would buy a GPS, download the tracks(or whatever they're called) from the website, head to Four Corners, hit the "start button" and be on my way. However this is turning out much more complicated than I thought and I have a huge list of other things I should be doing to get ready for this trip. At this point, I would really appreciate some quick guidance so that I can order a GPS, load the tracks, and understand what to do when I get there.

From what I understand I need a GPS with this:
"Any GPS unit capable of displaying 10 track logs with a minimum of 500 points each is
suitable for use on the COBDR. Garmin models that work best for this application are: Zumo 665/660, Montana,
GPSMap 60, 62, 76, 78 and 276. Other GPS manufacturers may have units that will work. Check the technical specs to
determine suitability."

I have looked at a few of these on Ebay and would like to spend as little as possible and would like to have one that is complete with everything I need and easy to use because I'm somewhat of a "12:00 flasher" when it comes to this. I have an old Magellin Explorist that I used to take the kids geocaching but that is pretty much the extent of my GPS experience.

I would like to get a unit on order pronto and then take it from there. Any advice and guidance would be very much appreciated. Ideally, I'd like to spend about $100 to $300 and I'm not at all opposed to buying used.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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Would something like this work? Is that the cable that I need to download tracks?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-GPSMA...item19f1884495
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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I just bought a Garmin GPSMap 60CS.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
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Ugh, if you can reverse that decision, you might want to... that is a non-expandable unit. In other words, you cannot add a memory card to accommodate additional maps and it only has 56MB built-in for maps.

It is *very* old and out of date :(
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmEff View Post
Ugh, if you can reverse that decision, you might want to... that is a non-expandable unit. In other words, you cannot add a memory card to accommodate additional maps and it only has 56MB built-in for maps.

It is *very* old and out of date :(
I'm an owner.

I've been doing a bit of research but maybe I'm missing something here. My understanding is that the "raw" gpx file for the COBDR is 3.3MB. Does that sound about right? If that's the case, I will be fine as far as memory space. Unfortunately I don't take rides like this very often.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:33 PM   #6
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Need quick help with GPS choice

If all you're going to be doing is following a track, you will probably be fine. Keep in mind the built-in basemap is all but useless outside of showing major roads and cities. You don't have much memory for maps. If you don't need them, you'll be fine.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:34 PM   #7
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"Need quick help with GPS choice "

In your dreams. Choice may be quick, but use will take a while. You are in for a long learning curve. You must now get and master MapSource or Base/Camp.

60/76C are ok 60/76Cx better but hold same amount of Tracks.

Not sure what is published but you will need a set of 20x500 point tracks for the ride.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:45 AM   #8
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GPS Advice

I would recommend the Garmin zumo 660LM which is the one they make that is designed for motorcycles! It is water and weatherproof and it works incredibly well!

To manage maps and create routes you can download Basecamp from the Garmin website and also Garmin Express which is the map update program which works really well. The nice thing with Express is I have it set to start automatically if I reboot my computer. Also, I set the option to have it check for map updates automatically. When there are updates it pops open a window informing you that there are updates and you can then connect the GPS and it updates it.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:17 AM   #9
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droid gzone + locus + the dock+ some zip ties= maybe $140

it will handle 85 tracks at once, and likely 1-2000 waypoints too.

and it will do turn by turn voice navigation once you're back on a road.
and Geo tagged pictures.
and video.
and music.
and adv.


with free maps.

no basecamp involvement, no computer needed, no cables, no fiddling. down load your tracks, download some maps, go ride.

two weeks should be plenty of time to learn.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:01 PM   #10
Goofaroo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
"Need quick help with GPS choice "

In your dreams. Choice may be quick, but use will take a while. You are in for a long learning curve. You must now get and master MapSource or Base/Camp.

60/76C are ok 60/76Cx better but hold same amount of Tracks.

Not sure what is published but you will need a set of 20x500 point tracks for the ride.
I realize I have some homework to do.

The website download has two files- The "raw" file that is 3.3 MB and another file that says "500pts" which is only 609K. I am unsure what the difference is or which one I need. They are both named "COBDR final".

Is the 500pts file less detailed than the raw file? Is there any reason I would want that instead of the raw file?

To add to the puzzle, I run a Linux system at home but I can do this on my windows machine at work if I have to.

Quote:
I would recommend the Garmin zumo 660LM which is the one they make that is designed for motorcycles! It is water and weatherproof and it works incredibly well!

To manage maps and create routes you can download Basecamp from the Garmin website and also Garmin Express which is the map update program which works really well. The nice thing with Express is I have it set to start automatically if I reboot my computer. Also, I set the option to have it check for map updates automatically. When there are updates it pops open a window informing you that there are updates and you can then connect the GPS and it updates it.
Thanks for the input but I have a Garmin GPSmap 60CS. I won't be spending $600 on another unit.

I'll take a look at the website tonight and I'll probably just go ahead and download the software onto my laptop at work tomorrow.

Meanwhile I'm still scrambling to get everything ready for the trip. Tonight I've narrowed it down to my cooking equipment. I am starting to set up staging areas for different categories. It's just my son and I going but the preparation for this trip has been quite a project and my son had very little gear to start with. So far I've bought two bikes, helmets, assorted camping gear, boots, luggage, racks, tires, etc.,etc.,etc. I should have just taken a Mediterranean cruise and pocketed the savings! lol
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:37 PM   #11
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There has to be a forum member in your area you can take the GPS over too and will be able to load the tracks on it for you.

Since you already have the 500pt tracks it simply a matter of opening the software, connecting your GPS and uploading the tracks and appropriate maps to your unit.

I would also make certain to have the route traced out on a paper map as back up just in case the GPS croaks while on the trail.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM8 View Post
There has to be a forum member in your area you can take the GPS over too and will be able to load the tracks on it for you.

Since you already have the 500pt tracks it simply a matter of opening the software, connecting your GPS and uploading the tracks and appropriate maps to your unit.

I would also make certain to have the route traced out on a paper map as back up just in case the GPS croaks while on the trail.
I'm hoping that all I have to do is import the file and I'll be good to go. Can you enlighten me as to the difference in the raw file and 500pts file?

I have the map from Butler and my original plan was to just follow it and not use a GPS. Now that I'm within a couple of weeks of the trip I've decided that the GPS would probably save me a lot of time and aggravation so now I'm scrambling to educate myself.

I'm not sure what to expect from the GPS that I ordered but if I can just get a black line to follow with an arrow showing my current location that's really all I need.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofaroo View Post
Is the 500pts file less detailed than the raw file? Is there any reason I would want that instead of the raw file?

To add to the puzzle, I run a Linux system at home but I can do this on my windows machine at work if I have to.
Some GPSs have a limit of 500 points when you're loading a file. When recording a track, there can be many thousands of points. To deal with this, some people cut the journey up into small sections. More popular is taking out lots of the points that aren't required for you to follow the track. Look at both on your GPS. The 500 pt file is probably good enough, but the full file may be better.

The COBDR files in that .zip file are both .gpx files. You can use Linux to simply copy them into your GPS memory. You may want Basecamp but it's not required for this step. I have used GpsPrune and QLandKarteGT to display tracks and create routes. I'm not big on managing my rides from my armchair so I don't usually create routes.

Remember that if you delete a file from your GPS, for example a .gpx file of a day ride, you'll need to make your file manager "display hidden files" and then delete the .trash directory. If you don't delete .trash then the directory and file will still be taking space on your GPS. If you do this from a shell command window you'll know that the -a option shows hidden files.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:35 PM   #14
Goofaroo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinnin View Post
Some GPSs have a limit of 500 points when you're loading a file. When recording a track, there can be many thousands of points. To deal with this, some people cut the journey up into small sections. More popular is taking out lots of the points that aren't required for you to follow the track. Look at both on your GPS. The 500 pt file is probably good enough, but the full file may be better.

The COBDR files in that .zip file are both .gpx files. You can use Linux to simply copy them into your GPS memory. You may want Basecamp but it's not required for this step. I have used GpsPrune and QLandKarteGT to display tracks and create routes. I'm not big on managing my rides from my armchair so I don't usually create routes. I've read good reports about Tyre that is also available for Linux.

Remember that if you delete a file from your GPS, for example a .gpx file of a day ride, you'll need to make your file manager "display hidden files" and then delete the .trash directory. If you don't delete .trash then the directory and file will still be taking space on your GPS. If you do this from a shell command window you'll know that the -a option shows hidden files.
I really appreciate all the info. Unfortunately this all just theory for me at this point since I don't have the gps in hand yet. When I get it and start the process I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:53 PM   #15
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If you have the 60CS you'll be fine. It doesn't have the biggest screen, but its simple and it works.

I have the 60csx (has a compass sensor) and although I don't use it for navigation, I'm pretty familiar with how it works.

You really don't want/need the COBDR file with the raw tracks. That will just confuse you because if you try to load that file without manipulating it, the tracks are going to get truncated and you'll end up with big missing sections of the trail. The 60 series support 20 saved tracks of 500pts each and that's what you should find in the other COBDR file. That file is basically made exactly for what the 60 series supports. Using MapSource or basecamp, you open up the file and you should see the 20 or so saved tracks. With the GPS hooked to the PC, you will choose to send those tracks directly to your GPS. Make sure all other saved tracks are erased first or you might run out of room, because it can only store 20 saved tracks. If I remember, the 60 series loads the track logs with them all on by default. (Some GPS like the montanna where it "imports the files" tend to load them with them hidden and you have to turn on each track individually). It's pretty straight forward and simple really. About the only thing you may want to play with is what color tracks show up the best on the screen and you can do this either in MapSource or you can pull up each track individually on the GPS and change the color settings. I usually like cyan, but it depends too on the maps you have loaded. Hopefully your 60CS has at least some version of City Navigator on it or Topo otherwise you are basically just going to have bread crumb trails to follow and nothing else.

Now one thing to keep in mind with the tracks is you aren't going to get turn by turn directions. You will have to watch the screen to see which way you need to go. It's not hard though and you should get the hang of it fairly quickly.
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