Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => GPS Gear and Tips => Topic started by: zrock on May 14, 2007, 10:29:47 PM

Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: zrock on May 14, 2007, 10:29:47 PM
Hi

Just wondering which ones you guys like the best.
I have no clue about them. Plus there are so many to pick from.
Anything good for less than $200??? $100???

 :cool:
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: bdann on May 15, 2007, 08:25:03 AM
Several GPS topics here: http://www.bigbendchat.com/viewforum.php?f=36

I have a Garmin 60Csx...and it rocks.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: zrock on May 15, 2007, 09:36:14 AM
Thanks

 :oops:

I should have searched first.

Wow !!!

Those things can be expensive..........
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on May 16, 2007, 09:58:58 PM
Garmin 60CSX - Everthing you could ask for.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: gatorbred on May 17, 2007, 05:54:12 AM
since the less I carry the better, I have found my Motokrzr cell GPS works great.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: BigBendHiker on May 17, 2007, 06:12:00 AM
Garmin 60CSx here.  Works great for both hiking and city nav.


BBH
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Drifter on May 24, 2007, 10:20:48 AM
Hey, GPS units are very nice and are helpful but only, and I stress only after you have a very intimate relationship with map and compass.  It doesn't help to know your Lat. and Lon. if you don't know where you are.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: dryer on May 24, 2007, 04:56:41 PM
I own a couple of GPS's, and almost never backpack with them.  A map and compass won't run out of batteries, doesn't weight as much as a GPS, and on known trails, a GPS is really only a novelty (to me....).  I use them in the car, on the kayak and boat, to map trails for future reference, and in my ham radio hobby.   In the pack they simply didn't earn their keep, so I don't carry them anymore.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Undertaker on May 24, 2007, 06:49:30 PM
Second the map and compass.  :cool:
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on May 24, 2007, 07:01:04 PM
I second (or third) the use of a compass  and a map. I always carry both to be used in conjunction with GPS.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Roy on May 24, 2007, 09:30:34 PM
Sony has one thast attaches to your camera, helps keep track of where you were when you shot your pics;  and I think CanoNikon may have them soon.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Al on May 24, 2007, 10:47:57 PM
Depends on how good you are with a map and compass and the visibility of landmarks.  A GPS doesn't weigh all that much and WILL help you spot yourself on a 7.5 or 15 minute map.  Just remember there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in a degree when interpolating between tick marks.  A ruler is desirable although the measurement is relative and a slide rule never hurts (just kidding).  We've argued more than once where we were on the map. We always eventually figure it out without using a GPS though, at least so far.

Al
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Undertaker on May 25, 2007, 02:18:12 PM
I might have failed to mention GPS is great however; Murphy is my brother, if it can go wrong it will!!!! On second thought the reason I go to BB is to get lost from the rest of civilization :lol:
Title: Garmin 101
Post by: RedBuffalo on May 25, 2007, 05:07:40 PM
Actual "use" and "intention" is key to deciding what you need.  I used a Garmin 101 in March and loved it.  It was particulary useful in tracking my distance and average speed, which helped me predict trail times more accurately and help me manage my water intake.  I hiked Casa Grande and Mule Ears Peak and the little unit was invaluable.  Both trails are clearly marked so the GPS was mainly for information and not location.  I did drop a waypoint when leaving the trail to assend MEP and was able to navigate "to the boot print" when coming down.  Should you want to go off trail then more topo features would be appropriate with a better model.

I suggest either buying in low or borrowing to see how you like it.  I won't get on the trail without mine.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: PyramidBlaster on May 26, 2007, 08:09:15 AM
I'll concur with what's been said before: GPS's are handy for saving waypoints or tracking progress, but there simply isn't a good substitute for map, Compass, and the best navigational aid of them all---That lump above yer shoulders....

I carry one, an old Eagle/Lowrance Expedition...On boot-up, it says, "Do not rely on this product as your primary source of navigation"...Couldn't agree more. I'm retiring it this year for a Lowrance iFinder H2OC, unless I find one I like better....Still consider it a luxury, however...More used on the car ride than the trail.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: PyramidBlaster on May 26, 2007, 08:25:39 AM
On second thought, that 60CSX is mighty nice.....
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: WL2 on May 26, 2007, 11:38:54 AM
GPS stuff

First, the map and compass thing is like any other common sense warning; I do not need to go there any more.  

Now for GPS users, as stated before either you like them or you do not.  If you do not care for GPS then no big deal, go without one.  However, if you are interested then think about all the possibilities a mapping GPS unit offers.  Think of waypoints and tracks as taking pictures, they are a way to remember hikes.  If you find something interesting and want to return or want to share with someone else then GPS coordinates and tracks are really nice.  The map on the GPS screen is really very small, but it can still help you in route finding, especially if the trail is on the GPS map.  Points of interest are found on most GPS maps and these are also helpful in finding interesting places and staying on route.  With a few notable exceptions most of us get out to BIBE once or twice a year and have a very limited time to explore and see the wonderful backcountry sites.  A mapping GPS with waypoints, points of interest, and routes to explore can allow for a better use of the time available.  These things are remarkably reliable, lightweight, and have long battery life.  A spare unit tucked away in a pack or making sure there is more than on unit in your hiking group is not all that unreasonable.  Tomorrow it may be some other unit suitable for hiking, but right now the Garmin 60CSx is right at the top of short list for great mapping units.  Of course there are other units, just pick one and have fun.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: SHANEA on May 26, 2007, 12:32:51 PM
Quote from: "WL2"
GPS stuff


I think you said that quite well.   :cool:
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: ed on July 08, 2007, 05:59:26 PM
GPS units can get to your desired location.  We used one last year near Glenn Springs to hike cross country, and it was a difficult hike.  If we had used the trail that was listed on the topo map it would have saved us over 30 minutes.  We did take the trail back to the car.
GPS units are great but knowledge of the area is more important.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: BigBendHiker on July 08, 2007, 07:57:35 PM
Quote from: "ed"
GPS units can get to your desired location.  We used one last year near Glenn Springs to hike cross country, and it was a difficult hike.  If we had used the trail that was listed on the topo map it would have saved us over 30 minutes.  We did take the trail back to the car.
GPS units are great but knowledge of the area is more important.


I second that.  The GPS is a great tool, but it is not an end all.  It is an adjunct to the compass and topo map.


BBH
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: stingrey on July 25, 2007, 04:55:19 AM
One thing I can't find about GPS's is whether or not you can use maps from other GPS's or whatever... In short, I am debating between a Rino 530HCX and one of these 60CSX's that everyone here seems to enjoy so much...

For reference, the 530HCX was just released from what I gather and is a noteable improvement over the plain 'ol 530 which is rated either high or low depending on whether or not you got a good one. I'm torn between the two and want to know (both by Garmin) if you guys think the maps would be interchangeable.

I need some general advice in this area because I basically ONLY want the maps for Big Bend right now and the trip I'd be taking to use this gadget during will be on 8/13... ANY advice appreciated! As a side note, the things I like about the Rino are the hunting/fishing calendar (I don't hunt and seldom fish, but still),l the weather radio (NOAA I believe?) feature, and the walkie talkie feature ALL built into one.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: homerboy2u on July 25, 2007, 11:12:40 AM
Well Stingrey, let me tell you that more than one have travelled thru that road before. I myself included, and since posting the same questions and venting out my inquiries with the best gps guys a forum can provide , i have come to the conclusion that due to the features the Garmin 60 CSX provides, it is the best gps money can buy, plus it won the 2006 Outdoor Magazine gps of the year award.

 A humble opinion, from a guy who knows very little about GPS?s... :oops:
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on July 25, 2007, 06:25:47 PM
Quote from: "stingrey"
One thing I can't find about GPS's is whether or not you can use maps from other GPS's or whatever... In short, I am debating between a Rino 530HCX and one of these 60CSX's that everyone here seems to enjoy so much...



GPS manufacturers tend to be very proprietary about their maps. Garmin can only use their MAPSOURCE series. Although the selection is quite good it is by no means cheap.

http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/

There are options for those who are computer-comfortable, where you can actually generate some real good custom maps.

http://home.cinci.rr.com/creek/garmin.htm

I have generated some Topos for the park that are better resolution than the Garmin topo series and almost infinitely customizable.
Title: ?
Post by: SHANEA on July 25, 2007, 06:52:55 PM
http://www.gpsnow.com pricing.  

Garmin Rino 530HCx PKG incl USB PC Cable $419.95
Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx PKG incl USB PC Interface cable $369.95

Looking at the specs, the main thing I don't like about the Rino upfront is that
Quote
removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack


So, can I use other batteries when the rechargeable drain in 18 hours?
Quote
Battery Life 18 hours, typical
 or do I have to charge from the truck or A/C?  The 60CSx uses 2AA disposable.   I carry extras and have rechargeable in the truck.   If I have to recharge, doesn't do me much good up on the mountain when I find the secret cave with all the gold in it and can't mark it so I can find it again.  :P

To me, that's the biggest question.  The radio and transmitter are bound to chew up the battery life.

The 60CSx also has a larger display - which is pretty important if you are going to "read the map" on it.  A 1/2" may not sound like much, but compared to the ole Vista that I had, it's a lot of real estate.
Rhino 530HCx 1.3" x 1.7" (3.3 x 4.3 cm)
60CSx 1.5" x 2.2" (3.8 x 5.6 cm)

I'm not sure how the resolution compares???
Rhino 176 x 220 pixels
60CSx 160 x 240 pixels

FRS/GMRS will this radio communicate with other radios on these bands?  Or, can you communicate with only another Rhino?  The Rhino indicates that it uses a voice scrambler?????

Rhino does have the ability to record the external temp.

Having two Rhino's would be neat to be able to send coordinates back and forth, if you are going to buy two units.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: WL2 on July 25, 2007, 08:09:12 PM
I have two Rino 120's and they are nice even though they only have one watt ouput.  However, I find myself using my 60CS and also carring a GMRS radio rather than using the Rino's.  If I had the newer Rino with more power and longer range maybe I would prefer them, but if I was buying today it would be a 60Csx and a Midland radio.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: stingrey on July 25, 2007, 09:00:20 PM
You see, that's my exact problem! :) The Rino uses the standard GMRS and FRS channels, so you can effectively communicate with all who have regular walkie talkies... This model is supposed to be comparable in performance to the 60CSx, but as was mentioned, the proprietary battery thing is something I was NOT thinking about... Hmm... :(

Basically the fact that the walkie is a higher output version of the 120s (and the regular 530 for that matter in this new 530HCx format) makes me want to pick that one... BUT there is bound to be something that is not quite perfect on it. The moon/sun calendar and the hunting/fishing feature and the weather radio and the fact that you COULD use it as a walkie make me want this one... That and I found a vendor selling it at $380 :) BUT I still don't understand whether or not you can use all the same maps and all with each GPS. I am sure you can, but I'm an extreme newb when it comes to portable GPS's. My car has one and I love it, and I want to mark the spots we visit, etc., but running out of juice when we find the lost gold will really hurt... Decisions, decisions.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: WL2 on July 26, 2007, 06:21:53 AM
All the GARMIN Mapping GPS units can load the various Garmin Maspsource maps.  The "National Parks 24K topo central" includes Big Bend and has essentially the same detail as the 7.5 minute USGS maps.  In addition it has a lot of points of interest like springs, geographic places, etc.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: stingrey on July 26, 2007, 06:37:19 AM
And I just found that the Rino has an optional battery pack that lets you pop in some AA batteries... So... I'm still undecided! :) BUT they Rino isn't in stock in many places yet since it is new... And I've still got a couple of weeks to at least wait for one or two reviews if this bad boy hits the stores before then... I'll keep you guys posted either way!

Thanks for the info on the maps, but  what exactly does that mean about the Natinoal Parks map having the same detail as the USGS maps? I know I've seen some maps for sale here and there, and from what I gather (based on your info), the National Parks one has more POIs than the 7.5 minute one?
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: stingrey on August 02, 2007, 10:40:48 AM
Would there be a clear advantage to getting the National Park maps versus just entering coordinates for places we want to get to? We won't be doing any 15 mile hikes this time around... Any input would be appreciated as this gear has to get to me in time and be learned before going to the park in a couple of weeks. I will be getting the 530 most likely.
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: RichardM on August 03, 2007, 08:45:15 AM
(http://images.chron.com/apps/comics/images/2007/8/3/Speed_Bump.579.g.gif)
Title: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: stingrey on August 03, 2007, 09:33:48 AM
For reference, I won't be using the GPS to get to/from the park... Just on the hikes that we will be choosing. My car already has a built in navi system for driving and what not. I'm really scrambling for insight into GPS software at this point, so if anyone can help, email me direct @ stingrey@stingrey.com. I don't mind shelling out a few bucks for a lesson or some info, either. Help!
Title: Good topic
Post by: iCe on September 19, 2007, 02:33:11 PM
I am sitting here reading about GPS devices on my computer screen while perusing a DeLorme Topo USA map on the other screen and cross referencing the DeLorme topo to a Trails Illustrated map of Big Bend :cool:


BTW- I have and use a Garmin 7Csx. It's claim to fame is that it floats and when it's used in a kayak that's a good thing. Other than that and the fact that it doesn't have an external antenna it's very similar to the 60CSx that everyone here likes.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Red Hawk on September 23, 2007, 10:26:54 AM
zrock. Greetings.

I'm a professional navigator (at sea and on land) and have used satellite, then GPS since 1972. Recreationally, I've used the little GPS's for a number of years and found that they are a help but not a substitute for a good map and compass. Batterties fail, they get lost, they get broke and worst: they distract me from the real reasons for being there.  Nevertheless, I do use a little Garmin etrex. It costs around $100 and tells me all I need to know.

Tiny map screens make it really hard to get the big picture especially when bushwacking. I've always preferred to have the paper charts and topos for orienteering and for understanding the lay of the land. Mostly, I simply use the GPS to give me a position fix to plot on the map. I don't need or use almost everything else that they can do. Though, my little etrex has a neat list of over two hundred campsites where I have stayed, and thats very nice. 

Real map and compass make it easier than handheld GPS to identify that distant peak or see the best route to a spring. Perhaps most importantly to me, real paper topos are a delight, especially when they get all marked up with notes, coffee and trail stains; they make it possible to relive the trip in a much more personal and immediate way even years later.

Like cell phones, they are an additional tool in your quiver, not a replacement for good outdoor skills.  spc
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: xseption on December 05, 2007, 02:46:48 PM
Sony has one thast attaches to your camera, helps keep track of where you were when you shot your pics;  and I think CanoNikon may have them soon.
I would be very interested in one of those!

Appreciate the insights in using a GPS unit!

~ edd
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: stingrey on December 05, 2007, 03:21:48 PM
You know, I never followed up on this thread when I actually got my GPS. The 530HCx is pretty sweet... That's the one I ended up buying! as PyramidBlaster might be able to confirm, the walkie talkie feature came in pretty handy a couple of times! Once when we were about to begin "high tailing" it from a late ranger show in the basin (by Lost Mine trailhead) all the way to Tuff Canyon... As PyramidBlaster passed by, he hit talk and asked if that was me passing him by.

Turns out it was me, and furthermore I just saved us from flying all the way to Tuff and not meeting PyramidBlaster since he wouldn't have been there!!! The battery life on the 530HCx is so good that I never had to turn the walkie feature off to conserve power, and for that reason I caught that message where I'd have otherwise just continued on down the road. That is just one example of how the walkie feature came in handy... I've used it in several other similar situations where that feature just seemed to save the day.

The GPS functionality? That is pretty handy, too! Though I don't know how to use EVERY feature of that bad boy, I'd have to say that considering how much it does, it is pretty easy to use without a manual. The maps on the small screen are fine for me when I'd otherwise have to contemplate how far away X was or how to track back from the way I came (if hiking off trail for example), and the visibility in the sun is great, too. All in all, this rugged device is quite nifty and then some!

If you are in the market for a hand held GPS, I HIGHLY recommend this bad boy if you also at times find yourself playing with walkie talkies. The form factor is similar to a portable GPS and/or walkie, but all in one unit. The signal acquisition is superb, the satellites are tracked/available even under the cover of trees, and the thing has an NOAA weather receiver built into it. Need a weather update? Need directions? Need to call someone up who just passed you buy on their way to meet you? It does it all and then some!

:)
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on December 05, 2007, 05:58:25 PM
I just made the plunge and purchased a 60CSx. I bought the North American road maps but balked at the $100+ price for the National Parks Central when all I need is Big Bend. So am trying the link that Badnees posted to create my own topos. While I still take the topo paper maps along I like having the GPS as a confirmation of where I'm at (or think I'm at) especially when traveling the Sierra Quemada where washes don't always show up on the maps. Plus having the ability to track speed and projected arrival is nice to have as well as some of the other features.

Quite frankly a GPS is just faster when it comes to navigation. I love looking at maps and figuring out the routes but I like the simplicity of using the GPS.

What I really like about the 60CSx is that it is cross functional and can serve as a route navigator. I do some cycling and this feature will really come in handy when out in the country on unfamiliar roads. Mounted on the handlebars it will be easier to reference that a small map that you have to stop to look at. While on vacation, it as the ability to pull up business locations to find a place to eat!
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on December 05, 2007, 06:52:20 PM
I just made the plunge and purchased a 60CSx. I bought the North American road maps but balked at the $100+ price for the National Parks Central when all I need is Big Bend. So am trying the link that Badnees posted to create my own topos. While I still take the topo paper maps along I like having the GPS as a confirmation of where I'm at (or think I'm at) especially when traveling the Sierra Quemada where washes don't always show up on the maps. Plus having the ability to track speed and projected arrival is nice to have as well as some of the other features.

Quite frankly a GPS is just faster when it comes to navigation. I love looking at maps and figuring out the routes but I like the simplicity of using the GPS.

What I really like about the 60CSx is that it is cross functional and can serve as a route navigator. I do some cycling and this feature will really come in handy when out in the country on unfamiliar roads. Mounted on the handlebars it will be easier to reference that a small map that you have to stop to look at. While on vacation, it as the ability to pull up business locations to find a place to eat!


Making the maps is not quick, but they turn out very well. Let me know if you have any trouble or need any data. I have done most of the park in great detail. My map is still a work in progress as I collect more tracks to add to my map. If you can get .gpx files and convert them to polylines they are extremely accurate. Most of the USGS 24k quad data for trails are off in many places. This is the data that Garmin uses for the National Pak Topo so you do the math.


Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: cjacob on December 05, 2007, 09:14:41 PM
I just made the plunge and purchased a 60CSx. I bought the North American road maps but balked at the $100+ price for the National Parks Central when all I need is Big Bend. So am trying the link that Badnees posted to create my own topos. While I still take the topo paper maps along I like having the GPS as a confirmation of where I'm at (or think I'm at) especially when traveling the Sierra Quemada where washes don't always show up on the maps. Plus having the ability to track speed and projected arrival is nice to have as well as some of the other features.

Quite frankly a GPS is just faster when it comes to navigation. I love looking at maps and figuring out the routes but I like the simplicity of using the GPS.

What I really like about the 60CSx is that it is cross functional and can serve as a route navigator. I do some cycling and this feature will really come in handy when out in the country on unfamiliar roads. Mounted on the handlebars it will be easier to reference that a small map that you have to stop to look at. While on vacation, it as the ability to pull up business locations to find a place to eat!

Are you in Austin? 
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on December 06, 2007, 08:42:10 AM
Thanks Badknees. I just finished making a small test map and loaded successfully to the unit. I have an older version of the Trails Illustrated so I believe I can create .gpx files with that but I don't know for sure. I'm not too concerned about having the trails since I've hiked most of them already. I'm looking forward to starting on the park.

One question- when you create your maps, how much of an area do you do at one time?

Cjacob- I'm in San Antonio.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on December 06, 2007, 09:57:21 AM
Thanks Badknees. I just finished making a small test map and loaded successfully to the unit. I have an older version of the Trails Illustrated so I believe I can create .gpx files with that but I don't know for sure. I'm not too concerned about having the trails since I've hiked most of them already. I'm looking forward to starting on the park.

One question- when you create your maps, how much of an area do you do at one time?

Cjacob- I'm in San Antonio.

When I download from the USGS Seamless site, I use the 7.5 minute template. I have 40 individual Geottifs...Polish Format and then .img files generated for the park at this time.

If you grab too big an area, the compiling time for the image file gets long ( on my 2.4 GHz + 2 GB Ram). On a multicore machine it may be faster but by using a fixed 7.5 minute quad you can easily keep track of what you have already downloaded.


If you download the data for all of the water features for the whole park by sub basin, you can import that into your map (.shp file), and then trim before compiling the image file. This way you only have to do one download of water features. You can follow the same strategy for other shape files, like roads, trails etc.


Question... Do you intend to run these in Mapsource as well as yr GPS unit?
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on December 06, 2007, 10:27:42 AM
Quote
Question... Do you intend to run these in Mapsource as well as yr GPS unit?

That's what I used to upload the map to the GPS.

I did not notice the 7.5 minute template on the USGS Seamless site but I'll take a look at it. 40 files, isn't that pretty much the whole park?

I also have not downloaded any of the water feature data, or trail/roads but plan on it.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on December 06, 2007, 10:41:47 AM
Quote
Question... Do you intend to run these in Mapsource as well as yr GPS unit?

That's what I used to upload the map to the GPS.

I did not notice the 7.5 minute template on the USGS Seamless site but I'll take a look at it. 40 files, isn't that pretty much the whole park?

I also have not downloaded any of the water feature data, or trail/roads but plan on it.

40 files covers most of it, except some stuff in the NNW corner.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

I actually working on another custom map of BBRSP.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on December 18, 2007, 06:03:56 PM
Badknees, I have some additional questions. First off, what are the values you use to create the minor, intermediate, and major contours in Dem2Topo? I'm playing around with it am interested in what you feel works best.

Also, where did you get the trails and campsites that were in the snapshot you posted of the South Rim? Was this from the data on the Geocom website.

Thanks! Robert
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on December 18, 2007, 06:28:49 PM
Badknees, I have some additional questions. First off, what are the values you use to create the minor, intermediate, and major contours in Dem2Topo? I'm playing around with it am interested in what you feel works best.

Also, where did you get the trails and campsites that were in the snapshot you posted of the South Rim? Was this from the data on the Geocom website.

Thanks! Robert

Robert,

I use 500, 200 and 20 for major, intermediate, and minor.

Some of the trails and campsites are from GPS tracks I have recorded. Some trails are from the NPS GIS data bank under Big Bend. Some are plotted from existing USGS topos using GPS Visualizer web tools.

Each time I record a GPS position or can get recorded coordinates, I adjust as necessary and recompile the .mp file affected.

Let me know if you need any data.


Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on December 19, 2007, 09:07:08 AM
Thanks, is there a way to get the minor contours to be solid rather than dotted line?
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on December 19, 2007, 03:52:35 PM
Thanks, is there a way to get the minor contours to be solid rather than dotted line?

Should be solid in Mapsource and on your GPS. Are seeing the dotted display in Mapedit?
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on December 19, 2007, 04:08:55 PM
Yes, in GPSMapEdit. Thanks.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on December 19, 2007, 05:42:03 PM
Yes, in GPSMapEdit. Thanks.

Once you compile the map and open in Mapsource all will be well.

Let me know if you need anything else.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on January 05, 2008, 08:34:04 PM
Robert,

How are you coming along with yr custom maps?
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on January 05, 2008, 08:49:00 PM
Your timing couldn't be better. We'll be heading out to the park next week and hiking in the Sierra Quemadas. I have created a custom topo that I'm pretty happy with. I have a lot of custom waypoints to mark landmarks, springs, etc. The one glitch that I haven't spent time with was with the POI's. I downloaded the POI loader and loaded a bunch of custom POI's but I can't see them in the unit. Not too big of a deal because the important stuff I created with waypoints.

I created routes with the Route tool (using Waypoints) and the Tracks tool. Is there that big of a difference between the two?
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on January 05, 2008, 09:20:49 PM
Robert,

I have not done much with the POI loader, but I use waypoints. If the point of interest is important or something I want to have all the time, I just compile it in the map at some point.

Regarding your question about tracks vs routes:

Tracks are a history. Routes are planning.

You can view a track on the GPS unit and trackback with it, ie pick the nearest point and follow it to its origin or reverse.

With a route, you can select and actively navigate that route. The difference is somewhat subtle, but the best overall choice for planning is the route.

Once you save an active track log from recording actual hikes, that can be used as a trackback guide instantly in the backcountry.

Good luck on your trip.

Save some tracks and share them.


Remember your actual recorded tracks are the BEST data for updating your maps. Import the track into GPSmapedit as a gpx file and convert to polyline, label and compile. Presto..........you have a very accurate trail at that point.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on January 06, 2008, 07:58:08 AM
Quote
Tracks are a history. Routes are planning.

While that's what I thought but Mapsource has the ability to create a "route" using the tracks tool. The only difference that I can discern is that it lays down many more points along the way. I can see the value in recording where you've been but if you're going to be off trail, laying down a pre-planned track doesn't have much advantage because you're likely to not follow that route to the letter.

It would be nice if the software allowed you to drag a waypoint to track point instead of editing it.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on January 06, 2008, 08:07:19 AM
Quote
Tracks are a history. Routes are planning.

While that's what I thought but Mapsource has the ability to create a "route" using the tracks tool. The only difference that I can discern is that it lays down many more points along the way. I can see the value in recording where you've been but if you're going to be off trail, laying down a pre-planned track doesn't have much advantage because you're likely to not follow that route to the letter.

It would be nice if the software allowed you to drag a waypoint to track point instead of editing it.

The difference between track and route in Mapsource is not so significant. There are some properties of the route that include navigation instructions. They do, however operate differently in the GPS unit as described in my other post.

If you right click on a waypoint in Mapsource, select move waypoint, you then can drag it.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Robert on January 06, 2008, 08:26:17 AM
Looks like you can only move it when it is not part of a route. If it is part of a route the "Move" menu does not show up.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Peach on January 23, 2008, 03:10:59 PM
Glad you asked this question!  I want a GPS so bad and haven't a clue what to look for! :icon_smile:
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: homerboy2u on January 24, 2008, 08:44:41 AM
Glad you asked this question!  I want a GPS so bad and haven't a clue what to look for! :icon_smile:
Hello Peach;

  In my truly humble opinion, I bought the    Garmin GPSMap 60 Csx    (https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=310) unit,it is the best unit you can buy. It has all the features you could probably wish for. There are more images on the   Owners Manual  (http://www8.garmin.com/manuals/GPSMAP60CSx_OwnersManual.pdf) , but i am going to let the GPS gurus, who by now have caught up on this tempting thread, and let them step forward with their best sound advice this webpage can mustard.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on January 24, 2008, 05:05:27 PM
Glad you asked this question!  I want a GPS so bad and haven't a clue what to look for! :icon_smile:
Hello Peach;

  In my truly humble opinion, I bought the    Garmin GPSMap 60 Csx    (https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=310) unit,it is the best unit you can buy. It has all the features you could probably wish for. There are more images on the   Owners Manual  (http://www8.garmin.com/manuals/GPSMAP60CSx_OwnersManual.pdf) , but i am going to let the GPS gurus, who by now have caught up on this tempting thread, and let them step forward with their best sound advice this webpage can mustard.

I'm a 60CSX owner, and very satisfied.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: Peach on January 24, 2008, 08:20:56 PM
Thanks!  I'm gonna take a trip into Houston and check one out!
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: dkerr24 on January 25, 2008, 11:15:20 AM
The 60csx looks like a nice unit, but I wonder how battery life is with a color display vs black & white.  A color screen seems like overkill for a handheld unit.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: badknees on January 25, 2008, 12:44:39 PM
The 60csx looks like a nice unit, but I wonder how battery life is with a color display vs black & white.  A color screen seems like overkill for a handheld unit.

I previously had a Garmin GPS 12 that had a monochromatic screen and it took 4 AA's and would last about 18-20 hrs. It was hard to read in sunlight and a fairly low resolution screen.

In contrast, my 60CSX has a great color screen that is easy to read in the sunlight and it goes about 18 hrs on 2 AA's (alkaline). Don't know how long it would go on lithium.

Color is very nice.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: LandCruisers4Life on February 05, 2008, 12:15:37 PM
A lot of nay sayers on GPS here. However after having used GPS extensively in the military, I can tell you it works. I also have a healthy background in using map and compass too. I love compasses... I'd collect them if my wife let me. GPS is a great tool. Consider it just that, one of the tools in your navigational tool box. Always keep a topo map of the area you are visiting (in this case a trails illustrated BB topo would be perfect), a good map compass (Know how to use them, and if not find some way to learn). I have two GPS units in my Land Cruiser - the one in dash that it came with, and a Lowrance unit which is hand held and has worked well for me for years now.

I recommend Lowrance or Garmin GPS units. After having a majority of Magellan GPS failures while I was in the service, I cannot recommend Magellan.


Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: dkerr24 on February 05, 2008, 01:58:46 PM
landcruiser:  I have to agree with you on the Magellan units.  My Magellan 210 sometimes will not see the satellites (even though I'm standing on open ground with clear view of the sky) and I have to restart it several times.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: oldfatman on February 05, 2008, 02:33:10 PM
I have hiked over a lot of desolate country and Viet Nam with only a map and compass.  Everything was fine.  Where the GPS really gained a place with me is in Idaho, Washington, Nevada and Oregon.  Those states were the ones I got turned around in while driving and seeing the scenery.  A lot of territory up there looks similar to the rest in between the spots of fantastic scenery and the gravel backroads wind around like nothing I have seen in Texas.   In five years I bet I lost track of where I was 40 or 50 times.  One chunk of farmland looks like the rest in the Palouse of Washington or the Bitterroots of Idaho.  The GPS got me oriented correctly and located so I could continue my journey with comfort.  Aside from this they are great fun if you play the Geocache game. I use the cheapest Garmin Etrex available ($88) at Target when I bought it years ago.  With a map all I need to know is where I am and I am good to go out and have tooooo much fun.
Title: Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
Post by: presidio on February 05, 2008, 03:37:41 PM
The 60csx looks like a nice unit, but I wonder how battery life is with a color display vs black & white.  A color screen seems like overkill for a handheld unit.

While color is not essential, it does make a world of difference in ease of use. There's only so much you can do with 16 shades of grey and speed of mental assimilation of data is much faster with color.

There does not appear to be any significant penalty for color; after all an LCD is an LCD for the most part. I use a GPSMap 76c. It will run 3 times longer on half the batteries of my old monochrome 12XL. Now, most of that difference is in improvement in the processor and display technologies, but unless you are buying a low end unit, color is pretty much your only choice anyway.

I would be way more concerned about non-essential doodads that are being added by all manufacturers in the never-ending gadget race. All of them eat batteries without adding anything to navigation. Those would be the LED lights, walkie-talkie modes, barometers, thermometers, cameras, games (why do you need games on a GPS?), MP3 players, secret decoder rings and such.

I would recommend a high end model without all or most of those relatively useless features (and it may be getting harder to avoid them). Large internal memory and the ability to use a data card of some type are much more important. Why pay for another piece of hardware that essentially duplicates the current state of cell phone feature overload?

Since the manufacturers are continually releasing new models, look for a generation or two back (but still in production) and you should find some good bargains as those prices drop when the new ones hit the market.