Ask Ian. In this months Podcast we test Ian’s tech knowledge, as he answers some of the listeners questions.
Forward facing date – FIT file
Backward date – gpx file
At the end of a walk I check that the route taken is clearly drawn onto the map, then I switch the unit off. No problem so far.
On arrival home, even with the unit turned off, I find that the system has drawn a straight line connecting my home to the end point of my walk. Sometimes this can be many miles, and the actual walk route is then a tiny section at the end of a very long connecting line, making it unreadable.
Is there a way of preventing the GPS from drawing this unwanted connecting line, and why does it do it?
Save the track before heading home/switching the GPS off
The discrepancy can be observed by comparing the following screen shots:
In the first shot, I have highlighted all the index points:
and you can see that the total distance is recorded as 5.8 miles. In the next screenshot, I have excluded the final index point:
and the distance is recorded as 5.5 miles even though the leg distance is only 16 feet. In the same way, if I exclude the first index point, with a leg distance of only 1 foot, the total distance comes out as 5.5 miles.
I have noticed this discrepancy for some time, especially when trying to understand why a fellow walker’s GPS came up with a different measurement to mine. But it has been highlighted today when I decided to export the gpx file to my OSMaps application. The route recorded on OSMaps taken from the gpx file recorded by my Oregon 600 comes out as 5.5 miles.
So where has my 0.3 of a mile gone? And is there something I can do to ensure that my Oregon 600 is measuring my tracks accurately?
Do hope you can help.
GPS variability, different satellites being received
I’ve learnt by using and have confidence in my position in Lat/Long; how do I convert to OS coordinates for rescue purposes etc?
I now also want to locate specific sites located on sheet maps but do not know how.
Can you help please?
Thanks so much
Setup>Position format>British Grid
When I replied top Peter saying his question would be answered in tonight’s GPS Training clinic he came back with the following question –
Thanks for that
Extra query; when exploring and trying to sort best route on the ground, or identify something just seen at a distance, need to use paper map to get overview before zooming in on GPS.
Is there a better way??
Just use the map on the screen of the GPS with it zoomed out, but also remind people to carry a map for that reason for safety/additional route planning/GPS failure
When charging with the Garmin Battery inserted and using the internal GPS charger, it takes some time to charge and indicate a “Full Charge”. Does the GPS sense when the battery is full charged or is there just an inbuilt timer which charges for a certain time ?
My concern is overcharging the battery but I find using the internal charger useful so as not having to carry another charger.
(GPS Training course attended)
Many chargers/batteries know when the charge has been achieved. To 80% quick charge but it’s the final 20% that takes the time. Jon, I think you did something on this last year?
Make sure the unit has a calibrated barometer. You can do this by letting the unit sit at a fixed elevation for at least half an hour with a clear view of the sky to let the elevation trend to the correct number, or manually calibrating the barometer so that the elevation is correct.
Calibrating the Barometric Altimeter Your device was already calibrated at the factory, and the device uses automatic calibration by default.
You can manually calibrate the barometric altimeter if you know the correct elevation or the correct barometric pressure.
1 Go to a location where the elevation or barometric pressure is known.
2 Select Set Up > Altimeter set up > Calibrate Altimeter.
3 Follow the on-screen instructions
If weather is adversely affecting your altimeter (pressure is changing due to weather instead of elevation changes), you may disable it by setting the device to “fixed elevation” mode which will use GPS only for elevation data.
The nice thing with the SatMap is we can do this ‘from the ma’., i.e. getting the elevation data directly from the map card.
In the set up for the SatMap GPS go to > Elevation > Elevation Data Source > and select From Maps
We find this works the best.
I have calibrated the altimeter on a Cheviot hill and it always pretty well matches the OS shown height on every hill. I reset the trip data and calibrate the compass for each walk. Other trip data such as distance, speed, time, moving average etc. match those from other gps units used by my walk companions. I would be so grateful if you can tell me what I should do to resolve this problem.
Is the software up to date?
Recalibrate the Altimeter
Q. I have an Oregon 600, is there any way I can lock the screen on it, as I accidentally keep creating waypoints on the map page when out walking?
If you could answer one or possibly both please.
When I plug my Garmin in it tells me there are updates, including maps, due, should I do these updates?
Should I always save routes to the internal memory and not the micro card? I only ask as there is way more space on my micro card (or whatever it is called)?
Kind regards. Sam.
No idea what the GPS is but it’s the map updates from Garmin Express, don’t update them as they are too big in size for the smaller GPS’s
Q. Sometimes when I download routes into Garmin BaseCamp they have hundreds of flags all over them and these also appear on my Garmin Oregon 750 when I have transferred it onto my GPS.
Is there any way of getting rid of these flags?
A. Convert to track.
B. Reduce the number by then reconverting to a route
I have a question, which I think I might have solved, but want to know if I am correct or just jumping to the wrong conclusion, regarding my Satmap Active 20.
I have noticed that sometimes it doesn’t switch on, even with a fully charged battery. I have to remove and replace the battery to get it started again. I have tried it with a partially charged ( >50%) and a fully charged battery.
However, if I clear my trip details from the trip screen before switching off, so far this has always worked.
Is this a common bug? Or is this just a red herring and there is another issue? If it is a relatively common bug then I thought it could be useful for other Satmap users to know about – we don’t all remember to take paperclips on our walks!
Some more details about my unit. It is fairly new – I bought it for GPS training in Feb 2020. I stored it with the battery in it from March to August. However the switching off issue didn’t happen on a 4 day walk in September. After that I stored it with the battery out. I started using it again about a month ago. I have only ever used the charging plug and cable that came with the unit.
Hope this makes it onto the podcast.
• Is the software up to date? Latest Official and Beta version is 3.13.109
• Corrupt gpx file and so remove all the files from the GPS
• With the GPS turned on, press and hold the power button for 20 seconds to turn it off and then turn it on holding the button for 3 seconds
• If all else fails>Main Menu>Settings>Default
When creating a direct route the point and their respective numbers appear on the map. How do we remove the numbers for printing the map and/or viewing on our GPS Unit? Converting to a track does not appear to remove waypoint markers nor their associated numbers.
What am I doing incorrectly or is just the way it is?
• You will always have the numbers with the waypoints on the screen. Just ignore them….
• It depends if you have created a route using the route planning tool or the waypoints first and then the route from the waypoints
• Route planning tool will just show the route and the waypoints as dots
• Route created from the waypoints > Select all the Waypoints in the route in ‘My Collection’>right click>Get Info>Advanced>Display>and then you can select what you wish to show on the map in Basecamp
I have a question re my Garmin 66st with topo pro and Birdseye.
I use ‘snap to route’ (not sure if it has a proper name?) on national parks. Sometimes where there is no path the route will take you to one of the waypoints, but to progress to the next point it then routes you back again the way you came to find a route if there is no clear path. Is there a way to mix this routing with direct navigation to a waypoint and let me sort out a path through?
It seems to me you have to choose one or the other and a combination would be great.
Yes it would but software development too much? If all else fails, use Direct Routing as until 2017 that’s all we ever had and it never fails.
The other option would be to try planning the route using the TopoActive maps and then you can re overlay it with the OS map. Too complicated and quite frankly life is too short
Extra 1 –
Can the Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA Batteries be charged when inserted in a Garmin 600?
Extra 2 –
Why is it that the actual distance measured by the GPS is always greater than the route plotted in Basecamp.
I usually have about 10% additional distance on a hike but a recent walk in south wales turned out to be 12 miles when the plot gave 8 miles (wife not impressed).
I checked the plot against the recorded track and they were coincident. Very puzzling.
Hi Jon and Ian
Extra 3 –
I have an Etrex touch 25 purchased from you in Oct 2018. Unfortunately your top tip in the recent newsletter came a week too late for me as I did what is good practice: and downloaded the latest software update as indicated on Garmin Express for one of the TOPO ACTIVE maps (TOPO ACTIVE Europe) which took 3-4 hrs.
After that on opening Basecamp – I get error message: ‘Problems communicating with the Garmin device Communication with the device may continue with reduced functionality Please contact Garmin customer support for assistance’
Garmin Express was still telling me there was another update (The other TOPO ACTIVE European Map) but this time it needed a blank SD card as you rightly mentioned in your top tip. So I backed off. I went to Garmin customer support and after some deliberation they said try the new SD card and see what happens.
So now my options appear to be:
If I get the SD card and do the update does this mean (as you note in your recent Top tip) that I will need to change the OS Topo Great Britain Pro 50K card each time I want use the TOPO ACTIVE Europe map for, say, cycling?
Or is the use of the SD card a means to providing some temporary storage to allow the other TOPO ACTIVE Europe map to update?
I must say this situation is very un-satisfactory and I could suggest that Garmin should issue fair warning about this before downloads are initiated.
I’m sure I am not the only one who has been caught out.
Surely Garmin can do better than this.
Hope I’m not too late for this. Keep up the good work in providing great service to customers.
Tel: 01669 621044