Bicycle Travel > GPS Discussion

Garmin eTrex 30: loading routes and way points for TransAm trip

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TokyoNose:
I was not sure if I should crash this party or start another thread, but, as there seems to be a lot of overlap between my questions and the OP's, here goes...

I intend to use an etrex 30 for the Trans Am, traveling east-west.  I have the very latest version of City Navigator loaded onto the GPSR, and use BaseCamp to correspond with the GPSR and load into it the ACA GPS data. 

I have followed the instructions provided above for loading the routes into the GPSR, and I think that I was successful in doing so.  I'm pretty sure that the entire Trans Am is loaded into the unit. 

The etrex 30 has the capacity for 200 routes and 2000 waypoints.  Can I now use the waypoint capacity for the information unrelated to routing, e.g. hotels, campgrounds, etc.?  If so, how do I do this, and how will it display as I am rolling down the road?  Do I have to go into the menu of the GPSR and search through "camgrounds", or will they display automatically as I pass near them?  More generally, is this a way to work around the 2000 waypoint capacity limitation of (in this case) the etrex, eliminating the need for a mid-continent reload of the data necessary to complete the Trans Am?

With the routes loaded, does the GPSR care that I am traveling east-west rather than west-east?  Will the turn-by-turn instructions and proximity alarms function identically regardless of my direction of travel, or do I need to reverse the route in BaseCamp and reload it into the GPSR (I did load the 12 files from ACA in reverse order, hoping that this would at least bring up the routes in the order which I will need to access them).  Also, will the routes follow each other consecutively, or will I need to select a new route when I have completed the one immediately preceding it (For me, JOCE90 is followed by JOCE70.  Will I need to prompt the GPSR to kick off JOCE7O?).

I apologize for raising questions that involve not only the use of the ACA GPS data, but the basic function of the GPSR itself.  I have spent hours working with the etrex and BaseCamp, as well as searching this forum and watching online videos, and still can't seem to grasp quite how this system of navigation is supposed to work.

Thank you,

Greg

mdxix:
My response below is detailed, and rather long at times. Pick what you need of it.


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---I intend to use an etrex 30 for the Trans Am, traveling east-west.  I have the very latest version of City Navigator loaded onto the GPSR, and use BaseCamp to correspond with the GPSR and load into it the ACA GPS data.

--- End quote ---
I assume you also have City Navigator in BaseCamp as well, no?


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---The etrex 30 has the capacity for 200 routes and 2000 waypoints.  Can I now use the waypoint capacity for the information unrelated to routing, e.g. hotels, campgrounds, etc.?

--- End quote ---
Exactly. You should be able to use the full waypoint capacity for points of interest. The route should not take any of that capacity. Here is a trick (using BaseCamp v4.1.1 on Mac Computer):

* Manipulate the route and waypoints as you wish in BaseCamp.
* Ideally, you make sure that the route is following the road, instead of being a collection of straight lines between route points. Here is how. Note: the steps below are only valid with a detailed map present in BaseCamp, such as City Navigator or OSM.
* Double-click on the route that you want to follow the road
* BaseCamp opens a small window with route details. It also displays the full route on the map
* Take a good look at the route map to remember its layout
* From the small window, select the round arrow button to recalculate.
* Take another close look at the route, noticing any irregularities in the calculation. This is common, particularly when the route is supposed to be on a trail off-road that City Navigator does not know about.
* I believe this exercise is well worth the trouble. While the route is following the road, the GPS will give you exact directions and prompts. It will also accurately calculate the distance to destination, so you know how much is left for you in the day.
* To keep your library organized, create new lists under My Collection. Create at least one list for routes and other for points of interest.
* Select My Collection
* In the box at the bottom left corner of the screen, locate the "gear" symbol next to the title My Collection
* Select the gear symbol
* Select View Detailed Data List from the menu
* Select Routes from the menu of choices at the top
* Select the routes you want from the list, most likely all of them
* Using the mouse, drag and drop the select routes into the new list
* Highlight the list that you created in the previous step for routes.
* From the menu bar, select File.
* Select Export <list name>.
* You should now have a GPX file on your computer.
* Most likely the file will still have ACA waypoints.
* Remove them manually per the steps I explain separately.This file now is strictly for route data, whether following the road or straight lines. It does not take any of waypoints memory.


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---If so, how do I do this, and how will it display as I am rolling down the road?  Do I have to go into the menu of the GPSR and search through "camgrounds", or will they display automatically as I pass near them?

--- End quote ---

You have two options to do this. Whichever one you prefer, please test it and write your feedback. I do not have an eTrex, therefore, not exactly positive of its performance.

* No prompts, default settings:
* Remember that we earlier created two collections: one for routes and another for waypoints.
* Review this list, edit it, clean it up, and change it until it contains the waypoints that you like.
* Export this list to a file and copy the file to the GPS.
* As you are navigating the route, when you are looking at the map, these waypoints should appear on the map.
* You will not get prompts when you are near a waypoint, not will you see it on screens other than the map.
* You can still select it or search for it from the list of locations on your GPS unit.
* Proximity alerts:
* Double-click on a waypoints
* In the new small window, select Advanced
* Enter a value in the Proximity field.
* This is the distance that you want to be alerted of the waypoint
* Notice how BaseCamp shows a red circle around the waypoint based on that distance
* You can do this for multiple waypoints at a time to set the same proximity distance
* Export the waypoints file
* Copy the GPX file to the GPS unit

--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---More generally, is this a way to work around the 2000 waypoint capacity limitation of (in this case) the etrex, eliminating the need for a mid-continent reload of the data necessary to complete the Trans Am?

--- End quote ---
It should, assuming you have fewer than 2,000 waypoints along the route.


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---With the routes loaded, does the GPSR care that I am traveling east-west rather than west-east?

--- End quote ---
Yes, it does care. It follows the route points sequentially. Make sure the routes are in the direction of your travel.


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---Will the turn-by-turn instructions and proximity alarms function identically regardless of my direction of travel, or do I need to reverse the route in BaseCamp and reload it into the GPSR

--- End quote ---
Proximity alarm to waypoints as we set them up above should work regardless of how you are traveling.

The turn-by-turn instructions and route map will not display correctly. You must reverse the route in BaseCamp.


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---Also, will the routes follow each other consecutively, or will I need to select a new route when I have completed the one immediately preceding it (For me, JOCE90 is followed by JOCE70.  Will I need to prompt the GPSR to kick off JOCE7O?).

--- End quote ---
Indeed, you need to select one route after the other manually. The GPS will not move from one to the next automatically.


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 13, 2013, 06:01:21 pm ---I have spent hours working with the etrex and BaseCamp, as well as searching this forum and watching online videos, and still can't seem to grasp quite how this system of navigation is supposed to work.

--- End quote ---
Great. This is the way to do it. Take the GPS on bike rides, hikes, & even car trips. Get a feel for its prompts, routing, display options, & battery life. Learn how to plan a route and then navigate it. Come back to this forum to share your experience & ask questions.

For a cross country trip, with just a little bit familiarity, the GPS unit can turn into a very trusted navigator that will save you time & frustration.

TokyoNose:
mdxix, I cannot thank you enough!

You have given me so much information to process and put to use.  I have done a couple of trips with the excellent ACA paper maps alone, but can see how a GPS could very much improve the experience and make the navigation process much more efficient.
 
Yes, I do have City Navigator in BaseCamp.

I can already see that I am going to have to manipulate the routes in BaseCamp and reload them into the etrex, as there are some odd routing anomalies, such as dead-end spurs and non-sequential routing between consecutive waypoints (routepoints?).  I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Garmin support today (very friendly, patient, and helpful), but even they were unable to explain exactly why their program processes the ACA data the way that it does, at least not without becoming more familiar with the data itself.

I will continue to work with the etrex as you have suggested, report back, and hope that at some point I will be able to contribute some answers as well as questions to this forum. 

Thanks again for taking the time to write these instructions in such great detail!

Greg

mdxix:
You are most welcome Greg.


--- Quote from: TokyoNose on April 15, 2013, 09:07:52 pm ---I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Garmin support today (very friendly, patient, and helpful), but even they were unable to explain exactly why their program processes the ACA data the way that it does, at least not without becoming more familiar with the data itself.

--- End quote ---
What is the route section & name that is causing trouble? Give me some more information. I can download it and take a look.

While ACA routes structure is complicated, using BaseCamp is not easy either. I often resort to some online tools to fix problems. The online tools try to keep files simple and compatible with many formats.

Let me have a look.

TokyoNose:
Odd as it may sound, I am happy to hear you confirm that BaseCamp is not easy to use.  I thought that it was just me! 

{Possibly irrelevant anecdote:  I plotted out a driving route on BaseCamp using a beginning and ending destination.  It gave me driving directions.  When I loaded this into the GPSR, it drew a straight line between the two points.  Garmin support had me change the routing setup on the etrex to a configuration suitable for driving rather than riding.  The result was... a straight line between the two points.  Support then had me enter the destination address manually (my current location is the starting point) under the GPSR's "Find Address" menu, which seemed to yield the desired result.  It was then suggested that this is the preferred method for routing- that creating a route on BaseCamp and then transferring it will not always work.  All that I could think was "Umm... what, then, is the point of BaseCamp?} 

The route section and name causing the trouble is J0CE90- the very first route westbound beginning in Yorktown.  Specifically, the first oddity is the routing (westbound) between J0C9N0 and J0C9L0, via J0C9M0 (which is skipped and left hanging out as an eastward-deviating spur from J0C9L0).  The route should, according to the ACA map, continue down Colonial Parkway, but instead heads down what I believe is CR 5.

I hope that this accurately describes the issue and that it is replicated when you download this route.  It is only the most obvious of the few wacky routing computations I have found using BaseCamp with J0CE090, and unfortunately, J0CE090 is only as far as I have progressed.

Additionally, I am also using a Mac.

Again, thank you so much!

Greg

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