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Messages - mdxix

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Gear Talk / Re: Rack mounted tail lights
« on: April 20, 2013, 11:01:00 am »
Take a look at this detailed review of tail lights that includes:
  • Cost
  • Brightness
  • Flash patterns
  • Battery life
  • Mounting mechanisms
  • Ease of installation
  • Ease of battery replacement
  • Special features

I hacked away at this one for a while
Indeed that is tricky. It took a few tries to figure out how to make it take the correct route.

I thought if a picture tells a thousand words, then a video may tell a thousand pictures. I recorded the steps I took to manipulate the route. Note the following about the video:

  • Download the video to get higher quality images.
  • This video is for demonstration purposes only. I do not have the maps for that particular section nor do I know for sure what direction the route should follow. Please check it yourself when you are editing the route.
  • The video will be available for a limited time only. I will remove it after some time in 2–3 months from this posting.

Here are some key steps:
  • Edit the file from ACA as soon as I download it to remove the waypoints. I make two files: one for the waypoints and one just for the routes.I explained the steps earlier.
  • While editing the route in BaseCamp, some route points may be troublesome. I remove them.
  • Other route points, like the one you encountered, are troublesome, but we have to deal with them. I am not sure what is going on with the calculation there in BaseCamp. It took several tries to figure out the correct placement.
I continued to work on this route to finish it. I noticed that past Colonial Parkway, the route seemed to be going off-road on a trail. So I decided to try another approach with online maps. Where you have to deal with trails off-road, I do not know of a good way of dealing with that in BaseCamp. May be others on the forum do and can help.

I edited the route using Ride with GPS. I recorded another video with all the steps. The same notes about the video above apply here.

Here are some key steps:
  • RWGPS does not automatically import route points from ACA files to anchor the route.
  • Sprinkle the route with "anchor" route points as soon as you finish importing it. It does not matter yet that these points are not in the correct spot.
  • Nudge each anchor point, while adding others, to snap the route on the correct roads.
  • Switch to Bike Path view to view bike paths. This is how I got the route on a trail past Colonial Parkway. Note that the map does not distinguish paved versus dirt roads.

Additionally, after doing just a couple of routes/map panels, it seems that the entire project could take nearly as long as the ride itself.
Wow, you must be really fast on the bicycle :)

As you see in the videos, after doing a couple of these, I hope it would only take 10–15 minutes per route.

Is there a way for me to determine whether or not the route data I am working with has already been stripped of unnecessary waypoints?
Indeed. Just open the file using a text editor. Waypoints are indicated with <wpt> tags in the file.

In the example above, I removed the waypoints immediately after I downloaded the route from ACA. None of the resulting files, therefore, had any waypoints.

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 think I understand what is happening. Note my earlier recommendation in this thread to examine the route for any irregularities after recalculation.

In this case, force the route to take the correct road by adding your own route points. On a Mac in BaseCamp:
  • Position the map so you have a good view of the irregular section of the route
  • Select Tools from the menu bar
  • Select Selector
  • Hold the Option key on your keyboard
  • Click the route and drag it to the correct route
It should recalculate and hopefully position the route correctly. Otherwise, add one or two more points.

Remember that the number of these route points does not deplete your GPS capacity of adding waypoints. Therefore, you can add as many of them as you need (I suppose there is a limit, but I never reached it).

Back to your earlier point about the route showing as straight line on your GPS:
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.
Try exporting the route as GPX file and load manually onto the unit.
  • Does it still behave the same?
  • Open the GPX file using Text Editor. Is it small with just the two route points, or does it have route details with plenty of coordinates?

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Copilot Live
« on: April 17, 2013, 10:53:35 pm »
Please do post feedback about your experience with using the phone on a tour & this specific app.

Is this for use for continuous navigation or occasionally at certain intersections? For the former, I am curious how are are planning to manage using the phone in wet conditions, and keeping it supplied with battery power all day.

As for the app, please post some information about loading it with the GPX files, and how it navigates them. Did you use the GPX files as is or manipulate them? How? Looking at CoPilot manual, I did not see much information about importing GPX files. There were some discussions on forums, but did not find definite answers.

You are most welcome Greg.

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.
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.

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

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 assume you also have City Navigator in BaseCamp as well, no?

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.?
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.

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?

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

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?
It should, assuming you have fewer than 2,000 waypoints along the route.

With the routes loaded, does the GPSR care that I am traveling east-west rather than west-east?
Yes, it does care. It follows the route points sequentially. Make sure the routes are in the direction of your travel.

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
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.

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

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.
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.

Since the 705 only holds 100 waypoints, I had to manually enter each and every waypoint that I deemed useful along my route.
Do you need to enter waypoints for the route?

You should be able to store the entire TransAm route, with full details, following the road, using route points instead of way points. Your Edge will prompt you at each turn, calculate the distance to  next turn, and show you the detailed route on the map.

My relationship with the Edge is 100% pure love :)

I have argued before that the ACA routes should be separate from waypoints & points of interest. Later in that discussion I pointed out that waypoints are waypoints and riding routes are riding routes. There is no mixing between the two. The fact that some waypoints happen to be along the route does not make them part of the route. The routes in the GPX file do not have or mix with any waypoints. Instead, they have route points.

The trick is getting rid of way points from your GPX file so they do not clog the memory capacity.

The easiest way is to remove them manually from ACA GPX file. Here is how:
  • Download the GPX file for your favorite ACA route.
  • Open the GPX file using your favorite text editor, such as Notepad on Windows or Text Edit on Mac.
  • Notice how almost the entire first half of the file is full of way points. These do not constitute routes. Remove them.
  • Select the entire section from the first <wpt> tag to the last </wpt> tag.
  • The last </wpt> tag should be just before the first <rte> tag.
  • It is this second section of the GPX file that matters for navigating. It defines route points using <rte> tags. Leave it as is.
Save the file. Load it onto the Edge. Turn on the Edge. It should have not a single way point from this route. Turn it on demo mode and try to navigate any of the routes. It should work just fine.

Note that the route will still display as straight lines. For it to follow the road and give you prompts for turns, the file needs further manipulation using BaseCamp or an online mapping tool.

When I go to routes it shows the route but it's backwards, in other words I need to scroll down to the bottom to get to the first route, not sure why this is and can't seem to change it, any ideas?

Is it possible that the 62s sorts the routes based on loading order? In other words, is it stacking them based on the date they were loaded onto the unit? Try loading the last route first and the first route last. Does that change the order of display?

It would be cool if the route was on a topo map so you could see lakes, rivers, etc.

City Navigator should have plenty of details about land features & commercial services. Nevertheless, should you still prefer to add topographic maps, the most direct way is to purchase these maps and add them to your unit. Add the maps to your City Navigator SD card or to the unit directly. You just have to be very careful in managing the memory & storage availability.

A better option is to purchase a new SD card, copy the content for City Navigator, and then add the topo maps.

Garmin just released Topo US 100K. Purchase the DVD or download a copy for more flexibility. You can select the tiles that you need from that map and copy them to the unit.

Do you have a preference for climbing (hint, Green Mountains) or staying in the valley (Lake Champlain or CT river)?

Is there a particular city or region you want to visit?

The state is very beautiful throughout. You do not have to go far to find its charm. My recommendation would be to setup base camp in a state park (tent or cabin), hostel, or B&B, and take daily trips from there. Excellent choices include Middlebury, Rochester, Woodstock, & Waterbury.

For a full loop, try one that combines all the cities I mentioned above + Burlington. The ACA Green Mountains Loop can give you a few ideas. The loop itself is 376 miles, longer than what you are looking for. You can use it to think about a loop around Lake Champlain or CT river.

Take a look at the Lake Champlain Bikeways map for ideas to ride in the valley with spectacular views of Lake Champlain, Green Mountains, & Adirondacks without the big climbs.

For a one way trip, try to see the entire state along route 100 from Canada to Massachusetts. There are several touring companies that offer this trip.

I can try to give you more details once you decide.

This is great news Bill that you were able to see all three routes. Please try to load more or all of the routes. Any problems? I believe you should be able to see all of them.

I noticed that BaseCamp is transferring the waypoints along with the routes in the GPX, regardless of selecting or not selecting that options when transferring the routes to the GPS unit. We shall cover that separately as needed to save on memory.

Right now it is in no specific order, not even alphabetical, appears to be random #'s that do coincide with the route numbers.

What order are the routes displayed for you? Can you list them? On my Garmin Edge, they are indeed alphabetical as follows: M011A1, M011A2, and then M011A3. How about when you load more routes: are they still in random order?

Also the file extension coming from ACA is gdb not gpx.
I am puzzled by your question about the GDB file from ACA. Where did you get them from? As far as I can see, all the GPS files on ACA web page are indeed GPX files. This is how I get them:
  • Navigate to ACA web page
  • Select Routes & Maps from the menu on the left
  • Select Great Divide from the menu on the right
  • Select gps from the first item on the list of sections
  • Agree to the terms
  • Download the route as
  • Expand the content of this file
This should yield a set of folders each of them containing a GPX file. Do you not see the same?

Gear Talk / Re: Rack mounted tail lights
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:19:42 am »
Note that both the RADBOT & Rack Blinky 5 include a reflective surface separate from the light. They continue to make you visible even when the light fails or runs out of battery.

Technically, reflective light is required by law (varies by state).

I will try my best to walk through loading the files step by step. Send me some feedback what is working & what is not.

The steps below are using BaseCamp v4.1.1 on Mac computer.

  • Connect your Garmin GPS unit to the computer. It should now appear as an external storage drive. Two drives may appear in case you have an SD card inserted in the unit.
  • Back in BaseCamp software, filter My Collection to routes:
    • 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
  • Locate the route or routes you want to load on the unit. You can also select all. For a start to keep it simple and check that it worked, choose two or three. For example, from the first Great Divide file GD01V009.gpx select the first three routes: M011A1, M011A2, and M011A3.
  • Right-click on the three routes.
  • Select Send to Device from the menu.
  • Choose to transfer the routes only or with their waypoints. The choice depends on how you want to manage the route. I leave this as a separate discussion to review separately. For the purpose of this discussion, choose routes only without waypoints. It does not make a difference to the result.
  • Once the transfer is complete, quit BaseCamp and eject your GPS unit properly. This will make sure all the data was transferred.
  • Voilà. The files should now be on your GPS unit.
Turn on your GPS unit and look for the routes. Do you find all three routes? Try the same with more routes. Do you see them all?

Exactly how did you load the routes from MapSource to 62s?

Try any and all of the following:
  • Use BaseCamp. MapSource is discontnued. The last update was from more than two years in October 2010.
  • Load files manually from your computer to the 62s. From BaseCamp or MapSouce, save a GPX file of each route. Then copy the files onto a folder called "GPX" on the 62s.
  • Copy routes without their waypoints.
    • In MapSource or BaseCamp, for each route, choose to "recalculate" that route. Then save it as GPX, and copy as in step 2 above.
    • Otherwise, when you do a transfer from within MapSource or BaseCamp, select only the "routes" option. This should not use any of waypoints memory on the GPS unit. Of course you can then use that memory to load points of interests for hotels, restaurants, and others.
    • Review the route after you "recalculate" it to make sure it is still following the intended route. Otherwise, adjust manually or revert to straight lines between route points.
Does any of this work?

Gear Talk / Re: Rack mounted tail lights
« on: April 06, 2013, 11:08:04 pm »
Another favorite that includes a rack bracket is PDW RADBOT 1000.

Gear Talk / Re: Racks
« on: April 01, 2013, 09:21:13 pm »

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