Author Topic: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x  (Read 3577 times)

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Offline CanvasAndSteel

Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« on: April 01, 2019, 09:58:27 am »
Starting a tour in June from the Twin Cities (Minnesota) to St Louis to Santa Fe area to Yellowstone and back home.  Original plan was to use the 20x for navigation, but the route is pretty "clean", i.e. it doesn't have many tricky parts.  So I'm switching the plan.  I'm going to use OSMand on my phone when necessary to follow the route, will use the Etrex to track the route for downloading afterward for data.  My problem is there is a lot of information out there, but I'm having a hard time finding two things: how many miles it will take to hit the trackpoint limit; how to save a day or two or seven of data before starting another track.  Pretty simple questions, but I'm not finding the answers.  Can anyone answer these questions or point me to a source that does?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2019, 10:13:16 am »
There is no set answer since a point is typically placed at a curve, even a slight one.  Thus a mile on a curvy road will have a ton more points than a mile long straight road in the Texas panhandle.  If the road is straight enough you can go miles between before adding a point.

Also, some devices will start to delete the least needed point if you have reached your limit.  Thus if you turn a corner, instead of having 7 points (not joking) it will reduce the corner to say 4.

If your route is as straightfordward as you say, you could always recreate the route when you get home.

One way to save points is if you know the next "X" miles are fairly clean, then you could switch off to not tracking.  This typically does not erase the previous tracks it just quits tracking.  You will have a long line connecting where you turned it off and then turned it back on again, sort of like when you get on a plan and turn it off and then back on.  The big drawback is you will have to remember to turn it back on which I am sure you will probably forget to once or twice.

Others who are better versed in the detailed specifications can probably give you a better answer but the down and dirty answer is it all depends on the number of curves.

Tailwinds, John

Offline CanvasAndSteel

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 10:53:45 am »
Thanks for the answer.  I thought that might be the case.  The question, then, would be how to close and save a track (daily?  every few days?), then start another to close and save, and do that for 50 or 60 days of riding.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 10:57:12 am »
I am not familiar with that specific device.  The owners manual should show how.  Each device has its own little way to do it so it is best to look there or on the Garmin.com Help Section (download the manual if needed).

Tailwinds, John

Offline CanvasAndSteel

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2019, 11:17:02 am »
The User Manual was the first thing I looked at.  It's written by someone who has not taken freshman composition and logic.  The is the closes it comes to answering the question: "Auto Archive--selects an automatic archive method to organize your tracks.  Tracks are saved and cleared automatically based on the user setting."  That's great, but it does not refer the user to anyplace in the 60 page document that addresses saving or clearing automatically based on the user setting.  Sigh.  Earlier in the manual it kinda sorta addresses how to do that manually, but there's nothing about naming nomenclature, i.e. whether the user just hits "save" or has to name it.  Logic would imply it saves as track 1, 2, 3, etc, but it doesn't specify.  I'll just dink around with it for a few weeks during commutes.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2019, 11:40:03 am »
Look under something like Tracks or Waypoints & Tracks.  The subsection on Tracks should explain how to turn on and off.  I know it is there, it just may be hard to find.

Tailwinds, John

Offline DanE

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2019, 01:24:16 pm »
I would buy the biggest SD card that the Garmin would support. Then it can store a lot of tracks. Then, when I was in a library I would sync the Garmin with whatever service I was using such as Garmin Connect, Ride with GPS, etc. and transfer my tracks to the service. Then all your tracks would be online when you finished and you could download them from there if you wanted to use them in another program. If you can't or don't want to sync from a library, I would just swap SD cards as they are so tiny they take up no room.

Personally, I save a track for each day I am on tour. That seems like the natural flow to things to me anyhow.

Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 12:46:48 am »
I own the Garmin Etrex 20 (actually, I have 8 of them for work), and I have used them extensively on the bike, on the trail, and for field work.
 
I am guessing you have at least 1GB of free memory on your device. If so, it would take years of tracklogs to fill the device memory. You can't use it all up in days or months on the road. When Garmin handhelds autoarchive tracklogs, they reduce the size of the dataset and it is very efficient. You have nothing to worry about and you won't need an extra SD card unless you want to add a bunch of extra maps to the device.

Offline CanvasAndSteel

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 07:38:45 am »
I own the Garmin Etrex 20 (actually, I have 8 of them for work), and I have used them extensively on the bike, on the trail, and for field work.
 
I am guessing you have at least 1GB of free memory on your device. If so, it would take years of tracklogs to fill the device memory. You can't use it all up in days or months on the road. When Garmin handhelds autoarchive tracklogs, they reduce the size of the dataset and it is very efficient. You have nothing to worry about and you won't need an extra SD card unless you want to add a bunch of extra maps to the device.
This is precisely what I needed to know. Thanks so much!

Sent from my 2PZC5 using Tapatalk


Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2019, 09:31:03 am »
No problem. There is one important tip I forgot to mention. Make sure that you set your record method for tracks as "Auto" rather than a fixed interval (go to Setup page --> Tracks --> Recording Method, which is explained on page 32 of the Users Manual: http://static.garmin.com/pumac/eTrex_10-20-30_OM_EN.pdf).

While you are in the Track settings, you might also want to turn on the Auto-archive feature so that your Current tracklog is automatically archived (it is possible to fill the current tracklog, which has specific limits - probably 10,000 points on your device), even though you have lots of internal storage available. This option makes sure everything gets saved regularly.

Offline CanvasAndSteel

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2019, 09:42:04 am »
No problem. There is one important tip I forgot to mention. Make sure that you set your record method for tracks as "Auto" rather than a fixed interval (go to Setup page --> Tracks --> Recording Method, which is explained on page 32 of the Users Manual: http://static.garmin.com/pumac/eTrex_10-20-30_OM_EN.pdf).

While you are in the Track settings, you might also want to turn on the Auto-archive feature so that your Current tracklog is automatically archived (it is possible to fill the current tracklog, which has specific limits - probably 10,000 points on your device), even though you have lots of internal storage available. This option makes sure everything gets saved regularly.

Again, thanks.  I had already set track record method to Auto.  If ok, I have a question about archiving.  Would it be better to set it to auto or daily?  I'm assuming auto will just make one long track followed by another and another and another.  I know the daily archive nomenclature is date and time.  Is auto the same?  Lastly, I can find this out by dinking around on commutes, but I'm assuming one of the reasons the device shuts down rather slowly is that it is saving whatever is being recorded.  Is that correct?  And when I start up the next day, it's again slow start up because it picks up where it left off by adding to the existing, unarchived, track?

Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Tracking route with Garmin Etrex 20x
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2019, 11:43:42 am »
I think it comes down to personal preference. If you rely on auto-archive, the GPS will wait until the current tracklog fills before archiving the tracks to internal storage and clearing the memory, which usually means it will capture many days of tracks. If you set it to daily archives, it will create an archive GPX file for each days' activities. I prefer the latter so that I can easily keep track of what I did each day separately, but you will create many more GPX files this way and they become harder to manage if you ever want to stitch them all together into one big track.