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Thread: Bit about how I load my Garmin Vista HCx

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wiltshire
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    40

    Default Bit about how I load my Garmin Vista HCx

    I'm now the lucky owner of a Garmin eTrex Vista Hcx. :socool:

    It arrives new and shiny in the box, but then what? How do I best use it for geocaching, how do I load the caches onto it and the biggie: how do I break the 1000 waypoint/cache limit?

    Well, here's my penny's worth for what I've found works pretty well with the unit.

    I have been using GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife www.gsak.net) for a couple of years to manage the caches and notes and it has been excellent with the PDA. GSAK has a function to export to a Garmin but as it's using the geocaching function of the device it has a couple of drawbacks namely that you are limited to 1000 waypoints and that there are only two icons used (unfound and found cache).

    After some digging about I found that in order to make use of the SD card in the Garmin, giving you almost unlimited waypoints, you have to use POI's instead of waypoints. Now there is very little in the manual about waypoints, but I finally found that Garmin have a POILoader that can upload and clear POI's on the device (www.garmin.com/products/poiloader).

    I then found that there were a number of macros that can generate the csv or gpx files for the POI upload, but one stood out in that it also generates the relevant cache icon for the device (GarminCsvPoiExport-v2.gsk). This macro can also be set to call the POILoader in “silent” mode so all there is to do is run the macro and hey presto – POI's with all the caches you could desire are loaded from GSAK straight to the device. :wub: :lol:

    Hold the menu button on the device in to enter the search menu and there will now be an icon for custom POI's showing all your loaded caches.
    As the eTrex have limited text length for each POI there are tree POI's for each cache.
    1.Cache name and location
    2.Cache type and difficulty
    3.Cache hint

    The only thing I haven't quite figured out is how to get the custom POI's to show on the map. I have tried many map setup combinations, but still no luck. But it's a feature I can manage without as the search function lists caches by distance from current (or set) position. (would just be a nice feature in some instances.

    I'm sure this particular cat could have been skinned in many ways, so please let us know how you do it. :cheers:
    A cache a day ..

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Update after a bit more experience. :socool:

    To show caches on the map I increased "Map Points" to 3km in the Setup Map menu.

    To avoid that the map doesn't get all covered in cache names I've set the Text for User Waypoints to "None". If you want to see the name of a cache on the map just point the cursor at it and it'll show up.

    :coffee:
    A cache a day ..

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    40

    Lightbulb

    I have now found and loaded a set of free UK maps on the device from talkytoasteruk. :socool:

    The maps are based on the OpenStreetMap (The Free Wiki World Map), these might not have every little footpath on them, but they are a great step forward compared to the preloaded basemaps. And if you find that something is missing - you can add it on the OpenStreetMap website.

    Thanks to Bear and Ragged for pointing me in the right direction.
    A cache a day ..

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Land of the Bear and Ragged Staff!
    Posts
    849

    Default

    Happy to help, good to hear you've got things working! :socool:
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  5. #5
    c_dunne Guest

    Default

    Thank you for the information here. I came across it when searching to do the same on my Vista HCx and it seems to work well (I've just loaded all caches for 100 mile radius of where I live).

    The only issue I've found is that when caches are loaded as standard waypoints they can be 'found' which shows in the calander on the unit so it is easy to go through when you get home after a long trip.

    Is there any way that the 'found' feature can be used with POIs (there doesn't appear to be). If not do you have a trick for marking that you've found them (I guess one way would be to create a waypoint in the same place.

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