View Full Version : Garmin software updates



attroll
07-05-2004, 01:59 AM
I was out with a friend a week ago who also had a Garmin Legend GPS. They asked when I last updated my GPS software in my GPS. Well that got me to thinking. I only updated it right after I bought it. I have not checked for updates for two years. I looked and sure enough I missed like three or four updates.

So this is a little reminder for everyone to check there GPS's for software updates once adn a while.

Garmins update area is located here:
http://www.garmin.com/support/download.jsp

RanMan22
07-05-2004, 08:55 AM
It is great that you can upgrade the software (firmware) in your GPSr. However, I would caution that you should only do this if: 1) Your GPS is malfunctioning and they have corrected your particular issue (read the upgrade notes to find out what each upgrade fixed/added); or 2) There is a new feature that you just can't live without.

Otherwise, if anything goes wrong during the upgrade process, your GPSr could become a nice paperweight for your desk. Garmin may have made it impossible for this to happen, I don't know. But, in the computer world, it is very easy to kill a motherboard by doing a firmware upgrade (process gets interupted, power goes out, whatever).

Anyway, upgrade if you need to or must, but be careful!

-RanMan22

attroll
07-05-2004, 12:16 PM
I had no problem with my upgrade. But I would make a mental to to all other Garmin users. Before you update download all your waypoints and things that you have stored in the GPS. The update will remove all these. I had to to put these back in. If I had known I would have downloaded then and then I would not have had to go back to geocaching.com to get them. It was not that big of a deal just more or less a pain in the butt.

Haffy
07-05-2004, 01:19 PM
I feel the same way that Ranman feels and that is if "it ain't broke don't fix it"

WhereRWe?
07-05-2004, 02:17 PM
So, you're still using Windows 3.1 Haffy6? :D

I'm all for upgrades. If you're careful about the possibility of losing your data, there should be no problem in any upgrade.

RanMan22
07-05-2004, 02:49 PM
Heck, I'd still be using DOS if I could get away with it.

-RanMan22

attroll
07-05-2004, 06:43 PM
I am with WhereRWe?. I am all for updates if it is going to better my system and help things out.

brdad
07-05-2004, 08:31 PM
Heck, I'd still be using DOS if I could get away with it.

-RanMan22

DOS? Isn't that for old people? I think I remember my grandfather talking about that.

noreasta
07-16-2004, 09:14 PM
Hey I am the same age as BRDAD and I remember using Dos... Are We Old????

The G Team
07-16-2004, 10:06 PM
Anybody remember that?

A gold star if you know what it does (did) ;)

Pooh and friends
07-16-2004, 11:33 PM
GEEK :eek: your old as dirt! :p

The G Team
07-17-2004, 12:35 AM
keep it from overheating. I've probably still got that (as well as my Vic-20 CPU and cassette drive) kicking around somewhere. Ran across my old IBM 5150 the other day--kinda wish I'd kept the original monitor and keyboard for it--I'm sure it would still fire up (Linux box?) ;)

Who needs a P4 with HTT anyway? Give me a 10 Mhz XT with a V20 chip, 640K RAM (150ns), an Adaptec controller and a 3675 HD (1:1 Interleave--smokin'!) any day. Might even splurge and swap the Hercules card for an EGA--WordStar sure would look nice on that!

How far we've come--eh?

attroll
07-17-2004, 01:13 AM
I can remember using a Commodore 64 computer. So does that make me old?

Team Trout
07-17-2004, 09:59 AM
My first computer was the TRS-80 Model 1 Level 1. It had 4K of memory! It was so primitive it could not even handle lower case characters. After a while I shelled out big bucks to have it upgraded to Level 2 which gave it 16K of memory and lower case characters. It was soooo sweet! :p

And to think, today I walk around in the woods with a digital camera that has a 512MB SD memory card in it that is barely bigger than a postage stamp and cost about one tenth of what that extra memory on the TRS-80 cost. :rolleyes:

WhereRWe?
07-18-2004, 08:01 AM
Hey I am the same age as BRDAD and I remember using Dos... Are We Old????

I'm older than both of you, and I STILL use DOS for one app at the office. Still writing .bat files. The real fun is getting them to work with Windows XP!!! :D

WhereRWe?
07-18-2004, 08:03 AM
I can remember using a Commodore 64 computer. So does that make me old?

I still have my Commodore 64 - and the Commodore monitor was one of the best ever.

Haffy
07-18-2004, 09:16 AM
Geeze maybe all you (old guys)...lol ought to look into selling your relics on Ebay,they are commanding a good price by collectors of such things.

attroll
07-18-2004, 09:56 AM
I still have my Commodore 64 - and the Commodore monitor was one of the best ever.
Yes. I still have 2 Commodore 64's and a Amiga 1000 computer up over my garage in boxes. I ran a BBS on my Commodore with all the extended memory and a hard drive. I had it as maxed out as it could be. I don't know why I keep it. LOL

RanMan22
07-18-2004, 03:03 PM
Which BBS did you run? I had one for about 5-1/2 years from 89-95.

-RanMan22

attroll
07-18-2004, 07:39 PM
The BBS I ran was not here in Maine. When I was in the military I ran one in Washington State from 1987 to 89. Then the Navy moved me to Virginia and I moved the BBS there from 1989 to 1991. But that was when the Commodore started lagging and slowly got outpowered by the PC. So I shut down the BBS and put it all in a box and there is sits still. I put a lot of money into that BBS. In fact all the equipment I have cost more then the computer I now own and I could not even give it away. LOL.

WhereRWe?
07-19-2004, 06:18 AM
The BBS I ran was not here in Maine. When I was in the military I ran one in Washington State from 1987 to 89. Then the Navy moved me to Virginia and I moved the BBS there from 1989 to 1991. But that was when the Commodore started lagging and slowly got outpowered by the PC. So I shut down the BBS and put it all in a box and there is sits still. I put a lot of money into that BBS. In fact all the equipment I have cost more then the computer I now own and I could not even give it away. LOL.

I'll bet you were even a subscriber to QLInk - the predecessor of AOL. ;)

I lived in North Carolina in the late 80's, and there were a lot of BBS's there. Still have HUNDREDS of 5 1/4 floppies with games I downloaded to use "in the future". I don't think I've ever touched them...

I wanted to set up a BBS myself, but a 20 MB hard drive was WAY out of my price range! LOL!

The G Team
07-19-2004, 08:07 AM
as well, though I think all my 8" floppies are gone, as well as my CP/M disks. My first hard drive was a full height 10MB Seagate--it had 2MB of bad sectors, and track 0 was bad so I had to boot off a floppy--got it at Marden's for $100 or so back when an IBM XT w/10 MB was running $5,000 or so. I've probably still got some ST-225s around somewhere, if anyone needs a spare 20MB drive ;)

brdad
07-19-2004, 12:39 PM
Hmmm, Are you people bragging or just showing how geeky you really are? Looks like there's a fine line there.... :D

WhereRWe?
07-19-2004, 04:50 PM
Hmmm, Are you people bragging or just showing how geeky you really are? Looks like there's a fine line there.... :D

Just reminiscing about the "good old days". Who would ever have thought that computers would advance so far so fast. And today you can buy a complete computer for what we would willingly pay for a monitor 20 years ago...

Damn! We're geting OLD!!!

GeoMaine
03-11-2005, 01:56 AM
Here's a question for all those Legend owners. I just recently 'upgraded' my Rino 110 to a Legend. The mapping feature is (heh) SWEET but it seems to ditch me each and everytime I step in the woods. My Rino was spot on with very few exceptions and I use to laugh whenever someone complained about a bad signal in a log. I'm not laughing anymore.

Is this what I can expect from my Legend?

I'm thinking Garmin never would have released the model if it was actually as bad as it seems mine is. I have WAAS enabled and always keep it in 'normal' mode and not (ack) battery saving mode.

I'm not using it in the case and I know to keep the antenna up facing up... Not that it makes much of a difference.

Help? : (

attroll
03-11-2005, 02:12 AM
I have a Legend also and in heavy tree cover I also have a problem but I do not lose the signal it just jumps around like crazy. It has gotten to the point where I just want to throw it up against a tree. But when it works it works good if that makes sense.

WhereRWe?
03-11-2005, 08:14 AM
I thoroughly agree with attroll. My Legend is terrible in tree cover - and I especialy note problems when I'm under hemlocks. Don't know if there's something in hemlock trees that hinder radio waves, or just my imagination.

LOL!

:D

GeoMaine
03-12-2005, 01:12 AM
Ah. I may have to run with attroll on this one! It does almost BEG to be little tiny bits of plastic all too often. I may soon be the most perverse geocacher out there and use TWO GPS's. I'll use the Legend to get me there and (heh) buy another low end Rino 110 to do the grunt work. It's sick really, I know, I know! But I got my Legend for (heh) $139 with PC cord while I was in North Conway and I can go to Beans and get a Rino 110 for $123 (it's on sale) - That's barely more than a Rino 120 (mapping GPS) for 249.99 - and I'll still be able to accidentally lose one in the kayak this summer... and not miss nary a step geocaching.

I know I'm a freak (heh... especially in my logs) but someone please save me from MYSELF with a better solution?! My Rino only sent me back for two DNF's out of it's 200+ cache run (and I'm not even sure if it was it's fault...) but damn if it didn't make me put an extra 1,000 miles on my car this year. : )

Thanks everyone!!

BTW: Anyone who can get it to stop snowing sometime this century will be my hero....:)

brdad
03-12-2005, 08:58 AM
The subject of Garmin's patch antenna reception always gets me thinking.

Yes, I have trouble with mine under certian circumstances.
Yes, some days I just can't seem to get a signal.

But I've found 473 caches with the same yellow etrex I started with. Ok, probably 20 or so of those I found without my GPS, and one I found without my GPS or cache coords or description (Sorry Geochicks :D ) . But I have yet to get so upset at my GPS that I'd throw it, and obviously haven't felt the need to upgrade (I have however dropped it several times, drowned it, and lost if off the roof of the car once at 30-40 MPH). I've hidden 5 caches with the same unit, people seem to trust my coordinates on those are valid. People have used my posted coordinates on other caches and have found them to be close. I built my own re-radiating antenna which improves my reception quite a bit, but I don't even take it caching, except for a few times just testing it out.

All of the Etrex line use the same patch antenna, which in theory receives signals from above better than they receive them from the horizon, which the quad helix antennas are known for. There could be some differences between Etrex models with the algorithm, but I think all in all they are similar.

Still, however, Lee and I can be at a cache site and one of us will be 50 feet or more from the other, and each of us picking up 3 or 4 sats that the other one isn't. I could be wrong, but it seems the more out units disagree, the more likely her Legend is right.

I usually attribute success with a GPS to knowing your device. I check my sat screen often, and know when the majority of the sats are on the horizon or if they are in a straight line, that my accuracy will not be great. I know if I am near a cliff or a certian steam train that the signal will most likely bounce, often sending me 50-100 feet from the real coordinates. I know on heavily overcast days my signal will not be great. And so on.

It really makes me wonder if much of this is pilot error, or if there is such variation from one unit to the next, let alone from one model to the next? Is it the way we hold it? Doesn't seem to make any difference on mine 90% of the time. Is it a matter of how much we trust it? Do many people think if the GPS reads 0 feet and the accuracy is 18 feet, that the cache has to be within 18 feet of us?

Perhaps at an event, we should pass our GPSrs to the person on our right, and see what happens then?

Team2hunt
03-12-2005, 09:44 AM
If you have read any of our team's logs. You will hardly ever see, " easy find ". We get there with the help of our Garmin etrex. ( extra batteries now in the pack) We have logged more " miles " looking in the wrong direction, ( see previous logs ) 973 to be exact. But we find it fun to have to hunt. All of our finds, 39 of them have been this winter. We have some great stories. Weak signal or not, wackey readings or not. We love our GPSr, and wouldn't trade her.:D

tat
03-12-2005, 11:22 AM
Brdad's suggestion to swap gpsrs is a good way to see how your technique works with an unfamiliar unit. It might also be interesting to see what each gpsr is capable of.

Place all the gpsrs on a picnic table in an open area, turn them on all at once, and see how long they take to acquire a fix, how long they take to zero in on a reading, how close they are to each other.

Perhaps a surveyor could bring a professional unit to accurately determine the location.

Then, go to another table, under some nice pines, next to a cliff, and repeat the test.

We could even video tape both tables and accurately tabulate the results.

I'll bet we could test almost every popular brand in less than an hour.

GeoMaine
03-12-2005, 11:37 PM
Tat;

Now that I read your log, we actually did something very similar to what you just suggested! At "The Last Cache Bashe of Summer" there was a event cache that was released as a game, FTF got a nice door prize. There were approximately 20 of us with GPS'rs. When we got to the immediate area, the radius of users was about sixty feet and we were all frantically looking in our focus point on the GPS. (It was a good door prize!) Msteelee was the clear winner with her Legend.

The only thing left to do in this experiment was to have everyone turn off their GPS, reestablish satellite contact and see if they were brought to a different spot or the same one they had been in. Oh. and pry the Legend out of Msteelee's fingers to see if someone else could replicate the same finding.

Personally, I think that brdad (one very smart guy) must have hacked the lousy antenna out of msteelee's legend and replaced it with a home made job... one that rivals the military's 'accuracy within a foot' GPS hardware. Perhaps his attempt at a better antenna has wildly succeeded?! : )

I find it hard to believe that 'pilot error' in a experienced geocacher would be much of an issue. After all, all we really do is just go to our GPS ground zero and then start looking? Switching from the Rino to the Legend was a non-event for me in terms of using it. The GUI on it is really identical.

I've tried everything with my Legend and simply can't get even a marginal result with it in pine tree cover, even just as an experiment. (Same 'pilot' same GPS angle, same everything, all with varied results.) I can't even imagine it with a full tree canopy in the summer! Ah, but in a field or my yard, it's quick to get me to nearly the same spot every time.

My skills as a geocacher are (I think) pretty good at this point? I think that the groundwork is clearly the most important element of geocaching, but I do (heh) sort of rely on my GPS bringing me to at least a feasible distance to the area the cache is in.

I know that we all have our favorite GPS's (usually the one that we own) but I would be most curious to hear about the ones that people might have initially bought... and then returned/exchanged for another model because it worked better for them.

I'm heading to LL Bean on Tuesday to get stupid and buy ANOTHER GPS on top of the one I already have... Unless someone is so kind to point me in the direction I should be heading in. I'd love to by the entire line of GPS's but (heh) I'm not sure that's what LL bean has in mind for their return policy.

I'll buy lunch (VIA $10.00 'PayPal') for the person that offers the winning advice. : )

Beach Comber
03-13-2005, 02:13 AM
I use an eTrex Vista and have liked it for the most part. My biggest complaint is that the direction arrow on the compass setting does not work well consistently. There have been times when I am caching with another person and their arrow will be pointing in the complete opposite direction as mine. Unfortunately, their's is usually right and mine is not. hmph! :mad:

I have learned to watch the distance and choose my direction accordingly. It costs me some backtracking, which I don't usually mind unless of course I am at Etna Bog in the winter with hip deep snow and no snow shoes! The path to follow is usually obvious enough that back tracking is not a significant enough an issue for me to want to change to another model. Otherwise, I find that the accuracy is quite high.

Ahhhh, but what about those DNF's that I talk about? I would give myself credit for those rather than blame my GPS - LOL!!

brdad
03-13-2005, 07:43 AM
I use an eTrex Vista and have liked it for the most part. My biggest complaint is that the direction arrow on the compass setting does not work well consistently. There have been times when I am caching with another person and their arrow will be pointing in the complete opposite direction as mine. Unfortunately, their's is usually right and mine is not. hmph! :mad:

I do know with the Vista's electronic compass - if you have the electronic compass off, it performs like the basic Etex; you have to move from one spot to another in a straight line while obtaining good signals for the arrow to point correctly. If you have the electronic compass on, it needs to be calibrated and you need to hold the Vista near level, and you need a good signal where you are standing. Not owning one I can't be sure, but it seems a person is better off with the electronic compass off unless you are in a position where it can be held level. Also, the electronic compass also works like a traditional compass, so using it near ledges with high metal content or near large, incriminating, metal objects will most likely throw you for a loop. :cool:

And, for a final note - msteelee has a stock Legend. If I'm gonna doctor anyone's GPS up so it has an advantage, it's gonna be mine! She doesn't need any help! :D

Beach Comber
03-13-2005, 08:25 AM
Ohhhhhhh, perhaps I should have turned the electronic compass off for Old 470 ;) LOL!

Mainiac1957
03-13-2005, 08:40 AM
I also use the e-trex Vista with I feel good sucsess. I leave my compass turned on most of the time,but do turn it off if it seems to be acting strangely. There are settings on the Vista to say when the compass works. Under Main Menu click on settings and then headings. You will see auto compass settings based on MPH. Maybe you could play around with those.

Beach Comber
03-13-2005, 08:54 AM
I'll check that out. I have a couple of questions about the Vista - maybe you can help me.....

1. Apparently when playing with the settings one day I managed to set it so that when I am using it without the GPS active, there is a dashed line in the middle of the compass. When the GPS is active the middle portion of the arrow now separates itself from the head and the tail of the arrow and gradually moves laterally away from the it's original place in the middle of the arrow. I can't seem to figure out what I did to make THAT happen!

2. I have not used the "breadcrumbs" feature and cannot even figure out how to make it work. But then again maybe I'd rather not see the path I took sometimes - LOL. When we did Etna Bog, Diana and I not only laughed, but we gasped when we saw the trail that we took in as compared to the trail that we took out. ai yi yi - that was tooooooo funny!

Thanks in advance!!!

WhereRWe?
03-13-2005, 09:23 AM
I have a Legend, not a Vista, but #1 is a FEATURE that is also on the Legend.

The center separated line is the deviation from the course - the ends of the pointer. You start out on a course, and if you drift from that course, the center portion tells you how far off you are.

To go back to the original settings, just restore the defaults.

Gotta love Garmin! :)

Mainiac1957
03-13-2005, 10:02 AM
The bread crumbs feature is great if you go on a long hike with multiple turns on trails. It is on the Main Menu page as well. It's called tracks. I'll show you next weekend. ;) Easy to use for sure. I don't use it as often as I should. It would make my life much easier on long hikes.

Hiker Twins
03-13-2005, 10:31 AM
I'm heading to LL Bean on Tuesday to get stupid and buy ANOTHER GPS on top of the one I already have... Unless someone is so kind to point me in the direction I should be heading in. I'd love to by the entire line of GPS's but (heh) I'm not sure that's what LL bean has in mind for their return policy. I'll buy lunch (VIA $10.00 'PayPal') for the person that offers the winning advice. : )Hi GeoMaine: I liked the Garmin Etrex so well, that I went out and bought the Garmin GPS V. It is fun to use it on the road, but I always go back to the Etrex when I am on the trail. Now I have my eye on the new Garmin GPS 60C with its special "Geocaching Navigation Mode". I am just trying to figure out how to convince my husband that I really, really need it!
Twin2

GeoMaine
03-13-2005, 05:40 PM
Ooh.... Color. Pretty! : )

I looked at the GPS 60 and it seems fairly functional and it would be fun to give it's dedicacted geocaching feature a whirl. The price point is (what I think) rather high since it's a non mapping GPS. I might go and look at the GPSMAP 60 and see what I think, though the price is also high on that one. I still 'kinda' like the idea of having two for the price of one... One to lose and one to keep. : )

The input is good. Thanks! : )

dí76
03-13-2005, 08:10 PM
Hey folks,


Spring is in the air and it is time to get the GPSr warmed up and ready. I have a Garmin 60c and it is awesome. I love it. However the software that comes with it is crap. I bought the Mapsource topo USA. Abit on the pricey side as well. The 60c also does not come with a case either. Nor a mount for a vehicle.

THe 60c was around 450.00
The case was 15.00
The software was 105.00
The vehicle mount was 25.00
THe DC power source was 20.00
Grand Total 615.00

ASK yourself if your going to do enough caching to justify that. I wouldn't trade it now that I have it but I might not go quite so fancy.

If you decide to make the commitment you won't be sorry.

Happy Trails

GeoMaine
03-13-2005, 11:21 PM
Problem solved!! : )

I just got a super sweet deal on a Rino 120 - The best of both worlds if you ask me. The mapping, the radio (Normally I shut it off but a firm believer in 'just in case.') and yes, my beloved external quad helix antenna (now appearing on the GPS 60 series as well...)

It's my beloved Rino 110... now on map steroids!

The cincher on it was finding it in the LL Bean outlet and striking an even better deal on it on top of that. An already on sale Rino 110 in the main store (plus the cable I would have had to buy) would have actually cost me more than the 120 I just bought that already ships with the cable. YAY for excessive bargaining!! : )

I also decided to keep my Legend after all. It now seemed almost silly to return it since A) it was a gift from my honey B) Enough of you like it to warrant it giving it a second chance and C) a spare in the bag now seems like a good idea... er... somehow?

Thanks everyone for all the fabulous input on this. I greatly appreciated all that I was hearing, especially more on why NOT to buy certain models. Now if I can only get brdad to (heh) supercharge my Rino. Deny it all you want, brdad!! We know you're smarter than you would lead us to believe. : )

Dave1976 - I think you may have summed it up the best for all of us. WAY Ouch!

-GeoMaine- (Stephan)