Waypoints into Garmin etrex

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:26
ThreadID: 30801 Views:6100 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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Hi all
Yes, have searched the archives and lot of interesting stuff that is way over my head.
Have come by a basic etrex and want to set up routes. All I want to do is put in specific waypoints so that we can check our progress is in the right direction when off the beaten track. And to put in points of interest so that I can find them if not signposted. Don't need mapping capability, connection to laptop while on the road etc etc. We are old fashioned and use paper maps, which are very good and comprehensive, but I want to be able to cross check that we are where I think we are.
Don't have software at the moment and reading all I can it seems that I need some type of software (Garmin MapSource or other??) on my home PC to define the route which is then loaded to the hand held. But the etrex doesn't have mapping capability as I read it.
Anyone able to help a novice with some thoughts??
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Reply By: Member - John C (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:35

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:35
Fold up the paper map into a large clear envelope (try and get an A3 clear cover from a stationary stoe!) and use a whiteboard marker to name/number the points of interest that you will convert to waypoints. Transfer the latitude & longertude readings to your etrex as waypoints and finaly set out the route in the gps. You can follow your progress easily on your paper map and re-use the folder again by using a damp rag to clean off the whiteboard marker.
AnswerID: 155117

Reply By: signman - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:50

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:50
I've done many kms of outback/ remote travelling with an eTex and find it a top unit. The only one drawback is that it can save only one route (of about 50 waypoints from memory).
If you don't have a user manual with eTrex -they can be downloaded from the Garmin site- along with any software updates.
If you haven't already got one, I would also suggest you get a cig. lighter socket power cable, as GPS do tend to suck the batterys. While you're at it, make it a dual cable ie. power and PC connection, same cable.
The purpose of a GPS is not necessarily to show where you are, but where you should be heading. I spend time before a trip loading waypoints in order and making routes and have the whole trip set up. Of course saving POI on the way for further reference. I would highly recommend you do have mapping software (OziExplorer seems to be the pick of the bunch)..it does make life a lot easier and more acccurate.
I also agree with you that GPS should not be a replacement for paper maps, rather an addition. Any thing I can help you with- just holler!!
AnswerID: 155120

Reply By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 12:55

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 12:55
If I read your question correctly - you want to know
(1) Is it possible to manually enter waypoints into an Etrex without a computer
(2) Is it possible to manually create a route in the Etrex with a computer

The answer to both questions is yes. And altough the user manual does not specifically say how to do it - the instructions are there.

Do you have a manual? If not you can easily download one.

Do you know how to download one? If not we can give you a website address of where to find one.

The first step I suggest is to get a manual and see if you can work it out. If you're having difficulty after that - call out for help again.
AnswerID: 155137

Reply By: RustyHelen - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:08

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:08
Thanks for the input folks.
Yes I have a manual. I don't have the cords referred to but will purchase (from the EO shop of course) as I learn more about capability.
I have had another couple of goes today after reading the earlier response but will give up for a while as I was about to throw it.....
I think I have found the section in the manual which gives a veeeery broad hint as to how to go about it manually.
Investigation tells me that to do it by PC I will need oziexplorer (or similar) plus buy the maps on CD-- all to input a few (10>15 say) key points for a trip like (say) CSR. So maybe once I cool down and learn how to do it manually I will just stick to that until after the first trip using it.
AnswerID: 155147

Follow Up By: signman - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:52

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:52
10 - 15 waypoints for the CSR??? How about 50, and thats just the wells, let alone all the other features.... We had nearly 100 waypoints for the Ann Beadell/ Connie Sue - including poi, intersections, Lens plaques etc...and still didn't have them all..
FollowupID: 409098

Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 08:11

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 08:11
There are plenty of free utilities for your PC to input waypoints or routes to your gps.

Try here for a few examples. I use EasyGPS for simple waypoint/route stuff.



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FollowupID: 409240

Reply By: Member - Toolman (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:13

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:13

Here's how I enter a waypoint in my eTrex. Don't know if its the best way but its the way I know how do it:

1. Turn on GPS , don't worry about getting a signal unless you are marking actual points where you are physically located;
2. Push the Page button (rhs top button) until you reach the Menu page;
3. Highlight "MARK" option if it isn't already highlighted and push the Enter button on GPS (LHS bottom button), you should now be at the MARK WAYPOINT page with the "OK" message highlighted;
4. Scroll up to the Waypoint name in the flag and edit the name to your requirements;
5. Push the up or down button button until the "OK" window is highlighted at the bottom of the screen; push the Enter button on the GPS (LHS bottom button);
6. You should be back at the MARK WAYPOINT page.
7. Scroll down to the window displaying the Elev, and the coordinates (these can be Lat, Long or Eastings and Northings). Edit the coordinates to the read the same as the coordinates you measured off your map.
8. When you have entered the coordinates push Enter and you should have a new waypoint.

I haven't created a Route yet but I think it just comprises a whole lot of waypoints the you drag in from your list of waypoints on the eTrex.

You need to consider the coordinate system you are using when measuring off a map.

What Datum is the Map?
GDA 94
The map should tell you in the marginalia.

What is the projection used?
Generally it is UTM but that should also be on the map marginalia.

Make sure your GPS is set the same as the map or you will end up somewhere other than where you thought.

I apologise if I'm teaching you how to suck eggs but it is important.

I hope this little speel is of some use and I haven't stuffed up the instructions in their translation from practice to writing.


AnswerID: 155149

Follow Up By: RustyHelen - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:53

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:53
Thanks Toolman.
No stuff up, just confirmed where I had got to.
Worked out the map set up stuff. The unit came on loan from our son who is in the army (he actually purchased it in Kuwait on the way in/out of Iraq) and they use all WGS84 so had to learn how to reset it.
FollowupID: 409174

Reply By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:03

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:03
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you need to learn how to use a map. What I mean by that is how to get grid references/Lat & Long from a sheet map or place your self on a map from yiour GPS position.

I learned long before GPS were produced, how to find yourself on the ground and on a map.

It is all well to put waypoints into a GPS but what if the GPS fails and mine has. I would get a compass as a backup as an Etrex can't be used as a compass.

Mark your way points on the map. Record the grid reference or LAT/Long on a piece of paper as well as estimated travel distance, etc.

We used to travel WA using trek notes from a range of sources (a lot in Grid). But there were times you needed to know where you were right then and the shortest route out. I'd plot the position on a sheet map so I could check it against the GPS.

Use the GPS to find your position then plot it on the map. Unless you can read and use a map effectively the GPS may as well be a toy.

Gold Coast
AnswerID: 155162

Follow Up By: Member - Toolman (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:29

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:29
I agree with you. GPS are great little things to aid you with your navigation and lots of fun to then keep a record of where you've been, but not worth a cracker if you don't have a map, especially one with coordinates on it, to refer to when you are trying to find your way.

FollowupID: 409120

Follow Up By: RustyHelen - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:54

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:54
Thanks Wizard.
Have a look at the original post-- I use paper maps, just want confirmation of where I am (or think I am!!!).
FollowupID: 409176

Reply By: Gu_Patrol - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:24

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:24
not sure if this would work in your situation but you could use Mapsource waypoint manager and download Tracks4Australia onto your PC. From there you might be able to create your own route with the mouse and transfer that into your gps, thats if your gps will accept it.
AnswerID: 155221

Reply By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) 4124 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:43

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:43
Which e-trex did you get? I own a Legend and use the Metroguide and tracks4australia. Because it has a memory of only 8mb you have to juggle a bit with maps but it is great for bush-walking and on the Dirt-bike as well.
I think the e-trex is good to learn more about GPS and software, a great little tool.

AnswerID: 155226

Follow Up By: RustyHelen - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:50

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 21:50
Thanks Reiner
It is a basic etrex, no upgraded model. No colour, no fancies. But then i am learning so don't really want the whistles just yet
FollowupID: 409173

Reply By: Terryfirma - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 00:55

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 00:55
Hi Rusty,

Just got in from work (now after Mid night) I have an etrex and have been using a free down load programme that I came across. Great little program. Stores waypoints, you can add waypoints to a route. then upload info to the etrex.
After a trip can also download your trip and new waypoints to the program.
Too late in the night to give full details
Email me and I can supply details of the program and what cables are required to connect etrex to computer.



AnswerID: 155272

Follow Up By: RustyHelen - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 09:26

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 09:26
Would appreciate your info.
There is probably a means of PM'ing on this site but I can't work it out.
We are at rustyhelen1atbigponddotcom
FollowupID: 409252

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