Not sure how many here have tried to get custom waypoint and poi symbols working with BC and the Montana but it's a bit of a black art. I know I spent at least a couple hours decoding how this works, so thought I'd share my efforts. I'm sure others with more knowledge will chime in with more detail, but if I can save someone else a couple hours of trouble I think this topic is worthy of a post.
- BaseCamp 3.3 (BC for Windows)
- Montana 650 fw:v3.68
- Paint.Net (used for creating/updating bitmap files)
Step 1: Enabling custom symbols in BaseCamp:
After importing a large number of motorcycle NA/Canada repair shops (ie., Honda, KTM, Yamaha, etc) into BC, I wanted to assign the appropriate factory symbol to each dealer waypoint. As I travel I like to know where the closest repair or parts dealer is located either via POI or Waypoint. These are the steps I followed to enable custom waypoint symbols. Custom POI symbols can be discussed in a separate post since this is a different process all together...
Step 2: Enabling custom symbols on the Montana:
- create or obtain desired custom bitmap files (.bmp format) for each dealer. I used bmp file format because this is what worked when getting custom symbols to work on the Montana (described below).
- Pixel size for each bitmap file I used was equal to or less than 22x22 with a bitsize of 24. BC may support up to 32x32 ps, but I did not confirm.
- copy custom bitmap files into the \Documents\My Garmin\Custom Waypoint Symbols directory
- bitmap filenames must be numbered (i.e, 000, 001, etc) in sequence using NNN mask. Otherwise BC will not load the symbols. Note BC loads these symbols on startup, so if you add another custom bmp later, you'll need to restart BC.
- Custom images will now be available for selection in BC WayPoint symbols dialog grouped at the bottom in the Custom section.
- BC will allow you to select multiple waypoints and assign your custom symbol at the same time. Very nice feature...
Now that custom symbols have been assigned to my various waypoint lists in BC, I want my Montana to show these custom symbols after any transfer from BC. There's a few tricks to make this work...
- Copy custom bitmap files from the BC \Documents\My Garmin\Custom Waypoint Symbols directory to the Montana \Garmin\CustomSymbols directory. I used the main memory drive, but the SD would probably work just as well.
- bitmap filenames must be named Custom 1.bmp, Custom 2.bmp, etc in sequence using "Custom nN.bmp" mask. Otherwise when BC transfers over the waypoints the custom symbols will NOT be loaded .
- Also found that the bitsize needs to be 24 bit, otherwise the symbols will NOT be loaded by the Montana . Note, jumping ahead to custom POI bitmaps, they need to be 8 bit to show correctly on the map, go figure....
- On inspection of the waypoint GPX file produced by BC on the Montana after transfer (send to->), you'll notice the reason for the difference in the file naming convention between the two products. I believe this is a software development artifact due to two separate teams working on different products. At some point I would expect the Garmin teams to get their act together and fix this compatibility issue between BC and newer units.
- To test that custom symbols are working on the Montana, I sent a single waypoint from BC to the Montana. Instead of the default flag, the custom symbol was displayed after transfer
- On further inspection, the other custom symbols are also available for selection on the Montana
Hope this helps someone...