Colorado GPS questions (Garmin 60csx)

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Osprey!, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie

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    [​IMG]

    A Garmin 60csx popped up on Craigslist the other day at a reasonable price and I jumped on the GPS bandwagon. I've been eyeing these units for a few years but they were a little steep.

    I'm now thinking about buying the Garmin Topo maps for Colorado. Since this is so popular, does anyone in the Boulder area have a microSD with Garmin Topo on it? Would you be willing to loan it to me so I can try it before I buy it?

    Primary use would be hiking, backpacking, hunting, and off road motorcycle riding. It looks like GPSFileDepot has a few alternatives which may also work. Has anyone tried using the various free Colorado maps? I'd like to hear about your experiences.


    Muchas

    p.s. image stolen from some russian website. :lol3
    #1
  2. James Adams

    James Adams n00b

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    I have the Garmin Topo US 24K maps for the Mountain Central (includes CO) and Mountain North regions on an 8GB microSD card for my Garmin 62s (the 62-series replaced the 60-series units) and I've been really happy with them. I think that the maps might be locked to the specific device, but I'd be happy to pop the whole 62s unit in the mail to you when I get back in town next week for you to give it a try.
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  3. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie

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    Wow, that's really nice of you James. Let me see if anyone local has a unit I can try, but otherwise I'll take you up on it. Or maybe find an excuse to ride down that way. :deal
    #3
  4. SnowMule

    SnowMule [angry moth noises]

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    Honestly, the only time I use the topo maps is on the snowmobile (off-road/off-trail).

    For dualsport riding, CityNav's the mapset to get. A bunch of the trails at Rampart are on there and routable. Not just the road, I'm talking the actual OHV trails.

    CityNav's got gas stations, restaurants, hotels... topo has a bunch of really useless POI's. But it does have topo lines.

    Basemap, as you've probably found out, has next to nothing:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Topo has topo lines, but the mapset's rarely updated so a lot of the roads/features are out of date. The POI's are ... not that useful.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    whereas with CityNavigator, the roads are a lot more detailed. Nearly all of them have names, the map is routable (turn-by-turn directions rather than heading/distance), and the POI's are useful.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I have both mapsets, if you'd like to test-drive either or both of them I can get you set up.
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  5. Raul Duke

    Raul Duke DROC

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    Did you try these yet? They are free.
    http://www.miscjunk.org/

    They are built on most the same USGS data as the paid ones.

    I use multiple layers for my mapsets and use the free maps as my base topo - some of the layers being my custom maps based on MVUMs sit on top. Works great for my 60csx.

    Ive used them for the past 3-4 years and have never had any problems - sometimes they are actually more accurate than the paid versions. YMMV

    Let me know if you want to go down the rabbit-hole of how to create your own custom maps - fun stuff for GPS/map geeks.
    #5
  6. rob feature

    rob feature Domain Ranger

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    I have 'em here if you still need 'em. Err, at least I think I do...haven't tried 'em yet, but I have the 2 cards on my kitchen counter.
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  7. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie

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    Thanks y'all. Sounds like I should try the free stuff first, perhaps it's the way to go. I'll get everything running for a little adventure on Saturday or Sunday. Will report back afterward.
    #7
  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    The Garmin 24k maps are not locked to a particular device. Without going into details it is not unheard of for people to share these by passing the DVD around.

    The City Navigator maps are locked to a specific unit. Sometimes these maps are easier to use than the topos.

    Both the CN and 24k maps are "routable". This means you can create routes that will follow roads by putting waypoints a key points along a desired path.

    There is another version of Topos - 100k Topos that are not locked to a unit but are not routable. I routinely use all three map types for planning and riding.

    You can use the Garmin BaseCamp software, which can be downloaded for free. I use that and the older Mapsource software that used to come on the CDs and DVDs.
    #8
  9. Wannabeeuro

    Wannabeeuro Tuner chic

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    The trail tech micro sd of Colorado will be at my house this week if you want yo try it. Not sure if it can be copied.
    #9
  10. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    City Nav sucks offroad except on well known frequented trails. Most of the Utah and NM trails, forest roads and dirt riding we do doesn't showup on CityNav. Offroad I could care less about routing, thats done before starting up the bike. CityNav is good for pavement use, I'd load up the free Topos, they work well and like previously said, don't limit yourself to one mapset.
    #10
  11. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

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    I usually keep a couple different free topo maps on my gps and toggle between them if in doubt; sometimes a road will show up on one, but not the other. City Navigator is all but useless for exploring in most of the areas I ride.

    I've found the free maps to be pretty good.
    #11
  12. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    +1 :freaky
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  13. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    I can't read that little screen worth a darn so it doesn't make a very good "map" for me :D I uses Mapsource on my computer and have topo, city nav, and metorguide all loaded in mapsource. Works great for planning rides and determining my route. Once I have my route figured out I can load it into the gps and let it guide me on the route. The topo maps are non-routing so if you can't find your trails on city nav or metorguide you won't have routing. I often load the topo maps on my gps but not sure I ever used them except maybe to try and determine what trail I was on. There is a lot of other useful information on a GPS also, like heading, altitude, millage, speed, and so on. Even the topo map will point you in the right direction to go if you can set a way point for where you want to be. It won't tell which trail you need to take though. Although, one thing I haven't tried is following tracks using the topo, I'm guessing that would work.
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  14. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    That's pretty much the SOP when following a gps track in the boonies. Following a route in that situation is pretty tough to do, there's not allot of detail with routes like there is with tracks.
    #14
  15. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    Cool. going to have to find me some tracks :D Actually I think I have some, just need to go ride.
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  16. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    The main thing a lot of us use routes for is planning trips on a computer using BaseCamp or Mapsource. We then convert the route to tracks to load on the unit to follow. BaseCamp will convert routes to tracks directly. If you are using Mapsource and good tool is the free 3rd party software WinGDB3.

    When I am just trying to follow a track on the unit, I generally prefer to have City Navigator on - minimal clutter.

    But as others have said CN is not as useful if you are just out exploring on your own. Different topo maps show different roads and trails. I was surprised recently to find that Topo 100 shows many roads and trails that do not show up in 24k Topos.
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  17. Raul Duke

    Raul Duke DROC

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    Keep in mind that the active track log for those units are only 500 pts long - with a total of 20 saved tracks. I think the card memory is like 10k points or something but you cant pull card saved card tracks into the active track log on the unit itself. I guess my point is if you are doing real long trips, you will need to chunk up your tracks if you want to do active track logs.
    For long/multi-day rides, what I have found to be better/easier in the long run is to do your own mapset - that is put all of your tracks together into one file from your planning tool of choice (I use Google Earth most of the time now), use GPSBabble to get it into a standard format like .gpx, then use a tool like GPX2IMG to create your very own selectable mapset in Mapsource/Basecamp. Download it to the GPS unit and it can be shown as its own map layer. Depending on how you cast your tracks, you can have routing enabled on your own tracks for thouse of you that like the routing feature.
    YMMV
    #17
  18. SnowMule

    SnowMule [angry moth noises]

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    "Active Log" on the 60/76 is 10k track points.

    There's also 20 500-point "Saved Tracks", for another 10k points.

    So 20k total, active log + saved tracks, capable of being displayed on the device at any one time.

    With some setting combination (log track to data card on, and ... whatever setting it is that either loops back from the beginning of the active log or not when that fills up, you want that not wrapping around) you can still write your tracks to the data card and have 20k total track points displayed for your "routes".
    #18
  19. Raul Duke

    Raul Duke DROC

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    On the 60CSx If you can get the Activelog "Track log" tracks saved on the card to show up on the display, you are a better man than I.


    #19
  20. SnowMule

    SnowMule [angry moth noises]

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    Right, they won't if the active log has 10k points in it already.

    But if it's full, the unit's not set to overwrite existing trackpoints, and tracklog to data card is turned on, you still get the "where I've been" data on the memory card. This can be pulled off on a computer.

    If you're using the tracklog as a route and following it, why's it matter if you can see "where-i've-been"?
    #20