Using a Garmin Nuvi as an ADV GPS

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Yinzer Moto, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. roadhammer

    roadhammer Adventurer

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    Perfect! and old Nuvi is new again. Works great
    #61
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  2. LordSteezus

    LordSteezus Been here awhile

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    Just dug a nuvi 1300 out of my parents basement.

    Been reading through these forums and Im gathering the following:

    1. I cant have multiple stops along a route (?? Does this mean i cannot have waypoints between destinations? only A->B maping?)
    2. I need to download basecamp to manage my GPX files
    3. I can have up to ~10 gpx files available but up to 100 stored for import(??)
    4. Not waterproof at all.
    5. Might want/need to solder in a hard wired cord for on the bike use.
    Anything Im missing?

    Im charging it to try and turn in on right now, seems to be going okay...ish.
    #62
  3. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    1. The features available depend in part on which software version the 1300 has. They've introduced new features and removed others. Mine will allow a single stop between start and destination. To calculate a route with 2 stops, input your destination first then go back to "where to" and find another destination. When you press "go" it will ask if it's the destination or a via point.

    2. I have never used basecamp. I get and put files with my computer's file system.

    3. IDK

    4. Not waterproof, but my 1300 has been in some rain showers without a cover. It's a crapshoot though and mine has gone dark for a day after being in rain. It works today.

    5. Mine still has the original USB mini-B but I stopped using the nuvi much after about 3 or so years on the bike.
    #63
  4. LordSteezus

    LordSteezus Been here awhile

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    So say I want to track along some gpx files I've made.

    I drag into the folder labeled 'GPX' but how do I open them in the Garmin?
    #64
  5. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    1: I have found it really only work when using tracks. You can make the track go anywhere, but if you stray from the track, it will not route you back. I prefer that type of routing because when using routes, if you miss a way point, some gps units go crazy.

    2: you can use anything you want to manage GPX files, you will need something to convert them into tracks, I use Basecamp for that. I hear the windows version is awful and the Mac version (what I use) is less awful but still not great.

    3: in the beginning of this thread, I talked about GPX to IMG and how to use it, you can put as many tracks in there as you want. If you want, you can load every track you own but looking at the map may be confusing. There is no way to turn them on and off, other than swapping out memory cards.

    4: as long as you put silicone sealant around the screen and fill some of the other holes on the face of the unit, it is waterproof. I have ridden days on end in the rain with the only issue being water in the memory card port. Just remove the card and blow it out. After I covered it with duct tape, it solved that problem.

    5: this is the weak point. The USB will fail eventually. Like I mentioned before in this thread, if I had to guess, it lasts about 60-80 days of riding for me. This is mostly off road. A rubber band, to keep tension on the USB, helps a lot. I might try using some hot glue of silicone to hold the USB and see how that holds up. I have not split a unit open to look into hard wiring.
    #65
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  6. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    You need to convert the GPX to route and do the GPX to IMG, the Nuvi will just draw a straight line between the two points if you put a route in there.
    #66
  7. LordSteezus

    LordSteezus Been here awhile

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    So with the tracks loaded, you just kinda follow the line on the map? Seems like a lot of guess work on the trail, especially at complex intersections.


    I'll try converting gpx to tracks via Basecamp today and see what happens haha.

    Thanks for holding my hand y'all
    #67
  8. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    Your location is not filled in, are you familiar with the Hatfield and McCoy trails in West Virginia? I have used the Nuvi to navigate those trails with great success. The map I loaded only had the quad trails and no singletrack, so I had to back it up with a paper map. I had to pay attention when approaching a complex intersection and sometimes I took a wrong turn, just double check that I made the correct turn a few yards down the trail. None of those trails appear on any street map, that I know of, so there would have been no way to navigate them any other way.

    I have also used the same method to navigate the TAT, KAT, TWVT, etc... When I make a turn, just glance down and make sure my icon remains on top of the line I am following.
    #68
  9. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    I bought a Garmin Montana in the spring and I am using the same method to follow tracks on the Montana. I convert the GPX file to a IMG file and follow it that way. Many of my track files have many short segments. Having to load the correct ones, make sure the direction of travel is correct, etc, is a lot of work. On the Montana, do it the same way as I do on the Nuvi, just convert to a IMG file and keep my icon on top of the line on the map.
    #69
  10. dcwilcox

    dcwilcox Been here awhile

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    So when you are looking at the IMG file/overlay on the Nuvi (or other device), does it 'look' pretty much like a track? (i.e. just a line on the map). Seems I've read before that this is a great method for saving storage space on whatever device you use and also as a good backup to your tracks if you have a dedicated GPS.
    #70
  11. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    Yes. Essentially it is just a highlighted track on the map. The goal is to just keep your icon on top of the line. If you stray from on the line, the GPS does not know or care. If I stray too far, I’ll just drop a pin on the line where I want to return and tell the GPS to route me there.
    #71
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  12. GotCrusted

    GotCrusted RuggedRider

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    Pulled "gmapsupp.img" created by "IMGfromGPX" on to the SD card, inserted into Nuvi 2597 and cannot see the track line.
    Sounds easy as described, but I cannot get it to work...
    Any suggestions?
    #72
  13. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    There are few way it could go wrong: Make sure the original GPX file is a track and not a route. Make sure the gmapsupp is in a folder named "Garmin" on the memory card. The memory card slot could be defective and you may just need to put the gmapsupp file directly in the garmin folder on the GPS.

    Can you upload the gmapsupp file to ADV rider? I can download it and try it on my GPS.
    #73
  14. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Um, IMGfromGPX will convert either a route or a track to an .IMG file.
    It will also use either GPX or GDB files.

    I've made the mistake of loading files that have BOTH the tracks and routes of a given ride in the file... it will create the overlay with lines for BOTH the tracks and the routes.

    Also, IMGfromGPX will create overlays with as much detail as you give it... so the higher number of trackpoints that you use the finer the detail. All for not much space. I have an overlay that contains 107 tracks covering almost 9000 miles, and the overlay takes less than 1mb. High detail.

    I haven't had much luck converting a mixed track / waypoint file, it wants the waypoint to be of only one type (only one symbol).

    The conversion is fine if all the waypoint symbols are the same... I posted a link around here that has an .IMG file of all the publicly owned campgrounds over 5 site in the whole US - that's over 12000 waypoints and it's searchable. About 2mb.

    You can have multiple overlays loaded at once and turn on and off individual overlays. I think you look under settings/maps/info, check or uncheck what you want.

    On newer Garmins you just put all the overlays (with individual names) in the /Garmin directory.

    On older unit's, I use Mapsource, have the overlays loaded into Mapsource as separate 'maps' (IMGfromGPX will create folders with the maps in them to be installed into either Mapsource or BaseCamp), select the maps you want - City Nav, Road & Rec, Topo, etc and also select the overlays you want to use to build the overall composite gmapsupp.ing file, then have Mapsource or BaseCamp build gmapsupp.img and copy or load it into the GPS (Nuvi or Montana or whatever Garmin unit you have).

    Each overlay has to have a unique ID number and Name. You can do a search and find a list of some of the ID numbers used by Garmin and other vendors.
    #74
  15. GotCrusted

    GotCrusted RuggedRider

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    Thanks guys for the reply. Sorry for the long delay replying. I have never posted anything on-line and was thinking i would never hear from anyone.
    @trailer Rails: I have uploaded the image file. it was converted from the unabridged version of the New Mexico BDR from their website. It is all tracks and waypoints.
    First I made the mistake of copying the image to the wrong folder on the SD card. Your tip telling me to copy the image to the Garmin folder allowed me to select the image file under the MyMaps section of the GPS..great! Unfortunately it still does not display on the map when I view it.
    I also i am not entirely sure i got the 32bit version of the Java file (jre-8u151-windows-i586-iftw). Maybe that is the problem. Is there a way to tell?
    Note: I had to change the extension of the .img file to .gpx in order to upload to AdvRider.
    Edit: Got it working...Had it in a GPX folder not the Garmin folder.
    Thanks guys

    Attached Files:

    #75
  16. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

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    In you GPS and in MyMaps, uncheck all other maps except the map you want to view. Maybe that'll work? At least you'll see if the image is working right....
    #76
  17. RCinNC

    RCinNC Adventurer

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    I'm pretty late to this thread. I'd been wondering for ages how to do this, and got steered here by a member over at Stromtroopers. I use a Garmin Nuvi 2455 as my GPS, and am planning a trip on the MABDR in the spring of 2019. I have the .gpx file from Ride BDR, but since it's a track, my Nuvi can't read it and if I open in on Tyre or MyRoute, it looks like a plate of spaghetti. I actually bought the Butler map and recreated the MABDR file as a route, with waypoints, so the Nuvi could follow it and give turn by turn directions. Now, with this info, I can have the actual track also (well, I can as long as I can make it work).

    During this thread the question came up about the less than stellar power connection in the Nuvi. I came up with a way to make a pretty secure connection that doesn't vibrate. I'm using the RAM cradle for the Nuvi 2455, but it could probably be adapted to other mounts. I've been using the same Nuvi with this mount for years now, on some really rough roads, and it's still going strong. All it needs is a small section of 1/16" thick, 1" x 1" aluminum angle, a small rubber block, and some velcro tape.

    [​IMG]

    I used E6000 cement to glue the rubber block to the piece of angle. Then put the Nuvi into the cradle. Then, you move the rubber block/aluminum angle up against the USB connector on the power cord. The trick is to get it to where the rubber block just touches the connector, but isn't pushing against it. Mark the position of the angle, then take the GPS out of the cradle. I countersunk a couple of small machine screws from the inside of the cradle, through the aluminum angle, then secured it with some machine nuts.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the cable plugged in.

    [​IMG]

    One end of the velcro tape is glued to the aluminum angle with E6000 cement. You plug the USB cable in, then wrap the velcro tape firmly around the USB connector and secure it to itself. The tape keeps the USB connector in place in the receptacle without the weight of the cable constantly pulling on it, and it also keeps the connector from vibrating inside the receptacle. The rubber pad also helps absorb some of the vibration.
    #77
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  18. chilejack

    chilejack Been here awhile

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    I bought a Nuvi as an "entry level" GPS 5 years ago. I use it mostly in urban areas for traffic directions and for route planning on trips. I use an ordinary handlebar Ram ball mount,, Most of my riding time has been with a buddy who uses a Montana. The major functional difference is the user interface which is much better on the Montana, and the display which is much easier to see in daylight on the Montana. The only major issue I have had is the power connector. It took me a while to figure out that my sudden restarts were due to the micro USB port on the back of the Nuvi. I epoxied a short cable onto the Nuvi as a permanent solution and it has been fine the past 2 years. I have also replaced the ball-mount attachment several times whenever the unit starts flopping around on the Ram mount. I have used the Nuvi primarily on paved or graded dirt roads so I can't attest to its ruggedness for dirt riding.
    #78
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  19. GreatSteak

    GreatSteak Adventurer

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    Just wanted to thank ya'll for putting this together. I picked up a used Nuvi 2595 for a song and with this thread I was able to get my GPX track loaded!
    #79
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  20. boulet_boulet

    boulet_boulet Been here awhile

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    This thread has a lot of helpful info—thanks. Learning that I can expect my Nuvi750 to fail, but not yet having a financial appetite for a Montana has sent me searching for some redundancy. Sure enough replacement 750s are available very cheap on eBay and I have now ordered a little insurance. Combined with OSM maps and my existing Ram mounts, I will soon have a cost-effective solution that is right-sized for my needs.
    #80
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