Zumo 550, tracks, BDR, time to upgrade?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by ericrat, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    I have a Zumo 550 that has served me well for many years.

    I am preparing to do part of the MABDR. The BDR routes are distributed as tracks and they don't recommend converting them to routes in order to preserve accuracy.

    It has always been my understanding the the Zumo 550 doesn't support tracks. When I send the BDR tracks to my 550 is it automatically converting them to routes?

    If that is the case, can anyone comment to the loss of accuracy?
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  2. fjmartin

    fjmartin Been here awhile

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    I'll provide an alternate solution that won't cost you any money and has worked really well for me. There is a free program called IMGfromGPX (http://www.javawa.nl/imgfromgpx_en.html). It's available for PC and Mac. I have the PC version. What this app does is take a single or multiple tracks and waypoints and creates a transparent map for Garmin. It's a map just like any other map so you just toss it in a folder called Map on a MicroSD card that you have in your device or install the map in basecamp and use basecamp to put the map on your device. Power on the device and it will tell you that you have a new map installed. The cool thing about what it does is the map it creates is transparent and then just has a colored line that represents the track(s) and icons for the waypoints. On a Garmin you can have multiple maps active so if you turn it on and have say a topo map or City Navigator up and running you'll see the lines and icons on the map. With the tool you can pick you line color. Crazy thing is that lines of different colors can only be seen from various max zoom levels on garmin devices. As such I use RED as it's easy to see and it can be seen when at the 20 mile zoom level. When you run the tool, you just drag and drop the tracks and waypoints file(s) into the tool, pick the color for the tracks, pick the icons for the waypoints, name the file with something like MABDR or MABDR Section 1 and then check the box "Include creation of gmapsupp.img file" if you want to do the drag and drop install vs the basecamp install. If you create a bunch of transparent maps using the gmapsupp.img drag and drop you'll need to rename each gmapsupp.img to something else like mabdr1.img, mabdr2.img so you don't duplicate the file when copying onto your device. Next, you need to enter a Map ID. The simple thing to tell you about this is that you should start at 17000 as the number as that is the range that's available for custom maps and every time you map a new map, increment the number. A garmin will throw an error and not use the map if there are duplicate Map ID maps loaded on it. Lastly pick a TYP file. This is basically a file that tells the app how you want the track line to look. I use THICK. Easier to see.

    My suggestion is you create a transparent map for each section of the BDR. Then in settings you can easily turn on and off the sections and you go from one to the other. If there are bypasses for sections that you might take, put those in as a separate track and make it a different color so when you come upon the intersection to continue on the main route or take the bypass you can easily see that RED is the main route and say GREEN is the easy bypass.

    I know this was a lot of detail....I'm an engineer! But seriously the tool is really really easy to use and solved my issues on my GPS. I have a Zumo 595LM and while it supports tracks just fine the line is SOOOOOOOO THIN that you can't see it. You can't adjust the thickness either. I spoke with Garmin and there is no fix. So this tool is what I use...mostly.

    Now, on your original question about using routes. Well, I use them sometimes and here are my observations about them.
    1 - Depending on the model of Garmin the number of points used to create a route can be very limited. My Zumo can only have a max of 29 Via Points. These are the points that get created when you are clicking around in BaseCamp and making a route.
    2 - When selecting the recalculation in BaseCamp, if the road doesn't exist, which happens on routes like BDRs when using City Navigator and even other maps, the route won't calculate correctly and may take you hundreds of miles out of the way to get from point to point. You can take a section of your route and change the type from Car or Motorcycle to Direct or Offroad to get there but remember you are limited to just 29 points!
    3 - Now, when you load the route on your device you'd better have automatic recalculation turned off AND you'd better have maps that have all your roads or as you enable the route on the device you'll see it calculating the path and it may find no road to get from point to point and send you around the long way. Also, if you are have the automatic recalculation on and you miss a turn, it will fully recalculate the path from point to point and you may not end up following the MABDR route.

    Make sense?

    I leave tomorrow for a 7500 mile trip through Alaska and Canada and I'm using IMGfromGPX for my Zumo. I also use Galileo Pro on my iPhone and load the tracks and waypoints up so I have redundancy. It's free and very simple to use with support for GPX files and offline maps.

    Take care and good luck!

    Joe
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  3. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    it's going to try and recalculate them. you really don't want that. make images and follow the tracks. dead simple.
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  4. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    Thanks, I will give that a try.
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  5. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer

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    Or, you can import the tracks into Basecamp and convert them to routes. Then compare the original track to the route, if they got recalculated, drag the route to match the track, then use “insert route point” to add shaping points at the turns to force the route to follow the track. Then you can export the routes to your unit with a high likelihood they won’t be changed. This will give you navigable routes.

    You can then use the image overlay mentioned above to give you a static track as a reference to tell if at any point your route is leaving the intended track.
    #5
  6. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    As an update... Basecamp for Mac does't support maps the same way. I had to switch to Windows.

    Still working on this, but finding out that the PC and Mac versions of Basecamp are different set me back.
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  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    huh ? which maps doesn't it support ?
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  8. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer

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    I was mift about this as well. I use a mac and have not had any issues, although I will say the process of selecting the option to also load an updated map to the computer along with an LM update to the unit isn't present like the Garmin info says.
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  9. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    I believe in Garmin Express, if you go to "Map Options" you can select "Install to Computer".
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  10. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer

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    That’s what Garmin says, and may be the case on a windows machine, but I’ve never had that option show up for me on my Mac.
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  11. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    What versions of Garmin Express are you running? I am running Garmin Express 6.6.0.0 on El Capitan.

    I happen to have Garmin Express 6.5.1.0 (new install, haven't updated yet) on another Mac with El Capitan. Under "Map Updates", "View Details", "Installation Options" it has an option to install to computer.

    I can post screen shots if that would help? It makes Basecamp run a lot fast.
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  12. GCecchetto

    GCecchetto Long timer

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    No worries, it’s probably there now. I haven’t used Express in quite a while, and have no need to anymore since I no longer use Garmin nav units.
    #12