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Garmin Proximity Alert, doesnt make sense to me?

#1 User is offline   Arghh2006 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 03:00 PM

Hi all,

Just got my Garmin GPSMAP 60CSX last night and I've already spent many hours getting used to it. So far, I've been geocaching with a poor man's GPS (IPAQ, CF GPS, Mapopolis using maplet) and I have been using their proximity alert by Category "geocache". This works great, you are driving, and have no idea there is a geocache nearby and POP, one just shows up in a radius that you have defined and gives you the option of routing to it.

Well with the Garmin, it doesn't seems to work the same... In order to get a proximity alert, you have to select a peticuliar cache and you will get noticed when you drive by it. Garmin doesn't let you setup proximity alert based on categories (in that case ICONS since there doesnt seem to be the concept of category in my GPS). I find this a little stupid.

The way it should work, you should be able to say: "if i get within 2KM of a geocache, alert me" regardless if you have selected the geocache before. It seems to me the way they have it setup is not very usefull. Any comments? Is there somthing I'm doing wrong, should I expect a firmware update soon that will support that feature? Being new to Garmin, I don't know.

Arghh2006

#2 User is offline   El Diablo 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:14 PM

Mine gives me an alert whenever I get within .10 of a mile of any cache on the unit.

El Diablo

#3 User is offline   Arghh2006 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 07:12 PM

Do you have a garmin?

Is it a GPS60 ?

If the answer is yes, I'm curious how you configure it?

#4 User is offline   kohldad 

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:52 PM

Looking at the manual, it seems that you have to add each waypoint to the proximity waypoint list for it to give you the warning. Didn't see a way to mark them all as proximity points.

Maybe someone else with more familiarity will post up on a neat trick to move them all to the proximity list.

#5 User is offline   apersson850 

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 02:36 AM

Usually, these units only allow a few, typically ten, proximity waypoints at the same time.

Some units support custom POI:s. There you can have thousands of points, with proximitly alerts.

#6 User is offline   Timpat 

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:01 AM

Apersson850 is correct. My 60Cx will only hold 10 proximity waypoints. But, as he stated, you can go with creating custom POIs for your caches and loading them using Garmin's POI Loader. This works well. In MapSource select ALL your cache waypoints together and right click on "Waypoint(s) Properties". Un-Check the "Unknown" box beside the "Proximity:" option, and assign a distance, down to 0.01 mi (52.8') if you want. It assigns the distance to ALL your waypoints selected. Then save this waypoint file as a .gpx file. Upload using POI Loader. One problem I see is that it does not give an audible "beep" tone for the proximity alert, but it does give a screen alert display. I've emailed Garmin regarding this so we'll see if they add this audible alert to the Loader updates. Or better yet, improve this function in a firmware update so we can do as you hoped for.

#7 User is offline   Arghh2006 

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  Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:50 AM

That was a very good answer and I think I understand most of it. Let me recap in my own words.

I understand the mapsource part and the poi loader part. I uploaded four GPX file by mistake yesterday and ended up with four POI files on the GPS that I cannot get rid off. I found a way, reading these forum to empty those four files of POIs I didnt need so now I have four Empty Custom POI file on my unit.

If I understand well what you are saying is I could use one of those empty file to upload my waypoints as POI. I can do that no problem. One question. I still need the geocache waypoints (they have more info in them than the POI). Will it cause a problem to have a waypoint and a POI with the same name at the same coordinates?

Thanks for your answer, the more I play with this thing, the more I come up with improvement suggestion for garmin

#8 User is offline   Timpat 

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 08:05 AM

View PostArghh2006, on Nov 17 2006, 10:50 AM, said:

One question. I still need the geocache waypoints (they have more info in them than the POI). Will it cause a problem to have a waypoint and a POI with the same name at the same coordinates?

Thanks for your answer, the more I play with this thing, the more I come up with improvement suggestion for garmin

No problem at all. I actually keep a cache waypoint file loaded in the unit's memory (max 1000 waypoints) that contains the hint in the comment field that has 30 characters worth of space. I use GSAK to create and upload this. Then, I use GSAK to create a 2nd file of the same points for uploading as POIs that contains a total of 132 characters. It is kind of like having a cheap PDA along in my 60Cx. (I do carry a Palm IIIxe as well).

One other point on the POIs. When you upload the file you need to check the correct box to say it contains proximity data.

#9 User is offline   The Jester 

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:10 AM

The problem you are having is a difference of use for proximity alert. You want to use it FIND something, Garmin set it up to AVOID something. I believe it goes back to sailing (where most of our terminology comes from) - the ability to set waypoints on reefs, rocks and the like and have warning if you are getting too close.

The only use I've had for proximity alert was in a park to make sure I was beyond the .1 mile limit from other caches.

#10 User is offline   Arghh2006 

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:21 AM

Again, that's a good observation. Makes a lot of sense for Boaters expecially.

With my poor man GPS (my pda), I was using proximity alert to find and not to avoid. The nice feature in Mapopolis was that once you got the alert something was found, it gave you the option of "route to it".

I was able to setup a proximity alert this morning for a cache that we drove by. Once the alarm was triggered, there were no action possible except to acknowledge it. From a geocaching standpoint, this is not very useful. Even If I get all the geocaches entered as POI with proximity alarm, since I can't route to it from this same alarm, what's the point. I'm somehow hoping that these forums are monitored by the manufacturers for future improvements.

Thanks for your comments all

#11 User is offline   Thrak 

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:50 AM

I use proximity alerts to tell me when there is a red light camera coming up. I don't run red lights but it's still nice to know that one of those is nearby. The fine is something like $270 and you don't actually have to run the light. Sometimes if the front of your car passes 1 foot or so past the camera line you will get a ticket in the mail. I downloaded a custom poi database of the lights. I'd like to refer you to THIS THREAD which has some really great and useful info on using the custom poi feature.

I'd also like to point out that you should be able to go to Setup, Interface and then cursor down to the bottom of the screen where it says USB Mass Storage. If your unit is connected to the computer at that point your micro SD card becomes simply another drive on your computer and you can easily delete the unwanted custom poi folders you are stuck with.

#12 User is offline   jpd43 

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 05:34 PM

View PostTimpat, on Nov 17 2006, 08:05 AM, said:

View PostArghh2006, on Nov 17 2006, 10:50 AM, said:

One question. I still need the geocache waypoints (they have more info in them than the POI). Will it cause a problem to have a waypoint and a POI with the same name at the same coordinates?

Thanks for your answer, the more I play with this thing, the more I come up with improvement suggestion for garmin

No problem at all. I actually keep a cache waypoint file loaded in the unit's memory (max 1000 waypoints) that contains the hint in the comment field that has 30 characters worth of space. I use GSAK to create and upload this. Then, I use GSAK to create a 2nd file of the same points for uploading as POIs that contains a total of 132 characters. It is kind of like having a cheap PDA along in my 60Cx. (I do carry a Palm IIIxe as well).

One other point on the POIs. When you upload the file you need to check the correct box to say it contains proximity data.

CAn you tell me more about this POI file with 1000 items and hints? I thought all you could get was 500 and no hints unless you set them up in routes of 250 each. Very interested in this.

#13 User is offline   Arghh2006 

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 06:59 PM

View PostTimpat, on Nov 17 2006, 08:05 AM, said:

View PostArghh2006, on Nov 17 2006, 10:50 AM, said:

One question. I still need the geocache waypoints (they have more info in them than the POI). Will it cause a problem to have a waypoint and a POI with the same name at the same coordinates?

Thanks for your answer, the more I play with this thing, the more I come up with improvement suggestion for garmin

No problem at all. I actually keep a cache waypoint file loaded in the unit's memory (max 1000 waypoints) that contains the hint in the comment field that has 30 characters worth of space. I use GSAK to create and upload this. Then, I use GSAK to create a 2nd file of the same points for uploading as POIs that contains a total of 132 characters. It is kind of like having a cheap PDA along in my 60Cx. (I do carry a Palm IIIxe as well).

One other point on the POIs. When you upload the file you need to check the correct box to say it contains proximity data.



I tried some of that stuff tonight (GSAK). What colum correspond to the 132 Character?

#14 User is offline   Timpat 

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 07:29 PM

View PostArghh2006, on Nov 22 2006, 09:59 PM, said:

I tried some of that stuff tonight (GSAK). What colum correspond to the 132 Character?

When I create a cache custom POI file to export as a .gpx file using GSAK, I use the "Waypoint name" field to fill the first 44 characters. This is what I use in that box: %smart/%con1/%dif/%ter/%last4(%datelf)

That gives me the cache (14 character) Name, container type, difficulty rating, terrain rating, the last 4 log types, and the date last found.

Then, in the "Cache description format" box, I use: %hint

That gives me the hint up to a total of 88 characters (thus the total of 132 available). The hint may get cut short, and usually does, but this method gives you a lot of info that can't be had in the internally stored waypoint files. You can experiment building the waypoint name using tags (see help) in GSAK. This is just the method I've found useful for myself.

Hope this answers your question,
Happy Thanksgiving!

#15 User is offline   Alan2 

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 07:16 AM

Arghh2006: How do you define a proximity alert in Mapopolis?

#16 User is offline   phask 

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 07:49 AM

I think - though I have not (and ain't going to either :P ) that you can do it in Mapsource.


If you don't use it - download all your waypoints into it, sort by category, select all the ones you want the alert on.

Right click, waypoint properties, click on the prox alert box where it says unknown, then enter the dist. in the box.

Does not look like there is any limit.

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