[Cdt-l] Garmin HCx Vista tracks

Frank Gilliland frankgilliland at comcast.net
Sat Mar 27 22:21:24 CDT 2010

Yep there is quite the issue when it comes to using existing GPS units and being a long distance hiker.  The Vista does have it's limits for track and waypoint storage.  The SD card is used primarily for map access.  The SD card however store a "Truck" load of converted waypoints into POI points.  Whereas the waypoint file can only hold 500 or 1000points (depending on the model).  You can store thousands of POI points.  See the Garmin site for a POI converter or use GPS Babel.  

Also, you need to have a computer running the Garmin software and the track file loaded in the program to upload to a Garmin.

I understand that the new DeLorme units are going to allow gpx file access via the SD cards.  This could be really cool in that you can load up a card for each state with tons of info and room to spare.  The new unit coming out this spring looks interesting and pricy!

I have a very large POI file if anyone would like it.  I also have the Crazy Cook route in both .gpx and the Garmin format.  Just email me off list.

I also broke the Ley file into separate files of no more than 500 points each.  This was more than OK for finding ones self......The VERY LARGE "Out of Order" files require loading them into a Dakota or Oregon series.  Now the Oregon and Dakota series does allow many more track files, but at a price$.

Now as for custom maps!  Well that is a very strange and complicated topic.  If any one can figure it out and send me the track files converted into custom maps.....I will buy you a really good Colorado Ale.

Frank "StarMan" Gilliland

It is a major limitation of the Vista HCx. The limit is 20 tracks. I  
dont yet know any way around this , even using SD cards.
I loaded all of CDT for Colorado last year. I used the Ley kmz file  
(reduced to around 6000 points) then split the file into 12 tracks of  
500 points. You get a better result if you get GPS Visualiser to  
compress the tracks, it takes out redundant points that are too close  
together of for straight sections. So for the same number of points  
you get more trail.
I used the remaining saved trails for things like alternates.
The SD card seems to mainly be used for storing maps and for keeping  
a tracklog each day. I dont know why the main GPS cannot use and  
access the extra memory to store larger tracks. I believe Starman is  
experimenting with using "custom maps" to store more trails but I am  
not sure how far you can get with this on the Vista?
Perhaps some Garmin expert can tell us more.
I know, I know, you don't need a GPS to hike the CDT. But I am taking  
mine again this year so it must be worth the extra weight.
best regards
Aussie Dave
Canberra Australia.

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