Playing with my handheld GPS unit
Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 at 8:12 pm
After I posted my thoughts on getting a handheld GPS unit last week I realised two things:
- I do not need the electronic compas or barometric altimeter. So I could step down from the eTrex Vista Cx to the eTrex Legend Cx.
- I do not really need the basemap in the unit to be for Australia. Most of the units I was looking at on eBay were US models that had Australian maps loaded.
So on Sunday I was the winning bidder for an eTrex Legend Cx with Australian maps for two thirds of the cheapest price I could find locally.
It arrived today and for the past couple of hours I have been playing around with it. What do I now know?
- The Australian maps take up 96MB of the 128MB microSD card (included instead of the supplied 64MB card) so it might be necessary to get a bigger card, especially if I do by detailed maps. Currently a 2GB card is under AU$40.
- Logging the track to the card means they are available to any computer without special software by putting the unit into mass storage mode.
- The Trip & Waypoint Manager software that came with the unit lets me upload a route to the unit. The track log can also be downloaded using this software.
- Routes exported from Bikely as GPX need modification (stripping out elevation tags) before the software will accept them. I just used gvim but a simple perl script should also do the trick and could automate other cleanup tasks.
- With only 500 possible waypoints, any route that I plan out using Bikely will need to be drawn fairly coarsely. But that is ok for a plan.
Tomorrow is the monthy Melbourne Perl Mongers meeting so I won’t be riding to work. But I will take the unit with me to record my journey anyway. I also bought a bicycle mount, from a different seller on eBay, that should arrive in a few days, ready for my first ride with a GPS on the weekend.