Losing track of time

Sunday, August 25th, 2019 at 10:15am

At the time I posted about the GPS Week Number Rollover my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx would still work, just with a date that was 1024 weeks too early, but then it stopped recording a timestamp at all which made the track useless. I found this out the hard way when I got home after taking photos that the GPX file for that day couldn’t be used. I was able to recover the track for that day from the device memory using the Garmin software, but that is a hassle to do on a regular basis.

So I ended up doing what I predicted, I picked up a Garmin eTrex 20x which is an updated version of what I had.

Although I don’t plan to use it for mapping, just in case I loaded on maps for Australia created from OSM data. I initially put these on a microSD card, but later loaded them directly into the device.

With the older device I had it configured to automatically write the track log as GPX to the microSD card, so at the end of the day it would be quick to pop off the back cover, pull out the microSD and insert it into a card reader.

This approach was not going to work with the new device.

First the microSD card is not as easy to access. It is below the batteries (not that much as an issue as I would swap the batteries at the end of the day anyway) but it is not in a spring loaded push slot, instead it is under a sliding cover and awkward to extract.

The main issue however was that I couldn’t work out if I could configure it to write automatically write a GPX log. I did find that I could save the current track (resetting the track at the same time) and then if the device was in USB mass storage mode find the GPX file of that saved track.

So it looks like my new geotagging process will now include:

  • at the start of the day:
    1. when I take the sync shot of the GPS time, also clear the current track
  • at the end of the day:
    1. save the current track
    2. plug the device in via USB
    3. browse to the GPX folder
    4. copy the GPX file with the saved track

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