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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: BoomersOregon650T on June 19, 2016, 04:20:15 PM

Title: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: BoomersOregon650T on June 19, 2016, 04:20:15 PM
Newbie Alert
I just purchased a Garmin Oregon 650T handheld GPS. I am struggling with learning the basics on this puppy. 
I want to be able to park my car make a waypoint then wander into the bush looking for a grave (somewhere in a 100 acres). The bush is heavy and I will be wandering about because we don't know where it is. So once I find it I don't want to have to retrace my rambling and want a direct route out. HELP!  Not sure if I made sense.
Secondly - How do I know what map I am looking at?
Thirdy - Will maps from other Garmins work in this model?

I think that's it for now. Appreciate any help you can give!
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: Boyd on June 19, 2016, 05:21:02 PM
I'm confused, sorry. You can record and display your track as you wander through the brush to the grave. The track be a wiggly line on the GPS screen, and you could follow that line back out the same way you came… but that is not what you want?

You could have the GPS direct you in a straight line back to your car, but that may not be a very good way to return in heavy brush either. I don't know how the gps could tell you the "best" way to return to your car, all it knows is your current position, the car's position, and the path you followed to get there.

Aerial imagery might help, depending on the quality which can vary considerably depending on where you are. $30 gets you unlimited downloads for a year (and you can keep what you download after that).

That would show your position on the aerial photo, but you would have to figure out where to go yourself.

You select maps with Setup > Maps > Configure Maps. See:

You will see a list of everything installed and you can enable/disable what you like there. The 650t includes a topo map that is not terribly accurate. Unless you install something else, that's all you will have access to.

Don't know what "maps from other Garmins" means. Most of Garmin's map products now use a form of copy protection that only allows them to be used on the GPS for which they were purchased. So, for example, you could not copy the City Navigator map from a Garmin Nuvi to your Oregon, it will just give you an error message if you do.

Garmin used to sell topo maps on DVD. Those maps could be installed on any GPS. They have been discontinued during the past year. Maps that Garmin sells by download only work on the GPS for which they were registered.

The exception is maps that were sold on SD memory cards. These cards can be used in any GPS, but they cannot be copied (so they can only be used in one GPS at a time).

OTOH, maps that are hosted here at GPSFileDepot are free and can be installed on any Garmin GPS. Some of the maps listed on this site are not actually hosted here, and they may have copy protection or usage restrictions.
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: BoomersOregon650T on June 19, 2016, 06:43:20 PM
Thanks for all that info. I'm heading out in the morning so will digest the info from you when I get a moment, thanks again.

Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: JCWP1 on July 22, 2016, 06:05:02 AM
Hi, there.
Read your post re maps etc.
My son bought me an Oregon 650 for a proposed trip to the USA my wife and I were undertaking in 2014. Unfortunately health problems prevented us going so it's only been used here in Great Britain. However, we are crossing the pond, God willing, in 6 weeks time and I want to use it then. However, I'm still trying to sort out some maps, for trail walking, before I go.
Can you tell me how you went on with your Oregon? Did it do all that it you expected from it? What sort of maps did you manage to find?
Sorry there's a lot of questions!
Kind regards,
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: babj615 on July 23, 2016, 01:50:52 PM
What part of the US will you be visiting?
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: JCWP1 on July 28, 2016, 07:33:34 AM
Sorry I missed your reply.
Got a bit of a bug last week and still shaking it off!
My wife's got quite an itinerary going. I know that we will be walking in Wyoming and Utah, plus a little bit in Nevada and Colorado (but that's mountain trails and she's got quite a few paper maps for there as we've been a time a two before)
It's mainly the first two.
I've been looking, today, at the Garmin BirdsEye maps and they certainly look alright but it's a shame the subscription only last a year.
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: Boyd on July 28, 2016, 09:03:24 AM
The Birdseye subscription only lasts a year, but you can keep everything you download. So just make an effort to download all areas of interest during the active year. But you need to understand exactly how this works. You use Basecamp to download the imagery, then you send it to your GPS where it will appear as .jnx files in the \Garmin\Birdseye folder.

Be sure to backup these files - the .jnx files from the Oregon itself. They will always work on your Oregon regardless of whether your subscription is active. Just make an archive on your computer of all the different birdseye files you have downloaded.

If you try to use Basecamp to send Birdseye files to your gps. that will no longer work after the subscription expires. But your archived files will continue to work.

Also note that these files will only work on your original GPS. If you get another one, they cannot be directly used due to the copy protection. You can use Basecamp to send them to another GPS, but that GPS would need its own active Birdseye subscription.
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: JCWP1 on July 28, 2016, 10:12:46 AM
Thanks for this, Boyd. I've an awful lot to learn about GPS in general and, to be honest, I manage to get out walking so little nowadays, plus my advancing years, that it's a struggle to take some of this in. However, you don't succeed if you don't try!
Can I ask a question? As I understand it, paying for BirdsEye subscription entitles me to download the maps to my PC; the maps being Worldwide. If I download maps to Basecamp can I then save the particular maps I require to individual micro SD cards? ie to separate UK from USA maps. From what you say, if I do that then I will always be able to access the maps directly from my GPS device. Is that correct?
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: Boyd on July 28, 2016, 11:07:23 AM
Yes, you've got the idea - AFAIK. The caveats are (1) never needed to use it internationally so I only downloaded parts of the US and (2) my subscriptions expired a number of years ago, so I don't know what they have changed.

After putting the maps on the SD cards, I suggest copying the cards to folder on your computer, as a backup. Also, I found that large SD cards cause the GPS to start up very slowly. I had a full 16gb card and found the startup time unacceptable on my Montana 600. So I only put the areas I immediately need on a card (or internal memory). You can experiment with this yourself. Your Oregon is a newer model than my Montana, so it might be different.

Also, are you talking about satellite imagery, or topo maps? These are separate products that require separate subscriptions. I *think* the satellite imagery covers the whole world, but the topo maps are only for the US and Canada.

Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: JCWP1 on July 28, 2016, 11:15:21 AM
Thanks for this, Boyd.
You've highlighted another misconception that I had but can understand what you're saying.
It might be subjective but I wanted the maps for trail walking in areas of Utah and Wyoming. I suppose it depends on which maps give the best details - I know sat maps will show me exactly what's there - but from the point of view of selecting the trails I want.
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: Boyd on July 28, 2016, 12:14:53 PM
Might be hard to see trails on satellite imagery, depending on tree cover and the time of year that the photos were taken. I also prefer aerial imagery (shot from airplanes) to the satellite imagery in most cases. It usually has less atmospheric interference (like cloud cover). The Birdseye imagery is often a mix of satellite and aerial, depending on the locale.

The Birdseye topo maps are the old-style USGS 1:24000 scale quads, you can see them here:

Around 2009 the USGS switched to a new digital format, so you should look at older maps (from the 1990's or earlier) if you want to get a feeling for what the Birdseye topo maps look like. Here's an example from a random location in Utah (sorry, not very familiar with that state). This will be the basic style of the Birdseye topo maps. As mentioned before, the USGS has abandoned this style map now, and many areas were not updated after the 1970's, so don't expect them to reflect any newer trails, highways or developments.

Nevertheless, many Americans (myself included) still like these old style maps. They include lots of interesting little details that aren't present on more modern vector-based (computer generated) maps. And I also admire the the skill and draftsmanship involved. :)
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: JCWP1 on July 29, 2016, 06:01:37 AM
Boyd, once again I am deeply indebted to you!
The links you sent are excellent and have really helped me.
The reason I was trying to get images with more detail is that my wife and I like to walk trails, as I told you before. Several years ago we got into Native American Rock Art, and ruins, which combines nicely with the walking. As a lot of these sites are really off road, at least we can get in part way by 4 X 4 and then walk the rest. However, some of the better sites are quite difficult to find unless you have exact details. Regrettably, a lot of the people who do know where the obscure sites are, keep them to themselves or within a select group. Being from Great Britain puts as at a bit of a disadvantage, unfortunately!
Sorry! Not having a moan. Really am obliged for your help.
Kind regards,
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: Boyd on July 29, 2016, 07:52:29 AM
Glad I could help. I believe there is actually some controversy about these kinds of places in the Southwest. I read an article awhile ago where archeologists were concerned that GPS technology has opened some of these obscure sites to tourists, and their condition is degrading (not from vandalism, just due to people visiting them). I haven't been to any places like that, so I don't know how much of an issue it actually is.

Anyway, have fun with the Oregon and have a great visit!
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: JCWP1 on July 30, 2016, 11:44:59 AM
Thanks, Boyd.
We'll try to enjoy ourselves!
While I'm writing, I found some DMS cordinates for some sites and put them into Google Earth. They showed the position of my area of interest miles away. Any ideas why?
Title: Re: Newbie with a Oregon 650T
Post by: Boyd on July 30, 2016, 02:25:54 PM
Make sure the coordinate format matches. Not much of a Google Earth fan myself, but I thought they used decimal degrees, not DMS.