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Author Topic: Which Oregon?  (Read 10113 times)

FauxFlat

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Which Oregon?
« on: April 11, 2010, 08:58:40 PM »
For years I've lived with an Edge and Forerunner for mtbiking and skiing, mostly to record activities and once in awhile follow a pre-planned course.  Well, I'm sick of all the guesswork when we decide to explore and the 3 printed maps we have don't agree, and then we're not sure at which ancient and unmarked forest service road intersection we're standing.  We fully realize that maps and FS road reality don't necessarily match, but we're hoping that adding an Oregon GPS to the mix will at least speed up our guesswork by allowing us to overlay our recording track on top of a map (unlike the Edge or Forerunner).

Does it make sense to buy a model with preloaded maps?  Since we mtbike, flyfish, ski, etc., we're going to invest in 24k scale maps anyway.  We already own NatGeo Topo! for our state.  I assume you don't need the preloaded maps to use the Birds-eye functions?

At the cost, we do expect the unit to help with driving directions in the western US also.

What model makes the most sense for us?

Plus, I swear I saw a note somewhere that the maps pre-loaded on the Oregon can't be seen on the PC.  Is that right?  My head's spinning with all the different Oregon options.

Thanks for the hep.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 09:00:32 PM by FauxFlat »

maps4gps

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 06:45:24 AM »
Quote
Does it make sense to buy a model with preloaded maps?
Depends somewhat on what the preloaded map(s) is/are?  You can not view them in MapSource; however, with the lastest version of BaseCamp it appears you can.  A few weeks ago there was a post mentioned that a sale on the preloaded version was only $5 more - since the internal memory was 4Gb to hold the preloaded maps versus 1Gb without, I think it would have been a great deal to have the extra memory by removing the preloaded maps if they were not needed.

NatGeo Topo maps are in a different format so can not be loaded on a Garmin GPSr.

The 24k topos only come with a few States per DVD or prerecorded card.  The DVD is more flexible - see previous posts on the topic. 

There is a very generalized 'built-in' would base map on the unit. 

Garmin's CityNavigator is the best for streets/roads/driving instructions.  Their 24k topo product is routable.  How much 'help' do you feel you need?

As Garmin is adding capablilty to their software/GPSrs what can be done is changing. 


FauxFlat

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 06:58:43 AM »
Quote
NatGeo Topo maps are in a different format so can not be loaded on a Garmin GPSr.

The 24k topos only come with a few States per DVD or prerecorded card.  The DVD is more flexible - see previous posts on the topic.  

There is a very generalized 'built-in' would base map on the unit.  

Garmin's CityNavigator is the best for streets/roads/driving instructions.  Their 24k topo product is routable.  How much 'help' do you feel you need?

As Garmin is adding capablilty to their software/GPSrs what can be done is changing.  
Lot of good info.  Thank you.  

It sounds like buying one with a pre-loaded map is worth if to get the extra memory?  I assume you could backup the map to an external harddrive and then remove it from the unit if you wanted to use the memory for other purposes?

Of course, the fact that NatGeo Topo makes not working with makes me grit my teeth.  The local REI "GPS Expert" swears he used to work with Garmin in a past chemist life when he supposedly developed the printable map paper, and "knows everything about Garmins" and said the map set would work with all Garmins.  I suspect that if I went back and grilled him on basecamp, etc., he'd have an epiphany.

Most of our driving quandaries are the same FS road problems though not usually as remote because we're just driving into rivers to fish, not "4-wheeling."  

Does the R on the end of "GPSr" mean something?  

I guess I need to see if I can find the DVD threads you're talking about.  I'm not finding the search engine on this forum very consistent.  :(

Thank you for your help.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 07:20:56 AM by FauxFlat »

Boyd

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 07:18:45 AM »
The "r" in GPSr stands for "receiver". :)

To cut to the chase.... all things being equal, I'd suggest the Oregon 450. If money is not an issue, then the 450t gives you the pre-loaded US Topo 100k maps and 4GB internal memory.

If you find a  great deal on a 400t (I have one) then it's worth considering since it also has the preloaded map and 4GB of memory. But otherwise, I think the 450 makes the most sense. It has a slightly improved screen and much better compass, as compared to the 400t. The compass on the 450 series works in any position. On the 400t you need to hold the gps with the screen facing the sky for the compass to work.

To further confuse you... the Oregon 450 is the updated version of the Oregon 300, whereas the Oregon 450t is the update of the Oregon 400t. There is no such thing as an Oregon 400 (without the "t").

I don't think the 4GB internal memory on the "t models" is that big a plus honestly. You can put a 16GB micro SD card into the unit and have plenty of storage available. I would avoid the Oregon 200 because it doesn't have any internal memory. At this point, it's a problem because there appears to be a bug in BirdsEye which only lets you send imagery to internal memory and not a card. The 200 doesn't have the compass, altimeter or even a "beeper" like the other models.

For road navigation you will probably want City Navigator maps, which are extra. Garmin's 24k topo maps also have routable roads, but as maps4gps says - they are expensive.

I can confirm that the newest version of BaseCamp will let you use the pre-loaded 100k topo's from my Oregon 400t on the computer. They render a bit more slowly than maps that are stored on the computer, since they are accessed via the USB connection. They also cannot be printed: a dialog box comes up and says that printing is disabled due to copyright restrictions. Basecamp also lets me use the pre-loaded City Navigator maps from my Nuvi on the computer, with a similar limitation of no printing.

The BirdsEye aerial imagery looks great, but the service just launched a week ago and there are a lot of bugs to be worked out. If you have an Oregon and connect it to your computer, BaseCamp will allow you to download as much imagery as you like and use it on your computer for no cost. However, if you want to use it on your GPS you need to subscribe for $30/year. This seems really reasonable for an "all you can eat" plan. The subscription is only good for one GPS however. I plan to subscribe myself, but will wait until more of the bugs have been fixed before doing so.

True - you cannot use the National Geographic state series maps on any Garmin units. You should be able to transfer waypoints, routes and tracks (I assume), but not the maps. If you really want to use the National Geographic maps on a GPS, this is supported on the Magellan Triton series. I have a Triton 1500 but don't have any National Geographic maps. It's a nice piece of hardware, but not as nice the the Oregon series IMO. Magellan customer support gets consistently low marks from users. Fortunately, I have never had to deal with them myself.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 07:22:39 AM by Boyd »

FauxFlat

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 07:23:31 AM »
Thanks for the great comparison of products.  I have been leaning toward the 450 because of the compass.

But now, Iím now even more confused about which DVDs will work with an Oregon.

We have the Oregon state mapset from this series.
http://www.natgeomaps.com/topo_state

Garmin says it will load.
http://www.natgeomaps.com/gps.html

There is even one answer filtered to the state series which indicates TOPO works with the 550.
http://support.topo.com/articles/131

Definitely have to have 24k scale maps or it isn't worth it.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 08:07:46 AM by FauxFlat »

FauxFlat

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 07:25:23 AM »
The "r" in GPSr stands for "receiver". :)
As opposed to the fitness products which R-ecord only?   ::)

maps4gps

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 07:50:03 AM »
Quote
Does the R on the end of "GPSr" mean something?

Somewhat by 'convention'  GPS refers to the satellite system
                                        GPSr is used to refer to the handheld, etc. units which receive the signals.

maps4gps

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 07:58:31 AM »
Boyd,

   Could you clariffy 'You can put a 16GB micro SD card into the unit and have plenty of storage available' ?

   I have seen some posts saying you could use a micro card larger than 4Gb; however, because of FAT limits the Garmin GPSrs could only 'see'/use 4Gb.  Was there a software/firmware upgrade I missed that changed this (esp. for the OR300)?


Boyd

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 08:22:10 AM »
Well this is based on other posts that I've seen. I only have a 4GB card in my Oregon. My understanding is that each map file must be less than 4GB as I think this is a file size limit of FAT32, and not a total disk limit. I think the new BirdsEye service is going to change all of our ideas regarding how much memory we need.  ;D

The following comes from Garmin's knowledge base, but is obviously not correct for the Oregon because it supports 4000 map segments instead of 2025.

Quote
Question:
What is the largest SD/microSD card supported by an expandable memory device?

Answer:
There are several products within the Outdoor and Fitness families that can accept expandable memory cards in SD or microSD format. These cards, for some devices, can be used to store active track-log data, however, all expandable memory devices can utilize the additional memory to store MapSource products.

There are limitations to the size of SD/microSD card used and to the number of detailed mapping segments that can be recognized by a device.

If at the most recent unit software version, these limitations are:

There is no limitation to the size of SD/microSD card used but the device will only recognize 4GB of detailed mapping
Each expandable memory device will be able to recognize up to 2,025 detailed mapping segments
If 2,025 detailed mapping segments are loaded to an SD/microSD card but does not reach 4GB worth of data, the unit will not show any more detailed mapping than what is provided by the mapping segments.

Last modified on:  10/12/2009

Then there's this. The reason that there are different segment limits on different models has to do with the pre-loaded maps on some units.

Quote
Question:
What is the largest memory card that the Oregon is compatible with?

Answer:
All Oregon devices have an expandable memory slot, into which a microSD card can be inserted. This card provides the user the ability to install a greater amount of detailed mapping to supplement the devices fixed internal memory.

It is recommended that a standard speed 4GB microSD card be used in order to get the best performance from the device.

While considering memory limitations, one should also consider the limitation on the number of individual map tiles that can be transferred to each device, which may result in less than 4GB of mapping data.

The map tile limitations are as follows:

Oregon 200: 4,000
Oregon 300: 4,000
Oregon 400t: 3,571
Oregon 400c: 3,546
Oregon 400i: 3747
Oregon 450: 3,571
Oregon 450t: 4,000
Oregon 550: 4,000
Oregon 550t: 3,571
If you reach the map tile limit before meeting the memory limit, you will no longer be able to load additional mapping.

Last modified on:  02/01/2010

Finally, there's this which implies that the sky's the limit with BirdsEye  ;D

Quote
Question:
Are there memory limitations other than what is available on the device or microSD card?

Answer:
Outdoor devices often have two limits when considering the amount of mapping that can be loaded at one time. Often this limit is associated with either the amount of memory available on a device or microSD card or the number of map tiles a single device can accept. Often the memory limitation is reached before the map tile limitation.

The same concept is not true when considering BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. The only limitation is in regards to the amount of memory available on the device or microSD cards imagery is being sent to.

Last modified on:  03/30/2010

maps4gps

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2010, 10:08:57 AM »
Thanks for the info Boyd.  Hope you are correct. 

To me Garmin's knowledge base Q&As are too non-specify, conflicting and false to know for sure what the various limits really are.  For me 8Gb and 16Gb micro cards are too expensive to find 1/2 or 3/4 of the capacity is unusable.


Boyd

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2010, 11:19:30 AM »
Yeah. I have a 16GB card that I use for other stuff. If I ever feel I need more than 4GB, I may give it a try but don't hold your breath waiting for that.  ;)

Regardless - going back to your original question - are you concerned that the Oregon can only access 4 GB of storage? If so, then the 400t and 450t still would not have an advantage, since you would reach the 4GB limit on the internal memory alone and a 4GB card would be the same.

But clearly, this isn't the case because I can access the full 4GB internal memory plus my 4GB card on my unit without issue. I think I saw a thread at Groundspeak where somebody said they were using a 16gb card and BirdsEye.

Unless you actually *have* more than 4GB of maps, it's really a non-issue anyway....

Boyd

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2010, 11:26:43 AM »
But now, Iím now even more confused about which DVDs will work with an Oregon.

No, you have to read exactly what it says. I have emphasized the caveats in boldface.

Quote
Note: Waypoint and route transfers work with most handheld GPS units from Magellan, Garmin, Eagle and Lowrance.

Quote
There is not a problem with TOPO!. When it comes to Garmin GPSís, compatibility is in regards to routes, waypoints and tracks only.

It is talking about transfering routes and waypoints, NOT maps.

maps4gps

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2010, 12:09:40 PM »
Regardless - going back to your original question - are you concerned that the Oregon can only access 4 GB of storage? If so, then the 400t and 450t still would not have an advantage, since you would reach the 4GB limit on the internal memory alone and a 4GB card would be the same.

But clearly, this isn't the case because I can access the full 4GB internal memory plus my 4GB card on my unit without issue. I think I saw a thread at Groundspeak where somebody said they were using a 16gb card and BirdsEye.

Unless you actually *have* more than 4GB of maps, it's really a non-issue anyway....
I was thinking that if 4Gb was the max usable on a micro memory card; it would be possible with a unit having 4Gb internal to have a total of 8Gb for those who feel they need 'it all' on the GPSr.  My planimetric mapset for the 50 States was about 2 1/4 Gb and tests looked like 24k 'quality' contours would be about 5 1/2 Gb.

I thought I saw posts there that were saying they could only get Birdseye on the internal memory. 

I have created mapset(s) with over 8Gb of data.  The 128Mb card that came with my 76csx has way more room then is required for the area I go to.  My concerns were: 1. not to be passing on incorrect info on something I did not actually do with my GPSrs and 2. to consider increasing the average file size for my future mapsets.  Mine have been a little over 1Mb per file; however, since 8Gb/4000 segments = 2Mb, perhaps the increase in time it takes cgpsmapper to process fewer but larger files would be good to do.

Boyd

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2010, 12:28:08 PM »
Actually, when browsing Garmin's support articles I saw one about BirdsEye and SD cards. They said that if you want to save to the card, DON'T use the option for downloading and automatically copying the map to the GPS. Instead, download the file, then choose the SD card and send the map.

I thought that was what I did before, but maybe not. I only remember that it let me choose the SD card, and then it wouldn't send anything. On Groundspeak I read something about BirdsEye putting an XML file with unit ID info in internal memory. They said that if you copy that file to your SD card, you can then use a USB card reader to transfer the files. I haven't tried myself though.

FauxFlat

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Re: Which Oregon?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 06:57:10 PM »
To cut to the chase.... all things being I can confirm that the newest version of BaseCamp will let you use the pre-loaded 100k topo's from my Oregon 400t on the computer. They render a bit more slowly than maps that are stored on the computer, since they are accessed via the USB connection. They also cannot be printed: a dialog box comes up and says that printing is disabled due to copyright restrictions. Basecamp also lets me use the pre-loaded City Navigator maps from my Nuvi on the computer, with a similar limitation of no printing.
Have you been able to test this with the latest version of Basecamp?  Do you think this is a Basecamp bug or a genuine copyright restriction on the maps?  This makes no sense since the first rule of exploring is having a printed map and real compass as a back-up.

I'm in Salt Lake City visiting a friend and we're off to Cabelas tomorrow for scratch and sniff session.   The printing is a real concern.