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Garmin 450 Tracback Question

Started by Buzz Waxwing, August 14, 2010, 04:06:12 PM

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Buzz Waxwing

I'll have to admit that I don't understand the Garmin tracback feature.  On my old Magellan Color when you activated the backtrack the GPS would actually give you a target and arrows indicating if you were on course and it would let you know if you were going off course as well as give you the distance to your next turn.  The only thing I can find on Tracback on the Garmin is trying to keep the pointer on the track line which in my mind is very difficult.  I hope I am missing something because I like the 450 but if I am using it right, my old magellan is a hundred times better on trackback. Thanks for any info you can give.


I have the same issue.  I save a track, make a copy in reverse then activate the reverse track.  Using Dist to Next and the Pointer field only points to the start of the track.  Once you pass the start point it keeps pointing to the starting point.

This is so frustrating.  What am I doing wrong?  My thinking is Dist to next should be the distance to the next waypoint on my track that would move me forward along the track.


Someone, please help with this.  I keep trying and trying but cant get the dist to next to "work".  It only shows the distance to the start point or the end point and not the track.  OFF Track works.

With Basecamp I can see each waypoint but I cant see the waypoints on the Oregon.  I dont care so much about the distance to the next waypoint.  I care about the POINTER.  The two go hand in hand.




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Quote from: jeffkruse on September 13, 2010, 12:54:58 PM
I save a track, make a copy in reverse then activate the reverse track.
I'll have to check into this myself. Why are you copying and reversing a track to backtrack? In units like the eTrex you just us the track and then Backtrack. Seems like reversing+Backtrack is a double negative.


Probably showing my ignorance here, but, do waypoints have anything to do with a tracklog?  Whenever I've used Backtrack, I've gone to one end or the other. And both my OR300 and 60CSX have reported the distance between my current position and the end I was heading toward.  Distance to next turn (or waypoint) never entered into the BackTrack.


I called Garmin twice.
First time the guy tells me I am doing things correct and to try and update the SW.
I update the SW and have the same problem
Second call different guy, Tells me to do a master reset after backing up my data.  I do it while he is on the phone.  Then I ask what if this doesn't work.  He then decides to ask someone more knowledgeable.   
Now I get the real answer.
The Dist to Next isn't the distance to the next Point in my Track.  It's the Distance to the next Waypoint.

I tell him that he, the first guy I talked to at Garmin, many other people, and myself all thought the same way.  It's intuitive to think that during a trackback or following a track that the Dist to Next would be the next point along the track.  He agreed.

The Garmin Oregon does not show you the points along track and cannot tell you the distance to the next point.  You have to follow the track on the screen.  That not much of a problem when you are moving but when you are in dense jungle and can't move more than a few feet at a time it make things more difficult.


QuoteThe Dist to Next isn't the distance to the next Point in my Track.  It's the Distance to the next Waypoint
Sounds about right, but not very usable.  You could make a few waypoints along the track at critical points. 


Quote from: maps4gps on September 17, 2010, 11:55:47 AM
QuoteThe Dist to Next isn't the distance to the next Point in my Track.  It's the Distance to the next Waypoint
Sounds about right, but not very usable.  You could make a few waypoints along the track at critical points. 

Thats what the second guy at Garmin said   ::)

The track that is displayed is usable so Ill have to follow the track that way.


From what I can tell, trackback always takes me back to the SECOND waypoint I've set. It doesn't track to the first waypoint. I suppose the 450 assumes that the first waypoint is the starting point in a track. I can certainly make that happen, but it seems Illogical.

Also, if I build a route from scratch using waypoints I've saved, it always assumes I'm beginning from the first waypoint. That means it won't show the distance from my starting point to the first waypoint. Instead, it shows the distance from wherever I am to the SECOND waypoint. Thus, if my starting point isn't the same as the first waypoint, I can't navigate to that first waypoint.

Is this what other people experience?

Thanks for the information!



I did a bunch more testing, and I think I understand how to get it to work for me. But others of you might not like the scenario.

If you view the map while tracking, there are two data fields in the upper part of the screen. Touch either one, and you can select what data you want to be shown. Two of interest are the OFF COURSE, which seems to give the distance back to the course, and the TO COURSE, which gives a direction back to the course. (Rather than the TO COURSE, I prefer the pointer.) Since the accuracy of the unit varies from time to time, these data fields are just generalities, not precise guiding parameters.

What I've been doing if I want to retrace my track is to set a bunch of waypoints along the way. Then I save the track, make a reverse copy of it, and use WHERE TO to back-track along that copy. It correctly starts at the beginning and points me to the next waypoint. So the two data fields I use on the map are DISTANCE TO NEXT and POINTER.

TracBack also works in a similar manner if I set a bunch of waypoints going in. But if I use Tracback and later look at the data in Google Earth, it doesn't show the trip data (such as total track distance) separately for the inbound and return trips. By using the reverse copy rather than TracBack, I can look at what really happened in both directions

I was wrong in my earlier post about the unit ignoring the first waypoint; I was using it incorrectly.

Hope this helps.



Isn't navigating to the next track point a basic feature? ::)

I used the pointer this weekend and frequently it would point behind me because the trip back was 6 hours later and the GPS said I was off the trail a couple hundred feet.   >:(

I like this GPS for the Birdseye part, the touch screen, and how quickly it locks in, but I am not so happy about the accuracy, the position of the roads vs the real position and this track point issue.


If your position isn't showing on a road, I suspect that's a problem with the map data and not the GPS. I have been very impressed with accuracy on my Oregon 400t with the new firmware. I posted some tests that I ran against a 60csx here:

The Oregon tracks were more consistent than those from my 60csx, and many people used to consider the 60csx the "gold standard". If you are using maps that were created from TIGER road data (which would be most of the maps from this site) then there are quite a lot of errors.


I agree.  The road lines also don't line up with the birdseye images either.

But,  when I hike on a trail one mile into the jungle and then follow that same trail out 6 hours later I would hope that my paths would overlap.  They are off from each other frequently over 200 feet.  Only sometimes they are off by only 30 feet.


One would expect that the Birdseye roads were correctly shown, however, even if the Tiger roads aren't.  If you are standing on a road, Birdseye should show you standing on a road.  The Tiger roads may just be wrong, so no sense in comparing them with Birdseye.  

Regarding your track repeatability,  do you have any idea about satellite visibility between your in and out trips?  If you were in a deep gorge or canyon, and couldn't see enough satellites, your tracks could be wildly erratic.

See the image on this thread:,1383.msg8627.html#msg8627