Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GSAK: Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

foundinthewild sent me some helpful hints about using Garmin's POI Loader to add custom icons and custom points of interest to the microSD card of the 60CSx. [Edit: Here they are:]

I am attaching a zip file of the modified versions of the gsak macros and my icon set. I have some duplicate icons, but the important ones, found, not found, multi, puzzle, virtual, disabled, and final locations are there. I made some mods to the macro code, like drop2, mark the found caches with * (when I choose to include them), and use the difficulty/terrain rating system of 1,A,2,B,3,C,4,D,5. You can find the mods by searching [for my initials] since I comment the code. I also increased my smartnames in gsak by 2 characters to give me a better sense of the cache names.

It takes a few minutes to run on my older machine for about 6800 caches for the state of MN. It will use around 1.2 MB on the memory card i.e. not very much.

One time:
The original / latest gsak macro (untouched by me) can be found at: http://gsak.net/board/index.php?showtopic=3172. My version is attached to this email.

Download and install of the poiloader from Garmin:

Set up your POI folder and unzip the CustomPoiIcons zip or from my poi_files.zip file . My version is attached.

Go to your cache database, choose Macro /Run/Manage and install the macro GarminCsvPoiExport.gsk if it's not already installed. This file is in the poi_files.zip file, too.
File update and replacement:

Set the GPS to USB connected drive. (Menu, menu, setup, interface, USB). Using windows explorer, find k:\garmin\poi (k: is your usb mapped drive). The folder will start out blank or with a file called "poi.gpi" but you can put more than one file there.

After the gsak macro is done running on your database, run POI loader program from windows, finding the usb connected drive. I choose not to use proximity alerts in the options. You run through each type of file it finds in your POI folder or use express. When it is done, check your folder with windows explorer and you should see a file called 'poi.gpi'. I RENAME that file to something like 'minn080131.gpi' which means you can rerun the export macro on a different database, load the next gpi file as poi.gpi, rename it, say "Florida.gpi" or something, and repeat for many databases. It needs the .gpi extension.

Remember to "Safely Remove" your hardware, and the gpsr restarts in standard mode. Find / 'Custom Points of Interest' defaults to closest but you can search by smartname or the drop2. Once you find a cache, use find/find/select waypoint and "save" the waypoint as a geocache. This should place it in the calendar if needed for later review.

The symbols show up when you are zoomed in to about 0.8 miles or closer. This is supposed to help with the clutter. I set up my garmin map from the map display: menu/setup map/map points/ max zoom at 0.8mi.

I have an intermittent micro SD card, so I always verify a good poi load before heading out and re-running poiloader usually fixes it.

I have used several different poi folders for unique locations. I just copy all of the icons from the main poi files folder to the new one.

Let me know how this works for you.

Haven't tackled that project yet, though I did download the loader and check that I could browse around the card as a USB mass storage unit. It appears that the maps take up about 1GB and change, so I'm assuming that's a 2GB card I've got in there and so there's room to add some POIs.

I set up a dedicated email account to collect pocket query emails from Groundspeak so that GSAK can process them automatically.

Then I changed how GSAK writes the waypoint description to the GPSr. Now I'm using


which gives a shortened version of the cache name, the first four letters of the name of the hider, and one-letter codes for the cache type, container, difficulty, and terrain.

I am reluctant to start using custom icons and custom points of interest, because my favorite feature of the 60CSx is the Geocaching Mode, in which you can press a Found button so that the cache is saved to your calendar for easy logging later. Would be interested to hear your workarounds on this if you do use a bunch of custom POIs. [Update: foundinthewild tells me that when he finds a cache that is not a traditional, he changes the icon and find it again in order to save it to the calendar. Good enough for me. I'm on it!]


Time to change Plato's Five Gems: Dodecahedron to a large container! See this post on Boing Boing.

When I take my old laptop to the hospital to recover some lost data, I'll try to retrieve a photograph of the huge icosahedron I made with some ninth graders during a summer math camp a few years back. It was about fifteen feet high, and it was made out of 10-foot lengths of 2x2 lumber and these special Starplate connector joints.

[Shameless commerce division: Anyone want these at a discount? I'm still dragging them around from basement to basement.]
Reaction was mixed. My mathematical colleagues said "Spectacular!" My administrative colleagues were not happy. Something about giving ninth graders power tools without their parents' permission...

Let me tell you something though: those kids couldn't help but leave camp knowing V - E + F = 2!


Shawn_Kummrow said...

I bought a 60CSx a few weeks ago and I'm still trying to figure it out too. 1B, could you email me or post the files that foundinthewild sent? What I've been doing is creating 950 (leaving 50 open on purpose for multi projections, parking, etc) caches using the send to gps in GSAK. Then I've been using a macro to generate POI files that contain the hints an contain about 4000 total caches of all types. This way, I can be sure I have the paperless info. I also use cachemate for my WM smart phone. That works very well for paperless caching. I have about 2000 caches in it at all times with the last 5 logs, full description, and of course the hints. I also found this on the MnGCA forums. http://www.mngca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=47774#47774


Randy said...

I will be sending my files to speedysk1.

firstbass said...

Let us know how it worked out for you, speedy!