Old Etrex

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
User avatar
NickB
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:11 am
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Old Etrex

Post by NickB » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:49 pm

I have dug out my old basic yellow etrex from the late 90's I think, the one with the 4 pin connector rather than the mini usb that I believe is fitted to later models.

I have the usb version of the cable to connect it to my PC and used to use EasyGPS to synchronise waypoints/tracks etc. It seems this no longer works, I have had a dig around the internet and it seems that EasyGPS now only support the later versions with the mini usb connector.

Is there anybody out there who has found a suitable alternative software?

Cheers,
Nick
Cheers
Nick Benny

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions!

pathbrae
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:42 pm
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by pathbrae » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:51 pm

Memory Map still seems to work with my old Sumit GPS, which has the same Garmin 4 pin connector.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:11 am
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: Old Etrex

Post by NickB » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm

Thanks pathbrae, I’ll have a look
Cheers
Nick Benny

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions!

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:11 am
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: Old Etrex

Post by NickB » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:50 am

Okay, I've tried Memory Map, also Garmin MapSource and the Garmin Chat line, no luck, PC just reports not found or not recognised when trying to synchronising.

Anybody got any other ideas before I take Up Garmin's offer of a 30% trade in against a new one?
Cheers
Nick Benny

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions!

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13933
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:13 am

Why can't you use the original software version?

If your operating system won't install the old drivers, and you have a 'pro' version of a current OS, look into Hyper-V*, I'm sure you can pass a USB port through to a virtual machine now so it should be as simple** as digging out some old windows install disks and setting up a virtual machine running XP (probably need to be a 32bit VM) or whatever and then install the software there. You can create a virtual network to share folders between the virtual machine and the physical machine if you need to edit the waypoint files in later software.

*VMWare server used to be an option but as far as I know all the current versions require the ESXi hypervisor installed before the OS, it also would only install on server/pro editions of windows though. I think Microsft VirtualPC is discontinued and I don't recall it being able to pass USB ports to the VMs, but Hyper-V is much better.
**by simple I actually mean incredibly complicated, will take many hours of frustration to get nearly working, and at the end of the process still might not work

I never use my old yellow etrex for navigation, but GPS time is extremely accurate (the lynch pin of the whole system) so I use it now to get an accurate time to program into my motorised telscope mount, which makes a huge difference to it being able to find deep space objects to look at! Now, if only I had some spare evenings and clear skies to go out with the telescope some more...

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:11 am
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: Old Etrex

Post by NickB » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:01 am

I guess the original EasyGPS software is somewhere on an old machine long ago sent to the tip!

I'm toying with the idea of taking Garmin up on their offer of a 30% trade in, although with how little I've used my old one do I really need to bother? questions, questions!!!
Cheers
Nick Benny

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions!

Sean_soup
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:17 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 17 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Sean_soup » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:40 am

NickB wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:01 am
I'm toying with the idea of taking Garmin up on their offer of a 30% trade in..
Is that an offer that's generally available? Online somewhere?

I have the same old yellow Etrex that you do, though I haven't used it in years. I've thought about replacing it occasionally though perhaps a waterproof smartphone might make more sense than another dedicated GPS these days, if the battery life is up to it.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13933
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:24 pm

Sean_soup wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:40 am
NickB wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:01 am
I'm toying with the idea of taking Garmin up on their offer of a 30% trade in..
Is that an offer that's generally available? Online somewhere?

I have the same old yellow Etrex that you do, though I haven't used it in years. I've thought about replacing it occasionally though perhaps a waterproof smartphone might make more sense than another dedicated GPS these days, if the battery life is up to it.
All phones are different, but Samsung S series are incredibly slippery when dry, nevermind when wet, I did once take my old one out in a boat and didn't lose it, but I have become slightly more sensible! (touch screen is hopeless with wet fingers too).

Smart watches seem to be the thing, I'm terrible at wearing a watch anyway so haven't got one, but several people in my training group use Garmin watches to track and measure their training paddles. I tend to strap my watch to my buoyancy aid or the boat which I think would confuse the heart rate monitor function! No idea if you can use them for actual navigation though.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13933
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:29 pm

NickB wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:01 am
I guess the original EasyGPS software is somewhere on an old machine long ago sent to the tip!
I rarely get them as far as the tip.
I wonder if the old EasyGPS installer would be in one of the growing number of folders I move out of habit each time I upgrade my PC or if I would actually need to dig out an old machine and monitor to search for it?

Terryg
Posts: 930
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 7:57 pm
Location: Stevenage
Been thanked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Terryg » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:26 pm

The original eTrex range is not USB, it is RS232. You may be able to use it with a USB/serial adaptor.

Sean_soup
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:17 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 17 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Sean_soup » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:46 pm

Jim wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:24 pm
All phones are different, but Samsung S series are incredibly slippery when dry, nevermind when wet, I did once take my old one out in a boat and didn't lose it, but I have become slightly more sensible! (touch screen is hopeless with wet fingers too).
A lanyard would be a must! And probably some kind of a case as well as it being a 'rugged' phone. I just had a look to see what memory-map are selling at the mo, and the Ulephone Armor 6e looks like just the kind of thing. As you say, the hopelessness of trying to use a touch-screen with wet hands is a major drawback. On the upside I'd be able to have a full set of OS maps and marine charts on it with no further subscriptions. (Having already splashed out on an OS subscription and the memory-maps marine charts.)

I don't much like wearing a watch either, but do use an old Garmin Forerunner for running. I'd probably use it for training paddles too, if I did any. It's fine for telling time, pace and heart-rate but I'm not so sure about as a navigational aid. I think the main problem would be battery life - my old Garmin watch won't do a full day. And having such a small screen I guess it'd be a question of using the watch to get coordinates/grid reference to then refer to a paper map. Which is also necessary with that old Etrex, to be fair, but I'm sure more modern GPS's are better, let alone smart-phones.

andynormancx
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:58 pm
Has thanked: 39 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by andynormancx » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:14 pm

Does the old Etrex actually work, given the GPS bugs that had to be patched over the last few years ?

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13933
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:46 pm

andynormancx wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:14 pm
Does the old Etrex actually work, given the GPS bugs that had to be patched over the last few years ?
I must have missed these, the only one I found infor on was the rollover bug:
https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=z ... Y9kDnDBgZ6
Which won't affect navigation, only the date the unit displays.

I don't think I have powered my yellow up since April but it seems like it would only take a few minutes to find out if it is affected (if it is, it might render it useless for what I hang onto it for, although if only the week is affected as long as I can remeber the current date, maybe not).

Can you guess what I'm going to do now?

pathbrae
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:42 pm
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by pathbrae » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:27 pm

Terryg wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:26 pm
The original eTrex range is not USB, it is RS232. You may be able to use it with a USB/serial adaptor.
Garmin sell (or at least sold) a usb to Garmin cable for the etex range. In Memory Map I had to play with the settings to find a port number to get my old Sumit to work but it got there eventually.
From memory, I think there are setting in the GPS menu controling communication as well.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

pathbrae
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:42 pm
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by pathbrae » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:30 pm

Terryg wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:26 pm
The original eTrex range is not USB, it is RS232. You may be able to use it with a USB/serial adaptor.
Garmin sell (or at least sold) a usb to Garmin cable for the etex range. In Memory Map I had to play with the settings to find a port number to get my old Sumit to work but it got there eventually.
From memory, I think there are setting in the GPS menu controling communication as well.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13933
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:47 pm

Now this is interesting because I have 2 Yellow etrexes and a GPSmap 76CSx.

GPSmap 76CSx shows correct time and date and using the map I can confirm that it thinks I am at my house, therefore it is OK to check the etrex positions.

Yellow Etrex software version 2.14, well worn, LCD screen now missing some lines and one of the battery terminals broken so a bit dicey to turn on, I used to use this for kite-buggy racing so it is set to BNG with statute units. This is actually an older unit that doesn't have WAAS capability
Correct date and time (well it is 2 seconds ahead), and I haven't left it on long enough to get a really accurate position but within about 20m of GPSmap 76CSx

Yellow Etrex software version 3.10, great condition, was only really used for kayaking, hiking and astronomy, this is the later 'high sensitivity' version with WAAS capability.
Thinks it is 12 April 2000 so has applied daylight savings BUT, the time is to the same second (apart from being in summertime) and the position is within a few metres of GPSmap 76CSx.
I'm going to need to remember to adjust for daylight savings if I use it to set my telescope mount in sumertime, fortunately I mostly use it in the winter.

Now the copyright message on v2.14 says 1999-2002 whilst the message on v3.10 says 2000-2007, so the older one was made about the time of the last rollover, so is programmed to deal with it, whilst the newer one being post rollover seems to have had that feature removed... I guess Garmin never expected anyone to keep these going for 20 years!

That was a distraction from looking for the software!

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13933
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: Old Etrex

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:17 pm

I have had a bit of a search for software, mostly it was a failure!

That is to say I found quite a bit of stuff I have used with Garmins, (including the Garmin USB drivers), but the only one I could get to install that actually does waypoints and routes didn't support USB (GarTrip), not that I could have tested it since I have mislaid my USB cables, although I did find a serial cable for GPSmap 76CSx which I had some bizarre reason to find in the first place because I'm sure it shipped with a USB cable!

I seem to have spent a lot of time and effort with utilities for changing the basemap.
I also do have official Garmin utilities for changing icons and updating devices from the internet, but not for waypoint management.
Interestingly for the 'Legend HCx' (the later yellow model) I also have a download of firmware 3.20 which I do not appear to have installed, it doesn't claim to fix the week rollover issue (although it does fix a minutes to hours rollover issue) so even if I find a cable I don't think I will install it.

Post Reply