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Old 18-02-2012, 10:54   #1
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Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

I need some advice working this out.


Creating routes is cumbersome with the arrow keys and select button on the Garmin 441s. I'd like to do trip planning with PolarView or OpenCPN and then transfer the route to the Garmin via SD card. No NMEA network on my boat.


I have GPSBabelFE, GPSUtility, Google Earth/Maps on my Mac so far to aid in this effort.


So far, each file I have tried will not show up in the “Merge From Card” dialog box on the 441s. The dialog box appears empty.


First trying a .gpx file exported from PolarView with no luck. However, I could open and convert this file in Google Earth to a .xml file that displays fine in GE. And is actually a good way to enhance planning by seeing the proposed route on the GE imagery.


This was a first effort without internet research. Realizing the file is likely proprietary to Garmin prompted some searching online, where I read GPSUtility might help. Already had that on the computer but was unable to find any resource for exporting or converting a .gpx file.


Then, a search of the forum here resulting in an awareness of and attempt to use GPSBabelFE to create a Garmin file. There are lots of choices there but the .gpi file created there on my first attempt did not show on the Garmin as well. Just for fun I also had the GE .xml file on the SD card but it did not show.


Included the .xml file from GE because after the first attempt with the .gpx from PolarView I noticed the Garmin had created a folder call “Garmin” on the card, with a file called “Garmindevice.xml” and the original .gpx file I had placed there was no longer present on the card.


The Garmin has software version 3.60.


I've only been at this effort for a short while, but I thought maybe someone here could put me on the fast track to a procedure. It's raining out and I'm stuck inside the boat trying to solve this puzzle.


Could just download Home Port from Garmin, but I'm trying to work this out at no cost if possible.


Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 18-02-2012, 14:14   #2
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

For debugging:

Create a route on the Garmin. Save it to the card.

Now compare what it saved to what your utility is trying to create.

-dan
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Old 18-02-2012, 14:17   #3
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

Excellent idea, thanks for that.

It's raining now, but looking in the manual says it saves a file with a .adm extension. First time to see that file type mentioned, and it notes that is for MapSource. I'm guessing it's for Home Port, too maybe.
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Old 18-02-2012, 16:57   #4
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

I called Garmin last year and complained that I could not get GPSBabel to create a file that my Garmin could read.

The rep apologized and said that yes one had to buy and use Home Port.

I think it is Home Port. It is what ever Garmin says to use.

The rep agreed that it was past time that plotter makers keep things so difficult as some of us are simply not going to buy thier overly proprietary products.
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Old 18-02-2012, 17:17   #5
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

I hear you Therapy, and agree. They take a common file type and wrap it a bit of proprietary code just to milk another $30 out of the customer for Home Port. And I suppose to promote the use of other Garmin products.

I did read of a member here who stated "I do it all the time" with GPSBabel. Also it lists a few different options for "Garmin" files for output so maybe a trial and error method will yield success. Still annoys me.

I only paid about $400 for the little baby plotter w/sounder, and have backup depth, water temp and fish finder all in one. Not bad, but that's all I want to give Mr. Garmin.
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Old 18-02-2012, 17:49   #6
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
I did read of a member here who stated "I do it all the time" with GPSBabel. Also it lists a few different options for "Garmin" files for output so maybe a trial and error method will yield success. Still annoys me.

I have heard that.

Still waiting for the tutorial that actually works.
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Old 18-02-2012, 19:02   #7
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

This from the GPSBabel support page.

Important

The following Garmin units do not follow the standard Garmin communications protocol
and are not supported by GPSBabel.

Marine plotters:
GPSMap 420
GPSMap 450
GPSMap 530
GPSMap 545
GPSMap 430
GPSMap 520
GPSMap 535
GPSMap 550
GPSMap 440
GPSMap 525
GPSMap 540
GPSMap 555

It doesn't list the 441s specifically, but the 440 could be the same in this case as a reference to a "family" of plotters.

Apparently the support is mainly for handheld GPS devices favored by hikers, which may explain why some have had success with the 76c and other handhelds.
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Old 18-02-2012, 19:16   #8
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

four winds, I'm just tossing this out there, but you might try "g7towin". and "Extra_POI_Editor" and even Garmin's POI loader. All free, portable and work very well on Garmin's car gps I have...that might be the way "in"- think "car"gps.

I also have excellent luck the other way. CarGarmin gpx straight to OpenCPN.
I hope these are a help and not a dead end.

added. Looking at a garmin cargpx,output is a stream, not at all tidy.No closings on the end of the stream even. Not proper xml and often, apps that don't know see it as corrupt and "fix it".That's one problem the above apps don't struggle with.
Garmin's Mapsource might work too, if my Car theory works. There's a way on car gps to download it's maps into mapsource and use em there. just maybe for your plotter too.
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Old 18-02-2012, 19:31   #9
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

Another statement from GPSBabel support concerning the .gpi file type.

"The layout of GPI files isn't documented and our module was created via reverse engeneering. If you get a problem on reading or writing a GPI file, please provide that file (mailto:gpsbabel-misc@lists.sourceforge.net)."
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Old 18-02-2012, 19:35   #10
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

Thanks HappySeagull, I'll look into your suggestions after I eat the homemade pizza I just put in the oven.

However, I'm on a Mac and already noticed Garmin's POI loader is PC only.

Still not ready to give up, but the Home Port program is gaining favor, when I can spare the money. There is a Mac version of it.

On a more positive note, I have sealer for my ports that are removed for re-bed. And I know I can fix that without anything digital except my own digits.
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Old 19-02-2012, 09:51   #11
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
This from the GPSBabel support page.

Important

The following Garmin units do not follow the standard Garmin communications protocol
and are not supported by GPSBabel.

Marine plotters:
GPSMap 420
GPSMap 450
GPSMap 530
GPSMap 545
GPSMap 430
GPSMap 520
GPSMap 535
GPSMap 550
GPSMap 440
GPSMap 525
GPSMap 540
GPSMap 555

It doesn't list the 441s specifically, but the 440 could be the same in this case as a reference to a "family" of plotters.

Apparently the support is mainly for handheld GPS devices favored by hikers, which may explain why some have had success with the 76c and other handhelds.

No worky on a 5212 either.
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Old 25-02-2012, 09:34   #12
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Re: Route File Transfer via SDcard to Garmin 441s

I have a Garmin 392. Here is how I transfer routes to my Garmin. I am using a Acer laptop running Windows7. I use Coastal Explorer for planning and creating routes.

1. Export the route from Coastal Explorer as a .gpx file. Usually saved to the desktop
2. Using Garmin's MapSource software, import the previously saved .gpx file.
3. Use MapSource to burn the route to the SD card.
4. Insert the SD card into the Garmin GPS and "Merge from Card".

MapSource downloads are free from Garmin but the program will not work unless you have a MapSource product already puchased from Garmin.

I believe Homeport will work the same way but I noticed in the HomePort specs that Garmin proprietary USB card burners are not supported on the MAC version.
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