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Old 21-12-2010, 10:27   #1
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Garmin Handheld GPS and Some Thoughts on Backup

It is all fairly obvious, but a simple USB-connected Garmin handheld GPS has its merits ...

- of course it provides LAT, LON, COG, SOG to OCPN...
- having a direct USB interface it does not require any troublesome serial-USB converter
- it does not require any manual intervention before uploading WPT/RTE data during operation
- it does extend nicely the precious computer screen area (providing e.g. the well-visible and illuminated dashboard)
- once it has the current routes and a nice set of waypoints uploaded, it is a good backup device for essential dynamic passage data (all with an independent power supply!)
- this backup device is a very portable one (even portable to a swim or a grab-bag)
- once sufficiently offshore (with a couple of hundred deep-sea miles ahead), the laptop can be disconnected and safely stowed away from mechanical and environmental dangers
- the uploaded static POI database is generally sufficient for deciding on the course in the open sea, and for making a landfall (all on very little power)
- it collects the track data all the time

If only I could make it all work with OCPN to the full potential...

What is still needed?

- a single-click way of sending (and restoring?) all WPT/RTE data up to the handheld... no dialogs, no questions, no confirmations... even a timer should be able to do it silently
- a separation between current&dynamic (recently modified, created ad-hoc) set of WPT/RTE vs. well-established&static collection of these - parallel to the separation between Waypoint set and Points-Of-Interest database in the handheld
- the difference between POI and WPT space: POI is essentially read-only, mainly meant for display/lookup/show details, prepared and managed as GPX by external tools (e.g. offline OCPN+EasyGPS or imported from some other sources), no need to backup, since it is already stored in some file
- perhaps just backup the loaded files list (disguised as some invisible WPT?)
- same way of save/restore should work with any external storage - be it a GPS via USB, some memory stick or a folder in the native filesystem - just configure&forget
- perhaps another tab in the Route Manager - for Files (aka Layers) : Import, Delete, Delete All, Properties, Show, Hide - on a per-file basis, (No export)
- not sure how to/if migrate single objects from Layers to WPT/RTE space: Edit - makes a copy? or just drop manually a mark on top of a POI shown?
- for individual POIs - perhaps Highlight?

seems not so far away...

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