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  1. #1
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    Garmin eTrex 30x basic question

    I promise I read the manual a couple times, Youtubed and Googled this, but for the life of me I can't figure how to properly start and stop recording my routes for the eTrex 30x. I've had an Edge 305 and in the past and my Edge 500 is crapping out so I decided to upgrade to the eTrex 30x mainly for the ability to record and also load big routes like Tour Divide.

    With my 305 and 500, I simply start the time and stop it when I'm done, then reset it and everything is saved and simply upload to Connect once I get home. Without a simple start/stop/ and reset button I must be doing something wrong because it just seems like the timer starts automatically after I go to trip computer and start moving. When I end my ride, I reset all all the data and save the tracks. Then I upload it to Connect but the stats don't match. For instance, I did I uploaded an hour ride I did and when I uploaded it, it showed that I had 42 hours on it. Checked all my times and elevation, and everything was completely flat except for the first 41 hours but last had all the stats that I did for that hour ride.

    I'm not tech savvy by any means and to be honest, the features on the eTrex is more than I need but it's significantly cheaper than the edge 520 and 820 on Amazon. Another reason I didn't get another Edge is because it doesn't have enough internal storage and no ability to expand the storage to be able to handle long rides such as Tour Divide or Colorado trail.

    I simply just want to be able to record and end my rides and save it when I want. Pleeeeaaaassseee help!!

  2. #2
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    It starts recording as soon as you turn it on, and stops when you turn it off.

    Therefore, I turn mine on at the start of the ride, do a RESET of Trip Data (so everything is zero), then start riding.
    At the end of the ride I turn it off. Then when I upload the ride to "Strava/Garmin" I load the current.gpx file.

    When away for a longer period, each day I do as follows:
    I turn mine on at the start of the ride, do a RESET of Trip Data (so everything is zero), then start riding.
    at the end of the ride, I save it (usually called "Day 1" etc), then turn it off.
    Do this each day and in the end at home you load the saved files into "Strava/Garmin".

    I would suspect when you do a save mid ride, you can upload the saved data (using the name you saved as), or the complete data using the current.gpx file.

    But I also never read the manual, so there may be an easier way.
    always mad and usually drunk......

  3. #3
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    Thanks. Either the manual doesn't do a good job of explaining or I'm just not good at following instructions. I'd like to think it's not the latter

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno View Post
    Thanks. Either the manual doesn't do a good job of explaining or I'm just not good at following instructions. I'd like to think it's not the latter
    No, you're correct that the manual doesn't do a good job of explaining it. Basically two things to remember: It starts recording as soon as you turn it on and it connects to satellites. You have to clear the tracklog manually if you want to make sure your current ride doesn't connect with previous ones (on fitness models, this action is accomplished at the same time you save your ride).

    I will assume that the recording interval you're using is NOT 1Hz. This is another major difference between handhelds and fitness receivers (one that I REALLY wish Garmin would change). Handhelds have a fixed tracklog memory limit of 10,000 points. For fitness models, it's based on time. On a handheld, if you're using 1Hz recording frequency, you'll fill that tracklog in a couple of hours. Most handhelds have choices for ways to handle this - either to overwrite the oldest points, or to auto-archive the oldest points (my Oregon 450 does it in 2,000 point blocks). This means that uploading a complete track can be a bit of an ordeal because Garmin Express won't auto-upload the archived stuff, and your active tracklog will only have part of your ride. So you have to splice them together and upload manually if you want your ride to show up as one actual ride, rather than being split up.

    There are a few key differences between the way handheld GPSes work and the way fitness GPSes work. Frankly, the memory one is why I stopped using my Oregon 450 on the bike.

  5. #5
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    my etrex 30 records as soon as it gets GPS signal. So my routine is this.

    Turn it on. Wait a few min before the ride. Then clear the trip. Then start riding. If I clear right away it will assume I am at the same location I turned it off and may "jump" when satellites pick up. When I finish a ride I always "Save track" and then don't erase. Then I turn it off. When I get home I simply upload my saved track.
    Joe
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    If I clear right away it will assume I am at the same location I turned it off and may "jump" when satellites pick up.
    This is a good point l forgot about, wait till you have Sat reception before you reset.

    I once uploaded a 550km ride that took 8hrs (5hrs was driving), man did l have some good averages
    always mad and usually drunk......

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the great info guys! I don't know why they can't just make recording simple like the fitness models.

    --Harold, I have it set up to record at 5 sec intervals and set to archive when full. I have mini sd cards I can use also for storage in need be and that's one of the reasons I got this unit. I'm doing the Tour Divide Race in June and would hate to not be able to record the whole thing.

    From my understanding based on what you said, once I reach 10,000 points, it'll auto archive and continue recording? So basically it'll record all 2,700 miles of the Tour Divide but it'll break it up into splits and then I can combine the splits to make it one long ride?

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno View Post
    Thanks for the great info guys! I don't know why they can't just make recording simple like the fitness models.

    --Harold, I have it set up to record at 5 sec intervals and set to archive when full. I have mini sd cards I can use also for storage in need be and that's one of the reasons I got this unit. I'm doing the Tour Divide Race in June and would hate to not be able to record the whole thing.

    From my understanding based on what you said, once I reach 10,000 points, it'll auto archive and continue recording? So basically it'll record all 2,700 miles of the Tour Divide but it'll break it up into splits and then I can combine the splits to make it one long ride?
    Well, the hiking model arrangement did come first. The fitness model setup came later. I think the grumpy hikers (geocachers) would get grumpy if garmin changed the ui too much.

    I think in part it is a way for garmin to distinguish models. Just diff software.

    Yeah, if you have it set to auto archive, your whole ride will be there. Make sure you have plenty of memory. I don't think you can set the save location of archive data so it will all go onto the onboard memory. Use those memory cards for as much as you can (maps, esp).

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Have you played with Garmin Basecamp? program came with the 30x. I use it to snip out the 1/2 mile around my house. Sucks it's a "manual" step over other devices, but you COULD save your rides.

    I get the "non-tech just want to play" part.

  10. #10
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    Heh, I just got one of these to replace my old 20 and the change was fairly intuitive.

    To make it more user friendly this is how I set it up:

    Go into the main setup menu and click on tracks and set the track log to "record, show on map"

    Go back to the main setup menu and scroll down to the page sequence option, click it and then click "add page"

    I added from stock (in this order):
    Main Menu (was already there)
    Track Manager
    Map
    Trip Computer
    Satellite

    Leave the setup menu and the back button will now cycle through those options.


    When powering on and before a ride, press the back button until you see a menu with "Current track" highlighted. Click this and push up once on the joystick and click on "Clear Current Track" and subsiquently "Yes"

    You're now ready to ride with a clear tracklog.

    To save a track is pretty self explanatory. Go back to where you clicked on current track and select save track. After saving it'll ask if you want to clear the trip log (I don't bother until I ride again)


    Hopefully that helps some; I never was good at explaining things!

  11. #11
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    This is a very useful tip. Thank you. :-)

  12. #12
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    In the tracklog settings you cant set it to auto-archive.
    The Etrex will archive your tracklog every 24h.
    Belgian beer and Scotch whisky.

  13. #13
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    The gpx files just became available for 2017 Tour Divide and I downloaded it onto my unit. This is my first time downloading anything gpx files and just want to make sure I have it correct before I get to the race and get lost. I see the the line for whole route when I go into track manager and select the route, but am I supposed to see dots or x's on the map for waypoints? When the race starts, do I just simply follow the lines? Thanks all.

  14. #14
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno View Post
    The gpx files just became available for 2017 Tour Divide and I downloaded it onto my unit. This is my first time downloading anything gpx files and just want to make sure I have it correct before I get to the race and get lost. I see the the line for whole route when I go into track manager and select the route, but am I supposed to see dots or x's on the map for waypoints? When the race starts, do I just simply follow the lines? Thanks all.
    If the file type in the .gpx file is set to "track", it will display as a line. If it was set to "waypoints" then you'd see a series of points. If "route" then waypoints with a line connecting the dots. The structure of the tags in the file will differ somewhat between the three, also, so there's a little more involved in converting between the three.

    You should just be able to follow the line, but you may find complications there depending on how the route was sent to you. I've never actually seen files from an event like the tour divide, but I know from experience that the handhelds can only handle saved .gpx files with a max of 10,000 points. And if you try to load a file with more, then the GPS will automatically break up that file into manageable pieces, and it will give them names that make it next to impossible for you as the user to figure out which one is first and which one comes next. Edges and Forerunners can handle bigger files (limited by the number of hours), but something like the tour divide is SO BIG that it would need a lot of massaging to fit on an Edge, too. I would hope that a professional event like the tour divide would split the whole route into manageable pieces that will fit onto the various devices people like to use, but I don't know for sure.

    As for following it, on your handheld, you can tell it to navigate a saved track or route and it will give you notifications (those notifications will differ depending on whether it's a track or a route) to help you go where you're supposed to. Or you can "visually" just stay on the line, which is what I often do on the mtb.

  15. #15
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    Here's the link for the track: Paula and Scott's 2004 GDMBR Trip - GPS Data, Journal, Photos

    Maybe you know how the .gpx files are set. I downloaded the file that have only 10,000 points. When viewing on my unit, it only shows a line so I guess that means it's set to "track". Is there a way I can change it to "waypoints" or "route"?

    As far as following it on my etrex 30x, I just go to track manager and select the file for the tour, load the map and just start riding and just follow the lines? Simple as that, right?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno View Post
    As far as following it on my etrex 30x, I just go to track manager and select the file for the tour, load the map and just start riding and just follow the lines? Simple as that, right?
    Thats how I do it

    would be good if I could work out how to make it "beep" and give a direction when I near an "intersection" though, but Im lazy
    always mad and usually drunk......

  17. #17
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno View Post
    Here's the link for the track: Paula and Scott's 2004 GDMBR Trip - GPS Data, Journal, Photos

    Maybe you know how the .gpx files are set. I downloaded the file that have only 10,000 points. When viewing on my unit, it only shows a line so I guess that means it's set to "track". Is there a way I can change it to "waypoints" or "route"?

    As far as following it on my etrex 30x, I just go to track manager and select the file for the tour, load the map and just start riding and just follow the lines? Simple as that, right?
    You can convert a track to either of those types. A series of waypoints would be a royal cluster on your device, so don't do that. A route MIGHT be useful, and you can convert a track to a route. That will require loading the file into a program that does such a thing. By necessity, it will strip a LOT of points out of the files, though, and will point you to the next one "as the crow flies" so the directions may not be entirely accurate on singletrack. It's better when you're on straighter roads. If you google "convert .gpx track to route" you can find some instructions on it. Some programs/sites that will do this include GPS Babel (standalone program) and gpsies (website). Better to try it before you commit to using it that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmg71 View Post
    Thats how I do it

    would be good if I could work out how to make it "beep" and give a direction when I near an "intersection" though, but Im lazy
    That's what a "route" will do. Also a Course on the fitness models. I'd really like "course" functionality to come to handhelds. Courses, especially with custom turn notifications like you can insert in there using a site like RideWithGPS, are really nice and can be useful on singletrack. A route...meh. I'd not use it except on roads.

    I know the tour divide uses lots of gravel roads, so it might be useful. but I'd be checking things over long and hard before using a route for something.

    It will certainly be easier from a device usage standpoint to just follow the tracks you have already. No data massaging needed if they're already in segments of 10,000 points or fewer. Stripping down a track to convert it to a usable route could be particularly time consuming, as you'll have to be careful about the placement of each route point to make sure it's placed right in order to give you the notification you want. Don't place it right, and it probably won't give the right notification.

  18. #18
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    Good info Harold, thanks
    always mad and usually drunk......

  19. #19
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    Even if you decide to convert it to a route or a series of waypoints, just make sure you also have the track(10K) on your device, just in case.
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