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  1. #1
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    Vista Hcx Altimeter Q

    I recently got a Vista Hcx and I can't get the total elevation to read. On the altimeter page on the unit, it has data fields for "Total Ascent" and "Total Descent". However, these fields are always zero and I don't know how to turn them "on" to start collecting data. I have "turned on" the track function so other data fields, such as moving speed, distance, etc. start recording but the total ascent and total descent remain at zero. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    I recently got a Vista Hcx and I can't get the total elevation to read. On the altimeter page on the unit, it has data fields for "Total Ascent" and "Total Descent". However, these fields are always zero and I don't know how to turn them "on" to start collecting data. I have "turned on" the track function so other data fields, such as moving speed, distance, etc. start recording but the total ascent and total descent remain at zero. Any thoughts? Thanks!
    look in the setup menu? I suspect the barometric altimeter sensor is turned off. just as the electronic compass is likely turned off.

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    Nate, thanks for the suggestion. I looked in the setup menu, though, and couldn't find anything on turning the altimeter on or off.

    However, during my ride last night, after I turned the track feature "on" to record the ride, while the "Total Ascent" and "Total Descent" data fields on the Altimeter page remained at zero (actually they just showed lines), the graph just below those fields showed that it was recording/plotting elevation. So, it appears that the altimeter is on (at least while the track feature is "on") but those data fields are still empty.

    On a related Q, after I finished the ride, I couldn't figure how to turn the track feature "off" to stop recording my ride info. I checked the box for "off" in the track page thinking that would turn it off, but it kept right on recording information, like total time, moving time, distance, etc. I must be missing something - any thoughts?

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    on the older etrex models, the only way to stop track recording is to turn the GPS off. they are not like the fitness models where you can press the stop button, then "reset" to have it save the track into memory so you can start a new one.

    newer models that have a fitness screen work a little differently. while not exactly like a fitness model (edge or forerunner), it will at least stop updating your summary fields after you press "stop" even though it still does record a track.

    hmmm, I'm not very familiar with the older models anymore. I've been using an Oregon for a couple years now and don't remember how to get to everything. not everything is always in the first spot you think of. when you're on the altimeter screen, can you select those fields and click on them? if so, what comes up? what about pushing the menu button when you're on the altimeter screen? what menu options are available to you there?

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    NateHawk - Thanks! I finally figured out how to get those data fields to start running. On the altimeter page, after hitting menu button, reset was one of the options so I clicked on reset and then there are several boxes to check/uncheck and I checked trip data and elevation data. Then I hit apply and it worked! It started showing data right away in those elevation fields (total ascent and total descent). Unfortunately, when I was trying to figure it out, I found out you can't mark/select those data fields other than to change the type of data field - no menu comes up for those data fields. But problem solved!

    I just got this eTrex and it is an older model - probably 2-4 years old - so I have to figure it out. And you're right, a lot of the functions are not intuitive. As you said, the only way I could find to turn off the recording of data was to turn the entire unit off - glad they figured out in the newer models that this method sucks. I have been using MyTracks app on my phone and it is very intuitive. Hit "start recording" to start recording a track and "stop recording" to stop. I have no idea what the "on" and "off" selections are in the tracks page since "off" doesn't seem to have any function as it continues to record your track regardless of whether you have "on" or "off" selected. Anyway, Thanks for your help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    NateHawk - Thanks! I finally figured out how to get those data fields to start running. On the altimeter page, after hitting menu button, reset was one of the options so I clicked on reset and then there are several boxes to check/uncheck and I checked trip data and elevation data. Then I hit apply and it worked! It started showing data right away in those elevation fields (total ascent and total descent). Unfortunately, when I was trying to figure it out, I found out you can't mark/select those data fields other than to change the type of data field - no menu comes up for those data fields. But problem solved!

    As you said, the only way I could find to turn off the recording of data was to turn the entire unit off - glad they figured out in the newer models that this method sucks. I have been using MyTracks app on my phone and it is very intuitive. Hit "start recording" to start recording a track and "stop recording" to stop. I have no idea what the "on" and "off" selections are in the tracks page since "off" doesn't seem to have any function as it continues to record your track regardless of whether you have "on" or "off" selected. Anyway, Thanks for your help!
    it goes back to the original uses of these things. early on, tracks were a very low priority. GPS receivers were not used to track fitness as they are today, so time was not much of a concern. pretty much, you used them for waypoints and "Routes" and one of the first map programs out there, National Geographic Topo! reflects that use. You could download any data from the GPS, tracks, routes, and waypoints. If you want to put a track on the GPS, the program INSISTS on oversimplifying it and converting it from a track to a route. It does that to this day, AFAIK. I don't know anyone who uses it this way anymore.

    people started using GPS receivers for fitness purposes and Garmin added the start/stop buttons to the Edge and Forerunner models for that purpose. to be honest with you, I still use my Oregon in the regular mapping mode most of the time. I don't switch to the fitness mode for most of my rides. tracking fitness data just isn't that important to me.

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