GPX files and Edge 800- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    GPX files and Edge 800

    I came across a used Edge 800 and I wanted something for just turn by turn when downloading the GPX files without pulling out the phone. I loaded a few of the GPX files from MTB project of trails I wanted to do and most of them went in as a GPX and made a copy of the file as .FIT (but very small file size). The ones that it made a copy of FIT would show up in the "Course" folder, but the files that didn't add FIT didn't. I don't really know what I did different, I took the SD card out, put the files in the course folder on the card while in the computer, and back into the Garmin. Ideas?

  2. #2
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    IDK how the 800 works, but on other Garmins I've used, you have to put new gpx or fit files into the "NewFiles" folder on the device. When it boots up, it reads and interprets those files and puts them in the correct folder, which is the Courses folder for course files. Putting files directly into the Courses folder doesn't work. These Garmins did not have SD cards, so IDK how that figures in.
    What, me worry?

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
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    Not sure you really want to use the full "Course" function on mtb trails, honestly. I've tried it and got incessant (and annoying) "Off Course" warnings because of the discrepancy between the data and my actual position on the ground. Relying on mtbproject for this kind of data is going to make it worse, because mtbproject strips out a lot of the information from the files to simplify them for faster loading and less server load when people are browsing. This reduces the spatial accuracy of the data. For the phone app, it doesn't make such a big difference because they account for it. Garmin does not give you a threshold for receiving "Off Course" warnings. All you can do is enable or disable them, which has its own issues.

    Further, using mtbproject files for "turn-by-turn" on a Garmin won't exactly give you "turn-by-turn" notifications. What you'll ACTUALLY get is just an arrow pointing the direction you should go, which may or may not be very useful, especially given how mtbproject screws around with the data to simplify it. Sure, because your device is a mapping model, it's "technically" possible, but there's a major hole in the functionality. That turn-by-turn routing capability depends on everything you're riding being routable on the device's basemap. It works awesome on road rides, though.

    This is a helpful guide that gives additional recommendations for settings.
    https://ridewithgps.com/help/garmin-edge-800

    I would go further with the settings and ensure I disable all the notifications for courses. You're best off just being able to see the chosen route highlighted on the map, and preventing the GPS from trying to navigate you along it at all.

    What I prefer to do is to be able to see the trails on my Garmin's basemap so that I can get a quick location reference on the trail network regardless of whether I have a specific ride loaded or not (good for "exploration" rides and "freeform" rides where I just pick my route on the fly). I get maps from www.gpsfiledepot.com but Trailforks also offers Garmin basemaps.

    As to why your particular Garmin put some of the files into the Courses folder and some not, I'm going to suppose that there's some kind of difference with the files themselves (namely, the headers). You didn't by chance try putting both mtbproject Rides and Trails onto your device, did you? I'll bet that if so, there might be one possible explanation. Definitely only try one ride at a time so you can keep track of which ones work and which ones don't. One thing I'd recommend doing is using RideWithGPS as part of your process. By that I mean do this:

    *When you find a file from a new source, or a file won't load into your Garmin right, import it into RWGPS so you can look at it. Especially when looking at data from someone like mtbproject, it also gives you a chance to check accuracy and fix issues. I've had to fix most files that I've received/downloaded in some way or another. The trails database that RWGPS uses isn't perfect, but it can be a useful check.
    *RideWithGPS exports known good files for Garmin devices. Every file I've exported from RWGPS to my Garmin has worked correctly. This is the main reason I recommend using it for files that don't show up on your Garmin menu after you transfer them there.

  4. #4
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    THanks guys, maybe this isn't the best way to guide! I figured out my issue with loading, for some reason when I take the micro SD card out it works fine, its when the card is in that it messes everything up even tho I wasn't trying to put in SD folders.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendunn View Post
    THanks guys, maybe this isn't the best way to guide!
    expecting true turn-by-turn directions on mountain bike trails is a bit much considering all that's required to make it happen. It's certainly possible, but there are big issues with making it actually work. Navigating on trail with a device works best if you just highlight the route you want to take on the map screen.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    expecting true turn-by-turn directions on mountain bike trails is a bit much considering all that's required to make it happen. It's certainly possible, but there are big issues with making it actually work. Navigating on trail with a device works best if you just highlight the route you want to take on the map screen.
    When I say turn by turn I actually mean when you come to a fork that isn't marked it would help you figure it out. It works well enough from the phone, I just hated pulling it out.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendunn View Post
    When I say turn by turn I actually mean when you come to a fork that isn't marked it would help you figure it out. It works well enough from the phone, I just hated pulling it out.
    A forum search adds addíl info. on this, but itís hit and miss with using GPS for navigating trails systems. Even a great database such as TrailForks will not have every rats maze trail that exists. Some places are better than others but typically and unless others have logged routes on EVERY potential trail that exists, the navigation will come up short when you get to a junction of a known trail and a non-tracked trail. No way for a GPS to tell you which way to turn when it doesnít know the junction and other trail exists.

    Harolds suggestion for just using the developed route as a general guidance for where you want to be headed is about the best you can ask.

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendunn View Post
    When I say turn by turn I actually mean when you come to a fork that isn't marked it would help you figure it out. It works well enough from the phone, I just hated pulling it out.
    Where I ride, those are typically intersections with bandit trails, which don't appear on any authorized maps, and there typically also aren't "unauthorized" maps to draw the land manager's attention to them. MTBProject tends to be quite strict when it comes to showing only authorized trails. Trailforks also tries to avoid highlighting these, but is a little less stringent with it. The authorized trails are pretty clearly and consistently marked so it usually isn't too hard to figure out where you want to go.

    I realize that's not necessarily the case everywhere. I've ridden some places where the land manager supplied zero trail markers on a significant network of trails, so the only way I was able to really start learning the trails was to just go out and do exploration rides, mapping everything as I went along. At that time, there were no online trail databases for me to refer to (and certainly no print maps, either), so I had to make my own personal map database for my own rides.

    Really, your best-case scenario is to use the mapping capability of your Edge 800 to load a basemap with the best database of known trails you can find (which probably will not be routable for your GPS to calculate out turn notifications, because that level of making trail maps for Garmins is pretty expensive), and then overlay your desired route onto it. You'll have to visually follow the route shown on the screen, and some intersections might not be as clear as you'd like.

    But, it will be on your handlebars and easier to reference than pulling out your phone. None of your options is completely foolproof, but the best course of action here is to learn and practice high level backcountry navigation and map reading skills. Sometimes, you'll be blessed with great maps that make navigating blissfully easy. If you ride and explore enough, you're eventually going to be cursed with horrible maps. IMO, the worst case is not the "no map at all" scenario, but rather a terrible map that shows incorrect, unclear, or contradictory information, and I've encountered that, too.

  9. #9
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    When I had an Edge 800, I put an 8GB microsd card in it with the 4GB Open Street Map routable maps, see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/...armin/Download and download the appropriate map from Dave Hansen's server, e.g.: https://daveh.dev.openstreetmap.org/...6.gmapsupp.img, rename and copy to the GARMIN folder using a cardreader (it can be done over USB to the Garmin but it is super slow).

    Then I used whatever GPX or TCX files I could find from Trailforks, RideWithGPS, MapMyRide, Strava, MTBProject, UtahMountainBiking.com, etc. and copy them to the NewFiles folder as described above. This way I had very up-to-date trail maps (as well as roads) for wherever I was going with relatively little work. About once a year or so I would update the map.

  10. #10
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    I've never had luck with importing files on my 800. I never got the complete file on the GPS. Loaded a couple 10-15 mile loops and it would load as a course of less than one mile. Someone gave me a 66 mile system file which loaded as a 1.4 mile course. I followed instructions to the "T" and something was uploaded, just not everything.

    I resorted to using previous rides as courses and tried to follow the course. It was pretty obnoxious like Harold said as I kept getting "off course" warnings when I wasn't. I'm pretty much using my 800 as a odometer with Trailforks as my map.
    AreBee

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arebee View Post
    I've never had luck with importing files on my 800. I never got the complete file on the GPS. Loaded a couple 10-15 mile loops and it would load as a course of less than one mile. Someone gave me a 66 mile system file which loaded as a 1.4 mile course. I followed instructions to the "T" and something was uploaded, just not everything.

    I resorted to using previous rides as courses and tried to follow the course. It was pretty obnoxious like Harold said as I kept getting "off course" warnings when I wasn't. I'm pretty much using my 800 as a odometer with Trailforks as my map.
    I gave up and bought a solid phone mount! Sold my 800 to someone wanting it to monitor his workout, which I think it would be fine for, for what I paid for it, so I was just out a little aggravation.

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