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  1. It will probably have the same functions, more or less, but in a different format. There are a couple of things about tracks you might want to know up front. These are about my old device, because I haven't used the new one much yet, but as I say they seem very similar. 1. You don't need to "save" a track on the device. It automatically starts new tracks and they are there until you delete them or run out of memory. All saving does is name them. And since the track has timestamp and location inherent in it, you probably won't need names. 2. The device starts a new track under 2 conditions: On powerup, and when it acquires the satellites. That means you get an extra short "track" every time you power up. This track has the location of the last place you used the device, but the current timestamp. Then when it gets the satellites it starts a new track. The short one can be deleted when you get it up on the computer. I'm in the habit of just deleting all tracks with under 2 or 3 points. The device will also start a new track after a capsize or roll, because it can't get the satellites under water. You can join the tracks in BaseCamp if you want (and the location of the capsize or roll might be interesting, too). Lisa
  2. I use MapSource (on Windows), because it came with my first device. It's very old fashioned, and has been replaced with BaseCamp, but I like the simplicity of MapSource. Also, MapSource allows me to get an Excel table of each 15-second segment of the trip, which is useful for figuring average speed up and downstream when doing river workouts. But I think most people would be happy with BaseCamp. If you want to try MapSource, you'll see in this little "tutorial" you need to download BaseCamp first - apparently there is a driver in BaseCamp that you need for MapSource. I haven't actually used routes - couldn't get them to work on my old device. I do have a big set of individual waypoints for the places around the North Shore that I frequently go. I get them to the device by connecting via USB, then using the "transfer" function from MapSource. You can download a map the same way. To upload a track from the device to the computer, it's the same thing in reverse. (Note that you can put a waypoint directly onto the chart in the device, too). Once a track is in MapSource, if I want to share it, I first filter it down to 100 points or less and save that as a .gdb file (MapSource's native file type). Then I open it with Google Earth, and right click on the track and "save place as" to get a .kml file. That can then be loaded into Google Maps "MyMaps". I have a track for every salt water paddle I've ever been on. If you put multiple tracks on one map you can end up with something like this. (not every paddle by a long shot, because there are space limits) I'm sure BaseCamp has an easier way for that - I've been meaning to try it but haven't had a chance. Sometimes I want to draw a planning track on Google Earth and download it to the device. There are many converters on the web which will convert from .kml to .gpx (an open standard for track files). You can open the .gpx file with MapSource (or probably BaseCamp too, though I haven't tried), and transfer from there down to the device. I've done this for salt marshes, for example. Have fun playing around with it. If you have questions, I'll answer them if I can :-) Lisa
  3. Hi, Rob, I get it! But I like to have my GPS on deck for speed and distance and gotos. And my phone won't cut it on a hot day. Even if it does work, it's very bad for a lithium battery to push the thermal limits. Andy, I'm glad you gave me the push - I just got a 78sc as a backup to my older device (or vice versa). I checked out the Sight 'n Go function - the place where you put in the distance is prompted as "Projected Waypoint", so it's definitely just setting a virtual waypoint at n distance along the requested bearing. (No XTE that I can see, although there is a data point you can get called "off course" that I never used before. ) Works OK. I can't find a place where you specifically tell it to turn off the compass when you are going over n miles/hour, as my old device had :-(. It seems to be preset at about 1 or 2 mph - the goto pointer does swivel around when I walk slowly, but not when I speed up. You can disable the compass completely, but that disables Sight 'n Go, too. So it will work OK unless you are fighting a very bad headwind or something like that. It's true that the Sight 'n Go uses the compass screen to guide you. But you can page over to the map screen and get the same pointer, this time superimposed on the chart. I like that view better, because it has more information. For example, if there is an intervening headland, it will show on the map screen, and I can keep that at the top of the screen, rather than following the pointer. Then when I get around the headland, I can follow the pointer. The other thing you can do, of course, is set a waypoint on the chart. You just move the cursor over the place you want to go to, and press enter. At least that's how it works on my older device, and this one is very similar, so I'm pretty sure you can do that. And you can always set a waypoint where you are (such as at the putin) so you can find your way back. There is a function called Man Overboard where you just hold down a key and then press enter and it will continually navigate back to that point. Think of a sailboat having to turn around for a lost person, and you get what I mean, but it would work for a putin, too. And of course you can always set waypoints on a map on your computer, then download them to the device. That's what I usually use. Anyway, hope you get a chance to play with it! Lisa
  4. Yes, I think that will probably be my follow on when the 76csx finally dies :-( I like the AA batteries and the fact that it doesn't have a touch screen which would be an issue with wet fingers. If you don't already have them, you might want to get some NiMh batteries and a good charger (one that does individual batteries, not sets). Because it goes through a lot of AA batteries otherwise. And alkaline batteries perform poorly at low temperatures - the device tells you the battery is dead but when you bring it back in the warm house it's OK. That's because the current moves too slowly from battery to device in low temperatures (under 40 deg. or so, maybe 45). But the NiMh batteries work just fine, and last a long time. Hope you enjoy it! Lisa
  5. I think I got a bit turned around in the syntax in both posts (why does "current" have to be the same word as "current"?) But the goto function is one of those things that is oh-so-simple, but hard to understand if you are used to using a compass. To avoid syntax problems, I'll talk about a crosswind. Also, I'm talking about a GPS that has no compass. Very important! A GPS can give you a HEADING, not a BEARING. You need a compass to get a bearing. So the GPS says something like "go left", "go left some more", "good, stay like that". Yes, it uses a pointer-like thingy to communicate this, and yes, the screen might look like a compass. But this is based on how you are moving. The GPS has no idea what direction you are pointing in. If you have a crosswind pushing you to the right, the GPS is going to notice you are moving too far to the right. So it will tell you to move left some. Once you change your heading so that the GPS is satisfied you are moving in the right direction, your heading will be to the left of your track (and of the actual goal on the ground). This is the right ferry angle, simply because it has adjusted your movement to be in the right direction. One side effect of this is that if you are on course, and take your GPS and turn it on its side it will still point to the top of the screen, even though the top of the screen is now pointing off to the left. Because there is no compass, and the GPS does not know it isn't pointing forward. Another curiosity - you might notice that the map shown on the GPS in your car (unless it has a compass) swivels around 180 degrees when you are backing up. Because it doesn't know how you are pointing, but it does know how you are moving. I think there's maybe a word wrong in the statement "The GPS will always try to keep you on the current line whether it's the original line or a newly computed line." Probably Leon meant "keep you on the correct line" or something like that.
  6. I would guess that probably if you put in a distance N than your bearing/distance combination creates a simple "waypoint" at N distance along the bearing line, then forgets the original line and remembers the "waypoint". I believe probably the GPS will then always give you the heading from where you currently are to the "waypoint". I believe this, admittedly, because it's the closest to the way my GPS works. If my GPS has an XTE function I am not aware of it. This has been perfectly OK with me over the years, because it is so rare for me to be following a channel straight enough to be worth putting in a "goto" request. I have used my GPS for channels, but I do it by drawing lines (curved ones, usually) on the satellite map using my computer before the paddle. Then I just stay on the line. Anyway, if I'm right, then putting in a distance too great for what you want to do would give you a very slightly different heading if you wander off the line than you want. Just like putting in a waypoint that is too far inland. As you say, it probably wouldn't matter much unless visibility was low. If you put the distance in too short, your device would start pointing back after you passed the theoretical "waypoint". I suppose you could keep going, just keeping the arrow pointing exactly backward. If I'm wrong, the alternative is, as others have said, that the GPS remembers the original line and XTE and always directs you back onto the line. Then I would wonder what the algorithm is for getting back to the line - if you drift to the right how steeply would it direct you left to get you back on the line. Staying on the original line would get you accurately there even if your distance was off (in fact the distance would be useful only for telling you about how far you have to go). But unless you are paying pretty strict attention all the time, it wouldn't be as efficient. On a slightly different note, if this feature is important to you, it would be very interesting to know if the watch has a magnetic compass, and whether it uses it all the time. That would significantly change the way it works in a crosswind or cross current. Lisa
  7. I only have experience with the older Garmin hiking-type GPS units, like the venerable GPSMap 76csx. I keep the compass disabled for the reason Leon gave. If the watch with the "sight 'n go" feature doesn't have a magnetic compass (screens can be very compass-like even if the device doesn't have a compass), it would have to have an algorithm to decide the initial direction based on movement - either how you were moving just before you called up the feature, or maybe you have to move forward while you point the watch. The latter would be pretty hard for a kayaker. As Leon says, if it has a compass and uses it all the time, it's a 'con'. - maybe it can be disabled for navigation. Also, if it's using an accelerometer for things like how you are pointing the watch, it would be worth researching how that will be affected in general by the paddling motion. Back to the original post, I looked into getting a watch to use with a smart phone at one point. I think you're looking for a watch/phone combination - the watch does the measuring and the map is displayed on the phone, right? The process of capturing a track is pretty straightforward. My question would be, would the watch require a phone to capture that data. Because I've tried taking a phone with me kayaking several times, with 2 different phones, and it never works. The "waterproof" phones are only IP68 or so, not good enough. If you put it in a dry case, it will overheat quickly. Even if it doesn't shut off or malfunction, heat will shorten the battery life. You might be able to rig something up by packing your phone with your water reservoir, or something like that. So if the watch requires a phone to capture data, you might be able to do it with your phone packed away somewhere cool. But having the phone out on the deck where you can see it would be more difficult, because of the solar gain inside the dry case. If the watch can capture the data all by itself, that would be better. I use my old-fashioned GPS on my deck in a dry case. My first Garmin (a different GPSMap) lasted several years (8?), barring once when I had to replace it after the dog chewed it up :-( It runs on rechargeable NiMH batteries and has a low resolution display which is easy to see in most light conditions. It shows all sorts of speed/distance etc. data, and captures the track which I can easily plot on Google Maps on my computer at home. Although Garmin has abandoned the nice old-fashioned software I use to get the track (sigh), I'm sure the new stuff works, too, if you don't mind being on the cloud. And one more observation to this pretty rambling post: I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 (clunky old watch). It captures the GPS data nicely itself, and is properly waterproof, so that would do the minimum that you have requested above. But although it has the feature, I think doing goto's or any kind of navigation with that little screen and with the watch on the wrist would be awkward while paddling. -Lisa
  8. Uh, but on the other hand, the Prime Minister never met you, either. Nice pictorial, Leon, thanks! -Lisa
  9. Welcome, Janet! Just a note that you can spread invasive species from salt water to fresh, too, believe it or not. The people at Walden Pond would be very thankful if we all wash well before going there (sometimes they are there handing out invasive species pamphlets). That means paddles and footwear, too. Buckets sound good... or what about one of those old-fashioned do-it-yourself carwashes with the hose/spray gear? Or do they exist any more?
  10. I dunno about a book, but as far as trip reports go, we have some dandies. Prudenceb, for example... -Lisa
  11. Can't go, sorry! But you might be interested in this: http://artery.wbur.org/2015/07/09/isles-arts-initiative Here's another site. Schedule is here. I couldn't tell if that means the art is only displayed on those days - I got the impression that many of them will be there throughout, not sure. Anyway, have fun! Lisa
  12. So we have Leon, Pablo, Al, (and me) I think... See you there! -Lisa
  13. Maybe Pablo was hoping for a training run? :-) But I'm not in training shape these days, unfortunately. The stated trip (with Rockport) is about 12 miles, yes. -Lisa
  14. Nice video showing conditions is here. I see John Stevens at 27:10, and Sid at 23:38. Not sure about Bev or Beth... Yes, Beth, we need you! There aren't enough women in this race! Congratulations on your first race - you sure picked a doozy... -Lisa
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