Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Please do not use this form for GPS-related questions. Instead, please post a comment on the site. I try to answer all questions submitted via comments (usually within 24 hours); this way everyone can benefit from it. Comment forms are found at the end of each post. I do not reply to requests for GPS support or answer general GPS questions when you use this form.

You can post questions about specific models on their review page, or use that search box above at right to find a good place to comment. Meanwhile, the following are some good places to post general questions.

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  1. MARK CHAMPLIN says:

    Hi, I have contacted Garmin about the fact that the Oregon 550t comes with only preloaded 100k maps which cannot be used in Basecamp. I pointed out that if I had purchased a 550 and Topo US 100k dvd it would have cost the same and I would have both.
    I asked that they send the DVD but so far have heard nothing.
    I do not feel I should have to throw more money and I won’t.

  2. Devin C. McDaniel says:


    I am looking at the Maestro 4700 & RoadMate 1475T. Can you compare the two and give the advantages of one over the other? Also what year maps are in the units?



  3. Help! I want to get a handheld GPS for my son right away while he’s in Alaska… does one exist that has a all the great handheld gps features PLUS a built in locator beacon? Or do I have to buy 2 seperate gadgets? Please answer asap, as I need to get something right away. Thanks…

    • No. The closest thing is a DeLorme product coming out later this month, and it isn’t a true locator beacon…

      Before you buy, are you sure he will carry two devices?

      • No, I’m not sure he would carry two – that’s what worries me. But which is more valuable? Him finding his way, or us being able to find him if he gets lost? I’m a total novice to this technology – do you have reco’s? Thanks!

        • I’d ask him which he wants. The locator beacon will have less of a learning curve. If he hasn’t used a handheld GPS before, he may not want to take the time to learn it if he has limited time there. A lot depends on what kind of activities he is engaged in too (backpacking vs day hiking vs…?).

          • thanks… He’s an avid outdoorsman so would use it all the time hiking, camping, fishing in Oregon. Right now, he’s in Alaska as a fly-fishing guide, and I was shocked that he doesn’t have either device with him. It’s his 21st birthday so am trying to send him something special – although who knows how long it will take to get it there!!! lol.

            Just curious – why is this technology not combined into one unit by now? It seems pretty logical that they would both be needed and aren’t they similar technology (only reverse?) anyway? I’m really surprised.

  4. I think we haven’t seen this because it’s been difficult to pack all the electronics into a reasonable sized (and priced) package. Also, it’s a relatively small market and, until now, the market leader (Garmin) hasn’t seen pressure from competitors doing this.

    If you just want a GPS, take a look at the Garmin GPSMAP 78s, a relatively new unit that is at home on the water (it floats) and on land.

    DeLorme is actually shipping the PN-60W now, and will send the SPOT Satellite Communicator along when it is released (slated for later this month):
    It has a bit more of a learning curve than the Garmin, but it should be an excellent unit.

  5. Rick,
    I find your blog very helpful. I would like to buy a Nuvi 3790 T with European maps. Do I need to pay a monthly fee to use it? Would it work in Europe? If I want to use it in the care, what kind of accessories are available?
    Thank you

    • No, there is no fee for use. It comes with a mount and car charger, and will work fine in Europe. Expect it to take a while to lock satellites the first time after moving it thousands of miles. If you buy it in the US, you’ll need City Navigator Europe NT maps.

  6. It is hard to get someone to talk to. I’ve lost my contact with GolfLogix and
    can’t down load courses. Can you help with this problem. Thank you.

  7. Hello, I am looking into buying a Garmin Gps. I am moving to a bigger city (population 500,000-1 million)pretty soon and thought it could help me get around (also help when going on vactions) Anyway I want one that helps with lane change, eco friendly (save gas) turn by turn voice, text to speech and just stuff like that. BUI I don’t need the bluetooth and FM transmitter and all that. Basically what I am looking for is a gps that will help me get to and around a new place and also help save gas. I was thinking about a Garmin Nuvi 1450, Is that a good reliable choice. I also don’t want to spend no more than $200, which is why Im looking now cause of specials, I can get a 1450 for about $150. Thanks

  8. Angela Hendricks says:

    i need to mail back the nuvi 1200.. where do i send it?

  9. I need a multi-point capable gps that can accept address downloads from excel and create logical routes by time, miles, etc. I cannot find any detail on the mulit point function on any of the sights.

  10. Roger Porter says:

    considering buying Garmin GPSMAP 62s. Never had hand-held gps before. can I enter waypoints on 62s using UTM, USNG, lat/lon coords? I ask because I purchased a new Tom-Tom last year, as an upgrade to a 3-year-old Tom-Tom, and discovered after the fact that the new Tom-Tom does not allow entry by coords, you have to use street address. I find this a major drawback, as I live in a non-urban area. I read the 62s owners manual, and it does not clearly say what coord formats it accepts. I don’t live close enough to dealer to check it out. thanks.

  11. Leslie Gordon says:


    I’m looking for a GPS that will be used for driving mostly but on occasion I would like to use it for walking in cities that I am not familiar with. Also, there needs to be European maps on it.

    Any suggestions???



  12. Jerry Haraburda says:

    We just bought the 1450 LMT. When entering the names of favorites, the name does not appear on the map, as it did with the 205. Is there a way to have the name appear on the map along with the icon.

    Any suggestions ???



  13. Dave Nash says:

    I just bought an Oregon 450 and then an 8G micro SD card, and then the 24k western US DVD and loaded it through Basecamp. I’m going to Alaska next month and wanted to download a free topo map for Alaska but it says to use Mapsource. 3 questions: first, can I load this map using Basemap? Second, if I load a map using Mapsource onto my Oregon 450 and it already has a 24k map loaded onto it using Basecamp, will that cause a problem with the GPS? Is there a way to load free maps from GPSfiledepot using Basecamp? Thank you.


  14. is there a gps that will play my iphone music thru the car speakers… i’m aware of the bluetooth choices in gps, and i’m trying to consolidate all my devices


  15. Neal Patterson says:

    I have a Garmin nuvi 650. The touchscreen is dead. It just stopped working. I’ve contacted Garmin support and they tell me that model is no longer eligible for service. It’s toast and that’s that. I thought a manufacturer was required by law to provide service and support on a product for 7 years after a product was discontinued. Am I all wet on this? I would appreciate your comments/suggestions. Thanks!

  16. Michael Muldoon says:

    I have been using a Garmin 205W all over the world, for many years, and love it. If I upgrade to a 1450T, can I migrate my many .IMG maps stored on microSD to the 1450T successfuly ?

  17. Mark Allen says:

    Can anyone tell me if the eTrex handhelds w the IPX7 waterproof rating will withstand continuous or near-continuous emmersion in shallow water for a 10-30 min period? I want to mount an eTrex on the back or head of a snorkeler to record a tracklog and document where he goes – so the unit will intermittently go just under the water and then re-emerge above the water surface.

    Thanks for the input

    • I’m not sure it would survive immersion over and over. And the IPX7 ratings do not take into account movement which could force water into the unit. The unit will have to reacquire satellites every time they surface too, which could take a minute or more, so I would definitely use a model with a high-sensitivity chipset. A very small dry bag could work, but even a small one would likely provide unwanted buoyancy. A Forerunner 310XT might be a better solution, albeit a more pricey one.

      Hope this helps.

  18. what do you think about the etrex 20 versus the dakota 20 now that they are the same price?

    • I think the Dakota will be more user friendly, and touchscreens are advantageous if you’re entering a lot of text (e.g., creating waypoints in the field). BUT, I’ve seen quite a few reports of cracked screens on the Dakota series, so I’m not sure how rugged they are.

  19. thanks. those touchscreens are delicate. if im planning on putting in an sd card for additional memory, the smaller memory in the Dakota isnt of concern then? Im all about ease of use and the dakota is tried and true by now. And I DO like the larger display on the Dakota. Do you see any compelling reasons to get the Etrex? Faster satellite location, better range from cover…etc? Also, i will use this in my jeep…offroad and on, and other cars. I will also pocket or belt carry it when on foot. what mount do you like?

    thanks for advice…

  20. I have a Garmin 550T and cannot seem to read my Micro SD card. I have maps from your site, Colorado Topo, Colorado GMU, Calif topo. I know I have not done something I need. I tried to load the maps on the Garmin via BaseCamp and I THINK I see them but I’d like to have them on the SD Card. Am I going bonkers or is this possible. I would like to remove all the maps off the unit and only use the SD Card. I would like to purchase the preloaded cards but that is money I do not have.
    thanks for a really good site.

  21. You are probably installing maps form

    This tutorial should help:

    Look at steps 3&4 under “Loading The Maps With BaseCamp on a PC”

  22. Hello. I am looking for a GPS unit that is capable of doing a few things, I am not sure if something exists in this combination. I would like a GPS unit that is portable (not car-based), that I can have record points with accuracy around 5 meters. I would also like it to be able to record paths. I would then like to be able to export this data in a way that is accessible to a mapping program like the arcGIS set. If it can allow me to upload my own maps, all the better.

    Does something exist with these abilities? I am a geography grad student interested in starting some route mapping, and want the right tool for the job.

    • The one thing you may not get is 5 meter accuracy. Most current consumer handhelds will give you 10-30′ accuracy, but a lot depends on the satellite constellation that day. It’s not geosynchronous, hence the accuracy range.

      And the data won’t come out in shapefiles, but there are converters around that will take the .gpx data you get and put it in the proper format. This may help…

      • Great, thank you for your help. I believe that the Oregon 450 is my best option. Also, thank you for this site, it is a great resource for the field of GPS.

        • Glad to help. The 450 is a great unit. You can get aerial imagery and USGS topos (raster) for it. There are plenty of free vector topo maps and you can make your own vector maps. You can convert shapefiles and layer them on it too, and even put custom raster imagery on it. I think you’re going to have fun!

  23. Thanks for all this useful information. I’m wondering if you could make a recommendation for me. I have purchased two GPS’s and I need to return one of them, but I’m not sure which one. This will be a Christmas present for my 16 year old daughter who has just gotten her driver’s license. The price on each was about the same. (TomTom $79 + tax and Garmin $84 + tax.) The two units I’m looking at are the TomTom 1505M and the Garmin Nuvi 40M. For a new driver would you recommend one over the other? We live in Michigan but she might end up in Texas for college. Thanks!

  24. Rich, Your site has amazing wealth in information for everyone, experienced users and even newbies (me), thank you.
    Thru your reviews I purchased my wife a Garmin nuvi 2595LMT, her old Tom Tom 300 retired, thank you again.
    However, the newbie(me)purchased a Garmin Montana 650 (not received yet) again thru your reviews, I wanted something that could be used on the road, 4×4 offroad (topo),for hiking and bicycling on city trails and mountain trails, the right type of maps is where i get lost, you recommend City Navigator maps for on the road, do they show the large network of bicycle paths also ?
    Should i also get the 24k topo for 4×4 trails, do they have the mountain bicycles trails on them ?
    The last question is, should I get this all on MicroSD or DVD, or none of the above, get it all free from GPS file depot ?
    Confused newbie!
    Thank you, Hank

  25. Phil Shellabarger says:

    I just purchased a Garmin nuvi 1450LM. I am trying to activate my lifetime Maps, I went to the site, It does not tell me how to down load it. Please advise.

    Thank You Phil

  26. I am looking at buying either the Dakota 20 or the etrex 20. I plan on using it for scouting in the woods, hunting, and hiking. I am not sure as to which one to get. They both have good reviews. So i was wondering which one you would suggest.

  27. ashley mosley says:


    I cant decide between the Nuvi2595LMT or the Nuvi3790LMT. The only difference is thinness, 3-D buildings and maps,and screen size. I’m leaning towards the Nuvi3790LMT. Is that a good idea. I need to update from my garmin, i think the first one ever made. It dosent recoginze Canada. Also
    need to down load Scottland and Ireland maps. What would you do?

    Thanks, Ashley.

    • Personally, I’d go for the 2595LMT or 3490LMT, both of which have new features not found on the 3790 series, include more menu customization options and exit services. In some areas (Bluetooth and voice command) they may perform better than the 3790. This is especially true of the 2595LMT.

  28. I am considering the garmin 2595LMT, but I read that a downside you were concerned with was that it did not have a powered mount. The garmin site shows that a powered mount is compatible with the 2595LMT (the 010-11271-03)- so I was a bit confused. Is the downside that I have to buy the mount separately? Or does it not work with the 2595LMT despite what I am seeing on the garmin website?

  29. James Schnoor says:

    I am looking for a Garmin automobile navigator with the following two requirements:

    -It must have a powered mount.

    -It must be compatible with the Garmin Fleet Management Interface.

    By any chance does anybody know what Garmin navigators are capable of BOTH of those things?

  30. Is there a way to transfer a custom route from a program such as google maps (or another program where you can drag and drop change the route) to a garmin nuvi 2455LMT?

  31. Dave W. says:

    Outstanding information. I cant take it all in its so over whelming. But onto the question(s):
    Back ground-
    I went on a elk trip in Montana last year, everyone had Garmin GPS. 2 etrex, and 1 above the etrex cant think of the name at the moment. All i know is I liked it alot. I have been leaning significantly towards buying the Oregon 650t or the Montana 650t. The problem was I can get great deals on the DeLorme’, Magellan’, and Lowrance’. So I was looking at the top of the lines in these 3 but didnt love them as much as the Garmin’s. So there in lies my problem. Pay the extra for the Garmin or buy which one of the other brands????? Please HELP!

  32. V Owens says:

    I was told by a co-worker that the Garmin nuvi 1450 series has a truck route map that can downloaded, if so how do i found it and download

    • Never heard of such a thing. You can download truck points of interest like truck stops, etc., though.

      • My company was looking at GPS devices with truck routes for us. Mainly for the low clearance issues. I know they are out there, but they might be locked to the devices they are purchased in. Otherwise we would just get the appropriate maps for our existing devices. I work for the power company and when we go traveling on storm damage this feature would be a godsend!

  33. Rich,

    FYI Here is a new head up display mount concept for mounting GPS nav, leveraging smart devices people already own, and adding live streaming augmented reality app options to the mix with a new mini cam that has on board Wifi to stream live 720P or 1080P direct in-car to any iOS or Android devices in the car, or within 100 meters. The cam comes with up to 32GB micro SD storage so as to double as a black box video recorder on it’s own. It also takes 12MP still photos. Runs on internal battery for 90 minutes, or on micro USB charger. Also has micro HDMI out.

    It’s an explanatory 1 page PDF download… or you can just view the file without downloading it at all.


  34. Just wondering how often Garmin comes out with new hardware. Being an Apple fanboy I know for sure every year at about the same time I can expect the next gen of I device. Does Garmin have any type of release schedule? I’m planning on an Oregon 450, but if there’s an update just around the corner I can wait. Any knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  35. Any idea what I can do to get my Mapsources (6.16.3) routes – ‘Garmap SSA Streetmaps 2012.1 NT’ transferred to my 2460LT (updated software on 25-Aug-2012 using WebUpdater). It worked until recently by clearing the user data. Now even that does not work anymore. I haven’t done anything (besides exporting routes) between the time that it worked and now that it does not work. ‘Favourites’ transfer no problem. Just the hour glass appears by ‘Trip Planner’. I also don’t understand that after clearing ‘Favourites’ and clearing user data (boot and pressing bottom right of display) the ‘Favourites’ are back.

  36. i just got a piece of land in vt only 2 of the boundaries are properly marked i want to buy a gps to find the other plots and mark them i dont know which one to buy thanks tim

    • Consumer GPS are accurate to anywhere from 10-30′ usually. The satellite constellation isn’t geosynchronous, so there are good days and bad days. You can use an online GPS constellation prediction tool to find better days.

      While any receiver with a high-sensitivity chipset should work fine, you might want to look at the new eTrex 20 or 30, which include GPS + GLONASS, which could improve things a bit and get you closer to 10′ accuracy.

  37. I live in shanghai and I just bought a gpsmap60s .and I am wondering where I can find a topo for hiking around both here in china and in Mongolia ? I am horrible at tech things and doubt I could make a plot-able custom map so would rather buy one.


  38. am I correct in the fact that i was mistaken in thinking the gpsmap62s is also glonass capable . I kinda got that impression from the e-trex lit as when it states that the e-trex 10 -30 have glonass like the higher end models but I guess not . is it something to really look at as a feature ?

    I already feel a little put out by the fact I cant find any maps for the country I live in. .

    do the garmin city maps work with gpsmap62 s ??


    • Correct. The eTrex line had the latest refresh so they got it first. I suspect each product line will get it as new models come out.

      Which city maps? US?

      There are a few topo maps available for those areas. Google may turn up more…

      • Thank you for the reply.

        As far as city maps I am talking about the city maps although I dont see any for the places I go mostly japan and china.

        I have seen the yunan link but its such a small part of the country I am surprised there are not more. I have googled and googled and…..

        From reading I kinda get the impression that although the glonass capability is nice it isn’t the dogs balls is that about correct ?

        If my questions are too simple its because I am new to using gps and even though I did a lot of research before I spent my money I am surprised at the lack of mapping of some common areas of the world. wondering how to use this in china now. may just be an expensive weight. starting to seem a toy for you guys back in the states only.


  39. Like this product City Navigator® China NT – English it only works on the Nuvi platform is this true or will is also work with the 62s?


  40. Hello. I have tried numerous times to run the Apple store version of Basecamp on my macbook pro running osx mountain lion, and base camp locks up every time i run it. i have removed it and reinstalled it and the same problem occurs again. Is their a fix for this? Livio

  41. Hi,
    I am new to this, & don’t have a clue, but when I enter a destination into my NUVI50LM, why does the screen read NO MATCHES FOUND?? (Please help??)

  42. david clemons says:

    I have a 1450 nuvi and it keeps loosing the picture and when it looses the picture it has a green line that goes across the bottom and when it goes all the way across then it will come back on and then it will work again for a little while then the same thing happens all over again.It doesn’t loose power or anything like that i’ve already checked all that.What else could it be.

  43. I just bought the 2595LMT and noticed that the 2597LMT is coming out. Is their a major difference between the two? Should I return it and get the 2597LMT? Will I be getting more from the 2597LMT or the same? What do you suggest?

    • Couldn’t say until I test it, which probably won’t be till March. There appear to be some nice new features though. Also of note, it won’t be discounted right away, so you’ll probably pay the full $250 list price.

  44. The 2595 does not come with a powered mount but can I buy the powered mount with the built in speaker and will it work fine with the 2595LMT?

  45. Does the 2597LMT going to have a powered mount?

  46. I just bought one Oregon 450 GPS. I want to load some Topo maps on my GPS.

    The problem I have is that BaseCamp can not find the maps I downloaded. So I can not load maps on GPS.

    I have a trip this Saturday. I really need the GPS loaded the map. Any one can help me or give some hints? Thanks.

  47. Kevin Edge says:

    I have a subscription to Garmins birds eye imagery I use with my 450..My question is can I download images onto my Dakota 20 with the same subscription? Or can I install my sd card with aerials from my 450 to a Dakota 20 and use the aerials?

  48. Gerald Loveless says:

    Does the 2597 have a night mode screen?

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  50. I have a Garmin NUVI 1490LMT, purchased Oct. 2010. Maps have never been up dated. Recently the NUVI STOPPED WORKING. In trying to down load lifetime maps, the NUVI locked up, a 16GB SANDISK SD card is installed. Trying all suggestions in the quick start manual and on line yield no results. Can you help to solve this problem which is probably a software glitch.
    Looking for direction to get this NUVI working.

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