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  #1  
Old 20 Jun 2011
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Garmin eTrex H - what's the deal with the data port?

I've bought a simple Garmin eTrex H GPS, no maps just coordinates.



Borrowed one from a friend last year and liked it a lot. He warned me that I couldn't connect it to a computer tho. If that's true I wonder what the data and electric port on the back is for. Cables are very expensive (30-50€ and thus more than half as much as I've paid for the GPS itself) and I can't find anything online or in the manual. Any eTrex H owners around here?
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Old 21 Jun 2011
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I've got one of them. Had it for quite a few years.
I bought a cable from ebay and can connect it to my computer to transfer waypoints. I'm not sure why someone says you can't.
The eTrex is a good little thing and does what it says on the tin. A basic point and shoot GPS that I've had no problems with whatsoever.

This is the cable I bought (but many years ago) -
http://cgi.ebay.de/PC-Data-Interface...item53dd5abec0
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Old 21 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyMark View Post
This is the cable I bought (but many years ago) -
PC Data Interface Cable for Garmin eTrex H Camo Summit | eBay
Whoa what a ripoff! The exact same cable costs 29€ on eBay Germany: USB Datenkabel Datakabel Garmin Etrex H Geko eMap GPS | eBay I'll get one from the US in that case, thanks for pointing that out.

How does the waypoint transfer work? Never having owned a Garmin I'm not at all familiar with the procedure. Do you need a special software? What format do they have to be in? Can it be created from, say, Google Maps / Google Earth? Oh, and one more thing: since it's also described as 'power' in the manual can it actually charge the batteries or just power the device?
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Old 21 Jun 2011
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mj, my cable is different to your example. Yours has a USB end on it, mine is different. It depends, as Ive got an old computer, what connections you have on yours. Though I think it will still have the same one as on my cable. If not, it then depends on an adapter cost. But both are on ebay de as you can see from my link. Don't forget the postage costs though.
However, mine doesn't charge. A USB one might.

I don't tend to use or transfer a lot of waypoints, apart from an important few.
The waypoint files you get off the internet from any one of a number of sources are usually (I think) in a format of GPX and LOC files.
These I transfer if needs be using a piece of free but basic software -
EasyGPS - FREE GPS Software for your Garmin, Magellan, or Lowrance GPS

Help topics here - Getting started with EasyGPS | Free GPS Software | EasyGPS Help File

On Google Earth though, isn't there facility to transfer directly to a GPS? I'll have to check later.
There are many more expert than me at this, I tend to do the bare amount necessary to find where I want to go or record where I've been. I used it often for geocaching, but that was simple enough with just having to input a couple of points.
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Old 21 Jun 2011
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Yes, I've noticed that cable difference, too. Your cable is a serial cable with RS232 connector, mine was an USB cable. Either way I've asked the seller about the cable's power capabilities (apparantly some Garmin USB cables able to power the device while others are not) and it's not capable of doing that. The powered version would cost 45€ - no thanks. I'll be building a RS232 cable myself before I fork out any money for something I may not even need.

I've also stumbled accross EasyGPS. To be honest my GPS experience is rather limited. I've been using Copilot on my Android Smartphone so far but never loaded any waypoints or copied any data from or to the device. I'll be back with additional info once I've managed to build a data cable.
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Old 23 Jun 2011
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It worked!





I've successfully transferred waypoints and routes from EasyGPS to the device and back. I can now work with RouteConverter to manage routes and waypoints and upload them to the device with EasyGPS. Costs: ~10ct for the cable (no actual costs of material but had to solder thus 10ct for the tin and electricity) + 5€ for RS232 <-> USB adapter. Take that, Garmin!
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Garmin eTrex H - what's the deal with the data port?-kabel.jpg  

Garmin eTrex H - what's the deal with the data port?-easygps.png  

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Old 23 Jun 2011
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Well done and good luck.

All you have to do now is make a load more and sell them on eBay!
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Old 2 Aug 2011
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Another quick update: using RouteConverter and EasyGPS I've managed to successfully use this device for actual routing. It's pretty smart and even skips a waypoint if I've passed it and am getting closer to the next or previous one. If anyone's interested contact me by PM and I'll gladly help.
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