Garmin Colorado gets a 3.70 update

Well it seems the Colorado has a pinch of life in it yet. After a solid week of Garmin announcements about new product lines I’m surprised to see there’s an update for my Colorado. This is mainly a BirdsEye bug fix release but still nice to see they are still taking care of us Colorado owners!

Changes made from version 3.60 to 3.70:

  • Increased the maximum number of supported JNX files to 250 from 200
  • Fixed shutdown that sometimes occurred while scrolling through the list of background images

You can get it via WebUpdater

[ Colorado 3.70 Firmware ]

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Garmin Colorado 3.60 Firmware Update

Colorado 3.60 Firmware Screen Garmin Colorado Webupdater 3.60

Garmin has released new firmware for the Colorado series, putting the current version at 3.60. This appears to be a rebrand of the 3.52 beta as there are no noticable changes between the beta and this final release.

Changes made from version 3.50 to 3.60:

* Added support for chirp™ detection. This software update will allow Colorado units to detect previously-programmed chirp™ units. See http://www.garmin.com/chirp for details on which units are chirp™ compatible. NOTE: Due to the hardware present in Colorado devices, chirp™ detection range may be less than that of other compatible devices.
* Updated magnetic Earth field data.
* Fixed issue with certain JPEGs not drawing from Custom Maps.
* Fixed issue with Oblique Mercator User Grid distances.
* Fixed line color when navigating a track off-road.

[ Colorado 3.60 Firmware ]

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Pro Tip: Downgrading your Garmin GPSr firmware

This tip is for the Colorado, Oregon, GPSMAP 62/78 and Dakota line of Garmin GPS recievers.

The story goes something like this.  You upgraded your Garmin GPS receiver to the latest beta firmware.  Perhaps it was because of a new feature, or a bug that was listed as fixed, or a bug that wasn’t listed but you were hoping was fixed, or you’re just a glutton for punishment.  Whatever the reason, you’re now running the latest and greatest.  Or so you thought…  You notice that a new bug, or two, has been introduced.  It’s serious enough that the reason you upgraded isn’t worth the aggravation.  You want to go back.

If you were running a previous beta it’s easy.  Just run the EXE file for that firmware and you’re back to where you were.

But what if you want to go back to a release version.  You don’t have an EXE for that since you’ve probably used Webupdater to load it.  No problem.  Webupdater puts the firmware file in the Garmin folder on your unit in a file called gupdate.gcd.  All you had to do was copy this file somewhere else before you rebooted your GPS receiver.  Just copy that file back to the Garmin folder and reboot.  You’re done.

“But I didn’t back up anything!”, you say.  Since this is the first time you want to go back you probably didn’t make a back up of the firmware file.  Fortunately you’re not stuck.  The good folks at gpsfix.net have prepared for this possibility and have links to the firmware files on their wiki pages.  Just download GCD file for the firmware you want, rename it to gupdate.gcd, put it in your Garmin folder on your GPS receiver and reboot.

There is one small gotcha.  Going back to a previous version of firmware will reset all the settings on your GPSr.  Your battery type, WAAS enabled, units, and other customizations will all go back to defaults.  Your loaded maps, geocaches and custom POI will be left alone.  Waypoints will probably survive as well.

Here’s the links to the wiki pages for all the GPS recievers:

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Pro Tip: Using chirp on the Garmin Colorado

Starting with Colorado Firmware 3.52 beta, the device can listen for Garmin chirp devices. I loaded up that firmware and found very quickly it isn’t entirely intuitive to figure this out – it’s certainly not in the Garmin Colorado manual, having been added several years after the product line launched.

To use the feature, you have to enable it. As listening for chirp devices can potentially eat more battery on an already power hungry device like the Colorado, it is disabled by default. To enable it, go to your Geocaching menu, then select Options (top left button) and finally Start chirp(tm) searching.

Starting chirp on Colorado

When you encounter a chirp device, it will pop up automatically and grab the information from the chirp. Since the ANT hardware is not as efficient as it is in the newer Garmin devices you will have to be closer to the chirp. Once the chirp has finished communicating, you’ll have the option to display it’s details, or dismiss it.

Colorado chirp Detected

To go back and see the chirp again after dismissing it, simply go back to Geocaches, then Options and select chirp(tm) Details.

Colorado chirp Details

To disable chirp, it’s the same procedure. Go back to Geocaches, then Options and select Stop chirp(tm) Searching.

Colorado Stop chirp Searching

The chirp details will be remembered until you encounter another chirp, you reboot the device or you disable chirp searching. That’s right, shutting off the device or disabling chirp erases the chirp details from the unit.

You’ll want to save any waypoint details you want to keep before shutting off. I have not found a way to save the information on the device itself, I’ll update this article if I find a way (there HAS to be a way).

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Garmin Colorado – GPS Chipset Type M update

Colorado GPS Chipset UpdateIf you’ve loaded up that 3.52 Colorado update, also run Webupdater as Garmin quietly posted a GPS Firmware update. At this point, we have no idea what changed. The GPS Software version stayed at 2.90 on my unit.

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New beta firmware for Colorado GPS Receiver

Colorado 3.52 Updater

Garmin has released a firmware update for the Colorado.  What’s exciting is that they added Chirp support.  There were mixed messages coming from Garmin tech support as to whether or not the Colorado’s hardware was capable of talking to a Chirp.

Colorado Beta 3.52 Screen Capture

Colorado v3.52: Download

  • Added support for chirp™ detection. This software update will allow Colorado units to detect previously-programmed chirp™ units. See http://www.garmin.com/chirp for details on which units are chirp™ compatible. NOTE: Due to the hardware present in Colorado devices, chirp™ detection range may be less than that of other compatible devices.
  • Updated magnetic Earth field data.
  • Fixed issue with certain JPEGs not drawing from Custom Maps.
  • Fixed issue with Oblique Mercator User Grid distances.

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Pro Tip: Night Mode Map for Colorado/Oregon.

Night Colour on an Oregon (from GPS File Depot)

Found this little gem on the Groundspeak Forums.

One of the complaints that many owners of the newer Colorado and Oregon GPS units have is the lack of a “night mode” that other Garmin GPS units have. Night mode on a Nuvi or 60 series GPS for example will, at sunset switch from a light background to a dark background. This reduces the glare and distration from that dashboard mounted GPS.

Many geocachers bought their Colorado/Oregon/Dakota units as you could load City Navigator NT on the unit and use it as both an outdoor GPS for hiking AND as a navigation device. The Colorado even ships with an “automotive” profile for this purpose.  For unknown reasons, Garmin left the day/night mode function out of the Colorado and it’s kin.

Fortunately, yogazoo has created a hack in the form of a map overlay that will deliver the same effect. He has produced a transparent map that, when activated will darken the screen for City Navigator maps in the USA and Southern 2/3 of Canada. You will have to switch the map manually. Still, this is a welcome relief for those of us who drive a lot after dusk yet don’t want the distraction of a bright, light coloured map display.

You can find it at GPS File Depot

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