Opencaching.com also updates their site – Now with cache verifications

Not to be outdone by Groundspeak’s “Challenges” updates, Garmin’s Opencaching.com site has also posted a site update. Most of the changes are little UI tweaks like making the map full screen,  and updated searching.

There are some GPS specific changes though. If you have a Montana, 62 series, Oregon or Dakota, there’s a firmware update waiting for you. This will let you rate a cache’s “awesomeness” in the field, and participate in the new digital verification feature. Colorado owners (like me) are left out in the cold on this one.

Digital verification lets a cache owner verify your find by having you scan a QR code, enter a code manually or … respond to a chirp beacon.  The manual code method will work for owners of older devices and I presume the QR code feature will make it’s way to the smartphone apps. Otherwise only those of you using an absolute top of the line camera built in Garmin GPS need apply.

Another tidbit that I found in the release is that the Garmin Dakota a week giveaway has expanded from the USA to include Canada now. Every 10 approved caches placed before August 28 earns you an entry to win a Dakota 20 GPS.

[ Garmin OpenCaching Update ] [ Garmin Advanced Geocache Logging ]

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New Garmin Beta Firmware – Oregon, GPSMAP 62/78, Dakota

Garmin has posted a batch of beta firmware downloads for their current outdoor product line. This affects the GPSMAP 62, GPSMAP 78, Oregon and Dakota lines. The updates are pretty much identical across the board, fixing GPS performance, JNX (Bird’s Eye) handling and a few crash bugs.

Please remember these are beta releases so while you are getting new features and fixes, there is nothing to say your GPS won’t do weird things after loading this software.

GPSMAP 62/78 2.93 Beta:

Changes made from version 2.92 to 2.93:

  • Improved GPS performance
  • Improved JNX file handling
  • Increased maximum number of supported JNX files to 250 from 200
  • Fixed shutdown when unit had more than the maximum number of JNX files on it
  • Fixed shutdown related to topographical maps and land cover text size
  • Fixed Glide Ratio to Destination field
  • Fixed problem with profiles and the fields on the map page
  • Problems with the software may be reported to 62-78Beta@garmin.com

Oregon 200/300/400 4.16 Beta:

Changes made from version 4.12 to 4.16:

  • Improved GPS performance
  • Improved JNX file handling
  • Improved the usability of the main menu setup page
  • Increased maximum number of supported JNX files to 250 from 200
  • Fixed shutdown when unit had more than the maximum number of JNX files on it
  • Fixed shutdown related to topographical maps and land cover text size
  • Fixed shutdown associated with certain custom POI files
  • Fixed Glide Ratio to Destination field
  • Fixed an issue related to adding a geocache as a point in a route
  • Problems with the software may be reported to OregonBeta@garmin.com

Oregon x50 v4.45 Beta:

Changes made from version 4.32 to 4.45:

* Improved GPS performance
* Improved JNX file handling
* Improved the usability of the main menu setup page
* Increased maximum number of supported JNX files to 250 from 200
* Fixed shutdown when more than the maximum number of JNX files were present
* Fixed ‘Search Near’ functionality on Hunt & Fish and Sun & Moon pages
* Fixed shutdown related to topographical maps and land cover text size
* Fixed shutdown associated with certain custom POI files
* Fixed Glide Ratio to Destination field
* Fixed problem with profiles and the fields on the map page

Dakota 4.01 Beta:

Changes made from version 3.82 to 4.01:

  • Improved GPS performance
  • Improved JNX file handling
  • Improved the usability of the main menu setup page
  • Increased maximum number of supported JNX files to 250 from 200
  • Fixed shutdown when unit had more than the maximum number of JNX files on it
  • Fixed shutdown related to topographical maps and land cover text size
  • Fixed shutdown associated with certain custom POI files
  • Fixed Glide Ratio to Destination field
  • Fixed issue with profiles and the fields on the map page
  • Problems with the software may be reported to OregonBeta@garmin.com

Update: Added Oregon x50 series Beta

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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: 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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New beta firmware for GPSMAP 62/78, Oregon x50, Oregon and Dakota GPS Receivers

Garmin has release a second round of firmware updates for their Geocaching capable receivers.

GPSMAP 62/78 v2.92: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed issue with progress bar displaying properly on power up
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

Oregon v4.12: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed issue with photo viewer not displaying correctly
  • Fixed issue with 3D view
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

Oregon x50 v4.32: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed issue with moon not showing on sun and moon page
  • Fixed issue with photo viewer not displaying correctly
  • Fixed issue with progress bar displaying properly on power up
  • Fixed issue with waypoint distances showing significantly off in the waypoint manager
  • Fixed issue with 3D view
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

Dakota v3.82: Download

  • Fixed issues with WAAS/EGNOS
  • Fixed a hang that occurred when a unit had 1000 auto-named waypoints
  • Fixed issue with track navigation not adding waypoints to the Active Route list when they are exactly equal to a track point

As always, use at your own risk.  If you have to go back  to a previous version of firmware it will reset all your settings to default.

Dakota software version 3.82

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Oregon x50 v4.31, Oregon v4.11, and Dakota v3.81 Beta Firmware

Garmin has also released beta firmware for the Oregon series. Very similar list of fixes:

  • Updated magnetic Earth field data
  • Improved GPS performance
  • Fixed issue with track navigation sometimes not adding waypoints to the Active Route list
  • Fixed issue with MPC map labels disappearing
  • Fixed shutdown on the map page when you have a geocache dashboard active and return after pressing the geocache name

The firmware can be downloaded either here Oregon Updates & Downloads or here Oregon x50 Updates & Downloads depending on which model you own.

The Dakota also has beta firmware, again with a very similar list of fixes:

  • Updated magnetic Earth field data
  • Improved GPS performance
  • Fixed issue with track navigation sometimes not adding waypoints to the Active Route list
  • Fixed issue with MPC map labels disappearing

The firmware can be downloaded here: Dakota Updates & Downloads

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