Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

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Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:18 am

I have had my Montana 600 for over a year and a half and finally starting to learn some of the very cool things this unit does. We have an "Old School" e-mail thread going with some good tips and questions coming in. I will share some of the best info on this message board, allowing for others to add to or learn from our info sharing... Also, this will allow an easy way to archive this information. I am planning on doing the same on the OMRA message board. Here is the link.
http://forum.omraoffroad.com/viewforum.php?f=11
Thanks for any input---
Danno
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:40 am

1st note;

I'm starting an "Old School" e-mail thread for Garmin Montanas. This is for sharing tips, giving some of your personal preferences, helping others understand how to use these units more effectively, etc.

So part of what got me thinking of this idea was; Dave came over to return a mount he had borrowed and we spent about a half hour goofing with my Montana. I had learned a few things about setting up and using profiles. I will share more later but we had a glitch and I couldn't figure out how to undo something. I figured it out after Dave had left and I thought I would e-mail the fix to him. That is what got me thinking that others could learn and share. This could be a little data base for learning our Montanas better.

There are forums and chats available to share info (and you may want to share a good link) but one problem I have had was going thru everything to finally find what I was looking for... An advantage to this thread is to share something that has been part of recent discussion... That way, you didn't have to be part of the group, to learn something. This isn't the "Inner Circle of Trust" but you are getting closer...

So Dave, I had accidentally created that new profile and we couldn't find out where to delete it. The problem was, I was in that profile and you can't delete the active profile. After switching to a different profile, when I went back to the profile I wanted removed, the delete option came up in the drop down menu.

Why use profiles, you may ask... Something I have learned is your preferences and last used options follow that profile. Here is how I apply that info. On my Dirtbike profile, I like to have my Roads and Rec. map enabled, I like my routing preferences to be shortest distance (possibly taking me over a dirt road pass) I like things like elevation, time of day, moving time, stopped time, to show on my trip computer. I rarely auto route with Dirtbike profile so I don't want ETA or DtoA to show on my map page (but I like them to show in my car) and more. I created a TranAlp profile with more road friendly routing preferences. The trip computer is set up the same as my Auto profile.

I have an Auto and a Motor Home profile. They are similar with a few different auto routing preferences. Both come up with my City Navigator map automatically enabled. The trip computer also has info that I am not usually concerned about while on a bike.

So HERE is the neat thing about using profiles and setting them the way you like them... On my main menu I have the profiles and profile change icons (read your manual to see how to do this
[ http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/Montana_600_OM_EN.pdf page 32.])
If I am on my dirt bike and we have an emergency and I want to get to town fast, instead of changing my routing options from shortest distance to fastest time, changing my map from Road and Rec. to City Navigator, messing with my trip computer on the fly, etc. etc., I just change my profile from Dirtbike to Auto and now I have all of those options. I just; 1- go to main menu, 2- select profile change icon, 3- select the new profile I want, 4- back out to map icon, 5- select map icon. Five easy steps doable while riding a dirt bike one handed, instead of the 20+ steps to do it the old way.

Another profile I made I call MapBenchWork. I use this when I am loading maps or want to scroll around on some of the maps. The maps all show North Up, with out having to go into map settings. This profile comes up automatically when powered up with the USB cable. More later on holder options...

One last thing for now... There are many different styles of pre-loaded profiles. Look at them and find something that is close to what you want. When you create a new profile everything (maps, preferences, power button options, etc.,) -In other words, the last state that your GPS was used in, clones into the newly created profile. Then you can rename it to what you want. When you make a change in that profile, it saves and comes back that way.

I hope this helps and please share your tips...

Danno

2nd from Walt;
Good idea Dan!

Navigating a tracklog, route or to a waypoint in off-road mode using the compass. To set this up: Open Setup Map from the map page and change the Dashboard to compass. The compass will display screen right over the map. Tap on the small arrow at the edge of the screen to open and close the compass window. In navigation mode the compass arrow will point in the direction of travel tracklogs and route remain visible. Following tracklogs can be a bit challenging when abrupt direction changes happen, in this situation the compass arrow can be helpful .

Cheers!

Walt

3rd from Ron;
Hey Dan,

I have been using the profiles and thanks for the extra tips.

I am trying to upload the TSF tracks to my 680 and it seems to be limited to 200 tracks. How do I get around this so I can load the complete TSF track package, some 600+ tracks?

And how do you make all of the tracks loaded to the GPS show on the map without having to select them and enable them one at a time? Ai'nt there a way to make all tracks show on map?

Thanks,
Ron
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:57 am

Tawm sez,

That's one 'pain' with the Montana, or Garmin, I should say.: you have to individually enable each track log. Bogus! Contact Garmin and snivel at them about this lack-of feature. As a software option fix, this should be easy!

The way to get around this is to take all the TSF trails and make them into a layered .IMG file, which then comes up as a map. Once all the trails are incorporated into a .IMG file, you simply have to enable that map and voila, it's there. There are online converter programs out there to convert group trackfiles into .IMG files, then you're set.

-Tom
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:00 am

The program aptly titled: GPX2IMG

Pretty easy to use. Simply import a .GPX file (ala TSF trails) and export it as a .IMG file, say TSF_Trails.IMG. Then simply copy and enable it on your Montana. It works great!
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:17 am

So here is something I like about the Montana. At first I wasn't sure about the touch screen and using it while riding, especially at speed on the road. The buttons on my 60CSx allowed you to change screens by feel, so as long as you could get a hand on it, you could toggle screens without completely taking your eyes off the road. The 2 screens I want while riding are the map and my trip computer. You can configure the power button with a single tap or a double tap.That option is in SETUP>SYSTEM>CONFIGURE POWER KEY. So when I double tap my power key, my trip computer comes up. I can do that with my eyes shut (which I never do while riding... Just when I get my picture taken) and now my Montana is nearly as tactile friendly as my 60CSx. Another thing on the trip computer... You can keep adding data fields to it. There are six on the first page and then the drop down arrow shows and you can put six more on the next page. I'm not sure if there is a limit of pages you can create. Just goofing around with it now, I was able to create six pages. Also, you can have six items or two really big items to a page and it allows you to mix and match, two on the first page, six on the next, etc. So in a way, even though I still have some tactile friendly issues with the Montana, I am finding I like it better than the 60CSx, which everyone says you will... On my 60CSx you could only have up to four data fields per page. My favorite data fields are, time of day, speed, max speed, elevation, trip odometer, moving time and stopped time. When I am navigating, I like distance to next, time to next, distance to destination, ETA, Automotive turn (turn shape drawing.) So there are a dozen things I want to see while moving. On the 60CSx I would have different data fields on different pages which I found I was toggling thru the pages a lot, hunting for what I was looking for. My navigation data on my compass page, trip data on map page, etc. The Montana keeps everything together on the trip computer. even though I have to use the touch screen with gloves on while riding, to scroll thru the different trip computer pages, I am finding it somewhat tactile friendly.That is because the up/down arrows are at the bottom of the page and I just hang my finger over the edge of the screen and press the needed arrow. One last thing on the trip computer and the data fields... There are a ton of them and I'm not sure exactly how many. The Montana has them in different categories (with some redundancy) so you don't have to scroll through everything to find the data field you are looking for. That makes it easier to find them.

Hope some of this helps...

Danno
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Tawmass » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:20 pm

Here's a tip that everyone should use: post your phone number on the boot-up screen! This way if your GPS gets lost, someone with morals might actually call you up and deliver it. Don't bother looking for how to do this in your Setup screens - it's not there. Just like in the old days of editing your AUTOEXEC.BAT file for your computer boot-up screen, there is a file titled "startup" in your GPS's \Garmin folder. You merely need to edit it with Notepad or something that only edits a file without adding in other items, like Word does.

In fact, instead of me lamenting the details, simply go to this link and follow the instructions:

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/08/display-number-garmin.html

Enjoy!
-Tom
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Tawmass » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:38 pm

Here's another one that's bugged me for awhile: How to show the percentage of charge on the battery?

It's easy. Simply enable spanner mode: Setup--> System --> Interface --> Garmin Spanner

Now when I plug in my Montana to either my laptop, using a non-Garmin USB cable, or a non-Garmin USB cable connected to a non-Garmin power supply, I am prompted "USB Cable Detected, Would you like to go to Mass Storage". When I select "No", my Montana turns on like normal, and the battery icon has a flashing lighting bolt in it. And if I power it off, my Montana, with the non-Garmin USB cable still plugged in, goes to the normal Garmin screen with the battery charge indicator under it, showing the percentage of charge. just like it used to do when I plugged in the Garmin power supply to my Montana.

I have confirmed that the method does charge when my unit is turned on, and when it is turned off, as the battery percentage continues to increase until it reaches 100%. I have also confirmed that when I am prompted "USB Cable Detected, Would you like to go to Mass Storage", and I select "Yes", I can access both the internal memory, and my flash card, and Garmin Express and Garmin BaseCamp both have access to my Montana.

Enjoy!
-Tom
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:51 pm

Good tips Tom! It seems like my battery charge icon has always showed by default... I'm wondering if our defaults are different? Maybe I had already enabled the Garmin Spanner...

Also, on the Start-up screen, I have rewarded if found. Just thinking it might change someones mind. I also have my Oregon Driver's License number. Phone numbers can change but I will only have one ODL.
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:19 am

Grant stopped by the other night and we started BSing about the Montanas. One thing I started showing him but didn't get a chance to finish up on was the "Archiving" function of the Montanas. I was going to show him where it was in the set-up and then we got talking about something else.

One thing I like about the auto-archive function is it happens automatically... I don't know how many times using my 60, I forgot to save my tracks and started a new day, extending my tracks from the previous ride. Then the track log would fill up and start erasing itself. That doesn't happen with the Montana.

So Grant, to choose how your auto-archive operates;
Go to, setup>tracks>Auto Archive. The 3 choices are When Full, Daily, and Weekly. I prefer Daily but I am wondering if anybody else has a different preference and why?

Another thing Grant and I talked about was using the Montana as a drive, exploring the files, both the internal and the SD card. Tom had touched on making sure you are in the Garmin Spanner mode, to be able to interface with your USB port.

We also talked a little about the Tillamook State Forest map that has been sent as an attachment to this thread. I am wondering if that was what Ron was needing? Also I have a question. Does anyone know how to open that disc image file with Mapsource or Basecamp?

Coming soon, I want to share the little bit I know about the mounts and hardwiring the Montanas.
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:29 am

I recently mentioned I would share a few things I know about the mounts for our Montanas and hard wiring them. I have run 3 different Garmins, all hardwired to 3 different bikes. I have added un-switched auxiliary circuits and have a few preferences for fusing, wire size (built to use my trickle charger) plug type and battery connection that I would share if interested. Also, I would share an issue with the slow constant drain vs Lithium iron battery. The biggest reason I want my GPS hardwired is to be able to use the backlighting at night, as long as I need it in an emergency. I have been in a group in Baja, lost in the dark and been the only one with backlighting capability. For me, it is a must have... I know a lot of you are just running with batteries and if you have plenty, you would be good in an emergency.

Another thing on powering from a bike... The Garmins need 5-50 vdc. That means even if you were using it on an old 6 volt vintage bike, it could still be powered. With a 50 vdc max, I doubt that a modern bike with unregulated voltage would exceed that value BUT... I would never use it that way... The spiking could cause a problem, in that scenario. So your system MUST be regulated and rectified to DC, using a battery and it should be healthy. Even a small battery, with only enough amp hour capacity to maintain a headlight for 10 minutes will work. The reason I want the battery in my system isn't to provide minimal power. It acts as a buffer, absorbing voltage inconsistencies and giving the GPS cleaner power. A source of poor power, other than spiking from poor or no voltage regulation is a rectifier that is failing... When the diodes start to go bad they will allow an AC ripple, on top of the DC. This can be seen with a scope or a good meter. This is what makes your good car battery go bad, when your regulator/rectifier starts to fail.

Something I recently found out is that Garmin has discontinued making any units that use the power cables with the 4-round plug. I know originally it was a power/serial connection and when everything went to USB, the serial connection was no longer needed. My Garmin V had the round plug, my 60 CSx had both plug and USB and the way they have built the Montana is to incorporate the contact into the case of the unit. Very nice for durability and weatherproofing. The only way to get external power to any other hand held unit is by using the USB, which is not weather proof and it is prone to vibration damage. That is one of the reasons the Montana is so highly recommended for what we are using them for.

The Rugged Mount, made by Garmin, is the most durable and is Ram Mount adaptable. Garmin also makes an Automotive Mount that I know very little about but it does have a speaker provision for voice navigation (I don't use.) Ram has a cradle mount that might be okay for light use but without using the contacts for hardwiring. I do know that the Montana will detect which external power source is used. That detection will trigger the preferences that have been used in the profile set-up. As mentioned earlier in this thread, the mount can determine which profile automatically comes up.


Thanks Guys,
Danno
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:34 am

I don't know if you guys have the NW Trails maps on your Montanas. It has some pretty cool stuff, though most of it hiking trail. It does have some OHV trail including China Hat/Millican trails and Ukiah trails. Also the names or numbers of the system will show. I haven't looked at all of it but it is big! It also overlays your chosen map on your Montana (but not in Mapsource or Basecamp) allowing you to see the roads underneath and only the trails being opaque.

Go here for the free download.
Switchbacks.com > GPS Maps > Northwest Trails


Switchbacks.com > GPS Maps > Northwest Trails

Ron had questions about loading a bunch of tracklogs (TSF area) and Tom suggested using the GPX2IMG to convert them to an overlay. Ron sent me what he had put together and it looks very similar to the TSF-Master-ODF attachment that has been sent out earlier in these threads. A difference is Ron used a very heavy line for the tracks. I'm wondering if it would be easier to see while riding??? Both are GPX2IMG files and it appears that our Montanas will only interact with the first one that has been loaded into the drive, even if you go in and rename it. Something IDs it at a level I can't detect... Nerds like Tawm may know how to get around this... It isn't really an issue, having two for TSF, just pick one and use it. Where I would have an issue is if I wanted one each, for several different areas and was going to be away from a PC (like on an OBCDR trip) then I would have a hard time switching the GPX2IMG tracks. One way around that would be to have them on different SD cards and change the card (BTW I have heard stories of guys doing that on the trail and loosing their cards, one guy lost 3 of them [slow learner.]) Another option might be to merge all the tracklogs from all the OHV areas you might encounter, into one GPX2IMG file. I'm not sure of a size limit. Part of the reason I am bringing this up is that Ron is considering on purchasing the GPX2IMG program. The free trial only allows two uses... I just wonder about some limitations...

I had recently asked if anyone knows how to show these GPX2IMG files in Mapsource or Basecamp. I found something that works. Though I would prefer it to load, just like any other Garmin map, I found I can view the IMG file in Basecamp, as long as my Montana is plugged into the PC. It shows in the menu to the left, labeled Montana. Using this, soon I would like to do a side by side comparison of both previously mentioned GPX2IMG files.

That's it for now...
Danno
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Re: Garmin Montana/Monterra Users

Postby Danno » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:44 am

There was a question about sharing maps, unit to unit. Though you need to have the PC/Mac to interface, you can move the disc images from folder to folder.

If you copy paste the disc.img file, from Garmin folder to Garmin folder, in each drive, it will work. Several things to know... There can't be a naming issue, each folder must only have one specific name per map. I believe this only works with the free maps. And Mapsource or Basecamp's Mapinstaller has to do the initial load, which can take a lot of time with some maps, depending on how big the files are. As I know it, the folders have FAT 16 limitations, no bigger than 4 gig, or 2025 tiles (map segments.) You may have more than that on the SD card but the Montana won't see it... This IS a windows problem that Garmin could fix but apparently they are happy living in the '90s...

A way that I have dealt with this is to load optional mapping (I have an east coast mapset that I rarely need) and put it in another folder named anything but Garmin. I still need a PC to go into the drives and rename the other folder Garmin (and un-name my Garmin folder) but everything is pre-loaded so the optional mapset doesn't take hours to reload.

Danno
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