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  Entering Waypoint Data into Lowrance LMS 334c

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Author Topic:   Entering Waypoint Data into Lowrance LMS 334c
R_Ant posted 06-24-2008 05:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for R_Ant   Send Email to R_Ant  
[Note--This article was posted as a reply in another discussion on a completely different topic. It has been moved to its own thread. Please do not resume older discussions only to change their topics.--jimh]

I am attempting to help a friend get waypoints onto his GPS. He has a Lowrance LMS 334c iGPS and uses a NauticPath card in it. He has a hundred or more waypoints to enter and would like to do this on his PC rather than poking the keypad on the unit.

Lowrance tech support tells us this can be accomplished with the GDM6 software. Enter the waypoints, save to an SD card, save from the SD card to the device. These will then overlay the NauticPath map.

Lowrance stated that the map from the NauticPath card could not be loaded onto the PC enabling a combined view of map and waypoints or to do any kind of trip planning. This could be done with the MapCreate product however. The caveat being that the MapCreate maps do not have the costal marine detail that the NauticPath maps do.

I am getting ready to buy him a card reader and SD card to accomplish the primary goal of entering waypoints on the PC.

Can the NauticPath maps be used on the PC in any way for trip planning etc? Or, is there an alternate product we should be looking at?

Thanks,
Rick

jimh posted 06-24-2008 11:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Separated from another discussion on another topic.]
Chuck Tribolet posted 06-25-2008 02:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Does the GDM6 software support importing .GPX (GPS Exchange)
files? If it does there are any number of programs that
will create them and export them. (I use Garmin MapSource
and GlobalMapper, neither of which is free).

If you have a digital camera that uses SD cards, you can
probably use the camera as a card reader. Maybe even use
the camera card (but I'd sure download all the pix first).


Chuck

jimh posted 06-25-2008 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The best memory card reader (SanDisk) only costs $34, which is but a tiny fraction of the cost of the marine electronic device it will make more useful. Many memory card readers are under $10, although your results in using them may vary as sometimes the associated software drivers are not as good.

Digital cartography contained on memory cards may be stored in a manner which is designed to prevent it from being copied or transferred in order to prevent unauthorized duplication of the data. This may interfere with use of the memory card and its data when not installed in the marine electronic device it was intended to be used with. If the memory card and its data structure is not the problem, you still need an application program which can run on your computer and make use of the data. It may be that the creator of the digital cartography data licenses its use, and the marine electronics manufacturer has obtained the license needed. A software provider of a computer program would also have to obtain the license to use the data.

R_Ant posted 07-08-2008 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for R_Ant  Send Email to R_Ant     
Thanks for the replies. Apologies for tagging on to a previous thread.

As a follow-up that we did purchase a generic card reader and SD card. Total was less than $30.

The plan was to enter waypoints into the GDM6 software, Save the data to the SD Card, insert card to GPS device and save waypoints to the GPS from the SD card.

Entering waypoints into the GDM6 software was tedious but easy enough. The data does appear to be saved to a proprietary file format with a .usr extension. Copying to the SD card was successful.

I was not present when the attempt to copy from the card to the device were made. This apparently failed. He did call tech support who suggested an incompatible SD card (too big) or a version upgrade required on the GPS unit.

I will be making a housecall to triage.

Thanks,
Rick

Chuck Tribolet posted 07-08-2008 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
In general, card readers all use the Microsoft drivers on
Windows, and I'm pretty sure they use the Apple drivers on
Mac. They just look like a USB harddrive.

With SD cards, there's a change based on size. Up to 2G, they
are SD cards. 4G and up are SDHC (SD High Capacity) cards.
My eFilm card reader won't read SDHC.

Jimh: Why is the SanDisk reader the best?


Chuck

jimh posted 07-08-2008 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The San-Disk reader accommodates many different memory card formats. It has drivers that work well with popular operating systems, including the Apple MacOS 10.

These days the cost of driving back to the store to return a memory card reader that did not work can cost more than the difference in price between memory card readers. I figure that it is worth a few dollars more to get a memory card reader that is well supported and has a wide range of memory card interfaces.

Frank O posted 07-10-2008 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
I have a Lowrance LCX-25C and have a lot of experience transferring data between it and my laptop. I do tend to edit waypoints in Lowrance's MapCreate software on the PC for transfer to the sonar/GPS.

However, I also found a nifty freeware program called GPS Babel which translates files between various formats (Lowrance, Garmin, Google Earth, etc.):

http://www.gpsbabel.org

If, say, you happened to have Garmin's MapSource program, I think you could use GPS Babel to convert the Garmin .gdb file to a Lowrance .usr file, and then use any inexpensive card reader to write it to an SD card.

I did buy one of Lowrance's card readers, which as noted are much more expensive than the generic readers out there. It's been a while so my memory may be imprecise, but I think the reason I had to get this was to be able to write a map file from Lowrance's MapCreate software out to an SD card for display on the LCX-25C. As noted, manufacturers use various methods to prevent unauthorized sharing of map data, and I believe the proprietary card reader was part of this.

As noted GPS Babel will convert between a dizzying list of formats (see http://www.gpsbabel.org/capabilities.html ). I've enjoyed taking waypoints and/or tracks from my LCX-25C, converting the Lowrance file to Google Earth's .kml format and then displaying them in Google Earth.


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