Jump to content

GPS Procedures



Step-by-Step Procedures for Garmin/Mapsource


Before we get into the step-by-step procedures, let's clarify the differences between tracks and routes. It's easy to say that routes consist of waypoints and that tracks consist of trackpoints, but that doesn't help you and me understand how we experience those differences at our computers and on our bikes. The following does, and after you read it, you'll understand why the procedures below focus on tracks, not routes...

At the Computer...

In Mapsource, it's easy to create a new route with the Route tool, or a new track with the Track Draw tool.

You can distinguish one track from another on your computer screen by selecting a different color for each track in the file. You cannot colorize routes.

It's easy to determine the total distance of a track or route, or the distance between one trackpoint and another, but not easy to determine the distance between one waypoint and another.

It's easy to edit a route by moving the waypoints to a new location, but you can't move trackpoints, so it's more difficult to edit a track. TopoFusion does not have this limitation.

It's easy to adjust the number of trackpoints in a track to accomodate the maximum for your gps, but not easy to adjust the number of waypoints. You have to split large routes into two or more smaller ones, or delete the waypoints sequentially, in groups or one by one.

You can't (easily) convert a route to a track or a track to a route, but Topofusion easily does both.


On the Bike...

Most gps units can store 10 times more trackpoints than waypoints. The eTrex, for example, can store 10,000 trackpoints, but only 500 waypoints. It's usually better, therefore, to use tracks rather than routes for long rides, or for rides with lots of intersecting roads and trails. You can break the ride into several tracks without exceeding the maximum for your gps, and still have relatively small distances between one point and another. That means you can stay closer to the intended course, and not miss turns.

Trackpoints do not clutter the gps display -- waypoints do.



1 - Somebody sends you a fun course and you want to check it out this weekend

Launch Mapsource and open the gps file you plan to use for your ride

Compare the total distance of the route to your bike's range

Compare the total number of waypoints to the maximum for your gps

Use the map tool to select the map quadrants that cover your route

Transfer the route, waypoints and map quadrants from your computer to your gps

Mount the gps on your bike, turn it on, then wait for it to lock onto the satellites

Turn on your tracklog function and set it to every 0.1 miles

Setup your gps so your current direction of travel is up

Press ENTER on your gps and store your position as CAMP

Activate the track, and set it for navigation to the end

Select COMPASS mode, and follow the big arrow blindly... :)

Or Map mode and follow your course in relation to map details

Monitor trip distance, speed and next waypoint while you ride

Try different ZOOM IN/OUT settings as you approach and exit turns

Continue following the track to its end, then stop navigation

Transfer the tracklog of your ride from your gps to the computer

Compare the tracklog of your ride to your original route

Attach your ride to an email and share it with your other gps buddies

2 - You’ve scouted a fun course and want to make a track from the tracklog

Connect your gps to the serial or USB port on your computer

Launch Mapsource, click Transfer, then Receive

Click the Tracks tab, then double click the tracklog name

Click Filter on the Track Properties box, then click Max Points

Enter 250 (or the max for your gps) and click OK

Right click tracklog name, then click Track Properties

Click Track Name, insert a name you'll remember, and save

3 - You want to retain the resolution of the original tracklog

Do not save the tracklog as a saved track in your gps!

Download it from your gps, but do not filter it!

Rename it to something like Fun-Ride-Log

Split log into two or more tracks with 250 trackpoints each...

Method 1 =>

Click Tools => Track Split, then click anywhere on the track

Move pointer to first place where a split is to occur, then click

Continue selecting split points along the path of the route

Save each with a name like Fun-Ride-1, Fun-Ride-2 and so forth

Method 2 =>

Double click Fun-Ride-Log and note total number of trackpoints

Click the first trackpoint in the list

Press and hold Shift, click 250th trackpoint, then OK

Right click your mouse and select Copy

Click Edit => New Track => End

Right click mouse and click Paste

Name the new track Fun-Ride 1

Repeat for next 250 trackpoints and so forth

4 - You have an idea for a fun ride, and want to create a new track

Click Track Draw

Move mouse pointer to first point along your new course and click once

Repeat until entire track is drawn

Press ESC on your keyboard

Right click track name (default = Track 001)

Change name to something you'll remember

5 - You found a new way back to camp, and want to modify your track

Method 1 =>

Laydown a new path using the Track Draw tool

Move the pointer to where the old track should change

Delete trackpoints from that point to the end of the track

Copy the new trackpoints onto the end of the old one

You can edit a track internally, too, but it's more difficult

Method 2 =>

Save the file in the gpx format, then open it in TopoFusion

Move trackpoints to their new location and save

6 - You've got the gps for a fun ride, but it's a route, not a track

Mapsource (the hard way)

Click Tools, then Track Draw and laydown a new track using the route as a guide

Move mouse pointer to first point and click (once)

Repeat until entire track is drawn, then press ESC

Find Track 001 in the list, rename and save

TopoFusion (the easy way)

Open the track in Mapsource, save in the gpx format, then open in TopoFusion

Click the Profile-Playback tool, then click anywhere on the route

Wait for the Profile dialogue box to appear, then cancel it

Right click the highlighted track, click SAVE AS, and save with a new name

7 - You found a new way back to camp, and want to modify your track

Method 1 =>

Laydown a new path using the Track Draw tool

Move the pointer to where the old track should change

Delete trackpoints from that point to the end of the track

Copy the new trackpoints onto the end of the old one

You can edit a track internally, too, but it's more difficult

Method 2 =>

Save the file in the gpx format, then open it in TopoFusion

Move trackpoints to their new location and save

View attachment: At the Computer.jpg

View attachment: On the Bike.jpg

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

  • Similar Content

    • By Jameydog
      - Triangular style flasher.
      - Terminals and nuts are included for installation.
      - Comes in pairs. Works on 12V AC/DC.
    • By Erin whitsett
      I have an 05 yfz 450 when i attempt to start it, it makes no click just the red temp light comes on and my neutral light is green. I have had my battery checked and it is in good condition also i have replaced the regulator rectifier. odd contributing piece of info my lights do not work either they did before i had this problem.  Please any advise would be greatly appreciated
    • By DontMakeWaves
      I have a Honda SL125 engine and I'm trying to wire it up so that it can run without the battery. I found this guide http://waynescyclegarage.mysite.com/custom.html and I've followed it and done just what it says, but I'm not getting any spark. I used a voltage meter on the stator and there seems to be no issues with that. I also put one wire of the meter on the wire going into the coil and the other on the spark plug and when I use the kick starter it comes up with something on the voltage meter, but despite all that, I still get no spark. What could I be doing wrong?
    • By Bryan Bosch
      World’s First Battery with Built-in Jump-Starting
      The RE-START function is essentially the world’s first built-in Jump Starter. Our one-of-a-kind RE-START Technology intelligently monitors its voltage and will put itself to sleep if it senses over-discharge, yet amazingly saves just enough reserve energy to start your vehicle. For example you left your motorcycle lights on overnight – normally a dead battery emergency, but not with the restart function. Simply press the RE-START Button located on top of the battery to start your vehicle and drive away. No need for Jumper cables, Booster Pack or assistance. Also, a Remote Re-Start Button will soon be available so you can activate RE-START without accessing the battery, or removing seat or fairing on the vehicle.
      Complete Battery Management System
      Not only does the RE-START battery save riders from dead battery emergencies, it is the first powersports battery to offer a full onboard Battery Management System (BMS). Our new RE-START Batteries offer a true BMS, with full time Lithium Cell Balancing, Low-Voltage Cut-off, Over-discharge/ Over-charge protections and temperature protections. These features create the longest lasting, most reliable Lithium battery on the market.
      Easy Installation, Fits More Models
      All the RE-START batteries feature our new 4-terminal post design allowing easy installation and fitment in any vehicle. Now there’s no need for the left or right negative terminal options that our original OEM Battery line offers. With our new RE-START batteries, one size fits many models which means less stock for dealers to carry since it fits vehicles with either right or left side terminals.


    • By Dean William
      So, I'm new to this and dirt bikes in general. I did small engine repair in high school, so I'm not full on retarded in that respect. But I digress.
      My dad recently have me a 1980 Honda XL250s Dual sport bike. It's got the 6v system, and goofy 23" wheel. When I got it, it had sat for a couple years, but nonetheless, I had it running in no time. Then a month later, it was fine tuned with the correct filter, carb rebuild, etc. So it runs fine, no problems there. So now I'm onto electrical; blinkers, horn, things to make it road legal. So after I bought a brand new 6v battery, charged it, I was going through the lights. Headlight runs off stator, so that's fine, tail light runs off both, that's fine, turn signal switches are good, but lights stay solid. Horn switch doesn't work, but I haven't tested the horn itself. Most instrument lights work, but there may be an issue because I used LEDs for that, and when I hit the turn signal, the light comes on, but shuts off neutral light.
      Today I got all 4 signals to light up, after I grounded the rear lights. But now they don't come on with just the switch on. Only when the bike runs. And I'm only getting 3v at the battery when it's running.
      I feel like I just made it worse when I "fixed" the rear turn signals.
      And to make things worse, my 6v trickle charger doesn't work anymore.