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Ordinary Extraordinaire
8,396 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Steven, feel free to tweak this as I'm not very good at structure.

How to and supplementary info

GPS (Do not rely on GPS units as your primary source of navigation.)
types/brands/ reviews and capability
1 Offroad
a)Lowrance Globalmap 540c
video-compatible 5-pin Ethernet expansion port, and increased
Nand-flash memory for greater built-in background mapping detail.
For superb viewing even in bright sunlight, the Baja 540c features a
5-inch diag., 480x480 pixel, 16-bit color TFT LCD display, supported
by adjustable screen and keypad backlighting for navigating at night
or in low-light conditions.
The Baja 540c delivers 12-parallel channel GPS+WAAS reception for precision location accuracy, via the
likewise-rugged external Baja LGC receiver/antenna module. A weather- and dust-proof MMC/SD memory
card slot accepts a wide variety of affordable Lowrance high-detail mapping options with plug-&-play ease.
Those include the new FreedomMaps™ USA EX Topo mapcards with a choice of 5 regional coverage areas,
now including Alaska.
The Baja 540c stores up to 1,000 waypoints, 1,000 event markers, 100 routes (up to 100 waypoints per
route), and up to 100 savable plot trails with up to 10,000 points in any trail. There are 40 map display
ranges, from .02 to 4,000 miles, and 42 different graphic icons to mark spots. Point-and-map cursor
navigation and route planning is simplified, while convenient Menu and Pages keys afford easy access to a
wealth of navigation features and modes.
The internal back-up memory keeps preferred settings and stored data safe and accessible for years, and
the case is completely sealed for use in the harshest of environments.

How to and supplementary info
Cheat sheet
Setting up your GPS
Use these settings for racing or making trails.
1. Make sure your map orientation is set to "track up". With the unit turned on, from the map screen, press menu go down to map orientation. Make sure the track up box is checked. If North is up is selected, turns will be confusing.
2. Zoom in to 0.6 miles. this will show you what is coming up one half mile before you get there. If you loose course, zoom out until you see where you made your mistake. then follow your line being extra careful someone else didn't make the same mistake and meet you head on.
3. it is a good idea to have the spedometer display on the screen, in loose terrain, ground speed is not the same as your spinning wheels tell the vehicles spedometer.
4.For the larger GPS sizes you can customize map data on the left side of the screen. Pages, digital data, exit. menu, customize and now change your GPS to the data you want.
If you are loading this info into a new unit make sure the antenna is hooked up so the unit is out of sim/demo mode. any changes made in that mode will be lost when you turn the unit off. this only applies to new units that have not been hooked up to the antenna properly.

How to remove old data from your GPS
if you are prerunning a race or exploring unknown trails always start with an empty GPS before beginning. always remove all data before transferring new data to GPS.
1. Delete your Icons-Menu, delete my icons, delete all, yes
2. delete your trails-Menu, Menu, my trails, delete all trails, yes
3. delete your waypoints- menu, menu, system setup, delete my waypoints, delete all, yes.

How to load data from a chip to your GPS
1. If you have the file on your computer via software or website you first need to save it on an SD MMC card.
2. place the card into your GPS.
3. menu, menu, system setup, transfer my data, load, enter, select "yourfile.usr", enter, load, enter. the unit should say user data loaded succesfully.
4. menu, menu, my trails, junk(or whatever you want the name to be), enter, cursor over to "active" box, enter.
Always leave the GPS on Junk, nevermake any of your actual trails active or you willl erase them! if the file you transferred was not a PCI hi def course and it didnt contain a Junk trail, make one!
Menu, menu, my trails, new trail, name the trail, "junk" and make sure the arrows are pointing to this one or the active box is checked.

Whew, halfway there almost

How to save data from a chip to your GPS
1. Place the card into your GPS slot.
2. menu, menu, system set up, transfer my data, save, enter, name your file with the cursor, enter, save data.
3. you are sending ALL data on the GPS, this is why it is important to start with an "empty" GPS

Want to change different trails to different colors?
1 Menu, menu, my trails, select the trail, enter, color, change this to select color.

Adding your own icons.
Icons can be deleted but cannot be moved or changed. follow step one below if you are directly on the spot you wish to leave an icon, or use the cursor to move the crosshairs over the spot you wish to drop the icon.
1. enter, select the icon you like, enter, to drop the same icon next time just press enter, enter.
2. to delete: menu delete my icons, delete from map, enter, move cursor over the mark you want to remove (it will get larger when selected) then hit enter. exit, exit will put the unit back into normal mode.

Adding your own waypoints
Waypoints can be added from your current location or a location you pull up from lon/lat. they can be edited, named and different images selected. these take up much more space than an icon and are more time consuming, icons can be pinned "on the fly".
1. WPT, follow directions on screen.

adding your own lines/trails
follow these directions if you are plotting a course you want to save.
1. always start with an empty GPS, see "remove data from GPS".
2. create new trail. menu, menu, my trails, new trail, enter, rename the file to desired name with cursor, enter, cursor down to Maximum points and change this to 9,999. exit back out to the map screen. drive the trail. when you end the trail stop moving and make the "Junk" trail active so you don't leave lines where you don't want them.

tips for making trails/prerunning
each trail holds a maximum of 10000 points. while prerunning, frequently check back to the MY TRAILS screen and make sure you have plenty of points remaining. When you exceed 8000 find a landmark of some sort and make a new trail at that point. make sure you up the new trail to maximum points, 9999. each new trail is default at 2000 points.if you leave it at 2000, when you get to the 2000th point it will start deleting the first points.

Tips for run/race day
If you have crosshairs on your screen you are looking at somewhere else than your current position. to see current position push exit.

by making your JUNK trail a different color than your recorded trail you can see different lines you have taken.

reset your trip distance so your max speed and trip distance is at zero. this is helpful for estimating run times for future reference.

the odometer will never reset. it measures the life of the GPS. make sure if you are looking for trail miles on the overlay data on the left side of the screen that you select trip distance. you can reset this with the above step.


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NOT a moderator!
3,224 Posts

Thanks for your efforts here. I like the idea of a navigation section but I think this information is better suited for Appendix A (I have no other cool name yet) where people can print out and insert their own device specific information.

The goal here is to create a glovebox manual to quickly help you through a sticky situation. Since there are so many navigational devices out there, we couldn't possible put a chapter in for them as it would be a few inches thick in itself.

I'd love to hear some feedback as although this was my idea to do a Field Guide, it's definitely not my baby! Everyone on this forum should contribute IMO to make it truely a community product.

Let's move it to Appendix A but you're not off the hook yet, how about some guidelines for navigating when you are stuck in the desert with no GPS, no radio, etc... Maybe you can cover some map basics, moss on trees, sun path, stuff like that? maybe common map symbols, etc... I will throw in a AAA or Compass map of socal as a standard equipment item and therefore everyone should have it in there vehicle to use for reference... Just some thoughts.
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