Saturday, November 29, 2008

Geocaching with the Magellan Roadmate 1212

After some frustration and fumbling, I figured out how to put geocache waypoints into the Magellan 1212. It was just a bit involved, but read on and I will explain how you can do it.

Costco in Mesa, Arizona had a Black Friday sale for $100 on the Magellan Roadmate 1212 yesterday. My wife and I were out to get it at 9:00 a.m. On the same outing we saw and picked up a refurbished Magellan Roadmate 3100 at Pep Boys for $69. So we tried them both out and discovered the refurbished 3100 didn't pronounce the street names (Text-to-Speech), and though it had something like 160 million Points of Interest vs. the 6 million in the 1212, the 1212 had our local Target store, while the 3100 had no Targets within 8 miles. So we returned the 3100 and kept the 1212.

One thing we noticed in testing the 2 devices was that Text-to-Speech is really a little safer and is reassuring when you get off course. We turned into a neighborhood and the 1212 got us right back onto course via a way unknown to us. Hearing it say "Turn left on Capri Street" was very reassuring to us, and was the deciding factor in returning the 3100 in spite of the price difference. (I also knew the 1212 was newer technology).

Lucky us! I learned later that day online that the refurbished units aren't eligible for a one time map update. We would not have been happy customers under that scenario.

So I thought it would be neat to see whether we could do any Geocaching with the Magellan Roadmate 1212, which is a car gps, NOT a trail GPS. Initially I was discouraged. Nowhere in the menus is the least hint of the ability to enter Lat/Lon destinations. I got online and read the users manual, which mentioned the ability to create Points of Interest on my PC and import them with an SD card. That intrigued me because the SD slot had been taped over at the factory. I installed the included CD and sure enough, got a program called Magellan POI File Editor. With it I created the following:

-File: Geochaches.mgln

-Category: Home Geocaches

-Point of Interest

Then I copied the .mgln file for it from the My Documents folder to the SD card and stuck the card into the RM 1212.

In the RM 1212 I did the following:

-Cancel out of any current route

-Points of Interest

-My POIs

-Change POI File

-Select a POI File

-Pick my file "Geocaches" from SD card

-Choose categories to display (Home Geocaches)

-Go back

-Select category from file (Home Geocaches)

-Pick Nearest

-Select the POI I entered on my PC


I'm still not sure how I got it to exist in my address book once I removed the SD card. That was weird. But it does.

Sorry I'm not more of an expert. But I'm pretty happy that I can geocache reasonably with this entry level Roadmate 1212 from Magellan.

Tom Haws


K T Cat said...

What a great post! I love how you uncovered this gem. I'll throw a link to this today. Thanks for stopping by The Scratching Post.

Anonymous said...

I tinkered briefly with a Navigon unit and discovered that any "new" waypoint file was automatically sucked into the system file. I learned this after finding that any offline (PC) edits of the main file were lost.

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Anonymous- I'd love to hear more about what you are describing. Once I used my POI, it stuck around as a recent destination regardless of whether the SD card stayed in the unit. Unused POIs, I believe, are only present when the SD card is present. Is that what you are saying?