Question about Garmin GPSMAP 176C GPS Receiver

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Can you read a 16 MB data card like you can a SD card?...I've got a Garmin USB 2.0 data card programmer, but I can only upload from Mapsource and it won't accept maps...Is there any way to copy a gmapsupp.img file onto the data card....I've got a 176c and coonect through a series <>USB converter...I can't seem to find a way to read the file either on my garmin 176c or the data card itself using the USB 2.0 data card programmer

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  • robmacriner Aug 25, 2010

    Thanks for your help and very quick response...I was aware of how to load a gmapsupp.img onto a SD card...The problem I was having was when I was using a garmin 16mb data card on a USB 2.0 data cd programmer. ....I wasn't able to actually get to the gmapsupp.img on that data card to replace it. I was hoping like with a SD card that I could somehow open the data card like I can open a SD card...but it doesn't seem possible. The Mapsource program will see the data card programmer and alow me to load waypoints etc to it using mapsource....but I'm not able to load maps to the data card...Do you know a way that I can read the data card like I can read an SD card?....Thanks Rob

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  • 17,970 Answers

If you plug the microSD card into a card reader, Garmin’s MapSource software will recognize the card reader as a legitimate destination for uploading, and allow you to send mapsets to the card at a speed limited only by the USB 2.0 port and the read/write speed of the microSD card. In my case, using such a card reader to upload data cuts the total time, including indexing and creating the map set, from 50 minutes down to less than 15 minutes – nice!

But once you’ve created and uploaded such a mapset, and you want to use it again in the future, there’s an even faster way to get it onto your microSD card than using MapSource. The microSD card will show up as a removable drive in My Computer in Windows; open this drive and you’ll see one folder called “garmin”. Open that folder, and it will contain a single file called “gmapsupp.img”; this is the file that contains all of the combined map data that’s been uploaded. You can copy this file to your hard drive, and save it for future use. The next time you want to use this map set, just open up that “garmin” folder again on your microSD card, delete the old gmapsupp.img file, and copy the gmapsupp.img map set file you want to use into the “garmin” folder. When you put that microSD card into your Garmin and turn it on, it will take a few seconds for it to index the data, but then you’ll be ready to use that map set data. Copying over the gmapsupp.img file I created above from my hard drive to the microSD card took only about 4 minutes, because there was no need to run MapSource to index and assemble the map set. Double nice!

But you can also use this capability to increase the total number of maps stored on your microSD card to more than the 2025 map limit, although you’ll still only have access to a max of 2025 at any one time. First, break up the maps into multiple sets, each with less than 2025 maps. Upload one set to the microSD card, then open up the microSD card and change that mapset’s name to something else other than gmapsupp.img. Upload another set, and change its name to something else as well. Keep doing this until you run out of mapsets, or out of space on the microSD card. To enable your Garmin to use and display and of those mapsets, change the name of the mapset you want to use to gmapsupp.img. You can access these files to change their names either through the SD card reader, or by putting your Garmin into USB Mass Storage mode (available from the Interface screen in the Setup section) while it’s hooked up to the computer through the USB connection to make the Garmin act like an SD card reader.

One caveat: I’ve tried this only on Garmin map data that doesn’t require an unlock code. It should work on lockable map sets as well, as long as you upload them to the unit they’re unlocked for, but I can’t swear to that; let me know if there’s a problem with those. All in all, handling the Garmin data in the microSD card this way could save you lots of time and effort.

Finally, if you haven’t updated your unit’s firmware recently, you should do so. The original units had a limited memory capacity for saving track data, but the updated software allows you to save track data directly to the microSD card, so you’re only limited by the amount of free memory available on the card. You can set this option in the Tracks => Setup Data Card Setup section; check the box next to “Log Track To Data Card”. Tracks logged here will *not* show up either on the display, or in the Track list, and you can’t download them using EasyGPS or other standard GPS utilities. They’re saved as date-stamped GPX files on the microSD card, so you’ll have to open up the microSD card directly from the computer and copy them over; either plug the microSD card into a card reader, or put your Garmin into USB mass storage mode to access these files, copy them over to your computer, then delete them on the microSD card to free up space for new tracks.

Hope helps.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010

  • ZJ Limited
    ZJ Limited Aug 25, 2010

    Try to find somethign like this: Garmin Format Data Card, 512 MB, for Garmin GPS Units

    Description: Max out the memory in your GPS unit with this data card. Holds up to 512
    megabytes of data from MapSource CD-ROMs so you can download a ton of
    street-level map detail, points of interest, business addresses and
    phone numbers, topographic information and more.



    Good luck.

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The CN NA 2009 NT mapset is too large to be installed in the C330 without putting part of it onto an SD card. My recommendation is to build an image file containing the lower 49 states, PR & the USVI and upload it into the internal memory as a new 'gmapprom.img' file, and then build a new 'gmapsupp.img' file for an SD card containing Alaska & Canada.
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