Question about Garmin GPSMAP 176C GPS Receiver
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.
Posted on Aug 25, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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