Garmin GPS + Linux

redjedi

Über Member
Location
Brentford
Does anyone use a Garmin GPS with a linux system (Ubuntu).

I'm considering buying a Dakota 20, but I'm a bit unsure how well it will work with Linux.

I've played around with Qlandkarte GT, which seems to work quite well. I can create or download a course from bikely/mapmyride/gpsies etc and load it into Qlandkarte, but without the GPS I'm not sure how well it will work.

I'd like to be able to create routes and follow them, or just go wondering then choose "home" and get directions.
Also be able to upload my ride details.

I do have access to Windows machines if need be, but they are flatmates or at work, so not always convenient.

Any advice?
 

AndyCarolan

Do you smell fudge?
Location
Norwich
I think routes can be uploaded via SD card to the Dakota 20, so Ubuntu should be able to do that easily
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
The Dakota 20 acts like a memory stick when you plug it in (via mini USB 1.1) , so if Ubuntu can see that then you should be able to copy over the gpx files manually. The garmin site and some others use a garmin communicator plug in for the browser, which detects the device for auto download of the file, not sure if these are compatible with Ubuntu though. Same goes for upload of data I guess.

Not sure how you would get on with the map data software though, but this would be once in a while type thing so you could use a windows pc just for that maybe?

The Dakota 20 has 850mb onboard, plus a micro sd slot (I presume the card would show up as a separate drive but not sure as i haven't tried it yet).

I've had mine for a couple of weeks now so still getting the hang of it, but so far I like what I see, glad I never went for the Dakota 10.

edit: as for you requirement for navigation - it's great for maps etc, but I've yet to make it navigate properly, but then I'm using the free maps, Garmin does there own which I think acts more like traditional sat nav, but costs.
 
OP
redjedi

redjedi

Über Member
Location
Brentford
rh100 said:
The Dakota 20 acts like a memory stick when you plug it in (via mini USB 1.1) , so if Ubuntu can see that then you should be able to copy over the gpx files manually. The garmin site and some others use a garmin communicator plug in for the browser, which detects the device for auto download of the file, not sure if these are compatible with Ubuntu though. Same goes for upload of data I guess.

Not sure how you would get on with the map data software though, but this would be once in a while type thing so you could use a windows pc just for that maybe?

The Dakota 20 has 850mb onboard, plus a micro sd slot (I presume the card would show up as a separate drive but not sure as i haven't tried it yet).

I've had mine for a couple of weeks now so still getting the hang of it, but so far I like what I see, glad I never went for the Dakota 10.

edit: as for you requirement for navigation - it's great for maps etc, but I've yet to make it navigate properly, but then I'm using the free maps, Garmin does there own which I think acts more like traditional sat nav, but costs.
I was looking at the Dakota 10, as the 20 is out of stock at Handtec, but was worried about the size of the memory.
I take it 850Mb wouldn't last very long?

The navigation isn't a huge requirement. As long as I can find out where I am and what direction to go in, it wouldn't need to automatically generate a route like a sat nav, I would usually plot my route first.

What is the map like that comes installed on it?
I would probably just use a windows machine to upgrade the map to a OSM map. I'm not paying £100+ for a garmin one (although I did see some on ebay for about £35)
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
Go for the Dakota 20 if you can afford it, around £200 from Amazon.

It gives you the flexibility for later. Not sure about the memory used at the momemt, I used open source maps and copied just my local area to it, was not a huge amount of MB's. However, the Dakota 20 has an electonic barometer and compass - rather than GPS fed, and also the wireless capability to connect to garmin HRM or cadence sensor, I may get these later. I understand the edge is more sporty with HRM zones and stuff but the dakota will just display and record the data.

At the moment the way i use it is to make a gpx file on bike hike with auto waypoints enabled, then save that file to the dakota, then just select that file within it's menus and it will highlight the route on the map and point the compass towards the first waypoint. I change the display to show the map with data fields at the top showing distance to next waypoint, it's supposed to beep when getting close but haven't got that to work yet.

You can also devote a portion of the screen to a terrain profile, showing any climbs coming up according to the route - haven't tested its accuracy yet but looks promising. Again, this is only available on the 20, not the 10.

The map that comes with the device is useless, it's not even accurate in my area, but the open source map is surprisingly detailed (even shows bus stops and such like).

When I get home I'll dig out the link for the maps and software i used, it was a bit of a faff downloading this that and the other but I got there in the end, and it suits my purposes, I just think of it as an electronic movable map with an overlay of my intended route.
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
redjedi said:
Does anyone use a Garmin GPS with a linux system (Ubuntu).
Yes. I use a couple of packages to log my rides; TurtleSport and PyTrainer. Both take info off my Edge 305 using either GPSBabel and/or Garmin Tools.

Both SportsTrack and PyTrainer are still a little short of the 'fully featured' but do the basic job. SportTracks (a more sophisticated product) works on Linux too, under Wine. It's a bit clunky and lacks the Garmin interface.

GPSBabel does a helluva lot and could well send course/tracks TO your Garmin but it might mean getting your hands dirty. There is a GUI interface for it which makes life a little easier.

But, to be honest, I do still run Windows in what's called a 'virtual machine'. I use VirtualBox but there others. Certainly for full functionality, I find access to a Windows platform makes like live easier. It all CAN be done under Unix but it takes research and a little effort, and is likely to break when/if one of the components gets updated.
 
OP
redjedi

redjedi

Über Member
Location
Brentford
I got the Dakota 20 on Friday and I've used it a couple of times now.

I appear to be able to get all the information I need onto and off of it without any problems.

I got the City Navigator maps which work very well, letting me put in postcodes/address or just finding somewhere on a map and working out the route. It also gives me the "take me home" option I wanted, just by setting a waypoint on my house. Which after a tiring 2 hour track session yesterday was very well received :biggrin:

I've only tried getting the test route off the GPS so far (bus trip home from the pub) and then uploaded it to GPSies.com. I did a bit more riding on Sunday which I'll try load up tonight.

I have also downloaded a few routes and just dumped them in the correct folder on the SD card which works a treat.

I can't get my computer to communicate directly with the Garmin, but as long as you know which folder to get or put files into it works fine.
 
I was looking at the Dakota 10, as the 20 is out of stock at Handtec, but was worried about the size of the memory.
I take it 850Mb wouldn't last very long?
The Isle of Wight Randonnee last year with trips at either end worked out at just over 90 miles and the GPX file is 438 Mb
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
So you're pleased with it then?

Mine had a good try out today, it worked very well now I'm getting used to it.

How much did the city nav maps cost?
 
OP
redjedi

redjedi

Über Member
Location
Brentford
City Navigator for the UK and Ireland is £36 from Garmin, cheaper elsewhere. Although not too expensive it would have been nice to get it included with the unit.
(You could probably find it as a download if you searched for it
wink.gif
)

As long as you don't need all the topo details, and just roads, it works very well.

You can search by postcode, address, points of interest. It has a lists of local place like shops, pubs, cinemas. I've noticed it likes McDonalds as they appear as a large M on the screen
biggrin.gif


I tried it to get to Herne Hill Velodrome (which it had stored as a point of interest), and although a fairly straight forward route, it worked out all the one way roads, and would have been the way I would have gone.

The little beeps are also good. Giving you a single beep when your close to a turn and 2 beeps just before the turn.

So far it's a good combination. I just need to work out if it will save my ride date to the SD card.
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
£36 isn't too bad, I might give it a go. I couldn't get the beeps working with mine, I'm guessing due to the OSM maps, the amount of times I've missed a turn :smile: As for the topo stuff, I think you can select which map to use in the menus, so could always switch between if ever I felt the need.
 
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