Thursday, November 29, 2007

Garmin GPSMAP Communication Error

When I got my GPSMAP 76CSx for Christmas, a friend loaded a few of the local maps onto it to give me better shore detail when I was out kayaking. Until August, that was more than adequate. Once I got my motorcycle, however, I needed more, and Mapsource was not accommodating. Nearly every time I tried to upload maps, I'd get a communication error near the end of the process.

Searches on the web proved to be futile. Numerous people had the same problem, but no one had a solution. I looked at the Garmin site support page, and the solutions they offered there didn't change a thing. I updated both my USB drivers and my version of Mapsource, and still the same error.

Now my blog has basically no readership at all, but I'm putting this up anyway on the offhand chance that someone with the same problem might stumble across this with a Google search. The key is in turning your GPS into a USB device (effectively a flash drive), and you do that as follows:

1. Hit Menu twice
2. Select Setup
3. Select Interface
4. Select USB Mass Storage at the bottom

Now you connect to your computer and upload the maps as before. The main difference is that you won't see "Garmin Device XXX" as an option. Instead, you'll be looking for the appropriate letter drive to upload the Maps.


Normally, a Garmin GPS will be identified as "Garmin XXXX" (76CSx in my case), and that's what I see when I normally connect it to transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes. But when you change it to be seen as a USB Mass Storage device, it just looks like any other generic flash drive, since that's what you've basically turned it into.

9000 Miles

On November 4th, I went out riding to Farmville, VA for brunch with Roger Somero and a bunch of guys he knows from the Kawasaki Concours Owners Group. It was an enjoyable ride along nothing but smaller roads, but dealing with a crowd of 9 riders was a bit much for my taste. So, when we finished eating, I split off on my own under the pretext of going to see my Mom down in Phenix while I was out there, even though I hadn't been able to get them on the phone at all.

On the ride back, I hit the 9000 mile mark as I was entering Blackstone, VA. I also discovered that taking Route 40 instead of Rt. 460 is a much more enjoyable ride back home, in large part because it bypasses I-85 and I-95.