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New Montana

It looks like if you want to use different maps with this unit you must switch sd cards to switch maps. Can anyone confirm this. I like having access to city navigator and an oilfield trax NT program. Can anyone let me know if I can run 2 maps at the same time. Thanks.

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  • It looks like if you want to use different maps with this unit you must switch sd cards to switch maps. Can anyone confirm this. I like having access to city navigator and an oilfield trax NT program. Can anyone let me know if I can run 2 maps at the same time. Thanks.
    You can load as many maps as you want, and switch between them at will in Map Setup, directly from the MAP Screen OR the Setup Menu.

    I have about 2 maps on my Montana, and use different maps in different profiles all the time, without removing my SDcard.
  • sau4u 0 Points
    Do you just leave all maps on the ad card or do you load them directly onto the Montana. If you transfer a bunch(say 100 waypoints) to the Montana can you see them all of you zoom out or is it just 1 at a time like the new Nuvis. And lastly what's your opinion on the Montana. Thanks a bunch.
  • All GPSr units have a maximum map and/or tile limit they can load and index. I do not know what that number is for the Montana, and I have yet to find any of the multiple maps I have loaded not working.

    You can load them to either the microSD or internal memory, or BOTH. They simply must be in the Garmin directory, and be suffixed with the .img extension. You can rename them all you like, the Montana does not care what names you use, like older units.

    For waypoints, it is NOT like the Nuvi, and will show them all, based on zoom level settings you set in the Setup Menu.

    My opinion of the Montana:

    Like every new Garmin GPS, it will be buggy initially while they iron out the firmware, and add new features.

    It took Garmin nearly two years before the Oregon firmware was pretty much rock solid, but that firmware has come so very far from initial release that the two are hardly even comparable, or recognizable from each other.

    The Montana is an even more advanced hardware unit, with a much more user friendly and flexible firmware, much of which I believe is based on what they learned building the Oregon series.

    The Montana could be thought of as the next generation Oregon series from a user point of view...

    Out of the box, it is already very powerful, and more customizable than any unit before it. And I suspect Garmin will be updating and improving the feature list for at least 24 months, if the Oregon series was any indication.

    I have four Oregons, and a Montana 650. My Oregons barely ever get turned on any more. I love my Montana.

    IF you decide on the Montana, you need ask yourself only two questions:

    1. Do I want the 5 megapixel Camera?
    2. Do I want preloaded 100K Topo Maps?

    No, No = Montana 600
    Yes, No = Montana 650
    Yes, Yes = Montana 650T

    All Montana units have ~ 3GB internal memory, and will support up to 16GB micro SD cards for extended memory.

    I like to have all my maps and waypoints on the microSD card, mostly because I have had file corrupted on my Oregons in the past that prevented them from booting, and removing the microSD (and corrupted file) kept me from having to send the unit to Garmin for repair.

    Also, when you get your Garmin GPSr, before you do ANYTHING, copy the entire GPSr directory to a backup file on your computer. This will prevent MANY headaches in the future, just in case an important file is accidentally deleted or otherwise altered, you will have the backup to restore it.

    Good Luck!
  • sau4u 0 Points
    Much appreciated for the info. The Montana seems like what I am looking for. I picked up a New Nuvi 2555LMT and I am just not impressed with it. I had an old Nuvi 750 and liked how it was user friendly for waypoints and routes at lease (transferring back/forth). Thanks again.
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    I also have a Montana 500 and love it. It has replaced my Oregon for use on the trail and Nuvi 3790 in the car. If you plan to use it in the car, you will want the automotive mount which is an active cradle that engages contacts on the edge of the Montana and also provides an amplified speaker.

    Seems to me that the Montana 650t must have more than 3GB of storage, because the full US Topo 100k is something like 2.8GB. My Oregon 400t had 4GB internal memory and it's hard to imagine they wouldn't do the same on the Montana.
  • Seems to me that the Montana 650t must have more than 3GB of storage, because the full US Topo 100k is something like 2.8GB. My Oregon 400t had 4GB internal memory and it's hard to imagine they wouldn't do the same on the Montana.
    I had to check again, and right you are, Boyd!

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=167&compareProduct=75226&compareProduct=75227&compareProduct=75228

    The 600 and 650 have 3GB, the 650T has 3.5GB.
  • sau4u 0 Points
    Right now I use a garmin 60c for boating quashing which works awesome. I know the Montana can handle that but can it work as well going down the road as a nuvi. For example poi and mapping through cities and what not. Thanks.
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    I love it in the car personally, but I'm not your typical user. I like the map display style better, it's more of a "Classic" Garmin look in terms of how objects are displayed and the fonts that are used. It also shows more detail on the map when zoomed out farther.

    There's a profile called "Nuvi" that makes it look basically the same as their automotive units, but the menus and other functions are still from the Montana and not in the Nuvi style. Have you seen our big Montana thread here? I posted a number of screenshots, including side by side comparisons with a Nuvi 3790 (Montana on the left, Nuvi on the right).

    image


    Here are the differences to consider on the Montana vs Nuvi

    * Montana supports speed limit display and lane guidance, but not junction view or traffic receivers

    * You need to purchase City Navigator maps separately

    * You need to purchase the automotive cradle separately
  • sau4u 0 Points
    Much appreciated for all the info. The Montana is definately what I am looking for. Order has been placed. Thanks again.
  • sau4u 0 Points
    Thanks for all the info. Can you tell me how to back up the data from the Montana to the computer. Mine should be here in a day or two. Also, I have my maps on CD, I cant remember how to transfer them directly to a micro sd card. Can you tell me how to put them onthe card also. Thanks a bunch.
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    Connect the Montana to your computer, after a few seconds it should appear as a disk. If Windows asks what you want to do, choose the option to show folders and files. Create a backup folder on your computer, select all the files in the Montana window and either drag them to the backup folder or copy/paste them there.

    To load maps, see if this tutorial helps:

    http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-load-maps-on-my-garmin-gps-unit/


    You can use Mapsource to send data to your Montana, but it has been discontinued by Garmin and is not compatible with receiving data from your Montana. So you need to download Basecamp and start learning how to use it:

    http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=4435

    Enjoy the new Montana!
  • sau4u 0 Points
    Awesome, thanks.
  • sviking 141 Points
    I love it in the car personally, but I'm not your typical user. I like the map display style better, it's more of a "Classic" Garmin look in terms of how objects are displayed and the fonts that are used. It also shows more detail on the map when zoomed out farther.

    There's a profile called "Nuvi" that makes it look basically the same as their automotive units, but the menus and other functions are still from the Montana and not in the Nuvi style. Have you seen our big Montana thread here? I posted a number of screenshots, including side by side comparisons with a Nuvi 3790 (Montana on the left, Nuvi on the right).

    image


    Dumb question, I'm sure, but does the Montana (in auto mode) show "3D" terrain shading like the Nuvi 3790 does?
  • Connect the Montana to your computer, after a few seconds it should appear as a disk. If Windows asks what you want to do, choose the option to show folders and files. Create a backup folder on your computer, select all the files in the Montana window and either drag them to the backup folder or copy/paste them there.
    ALSO: A quicker and easier backup method for the newbies; you can simply DRAG the Montana GPSr icon to another folder on your computer, and it will copy it completely. DO NOT disconnect your GPSr until the computer is finished.
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    Dumb question, I'm sure, but does the Montana (in auto mode) show "3D" terrain shading like the Nuvi 3790 does?
    Not a dumb question. But no, the 3790 (and I assume 3490 and 3590) are unique in how they render 3d images. The Montana can't do that. This is a very cool feature of these particular nuvi's. Here's 3790 screenshot of an early version of an experimental map I have been developing. The Montana cannot render an image in this style at all.

    image


    But, you know, the 3790 is kind of an oddity with all the Nuvi quirks that bother me. The Montana is a good, solid unit that is fast and renders maps in the classic Garmin style, still retaining lots of detail as you zoom out. With the complex maps I'm making, like the one above, the 3790 just plain gives up when I zoom out farther than .2 miles. I also really prefer the font style on the Montana and the ability to control their size. The fonts have always seemed too big on the Nuvi, but I guess that makes sense for a auto unit vs a handheld.
  • sviking 141 Points
    Thanks for the response. I've never intended to use my 3790T as a handheld, so the fonts have never been an issue. It's a pretty good GPS overall, but I hate how it slows down so much in the menus and typing on the virtual keyboard sometimes. Often, it will take several seconds for something to "take effect" after tapping it. Don't know why that is since it's supposed to have a whiz bang processor. I'm just over half full, memory-wise and I've called Garmin about it, reset it a hundred times, turn it all the way off every now and then. Never seems to help after a short while.

    I was very curious about the "North" arrow on your 3790T pics since mine didn't appear to have it and that was one thing I liked on my StreetPilot 2720's nav/map screen. Then, just to see, I toggled it into track up 2D mode and there it was. Never knew it had it since I always stay in the fake "3D" mode. :lol:
  • zee 0 Points
    Does the Montana have the "Sticky" problem like my 62s had? If I walked slow, like 1 ft a second, it would not update the position. Acted like it had Static Navigation enabled. Had to be moving about 1.5 mph for it to update the Lat/Lon.
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    I don't really see that problem. There's a unique option in the Map Setup called "speed" that can be set for normal or fast. Walking around, it seems really responsive when set to fast. And I like the electronic compass in this mode. In track-up mode, if you stand in one spot and rotate the position of your body the map rotates quite smoothly in realtime.

    I sort of thought the "fast" mode was a Garmin response to complaints like yours. I have a friend who hunts for historic property monuments out in the woods, and while he likes his Oregon 450, he has the same complaint about the "sticky" issue.
  • sussamb 168 Points
    And there have been reports of the Etrex 20/30 having the sticky issue ... never seen it myself, must walk fast enough :D :lol:
  • zee 0 Points
    Thanks for the Speed tip, that just might help. One of my problems is when the unit is set to decimals, or UMT, and I'm trying to position over a point, and match the given L/L, the unit won't update the small changes in movement, like in the GPS 60 or 60CSx. Even worse when trying to do State Plane, which displays in feet.

    And on the new Etrex, I wanted to try one out to see if it would display in feet, in the User UMT Grid. Then I could compare the difference between Glonass on/off, as well as changes in the + - Accuracy reading on the Sat page, when on or off.

    I don't expect that the Montana or Etrex will let me set it up to feet, as I couldn't with the 62s, only to meters. So we are stuck with hddd.ddddd and UTM UPS as being the most sensitive to small movements.

    One has to really move slow, like one foot per second, to get it to stick. When making a Go To on a backyard point, I could move 50 or 60 feet and it would still show the original distance to the point. When it "woke up" it would only show me about 3 feet closer to the point, instead of the full 50 feet.
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    I don't really use my units this way, so "your mileage may vary". However I have *never* seen it stick when moving 50 feet. I don't know if it would stick when moving 3 feet - I probably wouldn't notice.

    You probably saw the comparison I did awhile ago of 60csx and Oregon tracks. My observation was that there's a lot of "noise" in the 60csx position data, resulting in significant movement even when you're standing still. The Oregon software seems to filter out really small position changes, assuming they could be errors (I guess). This makes for cleaner tracks that seem more consistent when walking the same narrow path repeatedly.

    I really haven't done any serious testing of the Montana. Shortly after getting it, I came across as USGS monument near my house and averaged a waypoint for maybe a minute there. It came up right on the money when I imported the data into Globalmapper, which impressed me. But one test doesn't prove much.
  • T-WOLF 0 Points
    Dumb question, I'm sure, but does the Montana (in auto mode) show "3D" terrain shading like the Nuvi 3790 does?


    Not a dumb question. But no, the 3790 (and I assume 3490 and 3590) are unique in how they render 3d images. The Montana can't do that. This is a very cool feature of these particular nuvi's. Here's 3790 screenshot of an early version of an experimental map I have been developing. The Montana cannot render an image in this style at all.

    image

    You may not get exactly this in driving mode, but it does render some very impressive 3D! For 3D, you need to add a Garmin Topo with 3D data. (I have the 24k one)

    When you enter 3D mode, you do get a pretty impressive display, in color.
    It's not exactly like this, but it's quite nice and very revealing. Especially in the dark, and when under canopy......

    And if you have multiple .img maps on unit, they also show as overlays in 3D, just like the do in the regular 2-D view! IMHO, the display I get in 3D is much more useful than the image you presented. (You can even move around, and adjust the angle while viewing 3D.) I don't have the unit in front of me, but if I did, I could capture a copy of the display in 3D with all my .img maps overlaying the 3D view!

    In case you are wondering, BirdsEye imagery does not show in 3D mode. With the way 3D mode works / displays, I wouldn't want it to anyways...

    I've probably wasted way too much time with my unit. But I have it doing things that are literally amazing. Being able to "double-click the ON button (or hit a screen button) to "bounce" in and out of 3D mode, and the ability to turn on and off the Basecamp imagery with one click shortcuts are great features! (ENDLESS CUSTOMIZATION CAPABILITY ON THIS UNIT)

    I do suggest you forgo the 650T unit as the topo is 100k. Get the 650 and add the 24k topo instead. (Better detail for sure!)

    Oh yeah: And whatever you do, don't buy a copy of Mapwel software for date conversion to .img files. (Just kidding - Mapwel is AWESOME!)

    Even with the few software bugs, and the occasional "Pop-Freeze" (unit shuts down without warning it's still an amazing piece of hardware. Now all they need to do is turn it into a dual or quad core.... (Screen refreshes are still quite good, even at the 100 yard scale with BirdsEye enabled.) :wink:

    I've been reporting bugs and running betas since 3.40. Also, the new Basecamp software (also been debugging that) is also a noticeable improvement! I no longer have envy for Google Earth. (With the exception of timeline imagery which shows tree lines in the fall, and wet areas better in the winter.)

    My first post here on this site... (I'm usually on the Garmin site participating in beta revisions and debugging.)
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    Welcome to the site t-wolf! You will see me over in Garmin's forums under my last name - ostroff. For sure, there are bugs on the Montana. But really, the way I use it, I find it really stable.

    The map mentioned above has come a long way, and I'm very happy with how it works on the Montana. The 3790 looks cool too, but will crash after very much dragging or zooming. I have pushed garmin's .img format beyond the breaking point. :twisted:

    image
  • T-WOLF 0 Points
    Welcome to the site t-wolf! You will see me over in Garmin's forums under my last name - ostroff. For sure, there are bugs on the Montana. But really, the way I use it, I find it really stable.

    The map mentioned above has come a long way, and I'm very happy with how it works on the Montana. The 3790 looks cool too, but will crash after very much dragging or zooming. I have pushed garmin's .img format beyond the breaking point. :twisted:

    Hi Boyd...

    I looked for you over there. Are you OSTROFF01?

    Montana is a great unit, (a few shortcomings though.) I've pretty much got my Montana "maxed out" for my region/outdoor usage.
    I use Mapwel to generate .img files. (Wanted to try Touratech QV but didn't.)

    ~ I've always wondered whether Touratech QV is better...

    I've seen your map before. (I spent countless hours/days accumulating data sets for outdoor usage.) ~ I can't remember where though.... What is the source of your .img file, and what software do you use to generate it?

    One thing I wish the Montana could do is pre-filter waypoint lists & searches by symbol. (And have frequently used symbols selectible/auto-saved in a "quick-pick" list for assignment to newly recorded waypoints.)
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    Yep, that's me. I use cgpsmapper to compile maps these days. I have the advanced version of Mapwel, and I think it's a pretty cool program. However, it doesn't seem very well suited for large projects and it has some quirks. What is touratech? When I googled it I found a place that sold motorcycles or something...

    The map itself consists of 3m/pixel LIDAR DEM, rendered with the Atlas shader in Globalmapper and exported as a TIFF file which I process in Photoshop. These are imported back into Globalmapper where I use the function to create polygons from equal values in raster images then exported as ESRI shapefiles. I then use software I'm developing myself to analyze and optimize the data. Finally, it's imported back into Globalmapper and combined with road and other data and exported as an .mp file for cgpsmapper to compile. Maybe I should have just said "it's complicated" and left it at that? :lol:
  • T-WOLF 0 Points
    Yep, that's me. I use cgpsmapper to compile maps these days. I have the advanced version of Mapwel, and I think it's a pretty cool program. However, it doesn't seem very well suited for large projects and it has some quirks. What is touratech? When I googled it I found a place that sold motorcycles or something...

    The map itself consists of 3m/pixel LIDAR DEM, rendered with the Atlas shader in Globalmapper and exported as a TIFF file which I process in Photoshop. These are imported back into Globalmapper where I use the function to create polygons from equal values in raster images then exported as ESRI shapefiles. I then use software I'm developing myself to analyze and optimize the data. Finally, it's imported back into Globalmapper and combined with road and other data and exported as an .mp file for cgpsmapper to compile. Maybe I should have just said "it's complicated" and left it at that? :lol:
    Thanks for the info.... Here's the link to Touratech: http://ttqv.com/index.php?id=38&L=1
    capabilities: http://ttqv.com/index.php?id=68&L=1

    I'm unable to use many of the "freebies" to create .img maps and integrate them into Basecamp. One of the wonders of running 64bit win7.

    Hence, all the maps I create are used on the GPS unit exclusively. I also take the same data, convert & import it into google earth. Then I export to kmz. (Which is eventually imported into Basecamp)

    ~ The one advantage of this workaround method is: In Basecamp it works around the restriction of showing one map at a time...... (BirdsEye + one map (24k topo) + multiple imports of kmz (outline regional overlay layers) results in one heck of nice setup in the new Basecamp. Especially with the new nested folder features of 3.3.0.X. (for layer display control)
  • Boyd 1303 Points
    Never knew it had it since I always stay in the fake "3D" mode. :lol:
    Actually, the 3d mode on the 3790 isn't "fake", it's the real thing. Garmin's cartoonish maps just don't do justice to what the hardware is capable of rendering. This comparison says more than I could in 1,000 words. :D

    image


    Although the 2d image is also nice, I prefer the Montana in terms of conveying information and the simplicity of the default map view

    image
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