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No tide data on eTrex 30x

Hi - first time posting here after finding there's no handheld forum on the Garmin site.

I bought a 30x last week. Garmin Express was already installed on my PC for another device and the 30x was recognised and it told me that updates were available. I downloaded and installed the software update (now at v3.0) but couldn't download the TopoActive maps as I didn't have a spare uSD card. A day or two later, fitted with a new uSD card, I was able to add the maps.

Since then, I've been using the device and getting used to its quirks. Today, I was trying to look up some tide times (Where To>Tides) but there appears to be no tide data on the device. It just says "No Results Found. Try Adjusting Search Parameters". If I press Menu, I get "Spell Search" but no matter what I put in the resulting search bar I still get the "No Results..." message.

I tried removing the uSD card to see if the newer maps were the problem, but the results were no different. Unfortunately, I don't know whether the Tides function was working with the pre v3.0 software as I didn't try it.

I've raised this with support, and they're supposed to be sending me an email with some suggestions in it, but problems with their systems mean it hasn't reached me yet, so I thought I'd try here in the meantime.

Any ideas? Has someone else got a 30x upgraded to v3.0 and can see the tide info?

Comments

  • sussamb 798 Points
    That's normal. You'll only see Tides info if you have the relevant map/chart.
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    edited April 30
    Are you sure about that? I don't have an eTrex, but on my Montana, I think the tides must be part of the firmware (or in some file that I don't know about). I can disable all the maps on the device and when I do Where To > Tides, I get a long list (I live in a coastal area).

    I thought the data might have been in the basemap - and maybe it is - however, if I disable the basemap I still get the same tide data. Have never been interested in tides myself, but always found the way Garmin handles them to be mysterious.

    Of course, Garmin loves to cripple their entry level devices in odd ways to annoy you, and make you wish you had bought a more expensive GPS. So maybe that's it. :O)
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Hmmm, not on my Montana either, perhaps it's area specific?
  • raichea 6 Points
    The support pages for the 30x suggests the tide information should be there... you need to buy Bluechart data to get info about currents but tides are supposed to be built in.

    https://support.garmin.com/ms-MY/?faq=0471LJHr9v9opscA1Cd9v9
  • DaveM 159 Points
    My eTrex 20 and my GPSMAP64s both have tide information. As a test I disabled all maps on the eTrex and it has tide information with no maps enabled.
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    sussamb said:

    Hmmm, not on my Montana either, perhaps it's area specific?

    How far are you from a tidal waterbody? I am only about 3 miles here. But it's also possible that a US device is different. For example, all government geodata is generally free here. But in the UK, you guys have to pay something outrageous just to get an Ordinance Survey map. :)
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    raichea said:

    I've raised this with support, and they're supposed to be sending me an email with some suggestions in it, but problems with their systems mean it hasn't reached me yet

    I think you'll just need to wait for Garmin's answer on this one....
  • raichea 6 Points
    Thanks DaveM - the fact your 20x has the data suggests the 30x should have it too. I've tried disabling maps to see if an update was somehow blocking the info. I even removed the uSD card to remove the updated maps completely, but still no tide data (even with all maps disabled). Which version of the GPS firmware are you running? My 30x was updated to v3.0 as I said.

    Thanks to Boyd and Sussamb too... for info, I'm in the UK. I'm about 12 miles from the coast but the search facility suggests you should be able to look for tide data elsewhere.

    I think you're right, Boyd... I'll have to wait for Garmin. Could be a long time... I still haven't received their email and when I tried calling 5 minutes ago, their recorded message said that "Unforeseen circumstances mean we can't answer your call now. Please try later."
  • sussamb 798 Points
    I'm in the UK too so Boyd's theory about not being available here may be right.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    My eTrex is a 20 not 20x so older it has ver. 4.80 software. I'm in the US and the closest tide is 436 miles (702 km) so I don’t think it’s the distance. I think sussamb also has a 20 so I think that UK instead of US should be the only difference in my eTrex and his.
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    Same goes for my Montana and sussamb's Montana. :)

    Regarding the "unforseen circumstances" when trying to contact Garmin, if you look at the link to the tech support article you posted, I think there's a clue...
    _______________-

    "Please note: Due to the Labour Day(01/05/2019), our email and call service will be unavailable during this period. Because of this, we will reply to your email in 3 working days after our team returns. We apologize for all the inconvenience that might cause you. Thank you."
  • raichea 6 Points
    Hmm... seems odd that the UK units wouldn't have tide data but it is referenced in the manual.

    The support phone number for UK is UK-based and we don't have a Labour Day holiday here in the UK.

    Oh well, I guess I'll have to keep chasing Garmin support.

    Thanks all.
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    The info about Labour Day came from the support link that you posted about tide data on the eTrex

    https://support.garmin.com/ms-MY/?faq=0471LJHr9v9opscA1Cd9v9

    Looking closer, that link comes from Garmin Malaysia. So, it might not be the manual you should consult for a UK product. ;)
  • sussamb 798 Points
    raichea said:

    Hmm... seems odd that the UK units wouldn't have tide data but it is referenced in the manual.

    Not at all odd, Garmin manuals tend to cover a series of models, and often aren't country specific. It causes confusion all the time but somewhere in the manual it will state some options may not be available, or words to that effect.
  • raichea 6 Points
    Google must have thrown that page at me because it happens to be in English... the UK version exists though:

    https://support.garmin.com/en-GB/?faq=0471LJHr9v9opscA1Cd9v9

    Point taken about different models and country specifics but the 30x is the top model of the eTrex non-touch range and I can see no reference to features missing.

    I hope Garmin will answer soon and resolve why the data isn't there. While useful, I'm not dependent on the tide info but I'd like it if it's meant to be there.
  • raichea 6 Points
    edited May 2
    Well, I finally got through to support and got some answers (of a sort). It seems tide data is not included with the 30x (at least with v3.0 of the firmware - so, if you have it on earlier versions and need it, you may not want to update to 3.0).

    No-one I spoke to at Garmin was able to give a definitive answer although they were all very helpful. To get to the above understanding, I was eventually put through to a rep on the Garmin marine team who eventually grabbed a 30x (also at v3.0) himself and tried to get the tide data, getting the same response as I did.

    Also note that, if tide data is important to you, you're out of luck on the land-based handhelds. The marine rep told me that Bluecharts are now at version G3, which are not compatible with these devices - they need G2 and these are no longer offered by Garmin. He also said that the G2 Bluecharts may be available online but if you buy them as a download beware that they aren't locked to another device.

    Fortunately, I don't actually need tide data - it would just have been useful on some occasions. I hope this information may be of use to someone else.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Thanks for the update :)
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    edited May 2
    Thanks for keeping us updated- maybe this will help someone else.

    FWIW, if the old firmware had tide data, you can revert to it. Old versions are archived on this site (which is well-known, but NOT an official Garmin site)

    http://www.gawisp.com/perry/etrex/eTrex_10_20_30/

    Note that these are actually the installers for the firmware and not the firmware itself. To revert, you will need to change the filename to GUPDATE.GCD and copy it to your GPS. I have gotten confused by all the different "flavors" of Garmin devices, which require that file to be copied to different locations. But I *think* the GUPDATE.GCD file needs to be in the \Garmin directory on the GPS. Maybe @sussamb can confirm this?

    When you restart your GPS, it *should* ask if you really want to install firmware that is older than your current version. If you agree, it will then go through the installation process. This may take a little while, so be sure you have good batteries in the device, since a premature shutdown could be disastrous.

    Also be sure that you have good backups of all your user data (maps, waypoints, tracks, etc) just in case. It's good practice to just copy the entire contents of internal memory to a folder on your computer periodically. I would also remove the SD card before doing a firmware update/downgrade. If there's already a GUPDATE.GCD file on the GPS, then that is the installer for your current firmware. You might want to save that for future use, if needed (although you could download it again from the link I posted).
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Yes, for the handhelds it needs to be in the Garmin folder.
  • raichea 6 Points
    I may try going back to an earlier version at some point to test this out, so thanks - that looks like a useful resource. Also for the other hints and tips.
  • raichea 6 Points
    Actuallly, there's a lot of stuff on that site.... is it documented anywhere. I had a quick dig around in the various directories, but a pointer would be useful rather than having to search.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    No, not documented ... just follow the various links/folder structure.
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    That site has been around for a long time, and we should all be happy it exists, since Garmin obviously has no interest in archiving their old software. While not obvious from the link I posted, it is actually part of http://gpsinformation.net - one of the oldest GPS resources on the internet.

    It's really intended to be entered from this gateway: http://gpsinformation.net/allory/garfeat3.htm

    As long as we're talking about useful sites, have a look at JaVaWa's free software. Every Garmin owner should have a copy of his GMTK and JDM programs. Lots of other good stuff there too.

    http://www.javawa.nl/gmtk_en.html
    http://www.javawa.nl/jdm_en.html

    Unfortunately, the author suffered a stroke a few years ago and although he recovered, at that time he said wan't going to be able to continue with his programming. Haven't seen any updates recently, I hope he is doing better.
  • raichea 6 Points
    Thanks for all that additional info. The last handheld I had was a Magellan Meridian Gold... a long time ago! I remember gpsinformation. net from back then.
  • Boyd 1980 Points
    Haha - a Meridian Gold was my first handheld GPS - about 20 years ago IIRC. Sold it to a friend and she continued using it until just a few years ago. That was actually a very nice device in its day. Back then, Magellan and Garmin were really on equal footing. But Magellan lost the way in the years that followed, and got a really bad reputation over their tech support.

    It's a shame, because Garmin is really the only game in town now, and I wish there was a viable competitor to make them try a little harder.
  • raichea 6 Points
    My Gold is in a storage box somewhere. Still worked the last time I tried it but I guess the recent date rollover may have defeated it.
  • raichea 6 Points
    There's a nice surprise. That little discussion persuaded me to dig out my old Magellan Meridian Gold unit. It took a while to find the satellites but once it had, the date was correctly displayed as 5 May 2019. It's running v5.40 of the firmware, dated Oct 14, 2004.

    I don't think I'll be using it instead of the eTrex 30x though.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I was in a store that had a eTrex 20x in stock. I took a look at it and it has tide data. I think this must ba a matter of which market it's for with tide data in the US but not the UK.
  • raichea 6 Points
    Hmm.. interesting!
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