Garmin 800 file transfer tips…

A while ago I posted a Beginners Guide to Routing on the Garmin 705 which was to help people create a bike ride in a site like Bikeroutetoaster or gpsies and then transfer that to their Garmin.  I also posted some first thoughts on the Garmin 800 in this post, and also some more on files in this post.  This following post is a little bit more information on some of the file structures and also the different process to transfer files on the 800 to the 705.

Mapping Sites

Ade's Road cycling Blog


Ade's Road Cycling Blog


I’m not going to go into detail about transferring a ride from one of the mapping sites, as that is covered in my beginners guide post mentioned above.  The sites I use have the option of transferring the gpx file directly to the device, if you have the Garmin Communicator plugin installed.  However, from time to time you may wish to use the alternate method to save files to your computer and then transfer them manually to the Garmin.  The two screenshots above show how you do this in bikeroutetoaster and gpsies – by selecting the file option.  This will save a gpx file, always called course.gpx regardless of the name you give it, to your downloads folder.  If you are doing more than one, remember to rename the file to something else.

Garmin File Structures

The following screenshots are taken from a Mac, but the structure will be the same on a PC but the windows will look different.  Here’s the root directory

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


An interesting difference to the 705 is the documents directory which if you open it will contain a file called START_HERE.html.  If you double-click it you will see the following screen open in your browser

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


This screen gives you access to the user manuals that are stored on the device itself.  If you click either of the links it will download the manual to your computer or open the pdf file.  A useful feature that means you always know where the manuals are if you ever want to refer back to them.

Back up at root level if you open the Garmin folder you will see the following

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


On the 705 you would copy your downloaded gpx file into the courses folder.  However there are no gpx files in the courses folder on the 800 – they use a new file format called .fit files

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


On the 800 do not copy your gpx file into this folder because it will not appear when you turn your 800 on.

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


On the 800 you copy your gpx file to the Newfiles folder.  The next time you turn on your 800 it will automatically convert the file into the .fit format and move it into the Courses folder.

Additional Features

If you go back up to the Garmin folder you will see a file called startup.txt.  You can edit this file if you want to display any text when you switch on the 800

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


You can see a number of lines in the file.  The important ones are the display line and the message line.  In the example to the left I have set display = 3s which means my message will, surprise surprise, be displayed for 3 seconds.  My message is Garmin 800 – Ade Hughes, North Cheshire Clarion, but you can put whatever you want in this sentence.

A second interesting feature is one I mentioned in my previous post about the 800.

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


In the Garmin folder is a sub-folder called Backgrounds.  There is an option to set a background picture (wallpaper) on the device in MENU->Spanner->System->Display->Background, and the device has a number of pre-populated images in there.  These are 160×240 pixel jpg’s and you can make your own.  Here’s one I created from a photo of myself.  You simply save the jpg into the folder and then select it through the device as mentioned above.

Ade's Road Cycling Blog


One final thing.  If you look at the side of the box the 800 came in you will see a screenshot that shows a 3D map much like those you get on your car satnav.  If you are wondering how to get your map looking like that then MENU->Spanner->System->Map->Orientation and select Automotive.  You should get 3D map view with that.  If not then in the same option menu set the Automatic Zoom to OFF.

Hope that all helps…

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