Automatically Updating your Geocaching GPS

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Geocaching, Tutorials
Tags: , , ,

I got a ton of good feedback from a couple of tutorials I wrote so I thought I would continue the streak and show everyone how to automate the updating of your GPS with Pocket Queries.

There are two files you will need, both of which are in the GPX.zip file.

The first is a windows batch file that I wrote that calls the second file called pqdl.exe

I did NOT write the pqdl.exe file, but am merely enclosing it in this zip file as a courtesy. To learn more about pqdl, go to Leo’s Geocaching Site.

Basically all I am documenting is the script I wrote to make downloading pocket queries idiot-roof using Leo’s awesome technology.

Ok lets get started!

First, download the prepared GPX.zip and extract its contents to a folder, anywhere.

Your directory should now have two files as shown below:

1

The functionality of this script is way over-engineered but made to be simple.

BASIC Configuration

  1. Connect your GPS and make note of what drive letter it occupies. On my computer its drive letter F. Depending on what you have plugged in, your hard drive configuration, cd roms etc, this drive letter may change frequently
    3
  2. Open up your GPS and drill down to the directory where your GPX files are located on a typical Garmin Oregon GPS, this default directory is F:\Garmin\GPX
    4
    As you can see on my GPS, I already have gpx files loaded.

    MAKE NOTE of this directory, you can click on the URL bar (highlighted text in blue) and copy this directory, you will need it.

  3. Now go to any text editor and open the getgpx.bat file. It will look something like this6
  4. On line 8, it reads set gpsdir=\Garmin\GPX
    You want to change the \Garmin\GPX to be the same as what you have (blue highlighted text) in step two, MINUS the drive letter and colon. So if the highlighted text in step 2 reads Q:\Magellan\Caches you would change \Garmin\GPX to read \Magellan\Caches (don’t forget the leading \)

  5. Everything else should be in cruise control, but one other option is automatic login. If you leave it the way it is now, you will have to enter credentials each time. If you want it automated, change defaultusername (on line 14) to your geocaching.com username and defaultpassword (on line 20) to your geocaching.com password

Downloading Pocket Queries

Lets download pocket queries… If you don’t know how to do that, you can follow my pocket query tutorial, its not that hard but does have a few steps.

  1. Again, if you haven’t done so already, plug in your GPS, and make note of the drive letter it mounts to, as you did previously in step 1 of configuration.
  2. Double click on the getgpx.bat file
    If you entered your username and password from step 5 above, ignore these following steps and go straight to step 6.
  3. The first thing you will be asked for is your drive letter enter ONLY the single letter that is the drive letter. For my system it was F2
  4. Next is your geocaching.com username (this will be skipped if you configured for auto login)r3
  5. Followed by your geocaching.com password:r5
  6. Once you are done, just sit back. You’ll see a bunch of stuff on the screen, maybe even some error messages but don’t worry, its working.r7
  7. When its done, you will see that the GPX files have been downloaded, and now reside in the same directory you installed the script and pqdl.exe. You can leave them there or delete them.9
  8. Additionally, if you did everything right, your GPS should now have the new files as they script has copied them over.
    10
  9. Pretty much you are done. One thing you might want to do, since some GPS’s have limits to how many caches they can hold at a time (mine is 10,000), delete the .gpx files that you won’t need for your journey. It will make the gps run slightly faster and allow all the caches that are required for your jaunt without ignoring others because too many are loaded.

I hope this is helpful, let me know if i messed something up.

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