Confused in PA

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Confused in PA

Post by leatherneckpa »

Bought My zumo XT in June of '22. So far have only used it by typing destinations on face while on bike. But now I want to use it to build a route from my PA home to Yellowstone NP for this coming June. It's going to be a 2-up ride, with my wife of 42 years on our '21 Road King.

Socrates is quoted as saying "The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing at all". Well, if that's the case then I am the wisest person on the planet.

I have both Garmin Basecamp and Express on my laptop. So I suppose the first question is, which one should I be using?

Express will not recognize my XT when I plug in the USB. It does show my XT on the home screen. But Express simply says it's "Not Connected". My XT will start as soon as I plug it in and the screen shows that it is ready to transfer files.

Basecamp will build a route for me, but I want to build my own route, avoiding interstates for the most part once I get past Columbus OH. We want to ride the country, not just endless days of super-slabs.

When I insert the micro SD from the XT into my laptop it says it's empty, but all the maps and everything show up when I'm using the XT to ride. I've really had no complaints for the simplistic way I've been using it. But it's time to step up my game.

Anybody want to recommend some good YouTube tutorials, since Garmin can't bothered to create any worthwhile content?
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Re: Confused in PA

Post by jfheath »

Hi, and welcome.

Garmin Express is used on your PC to install software and maps to your XT.

It is also used to install the same maps to your PC for Basecamp to use.

Here's the very small catch..... If you have Basecamp running, then Express will not be able to see the XT. And probably the other way round.

Stop Basecamp.

Plug in your XT, and start Express.
When it is loaded, select the gear icon and stop it from running in the background.
Wait for Express to recognise the XT.

Install any updates (not maps) for the XT. I prefer to perform updates one at a time. You may need to disconnect / reboot. Maybe more than once.

Launch Express again and install maps to your PC. Select the default location. This takes a while. Let it run. When it is finished, stop Express, and launch Basecamp. make sure that it can access the new maps.

Finally, close Basecamp, launch Express and connect your XT. Install the maps to your XT. I should have said to make sure that your XT is fully charged. This will take a long time - a couple of hours. Go away and let it complete.

I've never seen a video on how to do this, but that may be because I have never looked ! It's straight forward enough.

Resist the temptation to allow Express to do everything at once. That has never worked for me.

XT link viewtopic.php?t=1464

Basecamp link - although aimed at 590/595 users, the first couple of chapters are relevant. There are links to videos too. Download the pdf in post #1.


Today, I discovered something really important. I found another way that doesn't work.
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Re: Confused in PA

Post by Peobody »

Welcome to the forum.

As for learning to create routes in Basecamp...
Start here: Part 1 and Part 2 tutorials (.pdf documents).
Then here: viewtopic.php?t=1464

Basecamp is powerful and flexible. There are a lot of ways to create a route. We can have intense discussions about the "best" way. IMO, the "best" way is the one that works for you but figuring that out will take time. All methods have advantages and disadvantages which will be revealed as you spend time on these forums. For now, just create some simple test routes.

Yellowstone is awesome. Watch out for wildlife on the roads though. I encountered more there than I imagined possible. Don't miss the Beartooth Highway while out there.
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Re: Confused in PA

Post by lkraus »

You really do need to read @jfheath 's links, The first one for sure, and also the videos in the second link. The document for the 590/595 has a few items that don't apply to the XT, but the main principles are the same and slightly different wording might help your understanding. Building, managing, and navigating a reliable route is quite different than just plugging in a destination. If you don't know how the XT interprets a route you are sure to be frustrated.

I also prefer the back roads, and especially west of the Mississippi you'll want to get off the slab and onto the "old" highways, U.S. 12, 14, 36, 40, etc. They carry a lot less traffic, have more curves and hills, and interesting scenery. Travel time can be nearly the same, many small towns have no stop signs or lights, just slow down to 45 mph. Gas frequently, open gas stations can be a hundred miles apart. The same routes east of the Mississippi are still good choices, but the population and traffic are both denser. (More people and cars, not necessarily stupider people...) ;)
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Re: Confused in PA

Post by ZFtracker »

Welcome to the forum, Leatherneck.