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Transferring Waypoints From Any Unit To Another (Fishfinder/Handheld)

3 posts in this topic

After several years of struggling with data all over the place, and spurred by questions from friends and a few FM'ers, I decided to finally take the time to figure this out.

It's a typical problem. We've got data in one place, and we want it in another. For backup (in case of breakage), upgrades from one fishfinder to another, selling boat, data on fishfinder you'd like on your handheld for ice-fishing, etc, etc, etc.

Previously, I've dead-ended with problems relating to software compatibility (Garmin vs. Lowrance) as well as issues with unreadable/unsupported file formats.

With some searching and a little bit of reading, I found an easy to use program called gpsbabel. It's downloadable freeware, and although unsupported, offers fairly good documentation (read it all!). The basic function it executes is to convert one waypoint file format into another, that is, a format which is readable to the unit that you're transferring the data to.

Here's an example. I had some hunting information (waypoints) on a Garmin 12XL unit I had a few years ago, and saved this data on computer. Until recently, I was unable to put this data on my H2O Here were the steps I performed:

1)Transfer data to computer (with serial cable provided with unit)

2)Install GPSBABEL by unzipping it into a folder of choice

3)Doubleclick on GPSBabelGUI.exe

4)Select input format type and filename (.txt file here) and select output type and filename(Lowrance .USR filename)

5)Use default options for first run (you can do this a number of times and save to different filenames)

6)Use GPSBABEL GUI program to convert Garmin type data to Lowrance data by clicking "Let's Go"

7)Insert blank SD card into card reader (cheap at bestbuy, compusa, etc)

8)Save filename.usr you converted/created with GPSBabel to blank SD card

9)Insert SD card into back of H20

10)Turn on H2O, hit menu twice from main map screen

11)Go into System setup menu and select "Transfer my data"

12)Select "Load" and choose filename on the card

Keep in mind, this is simply an example, and can be recreated, even more easily when transferring b/w units of same manufacturer.

Say you've got points on your older Lowrance GPS/fishfinder, and you want them on your H20 handheld.

1)Insert SD card into old unit

2)Transfer my data --> save (similar to above) and specify filename on card

3)Insert card into H20

4)Transfer my data --> Load

Follow the same general path from fishfinder to fishfinder as well.

Do some digging in the documentation, and you'll see that this software program supports multiple file types, even Delorme Street Atlas, Microsoft Streets & Trips, as well as Google Earth.

With the help of this program, I'm identifying deep rocks I didn't previously know were present in some of the lakes I fish with the help of Google Earth. I save a set of placemarks, save them as .kml's, and then convert and put into my H2O. This is a pretty slick way to locate previously unknown structure, esp. with good photos on clear lakes.

Good luck!


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How do you Identify structure off Google earth?? I thought Google earth would help me,but there are no lakes, rivers or any water! I can see in except the river sand bars and Google Earth even though it updating all the time all ya Or I get is 2006 pics with reflections of clouds??? confused.gif

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Much depends on the quality, time of year, and cloud cover/haze in the scene of interest. Sometimes, you're just unlucky when it comes to the quality of the photos. Other times, you'd swear they dumped the water out of the lake and you're looking at all the sunken islands and other structure.


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