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Troubles with BaseCamp - How About You?


Michael B

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I think BaseCamp (BC) has the potential to be a great motorcycle routing program, once properly learned, but I have discovered it has significant problems. I lead 6-8 bikes several times a year on week long trips, inputting daily BC routes from my computer into my Garmin 350LM GPS. I am extremely careful to craft "clean" daily routes by (1) assuring identical latest update maps on both computer and GPS, (2) assuring all options are the same on both computer and GPS, (3) carefully place all Waypoints so as not to cause problems (learned from comprehensive BC tutorials), and (4) fully review all daily routes for errors, especially circle-turns, and clean all mistakes before downloading to the GPS.

 

Invariably, my trusty 350LM has almost daily brain cramps: It wants me to unexpectedly turn around, go back, and then turn back onto the original route, i.e. circle-turns. It also wants me to turn opposite of the direction I know to be correct, i.e. turn left when I know I need to turn right. It has even missed entrances into destination points. When you depend on your GPS and have 6-8 bikes behind you expecting to be lead correctly, it can be...shall we say, annoying?!!

 

For the last couple of years, I just chalked it up to "technical errors." However just recently I happened to have a long conversation with two other leaders who have had the exact same thing happen to them on multiple occasions. Aha...Houston, we have a problem! One guy called Garmin and talked to one of their BC "experts" who admitted that Garmin knows about the problem, that it is with BC and not the GPS, and they are working to fix it. Apparently not so far.

 

All of this being said, has anyone else experienced the same concerns with BaseCamp? I have looked around for other alternative routing programs, Furkot and GoogleMaps being two, but both are less flexible and comprehensive than BC. So what do you all think? Anyone out there with abundant influence with Garmin that can cause this problem to disappear? Would love to hear a "yes." Cheers!

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Afternoon Michael B

 

What iteration of BaseCamp are you using?

 

Older versions of BaseCamp did have some routing issues but the latest few versions have been trouble free for me.

 

What do your routes run like when you pre-run them in BaseCamp PlayBack? Do they run (EXACTLY) as intended? (not just close but EXACTLY)

 

If you can post BOTH the original route & traveled tracks here we can probably figure out what went wrong with the route.

 

One thing that I have been doing for quite a while now is: uploading the route to my GPS, allowing it to calculate into the GPS-- then-- using the "receive from device" in BaseCamp bring the route FROM the GPS back into BaseCamp & matching it up to the original route, or better yet, matching it to the original tracks. It BETTER come back exactly like the original or it will give you fits when riding it.

 

As a rule, IF the route has errors that will show up when the route is brought back into BaseCamp from the GPS.

 

I have had a few very complex routes (many routing crossovers & backtracks on route) not want to come back from the GPS & superimpose back over the original tracks correctly. On those I simply re-do the route by breaking it into 2 or 3 separate routes with the break points falling on rest stops, lunch break, etc.

 

You also need to keep track of missed points on the route that were your fault (like missed turns or unintentional back tracks) some GPS units will do a hidden re-calculate upon riding the route backwards even for a few hundred feet (even if recalculate is turned off).

 

If I miss a turn & have to backtrack for any reason I usually stop the route on the GPS then re-initialize it. That removes any hidden re-calculation problems.

 

Your routing issues are not unique if you make enough complicated routes but your issues are avoidable with enough forethought & pre-ride routing verification.

 

Like about everybody else I have gone through routing miscues like you are now seeing but with good route planning & pre-run verification I have had 0 problems in the last couple of years with using BaseCamp.

 

Another thing to look for is to ZOOM way in (WAY WAY IN) on your finished route then inspect it VERY CAREFULLY to make sure that your via points & way points are POSITIVLY on the correct side of any divided hiways or divided roads. The easiest way to get a corrupt route is to place a via point on the wrong side of the road on a divided hiway.

 

Also turn off ALL avoidances on your GPS as a GPS can see some bridges as toll roads or some sections of hiway as non paved, etc. If you have an avoidance set to avoid a certain thing & the GPS sees what it thinks is that thing (whether it's real or not) it will try it's dandiest to avoid that portion of the route.

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I have been on rides with Michael and have experienced the exact same thing. And it's goofy stuff like the GPS telling me to "continue north on US 23 for the next 20 miles " as I am riding south on US 23 for the next 20 miles. I thought the problem might be with my trusty Garmin 665. Then I did a 400 mile route with Streets and Trips 2013 and there was not one mistake. So, It's Basecamp. (At least the last version issued last spring)

 

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The friend I usually ride with long distance has had exactly the same problems. He owns a Zumo 660.

Things got so bad with Base Camp I ended up scanning maps, highlighting the daily route with waypoints and sending over the scans to him: takes less time and has proven far far more reliable than BC.

 

I've tried BC to get to some places for work, back when I still had my Garmin phone. To say it seems designed to make you waste as much time as possible would be a mild understatement.

Ever since I've switched to Apple I use a map or atlas to get me to the city limits, stop at first parking lot, insert the address in my iPhone and let it take me to the destination. So far it has worked like a charm.

 

 

 

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Are we talking about the PC version of Basecamp, or the Mac version? I use the Mac version and I've never had any problems like the ones outlined in this thread.

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Tell you what... I think Basecamp is... a problem. Period.

 

Having said that... trying to build and then use a complex and or long trip/route is fraught with peril. Finding a way to make a route and then getting it into the GPS using the other alternatives is probably worse.

 

I agree with Dirtrider (what else is new?)... for me/us the trick is to zoom WAY IN... so far in you can tell which side of the road the waypoint is supposed to be on. When the route wants to take me on a circle-route... i.e. U-Turn and I know it is goofy- I just try to ignore it.

 

I do notice that if you can lay out a trial route letting Basecamp build the path from point A to B they usually get it pretty close to right., and its a big butt... you have to invest a lot of time checking the details...

 

This means that when I plan a trip that is long... I also figure out in advance of departure where I am going and what turns exist. I make a summary paper giving me the list of highways and intersections and keep it handy.

 

If Google was willing to let their Google Maps transfer to a format that could play into Garmin devices... and make it easy to do... we could leave Basecamp to the hikers and dilettantes. It is almost too prone to problems to use.

 

 

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I had issues like that when I first used BC, but I found what the problem was! This may be true in your case.

 

I usually start creating my route by defining the start and end point, and allowing BC to create the route based on my preference setting. 99% of the time, I really don't want to ride the route that BC had created, and so I would make editions by dragging a point on the route to a new location, and forcing BC to recalculate until I have the exact route that I want. The issue that I had found was that, in doing this drag/drop editing, I needed to zoom out to get the full picture, and so sometimes when I do the drop (usually at an intersection), the drop location might be slightly off from where I intended but wasn't visible because of the zoom factor. So, I would end up with unplanned short-length turns, etc. The errors are quite apparent when I zoom in on the problematic locations!

 

So, to make sure that the route that you have created with BC is free from these errors, DO run the ride simulation in BC (speed it up to some high time factor) and you will see exactly what your GPS is going to tell you to do! You will see all of those unintended circular turns, and that little side turns into (and out of) the parking lot that you hadn't realized was where you dropped a point!

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Tell you what... I think Basecamp is... a problem. Period.

 

Having said that... trying to build and then use a complex and or long trip/route is fraught with peril. Finding a way to make a route and then getting it into the GPS using the other alternatives is probably worse.

 

I agree with Dirtrider (what else is new?)... for me/us the trick is to zoom WAY IN... so far in you can tell which side of the road the waypoint is supposed to be on. When the route wants to take me on a circle-route... i.e. U-Turn and I know it is goofy- I just try to ignore it.

 

I do notice that if you can lay out a trial route letting Basecamp build the path from point A to B they usually get it pretty close to right., and its a big butt... you have to invest a lot of time checking the details...

 

This means that when I plan a trip that is long... I also figure out in advance of departure where I am going and what turns exist. I make a summary paper giving me the list of highways and intersections and keep it handy.

 

 

 

 

I have the same problem (using basecamp for Mac and a 660) and use the same solution - but it sure takes a lot of time, and doesn't completely solve the problem.

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Hey guys, thanks for all of your good responses, especially DR, and I'm not surprised that most of you have had the same problems with BC that I do.

 

As clarification, I have used both the Apple and PC versions of BC, keep them updated but still have problems with both. I do find the PC version more flexible in its functions and have come to prefer it. As for creating a route, I learned very early on to zoom in to place waypoints on the correct side of each road, to place a waypoint just after a turn, and be especially careful in more urban areas so as not to be sent off route. And something Garmin told me, BC routes on the computer are mere "suggestions" to the GPS device because of the two, the GPS rules!

 

Again, I think the problem is in BC itself because if I simply put in a destination or address using only my GPS, it works flawlessly.

 

Specifically to DR: I will try Playback again...maybe there is more merit there than I found. I never tried importing a route from my GPS back into BC for comparison purposes, but will. As for complex routes, I found daily routes vs. a single entire week route worked much better. And finally and most importantly, please expand on your suggestion to turn off all avoidances: both GPS and BC? Fastest vs Shortest route? Just how do you arrange all settings? That would be most helpful!!

 

Thanks again guys...just keep it up so we can finally figure out how to make BC actually reliable!!

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I have the original MapSource and Base Camp......I know BC is the new and improved, but after using it for a couple of years now.....it is still a pain in my final drive. I much prefer MapSource for ease of use, but alas it doesn't work on my Nav V. I use MapSource on my Zumo 550.

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I have the original MapSource and Base Camp......I know BC is the new and improved, but after using it for a couple of years now.....it is still a pain in my final drive. I much prefer MapSource for ease of use, but alas it doesn't work on my Nav V. I use MapSource on my Zumo 550.

 

Morning David

 

MapSource has many issues with the newer Garmin Map Sets. It still works OK for a basic main road (just get me there) route but on anything complex (especially backtracks, crossovers, & smaller back roads) it chokes & pukes & could send you down a path you didn't intend. Or even worse try to send you 4 different ways at the same time.

 

The big difference is BaseCamp has a good handle on routing timestamps so usually gives a stable route no matter what (assuming the route was properly made). MapSource is just plain awful if the time stamps don't fall in line so using parts of old routes, or adding in other's routes, can allow MapSource to give you a route that even an advanced Boy Scout couldn't follow.

 

MapSource hasn't been supported by Garmin in years now so the newer map sets are not properly supported or even validated to work with.

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Specifically to DR: I will try Playback again...maybe there is more merit there than I found. I never tried importing a route from my GPS back into BC for comparison purposes, but will. As for complex routes, I found daily routes vs. a single entire week route worked much better. And finally and most importantly, please expand on your suggestion to turn off all avoidances: both GPS and BC? Fastest vs Shortest route? Just how do you arrange all settings? That would be most helpful!!

 

Thanks again guys...just keep it up so we can finally figure out how to make BC actually reliable!!

 

Afternoon Michael B

 

I turn off ALL avoidances on my GPS-- I don't need to have it avoid something as I will manually avoid things when I get to them if needed.

 

Case in point-- the road between my home & town is paved with a fine asphalt surface, been paved since about 1965. (I live somewhat out in the country). If I have (avoid unpaved roads) turned on then my GPS will try to route me about 12 miles out of my way (actually sends me in the opposite direction) as there is a 1/2 mile section of road that the GPS sees as unpaved (it is paved & has been since the road was paved).

 

My route to town works fine if I am using Open Streets mapping as I have updated the Open Streets map in that area.

 

I usually keep my GPS set on shortest distance as a quality made Base Camp route will override that & follow my intended path.

 

On Base Camp under Edit/Options/Activity Profile -- I click the Add-Activity-Profile & make a custom (personal) activity for each of my motorcycling activities like one for normal off-road, one for advanced 2 track off-road, one for fast single track, etc.

 

I also make custom profiles for on-road group riding, on-road performance riding , etc. That way I can control the display features & routing preferences that the route will show & follow.

 

The main thing to understand is how to FORCE a route to stay on track no matter what the avoidances set, or routing preferences set, that the route was built with (that way it should be a stable & trouble free route on anybody's GPS that it's installed on in your riding group.

 

By far the best way to do a group ride is JUST send the tracks (tracks NEVER lie or change due to avoidances or different version map sets).

 

Then have each individual rider make a route from the furnished tracks that EXACTLY match the furnished tracks (& stay exactly matched after a re-calculate on Base Camp & a re-calculate in the riders GPS unit (verified by bringing the route back into Base Camp from the GPS & verifying that it EXACTLY matches the sent tracks).

 

I used to have a lot of problems with COMPLEX group rides when using the old MapSource as the last couple of versions of Map Source & the newest Garmin mapping were like oil & water mixing.

 

Since Base Camp arrived & after a teething (pay my dues) type of getting acquainted with Base Camp's no nonsense garbage in/garbage out, if you input it wrong it ain't going to fix it for you architecture, I really like BaseCamp's ability to produce very precise & precision routes.

 

 

I also never make full week routes or even full day routes-- problem with that is: if something corrupts the route then the whole route is effected.

 

I usually break a days ride into 2 (sometimes more) individual routes. You usually stop for a break or lunch so that is a good time open route 2 or 3. I also usually name my routes 1a, 1b, 1c etc as that keeps them at the top of GPS route list (much easier to find & start while riding fast)-- then after the route is used (ridden) I go back & re-name to the route name normally used to delineate the route.

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As dirtrider pointed out, the best way to ensure that you are following the same path that you laid out on your computer is to use tracks and not just routes A track doesn't deviate from the original, but neither does it give you turn-by-turn directions. Does your GPS handle tracks? If it does, you can display both the track and route on your screen (when I do this, I usually use black as the colour of the track. It's fairly easy to see if the route is not following the track).

 

As an aside, I've seen some people suggest that they get better results using the "automobile" profile on their GPS as opposed to the "motorcycle" profile. Don't know how true that is.

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I have a Zumo 660 and have had lots of problems with BaseCamp. At one point Garmin said BaseCamp is "not compatible" with the Zumo 660/665 series. Sheesh. The biggest problem I had was the Zumo would spontaneously recalculate and say, "No roads found near destination", then stop navigating the route. I could restart the custom route (Where To, Custom Routes, pick the route, Navigate to start of route?, No) and it would pick it up just fine. It seems the core issue is that Waypoints created in BaseCamp are not well recognized by the Zumo 66X. Your problem may have a similar root cause.

 

My workaround is tedious but effective. I create a route in RideWithGPS.com, export it as a GPX file, import it in BaseCamp (which makes a Track), make sure the Garmin is connected to the computer and BaseCamp is using the map on the Garmin (even if the same map is theoretically stored on the computer). Convert the Track to a Route, then delete excess points and adjust the rest as several have mentioned before, and make sure all the points are set to Shaping Points (do not alert). Finally send the finished route to the GPS. I've never had a problem with a route when I do this.

 

There is also a lot of information to be found on ZumoForums.com.

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. . .The biggest problem I had was the Zumo would spontaneously recalculate and say, "No roads found near destination", then stop navigating the route. I could restart the custom route (Where To, Custom Routes, pick the route, Navigate to start of route?, No) and it would pick it up just fine. . . .

 

I have that exact problem with one (and only one??) of the routes I have, from my house to a place in Yosemite. And it was the very first time I used my 660 too. I thought it might be due to it thinking that my end point was on a dirt road, so I made sure I turned off that avoidance and re-set the end point to end up on the road just before my turnoff. In the meantime, using it on other routes, everything worked fine. Then I set it up to go back to my Yosemite destination and after about 20 miles, while still on a major interstate, up popped the message again, "No roads found near destination." I would restart the route and it would be fine for another 40 or so miles and then fail again. After getting back, I reset the end point again and it happened again, but only once this time and not every 30-40 miles. That was a good sign. I'll have to see what happens next time I call up the route.

 

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I have that exact problem with one (and only one??) of the routes I have, from my house to a place in Yosemite. And it was the very first time I used my 660 too. I thought it might be due to it thinking that my end point was on a dirt road, so I made sure I turned off that avoidance and re-set the end point to end up on the road just before my turnoff. In the meantime, using it on other routes, everything worked fine. Then I set it up to go back to my Yosemite destination and after about 20 miles, while still on a major interstate, up popped the message again, "No roads found near destination." I would restart the route and it would be fine for another 40 or so miles and then fail again. After getting back, I reset the end point again and it happened again, but only once this time and not every 30-40 miles. That was a good sign. I'll have to see what happens next time I call up the route.

 

 

Evening Scarecrow

 

If this keeps happening try a FRESH install of your map into your GPS. There were some instances of this happening in the early version of NT 2015.4 maps-- the early update had corrupt map sections.

 

It's possible your GPS has a corrupt map & just can't find any roads around your destination.

 

Another thing to check is both the route properties & route directions as I made a route about a year ago & somehow put a via point out in the middle of the Atlantic ocean (there was a straight line running into nowhere) & that showed no roads near destination.

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