LloydBorrett

Moving Waypoints to Lowrance HDS-7

2 posts in this topic

G'day,

I'm a newbie on this forum, plus with using my Lowrance HDS-7 GPS chartplotter, so please forgive me if the solution I'm seeking is somewhere on the forum already and I just haven't found it.

I've just purchased a dive boat that came with a Lowrance HDS-7 GPS Chartplotter, an SD card loaded with my local Navionics Platinum+ XL Charts, a Navionics Multi-Card Reader, plus the NavigationPLANNER 5.03 software.

I have a number of friends with dive boats using Garmin GPS units. They load their waypoints from their GPS units, edit them, save them as GPX files, and transfer the updates back to their GPS units using EasyGPS.

So I thought I could get the GPX files from my friends, collate them together using EasyGPS, and save them to the Navionics SD card as a USR file and thus have the waypoints available on my Lowrance HDS-7. But EasyGPS won't let me specify I have a Lowrance HDS-7. And I can't work out how to save the waypoints in the USR file format using EasyGPS.

To further complicate things, NavigationPLANNER says it supports Lowrance Combined Rte/Wp files (*.usr), plus Lowrance HDS Combined Rte/Wp files (*.usr), as if it's handling two different types of USR file.

In some blogs posts it is indicated that a USR format file can be created from ExpertGPS. So I purchased ExpertGPS figuring the more comprehensive paid program would support the additional file formats I needed. But I can't work out how to save a USR file given that ExpertGPS also says it won't support a Lowrance HDS-7.

So can someone please guide me as to how I can get the waypoints in GPX files produced by ExpertGPS onto a Lowrance HDS-7 chartplotter?

Of course, then the next problem to solve would be how to get the waypoints in a USR file on the Lowrance HDS-7, back into ExpertGPS.

Best Regards, Lloyd Borrett.

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G'day,

Are there any plans for ExpertGPS to fully support the Lowrance USR4 file format used by the HDS-7?

I'd like to be able to import ALL of the information from my HDS-7 into ExpertGPS, make changes, and then save a USR4 format file that can be loaded with the HDS-7 unit. Right now too much information is lost for this to be practical.

Or is there some inport/export file conversion step that I can introduce so as to achieve this?

ExpertGPS supports USR3 files, but the problem with using USR3 is that not ALL of the information in the HDS-7 transfers back and forth.

The Lowrance HDS-7 supports the following data fields that I use (plus some others I don't use):

Long name, Short name, Group name, Latitude,Longitude, Datum, Symbol/icon, Notes, Depth, Date & Time added.

When you go to the trouble of capturing that information for each waypoint you want to keep it.

The Lowrance HDS-7 can also load and save GPX files. Unfortunately Lowrance don't write ALL of the information into the GPX files, so again information is lost when you transfer waypoints to and from the device.

It's very frustrating that Lowrance doesn't provide a device independent method for getting all of the information to and from their devices, like full support for GPX. And that Lowrance seem to keep changing their own formats (USR, USR2, USR3, USR4 and I think there's now a USR5 for the later models) without making the details of the file format available so that 3rd parties can easily support them. It's a severe limitation for owners of their devices. Even more frustrating is that while the third party software solution Lowrance recommends owners prurchase does now fully support USR4 files (it didn't when I originally purchased it 36 months ago), it doesn't fully support GPX and other formats that would enable owners to share all information with owners of other devices. I'm hoping TopoGrafix as pioneers and advocates of open solutions might enhance their product and provide a proper solution for Lowrance owners..

Best regards, Lloyd Borrett.

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