UPDATE: The Geomate Jr has been bought by Brand44 and you can use the update website again.
A few months ago I purchased a Geomate Jr GPS receiver for my son. It’s a great simple to use unit designed for kids. The interface is simple, but that was to ensure it was cheap and easy to use. At first I thought it was too simple, too cute. But having now used one, I’m impressed.
Unfortunately, Geomate Jr owners found out today that the company that now owns it (Airity) will no longer sell or support the unit. This is a BIG problem, as owners rely on the www.mygeomate.com website to download geocache list updates into their receiver. Without it, the list will become out of date quickly – archived geocache will still appear in the receiver and new ones (since 31 December 2011) can’t be added.
Understandably, many owners (particular recent owners) are … peeved. Fortunately, there is a way to update the unit, albeit with a few hurdles.
Firstly you need to download the update utility Geomategui (this is a link to an exe file) that has been provided by the team from Geomate Jr. This will only work on a Windows PC, so Mac users will need to find a friend who has one.
Second, you need to create a pocket query at Groundspeak’s geocaching.com, which requires a premium membership.
Note: Pocket queries from our geocaching listing websites such as Geocaching Australia and Opencaching.eu are free, but I have not tried it yet with this unit. It may also be to export a GPX file from GSAK – will test this out soon too.
I named the pocket query Geomate Jr geocaches and made the following selections:
- Show me: 1000 caches
- Selected types: Traditional
- That: I haven’t found, I don’t own, Is enabled
- Difficulty: less than or equal to 3
- Terrain: less than or equal to 3
- From origin: Home location
Once the pocket query had been created, I downloaded it and saved it to my computer and unzip the file.
I then opened the utility (Geomategui) and connected the Geomate Jr to the computer. Press on Select File and navigate to the pocket query (gpx file), making sure you don’t select the file XXXXX-wpts.gpx and then press download. A few second later, the file will upload to your unit.
It’s worth remembering that each time you do this, it overwrites the data previously stored in the unit.
As mentioned above, I will try this with other gpx files and GSAK, which should provide more geocaches than the 1000 limit Groundspeak enforces on each gpx file. Hopefully a macro will be developed for GSAK (or better still it will be incorporated into GSAK) to allow uploading from the program straight into the unit. I hope a Macintosh version also appears soon.
UPDATE: I used GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) to export a gpx file, making sure I didn’t include logs, child waypoints or other data I know the Geomate Jr wouldn’t use. After a bit of experimenting I found that it will load up to 5000 geocaches and display them all, whether they are from geocaching.com, Geocaching Australia or Opencaching. The other ‘down’ side is that non GC geocaches aren’t displayed ‘properly’. For example, GC1A2B3 is displayed as 1A2B3 (as expected), however GA1234 is displayed as GA123. I don’t see this as a big problem.