Below is a collection of frequently asked questions to help you take advantage of the wide range of features available in TrackRanger. If you have a question please check to see if its answered below before you request further support.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What exactly is TrackRanger?
TrackRanger is an easy-to-use software program that instantly converts a PC and GPS into a powerful map-based navigation system. TrackRanger does this by ‘integrating’ your GPS and Maps together, and displays your exact position on the computer screen while you travel.
What do I need to run TrackRanger?
There are three items required.
- A GPS (almost any GPS will work, including our own TrackRanger GPS)
- Maps to suit your travel requirements (NatMap 250K is the best starting point – all of Australia is included)
- The TrackRanger program to integrate the GPS and the Maps into a comprehensive and easy-to-use navigation system.
What else can TrackRanger do?
TrackRanger has heaps of features. These include:
- Live navigation (see exactly where you are all of the time)
- Trip Planning
- Measuring distances
- Receiving ETA’s and distances to travel as you drive
- Recording your journey
- Receiving visual and audible alerts when approaching locations, turnoffs, destinations etc
- Adding waypoints (locations) to maps.
- Adding photos to maps
- Printing maps with all of your travel details
- Printing travel plans and distances.
What comes with the TrackRanger navigation system?
Your TrackRanger purchase includes the following:
- The TrackRanger navigation program.
- Sample Maps
- Sample GPS data allowing you to ‘learn’ the functions before you travel.
- Comprehensive integrated Help, available for each function.
- A comprehensive manual and Acrobat reader software to view it.
- A Video describing many of the TrackRanger features and functions
- A Wizard program to automatically copy the NatMap maps to your computer (if required)
- Sample waypoint files for trip-planning and alert functions
- Sample photos for adding to waypoints
How can I learn to use TrackRanger before I actually travel?
Pressing the Escape key (or Shift-Escape) allows TrackRanger to receive GPS information from disk, rather than from a GPS. The TrackRanger kit includes sample GPS data on disk, which works with the TrackRanger sample maps, allowing you to learn all of the features without the need to drive. Easy step-by-step instructions in the TrackRanger printed quick-start guide work hand in hand with the sample maps and sample GPS data.
Can I copy the NatMap maps to my hard drive?
Yes. Use the Wizard (Utility to Install NatMaps to HDD), available from the Start > Programs > TrackRanger.
Make sure you install the NatMaps first, by inserting the CD/DVD. We recommend you use the “Typical” install option.
See page 10 of the printed Quick-Start guide that comes with TrackRanger for the easy to follow step-by-step procedure.
What other maps are available for TrackRanger?
Maps already on CD / DVD that are available for TrackRanger include:
- UBD Street Directory maps(Major Capital centres)
- UBD Regional Cities and Towns (630+ Australian towns)
- Natmap Digital Maps (Survey mapping of all of Australia)
- Wombat State Forest (Vic)
- Otways Ranges (Vic)
- Simpson Desert
- Adventurer Victorian High Country
- Australia’s Outback tracks (all of inland desert regions of Australia)
TrackRanger has lots of features. What’s the easiest way to use it without a steep learning curve?
Simply connect your GPS, and press hot-keys “AP” to turn on Autopilot. TrackRanger will now automatically load and display the NatMap maps, and continue to navigate unassisted anywhere you travel. That’s all there is to it!
I'm using the TrackRanger GPS. How do I set up TrackRanger to Link to this unit?
Follow the step-by-step instructions that come with the TrackRanger GPS. Basically, what is required is these steps:
- Use Control Panel > Computer Management > Device Manager > Ports to identify the COM Port number of the GPS
- Go to the Satellite screen (hot-key ‘S’) > GPS Comms tab page, and set the GPS COM Port to match step 1, and press the Save button.
What steps do I need to take to put TrackRanger on Autopilot?
Simply press ‘L’ to Link to the GPS, and then press the hot-keys ‘AP’ to turn on Autopilot.
Alternatively, select “Automatically load and zoom mosaic map” from the “File” drop-down menu.
I know TrackRanger comes with a comprehensive 200+ page manual. How do I view this manual?
The TrackRanger Manual is available from the desktop when TrackRanger is installed. It is also available from the Windows > Start > All programs > TrackRanger menu. A copy of the manual (12Mb) may be downloaded from here
What Help is available with TrackRanger?
TrackRanger comes with a comprehensive integrated Help system. Help is available for all functions by pressing the Help button directly on the individual screens within TrackRanger.
Help is also available from the Help drop-down menu on the main TrackRanger screen.
What is meant by the terms: User-mode and Preview-mode?
When all normal navigation is taking place, TrackRanger automatically switches to user-mode. However, for trip planning, you may revert to preview-mode, to allow you to manually zoom, pan etc to find locations on the map. When you have the map set to your desired display, press the red-tick visible at the top of the screen to revert to user mode.
Note that when navigating with Autopilot, TrackRanger will automatically manage User and Preview modes for you.
How can I instantly add a WayPoint while I am travelling?
Pressing the ‘=’ (equals) key on the keyboard instantly adds a Waypoint at your current location.
You can easily edit the waypoint name etc later from the waypoints management page.
How do I show Waypoint names on the map?
As long as Waypoints are currently being displayed (hot-key W), press the space bar on the keyboard to toggle Waypoint names on and off.
How do I attach a photograph to a waypoint?
Download the photos from your digital cameras to your laptop.
Simply right-click on the WayPoint, and press “Attach Image”. Use the Explorer tool to navigate to and select the photo, and press Close.
How do I show the photo on the map?
Simply move the mouse over any WayPoint or Marker position with an associated image and press the left mouse button. The image will be displayed. Clicking on additional markers will cause their associated images to be shown. Clicking on the same marker again will hide the image display.
How do I know if a Waypoint has a photo attached?
The Waypoint name (space-bar) will have the letter (P) appended to the Waypoint name.
How do I quickly see my nearest waypoint location, final trip destination, ETA’s and important Distances information etc?
The easiest way to do this is to simply press the Backspace key on the keyboard. A screen of speed, location, destination, ETA’s and distances is instantly displayed in large easy-to-read letters.
How do I measure a distance?
There are several ways to measure a distance.
- Right-click on the map at a start point, and select Set Distance Origin. As you move the mouse, the straight-line distance is shown at the mouse cursor.
- Hold the shift-key down, and while pressing the left-mouse-button, follow the contour of a road. The contour and straight-line distances are shown when the mouse button is released.
- Press ‘R’ to display a ruler overlay on the map. This is useful for measuring grid-distances etc.
How do I measure approximate area?
Hold the Shift-Key down and mark out a perimeter using the right-mouse button. Release the shift key, and the approximate area within the perimeter is displayed.
How do I record my journey while I drive, and view it again later?
Use the TrackTrace function to do this.
- Press the T key to start TrackTrace. Watch as TrackRanger records the journey on the map as you travel.
- Experiment with TrackTrace colours, TrackTrace resolution etc from the Utilities menu.
- After a TrackTrace has been automatically recorded, press the P key to select and load in a TrackTrace file and Plot this directly to the map surface (these options are also all available from the Utilities menu)
I want to do more than just record a TrackTrace. What other features are available?
TrackRanger allows you to even record the actual data being received from the GPS directly to your hard disk drive, and ‘replay’ this at a later time (but in ‘fast motion’), just as though you were driving the trip all over again. Just press Control-R, name the required output file, and the GPS information data is recorded to your hard-drive while you travel. Your trip can then be “replayed” at any time later with the Shift-Escape key combination.
How do I plan a trip and then use that plan while I travel?
- Load a map for the region you want to travel in.
- Mark out the route by creating waypoints at locations along the way using the mouse
- Press hot-key D to show the Distances to Waypoints page (hot-key D)
- If necessary, drag the waypoints up or down in the list to sort them into the required travel sequence order
- Place a tick next to each waypoint that you want to be part of your trip plan.
- Place a tick in the “Show waypoint links on map” checkbox, and the trip plan is marked out for you.
How do I show the compass on the screen?
Press the hot-key ‘C’, or select “GPS Compass” from the “View” drop-down menu.
How do I see my current GPS position as coordinates.
Press the hot-key ‘G’ or select “GPS Coordinates” from the “View” drop-down menu. The GPS position, as well as the mouse cursor position is shown on the map.
How do I show the Waypoints Management page?
Press the hot-key ‘W’ or select “Waypoints/Routes management” from the “View” drop-down menu.
I know I can add Waypoints by clicking on the map, but I have some location positions I read from a book. How can I enter and show these on a map in TrackRanger?
Press the “Add Waypoints” button on the waypoints management page. Type in the waypoint location and press the “Add Entry” button. Your waypoint is instantly visible on the map.
How many WayPoints can I show on the map at any one time.
To comply with most GPS standards, TrackRanger supports 500 waypoints to be loaded at any given time. However, you can have as many waypoint sets as you like stored on the disk, and load any one of these at the press of a button.
My Hot-keys are not working. What should I do?
Hot-key functions generally only work when the map is in user-mode (red-tick not visible).
If the map is in Preview mode, press the red-tick to revert to user mode, and the hot-keys should function.
I have my own scanned maps. Can I use these with TrackRanger?
TrackRanger allows you to easily calibrate your own maps for instant use with TrackRanger. Image formats include JPG, BMP, PNG, and ECW etc.
Simply enter two coordinate point sets (e.g. a grid-line intersection) taken from the map source into TrackRanger, and TrackRanger instantly converts the image into a geo-referenced map.
I have created my own maps, how do I get TrackRanger to know what areas they cover so that they can be automatically located?
Select the “Update Database for All Recommended Maps” from the “Utilities” drop-down menu.
TrackRanger will search through all maps in the Maps subfolder, and store their locations in a database for automatic location and display when you are navigating.
How do I install the TrackRanger GPS drivers?
This step is only required if you purchased the TrackRanger GPS unit.
These drivers install automatically. Follow the instructions here
I’m not receiving any data from my GPS, what could be wrong?
TrackRanger will not be able to receive data unless the NMEA interface is selected on your GPS unit. Most GPS units (e.g. Magellan, Garmin), require that the NMEA data output be turned on.
On your GPS, (SETUP | INTERFACE menu) select NMEA (highest revision available). The baud rate should be 4800 for NMEA data.
Full instructions are shown on page 21 of the printed quick-start guide.
Note: the TrackRanger GPS comes with NMEA output already turned on.
How many satellites can TrackRanger receive at once?
TrackRanger can receive positioning information from up to 12 satellites simultaneously. As there are only ever a maximum of 12 satellites in any hemisphere at any one time, TrackRanger always receives the maximum amount possible!
I’m not sure if my GPS reception is adequate. How do I find out if the satellite signals are OK?
Press hot-key ‘S’ to launch the Satellite page. The position of all of the satellites is displayed on a ‘radar’ screen. The individual Signal Strength of each satellite is also displayed.
Is there any diagnostic I can use to see if I am receiving GPS data correctly?
The GPS Coordinates page (hot-key G) has several features to see the status of the GPS data.
- A ‘light’ in the top right-hand corner flashes as GPS data is being received.
- When the GPS has a position fix, a message will indicate that GPS data is Valid
- Clicking on the window of GPS message status will show the actual GPS data being received.
My GPS is connected and working properly, but I cannot get a position fix. What could be wrong?
GPS units usually require a clear view of the sky. Most units will not work indoors. Try shifting the position of the GPS receiver so that it can “see” the sky.