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Thread: New Garmin models - still protected against unofficial maps?

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    Default New Garmin models - still protected against unofficial maps?

    I currently run an old Nuvi 1450/1490, which has a number of maps and data sets installed, including:
    - CN Aus/NZ
    - OzTopo
    - GArmin Topo
    - My own speed camera files
    - My own waypoints/location files

    The speed camera and waypoint files I make myself and upload using POI Loader. The maps I get from various 'sources', none being Garmin themselves.

    I would like to get a newer model GPS which is faster and has a larger screen, but am wary of the issues protection and GMA measures (and possibly file system changes?) that were brought in ages back - which is why I have never upgraded.

    Are these issues still concerns for current models, or can my current cache of maps and data sets be used on newer models?



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    The newer models with encrypted firmware cannot be 'patched' and will not allow the usage of unlocked commercial maps.
    The Montana 700 series & Zumo XT, both with 5 inch screen size are two such models, not sure about any others.
    I'm guessing the 7 inch Overlander and the 5.5 inch Tread being fairly new will also have encrypted firmware.
    Purchased maps on USB can be swapped from one device to another but can't be used on 2 devices at the same time.

    They still allow custom maps as I use Shonky Maps without issues on my 700, will I did until I sent it back for repair/replacement anyway.
    Custom waypoints saved as a .gpx file work fine on a 700, not sure about custom speecam files as I don't use them.

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    Thanks. I was looking at the Overlander, it’s impressive, but at $900+ it’s pricey.

    The speed camera files I make are in a .gpi format. I’ll have a search to see if that is still usable. Although if all the later unit are encrypted there may be no point.

    Any idea what the last ‘non-encrypted’ models were? I think it was around the Nuvi 2497 and/or 2597.

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    No probs, yeah they are expensive, the Montana 700 cost me $950 + another $150 for a powered mounting cradle as it doesn't come with any mounts at all.
    I would think any custom .gpi files, similar to custom maps & waypoints etc., should work, though it'd probably pay to check with wherever you're thinking of buying one from I guess, or maybe Garmin could answer that...maybe...if they feel like it at the time.
    I see on the Johnny Appleseed website site the Overlander comes with preloaded street maps with updates & also comes with HEMA Raster 1:150k Topo maps, dunno what the Hema topo maps are like though as I've never used them.

    If you're considering using an Overlander for a lot of night time use it might pay to view it in a dark room or something beforehand, I see it's advertised with a 'white backlight', I found the 700's screen really good in daylight but terrible at night, the backlight seems too bright even at the lowest viewable level, it washes the map colours out badly and a map with a black background actually appears grey because of the backlighting, which IMO is a pretty poor effort for a device worth nearly a thousand bucks.

    I have no idea what the last non-encrypted models were, I have a GPSMAP 276CX and a Montana 610 & both of those can use my old maps ok with latest firmware.
    Maybe search around a bit, or even scrolling threads like might produce results, people asking for patches for whatever models etc..
    I didn't even know new encryption had been added to new models like the Motnana 700 series etc. until I bought one & discovered my unlocked topo & CN maps would no longer work.
    From memory I think the encryption started appearing around 2017 when they introduced map signature verification, where a device's firmware needed to be 'patched' to allow the use of unlocked commercial maps, then with the newer devices I think starting sometime in 2020 the firmware was encrypted somehow that prevents it from being patched.

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    That link is extensive - will have a good read through, but a quick glance suggests you are right about ~2020 onwards being the ‘unpatchable’ encrypted models. Looks like I may be able to get a slightly newer version, patch it, and install when I need.

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    By way of update, I got a super cheap Nuvi 2597 off eBay as a test. I upgraded it to the latest firmware, which has all the protection issues, to confirm if patching these issues is possible. Being a Nuvi all my waypoints, etc still work without issue.

    I used the firmware patch from the site recommended by Jma above, and found this successfully removed all restrictions for the maps. This should work on all Nuvi models (which go up ~2015) and on some of the later Drive models.

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    Why do people persevere with these units when an old tablet with sat can be down loaded with free maps such as Get Lost etc???
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Madness"

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    Default New Garmin models - still protected against unofficial maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by allover View Post
    Why do people persevere with these units when an old tablet with sat can be down loaded with free maps such as Get Lost etc???

    I’ve tried different things over the years, including tablets with all different OSes (Android, Windows and even iOS).

    Screen size aside, I’ve found using a dedicated unit, made specifically for viewing maps, with specific GPS functions, that is made for mounting on a dash, to be far more functional than a tablet. Each to their own though.

    I wasn’t aware of GetLost maps, and I’ll have a look through that site. Although I already have topo maps (1:25k for NSW and larger for the rest of Aus) which I’ve used with tablets in the past.

    Edit: gave GetLost maps a go this morning on a tablet with OziExplorer. Maps are good (especially as they are free) but you are limited to 1:25k - which doesn’t include many local tracks that the topo maps available on the Garmin do. Being raster maps they are not seem-less (scrolling across maps is a pain), plus there is no routing. For trip planning these maps on a tablet would be great, but for use as a ‘GPSr’ then the dedicated GPS receiver still wins hands down.
    Last edited by peteramjet; 10-05-21 at 10:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peteramjet View Post
    By way of update, I got a super cheap Nuvi 2597 off eBay as a test. I upgraded it to the latest firmware, which has all the protection issues, to confirm if patching these issues is possible. Being a Nuvi all my waypoints, etc still work without issue.

    I used the firmware patch from the site recommended by Jma above, and found this successfully removed all restrictions for the maps. This should work on all Nuvi models (which go up ~2015) and on some of the later Drive models.
    I have a Nuvi 2597LMT since 2013, no problems with unlocked maps. I never did a firmware patch, just update it every year to latest firmware & map, my old unlocked Topo maps work with no issue. I then unlock the latest map & stick it on my old 1490 for our other car.
    Like you I like the Topo maps for detail of old FWD & bush tracks.
    Cheers, Tiny
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    Random but I have a new Garmin 66SR running stock firmware and its quite happily running unlocked maps (CN EU, USA, Topos etc). Wasnt expecting that.

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    @dazey77
    Probably like the others in GPSMap66 series (66i, 66s/st) the 66sr has only 'weak' MSV (Map Signature Verification) protection. That means NT maps unlocked with gimgunlock v0.04 will be usable but not any NTU (unicode) maps. EU for example is made by Garmin in both NT and NTU versions. To use NTU the map img file's code page can be changed from 65001 (Unicode) to 1252 (Latin) but then of course non-latin characters such as Cyrillic won't be shown. Unicode maps can be used if the firmware is first treated with Universal IMGPatcher provided the 66sr's firmware is supported in the program.
    Last edited by Surething; 18-08-21 at 03:48 PM.

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    Thanks for the details, useful to know. Why things work or don't has been a bit of a mystery to me.

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