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Discussion Forum - Gear ! - SATMAP 20

Author: Geoff Crowder
Posted: Wed 14th Apr 2021, 14:42
Joined: 2002
Local Group: South Manchester
@Patrice Bertail
I'm confused!.
What does Memory-Map have to do with the Satmap 20?. I don't have a Satmap myself but, as I understand it, Satmap supply OS maps on their own SD cards in their own secure format.
To my knowledge you can't use Memory-Map maps with it or those of any other manufacturer.
Author: Patrice Bertail
Posted: Wed 14th Apr 2021, 11:13
Joined: 2021
Request for advice before purchase a GPS
I'll walk the Southern Upland Way in May 2022.
I am using Memory-Map version 1.7.1 which is the latest version
Is the Satmap 20 fully compatible with 1 / 25K Memory-Map maps
Do you have any specific recommendations for using this GPS with Memory-Map?
Thanks to everyone who has already given feedback on Satmap 20.
Another question. Are Ordance Survey maps also compatible with Satmap 20?
Thank you. Patrice
Author: Christopher Honeywill
Posted: Tue 21st Jul 2020, 17:55
Joined: 1977
I meant to add that I've downloaded the latest Active 20 manual but it does not give much detail about its use for geocaching - the word itself only appears four times in the whole manual.
Author: Christopher Honeywill
Posted: Tue 21st Jul 2020, 17:51
Joined: 1977
Has anyone used the Active 20 for geocaching? I currently use a Garmin Oregon 600 which works well with, downloading co-ordinates, description, hints, logs, placing a geocache icon on the map and then automatically changing this to a 'found' icon when I tell it that the cache has been found. It also then automatically tells me the distance and direction to the nearest undiscovered cash in its memory. Unfortunately, my Oregon 600 is getting lazy at booting up at times and needs replacing, either with an Oregon 700 or, if suitable, with an Active 20 using the 35% LDWA discount.
Thanks. Chris
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Sat 27th Jun 2020, 20:20
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
You would have to have them transfered onto a smaller SD card for a fee
Author: Louise Whittaker
Posted: Thu 25th Jun 2020, 20:45
Joined: 1994
Local Group: Staffordshire
To SATMAP 20 users. I have a SATMAP 10 - and I assume that if I upgraded to a 20 - that all my map cards would work in the 20 - so all I would need to purchase is the GPS device. Is my thinking correct.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Sun 3rd May 2020, 20:23
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
The only way I have found to do it is to create a folder on my computer - I call mine Maps
I can transfer .gpx files to and from my Active 12 or 20 with this folder.
I can transfer .gpx files to and from my folder from other sources, eg downloads, Anquet etc
I cannot go direct form one thing to another except via the folder
Author: Chris Bent
Posted: Sun 3rd May 2020, 6:57
Joined: 2006
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Hi, I'm trying to download a GPX file onto my Active20 that is connected to my Wifi, but struggling to workout how to do this. The GPX file is stored in Xpedition2 on my Mac. Any suggestions appreciated,,, Thanks
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Wed 11th Dec 2019, 9:05
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Earlier I reported a software update which resulted in excessively large track files. The latest Beta fixes this. There is also a new manual to download.
Author: Jeff Stevens
Posted: Mon 19th Aug 2019, 21:13
Joined: 2014
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Hi Tony
The problem I find with the Satmap 12 is the batteries start losing power after about 4 to 5 uses .
Each battery lasts me about 4 hrs now and they state about 8 hrs.

I used the Satmap 20 on the Dorset Doddle this Sunday and I used it on full power to see how long the
battery would last. It was still going strong after 10 hrs .

The signal was really strong all the way through and the clarity was excellent.
Very pleased with it
Regards jeff
Author: Tony Willey
Posted: Mon 19th Aug 2019, 7:00
Joined: 1989
Local Group: Lakeland
Sent my Satmap 12 off for service on Wednesday afternoon, received it back good as new on Saturday morning. Great service. Just a pity that the machine is so fragile that bits fall off it only 18 months after I bought it.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Fri 16th Aug 2019, 19:27
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
I am trying to get more info about the software update. Meantime I advise not updating if you save your gpx files.

I carry my GPS in the pouch which can be bought from Satmap or at Cotswold shops, but if you have a nearby camera shop you may get something better.
I wrote some notes for my benefit and people in my walking club who found them useful
I will send them to anyone by e-mail contact me at rwilkes AT
I have had not feedback from notes sent out to earlier inquiries so I do not know if people find them useful or not. I would like some feedback even if it is negative
Author: Jeff Stevens
Posted: Sun 11th Aug 2019, 18:32
Joined: 2014
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Author: Geoff Crowder
Posted: Sat 10th Aug 2019, 14:18
Joined: 2002
Local Group: South Manchester
Can't edit the damned post!
To add:-
I just found this on the SatMap site regarding its .map format:-

"When a GPX route file is 'Imported' into SatSYNC, the SatSYNC software automatically converts the GPX format into '.map' file. When a '.map' file is 'Exported' it is converted back into a GPX file. (Please note: this conversation does not occur when a file is 'Copied'.) We utilise '.map' as a format because we have found that different providers of GPX routes have different implementations of the GPX standard".

Still, it might be possible to knife-and-fork it into GPX.
Author: Geoff Crowder
Posted: Sat 10th Aug 2019, 14:05
Joined: 2002
Local Group: South Manchester
I can't help directly since I don't have a SatMap, but having a long interest in mapping software, routes, etc., the latest SatMaps should connect directly to computer via USB as a simple mass-storage device (unlike older ones that needed proprietary SatSync software).

Can you just access the recorded track in the Satmap storage and copy it across?. Having the raw file gives complete control.

Knowing device manufacturers of old, I'm predicting that it's stored in a proprietary format, they seem to delight in such obstructive practices.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Fri 9th Aug 2019, 19:16
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
I now have the latest software for Satmap 20 and the results are mixed, especially as they have yet to update the manual
The Trip Log choices have been simplified and made more logical

However, when you convert a recorded track to export to your computer it is split into 2 big 1.6Mb files instead of one small file.
To make matters worse Satmap Help does not seem to be as good as it was and if you phone you get a message saying there is no one available to reply
I am using e-mail help but that is not so good either

An answer to the large file problem may be a new item in the settings menu

Route and Track Simplification degree
It is factory set at 005

I expect a higher value will give a more sensible track file and I am awaiting a reply from Satmap
Has anyone else been able to deal with this?
Author: John Pennifold
Posted: Thu 23rd May 2019, 20:49
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Fri 22nd Feb 2019, 20:36
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
it said they were refurbed demo models, possibly justrefurb to un scruff
I am very happy with mine now
Author: John Pennifold
Posted: Thu 21st Feb 2019, 17:00
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Unbelievable. I have just received an email from Satmap offering refurbished Satmap 20s.
Considering that it's a fairly new model, what does it say about the build quality when they are already refurbishing them.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Mon 13th Aug 2018, 13:49
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Active 20: continuing experiences.
A friend of mine bought an Active 20 carry case and finds it such an inconveniently tight fit she bought a camera case to use instead.
She also noticed that there is an extra screen compared with the 12. It is a search screen which could be very useful. I had spotted it and ignored it.
I came across some eyelash tweezers which proved more practical for re-inserting detached USB covers than the tweezers from the Swiss army knife. I rarely detach them these days, but it still happens occasionally.
I used POIs for the first time; they are very good for finding the tops of some of our southern counties.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Wed 25th Apr 2018, 16:34
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
After a few more weeks of using the Active 20.
I have not lost or loosened any USB covers.
Whenever I plug it into my computer, switched on first as advised, it always freezes either in off position or with screen on. However a long press on the on button unfreezes it, you do not have to disconnect it from the battery. Satmap aware.
Unlike the 10 and 12, when you plug in the charger, it does not switch the device on. It may be better to turn it on jsut to check everything is right though.
Although one walk only seems to use 20 of the charge at most on the settings I use, it will not do a second day without charging.
The touch screen is wonderfull most of the time but occasionally it is unresponsive and hte buttons are needed
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Tue 27th Feb 2018, 19:53
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Some more observations.
Generally very happy with the Satmap Active 20

Over a week in the Lake District I found that I was using less than 20% of the battery each day and that I could recharge in an evening. In theory this means 4 days walking without charging. I mean to try this some time. I have my screen timeout at 15 seconds which is very short but as I always have a map in my map-case I only use the Active 20 for checking and route recording.

I have twice accidentally pulled out the USB cover, luckily both times indoors. It seems to happen if you pull out the battery or USB. I am learning to take care!
Satmap are trying to work out a new design which will be better.

The Active 20 behaves differently to the 10 and 12 when you plug it into a computer. It shows a symbol like a phone screen when charging but it appears to switch itself off during the Satsync processes. I thought it had crashed but if you hold the start button long enough it wakes up. Do not disconnect before switching off or it may crash.

The Satsync user guide has not been updated since the Active 10!
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Fri 9th Feb 2018, 19:52
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Some of the problems you had are covered in earlier posts. Use and old store card to remove the battery. Use settings so the screen does not come on when you touch it.
I have gone back to a 15 second screen time out to avoid accidentally changing the screens. I did this on the 12 just to save battery
The USB flap is a worry. I think they may have covers which are plugs, I need to check on this. You need to take a lot of care to make sure the flap is properly pushed it but it should be more fail safe
Latest version of Satsync works with 12 and 20. In settings I tried exporting only to .gpx but I found it better to use .map
Read my earlier posts as the unit behaves differently to the 12 when using an computer. There is much that is not explained in the manual so all feedback from users is potentially very useful.
Author: David Holland
Posted: Fri 9th Feb 2018, 17:53
Joined: 1996
Local Group: Cornwall & Devon
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Mon 5th Feb 2018, 20:06
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Iain - yes. I found the setting today
On some of the other points I raised yesterday
The battery can easily be removed using an old store card so you do not need to wreck your fingernails or risk damage by using a knife.
When you are charging the unit it now shows the % charge and at 100% the lightning flash may disappear. Looks like a fault if you do not know this!

On a six hour walk yesterday I used one third of the battery charge

It is possibly an indulgence to get the Acitve 20 if you have the 12, but it is a lot better. Depends a bit on how close you are to the map boundary and how forgetful you are about changing cards

The battery holds nearly as much charge as 2 Active 12 batteries but is about the size of 3. I do not know if this will lead to better long term perfomance. It is huge and fills the lenght of the unit and 2/3rds of the thickness
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Mon 5th Feb 2018, 12:21
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
On touch-screen activation, my Garmin (eTrex Touch) has a 'screen lock' (the 'padlock' is reverse-engineered to what may be UK or European eyes) which prevents accidental selection but not map-scrolling (position is still shown in real time without unlocking the screen). Satmap touch-screen devices may have something similar.

Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Sun 4th Feb 2018, 22:49
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Satmap Active 20 comments
Well just after my last post I decided to buy one.
First the bad news.
There are lots of good things about the Active 20 but removing the battery is not one of them. I had to use a knife to lever it out. I will seek assistance from Satmap about a less potentially damaging way of removing it.
In theory you would only need to remove the battery if it was life expired, but when you plug it into or out of the computer there is the risk it will hang, which can only be fixed by battery removal, plus they recommend removing the battery when not in use to prevent battery run down.
The USB cover looks very flimsy, but seems to work. I asked GPS training about their experience and they say it works fine and none of their 100 customers have complained. It is meant to be changeable after a long period of use and it is easy to pull out by mistake and a faff to put back - it helps if you have mini-tweezers from a Swiss army knife. Before going out make sure the cover is pressed in neatly. It takes a little care but not much.
Now the good news.
I have always steered clear of GPS which are touch screen only because of my negative experiences with phone, tablets and ticket machines.
However, the very bright screen is clear enough at 40% backlight and the touch screen facility is much better than my android phone. It even works while wearing liner gloves.
Every little job is easier using the touch screen instead of buttons, so changing the settings on the hoof is much easier now. Touching the screen wakes the screen so there is a risk of accidently bringing it on and wasting battery.
What is different: I mentioned some of the improvements in my last post.
Most of the screens are the same, but there are a few extra options in settings
Most of the following are just changes compared with the Active 12.
Switch on: you need to hold the button down longer to switch on.
There is an extra screen as the Wi-Fi and Blue Tooth have separate screens. I have not used either ever, but I might try getting files from my Active 20 to my computer once the planned software update allows this.
Switch it off before unplugging from a computer or else it freezes.
On the walk, accuracy is much better with one to two metres normal
It is bigger than the Active 12. So you cannot use your old carry case, and the Active 20 comes without one, it is an optional extra. I bought a camera case for half the price of the official case. It is not water proof but seems to soak up less rain than the Satmap version.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Mon 22nd Jan 2018, 14:56
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Another comment I meant to include is that the whole UK platinum edition is on one card on the Active 20 so you do not need to remember to change it if you go out of area. This appeals to me very strongly. Presumably if you do not leave the UK you do not have to change it ever.

Also getting rid of the rubber joystick which has all sorts of issues, accidentally nudging it, unresponsive at times etc , the new set-up is much better.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Mon 22nd Jan 2018, 14:40
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Well I have not bought one yet but I am craving one. However, someone in our walking club now has one and I have had a quick look. The touch screen was very responsive in the pub.

He had used it for 6 hours or so with no energy saving, screen full on all day. He had only used half the battery, so with screen save I should think it would last much longer.
The screen is same size as the other models but the case is about 2 cm longer.
He said it was much faster than his Active 12, satellite lock and scanning

He said battery change is quite a task, but until the battery was near the end of its life this would be a rear event.
I have looked at the manual and I think it works much the same as the latest Active 12, little change to the software but much better hardware

Unlike previous models, the carrying case is an optional extra and so is the lanyard, but you could use the lanyard from a previous Active 10 or 12 if you had one.
I would be tempted to see if there was a waterproof camera case of the same size. I had been meaning to do this for my Active 12
The Active 20 would not need a waterproof case but I do not see the advantage of a soggy case at the end of a walk!

There are various optional extras and a scratch resistant film looks worthwhile, even with gorilla glass.
Author: Bill Lancashire
Posted: Thu 7th Sep 2017, 11:33
Joined: 2003
Local Group: South Wales
I would be interested to hear of any experiences with the Satmap Actice 20 in use on walking events. For example battery life and ease of swapping batteries; transferring GPX track files and their use to follow a route; screen vivibility in bright sunlight.

Many thanks
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Tue 9th May 2017, 10:16
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
I am not sure but on the cyclist picture the attachments may be at the bottom. Have another look, there appears to be a couple of lugs. I keep mine in the pouch so I only have the problem your refer to when it is in the waterproof cover, not required on the new one.

The main improvments I have idenitified so far are

It is fully waterproof so you do not have to have any secondary protection
It has a bigger battery.
The joystick, a very weak spot, is replaced by a button system like on a TV remote. It seems ot have more buttons.
It goes not need regular re-furbs.
Faster more powerful chip and more ram.
Gorilla glass screen which is more robust and scratch proof

we will have to wait to see if the software is friendly and glitch free.

Satmap still wins for me as I find touch screens do not react well enough to my fingers. My smartphone anooys me in this way but when you are on the fells you do not need this annoyance

But the 20 does seem to have got rid of a lot of the hardware annoyances on the Active 10 and 20

The ruggedised smartphone will be the biggest competitor to Satmap and Garmin, its much cheaper as the maps are free. If the phones can get round the OS licensing system I do not see why GPS firms cannot.
But as a fanatical walker I think I will stick with a specialist device. It is only the cost of 1200 pints of beer!
It will be available from June onwards, and direct from Satmap soon after.
Author: John Pennifold
Posted: Tue 9th May 2017, 8:26
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Interestingly, I don't see a lanyard attachment point.
I have always thought that the attachments points on the 12 were in the wrong place: I think that they should be at the bottom, so that it hangs upside down. This would mean that when you swing it up to look at the screen, it's the right way up. With the attachments points at the top, when you swing it up to view the screen, the display is upside-down. So I wear mine screenside-to-body then don't swing it up but merely elevate it. Bloody awkward though.
Author: John Pennifold
Posted: Tue 9th May 2017, 8:03
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
What!!!!! "We rate the current Satmap Active 12 as the best dedicated outdoors GPS unit on the market thanks to a combination of easy-to-use interface....."
I think not. Unless the others are even worse.
Author: John Pennifold
Posted: Tue 9th May 2017, 7:58
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
I love the image on that page Raymond. The cyclist is on a path which curves right. The Unit 20 shows him to off route and curving to the left.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Sat 6th May 2017, 11:11
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Review here
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Fri 5th May 2017, 23:05
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire

If I had known the Active 12 only had a shelf life of 2 years I would have hung on before upgrading!

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