Birdseye is a great asset for any hunter. It allows you to have satellite imagery on your Garmin Alpha 100 or Garmin Astro 320 handheld- but you need to put it on your handheld before you can use it. Here we will walk you though step-by-step how to do this.
Step 1: Remove any batteries from the device.
Step 2: Make sure you have an SD Card in the slot in the back of your handheld. We recommend using nothing bigger than an 8 Gig card. Check to make sure it is firmly locked in place. This is important as the Birdseye files we download will go on this card so that we don't slow down the handheld.
The slots for the card are in the back of the handheld under the batteries. Lift the silver piece and place the SD card into the opening. Close and slide down with your finger to lock into place.
Step 3: Now connect your handheld via the provided usb cord to your computer. The cord has a standard USB on one end and a Mini USB on the other. The mini will go into the provided slot on the back of the handheld- see pictures below. The standard will plug directly into your computer's usb port-this port can be on the front or back of your computer depending on the what you are using. Laptops also have this port and it is often on the sides or back. . On your handheld it may tell you it needs a battery so click continue (you can ignore this) It will then ask if you would like to enter Basecamp mode- select No on the handheld device. It may take a moment for your computer to recognise the device. When it does a window will pop up showing that the device is connected. You may close this window and go to Basecamp now.
When this window pops up you may close it. Your device is now connected to your computer.
The Astro's USB port is located in the back, above the battery door under a rubber cap.
The Alpha's USB Port is located in the back, below the battery door under a rubber cap.
Step 4: Basecamp should now recognise your device. This is where you will be downloading and transferring Birdseye onto your handheld.
1. This is where your collection of downloaded Birdseye files will go. You must have this selected in order to download Birdseye so that it get saved to the correct place.
2. This is your device. As you can see right now there is an Astro 320 plugged into the computer. The memory card that was put in the back of the unit is also shown under that. The "User Data" under the memory card is the folder that will contain the Birdeye files once we download and transfer them.
3. This is the panel that shows the files in whichever folder you have selced in panel 1 or 2. In this case I have "My Collection" selected, so panel 3 is showing all the Birdseye I have downloaded to my computer.
4. This is your navigation tool. When you hover over the triangle, arrows will pop up as well as a zoom in/zoom out bar. This is useful when you are selecting your download areas and need to move the map around to different areas.
5. This is your main map screen. When Birdseye is downloaded it will show up as satelite imagery.
Step 5: Now we need to find your location. Where do you hunt? To navigate to your area you can use the mouse to click and drag the map around or you can use Garmins Navigation pane.
Step 6: Once you have found your general area of where you hunt, click on the Birdseye tab at the top of the screen. You will then select "Download Birdseye Imagery..." from the drop down menu.
Step 5: A window will pop up that has your unit shown- in this case we see an Alpha 100- as well as an orange square will show up on the map area. This orange square is the area that will be downloaded with Birdseye. Click "Next"
Step 6: Now you will see a loading bar showing that Basecamp is seeing what products are available. What this means is that Garmin is seeing if you have an active Birdseye subscription- which you should since we registered your unit and Birdseye earlier.
Step 7: Success! Looks like we have a good Birdseye subscription. This screen also tells me that this Alpha has a good Birdseye until 10/24/2014. That means that after that date I will no longer be able to download new Birdseye areas for this Alpha. However, all the areas we are downloading now will remain on the device and able to be used indefinitely. If you wish to download new areas after your subscription has run out you will have to purchase another subscription. You can now click "Next"
Step 8: Ok, now is where we get a bit technical. First thing you need to do is change the detail level from Highest to High. This allows you to put more information on at once. The difference is minimal and it will take much less time. Then, as you can see below, you can move your orange box to cover the areas you need. If the main window is covering your map you can move it by left clicking and holding on the top bar of that window and dragging it to a different position. If you need to move your map, use the Garmin Triangle navigation tool I showed you earlier. In this example I have selected the Suffolk area down to the NC border. To adjust the size of the box you can hover on the edges until a tiny double ended arrow appears, then just left click and drag. You may not need these large areas like I do, so select whatever you need for the hunting areas you use. Once you are satisfied with your selection click "download"
If you are dowloading more than one area next to each other, make sure you overlap the edges just a little bit so you don't end up with gaps between your blocks
Step 9: Before you click Finish make sure that "Copy imagery to device after download" is NOT clicked. You don't want to copy it directly to the device as this can slow down your handheld. We will later make sure we copy your downloaded areas to the SD card in the back of your device. You may now click "Finish"
Step 10: This window will pop up showing you what the status of your download is. Right now I have another block downloading so this block is only pending. Once my other block is finished downloading my download status will change from pending to download. Then you wait. Each block can take between 15 min to a hour depending on the size of the block and your internet speed. You can leave the computer and go about you day- it is quite alright to leave it running overnight. You can download up to two or three blocks at a time. As one block finishes another will start. Once an area is downloaded you will be able to put it on your handheld-which I will cover below. However you may occasionally get a message saying that some of the files failed to download. Usually this is not a problem so long as you don't excede 50 files. You can just close out of that error message or try downloading just those files again.
Step 11: Now that you have the areas you want to hunt downloaded you can transfer them onto the micro SD in the handheld. This is simple. Remember how we made sure there was an SD Card in the back of the unit? That is where we will put the downloaded areas. To do this RIGHT click on the block or the file name (the file name will be on the left side of the sceen panel under "My Collection"- Panel number 3 in the picture guide) and select "send to".
A window will pop up. Make sure you select the "Memory Card".
Then click OK. The area you chose will now send to your device. A green bar will pop up under the SD card in the panel on the left side of the screen showing transfer progress.
The bar will load green once quickly and then will load green again slowly. This will take a few minutes. Upon completion of the transfer a check mark will appear at the end of that bar. These means all your Birdseye is now loaded onto your handheld.
Once you are satisfied with your Birdseye selections you can uplug the unit, replace the batteries and turn the unit on. Just double check that the Birdseye is there by going to the map screen and zooming into the area you downloaded. If you see satelite imagery it has worked.
All prices are in USD