Can You Connect An Android To An Oregon?










An important question for It’s Not About The Numbers’ readers: Can you connect an Android phone to Garmin’s Oregon GPSr?

Obviously, there are some issues with getting an appropriate connector (my Android has a micro b USB port, while the Oregon 450 has a mini b USB port) but – assuming that it could be linked through some manner of cables and adaptors – could the Android utilise the Oregon’s ‘mass storage’ mode?

If it is possible, then you could add additional GPX files or completely refresh the database in the Oregon whilst on the go. As someone who hates having to plug their Oregon into the computer (when are the wifi/bluetooth versions coming, Garmin?), this would be very useful.

*Yes or no? Can anyone come up with a workable solution to stop Cumbyrocks whinging? 


Okay, so a Micro USB Host cable was purchased so the Android could take advantage of the Oregon’s mass storage mode.

The Good News…the phone detects the Oregon.

The Bad News…it recognises it as a High Powered Device so it refuses to read it!!! 🙁

However, I have stumbled across another solution. It is not quite as convenient but it still achieves the same goal of being able to update the Oregon with the Galaxy whilst on the go.

The solution is to (in advance) set up a GPX folder in the Garmin folder on the Oregon’s micro SD card.

Then, when you’re on the go, you remove the the micro SD card from the Oregon. This is the inconvenient part as it means you have to remove the batteries and (if you are a purist) recalibrate the compass.

Using a micro SD card reader with the micro USB host cable you can then upload the required GPX into the micro SD card. Reinsert into the Oregon and you’re done!

I also used CacheSense for Android to export the GPX to the Oregon’s micro SD card. It was particularly useful that it allowed me to select the folder I wanted to save the GPX.

The whole process only took a couple of minutes. Unfortunately this is twice as long as I had hoped, but still an acceptable in my opinion.

But there is also another possible solution that I am yet to try. This would involve using a dual input USB to connect the Oregon to the Galaxy AND an external power source (which in my case would be a carabineer charger). I’m doubtful this would work as whilst this provides extra power to the ‘High Powered Device’ that is the Oregon it will possibly not solve the issue of the Galaxy refusing to read it.




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  1. Atlas Cached

    I inquired about this very subject just late last week, and was informed by a Garmin engineer they have no current plans to bring wireless capabilities to their GPSrs at this time.



    1. Cumbyrocks

      I don’t understand how a company can be so short-sighted!?! Knowing that makes the All Sport GPS look even more attractive.

      1. Cumbyrocks

        Gem! On the basis of that I’ve ordered a USB host cable. Still doubtful the Oregon will work with it but worth a shot and at least the cable will be useful for other things if it doesn’t.

        1. filster27

          Let me see if I have this right. My galaxy S2 needs a male end and Oregon 450 also needs a male end to connect up. Why am I only seeing a male/females ends on the cords here. How will this hook up?

  2. GSV

    From a quick google around, it appears that some versions of Android smartphones do have the ability to be a USB host and therefore read from and write to the Oregon as a USB storage device.

    Just which versions/devices seems to be open to debate.

  3. CraigRat

    You can connect to Android, I’ve had my Oregon connected quite nicely to my Acer Iconia A500 tablet, BUT that has a proper USB Host port

    You will not be able to connect to most *phones* as the usb port is a vast majority of them not a host port.

  4. Cumbyrocks

    Well, in a few days time I’ll be able to find out if the Galaxy S2, which has host support according to the internet, is able to connect to the Oregon. If it does I’ll be in wireless heaven!

    1. CraigRat

      I hope you get it working, I’m looking at a getting a GS2 myself.

    2. nzcoozer

      Interesting idea. I just bought a cable too, so that I can try it out on my phone, which is not a Samsung :p

  5. MaoMaoChong

    Wow, I’m really curious about this too! I’ve got a new htc thunderbolt (Verizon) and an Oregon 550t. It would be great to update the Oregon from the phone. I’ve actually been pretty pleased with the accuracy so far on the phone, though. And being able to download caches and pocket queries on the fly (I’m using Neongeo so far) is sweet!

    Just one note – the Oregon (and Colorado I think, and maybe some others?) actually can communicate wirelessly – to other Garmin devices. So the capability should be there.

  6. Mike

    Check out the soon to be released Garmin Monterra, an Android based gps with Bluetooth and WiFi, as well as a shole lot more.

  7. austriaka

    This does the trick: a solar powered USB Hub 🙂


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