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In our 21 years of teaching GPS classes, there have been many common questions asked about Pathfinder Office™.

Pathfinder Office™ 3.00

Pathfinder Office™ (all versions)

Pathfinder Office™ 2.11

Q.  I am trying to delete a point feature on the Map View so I can look at the positions.  When I go to the Feature Properties dialog to click on the delete button, it's grayed-out.  What's wrong?

A. There are two things to check.  First, make sure you have a security key plugged into your parallel port at the back of the computer.  When you launched Pathfinder Office™, did you get a warning saying the program didn't see the key?  If the key is in place, you are probably looking at more than one file on the Map View.  Although you can view as many files as you want at the same time, the main title bar will display "Multiple files. Read only."   A nice feature of Pathfinder Office™ is that the Feature Properties dialog will display the file name containing the selected feature.  Simply go to File, Open, and select the appropriate file.  Your feature can now be edited.

Q. I've deleted a point feature so I can look at the positions, but I don't see them.  Where are they?

A. There are three things to check in this instance.  Remember, when you delete a feature to reveal the positions, those positions are classified as "Not In Feature" positions.  They may be there, but could be very hard to see.  To make them highly visible, go to View, Layers, Features.  You will see Not In Feature at the top of the list.  Do you see little black dots on that line?  If so, you can double click on that line, then select a bright color (red) and chose a thicker line style (third or fourth one down).  Click OK, OK.  Now the positions are much easier to see.

If that wasn't the problem, the point feature you deleted could be a nested feature.   There's a very easy way to find out.  Go to View, Time Line.  A chronological map of your file appears on the screen.  Since the Time Line and the Map View are "hot-linked," the feature selected on one window is automatically selected on the other.  This is important because you must delete the primary feature (line or area), then the secondary feature (nested point) before you can see its positions.

If you still cannot see the positions, the point feature may have been offset.  Did you observe this feature directly, or did you apply an offset in the field?  If offset, the positions are on the Map View, but they may be so far away from the feature, you didn't think to look anywhere but right "under" the deleted point feature.  Undelete the feature and look at the Feature Properties dialog.   Is there a value next to the Offset button?  If so, there's your answer.

Q. I've installed Pathfinder Office™ on my computer running Windows® 95 (98).  When I launch the program, I get a warning saying that it doesn't detect my security key.  The key is plugged into my parallel (printer) port.  Is there a way to fix this?

A. If after successful installation of Pathfinder Office software, you get the warning that your computer does not detect the security key, here is a fix that might work.

Some computer processors are so fast, they skip the line in the software code requesting a query of the parallel port, where the security key is located. To slow down the processor just enough to allow it to see that instruction and recognize the security key, add the following line to the autoexec.bat file.

SET SSI_ACT=1000,1000,1000

To add this line to the autoexec.bat file: go to the Start button and select Run.  Type msconfig, then click OK.  On the System Configuration Utility dialog, click on the Autoexec.bat tab.  Go to the bottom of the list and highlight the last line.  Click on the New button.  Type in the line above, then click Apply.  Click OK.  When prompted if you want to restart your computer, answer Yes.  This command is case sensitive. You must use all caps. 

Q. I tried to change my display units, by selecting Options, then Units.  As soon as I click on Units, I get a warning saying the program has performed an illegal operation.  When I click OK, I am forced completely out of Pathfinder Office.  How can I fix this?

A. Superfluous information has been written to the Pathfinder Office™ system report in a windows folder.  You will need to run regedit so you can modify your units folder.  To perform this editing, click on Start, then Run.  Type 'regedit' (without the quotation marks), then OK.  Locate the following folder: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Trimble\Pathfinder\Common\Units.

Delete everything in the units folder ((Default) cannot be deleted).  Exit the Windows Registry.  Launch Pathfinder Office™.  You should now be able to click on Options/Units and change them to suit your requirements.  

Warning: the Windows Registry can be damaged if you delete critical entries.  The damage could affect the operation of your computer.  Use extreme caution when editing this register.   

Q. When using the SSF Record Editor (Utilities/Other/SSF Record Editor), I try to open an SSF file.  It appears that it's loading properly, until I get a warning saying the program has performed an illegal operation.  When I click OK, I am forced completely out of Pathfinder Office.  How can I fix this?

A. When Pathfinder Office™ 2.11 is installed, a Windows dll file is placed in a Pathfinder Office™ system folder.  This new dll file can cause a conflict, preventing the user from getting into the Units menu.  

The fix for this problem is to install an older version of the file, mfc42.dll.  This is a Windows Shared Library file, version number 4.21.7303.   

Before you download, make a copy of the existing mfc42.dll file located in c:\ProgramFiles\Pathfinder Office 2.11 folder, and put it in a temporary folder for safety.  Transfer the downloaded dll file into the Pathfinder Office 2.11 folder.  Launch Pathfinder Office™.  Now you should be able to go into Options/Units

Q. I collected field data with my GeoExplorerII.  When I tried to differentially correct it in Pathfinder Office™, I found that the wrong GPS week was recorded.  Can I correct my data or do I have to back out into the field and log the data again?

A. You don't have to back into the field.  Your GeoExplorer simply logged an incorrect GPS week.  There are two things you must to do to fix this problem.  First, determine the correct GPS week when the data was collected.  Second, insert the correct GPS week into the file.  Here's how:

First, determine what month, day and year you collected the file.  If the internal clock on the GeoExplorer was set correctly, the filename will tell you.  If not, go to your field notes or work schedule notes.  Once you have that date, launch QuickPlan mission planning software.  

To find QuickPlan, click on Start, the Pathfinder Office™ program group, then QuickPlan.  On the calendar, click on the appropriate month, day and year.  The GPS week for that date is shown in the title bar of the calendar.  Write it down.

Now launch Pathfinder Office™.  From the main menu, click on Utilities/Other/Check SSF Files.  Browse to locate the rover file you need to fix, and click OK.  Now click on Fix Corrupt Records, and Remove Records Out of Time Sequence.  In addition, click on Alter GPS Week Number and Manually.  Go to the box and type the correct GPS week number.  Click OK.

The routine is run in just a few seconds.  Notice that a new file is created with an underscore in the first character space.  This is the file you must use when you go to the differential corrected module of Pathfinder Office .  The correct GPS week is now in the file and is ready for differential correction. 

Q. I only got 64% correction on my rover file after using my GeoExplorer to collect data.  The error said I had missing IODE data.  How can I fix this?

A. There is now a patch available for Pathfinder Office  2.11 that fixes two problems: one with precision estimates in data collected with the ProXR or ProXRS; the other with missing IODE (Issue Of Data Ephemeris) data in the rover file after collecting data with the GeoExplorer or GeoExplorerII.  This particular question addresses missing IODE data from a GeoExplorer (II) rover file.  The following makes up the content of the readme.txt file that accompanies this patch.  This patch is for Pathfinder Office  2.11 only. 

On occasion the GeoExplorer and GeoExplorer II will fail to log IODE records in data files.  Previously data files without the IODE records were not correctable.  However a change has been made to the Differential Correction utility to enable these files to be differentially corrected.  After installing the v2.12 patch release you will need to enable the IODE checking as follows:

1) Using Windows Explorer or equivalent, open the c:\Program Files\Pathfinder Office 2.11 folder (or the folder where Pathfinder Office  is installed.)  

2) Double-click on the program file "Borrow IODE Registry Setting.exe", or highlight the file and press Enter.  A question appears asking "Enable Borrow IODE setting".  Click Yes to enable the setting.  

3) Click OK to dismiss the final message. 

Now, when the Differential Correction utility detects a missing IODE record in the rover file it will attempt to 'borrow' the equivalent IODE record from the base file.  Any borrowed IODE records will be reported in the Differential Correction log file. 

Note - The Differential Correction utility will only borrow an IODE file from the base file if there is not one present in the rover file.  If IODE records have been correctly written in the rover file, your data will not be affected in any way.

Note - To disable the IODE checking in the Differential Correction utility, double-click on "Borrow IODE Registry Setting.exe" file again in the Pathfinder Office  v2.11 folder. 

Q. I can't differentially correct 100% of my rover file when I use CORS base data.  Why not?

A. Pathfinder Office uses a differential correction program called MCORR400 (current version: 4.77 W32 as of 1-5-2003).  This program has the ability to interpolate corrections even though there is "missing" data in the base file.  In other words, if you are logging 1 second data with your rover, and the base is logging 5 second data, then there are 4 "missing" seconds between data capture intervals in the base file.  MCORR400 must interpolate those missing seconds. 

MCORR400 is able to interpolate up to 20 missing seconds and still provide you with 100% corrected data.  This is rather a remarkable feat.  Most CORS sites on the east coast are logging data at 5 second intervals.  But, most CORS sites on the west coast are logging data at 30 second intervals.  This is too infrequent for MCORR400 to interpolate.  

If you are working on the west coast, we urge you to use a Trimble Base Station to process your rover data, whenever possible.  Not only will you get superior corrections, but you will be able to process 100% of your data.

Most base stations listed in Trimble's list of Base Station Providers within Pathfinder Office, are Trimble CBS (Community Base Stations) or TRS (Trimble Reference Stations).  Either are preferable to CORS, as they are optimized specifically to correct Trimble field mapping data.

Q. When I open a GPS file in Pathfinder Office and look at my data....

A. This problem has only been known to occur on certain Dell laptop computers.  To fix this issue, go to the Dell Support Web site and download the latest display drivers and video drivers for your particular Dell model.  Download the drivers and follow the instructions.  This will fix the problem.  Make sure you know the model number of your laptop and your Service Tag number.  If you don't know your Dell Service Tag number, you can allow the Dell Web site to search your computer internally  for that number.  


No more to come................


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