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How to reset the fuel counter in Microsoft Streets and Trips?
rdavis0521
I'm sorry if this has been discussed before. I am a new user, and did a forum search and came up empty.

I've used Streets & Trips for many years. I use it strictly for trip pre-planning, and use a regular GPS in the car or RV. My question is about the fuel usage reminder. It has been very lame in previous releases, and wonder if they've improved it with 2009 version?

In previous versions, at least up to 2008, there is no way (that I've found) to reset the fuel counter. It starts at zero at the start of your trip, and every NNN miles, it reminds you it's time to purchase fuel.

I would simply like to somehow indicate, OK, I'm full here, and as I plan the trip realize that I am now getting close to time to refuel, and then indicate at a particular stop that I have re-fueled, resetting the fuel counter.

Right now, I just get a message every 800 miles, which after the first refueling is generally no longer correct. It seems like a simple thing, but it's really annoying.


One other question I've had, is there a way to display in the trip directions window, the "daily" mileage, rather than only the total mileage from the start of the trip? Yes, I can subtract the two values, but it would be nice to look up and see OK, that day is about 400 miles, or whatever. Is that possible?

Thanks in advance,
Ray
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavis0521
...

One other question I've had, is there a way to display in the trip directions window, the "daily" mileage, rather than only the total mileage from the start of the trip? Yes, I can subtract the two values, but it would be nice to look up and see OK, that day is about 400 miles, or whatever. Is that possible?

Thanks in advance,
Ray

You might use the "Create Drivetime Zone" Tool to plan a trip. Of course, its metric is time rather than distance but that might be more useful anyway.

On your other point, that might be a useful addition to the S&T Wishlist (this might be, too) elsewhere in the forum.
rdavis0521
SpadesFlush,

Thanks for the note. I guess I'm not quite understanding, however. Are not drivetime zones circular zones around a specific point, not along a route?

Maybe I'm missing something obvious (quite possible), but the current fuel reminder seems completely useless.

What I had imagined is this: Assuming maybe I can drive 800 miles on a tank (large RV tank!). Right now, every 800 miles, S&T puts a note in the directions log, a reminder to get fuel.

But let's say, I drive 400 miles to AZ from Southern CA, and want to then fuel up where fuel is cheaper. So, at the 400 mile mark, I refuel. I'd like somehow to add a stop in S&T and tell it, reset the fuel counter here.

Then in another 800 miles, I should get another indicator, rather than in 400 miles, when I still have 1/2 a tank of fuel. I would plan another fuel stop accordingly, and reset the fuel counter again.

I'm not sure how a drivetime zone would help?

Maybe adding this to the wishlist is the best course. I just wanted to be sure I hadn't missed something obvious in the software.

Ray
SpadesFlush
No, no, no, I did not mean to suggest Drivetime Zones as a solution to the gas fill-ups issue; in fact, I thought your second question was not exactly related to your first question.

I take your point about having the Fuel Consumption refuel warning calculations resetting upon fill-up rather than start of the entire route.

Here is a workaround pending MSFT accepting your Wishlist entry on the subject. Use the Measuring Tool [Ctrl-E] to trace along the route from the fill-up point to your estimated tank range. As you draw the trace, it keeps up-dating the distance so you can see how far you are. Enter a Stop on your route (Pushpin or not) and recalculate. Then, you can delete the measurement trace when you decide where to fill up.
rdavis0521
Ahh, I see. Thank you for the clarification.
Marvin Hlavac
Ray, I've never used the fuel feature myself, but I did hear the same feedback from several users over the years, so indeed it would be useful to have some way of resetting Streets & Trips. But I've always wondered, how about if you just simply delete the portion of the trip you have already passed? Wouldn't that achieve the goal?
rdavis0521
Hi Marvin,

Main reason is that I'm not using S&T on the road, but only pre-planning a trip. I then print out everything including the directions etc. Ultimately I use a GPS in the RV, but I like to have all my stops planned and laid out in advance.

Ray
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavis0521
Hi Marvin,

Main reason is that I'm not using S&T on the road, but only pre-planning a trip.
Hi Ray,

I'm kind of confused. If you aren't using S&T for navigation on the road, what difference does it make about the fuel tracking resets?

I agree that for navigation use it's currently not terribly useful the way it works. But if you aren't even using it when you're on the road you won't be getting the warnings. In that case, why would it matter if they are right or wrong?

I'm not trying to persuade you not to recommend it as a good enhancement. I'm just trying to understand if, and how, it affects the way you currently use it.

...ken...
rdavis0521
Hi Ken,

It's just for planning purposes. I generally use S&T when I'm planning a large RV trip. I drive a 45 bus, and unfortunately cannot just simply stop at any fuel station, due to my large size.

So, I try to make sure that I have fuel stops scheduled at large truck stops within the a reasonable mileage. If the software could reliably tell me that I was nearing my pre-set fuel distance, I could more easily plan.

Is it impossible now? No. It's just kind of awkward, that I have to manually keep track of overall mileage at a scheduled stop, and then manually subtract as I plan the trip, to make sure I'm in range. If the software allowed me to reset the counter, it would just be easier.

I guess I would have to ask the question in reverse, however. I don't quite see why a fuel reminder would be useful on a computer while driving. While I'm driving, I've got a fuel gauge, and trip computer which tell me how many miles I've got left, not just some estimate from S&T.

Thanks for the comment. I am glad to know that I hadn't stupidly missed this feature and just didn't know how to properly use it.

Ray
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavis0521
I guess I would have to ask the question in reverse, however. I don't quite see why a fuel reminder would be useful on a computer while driving. While I'm driving, I've got a fuel gauge, and trip computer which tell me how many miles I've got left, not just some estimate from S&T.
Thanks for asking that question, Ray. That thought had also occured to me as perhaps the more practical question but I couldn't figure out a way to ask it without seeming impertinent or downright rude.

I am primarily a Garmin user so I use Garmin's Mapsource program for trip planning. The routing tool it has is dead simple to use. It's a point-and-click tool that lets you simply click a start point on the map and click another point on the map. At each click it (re)calculates the route and displays the distance and driving time. Knowing the range of my fuel tank I can just click places along my route until I get close to the distance I would like to refuel.

If I have specific station brands or a particular type of fuel (eg. diesel) that I need/prefer, I can display those POIs on the map and click on one that looks to be about the right distance. Then I end that route and start a new one from that spot.

For a long, multi-stop, multi-day trip, I would do the overall trip route first. Mapsource allows you to do multiple routes on the same map so with the overall route already displayed, I can use the route tool to do "sub-routes" for things like desired driving times, fueling limits, etc.

It's so much easier to do it than to describe it.

The downside of Mapsource is that it's missing some of the pure planning features that S&T has. S&T is much richer in some ways. But I'm an ad hoc sort of planner anyway, so Mapsource is my preference. It makes the quick and dirty sorts of things I like to do so much easier than S&T.

...ken...
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
Ray, I've never used the fuel feature myself...
Perhaps if this feature was enriched to meet Ray's and others needs we would use it more.
rdavis0521
Ken,

Thanks for the note regarding Mapsource. I'll take a look at that. Sounds interesting. I will admit I struggled a bit in responding, also trying to carefully word things to not appear rude. It is so hard in a forum or email sense to judge the tone of a response.

The Mapsource method seems interesting, so I'll take a peak at that. I'd also like to find something that gives reasonable elevation cross sections, so I can see what kind of grades I will be climbing/descending.

Driving a big rig has changed the way I plan trips. What may be trivially easy in a car isn't in the RV. Fuel as we've discussed is one aspect. But sharp elevation grades, low bridges, tight booths at toll roads, small roads etc are all concerning now, which makes at least some amount of planning important.

Ray
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavis0521
The Mapsource method seems interesting, so I'll take a peak at that. I'd also like to find something that gives reasonable elevation cross sections, so I can see what kind of grades I will be climbing/descending.
You sound like a candidate for Mapsource with a set of topo maps.

Topo maps contain elevation data and Mapsource can use that data to show the profile of a route or track. I'll attach a picture of a simple route with a profile just to illustrate. If you want to look this up on Google so you can see a satellite shot, the route is from the Superstore Gas Bar in Cranbrook, BC to the Extra Foods Gas Bar in Creston, BC. There's not a lot of elevation change because this runs mainly through a huge valley. I'll do another one with a more interesting profile.

...ken...
Attached Images
screenshot001.jpg  
Ken in Regina
Here are some shots of the profile from Creston, BC to Salmo, BC. The profile window has a feature that allows you to click on any spot on the profile and it will display the distance from the beginning of the route and the vertical height at that point. Neat stuff.

You can see from the profile that this route climbs about 1200 metres and drops back down about the same amount in 83.5 kilometres. You can also see that the down is much steeper than the up when going in the Creston to Salmo direction (east to west). So in this case an even bigger issue than fuel for a large heavy vehicle might be the brakes heating on the down part of the trip. You won't need to use the gas pedal much on the down part so you'll probably gain back any excess fuel use on the up part.

Oh yeah, I'm using Garmin's Topo Canada for the profiles. And I've intentionally done relatively short routes so the profile characteristics will be really obvious. I have been over this route a zillion times over the years so I know it fairly well. The more normal approach would be to do the entire route, look at the overall profile and then do short experimental routes on the lumpier looking parts to see what the actual elevation profile is for segments like this one.

...ken...
Attached Images
screenshot002.jpg   screenshot003.gif   screenshot004.gif  
rdavis0521
That is excellent. That's exactly what I'm after. I'm going to pick up a copy of Mapsource today.

Thanks Ken!
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