From Zumo to Montana...

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Rob.G, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    I've had a Zumo 665 for three years (though I never used the XM antenna; it's still unused in the box someplace). Pretty much since getting it, I've not really liked it. I used it because it was waterproof and had that nice powered mount. So I have three mounts, one on each bike. But the issue with how slow it is, how often it crashes, and the poor map rendering is just annoying to say the least.

    For an upcoming trip, I decided to splurge and buy a new GPS. I got a Montana 600. Since I already have the Topo 100k and 24k maps, I couldn't see spending money to have them pre-installed, and I don't care about the camera. So $429 later, I had one, plus a little extra for a couple of powered mounts.

    Usability is lightyears better than the Zumo in every way. The display is gorgeous, and there's no pixel doubling of the maps. It's very customizable, with multiple profiles -- motorcycle, automotive, hiking, boating, whatever. And you can customize the main menu to make switching between profiles super easy.

    This morning, I wanted to see if I could replace the Zumo entirely. I purchased and downloaded City Navigator NT (they gave me a 10% coupon, and I got another 3% back via mrrebates.com), so it ended up being about $67. No pixel doubling, the small roads are visible up to 0.8 (which on this thing is perfect), and all the routing works! It looks sooooooooo much better than than the Zumo! I'm sold. Or more accurately, the Zumo is going to get sold. Now I need a third powered mount for the third bike, and one more mount to use it in my truck.

    So... if you're considering a Zumo, don't. Look at the Montana.

    Rob
    #1
  2. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Here are some screen shots from it.

    City Navigator NT, 0.8mi, downtown Salem, Oregon
    [​IMG]

    City Navigator NT, 0.8mi, Timothy Lake (just south of Mt. Hood)
    [​IMG]

    Topo 24k, 0.8mi, Timothy Lake
    [​IMG]

    Topo 24k, 0.5mi, Timothy Lake
    [​IMG]


    True, it's easier to see the trails in City Nav, but I love the shaded relief maps in Topo 24k. Plus it shows lots of other POIs that won't necessarily appear in CityNav. But with the easy profile switching, you can go between the two on the fly as needed.

    Rob
    #2
  3. blender

    blender Just another rider

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    Thanks for posting this. I have a Zumo 450 that has worked well for the past 5 years, however it's showing its age. I've been trying to decide what GPS I need next.

    I don't need XM, I don't need traffic, I don't need my GPS to work as a camera. The Montana 600 appears to fit my needs.

    The only thing that irks me is the need to purchase another copy of City Navigator. As I understand it my current version is tied to the Zumo, I can't transfer it to a new Montana.
    #3
  4. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah I didn't want to either for the same reason. I was going to try copying the file over and see if it'd work, but since my Zumo won't connect to the computer anymore, I don't have that option. If yours will, plug it in and find the one big file (it's around 2 gig) and copy it off of the Zumo and drop it onto the new one, who knows it might work. :)

    Rob
    #4
  5. RonKZ650

    RonKZ650 Been here awhile

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    I've been putting off buying a Zumo all these years and glad I didn't buy one. I got my Montana 600 one week ago and love it, so had to order addition rugged mount, and the car suction mount.
    There's so much you can do with this unit better than the Zumo I'm assuming.
    #5
  6. eram310

    eram310 Been here awhile

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    When I did a comparison between the 600 and the 650 on Garmin web site I found that the only difference is the built in camera on the 650. Is that the only difference?

    I currently use a 60 CX on my D/S and trail bikes and the Zumo 220 on my sport and Adventure bikes. Would upgrading to the basic Montana (I will buy the maps) will replace both? Is it an upgrade?
    I have not much complaint with either one, but I don't know any better.

    Thanks,
    #6
  7. clint64

    clint64 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for your posts. I'm in the market to upgrade from my faithful 2730. Looks like the Montana might be the one for me. For those also in the market be sure to check on the vendors section for GPS City discount for forum members
    #7
  8. RonKZ650

    RonKZ650 Been here awhile

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    Yes the camera is the only difference in the 650 vs the 600. I'm far from an expert on GPS systems but I'm pretty sure this Montana would be a good upgrade to both those units.
    #8
  9. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Like the other guy said, yes, the only diff is the camera and the Topo 100k maps which are (IMO) largely pointless. Save the money and get the CityNav and Topo 24k maps and you'll be set. It should be a real nice upgrade to those units, especially if you get the powered mount for it.

    Rob
    #9
  10. blender

    blender Just another rider

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    I was in the same situation. This bastige's post finally pushed me over the edge and I bought it. Damn that Rob.G! It's all *his* fault the CC took a hit this month! ;)

    And oh-by-the-way as long as I was spending $$ I went with the CN 2014 download. Sigh.

    Now all I need to figure out is how to delete these unwanted local POI's that Garmin thought I needed. Hmm, they don't show up in the POI folder and I'm not finding tips where to find & nuke them. This is a bit different than the Zumo...
    #10
  11. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Main Menu, hit the ^ to open the drawer, scroll down to the Waypoints Manager, and you can delete them in there.

    Then when you're done, go into Setup > Menu, and you can add more room on the menu page for icons, and add the Waypoint Manager "app" (icon) to the main menu (home screen). I also added the track manager, Profiles and a couple other things.

    Rob
    #11
  12. blender

    blender Just another rider

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    Nope, did not work. My "unwanted" POIs show up under "Where To/All POIs" menu. I won't worry about it tonight. I think this is an "operator education" issue.
    #12
  13. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    You guys should make sure to update the software on your new Montanas to get the best out of the unit. The Montana is the best you can get right now, but Garmin's new Monterra is going to be a winner too. Google Garmin Monterra to see what's coming before too long.

    Hint: it's Android based but fits on the Montana mounts.
    #13
  14. afmeyer

    afmeyer Adventurer

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    I was about to buy the Montana but saw the ad for the Monterra. It adds these features:Bluetooth® wireless technology, Wi-Fi connectivity, ANT+™ connectivity,GNSS support,(GPS + GLONASS), Near Field Communication (NFC), Microphone(internal for audio capture), Multimedia (audio/video) support,(MP3 player, video player, etc.), UV sensor, Android® with Google Play for complete customization. It also has an FM and NOAA radio.

    I don't know when it will be available but it sounds like my cell phone with IPX7. My cellphone is worthless in the sunlight and forget the rain. The GPS function of the Monterra is the same as the Montana but the wifi, bluetooth, and Android OS adds a lot.
    Now, if I only had the skills to ride on the CDR this August/Sept..
    #14
  15. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Hmmm interesting. Part of me wishes I'd heard about this a week ago, but not really. The big red flag for me is that it runs Android OS. No thanks. This thing is gonna be majorly buggy in its first release. It's nice that Garmin is finally embracing a better OS though, but until they really figure it out, I don't want any part of it. And if they try to skimp and use a cheap processor, it's gonna be a pig like my Zumo. By the 2nd generation model though, it should be quite good. And it looks like it uses the Montana case for the most part, so the powered mounts should be compatible. That'd make upgrading bit more enticing.

    So... maybe in a year I'll upgrade again, but so far, I'm still happy with the Montana, which I got for $250 less.

    Rob
    #15
  16. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    Given Garmin's track record for 1.0 releases, it will be buggy without a doubt. Hopefully they get a handle on it early. Despite the positive feedback coming from the Montana camp, it still sounds like it has some issues despite the latest fixes. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they cannot do routing like the previous x76/x78 series units that everybody raves about.

    How is yet another model, this time with completely different firmware, going to dilute the engineering efforts at Garmin? I can't help but think that if they had a common platform to develop on, it'll mean more frequent bug fixes across the entire product line.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
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  17. afmeyer

    afmeyer Adventurer

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    There is no way to answer whether or not this device will work at this point in time. On the specifications page for the unit one of the items looks a little buggy to me itself. So it looks like a WIP maybe trying to stall the competition.
    Usually the solutions to the bugs that people encounter are all software so more than likely if you buy one today it may not work today but certainly will work tomorrow as with the Montana. I think when it first came out there were problems which were resolved by new downloads of The OS and other software fixes.
    I am currently using a quest two and really need to get a new unit. I have 2008 city navigator on it which really doesn't make much difference where I ride. But if I want to get any new maps they won't fit on the device.
    I'm going to call Garmin on Monday and find out when this device will be available and any other technical specs that they'll give out such as the processor.
    #17
  18. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    For what it's worth, GPS City is anticipating early September availability.


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  19. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    I agree; it's likely any bugs with the Monterra will be software fixable. But I do hope we can find out what the CPU will be. It has to be pretty fast or it's gonna be a slug. Even my Montana, which is lightyears ahead of my old Zumo, is still a bit slow on the map redraws when I'm running the Topo 24k stuff. As advanced as CPUs and graphics chips are now, especially since the Monterra is basically an Android smartphone without the phone, there will be no reason (IMO) for it to be anything but blazing fast.

    A few years ago I pre-ordered and got Delorme's latest and greatest, the PN40. I even got the "SE" model with 8 gig on board. At the time it seemed awesome, at least compared to what Garmin was offering. Unfortunately, it's such a buggy POS as to be unusable. It locks up when trying to use it... just freezes, requiring a battery pull to fix. And it happens often. I posted about this issue on the Delorme forum and happened to use the term WTF in a post, and one of their forum admins had a hissy fit about it. That was the last time I visited that site. If I ever find the stupid thing, I may see if there's another update for it, and then eBay it.

    Rob
    #19
  20. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    I've learned over the years to have low expectations with the hope of pleasant surprises. One reason the CPU may not be the fastest of the current chip sets is cost. Keep in mind Garmin isn't selling 10's of millions of these units like cell phone manufacturers are - although I'm sure they be happy to.
    #20