Garmin Oregon.....Thoughts/Reviews/Opinions?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Piston, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Piston

    Piston Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    I didn't see a thread on the Oregon yet so I figured I'd start one. If there already is one feel free to delete this and send me in the right direction.

    How does the Oregon compare to the 60Csx? I know the 60Csx is the standard around here and most people didn't like the Colorado when it first came out, I'm wondering if the Oregon would be a good alternative to the 60?

    Is anyone using the Oregon yet? What are your thoughts on it? Advantages vs. Disadvantes? Seems to have good battery life for a large screen but I'm not sure how good a touch screen would be with gloves on?

    Seems like the track function is similar to the 60, is the brightness of the screen better than the Colorado? I know it seems like the Oregon should be compared more to the Colorado than the 60, but since everyone seems to love their 60, I figure I would compare it to the good points of it.

    Thanks for the info and let the discussion begin!
    #1
  2. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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  3. Piston

    Piston Been here awhile

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    thanks jr356! that was exactly what i was looking for!
    #3
  4. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    There's also a fair amount of Oregon discussion in the Colorado thread, and it's much more recent than in the Oregon thread linked above.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=406597

    Consensus seems to be that the Oregon's weak point is screen legibility in bright sunlight, but according to someone who owns one, it's not bad as long as you keep it plugged in (screen is apparently significantly brighter when running on external power).

    I'm planning on buying one soon -- I like the compact size and love the user interface.

    --mark
    #4
  5. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    #5
  6. coolhandace

    coolhandace Adventurer

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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:1; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:eek:ther; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:0 0 0 0 0 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> Well I have been trying to decide which GPS unit to put on my KTM. I live in northern Utah and need something to help me navigate the mountain trails and when I hit the pavement get me to the closest gas station. I have been looking hard at the Zumo 450, Gpsmap 60cx and the Oregon 200. REI has a sale going, $259 for the Oregon so I picked one up yesterday.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I put a 4gb card in it and installed some topo maps. I have been testing it today while driving around in the car. The unit is very solid and well built. The screen resolution is great. It is very intuitive. I think I am ready to hit the trails with it already.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It is very clear to me that this unit will not be usable on the motorcycle unless it is connected to a power source. The screen is way too dark without the backlight. It will have to be on all the time to be usable. The next question is the Mini USB connection. How well is it going to hold up to the vibration and moisture? I don’t ride in the rain but do a lot of stream crossings and it will get wet sooner or later. What if you coat the connection with Di-electric Grease? What about running it with the back light on all the time on NiMH batteries? I wonder how long it would last. I would love to hear from those who are using the Oregon. :ear



    Have Fun!
    #6
  7. Fubars

    Fubars What would Scoobydo?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,780
    Location:
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    I just sold an Oregon on eBay. I now have a Touratech locking mount for it listed in the fleamarket. :deal

    There's a thread on KTMtalk.com on how to hardwire a USB cable. You have to step down the voltage to 5V. I did just that with a voltage regulator from radio shack.

    I rode with the Oregon mounted on the bike during some light showers 2 weeks ago. Didn't effect performance, but I don't know what Long Term moisture would do to the USB terminals. D. grease probably would be an idea, but it would collect dirt/dust over time.

    If you're interested in the mount/cable, let me know.
    #7
  8. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,801
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    It's still too cold here in Vermont to do much riding, especially off the main roads, so I haven't tried my Oregon on the bike yet. Also, I'm still waiting for the MiniUSB power cable to arrive from Powerlet.

    My plan regarding weather-protecting the MiniUSB connection was going to be to look for a spare rubber cover for the Oregon's MiniUSB port, cut a plug-shaped hole in it, and adapt it to fit the cable and press into the cover area surrounding the USB port. Alternatively, it might be possible to rig up something temporary with electrical tape.

    --mark
    #8
  9. coolhandace

    coolhandace Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Lehi, UT
    So what made you decide to sell the Oregon?
    #9
  10. Fubars

    Fubars What would Scoobydo?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,780
    Location:
    Ventuna, California
    I already have a 60CS. It's display is better in direct sunlight. And that's the only reason I sold it.
    #10
  11. brfinley

    brfinley Brooster

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    426
    Location:
    Republic of Davis
    I wonder how it would work to wrap the connection with Parafilm?
    #11
  12. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,801
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Relatively warm weather here today and my Powerlet MiniUSB cord arrived yesterday, so I got out the V-Strom and installed the Oregon in a RAM mount, then went for a ride.

    Screen legibility was fine in all conditions today (ranging from heavy overcast to direct but slightly diffuse sunlight, and everything in between). The screen may not be as bright as a Zumo's or x76's, but I had no trouble at all reading it, even at a glance. Disabling the worldwide base map made the screen even easier to read (the background color goes from green to off-white, so contrast is much greater).

    I no longer have any concerns about the Oregon's suitability for motorcycle use. In fact, I think it's a very good choice for this purpose.

    --mark
    #12
  13. coolhandace

    coolhandace Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Lehi, UT
    I installed Topo 2008 maps. I was blown away by the beautiful screen with the shaded maps. Even the 3d worked although it was painfully slow to pan. I took it outside and looked at it again. In cloudy conditions it is very difficult to see the screen. It is almost black. In sunny conditions it is a little bit better but still unusable in my opinion. You can see better with the backlight on full bright but not good enough to use.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I returned the unit to R.E.I. The guy at the store said that I was not the only person that has returned one for the bad screen. I am going to order a Garmin 60cx. I wanted that nice screen so bad but the unit is only usable indoors. It is hard to believe that Garmin could make such a huge mistake. Hopefully they will fix it a future unit. It also needs a better power connection than the mini usb. It is the wrong connection for Motorcycle use. Have fun!
    #13
  14. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,801
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    It's much brighter when plugged into external power, and it's easily legible. See my post above. But I guess people have different expectations; I don't need the screen to be Zumo-bright.

    --mark
    #14
  15. brianstanfill

    brianstanfill has adventure

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    Touring
    My Oregon is perfect for hiking when I need a compact, light-weight, and intuitive GPS to track my way. Rarely do I not know where I'm headed while in the wilderness, so it serves its purpose as a track log.

    Its navigation abilities are limited by a small screen and its incredible hunger for batteries. I wouldn't disregard the possibility of owning one GPS suited for road navigation and another for mountain climbing.

    As for gloves, that depends on the size/thickness material of your glove. The touch screen is not like the iPhone, as it does not require skin contact. It is actually depression sensitive. If gloves interfere, try a stylus made of anything rigid (like the back end of a pencil).

    For practical purposes, it will track (sans back light) for 16 hours on a set of batteries. Get it cold, and that number drops.

    I recommend buying from http://rei.com if you're into trying before buying. REI's 100% satisfaction guarantee will let you return the GPS if you don't like it.

    Cheers,
    Brian
    #15
  16. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,801
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Brian's post reminds me of something I forgot to mention in my post above.

    I had no trouble using the touch-screen even with my thick winter riding gloves on. Even hitting small buttons was no problem.

    And yeah, I've noticed too that the Oregon chews through batteries if you don't plug it in.

    --mark

    PS: I recorded a track of yesterday's ride, and its accuracy is pretty impressive.
    #16
  17. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,801
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Followup: gorgeous day today, got out for a ride on my XR650L with the Oregon mounted up and plugged in, had absolutely no problem reading it in any light conditions. This included bright sunlight, both directly on the screen and with the screen facing away from the sun. Even riding into the sun, with road spray on my face shield catching the sunlight, I could still read the Oregon's screen without a problem.

    Again, the caveat is that the Oregon HAS to be plugged into external power.

    --mark
    #17
  18. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,346
    Location:
    Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon
    I tried the Colorado 400t- sent it back...as it lacked simple, mutiple color,track-keeping functionality. A pretty basic need for me. Now they've repackaged it in the Oregon....ack!
    I use my handheld GPSs for Search & Rescue and put them through some basic but rough paces. The 400t was great but the battery life and lack of the above features were a joke.
    Garmin should fire this iPod/iPhone inspired design team (or at least relegate them to non-serious user group products ) and get back to what they used to do best-simple, reliable and pathfinding technology....grrrrrrrrr
    #18
  19. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,801
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Um... have you actually USED an Oregon?

    It absolutely has simple, multiple-color, track-keeping functionality. And it can display them simultaneously.

    I think this functionality has been added to the Colorado as well via software/firmware updates... but regardless, the Oregon is actually not simply a Colorado with a touch screen. There are a number of differences in the software.

    --mark
    #19
  20. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,346
    Location:
    Aloha... yes, Aloha, Oregon
    Okay, thanks for the update....how's the battery life on the Oregon?
    I went through three rounds of firmware upgrades to fix a few other problems on the Colorado-unfortunately none to add the simoultaneously displayed multiple-track capability. Unfortunately the Garmin rep had misinformed me about the Oregon at the time I called to inquire about it in November/December.
    I'll have to check them out again.
    #20