My New 276C GPS and Mapsource

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by marco polo, May 26, 2005.

  1. marco polo

    marco polo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
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    Location:
    Alexandria VA and Ottawa, Canada
    Received my new Garmin 276C last week and had it hard-wired by my trusty tech yesterday. I've had a chance over the past week, or so, to play with it off-bike (battery power is really handy. Can't imagine not having it for rest stops, hotels etc.). I've also played with Mapsource as I bought City Navigator NA and a 256MB card. Though I've never had a GPS, I have used MS Streets & Trips on my PC for the past couple of years to plan routes etc that I then summarized on a piece on paper and stuck in the map pocket of my tank bag. Low tech, but did the trick. All this to say, I have not found Mapsouce to be nearly as intuitive as Streets & Trips when it comes to creating/modifying routes. Ditto for the GPS itself. Obviously I'll get better as I go, but has anyone else found this to be the case? Any tips? I've updated the unit's software and read the updated manuals online (hard copies were slightly out of date). When planning a longer trip, say 1200 kms/750 miles over two days, is it better to create and save as one route, or two? Does uploading the second route to my GPS erase anything from the first route, or is it only if you save maps too that erase any previous maps on the GPS. Any and all tips welcome.
    #1
  2. christian

    christian Exchange your GPS Track!

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    I've noticed that mapsource is not that good overhaul compared to some other software like topo.com but in general I haven't found a software that does all I want easily!

    Now that you got the toy, you can get routes from gpsxchange.com
    #2
  3. johnlt

    johnlt Been here awhile

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    I was under the impression that the recommended map set for the 276C was "City Select", not City Navigator". I also have been told that they are very similar but not identical. I use CN with my SP-III and am looking at the 276 for an upgrade and would be interested in comments on the CN vs CS.
    #3
  4. edfetz

    edfetz Been here awhile

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    You can save multiple routes. They dont erase each other like the maps. I use a map on my tank bag for the big picture and use the 276 for scouting county / town roads encounterd on the way. I have found if I plan out route in unfamiliar terrritory I dont always pick the best motorcyle roads. So if Im unhappy with the road Im on and I see a chance to turn off, I stop and scan ahead with the GPS to see where it goes. Then the route evolves that way. Roads beside streams always seem to be winners. The 276 will plot the track so you can save it on your PC for the next trip to that area.

    Ed
    #4
  5. Badmunkie

    Badmunkie ...and needing spanked!

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    johnlt,
    Yes CN DOES work with the 276C. I have it for my SPIII and now have the 276C registered to use it as well.

    No absolute need to break the route into multiple segments. For my trips through Europe I usually make a different route for each country. Can work the same way in the US with either counties or states.

    Start the route name with numbers in the order you plan to need them. Use suffixes for alternate routes, i.e.:

    01 Switzerland
    02 Italy
    02a Italy
    03 Austria
    03a Austria
    03b Austria
    04 Slovenia


    Then, at the end of each route you can easily choose which route is next depending on the current situation.

    I'm preparing for a 4,500 mile trip from Germany to Slovenia to Greece to Turkey to Romania to Poland and back to GE. I have 29 routes loaded including many alternates and bypasses.

    One thing to consider concerning the memory cards. If the card doesn't have the maps loaded for the entire route, the screen will show nothing but waypoints (no map) when you drive out of the "mapped" area. At that point you will have to either load the next series of maps on the card, or switch cards with one that has been pre-loaded with the next series.

    Hope this helps,

    'munkie
    #5
  6. Marc

    Marc Just sayin...

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    No kidding. I use both on a regular basis and frequently get irritated at how "clumsy" the MapSource interface is compared to MapPoint (same as Streets & Trips - but with data capabilities). That said, MapSource can save multiple routes within a single file where the MS "Route Planner" requires separate files for more than one route.

    Despite the programs oddities, I've never not been able to so something I wanted - it just took some tinkering. After a while using it, you'll understand how to get things done, work around it's quirks, and grab your GPS and go.

    M
    #6
  7. marco polo

    marco polo Been here awhile

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    So I don't confuse people, indeed it's City Select that I have for my 276C. Thanks all for the replies. Just last night I seemed to get the hang of creating routes on my PC with the "Route Tool", just clicking on points on the map. Now I have to figure out how to easily do that on the GPS. Getting back to Mapsource and my PC, I notice that in creating a route on the PC, there don't seem to be as many choices in terms of specifying road preferences as there are on the GPS itself. On the GPS you can go to the Setup menu and drill down until you get those horizontal sliders where you indicate the extent to which you like/dislike interstates/highways/minor roads. Unless I've missed something, that feature is not available on the PC; it only let's me choose fastest route, or shortest distance. I also know I can choose what types of roads to avoid, like toll roads, U-turns etc.

    Another specific question about the GPS, I have concluded that I should set it to automatically recalculate my route, as opposed to prompting me and waiting for me to click "yes". Does that make sense, and if so, what do I need to be aware of? Do I use this when I purposely don't follow the turn-by-turn directions because I just spotted a Starbucks and make a beeline for it to have my decaf, grande, non-fat, no-whip, extra hot mocha? When it recalculates a route on the fly, does it save the new route by erasing the original that I created? If so, does that matter to me? Also, when I'm done for the day, do I just turn off the GPS and turn it back on the next morning, or do I have to tell it to "stop navigating". I know the next morning I'd have to select a route to navigate etc.
    #7
  8. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    i have found the automatic routing worthless for the most part on anything apart from interstates and main roads. Specifically i cant get the unit to route me down forest roads even if i have put wayoints on those roads. Aside from that it is an amazing device. I hear it can even talk to you.
    #8
  9. Sirby

    Sirby Silveradvo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
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    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    I have had no problem getting city select to auto route through the most complex maze of logging roads . I set the beginning point, scroll over to the destination on the other side of the mountain, and enter the finishing point. It computes for a bit, then blam! there is a nice purple line through the woods, making just the right choices at every intersection to get me there the "shortest" way.
    I came to the 276c from the non autorouting E-map, and at first had the habit of going to the PC and plotting a route point by point. Voila! No longer , now right on the PC I can auto-plot a route from point A to point B based on quickest or shortest etc., with just a couple of clicks. Once the route is saved and downloaded into the 276 I can further "drill down" to the menu option of no u-turns etc, which are not needed to create a route on the PC, but are needed to set rules for the 276 to follow when following a route.
    You need to just try stuff. Like shut that puppy down at the end of the day, and it lights up the next morning ready to continue the route you were on. As long as you don't tell her to "stop navigating", you are fine.
    I recently downloaded the firmware update 3.2 I think it is, to find a COOL new feature. If you have ver.3.2 try loading the new color "Dashboard" screen. Woo... just like inna car. Little map scrollin' along as you ride, big color speedo readout.
    I unclipped the 276 off the bike and grabbed the auto/car kit beanbag mount with speaker power cord and packed it all into my laptop case sans laptop, and took off with SWMBO to Vegas. We rented a car ( with XM radio.."suhweet!) and headed out to the coast. We had previously named the GPS "Pam" ( thats Map , backkerds) for the femm voice that keeps us on track. Well we told Pam to route us to a hotel in San Juan Capistrano, and we found ourselves breezing through south LA traffic and taking exits and backroads like we were locals. It was in the dark and in the rain, and I was stoked to be doing this without so much as a peek at the paper map. Wifey is now pleased with my investment, as she is usually the navigator on these blind forays into strange states and countries.
    I leave auto recalculate on all the time, as I tend to take exploratory turns into unknown places. I have Pam wired into my helmet with an Autocom Smart-7 system , and sometimes I get tired of her constant "Off Route, Recalculating" babble, so I turn the volume down.
    The new update 3.2 also has some kind of marine water temperature display function, I think with alarms, that might hook up to an outside the bike temp sending unit thermister type o' deal, which might be useful. I need to find out where I can get a temp sensor to attach to those extra wires on the harness which must be for that. I'd welcome any input on this .
    "Pam" Rocks... :nod
    -Sirby
    #9
  10. Sirby

    Sirby Silveradvo

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    I forgot to mention to Mookie Blaylock, you must not have more than the basemap for auto routing. If not, you need to get City Select North America ( or where-ever ) for full backroad and backstreets auto routing. I was trying to "get by" without it for a while, but went to Cycoactive/Touratech usa for the Auto kit with City Select, dash mount, power cord/speaker and memory upgrade. Now it functions great off road. The software isn't perfect but it is awesome for what it does.
    -Sirby:nod
    #10
  11. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    well allright then. Seems it requires some more experimentation:dj
    #11
  12. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2001
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    Location:
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    Sirby:

    Garmin just replaced my old klunky 276C with a brand new one and it came with the 3.2 firmware. On a recent multiday trip I came to like the new "Dashboard" as well. I also like some of the other pre-programmed screens that can give even MORE info. I love what Garmin has done with this model.

    I have mine autoroute as well. I know this is weird, but sometimes I go out of my way to take little weird roads just to SEE what the GPS will come up with in trying to get me to the destination. I expect one day it's gonna say: "Fuck off, stop doing that" or something.

    My wife is not a gadget freak, but loves the GPS as well as it relieves her of navigating duty when in the car!

    If you figure out how to make the temperature probe work please let us know. Would be cool to have a temp sensor.

    Tom
    #12