Need GPS, huge screen and for remote places.

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by jgas, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. jgas

    jgas Stoogely Adventurerer

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    I have looked at many threads here, not found any that exactly answer my questions. I am extremely, and I mean really horribly far sighted. Had artificial lenses installed in the old eyeballs, due to previous surgeries and injuries I had to opt for a chance on overall good eyesight, or could take farsightedness 99% for sure and not so good up close. Being a dirt bike guy I took no chances and opted for farsighted. I can see a speck of dust on Pluto. As long as it's not too bright, too dark, and your dog named Pluto is close. So what I need is a HUGE screen. Every GPS I've tried to use I have to stop and get out the readers to read. (I use 3.50 readers). Can't keep the readers on my nose cause I get dizzy.

    Also, I ride some pretty gnarly single and two track, fairly fast speeds. Some "trails" I ride are almost impossible to see or find. I'd like a unit that is excellent in very remote places, with no or very few highways or towns to keep the unit oriented. Many of the areas I ride are very remote and only have USFS or timber company roads, and there are at least 5 different large timber companies around here which may or may not lend info to civilian use.

    So, I need a TV size screen with capability for the boonies. I do carry a map and compass at all times for backup. Elevation and direction would be nice, but an option.

    I'd like to keep the price under 350.00, don't mind buying used. I'll pay more if a necessity. Thanks.
    #1
  2. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    I think a tablet (7" , 9" or 10" ~) would be the best bet

    if android you can use OSM (OSMAND or ORUXMAPS )

    also i make my own maps from google map data and convert them to white background with black roads , this alone improves readability alot
    #2
  3. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    #3
  4. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Reading glasses are for office use. Have you tried blended bifocal riding glasses? I have not used goggles since Burleson showed me the trick with plastic frames in the 70's. I use a set of RayBan frames with same perscription as my day to day wire frame glasses. Yes 3.5 is a lot, I think I have about 2 but still it just takes a few days to get used to them. Your eyes really don't have much to do with vision, it is all a bunch of complex processing of data in the brain.
    #4
  5. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I agree 100% with Jerry Counts. A few years ago I entered the Alcan5000 TSD Rally. This required reading a navigational roadbook with lots of key details marked on the route instructions. In addition I had two stop watches mounted and a GPS. The only way my attempt was going to be successful was to have special bi-focul glasses made so I could read all that shit while trying to maintain the prescribed pace over strange terrain.

    I went to a national eyewear chain and picked out large lense frames that were also flexible and fit well inside my helmet. Sitting on the bike, I measured the length to my focul point (roadbook and instruments), and went to see the eye doc. She made the lower half for reading my intruments using the focul length I gave her, and the top half corrected for distance. The result was fantastic. I am now on my 3rd pair of riding glasses in 5 years. The lenses are plastic and I had them apply a modest tint to the last two pairs. My bi-foculs are not progressive, as I don't like those.

    I have not tried them under goggles as my helmets have a face screen. I think I could, though.

    I paid around $300 for the glasses. I use tracks mostly these days, which I find much better for the type of riding you discribed. Those are usually hand held GPS products with small screens. My present GPS is a Montana.

    Hope that helps
    #5
  6. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Tech Type

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    Take a look at this link. It's for a Garmin Streetpilot 7200 with a 7" screen. I ran one on my 1150GS while I had it. HUGE screen easy to read and full updateable. It does routing and everything.

    http://www.topbrandgps.com/products/B000FMLTZI-4

    I have no clue as to the reliability of the posted vendor, but provide the link as an example only. Buy at your own risk.
    #6
  7. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    The larger the screen the easier it will break....

    Try the bifocals .. or my old boss used to use 1/2 frames .. they were only 1/2 the height of a normal lens - he looked over the top to see far .. and through the lens to read stuff.

    Good luck. Near sighted here.
    #7
  8. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    FWIW, I wear short half-frame $7.00 walmart reading glasses while riding. I wear them kind of slipped down my nose. When I look straight ahead, I am looking over the glasses, when I look down, e.g., at the GPS or tank bag map, etc., I am looking through the half-glasses. It works great for me.
    #8
  9. sigmund freud

    sigmund freud Adventurer

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  10. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    That's about the closest thing - except the price is 730 Euro, or about $1,000 USD at current exchange rates, and makes you create your own maps, and you will be most likely the only kid on your block with one.

    If the Earl makes it to launch, it might be something to consider. I wouldn't recommend being an early adopter on Earl, but it does meet your specs, and the price is supposed to be $299 for a basic model.
    #10
  11. 568V8

    568V8 Ontario Vstrommer

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    I have some problems with seeing close but not a serious as you. I do find that my Zumo 550 works best for me when I use it through a Booster-Roo splitter amplifier and into speakers in my helmet. So I'm suggesting that you rely more on hearing the navigation instructions than seeing the map.
    #11
  12. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    We had a wingmate that used his tablet. The GPS signal came via blue tooth from a tracker called "Bad Elf Pro". I don't know much more about the setup, but you might look it up.
    #12
  13. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer

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  14. ChrisMac

    ChrisMac Adventurer

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    For a $350 budget, I would look at an:

    - iPad Mini with cell data option (wifi only version does not have GPS) (about $250 for a used 32GB one on eBay)
    - a case (about $40 on eBay)
    - MotionX HD app $1.99 + $4.99 to download TOPO maps and satellite images.

    The weak link will be the case. I have not seen any truly bomb proof cases for the iPad like they make for the iPhone. Looks like most of the cases currently available are for rain protection for pavement bikes (and not up to protect your iPad from multiple crashes in the trees... at least I would need that kind of iPad case durability).

    You then will need to pre-load all the maps for the terrain you are going to ride for offline use and make sure you get the super detailed level of tiles (not the default that the app suggests you download). This article explains how to do that: http://tlcfaq.com/main/2013/08/motion-x-custom-maps/

    The good news is that the iPad is pretty stingy on power consumption so you can probably get away with not having to wire a charging cable your battery. However, you will have to follow all the battery saving tips to get the most use (just google "save battery life iPad" or "save battery ios7" for the latest tips). And it would be a good idea to carry an external battery for an emergency recharge.

    And when not riding... you have an iPad Mini.

    I am not an android user, but you can get a 7" tablet... or 10" tablet much much cheaper than an apple one. However, I don't know if there is an android app that loads layers as easily as MotionX. When I ride, I love being able to toggle between terrain view, USGS topo map view and satellite view. Sounds like satellite view will be particularly useful for the terrain you want to get into.

    Below if a screen capture of MotionX HD. I am following a track In NorCAL in satellite imagery mode so I make sure not to take some dead-end single track.

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Most, but not all tablets, have a GPS chipset install. Some WiFi only iPads do not/did not have GPS and you needed an external bluetooth one.
    #15
  16. hamish99

    hamish99 Adventurer

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    Please excuse the elementary question of:

    Do tablets, I-pads, or Androids, with a GPS chipset have to be connected to cell service and/or network service to work?
    #16
  17. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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    NO on Androids and tablets. My Nexus 10 Android tablet does navigation just fine with no connections of any kind. Not sure on iPad; I think it depends on which chip set. I'll check my wifes iPad tomorry.

    You'll want to have wifi for uploading tracks and downloading maps and tracks. Or USB.


    Typical use: download navigation app via wifi; start app and download maps for off-line access, download tracks. Go into field with no connections. Start navigation app and it will show your track on saved maps. Track. Go home and upload saved tracks to computer or other via wifi. It's just plain magic. :eek1
    #17
  18. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Generally NO.

    But you do need to use maps that are stored on the device, not off the internet. But that is easy enough.
    #18
  19. BluesCruiser

    BluesCruiser Adventurer

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    #19
  20. pihrt

    pihrt V. Pihrt

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    I also follow if Earl will become "real" - definetly this could be very interesting device...

    As X710 designer I know it is more expensive - that's because every industrial/rugged component in small qty is expensive. But for this purpose (big readable display) it is ideal - you can see (on picture attached) how big fonts could be and in latest version also complete map magnifier (2x and 4x).
    [​IMG]
    #20