New Garmin Montana

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by AugustFalcon, May 18, 2011.

  1. cablebandit

    cablebandit Web Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    710
    Location:
    State College PA

    I paid a little over $300.00. Oh, and every GPS I've owned has had peculiarities and a learning curve. The fact that this unit can be a lot of things to a lot of different end users just makes that curve a little steeper.
  2. Pete O Static

    Pete O Static Adventure Seeker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    The Great White North
    Of course things have a learning curve but this is a simple GPS, not a laser gyro inertial reference system. I agree that the unit does many things but none of them particularly well. I just wish Garmin would focus on one thing at a time, get that straight and working properly, then move on to the next. As it stands, the Montana, like the Zumo before it, has terrible mapping ability which cannot be trusted ( although the resolution is better ) and annoying bugs like spontaneous and spurious shutdowns, white screens etc.....Now they want to add a remote temp sensor. Really?..

    Your experience is different than mine but there are many who have issues with this unit and as I have said before, I find Google Maps to be a much better street navigator for a lot less money. Agreed it won't tell me when is the best time to go fishing but I am more than ok with that for a bug free navigational experience.
  3. bluerock5

    bluerock5 n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7
    just got it and I need to switch to English...Thanks
  4. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    Why haven't you returned the unit to Garmin for repair?

    Cheers,
  5. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    If the unit was delivered with a not-English base language you will need to do a Master Reset and then select English.

    Master Reset: Power unit Off. Press and hold the upper left corner of the screen and power the unit on. Continue to press the upper left corner until there is a message displayed about Deleting all user data... press YES. Then after the unit restarts select English.

    Cheers,
  6. marco polo

    marco polo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2002
    Oddometer:
    649
    Location:
    Alexandria VA and Ottawa, Canada
    It has been working perfectly ever since I moved my data to internal storage. It is mind-boggling to me how such an innocuous change can transform the Montana from a next-to-useless device to a well-functioning GPS. I'm going to leave well enough alone at this point, as you've noted.
  7. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,459
    Location:
    Westby Wisconsin
    I'm just looking into the Montana's, but your statement sure seems to hold true with every GPS unit I've owned. The GPS industry seems to really do well with the Satellite end of things, but their software seems to be stuck in the 80's as far as user friendliness goes.
  8. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,078
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    What the heck are you calling "mappinig ability"?

    No GPS makes maps they just display maps other people created.

    As far as trusting Maps, all maps get outdated by geographic changes over time.
  9. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    I wholly agree with you..... Pete O Static.... just came back from a TAT ride.... East to West. End point Colorado. 5,592 miles.

    Carried the Zumo 450 and Montana 650 side by side on the 1200GS. I am glad that I had the old faithful Zumo 450 as the Montana was one of the buggiest Garmin GPS I ever owned. Oh, sure it's a great instrument; easy to see in sunlight; strong as a bull when going through rutted washboard roads..tolerated the heat of the day and engine as well, however a lot..I mean a lot of refinements need to be done by Garmin before this instrument is totally embraced by the public. Garmin needs to focus on getting the instrument to work properly under all conditions instead of loading it with gizmos. The reason for the Montana was "tracks" which the Zumo cannot do from Mapsource or BaseCamp. I have the latest update 4.20.

    Problems: (1) When wanting to look for a destination(address)...pick State > city> skip street > skip house number and expect to have a list of rodds, street names, etc..does not happen for the first time..."says Not found"...screen goes blank and unit shuts off. Restart unit...You do this sequence 2-3 times of finding the address...it finally displays the lists of streets or roads.

    (2) charging the unit from the bikes source is not alway effective...whether it was/is the contacts with the rugged mounts of some inside discrepancy I do not know. During a hot day the unit does not charge and runs off it's own battery...starts charging when the unit cools or the cool of a morning! Could be pin contact which expand and contract during temp changes.

    3) When Navigating and trying to either zoom in or out..the instrument always skips to a way point(pin) screen..then you have to unpin it..revert back to the zooming platform, etc..the touchpad (+)-(-) is too small an area for riding gloves..this is where the Zumo excells as you don't always have to revert to the screen.. you can push( +- )using the rubberized sidecar.

    4) When stopping the map screen rotates back and forth while the Zumo is quiet and steady.

    Sorry to say that I am NOT impressed with the Montana and wish that Garmin simply revamped the good old Zumo.:deal
  10. JustRon

    JustRon ex-broadwayron

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,354
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Don't know if this has already been mentioned, but just a heads-up... my Montana flew out of the Ram mount cradle yesterday when I was going through some sand whoops. Luckily, it was easy to find, and not damaged. But, that was a little disconcerting- I thought that cradle was locked pretty solid on the Montana.
  11. dresda

    dresda shut up and RIDE!

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    South Eastern Shore of Ontario
    I'm starting to think that a lot of the Montana users here have simply bought a device that is way more powerful than they need and beyond their requirements. Perhaps many of the Montana's detractors should consider buying a Zumo, units that are simple and easy to learn but that have way fewer capabilities, similar to the units sold for use in automobiles..

    I'm on my 5th handheld device, I've worked my way up through the range starting with an old eMap, then a 76S, 76csx, Oregon, and Montana. The Montana seems to be an evolution of the breed as far as its user interface goes and is by far the best unit I've ever owned. Although there are still some features that the 76s had that I miss.

    The handheld units have always been far more complex than the automotive units because, being a handheld device, they are used by people who are using them in fairly diverse and complex ways. Geocachers really push these tools to the limits, setting up complicated puzzles that the players solve to find the cache. I know of geologists who use Montanas to map finds and locations. My Zumo drives me up the wall because I'm always looking for a feature that isn't there. But I know about the feature because I've been using handheld devices for years.

    These are not the 'Dummys' device, but a powerful tool. And anything that has power is also complex.

    They take time to learn! Don't buy one just before you leave on your big trip - get it 6 months in advance and learn how it works! Use it in familiar surroundings, on routes you know and see how it behaves so that you can understand what it is doing and how to interpret what it is telling you. It is just a tool and is still not a substitute for pre-planning a trip. You still should look at maps and bring them with you on your trip.
  12. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Have gone through many devices, all fine!!...! Regarding mine...there's nothing too powerful regarding the Montana. Am well versed in it's power and use, just that it has too many glitches..where one has too often have to reset the darn thing in the middle of a ride. This to me is unbecoming of a Garmin product I ever owned. I am sure in time they will get more consistent, rugged, fool proof..but at this time...it is sadly lacking reliability!

    cheers...
  13. dresda

    dresda shut up and RIDE!

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,008
    Location:
    South Eastern Shore of Ontario
    I've only had to reset mine a couple of times early on. Its been just fine for this entire riding season. I'm totally happy with it.

    BTW, those of you who like google maps, be aware that their maps aren't entirely accurate either. I can think of a number of occasions that google has sent people up a road that wasn't maintained or didn't exist!
  14. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,108
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I don't agree. It's been perfect for me ever since the last non-beta update. Aside from the screen protector issue, but even that has not happened since I changed to a new protector.
  15. gots_a_sol

    gots_a_sol Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    Charles Town, WV
    The orientation is on auto. Mine would do that also until I locked the orientation to where I wanted it. Mine sits almost flat on my bars though which I'm assuming is why it was rotating.

    I haven't had any issues with mine other than the spinning thing and one other situation where it kept changing the view from track up to north up and back again while driving down the road. I zoomed it in 2 clicks and it stopped doing that :huh
  16. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Just did another re-set and re-Webupdate to see whether it fixed the "address" part (the unit shuts off when by-passing street and house number; won't show a list of streets or Roads only after a 2-4 time attempts, it finally lists streets)....

    No dice!.

    Sorry for the rant. I guess I have to ship it to Garmin and let them have a look what's bugging it.

    cheers....
  17. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,108
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I've never had any success doing wild card searches on street addresses on any gps. My Nuvi 780 doesn't do it so I didn't even try on the Montana.
  18. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    I have not had any problems doing Address wildcard searches since v3.90. Were you navigating a Route when you had this issue?

    Cheers,
  19. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,319
    Location:
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    It would have only been mentioned if someone didn't make sure that the unit was well seated in the Rugged Mount. I don't even bother to use the security screw when I use the Montana on my HP2 off-road - and I like rugged terrain. Never had any issues with the unit popping out of the mount. Having said that I do use a tether even when it's mounted on my GSA.

    Cheers,
  20. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Yes, I was navigating along a route or track..so decided to call it a day and wanted to zip onto small city or Towns road, just to drive through the main artery and see what's there....thus the address request. I knew for example I was driving along rt. 25...and was trying to address/find rt. 25 from the wildcard searches...none was there and it simply shut the whole unit down when I asked it for more.

    Cheers...