Off Road GPS for a dirtbike

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by dieselcruiserhead, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. dieselcruiserhead

    dieselcruiserhead Long timer

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    I've been using a Garmin HCX eTrex for about a year and it's been great. Intended use is mostly using heavily off road for hand drawn tracks and/or following a track that someone else has done before.

    My complaints are (in order):
    Can only display one track at once - absolutely have to fix this.
    No 12V power (just battery power, eats through them unless I use lithium)
    the 'usability' of the old trex is aweful, really retarded layout and way of doing things that reminds me of 90s technology. Functional, but ugly mostly..


    Additional features I'd like are (continuing, in order)
    ability to switch maps once I have more than just 100K
    bigger screen, possibly


    What are my options? Familiar with Google Earth and Basecamp and that's it..

    I saw that the 62 is pretty good but looks like the new one doesn't have the 12V. Does this mean that I'm looking for an old 60? Or a Montana or a Oregon? I like the Oregon. The Montana seems huge. I think I prefer traditional buttons to touch screen due to gloves... maybe... This said my gloves are thin and work with iphones just fine. I don't need a camera (my cameras have good GPS units).

    All ears on any other recommendations...
    #1
  2. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    I use the same GPS. Maybe snice my HCX is an upgrade from my old etrex, I find that this one is great.

    I beg to differ on teh no 12volt comment. The back is a standard USB mini. Any 12volt (cig lighter) USB will work. That is how I power mine. The AA batteris last several times longer than the old etrex did.
    #2
  3. dieselcruiserhead

    dieselcruiserhead Long timer

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    I certainly understand that but I'm pretty sure that pretty much all of the GPS units come with USB ports. I was concerned about it coming loose, I'd have to drill a hole through my Ram mount to make it work, and it's definitely half ass. The ones that are considered wireable use something like the 4 hole plug in port or similar... But this said perhaps its worth experimenting with.

    The 62 looks pretty awesome, but the lack of that 1 feature definitely is a negative point...

    I'm wondering if the Montana might be the ticket. It's just so physically large.. And expensive of course...
    #3
  4. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    The Montana is shorter and only 0.5in wider than the GPSMAP 62stc. It is a whopping 1oz. heavier though. :evil

    But, you would be able to acquire a proper powered mount for the bike.

    Cheers,
    #4
  5. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Current choices that have standard 12V power and full track features are 60Cx, 76Cx & 78. A giant upgrade from your e-trex is 76Cx from WestMarine.com for $150 when it is on sale, the 78 holds more tracks but a lot more $.

    Do not believe the crap about USB power input units, they will eventually fail because not designed for vibration, they will fail if you get it wet, shourts and sends 12V to 5 V input and makes toast out of GPS.

    Montana is top of line but few real dirt bike riders have switched.
    #5
  6. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Hi Jerry, could you define "real dirt bike riders" for me? I've often wondered what they are. :hmmmmm :D

    Cheers,
    #6
  7. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Riders who use the 76Cx? :wink: :lol3
    #7
  8. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    62S VS Montana. There's no comparison.

    [​IMG]

    I very rarely use the 62 now that I have my Montana. There's no point. And I very quickly forgot how much the Montana cost me. In fact it was cheaper than my first 60CSx.
    #8
  9. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Perfect. . . :rofl
    #9
  10. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Gota get a better term:
    a) Riding real dirt
    b) Riding a real dirt bike in real dirt
    c) Riders who actually ride dirt
    d) Riders who don't ride graded, gravel, manufactured roads
    e) Riders who truck their dirt bike to real dirt
    f) Riders who have no clue what Routes are good for
    I'll think of something better.
    #10
  11. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    :hmmmmm

    It must be the dirt :eek1

    Cheers,
    #11
  12. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

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    The 76 and 78 series units are classified as "Marine" units.

    The 62 uses a quad helix antenna. The 78 uses a patch antenna, which has very good reception as long as the unit is held flat. The quad helix antenna improves reception and is better suited to holding the GPS in a more upright vertical position.

    daryl
    #12
  13. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I've been using my iPhone for a few years (with a suitable mount of course, such as this one), it works great. Shockproof and waterproof.

    I run MotionX GPS for trail riding and Sygic on-road. There are a million other choices, but I'm happy enough with those two I don't even bother trying out competing products anymore. :thumb

    And yes, the GPS is accurate. It has a proper GPS+GLONASS chip with a good antenna and uses the cell network to speed up "cold" position lookups and improve indoor signal strength. MotionX can also use the built in gyroscope/compass/accelerometer to provide error correction and improve the position even more (you can turn it off, and might want to for gnarly trail rides). It will also switch seamlessly to showing compass heading instead of GPS heading when you're moving slow so the arrow on the map is always pointing in the right direction.

    I got the new iPhone 5 a few days ago, haven't tried it yet but it looks good:

    * drop tests show it is even more shock resistant. in my experience, the two iPhones I've owned are more shock/vibration resistant than my KTM :huh they're really well made, and aside from the glass screen (which can be replaced) the iPhone is practically bomb-proof
    * the old charging cable never failed for me, but the new one is really impressive. it's a solid piece of metal with a 8 big contact points instead of 30 tiny contacts, and it clips in so firmly you can pick the phone up by the cable and swing it around your head. it's also easier to plug in/out, which is nice for wearing gloves (it has a second set of contacts on back so you can plug it in upside down, and a nice curved entry point so you don't have to line it up properly)
    * it's faster (sygic especially pushes the processor really hard). according to CPU experts, the iPhone 5 has the fastest low-power CPU that has ever been made... and nobody else even has prototypes that can match it.
    * it's more than twice as much RAM compared to the old one (again, sygic barely had enough previously)
    * the screen is bigger
    * the screen is brighter
    * the screen glass is stronger
    * the screen glass has a better reflective coating, so sunlight doesn't bounce off it as much
    * the camera is better (I won't go into it, but it compares favourably to high end point-and-shoots. certainly better than most of those compact/highly durable point-and-shoots)

    I must've used an iPhone for almost 40,000km's now, including basically every trail ride I've done in the last few years (not as many as I'd like :cry).

    I've only got a few complaints:

    * i haven't tried any dedicated motorcycle charging systems. i've got a self-wired one that needs repair a couple times a year (I'm no electrician... it's pretty dodgy)
    * if there is zero wind (as in, the bike is parked), and you're in full sunlight, then it will eventually present a "temperature warning" then shut down. it won't turn on again until it's cooled off, which takes about 20 minutes. I've heard some cases make this problem worse than others... for me it's been fine as long as I remember to throw a glove over the top of the phone when I park the bike in the sun. the new phone has a fully aluminium back, and the cpu/etc is basically bolted right onto it - I bet that acts as an effective heat sink but haven't tested yet (my handlebar mount is still on pre-order). I have done riding in central australia in the height of summer, and no problems at all leaving it in full sunlight from dawn to dusk, but if you park the bike for a few minutes in the sun it will shut down.
    * with one of the handlebar mounts I had, it allowed some dust to get in between the case and the phone. then the phone vibrating combined with dust scratched the camera lens to oblivion in just one afternoon of riding. the new iphone has a sapphire camera lens, just like the most expensive/shock proof watches. dust probably isn't capable of scratching it and it's a cheap repair anyway... but if your case allows dust to get to the phone make sure the camera lens isn't touching the case (specifically, if you're using an Otterbox Defender I would remove the camera lens protector - it's only glued in).
    #13
  14. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    They are riders who look back at memories like this, and hope it happens on the next ride:

    [​IMG]

    (took me half an hour to get out of that hole! the back wheel isn't touching the bottom... it's floating on the bash plate. At one point I even had to take my foot out of a boot so I could lay down on my stomach in the mud and dig the boot out)
    #14