Oregon 550t - I can't see the Bloody Screen!

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by hppyfngy, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    Hey anybody using an Oregon 550t on a bike?

    I've been trying one out for a couple of months and I can't see the damned screen most of the time. I do not have it wired to the bike as I've heard all the horror stories about the usb connector breaking, so I'm just running it on batteries.

    There is a sweet spot, where the light hits it just right and it's beautiful, but two thirds of the time I can barely make it out. Of course I've tried it with the screen lit all the way and off, seems to make no diff in the daylight.

    Am I doing something wrong? Could I have a defective unit? Am I going blind? (don't answer that one.) I have a 60CSx and a Zumo550 and they look great. Thought the Oregon would be another multi-purpose unit.

    Any ideas?
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  2. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    Run my 550 on batteries and works fine. Maybe with the sun directly over head its dim, but then I just move it in its mount and all's good.
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  3. OceanMtnSea

    OceanMtnSea Pretty Dogged

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    Yea I have a 550T that use with the USB on the bike and I have no issues. One thing I have noticed is you need to get the angle right and if you are older - you definitely need glasses with the smaller screen.
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  4. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    I think I have to find another 550 to compare. I definitely "are older," ever so slightly... :gerg but the 60 is not as large as the Oregon and I can see it fine. Great even.

    It's not that it's small, it's just not bright enough.

    So you guys can see it well enough, but you definitely have to fiddle with it in certain lighting, right?

    Wonder if it could be the map? What maps are you using?
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  5. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    FYI, I have NT 2012 loaded on it along with Topo 100 and Topo 24K East. If I disable both Topo maps and get to a certain zoom level, the "land" goes from green to white, making it much easier to see the roads and road names.

    I don't like that solution but I might have to play around with it.
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  6. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Go to setup/maps/advanced and turn off terrain shading. It's useless...
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  7. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    Hallelujah! Thank you! That just might take care of the whole thing. :clap

    I should rtfm, huh? I guess after having a half dozen of these things I thought I knew how to use them...

    New important feature!

    Can't wait to try it out.
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  8. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    Well, just gave it a little spin with terrain detail off and road text set to Large. It's much better that way and I can leave my Topos enabled. :clap

    It's still not nearly as bright as the Zumo or the 60, but it's a lot easier to see this way. Thanks again! :thumb
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  9. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Did you confirm you're at full brightness? Hit the power button once, then check it out.
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  10. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    I do know how to adjust the brightness of the back light but I don't see a difference in strong sunlight. Should it make a difference? :dunno

    Anyway, I'll experiment some more. No doubt the wired Zumo is brighter and the 60 is too, even on batteries, but the Oregon has many advantages over the 60, so I'll keep playing with it.

    Any other insights appreciated. I've already gone from being ready to retire the Oregon to handheld to it being useful on a bike for me. IDK, age, eyes, reflections and interference from my tinted eyeglasses and my shield... Maybe you younger sprouts just see it better than I do. :dunno
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  11. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Many of us former Oregon users have gone, or are preparing to upgrade to the Garmin Montana...

    I sold my 550 last August to help fund the purchase and haven't regretted it once. My old eyes thanked me for it!

    At the risk of being called a Montana Evangelist, here's what the Montana looks like:

    The Montana screen is 4" diagonal, but one big difference is that the Montana can be used in portrait or landscape mode, as seen below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And if you like the Nuvi/Zumo type display, the Montana can do that in either orientation too.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    That looks really good.

    One question. One of the things I really like about the Zumo is whenever I enter a destination, it shows my ETA embedded in the routing screen. Then I just start riding.

    The cool thing about that is if I see a road I've never been down, I just start on it and watch what happens to my ETA. Sometimes it actually lessens, if I happen onto a road the Zumo hadn't considered because of my preferences. But in any case, the immediate feedback tells ms whether to keep on this new route. If it adds ten minutes to an hour trip, I'll try it. If it adds an hour to an hour trip, I know it's not going to work.

    This makes exploring loads more fun if you don't know exactly where you're going, and don't care. I've found countless cool things this way.

    Can you do that with either the Oregon or the Montana? To me it's the best feature of the Zumo.

    :ear
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  13. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    With the right auto-routing maps, either will give you that information. City Navigator North America works just as well on the Oregon or Montana. The Montana has profiles and shortcuts though, and those in combination can be really interesting if you're navigating.

    In my case I have Auto-Routing Open Street Maps set up in one profile, and City Navigator which are also Auto-Routing in another profile, with a shortcut in each profile to take me to the alternative. That way I can compare maps quite easily. In some places the Garmin product is preferable. In other places, OSM wins.

    The other really clear advantage with the Montana is the "Rugged Mount". For only $35, you get a lockable mount with a speaker cable out, and proper power connection to the gps. No more fragile mini USB cable necessary.

    The Montana really is the best you can get right now in many people's opinion. Mine included.
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  14. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    I guess I have to play around with it more but I don't see that I have the option of having my ETA onscreen while navigating with the map on. :dunno
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  15. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Go to Setup/Map/Data Fields and select how you want to see the data fields. There are many options but basically, if you choose to add 2 Data Fields, then exit and go back to the Map Screen, you can configure those two data fields as you like, with perhaps Distance to Destination, and ETA at Destination.

    There are many ways to do this but the two data field option hides the least amount of map screen.

    Try it out and see. Also, check the Dashboard option, and in the Data Fields setup screen you can also choose "Custom" so that you can configure the Oregon to only show you Data Fields if you're navigating, and nothing if you're not navigating.

    Again, there are many options...
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  16. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    Emmbeedee, you just need to come over and let me buy you a beer sometime. :D Obviously I haven't rtfm, (I actually didn't get one with it.)

    I'll spend some more time drilling down in the menus before I ask any more dumb questions.


    Thanks again! :thumb
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  17. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Yum! Free beer!

    You don't need no stinkin manual. Just play with it.
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  18. Klrdar

    Klrdar n00b

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    I have the Oregon 550t and bought the city nav lower 49. I went to download it and it says it doesn't have enough room to download. I don't have anything on it except like 5 way point.
    What do I do.... I see you guys have that map loaded on???
    Thanks.
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  19. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Put the map on a uSD card, not the Oregon itself.
    #19