Want a GPS for TAT, TET. Confused.

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by citationdoc, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. citationdoc

    citationdoc All Farked Up

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    Been browsing lots of forums.

    I'd like to get a GPS suitable for running the TET and eventually the TAT. My previous GPS experience is very limited. I had an old etch-a-sketch unit that I lost on the trail that didn't map anything. I have an older DeLorme unit that eats batteries, and doesn't plug in. I only use it to mark where I parked the truck in case I get really lost. And I have a chinese ebay one I mount to my vstrom for road rides. Works good for that.

    I would like something that will take a bit of a pounding off road, can be wired to the bike, and I will be able to load the TAT or TET files to them. I'm a noob in that area as well, and I have an iMac if that makes any difference. The main reason for this purchase is so I can ride the TET up to New England. The TAT is offered in roll charts, which I am pretty good with. But having it on GPS would probably be a good backup. Money isn't much of an issue. Well, it is always an issue, but I'm willing to get what I pay for in this case.

    Thanks
    #1
  2. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Better than backup, roll chart will be backup.

    If you have really been reading, you would see that currently Montana or 78 are units of choice by most. Montana is larger which is + & -, much more road friendly for your street bike, but also is touch screen.
    #2
  3. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    The planning and prep principles for any route pretty much apply to every route so I'll offer a couple of observations.

    In 2010 I did the CDT using a Garmin 76CSx and Countdown's tracks. I also had his and Big Dog's waypoints. Tracks are more tedious and don't necessarily swap between all GPS units, but waypoints can be interchanged for use on all units. So if you have to choose only one data resource, get the waypoints.


    What GPS? Weirdly, after a year of planning I ended up with two units - the 76CSX and a Nuvi 550, so I wired them both and took them along.

    The 76 followed the tracks nicely but I found the Nuvi had every dirt road in the software. And before we were done we ended up plotting each day's itinerary using the Adventure Cycling Association detailed maps. Somewhere I have a piece of motel notepad stationary with handwritten notes to fit in my Wolfman tankbag map window. The notes simply list the road numbers to indicate the turns, and I got to where I only made a mental note of the distances. In hindsight I could have done with either GPS unit with no problem.

    My point is to encourage both -- that is, the roll charts and whatever GPS you settle on. And as Jerry noted, if you plan to run the TAT, I would opt for the roll charts as my primary resource and the GPS for backup.

    Just MHO
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  4. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Sounds like you never put any maps in your 76. Nuvi comes with City Nav, 76 comes with Interstates.
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  5. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    No, I did it all correctly and had the maps loaded -- bigger data card, the whole bit. Your tracks worked perfectly. The gradual shift to the less intense planning was as much as anything the result of "maturing" into the daily routine and context.

    GPS wise, what really led me to end up liking the Nuvi best was at the point of readability of the screen. I wear bi-focals to read but see fine at a distance, so the larger screen on the Nuvi gradually won me over. Along with the touch screen and gloves friendly functioning.

    All that said, the 76 model is a superior device due to the map detail and depth of features. In other settings I can imagine where I would choose it over the Nuvi. But ... all that is going on three years old and I'm thinking newer devices can boast a great mix of what I got out of two units. And at that juncture (the newer devices) I'm behind the curve because I settled into stuff that works for me and have not kept up with what is new.

    Still, the general ideas of navigation prep are pretty much universal.
    #5
  6. thebugslayer

    thebugslayer Been here awhile

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    Similar story with me. Just bought the Montana for a summer trip down the Blue Ridge Trail (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=632804). It's going to be between this and the 78 for you.

    Think I made the right call, but Garmin technology is about as user-friendly as DOS was 20 years ago. Also running a mac btw and be advised that the garmin software does not like chrome as a browser. Had to go back to safari to register, update software, etc.

    It's going to be cool when I get it sorted though...
    #6
  7. citationdoc

    citationdoc All Farked Up

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    Thanks for the help.

    About 2 years ago someone at work had me about talked into a garmin Oregon. Never did get one obviously. The Montana looks like a nice GPS. How is it the look at while riding?
    #7
  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I switched from a 60 to a Montana about a year ago. I really like it. It is much easier to see the screen than the 60 and probably other units of that era.

    It has also proven to be very tough. I have taken it on many multi-day rough rides including Moab and have not had the slightest problem.

    The touch screen is a bit of a problem when you have to wipe the dust off. Usually I can recover be keep hitting the return icon.

    If I were doing something like the TAT with a GPS and a roll-chart, the GPS would be the primary nav device hands down. And if I were by myself I would almost surely have a backup GPS, maybe a 60 or 78.
    #8
  9. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    +1

    Way too much planning and expense and a once in a life time trip, backukp GPS is no brainer. Even e-trex
    #9