Want offroad GPS, searching driving me nuts

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by jules083, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    *edit* heck with it, I'm just going to convert it to DC power. It'll make life a lot easier I think.

    I know this has been covered, but after a few weeks of searching and reading threads my eyes are going crossed and I'm no closer to finding what I want. It might not even exist. I want to mount a GPS on my XR650R, which currently has AC only power. I have a 200 watt stator, running a 100 watt headlight, brake lights, and turn signals. Probably a bit of room left but not much.

    Is there a GPS that can take AC input, is water resistant, can handle being on a XR in trails, and has maps loaded? A trail Tech Voyager almost meets that description, but it doesn't have maps. Huge bonus points if the unit can be swapped between bikes easily, and isn't in the $500+ range.

    Needs-
    - AC power compatable
    - Durable
    - Loaded maps
    - Able to load routes, or waypoints, or however you guys do that. Never tried it before.

    Highly wanted-
    - Water proof. I have a cheap on my FJR, but if it starts raining I need to put it away.
    - Switchable between bikes. I would like to be able to use it on the XR and the FJR mainly, but I will probably put a mount on everything I own.
    - Something with hour meter or odometer or something. Not really needed but would be nice to have.
    - Speed shown. I guess on the XR and haven't been arrested yet, must be doing something right.
    - Works with an Apple Computer. I could use my dad's computer if I had to, but I'd rather be able to do everything here.

    Bonus points-
    - If I can save my route, then load it into my computer and start naming roads. I would love to be able to have road maps of my local riding areas. Most of them are a maze of trails going everywhere, and mapping them would be sweet I think.
    - Reasonably priced. I'm not spending a grand unless it washes the bike for me too.:loll

    I'm guessing that the GPS I just described doesn't exist. If I need to I might just bite the bullet and put DC power on my bike. I just didn't want any added complexity, every part I put on is one more part that can break IMO.
    #1
  2. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,391
    Location:
    Bakersfield CA & Sammamish WA
    No it doesn't exist. TouraTech use to have a small black box the would take a varied voltage input, AC or DC and output a clean steady low volt DC (don't remember how much).

    But wait, you may be over thinking this. Many of the newer handheld unit use very little power and as a result a couple of AA batteries last quite awhile. Even the new Garmin Montana will run a long time on 3 AA. The one exception is if you ride a lot at night as the back-lighting does use some power or if all your rides are iron butt stuff.

    I have a Garmin which runs about 3-5 day rides on 2 AA and is switched between 4 bikes. Some have experienced "battery bounce" but I find with a few precautions it can be eliminated.

    Bruce
    #2
  3. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,761
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    My iPhone, with a bit of research to get the right mount, charging system, and software, has all of those features, except for the AC charging (I wouldn't be surprised if you can sort this out too though).

    Since it's also a really nice phone, the price is easier to justify!

    In my experience, it's an incredibly durable device, almost hard to believe what mine has been through, and any damage can usually be repaired without any need for a replacement, and you can get it insured against accidental damage/loss/theft for pretty cheap.

    Android phones are cheaper, but there aren't as many accessories available (so mount and charger will be more difficult), and I'm not convinced the available software is as good (I do know of at least one good trail riding GPS app though). Most of all, I'd be hesitant to trust the build quality of a cheaper android device. My iPhone has handled tens of thousands of km's of my 690's vibration, which is a lot worse than my old XR 250R was, a handful of crashes, and even been wet a few too many times for comfort (my mount is only water resistant). Not sure if a samsung phone could handle that.

    With regard to powering it on your bike, lots of accessories available (even crazy ideas like solar panels), and if you turn the screen off, just leave it recording a track and only turn it on occasionally to find out where you are, the battery will last about 6 hours. If you're not recording a track and only turn on occasionally, it will last a day or two. You can get external battery packs for it.
    #3
  4. Spiritwalker2222

    Spiritwalker2222 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I use a handheld GPS (Garmin 62s) on my enduro bike, also only has ac power. I'll get about 2 full days riding (~20hrs) out of the 2 AA's that are in it.

    That'd be your easiest solution.
    #4
  5. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,078
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    +1

    Just get a battery powered hand held 60/76 or a 78 and live with it. They all do what you want.

    Then look around for a small rectifier/regulator/filter that would give you 12-14 V DC but you could easly live without it.
    #5
  6. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    20 hours would be plenty for the XR, and I would probably leave the screen off most of the time at night anyways. It just seems like any time I depend on something with batteries I get let down. I called Ricky stator, looking at around $100 to switch to DC power. It might be worth it at that price. I already ungraded the stator, I would just need a regulator and capacitor.

    Edit- The 62s does seem like it would work great. Gets pricy though, it says there are no maps loaded onto it. The street map for North America is $79.

    Edit2- Are the Tographical maps worth buying? I think I'm going to order this thing. Time for more searching.
    #6
  7. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    That Montana is looking better and better. A lot more money though.
    #7
  8. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,391
    Location:
    Bakersfield CA & Sammamish WA

    Please edit to read DC, only DC external power!

    Bruce
    #8
  9. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,391
    Location:
    Bakersfield CA & Sammamish WA
    The trick is to buy a GPS that can be powered by AA batteries at least as an option. 60/76, 78, Montana and others.
    Don't get stuck with a propriety rechargeable only.

    There are many threads about Topo and maps in general, have a look around.

    Bruce
    #9
  10. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    I think it's down to either a Montana or a 62 series. Either are more than I wanted to spend, but oh well. The models with the preloaded Topo maps seem the best value, since I would end up buying the maps anyways. Still have to add in vehicle mounts and street maps though.
    #10
  11. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,391
    Location:
    Bakersfield CA & Sammamish WA
    My $.02, rather than the 62 you might look at the 76Cx from West Marine, about the same thing but less $$ and has a better power plug.

    And

    The Montana is head and shoulders more advanced then the 60/76 or 62/78 units.

    Bruce
    #11
  12. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    That's what I'm reading. Might be worth the extra money to just get it and get a mount for each bike. From what I've read there's no comparison.
    #12
  13. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    857
    Location:
    Frankston, Australia
    Given the screen size and features, get an extra mount for the car as well.

    Use the Montana to get to the ride, then swap it to the bike for the ride.

    Easier to justify the high price if you are using it everywhere and on everything.
    #13
  14. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    Richmond, Ohio
    Yep, that's what I'm thinking.

    600, 650, or 650t?

    600 is $459
    650 adds camera, $504
    650t adds 100k topo maps, $572

    I know the 24k topo maps are better, maybe get the 600 and buy 24k maps, or are the 100k good enough? Eastern Ohio seems to be a middle ground on maps, have to get different ones depending on which direction I want to go.

    The camera would be kinda cool, but I have a camera on my phone that's probably just as good.
    #14