Ditching Garmin for android or iphone as GPS

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by twowheelpilot, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,026
    Location:
    Hidden amongst the celebrities of CT
    That sounds like a good package. All depends on your preferences and taste.
  2. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,026
    Location:
    Hidden amongst the celebrities of CT
    Basecamp

    So, my first time using Garmin's Basecamp software for the PC to try to make up for all the other single function free Apps to do the not so simple task of dirt riding, I thought I'd share my first impression.

    Before I used it, I went through all the settings to get familiar with the variables it uses. Also, I used the OSM routable maps from here: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/ First out, here's what I chose:

    Activity Profile = Dirt Biking
    Under Routing Tab:
    Route Preference = Shorter Distance
    Road Type Avoidances = Interstates Checked and Major Highways Checked, the rest unchecked
    Feature Type Avoidances = Toll Roads checked, the rest unchecked

    Next, I picked New Route, selected my casa, and then picked some random dirt road 2 towns over.... Next is the amazing part. It routed me on every dirt road and even some abandoned train tracks to get me there!! How the heck would I have even known they were there? It even avoided all the slab roads that would have made it shorter as long as there was a dirt option.

    First impression? Impressed. And it's still free!
  3. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,410
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I think the people who complain the most about Basecamp are those who are used to using Mapsource. BC is a good program - not perfect - but if you take the time to figure it out, it is more powerful than the alternatives. And if you have a modern Garmin gps, the fact that you can see and use the maps on the gps while it's connected via usb makes BC even more useful.
  4. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,957
    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    It's all in the Map data...OSM Maps are better at "correctly" tagging road types. In your case "unpaved".

    Garmin City Navigator maps are not as good at tagging the proper usage.
  5. Wildblu

    Wildblu Total Nublet

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2
    http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/ram-mounts-aqua-box



    Something for the great debate. I don't use my smart phone because I can't see the screen to save my life. I have a Garmin GPSmap 60 and I can see the monochrome screen. Other wise I might very well use my smartphone. The link above is to a water proof case for smart phones, GPS, sandwich, or what ever. Its designed for touch screen use and comes in different sizes depending on what you need.

    Cheers!
  6. JayhawkGSA

    JayhawkGSA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
  7. Phoneshield

    Phoneshield Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Orange County
  8. acesandeights

    acesandeights Noob

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,613
    Location:
    So. Oregon
    Exactly what I was thinking when I posted that. I'm glad it worked well for you!
  9. Top_speed1

    Top_speed1 Lost and not found

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Finger Lakes, NY
    I wanted BIG so I went with the Galaxy T2 7". I made a custom stem mount cradle. Had setup for over a year now, made it through rain as well (so far, so good). I figure as cheap as it was compared to my 765, I'll buy a new one (or 2, 3 or even 4 of them for the equal cost).

    Awesome readability/clarity, I run Co-Pilot Pro GPS app/software.

    [​IMG]
  10. magicmark1

    magicmark1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    27
    Sick set ups guys! The Nexus 7 set up is really imprssive. I think that it's just a little bit too big for my own needs but i love the ottr box idea.

    I would just mount my nexus 4, or have GPS through my iphone guide me. I think that would be the easiest solution. Now just to find a plausible mounting solution..
  11. Johnny Freedom

    Johnny Freedom Wandering Fool

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Ozark, MO
    2006-2008
    [​IMG]

    2008-2013
    [​IMG]

    2013-
    [​IMG]

    Had the Nexus 7 on for a few months.
    Just got the S4 though.
    Love it so far.

    However...
    Phone especially seems fragile, but my HTC rode on the handlebars for 5 years. We'll see how this goes.
    Screens are hard to see in bright daylight.
    Nexus works with leather gloves ok but phone does not yet. (still need to play with the sensitivity settings though)
    Google maps took away the "my maps" feature on the last update!! Hopefully they will bring it back soon. Big bummer.

    Definitely need to install a dual USB port to keep everything charged.

    Kind of wish I would have seen this phone first though.
    fltplan posted this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnlHfenLwTU
    Older and slower but damn that seems like a pretty tough phone.
    Nexus can come on and off in weather, its only a luxury at this point.
    But having a phone that could stay there in the rain and keep being a GPS for me would be great.

    I still carry the handheld Magellan which will swap out and sit in the same mount the phone is in.
  12. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    Portugal
  13. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,026
    Location:
    Hidden amongst the celebrities of CT
  14. Chisenhallw

    Chisenhallw Avowed Pussbag

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,739
    Location:
    Conover, Nawth Cackalacky
    ...except for the China part!
  15. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    9,802
    Location:
    Charlotte, Vt
    Uhh. Where do you think the rest of the phones come from? Do you want to deal direct or with the middleman and the markups?
  16. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    9,802
    Location:
    Charlotte, Vt
    I assume these come unlocked to work on any network?
  17. Chisenhallw

    Chisenhallw Avowed Pussbag

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,739
    Location:
    Conover, Nawth Cackalacky
    With the middleman who ensures quality control.
  18. Beer_me

    Beer_me JY

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    NoVA
    Re the China phone ...
    1. It only has antennas for up to 3G so if you can get it working on your network, it'll be damn slower than what you're likely used to.
    2. Where's the support? the warranty? Who do you call?
    3. It's the size of a brick!
    4. There are waterproof options from the major (US) carriers. The Samsung S4 Active is intriguing enough to me that I may switch from Verizon. Verizon does have a "new" Kyocera Hydro Elite that seems OK, if I wanted a 3rd device ... I know I'd get frustrated with the older hardware well before the end of the 2-yr contract.

    I'm also seriously leaning towards waiting for the Nexus 5 and sending it off to http://www.liquipel.com/ before activating it. The perfect all-in-one device is just around the corner. I can feel it!!! :D
  19. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    Portugal
    1 My current GPS has NO network at all so it realy doe'snt matter anyway
    i'd use it as a offline navigator anyway and just use wifi to download/upload ttack maps and apps

    2 my current gps was also bought direct from china-man I've had it almost 2 years, neve had a problem

    3 it's not bigger than my current 4.3 inch GPS with outercase

    4 you guys in the US have better deals for phones anyway so you got me there

    but i personaly prefer to have a smaller phone for day to day use and if the gps craps out on a trip iI can still use the smaller one for naviation, if the phone craps out i can use the gps for calls

    it's a backup that is still less than have that as a garmin
  20. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,293
    Location:
    alabama
    i've tried a few things, this is what i've found:

    the android apps are fantastic, replacing a stand alone gps is the easy part. the more difficult part, is ruggedizing and waterproofing whatever device you should choose. yes, some new devices are rugged/waterproof, but they're all 'new' and rightfully more expensive.

    wins:

    waterproof bags at outdoor stores
    waterproof enclosures from lifeproof/whoever

    fails:
    ziplocks
    homemade cases + touch screen windows (they leak , or aren't heat sealed and stress/leak over time)
    palm wireless (inductive) charger - it doesn't have enough wattage (amperage?) to provide the device with enough current to offset the draw from screen on/antennas. it works GREAT for wireless charging through a bag/box, but just not enough juice with heavy usage
    "waterproof' phones, their backs are flimsy and easily misaligned = dead phone



    so far, a simple usb cord punched through (and sealed with shoe-goo) a $7 waterproof bag has been the best option i've found. velcro the bag to a plate on/near the bars, plug the punched usb cord into the bikes electrics however you like, and ride/track/nav/mp3 to your hearts content. since it's velcro, you can rip it off quickly and video/picture or just walk into a store without worry of it being stolen by scum.



    the biggest plus of using the android/iphone/whatever in place of a gps standalone ? sharing tracks, maps, videos, everything that happens to be a FILE, with other trail users. you can bluetooth a contact info, map, track, waypoint, whatever in 3-4 seconds, instead of fiddling with sdcards (wet hands anyone?) or screwing with back covers. need to phone someone for help ? there it is. need to transfer 55 waypoints ? bluetooth or NFC it to the other deevice.

    painlessly.

    anyway, i'm off to ride. :clap