From Zumo to Montana...

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Rob.G, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I kind of gagged at having to buy a new City Navigator when I replaced my 60 with a Montana last summer. I had been using CN 2009 with no updates.

    But CN 2013 turned out to be much better than the 09 version in many small ways. So I didn't feel so bad.

    However I have encountered a few map errors in my version of 2013. Guys I ride with who have upgraded to later versions don't seem to have these errors.
    #21
  2. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    If they have the exact same version of CNNA then they have the same errors/omissions. CNNA updates on average 4 times a year. The current version is 2014.10
    #22
  3. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I dunno.... Just because they _can_ be fixed by software doesn't mean they _will_. The Montana's been on the market for two years and is still a pretty buggy unit. Plenty have mentioned they think it's also a bit lame on the routing side of things...
    #23
  4. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Routing using CN or what? I haven't tried it yet; have barely used it on the bike so far since getting ready for a trip. I bought it specifically for riding a chunk of the OBDR and was tired of the Zumo.

    Rob
    #24
  5. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I haven't used the zumo 665, but coming from the x76/x96 units, IMO (and plenty of others) the montana using CN is at best sub-par as a routing unit and with 24K it's often atrocious since many of the POI's in 24K are way off. I stopped having 24K loaded unless off-road since it will find the same POI's from both whether they're enabled or not and there's no way to tell what map they're from. On top, the unit barfs on me if I use a recent find from a map that's no longer loaded.

    It has many times routed me as much as a mile out of the way through slow streets doing just right turns in what looks like attempts to avoid left or u-turns although I do not say avoid u-turns. It's also limited to just one via in on-the-fly routes and won't search for POI's near the route. Another huge annoyance for me is that you can't do finds while map panning although as others have pointed out you can map pan while doing finds after many button presses. Map pans while doing finds and finds while doing map pans are very different animals however...

    It does have many things going for it though... Like you mentioned the display is really nice, the ability to take AA's or Li and the external power connector through the mounts are great.

    Aside from missing buttons, the hardware is pretty nice.... but the firmware and updates have been very disappointing for me considering it's a two year old unit (mature by today's standards)...
    #25
  6. Wlfman

    Wlfman Long timer

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    Montana's lack of Bluetooth audio for use with a helmet comm system is the ONLY reason I won't buy one.
    #26
  7. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Routing using ANY routable map. The Montana really shows it's weakness. And I'm comparing it to my ancient ass ZUMO 550. Because of the inferior routing issues I still have to hang on to my ZUMO. So, I usually use the Montana for day rides and the ZUMO for any multi-day extensive distance trips.
    #27
  8. eram310

    eram310 Been here awhile

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    That's a deal breaker for me. The Zumo 220 is good at routing. I even create routes on CN2014 and transfer to the Zumo with CN2012 and it routes OK.

    On the other hand, I use the 60CX with tracks only because it's horrible at auto routing.
    #28
  9. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Been here awhile

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    I have owned a Montana 650 for about one year. With a well planned route, the Montana is capable of routing accurately. Plan your route with sufficient via points placed at key intersections or other locations and such, and its routing works fine. On multi-day trips, I set up my routes for each day's ride, thus keeping their length such that the "50-point limit" has never been an issue for me. And using BaseCamp, I can easily create and load a track matching my planned route that will not be recalculated by the GPS, no matter what happen (just in case the unexpected does happen with my well-planned route).

    As a former Zumo 550 owner, I do miss certain routing functions provided with the Zumo – especially the ability, while navigating a route, to search for a Point of Interest (like a gas station or hotel) along my route and add it to the route. That said, for me, the ability to use tracks and navigate using tracks has more than offset the capability to search for POIS along my navigating route. And as I previously stated, I have been able to use sufficient via points to make my routes work fine.

    If you are strictly a street rider and like the way the Zumo's routing functions work, then go with a Zumo. If you want to enjoy the numerous other features offered by the Montana, then buy one – it’s a great GPS.
    #29
  10. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Unfortunately if you're both a street and dual sport rider then you pretty much have to have BOTH units. Which at the end of the day is Garmins plan.
    #30
  11. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    The Montana's as close as you can get to having one device which does both reasonably well.
    #31
  12. eram310

    eram310 Been here awhile

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    I guess I will wait. Keep the 60CX on the dual sport and ride with the sun:D and the old zumo on the street bike.
    #32
  13. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I'm firmly in the camp that the Montana is like a lot of DP motos, it can do a lot of things but doesn't do any of them well....and it's frustrating since a lot of the weaknesses are firmware which could be remedied and with Garmin's consistently utter lack of documentation can't be foreseen prior to purchase. I can only guess it's a deliberate tactic to sell more units which is aggravating and means it will be longer before I purchase another unit from them... YMMV
    #33
  14. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Which isn't close enough for me. So I have to use them both.
    #34
  15. afmeyer

    afmeyer Adventurer

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    The processor in the Monterra is a TI omap 4460/4470 x2 1.2GHz.

    What do you think of this?
    #35
  16. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Since Garmin does not publish info on internal components, I'd say that was an interesting guess or someone has had a pre-prod unit apart - which of course would be in violation of their Garmin NDA - and certainly no one would do that. :eek1
    #36
  17. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    On 1) Totally agree, their hardware is fantastic but their firmware sucks. I am sure drtBik knows but it smells like outside contractor, that is clueless about customer wants and needs.

    On 2) Many people think the same thing about government and off road vehicles, but as a very high up USFS friend of mine says " trust me they are not that smart".
    #37
  18. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    :hmmmmm
    1. Last I knew, Garmin does all things in-house.
    2. As for how smart Garmin is, well they do own 68% of the PND (standalone GPS) market according to recent market analysis. I suppose that doesn't necessarily equate to "smart" but they must be making products that people want.

    If one purchase a product without knowing what it can do who's fault is that?
    #38
  19. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    1. Then they need to clean house! If the software engineers I used to work with in telecom put out that kind of shoddy software they would have been shitcanned in a heartbeat. Just sayin.
    #39
  20. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Many companies use contractors and still do things "in-house" and as confident as I am that Garmin does indeed utilize contractors the whole discussion seems a distraction regarding the Montana and its foibles.
    Again this seems a distraction from the topic at hand. Just because they own market share doesn't mean they are making the products people want. E.g. many have argued this regarding microsoft circa 2000.
    One of the principal rules in sales when there is a desire for repeat business (vs. used cars) is to set appropriate customer expectations.

    It is very easy to argue that Garmin makes it darn near impossible to know the details of what the product can do prior to purchase. Shame on them. While it could be argued that a GPS isn't a necessity it's such a powerful tool that it's close enough to one for plenty of us, myself included. It's not like I didn't try very hard to research the device prior to purchase. I found a lot on this site for example; other non-garmin sites too.

    But as *you* know, I'm quite disappointed with it.

    My expectations were for a unit that having been out for two years would not be so buggy. I expected functionality based on the past Garmin multi-purpose units I've owned in a similar cost class like the x76/x96 series with the improvements in units produced a decade later. From what I can tell a lot of people had similar expectations and they seem very reasonable, particularly based on the dearth of documentation Garmin supplies.

    The Montana is not that unit. Garmin is failing miserably at that task of setting (or at least enabling) the customer expectations regarding the limitations and capabilities of the unit. That is their fault.

    And the real shame is that the unit could be a *lot* closer with better firmware....
    #40