From Zumo to Montana...

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

  1. afmeyer

    afmeyer Adventurer

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    Does anyone have an opinion on the processor?
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  2. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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  3. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Contrary to what has been said, it's usually not that hard to find out which processors are used in products, especially products designed in the US. Too many people inside and outside the company will know to keep it a secret even if they're all supposed to.

    I haven't been familiar with the specific omap's nor what Garmin's been using for processors for a couple of years. The omap's have always been exceptionally powerful ARM-based processors that are very power efficient for the processing power (high Mips/W). Freescale has generally had processors close on the heels but the omap's are great.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the processor choice from the performance perspective, more for how it impacts development efforts! I'm certain TI gives Garmin good support - they're considered a very key processor account and TI's players are going to be very interested especially since their purchase is much easier to track (and be compensated for) than many other parts and it gives them a leg to sell harder to track associated parts (e.g. interface, power controllers, etc.).

    It will be interesting to see how Garmin does with android. In the old days their OS's were roll-your-own... I'm not sure if they have been purchasing an OS for the later units like the floptana and I'm also not sure how much linux/android work they've already done although I wouldn't be surprised if later units are already using some variation of linux so android's not a great leap. It's easy to find linux/android guys though...even if they end up using some contractors...
    #43
  4. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    As we have discussed in other threads, your opinion is always welcome and I urge you to not let up on Garmin in this regard. I do believe if we communicate with Garmin we do see some amount of positive results (however slowly). We have the Montana because several dozen people around the world wrote to Cliff Pemble and told him what we wanted. We didn't get 100% - we got 90%. I don't know if there's even an option to get the other 10% of functionality into the Montana. I do know that it has served me and many others very well all over the world in all types of riding. There is very little the device cannot do - yes, it may not do some things the way a lot of us would like but never the less there are few other devices that can match it in it's totality.

    Garmin does read your mail so I encourage you, Jerry and everyone else to communicate your interests.
    #44
  5. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    Thanks for this thread. It is timely for me. The last few years I've been using a 60csx on two motorcycles. I needed to be able to read and make tracks. I figured out Basecamp for Mac and have been very happy with it. Last year from my desk, I used my Mac to generate tracks to scout the GWT north of Phoenix. I even made tracks for Smokey Mountain road through the Escalante wilderness. Then went out and rode it. Amazing device for exploring on a dual sport! the tracks I drew on Basecamp actually worked quite well.

    Recently I bought a Montana 650T second hand. It had only been used once. But before I could use it, I lent it to a friend who used to to contest the Mexican 1000 last May aboard a KTM 500. I just got around to mounting it on my KTM 690. I soon learned it won't route until I buy a new Citynav NA, which I did this morning.

    I hope this thing is easy to use. I sort of regret not keeping the 60Csx now. It was a little fiddly, but did everything I wanted.

    When my map CD arrives, do I load that into my Mac and then transfer it to the 650? I can't remember how I get the maps into the hand device.

    Thanks
    #45
  6. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Yes. Install the maps locally and activate them, and they will then appear in Basecamp. Then use Garmin Map Installer (downloaded from their site) to transfer the maps to the Montana. It'll take probably an hour to send them all over.

    Rob
    #46
  7. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Since I have done a lot of work analyzing how to transition from 60/76 to 78 with all the unfriendly unnecessary design changes I could send them my analysis. What is the direct contact to a decision maker? I still do part time work (design reviews) for Boeing Space Vehicles and I deal with a chief engineer and a product manager so not interested in sending e-mail to a drop box.

    As to dumb, I was responding to Steve's comment about stupid design changes: "deliberate tactic to sell more units". I stand behind my analysis that it is just poor system engineering, not a smart marketing tactic.

    Famous quote above some school of engineering in Russia "Better is the enemy of Good". I have several GM vehicles with different human interfaces like Dome light control. Worst of all, one has a fuel gauge with Full on the left and Empty on the right! Nothing special about poor design from Garmin.
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  8. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Good idea but perhaps an new thread on the quality of performance of Garmin Products in general. Let people vent and perhaps Garmin will notice good high quality comments on their products.
    #48
  9. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Install the maps into BaseCamp. Then use Garmin MapInstall to put them on your Montana or the µSD Card if one is installed.

    Check out the Montana Wiki and come down to the Montana thread.
    #49
  10. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I'm very reluctant to do this too...for similar reasons. I've tried with Garmin in the past and got very frustrating responses. It's hard to see how I can justify putting together concise documentation regarding the lack of features and/or bugs when at best I get an obviously canned response that misses every point in my comment.

    My list of feature requests would not be very large. Increase number of route waypoints, increase vias in on-the-fly routes, a search function in the map menus, search near route, disabling maps = disabling POI's in the search, increase the total number of map segments before it acts up, etc...

    The bug list on the other hand is larger and would take a lot longer to document well. I won't do it unless I can see them tracked.
    I admit it was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment although I do think they may be somewhat deliberate about the poor routing features.

    Again, one of my greatest frustrations with Garmin is their consistently poor documentation regarding unit features. The manuals are more quick-start guides than anything and there is almost nowhere to find details on how to use the features and what the details of their functionality is so that we may not only better use the units but understand them prior to purchase.

    After a lot of floptana use I've come to the conclusion it's a handheld unit that is too large and power hungry to be good at being a handheld unit....no, no it's a vehicle unit with only the features of a handheld unit so it's not good at being a vehicle unit... Oh heck, I don't know what it's supposed to be good at!!! :D

    Perhaps there is some marketing reasoning that this pushes people to buy dedicated vehicle units and dedicated handheld units instead of do-all's. It certainly not beyond them.
    #50
  11. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    :rofl

    A "venting thread" now there's a great idea. I'm sure all of the Garmin Exec's will come visit first thing every morning. :norton

    You have all had the opportunity to send email directly to the development team responsible for the Montana. If you did and you didn't get what you asked for then you should move on and find a product that meets your requirements. Why waist so much energy complaining about it.

    Garmin doesn't have a lot of exec's if you really wanted to communicate with them you would have done a little home work:

    Mike Wiegers is VP of Consumer Engineering (he owns all PND's)

    Dan Bartel is VP of World Wide Sales (sales...need I say more)

    Or you could always go right to the top: Cliff Pemble, Pres. & CEO

    There email address are not hard to figure out. These people take their business seriously - if you don't, I expect you won't get much of a response.
    #51
  12. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    When I wrote to Garmin months ago via their website, I wanted the name of the Zumo product manager. They refused. They said they would simply pass along any comments I cared to make. That's when I said to hell with it.

    IMO, the best way to be heard is to find the product manager for each product you want to comment on. Sending it to the CEO will either delay a response or get none at all. The CEO is busy running the company and probably won't even see your letter. It'll get read by a secretary, and either discarded or maybe forwarded to customer relations. In all likelihood it'll never make it to anybody of importance.

    Many of the issues I had with the Zumo have been corrected with software updates, but there are still a few that drive me up a damn wall, and it's the reason I sold it and replaced it with a Montana. Stuff like always going back to 0.2 Zoom whenever you to go the menu and back to the map, the pixel-doubled maps with poor detail rendering above 0.3.

    As for routing, I've used routing on my Montana and it works fine for me. I'll post again if I find it acting up, but so far so good. I only use routing for reference anyway. It's to confirm what I'm fairly sure I already know.

    I did email Garmin last week with a few comments on the Montana that will also likely be ignored, but hey, I tried:

    - I'd like to be able to move the zoom buttons to the left side of the screen
    - I'd like the zoom buttons to be a little bigger
    - I'd like to custom name profiles and set their order myself

    But I LOVE the display and the fact that you can see all the details up to 0.8 zoom. It's soooo nice being able to zoom way out like that and still see roads well away from you just to have an idea that the road you're on is going the right direction.

    Now, two weird things that have happened to me.. last week, while riding back to my truck out in Central Oregon, it lost satellite reception on pavement with a perfectly clear sky and no trees within a hundred yards in any direction. Then it sorta "froze." I had to power it off/back on to get it working again. Then, the other night, I went for a ride around town. And when I turned the unit on last night, the track log was totally gone.

    Rob
    #52
  13. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    See responses in bold in your text.
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  14. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    If you use Landscape orientation you can choose to have the controls on the left or right through Setup\Appearance\ Landscape Controls.
    #54
  15. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    Thanks, your other tips were awesome!! Typical lack of documentation there. As for the controls, I do have it locked to Landscape in my Automotive and Motorcycle profiles, and have the controls set to Left, but that's not the Zoom buttons. It's when you do other operations with it that the controls are over there.

    Rob
    #55
  16. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Mine are on the left...?

    [​IMG]
    #56
  17. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    You're special.








    :hide
    #57
  18. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    nuvi screen....
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  19. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    You know, if Garmin put out better documentation, I wouldn't read it. I find there's no substitute for just playing with the gps. As far as I am concerned, Garmin's units are intuitive and reliable, and even though they don't always do things exactly as I'd prefer, they are for the most part good enough for me. I don't mind having a Nuvi 780 in the car, a Montana on the bike and a 62S/78S to use handheld because each is better in some way, though they can all be useful in every role.

    I would rather see Garmin put more into innovation and perfection of the current models than slavishly churn out documentation for software which is in a state of flux on the newest models anyway.

    Documentation which probably not a lot of people would read...
    #59
  20. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I'd say from all the post-purchase questions we see here that could be easily answered by a garmin managed resource or something, even if just an online source, it would be something a *lot* of people would use.

    There are a lot of things that take way too much time to figure out via trial and error that could be found in some reasonable documentation much more quickly. Like it disabling the compass (even though it still says "auto") when placed into the automotive mount. I didn't understand that until someone here explained it to me. I can't understand why that wouldn't be included in the floptana manual *and* the manual for the mount and that *both* should be available for download (mount isn't)!

    Even my [dumb] cell phone and digital camera manuals are far more detailed and useful than anything from garmin. Although I admit the Apple manual for my Ipod touch is pretty much [frustratingly] on par with garmin's stuff...



    Oh yeah, then we might actually know what the device does prior to purchase..... ooooo that might discourage a sale (but make for a happier customer in the long run)...
    #60