GPS

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by duffy1298, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    lots of bad information is being spread here...

    let's clean it up!

    1 smartphones do NOT need cellular service to use their gps antenna.
    2 they have GPS AND GLONASS abilities.
    3 gps uses very little battery, around 1-2% per hour of use.

    smartphones have the ADDED ABILITY of searching for CURRENT information over cellular , whereas stand-alones cannot. phones don't have to use cellular for search, they can rely on OFFLINE poi /waypoint database, just like stand alone gps can.

    here is an example of OFFLINE pois
    Screenshot_2019-02-04-22-43-42.png
    and displayed on the non topo map so 300 or so of them stand out more..
    . Screenshot_2019-02-04-22-47-38.png

    same pois but now with the entire dahlonega mvum instead of topo map...
    Screenshot_2019-02-04-22-50-41.png

    and that mvum with reduced transparency plus a topo map, and a Google hybrid layer, all rolled at once.... that's three layers, with variable transparency, to compare land formations, topo, satellite, mvum.... with your tracks and pois/waypoints on top....
    Screenshot_2019-02-04-22-54-39.png
    #21
  2. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    and it just keeps getting better....
    not only can you display a ton of information at overo from multiple FREE map sources, but you can plot routes, right there on the screen, without lugging a laptop around to help out the old GPS....

    Screenshot_2019-02-04-22-59-03.png
    with a live elevation plot to help you understand the variations in altitude while plotting.

    then there is the waypoint/track storage, which is incredibly easy to use, sort, and SHARE wirelessly ask other Bluetooth/wifi devices, regardless of who made them:

    Screenshot_2019-02-04-23-01-12.png



    not too bad for a $7 app on a $50 ip67 , 810g spec rated (that means waterproof and shock proof) phone. add another $11 mount, maybe an extra $11 spare battery... and we're still under $100.

    no laptop needed
    no track storage issues
    no map storage issues
    no map tile count hard limits
    no cellular service needed, ever
    free maps
    gpx/kmz/kml/tcx/csv/dxf/ov2/gpsies/ridewithgps/runkeeper/strava/runalyze/osm/etc compatibility in importing/exporting sharing
    Screenshot_2019-02-04-23-07-44.png


    there's a lot more, but we probably only need to understand that cellular and gps work independently of each other, do not need each other, and that phone GPS works GREAT without cellular service, to get a handle on what is possible.

    :-)
    #22
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  3. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Montana has turn-by-turn and topo maps. Will do routing on the 24k topo maps (several maps to cover the U.S.) but not with the 100k maps (all of U.S. on one map). Or you can have multiple maps active.

    Beware when you read the info on phones posted by @ohgood. For example:
    Points 1 and 2 are 100% true.

    Point 3 may be true if you don't want to actually see the GPS. If you do want to see the map, the power required by the display is waayyy over 1-2% per hour. I haven't found any phone that has a display that's as bright and readable in any light as my Montana. Since the Montana has a powered mount, the energy used for the display is a non-issue.
    #23
  4. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Do it all the time. I actually know what I'm doing.
    #24
  5. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I got rid of my POS Montana years ago and switched to a Galaxy S5. Never looked back. Much better device.
    #25
  6. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Glad you found a system that works for you.

    The S5 is a nice phone for sure

    Don't think it would work well for my style of riding

    Enjoy

    Scott
    #26
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I have been using a Garmin Montana 600 for several years and like it enough that I am not looking for any kind of replacement.
    My riding is 90% off pavement ranging from easy gravel roads to tight, steep, mountain single track trails.
    I also use the Montana for city driving in my pickup.

    I use Garmin Mapsource and Basecamp software for trip planning and maintaining my library of tracks, waypoints, and routes.
    These programs require some learning, but I have gotten thru that and they get the job done for me.

    I bought a cell phone to use as a backup to the Montana. I kind of got it working, but didn't like it. It was clear I was going to have to solve a lot of small? problems to
    get it working reliably for me. But I given I already had the Montana working well, I didn't dedicate much effort to solving the issues.
    #27
  8. wonderings

    wonderings Long timer

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    Google maps is not what you would use if you wanted to try and replicate a GPS on your phone. I cannot remember the name of the one I bought for my mom, but it was an app that downloaded the maps and POI's so it functions as any other GPS would and needs no cell signal and has ALL the maps downloaded, not just a portion of the route you planned. Also works faster and slicker then a regular GPS because of the power of the phone. Again I prefer a stand alone GPS especially with BaseCamp. A phone is not what it once was when comparing to a GPS though and for many it works fine.
    #28
  9. Doug Just Doug

    Doug Just Doug Silly Party Candidate Supporter

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    BTW, there ARE phones that are MIL-spec, tough, vibe-proof, and waterproof without a case for anyone who is considering going that way. The Kyocera Duraforce I use for instance, which cost me $75 on eBay (no, it wasn't stolen) and has worked great for two years.
    #29
  10. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    I use an Android tablet as a GPS and media player, in an RV and a car, with the CoPilot app. No cell service. I find campgrounds, food, fuel. Works great. And much MUCH cheaper than Garmin. The only thing it does not have is real time gas prices or traffic conditions. A smartphone with no cell towers will also find hotels, fuel and food. And work better than a GPS. Plus, if you have cell service, you get real time info if you want.

    I can sort of understand feeling that a stand alone GPS unit will fit your needs better, but I don't get the clueless comments like this. I have not used a Garmin in maybe 8 years. When my SECOND overpriced waterproof Garmin failed due to getting water in it, I refused to keep paying for that foolishness.
    #30
  11. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    ^ Yepper. I have found CoPilot Premium far superior to a dedicated GPS (no experience with the latest TomTom - so it gets a pass here :) ) as far as finding food, gas, etc. Absolutely NO data plan, wi-fi or cell signal needed, once you have installed the app and associated maps ( that will reside within the app until you delete it all).
    #31
  12. deserteagle56

    deserteagle56 deserteagle56

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    I set aside my Montana and switched to a Galaxy S5 for a few months. And then switched back after wondering why I was putting up with the hassle of constantly having to download maps and not being able to see the screen on a sunny day. Plus having to worry about keeping the battery charged.
    We all have different needs in a GPS unit. All I want from a GPS is to run off 12 volts so I have a constant bright display to follow a track I created. I don't need to look for campgrounds, restaurants, or fueling stations because where I ride there aren't any.
    #32
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  13. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    3 is also 100% true, simple as that.

    display drain was not mentioned. also not mentioned was mp3/flac playback, h264/h265 playback or recording, and a hundred other battery draining things.

    i prefer to speak in absolutes instead of generalities or insinuations. it keeps the clutter down.

    of course a transflective display will be easier to see in bright sunlight.
    of course a low refresh rate, low pixel density, very small display will use less power, it's simple physics.

    those same simple physics are also the reason why no one wants to plot routes on those screens:
    they're just too darned small for it.

    but getting back to battery use... i only plug mine in at night/camp, and turn it on as needed during the day to check the route. it works great on demanding hard single track, fire roads, or whatever boring interstate roads abound.
    #33
  14. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I got tired of the slow buggy performance of the Montana. I DL maps much less frequently with Locus Pro than I ever did with Garmin crap. I just want my GPS to work when I actually need it. Something I couldn't depend on with the Montana.
    #34
  15. duffy1298

    duffy1298 Adventurer

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    So then what app are you guys recommending?
    #35
  16. TBTSyncro

    TBTSyncro Been here awhile

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    Do you need flac for a GPS ? No. so why mention it?
    Do you need mp3 for a GPS? no. So why mention it?
    Do you need h264 for a GPS? no. So why mention it?
    Do you need a screen on and likely bright for a GPS? Yes, 100% you do.
    #36
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  17. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1-3 were in response to grinnins insinuation that i had glossed over (skipped?) a high battery drain service, which is the screen being on. i added other high battery drain services, which also were not mentioned, to highlight how insinuating/suggesting things other than what a person says/said is very misleading.

    4 I'm afraid you're wrong here. night time? tree covered single track/double track/hiking ? plotting routes ? i normally use between 25-50% for those times. plotting a route by the campfire with 100% brightness is just obnoxious.

    i do a lot of night riding. it really blows out the surrounding terrain to have 100% brightness on the screen. normally I'll lower it to 10% and even enable night mode to cut it even more.

    also, notice i gave the transflective displays props for being better in sunlight, and using less power.

    once again, these are simple facts, not insinuations.

    getting back to earlier, i was simply correcting the really BAD info about Gps drain, cellular signals, etc that were posted earlier.

    and i added a smiley face here at the end.
    :-)
    #37
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  18. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    I started using navigation aids with Loran C in the old days. I was a Garmin minion for years, both Consumer and Marine models. Avionics is a huge market for them. Look at the dash in any cockpit. They are great for their specific application but try to modify, improve, fix bugs or shape the application to your changing needs, no dice. This is true with their commercial products as well. Proprietary software.

    I made the switch on bikes when my Garmin 60CSX got whacked by a tree branch after years of successful use. I looked at a Garmin 276CX and quickly moved on. If it bites the Big Oak Tree it's $1000 to replace with mount. Yeah it's big and pretty but look at the trail, not yer GPS pokey. It still has bugs.

    Thanks to Ohgood and others I made the switch and never looked back. The GPS chip in phones is just as good as Garmin. There are many phone apps. I do all the things I did with Garmin better and oh, it's a phone too if I need that. If it crashes into a tree no problem I'll buy another. Look in the cockpit nowdays and see pilots with all sorts of handhelds from Android, Apple.

    General rule already mentioned..don't depend on any one device, have paper maps, phone, compass, look at what side moss grows on a tree, lick your finger and hold it up....
    #38
  19. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    i use a combination of apps.

    Locus Pro for track navigation. Has way more features than I'll ever use. Has no retard waypoint limitations. does everything a Garmin can with track and more.

    For custom route navigation I use Kurviger Pro.

    For auto routing and POI's I use Here We Go.

    FYI, Google maps is for soccor moms. Anyone that makes a debate for smart phone navigation based on Google maps is someones view point you should stay clear of as they don't have a clue what they are talking about.
    #39
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  20. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    what style of riding is that ?
    #40