GPS

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

  1. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Ok,

    I live in denver, ride a ktm 350 with plates day and multi day trips..single tract to freeway may be encounter on any day....although I try hard to avoid the interstate and maximize the single tract. Vast areas were cell phone coverage is questionable are often ride in/through.

    Why do I use a Montana over cell phone for my riding style.

    1) It has a excellent powered handlebar mount. That cannot be duplicated for a smart phone. The power connection is WAY better than a USB.. ...to my knowledge this type of no plug on board power connection CAN NOT be DUPLICATED with a smartphone.

    2) Screen is optimized for bright sunny conditions ...and works better in the bright sun than any smartphone, I have seen.

    3) Units are rugged ...yes there a few smartphone that are rugged, but they are few...and often have small screens.

    4) Ease of use ...sorry all those apps, finding and downloading maps, poor sun performance, lack of a tough on bike while riding charging system...all make a smartphone a poor choice for navigation for me.

    5) always on ...with the powered mount, my GPS ergonomics allow me quick views while riding and of course when stopped.

    6) glove friendly ...I can operate my GPS with gloves on ... can't do that with my smartphone...some.phone you could.

    Using a phone for primary backcountry navigation ...sure you can do it ... but ... the limitations of a phone ...not rugged enough, poor bright sun readability, lack of a quality powered handlebar mount...all make it poor choice for me.

    Glad it works for you though.

    Scott
    #41
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  2. Doug Just Doug

    Doug Just Doug Silly Party Candidate Supporter

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    GPS unit v. phone. Because leather v. textile, dino v. synth, and darksiding aren't enough. :lol3
    #42
  3. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    hi Scott

    1a) cellular coverage has absolutely nothing to do with using phones/tablets four GPS duties. it's not needed, ever.

    1b) several people have used the external charging points on the back of the rugged phones/tablets for charging. it's not really a big deal. usb was annoying because of the cords, but i never had a failure. note i just swap in a freak battery i ride long enough to deplete one.

    2) yup, the transflective displays are better in bright sunlight. several phone screens work well enough, i use a Kyocera xd, it's fine in bright sunlight, big display, rugged, waterproof, $50, etc

    3) there are LOTS of rugged phones now. Kyocera alone has about 8 models. my Kyocera has a 5 1/2" screen. that's an inch and a half larger diagonally than the Montana. i can't think of any rugged phones that have less than 5" screens in the last few years.

    4) ease of use... i can download maps from any of these providers in two touches of the screen (sorry, it took four screen shots to list them all)
    Screenshot_2019-02-06-09-49-36.png Screenshot_2019-02-06-09-49-45.png
    Screenshot_2019-02-06-09-49-49.png Screenshot_2019-02-06-09-49-54.png

    (there are also sub sections to most of them, giving more options like topo only, birdseye, aeronautical chart, etc)

    poor sun performance is not an issue on the Kyocera xd, s5, or other 10 models I've used in the last 5-6 years. ips displays really do well.

    the last time it feel out of my pocket and skipped down the road (25-30mph) resulted in a few scratches on a corner. no biggie. i usually keep it on the bars.

    ease of use.... man i don't think you've tried, if you think a Montana is easier. it's worlds easier with modern user interfaces.

    6) gloves work here.

    7) it works great here. i usually use it for weekend dual sport rides, single/double track or hard enduro type single track. it's really not a big deal, I'm depleted long behold my phone's batteries are :-)

    thanks for the point by point discussion, it's always good to read real points instead of arguments about generalities. :-)
    #43
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  4. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Love it when folks keep it a respectful exchange of differing ideas.

    Two things I do not like about my Montana

    1 .. it's bulky size

    2 I want a bigger screen

    As to your points.

    1 ... I intend to download maps and apps you suggest to my phone.

    I will give it try while mountain biking ...

    2 ...I disagree with your statement that cell phone coverage is NEVER needed with phone GPS .... you know that is only true if you have downloaded needed apps and maps ..... I helped a guy out way deep in the backcountry ... nice graded dirt road deep in the desert of Utah, near Lake Powell. ...1st question asked of me when I found him ... do you know where we are ? My phone GPS is not working :-)

    City folks ...he likely would have died if I or someone else had not found him ...totally clueless on the desert .

    3....charging while riding with unit mounted to my handlebars is VERY important to me....Montana has a NO PLUG charging system that has proven itself on many tough rides in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Baja...

    4....rugged easy on/off handlebar mount ....the Montana handle bar mount is excellent and ride proven !

    5...I remain skeptical about the ruggedness of android system ...Samsung "waterproof" active phones are a joke ! ! Should be sued for false claims ..

    I would LOVE to run a smaller tablet 7"" size navigation system

    I am willing to make the switch. ... but ... I am skeptical that there exists handlebar mounts and charging systems that are equal to or superior to the Garmin.

    Without those features ...I will not even consider a switch.

    So....if possible could you please provide more data on available rugged mounts and charging system for my review

    Thanks

    Scott
    #44
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  5. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    holy crap i didn't think about the typical "Google maps overlander/adventurer" kind of person ! yup, I've seen those before, wandering around trying to get cellular service so they can figure out where they are on Google maps lol ! ugh

    i lol'd at your "city folks" part, that's been me before, but never again.

    I'll contrast that kind of fellow "google maps explorer", who is ill prepared, with a person that thinks they can just go buy a gps and travel anywhere in the country/world they please.... nope, gotta have maps, gpx tracks to follow, waypoints, etc and the knowledge of how to operate it.

    assuming that both the stand alone hiker or smartphone hiker have downloaded maps and tracks beforehand, of course cellular service is not needed then.

    1 bulky is good, it gives the Montana more surface area to bounce off rocks/stuff.
    2 i understand this, after i tested and used the 60csx, Oregon, Montana devices that had incredibly small screens. i think honestly no one would care about gps screen size, if they never had seen a phone display.

    there's a pretty good thread over here
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/ultra-rugged-kyocera-phones-gps-smartphones-my-guide.1206076/page-119

    that details things. i disagree with most people's desired mount. they want the stiffest/rigid mount they can buy. i prefer flexible mounts that flex/move when i crash instead of breaking. you would laugh if you held the cut up inner tube'mount' I use in your hand, it seems like a flimsy piece of trail trash.... but i can pull my drz (on its sidestand) backwards with it.

    charging isn't an issue for me, i carry extra batteries and recharge them at night. but for your preferences, i would suggest a wireless charging puck in the rigid mount from Hondu Garage. he's a vender here on adv, makes awesome mounts.

    and honestly i don't want to change your uses. if you have a system that works, enjoy it. i do want to get more people RECORDING and SHARING tracks though, and the easiest way to do that is to exploit the computer in their pocket. :-)
    #45
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  6. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Thanks for the nice reply

    Backcountry knowledge vs store bought toy ....yep ... see it all the time......here's a funny true one.

    Guy here in Colorado was gifted a PLB ( personal locator beacon ) when he had requested a Avalanche Beacon.

    Of course he just opened the box ..and went without reading instruction.

    When he got to his backcountry trail head ... he corecctly turned on his "avalanche " beacon ...and at when he finished he correctly turned it off.

    Of course as he had a PLB, turning it on triggered a full on Search and Rescue response. .. SAR team of course was confused by the on/off and moving signal. By the time SAR was on seen they missed him.

    He did this 4 times ! !

    SAR teams were upset and confused by multi unsucessuful SAR searches he triggered ....he did not always go to same area adding to the problem.

    On the last trip he forgot to turn off the beacon ....shortly after arriving to his home in Denver, a cop visited him ....he had NO CLUE what he done ...thought a PLB beacon was the same as a avalanche beacon.

    Ugh ..ignorance ! !

    I agree mount needs to have flex...the grarmin mount certainly has it in the RAM mount.

    Charging while riding is important for my style of riding.

    I may be 4 or 5 nights before, I hotel it, my ability to charge at camp is already strained by my smartphone and coms daily charging needs .... I listen to music from phone all day .

    I will check into the phones you suggested ....not in love with my delicate samsungs.

    Enjoy

    Scott
    #46
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  7. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    This is my setup .
    I got a used casio commando for 15$ on eBay .
    A flexable strap mount
    A 360 ° round magnetic charging cable
    A 12v —5v charger
    Waterproofed plug
    Less than 30$ total

    I use it on my husaberg and my XR, so the use is dirt bike use .
    Not as visible screen as a montana but it is visible enough
    The magnetic plug is siliconed in so it keeps it waterproof
    The flexible holder makes it possible to use my normal phone in case I destroy or lose the main one
    The magnetic plug will disconnect in a crash so no damage is caused . IMG_20190206_194546.jpeg
    #47
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  8. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Carbureted vs. FI.
    #48
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  9. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Phone. All day long. Will never go back.
    #49
  10. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    What apps?
    #50
  11. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Depends on the riding. Most of the time, OSM. I bought the legit copy for like $7. Also another $1 for the hill shades or whatever to show elevation. Great program. Love it. What does sort of suck, is no door-to-door option. Its intersection only. So if pinpointing a place, you have to get familiar with the area beforehand.

    Kurvigor is another app I sometimes use. The website is neat. You can set the option to very curvy and it will send you on a trip all over the place.

    CoPilot I use now and then for door-to-door. Not a bad setup.

    I also have a premium Spotify account. I have I don't know how many songs saved on my phone. I listen all day long. Freaking love that.

    Other things I have are a break down of my bike. A complete teardown of every nut and bolt for my DR650. So I can load that up if there is a problem. And honestly, just the endless amount of apps out there. From fuel mileage, GPS, restaurants, camprgounds, ... whatever. Its endless.

    One caveat though is I was using a cheapo Kyocera Air. Like, $40. Worked....fine. Only had 4gb of room. And that's before bloatware. So more like 1.4gb of space. I had an SD card in there, but lots of apps don't really work well in the SD; OSM being one of them. So I had minimal room. Music worked fine though. But the phone also lacked RAM, so running OSM with Spotify would sometimes crash the music. I'd have to restart Spotify. My main phone is my wife's old S5. Been using that for awhile. Doesn't crash anymore. And since I do have data on it, I can punch in a campground, food stop, or upload a quick pic if I need to. But having data is not necessary with the GPS portion. If the funds allotted it, I'd run a Kyocera but something a bit more recent.

    Lastly, charging my setup was a process. I went through something like 20 cables trying to keep the damned thing charged. What would always happen it would charge at 1.2A for about two seconds, then drop to 80mA. I couldn't figure it out. I finally was led to 3BR motorsports. Cable setup was about $50. He sent me a statement as to why my setup wasn't charging. Well, his is in and I charge at 1.8A. With the phone on full brightness, with OSM going, and listening to music via BlueTooth, the battery doesn't drop below 99%.
    #51
  12. miken0vf

    miken0vf Been here awhile

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    I'm using moto g6 with back country navigator app, now use the phone mostly for in city and Garmin Montana for all day out of touch areas, I found it frustrating to try to see the phone in full sun on the trails and I also had over heating issues on the phone, probably due to being black and running in direct sun all day. Start with the phone, apps are cheap enough... do more research in the meantime.
    #52
  13. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    it depends on the terrain

    Google maps= city streets, where businesses change weekly, entire interstates are shut down for collisions, traffic, etc

    dual sport= locus, osmand, bcnavigator, oruxmaps, similar

    dirt bike= see dual sport

    hiking= ditto


    but if you use a lot of tracks, need mvum overlays, want EASY track and waypoint sorting, it's locus. the stand alone unit users have no idea what they're missing out on, when it comes to track, waypoint, overlay, and in general all database storage. the stand alone units are so incredibly far behind in track waypoint overlay handling. going from having to plug into a computer prior to, and after each ride is obliterated by modern applications.
    #53
  14. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Thanks. The first guy I quoted lives close to me so that's why I quoted him.
    #54
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  15. Oh2RideMore

    Oh2RideMore Long timer

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    ohGood is right, only thing I miss from the Garmin is the transflective screen. No other screen compares to transflective for daytime visibility. That said, these newer lcds are plenty bright enough and make it a more multipurpose device. Switched to a kyocera duraforce xd and it just works. Locus with offline maps, tracks, etc. Going to be a good year of riding. 62 bucks for phone, 13 for another battery and charger.
    #55
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  16. dgore2

    dgore2 Adventurer

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    This has been informative. I got onto this topic after my Garmin Zumo 660 came up "System Software Missing" after I attempted to update the maps on the Garmin Express website. Tried to get assistance from Garmin and they simply offered to give me 20% off a current model. I'm done with Garmin - horrible customer service and now a distrust of using their map update website for out of production units. I'm looking at the various android options now.
    #56
  17. scrubb

    scrubb Master of Mayhem

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    My main issue with this is, I like to have my phone on my person. I knew a guy in an accident and their phone went flying off of the bike. He was injured, and could not find it to call for help. Luckily, some one eventually saw him and assisted him. Even if the phone would have stayed on the bike, the bike might be inaccessible a hundred yards down a canyon. Just last year, me and some friends were mtn biking, and one of them crashed off the trail. He had his phone on his handlebars, and for the life of us we could not find it. If we were not there to assist him, things might have been dire.

    Soooo, for me, GPS for the bike, phone on my person. However, as always, different strokes for different folks.
    #57
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  18. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

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    All good points, I have two phones, one for GPS and one for calls. As was pointed out earlier, on hot days a cell can over heat and the screen isn't always the best. There is a good thread on here about a good Chinese phone that has worked for me. I have the same program and tracks on both phones just in case. I do run a Gamin in Mexico with E32 maps but I don't use it for routing or tracks, just another view.
    #58
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  19. teamvisegrip

    teamvisegrip Adventurer

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    Can someone talk to me like a complete idiot that I am... I am not good at computers and have researched this topic and still have so many questions...

    First I live in Northern Wisconsin, I understand that location is important. I have a dedicated power supply source on my bike for the GPS I get. What do I want from a GPS? I want to be able to download the Tracks from the North Shore Shindig and have the GPS mounted on the bar and show me where to go. I would prefer not to use my Phone. I have a smart phone and can use it but it is challenging. LOL! Yup that stupid.

    Now here is the Million dollar question... What unit and do I need to load maps? Sorry but I am not really understanding this and want a very simple easy to use unit and then know what needs to be added to it to make it work. I have a hard time understanding that I buy a $500 dollar unit and them another $150 for maps? So break it down for the idiot here and make it simple...

    What unit?

    What Bar Mount? Needs to be able to charge off the bike. But also be able to work on a bike that does not have that ability to charge it.

    Will I need a special connector?

    Maps? What Maps and what is the price? I plan to run in Wisconsin, Minnesota and there are some runs south of me in Arkansas that I am interested in. Some day I will be taking the bike out west for my winter retreat when I retire and will need it to work there too.

    So please some one that has the understanding to talk to an idiot let me know what will work.

    Thanks for all those that can put this in simple terms for me.
    #59
  20. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I use a Garmin Montana for the stuff you want to do. I mainly use City Navigator maps, but I also have Garmin Topo 100k, I also have Topo 24 available for the Southwest USA states.
    I use Garmin Basecamp and its predecessor to plan trips and maintain and organize all my tracks, routes, and waypoints.

    I think you can get a Montana for around $400 and City Navigator costs ~$75 maybe these days. I use the Amps handlebar mount which costs ~$30.

    I am retired and motorcycle riding is my main hobby.

    I spent last spring, summer, and fall in New Mexico and rode about twice a week.

    I doubt I could justify the cost of the Montana if I only rode a few times a year. If I rode a lot less I might look more seriously into the cell phone approach.
    I bought a phone just to try it out. I didn't like it, but it was mainly due to learning issues that I might have been able to work out if I had the patience.

    I have been to the North Shore Shindig twice. I used the Montana all the time I rode. I downloaded the event preride tracks so had something to go by.

    Obviously for the Shindig you need something seriously waterproof.
    #60