Inexpensive GPS advice wanted

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by ShadowMan, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan Adventurer

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    I enjoy having a destination in mind and then taking random gravel roads until the point that I'm not really sure where I am.
    I'd like to have a GPS to be able to see where I am in relation to my destination or the nearest town.
    I'd also like to be able to make note of interesting things that I see on rides and then check into them when I get back home.


    A little background:
    • I ride a DR650 and these rides are usually no more than a couple hours.
    • I don't have a smart phone.
    • Budget is around $100 but I'm open to spending more if it gets me some nice features or fits my criteria better and isn't going to be outdated tomorrow.
    • Hardwired would be ideal but but batteries would be acceptable. I'd like to be able to hardwire it to the bike so I don't have to worry about whether or not I have fresh batteries. I could deal with batteries if a hardwired GPS is out of my price range.
    • Not necessary but it would be nice to be able to use it in the car as well.
    There it is, I'm asking the fine people of ADV to steer me in the right direction.
    Thanks.
    #1
  2. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    I think your budget scared off the garmin guys. Lets get started on how to setup a phone-as-gps for super cheap, that does everything a "but it's a $700 garmin gps, so it's better" does:

    See the reviews of the Motorola Moto G here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Moto-1st-Generation-Unlocked/dp/B00K0NRZSW

    Then look around for lower priced (used) models. They're cheap at $30-150 depending on the source. It has an IPS display that is big and completely readable in full sunlight, the moto g is on the right, in full sunlight:

    [​IMG]


    and install osmand or locus on it. download some free maps for offline usage, then download some gpx's from advrider, gpsies, mapmyrun, or whatever place you want to follow, and go ride. gps accuracy on a phone is normally +/- 9 to 15 feet (while moving) so that should be plenty good for motorcycling, hiking, and of course car navigation.

    speaking of car navigation, people like for it to look like a car gps when they're driving, so use HereMaps while driving. Or navigon. or copilot. or sygic. or osmand, or locus, or google maps.... or whatever. there are a ton of choices for the user interface, while driving.

    if you're dead set against the easy option of using a smartphone, check out the pawn shops. they have GPS units all the time, but they have gotten savvy to ebay / amazon, and now price their devices accordingly, but without a warrantee. stolen or not, there is no warrantee.

    amazon reviews are a GREAT TOOL to use when considering a phone as gps, or a standalone. thousands of reviews, and real-world usage instead of a Garmin press release of features.

    Let us know what you find and like. Pass on the good experiences :)
    #2
    snare likes this.
  3. snare

    snare sittin and breathin

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    ^ agreed !

    I use a Moto G with Osmand+ and download gpx track files. Works great. I may be trying Locus soon too.
    #3
  4. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan Adventurer

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    For the guys that run Moto G's, do you have them in cases to make them a little more weatherproof?

    I found a Garmin etrex30 with 2015 US maps already loaded. Would something like that be rugged enough for a motorcycle?

    #4
  5. snare

    snare sittin and breathin

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    I have run my Moto G (1sr gen., 4g ) in full rain without issue. I remember seeing a video somewhere where one was submerged for 30 minutes without effect.
    I just have a $5 , non - weatherproof case. I do have a plastic Ziploc style bag that was marketed to keep phones dry, but have never used it.

    The newest generation are ipx 7 ( or something) rated.
    #5
  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    watch some videos of the etrex being used, it's nothing like importing text on a modern touch screen device. it's rugged enough, but people expect devices to be intuitive nowadays, instead of learning how to toggle a joystick to type "Starbucks" one letter at a time.

    the moto g will be fine without a waterproof case, but adding a bumper means you can drop it on concrete and care less.
    #6
  7. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    Don't forget the microscopic screen size :)
    #7
  8. snare

    snare sittin and breathin

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    I use this case, which I found last year on eBay or amazon for $5 shipped. Dropped the phone a couple times. No damage. This case is waaayyyy better than the two otterboxes that wore out on a Samsung I used to have before the Moto G.

    http://www.amzer.com/Amzer-Hybrid-Kickstand-Case-Black-Black-P96960.htm
    #8
  9. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan Adventurer

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    Thanks for the input guys. I've been watching ebay for a cheap Moto G.
    #9
  10. Ironchef

    Ironchef Warren

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    Can you upload a user defined gpx route to Osmand or Locus and have it guide you along the route?
    That's the thing I have been waiting for on smart phones. Ride with GPS have something basic that does that but only suited for cyclists.
    #10
  11. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    Yes.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #11
  12. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    It's been possible for a few years now, yes. You can import waypoints, Points of Interest, routes, tracks, maps, KMZ overlays, and then export them or zip up the entire /sdcard/locus/data/database directory for transfering to another device over wifi/bluetooth/ftp/scp/email/whatever.
    #12
  13. 5 Hour Butt

    5 Hour Butt Been here awhile

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    One truly awesome GPS to use is the Garmin 660LM which is the one they make that is for motorcycles. I have one and it is truly awesome! I also use it as my speedometer since it is much more accurate than the speedometer on my BMW R1200GS. When I turn it on it is ready to navigate in less than 30 seconds. Another really nice thing is it comes with free lifetime map updates. I use Garmin Basecamp to plan routes and load them into the 660LM which works really well. It also has a lot of options for display and how it behaves. I got it set how I wanted and it works exceptionally well.
    #13
  14. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    I don't consider that the 660LM qualifies as inexpensive. Do you 5 hour butt?
    #14
  15. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    He never replies to justify his oft repeated word for word drivel. Most of us think he's a bot.
    #15
  16. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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    Don't rule out the Garmin Quest 2 or 2720 (BMW Navigator 3). You can find them on eBay for @ $40, some with updated maps, some not. You can update the maps on both. There is another user on this forum who wrote a thread how he did the updates. I have both a Quest 2 and 2720 and have updated them to the latest NT Streetmaps. The downside of the 2720 is that it has no internal battery and needs power from the motorcycle. The Quest 2 does have an internal battery. The 2720 has the larger screen and updates much faster than the Quest 2.
    #16
  17. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    A good friend uses a etrex and he navigates circles around me and my Montana. He's not that much younger than me but heck if I know how he see's the little screen. Pretty sure that's what he used for his Alaska trip.
    #17
  18. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan Adventurer

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    I ordered a used Moto G off ebay for $25, now I'm trying to find options to mount it that don't cost more than the phone itself.
    Any suggestions for $10-15? Or is that too cheap? It's only going to be used occasionally.
    #18
  19. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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  20. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan Adventurer

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    #20