Inexpensive GPS advice wanted

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

  1. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Those cheap brackets might work, but how much is your phone worth, in case they don't?


    Sent using strings and tin cans and Tapatalk.
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  2. ShadowMan

    ShadowMan Adventurer

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    I bought the "phone" for $25 on ebay and it's strictly for gps. I have another phone for regular use.
    I looked on Amazon a little more last night, at least there they have customer reviews to go by.
    #22
  3. gregoblv

    gregoblv Been here awhile

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    I have been looking for a GPS that I can afford like ShadowMan and have ran into the big buck options as what most that do the talking say is 'the only way to go.' Understand I do not NEED the latest and greatest with the most options and features.
    You guys have talked about the MotoG and that is much closer to my price range, even new.
    I do have a couple of questions about it though.
    First this is a smart phone that we are going to going to run GPS apps on. Does the phone have to have cell service to use the GPS? I have an iPhone and have not checked it to see if it can use the apps, but the maps need cell service and data link to run.
    Second is can this phone use a MicroSD card for extended storage or save things to? Amazon has a package that adds one, but the description does not talk about the port.
    Lastly, does the apps have a audio output for directions? Say to Bluetooth to connect to helmet speakers?
    And are the Quest and the other unit that were mentioned real options?
    Thanks for your help.
    #23
  4. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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  5. MKorn

    MKorn 2whl Addict

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    I've been using an eTrex for years on the dirt bike and for the street bike i buy the cheap Nuvi's (paid $65 new for the 40). I jsut put a ziplock baggie over them if it looks like it might rain. I have an old Nuvi 205w that has spent over 15k miles on my street bike with out any issues.

    I would not pay $400+ for one of the motorcycle specific Garmins. I can get 4-5 of the Nuvi's for that price.
    #25
  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1) It will do that just fine without a cellular signal. What confuses most people is that they have used Google Maps, and realized it doesn't work the moment they loose cellular and/or wifi signals. While this is completely normal, it has nothing to do with the GPS signal, and what it does for tracking/navigation/etc in mapping programs. The GPS antenna is seperate and functional, from the cellular/bluetooth/NFC/wifi/DLNA and all the other antennas on the phone. Just like a standlone (garmin/tomtom/magellan/whatever) the applications you use need to have maps downloaded prior to leaving cellular and/or wifi coverage though. The OpenStreetMap project has FREE VECTOR MAPS you can download prior to going on a ride, and the GOOD apps have lots of sources for satellite/aviation-charts/USGS/topo/etc included in the applications. The short answer is: YES IT WILL WORK FINE without cellular and/or wifi service. Yes, even in the middle of the dessert. Yes, I'm sure. Yes, I've logged thousands of tracks/waypoints/miles doing just this. If I didn't have personal experience, I wouldn't suggest it. Regurgitating stuff from other internet sources just ain't my style :)

    2) This is incorrect. Your iphone will function just fine without cellular service, just like an android phone will. You need do download maps prior to leaving, and it's not difficult, but I don't have a current generation iphone, so I can't offer advice for this area. Motion-X is the app most people use for on or off road riding. It's pretty dang slick. Galileo is getting high marks from users now too. The apple app store is fantastic, I would dig around and explore those options while you have it in hand.

    3) Yes, saving maps to the sdcard is normal. I have about 12Gb of maps/tracks/overlays/waypoints/geocaches/routes (routes and tracks are not the same thing!), photo waypoints, video waypoints, all color coded, organized into different folders, and easily accessible without ever plugging the phone into a computer, or waiting for some stupid piece of software (i'm pointing at you basecamp/garmin!) to figure out what to do next.

    4) Audio-out is just a function of the operating system, and in this case we're talking ios (iphone) or android (ice cream sandwich/jellybean/lollipop/marshmellow/wahtever) - and it's just a matter of turning the SYSTEM / NOTIFICATION or MEDIA volume up or down. It's nice to have the option of individual volumes so that notifications can be quiet, but music/navigation loud enough to hear. Short version, yes, it works, through earphones, bluetooth, or the phone's 'loudspeaker'.

    5) Yes.

    6) I missed the 'quest' and unit you were refering to, sorry. Can you post the comment# and thread please ?

    My sigline was changed a while back in the hopes more people would fully utilize their smartphones. See it down there ? :)



    My prefered (android) application for onroad and offroad navigation/geocaching/guiding/tracking/waypoints/everything-GPS-related is

    Locus Pro. There's a thread about it, here on advrider that gets longer all the time. If you have more questions by all means ask. There's a TON of stuff out there to use/abuse/enjoy and utilize. :)
    #26
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  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    That opinion piece is four years old, focused on very old hardware that may / may not have been buggy by itself, let alone the radio (firmware) being buggy also..... but let's keep going anyway:

    A-GPS is ASSISTED gps, not A-means-it-has-to-have-cellular-service-GPS. The GPS antenna is ASSISTED by the cellular/wifi stuff, but does NOT need it to calculate location by using the exact same gps systems that standalone devices do. GLONASS is in most, if not all, smartphones that have a gps chip in them sold today. My two year old $70 waterproof/rugged phone has glonass, and acquires satellite signals, calculates location, and displays that information in about 1 second, or as fast as the application starts.

    Moving on....

    The only time you might have a wait, or need to use the functionality of A-GPS is when you travel great distances (1000 miles counts) between turning on the gps antenna. Say you step on a plane in Tampa and off that same plane in Oregon. You obviously are going to have a ROCKING GOOD TIME since you've left the land of congested traffic/snowbirds/heat and entered the land of beautiful green coastline with people that don't mind having some peace and quiet.

    OOPS back to gps...

    So you turn on the application you like, at the airport, and allow cellular and/or wifi (to assist) in Androids Location Settings. Within 10 seconds of doing so, you have updated nmea (or whatever the hell it's called) data, and the gps is ready for the surrounding territory's calculations. The NEXT startup of the gps functions (without cellular/wifi) service should take all of 1-2 seconds, unless you're in the basement or a cage of fine screened brass that kills RF signals... and gps functions on RF... get the picture ?


    Anyway, that was a lot of crap to type. Let's sum it up:

    The phone will function fine as a gps, without cellular OR wifi data. Yep. Sure will. :)
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  8. gregoblv

    gregoblv Been here awhile

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    Thanks to mmesa005, and the link he posted I got a head start on the issue and the info there made me think of another option. I have a Assus Nexus7 tablet. So after googling it and adding GPS I found another link that confirmed that it has the GPS chip and can be used.

    I loaded Locus Pro and Osmand Pro. I now have an untested LARGE screen GPS that I can do more with. Locus is working and using a downloaded Mapquest maps I can see it is locating and the sats are being seen. I am going to take it with me to work tomorrow and see if it is actually tracking. I only get a blank map on Osmand even through I have downloaded the US map. It is the map and when I move the center point or change the scale it tiles the map bits and they change to blank also. If I can't figure that out it is gone.

    Thank you ohgood your explanation was helpful and helped me to understand it better.

    Now I just need to get a tank bag with a clear 'map' window on it. Which I was going to do anyway.

    Thank you for helping to clear up some of the misinformation and misconceptions.
    #28
  9. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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  10. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    cool!

    download your states map for osmand, then give it a go. the us map us just an overview, if I remember correctly.

    osmand is a really good application to get started with. locus will swamp you with options in the beginning but after a few uses you'll start to refine it and "get" it.

    either one will work fine while offline.

    I would suggest a mount outside of the tank bag so you don't have to look down to see it, and it can get ventilation.

    otherwise, just a lot of learning to do. :-)

    don't get frustrated, get info :)
    #30
  11. happyclam

    happyclam Been here awhile

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    Love that line. I tend to get frustrated until I'm informed. Thanks, great stuff. I just downloaded osmand on my android today. Phone got way too hot in the tank bag. Plus it's just stupid trying to read something in your lap while riding. Still have alot to learn. Ended up with my paper maps as a guide.
    #31
  12. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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    #32
  13. MaxxTraxx

    MaxxTraxx Adventurer

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    I have a Garmin Streetpilot III and a Tourtech locking handle bar mount I'd part with for $100 plus whatever the shipping is. The GPS works great, but the screen can be hard to see in daylight. No problems at night though. It may be a fixable issue, I am sure the GPS guru's here can say for sure.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    yup the tank bag is really a solar skillet. up on the bars you can see the phone, and the circulation keeps it cool.
    #34
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  15. mtnbikeboy

    mtnbikeboy Been here awhile

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    What do you do to make the Quest 2 communicate with your computer? I just bought one used from eBay and none of the software will see it. Windows does see it.
    #35
  16. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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  17. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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    mtnbikeboy,

    Here is the thread I used to update the maps on my Quest 2. Note as the Quest 2 has limited memory you cannot load the entire map of the US, you must choose an area that is not more than the internal memory can hold. Also note this thread references a Garmin 2720. The Quest 2 update the same as the 2720.
    http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=98542&whichpage=2
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  18. mtnbikeboy

    mtnbikeboy Been here awhile

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    So, I spent over an hour on the phone with Garmin support attempting to get anything to see this GPS. Nada. I have all the latest drivers and software versions. We tried preboot mode, various slots, a different computer. Still nothing. Windows DOES see the GPS, and it shows up in "Devices and Printers". Garmin software just wont see it. He sent me an email stating he would bump me up to software tech, but they are closed over the weekend. I may have time to sit on the phone tomorrow afternoon. Any other hints the pros here have would be much appreciated.

    Additionally, the GPS has the 2012 maps on it, but has no side streets in my town (Longview, TX). It also won't even pull up Dallas when I search by city name. I turned all the settings to the highest resolution available.
    #38
  19. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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    Have you tried a full reset?

    Quest

    1. With the device powered off, press and hold the Page and OK buttons simultaneously
    2. While holding the Page and OK buttons, power the device ON
    3. Release the Page and OK buttons when you see the message, "Would you like to erase all user data"
    4. Select Yes
    5. Press the OK button
    6. The device will power off and back on automatically.
    #39
  20. mmesa005

    mmesa005 Adventurer

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