Inexpensive GPS advice wanted

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

  1. 71tr

    71tr Been here awhile

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    I've been experimenting/using Osmand+ on a Kyocera Torque for many months now. In fact I took two identical Kyocera's loaded with Osmand+ to Mongolia this summer and the offline maps running on nothing more than GPS signals were accurate and performed great....when the app wasn't crashing. Once you learn the interface and menus the app is a blessing to use compared to my old Garmin days. Setting up favorite locations, creating routes and tracks, finding POI's is a synch on the phone and no need to bring along a laptop to plan your next day's route. My experience with Osmand+ is bittersweet. I like the app, the functionality and the whole idea of putting Garmin out of business, but I have two gripes. Finding locations in Osmand+ using the street address locator is a PITA, the menu system forces you to start at the city level to find a street rather than simply typing in an address you have to walk thru a step by step process. Annoying design and I never could find anything using the street address function. My second and largest gripe with Osmand+ is it crashes constantly. Everyday riding thru Mongolia I'd be putting along the steppe and the routing function would seem to become overwhelmed and the app would blank out the on screen map, just leaving a direction arrow on the screen. This forced me to turn off the phone multiple times per day in order to reboot the system and start fresh. This happened regularly on both identical Kyocera's and even on my brand new Samsung Galaxy S5. Some have suggested the Android operating system on the Kyocera is dated and has poor memory management, fair enough. But that doesn't explain the crashing on the new Samsung. So as it stands I will continue to experiment, downloading the latest versions of Osmand+ as they become available. As I've said before, I want to love this app but if it crashes while in use what good is it? Oh, this whole setup costs about $30 per used phone (waterproof and shockproof) and the current fee for Osmand+.
    #41
  2. snare

    snare sittin and breathin

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    I've been using Osmand+ for months including every day now for a couple weeks riding across the US and I've never had it ever crash in me.

    I am using a 4G version Moto G.
    #42
  3. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    I could undersand the Torque have issues with memory management given it's OS's age. The S5's issue does not make sense to me. Were you using NIGHTLIES on both the torque and s5, or stable releases through the android market ?
    #43
  4. 71tr

    71tr Been here awhile

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    Downloaded Osmand+ direct from Android market multiple times. I may try the app on a Moto G to see if performance improves.
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  5. glweek

    glweek Adventurer

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    Hey, what are all you guys who use omsand use to create a route on your laptop that you can then upload to omsand? im on a mac if it matters.
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  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    That's weird, I haven't seen a lockup/crash from osmand in a while, even on nightlies. I don't think the moto g has more ram, but the quad core should make it faster to render routes. If you come up with a solid reason for the lockups, holler, I'm sure other people would like to fix theirs :)
    #46
  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    If it's a gpx, osmand will use it. You can use FURKOT, GPSIES, Basecamp, or whatever you normally like to use to make routes/tracks. Some folks like to use sync services like dropbox/googledrive/mega to keep all their tracks sync'd with all their devices.

    The basecamp version for MacOS is supposed to be better than the windows client, but .... that's not saying much ;-)

    I really like GPSies for stuff myself. Works very well in chrome-dev (beta browser) and is pretty reliable for LiveTracking too. If you find a GREAT offline application for GPS mapping stuff for MacOS, please do holler about it, a bunch. I haven't :(
    #47
  8. glweek

    glweek Adventurer

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    Was having problems with furkot with it uploading and only translating to straight lines on osmand but just figured out you have to have the "tracks" box checked. now when i upload to osmand it fallows all raods and has all waypoints! AWESOME! Why would anyone buy a GPS unit?
    #48
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  9. 283Shovels

    283Shovels Adventurer

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    I'm low tech. :dunno A lot of things I don't understand with dumb phones and gadgets the new generation takes for granted.
    Have been reading about using these phones as a GPS without any cell service. I understand that part. But some of the simpler things i can't dig out of these discussions.
    Y'all talk about downloading maps, and other functions with the cell phones to operate them same a a GPS. Does ANY of that require a cellular / data plan from a provider, including internet service, or can you do ALL you need by simply owning the phone.

    I have Appleshit and I don't know but I don't believe I could get an "APP" on that thing without an account and therefore some type of paid service and an internet connection.
    Can all this be done without any type of monthly paid service and internet?

    Thanks
    #49
  10. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    At some point you will need to get maps and map programs (apps) onto the device. You do NOT need a cell connection or monthly service, EVER. In fact, if you do have a cell connection, it easily would go over your data limit, so you typically always use WiFi. If you have WiFi in your home, you can download the maps and apps over WiFi, turn off the WiFi, and you are done. NO MONTHLY COSTS. If you do not have WiFi, you can use the free WiFi at a McDonalds or someplace. But maps downloads do take time, so you will need to buy a lot of fries. :)
    With Android phones, you can even get the maps and apps onto a PC, then copy them over USB, or using a memory card, to the phone. Not easily, but it is possible. No idea about that on Apple, but I suspect it would be an issue with Apple.
    #50
  11. 283Shovels

    283Shovels Adventurer

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    Thanks wig.
    We have wifi and I run a Dell laptop/windows at home. iphone and pad on the go.
    I reckon as far as powering the phone on the bike it would have to be via USB only. No good way to hard wire it for better weather / vibration protection. I'm thinking maybe a dedicated GPS unit might be more up my alley but the more i read about the GARMIN mapping program the more I hear folks complain about it. Last thing I need is more aggravation in my simple ass life.

    I was looking at those Motorola Moto G phones but I ain't finding any for no 40 bucks. Looks like $179 + for a new one.
    Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3, different giggerbites, etc.
    I don't know shit from wild honey about it all. I'll keep investigating.
    #51
  12. snare

    snare sittin and breathin

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    He wasn't talking $40 for a new one, that was for a used unit.

    And I have powered a phone via USB on thumpers for years including often in the rain. Zero issues for me.
    #52
  13. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    first hit I got, but you can find them cheaper easily since the device is in third generation now:


    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00HP...rds=moto+g&dpPl=1&dpID=41ZjdGB55nL&ref=plSrch

    yes, it will all work offline, yes you can download maps via WiFi, yes, for free.

    no cellular service is needed, ever.

    if you want a stand alone GPS, that's fine, but changing navigation software with stand alone means changing hardware ...$$$
    #53
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  14. 283Shovels

    283Shovels Adventurer

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    Got it, thanks. I see the Gen 2 has a bigger screen. I ain't against buying new one, as I have nothing now(meaning GPS) and really not fond of my 650 dollar iphone bouncing along on the bars. Would leave it in the tank bag for tunes to my Sena and a telephone if needed. Can't use it for navigation because I have low rent data plan --- 2GB for me and the old lady.

    with a cell phone and the offline maps, if a feller wants to zoom in or out on the map, do any of them have the "+ / - button" options, or do you have to 2 finger squeeze / spread the screen?

    Thanks
    #54
  15. snare

    snare sittin and breathin

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    Iphones can use the GPS without data/cell service as well.

    As for your other question, I know Osmand/+ has the option to have onscreen buttons. I would be surprised if Locus does not, but I do not know for certain.
    #55
  16. 283Shovels

    283Shovels Adventurer

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    Thanks snare. I was thinkin out loud and figured if the zoom in / out function required the squeeze spread with 2 fingers that would likely be a deal breaker for me, far as using a cell phone. Believe that would be a bitch for me on a motorcycle.
    The few times I've used a gps the zoom in and out has been something I use most.
    Usually know where I'm going but it's cool to see what's around me.
    #56
  17. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    FWIW, Motion-X GPS (for iOS) has on-screen zoom buttons.
    #57
  18. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1 tons of folks put the iphone/android/whatever on the bars without issue. if you flip the bike a lot, a bar pad holder would be a better idea, or replacing the stock speedometer behind the mini-fairing (i'm thinking drz/ktm/etc type of bike) with a mount for hte phone, where it's nice and protected from all but the nastiest crashes. if you smash a speedo, you likely won't be alert for a few days, or care about the iphone's demise.

    2 offline navigation works very nicely. offline means: no data needed

    3 you have the option of pinch-to-zoom, yes. the good applications have automagical zoom according to speed. i use locus (android) and the automagical zooming is very nice when street or gravel road riding. for single track i don't use vector maps (vector maps look like a flat map) but instead rely on satellite imagery (google/bing/mapquest/whoever) so i can tell which stream i'm going to crash into next. ;-) the good apps have big + / - buttons, yes. normally a single or double tap on the screen will bring up hidden controls. they go hidden again to give you a better view of the map. if you prefer +/- to always show, that's jsut a setting change away. :)


    4 agreed - i can't stand messing with the screen while riding. i want to peek and pin, not go through 500 menus, 300 screens, and 250 confirmation "ARE YOU SURE ?" dialogues (i'm looking at you microsoft!) before getting what i want ;-)

    5 ok, try automagical zoom to speed. you might be converted. orrrrr, you may hate it. never can tell. :)

    6 satellite imagery FTW !!! even if you don't like the darker (i'm refering to OFF road, in forrests) views on the screen, the cool part about satellite imagery is you find TONS of new things while out riding:
    lakes
    waterfalls
    streambeds
    powerlines (officially approved by the gooberment, rubber stamped thirty times with permission to roost, up to date permits, all that jazz of course!)
    hill climbs
    camps (watch out for meth houses)
    and stuff.

    I normally download satellite imagery of an area I want to explore, use Vector Maps to get there, and switch to SI views when I drop off the road. Topo maps are helpful too when trying to find old mines/streams/deadfalls. having all three loaded prior to leaving the house is niiiiiice. unfortunately i have zero experience with iphone stuff. i don't even know how to turn on/ off wifi on those things. this is all android i'm referencing. :)
    #58
  19. 283Shovels

    283Shovels Adventurer

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    Cool, good to know.
    Now, please school me on whether I'm thinkin right on this or not --
    I figure the offline phone would be to view maps & navigate only. Dang sure would be unable to provide any real time info -- weather ,traffic, etc.
    What if If I roll in to town and want to find some Messcun food, or grocery store, I would not be able to use the offline phone for that, and would then need to use my active iphone. ??
    Or do the offline maps you use stay updated with the POI as well??
    Honestly, I'd likely just ride around and look, or ask someone where the dadgum grocery store is. LOL.... It has never failed me before.
    Remember, I'm barely grammar school level on this stuff.
    #59
  20. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    An offline device will of course not have real time updates, such as weather, traffic, etc. But you may be able to stop at a location that has Wi-Fi for a quick weather check, or traffic check before entering a congested area. In my case, I just take my phone out of airplane mode, and I have live data for a quick check.

    Many offline programs have POIs, like restaurants and such. I use CoPilot, and their POI data is reasonably good. They also update their data (over Wi-Fi) occasionally. OSM POI data in the USA, is a bit lacking. It is hard to beat online Google. So when I want something and it isn't in CoPilot or OSM, I Google it. All on one device. Data only used for that small Google search.
    #60
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