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Nuvi 500/550 - buy now or wait?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by davidmc, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. davidmc

    davidmc Been here awhile

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    Hey inmates, I am currently using a Garmin 2610 and looking to upgrade soon. I definitely want better reception and the later features/maps and my 2610 is starting to get some bugs.

    I have narrowed things down to the Nuvi 500 or 550 mainly due to price. It appears to be one of the lowest priced Garmin GPS units suitable for motorcycle use.

    However I see that this unit is already a few years old. Would I be better off waiting for a few months until after December....in other words how often does Garmin update their line? Any word on whether Garmin will be coming out with an updated or similar version of the 500/550? I am not totally comfortable buying a unit that is going on 3 years old at this point as we all know how fast technology changes.

    Any words of wisdom?
    #1
  2. bkshovel

    bkshovel Old Adventurer

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    I've been using a 76csx and like it but my old eyes are needing a bigger display. I looked at the Nuvi 500-550 and decided against it because of the power cord hookup not the age. The unit is powered by a mini usb plug which in it self is no big deal but the way they did it doesn't look too waterproof to me and I have a way of attracting rain when I ride. So I up graded to the Zumo 220 thinking I'd get a better setup. WRONG, same lame deal. Sent it back and passed on the 550 for the same reason as you're concerned with,age the of line. I ended up with a 660 and am not totally sure about it's power cord-cradle setup but I think it's better than the Nuvi 500, Zumo 220. A lot of money when I don't use the music or phone but I don't want to be 2 or 3 weeks from home and have the thing get wet and quit and they don't have the battery capacity to run without power all day.
    #2
  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    i got a 500 for $150 a few months ago.
    will it get any cheaper than that???
    #3
  4. Rider_WV

    Rider_WV Long timer

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    gander mountain had the 500 in the ad for $199 yesterday
    #4
  5. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    Nice unit that will work well in on roads.
    Just remember the Nuvi 500/550 will record a track but can not import one. Also the "Topo" on the 500 is a dummied down one, only the contour lines.

    Bruce
    #5
  6. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    If you plan to dual sport with it, save your money. I have one and for dual sporting it is dismal.
    #6
  7. buick driver

    buick driver Adventurer

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    Why's that?:ear
    #7
  8. devo2002

    devo2002 Long timer

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    +1, nothing is more annoying than not really being able to plug in a route, I wish I knew that beforehand.
    #8
  9. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    The Nuvi 500/550 can import Routes but not Tracks.

    I don't do much with Routes (preferring Tracks) except for real-time navigation out in the field in areas I don't know. I believe this is how Garmin primarily intended Routes to be used and has led to some frustrated users who work with preplanned Routes for import to the GPS.

    Bruce
    #9
  10. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    I think if you are used to a 2610 (which also doesn't do tracks, only routes) the Nuvi 500 or 550 will be a good upgrade. I use pre-planned custom routes on mine all of the time, and the power thing has not been an issue.

    It's pretty much a Zumo 220 without the Bluetooth.

    Personally I wouldn't hesitate to buy one now.
    #10
  11. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    The problem with the unit as I see it is that if you plan a route and then while running the route have a dead end or a turn around the unit does an automatic recalculation upon verifying the turnaround. When this occurs it does not route you to the next waypoint in along your installed route. Instead it recalculates the route to the last waypoint (destination) (verified by a call to Garmin) in the installed route.

    This is hugely ineffective for a dual sport gps. If there were a provision to turn off auto-recalculation it would be fine.
    #11
  12. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Simply not true. If you go off route it routes you to whatever waypoint you missed in your route. I just ignore it and use the screen to intercept the route line further on, at which time everything updates and it continues on my intended route. I have never ever had it try to take me straight to the destination waypoint, disregarding the rest of my custom route. If you add enough via points to your route ( it will take 200 per route) the recalc is a non-issue in my experience.

    If the OP has been using a 2610 that's not a "dual sport GPS" either.
    #12
  13. Tail Gunner

    Tail Gunner Life is Good !!! Enjoy the Ride

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    #13
  14. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    +1

    That and the routing engine being crap make it very very frustrating to use at times. I also got one for the $150 deal but I would have been pissed had I paid more than that.

    I detested my 2610 mainly for the screen but functionality-wise it was much better than the 500.
    #14
  15. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Well, I have had no problem working around the recalc the the routing engine works fine for me :dunno
    #15
  16. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Tbird you are wrong my friend. I got this info straight from Garmin when I suspected this.
    #16
  17. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Ok, how about writing up a tutorial so that we can learn to do it your way and make use of this device? I know I would appreciate it. I find it works well UNTIL I have to reroute. Not being able to turn off recalculation sucks.
    #17
  18. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    They don't know what they are talking about. I've done dozens of routes with it. Never had it recalc to the end. Your average Garmin Nuvi tech guy probably has little to no experience with people who actually use custom routes rather than use the thing to find the fastest route to the nearest Starbucks.

    As far as tutorial - when creating my routes I just put a via point pretty much at every turn. If there's a long stretch with no turn I add intermediate vias so if I do get off route it won't recalc me much.
    #18
  19. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    So, by via point you mean way point correct? I added them just after each turn in my routes and it did recalculate when I made a U turn or had to turn around near an intersection. I got the information from a software engineer from Garmin, not a Nuvi tech guy.
    #19
  20. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    A via point is what is created when you use the route tool in Mapsource and click a place where you want to add a turn. It's not the same as a waypoint - it only exists as part of the route and will not show up under "Favorites".

    I don't know what to tell you :dunno
    Mine will recalculate if you go off route, but it tries to take you to whatever via point you missed - NOT the end of the route. I have done this many times and it has never tried to take me straight to the end without regard to the other points in my route. Are you saying yours has?
    #20