The decline of stand alone sat nav

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by iggs, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Is the iPhone that fragile?

    I've been using Android phones (and Windows CE phones) on the handlebars for tens of thousands of miles. No issues.
    #21
  2. iggs

    iggs Been here awhile

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    Depends on your environment I guess

    On a road bike I would use my iPhone on the dash for sure, I see it as similar to a car environment in reality.

    Offroad then to date I don't. I land on the bars every now and then, I've broken a couple of trail gps's mounted on bar pads. Plus the vibration etc is brutal


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #22
  3. iggs

    iggs Been here awhile

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    Edited for double post
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  4. chrisjk

    chrisjk Been here awhile

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    I am a recent convert to using my phone as a satnav but I have to say, the process of getting to this point has not been that easy as I never found a complete guide on the best way to do it for my purposes. Posts here and elsewhere have helped greatly but the knowledge is rather fragmented and scattered. It would really be helpful if you or perhaps Dan could write a real guide.

    Ideally it would show the reader how to use the phone to navigate both pre- calculated tracks on and off-road, which apps provide the best features for this purpose, which maps are best suited for what, where they may be obtained etc. It would highlight the difference in navigating tracks versus routes, how to make "mid-course corrections" when off route/track etc.

    Most phone apps I have used seem to obscure relatively simple tasks behind poor menu structures or complex settings and the varying lexicon for waypoints, via points track points route points and so forth don't help the novice either.

    Choosing a suitable phone and protective case, charging the phone, mounting it on the bike etc etc. are also worth a chapter. Even after reading what folk have posted in so many places, I have sometimes wasted money on unsuitable or sub-optimal gear

    An e-book would be well worth 10 to15 bucks of any biker's money I reckon.
    #24
  5. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    I've been working on an overly large document for a friend. He is non-technical to the extreme, as in, where is the power button...... :eek1
    Anyway, he wants to take a cross country trip on the cheap. So he wants to use a cheap smartphone with no service, and cheap apps, as a GPS.
    I did a write-up for him, and I was going to work on it as a more publicly usable document. Right now it is oriented only toward Android users, and road maps. I'll provide a link to it once I've cleaned it up some.
    #25
  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    mmm, yes. a single pdf with howtodostuff! would be great. unfortunately, what you've pointed out about menu structures, and the differing applications, along with mounting and enclosure options, it would be a huge document (info overload?) or require an interactive flowchart to be of good service.

    the other thing is, people discover a new application everyday, and HOPEFULLY review/share what they like about it. i would HATE to take away from a rising application by publishing a "this app just beats them all" kind of document. i'm not being negative, just don't want any options missed. :)

    choosing phones, yes, it's another large list of options too. waterproof ? rugged ? wireless charging ? or maybe just a big screen and don't worry about the extras ? lots of things to consider.


    if you have a format in mind for the ebook (or pdf? i'm not sure how that stuff works.) please do start up a discussion, or some key points youi'd like to see addressed. i'm sure a few guys here could contribute and make it quite nice/useful. :) i'm for this, but not sure how it works, or what to include :) really good ideas, lets go !
    #26
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Loosing standalones would be a disaster for me. I hate cell phones. I have yet to see an Ap that I would pay $50-$100 a month for the rest of my life for.

    But I do have a very cheap phone and plan that I just carry for emergencies and calling home on trips. I leave it off the rest of the time so I don't have to worry about charging the battery.

    To me these things are like a ball and chain around your leg.
    #27
    NicorAdv likes this.
  8. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    I've a Garmin 660 which I use a lot on the bike - it's everything my iPhone isn't - powered, easy to read in all conditions, waterproof. I tried the iPhone in one of those cheap and cheerful waterproof cases you can buy but it over-heated and shut down.

    Would I replace the Garmin if I lost it? Assuming I had the disposable income, sure, without hesitation but they're not cheap so if budgeting was an issue, then nope. "Old school" maps would be my solution but having to re-learn 10 different ways of saying "I'm lost, where am I?" or "Where's the hotel?" would tax my brain to breaking point.

    So fingers crossed that my Garmin lives long enough until a Apple (insert manufacturer of choice) bring out a motorbike touring friendly iPhone.


    Ou est la...
    Donde esta...
    Wo ist der/der/das..
    Gdje je...
    Hol van a...

    and so on. Thank god beer is beer or bier....or cerveza, or sór, or piva or pivo...
    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    True on the maps, but even with a great case I don't see long term ruggedness and vibration resistance with phones. I also have yet to find an easy to use route planning solution on a phone where I have the maps on my laptop and I plan out a route/track. With Garmin I create my tour plan on my computer and quickly send that plan to my GPS. Do you a software solution where I can create a full tour of riding on my computer and send it to my Android phone? I'm open to suggestions??? Then we have the real issue of weak power connections on a phone with USB. USB is just not designed for ADV riding reliable power needs. Round 4 pin or dedicated power mounts are the only way to go.

    Can you use your cell phone? Sure. Is it the ideal equipment for our mapping needs? No, not yet, IMO.
    #29
  10. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    You don't need a monthly service or even the 'phone' part for that matter. Most apps are $20 or less (once), some free, with maps, just depends on which app you prefer. All kinds of Android devices out there with GPS. Phones optional. Read through some of the other threads on here for more information..
    #30
  11. chrisjk

    chrisjk Been here awhile

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    I can't imagine why you would need to spend anything at all on a regular basis. Offline apps don't incur phone charges. Costs are restricted to a suitable app if you elect not to use a free one and a phone, which you may have already. You can buy an unlocked cheap brand new phone that will do the job very well for $50.

    I can perfectly well accept that you don't want to use a phone but don't put others off with imaginary problems.
    #31
  12. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    What type of riding? Paved, sure no issues.
    Dual sport & true ADV? Let's see your mount pics of your bike.

    What is your solution to design multi day routes and tracks?

    Who's USB power cord are you using?
    Please post a pic of your phones USB port after those 1000s of miles.
    I'd curious of the condition. My android phone is $$$ to me as a phone & I can't risk it not charging properly because of a trashed USB port.
    #32
  13. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    Most of this has already been hashed out in other thread(s).. Read a bit and I think you'll get your answers. In my case I've never bothered with a 'dedicated' GPS. Been navigating with various handheld PDA's/phones etc. for almost 9 years now so it works pretty well for me..
    #33
  14. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    My iPhone has been riding on my bars FOR YEARS, covering between 20 and 35k miles a year. On road, off road, pot holes, ect, ect, ect. Been fine.

    Ram handlebar base, 1" arm and a RAM finger mount. I've recently switched to an X-Grip for the phone and use the Finger Mount for my HAM radio. Still no issues.
    #34
  15. chrisjk

    chrisjk Been here awhile

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    I'll try to formulate some thoughts in the next few days no promises though.
    #35
  16. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    What am I looking for? This phone was used for a 5500 mile trip. Had a USB charger plugged in the whole time. It was clipped to the handlebars and on charge for every weekend ride. I do about 25,000 miles a year (about 4 rear tires :cry ).

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my Note 4 using Tapatalk
    #36
  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I will but what is the fast answer for a software mapping program on my PC laptop that I can send those routes to my android (I have mapfactor & osand+ loaded).
    Thnx
    #37
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Thanks for the USB connector pic!
    Looks good.
    Who makes the power cable?
    #38
  19. marvology

    marvology Been here awhile

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    I drove the 1200 miles home for Christmas and just winged it with my Zumo 550; no route planning or anything just set my parent's address as destination. It flaked out about 2 hours into the drive. While on the road, I used my cell phone to set up a new route and I was off.

    I like the Garmin, but it is flakey and labor intensive to route with. If someone comes along and creates a desktop route maker for cell phones that compares to Basecamp, I'm out of the stand-alone business.

    Plus, the costs are obscene for the new ones.
    #39
  20. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    I just get the cheapest ones I can from Ebay or whoever. The issue there is that sometimes that use a REALLY small wire gauge, and the charge rate is slow. To get around that, I modify my chargers for about 5.2 volts.
    I also wrap the cable around a screwdriver and take a heat gun to it. Instant coiled cord. :rofl
    i used to go through cables often, because the cable end would get wet when my bike would sit out in the rain at work. I now protect the cable ends and have had to replace them.

    More important, likely to your concern, I wire tie the cable to the mount about 5 inches from the phone. Nothing moves or vibrates. (and if the phone did come loose in the mount, the cable would act like a teather, not that I have needed it)
    #40