Total tech numpty - GPS (Zumo)

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by King Rat, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. King Rat

    King Rat Been here awhile

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    I am a complete nightmare when it comes to confusery type stuff. Mobile phones, confusers, modern TV - I can't work them, not beyond basic anyway. To give you an idea, I was given 'an up to date phone' because a friend told me I needed to get something better than my Nokia 3100 that had done me perfectly well for 15 years or so - he gave me his old Samsung 6. I had it for best part of week before someone tol me where I was going wrong (it wouldn't answer incoming calls), how the hell was I supposed to know you have to swipe the green telephone instead of press it... 15 or more years of pressing the green phone and it working happily.

    Now I am asking (hopefully I will get some simple and sympathetic responses) for help in how to use my Zumo 660 beyond simply typing in a post code and following the pink line.....because that is as far as I have got with it.

    I have a big mileage rally coming up next month and it might be helpful if I could learn how to put the places I need to go into it. I shall still have a road atlas and a notepad and pencil, to write down the route, stage by stage, as I have always done - but the GPS apparently will make riding much easier and it will save me time so I can get on the road faster. The checkpoints are vague, not detailed and you have to do a bit of detective work when you get near....

    So, over to you knowledgeable lot. PLEASE, I don't need to be told I am stupid. I know that already and the world is passing me by at an alarming rate and I don't seem to be wired the same as 'modern man'. What is obvious to people knowadays isn't obvious to me, I do find that they can't change a fuse or balance their carbs though!

    Easy stages and words of one syllable please!
    #1
  2. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Find out what kind of guidance the rally provides. Look for keywords like "track" or "waypoint". Could be "route" but that's both a specific GPS thing and a general traveling concept. If you find other words, feel free to ask.

    My suggestion is that you find rides that others have done near you using the same kind of guidance. If your rally uses tracks, find a local track and learn how to load it onto your zumo. If your rally uses waypoints, load waypoints. You may be able to ask in a regional forum or in your regional subforum of Mapping and Navigation for help finding local instances of what you're looking for.

    You will probably need a computer to get the info for your Zumo and to transfer the info into your Zumo. Telling what kind of computer that is can help us give more specific instruction.

    The next update to your phone will change how it does things and you're supposed to just know how the changes work by osmosis or something.
    #2
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  3. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    I can’t help you with your gps woes but I can tell you you’re not alone! Not by a long shot. There are dozens of posts on this forum alone that sound exactly like yours, including from me. I am exactly as you describe and I know there are many others. Don’t feel bad at all. Hopefully someone will be able to help you. I bought a Garmin Montana a couple years ago and could barely turn it on. Well, I turned it on but I never was able to get past the opening menu screen. I read posted instructions, I watched instructional videos, I even had a few generous folks here try to help. Nothing, nada, no luck. Nothing at all was helpful. I am convinced that the people who design and program Garmin devices are from another planet. God bless the good folks who “get it” but I don’t. In the meantime I discovered the “smart phone as gps”. I had no idea that was a solution but I tried that. HUGE success. It is as though the folks who write those apps are from yet again a different planet, one that is friendly and happy. I quickly sold the Garmin and am happily and successfully using my smartphone as gps. Good luck with your experience.
    #3
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  4. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

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    1st up, don't beat yourself up - there are lots of resources online (check YouTube) & you're not going to break anything by playing around with the device. Here's one to navigate my old town -

    To do what you want you will need to connect the Zumo to a PC or Mac running Garmin's (free) Basecamp software (https://www.garmin.com/en-US/shop/downloads/basecamp). Basically you're creating a custom route which you Zumo will do.

    Once Basecamp sees your Zumo & the map loaded onto to it you can create the route you need simply by "drawing" it on the map. You can also import a map as a .gpx file generated from another program or downloaded from someone. The only way to get a map from your computer to the Zumo is via Basecamp.

    The most important thing to know is the difference between Routes and Tracks;

    Routes (symbol looks like a little motorcycle) - you will get turn by turn directions and depending on the settings, re-routed if your "smart" Zumo decides there's a better way to get there (not preferable when you want the scenic run)

    Tracks (symbol looks like footprints) - same purple line to follow but no turn by turn prompts or re-routing, if you go off the line you will need to ride back to it to continue your pre-determined journey

    You don't show where you live but the problem with Addapost's smart phone method South of the Mason Dixon is that by the time you get the phone into a good case they overheat really quickly on a bike & shut down.

    If you're anywhere close to me I'd be happy to sit down with some coffee & show you how to get started.
    #4
  5. lkraus

    lkraus Long timer

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    The key to successful GPS use is to practice locally. Use your 660 everywhere you go, to work, to the store, etc. Make and follow practice routes that just wander through your neighborhood. Don't just ride direct to the destination, plan complicated routes and add extra waypoints. There are lots of options, and until you actually use them you will not fully understand how they interact. Better to be confused or off-route a block from home than in another state. Start practicing today if your rally is only a month away.
    #5
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  6. FireDog45

    FireDog45 What should I do today...?

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    ^^^^ This!

    A month is not a lot of time to deal with the very steep learning curve of these things.

    And don’t believe the Garmin haters when they say how easy their system is, they all have their own quirks when it comes to using them for anything more than basic navigation.
    #6
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  7. King Rat

    King Rat Been here awhile

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    Thanks - I am in England. We don't have heat problems over here, your heat problem is replaced by wet for us!
    #7
  8. King Rat

    King Rat Been here awhile

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    One thing I have thought of, is if I make a list of the checkpoints, and where they are (hopefully a place name). Can I then go to each one in turn, and as I come to leave the checkpoint type in the next place?
    My normal route planning is on paper in the window of my tankbag (which is over 30 years old now!) Places down the left in a list, with the detail between each place in the line going right, road numbers, places en-route to use as landmarks and any turns done with arrows. I will try and post a picture of a typical route plan I do.
    #8
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  9. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    I only occasionally preplan routes or tracks. More often I put in several waypoints and when I want to get to one I'll bring up the list of waypoints, find the one I want, and ask for a route. Actually more often than that, we're at the end of one trail and decide to try another trail so I find it on the GPS and ask for a route to get there.

    That method relies on the route calculated by the GPS. Routes calculated by GPSs are rarely perfect. More often they're OK and some times they're just bad. OTOH, the GPS will get you to the destination, it just might not be a route you'd choose with a good map and an evening to look at all the possibilities.

    You will want to be familiar with all the routing options on your Zumo. I don't have a Zumo, but I'll guess you can choose fastest or shortest route and if it should avoid features like freeways or dirt roads or toll booths. That "fastest or shortest" may contain a gotcha since shortest may sometimes go through a city on surface streets with 20 stops instead of the bypass freeway that's a half mile longer and 10 minutes faster.

    I have other Garmins, but not a Zumo, so you'll need to find out more. Your idea of putting in waypoints will work fine and should take less than a minute at each stop to find the next waypoint.

    EDIT: When I'm on a longer ride and ask a GPS for a route to a waypoint that's far away, I usually zoom out after it calculates the route so I can see the whole route. Sometimes it takes a second or third waypoint to get the route to go where I want.
    #9
  10. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    yes you can do exactly that.You can even do two or three at a time.Start using the Zumo.Fire it up (ot should come on when you turn the bike on,hit the where to ,type an address,or choose some other destination.Just start using it it will become clear as you try it out.
    #10
  11. philipbarrett

    philipbarrett Been here awhile Supporter

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    I was a despatch rider in London in the early 80s - I know that rain!
    #11