Weather on a GPS

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Emoto, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Hi guys,

    It seems that there are now at least a couple of GPS units that can display weather, if one purchases some kind of subscription. I would like to ask those of you who have taken that plunge to talk about whether you find it useful or not, and how easy it is to use, and how much it costs.

    I think that, like phones, providing "more" (services, data) through a GPS is going to become more common.

    Anyhow, can you still see weather radar displayed over top of the maps as you ride along at a fairly close in zoom, or do you have to zoom so far out that you can't really see the smaller roads? I am thinking that it would be nice to be able to see the rain and try to make route decisions in real time to go around it. Is that possible on the small backroads?
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  2. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

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    Short answer....it depends.

    The WX (full meal deal) XM weather I have for my 478 will do all that you want. The individual weather overlays can be set to appear at any zoom level you choose. You can also choose which particular weather overlays are displayed. The amount of available data varies by subscription.

    Ease of use? Depends on your idea of easy. Most of the MBA interface units Garmin are producing now will only handle the "NavWeather". Very easy to use, not very useful IMO. The Chart-plotters that support WX weather are a bit more of a learning curve.

    Cost? In the riding season I pay the full $49??/month rate to get full coverage in Canada and the US. Worth it to me. Winter I drop the plan back to one of the cheaper plans. HTH
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  3. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Thanks for the info Steve!

    Since I am considering the purchase of a new GPS, a couple of questions come to mind:

    1. Is that $49/mo an addition to some other kind of existing (XM?) plan that one must buy first, or does the $49 get one everything needed to access the full meal deal.

    2. You mention units being produced now. Do you know if the Zumo 550 or 665 can use the "good" weather info?
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  4. grinns

    grinns Semper Fi

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    In my opinion the weather portion is a waste of money. The traffic portion I am still kind of questionable about because sometimes it works good and sometimes it sucks.

    I was in south dakota and you could obviously see it was thunderstormy and the gps didn't show it for ever.

    I would consider weather more of a toy than something useful.
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  5. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

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    If you've just got the NavWether I would agree. The NEXRAD package is a whole 'nother story.
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  6. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

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    Correct. It's in addition to the basic radio package. The $29 (?) option is adequate for the US, but I need the pricier option for Canada.

    I "think" the Zumo 665 does give you NEXRAD radar overlays, not sure about the rest. A few inmates are using them, hopefully they'll chime in.
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  7. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Ok, so for US weather, I must subscribe to XM and then add the NEXRAD package, eh? I'll go off and see if I can figure out how much that basic XM subscription, but if anyone knows, feel free to chime in.
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  8. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    Bushnell Onix 400 has XM and Weather Radar on it.
    As far as the GPS goes, it works fine.
    Now the maps on the other suck goat ballz. I would not recommend one to anyome for that reason, and there is not kind of vector map upgrades. Just raster maps that slow the thing down terribly.

    The Lowrance Ifinder Expedition C has a Compass and Barometer built in if you want real time air pressure reads for changes in the weather. I just ordered one because I wanted a color screen to replace the old H2O unit and short of a $300+ delorme there isn't much that can beat the old Ifinders for trail tracking ability.
    #8