Which Garmin for route tracking/recording, road directions and pre-loaded route navig

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by O'Ren, May 29, 2011.

  1. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

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    I need to:

    - be guided on roads
    - be able to set a destination by coordinates or POI or address
    - be able to plan routes and have the GPS follow them
    - track my route, regardless whether i follow directions given to me by the device or not
    - record waypoints, new POIs
    - load/unload routes and maps on MAC OSX
    - waterproof would be nice but it's not a must have
    - Budget ideally not above $400
    - Battery life 6h should be enough but maybe you guys have models that can do better ?

    I wanted at first a Zumo 660 but after a lot of research on the device, it's just too expensive. So I gave up entirely on the bluetooth feature.

    I want a Garmin. But I don't know if getting a trail GPS would allow me to be guided on roads as well ? Can I load a trail GPS with road maps ? (like an Oregon)
    #1
  2. Ditch

    Ditch Long timer

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    You need to narrow it down a bit, touch screen or buttons, large screen or small, how many waypoints, tracks, etc. Most of what you want looks to be on the venerable 60csx.
    #2
  3. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

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    Widescreen, touchscreen would be ideal.
    I have no idea about the waypoints numbers and tracks number..

    I am looking into the nuvi 1690, anyone using it ?
    #3
  4. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    This unit is not waterproof and doesn't manage tracks.

    You probably want something like the Oregon or the new Montana.
    #4
  5. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

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    Ok I got another silly question: are the handled made-for-hiking GPS the only models that can follow a loaded track and accept download/upload of routes ?
    I think now I get the difference between the tracks ad routes, but apparently a lot of road GPS devices (Nuvis) don't allow you to download your route to your computer.

    It seems that the trail devices on the other hand do that fairly easily - especially the ones mentioned above.

    Can someone confirm, shed a bit more light on that whole upload/trainload routes and tracks thing please ?
    #5
  6. bmwgrrl

    bmwgrrl Can't see me...can't stop me

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    I've ridden with the Oregon 400T (it's called a 450T now) for 3 years. Only thing I wish it had was a bigger screen. The Montana looks cool, but if I was gonna drop some cash again, I'd get a zumo to compliment the offroad Oregon. And that isn't gonna happen too soon with those prices:huh

    I upload, download - have several profiles listed for offroad, backroads, & slab. Do it all on my Mac.

    60csx is my old unit - use it mostly for hiking now, thinking of culling it from my herd of gear. I like the 400t's touchscreen on the bike - works with gloves. And to all those that say "um how hard is it to push a button?" it's not hard, I'm just tryin' to cut down on my button push'n these days:lol3
    #6
  7. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

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    Thanks for that, very useful to have feedback from someone who's using both units, the 60 and an Oregon.
    My main concern with the Oregon is the screen visibility in sunlight. But I thought maybe if mounted on a ball type of mount like a RAM mount, O might be able to tilt it while riding to get a better view ?
    #7
  8. bmwgrrl

    bmwgrrl Can't see me...can't stop me

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    My setup. No issues viewing. Ram ball. Leash the unit just in case with 2mm accessory cord.
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    Garmin Nuvi 500 touch screen easy to see, all poi's preloaded topo maps, glove friendly, waterproof. Just completed a trip with one and it is by far the best thing I have had on the bike without spending $1000. 200 dollars using a ram mount.
    #9
  10. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    If there's sunlight directly on the Oregon screen, you will not be able to read it. But you are correct in that with a RAM mount, you can angle it so this won't be an issue.
    #10
  11. O'Ren

    O'Ren Been here awhile

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    Thanks everyone for the pics and advice !
    I don;t think I'll go with the nuvi because I want to be able to download my route and tracks to my computer and i believe the Nuvis don't allow you to do that.
    Emmeff, thanks for the confirmation, I've read the other big Oregon thread where i believe you posted a few times, so I learned heaps about the Oregon 450 which is the one I think I'll get.
    #11
  12. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    My Nuvi 500 ( and most others I think) record a detailed track log ( "trip log") which can be downloaded to your computer - I do it all of the time.
    #12
  13. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    Yup me to Nuvi 500!
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  14. Cambion

    Cambion Adventurer

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    I'm guessing what he was referring to was the fact that the Nuvi 500 can not load a track file (.gpx/.gdb) that someone else has given you. Sadly that's one of the major features of a useful GPS IMO.
    #14
  15. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    That's completely incorrect. It's actually very clear and easy to read in direct sunlight due to the transflective screen.

    I've been using an Oregon 300 (dimmer screen than the current models) for several years now, and the only time there's any difficulty in reading it is when riding into the sun when it's low in the sky -- and under those circumstances, most GPS units are hard to read.

    --mark
    #15
  16. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Can any of the Nuvi GPS models load and display a track file?
    For that matter, can any automotive/MC type GPS load and display tracks?
    Or, are we limited to handheld-type devices with small screens?
    I know the soon-to-be Montana has a better screen, but it gets pricy with a map.

    I've converted .gpx files to .gdb using GPSBabel and then to Routes using RoadTrip (Mac) or Mapsource (PC).
    Some track points are dropped during smoothing, but the Routes and POIs will load and display on the Nuvis.
    Unfortunately, the large flags on the Route Via Points tend to obscure the route tracing and make it difficult to follow.
    I've had no success trying to change the symbol in the computer - the Nuvi defaults back to the big flag marker.

    Is there a work-around to display tracks directly on any of the Nuvis?
    The Nuvi 550 looks like a nice unit (waterproof) at a reasonable price ($250),
    but the manual/specs do not describe track display. :cry
    #16
  17. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    As far as the Zumos go:

    1. The Zumos will display the last 10K of track points from your travels.

    2. The Zumo 550 will display an imported track file as a route.

    3. THe 660/665 can also display tracks.

    Not sure about the Z220?

    All the Zumos can record tracks for weeks at a time and auto route of course.
    #17
  18. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    There is no way to load a track directly to a Nuvi 500/550. Has to be converetd to a route.
    Have you heard of the program WinGDB3? It has an option to convert tracks to routes with "invisible via points".
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=411674

    Now - I haven't played with this extensively. Also there is no way to turn off the automatic off-route recalculation with the Nuvi 500/550. I have been able to get around this for street riding by just adding plenty of via points ( up to 200 per route allowed). However, I think if you put the unit in "off road" routing mode there should be no recalc.
    #18
  19. eram310

    eram310 Been here awhile

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    I own the zumo 220, Quest, and 60CX

    The 60CX will display tracks and routes. The main issue with street use is that when you upload a route (someone else GDB or GPX file) to the 60CX it recalculates the route. It's a problem for us sport touring guys that the ride is more important than destination.

    On the other hand the Quest and the Z220 do not recalculate the route upon upload and recalculation can be disabled when following the route. (Something I heard the nuvi500 doesn't do which was a deal breaker for me.).

    Based on this post, I see the 660 displays tracks and the 550 converts tracks to routes. If I money was not an issue, I would consider one of these instead of the 220.
    #19
  20. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Thanks for the tip, Mike!!! :beer

    The WinGDB3 program by Edward Sackman (aka Duende on Advrider) is super, has many options, and is easy to use.

    WinGDB3 can convert .gpx files to Routes and allows you to filter the number of track/via points to adjust file size as needed.
    If you choose to make Via Points invisible the Route displays as a clean track-like line with no annoying Flags.

    Now my Nuvi will allow me to follow GPX tracks. Very cool! :clap:clap:clap
    #20