"Which GPS Do I Buy" Thread Fest - Ask your question/Find your answer HERE!

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by duck, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    I was so hoping that the iPad would have a gps chip in it. Then I could buy some maps and have a large screen GPS that also played tunes, surfed the web, and did another 100,000 of so things (different apps). But I don't think it does. So Garmin is really the only GPS company in town and it shows in their products, service, and prices.

    On the Mac side I did find a program called Routebuddy that claims to talk with the ZUMO 550 and a bunch of others. Might want to check into that. Let me know what you find.
  2. x32792

    x32792 Cracker American

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    Dahveed: For what might be three or four of my Social Security checks (aka Gub'ment Cheese), I'd like to know with some degree of certainty that the Garmin GPS I buy will do the job. I don't want to be an experiment. I want a solution.

    Just imagine the delight to learn you bought the wrong unit, "Oh, no...You should have bought the 375-P-B...Not the 275-P-X. Maybe you can sell what you bought on Ebay? Thank for buying Garmin."
  3. T-Stoff

    T-Stoff Been here awhile

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    Philosophically, of course, there really is no "perfect Garmin". Either your particular needs change (over time or by instance), or another unit specifically caters to one aspect better, but lacks in another.

    Maybe it's just like bikes, cars, PC's, cams, phones, etc. Either you get them all, or you sacrifice in one or another. Even then, the one that ends up in your hands, at any given time, will almost surely still be a just a compromise.

    In my case, I sometimes need a trekking handheld but I'm sometimes in a car. I'm sometimes in a bike, sometimes in a boat or plane. Depending where I use it, my GPS may be too heavy, or too battery intensive, or not waterproof, or doesn't have a compass, or routing, or voice, etc.

    Rest assured, Garmin WILL find ways to sell you its next wonder product, even if it's just a rehash and a recombination of other units' features.

    Even with my 6 or more different units, I'm still looking...

    As quoted, "IT NEVER ENDS..." Best option IMHO, is to research the best featured, most affordable, for your specific needs, at present and get that. Beware that as you learn more and more about stuff while using it, you'll almost surely want to buy another one quick anyway.
  4. FriedDuck

    FriedDuck Why die all tensed up?

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    I have to chime in that I've never seen an industry that seems so messed up. There seems to be the same confused questions and answers as there was a year ago when I last ducked in here. Which units record tracks? Which units can up/download to? On and on.

    I'd love a 60csx but with a larger screen and after a couple of hours of reading it looks like the answer is still--wait 'till next year.

    I just want to be able to record and read tracks, and have a screen large & clear enough to read on a bike. I still can't make out from the last couple of pages whether or not the Nuvis/Zumos can do that (for a multi-day trip.)

    If anyone has a clear answer to that I'd love to hear it. I can figure out any unit once I buy it.

    Thanks (for answering or just letting me vent!) :lol3

    Jeff
  5. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    I hear you. For the kind of money they want for these things, it better work really well. I'm a GPS malcontent. I see what you have to pay for these things and it don't understand how my iPhone with the free map application works better than a dedicated unit (where I have 3G signal). If I was planning on keeping the phone beyond the contract period, I'd maybe upgrade it to some nicer maps.

    I'm like you - I want to plan my route on my 27" computer screen with the full keyboard and then transfer the intended route (track) to the device and have it tell me to turn here or there. The answer I hear is these things will work if you do X or Y work-a-rounds. Also, I don't want to buy windoze whatever to install on my Mac. That windoze crap is pricey. Even with mapsource, the map the device has is different than the map on your computer. So its possible to have conflicts. I just don't know why it isn't simpler?

    You can download a trial version of routebuddy and try before you buy. If you have a buddy with a GPS, maybe you could try his with your computer first?

    My solution is simply to ride with people that know the roads or with people that already have drank the GPS koolaid. I figure its cheaper to buy them a burger for doing the route planning then it is to actually buy the GPS to do the route planning myself. Oh, and I ride with some guys that know the good roads. I just try to keep up with them...
  6. tileman

    tileman Long timer

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    Someone made the comment earlier about cells with gps. I got a nokia 6110 a while back on contract. I now own it, have maps for OZ, US, Argentina, works great, portable, camera, mp3 etc..... add a external power supply

    http://www.amazon.com/Tekkeon-MP1800-TekCharge/dp/B0017KH6OU/ref=pd_cp_e_1

    or a equiv with aa batteries, which runs the unit for extra time if needed, can be put in a plastic bag which keeps it dry, its always connected to you e.g no need to unplug every time you get off the bike, and to be fair in south america I really wouldn't be wanting to take my eyes off the road and concentrate on a screen that is only 2 feet from me. Accepted that anyone who wants a complete route waypointed is going to be frustrated in a major way, or trace a route (not happening), but for someone who just wants a route finder that gives turn by turn it works great (except for operator error:lol3). I will say that I have a set of ER6 headphones

    http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6.aspx

    which also cancel a lot of noise but makes for stereo tunes and means the volume doesn't have to be played as high compared to using ear plugs and than a bluetooth mono in helmet speaker........... (if compared in a same helmet by the same person, qualifying this statement).

    my 0.02 cents and another 0.02 toll now that I've borrowed the soap box.....:freaky

    I have just found a nokia application for tracing a route recording average speed, specific point average speed and the ability to lay the route over google earth keeping the altitude fall and rise if your GE has the 3D option.
  7. Solrider

    Solrider Smiling Politely

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    I'm looking for long term feedback on the Garmin Nuvi 780 for motorcycle use. I realize it is not waterproof but I think I've found a few cases with handlebar mounts that will fix that. My concerns are:

    Vibration problems
    Glare on the screen
    Pre-loading maps via SD card

    The Garmin in dash unit we use in one of our trucks was able to upload topo maps from the SD card and it would be great if this unit could handle this as well. I'd say 85% will be street riding, with the rest off road.
  8. Old Dirt Eater

    Old Dirt Eater Been here awhile

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    I was thinking of buying a 780 for my bike, do you know if it's possible to download your own routes, like from Open Road Journey, I want to do some riding up in VT NH and Canada this summer and want to map out the routes.
    Thanks Robbi
  9. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    NOPE, keep waiting. I say it oposite, I want a Zumo with 60/76 firmware.
  10. Solrider

    Solrider Smiling Politely

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    I know you can do custom routes, but not sure how. I know there are some peeps on here with this GPS! :ear
  11. DCruiser

    DCruiser Adventurer

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    I used my Nuvi 780 on street riding with no vibration problems and glare is minimal (dependent on your position towards the sun). It should have any problem with Pre-loading maps via SD.
  12. markgsnw

    markgsnw WTF?

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    I had my 2720 for a couple of years now, it's good as a map server but I have to say as a navigation device it really is rubbish. Sadly, it's much better at navigation than the 2610 that it replaced. It literally can't navigate out of my neighbor, for one small example of many that I won't bore us with. I was sorely tempted today to fling the thing out of the sunroof and be done with it.


    So: is the problem that this model of Garmin device is not a good navigator, or is it that Garmin have licensed lousy maps? I'm thinking about the next GPS and wondering if I should be considering Garmin at all (undoubtedly there are worse out there). My iPhone actually does a better job in many cases than the 2720 does.


    General comments or recommendations? Get a better/different Garmin? Get used to it?
  13. MoBill

    MoBill Smiles when says dat Supporter

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    I have the opposite impression. Perhaps the way you have your avoid preferences set up?

    I've used the Magellan 310, the Army's PLGR (rubbish), DAGR, Garmin's Nuvi and my 2720. I love the 2720, my Nuvi has far fewer custom capabilities...can't see any other than my 2720. Love it.

    PM me with some details on its condition if you want to sell. Kinda tongue in cheek, but serious too. :D
  14. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    You in a new neighborhood, and using old maps?

    It's my impressions that all Garmin units navigate at the most basic level, the same. Some you can customize avoids, and route preferences, but at default they're the same.

    That said, all three of my Garmins have navigated just fine. Even my 60CS with 2007 maps does well enough considering how many roads have changed around here in the last 5 years.
  15. markgsnw

    markgsnw WTF?

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    I'm in an old neighborhood in an old city, my maps are current minus one rev. One example: the map doesn't know where the city's bus station is and wants to route via a non-existant road that would run through the station. Station has been in its current location for 25 years. Another example: I was driving to a suburb yesterday, and after I'd gotten past the chaos of listening to the incorrect "turn here, no, turn here" instructions in my own neighborhood, it got into a "turn around and go back loop" that lasted until I power cycled the unit, then it recognized that our goal was to get to our destination.


    I'll have a look at the settings, I may have a "use suckiest route" flag set.
  16. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    As bad as some of these handhelds are, the GPS systems built inside vehicles are much worse, IMHO. The GPS in the 4 year old Lexus I was driving Saturday couldn't find a city (about 15 years old) or the hotel I was looking for. It also has the knack of managing to never display the appropriate level of map detail. Back the view out and the street your on disappears. I'm sure the GPS was only a $1,500 option or so too.
  17. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    I have no idea. I've never had anything so bad happen with my units. Sure there are some roads that have changed, or do no go through, but it's usually the same on Google Maps, Bing Maps and my Garmin unit...
  18. orv

    orv Busted butt Supporter

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    I've had so-so luck with a number of Garmins over the last 10 years, and many of the same frustrations that are on the last few pages. I thought I'd give some basics of what works:
    1. If you have a PC, there's Streets and Trips, or DeLorme, or at least one more that are $60 for the antennae and latest maps. this system works well. Period. It is downloadable to some cells. Sometimes I use that when in a vehicle with the laptop. So dang simple...
    2. Last summer I bought the wife a Nuvi 660. It has the latest maps, though they are far from perfect, but does a hell of a job if you're smart enough to run it, which isn't hard. Only paid $140 on Buy.com special. It works great for her hiking or driving and bluetooth lets her use it with her cell fone. Not a great adaptor, she took to this one well. Lesson: New (up to date) maps, latest user interface, fast processor. No, it isn't rated for moisture (do a baggie) or vibration (inside map window on tank bag).

    The above get you 90% of the way to gps "nerve, vana". The tracking, up and downloading routes, etc. is also doable, but you are now far, far off the path of most sales by Garmin. You are a PITA to them and represent .00001% of the market. So, Mr. Pioneer, get the latest maps, the latest model, and the most common software. I can still do tracks with my old Street Pilot III, but I don't, because its a PITA. I study the maps on the computer, and am happy to have an electronic map when my brain and/or track runs out or is clueless.

    Or, go ask Garmin about an old map base for an old model for a Mac, and continue to tear your hair out! Other manufacturers are driven by the same market, so don't get too excited about the alleged greener grass.

    Me, I think I'm getting another cheeep Nuvi of some kind, and when off road will probably put it in a coat jacket versus the tank bag. We'll see how long that lasts, but 90% of the time it will do what I need, but not what would be ideal. Next year.:becca

    YMMV,
  19. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    :rofl

    You NEVER want to use these things for going to a place you already know how to get to. If you do, you'll realize how poor some of the route planning is. Use it to get to new places and you'll never know it took you the long way...
  20. blowout

    blowout Adventurer

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    any feedback on the zumo 660?

    i am doing a vegas to san fran trip soon 70% off road 30% on... and then it will be used in the car cross country.
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