Which GPS for me, today, 2016? Montana 680T won out.

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by larryboy, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I've searched and searched, threads are old, once the beta testers clamor to the newest thing and several years go by, gps' tend to get better due to software fixes or people just understanding how they work.

    I'm thinking of doing some wandering here shortly and my main purpose for a GPS is to stop at an intersection and see if a fork goes someplace that I want to go. Dirtbike style.

    In the running:

    1. eTrex Touch 35T
    2. GPSMAP-64st
    3. Montana 610T

    No interest in large screen automotive stuff.
    No interest in the latest most expensive stuff.
    No interest in tracking or SOS help me I'm tired stuff.
    #1
    waylongway likes this.
  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I use a Montana 600 for this and it works fine.

    I think the 610A is a slightly upgraded version.

    You are going to have to get some good maps if you want to see where roads at a fork go.
    I use City Navigator, Top 100k, and Topo 24k.

    But there are lots of roads out there that don't show up on any map. They are fun to ride, but very few go much of anywhere.
    #2
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I pretty much have my sights set on units with that installed.
    #3
  4. ramjet

    ramjet Long timer

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    Didn't see this negated on the list so let me be the first to add to your angst and piss you off-

    Android phone for GPS!

    (just messin' with ya Larryboy. good luck with the decis)
    #4
  5. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    This may fall under your large screen automotive.
    If you dont want or need on road auto routing, I find most Lowrance products make a better "moving map" than Garmin.
    The Lowracne Baja's are a big yet rugged/waterproof unit.
    #5
  6. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    :lol3

    You know I meant to have it on the list, didn't you?

    No phones!!
    #6
  7. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I've done that style in the past with a 376c, right hand buttons operated with your left hand turns it into a stationary use device because you can't see the screen when your hand reaches across. I'll throw it in the running, but the size makes mounting a chore.
    #7
  8. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    FWIW I have a Montana 600, while it does not have the buttons, for me it really is as much stationary use too.
    It may just be me, but I cant operate the touch screen with much accuracy when riding, particularly off-road.
    With buttons, even on the "wrong side" I do much better.

    I also tend to mount my GPS on the left bar or up high in the center, so I really dont block the screens that bad.
    #8
  9. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    64 is DOA because it has no 12 V power input. Same with eTrex but probably has good battery live. USB power WILL fail.

    So real choice is 78 and Montana.
    Difference is Montana has larger screen but is touch screen, 78 smaller but all buttons.

    78 can be had for under $200 plus maps mount, can power cord.

    Don't make choice based on installed maps. For finding where roads go, Topo is also DOA, way too many lines, very confusing. Get City Nav, but I prefer old Roads & Rec especially for dirt away from city.
    #9
  10. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Thanks Jerry, I was hoping you'd chime in. I hadn't considered the 78, I'll take a look at it.

    78 is low on memory.

    Really close to the Montana.
    #10
  11. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

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    No you didn't

    :wave


    so, 'splain me why the Montana is better than, say, the Zumo 390LM? also thinking about retiring the 62 from motorcycle duty

    edit: @larryboy , the 390LM is on sale at amazon for $389 right now, if that makes a difference
    #11
  12. Markb3d

    Markb3d Adventurer

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    I got the cheaper Oregon 600, It's on sale for $250 at Cabelas. I think I paid around $300 4 months ago.

    The T version with 100k maps was $200 more. The whole southeast 24k garmin maps on SD card are around $100. Seemed like a better deal to wait and get the 24k maps. I've been using the free maps but haven't much success so I'm going to bite the bullet and pay for the Garmin maps.

    I plug it into the Cig lighter on my handlebars and it doesn't use up the batteries. I like it because I can also take it hiking, biking, etc. I also got it because it was NMEA cable compatible in case I want to use it for APRS tracking.

    Btw, touchscreen does work well with gloves, I have cheapo mechanix impact leather gloves, sometime it's hard hitting small icons while riding but I like the small size for hiking, I have better aim while walking.

    Mark
    #12
  13. ctfz1

    ctfz1 been there

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    I like wandering. Basic patrol. Know N, S, E, W. and major roads (highways) in explore zone. Most often when in doubt take the high ground.
    Occasional "follow the river." But high ground is usually less people traffic. Carry a map if you can't figure out way home.
    Going one direction long enough will get you to a known road.
    #13
  14. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    The memory of both (and most others) is expandable using the microSD slot so that is not a factor.

    For me, I want buttons offroad and need a good 12v power connector which means a 78. I use a 660 on road where the touch screen is not as much of an issue.

    Bruce
    #14
  15. 805AT

    805AT Adventurer

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    I have a 78 marine that I never use, can I hard wire it and use it off road ?
    #15
  16. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    No way to know if you can, but do it using Cycoactive kit and be careful with RAM cradle, make sure 78 is engaged with two small pins in cradle or it will slide up as you ride.
    #16
  17. simonpig

    simonpig droppin' jewels

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    Yes. If you use the RAM Cradle attach a rubber band around it if you're going on super rough trail rides especially if you're using batteries. The hardwire 12V plug will act as a tether of sorts.

    78 is basic, but capable if you know the Garmin Interface and Software and how to quickly navigate with it. The only thing that bother me about it is that, its CPU is slower than the Montana so manual map scrolling on the fly and changing menu can sometime slow to a crawl while on the move.
    #17
  18. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I'm told by Garmin that my BMW Nav V that I have in my R1200GS will not cleanly support the 100K topo as it's base map. They said the topo lines will look like they were drawn with fat crayons and is not a very satisfying experience. So now I'm considering adding a Montana to my handlebars in addition to the Nav V to get the improved off-road trail mapping and topo but can't find anywhere if it'll support track data and how much I can load on it. I have a slew of GPX file tracks for the east coast I'd like to load up on the topo base map while we're running up and down the Appalachians in the woods this year.

    I need to power it from a USB source.
    I'd like the topo 100K base map
    I need to be able to load and display as many tracks as possible (my Nav V has a 15 track limit on the display which is OK)
    I need to use it on a handlebar mount.
    It needs to be weather/waterproof.
    It needs a display large enough to read it while riding.

    Is the Montana series the best to meet these requirements?

    Thanks!
    #18
  19. waylongway

    waylongway madmax Supporter

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  20. Boondoggle

    Boondoggle no good deed

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    lately he's been overheard in Mayfair...
    I did pull the trigger on the 390LM, there are still some left at the sale price. Lifetime map updates included too

    I'm a luddite/late adopter so I'm probably not the guy to rely on, but compared to my 62cst with freeware maps it is lightning-fast, easy to manipulate, and overall a Great Leap Forward
    #20