GPS navigation

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GrahamGamblin
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GPS navigation

Post by GrahamGamblin » 29 Jun 2009 16:40

Hello,
Thinking of investing in a cycle GPS unit. I want this more for navigation than for training - I do a lot of cyling on my own. Does anyone know whether the older Garmins (205, 305) are any use as navigation tools (ie can I download a route to them so that it tells me which way to go at junctions), or will I need to shell out a bit more and get the 705? And does anyone have any non-Garmin recommendations?
cheers all
Graham

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CakeStop
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Post by CakeStop » 29 Jun 2009 17:16

The Etrex Vista HCx is the one favoured by audax types for navigation or the Etrex Legend HCx if you don't want the electronic compass & barometric altitude. The 705 is more aligned to training.
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AlanW
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Post by AlanW » 29 Jun 2009 20:44

Another vote for the Etrex HCx, but also bear in mind that to get the best from the Extrex or the Legend for that matter, you will also need to buy the Garmin mapping software.

Two choices, either City Navigator or the Topo map, so add another £100 or so to your bill. :shock:

Of course you don't have to have either, just go by the preloaded base map, but its pretty crap to be honest, ok then.... very crap!!

Also remember that once you have your new toy, you will then be highly entertained for hours trying to figure out how the hell to do routes, then convert them to tracks, or was it courses?

Oh yes indeed............hours of "fun" await you... :roll:

Then just when you think you have it sussed, the clever little unit thinks that its much smarter than a 50 year old and consequently sends you another route. :cry:

I made my own bracket for the Etrex, but also included route card holder as well, just in case. :wink:

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CakeStop
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Post by CakeStop » 29 Jun 2009 22:18

AlanW wrote:Two choices, either City Navigator or the Topo map, so add another £100 or so to your bill. :shock:

Of course you don't have to have either, just go by the preloaded base map, but its pretty crap to be honest, ok then.... very crap!!
OpenStreetMap increasingly seems to be a viable free alternative. There's not a 100% coverage throughout the country although it's being added to all the time as users update the maps by uploading tracks of rides they've completed. It looks like good coverage round here, in fact in my immediate vicinity there's more detail than on OS maps.
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Si-D
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Post by Si-D » 29 Jun 2009 23:34

I absolutely love my Garmin 705!
Buy the package which comes with the pre-loaded memory card with all the mapping data. That has every single lane in the entire UK.

I use it for navigation on audaxes & sportives, and make up my own routes which are easily downloaded to the device.

It's great for logging all your ride info for full geekiness post ride analysis.

And it's probably the most future proof too.
Functions you think you'll never use at the moment may just be what you need in a year or two.
(for example - When I bought mine I only required a good unit for navigation and ride data. But now I've taken up time trialling this year I use it as a heart rate monitor and take more notice of things such as cadence. It's also compatible with a Power Tap meter for measuring Power output.)

There's a few guys in the club with one so feel free to take a look and have a play.
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Andy Terry
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Post by Andy Terry » 30 Jun 2009 09:51

If you can stretch to it, get the eTrex Vista HCx and with City Navigator Europe NT 2009 maps.

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GrahamGamblin
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Post by GrahamGamblin » 30 Jun 2009 13:14

Thanks for all the replies - I must admit to hankering after a 705 but find it hard to justify the expense; mind you, not that much more than the etrex once you take the software into account... This is why I was looking at the older Garmins, but the 705 and etrex do look a lot better.
Might have to save up for a bit :roll:
Graham

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CakeStop
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Post by CakeStop » 30 Jun 2009 15:45

If you're planning your route in advance and transferring this to the unit the maps aren't essential. An arrow points you in the right direction and changes when you need to turn. This is how the older pre-mapping units worked and quite a few people still use this for audax purposes.

You only really need a map on the unit if you want to make your route up as you go along, or if you wanted to change route during a ride (eg to shortcut back home), or as a back-up if you managed to get completely lost.

However, it seems to make sense now to get a map capable unit even if you don't invest in the maps immediately especially as you can use open streetmap for free and then decide whether you wish to upgrade to a commercial map in the future.
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AlanW
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Post by AlanW » 30 Jun 2009 18:06

Guido Forks wrote:If you can stretch to it, get the eTrex Vista HCx and with City Navigator Europe NT 2009 maps.
Agreed, I recently managed to get a brand new Etrex Vista HCx (including a 2gb Micro SD card) for less than £140 including postage.

Search the net, you'll find some cracking deals.

As a point of interest, I had a Garmin 205 before the Etrex and if I'm honest I was very disappointed with it. Not least when I came to load the .gpx file of the Hell of the North only to discover it could not handle it. :cry:

I must admit to looking at the new 705, but the cost put me off. Plus, I wasn't interested in the heart monitor function, nor the training functions etc.

IMHO having the mapping software just adds to the enjoyment of the GPS, yes you can just follow a line on a screen but how boring is that?

I love my Etrex, I just need to teach it how to peddle now....:roll:
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Post by AlanW » 29 Jul 2009 17:08

The Satmap Active 10 GPS looks very interesting and worth checking out.
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GrahamGamblin
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Post by GrahamGamblin » 30 Jul 2009 13:45

Thanks again, Alan, and thanks to everyone else for the tips. Got to go and shake the piggy bank and see what falls out...
Graham

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