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Thread: GPS expert advice needed

  1. #16
    Ambassador at Large JIMSHAW's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Nuvi vs. Zumo

    I spoke with a Garmin rep a few months ago about the differences between the Nuvi and the Zumo. Clearly, if they are almost the same, it's a no brainer to buy the cheaper (and still waterproof) unit.

    He said, they're much the same - except:

    The Nuvi does not have screens designed for use by gloved fingers on a vibrating vehicle like a motorcycle. The Zumo has some input screens in two versions - for motorcycle (larger icons, keys) and for car use. It can tell whether it's in the car or on the bike by what mount it's on, and switches automatically.

    The Nuvi has a less bright screen than the Zumo. The Zumo screen is specially designed to be read in bright daylight. The Nuvi screen assumes you are in the reduced direct sunlight of a car or truck. This also accounts for the difference in battery life, I expect.

    So, don't just make the guess that Garmin is just trying to gouge you by selling the Zumo for $300 more than the Nuvi.

    That said, if you don't mind taking your glove off to input info, or having a substantial sunshade on your moto unit, the Nuvi is a bargain.

    They just aren't the same device for the same main purpose.

    I made the economic choice to just buy one unit (Zumo) and use it in the car and on the bike. The 550 comes with both mounts, and it takes 20 seconds to remove and reinstall it.

    Jim

  2. #17
    HoveringGS
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    I'm not much of a techie guy, and wasn't able to easily transfer a route from google maps to my Zumo 550, the GPS would recalculate the quickest distance from start to finish voiding any planned route. However, using Mapquest, I was able to precisely design a route, mark any turns as waypoints and simply export it to the connected GPS. The routes came out as planned, really straighforward.

  3. #18
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancogan View Post
    Gerard, I did check out the 550. Am I correct that it does not come with MapSource? Can routes, waypoints, etc. be downloaded from a computer to this unit? Will it require the purchase of maps at an additional cost? Thanks.
    A while back Garmin made MapSource available as a freebie. I found it recently at download/cnet.com. If you do a Google it will probably turn up some other places. Save it to the desktop or a folder and then extract and install it. After that let it search for updates and you are good to go.

    While the analogy is not perfect, it helped me to think of MapSource as the tracks and the City Navigator mapping software as the train. The basic road info and utilities come in MapSource; the detailed map info in CN or one of the other suites.

    Some users have encountered problems setting up routes on the computer, copying them to a MicroSD card, and then inserting it in the GPS. The get around on that is to set up the maps/routes and then transfer them to the GPS via USB cable.

    Before I go out west this summer I'll get the topo sections on MicroSD that cover the CDT. I'll use my Nuvi 550. My buddy will use his Zumo 550. Between the two units I figure we can make it...

    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  4. #19
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gblawler View Post
    I decided to buy the nuvi 550 instead of a Zumo because of the very large difference in price.

    I bought the Garmin hard-wire kit that comes with a bracket for a RAM mount that is a much better bracket than the one from RAM.


    The nuvi 550 has mapsource.
    I've looked at the Nuvi 550 because of the price.
    Just wanted to be clear on a couple items.
    Garmin sells a hard wire kits?? I have not been able to find one listed on the Garmin site.
    Mapsourse is provide free with the Nuvi 550???

    I've thought of buying the Nuvi 550 with an extra battery and this would give me 12 to 16 hours operating time if I did not find a hard wire kit.

    I just found the hard wire kit and mount on Amazon for $28 shipped
    Now I just need to know if Mapsourse is included with the 550 purchase.
    Last edited by Lee; 01-11-2010 at 03:22 AM.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  5. #20
    Manfred
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    It's definitely possible to get Google maps into a Garmin. Check out these sites:


    http://www.bevhoward.com/G2WPT.htm

    http://www.sackman.info/

    http://www.takitwithme.com/

    http://www.easygps.com/default.asp

    I use the free utility WinGDB from the Sackman site to convert Google Mpas via points into Way points and then rename these within Garmin's Mapsource to the "next turn" data is useful.

  6. #21
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred View Post
    It's definitely possible to get Google maps into a Garmin.
    Uh.... maps? Various utilities let you transfer routes, track, waypoints, and points of interest. I'm not aware of any that will let you update an actual map.

  7. #22
    Manfred
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    Uh.... maps? Various utilities let you transfer routes, track, waypoints, and points of interest. I'm not aware of any that will let you update an actual map.
    Details.

    Routes created in Google Maps can be successfully transferred to a Garmin GPS, as described above.

  8. #23
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I've looked at the Nuvi 550 because of the price.
    Just wanted to be clear on a couple items.
    Garmin sells a hard wire kits?? I have not been able to find one listed on the Garmin site.
    Mapsourse is provide free with the Nuvi 550???

    I've thought of buying the Nuvi 550 with an extra battery and this would give me 12 to 16 hours operating time if I did not find a hard wire kit.

    I just found the hard wire kit and mount on Amazon for $28 shipped
    Now I just need to know if Mapsourse is included with the 550 purchase.
    I bought the Nuvi 550 through Amazon at $209. Garmin does produce an aftermarket hardwire and I also found it at Amazon.

    MapSource is not included in the box with the Nuvi 550 but you can find it here as a freebie.

    http://download.cnet.com/windows/

    Cnet shows the license model as FREE. If you need an unlock code to finalize the install that comes from Garmin.

    PS (via edit): There is a Sticky at Laying Down Tracks over on AdvRider with a MapSource tutorial. I'm reading like mad to get from "doh" to "shazzam" on the whole deal and find this guy's explanations helpful.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=413519

    And another thing! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT just take the wire with the 12v adapter on it, whip out your Leatherman and cut off the plug, and then straight wire it to the battery of your bike.

    I opened the case and looked to be sure and the Garmin battery has this line on the specs:

    Rating: 3.7 V, 1800mAh, 6.66Wh
    If I understand that correctly, there is a little electronic thingy in the 12v adapter, and in the squarish "box" on the available hardwire kit that draws the voltage down to the necessary 3.7v.

    So ... my thought is that if someone cuts off the adapter and straight wires to 12v and when they turn it on it goes "poof" they have just screwed their self out of $200 + on a Nuvi 550.

    Just saying ...
    Last edited by basketcase; 01-11-2010 at 02:01 PM.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  9. #24
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basketcase View Post
    And another thing! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT just take the wire with the 12v adapter on it, whip out your Leatherman and cut off the plug, and then straight wire it to the battery of your bike.

    I opened the case and looked to be sure and the Garmin battery has this line on the specs:



    If I understand that correctly, there is a little electronic thingy in the 12v adapter, and in the squarish "box" on the available hardwire kit that draws the voltage down to the necessary 3.7v.

    So ... my thought is that if someone cuts off the adapter and straight wires to 12v and when they turn it on it goes "poof" they have just screwed their self out of $200 + on a Nuvi 550.

    Just saying ...
    Thanks for the reply
    I'm not clear on the adapter you mention. The Garmin hardwire kit has a plug on one end to plug into the Nuvi and the other end is bare wire. I thought I could splice into the bike wiring or go direct to the battery. I realize if I go to the battery, I'll need to remember to shut the Nuvi off when I shut the bike off.
    This link will give a picture of the hardwire kit.
    http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-010-111...219300&sr=8-12
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #25
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Hope I'm not highjacking the thread with my questions. The original poster is looking at inexpensive GPSs that will handle routes.
    Hope my questions will help him also.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  11. #26
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Lee, that is the correct hardwire kit. The square box contains the electronics necessary to control the voltage, and the naked wires can be soldered to clips or otherwise connected as convenient to hot and a ground.

    Over on AdvRider there is two threads on this topic that are Nuvi and Zumo "threadfests."

    Somewhere on one of those is where I picked up a hint about the voltage, but the threads are huge and I can't recall the page # or post #. Either way, you are in good shape with the Garmin kit.

    Regarding routes with the Nuvi 550, I am a little disappointed at that point as the manual indicates routes have to be designed using the touchscreen. That said, GPS geeks are inordinately conniving so there is probably a get around available -- finding it will be the challenge.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  12. #27
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basketcase View Post
    Lee, that is the correct hardwire kit. The square box contains the electronics necessary to control the voltage, and the naked wires can be soldered to clips or otherwise connected as convenient to hot and a ground.

    Over on AdvRider there is two threads on this topic that are Nuvi and Zumo "threadfests."

    Somewhere on one of those is where I picked up a hint about the voltage, but the threads are huge and I can't recall the page # or post #. Either way, you are in good shape with the Garmin kit.

    Regarding routes with the Nuvi 550, I am a little disappointed at that point as the manual indicates routes have to be designed using the touchscreen. That said, GPS geeks are inordinately conniving so there is probably a get around available -- finding it will be the challenge.
    I would think making a route on the GPS would be slow?
    Another thought on the hard wire. I see a extra battery does not cost much more than the hard wire. Two batteries would last 14 to 16 hours. Only snag there, is I would need a place to charge each night.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  13. #28
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Yes, using the touchscreen to choose waypoints or spell out desired points within a route would be slow enough to make me pony up for another GPS.

    I think (hope?) I am going to be able to make do without that expenditure.

    An extra battery is another power option. But the battery charges (a) when the unit is on and in use with 12v power, or (b) when hooked up via USB cable to a computer. Probably there is a wall charger available but I've not looked into that.

    At some points I do overkill in terms of contingency planning, so for an extended trip the hardwire and an extra battery stashed someplace would match my style.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  14. #29
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Okay, I dug out the custom routes answer regarding the Nuvi 550.

    Step 1
    First, I loaded Mapsource (v. 6.15.7) and the City Navigator NA NT 2010.3 mapset that came with the Nuvi.

    I clicked Routes and used the MapSource route tool to put together a 122 mile round trip from the city where I live to a wide spot in the road (village) in the west side of the county, then southeast to a wider spot (small town) with a good restaurant, and then back north to my town.

    I saved that with a distinctive name and then hooked up the Nuvi via USB cable, when it finished booting I used the MapSource find unit utility and it found the Nuvi.

    Then I used Transfer and copied the route to the GPS.

    Step 2
    Next, I unhooked the GPS and went to the kitchen and let it finish booting and acquiring.

    After a bit of fiddling, here is the sequence to load a route designed in MapSource and copied to the Nuvi 550.

    Touch --

    Tools/MyData/Import From File

    It will show a list. Let it import the route.

    Then, Touch --

    Where To?/Custom Routes ... and choose the route. Let it load and shazzam, you're good to go.



    With all that said, I am scratching my head. I know the route is there but after doing all the above I rebooted the GPS using the USB connection to look at where MapSource stored the route on the unit. I do not see anything by that file name. But I'll have to save that for another time -- work beckons.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimshaw View Post
    I spoke with a Garmin rep a few months ago about the differences between the Nuvi and the Zumo. Clearly, if they are almost the same, it's a no brainer to buy the cheaper (and still waterproof) unit.

    He said, they're much the same - except:

    The Nuvi does not have screens designed for use by gloved fingers on a vibrating vehicle like a motorcycle. The Zumo has some input screens in two versions - for motorcycle (larger icons, keys) and for car use. It can tell whether it's in the car or on the bike by what mount it's on, and switches automatically.

    The Nuvi has a less bright screen than the Zumo. The Zumo screen is specially designed to be read in bright daylight. The Nuvi screen assumes you are in the reduced direct sunlight of a car or truck. This also accounts for the difference in battery life, I expect.

    So, don't just make the guess that Garmin is just trying to gouge you by selling the Zumo for $300 more than the Nuvi.

    That said, if you don't mind taking your glove off to input info, or having a substantial sunshade on your moto unit, the Nuvi is a bargain.

    They just aren't the same device for the same main purpose.

    I made the economic choice to just buy one unit (Zumo) and use it in the car and on the bike. The 550 comes with both mounts, and it takes 20 seconds to remove and reinstall it.

    Jim
    My brother has a Zumo, and I have compared them side by side. Kind of surprised the Garmin rep didn't mention the really major differences. I believe the real reason the Zumo is so much more expensive is the MP3 Player, Bluetooth sound, and Bluetooth cell phone interface built into the Zumo that are not included in the nuvi 550. These are all features I would not use if I had them; however, these wireless features easily justify the higher price of the Zumo. The question is, do you want to pay for these extra features? If you want or need these features, I would not hesitate to pay the extra for the Zumo.

    If the Zumo has a brighter display than the nuvi, I can't see it, and I have compared it side by side with the Zumo. I have used my nuvi in bright sunlight with the display set on 80% and it works fine. Also, I don't believe the longer battery life is because of a dimmer display because the car-only GPS models from Garmin also have the 4 hour battery life. As I mentioned in my previous post, the nuvi 550 is a multi-mode GPS with modes for walking and hiking off road which is the real reason they have engineered a much longer battery life. If you are hiking all day, a 4 hour GPS is not what you want.

    The glove friendly touch display may be a good feature for some, but I don't have any trouble using the nuvi touch screen with my gloves and it is far faster to input because you don't have to shift through the ranges in the alphabet. Further, if you check the specs on Garmin's web site at https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?...27442#specsTab you will see they have a spec called "Motorcycle Friendly". As far as I can tell, the Zumo models and the nuvi 500 and 550 are the only models Garmin has with that spec. So, according to Garmin, the nuvi 550 is a motorcycle GPS.

    The nuvi 550 also works well in the car. It comes with the car adapter. I bought the Garmin hardwire kit separately (010-11143-07 found under the accessories tab on the link above), and a RAM mount. I didn't buy the hardwire kit immediately because I thought the 8 hour battery life would work for me. The first trip after I bought the GPS was a 12 hour ride. I got through it by turning the GPS off when I didn't have a turn coming up for a long time. I realized after that the hardwire kit is the way to go.

    I would recommend the nuvi 550 to anyone who is willing to do without the MP3 and wireless features of the Zumo and is interested in saving a very significant amount of money.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

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