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Thread: best GPS/ SATNAV?

  1. #31
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    do other Garmin models and/or other brands of GPS NOT use batteries that one may replace at will?

    do most GPS's use specialised batteries and not a typical type?
    Yes to both questions. Some, like the 2610/2650 does not have batteries. Instead they use a 12/24 volt external power source or 120 converter.

    Others like the Zumo series and some of the GPSMAP units have propriarity batteries.

    It's not the problem you may think it is, other than the units that don't run on battery power [when I say battery power, I mean the units do not have a battery installed] to take with you when you walk - you just take the power adapter with you. No biggie unless you want to use it on foot.
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  2. #32
    ZIEGLER
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    a different way

    I use a marine Lowrance Global map 5200 on motorcycle ,car and truck.
    Advantages are big very bright screen and a big keypad.On the smaller units
    I had trouble seeing the small screen(old age creeping up) and manipulating while driving.-I actually have two units to reduce switching between 4 vehicles.
    Gary

  3. #33
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    I bought a nuvi 550 in 2009 and it has worked well. List price $299, street price around $249. It comes with the car adapter and car mount. You have to buy the RAM mount (~$30) for the bike and the hardwire kit (~$30) from Garmin. It is IPX 7 waterproof and rated as "Motorcycle friendly" by Garmin. Downside compared to a Zumo is no audio jack, no bluetooth, no MP3 player, no XM Radio. The features it does not have are not a big deal for me. I wanted a good GPS at a good price. I don't have a problem navigating without being able to hear the voice prompts. It tells you about the turns on the screen so far in advance that it is hard to miss them. I recently bought the lifetime map update subscription from Garmin for $89. This used to be much more than that, and when a one-time map update is $49, the lifetime seems like a no-brainer when they have updates available 4 times a year. The streets don't change that often, but the points of interest (like restaurants and gas stations) do. One of the best conveniences of riding with a GPS is to quickly get a list of all restaurants, in proximity order, whenever you want a bite to eat. I also try to stay with Shell or BP gas, and the GPS makes it easy get whatever brand of gas you prefer in the same way. Keeping your GPS up-to-date avoids riding out of your way to a restaurant or a gas station that has been closed for 6 months (this has actually happened to me with my other GPS in the car).

    The nuvi 550 is a "multi-mode" GPS and has specific features for walking, hiking, and boating that other models do not have. It has a user-replaceable lithium-ion battery that Garmin claims lasts up to 8 hours (I assume to support the walking and hiking modes). The battery life is significantly longer than most GPS models (most are 3-4 hours). In fact, when I first bought the unit, I bought the RAM mount, but not the hardwire kit. I thought the battery life would be long enough that I wouldn't need it. The first trip I took with it was over 11 hours and I had to keep turning the unit on and off to conserve the battery life. As soon as I got home from the trip, I bought the Garmin hardwire kit.

    A quick look at the specs on the Zumo 220 compared to the nuvi 550 looks like the Zumo 220 is the same as the nuvi 550 only with bluetooth, for $200 more. For me, I wouldn't get $200 worth of utility from the bluetooth feature. The pictures of the units on Garmins web site look exactly the same.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  4. #34
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    I'll back up everything Globalrider said in post #26 about the Garmin GPSMap60CX. I've been using one for several years (The fact they were made for so long says volumes in the fast changing GPS market.)

    They have just recently been replace by the similar GPSMap62 series. If you don't want the fancy audio features, it is a fantastic unit. The screens are customizable so you can have exactly the data fields showing that YOU want. In addition, the vertical screen layout shows more of what's AHEAD, rather than what's off to the side, which is more important if you think about it.

    It has a lot of technical features that make it really popular with the off-road and hunting/fishing types as well. Although I have hard-wire setups for it on all three bikes, the easily replaced AA cell batteries are a major plus as well.

    There isn't a better does-all GPS on the market. I won't give mine up.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  5. #35
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32232 View Post
    I'll back up everything Globalrider said in post #26 about the Garmin GPSMap60CX. I've been using one for several years (The fact they were made for so long says volumes in the fast changing GPS market.)

    They have just recently been replace by the similar GPSMap62 series. If you don't want the fancy audio features, it is a fantastic unit. The screens are customizable so you can have exactly the data fields showing that YOU want. In addition, the vertical screen layout shows more of what's AHEAD, rather than what's off to the side, which is more important if you think about it.

    It has a lot of technical features that make it really popular with the off-road and hunting/fishing types as well. Although I have hard-wire setups for it on all three bikes, the easily replaced AA cell batteries are a major plus as well.

    There isn't a better does-all GPS on the market. I won't give mine up.
    Neither would I, which is also why I bought a spare. I am happy to see Garmin continued the line with the 62. The left over 60 CSx can still be had new at a great price.

    All good points you brought up that I didn't bother to. I've been looking at getting a car unit like the Garmin 255 or 265 WT, but none of them track log and do what my 60 Cx do.

    Another point that I did not bring up; the Garmin 60 Cx and CSx both AutoRoute. Although they provide screen prompts, they do not provide voice prompt, instead the user can select from a slew of alert tones. I have some very noticeable ones selected that alert me prior to having to make a turn. In the end, I rarely use the AutoRouting feature and if I do, only in my car and so far, never on my motorcycle while on tour.

  6. #36
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    ...........................
    The Garmin 376C and Zumo 660 uses a Garmin Li-Ion battery pack. And if you check the specs on these units on the Garmin site, battery life is up to 5 hours or less. Useless for my purposes...................

    Garmin must underestimate the life, on my 276c and 478, even on the brightest screen setting I get 6-7 hours on my 4 and 5 year old batteries. If you turn the screen down (stilll visible in bright sun) it will go 8+ hours.

    They are big for hiking and hand held use, but I like the big screen to help find those little twisty roads.

  7. #37
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Garmin must underestimate the life, on my 276c and 478, even on the brightest screen setting I get 6-7 hours on my 4 and 5 year old batteries. If you turn the screen down (stilll visible in bright sun) it will go 8+ hours.
    But they use proprietary batteries.

    Which is why I never wasted my time with Sony and their proprietary "memory sticks". I guess they never noticed that SD and CF cards were out there. I refuse to bend over to those companies and pay double the price for the same memory capacity.

    Another advantage of commonly used batteries...they can be used in a AA Maglite, your camera, your GPS, your whatever.

  8. #38
    Scottish Transplant Picinisco's Avatar
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    Garmin Streetpilot 2720. Buy used on eBay for about $70. Register it with Garmin and get a free map update. Absolutely waterproof as I can attest to in a torrential hail/rain storm in New Mexico.
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  9. #39
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    This gives the thread a little bump and.......from BMWPhreak over on the YB site.......

    This is a Garmin Mapsource tutorial http://www.bestbikingroads.com/usefu..._Tutorial1.pdf

    This looks like it has some good info with examples.. Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  10. #40
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    ...{snip}...This is a Garmin Mapsource tutorial http://www.bestbikingroads.com/usefu..._Tutorial1.pdf {snip}...
    Wow! Thanks to BMWPhreak for the labor of love, and to Gary for providing the link!
    Theo

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  11. #41
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Garmin obviously get lots of respect here, it's almost an entire thread about them!

    the mention of LOWRANCE brings it to another level. perusing the Lowrance site, i realised these are the folks who have a long history with the boating crowd, and it seems they make both fishfinders and navigation tools which would cover the GPS market.
    anyone got any more to say about them?

    going back to the Garmin Zumo series proprietary batteries, does it stand to reason that the natural option would be to just go straight away to hard-wiring the unit to the bike and/or car? i suppose the only downside to that would be if you were to use the unit for a walk-about? and i guess on the other hand, one might want to BUY 2 wiring harnesses, or perhaps one for EACH VEHICLE you plan to use your Zumo in? admittedly, this could add considerable costs to an already pricey item.
    Last edited by bmwrider88; 01-19-2011 at 09:29 PM.

  12. #42
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    Garmin obviously get lots of respect here, it's almost an entire thread about them!

    going back to the Garmin Zumo series proprietary batteries, does it stand to reason that the natural option would be to just go straight away to hard-wiring the unit to the bike and/or car? i suppose the only downside to that would be if you were to use the unit for a walk-about? and i guess on the other hand, one might want to BUY 2 wiring harnesses, or perhaps one for EACH VEHICLE you plan to use your Zumo in? admittedly, this could add considerable costs to an already pricey item.
    I have hard-wire setups for my GPSmap60CX on all three bikes and use the lighter plug in the car. Although the AA cell in that unit will last 20 or so hours there's no comparison to hard-wiring. The main benefit is that the backlight will drain the batteries in no time flat when riding after dark. I usually want the GPS on long trips away from home so there's no fiddling carrying extra batteries.

    It's not expensive to set each bike up. If you use a Ram mount it's one ball base and one power wire for about $35 per bike. The rest of the mount transfers with the GPS.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  13. #43
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32232 View Post
    Although the AA cell in that unit will last 20 or so hours there's no comparison to hard-wiring.
    You think.

    I use the batteries when I'm not in my car or on my motorcycle...while on foot or on a flight.

    As for the other Li-Ion battery powered units, they don't come remotely close to the 60 Cx in endurance.

  14. #44
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziegler View Post
    I use a marine Lowrance Global map 5200 on motorcycle ,car and truck.
    Advantages are big very bright screen and a big keypad.On the smaller units
    I had trouble seeing the small screen(old age creeping up) and manipulating while driving.-I actually have two units to reduce switching between 4 vehicles.
    Gary
    still curious to know more about Lowrance...
    anyone?

  15. #45
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    They all tell you where you are, form factor and features are the primary basis of your choice.
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