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Thread: Which GPS to get?

  1. #46
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    Did you ever hear of a little company by the name of MicroSoft??? They do that all the time. Vista was a good example. EVERY piece of software I have ever operated has its problems. (My staff and I use a GIS software package called ArcMAP, we have ten copies at $9K each, it has more bugs than the Amazon rain forest. It's pretty much the only game in town so we make it work) Emoto made a really good point, do you want to bitch about the software or make it do what you want/need it to do.

    Bottom line in this is that Garmin does claim wondrous things about the routing capabilities of its units. Those claims tend to be inaccurate if you take them at face value. You have to work to build good routes. It isn't plug and play like Garmin would like you to believe. I make Routes that WORK, period. I've already told you how. #1 use tracks to build exactly what you want. #2 examine and standardize what options you set (shortest distance, no uturns, etc). That goes for the unit too because it does a calc on load. #3 check the loaded route against BaseCamp for bogus points and routing in critical area. #4 always have the same map version in BaseCamp and in the unit. #5 use BaseCamp and get rid of MapSource if you are using maps that have been updated in the last year or two. #6 NEVER recalc after hitting "GO". If you want to build back road maps and don't do the things I mentioned above, stand by for disappointment. There WILL BE times when the lady in the box will try to send up an exit ramp and then down an on ramp when all you need to do is go straight. That is the map has bad data. That's life with maps. Since almost all GPS maps come from two sources, NavTech and Atlas, you will have problems from time to time. It ain't perfect but it ain't useless either.
    I don't seem to be making myself clear. I do all of those things. I preview the route after I upload it and it's fine. Then at some point DURING THE RIDE the unit adds diversions. It's happened over and over.

    And the "doing the calc on load" is one of my gripes. I don't want Garmin to think that I'm a little thick and it needs to improve or fix the routes I design for me--I want it to just copy what I design as I designed it. At least with Microsoft you can turn all of that moronic autocorrect off. There is no way to do that with Garmn.

  2. #47
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Which model GPS do you have?
    Eventual Master of the Obvious
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  3. #48
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Rock,
    You and I are on the same page. If I spend an hour making a route in BaseMap, what good does it do if it doesn't follow the exact path I defined on the ride. I was having the same issue IIRC two updates ago. I found that my unit had two map files on it in the SD card. Had to spend some time with Garmin support finding what files were supposed to be, delete everything and reload. IMO, the upgrade process is really fubar'ed. Prior to straightening out the problem, I would get to an area with multiple intersections and parallel roads and my route would shoot jaggies all over the place and usually just got lost. I have not gone on a long ride since going to BaseCamp, so I will be sure to check it out areas where I had problems in the past. I did see that in places like Wilksboro, NC and Oakhill, WV BaseMap wanted to create off the wall spaghetti lines which looked like bow ties, ran back on themselves and in general were a cluster of incorrect lines. I fixed them but I'm going to load them into my Zumo and see how it handles them during the load calc. On that subject, I don't see how Garmin could load a route without a calc of some kind. Programmatically it must have something like a gpx or dxf transfer file format or loading a route would take forever. If your routes recalc mid trip without your intervention, then you are absolutely right, Garmin has a serious flaw in their code.
    Rod

    PS - I just did routes through Oak Hill and Wilksboro. Both were made by using a start and stop point, then changing the route to go where I wanted it to go. I loaded them in my Zumo, it calculated them and they were exactly the same path in both the Zumo and BaseMap. I do have these areas in a planned route from SC to OH and that should be a good test. Was supposed to leave yesterday but I'm waiting for the monsoons to abate.
    Last edited by chewbacca; 07-13-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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  4. #49
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMOTO View Post
    Which model GPS do you have?
    Zumo 220.

  5. #50
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    Rock,
    Prior to straightening out the problem, I would get to an area with multiple intersections and parallel roads and my route would shoot jaggies all over the place and usually just got lost. I have not gone on a long ride since going to BaseCamp, so I will be sure to check it out areas where I had problems in the past. I did see that in places like Wilksboro, NC and Oakhill, WV BaseMap wanted to create off the wall spaghetti lines which looked like bow ties, ran back on themselves and in general were a cluster of incorrect lines.
    That's exactly what mine does. But Garmin just told me to give them money for a replacement. You did raise an interesting point though--what if the problem is that the unit is getting confused because there is data both on its storage and my memory card? I'm going to take the card out and see what happens.

  6. #51
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    Zumo 220.
    How old are your maps? Older maps used a different road segmenting method, so may produce weird results with routes made in newer software.

    You have auto re-calc turned off? tools > settings > navigation

    FWIW, I like to use Automotive mode and "faster time" as my navigation settings because I find it produces much more predictable results than motorcycle mode, which just seems to randomly add more roads into a route without thought. What mode are you using? Try it with both the GPS and BaseCamp in Automotive mode. Make sure the route has been recalculated at least one time in that mode.

    Tools > Settings > Map > Map Info (just to confirm that you really are building the route in the same version the gps has.)
    Eventual Master of the Obvious
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  7. #52
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMOTO View Post
    How old are your maps? Older maps used a different road segmenting method, so may produce weird results with routes made in newer software.

    You have auto re-calc turned off? tools > settings > navigation

    FWIW, I like to use Automotive mode and "faster time" as my navigation settings because I find it produces much more predictable results than motorcycle mode, which just seems to randomly add more roads into a route without thought. What mode are you using? Try it with both the GPS and BaseCamp in Automotive mode. Make sure the route has been recalculated at least one time in that mode.

    Tools > Settings > Map > Map Info (just to confirm that you really are building the route in the same version the gps has.)
    2014.1 on both. And I learned to turn auto-recalc off during my first year of riding when I wasn't watching carefully, missed a turn, and it decided to re-route me on a dirt logging road over a mountain.

  8. #53
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    2014.1 on both. And I learned to turn auto-recalc off during my first year of riding when I wasn't watching carefully, missed a turn, and it decided to re-route me on a dirt logging road over a mountain.
    Jeeezze, no sense of adventure.
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  9. #54
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    2014.1 on both. And I learned to turn auto-recalc off during my first year of riding when I wasn't watching carefully, missed a turn, and it decided to re-route me on a dirt logging road over a mountain.
    Yeah, I had my share of that, too.

    So, Automotive mode and faster time (on both BaseCamp and GPS)?
    Eventual Master of the Obvious
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  10. #55
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMOTO View Post
    How old are your maps? Older maps used a different road segmenting method, so may produce weird results with routes made in newer software.
    This is also why you do not want to use MapSource anymore. Within a short time after the release of BaseCamp, they stopped updating MapSource.

    Rock, when I had the problem with different maps, I had to wipe things slick on both the SD and the unit. That isn't as simple as it may sound. I had to get a Garmin tech to explain what I had to do. It wasn't documented well, or at all. Something to keep in mind is that not all of their techs are top of the line either.
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  11. #56
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    Rock, when I had the problem with different maps, I had to wipe things slick on both the SD and the unit. That isn't as simple as it may sound. I had to get a Garmin tech to explain what I had to do. It wasn't documented well, or at all. Something to keep in mind is that not all of their techs are top of the line either.
    Yup - 50% are average or below..

    I tend to leave auto-recalc on since I rather often divert from a calculated route, and want the GPS to think about how to go from where I am, not where I was supposed to be. To keep it "on-track" requires some planning beforehand. An example is the Blue Ridge Parkway, that I travel rather often for some reason (odd considering it starts 300 miles from me..)..

    In order to keep the auto-routing from taking me off the BRP and onto some local road it thinks is quicker (or shorter), I added in waypoints all along the length of the BRP. To make them useable - I found they have to be named something like "BRP01" "BRP02" "BRP3", etc.. in order and I make certain there is at least one of these waypoints between every entrance/exit of the Parkway.

    To make up a BRP route, I'll then enter my starting point off the Parkway, and add in all the BRP## waypoints for the length of the parkway I want to travel, then add in my desired end point (perhaps someplace to stop overnight.) I'll let Doofus calculate the route. Doing it this way I end up with successfully routing that can be used in MapSource, BaseCamp or on the GPS itself. They all will come up with the same route. That works, it's a tad tedious, but once the waypoints are made up, they can be saved and used with multiple routes, so it's only necessary to create them once.

    YMMV, but I doubt it..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  12. #57
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, as I mentioned above, I took out the extra memory card, uploaded and rode a route. This is the first time in as long as I can remember that the route did not become corrupted, so maybe there is something to the hypothesis that information on the unit is conflicting with information on the card. I'm going to use it without the card until I need it, then I'll format it. Of course, if this is the problem, it still makes me wonder why Garmin tech support doesn't know about. And Base Camp is still a bizarrely incompetent piece of software.

  13. #58
    BruceRT
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    Tyre is better than Basecamp

    I grew frustrated with Basecamp before I could figure it out. I use Tyre instead. Check it out at http://www.tyretotravel.com/ It uses the Google Maps engine and makes itineraries and custom POI files. It's still not as straightforward as it could be but it's pretty good.
    Bruce
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  14. #59
    BruceRT
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    I so wish Tom Tom or something else was a viable alternative to Garmin.
    Maybe Tomtom is back in the game.

    http://www.tomtom.com/en_us/products.../tomtom-rider/
    Bruce
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    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  15. #60
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdimon View Post
    I grew frustrated with Basecamp before I could figure it out. I use Tyre instead. Check it out at http://www.tyretotravel.com/ It uses the Google Maps engine and makes itineraries and custom POI files. It's still not as straightforward as it could be but it's pretty good.
    A couple friends of mine use Tyre and they sent me a map a few weeks back. They both use the same model Nuvi set up exactly the same. They sent me a route that we were all to follow (they also sent me the track for the route) When I loaded the route in my Zumo, there were several places where the Zumo route deviated from where they were actually going. Upon return I checked the route against the track. The track followed the path my two friends used exactly. Bottom line is Tyre uses a different routing algorithm than Garmin uses in either their units or BaseCamp. I have a copy of Tyre now and could use it however I am getting the hang of BaseCamp. If you want to follow the exact path YOU want or the group wants you have to put more time into route creation and checking than most folks care to.

    On that SD card thing, IMO it wasn't just the fact that you had data split between internal and SD memory, it was that parts of older installs were left on the SD card.
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