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post #1 of 6 Old 06-28-2008, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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GPS Questions

Folks,

Being new to the GPS world, I'd like to ask for some help please with respect to these units and cycles.

1 - What's the preferred way to power them? Directly to the battery,to a cigarette lighter connection, or just battery power as needed?

2 - What units / models allow you to do put in multiple destinations?

3 - The majority of trips that I am planning will involved taking off from a certain location and then, much later, getting back to that same spot. Can you input the start location without having to know the actual address and then later just target that same location easily? Is this what is meant by waypoints?

4 - For units that do voice navigation, how do you hear the directions while riding? I have a strange feeling that looking at the GPS while riding is not the wisest thing in the world so I am wondering how its actually used when riding

5 - Does it matter to get a GPS with a SiRFStarIII chipset for a motorcycle?

Thank you for the helps
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-28-2008, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeInLex View Post
Folks,

Being new to the GPS world, I'd like to ask for some help please with respect to these units and cycles.

1 - What's the preferred way to power them? Directly to the battery,to a cigarette lighter connection, or just battery power as needed?

I hardwire the unit directly to an Auxiliary fuse panel that I install on all my bikes. You can hardwire them directly to the battery as well. I prefer this over cigarette lighter plugs because they are not typically weather proof and they are bulky

2 - What units / models allow you to do put in multiple destinations?

Most units allow you input as many destinations or way points as you like. I use a garmin 76c and before I leave on a long ride will program it with several full routes taking me down roads that look interesting to me.

3 - The majority of trips that I am planning will involved taking off from a certain location and then, much later, getting back to that same spot. Can you input the start location without having to know the actual address and then later just target that same location easily? Is this what is meant by waypoints?

Waypoints can be anything. They can be city centers, gas stations, addresses, or just random points you pick and set as a way point. I will sometimes set waypoints on the fly when I'm running down a back road and see another road that looks intersting but I don't have time to explore. I'll mark it as a random waypoint so that I can look at it later when I get home.

4 - For units that do voice navigation, how do you hear the directions while riding? I have a strange feeling that looking at the GPS while riding is not the wisest thing in the world so I am wondering how its actually used when riding

I don't use voice navigation. I set my GPS to display distance to next turn, or time to next turn. If it's a longish distance to the next turn, I'll just make a mental note of how long it will be, and only glance down periodically to see how much farther to go. No need to stare. If you can glance at your speedo without running off the road, you can glance at the distance to next turn as well.

5 - Does it matter to get a GPS with a SiRFStarIII chipset for a motorcycle?

Garmin 76c doesn't have the sirfstarIII. It gets good signal lock most of the time. Sifstar will get signal lock in the basement of your house which my unit won't do. On a bike, it typically isn't an issue, unless you're in a deep dark canyon.



Thank you for the helps

Last edited by Gramps; 06-28-2008 at 10:25 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-28-2008, 10:36 PM
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GPS devices are navigation devices, obviously, and the more capable devices will do virtually anything you want to do as far as navigating.

I use a Garmin 2820. The software I run on my computer allows me to set up waypoints at places I want to go to, stop at, etc. and then connect them with a route. I can then upload everything to the GPS and tell it to run the route and it will take me directly to each waypoint I gave it. Alternatively I can just tell it to take me directly to a waypoint and ignore the route. For example, regardless of where I am, anywhere in North America, I can press 4 buttons and my GPS will find the quickest route home.

The higher-end GPS devices also have libraries of common destinations built in. These include gas stations, restaurants, motels, shopping, theatre, etc. When I need gas I let my GPS tell me where the nearest gas station is. When I want to eat I see what restaurants are nearby and then let my GPS show me the way. I can also tell the GPS to take me to a specific address in a specific city. The good ones will easily get you to where you want to go.

As to voice navigation, I've had them both ways and will never, ever go back to one that doesn't have it. Rather than having to look down at the screen I keep my eyes on the road and my GPS counts down to the next turn. It usually starts at about half a mile (or a mile at interstate speeds), then warns me at 0.1 mile, and then when the turn is the next intersection. It also says the name of the street I need to turn on and not just "Turn Right" or "Turn Left". I use ear buds for mine. It also has a built-in MP3 player so I have about 20 hours or so of music to listen to when I'm riding.

For motorcycle use make sure whatever you get is waterproof, has a large screen, and has large buttons. Small buttons are difficult with gloves on and small screens are hard to read. The waterproof part is obvious.

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-28-2008, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeInLex View Post
Folks,

Being new to the GPS world, I'd like to ask for some help please with respect to these units and cycles.

1 - What's the preferred way to power them? Directly to the battery,to a cigarette lighter connection, or just battery power as needed?

2 - What units / models allow you to do put in multiple destinations?

3 - The majority of trips that I am planning will involved taking off from a certain location and then, much later, getting back to that same spot. Can you input the start location without having to know the actual address and then later just target that same location easily? Is this what is meant by waypoints?

4 - For units that do voice navigation, how do you hear the directions while riding? I have a strange feeling that looking at the GPS while riding is not the wisest thing in the world so I am wondering how its actually used when riding

5 - Does it matter to get a GPS with a SiRFStarIII chipset for a motorcycle?
1 - Some GPS's do not have battery power, most do. For those that do you can usually connect a power line if you want. Batteries work on most units fine if you don't mind changing them.

2 - It sounds like you haven't used a GPS very much. You can buy a GPS that isn't full featured, heck you can buy a simple GPS that doesn't do routing of any sort. But most riders use fully featured GPS units that will allow you to get as crazy as you want with routing. The routing isn't perfect on any GPS but most units will do what you are asking.

3 - Yes and Yes.

4 - This is your question I like the most. Yes is the answer to your first question. If you have an audio connection, you would hear the directions in real time, as you approach the turns. That connection is often a bother on a motorcycle, but many riders have one. And it is not wierd to have a GPS to look at or listen to on a motorcycle after you get used to it. It's great.

5 - Chipset doesn't matter to me. Price, functions, software, speed, display size, mounting, battery life, portability, mapset, quality and a lot of other things matter but I don't care what chipset is used. I don't care on my TV, DVD player or computer either. Chipset has to be one of the least considered items on a GPS.

From the sound of it, you will love a GPS while riding. Probably more than most riders. Good luck.

Cory
07 DL650A
Pleasanton CA
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-12-2008, 10:32 PM
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1. I have two GPS's and interchange between a Magellan eXplorist 400 and a
Garmin Zumo 450. The eXporist will run for at least 10 hours on a battery charge so I run it off of batteries. The Zumo will only run about 4 hours on battery so I hardwired in a power cable.

2. I never use the routing feature.

3. Most all will do this.

4. My Zumo does have the voice feature, and I almost never use it. I can in fact see my GPS and prefer using it visually.

5. Being a motorcycle is mostly outside, I don't think it matters.

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post #6 of 6 Old 07-13-2008, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corkus View Post

5 - Chipset doesn't matter to me. Price, functions, software, speed, display size, mounting, battery life, portability, mapset, quality and a lot of other things matter but I don't care what chipset is used. I don't care on my TV, DVD player or computer either. Chipset has to be one of the least considered items on a GPS.

.

chipset = speed



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