GPS 101 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-26-2010, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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GPS 101

I've been wanting to get a GPS to load up routes or just put in a route with the "intinerary planning" option that some have. I don't care about any of the other features, I just want to be able to run the routes I lay out and not miss my turns, like I do occasionally. It seems hard to find any exact information on which models have this capability. I bought one bottom of the line TomTom, but all it would do is plot out from A to B. I thought all GPSs could be loaded or programmed for the route you wanted. I took it back the same day and am trying to figure out what I need to get. I would like to keep it under $200. Any suggestions for someone who's not used one before? I've been reading several of the GPS threads and have picked up some information.

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post #2 of 16 Old 11-26-2010, 11:04 PM
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I recommend garmin, not perfect, but they are head and shoulders above the rest for a reason. The most choice in units, and the map data is best supported.

The secret to getting a deal on a garmin is to find a 'refurbished' unit of a just discontinued or about to be discontinued model, or a model with a garmin rebate. Right now (thanksgiving weekend ) GPS Central gpscentral.ca has the nuvi 550 on for $200 ,,,this is Canada , may not work for you, but look around for that same deal in the US, you will find it or better. Great unit, just about to be discontinued. I wanted to buy it, but took a cold shower and got over it, as I have three garmin gps units already.
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 02:19 AM
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Very few of the lower end models will do route planning. I have way to many GPSs at home. Sadly I even have 3 with me on a trip.

I have a love hate relationship with Garmin. I think TomTom's user interface is much better. Garmin (in the US) still makes searching for an address more complicated than it should be. Why can't I just start with the zip code instead of having to change the state and city each time??? It is this kind of BS that makes me hate Garmin. OTOH there is good map support for other countries that I travel too. TomTom isn't as good once you get outside of the US and Europe.

As for the Nuvi 500/550 good model. I have one with me right now. "Waterproof" as long as you don't submerge. The screen size the small one. The interface is a little dated as well. All in all a good sold unit and I keep it with for a backup and when it is raining. It has very good battery life as well as an easily replaced battery.

Also one issue on a lot of low-end Garmins is the lack of a QWERT keyboard. Typing with the keys in alphabetical order is much slower for me than a standard US style keyboard.

Garmin keeps de-contenting their units over time. I think in many ways the original Nuvi 360 I had was better than a lot of newer models. One quick push of the power button and you could instantly adjust the screen backlighting and volume. Some either don't do that at all or only give you the brightness. It takes a lot of taps to get down through the menus.

The Garmin routing engine is pretty decent. TT's IQ routes work's well too. I liked it better when Garmin supported SD cards instead of micro SD. I could pop the card from the DSLR and review the photos instantly on my Nuvi. Too often Garmin makes a step forward and then 2 back. They really need to get a better team with product development. I'd take the Nuvi maps (outside of US) with the TomTom's interface. I'd get good map supprt and a more customizable interface. I want to put what I want up there not what Garmin tells me I should have...
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 06:54 AM
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I have an Oregon 300 which is advanced hiker model

I does routing and is waterproof but the manual etc. is very bad for use of advance features

Routing is like a loaded reverse tracking.

I use mine by getting kost then if need be using map or where too to pilot out of being lost
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tm400j View Post
I've been wanting to get a GPS to load up routes or just put in a route with the "intinerary planning" option that some have.
Go to the Garmin pages and compare models. It's a pain in the butt, but is the only way to get detailed information on which models can load routes.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

This message and images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. http://creativecommons.org
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. Yes, going to the companies sites is a real time consuming search to find the details I'm wanting to know. I guess that's what I need to do or maybe just wait and see what comes down the pipe this coming year. Seems like the GPSs are lagging in the technology being applied in the other fields of electronics (cell phones), such as capabiltities and ease of use. Cell phones, being such a gold mine, seems to be where all the engineering advancements are going.

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post #7 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 01:32 PM
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search up reconditioned units at GPS Central in Calgary ..... and maybe save some bucks

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post #8 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 02:39 PM
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I am seriously considering this unit for my DR650!

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post #9 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 03:12 PM
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Mapsource and Garmin
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-27-2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tm400j View Post
... Seems like the GPSs are lagging in the technology being applied in the other fields of electronics (cell phones), such as capabiltities and ease of use ...
No, that's not true. The fact is that the capabilities are there it's just that you don't want to pay for them. You are trying to find a "Smart" GPS on a "Basic" GPS budget. Just as you can get a "Basic" cell phone for nothing by simply signing up for service, you have to pay a good bit more for a "Smart" cell phone. The same holds true for GPS devices. If you want all the features of the high-end models then expect to pay the high-end price.

What is not there is the volume of sales and the dependency on a land-based network. Whereas there are tens of millions of people running around with cell phones there is probably less than 1% the same number of sales of GPS devices, so the cost is still high. Likewise, you are not locked into paying for a monthly service so the manufacturers can't recoup a lot of their investment in service charges.

GPS devices have come a LONG way in the past 5 years or so. They didn't even exist 10 years ago. The technology is most assuredly there.

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