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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to decide between the Garmin 2820 and the Zumo 550. After reading about all of the problems people are having with them (the Zumo 550) over advrider, I am thinking the 2820 might be a better choice. Anyone have experience with the 2820? thoughts?

Thanks.
 

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I have a 2820 and it's got about 30,000 motorcycle miles with zero problems. It will occasionally route me down a parallel road because my maps are a couple of years out of date and it doesn't realize that some "Bypasses" have been built. Other than that no problems whatsoever. I've considered getting a Zumo but there is very little reason to since my 2820 does everything I want from a GPS.

If you have specific questions I'll be glad to try and answer them.
 

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Do you use the audio functions at all without bluetooth? I'd like to have a wired headset (helmet speakers or noise reducing earbuds), wired, not wireless. I'm a bit wary of the bluetooth since on a trip it will require recharging and I may not be at a place that has electricity. The same goes for a microphone, I believe a microphone comes with the 2820. So can I just use the motorcycle cable (accessory one from Garmin), the included microphone, and a pair of generic helmet speakers/earphones in order to accomplish what I want to do? I've heard nightmares/trial and error over on advrider about guys having to go through purchasing Edsets.com products finally,in order to get the Zumo to where they want to be.
I would intend on using the 2820's audio functions for music as well as voice prompts for GPS functions, the phone, well, the jury is out on that one.
 

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Mine didn't come with a microphone but they are cheap at Radio Shack. I don' tuse my for phone at all so I've never even hooked a mic up to it.

I do, however, use the audio-out constantly. The MP3 player is great on long trips and the turn-by-turn navigation is great. The 2820 (like the Zumo 550) reports upcoming turns by street name (not just "Turn right in 500 feet" but "Turn right on Oak Street in 500 feet").

The Garmin DC / Audio cable isn't as great as it looks at first. It works fine for power but the audio is mono, not stereo. If you want stereo you have to go to the jack on the GPS. I don't worry about it on a bike, all I want is music of some sort, so I just run it mono. I cut the audio connector off the Garmin cable and ran a cable back so that it comes out between the gas tank and seat. I plug my ear buds in there. If you use the audio connector on the cable you haven't accomplished anything since it's right there by the GPS. You might as well use the one ON the GPS and get stereo instead of mono.

The 2820 will do Bluetooth. I tried it once right after I got the GPS just to see if it worked. It did and I turned it back off.

One thing I love about the 2820 (and I think the Zumo does it as well) is the Track Log. It logs a GPS point about every 30 seconds when you are moving and keeps a "Bread Crumb" track of where I went. When I download it to my computer it is displayed on the map and I can get lat / long / altitude of any of the points. The GPS can also be used to go back to any point in the log, I think.

The included software is Garmin's MapSource. It's OK, not the greatest, not the worst. You can set up a route or just waypoints on your computer and then upload everything to the GPS. You can also save waypoints on the GPS, such as good restaurtants or bike shops, and then download them to the computer.

The 2820 comes with all of North America installed so you can route to anyplace in the USA or Canada. In some ways that is a down side though since to get the maps updated you have to send the GPS back to Garmin.

Oh yeah, one other downer about the 2820 as compared to the Zumo: The 2820 does NOT have internal batteries. It has to be connected to 12 volts or run from an AC adapter. That's never been an issue for me since I don't hike or anything but it would be a problem for some people.

Edit ... I forgot ... both the 2820 and Zumo have real good databases of "Points of Interest" built in. Gas stations, hotels, restaurants, all kinds of stuff. Real handy when you need to know where the nearest gas station is!
 

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I'm trying to decide between the Garmin 2820 and the Zumo 550. After reading about all of the problems people are having with them (the Zumo 550) over advrider, I am thinking the 2820 might be a better choice. Anyone have experience with the 2820? thoughts?

Thanks.
What problems? I've had mine for two seasons, and two friends have them, all with no problems. Just updated the firmware to V4.50.

I've also had the 2610, 2720, and 2820. We still have the 2820, I'm about to sell a 2710 on eBay. We'll dump the 2820 soon as well. We also have numerous Nuvi models and handhelds.

The 2820 is much larger and heavier, doesn't have an internal battery, doesn't have a high sensitivity receiver, and doesn't accept data cards.

The last is pretty significant, because if you are riding with other Zumo riders, you can swap waypoints and routes just by using the card: works great. The Zumo comes with a good motorcycle mount.

I have a Nuvi 500 on order (with standard topo map) and some folks use the a marine model with an auto kit. But I'd be hard-pressed to think of many things that should be changed in the Zumo for motorcycle use. And the hi-sensitivity receiver alone would cause me to choose the Zumo over any of the older StreetPilot series. The 2820 will support more total waypoints - 2000 versus 500 - but I've never had more than 100 in any unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Garand, granted, people have different experiences, but take a look over in the GPS forums over at advrider, tons of reports of people having problems with their Zumos. I don't know if they are early units that didn't have the bugs worked out or what, but it seems to stem the gamut from software/firmware problems to QC issues with the build quality, something I'd not expect from Garmin. Then again, I can't vouch for the kind of use these people are putting their GPS units through. Maybe tougher conditions than intended?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SC, thanks thanks your reply, that's exactly the information I was looking for!!!!
 

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Garand, granted, people have different experiences, but take a look over in the GPS forums over at advrider, tons of reports of people having problems with their Zumos. I don't know if they are early units that didn't have the bugs worked out or what, but it seems to stem the gamut from software/firmware problems to QC issues with the build quality, something I'd not expect from Garmin. Then again, I can't vouch for the kind of use these people are putting their GPS units through. Maybe tougher conditions than intended?
What threads? I've seen a few about units dying young but keep in mind these have sold in big numbers compared to most.

I don't know anyone personally that has had problems with theirs. When I got mine it had firmware V2.50, and they're up to 4.50, but I never had problems, it just didn't have some capability I expected, like the ability to quickly display altitude or compass. That turned out to be a V3.x firmware upgrade. Maybe post on zumoforums, but as mentioned I've had mine for two riding seasons now and no problems.

The absolute showstopper for the 2xx0 series for me is the lack of a high sensitivity receiver. Between tunnels, tall buildings, and tree cover, I didn't like waiting for it to reacquire, rerouting time is also slower. If you're out in the plains it might not matter so much.

But you should be able to get a 2610, 2720, or 2820 for really cheap prices these days. We sold our last 2720 for $200 on eBay.
 

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The absolute showstopper for the 2xx0 series for me is the lack of a high sensitivity receiver. Between tunnels, tall buildings, and tree cover, I didn't like waiting for it to reacquire, rerouting time is also slower. If you're out in the plains it might not matter so much.
That's odd ... my 2820 has never lost satellite lock among buildings or in trees. The only time I've ever had it lose lock was in a tunnel (and it only did that once in a LONG tunnel) and after I pull in my basement. Trees, buildings, no problems at all so far. Admittedly I don't get in the middle of very large cities very often, but I have been through Atlanta, Nashville, Jacksonville, Dayton, and some others with no problems.
 

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After thinking about this a little bit more, I think it may not be so much an issue of receiver sensitivity but more one of signal rejection.

We have a pretty good GPS here at work. It's a Trimble mapping-grade GPS (as opposed to more accurate survey-grade and less accurate navigation-grade) that is accurate to about 3 inches most of the time. It will lose signal if I even think about getting around trees, but I think it's not really losing the signal but rejecting it.

GPS signals are subject to a lot of error conditions. The waves get bent going through the atmosphere (can't remember what they call that), they are subject to "Multipath" errors where they reflect off of buildings, tree leaves (especially wet ones), glass, etc., timing errors, and several others that I read about and forgot. Our Trimble GPS has good error detection and recovery but when it gets into a position where it suspects the signals are degrading (high levels of PDOP or Primary Dilution of Precision) it starts dropping the signals.

Navigation-grade GPS devices are only accurate to a few meters. In a tunnel there is really no way whatsoever that a satellite signal is going to penetrate to the receiver. I think the higher-grade receivers start to reject the signal earlier than lower-grade receivers. The receiver in the Zumo is probably slightly better than the receiver in the 2xxx series, I'd expect that since it's several years later generation, and has better error rejection. As I said, my 2820 hasn't lost lock in tunnels and I've been through several. It should have lost lock, but it didn't. It waited until I got through them and then picked up without missing a beat. I suspect it just literally "Waited" because there was no way it was getting a signal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very interesting food for thought from both of you. getfeetwet.com has a killer bundle deal on both the 2820 and the zumo 550. It's a toss up, but also a $300 dollar difference, which could go a long way towards luggage. . .I'm really hoping to make the outing in June and need to start planning everything out now.
 

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Very interesting food for thought from both of you. getfeetwet.com has a killer bundle deal on both the 2820 and the zumo 550. It's a toss up, but also a $300 dollar difference, which could go a long way towards luggage. . .I'm really hoping to make the outing in June and need to start planning everything out now.
If you can afford the Zumo, you won't be disappointed.

I would definitely hold off for now, with the way the economy is going they'll all be on eBay! Electronics generally go down.....

Do you have a madstad bracket or regular mount? Pretty easy to mount the Zumo either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Funny you should ask, I just installed my MadStad yesterday. Been home sick from work so haven't have a chance to try it out yet. Which mnount do you use for the Zumo? The stock one or a Touratech one?
 

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Funny you should ask, I just installed my MadStad yesterday. Been home sick from work so haven't have a chance to try it out yet. Which mnount do you use for the Zumo? The stock one or a Touratech one?
Stock, and mounted a piece of 1" rectangular tubing across the mounts. Used a different RAM base ($8.50) and a couple of 1/4-20 carriage bolts. Rock solid.

 

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I love mine but the zumo accepts downloading of MAD MAPS. The 2820 doesn't. Other than that they're both very good units. I'm pretty sure the 2820 or streetpilot series has been dropped from Garmins line up.
 

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sell that 2820 yet? lol
The 2820 and 2710 are sitting on my desk to be listed next week. I've got some older Nuvis to get rid of as well as a couple hand-helds.
 

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That's odd ... my 2820 has never lost satellite lock among buildings or in trees. The only time I've ever had it lose lock was in a tunnel (and it only did that once in a LONG tunnel) and after I pull in my basement. Trees, buildings, no problems at all so far. Admittedly I don't get in the middle of very large cities very often, but I have been through Atlanta, Nashville, Jacksonville, Dayton, and some others with no problems.
Keep in mind, I have both the 2820 and Zumo so I could compare their performance.

Sold the 2720 here, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to put the 2820 on eBay as they're selling for stupid money - around $300 - and I honestly would not sell it to someone here for that much.
 
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