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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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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GPS reconditioned

search up reconditioned units at GPS Central in Calgary ..... and maybe save some bucks
 

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... 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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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.
Garmin seems to be feeling the pressure as they've reduced the prices of their map upgrades and some new models have free lifetime map upgrades and free lifetime traffic. By next season I'm going to feel hosed by what the Zumo 665 is selling for: but they include the map disks, motorcycle mount, and car mount, so the price isn't apples-to-oranges to most other units.

The specific capability you need is support for both routes and "Auto sort multiple destinations (provides most direct route): yes" that you can find on the Specs tab for each model. If the answer is no, the unit will only allow you to enter a route with the end point and one via point.

The Droid phones have a lot of capability, but aren't quite there to duplicate a dedicated motorcycle GPS. Perhaps by next season there will be some integrated waterproof housings with power, but the bike mount options I've seen this far are pretty feeble.

I bought the Trackmaster app for my Droid phone ($8) which allows you to save track information, save points for splits through different sections, and save lap times as well as plot your actual track. But then I wasn't able to find anything to mount the phone other than zip tying it to the bars. A dedicated GPS track timer is $400-$750, so I'm looking for a mount!


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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. //
I don't really agree. I currently have the Zumo 550 and 665, Nuvi 500 and 765, and had all the 2xxx series units before that. The 660/665 is really a step forward and has a lot of user customization available: it's just that most users don't RTFM.
 

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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.
Good points, I agree with everything except the 10 years ago. I bought my first gps in 1999, a garmin e-map. Still useful, but primitive compared to the current technology. Cheap units abound, but to get what I like is $600 plus.
I think the garmin 478 , now discontinued, never cheap, was the best unit ever.
 

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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???
Exactly the reason I will not own anything OTHER than a Garmin!

A little story... One day I'm out on a ride with another group and we hit some of the best roads I've yet seen. I wanted to navigate my way back so I ask my then Magellin to take me to the intersection of SR60 and SR16. This intersection in the middle of farm country and well as numerous small towns so I didn't know what town it belongs to. Garmin will let you search the whole state if you don't know the city or zip. IMHO this is something ALL GPS units should be able to do. Granted this could be a problem if you put in 123 Main St since the resulting list could be a big one.

FWIW the Garmin will default to the last state and city searched (at least my ancient 2720 does..)

As far as interface goes, what you use is more comfortable that what you don't use. My son has a TomTom and I can't stand the interface because I'm used to my Garmin.
 

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