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Discussion Starter #1
I have been lost for the last time! ...so really need to come up with a good GPS tool to use. I have used Garmin's in the past and they seem useless to me. I can't see the screen. My eyes are not the best in my senior years but I don't think anyone could see them in the bright sunlight. What are some good options? Use Waze and just keep a phone in my pocket listening to voice directions?

I really have to find something that works. Any advice will be helpful. Thanks.
 

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I am a Garmin fan. Still have my original 220. Small display but I find it clear and its truly waterproof with good coverage in remote areas without cell coverage and no data usage, particularly useful for me in other countries. This unit has been all over North America, Iceland, Greece and Italy.
The new Garmin models are not cheap but you can get a 5.5 inch display. I do leave mine on maximum brightness and it is fine in the sun;
20D712F7-A2F1-4CA3-8979-29794588014E.jpeg
mounted on the handlebar with a ram mount closer than the speedo; the relative size is larger than the guage cluster and it Is good for me. You can broadcast the directions via bluetooth.
Can you see the display on your phone ok? Maybe just get a holder for the phone and use an app. Put it in your pocket and listen via bluetooth if caught in the rain?
 

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I'm a Garmin fan too. Have the automotive type in a waterproof box. I don't expect it to guide me so much as a navigational aid. I use maps to know where I'm going and use the POI to help find places. mine tells me real time traffic and has renewable downloads.
perhaps we are too dependent on electronic guidance?
unlike the Borg, I'se one of one.
If you don't know where you are going, you are lost.
 

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Try that in glary sunlight this my old iPhone 5 at the top of Beartooth.
Later models are much brighter

273052


I mount mine slightly loose on the RAM mount so I can change the angle to keep glare and reflections down. I also use audio nav a lot.
 

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I'm never lost - just temporarily unsure of my location. 😁
Like many I also have difficulty seeing my GPS in the sun. Are you looking for a destination - or just wanting to find your way through roads that are unfamiliar, like exploring?

When I go exploring I print a page like this .pdf and slide it into the map pouch of my tank bag. This ride was 4 hours+ and 300kms+, not including the ride to and from the start and finish points. I guess it is old school. I mostly use the GPS to get me to a destination.
 

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Was it a Garmin Zumo you didn't like ?

I would say my eyes are failing but I have no trouble seeing my Zumo's
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was a Garmin automotive, can't remember the model but the screen was not readable during the day. At night, no problem. Does anyone use Waze to get nav and hazard reports both? I just am concerned over data usage and phone being vulnerable to damage, water, dropping, and not being able to see it as well. I really like stand alone GPS units....in a car. I would like to be able to use one on a motorcycle without paying 400 for a MC designed unit.

Was it a Garmin Zumo you didn't like ?

I would say my eyes are failing but I have no trouble seeing my Zumo's
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm a Garmin fan too. Have the automotive type in a waterproof box. I don't expect it to guide me so much as a navigational aid. I use maps to know where I'm going and use the POI to help find places. mine tells me real time traffic and has renewable downloads.
perhaps we are too dependent on electronic guidance?
unlike the Borg, I'se one of one.
If you don't know where you are going, you are lost.
What model do you have? Able to see it during the day?
 

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The new (and expensive) ZUMO models have a different screen. Mine is viewed best when hit directly by sunlight. Its so so in very bright conditions because the screen is not totally reflex free and it reflects my yellow vest. So I have the unit turned a little of sideways to reflect something else but by vest. Its just fine in all other lighting conditions.

I used and killed several (also not cheap because i bought very bright display models) car GPS and finally bit the bullet to get a ZUMO 590 refurb. Have done many miles with it all over the continent.

So in summary if you pay for a good unit it will serve you well.
 

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The new Garmin Zumo XT is pretty reasonable and price and has an incredible screen. The screen is way better than any of the Zumo's I had previously and my pre-zumo Garmin GPS units.

Not perfect yet but pretty amazing just the same and getting better.

..Tom
 

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Do you guys ever have the dedicated GPS devices get so hot that they won't stay charged?

That's been a problem with every smartphone I've owned since I started riding. They get so hot in direct sunlight on the handlebars that the charging circuit says "nuh uh" and I get home with only a partially charged battery, despite having the phone plugged in the whole time. Really inconvenient when I'm using it for navigation, which I often am with the OSMAnd+ app.

Today was the first day this year I had the phone get too hot to charge, but it won't be the last. We hit 93°F with 48% humidity. Wasn't too bad on me but was very hard on my phone, and my dashcam DVR gave up entirely (but it's a piece of junk anyway).

Haven't owned an iPhone so haven't observed this happening with one of those. Unless Apple has figured out how to bypass the laws of physics, I'm sure it does.

All the same phones would also stop charging if they got too cold. This happens more rarely since I haven't done any winter road trips in a while.
 

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Garmin fan here also. Still using a Zumo 550 for local routes but bring the 590 when abroad in Europe. Like others on here I angle the screen as required. I also use bifocal spectacles that take care of the ageing eyesight. The lower lenses take care of the speedo and GPS requirements. I also listen to instructions on the headphones and rarely need to look at the screen save for complicated junctions etc. I have seen sunshades of various manufacture fitted to the devices of others who might have an issue with bright sunlight. They are easily manufactured from a light plastic file cover or the like.
 

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It was a Garmin automotive, can't remember the model but the screen was not readable during the day. At night, no problem. Does anyone use Waze to get nav and hazard reports both? I just am concerned over data usage and phone being vulnerable to damage, water, dropping, and not being able to see it as well. I really like stand alone GPS units....in a car. I would like to be able to use one on a motorcycle without paying 400 for a MC designed unit.
I used to use google maps for nav and hazard reports - worked fine and I have unlimited data, but my phone wasn't waterproof. I don't mind paying the $400 for a designated unit since I switch it between my bikes, and if it lasts half as long as the Garmin I used to have in my cars (before they started coming with built in nav) then that $400 will work out to almost nothing per year.
 

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Latest phone (Moto x4) is IP68 rated so no worries if it rains. Won't get another phone that isn't water resistant, if I can help it.

Sun shade would be great, but haven't worked out a way to attach one that would stay attached on the interstate, while also not becoming a nuisance when I want to take the phone with me. Anything large enough to shade the screen would also catch a lot of wind, a non trivial problem.
 

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I'm using a Garmin 2455 in a Ram Aqua box. i took a sheet of rubber to make a sun shield over it. i can see the screen most of the time. Even in the car the 2455 and the 2589 Garmins are unreadable due to light off my shirt when the sun angle is just right. Ain't nuthin' perfect.
Like I mentioned I use maps to know where I'm going and the GPS for POI's, traffic and such. I like the elevation feature and the clock. I wish it had weather on it but that's probably asking too much. Oh, I'm not wired into it listening it either.
Some Garmins work with a gloved had even through the flexible shield on the Aqua box. The 2589 I use in the car is far less sensitive and I couldn't use it on the bike.

"Sun shade would be great, but haven't worked out a way to attach one that would stay attached on the interstate, "

I used velcro on the Ram Box to stick the rubber sheet to it. It hasn't moved in years. It is behind the fairing though.
 

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Do you guys ever have the dedicated GPS devices get so hot that they won't stay charged?
In over 10 years of using actual GPS' on the bike, I have never once had an issue with overheating. I have ridden many time in hot weather. Probably the worst being Atlanta where it was so hot that the LED cluster on my S10 stopped working, GPS was fine.
 

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Do you guys ever have the dedicated GPS devices get so hot that they won't stay charged?

That's been a problem with every smartphone I've owned since I started riding. They get so hot in direct sunlight on the handlebars that the charging circuit says "nuh uh" and I get home with only a partially charged battery, despite having the phone plugged in the whole time..............
No such issues with my ZUMO. Don't matter how hot (or cold) or pouring rain all day. Turn on the ignition and the unit turns on, off you go.

Mine is mounted right in the line of sight, no shades or anything, just tilted a little. The picture actually shows the reflectivness (is that a word?) of the screen. The newer ones may be better in that respect, don't know.

273066
 

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Great point, touchscreens may or may not work through gloves.

My solution has been to have a smartphone stylus on a tether. The stylus sits in the "accessory" hole on on of my mirror extenders when not in use, and is anchored to my tank bag.
 
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