Author Topic: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?  (Read 19320 times)

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #25 on: 16 April, 2022, 04:36:46 pm »
For want of a better thread, I did my first >100km ride with the eTrex32x yesterday.  I was after Veloviewer tiles and passing through urban areas, so I was actually using it to navigate (using my preferred method of hand-crafted auto-routing route, with a track displayed on the map in BLACK), rather than just to record.  This was using the excellent OpenFietsMap map, rather than the Garmin supplied one.

I was somewhat relieved that the auto-routing wasn't actually terrible.  (I'd tried to use it for my local loops with the Garmin mapping and it had gone astray at several points).  No more unreliable than it was with City Navigator, though the tendency was to use bollocks cycle infra rather than lead you onto a Scary Dual Cabbageway.

The main difference from the eTrex 30 was that, since it was a sunny day, I had to use the backlight at full power to read the screen when the sun wasn't behind me.  (The 30 screen would be readable without illumination in those conditions.)  Though I note the BLACK track was generally visible in most conditions, even when everything else wasn't.

I was more than a little disappointed to get a 'Battery low' alarm after 60km.  I suspect this is due to my ~10 year old 7dayshop 2900mAh NiMH cells being due for retirement, rather than a fault of the unit.  To confirm this, I've just spent a quality 10 minutes with my oscilloscope and µCurrent to confirm that the actual power draw of the eTrex 30 and 32x, with and without backlight, is near-as-dammit identical.  (Though obviously if you're making heavier use of the backlight, the 32x will use more power.)  The rule of thumb here is that the backlight at full power approximately doubles the power consumption, and the effect of dimming it is linear.

I'd normally expect to get round a 200 with the backlight illuminating at turn instructions without changing batteries, so I've ordered some decent Ansmann cells to replace them.  I'm following Big Clive's advice and seeing if the old ones can be rejuvenated by a long soak on a low-current dumb charger.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #26 on: 16 April, 2022, 05:31:11 pm »
Interesting that you say the Etrex 30 screen would be legible with no backlight with the sun behind you. Strong sun behind me is the conditions in which I find the screen of my 20 least legible. Though that's with bog standard pinky-purple track line; changing the colour seems to not work on the 20.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #27 on: 16 April, 2022, 05:36:00 pm »
Possibly an angles thing due to the way it's mounted on the Streetmachine (derailleur post, so out in the open unless I strategically position a knee).  Generally direct sunlight illuminates the screen nicely, unless the angles are just right to reflect the sunlight off the surface of the screen straight into my eyes.  If the sun's in front of me, the screen's in shadow and I'm being dazzled.

The newer screen is most disappointing in normal overcast conditions, where the 30 would generally be readable and the 32x would generally be a bit too murky.  (Similar problem to the Dakota and whatever the Edge was that Cycleman had two of that I investigated poor battery life[1] on a while back.)


[1] Concluding that the battery life was poor by design, rather than due to a fault.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #28 on: 16 April, 2022, 05:40:38 pm »
My 20 is on top of the stem, so almost flat. Also, it has some condensation inside the screen, which obviously doesn't help.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #29 on: 16 April, 2022, 05:42:48 pm »
I find them significantly easier to read on the uprights, due to the handlebars being closer to my face (but not as close as on the Baron, where it's a bit too close for me to read with my glasses on).

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #30 on: 16 April, 2022, 08:56:48 pm »
The ETrex 30x will last a 600km ride with 2900mAh batteries. That with my heart rate strap talking to it as well. Your batteries are well and truly knackered.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #31 on: 17 April, 2022, 09:56:53 am »
I've done a few 'turn by turn' rides (non-vv explorer) now navigating a 'course' with the Edge 830, and it seems fine.  If I deviate, briefly, from the track the unit has 'Off course' for a min or two, then gets back on track.  The only thing (in a few rides) I've noticed is that I went off course through a village (as didn't notice rwgps had chosen a diff route), and when the 'turn by turn' came back on it was directing me on road through a dog-leg junction, rather than the original NCN5 track corner short-cut.  I've turned off "Lock on road" to see what diffs this makes.  The data screens when selected, go to 'turn by turn' directions until through the junction then return to data screen, which works quite well when on familiar roads.  I have also tested turned off navigation (red X on map) - to leave just the logging.

Screens without back-lighting.   I've  taken the Vista HCx & 830 outside in sunny conditions and held side by side, and tilted them around, and can't really see much difference at all in the way the mapping screens display.  Will try the Edge soon on a ride without auto-back light & see what happens.

Edge 830 touch screen.  Works fine & well implemented.  Very sensitive, and it's a good thing that the screens have up & down arrow as well, to avoid selecting options by mistake if swiping up & down instead. Having used the Vista HCx, I always thought I'd stick to button control, but so far so good (in warm/good weather) with the 830.
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #32 on: 17 April, 2022, 12:24:57 pm »
By way of illustration (ironically, I couldn't see the phone screen when taking some of these photos due to the sunlight):

Direct sunlight, no backlight:


Shade, no backlight:


Shade, with backlight:


It's clear that the 32x screen performs less well than the 30 or the HCx when used without backlight.

Of course we had a similar winge when the C series came out...  The old mono LCDs were better all-round performers, in spite of their low resolution and terrible backlight.

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #33 on: 17 April, 2022, 06:40:09 pm »
This is my no backlight, no direct sunlight, outside screen comparison.  830 is not bad, but think the Vista HCx wins - slightly brighter.

PXL_HCx_830 by a oxon, on Flickr

Although, with the HCx trying to follow that thin magenta line always has its challenges...



 
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #34 on: 17 April, 2022, 06:49:26 pm »
That's pretty decent.  Wonder why they put such a bad screen in the eTrex 32x?  I expect it was what was available in the appropriate size...

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #35 on: 17 April, 2022, 07:01:17 pm »
This is my no backlight, no direct sunlight, outside screen comparison.  830 is not bad, but think the Vista HCx wins - slightly brighter.

PXL_HCx_830 by a oxon, on Flickr

Although, with the HCx trying to follow that thin magenta line always has its challenges...



 

What does it look like if you have maps on both at same scale?

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #36 on: 17 April, 2022, 07:27:52 pm »
...
What does it look like if you have maps on both at same scale?


Another shot... HCx on normal detail (OSM Generic routable).  830 on "High Contrast". More detail.

Edit.

PXL_VHCx_830 by a oxon, on Flickr
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #37 on: 17 April, 2022, 07:37:20 pm »
...
What does it look like if you have maps on both at same scale?


Another shot... HCx on normal detail.

PXL_VHCx_830 by a oxon, on Flickr

I’d say Edge is clearer at that scale

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #38 on: 18 April, 2022, 08:49:32 am »
Comparison at 120m zoom level, with 20% backlight on both units.  Shade.

PXL_20%BL_HCx_830 by a oxon, on Flickr
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #39 on: 18 April, 2022, 10:57:48 am »
I'd agree the Edge is clearer, to my eyes, but I wonder how much is down to mapping as opposed to screen? Also, looking at photos of things is not the same as looking at things.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #40 on: 18 April, 2022, 05:18:27 pm »
Is the Edge 830 a USB-C device?  That might change my view of GPS with built in batteries for audax.  You’d be able to plug a usb-C battery pack or cable / mains and charge very quickly at stops.

Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #41 on: 18 April, 2022, 06:52:33 pm »
The other consideration, (and I have NO special knowledge), is that the 530 & 830 were released in April 2019 and on past device releases they could be due for a replacement 540 / 840 in coming months.

I see that most of the Garmin Edge range (and much else besides) is significantly discounted via the Blue Light Card NHS / Services discount thing, which tends to only be the case for models that are not going to be around too much longer.

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #42 on: 18 April, 2022, 08:03:32 pm »
Is the Edge 830 a USB-C device?  That might change my view of GPS with built in batteries for audax.  You’d be able to plug a usb-C battery pack or cable / mains and charge very quickly at stops.
No, it uses a Micro USB plug. Don't think any Garmin devices are USB-C (yet).
And USB-C does not necessarily allow fast charging. Depends on whether the device supports it. The Edge 830 has a fairly small battery, so fast charging may not help much.

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #43 on: 18 April, 2022, 08:10:09 pm »
And I'm not sure a USB-C connector is necessarily an improvement over Micro when it comes to the sort of abuse that the connectors on GPS receivers get, other than avoiding the wrong-way-up problem.  There are a lot of very small pins on USB-C.

(Micro was an improvement over Mini, as it at least put the wear-prone springy bits in the cable rather than the socket.)


Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #44 on: 20 April, 2022, 10:42:51 am »
I'd agree the Edge is clearer, to my eyes, but I wonder how much is down to mapping as opposed to screen? Also, looking at photos of things is not the same as looking at things.

Yes. Holding the units (with no backlight) side by side and moving them around the VistaHCx screen has a better inherent reflectiveness than the edge, but, the mapping itself / track lines etc seems easier to see on the Edge (et al).
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #45 on: 20 April, 2022, 11:28:58 am »
The Vista's map rendering is basically just a colour version of the Legend's, where pixels were at a premium, necessitating thin lines.  It can make cluttered urban junctions slightly clearer, but the newer units do a much better job of showing more map detail using the higher resolution colour screens.

I'm still waiting for someone to make a GPS receiver with an e-paper display.

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #46 on: 20 April, 2022, 04:12:22 pm »
I'm still waiting for someone to make a GPS receiver with an e-paper display.

Here's one I prepared earlier (with a front light being used as a powerbank):



Slightly more integrated versions are available and in use by paraglider, hangglider and sensibleglider pilots.

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge 530 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #47 on: 22 April, 2022, 09:51:56 pm »
The ETrex 30x will last a 600km ride with 2900mAh batteries. That with my heart rate strap talking to it as well. Your batteries are well and truly knackered.

Over the last two days, my eTrex 32x has run for a total of 16:40 on a pair of Ansmann 2850mAh cells, with GLONASS+GPS, the backlight constantly on full, listening for a heartrate strap that wasn't being worn, and calculating a route occasionally when I thought to prod it.

ETA: And I've just ridden a 200 with HRM and the backlight coming on full with turn instructions, and there are 3 of 4 bars left on the battery-o-meter.

That's more like it.   :thumbsup:

Feanor

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Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #48 on: 08 June, 2022, 08:55:24 pm »
Hmm, so over the last couple of weeks, I've killed my old Edge 800 (again) by drowning.
Previously, I've repaired it with new daughter-boards, but I can't get them any more.
I might fix it again with board-level repairs with replacement USB connectors, but now is not the time.

I have a big event coming up, and need to be confident in the device; so I got a new 830 a couple of weeks back.

Things I like:
-The screen is *much* better. Higher res, and better visible in sunlight; text is much better resolved.
-Hot-shoe power charging. USB charging in the wet was the main cause of death of the old 800.

On the upcoming 1200, I will have the device fully-charged, and 2 Garmin power banks. I will run off one, till it is low. Then swap it for the other, whilst re-charging the first from a HBFO battery pack. Yes, not the best, charging-a-battery-from-a-battery-from-a-battery.  But the bike I'm using doesn't have a dyno-hub.  The same set-up will be used later in the year on another longer ride, on a bike where there is a dynohub, and the plan is to charge / swap alternately.

Things I don't like:
I've disabled the WiFi connection. (It's brainez are too feeble to connect to the type of WiFi I have here.) But it keeps turning it back on again!

I've always used Garmin City Nav maps before (perhaps not always legit copies...), but the new unit came with Garmin's OSM-derived cycle maps. They are very good. Garmin have put in some effort to make then useful on a bike unit. I will use their South America maps later in the year, they seem OK too.


rr

Re: Garmin Edge 530/830 vs Etrex 32X?
« Reply #49 on: 08 June, 2022, 11:45:44 pm »
And today the Edge 1040, including a solar charging version, announcement arrived in my inbox.