Author Topic: GPS  (Read 1624 times)

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: GPS
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2019, 12:28:18 pm »
Reasons I like the AA solution:

- You can buy them anywhere*
See above  :P

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: GPS
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2019, 12:31:34 pm »
Charging from USB while riding will probably break the USB port.

Re: GPS
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2019, 12:42:39 pm »
For me I moved over to using a phone a few years ago now, never looked back. Much bigger easier to read screen, chances are your carrying one anyway! I run RWGPS app on it and its been bombproof, never crashed once. Used it on LEL, PBP, and several 2000+KM events... just load up the route at the start and save the track at the end (even if several days later!) The phone battery will be fine for a 200km but anything more and you'll need to charge it. I use a sinewave Revolution dynamo charger and the phone stays fully charged, can leave the screen on a good brightness all day and night. No cache battery just a small usb cable straight to the phone. Sometimes I also run it with the screen off and audio cues over the speaker on the phone which works well. 

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: GPS
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2019, 12:47:19 pm »
You're right: used specifically within an Audax, swapping AAs is about as burdensome as plugging into a wall socket at your table, plugging into a powerbank or plugging into an AA-USB charger.  The best reason not to buy an Etrex isn't the batteries, it's the crappy small low-contrast screen - unless you're buying one of the Touch series when the best reason not to buy is because they crash all the time.  That's the biggest reason why nobody should be recommending them as a new purchase cycling GPS.

I thought it was the Edges that were Crashy McCrashface?

The eTrex screen works well in bright sunlight, and in darkness with the backlight, but it's pants (at least for maps, the data display is usually okay) in overcast conditions.  Agreed about the size - it's designed to fit in the palm of your hand, but a bit small for cyclists, especially those of a myopic or laid-back persuasion.

The only recent alternative I've given real-world use is the Edge Touring, which wasn't a significant improvement screen-wise (slightly bigger and the default map rendering was certainly nicer, but the touchscreen added murk), and it suffered greatly by being touch-screen operated.  Just no.  Without getting religious about USB vs AAs, 8 hours of battery life is a joke on a touring-oriented device.

I reckon the outdoor models have a real advantage if you're interested in recording long rides, as they don't have a concept of 'starting' and 'stopping' - they're always recording (unless you deliberately turn the GPS reception off), so that's one less thing to fuck up when you're tired.  The flip side of this is that they're hopeless for racing - you can't just hit the button as you cross the line.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: GPS
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2019, 12:58:49 pm »
We had a couple of Etrex Touch models (30 and 35?) and got them replaced with non-touchscreen versions. They weren't stable in use, much like most of the Edges.

I'm very happy with a couple of Etrex 30x and HK generally prefers her Elemnt to the rest of her GPS collection.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: GPS
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2019, 03:46:50 pm »
i've been using and experimenting with the edge 130, it's a pretty good unit for shorter distances (e.g. up to ~100km). for longer rides and audaxes there are few extra things to bear in mind:
* split the track into 100-150km chunks as i believe each track is automatically filtered to 500 trackpoints, which makes a broken line for the longer tracks
* have a battery pack to charge the unit as the battery lasts 6-10hours in real use (against the advertised max of 15hrs); the device can be charged on the go
* there are no maps so in case of detours have a phone with the internet connection as a backup

the plus points is that the unit is small, reliable (so far; except the altimeter, which requires frequent calibration) and it's convenient to send/receive the tracks to/from the phone via the bluetooth straight after the ride, sync with strava etc.

Re: GPS
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2019, 04:17:33 pm »
Charging from USB while riding will probably break the USB port.

It doesn't.
I've done it on multiple audaxes over the last decade without any issue and it is what pretty much every rider on longer events like the TCR does. 
 

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: GPS
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2019, 04:37:23 pm »
Charging from USB while riding will probably break the USB port.

It doesn't.
I've done it on multiple audaxes over the last decade without any issue and it is what pretty much every rider on longer events like the TCR does.

Reasons for breakage I can think of are:
Loss of waterproofing - dinnae dae it when raining
Cable is being wiggled with bike movement - make the cable free-er.

Been doing it for years with only the waterproofing proving to be an issue on a wet Relentless; and with that it was actually when I plugged it in out of the rain in the motorhome, I'd managed to get the cable end wet while plugging it in.
A good cable end seems to create enough of a seal that water ingress isn't an issue provided you keep the cable in.

Re: GPS
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2019, 04:46:16 pm »
Charging from USB while riding will probably break the USB port.

It doesn't.
Ever?

If you've got a couple of feet of cable flapping about between the plug and where it's next secured, the port will last a much shorter time than if you use a right angle plug and neatly secure the cable near the mount. Similarly, a bit of salty winter road spray or a drop of sweat getting into the port will cause port death where mostly dry use won't.

Re: GPS
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2019, 04:59:38 pm »
Use tape, or even blu-tac, to keep the plug stable and keep water out.   

Of course there are thoretical risks but, in practice, it is not something that I've ever seen people report happening, despite virtually everyone doing it on longer events!

EDIT
Here's the 2010 thread that I remember being useful back in the days when charging a GPS on the move from an external battery was a little bit radical:
https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=34935.0

Actually this is the one I was thinking of:
http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=16781.msg314479#msg314479

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: GPS
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2019, 05:06:00 pm »
This stuff is so subjective, it's hilarious when people get impassioned about it (it's not like we're debating anything serious, like valve cap colours!)

Reasons I like the AA solution:

- You can buy them anywhere*
- They are totally reliable
- They have many uses (battery lights, my Sony Walkman, head torches etc)
- I am emotionally invested in my 3yr-old eTrex, so seek confirmation that I have bought The Right Thing, and all other solutions are just silly.
- I know that the one in my bag is ready to go, no matter how bad my planning and/or café recharging schedule
- I'm a luddite, scared of using scary new stuff (I didn't need to say that, did I?)
- It's the "Mike Hall Approved"** solution, so that gives me a few more ultra/backpacking cool points.
- I can't possibly buy the wrong size/connector/standard in a shop in Franglanistan


*Apart from the first petrol station on entering a wet Lancaster 2 Julys ago. "We've got every other size!" - it's true, they did.
** Well, it's in a Race Manual that features lots of his words. I don't know exactly what he ever said on the matter.

You've still got a Sony Walkman ... retro cool points there  8)

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: GPS
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2019, 05:06:40 pm »
There have been several threads on this forum about Garmins with broken USB ports.
Even if the cable is secured in place, it could still transmit small vibrations. And over time these could break something. How strong are the solder joints for the USB port on the circuit board?

Re: GPS
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2019, 05:11:16 pm »
I'm sure it could happen.  All I can say is that it hasn't happened to my GPS, although I have done it regularly for almost a decade, which has included riding on some pretty rough roads.  And while I haven't gone out of my way to enquire, no-one has mentioned to me that it happened to theirs.   

JonB

  • Granny Ring ... Yes Please!
Re: GPS
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2019, 05:11:36 pm »
i've been using and experimenting with the edge 130, it's a pretty good unit for shorter distances (e.g. up to ~100km). for longer rides and audaxes there are few extra things to bear in mind:
* split the track into 100-150km chunks as i believe each track is automatically filtered to 500 trackpoints, which makes a broken line for the longer tracks
* have a battery pack to charge the unit as the battery lasts 6-10hours in real use (against the advertised max of 15hrs); the device can be charged on the go
* there are no maps so in case of detours have a phone with the internet connection as a backup

the plus points is that the unit is small, reliable (so far; except the altimeter, which requires frequent calibration) and it's convenient to send/receive the tracks to/from the phone via the bluetooth straight after the ride, sync with strava etc.

Interesting I've been thinking about one of these as an alternative to my Etrex when mapping isn't an issue.  Good to get some insight, the having to split thing is slightly disappointing and the same with the battery life as I'd been thinking it would be good for a 200 without having to resort to a battery pack. The appeal lies in the simplicity and (reported) reliability.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: GPS
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2019, 05:13:18 pm »
Ever?

If you've got a couple of feet of cable flapping about between the plug and where it's next secured, the port will last a much shorter time than if you use a right angle plug and neatly secure the cable near the mount. Similarly, a bit of salty winter road spray or a drop of sweat getting into the port will cause port death where mostly dry use won't.

It is a known failure point, at least one person on this forum has reported such a failure in one thread (which I can't find right now annoyingly).

On my bike I have a 90° µUSB cable, that is routed up through the hydration port outlet of my framebag, and then through the rest of the cockpit crap, up onto the stem, on smooth tarmac there is minimal flapping to vibrate onto the wahoo. However I wouldn't want to leave it there unnecessarily, nor would I want to ride pavé with it in place (not that I ever want to ride pavé by choice if I can ever avoid it).

As detailed up thread, leaving it plugged in, esp without a cache battery between the dynamo and the device is not going to do the device any good. Races like the TCR/TABR/IPWR are unique, the duty cycle of equipment used is just not seen by most cyclists' kit. I've had people in bike shops tell me that the 6hr battery life of a head unit would be plenty long enough for any ride I do. My reply was "I did a 19 hour bike ride on Saturday". The look of horror was worth it. This gets even more fun if you look at events like the iditarod. The grease used by most component manufacturers has a gelling point at about -20°C (Hope use a grease rated to -50°C). When I spoke to shimano about this, their reply was "Why would anyone cycle in that cold?". When I spoke to SON about the temp rating of their hubs, they said the grease they use is rated to -20°C, and there was no scope for a custom unit as they are too over worked. If you look at the rated use temp of devices like the wahoo, it lists "Operating Temperature: -4°F to 122°F / -20°C to 50°C" thing is the actual life of a LiPo battery at temps below 0°C is pretty poor, their performance drops significantly as the temp goes down, what is more you can't charge the internal cells below 0°C, and even at 0°C, the charging rate is pretty damn poor. Obviously this is way beyond the scope of TCR/TABR/IPWR/PBP, but it shows some of the design limitations that are out there in the kit that we use and how the push the envelope of what the kit was designed to do. That said, cycling in NSW in January, in full sunlight the 50°C upper limit may be reached... tho at those temps chances are the squishy bit between saddle and handlebars may be more of a problem...

I had one bike shop guy try to sell me some really good expensive lube, and said I should apply it every 100km. I said fuck that I'm not doing 3 chain lube applications on a single day, that's way too much faff, again look of horror (I should stop playing with the bike shop staff of Amsterdam bike shops really...).

What we do as both Randonneurs and ultraracers is pushing the envelope of what kit is designed to do, it's worth remembering that when choosing out kit.

I'm sure it could happen.  All I can say is that it hasn't happened to my GPS, although I have done it regularly for almost a decade, which has included riding on some pretty rough roads.  And while I haven't gone out of my way to enquire, no-one has mentioned to me that it happened to theirs.   

The plural of anecdote is data...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: GPS
« Reply #40 on: February 06, 2019, 05:25:06 pm »
Yep usb port of my GPS went in 2016 due to cable from Dynamo. Yes it does happen.

Re: GPS
« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2019, 05:32:38 pm »
I use an iPhone 7 Plus connected to a power bank in a top tube bag (or occasionally an Igaro). The iPhone 7 onwards is IP67-rated so moisture shouldn't get inside through the Lightning connector. Corrosion on the charging pins is an occasional problem, although a bit of Vaseline on the plug solves that.

The Lightning connector is very solidly mounted to the case and connected to the circuit board via flat flex - what cowboys rely on solder joints for mechanical stability in a portable device?!?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: GPS
« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2019, 05:48:21 pm »
There have been several threads on this forum about Garmins with broken USB ports.
Even if the cable is secured in place, it could still transmit small vibrations. And over time these could break something. How strong are the solder joints for the USB port on the circuit board?

On a Garmin the mini-USB port tends to be moulded into the back of the case (hence waterproofing is only an issue for the connection itself), with flying leads to the main board, so it shouldn't suffer this particular failure mode.

My main concern (other than corrosion - DC and water don't mix) would be wear on the spring terminals inside the mini-B socket.  They're under-engineered compared to micro-B, which is designed for orders of magnitude more mating cycles, and where the springy part is in the plug and can be easily replaced.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: GPS
« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2019, 06:42:36 pm »
You're right: used specifically within an Audax, swapping AAs is about as burdensome as plugging into a wall socket at your table, plugging into a powerbank or plugging into an AA-USB charger.  The best reason not to buy an Etrex isn't the batteries, it's the crappy small low-contrast screen - unless you're buying one of the Touch series when the best reason not to buy is because they crash all the time.  That's the biggest reason why nobody should be recommending them as a new purchase cycling GPS.

I thought it was the Edges that were Crashy McCrashface?


While Garmin always seem to have seen software testing and bug fixing as optional extras, my Etrex Touch 25 (bought to replace borked E20) took it to another level.  Unstable in use - much more so than the Edge 500, E20 or Legend HCx - plus with lots of other design flaws (bad touchscreen, rubbish 'classic' mode, no documentation on how to get out of classic mode ... ).  By the time it bricked itself at ~3000 km I'd decided the cost of a new unit would at least be cheaper than the stress counseling I'd need were I to continue using it.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: GPS
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2019, 06:59:49 pm »
i've been using and experimenting with the edge 130, it's a pretty good unit for shorter distances (e.g. up to ~100km). for longer rides and audaxes there are few extra things to bear in mind:
* split the track into 100-150km chunks as i believe each track is automatically filtered to 500 trackpoints, which makes a broken line for the longer tracks
* have a battery pack to charge the unit as the battery lasts 6-10hours in real use (against the advertised max of 15hrs); the device can be charged on the go
* there are no maps so in case of detours have a phone with the internet connection as a backup

the plus points is that the unit is small, reliable (so far; except the altimeter, which requires frequent calibration) and it's convenient to send/receive the tracks to/from the phone via the bluetooth straight after the ride, sync with strava etc.

Interesting I've been thinking about one of these as an alternative to my Etrex when mapping isn't an issue.  Good to get some insight, the having to split thing is slightly disappointing and the same with the battery life as I'd been thinking it would be good for a 200 without having to resort to a battery pack. The appeal lies in the simplicity and (reported) reliability.
it's still possible to navigate without splitting the track, but you'll be weaving near the track most of the time, like so:


this is still much better than riding without a gps as it gives you a very good idea where to go. but sometimes you may wonder if you are on the right road.

p.s. my edge 500 had a usb socket detach from a circuit board due to vibration while riding tcr. my take is that it's ok to charge the unit and unplug the cable, not ok to leave the cable plugged in all the time, especially on poor surfaces.

Re: GPS
« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2019, 10:45:07 pm »

* there are no maps so in case of detours have a phone with the internet connection as a backup

p.s. my edge 500 had a usb socket detach from a circuit board due to vibration while riding tcr. my take is that it's ok to charge the unit and unplug the cable, not ok to leave the cable plugged in all the time, especially on poor surfaces.

Interesting point about maps. I am often unsure whether maps make navigation by following a route easier or harder. Without the backgroundclutter it can be easier to see where you are meant to go. Once or twice I've forgotten to get the right map before a trip abroad and it has never been a problem.

Bad luck re the socket!  On long rides I always keep the cable permanently plugged in and tape it securely in place to support it and make it waterproof. That way I can power the GPS (and phone) directly from the battery pack which is more efficient than using the device battery and then recharging it. I have been doing it regularly since 2010 with no issues but clearly there is a risk.  Maybe I have been lucky, or maybe the newer devices have lost some robustness as they have been shrunk down and made lighter. 

Spike

  • Not another hill please......
Re: GPS
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2019, 11:01:00 pm »
thanks everyone for your posts...Jeez didn't realise how much of a dinosaur I am !! I like the glasses idea....but reckon I might treat myself to a Garmin 5/7/8 or Wahoo...secondhand is my budget...plus something like this. Aukey Power Bank 20000mAh .. Then hopefully bar bag .. android phone connected to powerbank plus cable to GPS as well...surely all of that is good for a 200?? Im not worried about charge for lights..ive a system that works with them..I am not most confident bod when it comes to GPS set up...better with maps but its the stop start faff looking at the bloomin thing...I normally type up route in sections on A3 size and have map holder on bars. plus cycle with a GPS geek professor !

Re: GPS
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2019, 08:17:02 am »
A 20 Ah battery pack will power a gps for about a week so you could get away with a smaller one.
most units would get round a 200 without needing external power