Author Topic: Another newbie GPS question  (Read 1131 times)

mow

Another newbie GPS question
« on: April 16, 2010, 10:46:10 am »
Hello
I am trying to gather together bits I've read on different posts here about starting out with GPS, hope you can help?

I would like a relatively cheap GPS for my bike that I can plan routes for on line then download to the unit.
As far as I can gather I need something like an Etrex with a base map, plan the route then download via mapsource (whatever that is) and I should be good to go!

What have I missed or forgotten and where and how much is an Etrex likely to cost and are there different versions to go for or avoid?

Any other alternative solutions appreciated too...

Thanks in advance Mow

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 12:09:32 pm »
The eTrex Legend HCx is the one to go for.
Its the cheapest of the eTrex range that can take maps and has a memory card slot.
Its costs about £140. You will also need to buy a microSD card (only costs a few quid - 1GB should be plenty, but you might as well go for a 2 or 4GB for not much more), and you will probably want a handlebar mount (about £8 or so).

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 12:37:35 pm »
The Etrexes have some common naming:

"x" means eXpandable - they take a memory card, so you can load extra maps onto them. 

"H" means High-sensitivity - they're more accurate than the non-H ones, which were an older bunch. 

"C" is Colour.

It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 12:53:30 pm »
Why not go for an Oregon or Dakota? They are very good bits of kit and not too expensive for what you get.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


2_Flat_Erics

  • 2 Flat Eric's
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 12:57:19 pm »
I use the Legend HCX on my bike, both as a cycle computer around town as well as routing finding camp sites etc whilst away touring.

The base map is very very basic and only includes major roads but does include the whole world. It is well worth while getting the UK TOPO maps or the Euro Navigator or the open source maps mentioned on another thread. the Euro Navigator and UK TOPO maps are about 1.5GB each and you can only have one set of maps loaded at a time. I have a pair of 2GB micro SD cards with UK TOPO on one and Euro Nav on the other. There is still plenty of room on each card for track data, routes, extra waypoints etc. The maps can be expensive but then there is always warez or the open source option.

I have found that a few of the POI's for my locla area that are included on Garmins own maps are a little out with there positioning. The POI for our local Sainsburys is about half a mile out. I preffer to plan ahead and add my own custom POI's where possible and you can download more form varius web sources.

MapSource is the Garmin software for uploading new maps, routes and waypoints etc to your GPS. You can upload waypoints directly from Google maps, I'm not sure about uploading routes directly from Google. You can also upload routes and waypoints etc form other GPS enabled software like Memory Map.

Be carefull when buying the bike mount. I bought a mount from Amazon that stated it was good for all etrex model. Problem was that the new back cover did not have the cutout for the SD card slot so it did not fit. The replacement back cover was also pretty flimsy and even if it had fitted probably would not seal as well as the orginal cover. Luckily my Legend HCX came with an extra mounting clip that screws to the back of the original cover. All I needed from the bike mount kit was the bracket to go on the handlebars.

Never argue with an idot....
They just bring you down to their level
then win on experience.

2 Flat Erics You Tube Channel

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 01:09:10 pm »
(or the OSM munkymap for free!)
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.

Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 03:58:55 pm »
x2 for the munky maps!

JJ

Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 06:16:52 pm »
Check before buying your MicroSD card. The legend Cx at least won't recognise one bigger than 2Gb.

mow

Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 09:31:38 am »
Thanks for all the advice and info, most helpful.
Helen if I haven't taken the plunge before your ride next month I'll take a look at your kit if you don't mind.

Mow

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 09:28:09 pm »
Helen if I haven't taken the plunge before your ride next month I'll take a look at your kit if you don't mind.
An opportunity for a fnaar fnaar comment here, clearly. But you are welcome to study my Oregon 300 - I think it's a fab bit of gadgetry and find it most useful.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 09:35:29 pm »
Check before buying your MicroSD card. The legend Cx at least won't recognise one bigger than 2Gb.

correct; it doesn't like the SD HC format that the bigger ones have

to add to the debate; I'd go for the Vista over the Legend for the extra £20 as it also measures altitude

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 10:52:08 pm »
to add to the debate; I'd go for the Vista over the Legend for the extra £20 as it also measures altitude
The Legend does measure elevation. It just does this using GPS, whereas the Vista uses a barometer combined with GPS to measure elevation.
The barometer plus GPS as on the Vista will probably be a bit more accurate, but I think just GPS is good enough for most cycling purposes (assuming you have a reasonable view of the sky etc).
Also the barometric elevation takes time to calibrate, and can be affected by changes in air pressure.

Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2010, 10:50:20 am »
I'd also look at the Oregon/Dakota range - they do not have the silly 500 trackpoint limit!

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2010, 12:29:46 pm »
I have a Legend Hcx and a Dakota 20 (also the older Legend Cx) - IMO the Legends are the better devices.

You have to factor in the extra expense of the mapping, Garmin's map pricing is something of a rip-off (though some of the cost is due to the high costs to Garmin of the underlying data). IMO it is still much better than OSM but is it £100 better, that rather depends on where you want to travel to.

Bike mount - you can buy just the handlebar mount without the (not needed) backplate - saves a few bob. Try Amazon.  Buy one for each bike.  I strongly advise opting for the 'oversize' version of the Garmin bike mount even if you don't have oversize bars - its just a better mount.  Always keep a lanyard on the GPS and loop it round the bars for safety.

The usefulness of the barometer and compass in the Vista/Dakota/Oregon models is highly debatable.  But you do get the nice 'elevation profile' display option which might be consider worth the extra £20 for the Vista.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Another newbie GPS question
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2010, 01:32:46 pm »
i have a vista hcx and an oregon 300. i prefer the vista on the bike , in spite of the smaller screen i find it easier to see. for mapping i used to have garmin in the vista but now that i've got good OSM coverage in my area i use munky all the time. on the oregon i just got the os mapping which is good but looks a bit washed out compared to what it looks like on a pc and on my phone.
i just installed munky on the oregon, partly because it looks better and partly because i've put quite a bit of time into OSM. as well as that munky contains far more info than any of the garmin maps.
if coverage is't good in your area on the OSM then it's easier to add to  with the OS streetview as a basemap. i haven't checked it on road yet but it should be accurate they've kept it from us long enough!
it doesn't take long to map your favorite roads once you get the hang of it.