Author Topic: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge  (Read 8903 times)

321up

  • 59° N
Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« on: April 26, 2017, 01:12:02 pm »
Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
Garmin product comparisons...
eTrex 30x, Etrex 35, Oregon 750t, Edge 1000
eTrex 30x, Oregon 700, Oregon 750, Oregon 750t
eTrex 30x, Edge 520, Edge 820, Edge 1000
Edge Explore 820, Edge 820, Edge Explore 1000, Edge 1000

Our Requirements for a new GPS...

  • Battery recharge in device via USB (with either NiMh pack or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries)
  • Navigate from track (i.e. not using auto-routing)
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Compatible with speed + cadence sensor
  • Compatible with open source maps (Unicode encoding issues??? https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=99716.0)
  • USB mass storage support (appears as drive when connected to computer allowing tracks/routes files to be copied on/off using a file manager or command line.  i.e. compatible with Windows, Linux & Android)

We will be using it for Audax, cycle touring and hiking.  The inability to charge batteries in an Etrex via USB is my main reason to consider alternatives (I don't want to power the device directly by USB).  I want to be able to recharge without interupting track recording.

Our Etrex 30 and Etrex 30x are very reliable provided we navigate from a track (i.e. otherwise crashes occur occasionally if auto-routing when navigating from a route or to a waypoint).  How reliable are Oregon & Edge devices in comparison with eachother and Etrex?  What is the best way to use Oregon & Edge devices for maximum reliability?

How do Oregon & Edge devices cope with recording tracks for 24 hours and more?  Do they have a daily auto-archive feature like the Etrex?

r.e. Oregon & Edge touchscreens how usable are they and what difficuilties should I expect?

Does wireless transfer of tracks/routes/waypoints work between Etrex and Oregon or Edge devices?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 01:54:28 pm »
We will be using it for Audax, cycle touring and hiking.  The inability to charge batteries in an Etrex via USB is my main reason to consider alternatives (I don't want to power the device directly by USB).

When touring I carry one of those little charges-a-pair-of-AAs-from-a-USB-port charger things.  Means I can charge from opportunistic mains supplies, from a USB battery pack, or directly from the dynamo charger (all safely contained in one of Ortlieb's finest, with just a Tamiya connector exposed to the outside world).  As it stays within a USB-compliant 500mA, it's an overnight charge for decent capacity cells.  So not an approach that's applicable to Audax.  (Although presumably that's a non-issue as you can just carry spares.)


I'm underwhelmed by the screen on the Oregon.  I don't like touchscreens generally, and it's somewhat murkier than the equivalent eTrex.  Gloves are presumably an issue.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 02:31:23 pm »
If you are not wed to the Garmin ecosystem another to consider is the Wahoo Elemnt or Bolt (Element has larger screen iirc).

I am an Edge 1000 owner (or Beta tester as we seem to be!)  It seems to be behaving itself at present, but it has not always been the case through various software updates etc.

I do not use it for auto-routing, I lost confidence in that quite a while ago, but I find it excellent when paired with using something like RidewithGPS and a TCX file (to give a cue card on the device as well).

There is something stopping me from making a jump to the Wahoo devices at the moment, I like their ability to sync from RWGPS directly without needing a computer (though you can do that with a garmin edge now using an app) but I also like my remote control for my edge meaning I can switch to a map quickly on a downhill section to see if there are any junctions / bends etc to be aware of, that's quite a nice little feature which I presently use more than I would the ability to load a route from the cloud.  I'm also a little bit invested in to the Garmin eco system through a few other devices.
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 02:46:06 pm »
Slightly OT, but in a fit of pique with my Garmin 810 (the latest of many), I bought an Elemnt. Really loved the setup, config and all-round clever online-awareness of it, but I found the monochrome maps and TBT directions woefully inadequate for navigating. The beeper alert was useless, too. Returned it and back with the 810 for now.

321up

  • 59° N
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2017, 03:03:11 pm »
We will be using it for Audax, cycle touring and hiking.  The inability to charge batteries in an Etrex via USB is my main reason to consider alternatives (I don't want to power the device directly by USB).

When touring I carry one of those little charges-a-pair-of-AAs-from-a-USB-port charger things.  Means I can charge from opportunistic mains supplies, from a USB battery pack, or directly from the dynamo charger (all safely contained in one of Ortlieb's finest, with just a Tamiya connector exposed to the outside world).  As it stays within a USB-compliant 500mA, it's an overnight charge for decent capacity cells.  So not an approach that's applicable to Audax.  (Although presumably that's a non-issue as you can just carry spares.)
That's another option I am considering but I'd prefer to top up the charge periodically with the batteries in the device rather than swap them out and put them in an external charger to recharge.
Quote
I'm underwhelmed by the screen on the Oregon.  I don't like touchscreens generally, and it's somewhat murkier than the equivalent eTrex.  Gloves are presumably an issue.
Our Etrex 30 screen is good, but our newer Etrex 30x screen has poor contrast (murkier) by comparision, particually in low light and the 30x backlight is required more often.  Are you comparing the Oregon with an Etrex 30 or an Etrex 30x?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2017, 03:20:17 pm »
I'm underwhelmed by the screen on the Oregon.  I don't like touchscreens generally, and it's somewhat murkier than the equivalent eTrex.  Gloves are presumably an issue.
Our Etrex 30 screen is good, but our newer Etrex 30x screen has poor contrast (murkier) by comparision, particually in low light and the 30x backlight is required more often.  Are you comparing the Oregon with an Etrex 30 or an Etrex 30x?

To a 30.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2017, 03:40:16 pm »
Maybe I've been lucky, but my Garmin 800 has performed excellently so far. It did decide to annoy me getting the gradients wrong (showing -2% while I was grinding up a hill) at the weekend but a restart fixed it.

I don't know if I'm typical and problems were introduced with the 810 or whether I'm just very lucky.

I'm using OSM mapping, if that makes a difference.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2017, 03:55:24 pm »
I have both an 800 and 810.
( The 810 was bought when the 800 was waiting on parts due to the USB connector / SD card board being drownded )

The 810 is far, far buggier than the 800, and I no longer use the 810 now that the 800 is repaired.

The 800 has one annoying bug, in that it will crash with a white screen of death at around 400k.
The trick is to stop it recording, and start a new tracklog at around 300k.
You then need to splice them at the end.
But this is predictable, and work-aroundable.

The 810 on the other hand freezes and crashes totally randomly.
You might get 20k out of it, or 400k.
Totally unpredictable.
I need to continually watch to see if it's still ticking along.
The crashes are so hard that it takes about 10 minutes to get a fix afterwards, so it's losing all the ephemeris data.
At least I was able to recover the partially corrupted files after each crash, but not everyone has been as lucky.

Basically, it's a PoS, and is a paperweight on my desk.
I'd be reluctant to even give it away to a friend.


citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2017, 04:20:07 pm »
As mentioned in t'other thread, not all Edge devices are the same.

Longest single ride I've recorded on the Edge 510 is 619km - it certainly doesn't suffer from the same notorious 400km problem as the 810.

It has crashed a few times mid-ride though - just shuts down for no obvious reason (it has done this maybe three or four times in the four years I've owned it). When you restart it, it gives you the option to pick up the recording where you left it, but even though it shows the correct accumulated distance, it has lost all the GPS data. There is no auto-archive feature.

This hasn't happened often enough for me to be unduly concerned about it, although I was a tad alarmed when it happened twice in the space of a week around a year ago. There's a possibility this was down to the memory being full. It hasn't happened again since then. However, if I were doing LEL, I might consider stopping and saving at each sleep stop in order to avoid tempting fate.

The 510's touchscreen is resistive, so works even when wet and/or when wearing gloves.

It doesn't use mapping though - there is a fudge to upload maps to the device but it's a bit clunky. It's best for following a preplanned route (breadrcumb trail) rather than making up a route on the go.

I wouldn't consider it suitable for hiking use, tbh.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2017, 05:42:36 pm »
Kim, are you talking about the older Oregon screen (which was pants!) as my newer Oregon screen is really good in all lights. The old Oregon was a kind of browny grey, the new one is grey grey
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2017, 08:00:32 pm »
Kim, are you talking about the older Oregon screen (which was pants!) as my newer Oregon screen is really good in all lights. The old Oregon was a kind of browny grey, the new one is grey grey

Ah, a quick image search suggests I'm thinking of the old one.  I'd missed that there was a new one.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 09:12:25 pm »
I've had the new one a couple of years I think and it is light years better than the old Oregon, except battery life is halved.

Also you can't use Garmin Connect with it, you have to plug it into a computer Old-Skool.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 09:16:51 pm »
Well that's interesting stuff and rather reassuring. I'm able to say with some confidence that I'm unlikely to ever suffer as a result of the 400km bug.  :o
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

321up

  • 59° N
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 08:34:46 am »
Garmin product comparisons...
eTrex 30x, Etrex 35, Oregon 750t, Edge 1000
eTrex 30x, Oregon 700, Oregon 750, Oregon 750t
eTrex 30x, Edge 520, Edge 820, Edge 1000
Edge Explore 820, Edge 820, Edge Explore 1000, Edge 1000


Notes...
  • the eTrex 30x battery is specified as up to 25 hours whereas the Oregon's are up to 16 hours and the Edges's are up to 15 hours (the eTrex 35 is also up to 16 hours)
  • the cost of the Oregon products is about double the cost of an etrex 30x
  • the Oregon 700 has only 1.7GB of memory (3.7GB for eTrex 30x)
  • the Edge 520 and Edge 820 models don't take data cards (i.e. not microSD card for extra map storage)

So if I disregard the cost and include all the features I'm interested in it would be a choice between the Oregon 750t and the Edge 1000 (or staying with the eTrex 30x)

Oregon 750t pros:  Recharge via USB, larger screen, AA batteries, same bike mounts as eTrex, speed + cadence sensors
Edge 1000 pros:  Recharge via USB, larger screen, Courses feature, lighter weight, speed + cadence sensors
eTrex 30x pros:  Battery life, AA batteries, much cheaper, (cadence sensor only)

Remaining questions:
How reliable are the Oregon 750 & Edge 1000?
Are any useful hiking features are missing from the Edge 1000?
Does the Edge 1000 charge quicker than the Oregon 750t with NiMh battery pack (internally via USB)?
Is the Edge 1000 courses feature useful (e.g. comparing pace with a previous ride such as the same Audax we rode a year before or a course created based on planned average speed for pacing purposes)

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2017, 10:35:33 am »
My Oregon 650 has been extremely reliable and has survived being thrown onto a hard floor several times (accidentally).  Be aware though that I think it needs Garmin's own cadence and HRM sensors, I don't think it takes ANT+
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2017, 11:05:10 am »
for long rides i use two units - etrex vista hcx for mapping and following the track, and a 500 for recording and displaying all sorts of data. they are ancient and lack some modern features (bluetooth, strava etc), but still work reliably and predictably.

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2017, 12:33:22 pm »
Likewise,  I use an (ancient!) Etrex Vista HCx (I have 2). You can still get them on fleabay for under £50 if you are patient.
I have watched the subsequent Garmin iterations with a view to getting a newer model but the  battery life, usability and software problems have always put me off. The ETrex30x seems to be getting close so I may take the plunge soon... The HCx just works and does its job.
Open Fietsmap or Open Streetmap maps work well - simply put an appropriate downloaded gpsmapp.img for the region you are going to onto the uSD card.
The downside is the slightly limited connectivity - you need a Windo$e instance and Mapsource (Free using OSM) to play with routes and tracks off unit (Virtualbox is the Linux users friend). Maps and tracks are easily uploaded or retrieved by accessing the uSD card directly or by using the unit as a mass storage device.
My personal preference is to set up a route segment on Mapsource (using OSM) for each leg of a ride with waypoints at selected points to ensure reliable routing, upload them to the unit and use the unit in auto-routing mode.
No limits to ride lengths.
The other downsides to the Vista are:
The rubber band coming adrift after the double sided tape glue goes tacky. A very thin bead of silicone sealant on each edge of the band is the best replacement; waterproof and relatively easy to apply.
Using the garmin supplied handlebar mount, going over bumps can sometimes momentarily disconnect the battery power causing the unit to switch off. I use a RAM mount (~£15 direct or from Amazon) - much more secure removes the problem.

dim

Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2017, 01:13:29 pm »

Remaining questions:
How reliable are the Oregon 750 & Edge 1000?
Are any useful hiking features are missing from the Edge 1000?
Does the Edge 1000 charge quicker than the Oregon 750t with NiMh battery pack (internally via USB)?
Is the Edge 1000 courses feature useful (e.g. comparing pace with a previous ride such as the same Audax we rode a year before or a course created based on planned average speed for pacing purposes)

a quick answer as to the Edge 1000:

I've had mine for several months now, and have the cadence and speed senors, plus heartstrap plus Garmin Varia read Radar unit

there are/were a few bugs on the software, mainly that the unit switches off during a ride .... On Sunday, I went for a long ride with my son, and the unit switched off 3 times. Not a big problem though as when you switch it back on, all info is still there, and you do not loose anything from your ride

This is a common problem with many users on the Garmin forum, but a new version of software has been released (v12.20) .... many are saying that the problems are sorted. I downloaded the new software yesterday, and have done 2 rides so far with no problems what so ever.

On Sunday, after 6 hours of riding, the unit only had 15% battery left. We stopped for a short 20 min rest and I connected an Anker powerpack to the unit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the unit was 55% charged.

Loads of good features and definately worth the money I paid. Works like a car satnav and no problem getting around. (my previous unit was/is a Garmin Edge 500 ..... a nightmare as if the road is closed due to an accident or roadworks, you a fooked

You can download a previous ride such as an audax ride, and you can compare your speed to the previous ride (a different screen pops up with 2 bikes .... you can also download someone elses ride from Strava and compare (if you are trying to get a KOM)

there is live tracking (you partner can track your ride and will know exactly where you are

add the Garmin Varia Radar and the remote button (a button that connects to you handlebar), and no need to swipe the screen to see the other screens .... my son uses this feature often (especially checking the hills or what's ahead) .... a green dot appears on the screen showing where you are in relation to the terrain/hill/hills

The Garmin Radar unit is the best buy for me this year so far .... brilliant, never fails and a dot appears on the garmin screen when a car is approaching from the rear .... takes some of the stress out of riding, especially if you ride fast on pot holed roads
“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” - Aristotle

Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2017, 01:17:22 pm »
The maps on the eTrex were always a bit crappy but the Oregon can show OS maps.    I found the auto-routing on the Garmin maps to be utterly hopeless, always trying to take you miles around a "no through road" which doesn't exist, so I had to use GMaps Pedometer, compress the output in GPS Babel and load a track to the eTrex.  A bit of a faff but it was reliable.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2017, 03:00:52 pm »
I have to say, the AutoRouting on the Oregon using OSM is pretty decent. In fact, when I am out riding with my GerMan and we need to autoroute ourselves somewhere, we always follow my Oregon's route rather than his Edge 100's route as mine always works out much better. He's had some bizarre routes produced by his Edge 1000.

I am envious of his bluetooth Strava connectivity though!
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


321up

  • 59° N
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2017, 07:04:31 am »
Comparing Edge Explore 820 with Edge 1000...
I'm looking again at the less expensive Edge Explore 820 which I had disregarded due to lack of microSD card slot.  Apparently it has 16GB of memory so I'm wondering if that is sufficient for adding extra maps?  How much memory is free (i.e. not used by the system and pre installed maps)?  In the manual it says the battery life is "12 hr., typical usage" whereas the info on the garmin website says "Up to 15 hours GPS training mode; up to 24 hours UltraTrac mode" - so what is realistic and what compromises are made in UltraTrac mode?

Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2017, 09:12:49 am »
I had an 820 which I thought would be a smaller replacement for my 1000 - wrong. The touch screen was a nightmare - works only when it feels like it. Look at the forums - so many complaints. For mapping. I found I could get say all of Wales or all of the SW on without issue which was ok for me but  would have meant in the longer term some tedious swapping around. The screen was a decider and so I sent it back. My 1000 is the only Garmin I've used that feels anything like a market ready product (tried all the 800's - all returned). That said, it does turn itself off periodically although I haven't done the latest update yet which may fix this. I'm running an Elemnt Bolt atm  and  that’s pretty good, at least everything works, the mapping is basic but ok for following a bread crumb or tbt.

Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2017, 09:20:41 am »
Slightly OT, but in a fit of pique with my Garmin 810 (the latest of many), I bought an Elemnt. Really loved the setup, config and all-round clever online-awareness of it, but I found the monochrome maps and TBT directions woefully inadequate for navigating. The beeper alert was useless, too. Returned it and back with the 810 for now.

Yes, I had the same sound issue (and a few others) with the Elemnt. It seems to have been addressed with the Elemnt Bolt - it is loud! I'm hard of hearing and have no problems with it, even at speed. TBT works fine now with RideWithGPS mapping. The maps are basic but adequate - if I get really stuck I can pull my phone out which has Viewranger OS amongst others.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2017, 09:59:14 am »
How much memory is free (i.e. not used by the system and pre installed maps)?

The pre-installed mapping on my Etrex 30x occupies about 3.5Gb, most of which is the Topo Europe map.  A downloaded OSM map of say just UK and France might be around 1.2Gb.  An overlay map of just UK contours is about 100Mb, adding France and the Alps adds about 150Mb. 
How much space tracklogs use up depends greatly on your settings (some people seem to set their Garmins to record one point per second, which generates huge files) - and of course on how often you clear them out.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Garmin: Etrex vs Oregon vs Edge
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2017, 11:41:49 am »
Can the Etrex 25 and 35 be set to pause recording time spent moving when you're not actually moving on the bike, like on the edge units, so you get real average speed and time spent cycling?
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway