Author Topic: GPS  (Read 1192 times)

Spike

  • Not another hill please......
GPS
« on: February 05, 2019, 01:34:39 pm »
Hi. What do people use for navigation on Audax..Shall i get better android phone ... but how do you put audax gpx file on it? or shall I buy new gps unit...? Using old etrex at the mo but screen is small.thanks in advance.

Edd

Re: GPS
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 01:43:02 pm »
On anything longer than a 200km route, I tend to use the provided routesheet as it doesn't run out of battery. I have a Mio 305 (nice sized screen, good for directions) which lasts for about 100km and a Garmin Edge 500 which is good for about 150km. I'm actually thinking of going the opposite direction and moving to an etrex, purely because I can replace the batteries on a ride.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: GPS
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 02:01:47 pm »
A good pair of cells in an etrex will at least last you 400km, and if you push the boat out and use lithium primaries they will safely pass 600km (and weigh less than any other option).
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: GPS
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 02:38:48 pm »
IMHO, Etrex 30x is still the way to go. It's one of the few left that take AA batteries and comes with full European mapping.

As for the phone, you can get apps that load up gpx files and I tend to have it installed as a backup but using gps on your phone sucks the battery dead and you wouldn't get a 200 out of it without an additional battery pack.   
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ― Albert Einstein

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: GPS
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 02:40:31 pm »
IMHO, Etrex 30x is still the way to go.

Assuming you can see the screen.  Otherwise the Montana/Oregon might be better.  If you really need something larger, it might be worth fudging round the inadequacies of a smartphone with waterproof cases and external battery packs and so on.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: GPS
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 04:58:40 pm »

I use a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt, and just top it up from a power bank at controls.

If you're using an android phone, then OSMand is a nice app.

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

Re: GPS
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 05:12:49 pm »
IMHO, Etrex 30x is still the way to go.

Assuming you can see the screen.  Otherwise the Montana/Oregon might be better.  If you really need something larger, it might be worth fudging round the inadequacies of a smartphone with waterproof cases and external battery packs and so on.

Nowadays, for those options or for a routesheet, I would still need reading specs.  There are several off-the-peg sports/cycling specs with bi-focal lenses for reading available.  Very useful for the older blinder cyclist.

Re: GPS
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 05:15:36 pm »
Which generation eTrex / model are we referring to? If it takes maps then a high contrast map on your existing GPS might be the answer.

Spike

  • Not another hill please......
Re: GPS
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2019, 07:15:29 pm »
Thanks for comments so far..I like the look of the Wahoo...I like my old Etrex but as I said being old my eyes are poor !! chevrons on the wahoo may help ... cycle bi focal...mmm...I cycle with someone who uses those...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: GPS
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2019, 07:22:01 pm »
One option the smartphone approach gives you is audio prompts (perhaps through Bluetooth headphone(s)), instead of having to use a screen while riding along.  The phone can stay safe and dry in your barbag or whatever.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: GPS
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2019, 10:53:51 pm »
I have 58 y old vision and manage an etrex or route sheet very well with bifocal safety glasses. Cost  a few ££'s

Re: GPS
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 11:04:41 pm »
One option the smartphone approach gives you is audio prompts (perhaps through Bluetooth headphone(s)), instead of having to use a screen while riding along.  The phone can stay safe and dry in your barbag or whatever.

Not good for riding on the continent though (wearing headphones whilst cycling is illegal in France and Germany at least).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: GPS
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 11:56:59 pm »
Relying on audio-only prompts fails the moment there's more than one similar turning available unless the prompts are extremely specific, which auto-generated ones never are. If you could somehow get it to read human-created route sheet instructions, that might work.

using gps on your phone sucks the battery dead and you wouldn't get a 200 out of it without an additional battery pack.   

Pedantic point-of-order: The GPS receiver uses very little power - it's the screen and the graphics rendering that burns the power. Mine will track log for *days* with the screen off.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - a Pacific bike ride
Re: GPS
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 12:02:43 am »
I have the Wahoo Elemnt which is basically the slightly larger version of the Bolt.  The supplies mapping isn't quite as complete as you get on an effective bit then again, you can see the screen; I find it much easier to navigate with on the go than my old Etrex models and if you really want to stop to look at a detailed map, you stop and look at your phone. 

The battery is rated to 17 hours and it charges very fast so like QG days, you can top it up over a coffee stop.  The AA thing is a non-issue, ignore it.

Re: GPS
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 08:42:01 am »

The battery is rated to 17 hours and it charges very fast so like QG days, you can top it up over a coffee stop.  The AA thing is a non-issue, ignore it.

That is still not long enough for a 400km plus audax. If you're only doing 200s then fine but for me, the AA thing is a big plus. 2 nights in to a 1000km ride and just swapping 2 AAs rather than worrying about charge is a big consideration.     
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ― Albert Einstein

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: GPS
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2019, 09:01:23 am »
I get on fine with varifocals and an eTrex 30. Of course YMMV applies  :)

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - a Pacific bike ride
Re: GPS
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2019, 09:17:19 am »

The battery is rated to 17 hours and it charges very fast so like QG days, you can top it up over a coffee stop.  The AA thing is a non-issue, ignore it.

That is still not long enough for a 400km plus audax. If you're only doing 200s then fine but for me, the AA thing is a big plus. 2 nights in to a 1000km ride and just swapping 2 AAs rather than worrying about charge is a big consideration.   

It shouldn't be.  An internal battery can be recharged on the move (my old Garmin 500 needed a special cable for this but my Wahoo is perfectly happy with any old cable), or else in a cafe stop (The Wahoo would probably get s complete charge after one of these).  Carrying a USB battery is really no different to carrying AA cells, and using an internal battery frees you from having to juggle AAs.

There's a small advantage to the 'instant charge' that AA cells offer but it's much smaller than lots of people on here seem to think.  Meanwhile it locks you in to the 30/30x devices, which is a big minus.

Re: GPS
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2019, 10:19:41 am »
Hi. What do people use for navigation on Audax..Shall i get better android phone ... but how do you put audax gpx file on it? or shall I buy new gps unit...? Using old etrex at the mo but screen is small.thanks in advance.

To the OP.

Any GPS will do. 
They all pretty much do what you need - at least those marketed in the last 10 years or so.  The killer app is showing you the route on a map. And some people want to record their data and connect with devices. 
Some of them do a bunch of other things as well that you most likely don't need. 
They can be a bit idiosyncratic to work out how to use them. 
In part because of this, people get surprisingly attached to the particular model they happen to use and find reasons to say it is the best option.
But, most likely, any other one would do just as well. 

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: GPS
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2019, 10:52:36 am »
ETrex 30x permanently backlit and running off the dynamo. Controls as waypoints, map screen set up to show distance & estimated time to next one.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: GPS
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2019, 11:03:38 am »
ETrex 30x permanently backlit and running off the dynamo. Controls as waypoints, map screen set up to show distance & estimated time to next one.

Does the Etrex 30x have the auto off function?

My older Etrex30 counts down from 30 and switches itself off when it stops receiving input from the dynamo - even with batteries fitted as back up. During the daytime this isn't an issue as the standlight power from my Luxos U provides enough when stopped at junctions but at night with front rear and dynamo power it maintains the standlight (sensible safety feature) but cuts the power to the auxiliary and I get half a mile down the road to notice the Etrex has switched off.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: GPS
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2019, 11:12:35 am »
... The AA thing is a non-issue, ignore it.
...
Carrying a USB battery is really no different to carrying AA cells, and using an internal battery frees you from having to juggle AAs.

It's "having to juggle AAs" which is the non-issue.  The time it takes to swap the AAs is less than the time it takes for you to take one step forward in the food queue.  A USB battery is a lump you must carry all the way round.  AAs can be disposed of as and when, or even bought en route as required, reducing weight and bulk better allocated to bonk food.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: GPS
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2019, 11:36:07 am »
I have just bought some new rechargables after my 2011 ones have reached end of life.  It looks like the latest rechargable AA's are starting to push 36-40 hours run time in eTrex now.  So a single set good for a 600km audax. But as Frankly says, swapping over the batteries when one set run out is simple as anything.

Re: GPS
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2019, 12:06:38 pm »
... The AA thing is a non-issue, ignore it.
...
Carrying a USB battery is really no different to carrying AA cells, and using an internal battery frees you from having to juggle AAs.

It's "having to juggle AAs" which is the non-issue.  The time it takes to swap the AAs is less than the time it takes for you to take one step forward in the food queue.  A USB battery is a lump you must carry all the way round.  AAs can be disposed of as and when, or even bought en route as required, reducing weight and bulk better allocated to bonk food.

Honestly, you have to be seriously weight weenie-ish to worry about the bulk of a USB power pack, or to think that freeing up the space from two AA batteries is a bonus (and disposing of used batteries responsibly can be quite tricky although most supermarkets should have battery recycling bins[1]).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: GPS
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2019, 12:23:39 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.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - a Pacific bike ride
Re: GPS
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2019, 12:25:47 pm »
... The AA thing is a non-issue, ignore it.
...
Carrying a USB battery is really no different to carrying AA cells, and using an internal battery frees you from having to juggle AAs.

It's "having to juggle AAs" which is the non-issue.  The time it takes to swap the AAs is less than the time it takes for you to take one step forward in the food queue.  A USB battery is a lump you must carry all the way round.  AAs can be disposed of as and when, or even bought en route as required, reducing weight and bulk better allocated to bonk food.

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.

Assuming the OP might want to use their GPS outside of Audax though, let's examine a couple of other use cases:

1) I had a long cycle-rail commute on top of a full-time job, I was out the house 12 hours a day.  Both for lights and GPS I really didn't want to be getting home in the evenings, disbanding my gadgets to put multiple AAs in the charger, remembering which cells went with which - and then reversing the process before I went to bed because I'd never catch my train if I had to do it in the morning.  When light and GPS were both USB powered it was two gadgets to plug into my computer at work - much less stress.

2) A world cycling tour.  I ran an Etrex 20 which was fine apart from the crappy screen until it got trashed in Canada, but in many of the countries I've been since then, AAs have been much harder to find than in Britain so I didn't replace it a moment too soon.  AAs have been hard to find, but AC power has been available everywhere so my USB devices have remained effortlessly charged.  My experience has mostly been in East Asia but I've had the same experience reported from a friend touring another continent.


ETrex 30x permanently backlit and running off the dynamo. Controls as waypoints, map screen set up to show distance & estimated time to next one.

If you're using a dynamo you've solved all the power worries so there are many newer units out there that will be a better fit for you.  A 30x is obviously fine if that's what you've already got (heck, I've done about 12,000 km with a plain old 20 within the last year) but don't start recommending obsolete units to new purchasers.