Author Topic: GPS Virgin  (Read 2290 times)

velocipete

GPS Virgin
« on: November 17, 2008, 04:49:03 pm »
Been reading the comments on the site and in Arrivee and am now almost ready to plunge in and buy Etrex Vista HCx. Like the Edge but want more flexibility on battery life and only really interested in navigating routes for Audax and tours not performance stuff cadence etc.

Someone advised getting GB Topo to support the mapping but read lots of bad comments on Amazon site re unlocking the software. Really only using it for road rides and therefore wondered whether City Navigator Europe DVD for UK Audax and trips to France/ Italy/Switzerland more useful for me. Any problems loading this software?

Also can I plan my rides with Anquet and upload them into the Vista.

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 05:06:08 pm »
wondered whether City Navigator Europe DVD for UK Audax and trips to France/ Italy/Switzerland more useful for me. Any problems loading this software?


I have a Vista HCx and I love Mapsource City Navigator Europe NT 2008.  Easy to load.  Very simple to use once you get the hang of it.

To be honest, I was bricking myself when I got my Vista and City Navigator.  I had read all about GPS in Arrivee and on here and it sounded well complicated.  In reality it was quite simple.  A word of warning, don't do what I did ...

I didn't get the Vista and City Navigator together.  The Vista arrived first, a few weeks later the Mapsource turned up (both items bought in the US - another story).  One evening I had a go at getting it all going.  It didn't work, I went to bed.  The following morning I woke up about 0400 hrs and mulled over the problem.  In a flash I realised my mistake, I hadn't loaded the maps - doh!  On went the dressing gown over my finely honed naked body  :sick: and I whizzed down stairs to see if my hunch was right.  It was  :thumbsup:  In no time at all I had loaded a route round our local lanes, then I was in a dilemma.  When would I get the chance to see if it actually worked on the road?  No problem, I just jumped in the car and bombed off.  It all worked like a dream, I was over the moon. 

Later, my wife pointed out that I would have had some explaining to do if pulled by the Police whilst driving round the lanes of Essex at 0430 hrs naked but for a dressing gown, flip flops and self satisfied smurk.  An ever helpful friend also pointed out I could have been arrested on suspicion of dogging!  "But officer, I was just testing my new GPS!" probably wouldn't have cut much mustard.  ;D

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 05:10:49 pm »
Someone advised getting GB Topo to support the mapping but read lots of bad comments on Amazon site re unlocking the software. Really only using it for road rides and therefore wondered whether City Navigator Europe DVD for UK Audax and trips to France/ Italy/Switzerland more useful for me. Any problems loading this software?

Also can I plan my rides with Anquet and upload them into the Vista.

Don't know about Anquet.
But the HCx comes with upload software (Trip & Waypoint Manager) which can import files from various other sources, and then upload them into the GPS.  Using this, it is just about possible to do everything else without further outlay - but to get better maps onto your GPS you pretty much have to buy into Garmin's own mapping.
 
For road riding I strongly recommend Metroguide as the cheapest and most flexible option for getting maps onto your GPS - Topo is not suitable if you are riding mainly roads - its not as accurate as either City or Metroguide, on the road.
The Metroguide maps are virtually the same is the City ones (there may be 1 or 2 extra data overlays in City, I don't know, and I think maybe postcode search works in City, I've never had any luck with it in Metroguide).  Metroguide maps are not subject to any 'locking' problems - you can use them on any number of GPSs's (useful for families).
(It is possible to run both Topo and one of the road maps - at a cost)

Also get a BIG memory card, a 2Gb micro-SD card is what you want, eg from 7DayShop.
The advantage of the big card is that you only have to copy the maps in once and then forget about that side of it.  With a small card you'd be copying different map sets every time you tour to a different area.

***The Garmin website and your GPS vendor will both tell you that Metroguide is 'incompatible' with your GPS - but that is just bullshit to get you to spend more than you need to***
It is true that the autorouting that is embedded into the maps is disabled - but this is easily and cheaply (even freely) fixed using a patch from here:
http://www.geodude.nl/community/content/view/15/31/
or you can just live without it.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 06:08:56 pm »
Metroguide/City Navigator/Topo

Metroguide seems to be getting difficult to find (legitimately at least). Make sure that you check the version number - current is 9, I think (maybe 8), as older versions will have less coverage in some countries. I reckon that it's being phased out.
It doesn't need unlocking, and you'll need the hack that frankie gave a link to for full use. The maps will work with any GPS.

City Navigator does need unlocking via a web connection to Garmin. You'll probably need the GPS connected to the PC when you do it, but I don't remember it being difficult. The maps are linked to the GPS, and can't be used with a different one.

CN comes in bigger tiles than Metroguide. I believe there's a limit on the maximum number of tiles you can load in one go, and this may prevent you loading all of Europe even if the card's big enough.

Topo is only of much use if you go off road. Otherwise the added screen clutter from the contours etc stop you seeing the roads clearly, and the road display ranges are also different (ie stop seeing minor roads at 300m on the scalebar, vs 1.2km for CN).

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 06:12:53 pm »
Personally I wouldn't bother with Anquet software.  I have it and it's a pain in the butt.

I'd go with the others and say get Metroguide and Mapsource.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 06:15:45 pm »
I have Topo - but I have it for hiking as well.  Topo is not ideal for riding, as the roads aren't great, they've sacrificed detail there to have more detail in the little lake up on t'moors.
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.

Hello, I am Bruce

  • Hello, I am Bruce
  • Hello, I am Bruce
    • Flickr Photos
Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 07:57:35 pm »
I got a Vista HCx a few months ago.

I'm just using mine with OpenStreetMap.  It's free, it highlights cycle routes on the display, but some roads are missing and it doesn't do routing.  It's also fun to go places that aren't mapped and add them to the map online later.

You could try it before you spend money.  At least then you know what you are looking for in a data set.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2008, 11:43:01 pm »
Metroguide seems to be getting difficult to find (legitimately at least). Make sure that you check the version number - current is 9, I think

Hmm - you're right - this
http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/MGEuro.jsp
is shown on Garmin's site as a 'discontinued' product.
Grab a copy if you see one!  (But make sure its v9 - very often older versions get sold with an upgrade coupon.)

Note also this thread
http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6172.0
about the current version of Mapsource, which I guess is now shipping with the latest City DVDs (but probably not with Metroguide v9).
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

velocipete

Re: GPS Virgin
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 02:42:54 pm »
wondered whether City Navigator Europe DVD for UK Audax and trips to France/ Italy/Switzerland more useful for me. Any problems loading this software?


I have a Vista HCx and I love Mapsource City Navigator Europe NT 2008.  Easy to load.  Very simple to use once you get the hang of it.

Cheers, Thats what I want to hear..."easy and simple"