Author Topic: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?  (Read 12508 times)

Kim

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2010, 11:44:31 pm »
I can't help feeling there's an aspect of familiarity when it comes to preferred display style.  Certainly, I'd pick the one on the left.  Nothing says "clunky" to my eyes faster than non-antialiased text rendering.

There's a hardware factor too, of course.  Screenshots on your computer won't account for the effect of a lower resolution LCD.  Holding them side by side the text on the eTrex display (the one on the right) looks much much better than that screenshot.  I assume the same is probably true of the one on the left (Oregon?), though to a lesser extent as it's display is probably more similar to a computer monitor.

I also have a previous-generation eTrex here, a Legend, which has a fairly high-res mono LCD (probably about the same DPI as the Vista HCx).  The text on the trip computer is in the same style as the eTrex screenshot above (though the layout differs), but looks much smoother.

Of course familiarity comes into play there too.  I *really* like good quality mono reflective LCDs.  You just can't beat them for visibility in sunlight.  I have trouble discriminating certain colours, so for me the colour display only really serves to make the map screen less cluttered looking - I can't reliably infer anything from the shade of a given line.  YMMV.


I reckon there's merit in an GPS with an e-ink display.  That probably won't happen until colour e-ink is an option, but it could well be the Next Big Thing that keeps dedicated GPS units separate from phones.
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Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2010, 05:17:24 am »
And so the Oregon should be better-performing than the Edge considering it's 1.7 times larger and 1.8 times heavier.  A laptop would be even more powerful, but the Edge is as big a bicycle accessory as I want at the moment.
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Jaded

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2010, 08:16:49 am »
I've used the Edge walking, in the Scottish Highlands. It performed fine.
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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2010, 09:58:59 am »
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I've used the Edge walking, in the Scottish Highlands. It performed fine.
I found my 705 does perform fine in the hills but the are quite a few features you would expect from a walking GPS missing - things like listing the way points in the nearest to order, go to features ect and the joy stick is always getting caught on something in your pocket. And on a multi day trip the battery problem.
Great unit the 705 is but it is a limited walking computer - the same as the Oregon is a limited training device. Both are aimed at a different market and the 705 is a very bike specific unit - which is wonderful if that is what you want but for me I want an all around GPS. The Oregon is also a good SatNav.

Both are great bits of kit and it just depends on your use.

GrahamG

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2010, 11:13:26 am »
SOme interesting pointers. I've no doubt that whatever I end up getting it will most definitely be purely for bike use - for the very occasional car journey, we've both got HTC smart phones with GPS for getting lost with.

Adam - I haven't got that far yet as I simply don't understand the pros and cons of the technical specs! Would be interested to know what affects your choice.

I think I'll have to wait for the Edge 800 to hit the shops and get some useful feedback once the hysteria has died down
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frankly frankie

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2010, 11:25:54 am »
There's a hardware factor too, of course.  Screenshots on your computer won't account for the effect of a lower resolution LCD.  Holding them side by side the text on the eTrex display (the one on the right) looks much much better than that screenshot.  I assume the same is probably true of the one on the left (Oregon?), though to a lesser extent as it's display is probably more similar to a computer monitor.

I should point out that while the left-hand image (Dakota) is a straight screen dump, the right-hand one (Etrex C) has been downsized by an awkward amount, to make the relative sizes of the two match the real world.  In other words, the Etrex C is actually higher-res than the Dakota, and a straight screen dump would make it look bigger than it actually is.  So some (not all) of the jagginess on the right-hand image is due to this.

The Oregon screen is obviously out on its own - both much bigger and much higher resolution than either of the others.  Personally I think the package is just a bit big, and anyway it's not just about the display, there are loads of reasons why I prefer the old Etrex C.
(From the very useful Oregon Wiki - not exactly to scale, I'm guessing)
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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2010, 11:46:38 am »
The Oregon screen is good - don't forget that you can't specify the physical size on screen.  Personally, I would rather have a high definition mono, but the Oregon is good enough under most situations, plus with the easy scale up / scale down combined with the size, I find myself looking ahead to understand the next turn. That means that somewhere along the way before the turn you normally get a good shufty at what to do. Riding in the dark, the display lights up about 10 m before a waypoint.

On the negative side, occasionally the pointer occasionally gets "lost" in a bottom corner of the screen when you have "orient in the track direction" (normal route more), which typically happens turning at a complex junction. Normally easy to see beforehand, but I have had to stop and look at it once or twice to make sure I went the right way. I think it's a feature of the way the Oregon works as a compass (however you hold it) and so ends up turning the screen much faster than most other units.

Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2010, 03:50:00 pm »
A big point against the Edge 605/705 (dunno about 800) is the lack of manual route planning ability.  Even doing it via your PC as a "course" is rubbish, as I found in practice today.

On the unit, the pink line indicating the course disappears from the screen when you go into the menus to alter the map detail level, or anything like that, meaning you have to push a load of buttons to get it back again, then a load more to get it at the right position and zoom.   I quickly gave up on that.  A shame, because it's purely a firmware issue.

I would have gone for something more functional if not so bothered about the size factor.  That's not to say I'm not delighted to have a map on my bike with indicator of where I am, and the auto-route facility.  That's 90% of what I want, and all of what I need.


EDIT:  Please ignore the above.  The problem doesn't happen with the route as a .gpx rather than a Course.
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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2010, 04:47:35 pm »
I tend to use routes, rather than courses. If I've been into menus, then pressing the mode button repeatedly is all I need to do to bring the map with the pink line back up.

I'm not sure what you mean by the right position and zoom; altering map detail doesn't change what your zoom level is when you back out to the map display using the mode button. The position is always centred on you. When you get back to the map display, your line should just be there.

Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2010, 05:06:35 pm »
I'll look into it again, but I thought a Course was the only way to see a manually plotted route in my Edge 605.

Trying it today, it wasn't centred on me, and the zoom level is altered, when I set it back to Course mode after the Course disappeared after I altered some settings.  It went back to a position in the middle of the course, and zoomed well out.

Repeatedly pressing the Mode button did not get me back to the Course after I altererd the map detail level.  I had to select the Course mode all over again, which reset the displayed position and zoom.
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Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2010, 06:37:18 pm »
Matt, what folder and file names on the unit or memory card do you use for your routes, and what format are they in (.gpx?)?  Thanks.

EDIT:  OK, I'm now suspecting folder "GPX" and you access it via Saved Rides (?) - but the route I made today has more than 100 points, so doesn't work.  I'll try another.  Then if I'm wrong and it's any good, I'll cross out my comments above.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2010, 11:31:25 pm »
What would I do? I'd forget all the gadgetry and just go for a bike ride!  :thumbsup:
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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2010, 11:34:27 pm »
That's correct - save as GPX and access via saved rides.

I didn't think that more than 100 points is a problem - though I normally break rides into smaller sections (separate routes within the same gpx). Typically on an Audax that'll be two or three stages per route, then I'll manually name them as "1 name_of_ride", "2 name_of_ride" etc.

The reason for that is to decrease route calculation time rather than to decrease points. If you really need more than 100 route points then either you have an incredibly tortuous ride or you'll have somewhere where you intend to stop and eat - that's a good place to break the route up. For reference, my route for the Bryan Chapman 600k took 146 points, plus another 12 for the 160k ride there and 7 for the 145k ride back. That was split up into 8 routes for the BCM and one each there and back - so 10 routes in the same GPX.

Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2010, 12:52:26 am »
Thanks Matt.  I'll give it another go.  I thought it had to be better!

The >100 points thing is because I created the route with BikeHike, and it wasn't taking the way I wanted unless clicking a great number of points.  There was an option to reduce the number of points afterwards - but I didn't try that.

(I don't do Audax, by the way, just my own rides).      (Apologies for the thread-hijack).

What would I do? I'd forget all the gadgetry and just go for a bike ride!  :thumbsup:

That's all I did until very recently - and loved not needing to plan - until getting a Brompton, using public transport and going more to areas I'm not familiar with and wanting to do fewer miles than usual (because it's harder work on this thing), yet still see interesting or different stuff.  The GPS is enabling that and adding another dimension to my bike rides after all these years.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2010, 04:53:25 am »
What would I do? I'd forget all the gadgetry and just go for a bike ride!  :thumbsup:

That's all I did until very recently - and loved not needing to plan - until getting a Brompton, using public transport and going more to areas I'm not familiar with and wanting to do fewer miles than usual (because it's harder work on this thing), yet still see interesting or different stuff.  The GPS is enabling that and adding another dimension to my bike rides after all these years.

I know, I use a GPS too and it's great - I generally carry OS maps as well but having the track in front of me available for a quick glance means that I don't have to stop at junctions and get the map out of the front bag. For long tours the Garmin is massively helpful and I reckon probably takes half an hour off a day's cycling with all the stops I would otherwise make.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2010, 09:41:51 am »
The >100 points thing is because I created the route with BikeHike, and it wasn't taking the way I wanted unless clicking a great number of points.  There was an option to reduce the number of points afterwards - but I didn't try that.

I plot routes in Mapsource, and after a while you get the hang of how the units do their autorouting - so you can see that a particular road may only need a single route point a short way into the road to force the routing that way, then nothing for the next 10km as there is only one way it will go. Sometimes it'll surprise me and take me the wrong way (e.g. I've had it when riding with another rider using the same GPX file but on a different model of Garmin, mine has taken me one way around a block whilst his the other way).

It's generally best to put route points on the junction of roads, otherwise it'll warn you that you are coming up to a waypoint on a straight section (though I sometimes do that). I'll drop a point at the junction where I turn off a road, then possibly one at a side road junction a way up the road I want to go on to make sure it really does take me that way rather than up a parallel road.

Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2010, 10:29:57 am »
Thanks again Matt for the GPX tips, and sorry for reply #32 above - a load of irrelevance.  So I'm now even more pleased with my Edge 605.
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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2010, 10:44:36 am »
And the Garmin Topo maps don't have such fine contours as the free ones..

Can't speak for the Edge, but on the Oregon the UK 1:50000 maps are identical to the paper ones, which means the contours are 10m interval and better than the "free" ones. 

Nothing wrong with the "free" ones, I'm an enthusiastic OSM mapper.

Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2010, 11:18:11 am »
And the Garmin Topo maps don't have such fine contours as the free ones..

Can't speak for the Edge, but on the Oregon the UK 1:50000 maps are identical to the paper ones, which means the contours are 10m interval and better than the "free" ones.

Ah, thanks.  I think I might not have the best/proper version of Topo then.  The intervals are only 50m - in Mapsource as well as on the Edge.  I can't complain because I didn't pay for it!  (I did pay lots for City Navigator).
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Biggsy

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2010, 11:20:23 am »
ps.  I deleted my comment above about not being able to see fine contours at the same time as another map in Mapsource - because I remembered I can actually with one of the OSM ones (although it has some holes in it).
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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2010, 11:56:11 am »
Thanks again Matt for the GPX tips, and sorry for reply #32 above - a load of irrelevance.  So I'm now even more pleased with my Edge 605.

That's OK. The thing with these GPS units is they are not really ready for "prime time" consumer use yet. There are lots of little things that don't work quite as you'd expect, but once you know how to get the result you want they are pretty good. Even with the foibles, I'd be lost without mine!

Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2010, 07:03:15 pm »
That's correct - save as GPX and access via saved rides.

I didn't think that more than 100 points is a problem

I use bikehike and save as GPXX (which is an extended version of GPX that 605/705s understand).

A few GPX points (one per control) but thousands of GPXX extension points for the actual route.

http://www.greenbank.org/misc/sc400a.gpx

Of course you still want to split out and back routes up, to avoid it trying to route you to the end, but there's simply no such thing as a 100 point limit any more.
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Manotea

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2010, 10:58:32 pm »
Tll now I've been using courses on my 705 but I really miss the pop up instructions for junctions you get with follow road routes.

So, can I load a route gpx prepared in mapsource into bikehike then save it as a GPXX 'Route'?

Are there any utilities to do this on the PC without involving Bikehike et al?

frankly frankie

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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2010, 09:30:04 am »
If you plan with autorouting turned on in Mapsource and save out as a GPX, you get a file that looks very similar to the one Greenbank has - that is, a few Routepoints with loads of 'gpxx' points.  I'm just speculating - that Mapsource can do this on its own.
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Re: Garmin Edge vs. Oregon (and the battery thing!) WWYD?
« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2010, 10:36:30 am »
I certainly always use routes, and never go anywhere near bikehike. Mapsource just works for me.

For peace of mind, why not try both methods on your next long ride? Save the route out as you'd normally do with one name (so you know you have a working course you can follow), but then just save it out of mapsource as a gpx route with a different name (so you know which is which). Then on the road try following the route, and if it does give you problems then you can fall back on your old method.

Mapsource may not be pretty, but it really is all that you need (plus, of course, a reasonable mapset like City Navigator). I couldn't be doing with all this back-and-forth converting between different formats using various programs and sites. I can see the point if you haven't got mapsource and a full matching garmin mapset on your PC and device.

If somebody else provides a gps track for a ride, then I normally load that into Mapsource, then retrace it as a route myself in conjuction with the route sheet - so I've read the sheet and know any warnings, plus I can check the track.