Author Topic: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?  (Read 3199 times)

Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2011, 12:57:01 pm »
Well at £120 for an etrex legend HCx, I'm tempted just to go that route. Will consult with the little lady when I meet her for lunch shortly; she'll put the money vs. shoes stuff in perspective.
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Panoramix

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2011, 01:00:57 pm »
It's that 'stop at a crossroads and look at the map' moment.  Using a GPS without inbuilt compass, this is a disaster, and you soon learn not to do it.  That's why travelling with a GPS is quicker - because you can't stop! With the inbuilt compass, it stabilises the map and that's OK.  At the cost of some battery runtime.

I had a Dakota for a while and the beep/light for upcoming turn works OK - though it's not at all customisable - no volume control, no choice of beep tone (you get lots of choice on the Etrex C) though you can adjust how far in advance it beeps.


I would suggest that the card is the main thing though - especially if you might be into 'alternative' maps.

Was yours the Dakota 10 or 20? I take Greenbank's point about distance to next turn - is that something that is easily displayed on the dakota?
The online manual really is pants.

Francis old gps happens to live in Bristol now... You are welcome to play with it a bit!

FYI, I desactivate the compass to save battery but use the altimeter.

I personally like it and would recommend it as a versatile piece of kit. If you want you can do heart rate and cadence with it at the cost of an extra sensor so I wouldn't see the 705 as inherently superior.

The only real downside in my view of the Dakota is that the map is battery hungry so for long audaxes, it is better to use the 1 instruction per turn method with the trip computer. I prefer it anyway as you can display the turns in big characters this way. When I go for a quick blast, I just put the map on showing a track and when I go somewhere I just hit "where to" and enter the address.

The dakota changed my cycling for the better, for instance Sunday I went on a ride on the tandem with my wife following a track I put together in 15 minutes and we cycled in lanes we don't know. On audaxes the one instruction per turn is time consuming to prepare but works very well and I have never managed to get lost this way.

I have swapped GPS with Francis as I used to not like the etrex vista at all... (not user friendly in my view)

YMMV

Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2011, 01:08:53 pm »
The only real downside in my view of the Dakota is that the map is battery hungry so for long audaxes, it is better to use the 1 instruction per turn method with the trip computer.

Not sure I understand what you mean by this?  Having the map screen selected eats significantly more battery than the trip computer? 

I didn't notice a big difference when I had my Oregon on a bench power supply to check something else (current vs backlight levels), but I'll admit I didn't do more than a casual scan through modes.  Did I miss something, or have you observed a big difference in battery life?

frankly frankie

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2011, 01:21:41 pm »
          Etrex (Vista HCx) vs Dakota 20 :
nb these are all things that both GPSs do - just one does better than the other ...

Form factor:                   Dakota
Bike mount:                 ==
Weatherproof                ==
Accuracy/Sensitivity        ==
Battery runtime       Etrex
Display brightness          ==        *
Display legibity      Etrex
Touch Screen                   Dakota **
Features                       Dakota ***
Configurability       Etrex
Usability                      Dakota
Mac / Linux users              Dakota
Sounds                Etrex
Auto-routing          Etrex
Track handling                 Dakota
Storage                        Dakota
Multi-map handling             Dakota
Future-proof                   Dakota
Price                 Etrex


* general screen brightness is a wash, but they are very different
** touch screen is not necessarily a plus, YMMV
*** both have their own good features but the Dakota wins for the HRM and cadence options.
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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2011, 01:23:32 pm »
Going OT now...

On audaxes the one instruction per turn is time consuming to prepare but works very well and I have never managed to get lost this way.

The gpxx files that the Edge 705 can take makes this so much easier. I just plotted the route for a 100km Audax (plus riding 70km to get to the start) in under 5 minutes (from going to bikehike.co.uk to copying the resulting GPX file to the GPS).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

GrahamG

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2011, 01:50:10 pm »
Going OT now...

On audaxes the one instruction per turn is time consuming to prepare but works very well and I have never managed to get lost this way.

The gpxx files that the Edge 705 can take makes this so much easier. I just plotted the route for a 100km Audax (plus riding 70km to get to the start) in under 5 minutes (from going to bikehike.co.uk to copying the resulting GPX file to the GPS).


I had re-read your GPXx comments on my old Oregon/Dakota vs. 705/805 thread. This does seem like a great way of making things quick to plan whilst also being easy to navigate. The little lady said that the 705 option seemed the best to her as it could replace HRM and computer, and then even route sheet holder on audaxes. Plus she liked the idea of a power monkey thing that could also charge a smart phone as we've both just got HTC's and the battery life is understandably less than stellar.

So, I'm getting a 705.. 'cos the missus told me to!
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Panoramix

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2011, 02:19:01 pm »
The only real downside in my view of the Dakota is that the map is battery hungry so for long audaxes, it is better to use the 1 instruction per turn method with the trip computer.

Not sure I understand what you mean by this?  Having the map screen selected eats significantly more battery than the trip computer?  

I didn't notice a big difference when I had my Oregon on a bench power supply to check something else (current vs backlight levels), but I'll admit I didn't do more than a casual scan through modes.  Did I miss something, or have you observed a big difference in battery life?


Yes, I get about 280km on a pair of batteries in computer mode and 180km in map mode (I guess this is to do to with redrawing all those lines the time), out of the vista I got 320km during the easter arrow. These are "real life" figure as opposed to trying to optimise everything.

I know that using km is a bit odd, this is just convenient to decide which control to change batteries at.

I agree with Francis comparative table except for configurability. May be there are few more things that you can do with the etrex (beeps tone, obscure routing options etc) but the dakota has user profiles easy to access to adapt your gps to the circumstances so I have "Audax", "track" (to follow a track or do autorouting), "geocaching" and "map" (to use as a map) and can change in 2 keystrokes from one to another without stopping.

I find the autorouting of the Dakota better but this is probably due to me never mastering all the options of the etrex.

Going OT now...

On audaxes the one instruction per turn is time consuming to prepare but works very well and I have never managed to get lost this way.

The gpxx files that the Edge 705 can take makes this so much easier. I just plotted the route for a 100km Audax (plus riding 70km to get to the start) in under 5 minutes (from going to bikehike.co.uk to copying the resulting GPX file to the GPS).

Sounds good!

Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2011, 02:26:45 pm »
Yes, I get about 280km on a pair of batteries in computer mode and 180km in map mode (I guess this is to do to with redrawing all those lines the time), out of the vista I got 320km during the easter arrow. These are "real life" figure as opposed to trying to optimise everything.

Interesting - it wasn't what I was wanting to know at the time so I was looking elsewhere.  My guess was it would make a difference, but not a significant one.  I'll have to measure again sometime.

GrahamG

  • Babies bugger bicycling
Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2011, 07:17:11 pm »
This 705 is awesome - well impressed with the gpxx route plotting, just needed to adjust settings to avoid the route getting recalculated whilst on my little local tester.
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Jaded

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2011, 07:35:27 pm »
Definitely turn recalc off, or at least set it to question you.

Also turn follow road off.

I find the persistent beeps annoying, so I have them switched off. I have distance to next and distance to destination at the top of the mapping screen, the latter just because I want to know how much torture is left overall  ;D

I fill the data pages with stuff, so I can flip to them if I want to know more stuff.

The height recording is flakey, as Greenback has said.

gpxx on BikeHike is marvellous. Especially when you want to force a bit on it, like cutting across the main road in Malmesbury - you just click the next point in the OS map window rather than the GoogleMap one. The only thing I've not sorted with it is getting controls into it, but I don't care as I use my brain for that bit.

Because of the time it takes to process a route I often split it into two; I also do this if a route crosses back over itself.
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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2011, 07:44:13 pm »
You can see a useful extra amount of map on the 605/705 screen if Distance to Next is not displayed.  Then the beep is particularly handy.
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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2011, 08:51:33 pm »


Because of the time it takes to process a route I often split it into two; I also do this if a route crosses back over itself.

I've stopped splitting routes if it crosses itself as the unit and the bikehike gpxx files seem to cope with it.

GrahamG

  • Babies bugger bicycling
Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2011, 10:48:09 am »


Because of the time it takes to process a route I often split it into two; I also do this if a route crosses back over itself.

I've stopped splitting routes if it crosses itself as the unit and the bikehike gpxx files seem to cope with it.

I was impressed to find this last night. I plotted a 20 mile figure of eight ride and once I'd gone totally wrong and followed the route back to start in just 6 miles (automatic recalculation - doh!) but on the second attempt with the route set up right I followed it as far as the crossover point and it was golden.
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GrahamG

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2011, 11:07:26 am »
Oh, I was also wondering if anyone had any battery saving tips? I set it to automatic in terms of day/night mode but realised that it may not be a battery saver and more just geared to easier reading. I set the backlight to 15% which seems more than ample for night use.
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frankly frankie

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2011, 11:26:28 am »
Turn it off if you know where you're going?   ;)

Turn the compass off.
Experiment with 'battery save mode' if the 705 has this feature?  I used to use this on the Geko and it had no noticeable effect on the navigation.  I think it polls the sats every 5 secs instead of every 1 sec, and extends battery life by about 60% (on the Geko), but with a map display I suppose the saving would be less.
Learn to love it in Trip Computer mode rather than Map mode?

The backlight is not a huge contributor to battery consumption anyway - with all the number-crunching and display updating that goes on all the time.
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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2011, 11:39:27 am »
Oh, I was also wondering if anyone had any battery saving tips? I set it to automatic in terms of day/night mode but realised that it may not be a battery saver and more just geared to easier reading. I set the backlight to 15% which seems more than ample for night use.

I vastly prefer day mode with minimum backlight for night riding, mainly because I can't differentiate the colours used in night mode very well, but also because it seems slightly daft to brightly backlight a dark display until it becomes readable.

That said, I've only really used it on a well-lit bike at night.  On foot, night mode may well be worthwhile for preserving your night vision.


Following a route, with the backlight set to time out so it only lights up at junctions is a good way to save some power.  I believe leaving it on a numeric screen so it doesn't have to redraw the map also helps.

Turning off the compass is the easiest way to save a lot of power.
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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2011, 11:44:40 am »
Oh, I was also wondering if anyone had any battery saving tips? I set it to automatic in terms of day/night mode but realised that it may not be a battery saver and more just geared to easier reading. I set the backlight to 15% which seems more than ample for night use.

I vastly prefer day mode with minimum backlight for night riding, mainly because I can't differentiate the colours used in night mode very well, but also because it seems slightly daft to brightly backlight a dark display until it becomes readable.

That said, I've only really used it on a well-lit bike at night.  On foot, night mode may well be worthwhile for preserving your night vision.
Night mode with the dark background makes a huge difference to your ability to see where you are going if you are using a low powered light, as I've discovered whilst using a Cateye EL500 whilst my dynohub is in drydock.

Re: Barometric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2011, 11:54:28 am »
The battery life of an Edge 705 can just about stretch to a (slow) 200km ride (including 20-30km or riding to/from stations). This often includes time riding in the dark (with the backlight on) except on the summer rides.

Because of this I just have the Portapow battery pack with me for any ride over 100km and don't bother trying to conserve the battery. With it I don't have to worry about how much power it's using since I know it is enought o get me through a 600km ride with the backlight on full during the whole of the night, so I have no concerns for a mere 200km ride.
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GrahamG

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Re: Barimetric altimeter and electronic compass - worth bothering with?
« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2011, 12:03:16 pm »
Thanks all. A comment that so many people make, that I now understand is... "why didn't I get one of these earlier?!"
Brummie in exile (may it forever be so)