Author Topic: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...  (Read 2928 times)

Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2011, 02:21:24 pm »
Hmmm....poddles off to Garmin site again....poddles back to YACF a little more informed and a little more confused  ;D

So I'm starting to get this I think:-

Edge - cycle specific, inbuilt battery and only the 800 series has map screen and touchscreen
Etrex - general with mapping and AA batteries and toggle/button controls
Dakota - as Etrex but with touchscreen
Oregon - touchscreen version of the GPS62 but a lot smaller
Montana - biggest of the bunch and probably too big for bike mounting?

I'll have a read of the Dakota thread but I'm not sure on your size assessment re Dakota/Etrex versus Oregon, I make it 5.4x10.3x3.3 versus 5.8x11.4x3.5, so that's 2mm thicker, 4mm wider and 11mm longer


Nuns, no sense of humour

Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2011, 02:24:14 pm »
Although this is, of course, a very good point - no-one wants to say "I bought something crap" - I do ride with lots of people with other GPS types (and I used to have an Edge) and find that things seem much easier and quicker for me. Wowbagger has his vista but seems to go off route more easily, doesn't seem able to easily get a Distance To Destination, and it takes much longer for him to browse the map using the button rather than just stroking the screen. I'd never swap my Garmin for his, having seen both a lot, so surely that says something?

Helen, as you're obviously a fan of the Oregon, and used the Edge series as well, how would you rate the differences and ease of use? Also do you think riding a recumbent makes a difference over which you choose? As in would you still go Oregon for an upright?
Nuns, no sense of humour

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2011, 04:05:42 pm »
Wowbagger has his vista but seems to go off route more easily, doesn't seem able to easily get a Distance To Destination, and it takes much longer for him to browse the map using the button rather than just stroking the screen.

I'd say the first two were a function of the maps - I believe Wow uses OSM.  I don't have those problems using Garmin maps and carefully constructed routes.  DTD is a standard data field, but I can imagine it being useless if the routing has gone to pot.
I use OSM too, and am delighted with it!

I use a different flavour of OSM than Wowbagger as I need more contrast (due to limitations of Oregon's screen in direct sunlight) so I use TalkyToaster's UK map which is the easiest to see, and in Germany I use Radfahrer's map.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2011, 04:07:21 pm »
The Oregon is slightly bigger and has touchscreen, better resolution, shorter battery life, some preloaded maps, less built in memory, picture viewer and outdoor GPS games(whatever that is)

I would suggest the Oregon is quite a lot bigger.  The button-driven equivalent to the Oregon is actually the GPSMap 62 - the touchscreen equivalent to the Etrex is the Dakota (which is almost exactly the same body size, but still with a bigger screen).  The review thread for the Dakota is here
Are you sure? Although different shapes, Wowbagger's Etrex and my Oregon seem to take up about the same amount of space in the world overall. But as you've had both (I believe), you'll know better than me.

The Oregon is certainly narrower front-to-back and a smoother shape and its mount seems rather less clunky.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2011, 04:12:36 pm »
Helen, as you're obviously a fan of the Oregon, and used the Edge series as well, how would you rate the differences and ease of use? Also do you think riding a recumbent makes a difference over which you choose? As in would you still go Oregon for an upright?
The Edge I used was the basic one (205) which was without maps so it's not really fair to compare it with the Oregon. I had to stop using it because of the internal battery contact issue (it switched off when going over bumps, getting worse and worse over time). The battery was also getting a bit worn out after two years of use and only lasted eight hours by the end which could have become awkward on some of my longer rides.

The Oregon is much easier to use, due to having the touch screen so lots of easy-to-get-at menu options. I tend not to faff with it as I'm going along (it's down by my feet!) but I do some of the looking ahead at the map (using scrolling) at tea stops. I find no difficulties with the touch screen although it's not as good as that on my iPad, even using gloves, but I think if I had an upright bike with it on the handlebars I might be just as happy with the smaller Dakota. The Oregon is quite large - fine for my trike which isn't fussed about weight as it's heavy anyway, as am I - which means it has a lovely big map with plenty of room for data fields, but the Dakota might work as well.

Big plus for me is the AA batteries. I'm often changing them whilst I'm out and about (as I run it for 4-5 days before needing to change and just always carry spare batteries - they are also useful for my bike lights). It would be irritating to have to remember to charge up an internal battery as I used to do with the Edge.

I've seen the Edge 605 and 705 and they seem pretty decent but I like the touch screen and I find the lack of limitation on trackpoints and stuff very handy.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2011, 04:50:31 pm »
Although different shapes, Wowbagger's Etrex and my Oregon seem to take up about the same amount of space in the world overall.

Fair enough.  What I was really thinking of was the general in-your-faceness of a large screen vs a smaller one, on the handlebars.  I speak as one who never used a cyclecomputer, being generally averse to handlebar furniture of any sort (eg I always mount lights underslung). 

The Dakota and (new) Etrex are exactly the same size, shape and weight.  When someone handed me their new Oregon so that I could admire it, my first unspoken gut reaction was "f*** that's big".  However for touchscreen I suspect that big is good (its also a much higher-res screen - very superior) because the UI was designed for the Oregon screen and the later Dakota implementation is just a scaled-down version and so a bit fiddly when bumping along on the bike.

Different strokes etc which is why Garmin can sell so many different models that all do the same thing.

Montana: Screen Size 2" x 3.5"; Screen pixels 480 x 272; Pixels/Sq. in. (Pixel Density) 18,651
Oregon: Screen Size 1.53" x 2.55"; Screen pixels 240 x 400; Pixels/Sq. in. (Pixel Density) 24,615
Dakota: Screen Size 1.43" x 2.15"; Screen pixels 160 x 240; Pixels/Sq. in. (Pixel Density) 12,508
62s: Screen Size 1.6" x 2.2"; Screen pixels 160 x 240; Pixels/Sq. in. (Pixel Density) 10,909
Etrex:  Screen Size 1.4" x 1.7"; Screen pixels 176 x 220;
Nuvi 500: Screen Size 2.8" x 2.1"; Screen pixel size 320 x 240;
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2011, 05:04:03 pm »
I'm a huge fan of my Garmin Oregon which works fine with my Mac.

One thing I would add - given the subject of this thread - is that pretty much all models of GPS seem to get good approval from the people that have them.

I see very few messages of the "I bought this GPS but its rubbish" type, and a lot of messages like Helen's above.
Although this is, of course, a very good point - no-one wants to say "I bought something crap" - I do ride with lots of people with other GPS types (and I used to have an Edge) and find that things seem much easier and quicker for me. Wowbagger has his vista but seems to go off route more easily, doesn't seem able to easily get a Distance To Destination, and it takes much longer for him to browse the map using the button rather than just stroking the screen. I'd never swap my Garmin for his, having seen both a lot, so surely that says something?

I think you are attributing too much of that to the machine and too little to the user. Last week, for example, my wobbler in Writtle was down to my own memory of the way to go conflicting with the route I'd chosen. If you recall, I started to go straight across into Lodge Road whereas when I'd plotted the route my Mac had chosen The Green and Ongar Road. Lodge Road is actually slightly shorter and quieter, but uses roads which have been closed to motorised traffic where they meet the new stretch of road which leads to the A414 roundabout near Little Oxney Green. I knew I'd been along Lodge Road before to do that journey, but couldn't remember the precise details and hadn't even looked at the Garmin. When you said to turn right I just agreed, but all of that is down to what is going on in my brane rather than the machine on the handlebars.

I'm not certain that my Garmin can do distance to destination, but since I never bother to get it to navigate for me, but just display a breadcrumb trail, I'm never asking it to. It might be able to for all I know but I've never found out. I'd say that that is down to the way I use it rather than any failing with the machine itself.

So far as I'm concerned it's just a map with a pencil line on the roads I want to follow that always shows where I am. It saves getting an OS map out of my pocket each time we reach a junction, that is all.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2011, 05:28:47 pm »
Also do you think riding a recumbent makes a difference over which you choose? As in would you still go Oregon for an upright?

There's recumbents and there's recumbents:  With tiller steering, it's no different to an upright.  With under-seat or open cockpit steering you tend to have to get creative.  With many trikes you have the option of mounting it off to one side, which put it off your eye-line, but within easy reach.  With most USS bikes, you end up having to mount it on the dérailleur post or a clever headset bracket for people without sturdy thighs.  At which point a larger screen becomes desirable, but only to the point of not adding too much width or height (you have to get a leg over it to mount the bike, and GPS brackets don't like being kicked on a regular basis).

The real issue with boom mounting isn't one of size, so much as user interface.  You pretty much need to stop to operate the GPS, which means it has to get on with whatever you want it to do with minimal user interaction, and you can forget about making out fine or colour-based details on the map screen.  I use my eTrex in auto routing mode with City Navigator maps for this reason, as the turn-by-turn popups are clear and appropriately zoomed for each junction.  Following a breadcrumb trail Wowbagger-style (which I'm happy to do on an upright bike) would require stopping and sitting forward to examine the screen at non-trivial junctions.  If I'm going to do that, I might as well use a map.

If I were starting again, I might consider something with a significantly bigger screen, though I wouldn't want anything too chunky, as it still has to play well with lights on upright bike handlebars, and I can see a tiller steering 'bent in my future.  I'll be interested to see if the map rendering on the new eTrexes makes a significant difference.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2011, 01:16:52 pm »
With most USS bikes, you end up having to mount it on the dérailleur post or a clever headset bracket for people without sturdy thighs.  At which point a larger screen becomes desirable, but only to the point of not adding too much width or height (you have to get a leg over it to mount the bike, and GPS brackets don't like being kicked on a regular basis).

I've just been trying out a mate's Oregon for space on my USS speedmachine (without actually tie-wrapping the bracket on and riding it, tho' I've ordered myself a bracket to try it properly). It seems I *may* be able to get it in the space between steerer and seat, subject to thigh slappage and crotch interference - obviously the new etrex is a little smaller still. Possibly a bit low - any thoughts on readability there ? - it's probably only a bit more reclined than your streetmachine.
If it had to go further down the boom then I might lean more towards the Oregon - whereas more a crotchwards mounting might mean buttons are easier to navigate, ie by feel.
I'm not completely averse to a clamp around the steerer (where the tiller normally clamps), but that means getting creative with lumps of ally...

Re: Yet another 'which GPS' thread...
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2011, 11:39:11 pm »
suitable roads - well a cycle option would be good for me as one of the reasons I'm considering a GPS is for multi surface exploring type rides on a MTB.

Maps - these live permanently in the GPS memory? what sort of area and scale can it store? are there proprietary limitations around the GPS you buy, as in will only work with their own, or approved, map sources?
I find that sort of riding (Mrs B & I do it) needs a GPS which isn't road-oriented. Perhaps I need to look harder, but I've not found any auto-routing that recognises cycle cut-throughs on otherwise blocked roads, bridleways, & permissive routes such as farm roads where a well-behaved cyclist or two is tolerated. I plot routes online (more free sites than you can shake a stick at) & download them onto my GPS. Sometimes I just roam & use it to check where I am, e.g. on unfamiliar woodland tracks.

I have 20% of England OS mapping at 1:50000 in 440 megabytes of an SD card. I can use the other few gig for routes.

I think you've found answers to all the rest.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897