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Messages - mdxix

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1
GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS for touring
« on: December 01, 2014, 10:47:18 pm »
Thanks again, now I think this is my last question: can both the topo US 100k and the City Navigator NT (Open Street Maps) be saved in the Etrex and be called up separately as need requires of one or the other?  Or for cycling just get the Open Street Maps and forget the other?
Yes, you can have multiple maps, just make sure you have a large enough memory card to store both (probably 8GB+).

City Navigator NT ≠ Open Street Maps. One is for $100+ while the other is free, among many other differences.

2
GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS for touring
« on: November 30, 2014, 08:54:48 pm »
Hmm, ok so the eTrex doesn't work like a car GPS where all I do is enter an address or place of interest, etc and it develops a course of direction to follow...or does it and I'm simply misunderstanding?
Yes, the eTrex 30, Edge Touring, & Cyclo will all develop the course to reach an address or point of interest. Be cautious about the type of courses they develop for you—they may not be on the safest bicycle roads.

The Edge & Cyclo have the maps already loaded. With the eTrex make sure to add routable maps (for example, the topo maps you reference earlier in the bundle will not work as they are not routable). The OSM ones will work.

3
GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS for touring
« on: November 30, 2014, 07:03:40 am »
The Garmin eTrex 30, will this unit have the same turn by turn readout like the Garmin Edge Touring Plus?
When you load the unit with predefined tracks to follow on your tour, no, the eTrex 30 will not give turn prompts. The Edge will give turn prompts, however, they are not very reliable.

Your best bet will be to follow the track as it shows on the screen.

Or do I have to purchase an additional map to get that feature?  If I have to purchase the map how much do they usually cost?
Follow instructions posted earlier to load free Open Street Maps onto the unit.

4
GPS Discussion / Re: Is there an app for that?
« on: November 29, 2014, 08:47:16 am »
The AdventureCycling GPX files are routes, not tracks.
Routes or tracks format is besides the point. Tracks will just as well have identical display as routes when track points are spaced far apart. Which is the case for the majority of Adventure Cycling routes, causing the display to be in segments of straight lines, not exactly following the roads.

Adventure Cycling is working on upgrading the data format & offering so that track information closely follow the route. An effort started earlier this year with the Northern Tier.

The Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route is also published as tracks with closely spaced track points to almost follow the route.

They are therefore quite useless for use in GPS, app or no app.
The current route data will not give the exact route to follow. With paper map in hand, combined with GPS location in relation to route, will give a very good idea about location and next steps for navigation.

Another advantage I find useful in the current files is the collection of service points. They give me a good indication of upcoming locations for food, lodging, & other services.

5
GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS for touring
« on: November 29, 2014, 08:27:42 am »
The most logical thing to do would be to get a Garmin Etrex 30, which runs on easily sourced AA batteries and download the ACA route waypoints to it.
The eTrex 30 is a workhorse of a GPS (recommended earlier) with sturdy body, long battery life, and many functions that serve just about every activity. The price is also right, even when not on steep discount sale. More information was posted in comparison chart.

The eTrex 30 does not come with maps. Follow instructions posted earlier to load them onto the unit.

6
GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS for touring
« on: November 28, 2014, 03:36:19 pm »
The error factor I read about came from this You Tube presentation and others commented agreed with the problems; see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHlLFHLvzjY
This video deals with errors in recording the data, which is rare, but does happen with all devices, sometimes because of thick tree & cloud covers, and mostly because of the recording intervals of the unit.

When the recording interval is set to less frequent than each second (at 10 seconds for example) to save battery, the device will attempt to capture the satellite signal less frequently, losing it at times.

7
GPS Discussion / Re: Best GPS for touring
« on: November 28, 2014, 08:51:04 am »
Both units will know exactly  your current location and get you to your destination.

How you get there & how both units support you along the way is a different matter. In this case, my preference is the Edge because of compatibility with large number of mapping sites, support for loading custom points of interest, and huge supporting community of Garmin users.

I was going to get the Garmin Edge Touring Plus but then started reading about how inaccurate it supposedly is, is this really the case?
What measurement is this accuracy claim in reference to?

For knowing your current location, no doubt that both units have the same accuracy based on the GPS chip, to within 3–5 meters of current location.

For calculating the route between two points, each unit has its own calculation method. I would not trust either completely without verifying the route in advance, unless it is necessary or required such as in the case of road closure, need for urgent bicycle repair, etc.

Regardless, while the calculation may be different or the units may have a different way to connect two points, they both will get you there. Just be sure to set your preferences correctly in the unit, for example, to avoid highways.

Then I started reading about the Magellan Cyclo 315 which on the surface seemed to have more detail about certain things like nearby bicycle shops, restaurants, and cyclo lanes that Garmin doesn't mention which I find odd since they both use the same OpenStreetMap.
The Cyclo did find more service points near me compared with the Edge. It also has a convenient top category for bicycle shops. However, when I select that category in Boston, it does not find any bicycle shops!

I would not rely on finding service points in either unit. Smart phones, if you have one, are far superior in finding services.

Note that the Cyclo does not support loading points of interest onto the unit from an external source. You can only define them manually in the unit.

This is where the Edge shines given all the external support you get from Garmin BaseCamp mapping software, Garmin Connect web site, and direct connectivity from most mapping web sites out there, such as Ride with GPS.

8
General Discussion / Re: northern tier - how to start in bar harbor
« on: October 08, 2014, 08:23:50 am »
Renting a car one way is a good idea given bicycles & gear you will be hauling.

Alternatively, public transport is readily available from Boston airport to Bar Harbor:

9
New England / Re: Boston to Providence
« on: September 24, 2014, 09:54:12 pm »
Consider the East Coast Greenway connecting Boston to Providence over beautiful rural areas & farms while taking advantage of many trails along the way.

10
GPS Discussion / Re: Is there an app for that?
« on: September 08, 2014, 09:46:17 am »
Is there an app for that?
Is that a rhetorical question ;)

You have your choice of apps to use with the GPX files that Adventure Cycling publishes. Try the following:
  • Install the app on your device. For iPhone try EasyTrails GPS, & for Android try Locus Pro.
  • Download the GPS file for the route you plan to tour.
  • The file you download is compressed. You can open the file in either of the two apps listed in step #1 above directly from your phone. For other apps, the steps may be different.
  • Alternatively, expand that file from step #2 on your desktop computer. You will now have several files. Please read the instructions file carefully to learn about these files. You will also find files with "GPX" extension. Copy those GPX files to your phone using your favorite document management app, such as Dropbox.
  • Open the app on your phone to display any of the GPS tracks you downloaded in step #2 above.
  • Use those tracks for general navigation guidance only to confirm your location and travel direction. Paper maps + addenda are best for route navigation.
You will notice that these tracks are in segments of straight lines, not exactly following the roads. That the nature of current data as published by Adventure Cycling.

They are working on upgrading the data format & offering. An effort started earlier this year with the Northern Tier.

11
GPS Discussion / Re: Oregon 650 With City Nav Maps
« on: July 25, 2014, 12:34:14 am »
This could be for a number of factors. However, without getting too much into them, we have received very little positive feedback that the turn prompts are reliable.

It has been very common that, when the GPS unit attempt to calculate the turn prompts, it misinterpret the route, hence giving false turn prompts. This is more challenging with City Navigator as it does not contain trails.

I have used various Edge mapping devices (705, 810, & 1000) with routes from various sources (GPSies, Ride with GPS, & Garmin Connect). While they work most of the time, there are enough times that they give me incorrect turn prompts. Instead, I rely on following the visible track on the screen.

12
GPS Discussion / Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« on: July 01, 2014, 06:13:48 pm »
I've actually realized now what I really want is not the waypoint data but instead track data which is made available here:

http://www.topofusion.com/divide/gps.php
Good choice. Tracks are the way to go.

Where are you storing the files on your eTrex device?

I just downloaded both files, copied them onto my eTrex under the folder /GARMIN/GPX. They loaded fine:
  • Turn on the device after you copy the files
  • Select Where To
  • Select Tracks
  • These two files should be there.
Be cautious of the following:
  • Neither track has a name in the file. They will both appear as "Track" on the device. Take a guess which is which.
  • There appears to be a large discrepancy between the files. One shows a distance of 1,030km while the other of 4,338km.
  • The two tracks show different outline on the map preview.
  • The web site calls one of the tracks as "official". The only official data I know of is on the Adventure Cycling Association web site.

13
GPS Discussion / Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« on: June 30, 2014, 05:13:13 pm »
I downloaded waypoints for the route from topofusion.com but have not put them on the unit yet.
What is the download link? Where did you find the route on that web site?

How do I install waypoints so I can then follow the route?
I am not aware of a track for the GDMBR that follows the route exactly. There is a compilation of route points in a very low resolution. They will give you general guidance about the route, but not exact directions.

Your most reliable source will be from the paper maps. You can then supplement the maps with the GPS location.

Here are the steps to follow:
Be aware of two problems with these files:
  • The files contain each point twice as route point & as waypoint. There are 1,590 waypoints in the GPX files. They will quickly consume the 2,000 waypoint memory from your device, in case you need it to store points of interest & services. It may be best to remove these waypoints in BaseCamp or manually.
  • There is a chance that your unit may decide to recalculate the route based on its internal map. The result will not be the same as the intended route. You can remove maps from the unit to avoid such problem. Be sure to regularly validate the GPS display against the paper maps.
Also, does it matter which direction I ride in?
Yes. You must reverse the route, as needed, using BaseCamp or other tools.

14
GPS Discussion / Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« on: June 28, 2014, 09:55:25 pm »
Which route are you trying to follow?

In general, you need a GPX file. Connect the eTrex 20 to your computer. A storage device should appear. Copy the file to your device under the folder /GARMIN/GPX.

However, some GPX files need further processing or do not contain sufficient information.

Please add more details about the route & file.

15
GPS Discussion / Re: Need GPS advise
« on: June 05, 2014, 12:13:11 pm »
Take a look at an earlier discussion on this forum with comparison chart.

Several considerations to keep in mind:
  • Do you need maps? The Edge 500 & 510 do not accept maps. They will show you a track on a blank screen. For most of the time, you can follow the track without problems. There may be times at an intersection where it is not clear which road to take. Never worry though. As soon as you are off the track, the unit will warn you.
  • What do you expect your primary use of the unit beyond this trip? For regular bicycle touring & riding on new routes, consider the Edge Touring. It comes with maps for the region you bought it from. You can then download & add more maps for Puerto Rico. More discussion about that is at:
  • What is your price limit? Go all out & purchase the latest Edge 1000, which promises great connectivity functions, clear screen, & maps.
  • Do you want a multi-purpose GPS? For other uses, such as hiking & paddling, consider the eTrex 30. This is a solid unit, allows for many functions beyond just the bicycle, such as 2,000 waypoints to mark the route, man-over-board location marker, etc. The two AA batteries will last several days & you can replace them on the road. You will have to add the maps per instructions above.

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