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Topics - hamilgs

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GPS Discussion / City Navigator does not follow signed bike routes
« on: February 23, 2014, 09:52:53 pm »
I have an Oregon 450 w/City Navigator, & find that when I use the routing function (get me from A to B), the system suggests high traffic roads & ignores the signed bike routes in my town.  I've checked the Setup/Routing/Activity/ and either "Cycling" or "Tour Cycling" gives the same results.  Any advice?--george

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I wondered if the ANT radio in the Garmin Oregon 450 could be turned off, as currently I don't have any ANT accessories.  I use the smartphone analogy that I turn off the extra radios (BT, Wifi, & GPS) to extend the battery life, and just turn them on when needed.

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GPS Discussion / Run Garmin Oregon 450 off external power?
« on: May 28, 2013, 09:15:08 pm »
I recently got a "B & M Luxos U" dyno headlight (quite bright & a very wide beam, recommended!), which has a USB charging port (will charge devices in route, so it claims).  I have had a bit of success charging my smartphone, (first ride around the block, only 5 minute ride).  What I want to know is if I apply a USB charging current to the Oregon 450, will it switch to running off the external source and save the internal AA batteries?

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GPS Discussion / New Oregon 450 & Topo 100K
« on: December 11, 2012, 02:22:21 pm »
New Oregon 450 user here, and I’m still in basic learning mode. On the advice of a friend I purchased US Topo 100K, and have the portions I frequent (SE US) loaded. The friend also has SE US Topo 24K.  The 24K will route, turn by turn from A to B, but over the same route, 100K will not, the error message is “Route calculation error: Maps do not have routable roads in this area”.

Does that suggest that I can’t route using Topo 100K, or does that suggest “operator error” which is my usual problem. I had planned to buy City Navigator, but have not done so yet.

Note we each have the maps loaded on to a micro SD card, and we have been swapping cards to compare features of the map sets, and the 450 Vs Etrex Vista hcx.

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GPS Discussion / Topo US 100K loads slow to computer & SD card
« on: December 07, 2012, 02:51:04 pm »
It took more than an hour to load the "Topo US 100K" DVD to my Intel Core i5, 4 gig RAM, (not new, but no slouch either) notebook, is that about right?  Also I noticed that the DVD had no "readme" file, a bad sign for a satisfied customer experience.

Installing "Topo US 100K" to a micro SD card (via direct USB adapter) was predicted to take 5 hours after it had been going for a few minutes, but at 69% complete (took overnight to get there!), the prediction is still at 6+ hours (prediction has been above 10 hours). I’ve never had S/W take that long to load.  In talking to Garmin customer support, they say that is 4X too long, but that it does takes a while to push 4+ gig of data over a USB interface.  He had no advice about what I might be doing wrong that might cause such a long load time.  Again no “word to the wise” about this will take a long, long time in a readme file.

The Basecamp help file suggests that some S/W products need unlock keys, while others don’t, & suggests looking for “a yellow slip of paper with unlock code on it” in the DVD cardboard sleeve; I did not find the paper.  Garmin tech support reports that "Topo US 100K" does not need an unlock code,  while acknowledging that that bit of info is not easy to find.

I plan to buy City Navigator & load on the Oregon 450, so I asked how much storage "Topo US 100K" takes (4 gig), and then how much CN takes (1.6 gig), so my 4 gig card is too small, but it was handy last night.  Then I ask if I can just copy the files from the 4 gig card to the larger card when installing CN.  Answer “no, you must install all over again "Topo US 100K" and CN to a larger card.  Not the answer I was looking for, after I’ve spent more than all day getting "Topo US 100K" on the card, and its not done yet.

So far I could not recommend a Garmin S/W product to friends & family if asked, because the out of the box user experience has been so poor. I hope that my experiences are in the minority.

Any advice about what I’m doing wrong?

I’m using MapInstall to load maps on the micro SD card, direct connected via adapter to a USB port on the notebook computer.

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GPS Discussion / Topo US 100K, what date is current?
« on: December 06, 2012, 09:13:54 pm »
I bought Garmin Topo US 100K, and the DVD cardboard jacket is dated 2009, while the printed label on the disk is dated 2008.  Did I buy the curent version?--george

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Still have not pulled the trigger on a GPSR, but narrowed it down to Garmin Oregon, likely the 450, as I don't need the camera of the higher model numbers, and the Montana is out of my budget.

Question:  Does the Oregon 450 have enough memory to hold the all SE 24K topo, plus City Navigator?  I don't see much on memory footprint of either package.--george

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GPS Discussion / Compare Oregon 300 to GPS Map 60CSX?
« on: May 18, 2012, 10:38:55 pm »
I'm still on the hunt for a touring GPS mapper, and in addition to the 60 Csx, I've recently seen a used Oregon 300 for sale (discontinued).  Does anyone have any thoughts on the 300 VS 60 Csx?  The prices are roughly the same.--george

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GPS Discussion / City Navigator come w/ full unlock code?
« on: May 01, 2012, 10:00:32 pm »
If I buy City Navigator does it come w/ full unlock code for all maps on DVD?  I seem to recall that for some versions 10 years ago, Garmin anted to sell you unlock codes by regions of the USA.

Also, what does "NT" Mean?  Does a 60CSX need or can it use an "NT" version of maps?

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GPS Discussion / Touring, mapping GPSR from Garmin, which to choose?
« on: April 28, 2012, 09:44:14 pm »
I've read the posts at some length, and noticed that there has not been a lot of traffic on the selection of a touring, mapping GPSR from Garmin in recent months. My local Craigslist has two GPS60CSX for sale at a good price (one NIB, the other good used), & I've wondered if the advice given by Fred & others has changed any since fall of 2011. If I get the 60CSX, what am I giving up for touring over the 62 series which I understand replaces the 60 series?--george

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Gear Talk / Luxury Lite Camp Cot review
« on: July 11, 2010, 06:22:49 pm »
Introduction:  I first heard about the Luxury Lite cot several years ago on www.bentrideronline.com forums, where it made a splash.  I looked at the website, & was intrigued, but then there is the price of $220, so I held off.  Fast forward a year & I went on the Alabama’s Magnificent Bicycling Adventure (AMBA) cycletour for a week around Auburn Alabama & had trouble getting to sleep in the ultralight tent on the ground even assisted by my one inch thick Thermarest mattress-old age I guess.  The ground was uneven, lumpy and I just had trouble dropping off.

Fast forward another year & I was preparing to go back to AMBA, and recalling last year’s experience, I ordered the cot as a birthday present to myself.  When it arrived, I was impressed by the construction & materials used-high quality all around.  I set it up several times at home using the step by step instructions, then took it to work to show some mates who are ultralight campers.  They too were impressed.  By then I no longer needed the instructions to set it up, or put it away.

Construction & assembly: The cot has a stout laminated fabric sleeping surface with fiber reinforcement built sort of like a “blue tarp”, plus shock corded aluminum side rails which are slipped into a sleeve on the sides of the sleeping surface. The side rail ends could use a “bullet shaped” plastic tip insert to ease the slide through nearly six feet of sleeve.  Then one mates the cot feet & tension poles (gold & black anodized color-coded) into six assemblies, four single pole & two double pole. The double pole assemblies are placed under the torso where the greatest load is, and are a bit unusual in that you put a 180-degree twist into them as you mate them to the sleeping surface.  The sleeping surface is quite taunt, and the first few times you engage the foot assemblies, you will be concerned that you might kink the gold & black aluminum foot poles-but don’t worry the construction is stout, and the instructions detailed.

One thing that seemed unusual was that both the website & instructions suggested placing the cot under the tent.  That might work OK for a multi-person tent, but not for a near coffin ultralight (& quite small) tent.   Upon reflection, I realized what they were getting at but not saying. I believe the problem they were trying to solve is that the 12 hard plastic feet of the cot were point or concentrated loads on the tent floor, and had likely been responsible for abrading or wearing through the tent floor!  By placing the cot under the tent, they avoided that problem.

My solution, which has worked so far with no noticeable abrasion on the tent floor (7 nights), was to cut some 4” x 4” squares off of the end of my yoga mat (OK, my secret cycling weapon is out now) and place the mat pieces between the plastic feet & the tent floor.  I was worried that as I moved around in the tent, rolled over, & got on & off the cot over the week that the mat squares might work their way out from under the cot feet, but they stayed just where I placed them.  After seeing my concern, another buddy suggested I cover the bottom of the feet with some foam pipe insulation from the Home Center, but I’m satisfied with yoga mat.  So for now, the stack of mat squares (roughly a 4” x 4” x 4” cube) stay in the cot storage bag, and will be used each time the cot is used.

Field Test: I took the Thermarest mattress just in case the cot did not work out, but left it in the car for the first two nights.  During those nights I was comfortable, but noticed that I had a sore hip (I’m a side sleeper) in the morning.  The hip was not touching the ground, as the cot keeps you up about 4” off the tent floor.  After the second night of a sore hip (greater trochanter), I decided that perhaps the tension (like a drumhead!) of the cot fabric was great enough that I had a pressure point on the hip.  For the rest of the cycletour, I put the Thermarest on top of the cot-hip pain problem solved & good sleeping!

Another thing I noticed was that the plastic feet to cot interface makes a hard bump along the side rail of the cot, and that was just where a bony part of my arm wanted to rest.  Sure I could move the arm toward my head or feet & avoid the hard plastic bump, but when I’d wake up, the arm was right on top of a hard bump.  The Thermarest raised me up just enough to make the hard bump annoyance go away.  So while I had hoped that the cot would replace the Thermarest (from a mass & volume standpoint), for me at least, they are a better team together, than either by itself.

As an aside, another advantage of the cot is that if your tent floor leaks & you have water on the floor, you will not get wet as you are up 4” off the floor.  I tested this theory one morning about 1:30 AM, as it rained quite hard for several hours. Fortunately the tent floor was dry.

Summary:

Pros:  Good design, materials, instructions & construction leading to better sleeping.  Made in USA, & keeps you up off the ground & tent floor.  Now a part of my regular kit!

Cons:  Cost, plus another bit of kit to carry if you camp unsupported. The need to add cushions under cot feet to avoid tent floor abrasion; and I still use the Thermarest on top of it.  The manufacturer should consider adding “bullet ends” to cot side rails.

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Cycling Events / Ride AMBA Cycletour in May 2009
« on: February 22, 2009, 09:20:29 pm »
Come one, come all to Alabama's new cycletour May 23-30 2009.  We'll do loops around Auburn AL, and camp at Chewacla State Park (no breaking camp till the ride is over!).  Note there are some cabins available at Chewacla.  I'll be camping, but others will stay in motels.  See http://www.amba1.com/.  This ride has lots to do & see, and has a midweek optional down/play day (I'll probably do that).  AMBA is a fundraiser for AlaBike, our statewide cycling advocacy group, working to make Alabama bike friendly.

Full disclosure:  I'm a member of the AlaBike board: www.alabike.org.--george

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