Author Topic: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip  (Read 3763 times)

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Offline SpokedSTL

best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« on: December 26, 2012, 05:46:38 pm »
Hey all. I have a Garmin 800 cycling computer and am looking for advice on the best way to go about using the maps. I have a 32mb micro sd card.

1. Which maps do you recommend? Garmin's City Maps, Velo Maps, or Adventure Cycling's GPS map data?
2. If anyone has done a long trip with the 800, how often did you need to charge it? And how did you go about it?
3. Did you set up a trip using Basecamp or anything like that?
4. Overall, how accurate were the maps?
5. Would you recommend that 800? I love it as a cycling computer.

-Thanks
Matt

Offline Tandem Tom

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2012, 07:34:49 pm »
My wife and I ride a tandem and she is the navigator and has the 800. We have been using RideWithGPS. After we map out our route we down load it to a TCX file then into our 800. It works quite well and the TCX gives us a cue sheet.

Offline geegee

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 05:21:24 pm »
The ACA data is just waypoints and the associated routing, so you will need some detailed base maps. Garmin's City Navigator maps work well. Beware if you get hold of older versions of the USA Topo maps, routing does not seem to work properly for some states.

Offline DanE

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 09:21:33 am »
For bicycle touring, I say leave your 800 at home and get either an eTrex 20 or 30 or one of the other handhelds. On tour, I prefer that they operate off of AA batteries which can be purchased anywhere and means you don't have to carry another charger. I usually get three days operation off of a pair of AA. There is a nice handlebar mount for the etrex that sits it on top of the stem, but I find it slips into the map pocket of my handlebar bag just fine.

Offline mdxix

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 10:54:49 pm »
1. Which maps do you recommend? Garmin's City Maps, Velo Maps, or Adventure Cycling's GPS map data?
I use Garmin City Navigator. Unless you already have purchased maps, invest a few minutes testing Open Source Maps. There are detailed instructions on how to install them. Read the rest of the post for some notes about these maps.

OSM seem to be also the source for Velo Maps.

The ACA GPS map data are just that: routes and points of interest. Use them with any of the maps above.

2. If anyone has done a long trip with the 800, how often did you need to charge it? And how did you go about it?
I have toured with the Edge 705, charging it nightly. It comfortably worked all day, close to 12 hours. I charge it from electric outlet when available, or one of the battery charging options suggested earlier.

I found these charging options serve dual purpose to charge the phone as well.

3. Did you set up a trip using Basecamp or anything like that?
Basecamp is one option to use, especially with Garmin City Navigator maps. There are plenty of web sites for charting routes, such as Ride With GPS, GPSies, and Map My Ride.

Many web sites offer using Google Maps to display & route on bicycle trails. In this case, make sure to export the route with detailed route points (bread crumbs), not just way points.

4. Overall, how accurate were the maps?
I think where the data exists, the maps I used have been accurate. I did find some misalignment when I tested OSM maps, but that was easy to recognize.

5. Would you recommend that 800? I love it as a cycling computer.
You already have the unit—give it a try. It is small, light, & familiar to you.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 07:55:37 pm by mdxix »

Offline mdxix

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 11:01:53 pm »
Beware if you get hold of older versions of the USA Topo maps, routing does not seem to work properly for some states.
Note earlier discussion that even current Topo 100k v4 does not support routing, while Topo 24k does.

Offline AdventureRide

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 09:26:39 pm »
     My wife and I have tandem-toured with the Garmin Edge 605.  For downloading routes, the 605 and 705 and now the 800 models are essentially the same.  We use MapMyRide and RideWithGPS to find out-of- town routes when we're traveling.  Our local bike club posts its weekly rides on the same services and we'll download those as well.  It has worked great for that.
     The problem with Garmin's Edge series is that they cannot 'read' the digital routes that ACA has made available.  You need a dedicated GPS (like the mentioned Etrex 20/30 models) for that.  The Etex (or like unit) can accept the ACA download and give you those turn by turn directions you're looking for (assuming you've loaded the Navigator/etc maps).  Even with a dedicated GPS, it probably can't hold all the waypoints for an entire cross country route, meaning you'd have to download a portion into the unit and somewhere along the trail, find a means of downloading the rest.
     My wife and I used our Edge 605 when we did ACA's Adirondack Loop last spring, but we had to take the ACA paper maps and laboriously plot the route into RideWithGPS and then download the created route into the Edge.   Difficult enough for a 9 day trip, totally impractical for a transcontinenal ride.

Offline sasemen

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 06:46:59 pm »
I used a garmin 800 for about a year and it can't be beat. I've been using bike toaster to plan all my trips. Just plan, download and off you go. Get lost or take a wrong turn it will recalculate and off you go.

Offline matthewjsteger

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 06:21:51 pm »
Hi Matt,

I used the Garmin 705 on my TransAm ride.  I had a love/hate relationship with the thing.  Since the 705 only holds 100 waypoints, I had to manually enter each and every waypoint that I deemed useful along my route.  This was easy when travelling out West, when there weren't many "turns" in the route.  But once I got East, it turned into a total ball and chain!  I really liked having the Edge for the ease it lended me in finding the McDonald's(es) and Walmarts along the way (although, that's something any ordinary smartphone is capable of).  I also really liked it because it kept track of things like my mileage, speed, direction, and time of day.  It also helped me easily get back onto the trail after I had drifted off course on a few occassions.  While the Edge is very good at these things, I just don't know if (especially in my own case) it was money well spent and worth the hassle of having to recharge it every dang day.  In any event, it was an 'okay' toy to have along for the trip.  I know that if I had a dynamo hub and an eWerk station, my story would be quite different, but that kind of gear is a tad expensive for me.  The ACA maps (yeah, the ones I sold to you) are plenty enough, in my opinion.  Cheers!

ps- I used City Navigator

Offline mdxix

Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 08:41:53 pm »
Since the 705 only holds 100 waypoints, I had to manually enter each and every waypoint that I deemed useful along my route.
Do you need to enter waypoints for the route?

You should be able to store the entire TransAm route, with full details, following the road, using route points instead of way points. Your Edge will prompt you at each turn, calculate the distance to  next turn, and show you the detailed route on the map.

My relationship with the Edge is 100% pure love :)

I have argued before that the ACA routes should be separate from waypoints & points of interest. Later in that discussion I pointed out that waypoints are waypoints and riding routes are riding routes. There is no mixing between the two. The fact that some waypoints happen to be along the route does not make them part of the route. The routes in the GPX file do not have or mix with any waypoints. Instead, they have route points.

The trick is getting rid of way points from your GPX file so they do not clog the memory capacity.

The easiest way is to remove them manually from ACA GPX file. Here is how:
  • Download the GPX file for your favorite ACA route.
  • Open the GPX file using your favorite text editor, such as Notepad on Windows or Text Edit on Mac.
  • Notice how almost the entire first half of the file is full of way points. These do not constitute routes. Remove them.
  • Select the entire section from the first <wpt> tag to the last </wpt> tag.
  • The last </wpt> tag should be just before the first <rte> tag.
  • It is this second section of the GPX file that matters for navigating. It defines route points using <rte> tags. Leave it as is.
Save the file. Load it onto the Edge. Turn on the Edge. It should have not a single way point from this route. Turn it on demo mode and try to navigate any of the routes. It should work just fine.

Note that the route will still display as straight lines. For it to follow the road and give you prompts for turns, the file needs further manipulation using BaseCamp or an online mapping tool.