Author Topic: multi-day/cross country GPS  (Read 2726 times)

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Offline rlc5925

multi-day/cross country GPS
« on: May 27, 2011, 08:27:02 pm »
Opinions on the best unit for multi-day cross country navigation.Thanks

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: multi-day/cross country GPS
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 08:44:44 pm »
The best for me is probably not the best for you. If you say no more, you will get a lot of "my favorite is..." If that is all you want, please browse this group, as we have discussed it many times.

For better replies, tell us about your budget, what secondary uses you might have (auto, hiking, motorcycle, boat), and whether you want the occasional position check or continuous turn-by-turn directions. Will you have access to a computer for reloading the GPSR from time to time? Are you comfortable with computerized gadgets, for example can you program a VCR and get it right on the first try nine out of ten times? Have you ever used GPS?

Fred

Offline rlc5925

Re: multi-day/cross country GPS
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 09:01:49 pm »
The best for me is probably not the best for you. If you say no more, you will get a lot of "my favorite is..." If that is all you want, please browse this group, as we have discussed it many times.

For better replies, tell us about your budget, what secondary uses you might have (auto, hiking, motorcycle, boat), and whether you want the occasional position check or continuous turn-by-turn directions. Will you have access to a computer for reloading the GPSR from time to time? Are you comfortable with computerized gadgets, for example can you program a VCR and get it right on the first try nine out of ten times? Have you ever used GPS?

Fred

Thanks Fred for the tips

Budget is not an issue, ease and simplicity of use is important. I am not a computer savy person but can get by. Ease and simplicity again being important for any requirements of interfacing between unit and computer. I have used GPS for navigating on boats. When it comes to cycling I have used GPS units(edge 705) for tracking as opposed to navigating. Do not need it for secondary use, cycle use only. I would be comfortable with occasional position check as opposed to turn by turn directions. Hope this is helpful. Thanks again

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: multi-day/cross country GPS
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 07:36:26 am »
Do you own that 705? If you do, I'd look first at simply buying the City Navigator maps on an SD card for it. You are already familiar with it, and it will show your position on the map anywhere in the U.S. and most of Canada with no assist from a computer at all.

The inability of the Edge series to navigate the Adventure Cycling published GPS routes is irrelevant for spot checks, as is the built-in battery, which should run many days between charges.

Steve writes in this thread that he has transferred some ACA routes into an Edge using third-party software. I hope he will tell us how to do it.

However, if that 705 was borrowed and you are buying new equipment, I suggest the hiking handheld series from Garmin (or other vendors; I know the Garmin line). They do spot checks just as well from the very same maps and cost about the same. Although they lack the cadence and heart rate features, they will happily run all day on your handlebar, using a pair of AA batteries every two or three days and calling your turns from the ACA routes as you go.

I suspect you may want that ability some day, maybe not too far away. Not everyone does, though. Some have written that it takes the adventure away.

A third option is a smart phone equipped with a mapping app and a data service plan. This will do spot checks wherever cell service is available and a little bit more where you have downloaded maps in advance. We have not read much experience with these here.

Fred

Offline rlc5925

Re: multi-day/cross country GPS
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 06:17:04 am »
Thanks Fred
Very helpful and most appreciated.

Offline markannas

Re: multi-day/cross country GPS
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 01:04:47 am »
Thanks Fred
Very helpful and most appreciated.

Am looking for opinions re. GPS units best suited for these parameters:  exclusive use would be to download ACA waypoints from mapped ACA routes (eg. Sierra Cascades), and use it for continuous turn-by-turn directions vs. position checking.  Budget not a concern.  Suggestions?  Secondly, any tips on downloading the ACA waypoints onto the recommended unit.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 05:18:55 am by Fred Hiltz »

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: multi-day/cross country GPS
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 07:03:16 am »
Summarizing the experience reported here, I'd start with the mapping handheld units listed at https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145. (I know the Garmin line; other manufacturers can compete, no doubt, but Garmin is the dominant market leader.) They will all do the job nicely. Among all those models, consider these first: Etrex Legend HCx,  GPSMAP 62, and Oregon 450.

For readers on a budget, the GPSMAP 60Cx is worth a look. Discontinued by Garmin, but just as capable as the current units, it is widely available in stores at a good discount.

Move up in each line if the extra features appeal. All GPS receivers provide altitude; the barometic altimeter is more precise. The electronic compass is useless for cycling, IMO, and draws a lot of battery power. The larger screens are nice, but also reduce battery time.

The first map to buy is City Navigator. Add Topo 100K for contour lines, some trails, rivers, and lakes. Get them on DVD, not the preloaded MicroSD cards, so you can use them on your computer to set up maps, waypoints, and routes.

Get a handlebar mount, of course. Plan on a backup attachment--lanyard, rubber band, etc.--as the lightweight bar mounts are not very secure on big bumps and the secure mounts weigh a bit over a pound.

Four high-quality rechargeable AA batteries and a small mains charger will keep you going for five or six days between power outlets. My favorite AA cells are the Ansmann 2850 mAh.

For tips on using the ACA route data, see the sticky post at the top of this forum group and also http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/gps.cfm, where you will find a link to all the details and step-by-step instructions in the GPS Data User Guide.

Finally, we have discussed all these topics here in much detail. Try searching from the page that lists the GPS Discussion topics, using key words from these summaries.

Fred

Offline markannas

Re: multi-day/cross country GPS
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 01:50:15 am »
Thanks Fred.  Your insights, tips ----- very helpful.