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  #1  
Old 19 May 2011
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GPS choice Its a minefield....

Heya all,

Im having abit of difficulty....I currently have a Garmin 276c and im having a dilema as to whether I should sell it or buy a memory card for it. As Im sure some of you know the cards for this seem to only go up to 512mb and they're somewhat expensive. If I was to sell, what other units have people got/would recommend. The big thing for me is a larger good quality screen and straightforward to use.

Im hoping to travel to Morocco this year and Cape town in a couple of years so would rather sort this out now.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
H
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  #2  
Old 19 May 2011
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Gps

H
I can tell you from experience, the Tom Toms works very well down here in Cape Town. A lot of Garmin users are challenged at first but the Tom Toms do really good on left side drive and round-a-bouts. I can not for the life of me remember the model I had but I stopped using it after gaining a basic knowledge of the lay out - In Cape Town you just navigate my looking at the mountains (especially in the city), being in the Southern Hemisphere also threw me for awhile but every thing is relevant. A word of caution; there are some areas you do not want to make a wrong turn into.

Cheers
Mike
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  #3  
Old 20 May 2011
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We have been travelling for the last 11months / 45,000km with both a Garmin and TomTom.

Dash mounts: we found the Gamin to be secured on the windscreen much better and has never fallen down whereas the TomTom standard cup just kept falling off in the extreme heat or cold.

Power sockets: the Garmin had a power input directly to the mount (you can also power it directly to the device too) which meant we did not have to keep unplugging it every time we wanted to take it out of the car. The TomTom however eventually died on us, as the power socket became loose and would not charge any more.

Maps: we found the TomToms directions and maps much better in the EU, but once out of the EU, it was pretty useless. We found Garmin has much better support and a wider variety of Free maps, and also the ability to use map source etc.

We are currently using a Garmin in Indonesia, using both Openstreetmaps & navigasi maps, which are completely free and detailed. The TomTom is somewhere in the roof box.
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  #4  
Old 21 May 2011
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Admittedly I'm an old f*rt travelling in a newish Unicat so I don't worry about money, but...
I'm very happy with my Garmin Streetpilot 7500 (huge screen, SD card slot) and my Garmin SD cards for various places plus OSM (openstreetmaps) for places Garmin doesn't cover. I have a spare 7500 I carry (of course) that I found on ebay for 25% of Garmin's price, new in box.

Charlie
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  #5  
Old 21 May 2011
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Have you thought of just using a netbook with GPS antenna plugged in?
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  #6  
Old 22 May 2011
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I have used both netbook for short periods and a dedicated car PC with external GPS antennae running Garmin mobile maps for PC - fantastic system especially using a 10" Lilliput touchscreen on the dash.
I could control GPS, manage and play music, find and get access to open wirless hotspots on the move, watch films and a bunch of other trick 'apps' through an iphone style touchscreen interface (I liked running Google Earth with GPS mode switched on, so as you drive down the road, you can see into the back gardens of the houses you drive past!) - the pc started automatically when the engine was started, and I wanted to change the windows start-up tune to a Knight Rider style greeting..

Unfortunately shite African roads, vibration, dust and heat made short work of Killing this set up stone dead and I finished the trip with the extra ballast of an expensive box of wires, plastic and shiny aluminium taking up valuable storage space loads of other electronic gear packed up, so now I just keep it real simple.

I went back to running a Garmin Nuvi with Tracks4Africa - very simple, very cheap, extremely effective and the units are very tough. Couldn't fault it.
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  #7  
Old 23 May 2011
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The garmin 7500 or 7200 (cheaper as it does not have a DR capability ) are excellent, big easy to see display , very good routing and recalculating software , large memory capability , seem pretty rugged as designed for truck/RV usage. JMHO
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  #8  
Old 24 May 2011
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Keep the 276, you'll never find a better GPS if you're serious about route planning and navigation. If all you want to do is have route directions by post code, by all means buy a Tom Tom, just dont sell the 276 until you're sure a Tom Tom is all you need.
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Old 24 May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacr2man View Post
The garmin 7500 or 7200 (cheaper as it does not have a DR capability ) are excellent, big easy to see display , very good routing and recalculating software , large memory capability , seem pretty rugged as designed for truck/RV usage. JMHO
am I right in thinking that tracks4africa can't run on the 7200/7500 series

Does it run on the 276 or would I be better off looking at the nuvi
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  #10  
Old 24 May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QatarRider View Post
Keep the 276, you'll never find a better GPS if you're serious about route planning and navigation. If all you want to do is have route directions by post code, by all means buy a Tom Tom, just dont sell the 276 until you're sure a Tom Tom is all you need.
To be fair I would steer away from buying a TomTom at all, it won't be much use to you in Africa if you're planning on a Capetown trip.
Any garmin running Tracks4Africa is all you need - either get a card for your 276 or a widescreen Nuvi (probably pick one up in ebay cheaper than a memory card) and job done.
If you do end up on a big Africa trip, you don't have to load all of the tracks4africa maps onto the garmin, you can just load individual or small groups of countries as you go, and delete the ones you've passed through, so you don't need massive memory space.

The last time I went to Morocco, I found the Garmin basemap had most of the major roads on, and it's easy enough to get waypoints for most of the tracks and trails from the net or Chris's book.
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  #11  
Old 24 May 2011
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Hey all,

Many thanks for all of your thoughts. I have actually got garmin mapsource on my PC and I have thought of making an integrated car pc system with maping but I always come back to the dilema of longer term reliability. Im not a computer programmer and not understanding the mechanics of them, Id rather not go down this route. I can see using a laptop for the actual planning and have got T4A and morocco maps already downloaded though.

Its great to hear that the 276 is still thought highly of. Its certainly not new. Does the 278 take an SD card?

H
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  #12  
Old 30 May 2011
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I have had 2 Garmin Nuivi, both c***! I originally had a 2610 which was fab, but didn't have postcode search which I needed for work so bought the Nuivi. The 2610 information on screen and the useability (especially things like it reading north up until you get to a junction when it switches to a close up of the junction pointing in the direction of travel) was vastly better than the Nuivi

both Nuivi have failed within 18months with normal UK use. It has really put me off garmin but there doesn't seem to be anything else suitable which will also do for trips outside of europe.
Garmin seem to be chasing the mass market 'can't find my way to the supermarket' buyer rather than their traditional traveller, which was their USP
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  #13  
Old 31 May 2011
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I've just completed a 750km trip with both the 62S and the 276 on the bike, funny result! While I love the 276, the Touratwat mounting is huge and bobbles about like a clown on acid, the 62s was on the handlebar mount, very simple, 2 tie wraps, and it was rock solid. Throughout the journey I kept looking at the 62s, not the 276, it did everything I wanted, very clear to see in very bright sunlight, 2 data fields, distance to next and distance to destination, so plenty of screen room for the maps, just uncliip when you stop, no worries about someone ripping the whole mounting off like the 276. I removed the 276 and mounting for the trip back, less clutter, just the 62s, very happy. I'll keep the 276 for the car and the 62s for the bike. And the 62s was micro SD cards, so no swaping out data cards, you can ride from Qatar to the UK with all the maps and routes on one card.
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  #14  
Old 31 May 2011
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The 276C is a keeper. If you need another one, keep the 276C. I had a dead one and had a "refurbished" unit shipped to me in exchange by Garmin for $176 or so. Well worth the cash. For my next RTW trip, I am using a Garmin 60csx. Bomb-proof with more memory, smaller screen, but it does what it needs to and then some. The 60csx can be replaced, Garmin stopped making good GPS's with all the "military grade" features after that sometime.
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  #15  
Old 1 Jun 2011
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I would definitely keep the 276C! The 278 is just the EU version of the 276c.
The optional memory expansion is large enough for most maps.
No other Garmin at the moment has similar caracteristics or similar ruggediness, this explains the crazy prices people are still paying for this great machine...


Cheers

Alex
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