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  #1  
Old 23 Aug 2009
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Which Gps?

I am doing an overland trip from London to Durban, Sa via the western route. i would love to hear from experienced bikers what their preferences are with regards to GPS's
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  #2  
Old 24 Aug 2009
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Stay away from the TomTom Rider 2, in fact the 1 as well. I have had a number of these units and they all failed.

I can give no info on any other brands, but the ones I have used have been bike specific units.

I am still in negotiation with the repairers back home, they are very slow to respond, not what you need when on the road.


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  #3  
Old 24 Aug 2009
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I went with Garmin because they have more maps available overall, and they have opensourced their technology such that it is easy for amateurs and 3rd parties to build custom maps for their platform.

When traveliing through China/Russia etc. I used their world map which gave me reasonable highway information but obviously no city maps - having said that, the maps were up to 20km off track in some parts of China but at least I knew I was heading in the right direction.

Once in Europe I was able to "source" a copy of the European map base and found this very good for getting me right to the front doorstep of most places I was targetting.
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  #4  
Old 2 Sep 2009
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Recently purchased the Garmin GPSmap 60CSx and have been using an openstreetmap.org EU map (free, excellent for Europe, NOT routable) and smellybiker's wanderlust maps (for the time being only for the UK, they work but less detail than OSM stuff).

For a trip outside Europe I'm preparing (or in any area where the openstreetmap.org maps are patchy/incomplete) I'll use smellybiker's world maps (yearly membership of ~$50 required). I can send you screenshots of the smellybiker maps if you'd like to get an idea of the level of detail. They seem perfectly adequate to get you from A to B.

As for the unit, even though I like it as a product (design, features), I've already returned it to the factory and had it replaced for a faulty power on/off button, and have subsequently had a freaky incident last week when a waypoint I had captured decided to move a good 20 miles off the mark...

Alex
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  #5  
Old 2 Sep 2009
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I have a 2610 and a 60Csx, and they're both great units.

The 2610 is perfect on my roadbike with its nice big colour screen, though it has no bateries so can't be used without bike or mains power. It's waterproof, but not really rugged. It also gives good voice directions over my Autocom unit.

The 60Csx is very rugged, and battery powered, as well as bike or USB powered. However the screen is a bit on the small side, and it isn't touch sensitive, there are proper buttons to operate it. It also won't give voice directions, though it does have a built in compass and altimeter.

For overlanding I'm taking the 60Csx. For Europe I'd go with the 2610 (or 2720, it's newer and better)

Plenty of maps out there, including Smelly Bikers, Tracks4Africa and of course the Garmin ones - if you can afford them!
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  #6  
Old 3 Sep 2009
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My 60CSx also had a faulty power button. I tried to get it fixed, but Garmin Taiwan(!) told me to take it 'back' to the shop in Singapore. I told them that I bought it in Thailand and that I was in Malaysia, but just got the same reply. ESRI in Thailand eventually fixed the button under warranty, but it is getting bad again.

If you consider buying this model I suggest saving money and buying the 60Cx, without barometer and compass. The former seems to decrease the accuracy of altitude measurements (unless you calibrate it daily - unlikely), I have never been able to use the latter.

Routable OSM maps can be downloaded here: Worldwide routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap (updated weekly).

I read that some people have done mapping work in SA on smellybiker's maps, so you may want to check them out.

===> if you want good free maps may I suggest contributing your track logs and POIs back to some of the projects. The data has to come from somewhere...

Cheers,
Peter.

Edit: corrected typo in URL. Thanks for pointing it out.
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Europe to NZ 2006-10

Last edited by beddhist; 4 Sep 2009 at 09:54. Reason: typo
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  #7  
Old 3 Sep 2009
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Beddhist,
Something is missing in your posted URL: country maybe ??

Routable OSM maps can be downloaded here: http://garmin.da1400.info/routable.php (updated weekly).

JB
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  #8  
Old 3 Sep 2009
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Beddhist,

The correct url should be:

http://garmin.na1400.info/routable.php


JB
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  #9  
Old 3 Sep 2009
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hi,
i have garmin gpsmap 60csx and i think this is the one for overlanding. tough, waterproof, to many maps available, compass, battery last 15-18h, can be usb powered, and many other good stuff. did well on my morocco trip this year.
about 60cx and 60csx: there is a major difference, the chip!! the chip on 60csx gives better reception. google it and you will see it.
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  #10  
Old 15 Sep 2009
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I have used a Garmin 276C for the past 3 years and it has been a bulletproof unit. The screen is big and visible in bright sunlight and has a fast processor. Add to this that you can load topomaps and it makes for a great combo. Garmin is phasing them out but the replacement units aren't as good.... There is plenty of chatter on advrider.com about that. YMMV
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  #11  
Old 17 Sep 2009
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I have not be thrilled with my Garmin Zumo 500 ... it sometimes charges from USB, sometimes doesnt. Somtimes switches off randomly. It cant even calculate a route done on a previous day unless you reduce the number of track points to less than 300. It takes an absurd 5 minutes to boot up if you use a memory card with it that has either alternate maps or music on it.

Credit it where credit is due ... it still runs as well as it ever did and its been through hell. It is a durable package.

But I am unaware of anything better
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Last edited by colebatch; 2 Nov 2009 at 13:59.
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  #12  
Old 25 Oct 2009
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I use Garmin 60CSx. I think it's perfect for off-road and quite ok for on-road.
Certainly for on-road purposes there are better units but this is very versatile.
It's waterproof (IPX7) and it can work for up to 18 hours on batteries(you can power it via cable as well)

I use it with RAM Mount - perfect pair.

Regs.
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  #13  
Old 1 Nov 2009
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My 2 pence;
The GPS is an addition to paper based maps. Hence having a small unit isnt too much of a big deal.
I have used a variety of options over the past 3 years, 2x Garmin Streetpilots a modern Megellan (and a very very old Magellan -1992) The HTC (O2) XDAiis and the XDA Orbit as well as a the Garmin CX60 and Etrex Legend CX.

One thing that has struck me is that the unit must have an additional memory card and one that you can save the tracks to.

The XDA Orbit
An amazing little all in one unit, to have as a data logger, and telephone PDA etc. I have loaded and used Ozi Explorer on it and tomtom as well as its own software. Although the TOMTOM software is very good for Europe it doesnt compare to the Garmin Units. You can Load Garmin software onto it, but it works out about the sam price as buying a Garmin GPS unit.

Magellan are really really hopeless, their Units are good, but the service truly revolting and non existent outside of the USA.

Garmin;
the Streetpilots are great attached to a bike, but use the ones with the additional CF or SD memory card, not the Garmin proprietary card, although it is useable, its not great.
The Garmin Etrex and 60series are very very good, ideal for motorcyclists who are in anyway offroad orientated.
You must get one with an additional memory card (micro sd)
The only negative is the smaller screens and the lack of voice turn directions, its only bleeps at you, though this is pretty useful. however unless you hook up to the helmet head set you are unlikely to hear any bleeping.
The 60 Series has better reception and is probably more durable, but for the Adventurer the main difference between the two is the battery life. (The Etrex series last twice as long on batteries) If you are doing any activity away from the bike, this makes a difference, eg hiking any overnight trails.

The main positive is being able to use a far more diverse number of Maps, Tracks4Africa are excellent, as are the Garmin maps.

Realistically though you do need a computer that runs Garmin's software to get the full potential out of these units.
I have not yet managed to run the Garmin software off the PDA unit yet.
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  #14  
Old 2 Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photographicsafaris View Post
My 2 pence;
<snip>
One thing that has struck me is that the unit must have an additional memory card and one that you can save the tracks to.
<snip>
The Garmin Etrex and 60series are very very good, ideal for motorcyclists who are in anyway offroad orientated.
You must get one with an additional memory card (micro sd)
The only negative is the smaller screens and the lack of voice turn directions[...]
<snip>
Is there a way to persuade the Garmin 60CSx to save track data to the SD card? Or, to cut to the chase, is there a way to upload track (gpx) information without MapSource, i.e. from standard Internet Cafe workstations? That's what's bothering me most at the moment about this unit.

cheers

Alexandros
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  #15  
Old 2 Nov 2009
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Yes, my unit saves all tracks as gpx files to the memory card. I normally just plug it into the USB port, put it into mass storage mode and move the files to my PC. I don't know whether you need to install USB drivers on a PC to access it this way, I have never tried connecting it to a PC that didn't have the drivers already installed (they get installed by MapSource.)

Cheers,
Peter.
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