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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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  #1  
Old 30 Dec 2008
Matt Cartney's Avatar
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Car GPS units again!

Hi folks,

I'm thinking about getting an in-car GPS unit in the sales for using on my bike as the on bike units are, for some reason, three times more expensive. I have a plan that involves making a waterproof housing for it out of a clear peli-case I have, so water resistance shouldn't be a problem.

However, I've noticed you can buy bike/motorbike mounts for the TomTom One and Garmin Nuvi. Does this mean they are weather proof? They don't seem to be made by TomTom or Garmin, but by independent manufacturers, so am a bit sceptical.

I have no experience with in-car GPS so wonder what difficulties I might have using an in-car system on a bike? I realise the touch screen would not work with gloved hands, so am expecting to set the unit up with its journey at the start of the trip and not have to touch it much during the trip. Is this a practical expection?

What difficulties might arise from not being able to hear the unit? Are they still useful when you can't hear them? I don't really want some velvety voiced bint yelling directions into my ears when I go for a ride anyway, so am not bothered about getting a unit that has the capability to use with earphones.

The model I particularly like is the Garmin Nuvi 250 with UK/Ireland and Europe programmed in.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #2  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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Halfords are doing some really good prices on the in-car systems at the moment. I wasn't going to take one and work solely off maps but at these prices I am beginning to wonder.

I am having a good think about this one. I figure I could keep it in my pocket and get it out when needed. ie looking for camp grounds, petrol stations that kind of thing.

http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...dkey=ClickInfo

PS I don't work for Halfords.
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  #3  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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Hi,

I admit, I'm a bit of a map-loving curmudgeon, but I was thinking about going on a short trip to europe this year and it's sometimes quite hard work staying off the motorways and on the nice little A roads when you have somewhere to be. I'm thinking a GPS might stop me from being tempted off the nice roads and on to the 'easy' ones (i.e. boring bloomin' motorways!). I also think it will encourage me to slow down and ride longer, with the knowledge that my GPS will help me navigate my way to accommodation at the end of the day!

Halfords do seem to have some good prices and that Becker does look good. Also, there's one near me so I can go down and have a look at them before buying, which is always good. Haven't heard of Becker before, what's their reputation?

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #4  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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I agree with trying to stay off the motorways and see more of the country. You are right about that for sure (maybe this is the evidence I need to convince the other half to buy one?), I have a 2008 Michelin Europe atlas but as expected because it covers the whole of Europe so the detail is not great, not bad but not great.

I haven't heard of Becker either and a quick google search only revealed that they make a lot of in-car systems, as in integrated into cars at manufacture. I as yet have not got a hold of one. So I would be very interested with what you think of it. The map coverage looks good.
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  #5  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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Yep, might toddle along to Halfords this evening and see if they have those two (the Becker and the Nuvi) and let you know what I think.

I hadn't realised that these units have 'Points of Interest' programmed in, including hotels etc. which is fantastic. When all you've got is a map, it often takes lots of riding around to locate a hotel, and I've often found one that's a bit out of my budget and thought "Sod it, I can't be bothered riding around any more on the off chance of finding a cheaper place." and stayed there. If you can look at your GPS when you near a town and ride directly to several hotels in order to compare prices etc. it would save a lot of bother and you'd probably save a fair bit of cash too. I reckon a £100 unit would pay for itself quite quickly in this way. There: I have justified it to myself! It will save me money!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 30 Dec 2008
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mmmm, Spend a £100 to save money, time and bother on the trip. I think you have convinced me too.

Cheers
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  #7  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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I'm looking at Garmin's Nuvi 550. Their 500/550 units look like their car units but are waterproof for bike/marine use. They don't have a lot of the features of the Zumo units, but I just need something basic and don't need bluetooth, XM radio, or MP3 capabilities. Anyone else have any experience with these units?
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  #8  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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Have had a look at the Becker website and it's not clear if you can get maps of parts of the world outside Europe. Apart from that it looks great, but I'd like to know I could use my GPS anywhere I like, so it may have to be the Nuvi.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 30 Dec 2008
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Which Nuvi are you thinking of ? The 250 model ?
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  #10  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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Yes, the 250 seems to be good value. It has Europe maps and points of interest included.

Matt
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http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #11  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
...it's not clear if you can get maps of parts of the world outside Europe. Apart from that it looks great, but I'd like to know I could use my GPS anywhere I like, so it may have to be the Nuvi.
Hi Matt,
From their site:
Accepts data cards: microSD™ card (not included)


That means you can put any Garmin compatible map on the chip, (microSD card), including the Wanderlust Worldmap, Topo maps, etc.

John
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  #12  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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I just found the Nuvi 250 Wide on amazon for the same price as the Becker. if you want a bigger screen than the £92 model that is. As you say the POI are good and from what I have been reading you can update/load in the different types from various POI sources.

Garmin Nuvi 250 Widescreen Satellite Navigation System: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

I think you are right with this one over the Becker. This one might be worth a look Ironheadziggy76, not waterproof though.
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  #13  
Old 30 Dec 2008
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I used a cheap car GPS on my bike for 4 years without any problems at all. It never went into a wterpoof case as I had a windshield on the bike which kept the worst of the weather off it.

It probably travelled about 70,000km in all weather.

The amount of times you put data into the GPS, even on a run from Denmark to France, is not that often. So having to take a glove off at a petrol station or coffee stop was never a problem.

My GPS was used mainly on tarmac, so what the shock factor has on a car GPS to a bike GPS I do not know.

I have now bought a car GPS with bluetooth a bluetooth helmet so my GPS can travel in my pocket if I think it needs to. I can also answer my phone and listen to books and music on the GPS.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 31 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redboots View Post
Hi Matt,
From their site:
Accepts data cards: microSD™ card (not included)


That means you can put any Garmin compatible map on the chip, (microSD card), including the Wanderlust Worldmap, Topo maps, etc.

John
Ah! That's good info! I hadn't realised other manufacturers maps were compatible with different units. Thanks!

Steve, that's also good to know. And that's a good point about tucking your GPS in a pocket on rough stuff, I know from experience that GPS units work from inside a rucksack, so a jacket pocket should present no problems!

Matt
__________________
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http://scotlandnepal.blogspot.com/

*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #15  
Old 31 Dec 2008
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Have bitten the bullet! Ordered a Garmin Nuvi 250 from Amazon for the bargain price of £79.95. Just went for the standard non-widescreen version as this seemed adequate. I went for the Nuvi because it had europe-wide mapping, had lots of good reviews online and was made by Garmin, who have a good rep. I've had a Garmin E-Trex for use in the hills for years now with no problems so decided to go with what I knew. The Becker looked, if anything, a slightly sleeker and nicer GPS, but my cowardly purchasing instincts took over!

Will just have to wait and see how it performs. Am thinking now of eschewing my previous plan of putting it in my clear peli case and building a small rally screen for the XT which it can hide behind.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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