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  #1  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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Garmin GPS - Quick Advice

Hi,

I'm off across north africa, the middle east, pakistan, india and nepal in a 4wd in september and have a four day window in which to buy a garmin gps at trade price (it's a work thing). I've been trying to work out which one would be best suited for the trip as in an ideal world I'd like to have turn-by-turn as much as possible but also have the option to save waypoints for when the mapping runs out. I've read through most of the other posts on this forum but can't seem to find a definitive answer as to which unit would be best suited. Now I don't have an unlimited budget but the trade price should knock about 40% off so I'm fairly flexible. If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Matt
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  #2  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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I have the 2610, 2620 and GPS60csx.

The 26 series are great, very easy to use and have a decent size screen. the 2620 has a hard drive so forget that for biking. Not sure if you can still buy a 2xxx series anymore?

The 60csx is a much more rugged affair, and has a built in battery so can be used off bike. Smaller screen which makes it harder to read, and no voice directions. Very good piece of kit though.

Can't help with any of the newer stuff, I don't have any!

Dave.
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  #3  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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I used a Quest 1 for my trips. Its a great little unit. I found Garmins Worldmap fine for pretty much all of my trip but remember if you buy a European unit, it will only be routable in Europe but didn't bother me as I never needed the routing.
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  #4  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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IMHO the problem to think about is to download the tracks & waypoints while on the trip, since all systems only offer limited memory capacity. Meaning you will need some kind of external storage.

The Garmin systems offer a world base map showing the major roads in most countries. They are even routable on newer models like the Zumo, but this doesn't make sense because of missing road details.

For motorcycling the latest model on the market is the ZUMO 660 with a nice large display and lighter than my old ZUMO 550.
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  #5  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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I've always find you invariably bump into other travellers with laptops and gps. I've been able to swap waypoints/maps with others this way quite easily. waypoints can also be downloaded before you go (Peter 'Beddhist' has loads on his website, I'm sure there are plenty others out there if you really need them).

Even if you don't have a laptop, I've exchanged waypoints with others by inputting the waypoint manually. Worldmap is free and used in conjunction with paper maps, found it more than adequate to get pretty much anywhere. I did try the Wonderlust map and found I prefered Worldmap though everyone has different preferences.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaufi View Post
IMHO the problem to think about is to download the tracks & waypoints while on the trip, since all systems only offer limited memory capacity. Meaning you will need some kind of external storage.
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  #6  
Old 14 Jul 2009
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Thumbs up

I'd suggest Garmin 60 csX
Make sure it is the 'X' version ( I use one as well as the 278C)

Why the 60CSX?
Because that unit can take Micro SD cards (2 GB for personal upload but can READ the pre-formatted ones up to 4GB proivided you do the latest firmware update.
( I upload my maps to the microSD's beforehand- they weigh next to nothing and are cheap)
  • Solid unit
  • Waterproof to IPX7
  • Runs on 2 AA batteries but can also be wired in to car/bike 12volt supply ( you can also use rechargeable batteries and configure gps as it has option to use those Nimh ones)
  • slightly small screen as hand held unit
  • It will give you turn by turn (but no voice) and screens are user customisable as is the sequence of display
  • Importantly, it has the fast Sirf star III chip - very sensitive
  • You can store waypoints on the move - up to 1000
It also has the benefit of (an option) to save tracks directly to the MicroSD card hence you have huge storage facility.

POI's are not a problem
The unit can store up to 1000 in its memory but, using POI Loader software (free from Garmin website) I have uploaded over 300 thousand of them in various classifications (a project I am still working on)
These get stored in the unit's CUSTOM POI memory which is not the same as the ordinary POI memory thereby leaving the 1000 unit memory available for points taken on the move.
email me if you need help!

Garmin Worldmap is pretty basic but comes free with unit
Wanderlust V2r03 (latest versions) worldmaps now broken into different downloads - I am a bit confused at MikeS's comment - there is way more data on Wanderlust - he may have an older version- don't know-
There also some maps available for free for South America etc

Last edited by Bertrand; 15 Jul 2009 at 14:48. Reason: UNIT SOFTWARE VERSION 4 NOW AVAILABLE
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  #7  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Can you input postcodes onto the 60csx for use in the UK?

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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No - you may want to do some research on Garmin's own pages- but then as you stated " I'm off across north africa, the middle east, pakistan, india and nepal in a 4wd in september" postcodes are not really a 'must have' !
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  #9  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Thanks for the feedback so far, and I apologise if I'm coming across a bit dim but I really don't have any experience with GPS's beyond the Sat-Nav systems in cars.

I have also previously been looking on Garmin's website and it certainly isn't clear (to me at any rate) how destinations would be inputted in order to get 'turn by turn' directions. For example, if I were to want to find a particular street or land mark in a built up area, how would I go about using the GPS to aid me? Do I have to put in GPS co-ordinates? Would I get these/convert these from a map? The post code question was also to find out whether it would be of use to me back home in the car, hopefully to go some way to justifying the high price tag.

Again, I am sorry to be asking what to you must seem very basic questions but everyone has to start somewhere and I'm somewhat time-pressured to take up the chance of 'trade prices' by tomorrow evening!
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  #10  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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if you're getting a huge discount, you may want to have a look at the motorcycle orientated Zumo 660 which has just come out.
(that one will do postcodes)
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  #11  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Where are you Matt? Maybe you could pop round and see someone's unit at work?
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  #12  
Old 17 Jul 2009
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Hi Dave, I'm in the Sheffield area but actually have to order by this evening so it's been a bit tight for time! I have found a few helpful videos on YouTube (just search for garmin 60csx) which demonstrate the features very nicely and would prove useful to anyone else. If I have time this aft I'll also try and nip into town and track one down but that's unlikely. The 60csx does appear to be the best option, though I'm still justifying its high price!
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  #13  
Old 17 Jul 2009
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Just FYI, I've had all kinds of problems with my 60CSX

I bought a new 60CSX before leaving the UK.
Worked fine, the few times I used it through Europe, then gave up in Turkey, just as things were about to get interesting.

Couriered back to Garmin from Kazakhstan, at significant cost. Fixed under warranty, and I got it back when I arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Used it for a day, and now it's screwed again, won't turn on at all, tried several different batteries, and my cigarette lighter adapter.

I know that when the 60CSX works, it's a great unit, and I have nothing but praise for it, but in my experience it's been weak and unreliable.

From what I can tell, it's vulnerable when booting up, and power fluctuations at this stage can permanently knacker the firmware.

Just my experiences, and probably not in line with most peoples.
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  #14  
Old 17 Jul 2009
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Thanks for the feedback, I'll have another scout around the net to see if the reliability issues are widespread. What other units did you consider when purchasing?
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  #15  
Old 17 Jul 2009
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My advice would be to just get yourself a 2nd hand Quest unit off ebay, it's more than up to the job and if it breaks/gets stolen, it's not the end of the world. Where you're going, people will play with your stuff till it breaks and then walk away. My antennae was broken this way but duct tape kept it going.
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