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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 23 Jun 2011
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Garmin'S MONTANA

This sounds like what I have been waiting for ...

- 4 inch touch screen
- 3000 waypoints (not 1000 like the z660 or 500 like the z550/500/450/400)
- Dual battery system - swappable lithium battery pack or AA batteries
- Dual orientation - works in 'portrait' as well as 'landscape' modes (not always fixed in landscape mode like existing units)
- 3GB of built in memory (not 500 MB like the z550 series)
- portable - useable on or off the bike
- battery life off the bike - 22 hours
- A barometric altimeter
- A compass
- A 5MP camera with geotagging.


Garmin | Montana™





What it doesnt yet have is Bluetooth.
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Last edited by Bertrand; 7 Jul 2011 at 08:57.
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  #2  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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Add some mobile phone software in there and you've got Garmins answer to the iPhone.

Looks the buisness, how much is the question?
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  #3  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by framkay View Post
Add some mobile phone software in there and you've got Garmins answer to the iPhone.

Looks the buisness, how much is the question?
Google is your friend...

Using said search engine I found it for £500 this side of the Atlantic and $650 or thereabouts t'other...

Simples
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  #4  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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Wow.. This does look great !

They also do a 600 model without the camera and i've seen it for £360.00

http://www.mesltd.co.uk/garmin-montana-p-13244.html

Not sure how handy a camera would be on a bike but if you used it for hiking too, it would be nice !

It's knocking about for about £420 from what I can see.....

http://www.mesltd.co.uk/garmin-montana-p-13245.html
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  #5  
Old 28 Jun 2011
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Awesome- doing a wee review shortly - I have the 600 as have no need for a camera-
and the compass is a 3 axis compensated one so even Ted can't get lost!
BTW Ted...where's my keg?
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  #6  
Old 28 Jun 2011
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3gb internal ram sounds odd because the nuivi western European maps are a 3.5Gb ( 19 hours download) or they would be if Garmin website did not disconnect you after 12-14 hours.
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  #7  
Old 28 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Awesome- doing a wee review shortly - I have the 600 as have no need for a camera-
and the compass is a 3 axis compensated one so even Ted can't get lost!
BTW Ted...where's my keg?
I will deliver it in person... But with my sense of direction, it may take a while !!



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  #8  
Old 28 Jun 2011
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Looks good. Wonder if it can load GPX or similar files of the microSD card. That's what I'd like to see.
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  #9  
Old 29 Jun 2011
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eagerly awaiting your motorcycle specific review Bertrand
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  #10  
Old 29 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Awesome- doing a wee review shortly - I have the 600 as have no need for a camera-
and the compass is a 3 axis compensated one so even Ted can't get lost!
BTW Ted...where's my keg?
Looking forward to that... it's been tempting me for a few weeks now.
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  #11  
Old 29 Jun 2011
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Ted- no excuses!

the 600
For those of you that knew the 62S, the 600 is as close to this unit as I can think but with a 4" diag screen.

Most of the menus are the same

The level of screen / data fields customisation is very high and easy to do-
The key is to learn about the purpose of profiles and how to create them-
For example, you may prefer no motorways, no tolls and you can create a particular profile to do just that.

Another could be Motorways and tolls OK - so that if fatigue or the weather closes in, you can almost instantly, by changing profiles, change your routing preferences.

The screen is very very clear even in direct sunlight- I'll be making a bespoke 'sun-shield for it as well as a handlebar mount as soon as the Garmin mount comes- it is plastic and will need some anti-vibration mounts like TT makes - but TT will take awhile to make one so I'm currently making my own.

Power is fed from the base of the mount to 'brass pins' under the unit so no worries about the usb plug which remains covered up with a rubber bung.

A speaker output is also on the side covered up with a rubber bung.

Custom POI's are great- I still have not hit the buffer limit having uploaded a smidge of 322,000 !!

The specs of the unit are available on the Garmin site so no need for me to repeat them here.

This unit feels very rugged- and it is heavier than expected. It's powered by one single Li-Ion battery 3.7V 2000mAh, 7.4Wh but there are slots to take 3 normal AA type batteries too- that's a real plus.

Micro SD- I am using 4GB as these are the largest I have. Garmin tells me that 32GB will probably work. That's an awful lot of mapping!
IMHO it is not a good idea to use such large micro SD card - as one failed on me today- (all 'eggs in one basket'=stuffed if that happens to you on the road)
I prefer to have a small pile of them in a wee box that weighs almost nothing just in case this happens.

The manual (in various languages ) are stored in the 'documents' folder in the the main memory of the unit.
I deleted all but two- sadly you cannot access the PDF from the unit so I copied mine to my phone.

The screen can be set to 'auto' rotate so you can have landscape or A4 by just flipping it over- or you can lock it to your fav position. That is a great feature- Strange but when it comes to maps, I always prefer landscape!.

The 600 fits in my shirt pocket and has no outer antenna to catch-

It's rate of signal acquisition equates that of the 62S

For those willing to spend a little time setting it up, it is , in my opinion, probably the best navigator out there for now.
I would compare it, quality wise, to the 278C but with more memory, SD capability, faster, same size 4" screen and better colours.

I chose not to opt for the camera model as I prefer not to have a camera (or Bluetooth or an ipod etc etc) cluttering up my navigator.You can exchange data though wirelessly between units.

It has a 3 axis compensated compass so ideal if you are going to mount this at any angle. The compass page has date fields that are also customiseable.

The unit has various 'dashboards' to chose from- again a useful feature especially the odometer that I rely on as well as that on the bike as I have no fuel gauges on any of my 3 fuel tanks!

TMotten- yes it can do all that. Connect the usb to your pc and it behaves like an external drive.
You can store your own documents, bike manuals etc there too- quite handy as a back up-

From the Garmin site you can download, for free, different pointers to relieve your monotony! I am currently using SpongeBob in a rowing boat!!!


Well recommended and I may be allowed to 'plug' a supplier who really deserves it, the fabulous level of customer service I received from Jacob, Diane and Jess at Cotswold Outdoor (mail order dept) have been amazing.
No connection but a very happy customer.

Last edited by Bertrand; 26 Jul 2011 at 17:57.
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  #12  
Old 29 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
TMotten- yes it can do all that. Connect the usb to your pc and it behaves like an external drive.
You can store your own documents, bike manuals etc there too- quite handy as a back up-
Can you view PDF's on there or just jpegs?

I had my 60CSX crash on me once (only once) and lost all maps and tracks in the memory. I had the GPX files for the tracks at least on the card which I could browse to, but not load without mapsource on a computer. But you're saying you can load that on the unit without a computer? Could you do that with maps by having a backup GMUPP or whatever that map library file is called? Like taking a back up of that file on the microSD card and when the file on the onboard memory fails you can copy the one on the card over and reboot? I'm basically trying to have a garmin that doesn't need mapsource.
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  #13  
Old 30 Jun 2011
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To clear up some confusion Tmotten-

You cannot read a PDF on the 600- just store it
You can associate an image to a waypoint- it has to be loaded manually via the PC link.
The advantage of the unit with the camera is that you can do all that without a pc- as in mark the spot and take a photo it it and link them up. It can be useful but if I need a photo I can always take one with my proper camera and do this later- it's all about personal choice!

The unit will speak to you too - then again, I prefer not to be nagged and to receive guidance via the screen. For the same reason I do not use bluetooth - my helmet is either a place of peace and quiet or enjoys a little music from my ipod at times- I don't like 'combi' tools much as often one will fail -

Once you connect the 600 TO the PC, the pc reacts as if it is a new external hard drive.
You can cut/copy/paste files to and from your unit.
The file format for the map in the 600's internal memory is a GMAPPROM image and you can ONLY have one of those.

However, on the micro SD card, you can have as many GMAPSUPP images as you like-(*)
Just be sure to have only one gmapsupp, the next must be (*) gmapsupp1, gmapsupp2 etc etc for the unit to be able to see them as maps.

You can give the individual files other names but the unit will ignore those (then rename them with a pc or smart-phone when you need them- personally speaking, I can't see the point as that's another job to do on the move and I don't carry a notebook)
When powered up, you can chose in the 600, to 'Enable' or 'Disable' any gmapsupp images (or the gmapprom for that matter) that you need/don't need at that particular time.
Remember NOT to have two maps enabled for the same area- else...

I bought my unit with GB discoverer to see the quality of the topographic maps and display and it is fabulous, crisp and clear and it routes too!.

The unit comes pre-loaded with a world base map too.

TMotten- As belt-and-braces- you can copy a 'spare' img file onto a another micro sd card (don't back-up as the back-up software could write some weird stuff on the file- I have tried with OSM maps and it is fine.
This only works with free maps- If you have bought licenced maps, you can make another copy on an SD card in case one card fails -but it will only work in your unit.

Hope this helps. The alarm clock turned the unit on for me this morning and was bang...on time !!

The calender function is very handy-
The Way-Point Manager enables you to enter a saved way-point and add details such as a postal address/phone number etc. via a screen keypad.

Having used the display (brightness user adjustable) I am impressed at the clarity of this screen both in bright sunlight and in the dark-

The hard mount has not arrived yet so am 'testing' this by shank and pony!

any other questions- do feel free to ask (except "can I have yours?"!! as that's a resounding 'no' !!!)
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  #14  
Old 30 Jun 2011
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Thanks for the review, sounds awesome. The only question is whether I should wait for my Zumo 500 to fail or buy one of these immediately...
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  #15  
Old 30 Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
The advantage of the unit with the camera is that you can do all that without a pc- as in mark the spot and take a photo it it and link them up. It can be useful but if I need a photo I can always take one with my proper camera and do this later- it's all about personal choice!
I guess this really all comes down to a review of the camera function for me. If it is just a mobile phone quality camera, then it definitely is not worth paying an extra 70 quid for. If it is a compact camera quality camera, then I would go for it.
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