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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
Photo by Mark Newton, Mexican camping

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert




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  #1  
Old 28 Dec 2022
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What's my best option, Montana, 590 or 700i

I'm intending to set off for Africa in spring 2023, in the past I've used paper maps, which I love but are heavy because of the number needed for this trip. I have an old Garmin 590, a Montana 6 series and an iReach. I know that it's all old school, but they still work. The alternative is to buy 700i, but apart from having a more compact set up, I don't know if there is any real advantage. Probably gathered that on this type of tech' I'm a bit of a numpty. Also can any of these be loaded with such as OSM?
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  #2  
Old 28 Dec 2022
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OK, I'll bite! it is the season of goodwill ! My 2 pence
If you already own an InReach device, you don't need the 700i.
If you have. Montana 600, you'll be fine so no need to spend unless you want to.
Some of the avantages of the 700 include:
16GB of internal memory and up to 15000 map segments.
10000 user waypoints
TRACKS 250
NAVIGATION TRACK LOG 20000 points, 250 saved gpx tracks.
NAVIGATION ROUTES 250, 250 points per route; 50 points auto routing
Rinex logging
GPS, Glonass and Galileo
Meets MIL-STD 810 for thermal, shock, water and vibration.
And as far as power, 18hours in GPS mode or 330! in Expedition mode.
And more!

So IMHO, without any doubt the '700' is a better and faster unit than the 600; the question has to be : will you actually make use of those extra facilities?
Only you knows that answer.
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  #3  
Old 28 Dec 2022
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Too much: Too big, too heavy, too flashy, too expensive

I bought a 750i recently and sold it within 2 weeks. Reasons in the title of my reply. Traveling with a device worth 2-3 times what people earn in a year in the countries you contemplate crossing, well it's calling for trouble.
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  #4  
Old 28 Dec 2022
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I hear you thanks, however, my experience has been that those are the people least likely to be a problem. In truth it's more likely to be a problem in London (ask me how I know?). Whatever I use would cost more than the average guy will earn in a month down there.
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  #5  
Old 28 Dec 2022
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Originally Posted by Toyark View Post
OK, I'll bite! it is the season of goodwill ! My 2 pence
If you already own an InReach device, you don't need the 700i.
If you have. Montana 600, you'll be fine so no need to spend unless you want to.
Some of the avantages of the 700 include:
16GB of internal memory and up to 15000 map segments.
10000 user waypoints
TRACKS 250
NAVIGATION TRACK LOG 20000 points, 250 saved gpx tracks.
NAVIGATION ROUTES 250, 250 points per route; 50 points auto routing
Rinex logging
GPS, Glonass and Galileo
Meets MIL-STD 810 for thermal, shock, water and vibration.
And as far as power, 18hours in GPS mode or 330! in Expedition mode.
And more!

So IMHO, without any doubt the '700' is a better and faster unit than the 600; the question has to be : will you actually make use of those extra facilities?
Only you knows that answer.
What the hell did you say?
Those are all features, but I really have no idea what their benefits are. What I really want to do is look at a map and plan a route. In cities turn by turn navigation will be great for finding accommodation, but other than that I like to plan my own routes. If you can advise me on that I will be grateful
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  #6  
Old 29 Dec 2022
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Originally Posted by Davey bee View Post
What the hell did you say?
Those are all features, but I really have no idea what their benefits are.

From your reply, it is clear that you have answered your own question.
Your 600 will do a great deal more than you seem you be using it for and will be more than fine.
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  #7  
Old 29 Dec 2022
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Originally Posted by Toyark View Post

From your reply, it is clear that you have answered your own question.
Your 600 will do a great deal more than you seem you be using it for and will be more than fine.
Thanks, but I still have the issue of not been able to look at a full map. What's the "best" way other than carrying paper ones, to achieve that? The 600 screen is too small for that.
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  #8  
Old 29 Dec 2022
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Lightbulb

Humm.now I'm a bit confused at what you mean by 'Looking at the full map'.
You zoom out you'll see the entire country but zero detail!; for a bigger screen, you'd use a 10 or 12" tablet but on a moto...
If you'd like to p.m a telephone # maybe I can be of more help.
ATB
Titbit:
It may be worth mentioning that the Garmin Montana 750i and 700i have GPS and Galileo, while the 700 (non-InReach) also has GLONASS which, if you are planning eastward trips from the EU may be more useful. Choices/decisions decisions...

Last edited by Toyark; 29 Dec 2022 at 15:01. Reason: added titbit
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  #9  
Old 29 Dec 2022
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On a long trip I can certainly see the advantage of compactness and combining functions of devices, though it's a double edged sword - if one fails you've lost both your satnav and your PLB. Also, if you have an accident and you're separated from the bike you're also separated from your combined satnav/PLB.

On balance however, I recently bought a 700i and I'm very pleased with it. The display is better than my 610 and potentially it means I could avoid carrying my InReach as well. There are pros and cons but my thinking ATM is to take just the 700i. I have a couple of mobile phones so at least I won't be stuck for satnav (which has happened to me before).
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  #10  
Old 1 Jan 2023
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The 700 series is a HUUUUUGGGGGEEEE improvement over the 600 series but if you've already got the 600 stay with it. Ive recently done my first 16k km with the new 700i and it is fantastic.

On a bike you want your inreach on your person not on the bike in case you take a tumble and cant reach it. So that would rule out the 700i
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  #11  
Old 3 Jan 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey bee View Post
What the hell did you say?
Those are all features, but I really have no idea what their benefits are. What I really want to do is look at a map and plan a route. In cities turn by turn navigation will be great for finding accommodation, but other than that I like to plan my own routes. If you can advise me on that I will be grateful
How do you plan your own routes? With a separate computer or on the GPS itself? IMO, the route planner on the Montana 700i is much easier to use than the one on the Montana 600.

The 700 is also bigger, heavier, has a voltage converter box in the power cable, and the #1 complaint seems to be the dim display in some light. (I can see the display just fine.)

Note that the satellite communication functions of the 700i work from your phone if you have them paired before you crash.

There's no way for other people to tell what will work for you. The 600 and the 700 both work for me but I always take the 700i instead.

When I bought the 700i it included lifetime City Navigator. That's not worldwide, but useful where I ride most.
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  #12  
Old 22 Jan 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyark View Post
Humm.now I'm a bit confused at what you mean by 'Looking at the full map'.
You zoom out you'll see the entire country but zero detail!; for a bigger screen, you'd use a 10 or 12" tablet but on a moto...
If you'd like to p.m a telephone # maybe I can be of more help.
ATB
Titbit:
It may be worth mentioning that the Garmin Montana 750i and 700i have GPS and Galileo, while the 700 (non-InReach) also has GLONASS which, if you are planning eastward trips from the EU may be more useful. Choices/decisions decisions...
I really have to say a very public thank you to Toyark. Not only did he call to give me advice, but when he clearly realised I'm a total numbskull, he met me and gave me a full day of his valuable time. Added to this he has continued to prepare and advise me on software. Mate thank you very much, you've truly been a godsend.
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  #13  
Old 22 Jan 2023
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Thumbs up

Thank you for your kind comments Davey. Have a fabulous trip! but I do have to disagree about your being a numbskull! you picked up way faster than many. Showing 'how to' is so much easier in person so I do appreciate your committing some of your time. I enjoyed meeting you.
The use of sat navs and each units own quirks have tortured me over many years, despite my hoping that Garmin would finally makes things easier but alas... My 'struggle' began in 1997 with my first unit, the GPS II Plus and it is not over yet
but like old wine, I'm getting better at it with age!
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  #14  
Old 22 Jan 2023
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Originally Posted by Tomkat View Post
if you have an accident and you're separated from the bike you're also separated from your combined satnav/PLB.
Since writing that I have become aware of the Garmin Explore app, which pairs your mobile phone with the 700i. So if you need to send a message/SOS and you can't reach your bike, you can do it from your phone. I suppose there are limits, like if the bike goes over a cliff, but for most foreseeable events it's a winner for me.

I also found the 700i has enough internal memory to just drag and drop an OSM into the phone's "Garmin" folder as "gmapsupp" and it picks up and uses the map without having to load it on an SD card.

Free OSM now available from below link, with the ability to select rectangles or specific areas. https://garmin3.bbbike.org/
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  #15  
Old 22 Jan 2023
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The 700 doesn't have enough internal memory for the preloaded maps.When I first got mine City Navigator had to be moved to a SD card so it could be updated to the latest version (and now it won't update at all, but that's another issue!)

As slight aside but Garmin's Explore is a completely horrible user experience, I'm just glad the 700 isnt as reliant on it as the Overlander units are!
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