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Handheld for cycling and hiking with FAST processor speed?

Hello, all.

I have a Garmin nüvi 255 (in-car sat-nav unit from 2008) and an Edge 800 (cycle computer with tracking and navigation).

The nüvi is getting old, but I like its relative simplicity and small size compared to new in-car devices. I intend to keep using it until it stops working or the old maps become unusable, then just use my iPhone in the car.

I don’t much like the Edge 800. It is complicated, slow at calculating a route, and has many fitness features I don’t use. I use it mostly for navigation and very basic cycle-computer functions (speed, average speed, trip distance).

I am considering getting a handheld GPS receiver for hiking and using that on my bicycle too (for navigation), then getting rid of the Edge 800.

However, when I tried an eTrex 20 I was very disappointed with its processor speed. Using City Navigator maps, it took many minutes to calculate a route to an address 80 km away. With more distant destinations it even crashed with an out-of-memory error after something like ten minutes of grinding. I was astonished by this, since my rather old iPhone calculates a 600 km car journey almost instantly. I don’t need instant route calculation, but ten minutes is excessive.

How do the GPSMAP 64, Oregon 600, and eTrex 20/30 compare in terms of route-calculation speed? And why do none of the reviews talk about this? It makes me think I’m missing something.

Also, do the topographic maps included with some Garmin handhelds allow route calculation on roads or do I have to buy City Navigator for that? Normally I plan a route on my computer and load it to my GPS unit. But it is very important that I can change my mind while out cycling, search for an address perhaps 50 km away (e.g. a hotel), and have the device calculate a reasonably direct route to that destination – without a ten-minute wait or out-of-memory error!

Thanks!

Comments

  • Boyd 1974 Points
    I hate to say it, but I 'm really down on Garmin's handheld devices. They just aren't keeping up with current generation smartphones and GPS apps. I've spent thousands of dollars on Garmin devices over more than 10 years and make my own maps which have been downloaded thousands of times at GPSFileDepot. Currently have a Montana 600 which I like, but don't think I would buy again today.

    Before buying another handheld, take a look at the available apps and see if you can find one you like. There seems to be a better choice on Android, but there are some good iOS apps as well (I have both). I rarely use routing, so I don't have a suggestion there. But I have been playing around with topo maps in Galileo and TwoNav on my iPhone. There are a number of inexpensive rugged phone cases available, and several of them include batteries for extended run time.

    But getting back to your Garmin questions, those route calculation times are odd. I used my Montana in the car with City Navigator for about a year and never saw anything like that. I would say it calculated routes faster than my Nuvis in fact. No experience with the GPSMap 64 or Oregon 600 but would be surprised if they were slower than my Montana 600.

    I don't know much about EU maps, but the topo maps included with US "t" models are not routable. They can only display your position on the screen. In the US, Garmin also has the 24k topo map series. They only cover one or two states each and cost about $100. But they have the same routable roads as City Navigator. They are missing some of the other City Navigator features however - they don't display the speed limit, no lane assist and no junction view.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    edited May 2015
    If you're in UK the Garmin topo maps include an underlying road map, so you can calculate routes on roads. Note though those maps are not routable off road. You can also download numerous OSM topo maps that are, to some extent, routable along trails, paths etc.

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/maps/on-the-trail-maps/garmin-gb-discoverer-1-50k-full-coverage/prod71454.html

    I use CN maps on my Etrex 20 and Montana and don't see the sort of calculation times you're seeing. Was the Etrex 20 you tried running the latest firmware?
  • DaveM 158 Points
    I have an eTrex 20 and have never seen the times you are talking about. I have had it lock up if I go off the route and it starts recalculating the route and I make another turn before it's done. If this happens I need to power it down and sometimes it's so locked up it won't power down. If this happens I remove the batteries. I don't know if I would have waited the 10 minutes if it would have unlocked itself. I also have a 64s it's faster and has never locked up. There are other things I like better on the 64s than on the eTrex. The eTrex is nice but the 64s is a lot nicer.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    I live in Paris, which obviously has a hugely dense road network for miles in every direction. Could that cause very slow route calculation?

    My Edge 800 also takes much longer (5 or 10 × longer?) than my old nüvi 255 to calculate a route with the same City Navigator maps. The nüvi 255 is a bit slow too, but tolerable. The eTrex 20 was much slower than the Edge 800 and too slow to be useful (and prone to outright failure as I mentioned above).

    Using my phone as a GPS receiver while walking or cycling has advantages but also disadvantages:

    • very poor battery life in bright sunlight
    • not waterproof
    • cases and batteries that solve the above problems add to the worryingly high cost (especially on a bicycle where crash damage and theft at red lights in big cities is a realistic risk)
    • no backup navigation or phone capability when the battery dies.

    I do often take my phone with me, but I pack it somewhere dry and safe. I like this arrangement; I can still phone for help or have some sort of navigation capability if my dedicated GPS receiver stops working for any reason. I also like to save the phone’s battery for Googling restaurants, etc.

    I’d like to try a handheld before writing them off. I’m curious about the GPSMAP 64, Oregon 600, Dakota 20, the eTrex 20 successor, etc.

    Thanks for the detailed map info, Boyd.

    Thanks for your reply too, sussamb. I am in France and don’t need off-road routing; just on-road routing (while cycling) and off-road topographical details (while walking). The complexity of Garmin’s map offerings is off-putting. Even the format seems to matter, e.g. download versus memory card. Expensive too.

    I am not sure what firmware the eTrex 20 had. How long does your eTrex 20 with City Navigator maps take to route to an address about 100 km away? When I tested one, I used the cycling mode (forget the exact terminology).
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    You posted while I was posting, DaveM. The eTrex 20 I tried also locked up a couple of times, requiring the batteries to be removed (which is hard to do in the rain). The whole thing seemed crude and and hard to use.

    On the plus side it was nice and small, felt tough and well made, had a screen visible in sunlight, and used incredibly little battery power. These are very important benefits for me.

    What do you find better about the GPSMAP 64s? Any idea how much faster it is?
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    I used my Montana 600 with City Navigator extensively in the New York City area where roads are also very dense. No real problems with calculation speed.

    Not sure why you would put the Dakota 20 on your list. It dates back to 2009, I'm surprised that Garmin hasn't discontinued it. If you want a fast processor, this isn't going to be the model for you, it should be like the Oregon 4xx with a smaller screen.

    I can understand why you don't want to use your phone, but in that case I think you will have to learn to live with Garmin's limitations. And they are not cheap by today's standards either. ;)

    If I had to choose a model from your short list, it would be the Oregon 600. It has a glass multi-touch screen and lots of powerful features that the others are missing.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Just done a test for you on my Etrex 20, using routing setting set for Car/Motorcycle

    A 30km route took around 10 seconds.

    A 100km route into the centre of London took around 90 seconds.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    I've never seen the times you are talking about and have no complaints on speed. I have never tried to time ether one but the 64s is enough faster you will know it's faster without timing it. I think but have no way of knowing that it has a more powerful processor so it has the faster speed and doesn't lock up.

    Things I like better about the 64s.

    I ride a lot of predefined routes. I can set it to not automatically recalculate if I go off route.

    Push buttons instead of the click stick. Hiking I don't care ether way but on the bike the click stick is hard to use. The bike is moving around, you are hitting bumps etc. so when you try to push in it goes sideways or up and down instead.

    No lockup.

    Larger screen.

    Things I like better on the eTrex 20

    Battery life. It's good on the 64s and you can carry spares so no big deal.

    Smaller and lighter.

    Most of the time if I'm only recording the track on a hike or ride and checking the mileage etc I will grab the eTrex but if I plan to use it for nav I will grab the 64s. But sometimes if one of them is already on the bike I will use it for ether purposes.

    The screen is easy to read on both. They are well made I had the eTrex fly off my tandem and hit the pavement at about 50 mph on a long steep downhill. It has a small nick it the rubber that wraps around it but no other damage and no problem with it working.

    The eTrex is the 20 at the time I bought it I didn't think it was worth getting the compass as I carry on hiking anyways. When I bought the 64 I went with the s model. I don't use the compass very often but its nice to have. If something happens to the eTrex i'd replace it with the 30.

    If I could only have one of them it would be the 64s.

  • DaveM 158 Points
    sussamb said:

    Just done a test for you on my Etrex 20, using routing setting set for Car/Motorcycle

    A 30km route took around 10 seconds.

    A 100km route into the centre of London took around 90 seconds.

    I've never timed mine but this is about the time I would guess. Not the long times SamuelD has.

  • james2b2 6 Points
    edited May 2015
    I have only had my GPSMap 64S for less than a fortnight but it seems to calculate automobile road routes very fast. However I have just tried routing a cycle route about 100km out of the city - admittedly from a capital to a tiny village in a natural park - and the 64S immediately flashed up a warning about very long calculation times and suggested I introduced some via points. Eight minutes later it came back with a message that it had failed to calculate the route due to lack of memory.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Seems the Etrex 20 isn't so puny after all ;)
  • DaveM 158 Points
    I've never seen anything close to that on my eTrex 20 or GPSMAP 64s. I wonder if it has anything to do with the map being used.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    edited May 2015
    It's the CN EU map ... But it's going to vary depending on start and finish point.
  • james2b2 6 Points
    edited May 2015
    I tried again with the 64S and a 50km route and it took less than 2 minutes.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    I tried a cycle route of 370 km on the 64s and got the warning. It would get to 78% to 80% done every time then stop for a while and error out. I then added a point in the middle and it would calculate the route in seconds. This is a lot longer then I would ever use for a day on the bike so have never seen this before.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Something else to consider when upgrading…. how did you purchase City Navigator for the Edge 800? Was it pre-installed on the device? Did you buy the DVD version? Did you buy the download version? If it was any of these, then it will be locked to your Edge and you would need to purchase a new copy of City Navigator for the new GPS. The only version of City Navigator that can be moved between devices is the pre-loaded Garmin SD card.

  • privet01 215 Points
    Possibly another consideration for you...... many of the Garmin devices outside of their "Edge" series for cycling do not have the ability to record certain cycling data such as power or even cadence. If all you are wanting though is a moving map display, then I'd go for something with a large screen. But for me, I don't need a map to cycle by, so I just use my reliable edge500 to record what I do.
  • james2b2 6 Points
    I believe the 64S can record cadence and heart rate (and temperature) with any ANT+ compatible sensor? It certainly is listed as compatible on the Garmin site with their own devices.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    I really appreciate all the input. Thanks to everyone, particularly those who have tested how long their device takes to calculate a route.

    From your replies, it seems that the cycle routing takes much longer than car routing. Perhaps the cycle routing tries to balance distance versus elevation changes, and that extra variable greatly increases the complexity of the route calculation. Interesting. Perhaps an alternative would be to calculate a car route with motorways/freeways/toll roads avoided, if that’s possible on these devices?

    To reply to a few points …

    Boyd: I hadn’t looked at the Dakota 20 closely. It’s now off the list. As for City Navigator, unfortunately I bought the download version for my Edge 800. Therefore it’s locked to the device. A pretty churlish thing of Garmin to do, but heigh-ho. At least I only bought France so it wasn’t so expensive.

    james2b2 and DaveM: from what you say, it looks like there is an exponential reduction in processing time with shorter routes, so breaking down a journey into segments makes them much more manageable. I could deal with that.

    privet01: I don’t need cadence, power, heart-rate, or any of those fitness aspects, so that’s fine (though see james2b2’s comments about ANT+). I probably shouldn’t have bought the Edge 800, since I only use it for navigation. I wish to do long-distance cycling and off-road walking, so a handheld receiver would probably be a better bet for me.

    Since it seems there are solutions to the long calculation times I experienced with the eTrex 20, I’m tempted to wait for the possibly imminent successor of the current eTrex 20/30. That or get the GPSMAP 64, which should be pretty solid in terms of firmware by now. The Oregon 600 looks great but I think it’s ultimately too expensive for me.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    SamuelD said:

    Perhaps the cycle routing tries to balance distance versus elevation changes, and that extra variable greatly increases the complexity of the route calculation.

    It could only do that if you were using a map that included elevation (DEM) data. City Navigator doesn't have this.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    The eTrex 20/30 and GPSMAP 64 both are working good at this point. The replacement for the eTrex if it's on the way could have a lot of bugs for a while.

    I've always liked the handhelds better then the Edge units. Like you I don't want or need some of the features of the bike units. The biggest thing for me is battery life. I do long rides and rides lasting more than 1 day. I know there are ways to charge while you ride but from every thing I've read including from Garmin you shouldn't have the USB hooked up in the rain. There can also be problems with the touch with gloves and I told rain. Like you I also hike and walk ant the handhelds work great for that.

    If I were you I would look at Open Street Map before buying a new copy of City Navigator. I have CN and almost never use it. The version I like best for the bike is Openfietsmap. It can be downloaded free from http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/. CN is for cars so bike paths will not be routeable but are with OSM
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    DaveM said:

    I know there are ways to charge while you ride but from every thing I've read including from Garmin you shouldn't have the USB hooked up in the rain.

    The Montana and Monterra were specifically designed for use in "hot" mounts. They have a row of heavy duty brass contacts along the side. The cradles have contact fingers that engage the contacts. So everything is waterproof and there's no need for a USB connection. I don't think Garmin offers this on any of the other handhelds. My 60csx has a special power connector though, I think it also provides RS-232 data.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    Boyd said:


    The Montana and Monterra were specifically designed for use in "hot" mounts. They have a row of heavy duty brass contacts along the side. The cradles have contact fingers that engage the contacts. So everything is waterproof and there's no need for a USB connection. I don't think Garmin offers this on any of the other handhelds. My 60csx has a special power connector though, I think it also provides RS-232 data.

    I wasn't aware of the "hot" mount that sounds like a good idea.

    I've had older Garmin's with the RS-232 interface and agree they wouldn't be a problem. The connector is in the open enough that you could clean the contacts if you did have a problem.

    On the Edge GPS units in the manual It has "To prevent corrosion, thoroughly dry the USB port, the weather cap, and the surrounding area before charging or connecting to a computer" it also has "NOTE: The device will not charge when outside the temperature range of 32 to 104 F (0 to 40 C)".

    The temperature range may or may not be a problem depending on when someone rides but most riders that ride long distances will be in the rain at some point.

    The Edge looks good for racers. In most cases they ride fast but shorter and can put things like the power they are outputting to good use. However for most riders I think a hand held is a better way to go. It costs less and can be used for other actives.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Boyd said:

    It could only do that if you were using a map that included elevation (DEM) data. City Navigator doesn't have this.

    Ah. I wonder why cycle routing takes so much longer than car routing then?


    DaveM said:

    The eTrex 20/30 and GPSMAP 64 both are working good at this point. The replacement for the eTrex if it's on the way could have a lot of bugs for a while.

    True. But if it’s called eTrex 20x/30x as speculated in another thread, that might suggest minor updates (faster processor?), very similar firmware, and therefore fewer bugs than usual. Impossible to guess at this point, of course.

    I’m a bit reluctant to buy the four-year-old eTrex 20 or 30 today. (A good discount would help.) The reports of lock-ups also bother me. Does Garmin continue to issue firmware updates for discontinued devices?


    DaveM said:

    If I were you I would look at Open Street Map before buying a new copy of City Navigator. I have CN and almost never use it. The version I like best for the bike is Openfietsmap. It can be downloaded free from http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/. CN is for cars so bike paths will not be routeable but are with OSM

    I’ll check them out, thanks. That said, my Edge 800 + City Navigator combo does sometimes put me down cycle paths here in Paris.

    I like many things about the GPSMAP models, but I am starting to wonder if they are not too big and heavy for convenient mounting on a bicycle. Any thoughts on that?
  • sussamb 798 Points
    edited May 2015
    Hardly ever had my Etrex20 lock up. As for software updates last one was only in January to fix some track statistic errors, but there have been relatively few overall. It's generally been a reliable GPS.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    The map is the difference of if it will use cycle paths or not. The CN map for Europe must have at least some rotatable cycle paths on it. I've never seen a cycle path on CNNA. OSM is free so if you try it and don't like it you are not out anything.

    I think my eTrex 20 only locked up once riding along. There has been updates since that so maybe that problem was fixed. The other times it has locked up has been if I do something like see a resentment on a street off to the side. Then I do a U turn to go back and it starts recalculating. Before it's done I turn the corner so it needs to recalculate again before it was done with the last recalculation. That will lock it up in a lot of cases.

    The GPSMAP is big but not that big. It uses the same mount as the eTrex and the size doesn't bother me at all on the bike.

    For hiking I normally carry my GPS in my pocket and for that the smaller and lighter eTrex is nice. If I carry the GPSMAP on a hike it's to be able to use the compass. That's not often but nice to have at times. I've had different GPS units over the years including different eTrex modals but never one with a compass before and never thought I would use one. But now that I have one I don't use it very often but it's nice when I do. As I said if something happens to the eTrex 20 I will replace it with an eTrex 30 (unless of course do to changes it's a 30x or whatever Garmin has like it at the time). If I had the eTrex 30 I would always use it for hiking unless I was out of town and only had one GPS with me.

    The bottom line is I like the GPSMAP better on the bike and the eTrex better for hiking / walking. As I said if I could only have one it would be the GPSMAP but only having the eTrex would not be bad. I would rather have ether one then an Edge. I'm not saying the Edge is bad but based on what I use a GPS for I think a handheld is a better way to go.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    More good info, thanks. And still I find it so hard to make a decision! The basic GPSMAP 64 is attractively priced but lacks the compass you like, the iPhone notifications I might like, and maps. The 64s still has no maps (but maybe free maps would work for me, and I could always buy Garmin maps in the future if not, whereas the 64 could not be upgraded to have a compass if I discover I would like that). The 64st is expensive. The eTrex 20 is cheap but lacks compass and maps. The eTrex 30 starts to look expensive for something that might be about to be replaced by a new model. Hmm …
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Okay, one more question and then I’ll go away and ponder my options. How do the displays of the eTrex and GPSMAP compare in terms of legibility, especially in sunlight?
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Both screens are transflective, 65-K color TFT. My etrex 20 is excellent in bright sunlight so I suspect the 64 Is the same. There are slight differences in size and resolution, see here https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/catalog/product/compareResult.ep?compareProduct=140020&compareProduct=87771
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Okay, thanks. Screens seem functionally fairly similar then.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    sussamb is correct. There is a slight difference in size and resolution. Both are the same as far as being able to read and are excellent in bright sun. and very readable in less then bright light. Even in low light or no light I have never found need to turn the backlight over about half.

    If I set both side by side I can't tell any difference in brightness or readability. They are a lot better then any phone I've ever seen in bright light.

    The compass is something that you may or may not use so you might be happy with the eTrex 20 or GPSMAP 64.

    I wouldn't buy the 64st as the only thing you gain over the 64s is more memory and 100k topo maps. The memory is not needed as you can use a sd card and 100k is in my opinion too low of resolution I would load 24k topo maps anyway.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Incredibly, I had not realised the 64st maps were 1:100,000 scale, which I agree is probably not detailed enough for everything I want to do with this GPS (albeit of some use). Thanks for pointing that out.

    There is so much information to take in, and Garmin is so bad at presenting that information in a clear way. I have now spent many hours researching this topic. But I’m now fairly sure I want the basic GPSMAP 64.

    I understand the 64 lacks the following compared to the 64s:

    • external antenna connection. Of no value to me
    • high-speed USB. An odd omission presumably for upselling reasons, but I refuse to be upsold on this!
    • magnetic compass. My Edge 800 has no compass. I think I can do without, particular as the 64 seems to have a GPS compass that works as long as you’re moving slowly
    • barometric altimeter. Probably nice to have but another thing to worry about calibrating
    • smartphone notifications. Upon reflection, probably a gizmo I don’t need
    • live tracking. Ditto
    • Bluetooth and ANT+. I have no need for cadence, heart-rate, etc., and anyway the 64s seems fairly limited in this regard (e.g. no heart-rate zones, warnings, etc.)
    • one-year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery (in France). It’s hard to say if this would be useful. I’ll gamble I won’t need it.

    Actually, that list looks longer when I type it out! But no. The 64 it shall be unless I’ve missed something important. Boyd’s note of caution about handheld GPS receivers is ringing in my ears, so I feel I should strictly limit my spending on this.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Ah, and another sneaky difference: the 64 comes with a simple lanyard whereas the 64s and 64st come with carabiners.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    Everyone is different but for me the magnetic compass is the only difference that mattered. It's not needed I was happy without one for years. The only time it helps is when you are stopped as soon as you start moving the compass will work based on GPS. If you are not sure on direction you can make a guess and start walking or riding. The compass will then give you direction at a slow speed. So it's nice but certainly not necessary.

    You could always buy a carabiner if you like it. It mounts the same as the bike mount. I've never used mine.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Well, to wrap this up, I found an eTrex 20 at an attractive price and wasn’t able to resist. The clincher was that the GPSMAP 64 was bigger than I had expected from web pictures, and that put me off a little.

    Let’s hope these tips for reducing the calculation time work! Thanks for everyone’s help.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Cool - let us know how you like it! :)
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Will do. I know you’re not a huge fan of the eTrex 20, but the price was right (last one in stock so maybe the shop wanted rid of it in anticipation of the eTrex 20x). And since I like things that just work, I’m not keen on beta testing a 20x. Will be interesting to hear user reports on that one, though.

    It’s a solid little thing! Feels durable. Certainly the lack of a touchscreen makes for slow operation at times. The display is small and somewhat crude but very legible in bright light, which is important to me. With GLONASS turned on, it manages to get a fix (albeit a big vague) inside my flat, which my Edge 800 cannot manage at all. So that’s promising.

    On the downside, the user manual is poor and I am not finding the operation very intuitive. If this is Garmin’s idea of user-friendly, I’m kind of glad I didn’t get the full-on GPSMAP 64!

    Haven’t used it in anger yet. That’s when the frustrations will likely appear. But I’m determined to learn the ins and outs of this device and get several years of good service out of it.
  • privet01 215 Points
    edited May 2015
    I get frustrated at the lack of detail in manuals too. But as GPS's have more and more features added to them, it would take quite a thick manual to begin to even do justice to those of us needing more info.

    Just like your computer (which didn't come with a detailed manual either) you have to use, experiment, and question other users. Some of Garmin stuff isn't intuitive until you understand it, then it's a doh' moment
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Garmin used to provide very thorough manuals with their devices. Take a look at the 85 page StreetPilot 2620 manual from 2005

    http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/439_OwnersManual.pdf

    Or the 104 page GPSMap 60csx manual from 2007 for example

    http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/GPSMAP60CSx_OwnersManual.pdf

    They were printed in full color on heavy paper. I remember reading both of these cover to cover when I first got the devices. Garmin could certainly still provide nice manuals…. if they wanted to. But they don't. And they are probably right, most people wouldn't read them anyway. ;)
  • sussamb 798 Points
    The manual that comes with it is just a basic one. Have you downloaded the full one from on line, and you should even find it on the device itself in a folder called documents.

    It's no way perfect though, but is better then the quick start manual that comes in the box.

    You might find this useful http://www.aukadia.net/gps/lw3_0.htm
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Yeah, that old StreetPilot 2620 user manual is comprehensive. Look at the detail provided on pages 55–60 about the ‘GPS Information page’. Examples:

    • how many satellites are required for a 2D or 3D fix
    • what the sky view represents (e.g. horizon and 45°-above-horizon circles)
    • what a hollow bar on the chart means
    • what a solid bar means (and why it takes 30 seconds to appear with a strong signal)
    • the AutoLocate process (downloading almanac data)
    • why you might want to set your location on a map
    • what WAAS does and where the broadcast satellites are (fixed above equator)
    • what a ‘D’ means on the signal bar.

    Much of this actually seems relevant to my eTrex 20, so I found it very useful. By comparison, this is what the user manual (full, not quick-start) for my eTrex 20 says about the equivalent page:

    “The satellite page shows your current location, GPS accuracy, satellite locations, and signal strength.” That’s it!

    Still, with the help of Google I’m getting there.
    sussamb said:

    You might find this useful http://www.aukadia.net/gps/lw3_0.htm

    Very useful. Thanks!
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    The 2620 was a very impressive piece of technology in its day, the first device twith pre-loaded maps for the whole US on a 2GB IBM Microdrive. So you could just turn it on and use it - other devices required you to load small sections of the map yourself. Of course, it cost $1000 in 2005 and that would be real money today. ;)

  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Boyd said:

    Of course, it cost $1000 in 2005 and that would be real money today. ;)

    True!

    I suppose a manual like that would cost quite a bit to produce and keep updated with today’s numerous firmware updates. And if 95 % of users don’t care anyway, I guess it pays to eliminate those costs and just take the flak from the the disappointed 5 % who want a better manual.

    Still, the eTrex 20 had a four-year cycle (quite long), much of its manual could be reused for other similar products, and there need not be any printing costs (I wouldn’t mind downloading a PDF file). It’s a bit odd to buy a €150 product with essentially no comprehensive and organised documentation.

    By the way, I checked the Garmin website and saw the GPSMAP 64 has a similarly sparse manual.

    There are impressive user-created resources on the web, though. I guess these devices appeal to tinkerers who enjoy figuring them out and sharing tips.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    It's the modern way. Phones for example tend to come with a sparse manual these days, as do hifis etc
  • james2b2 6 Points
    I have been using my 64S for the past fortnight mounted to my bicycle and have to say it is a little too large and too heavy - at least with the cheap ram mount I bought on eBay, which doesn´t really hold it in place when the road isn´t super smooth. Luckily it is built like tank.
    I spoke to Garmin support on the phone and the guy did´t recommend using their own mount, he said to get something specialised and more hardcore. I am keeping looking for something suitable because despite the size I think the 64 would be useful on a bike, particularly with its big display for directions when riding at night on poor quality roads/tracks in the mountains and knowing the bends that are ahead..
    You can always put it in your saddle bag or pocket but I want to be able to see the display without fumbling around or dismounting.
    I also connected external sensors - heart rate, cadence and temperature - and these work really well with only occasional drop outs (but it only records speed from gps which is a pain).
    Unfortunately there are no exercise/training modes but it will display your heart beat in large font, with a stop watch and speed, which is useful as long as you remember your plan..
    Now I just need to find a robust mount - any suggestions most appreciated!
  • nevw 38 Points
    I have an etrex and use the simple one that attaches with cable ties.
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/shop-by-accesories/mounts/bike-cart-mount/prod11411_010-11023-00.html
    I ride on very rough roads and it has never come loose. I also have a lanyard attached to the bottom and wrapped around the handle bar stem in case it comes off or i neglect to clip it in fully but no sign of trouble. I am very pleased with it and it is cheap and simple.
    I think your device may be able to use these too.
  • DaveM 158 Points
    That's the mount I use for my eTrex 20 and GPSMAP 64s. It will work on the handlebar or stem. It's cheap and works good.

    I had the eTrex come off one time when I hit a hard bump on a fast downhill. It could have been operator error. I now check that it's locked in and use a lanyard as a safety device.
  • james2b2 6 Points
    nevw said:

    I have an etrex and use the simple one that attaches with cable ties.
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/shop-by-accesories/mounts/bike-cart-mount/prod11411_010-11023-00.html
    I ride on very rough roads and it has never come loose. I also have a lanyard attached to the bottom and wrapped around the handle bar stem in case it comes off or i neglect to clip it in fully but no sign of trouble. I am very pleased with it and it is cheap and simple.
    I think your device may be able to use these too.

    Thanks guys for the feedback. My 64S fell off my current RAM mount when I just rode off a kerb and frankly looks like it wants to leap off with the very least provocation and even kind of sags under its weight. Nothing to do with Garmin components though and luckily the GPSMAP is very tough.

    I will give the Garmin mount plus a lanyard a go.
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