Jump to content

Another GPS thread

Recommended Posts

So I have been searching and searching online, and I have not yet found what I am looking for. I am new to the world of GPS units. I have an older etrex model, but it is quite limited in its abilities.

 

I use the GPS to simply get me back to my vehicle, if the problem should arise that I am actually lost.

 

However, I am looking to get a little more involved, which leads me to my search.

 

I am looking for a rugged, SIMPLE, easy to use unit. Most of the units available are way beyond my needs. I want something with a compass, trip meter, ability to set waypoints, save some routes, mount to my handlebars easily.

 

I dont use a GPS every time I ride, only in new areas. I find it hard to swallow dropping $400/500/600 on a unit that Is far beyond what I need it to be.

 

Recommendations?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two suggestions, I use both:

A Garmin hand held series in a RAM mount; rugged and uses Garmin PC/Mac SW to manage maps/routes/waypoints.  Several generations with latest having more feature, although some prefer the previous gen for its ease of use. They record tracks with altitude, have compass for hiking, etc.  GPS6x, GPS7x, Oregon, etc.

Smart phone with navigation SW and topo/trail maps. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been loving the Avenza app. It can be tricky finding the right maps (so so many to chose from), but once you get the hang of locating the correct maps it is fantastic. Only downside is battery life, which can be address with a backup battery or portable battery.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, XRalways said:

 

So I have been searching and searching online, and I have not yet found what I am looking for. I am new to the world of GPS units. I have an older etrex model, but it is quite limited in its abilities.

 

I use the GPS to simply get me back to my vehicle, if the problem should arise that I am actually lost.

 

However, I am looking to get a little more involved, which leads me to my search.

 

I am looking for a rugged, SIMPLE, easy to use unit. Most of the units available are way beyond my needs. I want something with a compass, trip meter, ability to set waypoints, save some routes, mount to my handlebars easily.

 

I dont use a GPS every time I ride, only in new areas. I find it hard to swallow dropping $400/500/600 on a unit that Is far beyond what I need it to be.

 

Recommendations?

 

a $30-50 used rugged smartphone, or new $50-100 smartphone, will do all of that. 

 

yes, even out in the desert, woods, mountains, etc

yes, without cellular signal

yes, without paying TEN TIMES WHAT ITS WORTH for a garmin

yes, i'm 100% sure about it

 

phones to consider:

rugby pro

kyocera brigadier

kyocera duraforce

casio c811

samsung s4 active

s5 active

numo s10 (super tough) s20 s30

sonim (very expensinve, but still tough)

and tons of others. 

 

There are apps like locus, backcountrynavigator, oruxmaps, maverick, osmand, and tons more that will do what you need. some of them are free, some cost $2 or $7 for the 'pro' version. 

 

mounts are really really cheap. i use a silicon stretchy thing called the finn bike mount. ya, no one will believe it holds through the hardest single track imaginable, but it does. ya, it's only $3 on ebay/amazon. 

total outlay for superior gps (rugby/c811/similar), mount, and extra batteries:

about $50-80. 

 

garmin hates me. i don't mind it at all. ;-) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
a $30-50 used rugged smartphone, or new $50-100 smartphone, will do all of that. 
 
yes, even out in the desert, woods, mountains, etc
yes, without cellular signal
yes, without paying TEN TIMES WHAT ITS WORTH for a garmin
yes, i'm 100% sure about it
 
phones to consider:
rugby pro
kyocera brigadier
kyocera duraforce
casio c811
samsung s4 active
s5 active
numo s10 (super tough) s20 s30
sonim (very expensinve, but still tough)
and tons of others. 
 
There are apps like locus, backcountrynavigator, oruxmaps, maverick, osmand, and tons more that will do what you need. some of them are free, some cost $2 or $7 for the 'pro' version. 
 
mounts are really really cheap. i use a silicon stretchy thing called the finn bike mount. ya, no one will believe it holds through the hardest single track imaginable, but it does. ya, it's only $3 on ebay/amazon. 
total outlay for superior gps (rugby/c811/similar), mount, and extra batteries:
about $50-80. 
 
garmin hates me. i don't mind it at all. ;-) 



When using a smartphone, do you keep the SIM card out? I dont want to pay any monthly fees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doing a quick search, those phones are either not for sale or still fairly new and expensive. But I see what you are getting at.

Im thinking of buying a super cheap used smartphone, putting a lifeproof or ottebox case, then the mount.

Even at $200 for a setup, still cheaper than a gps unit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Gaia gps on my IPhone (equivalent to android Backcountry Navigator). 

I think it works great, It can be used without cell service as you just download/save the area you'll be riding prior to riding.  It records you distance, speed, attitude as well as tracks your trails.  You can create waypoints as well as snap a picture of your waypoint for future reference. That comes in handy when you upload your trail onto their server so when others download your trail, there are pictures of your waypoint they can use for a reference too.

since you're not using cellular, your phones battery life lasts an easy  full day (screen off if you're just tracking). However if you are following someone elses trail that you downloaded, you're most likely are going to want you phone mounted to your handle bars and the screen on.  This is kinda the downside, but external battery chargers are fairly cheap and usually can charge your phone 2-5 times depending on which one you get.  

The app is $20cad.  I usually keep my phone in my hydration pack and take it out if I come to a fork or cross on the trail. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For full functionality of a smartphone's gps capability you need data service, otherwise you are in an offline mode that limits the capability, that is the maps may not work completely because you are using downloaded maps.  The only phone I have had that still retains full functionality when offline is my old Nokia Windows phone, it gets the signal from the satellites like a true gps, the program/app is called Satellite GPS. :doh:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using my Samsung phone and a cheap but effective handle bar mount with built in charger wired to my battery on my ktm
I've downloaded the plottaroute app for dual sport riding and have a trailtech for single track trails. The combination seems to cover my needs so far however, after reading all the info on this thread I'm thinking about playing around with some other apps to fine tune my navigation system.
Tons of good stuff on here and I'm sure I can get even better at routing my trips
Thanks guys

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im not looking to download trails. Just keep track of my trail / route that I have been on. I only really need it for a few riding areas that are easy to get lost on. I want the distance tracker for my own curiosity, as well as tracking fuel consumption. I really need a quite basic setup. Also, I will be using a handlebar mounted unit. I carry a backpack / hydration pack as well, but I hate taking it off once its on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, XRalways said:

Doing a quick search, those phones are either not for sale or still fairly new and expensive. But I see what you are getting at.

Im thinking of buying a super cheap used smartphone, putting a lifeproof or ottebox case, then the mount.

Even at $200 for a setup, still cheaper than a gps unit

without cellular service. ie: without a sim card. 

there are lots of them available between Amazon and eBay. i had a brigadier yesterday but decided to try the duraforce next. I've been using a $45 rugby pro for years on dirt bike handle bars, is skipped across the trails when a tree knocked out out of my home made rigid mount, ended up in a mud puddle.... still works fine. the reason i like the flexible mounts us, there is nothing to break, it just flexes when you hit a tree. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

For full functionality of a smartphone's gps capability you need data service, otherwise you are in an offline mode that limits the capability, that is the maps may not work completely because you are using downloaded maps.  The only phone I have had that still retains full functionality when offline is my old Nokia Windows phone, it gets the signal from the satellites like a true gps, the program/app is called Satellite GPS. :doh:.

this is absolutely wrong. the gps antenna does not need cellular service to function on its own. 

maps are available for free from open Street map, Google, MapQuest, Bing, usgs  , and tons of other sources. you can download them for free on wifi, and then keep them or replace them as desired. they work completely offline. 

 

all the functionality works completely offline:

route building

route editing

track recording

track editing

offline maps

offline poi

offline sharing of maps and tracks with other devices via Bluetooth/nfc/wifi direct/etc

Edited by ohgood
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I wonder then, if no cell service is needed, if I could use an old ipod touch. I have one, never use it. Its a few generations old and I just use it for music. But that, with a lifeproof case and a ram mount. Id be maybe $100. Hmmm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for the non believers, here is a track i recorded while using airplane mode, in a canyon with 800+ ft high walls. yes  the GPS still worked fine with no cellular signal (airplane mode, i have no idea if there was coverage in that canyon or not, but i would imagine not) and high , flat walls. 

 

Screenshot_2017-04-27-10-03-58.png.a0228e386f69a31e363432fd0384087d.png

Screenshot_2017-04-27-10-03-58.png

Screenshot_2017-04-27-10-03-37.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, XRalways said:

So I wonder then, if no cell service is needed, if I could use an old ipod touch. I have one, never use it. Its a few generations old and I just use it for music. But that, with a lifeproof case and a ram mount. Id be maybe $100. Hmmm

if it has a GPS antenna, sure . i have no idea about which iPads do or do not. it's easy to check though. 

 

the reason for suggesting a rugged device instead of a regular device + case is so that it will not overheat in the sun. and well, it's rugged. :-)

Edited by ohgood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ohgood said:

this is absolutely wrong. the gps antenna does not need cellular service to function on its own. 

maps are available for free from open Street map, Google, MapQuest, Bing, usgs  , and tons of other sources. you can download them for free on wifi, and then keep them or replace them as desired. they work completely offline. 

 

all the functionality works completely offline:

route building

route editing

track recording

track editing

offline maps

offline poi

offline sharing of maps and tracks with other devices via Bluetooth/nfc/wifi direct/etc

That has been my experience with an Android.  Maybe its just the lame programs available, I really like the program on the Windows phone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

here's an area that i know does not have cellular coverage, because we tried with att and Verizon devices, while at camp... but as you can see it recorded tracks just fine. :-)

 

airplane mode will save a good chunk of battery time because it is not looking for and attempting to access, the cellular towers/data. being in the fringe of Darcie means huge wasted attempts at tower commination, so switching to airplane mode solved the problem  

Screenshot_2017-04-27-10-14-56.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

That has been my experience with an Android.  Maybe its just the lame programs available, I really like the program on the Windows phone.

we're you using Google maps? i can't think of one single application that can't use offline maps in the last four or five years besides Google maps. i believe they allowed offline maps in 2008 or so for beta testers ?

 

i can point you to a slew of offline apps that do it all. all you gotta do is install the free version and ride. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ohgood said:

we're you using Google maps? i can't think of one single application that can't use offline maps in the last four or five years besides Google maps. i believe they allowed offline maps in 2008 or so for beta testers ?

 

i can point you to a slew of offline apps that do it all. all you gotta do is install the free version and ride. :-)

I actually like using my old Nokia for the GPS, like I said I really like the program, and it doesn't run down the battery in my android Samsung phone that way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

I actually like using my old Nokia for the GPS , like I said I really like the program, and it doesn't run down the battery in my android Samsung phone that way.

cool  enjoy the ride

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×