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Old 09-13-09, 01:25 PM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Low cost GPS for the far sighted

I have a problem on long distance rides. Like many people my age, I need reading glasses to read cue sheets. It's a huge hassle to find my glasses and focus on a cue sheet while riding and I don't want to stop as I should.

GPS seems like the answer, but I'm put off by the prices of some of these units.

Who makes a programmable GPS unit that I can preprogram my route and will give me both audio and visual indications as to my route? I'll consider a unit that is display-only if I must.

Sincerely,

Michael
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Old 09-13-09, 06:23 PM   #2
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I have a Garmin 305, but with the route mapping/alert you're pretty much 705 level before you get there, and that's $$. If you don't mind size, finding a Garmin 60CSx in the refurb market with a handlebar mount will meet all your requirements, and takes rechargeable AA's if you're in the boonies. I run one on my MTB's.

I think IIRC, the new Garmin Oregon is a blend of both, and will even mate with a speed/cadence sensor like the Edge units do. Again tho, $$. Might want to state your desired price point.
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Old 09-13-09, 08:15 PM   #3
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Will $250 buy anything useful?
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Old 09-13-09, 08:24 PM   #4
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If you're comfortable hacking, there is a program called MioPocket that unlocks the power of Windows CE on Mio GPS units. I'm running it on my Mio C320, which I got last December for $99 (they've gone up slightly in price and are now $139, they might drop in price around the holidays). The C320 has text-to-speech capabilities but wasn't marketed with the needed voice files; however, there are hacks to install them, which I did and can now have my unit provide directions audibly. The Mio C520 has the needed voice files for text-to-speech straight from the box and can run MioPocket; it's slightly more at $189.95, but it also has a built-in microphone, which would be nice if MioPocket is expanded to include VOIP applications, and built-in Bluetooth). Both the C320 and the C520 have 4.3 inch screens. Here's a fairly poor picture of my Mio running one of MioPocket's media players (I usually carry mine in a leather case with an external battery attached to extend the run time since I can use it for much more than GPS, but I also have a handlebar mount for it on the bike, too.)

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Old 09-14-09, 08:41 PM   #5
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I happen to use a Garmin 705, but still need reading glasses. Buy clear and tinted safety glasses with an appropriate diopter insert. These work like a charm and only cost at most $8-$10. The UV protection of the tinted glasses is perfectly adequate for use as sunglasses. I suspect the polycarbonate clear lenses also attenuate UV as well.
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Old 09-15-09, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Will $250 buy anything useful?
Garmin makes a GPS app for the Blackberry, but the visibility may be an issue. FYI tho, only the Storm has the GPS unlocked if you have Verizon as a provider.

$99 for the Garmin software and $49 for the Storm through Verizon last I looked. There are also some good iPhone apps if you can tolerate ATT.
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Old 04-22-10, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I have a problem on long distance rides. Like many people my age, I need reading glasses to read cue sheets. It's a huge hassle to find my glasses and focus on a cue sheet while riding and I don't want to stop as I should.

GPS seems like the answer, but I'm put off by the prices of some of these units.

Who makes a programmable GPS unit that I can preprogram my route and will give me both audio and visual indications as to my route? I'll consider a unit that is display-only if I must.

Sincerely,

Michael
Just curious as I have the same problem and was wondering what did you decide? I'm thinking of something like the Nuvi 255. Sometime down the road a bit, you know they will have voice prompts added to the 705.
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Old 04-23-10, 03:29 PM   #8
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I have used garmin oregon 300 series with good results. I have used it for cycling, car, motorcycle, and everything else. I like really like the touch screen.
However some people think that the back-lighting/brightness is not bright enough, i like it just fine.
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Old 04-23-10, 03:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Like many people my age, I need reading glasses to read cue sheets. It's a huge hassle to find my glasses and focus on a cue sheet while riding and I don't want to stop as I should.
My solution to the problem:

http://www.coopervision.com/us/patie...earmultifocal/

I can wear any sunglasses I choose, focus on distance objects, and still go into the convenience store and read the ingredients on a food wrapper.

One caveat is that after dark I much prefer my single-vision contacts.
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Old 04-23-10, 10:19 PM   #10
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I have the same problem as the OP and I've been using Garmin GPS units for years WITHOUT the map feature. I prefer to not use the map because it's just too hard to see. I design my routes at home and upload in my GPS. When it's time to use it, I do not use the map but only use the "ARROW" screne!

I can travel 80 miles with just the ARROW pointing me in the right direction. The ARROW is clear enough to see even during the day. Learn how to make routes on your PC and practice using the GPS in your neighborhood. When the GPS shows .15 to your next turn, look at the direction of the ARROW.

The maps are good only if you get real lost. This shouldn't happen if you know how to create good routes. I've traveled hundreds of miles without ever looking at a map.

By the way, I use the inexpensive Garmin Legen CX selling on Ebay for $120.00 bucks! No need to go out and buy the most expensive one out there. Just get the map software from Ebay and you are set to explore the world!
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Old 04-25-10, 08:19 PM   #11
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Hi Michael,

I would personally recommend a Mio gps device - something from the Navman Spirit range. They build the screens with clear, high resolution so they're very clear...I also have pretty rubbish eyesight and they do me just fine!
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