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Old 09-27-09, 10:23 PM   #1
goodtimes5
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Garmin Edge 205 adequate as GPS navigator?

I'm looking to get a GPS unit for the times I'm trying out a new, long route. I realize that the 205 cannot display a full map or tell me how to get back on the route if I take a wrong turn. Will the 205 give me turn-by-turn directions like automobile-specific GPS units can? For example, will it give me an alert telling me to turn left in 200 feet or the next intersection?

The 605 and 705 are out of my price range, so if the 205 sounds like it won't meet my needs, I might just stick with the old pen and paper.
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Old 09-27-09, 10:30 PM   #2
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the 205 will not give you turn by turn.. You may want to look at the Etrex line from Garmin which is a little better priced than the 605 or 705..
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Old 09-28-09, 06:22 AM   #3
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You can sort of cheat the 205 into notifying you of the turns, but it requires you to plot the course ahead of time, mark your coursepoints, and load it on the device. It will tell you if you're off course, but since it doesn't have a real map, it won't navigate you back to the course. Since the memory is limited, you can only have 2 or 3 of these courses loaded on the device at once.
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Old 09-28-09, 09:14 AM   #4
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So would you wait for the 500 to come out or go with a 605,,, I to would like a turn by turn GPS,,,,,

glen
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Old 09-28-09, 12:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MarvelousMark View Post
You can sort of cheat the 205 into notifying you of the turns, but it requires you to plot the course ahead of time, mark your coursepoints, and load it on the device. It will tell you if you're off course, but since it doesn't have a real map, it won't navigate you back to the course. Since the memory is limited, you can only have 2 or 3 of these courses loaded on the device at once.
I already plan my routes beforehand, but I always end up taking the wrong turn. If I map my route out on a website, export the file, and load that onto the 205, then perhaps I can get turn-by-turn- directions? I'm not sure if marking coursepoints is any different than what I'd do on mapmyrides.com or something like that.

If I preload the course, will it alert me when to take a turn or only alert me when I've taken a wrong turn?
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Old 09-28-09, 03:51 PM   #6
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There's only 1 useful site that you can use to "cheat" the 205 into turn by turn:

http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com (BRT)

The major differences between BRT and the other sites that are useful to the 205 are:

1) BRT inserts a course point automatically at the turns
2) You can edit those course points on BRT's cue sheet page

I then download the file as a .tcx to the Garmin Edge and from the device's menu I select Training --> Courses
I'll pick my course, then select Do Course.

On the 205's Course screen, one of the fields is a box called "Dist to Crs". This box will show the distance to the next turn, a direction indicator that tells you the direction of the next turn, and the name of the course point. The name of the course point is only 10 characters, but that should give you enough of an idea of what to look for. At the turn, it will beep at you and flash the course point info across the screen.

If you go off course, it will tell you, and also tell you how far (as the crow flies) back to the route. The map helps tell you which direction you're off, but usually it'll tell you darn fast that you missed the turn.

BRT also gives you the option to add Course Point Warnings, which is essentially just another course point that appears 200 ft (or whatever you specify) right before the turn. I tend not to use this, but the option is there.

This is kind of nice trick if you really can't afford a true Navigation unit. But shop around. The eTrex will log your progress and give you the turn-by-turn, plus probably some true elevation data (Garmin 205 doesn't have the altimeter). If you're patient with computers, you can get the Edge 705 off of ebay for under $400, buy a MicroSD card for less than $15, and either pirate the mapsets, or get them off of GPSFiles.com or Cloudmade.com - I'd assume that the 605 is even cheaper. Seems to be quite a price bump to get them with the Mapsets included.
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Old 09-28-09, 04:56 PM   #7
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I did some looking around, and it seems like the popular eTrex model is the Vista Cx or HCx (I'm not sure what the difference between the two are). Is this the suggested model for navigation purposes?

Thank you for the highly detailed note, MarvelousMark. It sounds like I could get the 205 to do what I want, and refurbished units are selling for cheap on ebay. With your experience, would you recommend the Edge 205?

Last edited by goodtimes5; 09-28-09 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 09-28-09, 06:48 PM   #8
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I've been using the Edge 305 with the heart rate and cadence for a couple of years now. It takes me about 5 minutes to draw the course up on BRT and send it to the Edge for giving me a cheap set of cues. I'd recommend it as a great cyclocomputer if you can live without true navigation.
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