Garmin 500 Critique
I did a search that didn't produce any results. So here goes with an open ended question.
I bought a Garmin 705 with microSD card containing the maps. I had the idea I could use one device for both bike and car. But, today I discovered the maps in the microSD card are not upgradeable. Plus, I discovered a couple other items.
But, I am fully satisfied with the bike data portion. Except for the download of routes from mapmyride which I have not used.
The dealer is willing to take the 705 back for credit or to sell me a 500. What to do?
What have your experiences been with the 500? How is it as a bike computer? Does it work satisfactorily downloading rides and following them (like when traveling and you want to know where to ride)?
In short buy the 500 or go back to the non-gps bike computer and call the whole thing a failed experiment?
I had a 705 for two years and used it for car navigation on many occasions. If you have the City Nav maps that works just fine. What maps were you trying to do it with?
I now have a 500. It is still in its infancy stage as far as the firmware goes. It locks up on occassion and the ride does not get stored to memory sometimes. Garmin is aware of both of these issues and working on the next firware fix.
If you want route navigation with full maps the 705 is the way to go. If you can live with bread crumb trails and NO maps then the 500 may work for you.
I was using City Nav as delivered with the machine. They sort of work. For example I couldn't find a location near here because they use formal route numbers that are not on any signs instead of road names which are. Distances to some places are wrong by a magnitude of two(14 miles vs. actual 33).
Maybe I wasn't clear but the main problem is that Garmin did not disclose pre-purchase that the microSD version of City Nav is not upgradeable. If the user wants to be able to upgrade maps they have to buy the DVD version. When I talked to REI about it the person there said that was new information to them also and gave me the option to return the 705 for credit or to replace with the 500 with proper money adjustment.
Now I'm trying to decide what to do. If I can download routes/courses from mapmyride or similar I'll be happy. Can I do that with the 500?
The street names can be an issue. Each city and state may frequently place the common name of the street on signs. The City Nav pulls the data from sources that only list the official street numbers. So that could be an issue for what you are trying to do.
When you say the distances are not accurate are you saying the unit does not route you the best way possible or the straight line distance is not correct?
If you like the 705 but want the DVD version maps instead (my personal preference) then you could return the one with the maps on SD card and buy the version with no maps and get the DVD seperatly.
The 500 will download courses from the web. Are you familiar with the difference between a route and a course?
From that I could lay out a track to ride on mapmyride. Then download it to my gps. If I use a map with geographical information on it then it is a route. If, on the other hand, I just ride from waypoint to waypoint it is a course.
Added: I just went to Garmin Connect. According to that both the 500 and 705 upload and download exactly the same information.
Garmin can be a big pain to work with.. The dvd version if purchased is registered to 1 garmin unit only.. So if you use it with your 705 it is married to that unit only. If you decide to get a dedicated garmin unit other than your 705 you cannot use the dvd city nav with it.. That is why many people get the microsd version.. The problem more likely is that REI does not keep up to date microsd city navs in stock, I found that the microsd cards they had were up to 1 year or more old.. the most recent city nav is version: Garmin City Navigator North America NT 2011.10
I currently use City nav 2010.30
You would be lucky to get a 2010 version of city nav from REI..
here is a list of gps stores online where you can get up to date product
My 705 purchased from REI has CityNav 2010.30 on the microSD card. Garmin themselves don't have it straight. They sent me an email trying to sell me an updating subscription and would have, in fact, taken my money. At the same time their web site says I have the most current version of CityNav.
To square things away I checked with Garmin on whether I had the most current and why I needed to pay for an update when I'd only had the unit a month. The Rep told me there was a more current version but it was up to the retailer(REI) whether they would give it to me because Garmin didn't put maps in the boxes. He also said the microSD card wasn't updateable; something that wasn't mentioned in any of their online or written literature.
Doesn't speak very well for Garmin.
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