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Old 12-22-09, 04:19 PM   #1
RonH
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iPod Touch vs Garmin 705

I don't have an iPod Touch so don't know anything about them but I see they have mapping apps for it. Will it work like a regular GPS? If so I'd rather pay $199 for it (if the basic unit will work with maps) plus map apps rather than $500 plus map updates (more $$) for a Garmin 705.
I'm not interested in HRM, speed/distance data, altitude, etc. That's why I have a cyclocomputer. I'm interested in a GPS type device so I don't get lost when riding on unfamiliar country roads. I just want to know where things are (food, water, other roads/routes) and how to get home if the weather changes or if I get lost.

Anyone have thoughts about this? Will it really work for cycling?
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Old 12-22-09, 05:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
I don't have an iPod Touch so don't know anything about them but I see they have mapping apps for it. Will it work like a regular GPS? If so I'd rather pay $199 for it (if the basic unit will work with maps) plus map apps rather than $500 plus map updates (more $$) for a Garmin 705.
I'm not interested in HRM, speed/distance data, altitude, etc. That's why I have a cyclocomputer. I'm interested in a GPS type device so I don't get lost when riding on unfamiliar country roads. I just want to know where things are (food, water, other roads/routes) and how to get home if the weather changes or if I get lost.

Anyone have thoughts about this? Will it really work for cycling?
There are cheaper GPS than the Garmin 705.
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Old 12-22-09, 08:19 PM   #3
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IPod touch doesn't work as a GPS! YOu need an IPhone for that.
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Old 12-22-09, 08:22 PM   #4
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No GPS unit in the iPod Touch of any generation.
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Old 12-22-09, 10:31 PM   #5
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If you need a GPS, get a cheap TomTom or something for a hundred bucks or less.

I keep thinking of getting a GPS-based bike computer, but I just don't see the need. It has to be recharged more often than any regular bike computer in existence, and, IMO, it's doing too many things too much of the time.

What I mean about that second point is, if you know where you're going, you don't need GPS. If you're lost, you're not very far off track -- you're on a bike, not flying an airplane.

So, I'd say that you'd get a better bargain if you get a separate GPS unit and only turn it on when you need it.
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Old 12-23-09, 12:46 AM   #6
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How about doing something like a Garmin eTrex Vista CX? I've got one of these units and it works well on the bike, hiking and even in the car. Has turn by turn directions, great maps and you can get them new for around $200. Probably less on EBay.
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Old 12-23-09, 02:30 AM   #7
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The iPod touch can only tell you where you are if you're connected to the internet via a local wi-fi connection, and it's only going to use google maps.

The iPhone will perform the functions you want, as well as a great deal more.
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Old 12-23-09, 10:53 AM   #8
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Forget iPhone, get a real GPS receiver if you're serious.

There are four important considerations when buying a GPS for bike/outdoor use:

- weather protection: splash of water will kill your telephone and void its warranty, car GPS are not weatherproof, cheap GPS units are not as rugged as better ones, good GPS will survive the heaviest downpours.

- impact protection: good GPS will survive a 20+ feet fall on rocks or being dropped from a motorcycle, no need to comment on an iPhone here... car units are not rugged at all.

- quality of the antenna: iPhones have poor accuracy if GPS is the only source (wireless triangulation is used to aid GPS, no signal=no triangulation=no access to maps unless you have locally installed software and maps) and cheap GPS receivers have weak antennas that don't work under trees, under thick cloud coverage or in rain.

- battery life: this puts iPhone out of question, car units have rechargeable, non-replacable batteries that run for a few hours only, a good hand held GPS will run 30h+ on a pair of AA NiMH rechargeable batteries and you can carry spare batteries.

My recommendation for best portable outdoor GPS? Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. It's $300 but it's worth it. It takes a lot of abuse and has a very sensitive antenna, real compass and real altimeter. It's also versatile: it can be used for driving and biking with road maps or for hiking and other outdoor activities with topo maps.

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Old 12-23-09, 03:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
What I mean about that second point is, if you know where you're going, you don't need GPS. If you're lost, you're not very far off track -- you're on a bike, not flying an airplane.
I did a metric several years ago in a part of the state where I was totally unfamiliar with the roads and missed a turn. I rode for almost 5 miles and never saw another rider so knew I was "lost". Backtracked for the 5 miles until I came to the point where I missed the turn - I saw the marker on the road this time.
A gps may have helped - or maybe not.


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How about doing something like a Garmin eTrex Vista CX? I've got one of these units and it works well on the bike, hiking and even in the car. Has turn by turn directions, great maps and you can get them new for around $200. Probably less on EBay.
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My recommendation for best portable outdoor GPS? Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. It's $300 but it's worth it. It takes a lot of abuse and has a very sensitive antenna, real compass and real altimeter. It's also versatile: it can be used for driving and biking with road maps or for hiking and other outdoor activities with topo maps.
Thanks for the info. As I said I don't have an iPod Touch but saw a magazine article about using maps with it and thought it might work as a cycling GPS.
I guess I'll look at the eTrex and the 60CSx.
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Old 12-23-09, 03:43 PM   #10
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I did a metric several years ago in a part of the state where I was totally unfamiliar with the roads and missed a turn. I rode for almost 5 miles and never saw another rider so knew I was "lost". Backtracked for the 5 miles until I came to the point where I missed the turn - I saw the marker on the road this time.
A gps may have helped - or maybe not.
Should've stuck with the others and seen the marker.

Yup, a GPS would have helped, assuming that they could give you the correct route ahead of time and you would be able to load it into the unit.

But, you got to gloat over the others that you did more mileage than any of them.
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Old 12-23-09, 07:38 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info. As I said I don't have an iPod Touch but saw a magazine article about using maps with it and thought it might work as a cycling GPS.
I guess I'll look at the eTrex and the 60CSx.
I had the color eTrex few years ago, it has a less sensitive antenna and it was useless for MTB and XC riding or hiking in the woods. I had to find open areas to get a signal. They may have improved the antenna since then but it's something you should check for.

And remember what was said above: iPod Touch doesn't have a GPS receiver. Only the iPhone has it.

And to clarify: I have an iPhone too and played with its GPS and found it completely inadequate for serious use. It's OK if you want to check the traffic or your location from time to time or perhaps for a quick city trip, but it's useless for exteneded and continues use: not rugged enough and short battery life.

Adam

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Old 12-25-09, 01:18 PM   #12
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Look into the Garmin Etrex vista hcx, should have everything you need. The H depicts newer more sensitive receiver for better aquisition of signal in cover. I have seen these for as little as 150 at Walmart.com and Cabela's.com. Be advised you will need to buy maps for these units as the base maps only covers major hiways.

Allen
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Old 12-26-09, 01:27 AM   #13
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Anybody have any experience using the Google Maps Navigation on the new Droid smartphones (which costs as little as $200 for the Motorola) on the Verizon Network? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2355600,00.asp

I realize it may have many of the limitations of using a smartphone vs. a dedicated cycling GPS unit, but just curious.
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Old 12-26-09, 02:41 AM   #14
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Anybody have any experience using the Google Maps Navigation on the new Droid smartphones (which costs as little as $200 for the Motorola) on the Verizon Network? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2355600,00.asp

I realize it may have many of the limitations of using a smartphone vs. a dedicated cycling GPS unit, but just curious.
Works well, but depending on the riding you do, is only functional when you're in a place that has data coverage. While the GPS will work offline, it depends upon the data feed to pull the maps down in real time.
Another drawback to phones versus GPS unfortunately.
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Old 12-26-09, 06:23 AM   #15
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I have the Motorola Droid and the navigation seems to work good, but as CCrew said, you have to have a signal. The advantage of the Droid is that I have it with me most of the time. I have a Delorme GN20 GPS that I use on my bike sometimes. I really have never been where I need either. Like Daniel Boone said, "I've never been lost but I have been temporarily disoreintated for 2 or 3 days at a time".
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Old 12-30-09, 10:12 PM   #16
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Good paper map: no battery, water resistant.

Often a good choice.
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Old 01-21-10, 11:02 PM   #17
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I've been considering a Delorme PN-40. Specs look very good, price is OK. Anybody use a Delorme?
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Old 01-22-10, 06:10 PM   #18
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I have the Motorola Droid and the navigation seems to work good, but as CCrew said, you have to have a signal. The advantage of the Droid is that I have it with me most of the time. I have a Delorme GN20 GPS that I use on my bike sometimes. I really have never been where I need either. Like Daniel Boone said, "I've never been lost but I have been temporarily disoreintated for 2 or 3 days at a time".
George Lucas owns the rights to the name "Droid". You owe him $1, I now owe him 50c. He sued Topeak over the name for what is now called the ChainBot.
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Old 01-22-10, 06:10 PM   #19
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Good paper map: no battery, water resistant.

Often a good choice.
I don't consider paper water resistant.
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Old 01-22-10, 06:11 PM   #20
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I have considered charging and taking along my Tom-Tom just in case.
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Old 01-23-10, 08:05 PM   #21
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I had the color eTrex few years ago, it has a less sensitive antenna and it was useless for MTB and XC riding or hiking in the woods. I had to find open areas to get a signal. They may have improved the antenna since then but it's something you should check for.
Depends on what one you had. the HCx versions have the best antenna. Older base units had a simple patch antenna that would drop out if a gnat farted.
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