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njkayaker 05-06-14 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16731740)
<lots of Garmin problems>

What was used to plan the route?
Did you upload the "track" file?
What maps are installed on the device?
Was "recalculate" on (it shouldn't be)?
Are you saving the data to the sd card (seems to be preferrable)?

The frequent "freezing" is odd. The Garmins can freeze on long rides related to data collection and the size of the data/fit file but that issue seems to appear around 180+ miles (that is, it doesn't explain the earlier freezes). People recommend closing the data collection and restarting it (so a new file is used).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16731740)
then later it sent me the wrong way in between Hainesville and Millbrook but none of this was too bad.

What did the screen look like when it sent you the wrong way? Was it a little blue arrow? Or a big white arrow?

The map displays the track route. It also displays a calculated course route. (Yes, there are two lines.)

Usually, these are on the same path (usually, they look like one line). When things aren't working quite right, the track route is what you need to pay attention to (the device needs to be displaying the map to be able to do that).

=======================

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16731740)
Even on a local roads during training where there is no other road, it would sometimes tell me that I am off course. Funky.

There are three navigation modes (it's more like 2 and a half).

* The first (more basic) is track following: that entails keeping the blue arrow (representing your position) on the black-bordered purple line.

This method doesn't require maps at all. It just uses the current GPS coordinate to "draw over" the GPS coordinates displayed as the track.

The "off course" warning (it's part of this method) occurs when the current GPS coordinate is too far away from the track course (about 100 feet). It also occurs when the device doesn't get or loses the GPS signal (for example, when in a tunnel). It can also occur because the track coordinates don't quite follow the actual real-world position of the road.

If you get the "off course" warning, the first thing you should do is be aware that you might have lost a GPS signal and the second thing you should do is look the map screen to verify that you are basically following the track. If you are "far away" from the track (and going off in a different direction), you are almost certainly off course!

* The second is using what Garmin calls "course points".

This method is related to the first (and doesn't require maps either). These are a list of GPS coordinates with names and icons (little blue arrows, usually). When you arrive at a coordinate that has a "course point", the Garmin displays the name and icon on the screen. There are a few problems with this method. They are displayed at the turn, by default, which is, often, too late. They have a narrow "window" in which they are displayed. Also, due to map/real-world differences and GPS "error", they can even be displayed after the turn. And, since they are just labels, they might just be wrong.

* The third is using a calculated route.

This mode is the one familiar to users of car navigation systems. This mode requires maps with routing data. The Garmin fits the loaded route to the nearest roads to calculate a separate route. Ideally, this will be the same path as the track route but a few things can cause the two routes to differ. The usual cause for the differences is planning the route using maps that are different than the map on the device. If you get wacky directions from the calculated routing, use the first method to confirm it.

The first method is going to be the most reliable. But since it's just a list of GPS coordinates, it might not follow the real road exactly (that depends on how accurate the map used to draw the track is).

unterhausen 05-06-14 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njkayaker (Post 16732755)
I wonder what you want from it. They aren't "set and forget" devices, certainly.

I didn't really know what I wanted from it when I got it other than helping me navigate at night. With a cue sheet, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading it over and over. With the garmin, I loosely know the route and as long as the garmin is happy, I'm happy. I keep trying to get it to warn me before a turn, and supposedly there is a setting that will do that. Under certain circumstances, I've had good luck just looking at the map to see a turn coming up, but if there is traffic that is less than satisfying.

On another note, I did get it to navigate our entire fleche, 24 hours with no issues. So that part has me happy.

njkayaker 05-06-14 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733200)
I didn't really know what I wanted from it when I got it other than helping me navigate at night. With a cue sheet, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading it over and over. With the garmin, I loosely know the route and as long as the garmin is happy, I'm happy. I keep trying to get it to warn me before a turn, and supposedly there is a setting that will do that. Under certain circumstances, I've had good luck just looking at the map to see a turn coming up, but if there is traffic that is less than satisfying.

On another note, I did get it to navigate our entire fleche, 24 hours with no issues. So that part has me happy.

Read my prior post. It's important stuff to understand to be able to get the most out of the unit.

If you are using a calculated route ("Turn guidance on"), you will get turn annoucements at 0.1 mile to 500 feet before the turn. You need to use a "good quality" track route for the calculated routing to work well (and make sure "recalculate" is off).

You will also see a big white arrow on the map on the turn well-before you get to the turn.

If you are going fast (20+ mph), it's fairly easy to blow-by the turn (the 0.1 mile distance isn't really enough for high speeds), which is o ne reason you want to display (and look at) the map (like before you hit a down hill). If you blow the turn, the "off course" warning should sound.

I usually split long routes into shorter segments. That makes it easier/faster to restart the route if the thing gets confused.

Note that ugly things happen when recording for long rides (at around 180 miles or so). You probably want to make a habit of resetting data recording to use a new file at "standard" points during the ride. (Of course, that means the total time/distance is reset too.)

It takes a bit of practice/experience but you don't need a cue-sheet at all.

unterhausen 05-06-14 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njkayaker (Post 16733229)
Read my prior post. It's important stuff to understand to be able to get the most out of the unit.

If you are using a calculated route ("Turn guidance on"), you will get turn annoucements at 0.1 mile to 500 feet before the turn. You need to use a "good quality" track route for the calculated routing to work well (and make sure "recalculate" is off).

You will also see a big white arrow on the map on the turn well-before you get to the turn.

I have only ever used ride with gps generated TCX files -- dunno if that is high enough quality. I've seen the white arrows. I guess I need to sit down with the unit and play with the settings some more. The more I use it, the more comfortable I am with it. I have to say that it has never gotten me lost and it has tried to keep me from riding bonus miles -- which I ignored. It does say that I'm off course a little more than I would like. The course we are talking about has a lot of hills and trees, so that probably contributes somewhat to the spurious off course messages. They don't usually come at a point where they matter. The big problems I had were all involving keeping it charged. I have some nice little liion batteries now that do a great job of keeping it charged


I will always carry a cue sheet. I wasn't using it on the fleche, which caused a little friction with other team members who were when one of my calculations was off due to an excel error on my part.

njkayaker 05-06-14 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733754)
I have only ever used ride with gps generated TCX files -- dunno if that is high enough quality.

"Tcx" and "gpx" are formats for files (both are "xml" formats). They don't describe what sort of data they contain.

Whatever format you use, what you want is a "track", which is many GPS coordinates that accurately follows all the turns and curves of the course. (Tcx files can also contain "course points.)

Historically, track data was obtained by recording GPS coordinates while moving. That data can be a bit messy.

Route planners (like ridewithpgs) basically produce a clean "synthetic" track, which follows the roads on a map. You can use a recorded track for navigation but it tends not to work that well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733754)
I've seen the white arrows. I guess I need to sit down with the unit and play with the settings some more.

Devoting time focused on learning/experiencing how the thing works is a good idea. Not enough people do that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733754)
The more I use it, the more comfortable I am with it. I have to say that it has never gotten me lost and it has tried to keep me from riding bonus miles -- which I ignored.

I suspect many people think that using them is (or should be) "easy". The reality is that they are fairly subtle and complicated devices. It takes some practice/experience/knowledge to use them well. There are quite a lot of people who have the units but don't use them for navigation (and get lost)!

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733754)
It does say that I'm off course a little more than I would like. The course we are talking about has a lot of hills and trees, so that probably contributes somewhat to the spurious off course messages.

If you understand what these are and how they work, you will learn to evaluate whether they make sense or not. You will get them when you lose GPS signal or if the real road deviates too far from the track (based on map data).

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733754)
They don't usually come at a point where they matter.

They do occur at points where they very-much matter but they are basically a secondary "fail safe" (like when you've blown a turn). Looking at the map (even before-hand) or when the warning occurs is usually enough to make sense of them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733754)
The big problems I had were all involving keeping it charged. I have some nice little liion batteries now that do a great job of keeping it charged.

You will quckling smooth over those rough edges (pun?). One approach is to charge it (top it off) earlier (during the day, when it isn't raining). That way, if conditions become less favorable, you are already set.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16733754)
I will always carry a cue sheet. I wasn't using it on the fleche, which caused a little friction with other team members who were when one of my calculations was off due to an excel error on my part.

I said you won't need to follow a cue-sheet. Carry it or use it (too), if you like!

Realizing that you don't need a cue-sheet is kind of key to learning how to use the device.

Weatherby 05-07-14 06:45 PM

Unterhausen.......I am able to set the turn warnings to whatever I want just before downloading from RidewithGPS.....this feature is not free. It takes a subscription.

NJKayaker.....thank you very much for your advice, I will try to assimilulate it to get what I can from this device. My expectations for electronic products are based upon an engineering background with over 35 years of quality assurance experience, some of which were on software development projects and I have done a significant amount of customer support over the years. I wish I could say this unit is half baked, the reality is more like the cookie dough is still being mixed. If I can get it to reliably guide me on a longer ride, it will stay on the bike. Otherwise, it is going on a one way trip to the range. Do I want to spend time searching the internet for instructions and workarounds and trying to sort the bugs from just silly defaults. Example.....the unit is designed to display heart rate, it recognizes the HR but won't display it on an assigned display box. The user is expected to figure out why the HR is not being displayed where is is supposed to be displayed, this is sheer lunacy or evil. You take your pick.

njkayaker 05-07-14 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16738504)
Unterhausen.......I am able to set the turn warnings to whatever I want just before downloading from RidewithGPS.....this feature is not free. It takes a subscription.

The "turn warnings" you are talking about are what Garmin calls "course points". They show up as the "little blue arrows" I mentioned.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16738504)
NJKayaker.....thank you very much for your advice, I will try to assimilulate it to get what I can from this device. My expectations for electronic products are based upon an engineering background with over 35 years of quality assurance experience, some of which were on software development projects and I have done a significant amount of customer support over the years. I wish I could say this unit is half baked, the reality is more like the cookie dough is still being mixed. If I can get it to reliably guide me on a longer ride, it will stay on the bike.

You are using a device that is at a complicated intersection between different map data, vagaries in GPS data, real roads, vehicles that can move almost anywhere, in a tiny device that has decent battery life. That's a fairly optimistic engineering goal. Car GPS units have an easier problem to solve. Hiking GPS units deal with fuzzier/more-ambiguous situations. Bicycle GPS units are somewhere between those two.

My current understanding of maps is that commercial maps are better for roads used by cars but those are worse for features that drivers don't use (OSM maps are better for features that non-drivers are interested in). It seems that OSM maps might be better in Europe but I have found that they aren't complete there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16738504)
Otherwise, it is going on a one way trip to the rtange. Do I want to spend time searching the internet for instructions and workarounds and trying to sort the bugs from just silly defaults.

I don't quite understand the problems you had but I do know that they can work reasonably on such rides without unreasonable effort.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16738504)
Example.....the unit is designed to display heart rate, it recognizes the HR but won't display it on an assigned display box. The user is expected to figure out why the HR is not being displayed where is is supposed to be displayed, this is sheer lunacy or evil. You take your pick.

??? I figured that out pretty quickly. While one could argue that it could be easier (I think the basic idea is mentioned in the thin manual), "lunacy or evil" is over the top.

Weatherby 05-08-14 05:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njkayaker (Post 16738959)
The "turn warnings" you are talking about are what Garmin calls "course points". They show up as the "little blue arrows" I mentioned.


You are using a device that is at a complicated intersection between different map data, vagaries in GPS data, real roads, vehicles that can move almost anywhere, in a tiny device that has decent battery life. That's a fairly optimistic engineering goal. Car GPS units have an easier problem to solve. Hiking GPS units deal with fuzzier/more-ambiguous situations. Bicycle GPS units are somewhere between those two.

My current understanding of maps is that commercial maps are better for roads used by cars but those are worse for features that drivers don't use (OSM maps are better for features that non-drivers are interested in). It seems that OSM maps might be better in Europe but I have found that they aren't complete there.


I don't quite understand the problems you had but I do know that the can work reasonably on such rides without unreasonable effort.


??? I figured that out pretty quickly. While one could argue that it could be easier (I think the basic idea is mentioned in the thin manual), "lunacy or evil" is over the top.

No, it is not in the thin manual. There was no manual!!! Manufacturers should not require customers to figure this out, I do not want to figure it out. I want clear instructions from the Mfg and I want it to work without freezing up.

A brand new unit recognizes the Garmin HRM but doesn't display the data on the assigned field and we are supposed to ascertain that it is a setting rather than a bad component or other possible troubles? Sorry, bad design. This is just an example. Of course, I figured it out in maybe an hour. I don't know about you but I place a value on my time and I do not want to troubleshoot a poor design. I spent hours trying to get the ascent total to display. It finally displays the value but I did nothing to effect that. When a display has a box for the total climb and does not display it, that is bad design.

Your definition of reasonable effort and mine are worlds apart. I have spent 5-10 hours reading tips and advice from other Garmin 800 customers who have had similar challenges with this unit. I do not accept that as reasonable.

Do you think it is reasonable for this piece of crap to have given me literally 1/2 second warning before a turn when nagivating? If THAT is not a defective design, what is. This is extremely dangerous, let's call it lunacy rather than evil. The defaults suck and must have been spec's out by someone who had no knowledge of cycling. You might think my rhetoric is over the top, fine.

unterhausen 05-08-14 06:08 AM

I understand your frustration, I basically gave up on mine for a while, just using it as an expensive toy. It infuriated me more than once. It finished Endless Mountains in my drop bag. I don't like to wear my glasses just so I can use it, that's for sure. I don't really want to say it's a bad design, because we are outside of their target market. I think the majority of users treats it as a speedometer that records where they went. That's actually how I used it once I realized I needed more experience with it, and it did help me a lot. The little things drove me crazy, I just want to push "go" on the screen and go, why should I have to do anything else? Then it starts asking me questions which I can barely read in the dark and I don't want to have to answer at the start of a mass start ride. The answer to all those questions is no, I just want to ride my bike. They need an "I don't care about my time or strava, please just navigate the damn course" option. Obviously I have some residual frustrations.

The flip side is that nobody is really competing with them, so for now we are stuck with them or paper. I decided it was worth some effort to figure it out, and like you say it's more effort than I really want to spend.

njkayaker 05-08-14 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16739434)
No, it is not in the thin manual. There was no manual!!!

Google: "garmin edge 800 manual" -> http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/Edge_800_OM_EN.pdf -> Page 3 (at the bottom right).

Quote:

Changing Data Fields

On any data page, touch and hold a data field until it is highlighted. When you lift your finger, you are prompted to select a new data field.
The manual is also on the device (but you have to plug it into your computer to get to it).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weatherby (Post 16739434)
A brand new unit recognizes the Garmin HRM but doesn't display the data on the assigned field and we are supposed to ascertain that it is a setting rather than a bad component or other possible troubles? Sorry, bad design. This is just an example. Of course, I figured it out in maybe an hour. I don't know about you but I place a value on my time and I do not want to troubleshoot a poor design. I spent hours trying to get the ascent total to display. It finally displays the value but I did nothing to effect that. When a display has a box for the total climb and does not display it, that is bad design.

Many, many people don't have this degree of difficulty with the device.

njkayaker 05-08-14 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16739541)
I think the majority of users treats it as a speedometer that records where they went.

Yup.

(I bought mine explicitly for navigation after observing how people use them on Rando rides.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16739541)
I don't really want to say it's a bad design, because we are outside of their target market.

Like all devices, it's a compromise. The place it has to work is a particularly hard place to create a "perfect" device for (make it too large, and roadies with money won't buy it, etc).

(The only really inexcusable thing I have found with it is how it behaves recording really-long rides.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16739541)
The little things drove me crazy, I just want to push "go" on the screen and go, why should I have to do anything else?

I didn't assume using the Garmin was going to be as simple as that.

I spent some time time driving around my neighborhood with a short route to see how it worked and what happened when you went off course. My expectation was that it s a complicated device that I had to get experience with before I relied on it on a ride.

Outdoor navigation isn't exactly easy especially considering that it has to be used in the messy world.

unterhausen 05-08-14 08:57 AM

I need to read the manual again. I figured "go" meant "go", but it means that you have to answer at least two more questions before you can go. Do you want to start and do you want to navigate to the beginning of the course. I guess you can also push the start button. But you don't get those questions unless you push go.

njkayaker 05-08-14 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16740117)
I need to read the manual again.

You are probably beyond what the manual can really help you with (you might still pick up some extra info). Carefully reading the stuff that I've spent hours writing might be more useful.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16740117)
I figured "go" meant "go",

Pressing "Go" loads and processes the course for navigation. That includes calculating a route (if you have "Turn Guidance On"). Since that can take a while (for long routes), it's something you want to be able to do before you actually start riding. You can also review the route that it calculated (and some other stuff) before you actually ride (or ever ride the route).

You could argue that "Go" is a bad choice ("Ride" on the newer units doesn't seem better to me) but making that argument doesn't seem useful at all.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16740117)
Do you want to start and do you want to navigate to the beginning of the course.

If you aren't at the start, what should the device do?

Anyway, you don't need to "Navigate to the start" if you are basically at the start. "Navigate to the start" might be useful if you are some distance from the start and need help to get there. Otherwise, it's very easy not to be bothered by it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16740117)
I guess you can also push the start button.

You need to press the start buttom. I set the device to remind me: "Menu->wrench->Bike Settings->Start Notice", then "Once" or "Repeat".

The device needs some recorded data to be able do do some aspects of navigation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16740117)
But you don't get those questions unless you push go.

You don't need to use navigation. You might want average-speed/distance/elapsed-time without wanting to navigate. You need to have the device record data for that information.

You need to press "Go" to navigate. You also need to subsequently press "start" to navigate too.

It never occurred to me that this could bes a big hurdle for people.

Using the device once or twice should be enough for people deal with it.


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