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GPS computer without pairing to smartphone?

Old 10-22-21, 07:15 AM
  #26  
atwl77
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I don't have an opinion on drones or cameras or whatever, but let's use the wahoo element bolt as an example, because I have one, I'm familiar with it, and this is a cycling forum not a general electronics forum. You have to pair the bolt with your phone to connect it to the internet the first time and to set up the pages and metrics you want to see on each page. Both of those things would be super clunky if you had to do it with the arrow buttons on the unit, and the thing wouldn't work at all if it couldn't connect to wifi. It's just much easier to do that with my phone than to have to connect it to the laptop every time I want to connect to a new hotspot or modify a page view. I have been at the start of a brevet, realized that I loaded the wrong route, connected to my phone and loaded the right one in under 5 minutes. I would have been screwed with an etrex in that situation. I'm all for privacy and everything, but I still don't get it with a gps headunit that essentially can't function the way they are intended without being connected to the internet.
Garmins can be setup, and used, without needing to connect to the Internet or to pair with a smartphone. All their general functions work, including tracking your location, speed, pairing with sensors, and so on. A smartphone and Internet connection makes things convenient, and certain functionality may require one or both, but that's whole world of a difference between "this thing cannot be used until you pair it to your phone and connect to the Internet" and "this thing can be used, but for certain things to function you may need a phone or computer, and Internet".

But regardless, I was merely responding to your text wondering about the aversion to phone/Internet pairing and stating my stance in that matter - and to me it's the general principle of the subject rather than any specific device concerns.
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Old 10-22-21, 07:16 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Brojangles View Post
Seeking some wisdom on this from those in the know. Every review I’ve watched mentions the need to pair with a smartphone, or requires an app download.

Any models available that can be set up and operated independently, and not tied to my phone?


Appreciate 👍👍
I have used a Garmin 810 and 1030 and have never paired my iphone to either device.

I never connected the 810 to the "internet" but did update the firmware on the 1030 to enable use the Garmin radar taillight. If the firmware is stable, I don't take the risk of new bugs. As far as maps, I download open source maps to my computer and transfer them to the Garmin when going overseas

There are some applications that if you wish to use them require pairing your phone to the Garmin and also to the application server in the sky aka internet. One in particular is a training software tool, I chose not to download the app to my phone. Personal preference. I prefer to download my ride data to my computer to analyse important training rides offline, typically with goldencheetah.

Bottomline, any garmin cycling computer will work out of the box with no need to connect to the internet or pair to your phone UNLESS you wish to update the firmware or use some fancy social media or training app.
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Old 10-22-21, 07:47 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
1. My response was to that specific quote from @kingston, not sure how you thought I was talking about Garmins or about getting updates and firmwares and maps.
2. Activation != registration.
kingston didn't say anything about activation.

No, clearly, you weren't talking about Garmins or GPS units (kingston was). That you went off on an irrelevant tangent about things that were not GPS units is the problem.
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Old 10-22-21, 07:51 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
kingston didn't say anything about activation.

No, clearly, you weren't talking about Garmins or GPS units (kingston was). That you went off on an irrelevant tangent about things that were not GPS units is the problem.
Here's the exact line again that I quoted, for context:
"I also don't really understand the aversion to connecting to the phone for initial set-up like with the wahoos"

He's wondering about the aversion to connecting to the phone for initial set-up, and I replied to him that to me, it is a form of activation, and then went on to describe what I meant by activation as well as my stance on that matter. Address a topic by making a point, then elaborate on the point. Basic interaction stuff.

Last edited by atwl77; 10-22-21 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 10-22-21, 08:13 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
He's wondering about the aversion to connecting to the phone for initial set-up, and I replied to him that to me, it is a form of activation, and then went on to describe what I meant by activation as well as my stance on that matter. Address a topic by making a point, then elaborate on the point. Basic interaction stuff.
Well, you don't know whether it's a form of activation. (I don't know if it's an activation.)

It's kind of moot anyway if you want updates to firmware or maps (if you need to register the device to get these, it's not really much different from activation).
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Old 10-22-21, 08:15 AM
  #31  
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The only reason I have a GPS at all is for navigation, so it's useless without routes. I don't understand how it's possible to load routes onto a Garmin without connecting it to anything.
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Old 10-22-21, 08:21 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
(if you need to register the device to get these, it's not really much different from activation).
Different strokes for different people. I see a clear distinction between activation (you must activate or your device is practically unusable), and registration (which is optional, if you don't you may lose out on certain features but it doesn't impact the functionality of the rest of the device).
I understand some people aren't as bothered about it as I am, but that's okay too.
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Old 10-22-21, 08:42 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
The only reason I have a GPS at all is for navigation, so it's useless without routes. I don't understand how it's possible to load routes onto a Garmin without connecting it to anything.
Yes, you need to connect it to something for routes (if you don't use the on-device routing).

But, once you have the routes, you don't need to connect it to anything.
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Old 10-22-21, 08:46 AM
  #34  
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I guess I'm still old-fashioned and copy TCX files into the NewFiles folder by connecting the Garmin to PC via USB cable

- which I suppose, is still connecting to something, just not how the fancy kids do with smartphones these days.
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Old 10-22-21, 10:24 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
I guess I'm still old-fashioned and copy TCX files into the NewFiles folder by connecting the Garmin to PC via USB cable

- which I suppose, is still connecting to something, just not how the fancy kids do with smartphones these days.
I mentioned this option (copying from a computer).

I think this being able to copy files is an important feature but some people have a smartphone but no computer. So, it can't be the only option.

Where are you getting the TCX files?

Last edited by njkayaker; 10-22-21 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-22-21, 10:33 AM
  #36  
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I copy the files to the the card for my old etrex, but I have to say I really like just pinning a route on RWGPS and having it automatically appear on my bolt.
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Old 10-22-21, 11:27 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Most (all?) DJI products have it - their drones, gimbals, action cameras. The drones I understand, there are laws requiring a drone be registered to the owner, when and where they can be flown, etc but the others, activation doesn't make sense. If you buy their Osmo Action camera from a store, you can't just insert a fresh battery and memory card and start using it. It will not function unless you activate it online using a smartphone.
The Favero Assioma power meter pedals - likewise, you can't use them without first activating them using a smartphone.

That's what I can remember at the top of my head, and hopefully this list remains this way - small!


Not software update, but software activation - a form of DRM where you can't use the software (or it remains locked in a limited/crippled trial mode) unless you activate it via the Internet.
Yes, I was more than irritated that my DJI Osmo Action Camera needed activation and connection to their website. Like you, I kind of understand drones needing the connection.
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Old 10-22-21, 12:38 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
I think this being able to copy files is an important feature but some people have a smartphone but no computer. So, it can't be the only option.
Agree - it can't be the only option. Which is great - we can use smartphone or computer; cable or wireless. Great to have options, no need to be stuck with just one (smartphone) option.

Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Where are you getting the TCX files?
I build or get my routes on RideWithGPS, export to TCX.
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Old 10-23-21, 02:33 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
The only reason I have a GPS at all is for navigation, so it's useless without routes. I don't understand how it's possible to load routes onto a Garmin without connecting it to anything.
If by "connected" you mean a cable ?, you dont need that. You can use the BlueTooth connection to the Garmin Connect app on a smartphone, either to download "courses" created on the Connect website, or if youve installed an iQ app on the device, you can access routes created on RWGPS, Kamoots, Strava TrailForks, and download via WiFi or cell data service, Ive never used a cable connection with my Garmins to grab a route.
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Old 10-23-21, 02:38 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
Different strokes for different people. I see a clear distinction between activation (you must activate or your device is practically unusable), and registration (which is optional, if you don't you may lose out on certain features but it doesn't impact the functionality of the rest of the device).
I understand some people aren't as bothered about it as I am, but that's okay too.
Wahoo uses the smarthone app to activate and configure the device. Theres no other method Im aware of to activate a Wahoo. I assume if you are deciding on a GPS unit, you would not want to get a Wahoo if you do not own a smartphone that allows you to install their app.
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Old 10-23-21, 03:18 PM
  #41  
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Most all your Garmin GPS devices will probably work without pairing to a phone. Even the Garmin 1030 plus has a cable that is for both charging and data transfer. However some features that might be desirable like live tracking and seeing who is calling or texting you so you know whether you want to pull your phone out of your pocket won't be available.

Most newer Garmins also have wifi for update and a few other limited things, so you can just let them update through your homes wifi if you don't want to hook it up to a computer or go through the phone app with BlueTooth.
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Old 10-24-21, 07:27 AM
  #42  
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I expect lots of folks have used Garmins over many years and iterations and are accustomed to their ways. But, if starting afresh, I suggest searching out the setup and route download instructions for both Garmin and Wahoo. There is substantial difference, especially for newbies.
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Old 10-24-21, 07:39 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
The only reason I have a GPS at all is for navigation, so it's useless without routes. I don't understand how it's possible to load routes onto a Garmin without connecting it to anything.
You can download the routes from your laptop to a little itty bitty little memory device about the size of chicklet. Stick the chicklet into the Garmin and you're in business. I forget why but that was my process for route updates on the 810 but on the 1030, I connect it directly to my laptop. Maybe much more memory on the 1030 and I did not need the extra capacity
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Old 10-24-21, 08:08 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
You can download the routes from your laptop to a little itty bitty little memory device about the size of chicklet. Stick the chicklet into the Garmin and you're in business. I forget why but that was my process for route updates on the 810 but on the 1030, I connect it directly to my laptop. Maybe much more memory on the 1030 and I did not need the extra capacity
"Chicklet"?

Saying microSD card is less confusing.

The old units (like the 800/810) needed the card for maps. They did not need them for routes (the internal memory was large enough for that).

The 1030 has a card slot but the internal memory is large enough for maps (generally).

The newer units (830, 1030+) don't have card slots (they have even more internal memory).

​​​​
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Old 10-24-21, 08:41 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
"Chicklet"?

Saying microSD card is less confusing.

The old units (like the 800/810) needed the card for maps. They did not need them for routes (the internal memory was large enough for that).

The 1030 has a card slot but the internal memory is large enough for maps (generally).

The newer units (830, 1030+) don't have card slots (they have even more internal memory).

​​​​
That was for the snarky, tech curmudgeon. I am sure he will get a kick out of it when he logs on
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Old 10-24-21, 03:02 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
That was for the snarky, tech curmudgeon. I am sure he will get a kick out of it when he logs on
I have to admit "chicklet" sort of threw me for a time too.

If he was being snarky in a techie sort of way he might have called it a transflash card. Which was one of the original names for it after T-mobile threatened them because the makers wanted to call it a T-flash card. Evidentally T-Moble thinks anything T- is a potential infringement on their trademark. Not sure if they think launch count downs are also a threat or is T minus not quite the same as T-. <grin>
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Old 10-24-21, 03:15 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I have to admit "chicklet" sort of threw me for a time too.

If he was being snarky in a techie sort of way he might have called it a transflash card. Which was one of the original names for it after T-mobile threatened them because the makers wanted to call it a T-flash card. Evidentally T-Moble thinks anything T- is a potential infringement on their trademark. Not sure if they think launch count downs are also a threat or is T minus not quite the same as T-. <grin>
totally agree
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Old 10-25-21, 11:23 AM
  #48  
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Hammerhead Karoo

Originally Posted by Brojangles View Post
Seeking some wisdom on this from those in the know. Every review Iíve watched mentions the need to pair with a smartphone, or requires an app download.

Any models available that can be set up and operated independently, and not tied to my phone?


Appreciate 👍👍
I prefer the Hammerhead Karoo 2 GPS computer. All routes, rides, maps, updates are transmitted directly to the unit over WiFi or cellular (cellular is available if put a SIM card directly in the unit).

Hammerhead does a great job of adding new features and updates the software monthly (or thereabouts). In fact, last fortnight, I spent 45 minutes talking with the product team; there are extremely accessible!! (Try getting a 45 minute chat with a Garmin or Wahoo team member).

So far, I have no complaints about the unit that they havenít fixed. I like the control layout better on the Karoo 2 than on my ELEMNT Roam.
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Old 10-25-21, 02:51 PM
  #49  
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I have a Garmin Fenix 5X sport watch. It does everything I need it to do. I took the computers off of all my bikes. Doesn't need a phone, is a stand-alone GPS that really works. Syncs with Strava too and you can wear and take it anywhere. It's not tied to just biking. Hiking, driving, walking, even swimming.
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Old 10-25-21, 03:44 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by robertAltman View Post
I prefer the Hammerhead Karoo 2 GPS computer. All routes, rides, maps, updates are transmitted directly to the unit over WiFi or cellular (cellular is available if put a SIM card directly in the unit).

Hammerhead does a great job of adding new features and updates the software monthly (or thereabouts). In fact, last fortnight, I spent 45 minutes talking with the product team; there are extremely accessible!! (Try getting a 45 minute chat with a Garmin or Wahoo team member).

So far, I have no complaints about the unit that they havenít fixed. I like the control layout better on the Karoo 2 than on my ELEMNT Roam.
At first and for many months after, I really liked my K2. Now I'm back on my 1030. I may sell the K2. It has rock solid navigation, the TBT is dead on and fast, the maps are beautiful, good screens. Battery life is mediocre for a $400 device, mine was at about 12 hr., but after a few updates is down to 6-8 hrs. That really doesn't affect me as I haven't been doing 8hr centuries, but I was displeased that it got worse.. Yes, they update every 2 weeks, but outside of the Climb feature, no updates have improved my use of the device. I think I actually like the BT connection method of the Garmin better then dealing with WiFi. I like the screen layout of the 1030 better, too few options on the K2 and I complained about it but they did nothing. I had a SIM car for a while (FreedomPop) it rarely worked. It was always hours to get a completed ride loaded up to the Dashboard. I finally just dumped it. The clincher on my disappointment was when I tried to use HotSpot on my phone to download a route and the device just spun it's wheel and never grabbed the route. In truth and having used a 1030, 810 and a Wahoo Bolt, the K2 is about as buggy as any Garmin I've used and I have not seen big improvements to the OS in the 9 mos. I've owned it.
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