GPS for cycle touring

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Bob, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Hi,

    I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.

    Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are limited
    to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency (eg. 10 points
    per km). Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already loaded in the unit.

    I also thought about buying a small laptop (subnotebook) to periodically save the gps data but they
    are way too expensive for my budget. Maybe a cheaper PDA could do the trick?

    Cheers,
    B.

    PS: I found this site: http://www.mark-ju.net/index.htm which contains lots of useful info about
    using electronic equipment on the road... http://www.mark-
    ju.net/bike_ride/equipment/electronics.htm is particularly interesting! Not that I want to go
    into these extreme solutions myself...
     
    Tags:


  2. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Bob wrote:

    > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    > gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    >
    > Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are
    > limited to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency (eg.
    > 10 points per km).

    Yes, either one should be sufficient to record your whole trip. Keep in mind that in addition to the
    10000 points in the Active tracklog, you can also have 10 (Vista) or 20 (60c) Saved tracklogs. While
    these have fewer points (500 each), the processor can place those points more intelligently since it
    knows what the whole track is like. Therefore the 500 points can be used to accurately record at
    least a couple days worth of riding.

    In comparison, I took a 650 km bike ride recently using my eMap (only 2000 points in the active log
    and 10 saved logs of 250 pts. each) and had no trouble keeping an accurate record of the entire ride
    that shows every street on which I rode and every time I pulled off to eat, etc. Also neat to see
    the elevation profile showing all the hills.

    The active tracklogs can be set to record based on set time intervals, distance intervals, or in
    'automatic' mode with varying detail levels. This last is the least clearcut, but is generally most
    economical of trackpoints since it records them more frequently when you're going on winding roads
    and less frequently on straight sections. Experiment a bit before starting on your trip and you'll
    see about how quickly the trackpoints are used up for various Detail level settings.

    > Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already loaded in the unit.

    The tracklog and waypoint memory is separate from the map memory. So you can fully load up with 56
    MB of maps (60c; only 23 MB in the Vista) and still have room for 10000 pts. in the active tracklog
    plus more pts. in the saved tracklogs.
    >
    > I also thought about buying a small laptop (subnotebook) to periodically save the gps data but
    > they are way too expensive for my budget. Maybe a cheaper PDA could do the trick?

    Shouldn't be any need unless you need it for other purposes.
     
  3. Marty

    Marty Guest

    I don't think you will record the entire trip with most any availabale GPS unit without downloading
    the points. I download mine to a Sony Clie SJ20 PDA with a cable from PC Mobile. The PDA can hold
    lots of track logs. I use GPilotS software (free) in the PDA.

    Bob wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    > gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    >
    > Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are
    > limited to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency (eg.
    > 10 points per km). Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already loaded in
    > the unit.
    >
    > I also thought about buying a small laptop (subnotebook) to periodically save the gps data but
    > they are way too expensive for my budget. Maybe a cheaper PDA could do the trick?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > B.
    >
    > PS: I found this site: http://www.mark-ju.net/index.htm which contains lots of useful info about
    > using electronic equipment on the road... http://www.mark-
    > ju.net/bike_ride/equipment/electronics.htm is particularly interesting! Not that I want to go
    > into these extreme solutions myself...
     
  4. Bear in mind that a PDA is not waterproof.....

    Bob wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    > gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    >
    > Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are
    > limited to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency (eg.
    > 10 points per km). Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already loaded in
    > the unit.
    >
    > I also thought about buying a small laptop (subnotebook) to periodically save the gps data but
    > they are way too expensive for my budget. Maybe a cheaper PDA could do the trick?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > B.
    >
    > PS: I found this site: http://www.mark-ju.net/index.htm which contains lots of useful info about
    > using electronic equipment on the road... http://www.mark-
    > ju.net/bike_ride/equipment/electronics.htm is particularly interesting! Not that I want to go
    > into these extreme solutions myself...

    --
    Wallace Shackleton,

    Kinross, Scotland.

    Cycling in Kinross-shire www.cyclekinross.org.uk

    Perth & Kinross Cycle Campaign www.bycycle.org.uk
     
  5. Dwb

    Dwb Guest

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    > gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    >
    > Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are
    > limited to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency (eg.
    > 10 points per km). Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already loaded in
    > the unit.

    I think a Vista will do this easily. I have one mounted on my motorbike and I've done a 600 mile
    trip which I think it remembered. As someone else mentioned you can save/download routes if you
    so desire.

    You may find batteries to be the pain with any GPS though - the vista is pretty good at 8-10 hours
    on a standard set of AA's as long as you dn't use the backlight. On the motorbike I've wired it in,
    not an option on a bicycle though :)

    I haven't looked, but surely Garmin must have released something since the Vista, ,as the one I have
    is nigh on two years old now (actually the second one as the first one didn't take kindly to the
    vibrations of a v-twin motorcycle
    :) )
     
  6. P. Roosen

    P. Roosen Guest

    Bob,

    > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    > gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.

    You might be interested in a Magellan Meridian type of receiver which features a freely accessible
    and usable SD-Card slot. The amount of track memory, being constrained to 2000 track points in the
    devices own memory, is virtually unlimited with this option.

    And I'd estimate an SD Card is substantially lighter weight and less expensive than even the
    smallest sub-notebook. :)

    Regards,

    Peter
    --
    goethe GbR Vollmer & Roosen GbR Dr. Peter Roosen www.goethe-gbr.de www.linguadapt.de www.peter-
    roosen.com Tel. ++49 241 7091525 Tel. ++49 2451 971437 Tel. ++49 241 7091524 Fax ++49 241 7091521
    Fax ++49 2451 971439 Fax ++49 241 7091521

    Der Tourenplaner-zu-Routenkonverter: http://www.gps-route.com Die öffentliche GPS-
    Wegpunktedatenbank: http://www.gpspunkte.de Internetgestützte Aphasietherapie:
    http://www.linguadapt.de/sh Vergleichen Sie Ihre Firma: http://innoscan.duisburg.ihk.de
    Energietechnische Kostenfunktionen: http://kfserver.kaiserstadt.de

    privat: 50.7383 N, 6.0427 E
     
  7. Phenian

    Phenian Guest

    I just bought a Meridian for doing exactly this as it uses SD cards and will support 512mb, which
    are not that expensive nowadays.

    Ian

    "P. Roosen" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Bob,
    >
    > > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a
    > > mapping gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    >
    > You might be interested in a Magellan Meridian type of receiver which features a freely accessible
    > and usable SD-Card slot. The amount of track memory, being constrained to 2000 track points in the
    > devices own memory, is virtually unlimited with this option.
    >
    > And I'd estimate an SD Card is substantially lighter weight and less expensive than even the
    > smallest sub-notebook. :)
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Peter
    > --
    > goethe GbR Vollmer & Roosen GbR Dr. Peter Roosen www.goethe-gbr.de www.linguadapt.de www.peter-
    > roosen.com Tel. ++49 241 7091525 Tel. ++49 2451 971437 Tel. ++49 241 7091524 Fax ++49 241 7091521
    > Fax ++49 2451 971439 Fax ++49 241 7091521
    >
    > Der Tourenplaner-zu-Routenkonverter: http://www.gps-route.com
    > Dientliche GPS-Wegpunktedatenbank: http://www.gpspunkte.de Internetgestützte Aphasietherapie:
    > http://www.linguadapt.de/sh Vergleichen Sie Ihre Firma: http://innoscan.duisburg.ihk.de
    > Energietechnische Kostenfunktionen: http://kfserver.kaiserstadt.de
    >
    > privat: 50.7383 N, 6.0427 E
     
  8. Kj

    Kj Guest

    Bob <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    > gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    >
    > Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are
    > limited to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency (eg.
    > 10 points per km). Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already loaded in
    > the unit.
    >
    > I also thought about buying a small laptop (subnotebook) to periodically save the gps data but
    > they are way too expensive for my budget. Maybe a cheaper PDA could do the trick?

    I highly recommend an eTrex Vista with a handlebar mount, this is what I currently use myself, and I
    have had no problems.

    In order not to loose the time and altitude information as well as many track points when saving the
    tracks on the GPS I suggest you buy a cheap Palm PDA and use Cetus GPS (freeware) to download the
    active track log each evening.

    You may want to consider one that supports SD cards just to make sure the data really stays there.
    For backup purposes I normally use Filez (freeware) which let you move or copy individual files
    to/from the SD card.

    The next day you reset the active log on the GPS before starting, and you will then have plenty
    of memory.

    When you return from your trip, you can use Cetus TrackLog (freeware) or GPS TrackData (freeware) to
    convert the track logs into for instance the GPX format.

    I then recommend using GPS Visualizer (freeware) http://www.gpsvisualizer.com to plot maps of
    your trip.

    KJ

    http://www.CetusGPS.dk
     
  9. "Peter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:BmzZb.232321$U%[email protected]_s03...

    <snip>

    > The active tracklogs can be set to record based on set time intervals, distance intervals, or in
    > 'automatic' mode with varying detail levels. This last is the least clearcut, but is generally
    > most economical of trackpoints since it records them more frequently when you're going on winding
    > roads and less frequently on straight sections. Experiment a bit before starting on your trip and
    > you'll see about how quickly the trackpoints are used up for various Detail level settings.

    Are you really able to set the record intervals on your eMap ?? If so, could you point me to the
    menu to achieve this. Its a feature I've wanted for a while but I did not think the eMap was
    that flexible.

    Walter
     
  10. Pete Rissler

    Pete Rissler Guest

    > Are you really able to set the record intervals on your eMap ?? If so,
    could
    > you point me to the menu to achieve this. Its a feature I've wanted for a while but I did not
    > think the eMap was that flexible.
    >
    > Walter

    You can not set the time or distance interval for the track log on the eMap.

    --
    Pete Rissler http://web1.greatbasin.net/~rissler/ http://www.tccycling.com
     
  11. Bob

    Bob Guest

    I concur with endorsement of the Vista for bicycling. It does everything a cyclist wants, albiet the
    screen is a bit small. The 60C does look interesting, but I perceive it's size to be a bit too
    large; it would interfere with my handlebar bag. Also, I'm not sure that the 60C does everything
    that the Vista does. For a trip, two sets of batteries and a charger should keep it powered up.

    KJ, you mentioned downloading tracks into a PDA. Sounds interesting. Will the program also allow one
    to upload routes?

    Bob

    [email protected] (KJ) wrote in message
    news:<1g9k6so.1q3gu96xa5i9sN%[email protected]>...
    > Bob <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a
    > > mapping gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    > >
    > > Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are
    > > limited to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency
    > > (eg. 10 points per km). Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already
    > > loaded in the unit.
    > >
    > > I also thought about buying a small laptop (subnotebook) to periodically save the gps data but
    > > they are way too expensive for my budget. Maybe a cheaper PDA could do the trick?
    >
    > I highly recommend an eTrex Vista with a handlebar mount, this is what I currently use myself, and
    > I have had no problems.
    >
    > In order not to loose the time and altitude information as well as many track points when saving
    > the tracks on the GPS I suggest you buy a cheap Palm PDA and use Cetus GPS (freeware) to download
    > the active track log each evening.
    >
    > You may want to consider one that supports SD cards just to make sure the data really stays there.
    > For backup purposes I normally use Filez (freeware) which let you move or copy individual files
    > to/from the SD card.
    >
    > The next day you reset the active log on the GPS before starting, and you will then have plenty
    > of memory.
    >
    > When you return from your trip, you can use Cetus TrackLog (freeware) or GPS TrackData (freeware)
    > to convert the track logs into for instance the GPX format.
    >
    > I then recommend using GPS Visualizer (freeware) http://www.gpsvisualizer.com to plot maps of
    > your trip.
    >
    > KJ
    >
    > http://www.CetusGPS.dk
     
  12. sdorrity

    sdorrity New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
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    I've got a garmin Legend which I use for just about everything and I find great. Carefull choice of the maps for detailed work means that you can cover enough area for most cycling trips.

    At the moment I am also considering the 60C because it has bluewater support so I can use it as a more detailed backup on the boat. the other thing to think about with the 60C is the battery life which is very good and the fact that it has audible alarms, which a lot of the other models don't have

    Someone mentioned that you can use a cheap palmtop for storing tracks/waypoints etc this is true, lookout for a cheap s/h Palm Pilot, it runs off dry cells and is well up to the job.

    Have agood trip

    Steve D
     
  13. Kingsley

    Kingsley Guest

    On Sat, 21 Feb 2004 01:45:56 +0000, Bob wrote:

    > I'm going for a 1000km trip this summer with my touring bike. I'm thinking about buying a mapping
    > gps to make the route easier and record a track log of the entire journey.
    >
    > Would a garmin etrex vista or 60C allow to record the entire route? It seems these units are
    > limited to 10000 trackpoints but I don't know if you can manually set the sampling frequency (eg.
    > 10 points per km). Total memory could also be a concern, especially with maps already loaded in
    > the unit.

    We did exactly this on a ~1300km tour in 2002.

    Used a Garmin ETrex Vista and a Palm m515. It is possible to manually set the distance between
    trackpoints, but we set it very low so as to get a highly detailed log. Each night, as I typed up
    my journal on the palm, I would extract the tracklog from the GPS, and save that on the palm also.
    I don't think the map memory is used for the track-log, it seems to be seperate. It would be great
    if it could be, but I think the tracklog is fixed at 10,000 (15,000?) points. BTW: You can set the
    distance between points, or you can set the time - for example set it to every 100 metres, or
    every minute.

    Using a GPS is a fantastic way to record your journey. At the time we were unable to purchase the
    European maps (coming from Australia), so had to do with only 'World Map' detail. A few months after
    getting home, we finally got the maps, and could overlay the tracks. It was interesting to see how
    we got lost trying to follow the train lines into Munich, and exactly what roads we travelled all
    the way down from Haarlem in NL.

    There is a freeware (open source) GPS application for palm, which I think is called 'GPS-Palm'. This
    allows the saving/down/uploading of the track logs.

    I have my journal typed out and on the web if you would like to download a tracklog, or view a screen-
    shot of the route in the Garmin mapping software. But since it's of a personal nature (and I'm a
    very profane person), I don't want it open-slather searchable on the 'net. So if you (or anyone
    else) wants a look email me for the URL.

    Hope this helps, -Kingsley Turner

    (Newcastle, Australia)
     
  14. Kj

    Kj Guest

    Bob <[email protected]> wrote:

    > KJ, you mentioned downloading tracks into a PDA. Sounds interesting. Will the program also allow
    > one to upload routes?

    Cetus GPS does not yet support routes, but it does support up/download of waypoints which actually
    makes it much easier to edit waypoints and manage different sets of waypoints on the etrex.

    I believe the other free tool GPilotS does support route uploads.

    KJ

    http://www.CetusGPS.dk
     
  15. Bob

    Bob Guest

    > I believe the other free tool GPilotS does support route uploads.

    Thanks,

    I found it and it does indicate that it will do the job. Now, I need another accessory,
    namely a Palm.

    Bob
     
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