Good Day Jondirt,
Great. Good discussion. Addressing today's input:
1. Fuel Gauge Support - You are correct that the Montana does not support the same fuel gauge monitoring as the Zumo models. It will be unlikely that Garmin will add it at this time. It would take a lot of requests from users via Garmin Ideas
or technical support to warrant the development hours. Great input and you are encouraged to drop Garmin a line and let them know your ideas for a perfect, well rounded GPS. This can be said for most comments to the Garmin and their marketing/development teams. The Montana does have the ability to add the Trip computer to just about anywhere on the screen(s) you like to create your own process to know when to get gas. These are typical field choice items and are usually handled by each user differently. TIP** In the field, the tour guide or lead rider resets their gas at every fueling, to ensure accurate time/distance covered. Other riders are encouraged to do so as well at their fueling. Always best to fuel together when in a group. On your own, you can zero out the trip odometer and 1. Create a waypoint at fuel or 2. Reset your GPS Trip Computer at fuel. For Zumo this is a non sequitur as the fuel gauge is built in.
2. Yes, there are 3rd party applications for Garmin and TomTom PND's. The largest seller of these applications is Spot It Out
. They are approved vendors for Garmin and Tom Tom and sell their titles on those companies websites as well as their own. Been in business for 4 years and growing. They are ahead of the curve and once more GPS users are aware of GPS content applications, more content will be created. Circle of Life.
Additionally, both our company and Mad Maps have motorcycle oriented content that is used annually for DP and street rides on that site. The capabilities are increasing little by little. For example, our GPS title for Route 66 covers 5,000 miles of Route 66 with complete turn by turn directions, over 900 points of interest, pictures and in 40 audible languages. It even calls out the exact names of the roads in Text To Speech as listed on the signs on the road. As you can see, there is a market for GPS content and capabilities but, developers can only do so much and need to work with the specific platforms SDK kits. Your idea about address transfer is technically capable via bluetooth, wi-fi or Zig-bee but would need manufacturer buy in. Again, good input to get over to Garmin Ideas. In the meantime, the 6 million POI's in CNNT as well as your manual input can get you anywhere. Also, you can just "touch" the map and have the GPS route you right to the point if you know roughly where you are going. Field choice.
3. Drawing Tracks - I interpreted it that you were creating a route on routable roads and then having Basecamp "create track from route" to avoid the manual process of placing points. At times, one does both. Agree with Dan on this.
4. Direct - Routable creation - Dan is offering excellent advanced advice here. There are a few ways to achieve it and his is clean and fast while working in one program. In Basecamp you can just select" Global Map" or in Mapsource "No Map" and "fool" them into thinking you have to go direct at times. Other options are to 1. Segregate and create seperate Routes and Tracks during the planning phase and push them to the device on synchronization. This allows a user to know when they are on dirt or street. Also good for naming schemas when you are pre planning and want to determine stages (I.E) 1. Denver to Cheyenne - Route Roads 2. Cheyenne to Jackson - Dirt Track, etc. Finally, by segregating the tracks and routes, you can assign different colors to the segments. There are few ways to do all of this and those discussions are more common once the specific device is acquired and riding locations are determined. It all comes with training and experience. You'll do great.
Summary - Purchase the Zumo 660 or 665LM, 100K topo
(non routable) or 24k topo
(routable). Both have the fuel gauge that you are looking for. The new Zumo LM's don't come with DVD's (all download or direct import via Basecamp at connect) but do have enough internal space (2+ GB even with primary CNNT map installed) for both maps. SD card storage adds to it. You will always have the latest maps and can always download to "Device" or "Device and PC". You can always get the Montana 660T with the latest CNNT as a Lifetime Map add on Part # 010-11269-00
. The Montana rocks and we have both as they are both stellar. At this time, it sounds like you are leaning towards a bit more of the road device features. The Zumo 660 is on the big bikes going worldwide and works double duty. Has sweet bluetooth for helmet goodness as well. If you have the scratch....go BIG and get both.
River Pilot Tours
Cheyenne, WY. U.S.A.
PH: (01) 307-222-6347