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Old 12-30-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
SteveAZ OP
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zumo 665lm?

Is there anyone with a zumo 665lm that has the patience to entertain some online dialog regarding it? I'm interested in it, especially the WX and traffic option....I'm very experienced with GPS so I promise not to bog you down with the mundane basic things, just the stuff specific to the unit... I can't really figure out how/why the search on Advrider seems to ignore numbers so searching for "665" hasn't been very useful, searching for "665lm" got almost nothing and a search for "zumo" is overwhelming...
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
uscgrescue
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Steve,

My wife bought me one for my birthday this past August. It overall is a good unit, I mounted it on my Super Tenere. It also comes with a car cradle. My only problem with it is sometimes the pin contacts on the motorcycle mount and car mount sometimes do not make contact, which cuts out the XM features. Simpy removing it and exercising the spring loaded contacts fixes it. The XM weather is low quality graphics, and if there is rain or snow within 500 miles of you, it will alert you every 30 minutes or so. The XM radio works great and gets good reception with the supplied antenna. The GPS features are spot on and have yet to direct me in a inefficient or wayward manner. I have not uploaded any maps yet, so no input on that aspect. I connected my Iphone and SENA SMH10 headsets and have crystal clear audio and comms. My only wish I have is to get another XM antenna so I dont have to switch it between the jeep and the bike all the time. I hope this guides your decision making.

/r
Seth
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
SteveAZ OP
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When running around the backcountry here, while choosing a cross-country option, often the choices are routes that are far apart but not a big change in riding/driving distance so one thing I'm looking for is the ability to see where the weather is going to help choose the better route, especially during the monsoon season.

When looking at the weather radar, what kind of resolution do you get? Can you tell it's raining 10 miles over thataway and not 10 miles over thataway? 5 miles? Better? Worse? How "real time" is the radar?

I've got a 276C. How's the screen compare?
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
uscgrescue
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I would say 10 miles is a fair range to determine where the WX/Rain/Snow is going. It has an automatic scroll feature that shows you a few frames so you can figure out which way it is moving. I am a WX conscious person and am not impressed with the unit when it comes to the weather features. The graphics underlay will show you your terrain in great detail, only to have large chunky blocks of blue(snow) pink(rain) hop across your screen. I rely on my Iphone for realtime NOAA radar, but that may be difficult if you are out of service. End assessment would be the unit is better than nothing for WX reprting, but given the choice, I will resort to my Iphone, much better information available with NOAA maps and (text) forecaster reasoning.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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I'm very often away from cell service (let alone data) here... I have to chuckle when people rely on tablets or phones for maps and weather....they clearly don't travel where I do!

I want to be able to plan routes on-the-fly while trying to optimize for weather. Monsoon time we get pretty violent storms that aren't fun to travel through. They are often brief and very localized but usually nexrad is awesome for being able to see where they are and where they're likely to go or show up. Having real-time radar overlays on the route planning tool (the GPS) is by far the best way to do that. Even outside of monsoon season nexrad is powerful for predicting best routes. But the data needs to have reasonable resolution, latency and update rates. It sounds like the 665lm might not cut the muster... I sure would like to see one in action. I don't know of another GPS that will though. From what I understand about the 640 it has the good weather data (at a much higher price, but that's ok) but you can't view it when you are in automotive mode and so can't route with it on. I don't understand that.

I tried calling XM about the weather service. Those people are not very savvy. The only thing they could tell me about it was the price. Then they transferred me to Garmin.

I don't have the patience for Garmin's phone line - particularly when my chances of getting the information on resolution, latency and update rates is iffy at best. I tried their email line and they keep answering questions I'm not asking and not answering the ones I ask - like talking to a politician....
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:15 PM   #6
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Hello SteveAZ,

Good questions and should be easy enought to get you in the right direction.

A few items for you:

The Garmin Aera 510, 550, 560 aviation/auto GPS units were all taken from the Garmin Zumo line. The physical device and many of the characterisitcs are direct lifts. You will find similar feature sets but the aviation units of course, will have pilot specific prompts and utilities as well as other upgrades.

XM provides the weather and it is all the same raw information. Baron is the actual weather provider to XM. The different pricing tiers for the aviation weather are due to the amount of data that is sent rather than the accuracy.

There are two products lines. Navweather is designed for newer cars and the Garmin Zumo 665LM. It provides big bold, easy to use weather data. The other is the Flight weather. Flight Weather is designed for aviation.

The Garmin Zumo 665LM is currently designed to handle only the Navweather. There is an 8 digit code that can be enabled when calling XM and it is designed to be used with Navweather. The code is presented to XM and when they receive that code, their screen tells them what data package the device can handle. According to Garmin as of 1/4/2012, only Navweather can be processed and purchased.

Conversely, since the Aera line is designed for aviation, that device can handle the Navweather signals and includes the corresponding 8 digit code for Flight Weather as well. The Aera line also has a faster internal update rate and resolution.

For the aviation side, there is more data available to add on. The pricing tier and feature information is here. There is no "higher" resolution or "better" information that you can buy either from XM or Garmin. What you are buying is "more" information from either the entry level Navweather to the sophsticated Flight Weather. XM provides all the weather information from these entry level units like the Aera and Zumo 665LM up to the big iron flight deck devices that go into jets. The larger, more expensive GPS panels use Doppler weather onboard the plane and supplement it with weather from XM and GPS positioning and other data from the Iridium satellite network.

The technical data you are looking for as to resolution rates, latency, is all listed in the Garmin GXM 40 antenna user manual. Here is the link to the PDF. Page 33 will provide update times. The rest of the manual will go into details about what the antenna and data can do together.

We have used the Garmin Zumo 665LM with XM with Navweathere here and have found it to be a wondeful tool. There are no other competitors so your options are limited in either way. The weather data provides enough speed to let us know what to expect and where to reroute as needed. Suggest the Garmin Zumo 665LM, Navweather package for $9.95 and roll.

For general advice with your GPS, we suggest reading this information.

River Pilot
Cheyenne, WY. U.S.A.
Web: www.riverspilot.com
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
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I should have looked at the aviation units, not sure why it didn't cross my mind (I'm a pilot). It also hadn't occurred to me to look at the Garmin GXM 40 antenna user manual for the information so I appreciate the point in the right direction although I'm disappointed that Garmin's response to the simple and direct question was:

"Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I am sorry but we do not have documentation with your requested information."

The NEXRAD update rate looks to be 5min although I'm not sure about latency. Regardless that seems reasonable. If the most recent data is aged more than about 15min then it starts to drop off its usefulness pretty quickly. From the manual it looks like the aviation units give the data age, do you know if the 665 does that?

I still can't figure out the resolution of the NEXRAD. I'd say that if it is greater than 0.5-1km it starts to drop off its usefulness.

I'm not at all opposed to the aviation unit with automotive routing. They'd be very nice to have as secondary units for flying anyway although I don't get out enough these days to warrant a av-only unit. I'll take a look at it's manuals when I get the opportunity. There is the potential advantage of the 665 already being purpose built for the motos though and it certainly is more price attractive. Do you know if the aviation units will operate with XM WX Marine Weather? I think you mentioned it will operate with the NavWeather. Do you know about NavTraffic? Do you also know if it supports the Aviation [or Marine] weather while doing automotive routing or is that a completely different mode like the 640?

I promise to look at the aviation unit manuals this weekend.


Many thanks for the information....
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
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Hello Steve,

Yes, you can click the " + " sign on the map and drill down to 200 ft with the device. The weather is a layer that is quickly turned on and off. You will see the weather at the 200' level.

According to XM and Garmin, the data rates and update times are listed in the GXM 40 manual. I cannot recall if the data age was provided for the weather on the Zumo 665LM

Only Baron Services knows how fast they get the data from their sources and pass that on for satellite dissmenination via XM. I too am a private pilot and can say that they advised the weather data is the same information that is sent to GPS' that are certified on VFR and IFR flights. If its thorough and fast enough for that, it will handle a motorcycle ride.

If you were to switch to the Aera 510 for the upgraded Aviation weather packages available on those units, costs will be $1,249 for the device and approximately $150 for the motorcyle mounting hardware.

No, I am unaware of whether the Aera line will handle marine weather. Only the 8 digit code at time of purchase can tell that at this time. Will need the device and a GXM 40 antenna in hand. Finding that specific pre purchase answer is difficult at the moment (from either company). I am also unaware of if the unit will handle XM Navtraffic. However, as you move up to the Aera 550/560 they do handle Navteq FM Traffic with the optional GXM 20 antenna.

If this is a motorcycle unit, propose the Garmin Zumo 665LM. If this is an aviation unit, propsoe the Aera 550.

River Pilot
Cheyenne, WY. U.S.A.
Web: www.riverspilot.com
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #9
SteveAZ OP
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Well that's all a lot more encouraging - up to this point I had pretty much decided that the 665 might not be the way to go. Sometimes Garmin has a very effective sales prevention program and since I am a stockholder it's disappointing.

My uses are primarily car, moto and 4x4. I fly a bit in the summer and most of my PIC time is sailplanes so aviation specific units don't bring much to the table although some of the additional data in the more advanced weather packages is nice for all of the uses I have. It would be nice if the 665 could accept the aviation and marine XM weather packages. regardless it's hard to justify the aviation units based on my intended uses. I'll still go ahead and read the aviation manuals in case there's something that's really high value for me.
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