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Old 11-20-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
d_mob OP
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n00b GPS rant

I'd just like to take a second to vent about how much of a pain in the ass all this is! Isn't technology supposed to make things easier??? Frck!

I'm headed out on/around Dec 15th for 6-12mos to/through Central and South America.

I bought a Zumo 660 w/ locking mount. First, I wired directly to battery and come to find out, even if device is off it will pull a charge from battery if sitting in base. So, since I don't feel like wiring a switch or paying for the CANBUS crap, I will just take the unit with me every time I turn off the bike, which effectively makes my 'locking' mount useless.

Second, the first device I had was shot. It would power up just fine, but when I plugged it into the computer it would get halfway booted and then shut off. Over, and over, and over... Rendering the device useless. Garmin has since sent me a new device, but I had to be on the phone with them for quite awhile to do so, and then again to transfer purchased maps to new device.

So far I've purchased City Navigator South America, which was a waste of money as it doesn't really cover any of the countries I plan to spend the majority of my time in (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia). I also purchased a Topo map and will use that upon my return in the US.

Regarding Central America, I spent $99 on the Mexico/C.A. BiciMapas package, but since I use a Mac Air, the .exe file is worthless. I have instructions on how to load and unlock using a PC and then use software to convert to Mac friendly file, but those instructions have not worked thus far. I've e-mailed BiciMaps regarding this and they haven't responded yet. Anyone run into this? If so, any detailed tips/tricks?

Regarding S.A., I will utilize the links in this thread I guess, but after all the issues I've run into thus far, I can't say I'm feeling optimistic that I'll be able to download and be up and running with no issue. Maybe it's user error. Maybe it's not...

All I know is this damn GPS stuff is frustrating!!!

Thanks for listening, and feel free to pull me back from the ledge if you have any helpful advice for a GPS newbie.

~ D
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
MJS
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D, I don't think any of your issues are unsolvable but given the time until your departure I'd suggest you just order some good paper maps and not worry about the GPSr. I used the ITMB maps and was happy with them. www.itmb.ca. There are a number of free SA and CA gps maps available if you search for them. You'll still want to have the paper maps.

Since you mentioned Canbus I'll assume a BMW. You can power the gps off of the factory gps plug. Your local dealer should have the connector and be able to assist you with this. The connector is about $20.00 IIRC.

Get a friend with a pc to install the Bici maps on your Garmin unit. Even if they don't have or use a GPSr, they can download Basecamp, do the map install and then uninstall Basecamp. You'll need to connect your GPS to their computer to do the install and unlock. Suggest you install to uSD card.

Have fun on your trip and don't over stress on this. After a couple days in Mexico it will all be forgotten.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips on the paper map recommendations. I have a few that I was planning to take with and was going to source along the way add'l maps for each country. I guess it's probably best to have these sorted beforehand.

Regarding the BiciMaps deal, Their instructions show to use Mapsource on PC. When I do this the map will load, but takes me to the Garmin page to unlock. The unlock code provided keeps saying invalid, and in fact, it won't even accept a code that long.

I'll load Basecamp on the PC and try it from there.

Thanks again... Will let you know how it works out,

PS... Do most people have multiple SD cards with multiple different country maps on them (i.e. cross a border, insert a new card)?
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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Hmmm... Working through it as we speak.

d_mob screwed with this post 11-21-2013 at 01:04 PM
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #5
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Don't have my PC with me on the road but if I remember right you should not go to the garmin unlock site. Select manage maps and then select unlock regions. You can enter the bicimap unlock code there.

Best to carry your maps with you. They can be hard to impossible to find when you are on the road. They are not typically sold in gas stations like in the US.
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