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Old 05-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #7981
atlas cached
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Originally Posted by Cataract2 View Post
I'm considering the Montana for myself. Can anyone give me the pros and cons they have had with the unit?

Pros:

The most awesome multipurpose off road back country hiking riding sporting geocaching GPSr offered by Garmin.

Cons:

The most expensive multipurpose off road back country hiking riding sporting geocaching GPSr offered by Garmin.


Good Luck!
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:27 PM   #7982
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It's a very capable unit - one the most capable I've used. The size is nearly ideal for an all-purpose unit and the screen is bright and very easy to read day or night. It easily takes in map or photo overlays and the downloadable satellite imagery is a very useful tool for backcountry off-road IMO. Very nice that it takes either a rechargeable lithium or standard AA's although life on the AA's is pretty short. The mounts Garmin supplies are pretty good and have excellent electrical connections to the unit. All the waypoint/track/route data is stored internally as readily accessible .gpx files.

I wish it had buttons and the touch is very difficult to use in motion, even in a car let alone a moto. Be prepared for very buggy firmware that lacks some features, many that are very basic, that have been standard in many previous units. Auto-routing is very sub-par.


The cons list is pretty short but they are pretty annoying for me. I'll put up with them to get the pros and hope/wish Garmin gets around to addressing the schlock firmware...
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:05 PM   #7983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlas cached View Post
Pros:

The most awesome multipurpose off road back country hiking riding sporting geocaching GPSr offered by Garmin.

Cons:

The most expensive multipurpose off road back country hiking riding sporting geocaching GPSr offered by Garmin.


Good Luck!

That's Funny.............true though


I had mine for a short while.
So far so good.

I have a 60CSx Zumo 550 And a Nuvi 2595.

It reminds me me a little of all three units.
Mostly the 60CSx which is imho the most awesome gps I have ever owned.
The Montana may just overtake the 60CSx only time will tell.

If you get the Montana there is a learning curve...I'm presently at the bottom of that curve.
To me you have to want to "fiddle" with the unit...which I like to do.
Also imho if you want plug and play go to a Zumo.

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USAIR screwed with this post 05-24-2013 at 03:14 PM
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:27 PM   #7984
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Originally Posted by SteveAZ View Post
Very nice that it takes either a rechargeable lithium or standard AA's although life on the AA's is pretty short.
Using some AA EnloopXX batteries last weekend seemed to have a very long battery life and Garmin claims 22 hours with NiMh AA batteries FYI.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:31 PM   #7985
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Originally Posted by scottydawg View Post
Using some AA EnloopXX batteries last weekend seemed to have a very long battery life and Garmin claims 22 hours with NiMh AA batteries FYI.
For me the advantage of being able to take AA's is so I can use readily available disposable batteries and they don't last all that long in the unit in my experience. I don't use the unit on batteries much so having to carry an external charger is a bit of a pain. I'll stick with the Garmin lithium(s) for rechargeable use.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #7986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cataract2 View Post
I'm considering the Montana for myself. Can anyone give me the pros and cons they have had with the unit?
The Montana is a great GPS. Like all Garmin GPS units, there are quirks, but it has easily been the best GPS I have owned. (My previous Garmin's include a GPS III, GPS V, Zumo 550, and now the Montana 650). I experienced some unit freezes, but in fairness, I was running a beta version firmware at the time. It has been stable since then. With a year and half of experience with the unit, would I buy it again? Absolutely.

If you are buying the Montana and plan to only use it as a "rolling map" like many inexperienced GPS users, save your money and find a less expensive unit. As others here have said, there is a learning curve with the Montana, if you want to fully utilize its many features. Even after a year and a half, I am still learning from the experiences shared here by others (thank you, all).

You now have available some excellent learning resources. Board member atlas cache provides an excellent Wiki at http://garminmontanagpsr.wikispaces.com/ and board member Emmbeedee has assembled a "Montana Collected Wisdom" thread at http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...9#post18690739.

Do little reading first, to ensure you buy everything you need for mounting the Montana and having whatever types of maps you want.

You asked for some pros and cons, so here are a few:
  • You can have and use multiple maps. (PRO)
  • You can use a large memory card to save your multiple map sets, photos (if you have the Montana 650), and more. (PRO)
  • You can use AA batteries for power, if you are using it as a handheld unit off the bike. (PRO)
  • You can use tracks (in addition to routes) to navigate and never worry about your carefully planned trip being recalculated by the GPS. (PRO)
  • You always have a camera with you (if you buy the Montana 650 or 650T). (PRO)
  • It does not handle routing the same way as the more road-oriented Garmins (do some reading to better understand this). (CON)
  • No Bluetooth audio (there are ways to address this). (CON)
  • No music playback support. (CON to some)
Others can offer some more pros and cons.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide to do and why.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #7987
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I'll stick with the Garmin lithium(s) for rechargeable use.
I have four of the Garmin Li-Ion battery packs for my Montana. Usually good for a week out on the trails.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #7988
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lost sat signal

Over the past few days I have had my 650 loose it's sat signal & 'search for sat's' for a longtime. I have found that going back to the Home screen, the sat signal was strong & would go back to the map navigation & everything is good again!
Am currently touring in Oergon, Idaho with the great weather this past week .
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #7989
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Over the past few days I have had my 650 loose it's sat signal & 'search for sat's' for a longtime. I have found that going back to the Home screen, the sat signal was strong & would go back to the map navigation & everything is good again!
Am currently touring in Oergon, Idaho with the great weather this past week .
...And you only lost Satellite reception while on the Map screen, and you have Map Speed set to Fast, right?
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:27 PM   #7990
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Originally Posted by atlas cached View Post
...And you only lost Satellite reception while on the Map screen, and you have Map Speed set to Fast, right?

Is this a known issue by Garmin???
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #7991
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Is this a known issue by Garmin???
Bug #64
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:58 PM   #7992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Murray View Post
  • You can have and use multiple maps. (PRO)
  • You can use a large memory card to save your multiple map sets, photos (if you have the Montana 650), and more. (PRO)
  • You can use AA batteries for power, if you are using it as a handheld unit off the bike. (PRO)
  • You can use tracks (in addition to routes) to navigate and never worry about your carefully planned trip being recalculated by the GPS. (PRO)
  • You always have a camera with you (if you buy the Montana 650 or 650T). (PRO)
  • It does not handle routing the same way as the more road-oriented Garmins (do some reading to better understand this). (CON)
  • No Bluetooth audio (there are ways to address this). (CON)
  • No music playback support. (CON to some)
Others can offer some more pros and cons.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide to do and why.
In terms of mounting. I have the RAM Ball and associated arms for mounting available. Someone mentioned the AMPS mount requires the RAM ball so I think I should be ok there. Along with using the AMPS I can attach a bluetooth connection to it to get directions piped to my Sena unit.

I should mention. I currently have the Garmin 78s but some of it's short comings are bugging me. Also the small screen is getting to me. I'm attracted to the Montana's large screen and many of it's features. I must ask though, what issues come with it's routing? Does it not handle doing a find and routing within the unit well or is it stupid with how it routes?
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:18 PM   #7993
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Originally Posted by atlas cached View Post
I have four of the Garmin Li-Ion battery packs for my Montana. Usually good for a week out on the trails.
Beauty is I always have AA's.. OTH AAA's suck. I wish the headlamp guys would sort that out but that's a different discussion.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:53 AM   #7994
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cataract2 View Post
In terms of mounting. I have the RAM Ball and associated arms for mounting available. Someone mentioned the AMPS mount requires the RAM ball so I think I should be ok there. Along with using the AMPS I can attach a bluetooth connection to it to get directions piped to my Sena unit.

I should mention. I currently have the Garmin 78s but some of it's short comings are bugging me. Also the small screen is getting to me. I'm attracted to the Montana's large screen and many of it's features. I must ask though, what issues come with it's routing? Does it not handle doing a find and routing within the unit well or is it stupid with how it routes?
This is not a comprehensive answer, but the Montana has no "Detour" feature when following a route. By contrast, a unit like the Zumo 350 will allow you to set either a distance or a specific road to avoid and then bring you back onto the route. This is handy when you come to a bridge out or road closed.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:43 AM   #7995
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This is not a comprehensive answer, but the Montana has no "Detour" feature when following a route. By contrast, a unit like the Zumo 350 will allow you to set either a distance or a specific road to avoid and then bring you back onto the route. This is handy when you come to a bridge out or road closed.
Sounds the same with how my GPSMAP 78s works. Least I'm use to that issue and don't find it a deal breaker. Hey, I'm on a motorcycle. Finding the alternate route is what we call an "adventure" right?
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