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Old 12-15-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
ShoelessJoe OP
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Goodbye Garmin, hello Android

I have finally had it with my Garmin 78S. Between the screen size, resolution and several other problems I am done.
Here is a list of some of the problems that I had, many of which were due to my lack of garmin/mapsource knowledge, but it really should not be that hard.

78S
-small screen and poor map resolution
-damn thing would shut off every once in a while when starting the bike and while riding
-gpx transfer from mapsource (Mac version) to the device was a pain. It would give you a "transfer successful", but the tracks/routes would never show up on the gps.

So my option was to get a better gps system, but before I did that I wanted to look into other options. We had one guy on our last ride use a 7" tablet on the bike which seemed to work well. I ended up helping him out a little getting it set up and realized how easy it was compared to my garmin.

Off to ebay I went and spent a whooping $15 on a Kyocera Hydro XRTM phone, which is waterproof/shockproof. The description said it was heavily used with numerous scratches, but when the phone showed up it looked "hardly" instead of "heavily" used.

This is what I'm into it for so far:
-$15 for the phone (I will use wifi only and not install a sim card).
-$10 google play card to purchase a few navigation apps
-$0 for the mount, took a ram holder off my mountain bike
-$0 for the power supply, had a usb charger already on the bike
****total $25. Actually a little less as I still have about $6 on the card


Here are both of them side by side with approximately the same map area shown. (the app is OSMand)




In the sunlight


Mounted on the bike


I downloaded OSMand and a few maps last night and stuck it on the bike for the commute. So far I am very impressed with the resolution and screen size for the investment. It will be a little bit of a learning curve to get up to speed, but this will be a long term test. The 78S, maps, mounts, and power supply cost me well over $300 a few years ago. Right now I have a bigger, brighter, better resolution gps for $25

The plan is to get a few more nav apps to mess with and learn. If everything is running along well I will eventually upgrade to a slightly bigger android phone and mount. I don't really ride a lot in the rain, but will keep it as waterproof, shockproof and dustproof as I can.

I am an iphone user and did use that one the bike for a little while, but I am unwilling to use it as a primary GPS. I'd much rather have another device that if breaks while on the bike it will not be that big of an event. Learned a long time ago to have a back up navigation source, either maps or digital maps on another device.

Going to use this thread to post my progress down the android path to show the benefits/drawbacks and to get some suggestions along the way. First thing I need to do is modify my gloves a little to make the touch screen work better.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:46 PM   #2
avc8130
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I'm watching this thread. I actually just went the other way. I just got a 78S to complement my Galaxy S4.

So far, I find the Garmin easier. LOL
ac
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:31 AM   #3
ohgood
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while you're enjoying the new goodness, Give locus free a try.
and maverick.
and dualsportmaps.
and oruxmaps.
and gaia.
and backcountrynavigator.

and a few others. I've posted a few video answers for common osmand and locus questions over on the smartphone thread, if you find a need.

enjoy
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scrolling through the words to get to the pictures is cool, but i'm really just here for the tracks and waypoints... post some ok ?
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:06 AM   #4
georgetmule
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Hi Guys!

For Android, the Backcountry Navigator app is very good.
I run it on my Galaxy phone and on a Nexus 7 tablet. Since the phone is always with me anyway, that is the most common one, but the smaller screen does limit it's usefulness while in motion. The tablet is simply spectacular, but overkill for hiking or equestrian.
Prior to finding this solution, I used a variety of handheld GPS units, most recently a DeLorme PN60. There really isn't any comparison, and the PN60 hasn't even been turned on in a year or more.
Coming from a Mac background, I have to say: Android rules.
I will also comment that the camera on the Galaxy S4 phone outperforms my Nikon compact camera hands down, so that's another piece of electronics I no longer carry around.
Mmmmm, technology :-)
ByeBye! Steve
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:22 PM   #5
webmonstro
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Little tip, if the phone has the power connection on the top , turn it upside down, this will prevent most if not all water entering the device
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:21 PM   #6
worwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webmonstro View Post
Little tip, if the phone has the power connection on the top , turn it upside down, this will prevent most if not all water entering the device
And cork the headphone (or anything else) opening if it is on the top.
I had a Garmin GPS with the power plug near the top, and the power plug fizzled out when it got water in it.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:56 PM   #7
ShoelessJoe OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
while you're enjoying the new goodness, Give locus free a try.
and maverick.
and dualsportmaps.
and oruxmaps.
and gaia.
and backcountrynavigator.

and a few others. I've posted a few video answers for common osmand and locus questions over on the smartphone thread, if you find a need.

enjoy
I've seen some of your posts. Going to try and get a little better working knowledge of osmand before trying locus.

The power port is facing down, but here in Texas I'm more worried about too much dust getting in rather than water. I really don't plan on using the headphone jack so I'll plug that with something. Anyone have any ideas how to seal up the power port a little better?
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:26 AM   #8
georgetmule
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Hi All!

The Poetic case I use on the tablet seals everything up pretty well. I've never worried about the phone, if it rains I just put it in my pocket or pack.
If that isn't an option, try wrapping the edge with good electrical tape; the soft stretchy kind. Just remember to peel it off as soon as you're done riding.


ByeBye! Steve
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:23 AM   #9
adi.barda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
while you're enjoying the new goodness, Give locus free a try.
and maverick.
and dualsportmaps.
and oruxmaps.
and gaia.
and backcountrynavigator.

and a few others. I've posted a few video answers for common osmand and locus questions over on the smartphone thread, if you find a need.

enjoy
For offroad usage I recommend trying the free AdvRider WD
It has a lot of features including native offline OruxMaps maps support
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:52 AM   #10
ohgood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adi.barda View Post
For offroad usage I recommend trying the free AdvRider WD
It has a lot of features including native offline OruxMaps maps support
I need to use that more before I start recommending it to everyone. if you want/need beta testers please pm me and I'll help you however I can.
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scrolling through the words to get to the pictures is cool, but i'm really just here for the tracks and waypoints... post some ok ?
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:07 AM   #11
adi.barda
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Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
I need to use that more before I start recommending it to everyone. if you want/need beta testers please pm me and I'll help you however I can.
PM sent :)
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:37 AM   #12
ob1quixote
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I'll be watching this one too.

I have played with my Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0 on the bike, but it isnt waterproof and kinda large. My Casio Commando phone is waterproof, but the display size is on the small side.

Choices, choices...
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:51 AM   #13
Rabbitson
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Interesting thread, I'd be interested to hear how it works out for you over a longer period.

Garmon devices are pretty clunky compared to android but I still use my Zumo 660 for all it's niggles as it's waterproof and can be used with gloves.

As soon as there's a realistic alternative to this, I'll probably also ditch mine.

Good luck with your new toy, I'm impressed with what you've managed to find on what seems to me like such a small budget.

All the best

David
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:09 AM   #14
Albie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbitson View Post
Interesting thread, I'd be interested to hear how it works out for you over a longer period.

Garmon devices are pretty clunky compared to android but I still use my Zumo 660 for all it's niggles as it's waterproof and can be used with gloves.

As soon as there's a realistic alternative to this, I'll probably also ditch mine.

Good luck with your new toy, I'm impressed with what you've managed to find on what seems to me like such a small budget.

All the best

David
There are a number of Android phones that are waterproof and can be used with gloves.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:17 AM   #15
worwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbitson View Post
Garmon devices are pretty clunky compared to android but I still use my Zumo 660 for all it's niggles as it's waterproof and can be used with gloves.
The glove/touch screen thing is basically a non-issue. There are discussions covering that.
I've looked at the waterproof issue, and for me it ends up being a non-issue. I have various bulky waterproof cases and such. But in the end I use the phone with a simple bumper case. I have ridden for multiple weeks at a time, and rain is seldom an issue. When it rains, I just slip it in my pocket and keep going. Less hassle then securing the Garmin every time I walk away from the bike.
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