Jump to content

DragonsWest

+Premium Members
  • Posts

    3426
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by DragonsWest

  1. The rubber exterior on the Oregon wore through and I have seen buttons on the GPSMap series lose their labels and wear through. I expect I'll see the same with the Montana in a few years. This is why we have self adhesive innertube patches.
  2. It could be they are conceding the form factor to mobile phones. The one thing the Montana offers that Apple, et al, do not is a LARGE phone for people who want more real estate to gaze upon.
  3. For the benefit of those considering this unit, I have it one for over a year. 1. Get the AA back. You will need it. Eventually you will come to depend upon it. The power switch on the 700 is too easily bumped, powering it up. I'm sitting at my desk and hear a Beep, the 700 was evidently on all night and is down to 9%. This is not the first time I have found the battery running down, usually it's just before I grab it to take on a hike. The ability to swap in commodity batteries found at any store is A GOOD THING. The Lithium battery had impressive life early on, but it's already showing some age. I can go through 60% of it in a day, no problem. Having a backup Lithium Ion is about $50, nuts to that, I run a lot of consumer electronics on NiMH AA cells and keep a dozen in a Storacell (Glow in the dark) battery carrier in backpack at all times, that's 4 rotations, which is about enough for any weekend camping trip and you can get a dozen, with charger for less than $50. I use all power saving options, including the double-tap of the power button to darken the screen when not reading (or using the face as a writing surface for signing logs.) 2. This GPSr has the feel of the guts of the smaller Oregon (think 600) in a larger package and driving a larger display. It can be excruciatingly slow, particularly when using TOPO maps. The touch interface appears less responsive and somewhat indecisive compared to the Oregon 600. 3. So far I have not hit a cap on pocket queries (my preferred means of loading caches.) I keep various lists (Renowned caches, virtuals, earthcaches, solved puzzles, all caches, etc.) to minimize clutter or maximize my surroundings for attempting cache placement. I've had over 15,000 caches loaded, no compression. 4. The lack of a carabiner to clip easily onto belt, vest or pack strap is a real nuisance. This thing is heavy and bulky. When just hiking along it is very preferable to have it hung up somewhere, freeing hands. I bought the bicycle handlebar mount and just use the four screws to clamp in a bit of woven strap through a carabiner and it works well. It's holds firmly and frees me up to scramble rocks, structures, slippery slopes, etc. Still more bulky than the Oregon 600, but I need the larger screen so that's the trade off. 5. As batteries run lower, even a drop of 0.1 v, on lithium or NiMH the display still goes nuts and won't show logs, descriptions, flickers a lot. That's been a problem since the Oregon 600, clearly not addressed in the Montana 700. Cycle power and you're good to go again. Beats me why it cares about voltage drop, other than dropping below minimum, which can still be a long way off. 6. Accuracy appears to be very good, the external antenna nub seems to provide considerable improvement over the Oregon 600. It catches on everything, much of the back of the case is that sticky rubber, so just deal with it. 7. Most functions are consistent from the Oregon 450 on up. Short learning curve to get out and caching. 8. I still keep all my maps and caches in the micro SD. These are easily enough swapped if going from state to state. When I'd attend a Mega or GeoWoodstock I'd usually have a micro SD already prepped for where I was going to, specific maps, pocket queries, solved puzzles, etc. I have not encountered a common issue with the Oregon 450 and 600, that of caches all disappearing, leaving only Waypoints. I'm wary that it may yet happen, at the worst possible time (like middle of the night, driving county to county, state to state, where I want to pick up caches in specific locations,) but easily remedied by powering down, removing the micro SD, powering up, powering down, replacing the micro SD and powering up again. It takes a while to reload all maps and caches, but there they are. If this malfunction happens with things in the internal memory you need a computer to help you out (copy all maps, queries, waypoints to a disc folder, erase them from the internal memory, cycle power, then write them all back where they came from, cycle power again.) In summary, the Montana 700 works and has a bigger, easier to read screen (especially if you download the larger icon set,) but it still has some of the quirks of its predecessors and you really will need that AA-back, get it.
  4. The Oregons had their run. They were average to pretty good. Once you had their quirks well understood you worked around them and kept trekking and caching along. I've moved on to a Montana 700 (these older eyes.) It's pretty much an Oregon in a bigger, heavier case, but with 3, count em 3 batteries rather than 2. You can still run AA NiMH cells in the optional back (strongly recommended.) Brightness, ruggedness (I've dropped mine a couple times and slipped on a slope and it hit the dirt, rocks, branches any number of times, still works) and overall useability is on par. I wrote what eventually amounted to a review in another thread, so I should go get that and post it as its own thread.
  5. I had problems with GPS + GLONASS, accuracy became erratic in open areas. I expect there was a timing difference between the networks and a simple, dumb little handheld can't be bothered to tell you any useful diagnostic output. Switching to just use GPS worked fine, ran that way for years. GLONASS really never did offer me anything I didn't already have.
  6. A bit of follow up on several months with a Montana 700. 1. Get the AA back. You will need it. Eventually you will come to depend upon it. The power switch on the 700 is too easily bumped, powering it up. I'm sitting at my desk and hear a Beep, the 700 was evidently on all night and is down to 9%. This is not the first time I have found the battery running down, usually it's just before I grab it to take on a hike. The ability to swap in commodity batteries found at any store is A GOOD THING. The Lithium battery had impressive life early on, but it's already showing some age. I can go through 60% of it in a day, no problem. Having a backup Lithium Ion is about $50, nuts to that, I run a lot of consumer electronics on NiMH AA cells and keep a dozen in a Storacell (Glow in the dark) battery carrier in backpack at all times, that's 4 rotations, which is about enough for any weekend camping trip and you can get a dozen, with charger for less than $50. I use all power saving options, including the double-tap of the power button to darken the screen when not reading (or using the face as a writing surface for signing logs.) 2. This GPSr has the feel of the guts of the smaller Oregon (think 600) in a larger package and driving a larger display. It can be excruciatingly slow, particularly when using TOPO maps. The touch interface appears less responsive and somewhat indecisive compared to the Oregon 600. 3. So far I have not hit a cap on pocket queries (my preferred means of loading caches.) I keep various lists (Renowned caches, virtuals, earthcaches, solved puzzles, all caches, etc.) to minimize clutter or maximize my surroundings for attempting cache placement. I've had over 15,000 caches loaded, no compression. 4. The lack of a carabiner to clip easily onto belt, vest or pack strap is a real nuisance. This thing is heavy and bulky. When just hiking along it is very preferable to have it hung up somewhere, freeing hands. I bought the bicycle handlebar mount and just use the four screws to clamp in a bit of woven strap through a carabiner and it works well. It's holds firmly and frees me up to scramble rocks, structures, slippery slopes, etc. Still more bulky than the Oregon 600, but I need the larger screen so that's the trade off. 5. As batteries run lower, even a drop of 0.1 v, on lithium or NiMH the display still goes nuts and won't show logs, descriptions, flickers a lot. That's been a problem since the Oregon 600, clearly not addressed in the Montana 700. Cycle power and you're good to go again. Beats me why it cares about voltage drop, other than dropping below minimum, which can still be a long way off. 6. Accuracy appears to be very good, the external antenna nub seems to provide considerable improvement over the Oregon 600. It catches on everything, much of the back of the case is that sticky rubber, so just deal with it. 7. Most functions are consistent from the Oregon 450 on up. Short learning curve to get out and caching. 8. I still keep all my maps and caches in the micro SD. These are easily enough swapped if going from state to state. When I'd attend a Mega or GeoWoodstock I'd usually have a micro SD already prepped for where I was going to, specific maps, pocket queries, solved puzzles, etc. I have not encountered a common issue with the Oregon 450 and 600, that of caches all disappearing, leaving only Waypoints. I'm wary that it may yet happen, at the worst possible time (like middle of the night, driving county to county, state to state, where I want to pick up caches in specific locations,) but easily remedied by powering down, removing the micro SD, powering up, powering down, replacing the micro SD and powering up again. It takes a while to reload all maps and caches, but there they are. If this malfunction happens with things in the internal memory you need a computer to help you out (copy all maps, queries, waypoints to a disc folder, erase them from the internal memory, cycle power, then write them all back where they came from, cycle power again.) In summary, the Montana 700 works and has a bigger, easier to read screen (especially if you download the larger icon set,) but it still has some of the quirks of its predecessors and you really will need that AA-back, get it.
  7. I'll beg to differ. I have always downloaded zips of my PQs, extracted them and then placed them directly onto the micro SD in the Garmin folder. All three units. This behavior seldom happens right away, but typically after a few hours use. I am not the first person to have made this observation. There does seem to be a corrupting of logic in their units as voltage drops. It does not have to drop a lot. No really creative use of the unit was involved. Simply going along, following the trail to the next cache, marking it found and setting navigation to the next one. It usually becomes more prominent in behavior as the batteries get near the end. But on the 700 it happened within a couple of hours, with 80%+ of battery life remaining. The 700 knows the LiON battery and determines life right off, with a % remaining on the map screen. It's not so sure about NiMH, which makes sense as some are 1500mah while others are up to 2450 mah.
  8. I had one of the early Oregon 450 units, long since gone and I still have an Oregon 600. All three of these GPSr units have some problem as the battery voltage drops a bit - bringing up logs or descriptions will flicker, go blank, give a white screen, and repeat this as you jab your finger at the screen. Restarting the unit resolves the problem. I didn't expect to see this again in the new Montana 700. LiON and NiMH have a long discharge curve where the battery voltage changes very little until just before the end. So 3.6 Volts fresh from charging may remain 3.6 to 3.5 for hours and then drop to 2.9, 2.5, 2.0 in minutes. I was only at about 2 hours into my hike when the Montana replicated this behavior. It sure beats the heck out of my why battery voltage will affect the ability to retrieve text from memory and display it, but there it is. Garmin have heard about this many times since the Oregon 450 debuted, still have this glitch. Can't imagine they get away with this on anything sold to DoD or for general transporation use.
  9. I did go on a hike of about 6 hours, recording a track log, interval at 15 seconds, using the screen blanking to save power and found the LiON pack was down 30% at the end of it. Since this pack is new I can probably expect it to perform well on a day hike for a few years, after that LiON batteries seem to go downhill pretty fast. I have some packs for other devices which are mostly dead at about 7 years. I did a similar hike, but not recording with AA back with Eneloop Pro batteries and it went down about the same amount for a similar length hike. I don't think tracking is adding much burden the power consumption. The bonus of the AA back is I can swap batteries with another set of Eneloops on the trail or some Alkalines from any store along the way. I don't know how they will hold up, but they'll probably do for several hours. A major pain is the LiON packs can ONLY be charged while in the GPSr unit, so you want to charge up the pack or multiple ones it's stuck doing that and nothing else. I can't fathom why they do not have a stand alone charger for this.
  10. First real hike and find the bundled TOPO map, while useful does make it quirky with lag. For faster navigation my old OSM state maps are painless to use. I should get them updated as they are years old now. Li-ion battery holds up well for 6 hours hiking, with 70% remaining. I do blank the screen while not looking at it. There is no way this would last a week, so keeping a AA Back in the pack will be necessary for trips. Unless there is a dedicated charger option, none was included, charging can only be done through the unit, which is a nuisance. Rugged enough to survive the first fumble, it landed on the antenna protrusion, to no apparent injury. The big view is very good, though I did notice the inability to read descriptions as the battery voltage was dropping, had to reboot and restart track. This is a glitch in the Oregon models, which has not been fixed. Also, one time I blanked the screen it would not come back, so had to reboot and restart. Otherwise it performed well and the larger size was not much of an issue.
  11. Yes, these will serve me well! And now, Ardvark Ratnik will rule the world! Muah ha ha ha haaah! Oop, sorry about that. Yes, these look much better on the big screen and less like ants from the top of a tall building.
  12. My Montana 700 arrived, with AA-battery back and bicycle mount. A loop of cord between the mount and a lark's head around the base of a carabiner and I'll be fine sliging it on my backpack shoulder strap. They certainly should have given that some thought, not everyone is going to be happy carrying that in their hand on an 18 mile hike. A bit of cord through those lanyard fasts would probably cut as they aren't smooth, but sharpish. Not something I want hanging on a bit of string anyway, the places I scramble to where I want both hands free. Yessss. It' is a brick. Big 5 inch screen, easy to read. Curiously, the cache icons are nearly microscopic. Has anyone found a way to make those bigger? Seems perfectly happy with my Eneloop Pro NiMH cells running it. Loaded up the first back of pocket queries about the same speed as the old Oregon, so there's not much more CPU in there than the older models. Supports GPS, GPS + GLONASS or GPS + Galileo. Has a pretty good North and Central America continuous TOPO map in there, so that's a plus when you think the cache is only 160 feet away and that direction is a drop off or a wall of rock you are at the foot of.
  13. Nobody could ever accuse Garmin as having their head screwed on correctly. What else would people do with this? Use it in the bathtub? I have maps on my dash, from Garmin where the roads are highlighted in white one a yellow background. I asked them about the ability to change the color scheme and was told, no, you can't. That's just idiotic on a 4 inch display you are meant to use while driving.
  14. Looking at the back there doesn't appear to be the same slot as the Oregon has.
  15. ? I thought from their page this would insert in somewhere on the top of the unit. Sounds like that is not the case. I may go with the bike mount after all.
  16. Thanks for posting that. I had no idea they had a carabiner lanyard. Not mentioned on their site under any of the accessories.
  17. Handheld seems to entirely encapsulate their vision. You are apparently meant to always have it in your hand. From box contents I do not see the lovely little slide on clip the Oregon models have. I have come to rely upon having the caribiner (which the Oregon 600 came with) hooked onto my backpack strap while I'm trudging along. Keeps my hands free for camera, hiking pole, picking up caches, signing logs, juggling trackables, etc. So now comes the question: How are people not handolding their Montana 700 series? I'm eyeballing that bicycle handbar mount with the idea of looping some paracord through there and chucking the bit that goes round the bar, just the back and the immediate screwed on surface.
  18. DragonsWest

    GPS in Tablets

    I have been using a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8 inch in my Jeep for a couple of years. I now find it indispensible for navigation. I have a JK so added the JKE-Dock ( https://vectoroffroad.com/products/jke-dock-2011-2017 ) and RAM mounts. It holds up well even in the most rocky/washboarded conditions. RAM has mounts you can hold your tablet in and thread in a charging cable to keep it going all day. Jeep JK has 110 volt and 12 accessory (formerly called cigarette lighter) socket so it's easy to have a little charger and cable run up to the dash and plugged in for continuous use. For software I have c:GEO for around town, it works well with Open Street Maps, though it was intended to run live which I do not like at all. So I take the tablet offline every time I have it up, so it isn't cluttering the display with all the cheches I own, are disabled, I'm not looking for, etc. I load pocket queries, often only the solved puzzles and various other .gpx stuff. I also use Locus Pro with downloaded USGS Scanned Topo Maps (not the current ones, which leave out a lot of historical detail) Thanks to the roomy 32GB of memory I have all of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, southern Washington, Western Colorado and New Mexico at my fingertips in excrutiating detail. I also us it to keep track of where about 10,000 benchmarks might be, since I like to find these some times. This setup is like the proverbial Swiss Army Knife. It has everything and I can link to my phone for hotspot interwebs whenever I need to see those specials from the grocery store or I have a wet log I need to replace. My S2 is out of production, so at some point I'll need a new tablet, I will only go with one which is not integrated with a telecomm package, since I like to manage my connection (keep c:GEO fro doing what the author wants, but I do not want.)
  19. That power trail attribute look long enough and nearly a mirror image of this one proposed by some goofball back in 2013.
  20. Contacted the lilypad direct (which is what I figured I should have done first off) and have their response, posting it here for the benefit of others:
  21. I see that you are a moderator, but not an employee of HQ (to my limited knowledge of course, based upon observable facts.) I have read the blog post, at least three times by now and will point out that it is vague on the subject, to quote: Please note that the italicized text does not state only. As I am going to host a community event far, far away from these mega and giga events I thought it would be a kindness and courtesy to extend the opportunity to my guests to meet the banner or Signal and obtain the locationless cache icon. Many cannot get away and to others it may be a financial commitment to traveling with family they cannot do. Out of my own pocket I am willing to foot the tab for whichever I can get for the day. This is why I ask.
  22. I remember we had a signal costume for our mega, back in 2016 and I see from the block there's an official banner which works the same, for claiming the limited locationness cache GC8FR0G. Where can I find info on obtaining one of these for my event?
  23. Not all are bouncing their knees. I respect the position the game means different things to different people, Discovering fair and honestly is no different than finding a cache. Our dishonest discoverers are no different from arm-chair cache loggers. The bottom line is what to do about them. Who acts? What is the action? The desired outcome is harmony.
  24. I'll drop the TBs when people stop putting out pill bottles in the forest. We need caches of sufficient size to drop these in, some are very large. But this is forking the topic - we seek a means to stop people, in the present timeframe from these false discoveries from lists accumulated and posted on the web. Perhaps something with teeth in it, if you get more than one complaint then GS bans you for a week. I know they don't want to get into this discipline thing, it requires man hours and they'd rather spend those being hip and cool and hanging out, or whatever they do at HQ.
  25. While this is helpful, they carry a significantly louder voice in having this page removed than we do, however, I do recommend everyone offended by this page complain about it on FB. I did earlier this morning. More complaints, more attention on the problem.
×
×
  • Create New...