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Posts posted by toddm

  1. Yep for sure, the backlight issue is personal. For hiking I never had any issues with the colordo because usually you could turn/tilt the unit into the sun to get good visibility at some angle. Aside that the extrex/60csx had brighter screens in the same light, but I never had a problem seeing the screen on the colorado.


    In my case though I also wanted to use the unit on the mountain bike, and when it's mounted on the bike you loose the option of tilting/turning the unit so it gets the best visibility so a bright backlight is a big issue for that use.

  2. I have both the Colorado 400t and Oregon 400t and have been happy with them. The only issue of note for me is screen brightness - for the Oregon I have the backlight on alll the time ( a battery hog ).


    Is this to say the Oregon screen brightness is even worse than the Colorado? If so that's pretty bad considering how bad the colorado is compared to the etrex/60/76csx models.

  3. Wouldn't surprise me. But it's nice to see that magazine reviews are as useless as ever. Almost no mags in any venue will post anything negative for fear of loosing ad dollars. Which is why if you read the reviews all the products are amazing. Also having known magazine authors that write reviews, many times they don't even significantly use the product when they write the article....and why would they, they have to write a glowing review anyway.


    Garmin probably hand picked them one they stress tested to heck to make sure it was good. This happens all the time with rifles, bikes, etc. the factory sample they are sent is hand picked and made sure to be the best possible example. If magazines went to the store to buy their products you'd see a lot different results.


    As a hunter, I can say that the colorado would not be even close to my choice for the best gps. It lacks a lot of field features of older units, poor battery life, poor screen visibility, the only place it improved significantly was in the auto routing profile and geocache features, not sure how that benefits the hunter.

  4. Depends on what you call waterproof and how nice garmin is feeling.


    Aside the issue in the post below of a kayaker having a colorado leak and garmin at first refusing to warranty it (they later changed their mind after he pursued it further) one has to be weary of using them if they get wet. Garmin's original stance was that splashing creates more pressure than a lab controlled submergence, and therefore they would not cover it. IMO this is complete BS, garmin markets the unit as rugged, waterproof and suitable for outdoor use. Splashing could be rain, kayaking, dropping it in a puddle etc. etc. it basically gives them open season to refuse any water related issue. I think I've even seen a garmin video showing them dropping their own product into the water.


    I have since heard a couple other stories, admittedly second hand but of similar situations with the same response from garmin, however again when pushed they did warranty the units.


    I've been a garmin user since the 12xl came out, and I've owned probably half a dozen different garmin units, but I have to say the mess that the colorado unit has been, and some of the lacking customer service reports as of late make me less enthused about them. The edge 705 is not doing much better, it still has tons of issues after 3-4 updates such as the unit shutting itself off, changing screens due to vibration, inaccuracy in cycling functions and altitude tracking, etc. etc. Nothing like a $600 bike computer that doesn't work, thing should pedal FOR you for that kind of $.

  5. I think we are going to see the CO fade away, it's gotten way way too much negative press. Some of the features are great for the geocachers, but I think garmin went way too far away from a unit that still had solid field functionality. Not to mention all of the issues with the hardware on the units. I'm glad I sold mine a couple months ago, took a reasonable loss on it, but now that places are dumping the prices bigtime it's was the right choice.


    As to the sale I think it says a lot, REI has never put on such a sale on a garmin GPS unit that has been out for such a short time that I've ever seen. In fact usually coupons and % sales at REI specifically exclude gps units. Walmart is also blowing them out on clearance already.....on a unit that's only been out in the market for what 6 months. REI and walmart have never done a major clearance on the 76csx or 60csx and look how long they have been on the market. Prices have dropped over time sure, but you never saw $150+ sales on those units, certainly not in the first year they were out, no way. My guess is Garmin knows the colorado is an egg and they are phasing it out asap.


    But one never knows they may keep it around too, but it's amazing how many sales people I have talked to in various stores, cabelas, sportsmans warehouse, rei, etc. that are all too familiar with massive issues with the colorado and are hesitant to recommend them.

  6. Yeah every device I've used in the field with a touch screen did not work to expectations. They rarely work well if at all with even thin gloves, or in humid/wet or even dusty environments and I would also guess it won't work very well if put into a soft case with a screen cover.


    It will be interesting though, looks like it's time to dump the colorado as with the oregon on the way I doubt we'll see much improvement in the colorado and it's still not acceptable for field work even with the new beta.


    Ain't that the way it always works? The pros get the experimental kit (like "electric Dura Ace" ) well before the public sees it. They'll be using the "pro" model 705, for sure. If it's like any other company's R&D, the Garmin cycling units should improve from this relationship.


    That's very true. I'm always amused by the people that think they can walk in and plunk down $7K for lance armstrong's trek or another pro athletes bike. Same is true of bows or guns, top sponsored shooters get custom built everything, what you buy of the shelf is not what they are using. But it makes for good marketing.



  8. I hope their 705 units work better than the one I have or others I read about on motionbased.com cause if I was a pro cyclist trying to train with that I'd just toss it out the window. I've even been frustrated with mine as just an intermediate cyclist. So far the issues I've had with mine:


    The center button self activating on rough roads/trails

    Tracks/routes do not display or navigate correctly

    issues with the auto wheel size calibration being wrong

    Significant errors in elevation tracking, total ascent/descent, total mileage etc.

    The guys trying to use them with a power meter are having huge headaches

    autopause/autoresume is not working correctly, pausing when riders are still moving

    tracking under about 4mph is really erratic

    %grade cutting out during rides

    time/ascent/trip info downloaded from the unit does not match what was displayed on the unit at the end of the ride.


    So I hope the units they get are better than what we are getting or I feel bad for their training at least they will have a good excuse if they don't win, their sponsor sabotaged their training program ;)

  9. I've had this same issue with vmware fusion and the colorado on my macbook pro. My etrex and 705 work fine no issues but the colorado is always a pain to get working. Usually after several mount/unmount attempts I can get xp to see it, but it's extremely annoying. With or without a data card in it, same issue.


    It would seem something in the way the colorado mounts is messing things up when working with virtual machine software.


    I have not took significant time to try and trouble shoot it since frankly unless the next update adds a lot to the colorado I'll be selling mine as for my use the etrex is far superior.

  10. www.motionbased.com has a lot of hiking/biking/etc. gps files uploaded to it. If you go from the main page to Trailnetwork and search on the area/trail you want etc. you can usually find a ton of data people have uploaded.


    However keep in mind that most of this stuff is not error checked, and it may or may not be the trail you want, etc. So it's best to take it all with a grain of salt and make sure it's right. Then you can download it in a gpx file which you can put into mapsource and load onto your gps.

  11. I won't argue one way or another, however I can say that in in places that are prone to large pressure changes say in the mountains where weather and pressure changes quickly that I've found the auto calibrated barometric elevation profiles to be less accurate than GPS elevations in most cases. That said I've seen places where the GPS reported elevation is horribly from surveying benchmarks as well.


    That said, would not a better test of the auto calibration be to say start a day hike or drive at a survey benchmark and then return to the benchmark or hike to another benchmark and compare the reported elevations? Or set up a route with mapsource topo hike/drive the route and then compare elevation profiles to the topo profile for the route/track? Something that takes more than a hour or two to complete so larger changes in pressure can be encountered. We can easily see a 15-20hpa change in a day here, and that's without heading up into the mountains. It would be interesting to see how well the auto calibration could deal with that type of pressure change while moving and changing elevation as well.


    Is it not probable that part of the garmin's auto calibration takes into account if the unit is moving......if the unit is stationary it's easy to adjust out pressure changes because the unit is not going anywhere. I would guess that type of correction is much harder when the unit is changing in elevation and position, and pressure changes occur. That would seem to be a more real world test than leaving it on a desk all day recording data.

  12. It's too bad the colorado does not have a battery saver mode the 76/60 series had, as far as I can tell all it did was reduce the satellite position refresh rate from 1second to something like 3-5 seconds. It was pretty difficult to use when navigating in a car but for hiking it added a couple hours to the units runtime.


    As someone else said, turn waas off, turn the compass off (it's near useless anyway), and set the display screen to something that does not change (IE not a map or trip screen) so it has to minimal screen redrawing.


    Another idea if you know your route, is you can turn the gps off, and then every so often turn it on and set a waypoint, instead of having the unit on the entire time running a track that you don't need. So you still have "bread crumbs" to outline your general route, but have conserved as much battery life as possible. However, this means stopping, turning the unit on, letting it get a good fix, and setting a waypoint, then continuing on, sort of annoying.


    If that still does not get you enough runtime, get an etrex that runs 3 times as long as the colorado does on a set of batteries.

  13. They said the splashing action voided the warranty since the IPx7 rating only works in a controlled environment. 'Splashing creates more pressure than the rating requires' is approximately what they said.


    That is a pathetic cope out in my opinion by garmin they should be ashamed. They market it as waterproof to a standard as an outdoor unit. "Slim, lightweight and waterproof, Colorado is the perfect companion for all your outdoor pursuits." Unless it rains or you might get some water on it. Misleading marketing flat out.


    So basically then the whole waterproof statement by garmin is a joke, because if you have a problem they won't take care of it. Rain is splashing, falling into a stream is a splash, so is use in a kayak basically any outdoor situation where the unit gets wet voids the warranty as they can claim it's not a controlled environment.....how convenient for them to cover a poor design.

  14. I think the idea of not testing a units water resistance is just poor judgment.


    For those that actually use these things in the field it's imperative to have faith in your gear and know that it's going to perform. While something can go wrong with anything, and a person should always have a map/compass and backup for any important piece of gear in the field that is not the place I want to find out that my gps unit can't take some rain or a dunking because if it can't then steps need to be taken to ensure it can such as waterproof pouches etc.


    Going into the field with a gps you hope is going to take a dunk or a serious rain when you may need it most without testing it, borders on irresponsible.


    I see it all the time with guys that buy "waterproof" bags and never test them, they shove hundreds if not thousands of dollars of gear into them that they need to rely on, go into the field and then end up with wet and ruined gear when they need it most.

  15. That's my thought, I'd be real interested to know why garmin would not replace a unit that is getting water in it while being splashed on a kayak or backpacking trip?


    To clarify I don't doubt your story at all, but I'm curious what excuse garmin used to refuse to replace it.

  16. As much as I'd like to see it, I don't think you will see garmin add features, no matter how much people complain. If they do it might be one or two big ones. In the past garmin has almost never added features to units, they fix bugs and problems that's about it.


    As others have said, it's got a nice auto mode, and I'm sure it's great for geocache use, but for field work it's subpar even compared to the etrex line there are just too many proven useful features missing from it. I'll be waiting for maybe one more firmware update, but then I'm selling mine, my only regret is my 30 days to return it is past.

  17. Here are some pics, not the best but I think they illustrate the point.


    In direct sun (upper left and right) they both look similar, although the map on the edge 705 has better color/contrast is and a lot easier to see. Both upper pics no backlight on either unit.


    In indirect sun (which is most of the time on the bike with the mount angle) the edge crushes the colorado.

    Lower left is with both units on full backlight (sorry it's out of focus) the lower right image neither unit has backlight. Part of the difference is certainly in the color choices for the colorado in map display, and also the size/style of the trip text as well. Changing to a white background helps a bit, but it's still no where near as readable as the 705 is.




    So if you are riding at just the right angle so the sun is on the screen its a toss up. In any other light condition it's really hard to see, esp. when you are just trying to glance at it while riding. If you were hiking or something and could take time to really look at it, or tilt/turn the unit to help improve the view its not a big deal, but on the bike that's not an option.

  18. It depends on what you want.


    I rode for about a week with a 400 on both road and mtn bike and was not impressed. The unit is very hard to see due to it's higher resolution and very poor backlight on the bike. This is usually not a big deal hiking cause you can always tilt the unit a bit or turn towards the sun etc....not an option on the bike. I found in most daylight conditions with it mounted on the stem it was near impossible to see the map screen, the trip screen was better esp. if you force the background to white. The stem mount seems fine, never had any problems with that or with the unit shutting off on rough MTB trails. It's a bigger unit, but when mounted on the stem it's fine, I would not want to mount it to the handlebars due to it's larger profile than the edge series.


    Also be aware that while the unit "works" with the HR monitor and cadence sensor of your 305 unit, you will get no info aside real time HR and Cadence. You will not get any zones or min/max data you may be used to from the 305. Also as of current none of the garmin software can use the HR or Cadence data it records. Supposedly this will happen when motionbased.com gets merged with connect, last I heard maybe in late may. So you will not gear anywhere near the type of ride data that you get with your 305, no different bike settings etc, no zones, no alerts, no min/max data.


    Also be aware that you cannot have the unit navigate you both ways on a track (IE there is no trackback feature) so if you want to ride a loop both ways and have the unit navigate you along the loop (and not just try to follow it on the map screen) you need to load two tracks to the unit, one going each direction.


    It is a pain also that the unit does not show more than one track on the screen this is especially true in places where you have networks of trails.


    Overall I was not impressed at all. The deal breaker for me was that when mounted on the bike the unit is very hard to see in most lighting conditions. This has been discussed to death, but it's due to a darker screen because it has more resolution, and also a much dimmer backlight than other garmin units.


    For the bike the edge 705 is a big upgrade in mapping from the 305, but it's having its share of problems as well. People are having problems with the units locking up when navigating on the map screen, also big elevation tracking problems, and problems with track display/navigation. There is a ton of discussion on this at motionbased.com. The 705 is much much better to see on the bike by far, and the ride data is much more complete. It does not have as much navigation/mapping features as the colorado, but for biking it's a better unit with more cycling features and much easier to see when mounted on the bike.

  19. Yes the custom maps work fine in the current version of mapsource, however, for those wanting to use their Edge or Forerunner training data etc. it may be an issue as the new version of training center won't even start when those maps are installed on the computer, as training center automatically looks for them. This would mean that users of custom maps could not use training center at all.


    Training center can be used parallel to mapsource, and for the most part Training center uses the installed maps to show rides/tracks etc. Not for downloading maps to the unit etc.


    As I said the old version of training center I had, and current mapsource version have no problems using and running with the custom maps.


    I will in fact be going back to the older training center version, and see if that works with the custom maps. Hopefully this is just an odd glitch and not something we are going to see in other new product updates like mapsource etc.

  20. I just downloaded the new version of garmin's training center for windows, released april 9.


    It may be a software bug, but when I installed it and tried to start the program it told me there was an error with the UtTopo install and I should try reinstalling it. So I removed it and reinstalled the utah topo maps, I tried to restart training center and got the same error. I got the same errors for all of the other IndyJpr maps I had installed as well.


    Random issue.....or garmin trying to make sure people have to buy their map products.....which is amusing since garmin has no map product to compete with 1:24000 scale topos. I had no issues with the older version using those maps.



  21. It's perfect marketing on garmin's part and has happened in many other industries.


    Now they can sell someone who geocache's a colorado, and if they happen to do serious hiking/etc. a etrex, and if they bike a edge, and if they run a forerunner.


    The colorado "works" with HRM and bike speed/cadence sensors, but it has no real functionality for anyone that is serious about bike or HR data, so it's still not useful for any training purposes. Now does garmin say the unit is for fitness training.....no, but it's a really short leap for someone reading the marketing on the unit to think that it would have more fitness capability than just reading HR and Cadence in real time too.


    The same is true of the edge series, even the new 705, yes it has "mapping" capability but it's never going to even come close to replacing say an etrex for hiking, you get little to no mapping options, you again have the ability to only have the unit navigate you along a course one direction. It's a $600 bike computer, and garmin knows that if you want a hiking gps you will have to buy another unit.


    What is unfortunate is that if that is going to be the case, garmin should do a better job of marketing the detailed feature differences between units. However, if the colorado manual is any indication I would not hold my breath. That manual is so poor there's no way to even try and preview it to get an idea of a feature set for the new units. The edge 705 manual is a lot more complete in that respect, but even it leaves out a lot of features and instructions.

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