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Garmin Nuvi 500?


spongebob218
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The nuvi 510 is available in some European countries.

 

The Bluetooth may be a European model / scooter friendly feature. It's not available in the settings menu on the 500 I'm testing.

 

Yeah, just saw that with a "Nuvi 510" google search. I guess it's been out for at least a few weeks too. Interesting though.

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I finally posted my nuvi 500 review. It ain't pretty either.

 

I read your review...nice job. I'm hoping they will fix the compass, but in the meantime...have you tried using the satellite screen to locate a cache? Press and hold the satellite strength bar and the screen will come up....compare the changing coordinates, as you move, with the posted cache coordinates to get you to the cache...works great on mine.

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I have been using the NUVI 500 for awhile now and I have to say I like it except for the following things:

 

1.) I load the Caches from GSAK and sometimes when I go to bring one up on the NUVI 500 the GPSr will restart.

 

2.) Under any kind of tree cover heavy or light the 500 has a real hard time keeping up.

 

I have used the NUVI 200W before getting the 500 and have found just over 400 caches with the NUVIs. The NUVI 200W did a better job of getting me closer to the cache than the 500 under tree cover ect. As for changing modes from On Road (Driving) to (Off Road) Walking, it is a snap with the 500 than the 200W, I really like that feature.

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My Nuvi 205W cannot turn its BL off. However, I've discovered, if you set the power switch so that TS is deactivated, then the BL will turn off after a short delay.

How do you do this?

The Nuvi power switch, momentary slide from center to power on/off, or slide right, it stays put, to deactivate the touchscreen. I believe this is a universal Nuvi feature, but I have but a sample of one.

 

Believe it or not, :) this feature is covered in the manual, p12. The BL turn-off I discovered.

 

Ah, unfortunately, the nuvi 500 only has a push button power switch, as does my 660.

 

I'm really surprised that the 500 doesn't have this, since in all other areas it appears to be based on the 2x5 platform. AFAIK, there is no way to deactivate the touch screen!

 

Actually the Nuvi 500 does _now_ have this feature. :huh: . I just registered mine and during the process, the software was updated and when shutting the unit off afterwards, I noticed it now offers that feature. A nice addition.

 

I would like to find and easy way to transfer geocaches from the Nuvi 500 to the (Macintosh) Garmin RoadTrip application. Doing a sync only moves sertain 'folders' and the Geocache folder isn't one of them. Viewing many geocaches on a full screen map like RoadTrip offers, would allow me to plan my outing better.

 

The workaround is to add them to 'Favorites' but there should be an easier way. :rolleyes:

 

Tim

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Do you have the list of improvements in this release? Or can you say how the touch screen lock is initiated?

 

Sorry to say, I don't have a list of changes/improvements. Just noticed that when I went to power my unit off with a simple light touch of the power switch, I was presented with a screen to set the screen brightness. I needed to press and hole the power switch a bit longer for the unit to actually power off. My software version number is 2.30 with the GPS SW Version being 2.43b. Not sure what either of them were before the update.

 

Tim

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I'm aware of the power button tap to bring up screen brightness options, but is there now a way to deactivate the touch screen? I've sent my review unit back and I'm not sure what firmware version I was running.

 

The power button tap was not a working feature on my Nuvi 500, nor apparently on the poster's 500 that I originally replied to, which was what got me to reply when the new software actually 'fixed' it so it did work. To my knowledge, and I haven't played with it much since the upgrade, there is no way to totally turn the screen off.

 

Tim

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So has anyone used to nuvi 500 to find a cache?

 

I've found a couple with mine. I'm not what you would call a dedicated Geocacher however.

 

The first one I found took me a couple of trips to the location as the 500 had me about 100 feet away from it the first time and I found nothing. On my second try, it directed me to a different location and I walk right to the cache.

 

For my second cache with the 500, it took me about 5-8 feet past a stone wall, and knowing how popular stone walls are, I turned back and grabbed the cache. :ph34r:

 

Tim

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Found 10 with mine thus far. I don't have the issues with tree cover that are being reported. Mine even works in the house. I find that once I'm in the general area that the satellite screen works very well to get ya right to the cache. Mine will not turn off the screen completely either...I have to tap the power button and power down to the minimum 10% to help battery life.

 

Now can anyone tell me what the increments of measurement are in the GPS coordinates?

 

What's the footage difference in say N32 29.679 and N32 29.680? Is that one second difference? If so how far is a second? Sorry...I'm a newbie still! :laughing:

 

The last cache was exactly 1 increment off the posted coordinates....I have had them show spot on.

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Found 10 with mine thus far. I don't have the issues with tree cover that are being reported. Mine even works in the house. I find that once I'm in the general area that the satellite screen works very well to get ya right to the cache. Mine will not turn off the screen completely either...I have to tap the power button and power down to the minimum 10% to help battery life.

 

Now can anyone tell me what the increments of measurement are in the GPS coordinates?

 

What's the footage difference in say N32 29.679 and N32 29.680? Is that one second difference? If so how far is a second? Sorry...I'm a newbie still! :laughing:

 

The last cache was exactly 1 increment off the posted coordinates....I have had them show spot on.

 

I was very surprised to see that mine also works in the house with 5 bars on the reception indicator. Having the ability to easily change the screen is nice now that it's working like it apparently should have from the beginning.

 

Now to work through a few more issues, Mac related I think, and for some good weekend weather to get out an use it a bit more.

 

Tim

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How has it been going with the 500 and caching?

 

I've had reasonable luck with geocaching with mine having done several this weekend. :lol:

 

Then earlier this evening I found an apparent bug. :)

 

Went to enter in some coordinates (see GCQZM5) and changed the format to UTM/UPS Grid to get started with that Multi. Every time I pressed 'Done' a totally different set of coordinates would appear, typically 8000 miles away from where I am, and the cache is.

 

I have sent an email to Garmin to see if this is a bug or what. Being a long weekend, I don't expect to hear anything till Tuesday at the earliest.

 

Would somebody else with a Nuvi 500 try that feature and see if it works for them please.

 

Thanks.

 

Tim

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I would say save your mone and just get a cheepr auto GPSr. The Nuvi 500 is a big time loser as far as a GPSr goes. I have ahd one for 2 weeks and it will be returned.

 

There are to many bugs to name and some of them can put u in DANGER, no it is not me.

 

I keep trying to give it a goo go but so much misdirection, changimg destinations just becuase you try to scroll the map. And the lack of off road functionality, the compas and distance are on two differant pages.

 

I guess the be all and end all is $500 for a GPSr that is so poorly done isnt worth it.

 

Cheers

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How has it been going with the 500 and caching?

 

I've had reasonable luck with geocaching with mine having done several this weekend. :)

 

Then earlier this evening I found an apparent bug. :D

 

Went to enter in some coordinates (see GCQZM5) and changed the format to UTM/UPS Grid to get started with that Multi. Every time I pressed 'Done' a totally different set of coordinates would appear, typically 8000 miles away from where I am, and the cache is.

 

I have sent an email to Garmin to see if this is a bug or what. Being a long weekend, I don't expect to hear anything till Tuesday at the earliest.

 

Would somebody else with a Nuvi 500 try that feature and see if it works for them please.

 

Thanks.

 

Tim

 

Just a quick followup to my own post - Garmin has replied to my bug report and it is indeed a bug in the Nuvi 500. They are now working on a fix. AS such, I can't really recommend a Nuvi 500 to other people. This is somethign that should have been found in beta testing of their software. I wonder how many other Nvi's have this same problem?

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I finally posted my nuvi 500 review. It ain't pretty either.

 

I am not sure if the compass issue is so much of a canopy issue. It might also be related to the "automotive heritage" - with other automotive GPS systems I noticed before that they are not doing a good job when walking, their receivers/software/whatever only delivers good values for current speed and direction when traveling at a certain speed. I think this is the same effect as the "static navigation" issue discussed elsewhere, where some devices only report a new position when its "considerably different" from the previous.

 

So instead of a continuous flow of new positions such devices report the same position a few times, and then a bigger jump of 20-30 feet and again the same position multiple times.

 

For slow speeds - like walking - the speed reported by my nüvi 550 remains zero for me most of the time, sometimes just for a second or two a speed is reported before falling back to zero again.

 

If indeed the compass has to use the same data, showing no movement for a while, then a sudden jump, and again no movement, then I would say that "somewhere deep internally" this is still "in automotive mode", even if we set it to walking...

 

So with a bit of luck this is something that a software update could fix...

 

Olaf

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Sure glad I read this forum as I had been thinking of replacing my old 60CS for one of these. The Garmin web site sure makes the 550 sound like the best of all worlds but ...

Guess I'll do like someone mentioned and get an inexpensive Nuvi for the car and a new hand held for caching.

 

Or just wait a month or two. They will fix the bugs....

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Sure glad I read this forum as I had been thinking of replacing my old 60CS for one of these. The Garmin web site sure makes the 550 sound like the best of all worlds but ...

Guess I'll do like someone mentioned and get an inexpensive Nuvi for the car and a new hand held for caching.

 

Or just wait a month or two. They will fix the bugs....

 

The latest WebUpdater update (Nov. 20th 2008) has seemed to take care of all the issues I was aware of, including the power-down while reading cache logs in a certain instance, and the compass display for distance remaining is working now too. They've added a few more features too.

 

I'm still really happy with mine and have used it full-time on a 5,000+ mile cross country driving trip already as well as some geocache use.

 

Here's the official Change History list from Garmin with the latest update:

 

Changes made from version 3.10 to 3.20:

 

* Added scooter mode

* Added support for raster maps

* Added night-mode elevation colors

* Corrected issue with position datum being set incorrectly. Datum will be reset to default (WGS84)

 

Changes made from version 3.00 to 3.10:

 

* Corrected an issue that caused incorrect translations to be used.

 

Changes made from version 2.30 to 3.00:

 

* Once upgraded to this version, software downgrade is not possible.

* Allow user selectable datums.

* Corrected shutdown issue associated with changing traffic provider.

* Allow American English voice to be downloaded via WebUpdater.

* Corrected shutdown associated with reading geocache logs.

* Improved demo mode initial setup.

 

Changes made from version 2.20 to 2.30:

 

* Added support for MSN Direct using GDB-55.

 

And... REI.com is now advertising the Nuvi 500 on sale for $289.00 until Dec. 1st.

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In case some one stumbles across this thread, the field notes feature works fine now. In the Q1/2009, geocaching.com made a change that you just have to plug in or upload the field notes file below to the server and then you have all the field notes available to make where you have been. It is very convient. If not a bit tedios to enter the notes.

 

 

Originally this thread

 

Has anyone been able to use the Field notes file created in the Nuvi 500 to upload found caches for logging? I see the file, geocache_visits.txt, the same name as the gc.com page says to upload, but nothing does.
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I spent the last couple of months reading reviews, reading threads on the 500 here in the forums, and finally bought a refurbished model on ebay ($218 w/shipping). I knew there were issues, but it looked like many of the original ones had been addressed. I've had it about a week now, and got out today with it finally to do some caching.

 

My bottom line opinion is that, while it might night be a great hiking unit (I didn't try to use the trackback feature- probably never will), it's a GREAT crossover unit. It jumps smoothly between driving/walking modes. The geocaching features are really effective, and it was very accurate today, even in moderately heavy tree cover. It was easily the most accurate of the devices we had with us today (3 nuvi 200's and a couple of Blackberrys running Cacheberry and Geocache Navigator). The compass worked- which was one of the big complaints early on. I"m really pleased with this purchase.

 

There are a few things that are a little cumbersome:

Battery life- i got about 3 hours out of it on battery before I had to get it charging, but i don't think it was fully charged when we left.

 

Field notes- the keyboard isn't qwerty, so it's a pain to type.

 

Updating software- the basic update was a snap, but getting the TTS feature into it was like a backdoor secret thing. Easy to load, but you have to know what to do.

 

If I'd easily recommend this to anyone starting out as a good multi-tasking unit. I plan to wear this thing out! :blink:

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