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Garmin or Memory Map


Biglad82
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Hi all, hoping for advice and your opinions, models in question are the Garmin Montana 600 series and the MM 2800 & 3500. The unit won't just be used for geocaching but as a sat nav and for hiking, hence the reason I can warrant paying upto £300 for my first handheld, a big draw to tha ubove units are there OS style maps, but do they come with maps built in ?? Or do I need to be spending extra on upgrades before I have even started ??

 

The garmin seems to be the most popular from what I have read, what's your guys opinions on these....

 

Many thanks

Mark

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OS style maps for all Garmins are available free at www.talkytoaster.co.uk

 

You can get the Montana with 'OS bundles' but you'll pay more. I use an Etrex 20 with talkytoaster maps for hiking and geocaching and never felt the need to buy Garmin's official OS maps. Talkytoaster maps can also be used for road navigation but you lose some of the functionality (eg postcode search) provided by Garmins' City Navigator series. Adding the CN map to the Montana will bump up the price to way more than the £300 you mention. IMO a better alternative should you need a 'satnav' would be to buy a relatively cheap satnav as well as the Montana, should you be fixed on that particular GPS. But whichever way you go £300 is unrealistic ... this bundle with OS mapping for example is over £400 http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/garmin-montana-600-with-full-country-mapping-p207366

 

Never used the MM units so can't help there.

Edited by sussamb
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OS style maps for all Garmins are available free at www.talkytoaster.co.uk

 

You can get the Montana with 'OS bundles' but you'll pay more. I use an Etrex 20 with talkytoaster maps for hiking and geocaching and never felt the need to buy Garmin's official OS maps. Talkytoaster maps can also be used for road navigation but you lose some of the functionality (eg postcode search)provided by Garmins' City Navigator series.

 

Never used the MM units so can't help there.

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Cheers guys taking the P a little costing an extra £100 + on top of a £300 unit, ( probably my inexperience in using HH GPS units) but that seems extortionate, unless i can come across a 2nd hand full set up, and if the route tracking is hit and miss like martybartfast said, I'm not even going to entertain the idea of talkytoaster for route planning............

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Garmin-Montana-600-Outdoor-Handheld-4-inch-Touch-Screen-/360464270136

 

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/garmin-montana-600-with-full-country-mapping-p207366

 

I presume the eBay one doesn't come with mps at that price?

Mark

Edited by Biglad82
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There are a number of different versions of the talkytoaster maps. Some are designed for road routing, others aren't.

 

Looking at the e bay item it doesn't come with mapping, apart from the Garmin 'basemap' which isn't very detailed and isn't very accurate.

Edited by sussamb
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Yes, they're not as good as the Garmin ones that's for sure ... but they are free :)

 

I'd be tempted as I said to buy a separate satnav, you can get some for less than or at least around the same price as the maps, particularly as you'd also have to buy a windscreen mount if you wanted to use the Montana.

Edited by sussamb
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I tried both side by side this weekend and found the OS 50k ones much harder to follow, and very blurry at walking zoom. Also the caches were harder to spot against such a fussy background.

 

Great for areas OSM don't cover, but that list is shrinking fast as many walkers and cachers update OSM and improve it when they walk an area for those to come later.

 

Talkie Toaster 100% for me.

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Another vote for talkytoaster maps. I find them better in many ways than OS maps - they're more up to date (the newest version of Memory Maps are now over 2 years old which is a lot in the big scheme of things). They also have a lot of permissive footpaths which the OS aren't allowed to map as they're not official.

 

Is £300 regarded as a large amount for a GPS? When we bought our Colorados (Imported from the US pre-UK), they were the only dedicated Geocaching units that Garmin did - your alternative at the time was a 60CSX which didn't handle all the cache information etc. Then came the Oregon (which was considerably more expensive for the top-end one - around £550 IIRC)

 

I know people often say "But why not use a smartphone - it can do everything a dedicated GPS can do and more"?

 

Well not only do you have to still download the files and save them onto the phone (unless you're doing urban caching, you're not likely to have much of a signal most of the places we go), but the GPS chipset is nowhere near the quality of a dedicated unit. Consider this: A smartphone costs £300. It does a million different things, all OK, but battery life is awful too. A GPS unit costs £300, it is dedicated only to navigation and 2 decent AA batteries last me for days. Clearly, the money on the smartphone hasn't been spent on the GPS chipset - I challenge anyone to show me a smartphone that is as accurate as my 5 year old Colorado, and many people say that they find the Colorado the weakest of the modern Garmin units!

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I use the ones that are routable, and while I only very occasionally use them as a "Sat Nav" I reckon every time I've used them they've tried to do something silly, either trying to take me along a bridleway/BOAT/footpath, or trying to take me on a long circuitous route when there's a much shorter way.

Then please sign up for OSM and make amendments to the tracks and paths you've followed. Not simply adding the missing ones or correcting their route, but their classifications and permissions as this is what the routing uses to decide what route to show.
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I use the ones that are routable, and while I only very occasionally use them as a "Sat Nav" I reckon every time I've used them they've tried to do something silly, either trying to take me along a bridleway/BOAT/footpath, or trying to take me on a long circuitous route when there's a much shorter way.

I've said this before but it's worth repeating - the routing on the OSM maps is WORSE than useless, it is apalling, I have tried them extensively and if I didn't have the Garmin OS maps for routing I would use paper maps rather than the OSM ones.

 

No, I haven't done any corrections to them, it would take me days of work to correct after every single journey. And that is assuming I knew what corrections to make - bear in mind that I'm not familiar with the areas where it has screwed up so I'm unlikely to be able to make valid corrections. I prefer just to not use them. £100 for the Garmin ones is MUCH better value than the free ones.

 

Rgds, Andy

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I use the ones that are routable, and while I only very occasionally use them as a "Sat Nav" I reckon every time I've used them they've tried to do something silly, either trying to take me along a bridleway/BOAT/footpath, or trying to take me on a long circuitous route when there's a much shorter way.

Then please sign up for OSM and make amendments to the tracks and paths you've followed. Not simply adding the missing ones or correcting their route, but their classifications and permissions as this is what the routing uses to decide what route to show.

 

I've been an OSM contributor for ~7 years and have added & corrected tracks I've followed on foot, but TBH if I'm driving I'm not going to stop to make notes about what corrections need to be made, even if it was possible to figure out.

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As a long-time user of Garmin kit, I recently found my old eTrex Vista Cx "challenged" when we were out caching with friends in woodland. Their newer eTrex performed far better, directing us to several caches while mine kept dropping out.

 

This prompted (or rather the wife did) to upgrade to a new Montana 650. Very expensive but I already had OS mapping as part of the Garmin 800 package bought last year. The OS maps proved not too clever when cycling or driving, too cluttered zoomed out, too hazy zoomed in, especially when moving at speed.

 

OS Mapping is excellent on the Montana, the big screen is ideal for walking, caching and cycling. I use GSAK with Lord Elph's icons to pump the data directly into the Montana. For driving with the Montana, I revert to using the integral CN Navigator software, this provides a clearer display.

 

The OS mapping data can be used with Garmin Basecamp to provide the same capabilities as Memory-Map. This can be done by plugging the GPS to the PC (and Mac I presume - don't own one).

 

Alternatively, a backup copy of the original OS software on a USB key or SD card (this is permitted and recommended by Garmin, the original software is locked to the microSD card and only works in a GPS unit from the original microSD card). This is the better and faster solution for slow GPS units - like the Edge 800.

 

The Montana is a return to the original, highly capable but complex units that Garmin used to distribute. It's tracking and route recording is brilliant, particularly with the editing features provided by Basecamp. The profiles you can set up range from a Nuvi equivalence for driving to direct geocaching/walking. Coupled with the integral geo-tagging camera, you can generate "Adventures" to record your trips.

 

I will be selling off my eTrex, Nuvi and Edge units, all replaced by the all-singing, all dancing Montana! Love it!

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