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yogazoo

Garmin Montana 610/680 Announcement!

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It doesn't specifically state whether the new touch screen is the same glass capacitive touch screen as the Oregon 600 series and eTrex touch series. Nor did they give it the flat face design. harumph.

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They also added GGZ support.

 

Surprised they did not add Smart Notifications and the Live Tracking functionality that the new eTrex Touch units and GPSMAP 64 series have.

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The Montana line has been a big seller among the hunting crowd. Plenty of hunters in many areas are ATV and off-road vehicle users so the dual purpose functionality (auto cradle to handheld in a split second) is attractive. Garmin likes to lazer focus on market niches and Bluetooth would be lost on many hunters of which I'm one. Give them that huge screen and the ability to use it on the ATV and on the trail and they're happy.

 

I don't think the non-flat faced design is anything to be disappointed about. It appears to have the updated capacitive screen. I can't remember having issues with input on the old resistive screen with the same form factor. But, we'll see if the capacitive is any different.

Edited by yogazoo

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It seems like the screen might be the same as the current Montana? I have yet to see anything that says otherwise.

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The words that tip me off to the probability of a capacitive touchscreen are "updated" and "glove friendly". It's unlikely that they "updated" the screen with another resistive screen. Resistive touchscreen technology just isn't used anymore in most consumer applications. I didn't mind the older resistive, and it worked quite well, but if Garmin "updated" the screen it's very likely that they put in a capacitive. On top of that, the "glove friendly" term has been used to describe the newer generation of highly sensitive capacitive screens.

 

This is all assumption based on a few verbal clues of course. It's possible I'm reading too much into it. We will soon know for sure. Resistive was fine but capacitive is a bit more durable.

 

I sold my Montana to buy the Oregon 6xx when it came out. I love the Oregon 650 but I missed the larger screen real estate on the Montana. Being a serious map obsessive, that large screen just gave me more to admire at a glance.

Edited by yogazoo

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It also looks like there will be at least a few interface updates as well. It's great to see the "Current Track" app make an appearance on one of the images from the product page. This was a great addition to the Oregon 6xx and will be awesome on the new Montana's.

 

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Edited by yogazoo

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Where are we seeing GGZ support? The blog post and Garmin site seem to only to mention GPX. A search of the Garmin site for GGZ only shows the Oregon 6x0s. Have favored my OR 600 over my MT 650T for the brighter screen, the speed, and GGZ support. Would be tempted by the 680 or 680T if it sported the capacitive screen like the OR 6x0s and GGZ reads.

Edited by c_dog

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The words that tip me off to the probability of a capacitive touchscreen are "updated" and "glove friendly". It's unlikely that they "updated" the screen with another resistive screen. Resistive touchscreen technology just isn't used anymore in most consumer applications. I didn't mind the older resistive, and it worked quite well, but if Garmin "updated" the screen it's very likely that they put in a capacitive. On top of that, the "glove friendly" term has been used to describe the newer generation of highly sensitive capacitive screens.

I think you are on to something here, yogazoo. I'm guessing it won't be glass like the Oregon because it seems there is no increase in the weight of the unit.

 

c_dog: the fact that it holds 250,000+ geocaches is an indication it supports GGZ.

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Where are we seeing GGZ support? The blog post and Garmin site seem to only to mention GPX. A search of the Garmin site for GGZ only shows the Oregon 6x0s. Have favored my OR 600 over my MT 650T for the brighter screen, the speed, and GGZ support. Would be tempted by the 680 or 680T if it sported the capacitive screen like the OR 6x0s and GGZ reads.

"...as well as 250,000 preloaded geocaches and storage capacity for millions more"

 

That indicates GGZ support. You can't get that many caches in a device using GPX files.

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It is also only $20 more MSRP. I would doubt there is much hardware change involved.

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As far as hardware goes the addition of GLONASS would require a new, possibly snappier, chipset. Although I never had a problem with the older Montana's being slow at all. Aside from the chipset and "updated" screen (whatever that is) you're right.

 

Another difference of note is that the updated Montana's come with a 1yr BirdsEye Imagery subscription. At least some would have purchased a subscription anyway so, for those folks, the MSRP is $10 cheaper!

Edited by yogazoo

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I personally doubt the main processor was changed. Just swap in the newer GPS chip, add in a bit bigger RAM chip and modify the programming. zero cost most likely as the old chip probably went out of production. I'm guessing is is a resistive screen. Too much extra money in the capacitive one.

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I see the Garmin battery pack is lithium now, instead of NIMH.

I think it was always lithium-ion on the Montana 600/650, also on the Monterra..

Edited by alandb

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The Montana line has always used the Li-ion battery. They will accept NIMH as well. Best of both worlds.

 

GPSCity has the Montana 680/610 in-stock September 30th. In plenty of time for rifle season in Montana. ;)

Edited by yogazoo

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And we have our answer. The updated Montana's will retain the resistive touchscreen. As its primarily for motorcyclists and hunters, both demo's known to wear thick leather or insulated gloves, the call to retain the resistive screen was a good one IMHO.

 

See this post from a hands-on:

 

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&nv=1&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://gpsradler.de/news/garmin-stellt-montana-610-680-und-680t-vor/%3Fpk_campaign%3Dfeed%26pk_kwd%3Dgarmin-stellt-montana-610-680-und-680t-vor%26utm_source%3Dtwitterfeed%26utm_medium%3Dtwitter&usg=ALkJrhihOUAkwr-sPdwkQqoOqJLFgO5WHA

Edited by yogazoo

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So....if you already had a 650 and wanted to get a 680 , you would be paying $549 for 3 MP, 1 GB memory, Glonass, and GGZ support and the worthless (IMHO) Birdeye imagery subscription.

 

Anyting I missed?

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So....if you already had a 650 and wanted to get a 680 , you would be paying $549 for 3 MP, 1 GB memory, Glonass, and GGZ support and the worthless (IMHO) Birdeye imagery subscription.

 

Anyting I missed?

 

Nope, I don't think so. It appears that you have covered all of the highlights of the new version of the Montana.

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Pity. I really hoped this time for something really new, advanced and good working.

This looks like a reinvention of a 4 years old unit.

Edited by splashy

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Don't forget the interface tweaks. The new Track Manager like what the Oregon's have. Not sure what other interface tweaks will be included but my guess is not many.

 

This update appears to simply bring the Montana series up to date with GLONASS, etc. Montana is a decent selling line and I don't think they want to mess with the formula too much. The screen is supposed to be "updated" but we'll just have to wait for a side by side to see what, if any, difference there actually is.

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Street prices for the Montanas have remained amazingly high for as old as they are. So my hope is that the new 610/680 models will bring on some Black Friday bargains on the 600/650's.(new or refurb, I don't care).

Edited by alandb

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Don't forget the interface tweaks. The new Track Manager like what the Oregon's have. Not sure what other interface tweaks will be included but my guess is not many.

 

This update appears to simply bring the Montana series up to date with GLONASS, etc. Montana is a decent selling line and I don't think they want to mess with the formula too much. The screen is supposed to be "updated" but we'll just have to wait for a side by side to see what, if any, difference there actually is.

 

YZ,

What does the "Current Track" app do? How is it beneficial in actual use? I haven't handled a new Oregon personally so I'm curious.

I wonder if something like that might be included in a M 650 update in the future?

Edited by Grasscatcher

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I wonder if something like that might be included in a M 650 update in the future?

 

No chance. They never add new features to models after the replacement is on the scene. Bug fixes only.

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The current track app offers a separate trip computer tied directly to the track. Of course, you have the option to also sync the trip computer with your track, so the two don't give you different data. But most importantly, it gives you a fast and easy way to pause tracking, which is great when you stop and take a break and don't want to record the birdsnest of random movement.

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I just got my 610.

 

It's a resistive screen - no question about it. I can't tell any difference between it and any other garmin resistive screen. I don't know what's been "upgraded".

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I don't know what's been "upgraded".

 

Clearly stated above... GLONASS and more RAM. It is only $20 more.

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I think Tareed69 was referring to the wording in the official announcement from Garmin which reads, "Featuring an updated 4-inch, dual orientation, glove friendly touchscreen display".

Edited by yogazoo

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Since the technology is the same (resistive) I was thinking perhaps better contrast, more vivid colors, or improved touch responsiveness. Maybe it's slightly more efficient power wise? It's a mystery what the wording in the Garmin announcement was referring to. Perhaps a different serial number for the screen from the parts supplier? :)

 

Maybe, just maybe, it's slightly misleading and Garmin was referring to the "updated... display" in that the display of the menu interface was updated to include the new track manager. Heck I dunno.

Edited by yogazoo

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Since the technology is the same (resistive) I was thinking perhaps better contrast, more vivid colors, or improved touch responsiveness. Maybe it's slightly more efficient power wise? It's a mystery what the wording in the Garmin announcement was referring to. Perhaps a different serial number for the screen from the parts supplier? :)

 

Maybe similar to how Garmin improved the resistive touch screens from the original Oregon x00 to the Oregon x50 series?

 

Maybe, just maybe, it's slightly misleading and Garmin was referring to the "updated... display" in that the display of the menu interface was updated to include the new track manager. Heck I dunno.

 

Do you have confirmation of the Track Manager application on the new Montana?

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I ended up buying a Montana 680 because I needed to see what the upgrades would be like. I always thought that a “super Montana” version of the Montana would be the ultimate GPS with unlimited geocaches, GLONASS, etc. so when this came out I was interested. And this was even though I already own a 600t. Here are my observations to date:

  • The screen is improved in that the colours are richer, less washed out compared to the older Montanas. Blacks are a deep black instead of greyish.
  • I think the screen is less visible without or low backlight, kind of similar to an Oregon 4XX.
  • Indeed the track manager is the same or similar to the one on the Oregon 6XX series. I don’t like it because when I pause the tracking, a straight track line projects to my current location even though it should not do this since I have the tracking turned off. I am told this is how it is supposed to work. I disagree.
  • The giant geocache file that it comes loaded with is inherently useless. It was created in May so is very out of date.
  • Geocache filter updated to that of the one on the Oregon 6XX.
  • With lots of caches on it as a GGZ file, it is very slow when trying to use it for geocaching. Keeping the file smaller (20-30 000ish) has it function quicker but kind of takes away from the “unlimited geocaches” idea.
  • Very nice to have a Birdseye subscription included.
  • This GPS seems very accurate, like its predecessor.

If I come across anything else important or interesting I will mention it here.

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Thanks for the impressions Malibooboo! Especially the screen update confirmation. As far as the straight line while tracklog is paused I think that's how they all work unless you stop, clear, and begin a new tracklog.

 

So, dare I ask, is this the "Super Montana" you longed for? Maybe use it for a week and then get back with me on that. I'm on the fence. I'll have to either beg my employer for (another) one (GPS) or have a few bake sales. Like you I'm addicted to GPS units and find it hard to resist.

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Thanks for the impressions Malibooboo! Especially the screen update confirmation. As far as the straight line while tracklog is paused I think that's how they all work unless you stop, clear, and begin a new tracklog.

It does seem to be how they all work, but I think that when you turn it off it should be turned off. Just a pet peeve of mine.

 

So, dare I ask, is this the "Super Montana" you longed for?

I'd say if you didn't already have a Montana then get the 680. If you already have a Montana, it is probably not worth it to upgrade.

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I'd like to get into this new Montana with Glonass. I'm using a Montana 600 now. But I use a external antenna when I do hike. I keep the Montana in a pouch on the pack and a small antenna on top..but I don't think the Gilsson gps antennas I use will receive the Glonass. I'm looking on the web for a combo but can't find any yet..Gilsson hasn't replied to me yet.

I'd like the 610 as I loose signal in the mountains with tree cover and canyons sometimes.

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There's no reason why your external antenna won't work with GLONASS? They're using the same L1 band and the US system, and the bandwidth isn't that critical.

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Here is an attempt to show how the 680 (the one on the left) screen is darker:

4c99aa0c-c5d5-4617-9607-0be6349ce0d4.jpg?rnd=0.9812891

 

I don't think I'm going to like that...I have old tired eyes and got along fine with my 600.

 

There's no reason why your external antenna won't work with GLONASS? They're using the same L1 band and the US system, and the bandwidth isn't that critical.

 

I believe your right. I got the 610 and have a Glo/gps mini antenna I bought off Amazon as well as my old Gilsson. Both seem to work the same. I will be testing it soon on an all day outing.

The Sat page has the prn numbers to 89 or so. From what I've read 65 to 90 is Glonass. 2 to 30 is GPS and 30 to 50ish is Waas,etc. When using the Gilsson the PRN's up to 90ish stay on and don't change. Unless I cover the external antenna with my hand then the signal drops and or stops. So the old Gilssons must be working if the Glonass shows. I'll confirm this later.

Edited by capt caper

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Just to correct typos that MAY mislead in the future. Payback for trying to answer on a smart phone, I guess.

 

"There's no reason why your external antenna won't work with GLONASS? They're using the same L1 band and the US system, and the bandwidth isn't that critical."

 

should read

 

There's no reason why your external antenna won't work with GLONASS. They're using the same L1 band as the US system, and the bandwidth isn't all that critical.

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Just to correct typos that MAY mislead in the future. Payback for trying to answer on a smart phone, I guess.

 

"There's no reason why your external antenna won't work with GLONASS? They're using the same L1 band and the US system, and the bandwidth isn't that critical."

 

should read

 

There's no reason why your external antenna won't work with GLONASS. They're using the same L1 band as the US system, and the bandwidth isn't all that critical.

 

I fooled again yesterday and got some observations... The external antennas really boosted the signals and picked up more satellites then not using one. And although it was hard to tell which antenna if any worked best be it Glonass/GPS combo or Gilsson GPS it was tricky because of normal satellite jumping. But I did notice when I left the Glonass/GPS connected for a 1/2 hr it really locked on to all the satellites better then the Gilsson when left on.

I'll do this again (leave them connected for 1/2 or more) when I have some time and take screen shots to compare. The glonaa/gps antenna seemed to have a better spec sheet not to say Gilsson doesn't as he may of left alot of spec out.

I found a company in China that made me up 2 glonass/gps antennas with a mcx right angle with a 1 meter cable and will be getting them soon. I'll be testing them as well.

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From what I've read 65 to 90 is Glonass. 2 to 30 is GPS and 30 to 50ish is Waas,etc

 

Garmin use the following: GPS satellites range from 1 to 32, WAAS/EGNOS system uses 33 to 64 and 65 to 96 are reserved for GLONASS satellites

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The Sat page has the prn numbers to 89 or so. From what I've read 65 to 90 is Glonass. 2 to 30 is GPS and 30 to 50ish is Waas,etc. When using the Gilsson the PRN's up to 90ish stay on and don't change. Unless I cover the external antenna with my hand then the signal drops and or stops. So the old Gilssons must be working if the Glonass shows. I'll confirm this later.

 

More info on what satellites you should be seeing with your Montana.

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I used the 610 all day yesterday and found some bugs. It jammed up shut down pretty bad.... I did a reset and still no dice....so it's going back and I'll keep using my 600 Montana..until the bugs are worked out.

I thought the software would be the same and no new bugs as My 600 works so great but they've changed it some so that is what happened probably... typical of new products from Garmin...software issues that is.

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Even mature Garmin products have that issue.

 

My GSPMAP 62s and Oregon 600 lock up under certain scenarios and require a battery pull to resolve them.

 

I think when Garmin did product wide firmware updates recently, they introduced some new bugs while addressing others.

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Even mature Garmin products have that issue.

 

My GSPMAP 62s and Oregon 600 lock up under certain scenarios and require a battery pull to resolve them.

 

I think when Garmin did product wide firmware updates recently, they introduced some new bugs while addressing others.

 

I hear ya..but I can tell you this...the 610 crashed way worse then my 600 did or does.. My 600 is totally reliable to me now..and I use it all the time..year round all day long adventures..record the whole day with an external antenna into the mountains and were ever..

The 610 did some hairy things..don't need it.

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