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Garmin GPS V & III+ Users - Tips, info and discussion


briansnat
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What a great thread, since I own both! icon_biggrin.gif

 

Quality construction and ergonomics of the III+/V's are why these gps's are my fave.

 

As for tips, I don't really have any. Get a case for it! ...and rechargable batteries.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

Garmin V

Garmin III+

 

[This message was edited by volks_ev71 on August 18, 2003 at 06:00 PM.]

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When downloading maps to my V the GPS will hang. Mapsource will give message "GPS not responding", but the GPS will still show to be downloading. It's done this since new. GPS will not respond to any key on unit except OFF, turn unit back on and all maps are there. Mapsource should turn GPS off when finished downloading and for some reason won't. I have latest updates on unit and mapsource. Any ideas?

 

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

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quote:
Originally posted by Cactusjeep:

When downloading maps to my V the GPS will hang. Mapsource will give message "GPS not responding", but the GPS will still show to be downloading. It's done this since new. GPS will not respond to any key on unit except OFF, turn unit back on and all maps are there. Mapsource should turn GPS off when finished downloading and for some reason won't. I have latest updates on unit and mapsource. Any ideas?

 

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin


 

I had the same problem today (version 2.30). Sometimes I download the maps with the unit in test mode so I can bypass all of the confirmation screens on the usual startup. I find that I get more problems doing it this way. The maps downloaded fine when the unit was on though.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

Garmin V

Garmin III+

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I been using mine since march and I love it. I don't recall the cachers name (but he has a lumberjack in his avatar) has given some great tips and tricks for the V as well as many owners who post here.

 

One was to name a waypoint HOME and no matter where you are you simply push FIND twice and it will ask if you wish to navigate home.

 

I turn off all POI's from showing on the screen and set the detail to LEAST, this has proven to reduce sluggishness while driving, but still provides enough detail of your surroundings. i.e. passing a park or river still shows on the screen

 

The PAGE key doubles as an escape key. Like when you turn on the backlight and get it to the brightness you desire, you can press page and it will get rid of the brightness and contrast control box. It serves as a shortcut in many other screens as well.

 

Turning the routing function to FAST or FASTEST has improved the amount of time it takes to calculate a route and still takes me the best route. When I had it set for BEST route it would take forever to route and a nightmare if I went off course.

 

I have also turned off all AUTO ZOOM, as this causes sluggishness and besides I like to see more of the route on the screen. I prefer having it at 0.2 - 800' at all times because at a quick glance this is helpful on roads that fork, especially because the unit does not always tell you which direction to bear.

 

Everyone that sees mine loves it and wants one but when they ask the price they are quick to raise a brow. To me it was worth every penny and I am extremely happy with my investment.

 

I rarely travel long distances so I cannot speak for people who jump from state to state quite frequently but I am able to fit all of northern NJ, about 35 miles west into PA and about 35 miles into NY state and most of Manhatten (all except lower tip of manhattan). I use Metroguide 4.13 because the City Select that come packaged with the V does not allow as much to fit, but I can mix and match if I need to.

 

I'm sure I could keep going till I had blisters on the tips of my fingers, but I'll save some of this post for other V users/lovers. Im always eager to learn more myself!

 

EDIT: I think the cachers name was Brainerd who has given many good tips.

 

Kar

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Shibby:

I don't recall the cachers name (but he has a lumberjack in his avatar) has given some great tips and tricks for the V as well as many owners who post here.

 

...

 

EDIT: I think the cachers name was Brainerd who has given many good tips.

 

Kar


 

Thanks for the nice words Kar. Those are good tips from yourself, as well.

 

BTW. The lumberjack on the mystery cache is Paul Bunyan.

 

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau

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This info is mostly for newbies, and I'm sure it isn't unique to the III+ and V; but they are the only units I've owned, and it definitely applies to them. I learned these points the hard way:

If you're going to hunt caches where there is considerable tree cover, you will have far more success in holding satellite lock and finding the caches if you:

 

Have the unit turned on and locked onto sats for at least 12-20 minutes before venturing into the woods. I've read elsewhere that fresh almanac data is transmitted from the sats every 12-20 minutes, and it will improve your unit's positional accuracy and ability to hold sat lock if it has the current almanac data.

 

Don't use battery saver mode while hunting for a cache; the unit saves battery power by updating its position less frequently. This makes it more difficult to hold sat lock under tree cover and will also exacerbate "needle wandering" when you get close to the cache.

 

Don't turn your unit off after you find the cache if you want to use it to guide you back out of the woods. It's a lot easier for the unit to hold sat lock than it is to regain it after it has been lost.

 

worldtraveler

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quote:
as quoted by Brainerd:

Thanks for the nice words Kar. Those are good tips from yourself, as well.

 

BTW. The lumberjack on the mystery cache is Paul Bunyan.


 

icon_smile.gif It seesm the V has become alot more popular in the last couple months. When I first started using mine, it seemed rare to get good pointers on performance as well as shortcuts. Your tips made me love my GPS all the more.

 

Worldtraveler is another one I thank for good tips! icon_smile.gif

 

Kar

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One of the many cool features that I learned about from this discussion forum and I use frequently is having "via points" in the autoroute created by the V. Essentially what you are doing is forcing the V to create a route from point A to point C via point B where normally it would route you nowhere near B.

There was an excellent discussion on this back in May. Follow the posts by Bob K to read how to do it easily.

 

Cheers, Olar

 

"You are only young once but you can stay immature forever"

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quote:
Originally posted by Olar:

 

There was an http://ubbx.Groundspeak.com/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=5726007311&f=7116058331&m=24660106&r=46260316#46260316 on this back in May. Follow the posts by Bob K to read how to do it easily.

 

Cheers, Olar

 

_"You are only young once but you can stay immature forever"_


That is a informative link, Olar. I learned two things...one being the Page key for O.K., the other when using the City Select software to plan a route one can tell it to use Direct routing and it will download as a Manual route.

 

Bill

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quote:
Originally posted by volks_ev71:

What a great thread, since I own both! icon_biggrin.gif

 

Quality construction and ergonomics of the III+/V's are why these gps's are my fave.

 

As for tips, I don't really have any. Get a case for it! ...and rechargable batteries.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

http://www.garmin.com/products/gps5/

http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsIIIp/

 

[This message was edited by volks_ev71 on August 18, 2003 at 06:00 PM.]


 

I had a Braun electric shaver that came with a nice zippered case with a soft lining. Made a perfect case for my GPS V. Did not need to pay extra for a new case icon_biggrin.gif

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While it is true that MetroGuide and CitySelect maps can be loaded int the V at the same time, I have found on several occasions that it screws up the autorouting. If only the MapSource (v. 4) or only the CitySelect maps are checked, it consistently plots a good route, but if both types of maps are checked for the same area, the routes are often nonsensical, with unnecessary u-turns etc. No similar problems with the non-routing maps like topo. Don't know about MG v. 5 which doesn't route on the V.

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Have any of you found the accuracy of autorouting to be way off soemtimes???

 

I just got my V a few days ago, and I am hoping it is user error...

 

I programmed in a route from home to work last night that I take everyday just to check the unit's accuracy... (ok, not quite to work, but as far as I know I can get before I lose satellites)...

 

The route had 4 anomolies in it that don't seem to appear on the maps in City Select themselves....

 

1) When travelling along one road, I approach a split...one to the left that is a loop and an overpass to a bridge...one to the right that goes under the overpass.... I get a "bear left onto"....going left actually would take me up a ramp and across the road I am travelling on, and then across the bridge....talking em WAY off course...I need to bear right UNDER this ramp to ciontinue going straight on the road.....

 

2) While traveling along a road in a city-suburbs type area, I get a "turn right on" indication seemingly out of the blue......doing this takes me off course again, and into deadend side streets, but I followed it just for kicks and then it tried to double me back and forth...I ended up just finding my own way back to my route, and it eventually found the right rout again......even in simulate mode, it shows an "off course" indication and has to recalculate the route due to that turn....

 

3) While traveling along second avenue, I get an indication to turn left onto the SAME STREET I AM ALREADY TRAVELING ON. Taking a left would take me across anotehr bridge into points beyond...and way off course... In simulation mode, it getst hesame thing and then continues happily on the course....without making a turn.

 

4) Close to home there is one particualr part of a road, named "tulip", which is fine in one direction but shows up as "agnes street" for going the other direction for one piece of it....

 

Now, I did this last route using waypoints that were pretty much all along the route already, so they should be accurate....I made sure I tried to pick key ones that woudl make sure taht things like this wouldnt happen....ie trying to take the shorter route to a waypoint..........I picked waypioints that I figured would gauarantee me that it woudl go point to point...

 

What am I doing wrong?? I would have been lost three times this morning had I relied on the V if I had been in unknown territory....

 

I am wondering if the V is for me....I traded up from the Legend to get autorouting.....if it isnt accurate, then what is the point???

 

I like the idea of having maps with me, but I can get that for $200 and a Vista.....I really WANT autorouting...the V has some nice features, like GREAT backlinght

 

On an upside, I found that the backlight will activate when there is an upcoming (wrong)turn etc....

 

Anyone have any ideas??? I am a little let down on this....

 

quote:
Originally posted by appletree:

While it is true that MetroGuide and CitySelect maps can be loaded int the V at the same time, I have found on several occasions that it screws up the autorouting. If only the MapSource (v. 4) or only the CitySelect maps are checked, it consistently plots a good route, but if both types of maps are checked for the same area, the routes are often nonsensical, with unnecessary u-turns etc. No similar problems with the non-routing maps like topo. Don't know about MG v. 5 which doesn't route on the V.


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quote:
Originally posted by dzavetsky:

Have any of you found the accuracy of autorouting to be way off soemtimes???

 

I just got my V a few days ago, and I am hoping it is user error...

 


Not knowing your route of course, it is hard to say other than I wonder about your waypoints. How about using City Select so you can see them much clearly and marking waypoints that way. Download and check it out. Maybe, also, check Direct Route in City Select and it will download as a manual route and you will be able to see the waypoints when Route clicked on.

 

I have found in my plotting that waypoints are written in stone! If I click a waypoint thinking it is the Hiway I'm traveling, but it turns out to be a Ramp, then the auto-routing will do a clover leaf in order to get me back on my route...my bad!

 

Other than that, my V follows the waypoints I tell it to - if the waypoint is indeed a road, etc. and not in the boondocks somewhere where auto-routing can't get to.

 

Bill

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quote:
What am I doing wrong?? I would have been lost three times this morning had I relied on the V if I had been in unknown territory....

 

I was having fits with auto routing the other day and later discovered that I had forgotton to check the box to "Include Route calculating Data" when I dowloaded a new map set. This check box used to be in the pop up window when "saving to serial GPS" and with the new software updates it has been moved to the lower left screen under the selected map set column. Works fine now!

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Well, it is autorouting 90% of the time ok...its the other 10% that is the issue....I had the box checked (as evidenced by the fact that it is in fact autorouting , right???)...otherwise I dont think it would "autoroute" at all.... (?)

 

quote:
Originally posted by Capt. Jack & 1st Mate:

quote:
What am I doing wrong?? I would have been lost three times this morning had I relied on the V if I had been in unknown territory....

 

I was having fits with auto routing the other day and later discovered that I had forgotton to check the box to "Include Route calculating Data" when I dowloaded a new map set. This check box used to be in the pop up window when "saving to serial GPS" and with the new software updates it has been moved to the lower left screen under the selected map set column. Works fine now!


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I will recheck my waypoints...but I made sure to use pretty much all existing points that I knew were on that road.....The map shows the route fine...ie the route is darkened....these odd turns show up NO WHERE on the routes.....but the V tells me to make them anyways.....

 

The one of bearing left versus right is no doubt a programming error....I expect SOME errors especially when it is a bear left or right.....The other two I cant figure out at all....

 

Is there a way to display the "driections" when doing a route like this on the V (to be shown on the V itself, not on the PC)...?

 

quote:
Originally posted by Bill_Sumrall:

 

Not knowing your route of course, it is hard to say other than I wonder about your waypoints. How about using City Select so you can see them much clearly and marking waypoints that way. Download and check it out. Maybe, also, check Direct Route in City Select and it will download as a manual route and you will be able to see the waypoints when Route clicked on.

 

I have found in my plotting that waypoints are written in stone! If I click a waypoint thinking it is the Hiway I'm traveling, but it turns out to be a Ramp, then the auto-routing will do a clover leaf in order to get me back on my route...my bad!

 

Other than that, my V follows the waypoints I tell it to - if the waypoint is indeed a road, etc. and not in the boondocks somewhere where auto-routing can't get to.

 

Bill


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quote:
Originally posted by dzavetsky:

Is there a way to display the "driections" when doing a route like this on the V (to be shown on the V itself, not on the PC)...?

 


There is a place in MapSource City Select where you uncheck the AutoRouting and select Direct routing. This will download each waypoint to the V and download as a manual route. Then in the V, when you select the route, it will be listed as a Manual route. Click Navigate, it will ask if you want to Follow Roads. Click Yes for the auto-routing.

Now, if it is taking weird roads can check which waypoint is causing the error and edit as necessary.

Also, once you have loaded a map section, you can reroute, new route, make waypoints, etc. without having to download the map section again. This only takes about 8 or 10 seconds. And it doesn't erase your previous routes/waypoints in the V.

 

Bill

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I have noticed some anomalies in the autorouting on my V as well. The ones that stick out in my memory are

• Text advises a left turn ahead, but the display arrow is pointing right (or vice-versa). It always corrects itself within a second or two.

• Routes me down a main road, right off that road, left onto a parallel road, left again, and finally, right on the very road I started on. The road continued in the map set, so why did it take me off only to bring me back on?

• Sometimes if I start driving while it is stewing, it finally pops up and wants me to turn onto a road I’m passing, and then it has to go back to stewing. The process will repeat itself a couple times until I stop and let it catch up.

 

Many times, especially in cities, the map re-draw takes too long and you end up missing turns. In this case, it’s best to press the page button and just use the written directions.

 

Overall, I am beyond pleased with what this little unit can do. It is by no means perfect, but I didn’t expect it to be. The technology is still pretty new. That M company is still using their GPSrs to find their way out of their own @ss. (Take that Mr. Monroe!)_

 

http://fp1.centurytel.net/Criminal_Page/

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I haven't experienced any mess-ups in the autorouting yet. Although... some of the roads in my area are new, and I think Garmin tried to predict where the new roads would be ahead of time, but the construction companies made some modifications to the final road, making the city-select version pretty inaccurate. (i.e. wrong turns in the wrong places).

 

Overall though, the V is about 95% accurate for me.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

Garmin V

Garmin III+

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I investigated a little further:

 

"1) When travelling along one road, I approach a split...one to the left that is a loop and an overpass to a bridge...one to the right that goes under the overpass.... I get a "bear left onto"....going left actually would take me up a ramp and across the road I am travelling on, and then across the bridge....talking em WAY off course...I need to bear right UNDER this ramp to ciontinue going straight on the road....."

 

I zoomed in WAY close on the map and saw that the PC had selected the "upper" road...I guess that the software cant tell when a street has turn restrictions or is one way?? A map problem...

 

"2) While traveling along a road in a city-suburbs type area, I get a "turn right on" indication seemingly out of the blue......doing this takes me off course again, and into deadend side streets, but I followed it just for kicks and then it tried to double me back and forth"

 

Turns out that the drugstore I picked as a way point is shown by city select to be located on the street that it was trying to get me to turn on...in other words, a map problem.

 

"3) While traveling along second avenue, I get an indication to turn left onto the SAME STREET I AM ALREADY TRAVELING ON. Taking a left would take me across anotehr bridge into points beyond...and way off course... In simulation mode, it getst hesame thing and then continues happily on the course....without making a turn."

 

No idea on this one...looks fine to me....I have a simialr route for the way home so I will see what happens....

 

"4) Close to home there is one particualr part of a road, named "tulip", which is fine in one direction but shows up as "agnes street" for going the other direction for one piece of it....:"

 

Again, what appears to be a map calulcation/data error. icon_frown.gif

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Well, if Garmin tech support was like that at some other companies, you could expect something like this:

quote:
Originally posted by dzavetsky:

Have any of you found the accuracy of autorouting to be way off soemtimes???


No. That is not possible!
quote:
I just got my V a few days ago, and I am hoping it is user error...
Yes. That is correct.
quote:
...The route had 4 anomolies in it that don't seem to appear on the maps in City Select themselves...
The correct term is enhancements.
quote:

...Anyone have any ideas???...


The answer is obvious: The error is on your part; you live in the wrong place, and that fact has not escaped the attention of your omniscient Garmin V. Get a clue and move!

 

 

Fortunately, I've found them to be much more responsive. I've reported a few problems through their website, and I've always gotten a quick response.

quote:
Is there a way to display the "directions" when doing a route like this on the V (to be shown on the V itself, not on the PC)...?
Yes. While on the map screen and following a route, just press the "page" button once. You'll get a scrollable list of turn-by-turn directions (with arrows!)

 

If you want to post the start and end coordinate of your route, some of us could check it on our units to see if the problem duplicates.

 

worldtraveler

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quote:
Originally posted by dzavetsky:

Have any of you found the accuracy of autorouting to be way off soemtimes???

 

I just got my V a few days ago, and I am hoping it is user error...


Wow! You've just described more autorouting problems in one post then I have had in almost 2 years since buying a V and I use it extensively.

I guess I'm just lucky. Wish I could use some of it in this weekends lottery.

 

Cheers, Olar

 

"You are only young once but you can stay immature forever"

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quote:
posted August 21, 2003 07:21 AM

Well, it is autorouting 90% of the time ok...its the other 10% that is the issue....I had the box checked (as evidenced by the fact that it is in fact autorouting , right???)...otherwise I dont think it would "autoroute" at all.... (?)

 


 

It WILL autoroute without the box checked, but very erratically and not the best way. Then it tries to recalculate when you don't make a turn off the road into the puckerbrush that is impossible to traverse. icon_eek.gif We have traveled many miles using the autoroute feature and when the maps are properly loaded, have had very little problems. This is in small to large cities as well on the backroads and some that aren't even marked.

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Hello all...

 

Well, I looked att he maps last night....

 

Definately a case of "the machine does what it is told to do"....

 

For whatever reason, the map software caused all but one of my first 4 issues. I was able to go in and tweek the map for the route I know that worked...One problem was that they had a waypoint that I know to be on a road I drive everyday back about 300 ft from the road.....so, when I giot near there, the GPS tried to get me to that waypoint as instructed...hence the "wrong" turns....another instance happened becasue the software didnt know that one road went one way and that the adjoining one went another....anotehr was that I had a waypoint taht I used that was about 100 yds off teh road, and again it tried to get there....another was map related too....a road splits around a center island and ends in an intersection.....the map has extended the road on the other side of the intersection to the one side of the split and left the other alone....hence the name of the road I am on is one thing going one way and another the other on the V....in real life it is one name.

 

Thing is, what about if I had never been to this area?? Thats the point to using autorouting, isnt it? <grin>

 

I gues that EVENTUALLY autorouting would get me back on track (I would hope) even given the errors....

 

quote:
Originally posted by Olar:

Wow! You've just described more autorouting problems in one post then I have had in almost 2 years since buying a V and I use it extensively.


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The biggest pet peeve I have with the V is that it algorithum to tell you when to turn is strictly on angles of interection to the road you are turning on from the one you are turning from. The map data has everything to do with this. Some obvious turns dont show up on the V because the map data has that road as a gradual turn. This never happens on the hiway for me...its always been dead on for interstates. but for back country roads you have to watch out..it will get you turned the wrong way lots if you dont keep an eye on your distance to next when its telling you to turn.

 

Also, I've found it best to do manual routes (with autorecalculation turned off) when doing a routed to a far away place..otherwise the recalculation takes too long and by the time it has a new route layed in it has to calculate a new one cause I'm already past where it wanteed me to go..

 

I love my V but it has lots of things that could be better.

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Now, if you turn off recalculation, does that mean that if you take a wrong turn during a long trip you are hosed?? Can theV still steer you back to your route?? Or is recalculation something else???

 

quote:
Originally posted by KB9NVH:

The biggest pet peeve I have with the V is that it algorithum to tell you when to turn is strictly on angles of interection to the road you are turning on from the one you are turning from. The map data has everything to do with this. Some obvious turns dont show up on the V because the map data has that road as a gradual turn. This never happens on the hiway for me...its always been dead on for interstates. but for back country roads you have to watch out..it will get you turned the wrong way lots if you dont keep an eye on your distance to next when its telling you to turn.

 

Also, I've found it best to do manual routes (with autorecalculation turned off) when doing a routed to a far away place..otherwise the recalculation takes too long and by the time it has a new route layed in it has to calculate a new one cause I'm already past where it wanteed me to go..

 

I love my V but it has lots of things that could be better.


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I had emailed my map errors to tech support at Garmin and he said they update every 12-18 months, and that the last update was april of 2002....so we are due...I wonderwhat THAT will cost....

 

quote:
Originally posted by Tail of Two Cachers:

I've found that it doesn't handle one way streets too well. Other than that, its been fine.

 

But it is a software/maps issue. I'll definitely upgrade them as they come out..


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quote:
Originally posted by dzavetsky:

I had emailed my map errors to tech support at Garmin and he said they update every 12-18 months, and that the last update was april of 2002....so we are due...I wonderwhat THAT will cost....

 

quote:
Originally posted by Tail of Two Cachers:

I've found that it doesn't handle one way streets too well. Other than that, its been fine.

 

But it is a software/maps issue. I'll definitely upgrade them as they come out..



 

When do those updates come out to us?? How do we get them?

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

Garmin V

Garmin III+

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They are free to download but they do not include changes made to roads, it only updates the Mapsource program. So if the program is what is causing the errors, they may have the problem fixed so long as it has been pointed out to them. Don't expect new roads to suddenly appear, cause they will not. icon_rolleyes.gif

 

Kar

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Shibby:

They are free to download but they do not include changes made to roads, it only updates the Mapsource program. So if the program is what is causing the errors, they may have the problem fixed so long as it has been pointed out to them. Don't expect new roads to suddenly appear, cause they will not. icon_rolleyes.gif

 

Kar


 

Actually, I was talking about upgrades for the city-select basemap. I know you can do it for a cost, but when does the next one come out?

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

Garmin V

Garmin III+

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They do not update those maps. They just release newer versions and if you want them you have to buy them. They may give you a discount if you already own an older version, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

 

As for how often? Since I have owned a Garmin I've have not seen a newer version of City Select ever released, just Metroguide 5 and some upgrades to the Mapsource program itself.

 

Kar

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I came across a tip for making waypoints on the V from Waypoints using the V map page. I had fooled with trying to make waypoints using the map page for hours and had concluded that it couldn't be done (except present position, of course, or projected).

 

"If you move the rocker to a new position to mark a waypoint, press Enter and the Screen will give your location. Press the menu instead of Ok and it will save the waypoint as the name on the arrow you can then change the name if you so wish."

 

Bill

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