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Bp619

Phone based gps help!

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looking to upgrade my garmin 78 tired of small screen and ease of use. should i go with a garmin montana or an unlocked smart phone and app. i really hate garmin and basecamp but i make it threw.

this will be used for small bike single track not adventure riding or roads

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I'm in the process of researching this too. I have an old 78 that has been faithful. But it's time to step up to new features and technology. To that end, I have discussed this subject recently with several guys I trust on the subject. The vast majority of users are recommending the Montata 600 series devices right now...But someone that are also recommending the Kyocera (smart phone) options.

Personally, I'm considering the Garmin 66i. This is the first high end GPS exclusive of Garmin (not Inreach) technology. It is both a GPS with advanced features, including the ability to download maps directly from satellite feed (other devices require you to download maps before you leave), and a satellite communicator for emergencies. So I would get rid of my 78 and my spot 3 and just carry this. 

It's probably a little more than most day trip single track users need though. Personally, I'm not sure about the phone for hard charging local single track riders though. They seem more useable for adventure type riding to me. I think a Montana would be a good choice for you but the phone option is considerably less and you don't have to deal with Basecamp....hum?

Bottom line is I don't know which way I'm going yet.

 

 

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subscribed.  I am currently looking into it.  I was considering the Trail-tech Voyager Pro but with my Scotts, it would mount so tall, it would get damaged quick

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51 minutes ago, Pokey151 said:

subscribed.  I am currently looking into it.  I was considering the Trail-tech Voyager Pro but with my Scotts, it would mount so tall, it would get damaged quick

ditto same thing like voyager but not 100% sold on it

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I am using a Kyocera.  I had to make the holder to mount to RAM components.  It stays in place fine, even on a moto track.  There are several GPS apps that will work.  Also can be used for a lap timer, bicycle computer, OBDII code reader, etc.  If I bought a plan I could even use it for a phone.  I don't see going back to a standalone GPS.

Holder w phone.jpeg

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Personally, I do not understand why people are having trouble with BaseCamp. The Kyocera is interesting as a Montana replacement.  Isde97 - If someone sends you a .gpx file, does it load onto the software you are using? If it does, I see your point. You don't need Garmin at that point.

Dave

 

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5 minutes ago, Bagstr said:

Personally, I do not understand why people are having trouble with BaseCamp. The Kyocera is interesting as a Montana replacement.  Isde97 - If someone sends you a .gpx file, does it load onto the software you are using? If it does, I see your point. You don't need Garmin at that point.

Dave

 

Basecamp isn't bad I wish it integrated better with Google Earth or a satellite view. Nice to see especially single track on satellite view vs standard map

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Just now, Bp619 said:

Basecamp isn't bad I wish it integrated better with Google Earth or a satellite view. Nice to see especially single track on satellite view vs standard map

That ones on Google. They changed GE so that third party apps can't access it. However it's very easy to export tracks in Basecamp in KML format and then open them in GE and vice versa. I have my home desktop pc set up with two screens - one with Basecamp and the other with GE and routinely move files back and forth between them. Basecamp is a little intimidating at first for some but once mastered it's has some very powerful features. As for using cell phones I've been down that route and my preference is still the Montana and the 276Cx. Most cell phones use either a mini\micro usb or a lightning connector. Neither is very robust off road.

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4 hours ago, Oracle said:

I'm in the process of researching this too. I have an old 78 that has been faithful. But it's time to step up to new features and technology. To that end, I have discussed this subject recently with several guys I trust on the subject. The vast majority of users are recommending the Montata 600 series devices right now...But someone that are also recommending the Kyocera (smart phone) options.

Personally, I'm considering the Garmin 66i. This is the first high end GPS exclusive of Garmin (not Inreach) technology. It is both a GPS with advanced features, including the ability to download maps directly from satellite feed (other devices require you to download maps before you leave), and a satellite communicator for emergencies. So I would get rid of my 78 and my spot 3 and just carry this. 

It's probably a little more than most day trip single track users need though. Personally, I'm not sure about the phone for hard charging local single track riders though. They seem more useable for adventure type riding to me. I think a Montana would be a good choice for you but the phone option is considerably less and you don't have to deal with Basecamp....hum?

Bottom line is I don't know which way I'm going yet.

 

 

If Basecamp scares you there are several other simple options if you just want to load tracks\waypoints. Heck you can just copy GPX files right to the Montana's SD card in Windows Explorer.

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I'm ok with Basecamp. It does seem a bit outdated and hard to navigate at first, but it gets the job done for the riding I've done thus far in life.

 As far as the phones, you just pointed out the primary weakness I keep reading about. The micro USB connection is neither robust, as you pointed out, or water proof. This is a concern of mine especially since I stand a pretty good change of riding through some extreme weather during my trips.

Bags, the advantage of the phones, aside from being very cheap, is that you do not need Basecamp. You do have to have an app on the phone like Giai or Rever or any number of GPS apps though. Some are free. But most that are worth a damn are about $40 a year. You would just save the GPX file to the phone and access the file from which ever app you are using. The process is much easier than Basecamp.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Oracle said:

I'm ok with Basecamp. It does seem a bit outdated and hard to navigate at first, but it gets the job done for the riding I've done thus far in life.

 As far as the phones, you just pointed out the primary weakness I keep reading about. The micro USB connection is neither robust, as you pointed out, or water proof. This is a concern of mine especially since I stand a pretty good change of riding through some extreme weather during my trips.

Bags, the advantage of the phones, aside from being very cheap, is that you do not need Basecamp. You do have to have an app on the phone like Giai or Rever or any number of GPS apps though. Some are free. But most that are worth a damn are about $40 a year. You would just save the GPX file to the phone and access the file from which ever app you are using. The process is much easier than Basecamp.

 

 

You still need Basecamp or some other application to create the GPX file so the only real advantage is really just price.

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14 minutes ago, PbdBlue said:

You still need Basecamp or some other application to create the GPX file so the only real advantage is really just price.

I hear you. But the vast majority of people are just downloading GPX files that are already created, for example the BDR routes.

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12 minutes ago, Oracle said:

I hear you. But the vast majority of people are just downloading GPX files that are already created, for example the BDR routes.

You don’t need basecamp to load pre made gpx files into a Garmin gps.

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1 hour ago, PbdBlue said:

You don’t need basecamp to load pre made gpx files into a Garmin gps.

I know. I wasn't talking about loading existing GPX tracks. I was talking about making routes / GPX tracks.

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23 minutes ago, Oracle said:

I know. I wasn't talking about loading existing GPX tracks. I was talking about making routes / GPX tracks.

Sorry. I thought you were talking about loading gpx files to phone apps.

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7 hours ago, Bagstr said:

Personally, I do not understand why people are having trouble with BaseCamp. The Kyocera is interesting as a Montana replacement.  Isde97 - If someone sends you a .gpx file, does it load onto the software you are using? If it does, I see your point. You don't need Garmin at that point.

Dave

 

I do my route planning in G-maps or one if its relatives, save as .gpx and just open from wherever I saved it (usually google drive).  I would imagine I could just open up a file as an email attachment, I will test that out.  I think the discussion of the micro USB is something of a red herring.  You can have the screen on for hours just on battery.  I think the USB is probably fine in the rain, it would just get bad if submerged.  Riding for hours in a downpour isn't a realistic limitation.  The fact that it is touchscreen only is a bigger deal, but I have the side button programmed to zoom in or out, depending, and I think that gets around the biggest gloves on limitation of a touchscreen.

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This is right up my alley. I haven't used my Garmin Montana in over a year since converting. There is no comparison, the smartphone is where it's at. Can make routes from your phone in minutes, instead of on a computer, Store offline Satellite  maps. I use Kyocera Dura Force Pro Verizon edition. Verizon has 1GB more memory, and the better screen(sapphire). Smartphone and accessories all can be had for around $100.

Here is what I use.

 

Kyrocera Dura Force Pro Verizon  Can be had for under a $100. Verizon model is the best.

Silicone Cell Phone holder Tried Ram Mounts, by far silicone mount best, lower to handlebars and stays on.

Magnetic Micro USB Charging Cable In case you're mobbing single tracks, branch pulls on cord, no worries its magnetic, easy to plug back

USB Motorcycle Charge Kit USB plug from battery

 

Finally to make tracks, my favorite by far is Caltopo

 I also use GE, but been using Caltopo as my primary. I do save every gps file I have still in Basecamp.
Finally if you decide on smartphone, you'll have to choose an app. Plenty of good ones out there.

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5 minutes ago, luna said:

This is right up my alley. I haven't used my Garmin Montana in over a year since converting. There is no comparison, the smartphone is where it's at. Can make routes from your phone in minutes, instead of on a computer, Store offline Satellite  maps. I use Kyocera Dura Force Pro Verizon edition. Verizon has 1GB more memory, and the better screen(sapphire). Smartphone and accessories all can be had for around $100.

Here is what I use.

 

Kyrocera Dura Force Pro Verizon  Can be had for under a $100. Verizon model is the best.

Silicone Cell Phone holder Tried Ram Mounts, by far silicone mount best, lower to handlebars and stays on.

Magnetic Micro USB Charging Cable In case you're mobbing single tracks, branch pulls on cord, no worries its magnetic, easy to plug back

USB Motorcycle Charge Kit USB plug from battery

 

Finally to make tracks, my favorite by far is Caltopo

 I also use GE, but been using Caltopo as my primary. I do save every gps file I have still in Basecamp.
Finally if you decide on smartphone, you'll have to choose an app. Plenty of good ones out there.

thanks that is exactly response i was looking for. 

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Beater phone is a good idea and the magnetic charging adapter is awesome! Never seen that before. 
Also check out Gaia you can do a ton with the free version. 
I use this free website a lot too when I have a google maps route you can copy the route link from google and paste it into this website and it will give you a gpx file

much easier to plan on google, and then use this website for the GPX file

https://www.gpsvisualizer.com/convert_input?convert_format=gpx

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Thank you Luna and Isde97

If I bought a plan I could even use it for a phone"   I have never used a phone with no plan.  How do you download apps and such to the phone?

 

So I guess with an UNLOCKED phone you can use your home WIFI and use the phone as a computer, but no calling functions?

 

 

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6 hours ago, luna said:

This is right up my alley. I haven't used my Garmin Montana in over a year since converting. There is no comparison, the smartphone is where it's at. Can make routes from your phone in minutes, instead of on a computer, Store offline Satellite  maps. I use Kyocera Dura Force Pro Verizon edition. Verizon has 1GB more memory, and the better screen(sapphire). Smartphone and accessories all can be had for around $100.

Here is what I use.

 

Kyrocera Dura Force Pro Verizon  Can be had for under a $100. Verizon model is the best.

Silicone Cell Phone holder Tried Ram Mounts, by far silicone mount best, lower to handlebars and stays on.

Magnetic Micro USB Charging Cable In case you're mobbing single tracks, branch pulls on cord, no worries its magnetic, easy to plug back

USB Motorcycle Charge Kit USB plug from battery

 

Finally to make tracks, my favorite by far is Caltopo

 I also use GE, but been using Caltopo as my primary. I do save every gps file I have still in Basecamp.
Finally if you decide on smartphone, you'll have to choose an app. Plenty of good ones out there.

Very cool/interesting......I've had guys show up on my rides using both Iphones and Andriods……...I'm still in the stone ages with Montana and MapSource (yes, MapSource…..Basecamp predecessor)

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10 hours ago, ADV Bum said:

Thank you Luna and Isde97

If I bought a plan I could even use it for a phone"   I have never used a phone with no plan.  How do you download apps and such to the phone?

 

So I guess with an UNLOCKED phone you can use your home WIFI and use the phone as a computer, but no calling functions?

 

 

Yes, so long as you have wifi you are good.  You need to be able to plan far enough in advance to download maps in advance.  I don't think having an unlocked phone is a prerequisite.  I just got an AT&T phone (boo, I will get to that), because that was what was available at the time. 

Something I have not seen mentioned in this thread and maybe not here are Avenza Maps.  I think it is free, and has quite a bit of support.  At first I thought it was dumb, it is just like looking at a PDF on your phone.  I then figured out it actually shows your location on the map.  So, for instance, it is like having a view of the Cleveland National Forest MVUM and it shows your location.  I have used it at Corral Canyon, Los Padres (Mt Pinos and Ballinger Canyon), and Kennedy Meadows.  I had never been to Kennedy Meadows before last September and it sure was nice to navigate around and know where you were.

Thinking about it now, I could probably add the phone to our Family plan for near free.  I am a long term AT&T customer strictly out of laziness, and keep wanting to look into something else.  I suspect that a pay as you go plan would be a lot cheaper.  I suspect issues I have with the phone are a result of AT&T implementation.

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Dan, no problem. Ask away.

ADV Bum, my primary phone is my Iphone, I just leave it in my pack. For long rides like Baja, I leave my Iphone phone in "airplane mode". In Baja my cell plan covers Baja for free so , but those who's celluar plans don't, we go to OXXO and buy a prepaid SIM card if they want cellular capabilities for that trip. When I took my Kyocera to Europe I bought a prepaid SIM card for it, to have cellualar service to it. Those are options, but again my Kyocera is offline(no service plan) GPS only. So all my maps are offline. Stays on the bike always. Just need WiFi, which is everywhere, including making your phone a hotspot.

I see why motorcyclist pick "Rugged Smartphone" for their GPS weatherproof, dustproof, shockproof, etc. Why I didn't use an old iphone. Google "Rugged Smartphone"

And to stay on subject, IMO we should start a new thread regarding which app to use, it's like an oil thread or tire thread. Everyone has opinions on that,myself included, I will give my top few choices in that thread.

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Luna, as far as Caltopo and GE, do you have to convert the URL into a GPX file after you've created your route or can you just save it as a GPX file??

FWIW, I've been using GPSies.com. You might want to check it out as an option. 

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