GPS for a quad

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GPS for a quad

Post by 383STROKERINAK5 » Tue May 02, 2006 12:51 pm

What brand is everyone using these days? Do they make a unit that is waterproof? Does vibration give any ill effects on a GPS unit? What about mounting brackets? Thanks Phil
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Post by Woodglue » Tue May 02, 2006 12:58 pm

yeah, yeah, me too, I want to know all this stuff too...
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Post by 383STROKERINAK5 » Tue May 02, 2006 1:18 pm

Ok, this is what I found http://gpsnow.com/gmmap76cx.htm#info. Will this work for me?
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Post by Sand Commander » Tue May 02, 2006 5:34 pm

I use the Garmin E-trex. It is their base unit and sells for about $90. I didn't want all the extra stuff like road maps and stuff. This unit will do everything you need it to do. I just replaced mine last month and I could only find it on Amazon.com. I had used my old one for 6 years and the screen finally got hard to read. I bought the same model as my old one. We mount them on the handlebars and they last for years. You want it mounted so you can glance down at it periodically for directions. Don't look too long if you are going fast or you will find yourself flying through the air. You will know which way to turn once you land, but it can get hairy until you touch down.

If you do get a GPS only use lithium batteries. Any other ones don't last long, especially at night when you have the back light on so you can see the screen at night. Day time batteries last 8-10 trips. Always bring spares just in case and keep them in your tool box.
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Post by norocksplease » Tue May 02, 2006 5:40 pm

^I'll second that!

I have a GPS mount from IMS on my YFZ. Always gets us home and fast. We can zip through the dunes without worries. I need to get some lithiums though...
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Post by f-BOB » Wed May 03, 2006 2:25 pm

I use a Garmin Gecko (very low end cheapie). It allows waypoint entry, track logging (draws a map of where you've been, and a couple other features I don't really use. It'll hold more waypoints than I can enter for the dunes, and still have room for more. I attach it to my bars with electrical zip ties and the wiggling and vibration hasn't seemed to hurt in over the past two seasons. They claim it's water proof, can't verify that. I can verify that it IS sand proof for the most part. Agree with Sand Commander about the batteries. W/O the back light, I only get a couple trips out of regular alkalines and can run several trips with lithiums.

Anyway, whatever you choose, make sure it has a backlight feature for night rides, and enough storage capacity for you to get all your waypoints in. (I think they all have ample storage, but just in case) buy one that fits your budget, and if it's just for the quad, I wouldn't worry about a bunch of extra bells and whistles.
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Post by Woodglue » Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:00 pm

My co worker went on a 2 week vacation and asked me to fill in for him while he was out. I agreed and off he went.
Work was hell while he was gone! :roll:
While I still logged some 94 posts herein, I was atleast 3 times busier than ususal.
Blah Blah Blah..... Anyways. :roll:

He returned to the office today, and gave me a gift.
A Garmin Foretrex 101!!!! :P
Super cool! But, I barely knew it was a GPS. :oops:

In reading in this forum, I've been trying to figure out if it's a good one or not. It doesn't seem to be backlit :( but it does have:
-Stores 500 waypoints with symbols; 20 routes with 125 waypoints each.
-Auto Track Log saves upto 10 tracks to retrace your path.
-Configurable trip computer screen includes current speed, average speed, time of sunrise or sunset, resetable maximum speed, trip timer and trip distance.
-Built in celestial tables for best time to fish & hunt.
-Navigation capabilities allow you to mark and save locations, find locations, and navigate back to starting point.
-Up to 15 hours use on two AAA batteries.
-Connect to a PC for PC interface capabilities with optional serial cable.

I guess I'm asking if this is a good one or not.
Will it serve my needs in the dunes?
Do any of you have this model?
Is the sand bad for these, if I were to mount it on my handle bars?
What would I gain by PC interfacing it?
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Post by Sand Commander » Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:51 pm

What would I gain by PC interfacing it
I can't tell you much about the exact GPS you have, because I have never tried that one. BUT PC interfaces I can talk about. You want a PC interface because entering all the GPS co-ordinates for all the great places at Glamis will take a long time. It is much easier to type them in on a PC and download the file.

Also if you ever send in your GPS for repair they might erase your data during the repair. With a PC interface you can just re-load it from your computer.
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Post by LoBuck » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:20 pm

Ditto on what Sand Commander said.

Take a look at Epinons.com

Heres something that was in a review that I hadn't thought of, but a clever idea.
I can stick it on my Daughter's car (16 year-old) It's water resistant and see how fast she is driving when I am not there.
Plus you'd know where she went. Now that you can do with any GPS. :idea:
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Post by Glamisbound » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:55 pm

You want a PC interface because entering all the GPS co-ordinates for all the great places at Glamis will take a long time. It is much easier to type them in on a PC and download the file.
Actually, with the interface, you won't even need to type them in because just about all of the worthy waypoints in Glamis have already been done. All you got to do is find them by doing a search here of Glamis Dunes.com...or ask Jason, I know he has them.
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Post by Glamisbound » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:56 pm

Here's a link for mounts too....I have an IMS and it works great and looks nice too

http://www.imsproducts.com/index2new.html
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Post by Woodglue » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:57 am

Thanks guys.
I havn't even opened the box yet, but I will be soon.
First thing it to find a way to mount it to my handle bars, and on the truck's dashboard. [ :idea: IMS!, thanks GB!]
Then, I want to get it interfaced. Epinions [Thanks LB :wink: ] said that it doesn't come with software, but there's plenty on the web.
Are these a one size fits all GPS deal?
Which ones would you suggust over the others?

Thanks,
-M.
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Post by Intelliduner » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:24 pm

Scroll down a ways on this page to see my Garmin mounted on my old Banshee. It is the Garmin handlebar mount, made for their Garmin I, II... series units.

I MUCH prefer to have it mounted below the top of the handlebars, because if you flip the bike, it will be protected. I wouldn't use any mount that puts it above the crossbar, but IMS apparently has one that mounts to the gas tank that is probably a better choice.

Incidentally, I had bad luck with AA cell batteries because the vibration would cause them to rotate against each other, and the unit would often shut off--bad contact. I hardwired it to a battery that I had installed on the bike, using the auto adapter that comes with the Garmin (cut off the accessory adapter plug and wire it to the battery), and never had another problem with it, and never had to worry about carrying extra batteries with me :D If your bike already has a battery, you're more than halfway there.

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Post by LoBuck » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:17 am

Intelliduner wrote:Incidentally, I had bad luck with AA cell batteries because the vibration would cause them to rotate against each other, and the unit would often shut off--bad contact.
I had that problem with a Magellan. I taped the batteries together and that solved it.
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Post by jhitesma » Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:06 am

The Garmin I/II/III (+ and non +) had known issues with vibration causing batteries to loose contact. Some people reported that a bit of paper behind the springs helped, others never solved the problem.

Supposedly with the IV and up models the battery contacts were redesigned and this apparently isn't a problem anymore.

I've had two III+'s (one which I got specifically because my dad had the battery vibration on his street bike with it..he upgraded to a IV and then a V and hasn't had the problem with either.) and despite my rail and manx both having a TON of vibrations I wasn't able to replicate the issue on either. Even on my Ducati I wasn't able to reproduce it and that bike vibrated quite a bit.

But all of my stuff has fairly low-frequency vibrations. Even the v-twin in the Duc was a fairly low rumble. My dad's VFR800 on the other hand is a VERY high frequency vibration. And I suspect that's why the problem is more pronounced on some vehicles compared to others.

Unless you're buying used I wouldn't worry about it at this point as it seems all of the current offerings work pretty well.

Even so I much prefer the GPSes that can accept an external 12v or higher power feed. I'm not a big fan of the eTrexes (even though I have one in addition to my III+) since they carefully regulated voltage far lower than 12v. The I/II/III/IV/V... series have a nice sturdy regulator built in and can handle just about anything you toss at them making hookup so much easier.

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Post by f-BOB » Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:42 pm

Woodglue wrote: First thing it to find a way to mount it to my handle bars,
Thanks,
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Post by Woodglue » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:05 pm

f-BOB wrote:
Woodglue wrote: First thing it to find a way to mount it to my handle bars,
Thanks,
-M.
Zip Ties! then again, I'm proud of my ghetto heritage :shock:
Hey, I'm not too proud to use a zip-tie or two.
I should post a pic of my quads rear fender all Frankenstein’d up :lol:
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Post by BigRick » Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:47 am

I've used a Garman Vista, (Etrex series) and there is a handle bar mount made for it. I did have some trouble with vibration on my raptor causing shut down, so I wired in a power cable to the battery and ran the cord up the handle bar. I didnt try putting anything under the batt clips, but that might have worked too. I think if the vibration is excessive then you will have movement that can cause power problems, just like all the cheap flashlights that you need to bang around to make them work after they sat in the trunk for a few years.
The Vista works great, and its small so it works good on a quad. I do like the computer interface too.
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GPS III Battery Solutions

Post by RAPTOR DRIVER » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:36 pm

I have been using the Garmin GPS III for 5 or 6 years now on two different ATVs and have been very happy with it, but you do have to deal with the battery issue. I cut some very short pieces of rubber tubing and used them to shim the batteries. This prevents shock acceleration from momentarily collapsing the contact springs on the negative contacts which can allow the batteries to loose contact with the positive contacts. Vibration between the cells can quickly cause all of the battery contacts to corrode to the point that current will not flow. Brand new batteries can stop working after 20 minutes of riding. You can lightly sand the contacts and they will work again for a short time and then fail once more. A little silicone grease on the contacts stops the corrosion from happening. I also put a piece of electrical tape length wise along the batteries before I slide them in. This makes them a snug fit in the housing and further limits their movement. These steps completely and reliably eliminate the battery problem. I have also wired the accessory cable directly to the 12 V DC system on my Raptor, but I still keep batteries in the GPS for safety and convenience reasons. I also opened the housing and braced all large components that extend off of the circuit board with a few blobs of silicone and let it cure over night before I closed it back up. The lithium memory battery and a couple of capacitors looked like they might be prone to breaking off due to vibration so I made sure that wouldn't happen.

As in other things in life, a few precautions and a little lubrication in the right spot can make all the difference. I will post a couple of photos if I can figure out how to do that on this board or if somebody can tell me :wink:

Dean

OK, I may have done it the hard way, but here are a couple pohtos. Can you figure out where I took these photos? :D

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Last edited by RAPTOR DRIVER on Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: GPS III Battery Solutions

Post by LoBuck » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:54 pm

RAPTOR DRIVER wrote:I will post a couple of photos if I can figure out how to do that on this board or if somebody can tell me :wink:
You got it. Check out these 2 topics with step-by-step instructions.

How to Create an Album in the Users Photo Gallery

Once you get that done, then here's

How to Post a Pic
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Post by Glamisbound » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:30 am

Nice setup Raptor Driver...looks trick!
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Post by Woodglue » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:36 am

Pretty slick RaptorDriver! 8)
You've all given me some great ideas now, I need to get going on this project. :?
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Post by RAPTOR DRIVER » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:28 pm

Thanks guys. The grease trick will work on that flashlight banging around in the back of your truck too. I originally ran that GPS on my old ATC 250 R for a few years and I was able to power it from the lighting system through a small bridge rectifier to convert the bikes AC voltage to DC. The GPS III will run on anything between 6 and 36 V DC but connecting it directly to the AC power you find on bikes without electric starters and batteries will kill it. Trust me! :oops: At idle, the voltage through the rectifier could drop below 5 V DC, so I had to keep the internal batteries in it to keep it going. As soon as the voltage rose above 5 V with increased engine RPMs, it would automatically switch back to using external power to save the internal batteries. This setup made a huge difference in battery life.

Dean

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Post by Woodglue » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:44 pm

Thanks Dean,
As I'm riding a 250R TRX, I may end up doing the same as you did with your ATC. My preference though is to stick with batteries just because I will be using the GPS more off the quad than on it.
I'll take care, so that the vibration doesn't affect the batteries or the contacts.
:wink: -Mike.
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Re: GPS III Battery Solutions

Post by LoBuck » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:34 pm

RAPTOR DRIVER wrote:Can you figure out where I took these photos? :D
Yes I can. Dumont Dunes. Right HERE to be exact. :wink: :lol:
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Post by RAPTOR DRIVER » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:36 pm

That's it, on the rim of Dead Horse Bowl I believe. That was Thanksgiving, the year of all the rain and the dunes were severely rutted out.

Dean

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Post by Woodglue » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:29 am

You've got a sweet lookin' bike Raptor Driver! 8)
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Post by RAPTOR DRIVER » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:38 am

Thanks, Raptors are cool after you change everything :)

Dean

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Post by RAPTOR DRIVER » Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:57 pm

Jason

Sorry if it seems like I am taking up a lot of your time lately with my questions, but I have one more.

Since it seems like at least half of the boundary stakes are now missing or buried it is way too easy to ride into the closed areas without knowing it. You can be following a nice groove that numerous other people have followed and, without ever seeing a stake , ride right into a closed section just like all the other people before that made the tracks you were following. Of course this happenes more at night, but even during the day it's not that unusual anymore.

My question is do you have a good way to mark the boundaries on your Garmin III ? The only way I can think of would be to take the time to carefully follow the stakes and then save that route and never clear it. I really don't want to clutter up my waypoint list with dozens of individual waypoints to mark the boundry, I just want a line on the map page that I can watch for so we can stay out of the closed areas.

Dean

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Post by jhitesma » Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:05 pm

Sorry, no good way to mark an area on the III+ that I know of. You could make a custom map but that's tricky.

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Post by RAPTOR DRIVER » Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:11 pm

That was fast !!

How tricky? I was thinking of just drawing the boundaries on the screen with a Sharpie :wink:

I am actually using my Garmin GPS III, not a III+. I purchased the Garmin GPS V but it is not as convenient to use in the dunes. You have to do a lot more button pushing to do the normal things and since there is more information on some of the screens things like the way point list are harder to read with my old guy eyes because the print is smaller and finer. The mapping ability serves no purpose to me in the dunes because there are no roads or trails. Gecko road doesn't even show up on my GPS V anyway and I have the latest map updates for that area loaded. I like my old III better for the dunes but it was looking pretty thrashed and water was starting to get into it when I washed the bike so I sent it back to Garmin for a refurb. It was very fast and now everything but the board inside is new. All new case, antenna, display window, internal lithium memory battery and the last software updates they did for that model. It's just like getting a new one that already has all of my waypoints in it. :D

Dean

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Post by jhitesma » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:42 pm

Very tricky with a III since IIRC the big difference between the III and the III+ was that the III+ had mapping while the III didn't.

I'm not talking about tracks and routes...I'm talking about base maps showing roads and such. Both the III and the III+ can "map" your route and tracks.

The III+ also does real "mapping" with pre-made maps you can buy to download into it. And there were some applications out there that would let you make your own maps though they were hard to use and some of them were just pirated versions of Garmins own tools. I haven't looked into making your own maps in a couple of years though so I'm not sure what the current status is.

I never have much of a problem...but I don't go up to Glamis much anymore. In the south it's pretty easy except for the small closure just south of patton which was never well marked. And the small closure at buttercup that even when well marked was almost impossible to stay out of (from the dune side) since the markers were often times on the downslope of a dune and by the time you saw it it was too late to avoid it. But it's in an area with some nasty dunes anyway so I tended to stay away from it even if it wasn't closed.

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Post by nats-fj40 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:28 am

Not to HiJack, just an fyi:
I know the RINO's can be set with a boundry warning. I think it's a beep, not sure if it shows on the screen. I have not played with that part yet. Bet it's built in to other Garmins of recent also. Thinking Legends and Vistas I believe?
Jon B.
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Location: Tujunga, Ca.

Post by RAPTOR DRIVER » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:59 am

That would have to be a very loud beep! :lol:

This is an old model I am talking about and it can't even beep. It's simplicity actually makes it perfect for use in the dunes because there are fewer menu options to page through and the pages are easier to read than the newer versions of this type. I think the only way I could mark the boundaries no my old GPSIII would be to ride around them and then be very careful not to delete that route track. That would leave the dashed line of the path I rode on my map. I was just wondering if there was some hacker way to add the boundaries to my base map without actually having to go out there and riding along side them.

I think I remember seeing a long list of waypoints posted that described the edges of the boundaries but I haven't been able to find that again.

Dean

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