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Is it worth the money?

 
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captbeardy
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Joined: Mar 02, 2008
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Is it worth the money? Reply with quote

A smple question that I am sure will yield a host of different answers. On the face of it, the Satmap looks good, but just glancing at some of the topics in the forum and I'm now wonderng if I should look else where. I want a unit to use on the hills and while canoeing (rivers and lakes rather than coastal). I also cycle, so have been looking at the Edge 705, but that is primarily for the fitness stuff that it does. I was thinking that that mght also double up as a hill unit, but I quite liked the look of the Satmap. Now I'm just confused Smile

Oh, and I'm new here, so if I'm breaking convention, I apologies in advance.

Thanks,

Paul.
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LostMike
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
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Location: Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting reserve from forum members in responding to your question captbeardy!

As you have seen the device is less than perfect - like most things.

My view is that it is a good device currently held back by
missing and less than perfect software. However missing and updated software is due to arrive withing the week (or so). So I would advise you to wait and watch the reaction in this forum over the next few weeks.

As a walker I would say that it is a potentially excellent device for use in the UK. For my purpsoes I can not find anything to match its potential. It would appear to also be good for use on lakes within the UK.

There appear to have been a number of faulty units sold but it also appears to be generally accepted that Satmap are very good at replacing such units.

I hope that helps and does not cause too many other to offer violent disagreement but even if it does it will at least mean that you get some response.
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robs1972
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Joined: Mar 19, 2007
Posts: 310
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's a bit of a difficult question to answer, isn't it.

425 for a scrolling map on your handlebars is a lot of money in anyone's book, especially if it can't do anything else...but what are the alternatives? Not a lot if you want OS mapping and they all pretty much cost the same and are not as tidy.

Although it needs a few bits of attention....Satsync, hidden inactive routes, on pc planner etc I love it and it enhances my rides far more than any pair of 500+ boutique wheels that other forums I visit are full of enquiries about.
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mikealder
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Joined: Jan 14, 2005
Posts: 19638
Location: Blackpool , Lancs

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very good summary of the current state of the device to be honest - and one offering facts rather than the normal "this is rubbish" comments.

I find the device great in use on the hills, its not perfect but is far better than carrying a PDA in an Otter box (which I have done for a number of years) - If you don't have any electronic OS maps already then the cost isn't too bad, if you own a full set of UK maps running on Memory Map (or similar topo package) then the cost of ownership is a difficult one to call, as you cannot run other maps on the device it will only accept its own mapping data in the required SatMap format.

If you want any further information on the device simply ask and we can supply some answers, I personally like the unit, it is not without its problems but the device is in the early phases of sales, the potential is very good and nothing really comes close to a rugged PNA style device dedicated to off road activities, we await the new software version with interest to see what it offers, I just wish the upgrade were available via download rather than postal service in this day and age - Mike
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PloddinPedro
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Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Is it worth the money? Reply with quote

captbeardy wrote:
I want a unit to use on the hills and while canoeing (rivers and lakes rather than coastal). I also cycle, so have been looking at the Edge 705, but that is primarily for the fitness stuff that it does. I was thinking that that mght also double up as a hill unit, but I quite liked the look of the Satmap. Now I'm just confused.Paul.
I'll throw in my threepen'rth - I can't comment on the water borne part but....... I use my GPS mainly for cycling, plus occasional walking. Until now I've used a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx, widely regarded as a pretty good unit but for me, for cycling, I found I was often riding without a preprepared route loaded into it and therefore required an old fashioned map to view and make up my mind which way to go as I rode along. The Garmin is poor for this since the visible onscreen map is rudimentary and when you zoom out to get an overview, the smaller roads disappear. With the Satmap, I can zoom in and out on a much more informative map and if I want an overview it will convert to the OS 1:250,00 (or whatever scale it is) roadmap which frankly, is brilliant. When I'm riding a preprepared route, things are a bit different. I can compose routes in Memory Map and load them into the Satmap but following them on screen is less comfortable than on the Garmin. The route line in the Satmap is a thick translucent yellow line which somewhat obscures the map detail. Furthermore, the routes in Satmap use fewer waypoints and the route line often cuts corners at junctions, sometimes giving the impression there are more actual roads than there are. Also, in order to preserve battery life the Satmap has to be used with the screen on auto switch off after 30 seconds, which means a hand off the 'bars and a touch on the unit whenever I want to see the map, unlike the Garmin which is always on and which I can glance at as often as I like. This may seem like nit-picking and would be of no consequence if walking but when I'm descending at 25mph into a village the Garmin gives a visual rolling indication of where the road and my route goes whereas the Satmap has to be kicked and then may give me a confused picture. In my view, at the moment, the Satmap is better for "freeform" riding, plotting as you go, the Garmin best for premeditated rides, just following the trail/route and not needing to "know where I am."

There are a few other differences. The Satmap is not as reliable as the Garmin, quite frequently locking up or failing to lock onto satellites very quickly. When the bike fell over recently the SD card in the Satmap was dislodged and I had to pull out the card and batteries, reboot the unit and faff about for several minutes to get it going again. The Garmin (also on the bike - I was doing some comparisons!) was completely unfazed. Battery life is better on the Garmin. The Garmin tracks when saved deliver a lot of information, particularly times, which can be useful if you're into post ride analysis. Some of these issues may be addressed in the imminent (?) software update however and I have to say that if I were using it only for walking and with a 1:25,000 map loaded, I would say that the Satmap has a clear lead over the Garmin. But then I haven't done much walking with either unit and more experienced walking users might tell a different story.
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Is it worth the money? Reply with quote

PloddinPedro wrote:
I can compose routes in Memory Map and load them into the Satmap but following them on screen is less comfortable than on the Garmin. The route line in the Satmap is a thick translucent yellow line which somewhat obscures the map detail.


I construct my routes so the yellow line doesn't obstruct the roads or junctions I need.
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PloddinPedro
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Is it worth the money? Reply with quote

robs1972 wrote:
I construct my routes so the yellow line doesn't obstruct the roads or junctions I need.
Yes, OK, fair point, you can do that. But if you ride a route from scratch, convert, download and save it and later reimport it, or if as I do, you actually compose a route in Mapsource using the routing function, which is much quicker than doing it in Memory Map, or have old, saved Garmin routes/tracks, when these are translated into Satmap, they come out a bit rough and ready. I do accept, though, that the Satmap result is perfectly workable, it's just that I got accustomed to the precision of the Garmin view and rather miss it.
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spectric
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Joined: Mar 16, 2004
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there

The one thing I don't like is that it does not use a standard windows OS, correct me if I am wrong.

This means that it becomes an expensive navigation device, whereas I use an HP5700 in an otter case which runs a windows Os.

This means I can run other applications like Excel, GPS data loggers and tools to assist with photography, like DOF calculators etc.

The 5700 in the otterbox is submergable and bash proof, which I can verify as I have dropped it into a stream & onto rocks !

It uses the SIRF 3 chipset and has given me really good performance in all conditions.

Battery life is very good as it uses a Li-on as std and running memory map software which is a great product and there " selections " allows you to just buy what you want.

So having looked at the newcommer, great at first glance but I will be sticking with a PDA solution.

Roy
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PloddinPedro
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spectric wrote:
... I use an HP5700 in an otter case which runs a windows OS. This means I can run other applications like Excel, .... etc. .............. Battery life is very good as it uses a Li-on as std .... Roy
Just out of interest, what battery life do you get on your setup?
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Darren
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Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spectric wrote:
The one thing I don't like is that it does not use a standard windows OS, correct me if I am wrong.

It runs WinCE, a standard mobile OS. Unlike PocketPC/Windows Mobile or whatever moniker they have given it recently though, WinCE is designed for integrators and so the OS is 'hidden' to end users.

It may be possible to circumvent this though, many owners of nav systems that run WinCE have managed to do just that which then allows use of other software.
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spectric
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Joined: Mar 16, 2004
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Location: Cumbria

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there

I do not believe it runs the std windows CE like the Hp but more of a specific embedded Os to allow it to perform a specific task. Yes it is an embedded OS but the developer controls the levels of access so can give more or take options from a user interface perspective.

The Hp unit runs windows CE apps like excel, Tom Tom & other utilities for deguging GPS etc. From what I picked up from a guy demonstrating the Satmap it runs Satmap software, ie their maps but not other apps like excel or memory map. It has been built as a single purpose unit that runs a specific task. The bonus is that you should have a small compact OS image which should run faster.
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