12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Got a question about any other routing software that you use for creating routes and transferring to your Zumo? Then post in here and we will try our best to help
KTM-Don
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12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by KTM-Don »

I purchased the Garmin and signed up for a lifetime MRA membership to prepare for an annual motorcycle trip with my wife. We visited some old familiar places, and found many new routes that we'd like to return to another time. The bike is a 2008 BMW R1200RT. We used an older Cardo Q3 intercom, and it linked to the XT, although we did have a few dropped connections that required stopping and restarting the Q3. GPS voice prompts block the intercom, it looks like the fix for this is to upgrade to a newer intercom.

Overall, everything worked almost exactly as I had hoped. I spent a lot of time reading posts on the MRA forum, this Garmin forum, Basecamp forums, and ADVrider. The combination of the Zumo XT and MRA definitely made this trip easier, more enjoyable, and safer.

We pre-plan to a degree, but like to allow a certain amount of freedom once on the road. I had the first two days and last two day configured in MyRoute-App, and basic routes for the other days. On several occasions we spent two nights in a scenic area, and used the Round Tour feature of MRA with great results. We did tweak the auto-generated route, but it found some really nice roads for us.

The work flow was like this. At home, I used my desktop PC with dual monitors and paper maps to look at the areas of interest. I set my default map in MRA to 'Here', which I believe is important when exporting to the Garmin. I turned on the 'Google Map' overlay, which gives better road identification features. I did accidentally create some off-route shaping point, which created some confusion on the road, but the Garmin gracefully recovered. Once I had a route created and properly named (this became important when we started departing from the schedule), I closed the MRA website on the PC. When traveling we used a Samsung tablet to generate or modify the routes. I used the ability to create folder and sub-folders to organize the routes. Being able to route with a mobile device was a key feature, as I did not want to carry a laptop.

MRA links to Google Street View, this was very helpful to determine the kinds of roads we were picking for a route. Bad pavement, dirt roads and such were easy to identify. This and the route simulation using a satellite map view were very helpful features.

To load the new route, I would turn on the GPS, which generally started the Garmin Drive app on my Android phone, as it was already linked to the phone for real-time weather and traffic updates. I would open the route on my mobile using the MRA Android app, then 'Save As' GPX 1.1. The mobile would download the files, both a track and a route. Touching 'Open' would bring up Garmin Drive, and give me the option of sending the file to the Zumo XT. A few minutes later the GPS would report new files received. This sounds complex, but really only took a couple of minutes, far less than the route planning. There were issues with an earlier versions of Drive, but the latest version seems to work fine.

On the Garmin, I would open 'apps' then 'Trip Planner', then 'Saved Trips'. It took a bit to figure out how to tell the Garmin we were at (or reasonably close) to the starting via point, we ended up with strait line routes a couple of mornings. Once settled on the route, the Garmin faithfully kept us on the route we had created (with plenty of shaping points) in MRA.

We rode with 'Off Route Recalculation' (in the Settings / Navigation menu) set it to 'Prompted' which let me know when we were off the expected route. The route remains outlined as a magenta line, and whenever we returned to it the GPS picked up from the point of re-entry. This was a big concern for me, I was very afraid we would lose the route entirely and have to revert to the paper map or GPS determined routing. The Garmin handled 'figure of 8' routes perfectly, we had one day where we crossed our path twice, a double eight.

I tested the 'recalculate' feature when we were near home. I was uncertain if it would route to the next shaping point, or directly to the destination. The XT did route to the next shaping point. The only issue we had was when I accidentally closed the trip on the Garmin at a lunch break. When resuming, I was given the option of routing from the start, the nearest route point, or the destination. Selecting nearest point (or similar wording) consistently gave a 'cannot calculate' error. I had to route from the start, then bypass that start point in the routing. The XT then got us back on the Magenta Line and continued normally. After our return, I found there was an XT update available, with improvements to handling shaping points. So maybe this has been addressed.

So this was a big win! The Zumo and mounting hardware, along with the lifetime MRA Gold membership set us back a bit of cash. But we had many less missed turns, abrupt U-turns, and stops to trace our position on a paper map. We were able to execute complex routes that I would not have attempted without the GPS, due to the amount of navigation needed. And getting turn by turn directions to the hotel through city traffic at the end of a long day is nearly priceless.

Our 3300 mile route was basically a counterclockwise circle from SE Michigan north through the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and back home. Lots of crossings of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. We're getting excited about next year's trips, when my wife is retired!
jfheath
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by jfheath »

Excellent write-up. Thank you.

Some comments, thoughts...

MRA currently has a 1.1 version (routes, tracks, POI) which allows the creation of Via Points as well as shaping points. Vias (shown as hands on the map) can be used sparingly at places you know you will drive through. Use sparingly at key points in the route - eg coffee stop.

Never select the end destination when starting a route. It will calculate a new route to the end, ignoring your shaping points. (Clearly, you avoided this error)

It's a good idea to put the start point some way ahead of the place you will start the engine. eg a couple of miles away on the road you want to be on after escaping the town/village. This gives the opportunity to find fuel, avoid traffic and road works, and it will still navigate you to the place you want to start the ride. It also gives the Zumo time to get a decent satellite fix.

Closest entry point doesn't head for one of your points - it actually finds the place on the magenta route which is closest to your present position and heads for that. I have noticed the inability to calculate a CEP route. I found that in all of the cases that I was able to reproduce the same circumstanes, allowing the satnav to make u-turns cured this issue. I think the problem is that it doesn't know which way you are facing until you start moving, and if it even thinks you are facing in the wrong direction, it has to find the closest point by heading in the wrong direction. It isn't going to succeed if the route is to the north and it has to find it by heading south, without being able to make a u-turn.

The route will never miss out shaping points or via points - unless you select the wrong destination at the very start - but if you have only shaping points in your route (ie no via points), you can rejoin the magenta route anywhere and it will navigate you from that point on. So you have to be careful with figure 8 routes - if you head off on the wrong road at the cross-over, it will continue navigating in that direction -allowing you to miss out a whole bunch of shaping points.

Actually, that is a very useful feature, which is why Via points are best used sparingly. It allows you to plot an optional detour eg for coffee, which you can choose to ignore and pick up the route further along the road.
The zumo will never allow you to miss out via points in this way.

I have a couple of 'issues' with MRA, but the work they have done in recognising how the Zumos operate is impressive, and from what i have seen it is the best online mapping software available for the Zumo. It just needs to recognise the saved waypoints / favourites - which would be easy to implement, and I have to get over the fact that the Zumo has to recalculate the route as soon as it receives it - which for some peculiar reason, I allow it to really bug me. Its only a bit of extra time!

Lifetime subscription? i haven't seen that option. How much ?

But it was good to read a report describing how you used it and how well it worked for you on your trip. Thank you.
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Stu
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by Stu »

jfheath wrote: 01 Oct 2021 05:00
Lifetime subscription? i haven't seen that option. How much ?
$99 but I think it was invite only :?
Twin4Me
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by Twin4Me »

Likewise I bought the lifetime offer which I think is an excellent offer (very often it's a promotion around Black Friday time or occasionally at other times if you sign up for the emails).

I'd agree about using MRA and the Garmin, after I figured out how to transfer from MRA to my iPhone I then use the Garmin Drive App to transfer to the Unit.

I also always place my first waypoint a mile or two up the road when I'm building a route, and place a waypoint a mile or so after major junctions and turns. This way you always know you should be on the roads you want to ride. It only went wrong once on my last trip when the Sat Nav decided to 'cut the corner' and took me down a Road which eventually resembled a goat track!

One of there other guys on the trip had created the initial routes but hadn't added these extra points and as we were riding a circular route he was often seen to be peering at his unit when we came to a junction
jfheath
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by jfheath »

Since we have the experience of seasoned MRA users, I have a couple of questions.

1. Garmin uses WAYPOINTS which it defines as saved locations. MRA uses points of interest POI as a similar thing.

Garmin allows its WAYPOINTS to be added to a route so that they act as Shaping or Via point.

Nb MRA uses the term 'waypoint' differently

I have not been able to include a POI on a MRA route. I can place it on the road, but cannot seem to make it be one of the places that the XT aims for as part of its route.

Am I missing something ?

2 the new v1.2 gpx file for use with Garmins causes problems for me when I try to connect Basecamp to the XT. It causes an error, and won't load it. This is whether I use connect or simply transfer the GPX file directly to the Zumo or to Basecamp. The other export options from MRA don't cause this problem., neither did the 1.1 Beta version .

Has anyone else had this issue, or is able to repeat it or disprove it?
ST1300A9 - Currently: Zumo 590/5 and Zumo XT - Previous: Zumo 550 and Zumo 660.
BTM03 module to provide Bluetooth link to Autocom. XT paired up to Android Smartphone
Twin4Me
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by Twin4Me »

I'm not sure on the difference in naming. MRA seems to call it a Via point (which appears to act the same way as a waypoint to me).

If you look at the following route you can see my Via points on the map and listed
Screenshot 2021-10-29 at 11.22.05.png
When you zoom in, click on a point and then click the three dots for more options (an ellipsis) then you can change the via point to a stopping point (hand shape), but I'm not really clear what the difference is?
Screenshot 2021-10-29 at 11.22.54.png
Screenshot 2021-10-29 at 11.22.34.png
I then go to my phone and use the MRA App to find the route I want, export the gpx 1 file and then send that to the Garmin Drive App, I don't go near Basecamp anymore as it just seems to screw things up.

The alternative is to export the gpx 1 file on your computer, email it to yourself and then on your phone try export it to the Garmin Drive App (but this seems an unnecessary extra step)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
jfheath
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by jfheath »

In MRA

A waypoint is used to describe any point on a route.
A Via Point is a Stopping point (or a Hard waypoint).
A Shaping Point is a shaping point (or soft waypoint)
A POI is a saved location - which can be placed on a map.

I don't believe that a POI can be included as a point in a route. Or if it can, I would like to know how.

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In Basecamp

A waypoint is a saved location (similar to a POI).
In Bascamp a Waypoint can be put into a route and it becomes a Via Point, or a shaping point. You can change it easily - just like you can on MRA.

A Via Point on a Zumo is referred to as a Destination. It shows up as a flag. It is listed in the Select Next Destination display when starting a route. It can be displayed in the trip data - shwoing ETA and distance to Via. I use them for stopping places. You cannot ignor a VIa point when navigating without having to press the SKip button to tell the XT to ignore it.
You can ignore a shaping point. The XT doesn't like it and will try to get you to go back to it - but as soon as you join the magenta line after a missed shaping point, it will continue navigating ahead and forget about the fact that you haven't visited it.
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Whether you use Basecamp or not, you will find this link useful



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MRA is a tad confusing with its tear drop shaping point and its Hand stopping point.

When you click on a tear drop shaping point on your route, it shows the menu with a tear drop and when you hover over it, it says Via. I think this means that if you click it, it will change it to a Via (a hand)

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If you are not clear about the differences between Vias and Shaping Points, this is more than likely why you think Basecamp is screwing up your routes !

In particular - you say you are using gpx v1 to export from MRA. That just sends Via Points tot he Zumo (flags on the XT screen). Any that you created as shaping points are also sent as Via Points.

I use Vias for the 3 or 4 stops, plus the start and the end. I use Shaping points for the rest of the route. (Actaully I put my Vias on the road that I want to take after the stop for coffee, and mark the cafe with a shaping point. It makes it easy to ignore the coffee stop if I don't need one).

For a long time, MRA would produce routes with only shaping points, or routes with only Via Points. They have just recently brought out their 1.2 gpx which addresses the particular needs of the Zumos.

Its a pity that they haven't got their POIs sorted out so that they can be integrated in the route.

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This comment will be out of date before long - cos I have just told MRA about it - but if you try to access your MRA v1.2 route using BAsecamp, Basecamp fails - whether you read it from the Zumo or by sending it as GPX file. It didn't do it with the beta version though.
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jskene
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by jskene »

I also use MRA for some route planning. Its HERE map is apparently the same as Garmin's so it results in fewer, if any, improperly positioned waypoints if they're correct in MRA.

As was stated it does not recognized via points as being any different from shaping points if you transfer the gpx 1.1 format to the XT. If you transfer the gpx 1.2 format, however, then it only shows the via points and no shaping points! There's clearly something wrong with 1.2.
jfheath
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by jfheath »

MRA have modified their files since I made this post. What it said originally was correct at the time, but is now wrong, so I have changed it. This link is still correct - I have modified the contents to match.


Link Here

v1.1 (route track POI) shows 3 via points and two shaping points (tiny dots). The same route loaded fine into the XT.

Dont forget in MRA -
Teardrop = shaping point
Hand = Via Point.
ST1300A9 - Currently: Zumo 590/5 and Zumo XT - Previous: Zumo 550 and Zumo 660.
BTM03 module to provide Bluetooth link to Autocom. XT paired up to Android Smartphone
JS_racer
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Re: 12 days on the road with MyRoute-App and Zumo XT

Post by JS_racer »

nice, thanks for the write up.
been a MRA lifetime gold member since almost day 1 when they launched. Worked excellent on my tomtom rider, and glad to see and hear the progress on the XT.

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