Which GPS To Buy Now

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carolinarider09
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Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by carolinarider09 »

I was sitting here, it's Christmas time, and thinking it might be time to consider a new GPS for my motorcycles and Autos.

I currently have a Garmin 550 that works fine but I have not uploaded the new maps to the device because the newer maps do not display the full road name (shifted to upper and lower case I believe is the reason). I use it in my 1996 Ford Explorer. Only issues are "screen calibration".

I have a Garmin 665 and a Garmin 660. Garmin just dumped map updates for the 665. They said it was a memory issue but my 665 has 16GB of internal memory thanks to the Palm Dr. I did not have my Garmin 660 memory updated. Might just do that because I can.

The displays on the 660 and 665 seem to be getting dim. Might be my eyesight due age and "clouding" of my eye (might be cataracts forget what my eye doctor said but he did say is was happening but not time for lens replacement yet).

So, if I wanted to replace my 660 and/or 665 with another Garmin device what should I consider. All my motorcycles use wired communications, two have the Autocom units. I have a spare Autocom so.... I would love to keep the wired option.

And, just wanted you to know this is basically something I am contemplating but have not decided there is a real need today. Tomorrow, maybe.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Oop North John
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by Oop North John »

A second-hand Zumo 590 or 595 would probably work for you as it still has the possibility of wired audio along with BT. They're an evolution and shouldn't take much extra learning. I don't know if they work with Mapsource, so that might be a negative, I suspect they don't as when I got one I had to learn Basecamp.

The Zumo XT's are only BT and for me they don't use the logical routing that I have come to expect from the SP3 via the 660 etc. But, the screen is on another level compared to the 590 / 595 as it is so clear and bright.
MSTOCK27370
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by MSTOCK27370 »

I have a 450, 550 and 590. I made the mistake of upgrading my maps a few months back and the 450 and 550 both got caught with the street name display issue. I recently bought a Z.396 and replaced the 450 with it. The 396 is a good buy, just a little more than half the cost of an XT. It operates the same as the 590 and I am happy with both of them. The strret name problem is not a major problem (for me) on the 450/550. Mostly just annoying. The streets, when they are displayed on the top bar are displayed correctly in upper and lower case. It's just the map detail that displays .... instead of a name. Yes, the new devices will need BaseCamp. It's not that hard to get used to BC. You can still use MapSource to create routes and then move them over to BC for final editing before sending to the GPS, but getting accustomed to BC is better.

The problem with the 450 and 550 seems to be the touchscreen. They seem to have aged to the point that the touchscreens are flaking off and failing. I was going to give my 450 to a friend with no GPS, but after removing it and "cleaning" the screen, it failed. For $10 (US) I have a new touchscreen coming, so I am hoping that I can still give it away. It's still a very functional device.

Bottom line, 590 or 396.
Michael S.
Trinity, North Carolina
Zumo 590LM, 396LM, 550 BMW R1100RT, R100, R60/6
Oop North John
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by Oop North John »

MSTOCK27370 wrote: 10 Dec 2023 01:18 Bottom line, 590 or 396.
I have a XT, 396 and 595

One issue with the 396 is that like the XT is the "fastest" routing option means faster roads, but it does use imported routes correctly. The 396 does have a much brighter screen than the 590 /595. The 396 is almost a halfway house between the 595 and the XT, so working out the compromises you're willing to accept for the XT / 396 / 595 is the problem. The 396 does connect to Garmin Express / Basecamp 99% of the time first time, unlike the XT.

My personal view was that I could accept the less than perfect screen because it's navigation was sensible means the 595 gets my vote. If they chose to sort out the XT then that would quickly get the vote.
carolinarider09
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by carolinarider09 »

Thanks for all the feedback. I really appreciate the comments and the supporting information.

Oh, one thing I failed to mention is that I use or still use GPX files for routing. As long as the GPS can accept those type files it's a possible solution/choice.
MSTOCK27370
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by MSTOCK27370 »

Oop North John wrote: 10 Dec 2023 11:06 .....................
One issue with the 396 is that like the XT is the "fastest" routing option means faster roads, but it does use imported routes correctly. The 396 does have a much brighter screen than the 590 /595. The 396 is almost a halfway house between the 595 and the XT, so working out the compromises you're willing to accept for the XT / 396 / 595 is the problem. The 396 does connect to Garmin Express / Basecamp 99% of the time first time, unlike the XT.
....................
With waypoints and via points placed appropriately, I have not seen my 590 or 396 change any imported routes. Faster, meaning faster arrival, usually puts you onto faster roads; shorter, less miles, selects all kinds of oddball roads to shorten the distance. Neither of these options should be used blindly without some consideration by the rider/driver for does this make sense.

When I got my 590, I was a little disappointed with the screen brightness. I experimented with the themes, and eventually created my own theme that has made the display much easier to read. Even though the 396 display is better than the 590, I loaded the theme onto my 396 and the display is even better.
Michael S.
Trinity, North Carolina
Zumo 590LM, 396LM, 550 BMW R1100RT, R100, R60/6
jfheath
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by jfheath »

The 590 is a much better bet than the 595. They are identical in size and software can be loaded to make the 590 behave as a 595 and the 595 to behave as a 590. Ive done it both ways. [***]

The battery is appalling - something somewhere suggests that the battery connection is the issue- but on battery power it will go dim within a few minutes, but it works ok in the cradle on the bike, and also with a usb cable providing power from a suitable power adapter or Usb mains socket.

Both come with wired connectors line in for a phone, audio out for music, phone and satnav. Theres a USB socket for powering another device. But both also have bluetooth. Both have a large enough SD card slot.

I used the 590 for many years on the bike. I heard many comments about the screen being too dim and unreadable, but it isn't. It struggles if the sun is on it, but honestly, I never found it a serious problem. But there is no doubt that the XT knocks spots off it with regard to screen brightness.

The 595 had some cool features which I liked - like spotify control of phone music, but the system changed and it no longer works. It has a live track feature, which you can set up so that when you start a route, it emails people on a mailing list and provides them with a link to a website which maps your progress in 'real time' - well, up to the (say) 15 minutes. I haven't used that for a long time, so I cannot say whether the server is still on-line.

But I can find out if you need to know.


Why the 590 rather than the 595 ? The 595 introduced some issues that carried over to the XT. It has the 4square database. named routepoints have their name changed on import, unless the point is created as a waypoint first. Changing a via to a shaping using the screen results in the point being moved and renamed. Whether this is related to foursquare or not, I do not know. I did think, but couldn't find anything.

The 595 wasn't on the market that long before the XT came out, so there are a few pretty new ones available. I bought one, it was almost brand new. Hardly used it when I got the XT, and gave it to my brother. Then realised I could use one, and found another. Both were used but pristine and cost about £150 each. You have to make sure that the box states which lifetime maps it has installed, or ask the seller.

So if you prefer a 590, I would (did) buy a 595, and install the 590 software. (See edit below). Whatever - make sure the unit comes with the cradles and wiring, and ask how long the battery holds a charge.

Both can link to smartphone data using Garmin smartlink - so live traffic data weather, live camera at junctions are all available.

Once you get to grips with the massive change from the 550 to use with shaping and via points, then it is easy and predictable in the way that it behaves. The 590 more-so than the 595- but the 595 is pretty good.

Mapsource can be used with either. Routes from mapsource get converted to show either shaping points or via points. I cannot remember which. Garmin report that occasionally a route will fail if created in mapsource. I used it for ages with a 590, until Basecamp was improved - which it was. Basecamp deals with shaping points and vias which is what the 590 and 595 use. They become more flexible with day routes that have say 3 stopping places as vias, and the rest shaping.

If you want to know more about any of this, just ask. I have lots of notes about much of it.

  • Edit - I have just changed my original 595 to run the 590 software - and hit a snag. When I had a 590, I was forever changing it back and forth when writing up documentation about both units. And it worked fine - but that was on 590 hardware. The downgrade form the 595 has just worked fine too - except: it wouldn't connect to the PC with the USB cable. It just kept rebooting. But what I did discover was that some of the issue that I thought were introduced with the 595, were actually there in the 590.

    So back to using the 595. That's OK - it is good kit and is still produces sensible routing solutions.
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by rbentnail »

There are also numerous custom themes for the 595 to make it easier to see with different background colors and route options. I assume they'll work on the 590. They do NOT work on the XT. viewtopic.php?t=178&hilit=theme
Russ B. Zumo 595 & XT
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lkraus
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by lkraus »

rbentnail wrote: 12 Dec 2023 05:15 There are also numerous custom themes for the 595 to make it easier to see with different background colors and route options. I assume they'll work on the 590. They do NOT work on the XT. viewtopic.php?t=178&hilit=theme
I have used the attached customized theme on my 590, 595, and now my XT. It has had some additional modifications over the years. Someone else picked most of the colors for better contrast, I changed the colors for parks/woods to a lighter green and have increased the maximum track width so that it peeks out from under a route.

There may be some parts of a 590 theme that no longer work on an XT and that I have not found, but I think for the most part, 59x themes will work on the XT.
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Re: Which GPS To Buy Now

Post by rbentnail »

lkraus wrote: 12 Dec 2023 13:46 There may be some parts of a 590 theme that no longer work on an XT and that I have not found, but I think for the most part, 59x themes will work on the XT.
None of the custom 595 themes I tried in my XT work. They can be installed and selected, they just never changed anything.
Russ B. Zumo 595 & XT
2007 & 2013 USA Yamaha FJR1300A