- GPS or PDA?
I’m looking to upgrade my on bike navigation, currently running Garmin Quest but would like OS mapping & only seems like two options Satmap 10 or a PDA running Memorymap with a Bluetooth GPS.Posted 9 years ago
Satmap looks nice but is pricey but I have Memorymap already & you can pick up PDAs for under £50 – anyone running a PDA & memorymap, if so what do you think?spangelsaregreatMember
I have used PDAs with Memory Map for about five years now.
It works very well and is excellent for navigation etc.
Older PDAs will require a bluetooth GPS receiver which do work well but can be a pfaff.
The newer models have built in GPS which is easier.
The main issues are battery life and durability (there isn’t any).
I would recommend the O2 Orbit or MDA Compact III (same phone more or less) as they have good battery life for a PDA (about 7 hours on a low backlight setting, more if you turn the backlight off).
I currently use a MDA Compact IV which is very small but the battery life is pants. I bought an extended battery (double the life) and can get about 5.5 hours of GPS use with a high backlight on. I reckon it will get near the 7 hours with the backlight off if not more.
A good waterproof case is the Boxit range. I have used them since I started with PDAs and they have never been damaged by water or crashes.
I would also recommend RunGPS which is a bike/run specific program for GPS. Has maps and all sorts of training/racing stuff incluging heart rate.
RegardsPosted 9 years agoSeamusSubscriber
PDA works okay for me with memory map, the software is good and its easy to transfer data to and from the PDA. They aren’t as rugged as dedicated units, so I wouldn’t attach to handlebars and battery life can be limited. But to track where you’ve been and check where you are they are good. I’ve looked at the satmap, but couldn’t justify the cost for the extra benefits.Posted 9 years agoandymMember
I use a PDA as backup to a GPS – I keep it in a plastic bag in my pocket. I haven’t tried to mount it on the bike – I’m not convinced it’s worth the faff.
Memory Map’s Navigator software seems pretty good.
It’s worth getting a couple of spare batteries if you plan to tour for more than a day.Posted 9 years agoDrPMember
I used to use a PDA phone with GPS. It was sort of good, but the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ never rang so true.
I got fed up with it:
-being too complicated
-not being hardy enough
-not mounting well
I’m now running a garmin edge 605 adn although it doesn’t have full mapping ,as long as I correctly map out a route using memory map, and carry a map if i make a bad move, it’s awesome.
95% of the time i just use it to record the route i take, and as a glorified bike computer (when riding routes i already know). For this, it’s 100 times better than the PDA.
I know some people say they are happy with the PDA route, but I wasn’t, and am glad I got a ‘specific’ bike GPS thingy!
email me if you have any more questions!
DrPPosted 9 years agobarneySubscriber
I’ve got a 205 as my main navcomp; I’ve also coincidentally got a PDA phone I use as a backup – cost, batterylife and durability being the 3 main reasons it’s not on my handlebars. If I didn’t have that I’d happily just carry a map 🙂
I use the 205 because it’s cheap (especially on ebay etc) and you can follow a line you draw on memorymap (save it as a *.gpx file, then convert it to *.crs online and import it to your unit). Battery life is better, it’s smaller and it’s rugged, and you just follow the line on the screen. As there are no graphics you have to keep your wits about you, but I prefer that, to be honest.Posted 9 years agoHoratioHufnagelMember
i’ve got an MDA compact III with built in GPS running memory map.
It can be a bit slow to load at times,
Bit’fiddly’ to use with gloves in the winter
Very occasionaly it seems to crash – i think i have too many routes on it.
you have to stop and get it out of your pocket to check where you are
OS mapping is the best on screen mapping there is
Flexible – its a phone and can run Tom Tom too.
full OS mapping
Battery life has always been enough for me.
You’ve always got it with you – found that suprisingly useful especially when you’re on someone elses route and they get lost!
Although PDA don’t look that durable, i’ve used in the winter and in the rain and its survived flying out of my pocket at 20mph when i crashed, so i think they are more durable than you think, but i still wouldn’t mount it on the bars.. My MDA compact III (2nd hand of ebay for around 60 quid) is still going strong.
i actually have a garmin 705 as well now. The crashing and no bar mount were the biggest drawbacks, but i still used it happily for several years.Posted 9 years ago5thElefantMember
I’ve had a couple of PDAs. The first one with bluetooth gps, the second with inbuilt. They’re excellent. A couple of months ago my PDA died and I couldn’t find a replacement. The PDA is dead.
So I bought an i-mate ultimate. Basically a PDA with a phone in. I run memorymap and tomtom on it. The fact that it’s a phone is a bonus.
I’ve always used a small li-ion battery pack (size of a PDA). It extents battery life to days or can be used to power a 900 lumen light for 3.5 hours (which is why I bought it in the first place).Posted 9 years agoDelSubscriber
i got a mio a710 for xmas. windows mobile, built in gps and wifi, takes my old PAYG orange simm. now has mm and tomtom installed on it. haven’t used it much yet, so can’t really recommend it off hand, but you’re welcome to take a look at it some time. no idea on battery life or owt, but teh phone bit works ok, and the gps seems pretty decent at getting a lock.Posted 9 years ago
about 130 quid IF you can get one – it’s an old bit of kit ( 2006 ).fennerhorneMember
snaps I got an Orange SPVM2000 off of ebay for £60 and bought a GPS receiver for £20. The SPVM2000 is a touchphone (basically an iphone long b4 they appropriated the idea, like MP3s players were around years before ipods) so you can do navigate by touching the screen with your finger(nail). It’s also a phone, mp3/video player, has wifi, bluetooth, runs Word, Access etc., (has a slideout keyboard), and I use it to read ebooks. Brilliant.Posted 9 years agoandymMember
for a numpty then if I have Memory Map do I just load my copy on to the PDA and have full OS /GPS mapping then?
You install Memory Map Navigator. You also have to download the maps to the PDA – you can select how much or how little to download.
You don’t need to have GPS to run the mapping – although obviously without a GPS it won’t show your position,Posted 9 years agospangelsaregreatMember
“spangelsaregreat – the durability was a concern with the PDA along with its speed of operation”
Using the boxit case pretty much makes it as durable as any dedicated unit to be honest. Here is a picture of it on the bike.
Speed wise all the Pocket PCs I have used have run Memory Map without any lag. I have had maybe 4 or 5 lock ups (where it has frozen mid ride) in all the times I have used them.
Most of what the others have posted in true, they are good but don’t suit everybody. Certainly a cheap alternative to a dedicated unit and with Memory Map you often get a lot more features too.
RegardsPosted 9 years ago
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