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  • Navigation on Garmin 520 plus question
  • Premier Icon edenvalleyboy
    Free Member

    Hi all,

    Questions about the Garmin 520 plus:

    1) Is the navigation on it the same as, say, an 800? I.e. insert an sd card with maps, create routes on a pc, upload to device and follow/use turn by by turn?

    2) Can one use a variety of map styles e.g. Discovery 1:50, opensource etc.

    3) Can an external battery pack be plugged in mid ride to charge it without the device powering down/losing that rides data?

    Thanks for any help.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    The unit has limited memory so you have to be careful in selecting the map tiles to load on the unit, see this video on how to do it:

    If you live in Scotland or Wales you’ll probably get the entire country on the device but in England you have to be selective. I *think* you can only load maps from Garmin’s map store, this is covered in the video.

    I’ll create routes on Strava, export them as TCX, load them onto the 520 and will get turn by turn. I don’t use it off-road so there’s the usual caveats about turn by turn in those situations.

    Don’t know about the external battery but I’ve got close to the claimed 15hrs on the internal battery. Any more than that I’d use my Oregon. If you can’t then there are on-line tools to combine FIT files.

    Premier Icon CraigW
    Free Member

    The Edge 520 Plus has a lot more memory than the 520. Seems it has about 9 GB space on the internal memory. Should be enough space for maps of most of Europe.
    But still no SD card slot.

    Premier Icon edenvalleyboy
    Free Member

    Thanks for this. Sounds like 520 plus might not be for me.

    What’s most similar to an 800 then?

    I keep reading that the 810, 820 etc are rubbish or is that user led problems and actually the 820/830 is ok? Same for 1000. Prices of new 1030 are too much for me.

    I want something that can give reliable navigation (not turn by turn), HR monitoring and usual speed, cadence and altitude info and the potential to use whatever map I want depending on location needs.

    Or am I looking for moon on a stick/being a doofus and it’s one I’ve overlooked (reading Whitestones comment maybe 520plus could work for me?)


    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    They’ll all support custom maps in Garmin’s format, it’s just that if you don’t have an SD slot you copy it directly to the device.

    I think your best options may be the 530 or the Explore. The 530 should do everything you want, but the display is small and the button interface is Marmitey at best. The Explore has a larger display and a touchscreen that works really well, but doesn’t have a barometric altimeter (if that bothers you… it still supports GPS-derive altitude of course).

    810 is ok (basically an 800 with Bluetooth) but old tech now, most notably the display isn’t up to modern standards; the 820 I personally wouldn’t touch with a bargepole but I suspect I’m basing my view on an old version of it; the 1000 is too flaky IME, and the 1030 is a hell of a lot of money when the Explore is largely the same but without a few features that I personally don’t care about (YMMV).

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