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  • Which GPS for Memory Map OS maps
  • Just supposing someone had managed to get hold of a copy of the whole of the UK at 1:25k on Memory Map and was looking for a GPS to use it on, which would be best.
    Memory Map's own Adventurer 2800 ?
    SatMap's Active 10 ?
    Or Garmin's Dakota or Oregon ?

    Is it simply a matter of buying the hand held unit and a bike mount and loading the maps, or sections of map, on to it ?


    The only one of those you can actualy use memory map maps on is the Adventurer. The Satmap or Garmin units can only use their own proprietory maps at significant extra costs.

    My Bro's got the Adventurer but hasn't had chance to use it yet. Seems a nice little device.

    Road Angel Adventurer 7000 uses memory map – its also a Car SATNAV. You can load maps on a 2gb SD card so you would not get the whole of UK at 25000 scale at once .


    madeinyorkshire – fair comment but I don't think you can buy the 7000 anymore? I got one the cheap way (bought the Road Angle satnav & added the software myself) and really didn't get on with it – slow, clunky and way too bulky to be on the bars. As for the Satnav, my eTrex does a better job of route finding!

    The 2800 seems a much better thought out unit – handier size and much faster processor so the maps update & scroll almost instantaneously.

    imho of course 😉

    Memory maps own unit is very very fast. My flatmate just got one a week or so ago. He has not had chance to try it out properly yet, but when I played with it, the refresh rate compared to the car sat nav is very very fast. Its nice to be able to see a real and coloured map, instead of black outline symbols. Seemed a decent price too, when compared to competition.

    N in C
    I agree about thr RA, but on a limited budget (got mine for less than £100) it does the job with any O.S maps that work in memory map on the laptop.

    OK, so it looks like Memory Map's own device is the one to buy at around £250.
    It comes with the UK at 1:50k and a voucher for a limited area of 1:25k I think, I'll have to go and check the full deal.
    Can I then load any part of the UK at 1:25k straight off Memory Map on my PC ?
    I'm not expecting to load the whole 12+Gb in one go, but supposing I was heading off to a new area outside what I had already chosen as the free bit that comes with the device. Can I just select an area on my PC and transfer it across ?

    You could take a look at the

    MIO Range of PDAs with built in GPS

    Such as this one

    I use a 350 and it works fine, advantage is I can just load which ever bit of the map I want rather than the whole thing, helps keep things moving faster.

    That looks a good deal for £120 for a refurbished one if it does what I want.
    4.5 hour battery life should be adequate for most rides. No mention of spare batteries though, so I guess it's built in and that is the limit without returning to a recharging point.
    No mention of it being waterproof either. What do other people do ? Just wrap it in a poly bag ?
    I'm sure I can come up with some way of securely mounting it on a bike as well without a specific bike mount.

    I've got a bit left behind by technology and I don't know exactly what a PDA is and what it can do.
    Just to be absolutely clear before I spend my money, if I buy this for £120, can I load areas of Memory Map at 1:25k on to it, then head off out on my bike and have my position displayed on an OS map on the screen ?
    I'm not too bothered about waypoints and tracks and stuff. I mainly just want to know exactly where I am on the map.

    Premier Icon Del

    any windows mobile device wil be complatible with memory map so long as you have the memory available for maps. not much required for quite a large area ( by modern standards ).
    if you use a mobile then a windows equipped mobile would be more robust than one of those pda i would have thought.
    battery life is a PITA on either the phones or the pdas, though some are significantly better than others.
    pdas or phones are much better for recording rides than navigating them IMO.
    i have had a pda, and currently have a windows phone, and IMHO they're a faff. if i was going to go the nav route or go into this gps stuff in ernest i'd get a cheap garmin for 80 quid or whatver, and plot routes at home, then download them.

    pdas or phones are much better for recording rides than navigating them IMO

    Why's that ?
    I tend to explore and make up the route as I go along. I'm not really interested in planning a route beforehand on the PC then following it exactly on the bike.
    All I really want is a clear map with my location marked on it.
    Which would be better, the bigger screen of a PDA or the robustness of a GPS ?


    The consultation on the free availability of OS maps on the internet has just started, so at this stage I would advice against all of them. By next summer we should be looking at devices that are best at downloading map sections onto them, who knows what device that will be. The existing devices might be pitched to one side by their manufacturers forcing people to buy again.

    I'm trying to do my own research on this, but I'm a bit out of my depth.
    Reading one review, it says the older Mio P350 has better satellite reception than the P550 because it hasn't got WiFi or Bluetooth.
    I don't even know what the difference is between WiFi and Bluetooth, so I'm sure I can manage without them if I buy the P350 for £98 .
    If I've got the maps already, does that sound like a good idea ?

    I use the 350 and it's fine.

    You can buy bigger batteries which extend usable life to about 5 – 6 hours use in real life ( depends how bright the back light you use ) do a search on E bay

    and at £98 I think it'll do all you want and more

    Premier Icon Del

    pdas or phones are much better for recording rides than navigating them IMO

    because then you're just lobbing them in your pack and effectively forgetting about them until you stop. i wouldn't regard most pdas ( or at least the ones i've seen/used ) as suitable for bar mounts and the like – just too fragile IMO.
    sounds like you have a pretty clear idea of what you want though.

    Premier Icon zinger

    I bought an adventurer 2800 just before x-mas – after reading some good reviews and thinking that having os maps on a gps would be good

    But the Adventurer 2800 device software is rubbish

    Looks like they have taken an old windows ce 3 os , ripped anything useful out of it and then pasted in port of their PDA software

    You cant even change the time on it – so my unit was saving all the files as 2017, you have to use a silly stylus and a minute on screen keyboard to enter any text on your waypoints etc

    It has no useful screen like garmins have for average speed, distance , speed etc

    The only good thing about it was the os50 maps displayed on screen nicely – although you could only zoom to 200m

    Take a look at the MM 2800 forum its full of people moaning about the unit

    I took mine back to evans and got a refund today !!

    Its made me appreciate just how good the Garmi Vista Cx I have is – even though it dose not have pretty OS50 maps on it..

    i've been using a MDA compact III for MM.

    Its survived being flung out of my pocket in a crash and being dropped on the pavement. its also got wet quite a few times, so i think they are more robust than you'd think. The newer devices aren't very robust however, the large screens are much more exposed and MM doesn't work as well on newer versions of Windows Mobile (> WM6.1).

    My Garmin is far better for pre-planned routes, but if i ever get lost or fancy a detour, i check the OS maps on the phone.

    Zinger: with MM running on a PDA you can hold the stylus on the screen and get an option for displaying speed, location, bearing to next waypoint etc.. are you sure you can't do that on the 2800?

    IMO none of the GPS options are that great considering the cost.

    Have just glanced at the Amazon site, was looking at the Oregon 200. The comments from users are interesting. As previously said, the Garmin maps are very expensive. They recommend getting an Orgon unit but using talky toaster freeware, as several threads on here have also recommended.
    As phread said up there, perhaps the shift to OS being free might have significant benefits for us. Therefore, it would seem sensible to buy a unit where you can add maps via an sd card and add your own freeware ones, whilst waiting for things to trickle out from the OS situation????
    At least you won't have spent a load on Garmin maps only to have them perhaps been made redundent soon.
    Just a thought.
    When it all settles down, might even invest myself……maybe!


    FREE MAPPING for GPS units with a micro SD card from it is really easy to use. I downloaded the first file the largest one and as they say just put it in a folder named Garmin on the micro SD card and you get the mapping.

    Whilst it is not ordnance survey mapping it is from if you check out your area you can see how much detail there is and it even encourages you to update the map if you find roads , bridleways etc that are not on the map yet.

    I use it on a Garmin etrex hcx which I put routes on from Tracklogs


    The more I read about modern technology, the more I realise just how out of my depth I am.

    Right now, I have got a Mio P350 and 12.9Gb of Memory Map OS maps at 1:25k on my PC.
    I thought all I would need to do is buy a 16Gb SD card and install MM on the PDA.
    However, the P350 only supports SD, not SDHC (have I got that right) which limits me to 4Gb.
    Do I now install MM on my PDA, buy a 4Gb SD card and just load the area I want on to the SD card ?
    I can't get the GPS working on the PDA either. I thought it would just tell me my position as it is, the same way as it tells me what the time is. It now looks like I need some GPS software though. Once I've got MM on there, will I be able to use it as a GPS, or do I still need something extra ?

    An update for the benefit of anyone else who may be thinking of getting something similar.

    The Mio P350 is limited to a 2Gb SD card. It will not recognise SDHC cards.
    I thought this might be a problem as the Central UK area at 1:25k is just over 2Gb.
    However, it is possible to pan and zoom the map on the PC and just send the visible portion to the PDA. As an example, the 2Gb SD card actually holds about 1800Mb. The whole of the Wyre Forest plus a load of surrounding countryside and towns is 20Mb. I can easily get all the areas I am likely to ride over the next few years on there in one go.

    I haven't made a handlebar mount and tried it out on the bike properly yet, but first impressions are that it is exactly what I hoped for.
    The only critiscism so far is that as it is a PDA, the touchscreen is designed to be used with a stylus. It is just about impossible to operate with a gloved finger. I should be able to set it to scrolling map before the ride and not have to touch it again until I stop.
    Having the map self align with the direction of travel upwards, like a car satnav, would be nice, but I can live without that.


    Have you considered buying a satnav running Windows mobile & hacking it to run like a PDA & then load your MM?


    MG, I reread your original post and you don't say if you wish to navigate by this or simply record your route… Depending on intended use, I might be able to shed some light on this subject as I use/have used:

    PDA with MM & Tom Tom
    Windows Smartphone with MM & Tom Tom
    Garmin Etrex H
    Garmin Edge 705

    For my money, the first two are not really suitable for mountain biking. They are fragile, battery hungry and difficult to operate in 'mountain biking conditions' (i.e. muddy, wet and begloved). Both machines have a glass touch screen that is very very fragile. I bust my PDA screen last week by dropping it a couple of feet onto a carpeted floor. £60 to repair. I use these machines when touring to get out of cities with Tom Tom. Cities are the bane of long distance touring cyclists and anything that makes escape easier is 'a good thing'. To do this, I have to nurse their battery life and delicateness both in terms of the units themselves and the software build which can be affected by how the machine is used….

    Yes you can use portions of MM OS maps on them but the screens are so small I would only do this to turn on, establish where I was, decide where to go and turn off again. This then introduces the operating difficulties in an MTB environment. BTW, for most MTBing I find 1:50k plenty enough and gives more coverage per screen. MM will not give you turn by turn navigation as per conventional sat navs (inc Tom Tom). You'll plot your route on a PC, upload to the unit (c/w relevant map portion) and your current position is shown on the map via a set of cross hairs. You do the turn by turn bit by using the information provided.

    The Edge 705 is a reasonable device for recording training data and following preplanned routes though the screen is miniscule and not really suitable for hooning around in typical MTB territory. The turn by turn nav is $hite (IME) and the maps are expensive and not very good (i.e. not up to OS quality). The battery is internal so recharging is interesting (powermonkey or USB port) though it lasts ~15hrs. It does a good job of recording where you've been and records interesting stats. I wouldn't use it for MTB nav.

    The Garmin Etrex H is the kiddy for me. It takes two AA batteries that last a couple of full days and is a rugged, waterproof bit of kit. Routes are plotted in MM on a PC and uploaded to it. It then gives a simple arrow indication of where turns are when you are out and about and records your route faithfully for upload to MM upon your return to civilisation. It also records speed, time stats etc if you need them. I always carry a print out of the MM area I'm in and the Etrex will give you your current grid ref, the two together are simple reliable and the way to go (for me).

    One of the later Garmin Etrex units (Legend or Vista) might be an option as they use Garmin's maps on their colour screens. This adds mapping (doing away with the MM print out) but the maps are the same as those used in the Edge 705; not very good and expensive.

    Sorry for the long post…wake up at the back 🙂

    No, but isn't that more or less what I'm doing anyway ?
    I guess a more modern satnav would take a 16Gb SDHC card so I could load the whole of the UK, but it looks like 2Gb is enough for normal use so I'll stick with what I've got.


    MilitantGraham – Member
    All I really want is a clear map with my location marked on it.

    Just dug the above out of the thread…

    Etrex H and MM area print out at 1:50k will do very well for this.

    I'm a slow typer. My previous reply was aimed at Snaps.

    I have never preplanned a detailed route before a ride and don't think I ever will. I tend to set off with a rough route in mind and adapt it as I go.
    I've got a Garmin 305 and I regularly overlay the route on to MM or Google Earth after a ride to see where I have been.
    There have been many occasions on trailquests where I have been looking for a bridleway and been unsure if the track I am looking at is the right one or just a farm track. All I want is confirmation of my position on a screen in front of me.


    Tut tut, GPS's on Trailquests…? Are you sure they are allowed? All the ones I've done, GPS, altimeters etc were banned.

    I asked about using a GPS on the MTQ forum and nobody said No.

    Anyway, I've done a couple of rides with the P350 running MM and it's OK, but not as good as it could be.

    First time out, I had let my 305 go flat, so I just had the P350.
    Sattelite reception seemed very poor, it had me jumping all over the place, sometimes several km from where I really was and then back again within a few seconds. I think the total distance recorded was 600km with a maximum speed of 400km/h. I did wonder if it was the snow, rather than the GPS itself causing the problem, but as I didn't have the 305 with me and had never used it in snow, I couldn't compare them.
    I got the low battery warning after a couple of hours.

    Second time out, 305 on the 'bars and P350 in a little top tube bag as I haven't made a mount for it yet.
    Reception seemed better, so I guess it was the snow causing problems before.
    Low battery warning after 2:30, so I switched it off after looking at it and switched it back on again next time I wanted to check where I was. It only took about 5 seconds at the most to work out where it was.

    I still need both devices to do everything I want.
    I can't rely on the P350 to record my route as it simply joins up the points where I switch it on and off with a straight line. It doesn't easily display current speed and distance either, so it's not just a matter of buying a bigger battery.

    If I'm going to use two devices, I might as well have bougt a cheaper non GPS PDA to run MM and connect it via cable to the 305, assuming that is possible.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable

    However, the P350 only supports SD, not SDHC (have I got that right) which limits me to 4Gb.

    I'm using a Dell Axim which suffers from the same limitation. I worked round this by buying a Compact Flash to SD adapter, about a tenner from eBay – might be worth a try if your Mio has a CF card slot.

    If you want to protect it as well as a dedicated outdoor GPS, you could get an Otterbox – quite pricey, especially when you throw in a handlebar mount, but they seem very well thought out.

    Premier Icon Ambrose

    I'm running a Road Angel Navigator 7000, bought from Memory Map. Plus points- nice big screen, waterproof, robust, hasn't let me down yet, comes with all UK national parks at 1:50 000 scale. I replaced the 1 GB card with a 2 GB one, and have loaded onto this my local are (Beacons) at 1:25 000, plus the aerial photos and likewise Portes du Soleil. It is also a SatNav, full UK coverage and major European routes too. I just select the areas I want from my PC screen and upload them to the GPS unit.

    Negative points- battery life is poor- 3 hrs today (cold weather), the bar mount is £18:00!!!! and even then the unit is held in with elastic bands! Uploading routes from PC to unit needs to be done with ALL other overlay objects removed from the PC MM screen you are using- so if your filing is sloppy like mine is you do stand the slight possibility of losing stuff if you delete it in error. You will only lose what you have changed since you last opened MM on the PC though, as it automatically saves all your stuff as 'userdata.mmo' or somesuch similar name.

    As for the bar mount- I beefed it up using a couple of big O rings- to date I haven't lost the unit, despite riding some pretty rough terrain. It copes admirably with Morzine, Whytes level, Skyline etc.

    The MM licences are a right royal pain in the *rse to get right. It took me ages to do. But all is good now. I understand that there are quite a few bits of MM software on various torrent sites- I don’t know if it would be possible to make them work (tbh- I hope not). A friend tried to download some and managed to infect his PC, so he stopped at that point. All the software I’m running is legit and I’m not prepared to find out what happens if somebody tries to use pirated stuff.

    Battery life is a pain- To help prolong it I set the screen to turn off after 10 secs and have the backlight at approx 50% brightness. In bright sunlight I need to shade the unit to see the detail.

    Maplins do a nice little external power supply (model n62fx) that plugs into the unit when the battery is low- and to date I haven't had a problem at all with it. I've yet to use it for a multiday trip away from recharging facilities though. Maybe the answer is to buy another Maplins power supply. The clunky screen alluded to by previous posters may be due to having too many overlays loaded onto the machine. I keep mine pretty clean of superfluous data- it scrolls like a dream, well impressive.

    All in all- I like the unit- yes it has limitations mostly around the battery life.

    Also- it runs MM navigator- so you can (quite) easily scan and then calibrate your own maps to use on it. Useful for places that don’t have digital mapping available via MM, or for eg geologists/ surveyors producing their own maps.


    I run an O2 orbit pda with MM and I can download chunks of the maps to it as and when I need it. I made an external battery pack and it all fits inside a Peli case which is bar mountable. It runs for about 12 hours or more and records my trips. It helps to have it on the bars for bits where the route might get a bit indistinct. Having a pda also makes sense as it is a phone and can run useful apps AND will run Tomtom or Copilot. It's a pocket computer.
    The O2 orbit is quite rugged, I've dropped it, got it damp and two and a half years later it's still going although the battery has started to get a bit short of breath.

    Mr Agreeable, I thought the 2Gb limit would be a problem with some sections of MM being over 2Gb. Once I found out that I could export just the current screen from my PC and an area of 50x25km is only 20Mb, I realised that 2Gb was plenty.
    Trailquests are typically over an area of 10x15km or so, so I can simply centre the map on the event start and know that I have got all the map I will need with me.
    With room for 90 such maps on the SD card, it will be a long time before I need to start deleting old ones to make room for new ones.
    The Otterbox looks good, but for £45 I think I'll stick with my original plan of wrapping it in clingfilm for now.

    Ambrose, I'll experiment with backlight levels and the screen timer to extend the battery life. If it still won't last long enough, I will get one of those external batteries.

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