Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Monday, July 20

US Sat Nav 3

Just back from 3 weeks in rural Maryland, humid and mucho buggy but also beautiful home town America. The US maps on my cheapo budget Garmin were great with a couple of caveats. Firstly, some of the user-submitted 'roads' in OSM are more like dirt tracks. Secondly, some of the map hierarchy is a little flaky so we had the occasional routing glitch. Dragging the destination pushpin a hundred yards down the road normally fixed things. Finally, some of the POIs I was using were a little off, so searching for REI would not find anything, but hovering the cursor on the address would show it. Despite all this, the lane guidance, map fidelity and overall free-ness of it makes it totally worthwhile and a great way of upcycling an old device. Good but tiring trip, very happy to be home! Next up for this project? This hack to force Garmin charging over USB (for using on my motorcycle).

Edit: Done the hack, was a nightmare involving some super-fine filament wire and a loupe. Not easy and my version wouldn't survive plugging / unplugging and vibration. In an effort to stop problems, I tacked the plug into the unit with superglue.... we'll see if that was a good idea, LOL.


Blogger Lewis said...

UPDATE: The superglue and power-mode hack did indeed work, except that Garmin need to 'see' the unit before they will let you download any subsequent map updates. So my hard-wired solution looked less clever. New plan - tested today on a different Garmin and on the desk rather than the bike - is much simpler and just as effective. I found it by accident while looking for a no-data cable that supported mini-USB. So to the instructions:

23 May, 2016 22:02  

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