Author Topic: Digital navigation options  (Read 1109 times)

Offline windtrader

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GARMIN RV 770 LMT-S first impressions
« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2018, 12:39:50 PM »
GARMIN RV 770 LMT-S arrived over the weekend. Had a chance to learn, configure, and take a car trip with it.

Initial impressions.
Generally - nice bright screen, touch screen works nice, menu system is organized fairly well, some buttons could be better placed. Comes with accessories for charging and mounting. Starts up fast. Gets various live data via bluetooth smartphone connection that has mobile data service.

Navigation - The primary reason for this is safe navigation with the bus. Feature allows for entering bus specs for better routing. While underway the information displayed on the screen is laid out nicely and easily read. The voice alerts are clear and easily understood.

Have not had a chance to install and check the backup camera option.

Now the bad part. Repeating the core functionality of this thing is navigation. Attached are two images. One shows the two routes Garmin chose, the other one manually set based on knowing the shortest and fastest route. As you can see, Garmin did not figure out this one, and it is an easy route to choose. Why the hell bypass a freeway onramp and go for miles to another, makes no sense?

This test was performed using both the motorhome and car profiles. At first, it seemed an alternate route was chosen due to the different vehicle profiles but the routing was the same with both profiles. Route selection seems simply substandard to free Google maps routing.

When driving the route, with the SmartphoneLink active, the live traffic feed did work as a jam up on the freeway as shown quite accurately.

Somewhat disappointed for a $300 buy (yeah, i know - not even a tank of petrol)  but will trial it some more including the backup camera. Being pretty tech savvy, there are numerous alternative DY solutions that can be built with better functionality and accuracy but mulling over if the extra benefits are worth the extra time and effort to assemble and maintain. No brainer that dedicated GPS is much easier to use and maintain.

One other observation. While looking around the system files, this thing is a modified Linux OS. The elevation feature is pretty cool but is only as accurate as USGS DEM data. That is the dataset used for calculating the grades. update - After looking a bit more it seems USGS now has lidar based elevation data which is far more accurate than the older traditional DEM datasets.
https://nationalmap.gov/elevation.html. It seems Google maps terrain feature uses lidar based data where available.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 01:20:03 PM by windtrader »
Don F
1976 MCI/TMC MC-8 #1286
Fully converted
Bought 2017

Offline richard5933

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2018, 01:58:03 PM »
Don,

I've used both the RV760 and the navigation built into our Subaru. Hands down, the Garmin RV760 wins easily, both with being able to route around traffic and ability to choose the fastest route.

Against Google Maps, I'll take the Garmin any day. At least in the SE Wisconsin and Chicago areas. I've done tests going the 1-1/2 hours from our house in SE Wisc to Chicago O'Hare Airport, and the Google Maps route was uniformly longer and not as convenient.

There have been a few times that the Garmin has chosen a route that seemed stupid and times I felt I could have done better. But, by and large the routes chosen by the Garmin are better and end up getting me there faster. I've tried to drive my known route to see if I could do better, and the usual result is that the Garmin knows best. It's not fool proof, and in some areas the traffic pattern data doesn't seem to be adequate for the Garmin to predict travel times, but overall I'm pleased with it.

One thing that I'd love to know is how the algorithms are set up and what the Garmin gives priority to (traffic vs. speed limits vs. difficulty of route (tight turns, etc).

Just my experience, and I know that each of the different manufacturers has areas of the country where their database is not as deep so results may vary widely.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline windtrader

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #62 on: August 13, 2018, 03:47:58 PM »
Richard,


After two hours with this thing, my experience is it's more a POS than I had imagined. Certainly, some of this is the learning curve but some specific tasks and lack of features just seem onerous to the point of hair-pulling, at least what's left. lol


First, trip planning is very clunky. You can't change the start or destination points. You can edit a route that is defined between these points but it is difficult to even do that. The interface is slow and non-precise. Zooming in/out takes far too long. etc, etc.


The search feature is poorly implemented as well. It searches by default within the current location. To search on a broader area, you need to change the location first, then go back and search. PIA. It will not get result if entering full address, city and state.


There is no import routes feature. It would be far easier to plan routes with a 3rd party tool, save it in GPX or similar standard format, and import it into the Garmin. No such feature I could fine. No export of collected data either.


After finding the system reset function and cleaning it all out, it's going back in the box and back.


Now, this is just my own experience, based on my own point of reference, and familiarity and comfort with other options, techniques, and tools. I find directions with Waze or Google maps is spot on. Additionally, the real time rerouting is very good when traffic conditions change.

What is going to work better for my needs is a touchscreen Android or Windows OS based device, with or without GPS and cell data. either can be easily added. Plenty of options for having mapping and features data downloaded so available for offline use when there is no cell service.


Much of the Garmin current information features require an internet connected smartphone, so no benefit over a mobile hotspot connected to a laptop or a data enabled tablet. In fact, a device with integrated cell data service is simpler to configure and use.

Don F
1976 MCI/TMC MC-8 #1286
Fully converted
Bought 2017

Offline richard5933

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2018, 04:30:42 PM »
Have you tried using BaseCamp? I haven't had time yet, but it's apparently a way to program routes on a computer and then send them over to the Garmin. The software can be downloaded from the Garmin website.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline windtrader

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2018, 08:07:21 PM »
Richard,


I checked out Garmin Basecamp which does transfer GPX files into the Garmin RV GPS. I got an RMA and its in a box heading back.


Based on how and what I reference for trip planning, a tablet or touchscreen pc is the better choice. All sources and tools are integrated into a single device, avoiding the need for bluetooth or usb cable for transferring to other devices. There are numerous tools and apps for navigating, so one can select the one that fits best for their needs. Both standalone and tablets need internet to access real time traffic, weather, and other relevant changing information.


One device supports more than just the navigation use. For example, the tablet can run navigation app and with a touch of the screen flip to gasbuddy, waze, wunderground, topo apps, etc. External cameras can also be viewed and recorded on the tablet with a wide variety of apps.


Finally, I'm going to use an existing Verizon tablet, saving $300 for something else. next up TPMS, lol
Don F
1976 MCI/TMC MC-8 #1286
Fully converted
Bought 2017

Offline richard5933

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #65 on: August 15, 2018, 03:46:43 AM »

I checked out Garmin Basecamp which does transfer GPX files into the Garmin RV GPS. I got an RMA and its in a box heading back.


You gotta do what works best for you. Using the options you mentioned instead of the Garmin, how do you route around height/weight/length issues? That's the one thing that the Garmin does for me that I'd struggle to get done on apps like Waze or Google Maps. I'm sure there is a way, but not one I'm familiar with.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline chessie4905

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2018, 03:20:41 PM »
How about returning this and get the desl 770 and do a thorough report back to us before you give up on the idea. Maybe it works better.
GMC h8h 649#028 (4905)
Pennsylvania-central

Offline windtrader

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #67 on: August 15, 2018, 11:50:40 PM »
Richard,


Surely, there are databases containing known road constrictions such as height and weight. Here are a few, but I haven't researched any as yet.


http://lowclearances.com/compatibility.html


One can manually reference to route against this guide; it claims to identify all low clearance/weight restrictions
https://www.amazon.com/2018-McNally-Motor-Carriers-Atlas/dp/052801756X


Here's a State of Washington and California website with info.
https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/data/tools/bridgeclearance/
http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/trucks/height.html


These are for state highways, smaller local roads hopefully report too. Have not searched on that yet.
Don F
1976 MCI/TMC MC-8 #1286
Fully converted
Bought 2017

Offline richard5933

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #68 on: August 16, 2018, 03:35:12 AM »
Richard,
Surely, there are databases containing known road constrictions such as height and weight. Here are a few, but I haven't researched any as yet.
The books are great, but not so handy when you need to change your route at the last minute. If my co-pilot had to use a manual resource to make last-minute changes or route alterations while we're on the road we'd never get anywhere but under a too-short bridge. The demo video for the Garmin add-on app seemed to only notify as you approached the low bridge, not route around it.

Maybe it's because I've used Garmin GPS units for many years that their system worked for me. I especially like that I can use the voice command feature to add way points while I'm driving down the road, and the unit will automatically route me around the low bridges or weight restricted roads.

If someone knows a way to add the automatic routing features with regard to height/weight issues to Waze or Google Maps I'd love to hear it so that I would have alternatives to the routing on the Garmin.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline RJ

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #69 on: August 16, 2018, 10:07:37 AM »
Don -

Be sure when you box your Garmin back up to send to the vendor that you include a letter explaining why you think it's a POS.

Better yet, send your letter telling this gentleman why you think the RV770LMT-S is a POS to:

Dr Min Kao, Executive Chairman
Garmin International Inc
1200 E 151st St
Olathe KS 66062-3426

Be sure to include in your letter all of the things you feel it's lacking like you've posted here.  And since you're an IT guy, and so is Dr. Kao, you can certainly write your comments in IT language you'll both understand.

Oh, and send the letter "Personal - Confidential" certified mail, return receipt requested with signature required, so you know it gets to the right person.

Report his response back here.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)
RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
S13406 1978 MC-5C Converted 6V71/MT-644
S14947 1980 MC-5C Shell 6V92/HT-740
Cheney WA

Offline buswarrior

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #70 on: August 16, 2018, 11:54:45 AM »
You do know that these various lists of obstructions have been assembled over many years, by many people, paid very poorly, horrible updating frequency, and not as their first responsibility?

What's wrong with looking out the window, and take what comes?

Didn't we get a bus conversion to see the country?

Put that (profanity string deleted) screen away and look out the windshield?

Maybe a little spontaneity will do a busnut good?

If you can't handle stumbling on a 10 foot railway bridge in the boonies, maybe you shouldn't be driving it out on the Interstate either?

The more you rely on this poop, the less able you will be to deal with stuff on your own, and that's a growing issue the older one gets...

The electronic navigator is an ACCESSORY to the wetware, with UNRELIABLE DATA installed...

Keep it in perspective, and work on your reversing skills?

Happy coaching!
Buswarrior
Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area

Offline richard5933

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #71 on: August 16, 2018, 01:22:20 PM »

What's wrong with looking out the window, and take what comes?

Buswarrior

Generally speaking, I don't disagree. Spontaneity is wonderful. I agree that driving with eyes wide open is key.

However, in today's world with the way people drive it could literally get someone killed to just stumble upon a 10-foot bridge. I have absolutely no desire to have to back up a mile or more alongside a busy state or county highway with cars trying to get around me at 60 or 70 mph just because I didn't know there was a low bridge ahead.

When I had to back down the hill in Sioux Falls recently, even with the police helping to block the road behind me, there were a few close calls with idiots trying to get around me. That mistake was clearly my fault - lesson learned. I'd hate to have to repeat that again just because I didn't know that there was a low or weight restricted bridge ahead.

Garmin (and/or the maps and charts) are not full proof, but they are a great tool to use to help plan a safe route. I don't feel hamstrung by them, but do make use when possible to avoid problems.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline windtrader

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Re: Digital navigation options
« Reply #72 on: August 16, 2018, 06:47:54 PM »
RJ - Garmin has no interest in hearing anything from me, I'm certainly not their target audience. Based on my hands on testing, it is fine for someone who does not want any muss or fuss. It does the basic job of routing and navigating roads using GPS tech. It has numerous  limitations but assume that the design and function objectives put ease of use above the ability to alter start/end points in the trip planner or easily import GPX routes and waypoints. Like I said it is big, bright, and plenty loud but quite short in ability to integrate any information outside its own propriety data ecosystem.


Richard - The best tool for any navigator is the one most familiar and comfortable with and used regularly. They all do basic navigation just fine. With respect to being surprised about road restrictions, temporary road closure,s detours, etc.  that is always a possibility.


For me, pre-trip planning is second nature. Over the decades of backcountry hiking, 4 wheel driving secondary and dirt roads, forest and old logging routes, off road ATV trips, etc. My tools include USGS Topo and USFS maps, various aerial imagery, and software tools for trip planning. For road navigation I find Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Caltopo quite adequate. Any custom map can be created, stored, and printed as desired.


The only new twist for me is road restrictions which I posted earlier about finding sources. I have to believe all public roadways have some mandate for posting these locations to some public accessible database. As long as georeferenced, it is simple to filter the dataset to include ones along your route.


Lastly, like BW notes, the fun is enjoying the journey and the better you plan and know your routes, the more you can enjoy the trip rather than worrying about hitting a bridge. In reality, you really just need to check the secondary roads for them as virtually all major routes have sufficient clearance for typical bus conversions. Chances are greater to encounter road closures or rerouting than than a low bridge.
Don F
1976 MCI/TMC MC-8 #1286
Fully converted
Bought 2017