Alanf’s blog…
Scattered thoughts

Friday, February 25, 2005

I\’m getting a new GPS…

Author: site admin
Category: Bike Updates

The agonizing choice has finally been made and the credit card has taken a big one for the team.

Garmin Quest GPS

After much deliberation I decided to purchase the Garmin Quest from my buddies at Cycoactive. In addition to getting the GPS, they sell a nifty locking mount from Touratech, various Garmin software packages including European maps and a spiffy neoprene case to keep the GPS save when travelling.

Unfortunately, neither Touratech nor Garmin yet sell the vital DC power source. The Quest needs 5V DC for power so its not particularly easy to hack together my own solution. Both Touratech and Garmin claim they will have a 12V DC to 5V DC solution in the next few months. Probably not in time for my upcoming trip to Spain but it seems close enough to take the risk with the Quest.

In addition, the Quest is small enough to be more functional as a hand-help GPS for hiking and geocaching than the other models I was considering. The Quest also has a flip-out external antenna so it will hopefully have better reception than the other models. One downside to the Quest is that it doesn’t allow for memory expansion via plug-in cards but it does have 115MB of RAM which is enough to hold detailed road maps for a couple of states. The GPS comes with the American City Select package, I’m also getting the European City Select package and a topo/recreational package. That should give me maps for riding or hiking, both locally and when travelling.

I’ll try to post another blog update once I’ve actually has some time to play with the thing. In the meantime, I’m off to read the online manuals.

[image from the Cycoactive web site.]

4 Comments so far


February 27th, 2005 at 7:08 am

I’ve got plenty of LM2931Z-5.0 voltage regulators in my parts bin - I could toss a nice clean 12-5v coverter together in a few minutes if you’ve got connectors.


Mike Werner
February 28th, 2005 at 2:38 am

Careful !! The Garmin/Mapsource maps of Spain are out of date and not very detailed. In January we’re were riding there and often we were on roads that did not exist in the Garmin!!


February 28th, 2005 at 12:12 pm

Hey Jeff -
Thanks for the offer. The trick with the Quest is that it uses little contact switches to mate with the charginig unit. In order to hand build a charger you not only have to sort out the 12v-5v conversion but you also have to hand build a cradle with the contacts in the right location to mate up with those on the Quest. Possible but challenging without a wiring diagram and access to metal working equipment (to build the chassis).


February 28th, 2005 at 12:13 pm

Hey Mike -

Thanks for the heads up. I hope to have the Garmin stuff by Tuesday and will compare it with my paper maps to see how accurate it appears on the route we will be riding. Glad to hear ahead of times there may be problems, though.

In fact, I’ll email Garmin to see if they have any updates available…

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