Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Lakewood (Denver), CO, USA
Street Pilot - First Impressions
So, I finally got around to having a Tupperware party in the garage this morning in order to run the wiring for the GPS. Not too bad, but we all know the LT is a monster to work on.
I had created a route the other night to my closest BMW dealer (about 70 miles). I searched for the dealer in the POI index and found them. I have since downloaded the dealer waypoint directory. Building the route on the unit is definitely not an easy or straightforward task. It really isn't that hard, unless you want to define the route yourself. Even by setting the preference to avoid major highways (Interstates), it did not even come close to the way I like to go. I had to add a point in the middle to get it to come close to my usual route.
Adding that point in the middle of the route seems easy enough. Search out a small town along the way and add it inbetween the begining and ending points. The only thing I was missing was recalculating the route. Not entirely intuitive.
Ok, so I had something close to what I wanted. Right away, it did not pick the most traveled road less than 1/4 mile from my house. I am used to that with internet based mapping, but even they get this particular road correct. No big deal, I just went the way I wanted. Got me to thinking about places where I won't know where I am going though.
When I got close to that mid point that I had added, it again wanted me to go off the state highway onto a secondary road. Now this secondary road did not lead directly to the way point I had added, it was a completely wrong turn in the wrong direction. I decided to play along and followed just for the heck of it.
Once I had taken that turn, I knew I wasn't going to go anywhere near the way point I had added. I just decided to use this as a chance to explore new roads. I got pretty tired of it trying to divert me back toward the way point I had added, so I eventually pulled over and removed that point from the route.
I can see where these way points could end up being an issue. I don't really want to go to that way point, I just want it to direct me that way. If I pass it without going directly to it, then I don't care. Is there something different than a way point that I should be using?
Now I had that way point removed and it could just route me from my current position to the dealership. That was going OK, except it kept directing me down dirt roads. I don't think the unit itself knows if roads are dirt. The software on the computer is supposed to, but the unit does not seem to. There were probably a dozen or more times that I did a false slow down at a crossing to determine that the road was dirt. Made me wish I was still riding a GS.
I won't say that I ignored the directions after a while, but I pretty much made my own judgement about whether I was going to turn at the upcoming road or not. We were both happy when we finally reached the dealership (me and the GPS).
On the way home, I turned the unit on and found my home in the Favorites section and pressed GoTo. What I liked about this was that I just decided to wander somewhat on the way and the GPS just always kept updating to find a way no matter what I decided to do. Pretty much the same as on the way up, but I didn't feel obligated to follow any particular path. If the road kinda look good on the screen, I took it. I ended up taking some well groomed dirt roads, just because I got myself into a bind that would have required some serious back tracking if I didn't. The big babe did all right up to about 30 mph on those roads. Mostly good packed dirt, but some sand and some loose gravel.
I hope the route building I have done for my 5400 mile trip coming up pays off better than today's little adventure. Of course I have hand selected just about every road and turn along the way. Today was fun because I knew that I could go any way I wanted and always have the peace of mind that it would be able to lead me toward the house no matter what. The dirt road thing was a little disappointing, but now I know better.
I mounted the unit on the handle bars and plan to post pics of that tomorrow. It is too late now to get a good picture of it. It is pretty versatile and I need to try some of the other positions. I meant to do that today, but I forgot to move it around at my stops.