Street Pilot III - Upgrade Maps and Firmware?? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 5 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 6:01 am Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Clane, Co Kildare, Ireland
Posts: 97
Street Pilot III - Upgrade Maps and Firmware??

Hello Guys,

I have a street pilot III and the European Maps. My firmware and maps are at least two verions behind the versions posted on Garmins site. I can download the firmware and I can buy an updated map set (for 70 USD).

My question to you guys is, would you do this? I do not want to end up with a more sophisticated firmware, but slower performance, the SPIII is already slow enough. Similiarly, the updated maps might contain more detail, which could slow down re calculates even more.

Finally, I am heading to Russia on the bike from Ireland in eight days, I sort of know the answer but just in case, would you dream of performing these updates before you head off on a three and a half week trip?

Aside from the performance of the SPIII, I am quite happy with it. But the performance is dreadful.

Thanks guys


Mark Breen


K1200LT & R1100RT

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post #2 of 5 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 8:20 am
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Tullahoma, TN, USA
Posts: 740

Before upgrading to a 2610, I always kept my SP III's firmware, as well as the Mapsource software and map selection CD, up to date with no loss of processing speed. However, at some point in the progression of updates of either Mapsource or the map CD...can't remember which was the culprit...the amount of detail map area you were able to select with the Map Tool to cover where you planned to ride became huge, compared to the relatively smaller areas you were able to work with before. This is not a problem with the more recent Garmin models which have larger data storage, but as I'm sure you know, the smaller, proprietary data storage chips used by the SP III are very small (256 MB max), and the much larger area selections tended to complicate map area selection in order to cover where to wanted to ride. Does that make sense?

Al Hennigan
'03 Anthracite LTE
'09 GS Adventure
Middle Tennessee
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post #3 of 5 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 8:41 am
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA
Posts: 1,134
I agree with Al to a great extent. The size of each map section became huge, so you have less flexibility on which maps you may choose to load. 256mb fill up fast.

Also, as stable and smooth as the newer firmware is AND as complete as the new map sets are only seem to exacerbate the slowness of the SPIII!

The on-route recalculate times and route writing times themselves have become a killer - you HAVE to pull over and WAIT, WAIT, WAIT. It's dangerous and frustrating!

I bailed out this weekend and bought a 2720. I'll give the SPIII to my son - he has TIME to wait.

J. Averill Townsend
Bloomfield Hills, MI

IBA# 24374

2002 K1200LTC - Silver
1978 R100/7 - Very, very Black
2004 Bushtec Quantum - Silver, of course...(SOLD)

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post #4 of 5 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 9:40 am Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Clane, Co Kildare, Ireland
Posts: 97
Map storage space

Hello Guys,

I guess that I will apply no updates then. From the firmware, I do not need to perform an update, and from the maps perspective, I best not chance it.

I have loaded the route that I am planning onto four chips, 1 x 256 MB, 2 x 128 MB (thanks again Ed Bruce for the free 128MB) and 1 x 32 MB (also thanks to Ed).

I have put Finland and Nordkapp onto the 32MB, Western France and Netherlands on a 128, Germany on the 256 and Norway and Sweden on the other 128MB

Thanks again for your assistance and advice,


Mark Breen


K1200LT & R1100RT

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post #5 of 5 Old Jun 6th, 2006, 1:59 pm
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 240
many times I have had the urge to just toss the SPIII out of the window...
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