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Discussion Starter #1
Considering a new GPS for my K1200LT.

Have had a Garmin Zumo 550 for some time and really like it, but pondering "upgrading to the 660.

Anyone have any practical experiences they can share on the real-word differences between the 550 and 660?

665 is not of much interest since the primary add-on is XM receiver. I have had the XM "hockey puck" receiver for the 550 for years and have almost never used it.
 

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Went with the 665 myself. Kept the puck mobile and take the whole unit in the office. Have a small battery for the 12 volts and I have XM in the shop and office. Also use it in the truck. When we travel it comes along for the rental car as well.

Just got back from a coast to coast ride and it sure was nice not having to change stations every hour or so.

Just my 2 cents worth...
 

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Tony, I had the Nav III and now the NAV IV (Zumo 660). (Zumo 550) I had the Zumo/BMW 550 for 1 week and exchanged it for the NAV IV (Zumo 660) both had the BMW mount. The 550 really lacked in memory the 660 is MUCH better. The screen size is much larger. IMHO I would upgrade to the 660 or wait until the 665 BMW branded one comes out.
Here is why I like the BMW branded product. My NAV III was 6 1/2 yrs died when the screen started acting on it's own going crazy. I called Garmin and since I had a BMW product they sent me to Dealer Support who then asked me to send mine back and and they would repair or replace at NO CHARGE. They sent the 550. After 1 week I decided I did not like it at all compared to my nav III.
They sent me the current NAV IV (660) and I simply LOVE it. I bought an 16 gig sd card and all is good. Over 6 yrs old and they sent me a new gps!
The only issue is the mp player does NOT work through my hard wired bmw voice 3 system. It reads to hook up a blue-tooth head set or plug in headphones which you cannot because the 3.5 mm audio output is covered when installed in the oem bmw cradle. Hope this helps.
 

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Went from the 550 to 665 a year ago. The 665 is disappointing in that it washes out in sunlight; I frequently have to use my hand to cast a shadow on the screen so I can see it. This was not a show-stopper for me. After-market shades are available for all these models. I also miss the hard buttons on the side of the unit that the 550 has, but again - not critical.

OTOH, the 660/665 is faster (faster satellite pickup), has a bigger screen (wider), displays additional nice-to-know type data on the screen, has Lane Assistant (gimicky, but it has its use), and has more options for configuring the display. Your 550's SD card will not work in the 660 - they take microSD cards.

Garmin's site has a model-comparison page I found useful, and I also got some good tips from talking with their customer service... after the usual lengthy wait. They told me the 660 could not have the XM antenna added to it, so if there is any chance you want it, go with the 665.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I use an Autocom system on my LT, and the 550 comes in through a 3.5mm stereo connector whose cable runs back to Autocom hub.

My iPhone (4s if it matters, 5 in a couple months) connects via BT to the 550, and the 550 connects via BT module to the hub. This allows me to place/receive calls through the 550 screen and hear it through the Autocom. Does the 660 support this? 550 has a setting as to what it sends over BT, music/nav/phone or just phone, IIRC. I use the latter.

Does the 660 come with bike/car cradles like the 550 did?

Does anyone want to purchase a hockey puck XM receiver for the 550 (and who knows what, if anything, else it can be used with)?
 

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I sold a 550 to upgrade to the 665 recently, and wish that I had my 550 back. The 665 is unusable in bright sunlight, and frequently needs to be "reset" to work properly. The reason that I bought the 665 was for the ability to use the XM Weather radar downlink. That feature is nice, but overall is not worth the upgrade.

Also, not having the buttons on the side is inconvenient. The 665 is nothing more than a car unit "repurposed" to the motorcycle world.

This is the first Garmin product that has disappointed me.
 

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deputy5211 said:
I use an Autocom system on my LT, and the 550 comes in through a 3.5mm stereo connector whose cable runs back to Autocom hub.

My iPhone (4s if it matters, 5 in a couple months) connects via BT to the 550, and the 550 connects via BT module to the hub. This allows me to place/receive calls through the 550 screen and hear it through the Autocom. Does the 660 support this? 550 has a setting as to what it sends over BT, music/nav/phone or just phone, IIRC. I use the latter.

Does the 660 come with bike/car cradles like the 550 did?

Does anyone want to purchase a hockey puck XM receiver for the 550 (and who knows what, if anything, else it can be used with)?
I just received yesterday my new 665 and it comes with the suction cup with a ball that fits one of the several mounting systems. It also has a RAM system with a round bar clamp, and of course it has the motorcycle cradle with fused hard wiring and input/output cables.
I am getting a BMR mount to fit my BMR shelf.
I am trying to go BT all the way and eliminate all wires and eventually decommission my Baehr system (I don't use the radio at all).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I use the MC cradle mounted to a PanaVise mount, which mounts to my BMR Co-Pilot.

I like the PanaVise better than the Ram because it is secured at BOTH ends by hex socket screws instead of in the middle with a thumbscrew like the RAM. I drilled a hole in the center of the BMR, tapped it, inserted a ball with threaded stud on it, passed stud through tapped hole, and secured with a nylock nut on the underside of the BMR. Have used this setup for years and love it!

Happy to know the 660 MC cradle can be bolted to the plate that attaches to the PanaVIse.

I guess I will need to fashion/purchase a sunscreen for the 660.
 

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Last year while trying to find a 660 at less than list price I found a 665 refurbished for the same price as the 660. Figuring the WX and radar functions might be useful, I bought it.

I think I used the radar feature one time on my ride from Maine back to AZ. A few times the "rain in the area" flashed (interesting, but not useful information unless I do not have rain gear on). the traffic icon didn't seem to provide any useful information. I never found a station on XM that I liked more than my MP3 files.

The MP3 playback was lack luster compared to my old I-pod, plus the Garmin software for play back lacks simple features.

Right now, I'm looking at something with better MP3 playback to use in conjunction with my 665. I'm also looking for a way to replace the 665 with another GPS.

Currently, 7 inch tablets running the Android OS, $150-300, seem to have very good GPS programs. A few of the tablets have Bluetooth in addition to WiFi; a couple also have dual sim cell phones.

I've been searching for GPS with voice commands for hands free operation, but so far no luck. Since some of the tablets have Skype apps, I keeping looking for a GPS that can be used with a headset.

Best from tucson
Bob
 

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Oh. I forgot to mention that I'm using a program called RadioTracker. It has a feature called Wish List, that scans the internet for stations playing any song on your wish list. You can specify the quality, bit rate, of what you want to record. While the programs runs, it scans over 2K stations to record for your wish list. It can also just record any station playing songs with a heading like Rock, or record streaming audio from a service like Pandora.

The Wish List software uses the internet for a listing of Albums by artist, album title, and song title by artists. It also suggest similar artists to your selections.

With this software I've been able to vastly expand my MP3 files from over 24 hours to past 40 hours of music. for my next trip back east I'm figuring I'll have enough recorded material that I won't have to listen to the same song more than once unless I want to.

Bob
 

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Might be interesting to see how Apple's new GPS works when it's released this fall (supposed to have great functionality, turn by turn spoken directions, 3-d views, etc). If it's as good as it looks, then using an iPhone/Ipad touch or hell, even an iPad would be a great alternative--just wrap that puppy with saran wrap or get a waterproof case.
 

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I too have a NAV iv.
No comparative experience but it works fine. 2 years. Has a dealer directory among other things. Has a pre - installed mount. I would say better than the one in my 2004 auto. Haven't used all the features as yet. Can also program in custom routes. Works with com. system and wired head set and bluetooth but not with cheap phone. Only complaint is glare on the face in certain situations.
ride safe :bmw:
 

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hschisler said:
Went from the 550 to 665 a year ago. The 665 is disappointing in that it washes out in sunlight;
FWIW: When my 660 was new I purchased the screen protectors from Wally World, about 5.00) and applied to the new screen, I did not notice unusual or unviewable washout with sun directly on my back. Perhapss the protector helped? Can't be sure becouse I never tried it without the protector.
I also miss the hard buttons on the side of the unit that the 550 has...
The BMW branded Nav IV for my LT came with the cradle mount that has the left side buttons, and I use the quite alot.
Have fun.
Try the screen protector and comment on your results!
 

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I can't compare because I haven't tried a 550, but I have a 660 and I like it. I did add a screen protector but it still is a little hard to see in very direct bright sunlight. I added a Glare Stomper which helps alot. I also use it as my MP3 player on the road which works fine, although it does not have a custom playlist capability which would have been nice. Despite rumor to the contrary, on the latest firmware it does work with a 32GB microSD-HC memory card.

One thing I've never liked - really struggled to get it to work - is the phone bluetooth system. The pairing works fine but the sound quality for the other party is always too terrible to use it, so I'm not very impressed with that at all. Having said that, maybe I haven't set it up right somehow.

The size of the screen is excellent and it is very easy to use. Downside is that I used Streets and Trips (Microsoft) and that's so much nicer to use than the Garmin mapping software, and it was painful to convert from one to the other. I'm hearing the very latest version of Streets and Trips might export direct to the 660 so I've got some more discovering to do..... But for now I use the Garmin software - not great but I guess good enough.

That's my 2c - HTH
 

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Zumo 550 or 660? (Neither?)

Well, here is another point of view.

I have been looking for a replacement for my trusty ol' SP 2820, which may be getting tired, but - most of all - does not look current or cool. I am afraid to be met with derision from all of you sporting those slick thin GPS receivers. :eek:

So, last month, I bought a 660, and temporarily installed it on my GS for a daytrip. The functionality was about as advertised (I did connect audio via BT into my Sena intercom). To my surprise, the screen brightness was about as good as on the old-in-the-tooth 2820 - I expected much more, convinced that the 2820 was getting dim.

I liked the customizability (if there is such word) of 660 display information: a nice touch.


Now, there were some bad news, though. Few days later, I had to drop off my nephew at JFK Airport and drove there with both the 2820 and the 660 on the dashboard of my truck. The 660 hardware is certainly improved since the 2xxx StreetPilot days: receiver captures faster and recalculates a bit quicker.

But: the software is very bad for routing navigation. The weighing given to expected time over city streets is plainly incorrect (that means, the expected speed over city streets is much too high).
As I knew the particular route well, I knew which connections to take - and these were mostly highways. My 2820 concurred, always indicating my choice of route.

The 660, on multiple occasions in NJ and in NYC, routed over some convoluted path over back streets (and no, "avoid highways" was not set - I checked). Curiosity getting the better of me, at one instance I decided to follow the 660 to see if it "knew" better; that cost me an extra hour. For those who know the area: going from Verazzano Bridge to north-western NJ (correct route over NJ Tpke, then either I-78 or I-280), the 660 took me through city streets of Elizabeth and Union.

Now, I do know that a GPS receiver routing algorithm is not always perfect and local knowledge may yield a better route. But, the long list of Garmin receivers I had in the past, up to StreetPilot 2820 and up to Nuvi 265, seemed to generate proper routes for our area. The new - and improved? - algorithm in the 660 is not correct, a fatal flaw.

My use of the receiver includes not only leisurely meandering in map-only mode, but also navigating from point A to point B. In that respect the 660 failed miserably.
I sold it off the following week. :mad: The 2820 will stay for a while longer, I think.

I may snag a 550 and try a comparison, though I expect that it may suffer from the same trouble, as both the 550 and 660 are based on the current crop of Nuvi receivers.

Just some food for your thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow, Robert, that really sucks.

I know on my iPhone, the WAZE (free GPS appp with "social" input) gave us screwy routes from Dallas to Racine, WI, and Google Maps, Mapquest on iPhone, and Garmin for iPhone all gave expected (and agreeing routing), and our Nuvi 1350 (I think is correct ##) concurred, generally. Not sure how Zumo 550 would have done., now curious.

One statement piqued my interest. You said 550 and 660 based on same "current crop of Nuvi receivers.". Do not know if they are or are not. 660 looks, smells, and tastes like a Nuvï, but Zumo neither walks or quacks like a duck. Screen is different, virtual keyboard is different, and even shape is different. Maybe, however, none of that has to do with receiver or processing engine.

Regardless, thank you for sharing your experience. As much as I would like to go to 660, wondering if I should just get another 550. My old StreetPilot III is no longer an option. :))
 

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Man, my 276c is looking better all the time....

It gets lost in one place in NC and central Florence Italy...

Would love BIGGER SCREEN, but not $900 worth....

Is the 550 easy to see in the sun?
 

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Discussion Starter #19

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Re: Zumo 550 or 660? (Neither?)

rdwalker said:
Now, I do know that a GPS receiver routing algorithm is not always perfect and local knowledge may yield a better route. But, the long list of Garmin receivers I had in the past, up to StreetPilot 2820 and up to Nuvi 265, seemed to generate proper routes for our area. The new - and improved? - algorithm in the 660 is not correct, a fatal flaw.
.
The most updated maps and current sw are important.
I have noticed different routes when the vehicle selection is changed from "Motorcycle", to "Auto" to "Scooter". Garmin told me it makes for a different route and I can confirm it does put the rider in "scenic" routes when in motorcycle is selected. Also, toll roads & other avoidances make a big difference. Defaulted to shorter distance or faster time is a factor.
We just completed a, 8,600 cross country trip and the nav IV brought us through some spectacular rides. And the shortest & best route was maintained from out NC mountain home to SW FL the same as my old NAV III (StreetPilot 2820, 2830)
For me the NAV IV is a keeper!
 
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