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  1. #1
    jfh
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    705 v. 305 problems?

    I am contemplating getting either the 705 or 305. I have riding buddies with the 305 and they love it. I recently rode with a friend who had just gotten the 705, but he has not yet had it long enough to give me a review. The plus of the 705 is the street mapping, as I see it. Of course, the 305 has the benefit of being much cheaper. That all said, I have read some comments that the 705 has problems, but have not seen any of the problems detailed (other than general complaints that it is not compatible with all of the programs that work with the 305). I know this is a general questions, but I am looking for input, comments and concerns on the 305 v. 705. Thanks.

    JFH

  2. #2
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    I had the same questions as you but was looking at the HcX instead of the 305. After endless diliberation, I broke down and just ordered a 705 as I thought that it made sense to get the latest technology (Colour screen, topo mapping, etc.) My thinking is that the 705 must be better than a 305 while the cost difference (for me at least) was not big enough to compromise. I belive that any bugs it may have will quickly be fixed as its clear that the Garmin sees the 605/705 platform as one of thier flagship products and will inevitably allocate more development efforts to a newer product. Also, you can already see that there is more support for the platform from third party vendors. I will post my thoughts as soon as I get a chance to test it.

  3. #3
    Mark
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    Owned a 705 since they first came available at REI. I'm not familiar with any of the earlier models so am unqualified to compare this to any earlier models.

    I'm quite happy with my unit.
    No issues
    No problems with firmware updates (on Mac)
    I use Ascent which now fully syncs with my unit.

    My only cpmplaint is that some of the numbers are too small and not contrasty for my old eyes.

    You would think that with a full color unit I could set green numbers on a black/blue background huh??
    ===============

    Mark

  4. #4
    Lucky...
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    No issues with my 705- have updated it twice via Mac OS with no issues.

    Only caveat is that I do not use any of the routing functions- use the device for recording my ride, monitoring what is going on during the ride, and trying to figure out where the f I am during the ride.

  5. #5
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    In general most all of the major 705 issues have been dealt with in the latest firmware update, or at least early reports seem to indicate they have. Some that still remain are that the "track" the unit leaves on the mapping page is very hard to see, it's a dashed line but very thin, it would be near impossible to follow back out if you had to. Routes, Tracks, Courses all show up with thicker purple lines and are easy to follow.

    There were some problems with the unit dealing with tracks, however again the latest firmware update seemed to have fixed this. When a track would be displayed it would have random strait lines, this was believed to be due to the unit not having support for enough track points.

    There are still some hipcups there is a lot more on this on the 605/705 motionbased.com forum but for the most part it would seem the unit is pretty solid now after the 2.20 firmware update.

    There are still some questions as to if the altitude the unit reports is good. It uses a automatically corrected barometric altitude evidentially and it seems this has caused problems for some users, usually in incorrect accuracy or in the total ascent data. I know i had rides on the first firmware where my start and stop elevations would be off by a few hundred feet (same location).

    There were also problems with the units locking up while navigating in the map screen. So far early reports indicate this was fixed with 2.20 as well. I have not seen this issue since going to 2.20 but before that I had several rides where the unit locked up navigating a course on the map screen.

    2.20 has only been out a week or so, so it's hard to say if new issues will arise or if those issues it has "fixed" are truly fixed.

    Also if you do go with a 705 and get the city navigator bundle, make sure you get a unit with city nav 2009, the early units shipped with 2008.

    The only other issue I have seen with mine is that on very rough mountain bike trails, or off drops etc. the unit acts as if the center round button has been pressed, switching the trip screen, or on the map screen switching from current position to a scrolling pointer. This has been reported on other units as well. I have not had the issue on the road bike and on less extreme mountain bike trails I have not noticed it either. It's a minor thing really.

    So it would seem at least the last firmware took care of the major issues, I'm sure there are still minor stuff but future firmware updates hopefully will address that.

    I would like to see a trackback feature, that would navigate you along the trail that you rode in. As mentioned above the dashed track line on the map screen is almost impossible to see because it's so thin, trying to follow that out of somewhere would be really hard.

    It really depends on what you want, if you want to use the mapping features and have navigation routing, with street data and topo data with the color screen and a massive amount of cycling and HR data, the 705 is the best game going. If you don't need the mapping features the 305 is significantly cheaper. If you don't need extensive cycling features and just want to know your ave speed, distance, etc. then something like an color etrex has better mapping features than even the 705 but cheaper than even the 305.

  6. #6
    jfh
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    Thanks

    ToddM,

    Thanks for your response. It is precisely the sort of info I was looking for.

    JFH

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddM
    In general most all of the major 705 issues have been dealt with in the latest firmware update, or at least early reports seem to indicate they have. Some that still remain are that the "track" the unit leaves on the mapping page is very hard to see, it's a dashed line but very thin, it would be near impossible to follow back out if you had to. Routes, Tracks, Courses all show up with thicker purple lines and are easy to follow.

    There were some problems with the unit dealing with tracks, however again the latest firmware update seemed to have fixed this. When a track would be displayed it would have random strait lines, this was believed to be due to the unit not having support for enough track points.

    There are still some hipcups there is a lot more on this on the 605/705 motionbased.com forum but for the most part it would seem the unit is pretty solid now after the 2.20 firmware update.

    There are still some questions as to if the altitude the unit reports is good. It uses a automatically corrected barometric altitude evidentially and it seems this has caused problems for some users, usually in incorrect accuracy or in the total ascent data. I know i had rides on the first firmware where my start and stop elevations would be off by a few hundred feet (same location).

    There were also problems with the units locking up while navigating in the map screen. So far early reports indicate this was fixed with 2.20 as well. I have not seen this issue since going to 2.20 but before that I had several rides where the unit locked up navigating a course on the map screen.

    2.20 has only been out a week or so, so it's hard to say if new issues will arise or if those issues it has "fixed" are truly fixed.

    Also if you do go with a 705 and get the city navigator bundle, make sure you get a unit with city nav 2009, the early units shipped with 2008.

    The only other issue I have seen with mine is that on very rough mountain bike trails, or off drops etc. the unit acts as if the center round button has been pressed, switching the trip screen, or on the map screen switching from current position to a scrolling pointer. This has been reported on other units as well. I have not had the issue on the road bike and on less extreme mountain bike trails I have not noticed it either. It's a minor thing really.

    So it would seem at least the last firmware took care of the major issues, I'm sure there are still minor stuff but future firmware updates hopefully will address that.

    I would like to see a trackback feature, that would navigate you along the trail that you rode in. As mentioned above the dashed track line on the map screen is almost impossible to see because it's so thin, trying to follow that out of somewhere would be really hard.

    It really depends on what you want, if you want to use the mapping features and have navigation routing, with street data and topo data with the color screen and a massive amount of cycling and HR data, the 705 is the best game going. If you don't need the mapping features the 305 is significantly cheaper. If you don't need extensive cycling features and just want to know your ave speed, distance, etc. then something like an color etrex has better mapping features than even the 705 but cheaper than even the 305.

  7. #7
    I'm a "she".
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    My comments are not about 305 vs. 705 even though my experience is only based on Garmin Edge 305 that I've had for two years. I've been happy with it for the most part. Unfortunately, mountain biking is a bit too rough for GPS units. At one point, the GPS flew off of my handle bar when I had a crash, and the Mode button stopped working. I've lived with that because I can still record and download data. If I really needed to, I could peel over the soft plastic cover and poke a toothpick inside to press the Mode button. But recently, I noticed that my GPS turns itself off whenever the riding gets rough. Basically, things have been rattled loose inside. Now that my GPS has become somewhat unpredictable, I have been thinking about acquiring another one. But I think I'll get one that I can wear on my wrist on my mountain bike rides even if it's a bit too big. I have Forerunner 305 in mind right now, but I'll keep looking.
    Inch by inch, I will get there! (See my rides and stuff here.)

  8. #8
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    another idea would be to keep the unit in your camelbak or jersey pocket. That way it's isolated from most of the vibration/crashes and it should still be close enough to the sensors to receive data. You won't be able to navigate along it, but you can't do that on a wrist sensor either.

    That does seem to be a question, not only for the big hits of mountain biking but also for the higher frequency vibration from road biking, over a long time and a lot of miles it's not unlikely to think the unit's internals could be damaged. It does not seem like a widespread problem but it's obviously an issue for some.

  9. #9
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudworm
    .... Unfortunately, mountain biking is a bit too rough for GPS units. At one point, the GPS flew off of my handle bar when I had a crash, and the Mode button stopped working...
    Interesting comment, but my 705 seems plenty rugged.
    We will see after a few crashes though...

    I mounted the unit of the front bars.
    Recently I removed my squishy front end in favor of a Carbon Fiber rigid one and I've been down some pretty bumpy stuff lately with no ill effects (either to the unit or my body).

    Time will tell...
    ===============

    Mark

  10. #10
    trail rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudworm
    My comments are not about 305 vs. 705 even though my experience is only based on Garmin Edge 305 that I've had for two years. I've been happy with it for the most part. Unfortunately, mountain biking is a bit too rough for GPS units.
    My 305 is going strong, will be three years in October. The first year and a half was on a rigid SS 29er or cross bike, and now a FS 29er gets mixed in. Except for shorter battery life, mine has been stellar and gets used / abused 4-5 times a week. I need the HRM data for my cardiologist to allow me to ride. I'd buy another in a heart beat! (pun intended)
    CCCMB web - Facebook
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  11. #11
    I'm a "she".
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    Yeah, after I posted, I browsed through the forum a bit. It looked like I'm not alone in having the spontaneous shut-offs problem with my Edge 305's but it is not a common problem. That's good to know in case I do get a replacement.
    Inch by inch, I will get there! (See my rides and stuff here.)

  12. #12
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    My 2 cents

    I agree that the last 705 update corrected the serious problems that we all noted. Concerning altitude, the 705 is generally in good agreement with my Polar HRM, which is also a barometric altimeter. Concerning robustness of the unit--if you crash and land on the GPS, chances are it will be destroyed. This is the risk of riding with an electronic instrument in harm's way. The 705 is inherently better protected than others I have used because it is mounted on the stem, rather than the bars. In the past, I found Garmin's charge for repairing a destroyed unit to be pretty reasonable. My 705 and before that, my 305 have come through numerous crashes without a problem, even with some direct hits.

  13. #13
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    There are also some reports of 705's turning off during rides, but I have not experienced it.

  14. #14
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    705 able to store trackpoints to SD card?

    Does the 705 allow you to store the complete set of trackpoints to the SD card? Based on the spec sheet, it looked like it has the same maximum number of trackpoints as the 305. I like to record some of my rides with 1s samples (I've lost entire switchbacks when in smart recording mode), but the ~3.5 hour maximum is never enough.

    Edit: and from experience with my other Garmin GPS', tracks get massively compressed when "saving" them within the unit. Does the 705 suffer the same, or can a complete trackpoint be copied over?

  15. #15
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    The 705 will not save trackpoints to the card. If you set it to 1s I think I remember reading it's good for 4-4.5 hours. So it's not much better than the 305 there.

  16. #16
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    You can save 500 point tracks to your card. On Sunday I followed a stored track created in the 705. It produced a track with, I believe, all the original detail. I was actually surprised by how closely it followed the twisty trail.

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