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  1. #1
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    Garmin Oregon 550? anyone have one and some random questions.

    I'm looking at buying the Oregon 550 as my first GPSr. I think it will be awesome for my other 2 hobbies (bow hunting & geocaching)

    I've read that the unit can utilize the heart rate monitor and the cadence sensor. but not the speed sensor... so how accurate is it to use for speed? will I still want to keep my cateye computer?

    I'm not a hardcore biker by anymeans (yet) I'm still getting in shape before I tackle offroad mtb riding.

    well any advice/ opinions would be great.

    sean

  2. #2
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    I demoed the Oregon 400T and was quite pleased with it. From what I understand the difference will be that the 550 has a built in camera with geotagging, which could be cool.

    Yes the Oregon series will connect to a heart rate monitor and cadence sensor. If you do mount it to your bike, you will need a mount and I can't remember if it came with it or not.

    The only problem I could see with using it on a bike is that it is kind of bulky compared to my Edge, but the Geocaching capabilities on it are awesome. You don't need to carry those printouts with you to all your caches. The Oregon will store the hints and comments from other users, if you upgrade your geocaching account that is.
    "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"

  3. #3
    Rohloff
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    I've been looking into it as well. I think you will want the 550T. The T stands for terrain, which will give you terrain mapping for off road riding. I think the speed readings will be good enough for me. I most like the idea of mapping rides and tagging the pictures with locations along the way.

  4. #4
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    the T stanfs for Topo for topography maps. the inly thing is they are 1:100,000 scale and garmin is starting to release the 1:24,000 scale maps which are much more detailed and "zoomed"

    also if you buy the 550t there is noway to get the maps on your computer to use. if you buy them seperate then you can layout maps and download routes to the GPSr and also upload tracks & pts etc back to the maps on your pc.

    (SOMEONE PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG) I am rather new to this

    also from what I've read there are free maps available that are better then Garmins

    right now we are caching without a GPS and it really limits ones we can search for.

    also the geotagging looks pretty sweet/fun

    sean

  5. #5
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    You are correct. it's better to get the maps on dvd that way you can use them in mapsource to map out routes. On my gpsmap 60csx I bought the street maps from garmin for the turn by turn directions and got the topo maps free. Mike

  6. #6
    Rohloff
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    Hmm ... Can't you just upload your route from the 550T into Google Maps (or something similar) and vice versa?

  7. #7
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    Sure you can. It all depends what you want to do. For creating a route (for the car) it is easier to do it in mapsource with your existing waypoints. Mike

  8. #8
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    I was thinking about a 550t as well. I'm trying to find a GPS that has decent maps of roads and stuff (CO/UT/NM) to get to the trails/campsites, then would give good topo's/elecation/etc while mt. bike riding and hiking. Probably need the 1:24k maps, but was thinking the standard maps would get me going and the photos would be fun.

    I was also curious if anyone has used the Oregon series with the bike speed sensor and how that works? Does it use wheel magnets or just the GPS? Could you move it from road to mt. bikes and stuff like that?

  9. #9
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    I will try to find the link for all the free Garmin maps and you can check them out and see if its worth spending $100 for the topos... I haven't taken the time to look through them.

    the speed sensor with the Oregon does not work. it uses the GPS.

    the cadence part of the sensor works great from what I've read and the heart rate monitor can be used at the same time....

  10. #10
    3 Legged Big Top
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    I have found the speed displayed using satelite data on my units to be pretty darn accurate, but I have not used the Oregon. I would suspect it will be at least as accurate as my 60csx and 705. The topo maps in Mapsource are quite lacking, but can be made up for by using some of the free apps like gspfiledepot. Using mapsource to transfer maps and gps info as well as keeping my gps updated is super easy if thats has any value to you.
    I think putting that much data on such a small screen really doesn't accomplish much if anything. Lately I have started just using the my trails from gpsfiledepot on my unit. It shows the trail but not all the topo detail. Then with a quick look at a map and I have tons more info than trying to read it on a 2 inch screen.

    BTW its nice to see other Bowhunters on here. One of the reasons I bike is to better prepare myself to chase elk with my bow. Plus its a lot of fun and allows me to spend more time on the forest. Only a few things compare to a long ride in the mountains.

  11. #11
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    well I'm a pretty new bowhunter too....lol
    just bought my first bow this spring and really enjoy shooting it. my 20 yard groups are great... now I need to move back and practice 30 and 40 yard shots.

    I believe gpsfiledepot.com was the free website I was looking for. from what I've read the maps are better then garmins.

    so on your screen all you see is a squigly line that is the trail? or is it laid down on the basemap?

    hopefully I can get an Oregon in the next month or so... some things(of course) came up so we'll see.

    glad to hear the gps speed is pretty close to accurate too.

    thanks,
    sean

  12. #12
    Scott in Tucson
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    Can anyone comment if the screen on the 550 is more visible than previous Oregons? I owned a 400 and found it impossible to read outdoors and especially on the handlebars.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  13. #13
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    well it says more sensitive, brighter screen, and a camera as the upgrades....

    Ive read mixed reviews on the screen quality of the 400 and the one i looked at at best buy was HORRIBLE!! but it seems some are better... maybe they changed something part way through production of the 400's?

    but from what I've read that people have seen them at shows the screen looks the same. BUT they didnt check to see if they were set up the same either such as backlight contrast etc.

    Sean

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