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  1. #1
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    How is the Garmin 510 in the woods?

    I have the 500 and it drops the signal in the woods pretty frequently. Is the 510 better at holding a signal? Seems like its a bit buggy, so I would consider one this winter if the signal is stronger than the 500.

  2. #2
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    Same road bike design, same form factor, same antenna, same algorithm, new sharing features is all; why would you expect it to be different? Road riding is different than trail riding. Get a GPS designed around trails.
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    How is the Garmin 510 in the woods?

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Same road bike design, same form factor, same antenna, same algorithm, new sharing features is all; why would you expect it to be different? Road riding is different than trail riding. Get a GPS designed around trails.
    New satellite connections, and a few other functional changes...

    I am hoping they have at least brought it back to the 305 standards.
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    They are not the same. GLONASS is not on the 500. This is why I ask..re:510 "Itís compatible with GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster satellite acquisition and improved signal lock, even in challenging conditions".

    So does the GLONASS improve signal lock in the woods?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Killrop View Post
    They are not the same. GLONASS is not on the 500. This is why I ask..re:510 "Itís compatible with GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster satellite acquisition and improved signal lock, even in challenging conditions".

    So does the GLONASS improve signal lock in the woods?

    I had a Edge 500 and lost it this past week (my own fault as I think I left it on the trunk of my car). I just ordered the 510. I know it has some better satellite capabilities but given the size might also have a larger antenna. Either way I am fine with it as I think they have done a nice job with the Edge series and I can live with losing a little distance reading for the overall functionality they provide.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Same road bike design, same form factor, same antenna, same algorithm, new sharing features is all; why would you expect it to be different? Road riding is different than trail riding. Get a GPS designed around trails.
    Since the 510 has can use GLONASS and the 500 cant, are you saying GLONASS doesnt improve accuracy?

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    How is the Garmin 510 in the woods?

    If you read up on reviews of other Garmin models with GLONASS (like the etrex series that have been out for awhile), the verdict is pretty solid that it does indeed make for improved accuracy in sketchy conditions and a faster lock otherwise.

    I also like the user interface. Much quicker to access many functions.

    I have not seen tracks from this GPS put side by side with other models, however

  8. #8
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    I've had the 305, 500 and now the 510. The 500 was about 15% off in the woods. The 305 was about 10% off and the 510 is about 5% off. I actually had the 500 for a week and returned it for the 510 because of the inaccuracy. I love the 510 and it was worth the extra money.

  9. #9
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    Here is a side by side (top to bottom?) view of the 510 vs. iphone.

    iPhone 4s



    Garmin 510


    Notice how much better smoother the 510 is around the switchbacks. The tracing looks more correct based on my mental picture of what the trail looks like.

    This is a very tight trail with good tree cover. I'm impressed with how well the 510 tracked, but the mileage was still a good bit off. I've sense added a wheel sensor and that seems to have smoothed out the distance in Garmin Connect. When things get copied over to Strava, the mileage is off again.

    It would be nice to simultaneously record using a few devices at once, but I'm fresh out of other devices.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Here is a side by side (top to bottom?) view of the 510 vs. iphone...

    Notice how much better smoother the 510 is around the switchbacks. The tracing looks more correct based on my mental picture of what the trail looks like.

    This is a very tight trail with good tree cover. I'm impressed with how well the 510 tracked, but the mileage was still a good bit off. I've sense added a wheel sensor and that seems to have smoothed out the distance in Garmin Connect. When things get copied over to Strava, the mileage is off again.

    It would be nice to simultaneously record using a few devices at once, but I'm fresh out of other devices.
    Nice comparison. Thank you for posting. I happen to be debating between the same two, but with a little twist.

    Have you thought of trying the iPhone 4S with the Bad Elf GPS?
    Bad Elf - Bad Elf GPS

    In other words, with a better GPS chipset, wouldn't the iPhone not only improve the smoothness of the track, but blow the 510 out of the water with the vast set of software app features?

    -----

    On another point, how was elevations?

    The 510 has a built-in altimeter. Any iOS device, regardless of the GPS chip, has no barometric altimeter. There's the Google Android Phone that has a built-in barometer, but that's not iOS. And I believe Strava screens all uploaded data to match their own maps. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  11. #11
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    There has been 1, perhaps 2, firmware updates for the elevation in the 510. Basically, measuring elevation is tough and it doesn't seem to be fully worked out in the edge unit. Many of the uploading sites can apply altitude corrections, so it isn't a big worry in my book.

    As for apps and data, nah, there are better third party web sites that give much more richness than you would get on a phone. You just need to log the coordinates in some manner and then do the processing with a more robust system. The elf system looks intriguing, but I wouldn't touch it with the old iphone connector. For that kind of money, you could look into any of the standalone gps loggers.

    One thing I really like about the edge is the screen. My first set up had like 10 cells of data being displayed. I've turn that back to just three: speed, elapsed time, and miles. It is big and easy to read and the backlight makes it readable into dusk and dark shadows.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    There has been 1, perhaps 2, firmware updates for the elevation in the 510. Basically, measuring elevation is tough and it doesn't seem to be fully worked out in the edge unit. Many of the uploading sites can apply altitude corrections, so it isn't a big worry in my book.

    As for apps and data, nah, there are better third party web sites that give much more richness than you would get on a phone. You just need to log the coordinates in some manner and then do the processing with a more robust system. The elf system looks intriguing, but I wouldn't touch it with the old iphone connector. For that kind of money, you could look into any of the standalone gps loggers.

    One thing I really like about the edge is the screen. My first set up had like 10 cells of data being displayed. I've turn that back to just three: speed, elapsed time, and miles. It is big and easy to read and the backlight makes it readable into dusk and dark shadows.
    The altitude corrections are actually my biggest concerns. I've had the same GPX files read very differently at sites like Strava and RideWithGPS. And we'd think that elevation data should be tagged by the altimeter-enabled device. Otherwise why go to the expense of a barometric altimeter? See Garmin 510 vs. Garmin 200.

    My "little twist" is actually not the iPhone. Instead, it would be an iPod Touch 4th gen (for about $105) plus the Bad Elf (for about $80 eBay new), making it a bargain. The huge bonus is being able to use other GPS-reliant apps like Waze. Then there's the world if iOS apps.

    But it lacks the hardware altimeter.

  13. #13
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    How is the Garmin 510 in the woods?

    The barometric altimeter is very good for point elevation reading when it is properly calibrated. Garmin dumped proper calibration in favor of its less accurate but mostly close enough auto algorithm for fitness devices. Handhelds retain proper calibration capability.

    Because of atmospheric drift, the barometric altimeter is less useful for long activities where atmospheric pressure changes over time because of local weather. It makes it useful as somewhat of a weather forecasting device when you are stationary but when you are moving the numbers get all mixed up.

    Different websites give different values for elevation change due to different processing methods. A recent ride of mine that was about 27mi over the course of 7.5 hrs was an absolute mess for an elevation standpoint. We are talking about Indiana hills with a max difference of around 300-400ft from top to bottom. One site told me I climbed just shy of 3k ft. Another told me almost twice that much. Yet another was around 4k. That was without a barometric altimeter, even, which would further confuse things as some sites would use the barometric altimeter and others would ignore those numbers.

    I'd be better off printing the ride on a topo and manually calculating elevation change on graph paper sometimes.

    Elevation is a lot like calories burned in that it's much more difficult to measure accurately than you think. All I ask for is consistency of the estimates I wind up with, and for that I run my tracks through Topofusion because it gives a range of values that help me get a better idea.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    Since the 510 has can use GLONASS and the 500 cant, are you saying GLONASS doesnt improve accuracy?
    I'm saying the small panel antenna and tracking algorithm are designed for open roads that are mostly straight with few corners, what corners there are have huge sweeping radius, and I have never seen tree covered roads. Twisty singletrack full of switchbacks is very different that riding paved roads.
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    How is the Garmin 510 in the woods?

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    I'm saying the small panel antenna and tracking algorithm are designed for open roads that are mostly straight with few corners, what corners there are have huge sweeping radius, and I have never seen tree covered roads. Twisty singletrack full of switchbacks is very different that riding paved roads.
    Have you seen how much bigger the 510 is? It's nearly as big as an 810. Pissed off a lot of roadies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    ...

    Because of atmospheric drift, the barometric altimeter is less useful for long activities where atmospheric pressure changes over time because of local weather...

    ...
    That's exactly what I thought, especially after uploading a ride where we started near the cool coast in morning fog and ended on the other side of the ridge in hot sun, then returning down but the fog was long gone. The local barometric pressures must've been a wild range.

    And the elevations were all wrong.

    Makes me think the Garmin 510 is no better than the Garmin 200.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Have you seen how much bigger the 510 is? It's nearly as big as an 810. Pissed off a lot of roadies.
    Yup. Sold two today, to roadies. I work hard to talk the MTB riders out of buying it. We have had two want to return them because friends with 800/810 get better tracks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Yup. Sold two today, to roadies. I work hard to talk the MTB riders out of buying it. We have had two want to return them because friends with 800/810 get better tracks.
    Sounds like you're a bike shop salesman. But why would the 800 get better tracks than the 510?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    Sounds like you're a bike shop salesman. But why would the 800 get better tracks than the 510?
    On singletrack, yes; on paved road, essentially the same.

    I have been using a GPS for bike navigation and another for trail building for about seven years now. I have an old GPS60CSx with the SRIF Star III helix antenna that I use on the bike in tough signal situations and always for trail surveys. It lays down great tracks for submission to state and federal land managers requesting trail build applications. One trail worker has a 500. My 60CSx and 705, and another friends 800 give far, far better tracks when working on trail surveys.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    On singletrack, yes; on paved road, essentially the same.

    I have been using a GPS for bike navigation and another for trail building for about seven years now. I have an old GPS60CSx with the SRIF Star III helix antenna that I use on the bike in tough signal situations and always for trail surveys. It lays down great tracks for submission to state and federal land managers requesting trail build applications. One trail worker has a 500. My 60CSx and 705, and another friends 800 give far, far better tracks when working on trail surveys.
    But you haven't anwerered my question. Oh wait. You're the one who thinks there's no difference between the 500 and 510. I think that would explain it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidass View Post
    But you haven't anwerered my question. Oh wait. You're the one who thinks there's no difference between the 500 and 510. I think that would explain it.
    I stated there was no functional difference in accuracy of tracks on twisty single track, not in specs.

    This is the last reply you get with that arrogant pissy attitude, you are going into the twit filter.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    I stated there was no functional difference in accuracy of tracks on twisty single track, not in specs.

    This is the last reply you get with that arrogant pissy attitude, you are going into the twit filter.
    Wow. Look who's the actual person with an "arrogant pissy attitude."

    It seems you're not able to filter facts from your own emotions.

    "twit filter" ó HA! Nice. Those are all YOUR words. Not mine.


    Oh, and didn't somebody already corrected you about the satellites?

  23. #23
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    How is the Garmin 510 in the woods?

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    On singletrack, yes; on paved road, essentially the same.

    I have been using a GPS for bike navigation and another for trail building for about seven years now. I have an old GPS60CSx with the SRIF Star III helix antenna that I use on the bike in tough signal situations and always for trail surveys. It lays down great tracks for submission to state and federal land managers requesting trail build applications. One trail worker has a 500. My 60CSx and 705, and another friends 800 give far, far better tracks when working on trail surveys.
    My experience was the 800 (and 3 different units) is the worst GPS I ever used. Poor/no reception, inaccurate tracks

    The tracks recorded on my cheap Android smartphone were better, and neither were as good as my Edge 305. My Edge 200 (my road computer) is not much better than the 800.
    I also have an Oregon 600(?) and it is not quite as good as the 305. And the 305 is by far the smallest unit except for the 200.
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  24. #24
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    I looked into trying to compare my Samsung S2 phone to the edge 500 a few months back and ended up purchasing a 800. I used the strava data from a 4&8 hour race I did back in March to compare the devices. As Strava is not that well used here I only had 4x 500s, 1x 510 and 1x 800 to compare my smart phone to. Most of the race was in a heavily wooded areas. I found the 800 and 510 tracking comparable to my phone although the rider with the 510 only did 1 lap of the course but it's track did match smoothly when overlay-ed on the edge 800 track map. Pulling the gxp files from strava into Garmin BaseCamp shows Richard's edge 800 was set on smart intervals as was Cody and Jim's, the other 3 garmins set on 1sec intervals, my phone using the strava app on 3sec intervals. I do get missed strava segments from gps drift and conditions on the 800 but it also happens on the phone too.

    I do not know if the garmin devices have their latest firmware back in March when I compare them, which I guess could also make a difference

    The devices strava maps
    Strava Android App Derek Garmin Edge 800 Richard Garmin Edge 510 Jason
    Garmin Edge 500 Cody Garmin Edge 500 Jim Garmin Edge 500 David
    Garmin Edge 500 Tim hanmer8hr-low-view-google-earth
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