Which GPS

From experience they work BETTER indoors than the older technology, but indoors it is still fairly easy to lose the GPS signal. Not that it will help you much in finding the ladies loo.

I recently upgraded my old etrex summit to a modern SatNav device: Ease of use massively better and nice to have a coloured on screen map. Good also to be able to have advance in-car warning of all those danger areas where they have decided to place safety cameras. ( That sentence may get me some flak.)
One other nicety, is that for the roads, it gives the actual distance you will travel between two points rather that the “Crow Flies” measurement that the Summit gave.
So my advice would be: don’t just think unicycling, think travel in general before choosing. On screen map essential, Full Post Code search is good too.

The Summit was a pain in which to set destinations: difficult to find the X-Y co-ordinate in the first place and then very messy to type it in.

PS anyone know where I can get Summit co-ordinates for places in Southern Ireland? Have been unable to find an internet map that was of use.
I need co-ordinates of the 53.547350, -2.193450 type. Streetmap works for the UK but not Eire as far as I can see.


Hooray! A sensible person who realises speed cameras are not to catch speeders but are to make people slow down for hazardous road conditions (adverse camber, hidden dips), or hazardous situations (schools). I am all for speed cameras in places where they serve a useful purpose, it just so happens that the camera location databases also include the money grabbing non-useful ones too.

On-topic, I recently purchased a Foretrex 201 (one of the wrist ones), and in conjunction with my (slightly illegal) memory map software and the rather nice SportTracks it’s become a necessity on all my Muni rides locally.


Yes, although the police do not agree with you: I have been told they have just won the right to be able to camouflage cameras from sometime in 2007. The motive there would SEEM to be that, at those sites, they do not want the yellow box to be one more inducement to slow down: financial then. They also don’t have to have had the prescribed number of nearby accidents either from that date. That Welsh bas… er chief constable, Brumstrom, I think his name is, said it was hard telling parents they cannot have a camera near the school until their kid and three others have been mown down. Fair enough, but he will also have to tell parents their child was the first to be hit because the newly camouflaged camera did not remind the driver he was nearing an accident blackspot. Two different ways of looking at it.
It does not matter to me why the driver slows down near the school zone: it is equally effective in saving life to slow down for the camera as it is to slow for the “school” sign. Two objects saying “slow down” are better than one.

Oxfordshire, your area: the very place that prompted me to get the camera database: I was flashed at 36MPH on an open straight countrified road, in bright sunshine, on a wide traffic free road, with no visible dangers. The sort of road that is normally signed at 50mph or at national limits. I was driving conservatively slowly, at a very safe speed, but Thames Valley Police decided to hit me with 60 quid and 3 points. The same week a copper killed a girl in Oxford, travelling at 70 at night in town, and was found not guilty of dangerous driving because he had a blue light flashing.
I fought and won! But it made me realise that speed cameras are often sited and set to entrap motorists who are driving at perfectly safe speeds. One size fits all approach. I wanted to be able to continue to drive safely in the prevailing conditions, but without having the worry of knowing my exact speed, and without the need to watch out for cameras and to constantly check the speedo. So I bought the SatNav. I do not use it to enable me to speed between cameras, just to make the driving experience less paranoid, and to allow me to match my speed with the actual conditions.
I finish with a quote from the TVP area:

"Another ambulance driver doing his job has been the victim of police speed camera fanaticism. Lee Schramm recieved a fixed penalty notice for doing just 36mph in a 30mph zone whilst rushing two organs for transplant. He was driving a marked car with blue flashing lights, yet Thames Valley Police have apparently refused to scrap his fine and points. The Sun has described the police as “Speed Prats”.


I think I must be missing something here, but isn’t the fun stuff what you actually do on your wheel ? You can view your path in 3d - in the field, with your own eyes. :wink:

Hey wow! You can even, like, zoom in, by just going towards the thing you want to look at! :slight_smile:


hahaha yeha but after that it just stops when u get home…

take a camra yeah … shut up hahahaha
i just like gadgets

Or just go out and do again :slight_smile: - there’s no substitute for the real thing.

hahaha true, but its rainding and i only have a 20" wheel so no mountain climbing for me anytime soon so ill just sit here lising to the artctic monkeys and writting a blues solo for school if you all dont mind

The issue here, is that whilst visible cameras provide an incentive to drive legally at one single point, non-visible cameras would provide an incentive to drive legally all the time, cos you wouldn’t know where they were. If they combined this with moving them around regularly, then the idiots who can’t drive well would get their licences taken away from them.

I think speed cameras are great. They only catch idiots who aren’t paying enough attention to the road to even spot a speed limit sign. Or dumbasses who suppose that because there are ‘no visible dangers’ there aren’t any dangers that they haven’t noticed, despite admitting to being incapable of paying attention to the speed of their vehicle whilst driving. The double magic of them is that they pay for themselves, so don’t cost anything to run, meaning that there’s more money for traffic policing and other road safety initiatives.

If you’re not skilled enough, or have too poor eyesight to be able to see the signs at the side of the road that tell you how fast you should be going, you’re a crap driver and shouldn’t be allowed to drive, you shouldn’t be investing in technological gimmicks to allow you to drive poorly.


I don’t know of any commercial GPS products than these:

Bike mounted: Garmin Edge 305 and Garmin Edge 205

Wrist-mounted: Garmin Forerunner 305 and Garmin Forerunner 205

theres a few other models to consider i’m sure besides JUST these four.

Here are a few from just a quick search:

Leadtrek 9553 (the first)
GlobalSat BR-355
GlobalSat BT-388
Holux GPSlim236

and the list goes on and on for these types. <a href=“http://store.yahoo.com/semsons-inc/bluetgpsrec.htmlHere’s a page with a bunch of them.” [URL=“http://store.yahoo.com/semsons-inc/bluetgpsrec.html”>Here’s a page with a bunch of them.

That’s what I use.

Wow, thanks for all the input.

It has made me think - I already have Tom Tom Navagator on my PDA with one of those new Sirf III thingy recievers (and it is much better than the one I had before). I have hesitated to take my PDA on uni rides cos it is hugely useful in my life and it would seem too much of a risk of breaking it. Having said that, if there was a way I could adapt what I have now to uni riding for a fraction of the price I guess I would be interested. Any ideas?


Maybe what you want is a rugged case eg.

Dunno how this’d affect fitting the GPS though, unless your PDA is bluetooth. I’d be surprised if the cases don’t have room, cos so much of the sort of work rugged PDAs are being used for involves location awareness.

The big issue with using gps for unicycle route following (as opposed to just seeing your route at home), is that it’s hard to have it somewhere you can see when riding, I think the wrist mounted ones may kind of fix this, cos you’ve got them out all the time. On a bike you mount it on the bars and follow an arrow on the screen, so it’s easy.

But, if you’re using a PDA and you’re a programmer or know one, it might be possible to write something that took a track file and talked to tell you which way to go, in the same way that the road navigation stuff does. Writing code that accesses the GPS isn’t hard. There might be something for PDAs that does this already.

If you could work out some way to be able to follow the GPS while riding, there are loads of routes available to download on the internet, loads of people use this as a way to follow new mountain biking routes.


Google Earth will give you co-ordinates in that format, but its detailed mapping of Eire is a bit sparse.


Re: Which GPS

On Wed, 8 Mar 2006 05:23:45 -0600, Naomi wrote:

>PS anyone know where I can get Summit co-ordinates for places in
>Southern Ireland? Have been unable to find an internet map that was
>of use.
>I need co-ordinates of the 53.547350, -2.193450 type.

My eTrex Vista can be set to 34 different co-ordinate types. If the
same holds for your Summit you don’t -need- above type. Otherwise,
there must be a tool (other than the GPS receiver itself, I mean some
software or so) to convert between them. Some conversions can be done
easily in Excel.

I’ve got a small utility programme called Grid Inquest which converts between UK / N Ireland / Eire coordinate systems (OSGB36 and variants plus UTM) and WGS84 in both directions. Download from www.qgsl.com There are lots of similar programmes around. For the UK streetmap.co.uk has a coordinate conversion utility to/from OSGB to WGS84.


The expected reply: There is always at least one.
JoeMarshall, do you drive? Are you an experienced driver? Do you ALWAYS stick to the speed limits: honestly! …in traffic flowing at 35 in a 30 zone, which it often does. Do you stick at 28 and annoy everyone behind you? An annoyed driver may well do something stupid, not all can remain calm. Maybe they should not be driving, but our driving test does not assess temperament. And when the traffic is flowing freely at 35mph, 90% of drivers are then driving to the conditions rather than the signs: are they all idiots? Indeed not. They are the majority and they are driving safely. The few who hold people up at 28 mph are often old drivers, some of whom should no longer be driving, too old and infirm to react appropriately when something happens. I see many of them. Rita, my next door neighbour: 82 years old , still unable to reverse out of her drive without several goes at it, and does 28 mph everywhere. Buys a new car every time hers gets dented. A Godsend to the local Ford dealer. She will never get a speeding ticket, but she should not be in a driving seat either. Driving within the limit does not make you a safe driver. Driving sensibly and with thought does.

The point is that speed limits, as signed, are somewhat arbitrary, and based around a number of factors: are there houses? street lamps? etc etc. One size fits all. They take no account of conditions on the day, and little account of many other relevant factors. So what is a reasonable limit in a howling night blizzard can be inappropriate at almost any other time. It works both ways around too: I have seen many drivers doing 70 or more in the outside lane of the M6, when I and 90% of other drivers had stopped because very, very heavy rain had made driving dangerous at ANY speed. A simple demonstration that a camera cannot house good sense in its box. A policeman would have had a chance to book them for dangerous driving, although in those conditions, had I been a copper, then I too would have been stopped on the hard shoulder.
The multiples of 10mph on speed signs also restrict accurate evaluation. A road may be accurately considered safe at 37 mph: so is it then signed at 40 or at 30? If 40 then any driver doing 38 to 40 is driving dangerously but legally? If 30 then any driver doing 31 to 37 could be booked whilst driving safely? To drive “precisely to the speed signs” is like writing without any adjectives and adverbs. It is robotic. It has been shown that drivers trying to keep at a steady 28-30 can get so bored that they make mistakes. They have had their brains replaced by the signs, and are not using their minds actively to drive sensibly. Some of them are a positive danger as they clockwatch their way down the road. At weekend, many of the speed signs near Leek were obscured by snow stuck to their faces: it didn’t matter: I continued to drive at a safe speed, and reached my destination incident free.
I would rather watch the road and drive safely than spend my time reading and remembering the profusion of roadside litterature ( intentional misspelling!) that I am presented with on our roads these days.
Yes I bought a SATNAV for guidance, and yes I added a camera database, so that I do not get booked for driving safely in a zone where someone else has got the sums wrong, or applied an arbitrary formula.
And the vast amounts of money some new cameras take in day 1 of their existance, suggests to me that the speed limit at that camera is signed too low. Most drivers drive sensibly. A few don’t.
The police also need the support of the public, when I was booked for driving IMHO very safely at 36MPH, I felt a great sense of injustice. It was hard not to feel antagonistic towards the police. So I went out to beat the ticket, and I won and was proved right. I am not an “idiot” but merely someone who chooses to drive safely using my mind rather than driving precisely as directed by roadside lollipops. You would not be scared in my passenger seats.


thanks Martin, I did try that, and as you say the Eire mapping is not really good enough for my needs.


Wow Nao - re the speed camera thing.

I have sat nav. I don’t have the camera database installed.

I believe in theory that everyone should stick to the speed limit, as in my experience people have proved time and again that they are not sensible/thoughtful. However, I do speed when going to work. (It’s a long way and 95% of the time I have to do a certain stretch of 60mph at 40. I have no idea why people always drive at this speed on this stretch of the road.)

I do feel, however that people shouldn’t be ‘criminalised’ for speeding.