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Old 30 January 2014, 17:08   #1
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Finally a cheap GPS speedometer!

I wanted a basic speedometer for my SIB, but nobody seemed to sell one. I ended up using a Garmin Etrex, but the display was a bit small and it was a bit of a faff to set up.

Well, l also do mountain biking and recently bought a GPS bike computer. It is a Garmin Edge 500 and is only about 4cm x 5 cm.

The thing with this model, is you can tailor the display to whatever you want. So you can set it to show just speed. Or speed and distance, time of day, etc.

The only disadvantage is that it won't display speed in knots of course.

Also the backlight can be set to stay on, the battery lasts twelve hours, and it is waterproof.

The mounting is designed for a handlebar but it uses rubber bands can be fitted to almost anything, such as the tiller arm or engine handle.

Cost is just over 100 for the basic version, without the heart rate monitor.

This unit has been available for a few years, and l am posting this because nobody mentioned it when l asked about a GPS speedometer a year or so ago.
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Old 30 January 2014, 19:35   #2
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I use a speedo app call "SpeedView" on my android mobile, its very good and was free. Only needs GPS to work, not a signal, so no roaming issues for me as my boat is abroad!

It tells me how far I have gone, top speed, moving time, stopped time, average speed etc etc and displays nautical miles as well as normal miles and speed can be knots/mph/kph, and like yours I can chose just the speed to be displayed if I want, so its nice and big and can be clearly seen!

OK you don't want your mobile getting wet so I just bought a small waterproof bag meant for mobiles and you can clearly see the display through it and the touch screen still works. So for the cost of a waterproof bag (about 4) I am very chuffed with it!

Sorry to hi-jack (and I'm not p*ssing on your parade!) thought I would say in case it's useful to others like you say!
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Old 31 January 2014, 03:51   #3
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Yes l have used my phone, l have "Speedview Pro" which is a similar product, and it only cost me 2.
However the main issue with a Smartphone is battery life. My battery is dead after less than three hours with a GPS app like this running.

I also had "Map My Ride" on my phone for mountain biking, but again the battery was dead after less than three hours, leaving me with no emergency communication facility.

Plus the phone is more fragile, and a bit big, so as you say needs a case and mount.
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Old 31 January 2014, 05:13   #4
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What phone do you have? I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace. Mine lasts about 6 hours using SpeedView, maybe the Pro version uses a lot more battery?!

Fortunately I don't need a mount for my set up as the waterproof bag has an adjustable cord attached to the corner of it which lets me attached it to my console safely and in eye shot. To be honest though, since the novelty of the SpeedView app wore off, or if I am in a rush I just leave my phone recording in my bag/storage locker. Also I have a car 12v cigarette charger modified to my battery so if I need to top up my mobile I can, though I have never needed to use it whilst in the boat so far!

Just saying lol, as you say phones are fragile, not great batteries and more importantly needed for communication/emergencies etc.
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Old 31 January 2014, 08:52   #5
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The other thing with the Edge 500 is that it has three user definable screens.

So you can set up a screen for your boat, and then use the others for mountain biking etc.

For instance, on the boat you might only want to display speed and distance.

Where on a bike you may want speed, distance, elevation, time of day, heart rate etc.

It only takes one button push to change screens.
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Old 31 January 2014, 09:30   #6
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I have an old Garmin Edge 205 that I bought as a refurb years ago which has been treated so badly, knocked about, left on the bike in all weathers and still works perfectly, not sure my iPhone would appreciate the same abuse.
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