Geograph Blog ::

Garmin Road test

By Bill Nicholls

First time out with my New Garmin Oregon 450 with UK Mapping, bit of a far cry from the old Etrex H I had been using I must admit. I had gone to Hackelton with my wife as she was on a dog training day so I took the opportunity to go out and road test my new toy. The start point was Hackleton Village Hall SP8054 : Hackleton Village Hall by Bill Nicholls and my intention was to go to Piddington then work down to a disused railway follow it till the road and back to Hackleton via Horton which would take in four squares on the OS map. I had printed off a map of the local area and used this in conjunction with the GPS to compare with. First stop was St John's Church at Piddington SP8054 : Work going on by Bill Nicholls for a few photos SP8054 : St Johns Piddington by Bill Nicholls and a Benchmark SP8054 : Benchmark on St John's by Bill Nicholls. From there it was off to find the railway that ran under a bridge nearby where I came across the second benchmark of the day SP8053 : Forest Road bridge benchmark by Bill Nicholls The railway was a disused one and the bridge was in good condition considering it was just a track running over it though some of the brickwork was dislodged SP8053 : Towards Horton by Bill Nicholls. More photos of the bridge and old trackbed then it was off along the footpath going alongside it to the next bridge SP8053 : Footpath by the railway by Bill Nicholls. While walking here and looking at the area I spotted a fox running across the field about 100 meters away, he stopped looked back then turned and spotted me, stared then thinking I posed no threat trotted off SP8153 : Bridge over a ditch by Bill Nicholls. Pity I did not have the camera ready but I felt to move would have frightened him off. Back on the way along the path and in the hedge I notice brickwork laying around further investigation shows there is an old platform still there SP8153 : Salcey Forest railway station by Bill Nicholls, the brickwork was from a destroyed building. After a detour round the outside of a small holding it was back on the road and a look at the bridge nearby the crossed the old railway. A third benchmark was my reward SP8153 : Horton, B526 railbridge benchmark by Bill Nicholls and under the bridge I find it had been strengthened to take the heavy traffic that now runs over it SP8153 : The other side by Bill Nicholls.
On to Horton where along the way I pick up a fourth Benchmark on a bridge crossing a river?
SP8154 : Benchmark on the Bridge at Horton by Bill Nicholls. Walking on it's a look round the church there and out the back entrance past a converted country house. It was not until I came out the other end of the estate I realised it was a private road I had walked up, no wonder the people I met walking to the house looked at my camera even though they did smile and pass the time of day. For once I refrained from taking any photos round a place. By now I was getting hungry so I headed back to Hackleton Village hall to meet up with my wife for a bite of lunch after getting some photos of the chapel nearby SP8055 : Hackleton Baptist Chapel by Bill Nicholls. I saved the route then went off on another jaunt first towards the school SP8055 : Hackleton School by Bill Nicholls and war memorial SP8055 : Triangle of its own by Bill Nicholls near Piddington lane the double backing and off to find a trig pillar. On the way I passed a second abandoned railway only this time the bridge over the road had been demolished SP8255 : Dip in the road by Bill Nicholls so any benchmark was gone though there was some rubble left behind SP8255 : Rubble on the side by Bill Nicholls and something else unmentionable somebody had left. Onwards to by final destination only to be thwarted as I could not see it and miss read the map, I eventually found the trig pillar but it was in a hedge which bordered a paddock SP8355 : Trig Point in the field by Bill Nicholls, I felt I'd had enough so headed back to meet up with my wife and go home but I did get a bonus, I found an upside down benchmark on a farm building the first I have come across SP8255 : Upside down by Bill Nicholls. After this I realised the batteries were running down (they were alkaline) so I switched off.
I found the navigation through the touch screen quite easy though a hand book or CD version to read through might have been helpful. It kept track of where I was going well though you do need to zoom in on the map to follow. I had printed off a map from my Anquet set so used that whilst checking with the GPS for position. There is a lot to learn with it but I found the navigation through the screens easy enough. My one mishap was not clearing the route before starting off as it had logged my position at home a problem I had with the Etrex. Battery life can also pose a problem, I had a brand new set of Duracells in mine and they only lasted around 6 hours before the low warning came on mind you I had left the screen on all morning and only switched on the save energy at lunchtime. I do have some rechargeable NIMH ones to try yet just have to find them in the turmoil of our house but then they are cheap enough to by another set. Is it worth paying out the money? Well I bought mine from Go Outdoors, the original price was 399 and I found the unit for 384 online at another store so I went along with the page and not only did they honour this they knocked of another 10% bringing it down to 342 which made it more palatable. It is probably an expensive toy especially as I tend to used it as a datalogger but it does show you position on the map so if used in conjunction with the OS map you should have no reason to get lost. A cheaper alternative is is just buy without the GB Mapping and use the Basic map it comes with or there is the new Etrex series with 3 types available two of which take OS mapping so if Garmin read this I'm willing to try one for you. The record of my Geo-trip is now available in the link. LinkExternal link
Now for the next trip.

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Thu, 19 Jan 2012 at 08:18
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