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Keeping Garmin charged on extra long ride

tubaonwheelstubaonwheels Posts: 448
edited June 2017 in Road general
I'm planning a big ride this summer, just for a personal challenge. Looking at over 200 miles (secretly maybe 300). I'll need route on Garmin as looking at a big 'interesting' loop. How can I keep Garmin charged for a ride of this length?
My thoughts at the moment are for my wife to meet me a few times from 100 miles onwards. Would the odd 15minute charge in the car suffice?
All suggestions gratefully recieved.

Steve.
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Get a power bank / power pack and a long lead for the garmin ( not sure if they call it a micro or mini USB )

    That's what I use as a backup power source for my garmin 1000
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    A relatively modest and cheap powerpack such as this:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anker-5200mAh- ... 729&sr=1-1

    (that is in fact the one I use)

    That'll keep a garmin going for a couple of days no issues.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,041
    Just do as dalesman mentions and tape it to the handlebars or similar place.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Top tube bag for an Anker USB battery, short lead to the Garmin. Easy.
  • Cheers guys, Anker on order. Just need to get training now :)
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 782
    Might be worth Youtubing it and seeing what else can be done.

    I would also suggest you test the charging on the go on a less critical ride. There is one Garmin that resets itself if you plug a charger in, but there are ways round it.
  • BrakelessBrakeless Posts: 865
    There can sometimes be an issue with the type of cable you use from charger to Garmin. I'm no expert and I'm happy to be corrected but as I understand it you're best using a power cable rather than a data cable. A power cable is designed to just send power one way from power source to device. A data cable is designed for data to travel either way as well as power from source to device. The mix of data and power can sometimes confuse the Garmin causing it to turn off or not charge. I've got one cable at home that just doesn't work at all but others that happily charge my garmin whilst it's working with no problems at all. If you use an out front mount for your garmin it's worh finding a power cable with the Garmin plug at ninety degrees to the cable as it'll fit in the gap between your Garmin and handlebars.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    the battery in my garmin edge isn't particularly big and i find that the powerbanks they sell in poundland can get it pretty much back up to full charge whilst in use from a pretty low starting point They are pretty light too.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Brakeless wrote:
    There can sometimes be an issue with the type of cable you use from charger to Garmin. I'm no expert and I'm happy to be corrected but as I understand it you're best using a power cable rather than a data cable. A power cable is designed to just send power one way from power source to device. A data cable is designed for data to travel either way as well as power from source to device. The mix of data and power can sometimes confuse the Garmin causing it to turn off or not charge.

    Enirely plausible. The problem with running a Garmin on a dynamo is that they only supply power over a certain speed (I think around 8mph ish). So if you are climbing (or stop for more than a minute or two), the power feed stops. And then the stupid Garmin decides to switch off.

    Believe it or not, it wasn't always this way. Firmware 2.8 worked fine. Then 2.9 came along and messed it all up. And Garmin have failed to fix it in any of the following firmwares.

    Of course, now I need to backdate my Garmin and I can't find 2.8 anywhere so if anyone has it, I would be very pleased if you could send it to me! (Incidentally, 2.8 works fine. None of the multitude of following firmware updates have added anything that isn't simply a 'nice to have' but they have reduced reliability significantly).
    Faster than a tent.......
  • BrakelessBrakeless Posts: 865
    Rolf F wrote:
    Brakeless wrote:
    There can sometimes be an issue with the type of cable you use from charger to Garmin. I'm no expert and I'm happy to be corrected but as I understand it you're best using a power cable rather than a data cable. A power cable is designed to just send power one way from power source to device. A data cable is designed for data to travel either way as well as power from source to device. The mix of data and power can sometimes confuse the Garmin causing it to turn off or not charge.

    Enirely plausible. The problem with running a Garmin on a dynamo is that they only supply power over a certain speed (I think around 8mph ish). So if you are climbing (or stop for more than a minute or two), the power feed stops. And then the stupid Garmin decides to switch off.

    .

    I have a Son Dynamo on one of my bikes. If going super slow up a steep climb my Garmin 800 just puts up a message saying 'power source lost' rather than actually turning off.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Brakeless wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    Brakeless wrote:
    There can sometimes be an issue with the type of cable you use from charger to Garmin. I'm no expert and I'm happy to be corrected but as I understand it you're best using a power cable rather than a data cable. A power cable is designed to just send power one way from power source to device. A data cable is designed for data to travel either way as well as power from source to device. The mix of data and power can sometimes confuse the Garmin causing it to turn off or not charge.

    Enirely plausible. The problem with running a Garmin on a dynamo is that they only supply power over a certain speed (I think around 8mph ish). So if you are climbing (or stop for more than a minute or two), the power feed stops. And then the stupid Garmin decides to switch off.

    .

    I have a Son Dynamo on one of my bikes. If going super slow up a steep climb my Garmin 800 just puts up a message saying 'power source lost' rather than actually turning off.

    At the moment, my Luxos headlight with the USB is off for repair so I can't test whatever the current firmware on the 810 is (it will be the latest one) but if I plug it into the mains, start it recording, and then unplug it, very quickly it tells me it is going to be turning off in 15 seconds.

    What you see is what I got on Firmware 2.8 and is absolutely fine though on long climbs can be pretty irritating! (ie I don't care that the power source is lost because I know it will be back on again soon - what I do care about is that I have a useless black screen saying 'power source lost' for umpteen seconds....).
    Faster than a tent.......
  • It's worth experimenting with your powerbank (and literally any will do) to make sure how it works in advance. Because Garmins can be funny about switching themselves off etc when on power.

    I would imagine that on a long ride you'll need to stop from time to time, so having it charge then would probably be sufficient rather than attempting to strap it to your bars. The worst being you could have it charging in your back pocket.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    If you are using it for navigation then one tip I learned was not to have it on the map page constantly. It still pops up to tell you about turnings etc but uses alot less battery. If you have it on the map page then even when not turning, it uses alot of power to keep calculating and updating the display - can knock around a third off the battery life. Fortunately, on the trip where I discovered this, I had a spare Edge 200 in my rack bag and switched to that for the end of the ride.
  • Looked into this for a long ride before where I wanted the ride to remain uninterrupted when charging.

    I just used a cheap eBay special powerbank and an OTG adaptor like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/OTG-Cable-Adapter-plug-Socket/dp/B000EORX7U

    The OTG stops the unit resetting when connecting power.
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    was in this situation last summer. taped a battery charger under my stem. Short 15cm power cable into the garmin. nice elegant solution. No ugly top tube bags.

    (cable not plugged in in this photo, but it was later in the ride.)

    Untitled.png
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Would rather a Topeak Tribag - that looks more ugly with the tape to my eyes, plus you cant remove the battery for charging without having to cut & redo the tape...

    One thing to be wary of is that some garmin/mount combinations dont allow access to the charging port on the device - check yours does.
  • I'm hoping to get out for a long ride as soon as the weather picks up, so will try it then. I will have to change mount as my out front won't have enough room to plug in. I will need map function on the vast majority of the long ride I've planned for the summer.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    I'm hoping to get out for a long ride as soon as the weather picks up, so will try it then. I will have to change mount as my out front won't have enough room to plug in. I will need map function on the vast majority of the long ride I've planned for the summer.

    Do you really need the constantly scrolling map? Or just turn by turn directions with the map available if you want to pull over and check something in more detail?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    apreading wrote:
    I'm hoping to get out for a long ride as soon as the weather picks up, so will try it then. I will have to change mount as my out front won't have enough room to plug in. I will need map function on the vast majority of the long ride I've planned for the summer.

    Do you really need the constantly scrolling map? Or just turn by turn directions with the map available if you want to pull over and check something in more detail?

    You can have the route planned on the map - turn by turn directions coming up on screen - but not leave it displaying the map page - then just flick over whilst riding if you want to check something.

    Don't forget to turn screen brightness off during the day and minimal at night.

    And - as a thought - are you better off running the garmin on external power right from the start - rather than waiting until the internal battery is low? Once the external battery runs out it should stay on and you know you've got a good few hours of internal battery life left in order to plan when to swap the external one at your convenience ...
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    apreading wrote:
    I'm hoping to get out for a long ride as soon as the weather picks up, so will try it then. I will have to change mount as my out front won't have enough room to plug in. I will need map function on the vast majority of the long ride I've planned for the summer.

    Do you really need the constantly scrolling map? Or just turn by turn directions with the map available if you want to pull over and check something in more detail?

    At least whilst running my 810 off the dynamo, the map made no noticeable difference to battery life at all. The only real difference was backlight. Switched off, I charged at 2% per mile. At full blast the dynamo had all its work cut out to hold charge.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    On my 800, having the map page displayed and constantly updating reduced battery life by around a third. Twice the unit has cr*pped out before the end of a long days riding because of this, where it easily outlasts the ride with the stats page and turn by turn only.

    It makes sense, because the CPU is constantly recalculating position on the map, what direction you are travelling and then working out what portion of the map needs to be displayed with the map rotated to the correct direction - its not that the display uses any more battery but the unit has to do alot more recalculation, which it doesnt do when the map isnt displayed - hence why when you switch to map page it takes a moment to work out where you are, what your bearing is and display the appropriate map with you marked on it.
  • apreading wrote:

    Do you really need the constantly scrolling map? Or just turn by turn directions with the map available if you want to pull over and check something in more detail?

    Good point. A lot of route is new to me but if I study it well in the days before I do it there will be long stretches where I don't need the map, certainly the local bits at start and finish of ride. There's a few long climb/descent sections (Grinton Moor,Tan hill, Forest of Bowland) where I can certainly shut off in more ways than one :D
    Cheers,

    Steve.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    apreading wrote:
    On my 800, having the map page displayed and constantly updating reduced battery life by around a third. Twice the unit has cr*pped out before the end of a long days riding because of this, where it easily outlasts the ride with the stats page and turn by turn only.

    It makes sense, because the CPU is constantly recalculating position on the map, what direction you are travelling and then working out what portion of the map needs to be displayed with the map rotated to the correct direction - its not that the display uses any more battery but the unit has to do alot more recalculation, which it doesnt do when the map isnt displayed - hence why when you switch to map page it takes a moment to work out where you are, what your bearing is and display the appropriate map with you marked on it.

    Maybe the 800 is just less efficient at displaying the maps. Or maybe you do actually have to have the map switched off (ie it is still calculating the map even if it isn't displayed. I never tried having the map off altogether. But certainly, the map had no notable impact on battery life on my 810. Unless there is something weird about running a unit on an external source.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Rolf F wrote:
    apreading wrote:
    On my 800, having the map page displayed and constantly updating reduced battery life by around a third. Twice the unit has cr*pped out before the end of a long days riding because of this, where it easily outlasts the ride with the stats page and turn by turn only.

    It makes sense, because the CPU is constantly recalculating position on the map, what direction you are travelling and then working out what portion of the map needs to be displayed with the map rotated to the correct direction - its not that the display uses any more battery but the unit has to do alot more recalculation, which it doesnt do when the map isnt displayed - hence why when you switch to map page it takes a moment to work out where you are, what your bearing is and display the appropriate map with you marked on it.

    Maybe the 800 is just less efficient at displaying the maps. Or maybe you do actually have to have the map switched off (ie it is still calculating the map even if it isn't displayed. I never tried having the map off altogether. But certainly, the map had no notable impact on battery life on my 810. Unless there is something weird about running a unit on an external source.

    I have never run mine on an external source. I imagine that if you do, you likely have enough battery power not to notice. I was judging just by the internal battery - dispaying the map page is the difference between making an 8-10 hour journey or not.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    apreading wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    apreading wrote:
    On my 800, having the map page displayed and constantly updating reduced battery life by around a third. Twice the unit has cr*pped out before the end of a long days riding because of this, where it easily outlasts the ride with the stats page and turn by turn only.

    It makes sense, because the CPU is constantly recalculating position on the map, what direction you are travelling and then working out what portion of the map needs to be displayed with the map rotated to the correct direction - its not that the display uses any more battery but the unit has to do alot more recalculation, which it doesnt do when the map isnt displayed - hence why when you switch to map page it takes a moment to work out where you are, what your bearing is and display the appropriate map with you marked on it.

    Maybe the 800 is just less efficient at displaying the maps. Or maybe you do actually have to have the map switched off (ie it is still calculating the map even if it isn't displayed. I never tried having the map off altogether. But certainly, the map had no notable impact on battery life on my 810. Unless there is something weird about running a unit on an external source.

    I have never run mine on an external source. I imagine that if you do, you likely have enough battery power not to notice. I was judging just by the internal battery - dispaying the map page is the difference between making an 8-10 hour journey or not.

    No, it's not a case of not noticing. On tour, you are always charging stuff - Garmin, camera, E reader, phone etc. So it is actually pretty important to minimise battery usage from the Garmin despite the external power source. Generally, I would charge the Garmin in the morning and let it use the battery in the afternoon when I'd be charging other things. Fully loaded, most days we'd do 50 miles so if I started with the Garmin half empty, I'd be on full charge by lunchtime at a charge rate of 2% per mile. But if there was a lot of climbing the dynamo wouldn't provide charge. So I spent a lot of time working out what made a difference. And the only thing that did was the back light. The maps had no impact. If the battery, for whatever reason, got really low, I'd make a point of not using the maps but it never resulted in a charge rate greater than 2% per mile.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    It may also depend on the configuration of your map display - I prefer mine North up - whereas reading the above (Map rotated to the correct directon) you're riding it heading up - so the map display is a bit more stable using my settings - but it still has to redraw - and like yours - if you stay on a data page for a while then flick back it takes a moment to re-draw - suggesting that it's not doing this as a background task - thus saving battery. It may also depend on the map source - I use vector maps - where as my wifes 810 uses the OS bitmaps
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    slowbike wrote:
    It may also depend on the configuration of your map display - I prefer mine North up - whereas reading the above (Map rotated to the correct directon) you're riding it heading up - so the map display is a bit more stable using my settings - but it still has to redraw - and like yours - if you stay on a data page for a while then flick back it takes a moment to re-draw - suggesting that it's not doing this as a background task - thus saving battery. It may also depend on the map source - I use vector maps - where as my wifes 810 uses the OS bitmaps

    Could be. Esp the maps - the ones I used in Norway are a bit simpler than some options and there is little to display apart from the road anyway. On the other hand, I use the 3d view which might be more work. That said, sometimes you think that something would place a load on a processor but it doesn't - logic doesn't always apply. Whatever load the maps do inflict on the unit, it is nothing compared to that which the backlight does.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    slowbike wrote:
    It may also depend on the configuration of your map display - I prefer mine North up - whereas reading the above (Map rotated to the correct directon) you're riding it heading up - so the map display is a bit more stable using my settings - but it still has to redraw - and like yours - if you stay on a data page for a while then flick back it takes a moment to re-draw - suggesting that it's not doing this as a background task - thus saving battery. It may also depend on the map source - I use vector maps - where as my wifes 810 uses the OS bitmaps

    Some interesting points there - yes there would be alot less calculation to do if you keep North up. Presumably a bitmap map requires less calculation than a vector map too - the vector map it also needs to work out the zoom level, all the POI that would be displayed in the visible area and then look at the level of detail you have selected to decide which to display.

    With North up and a bitmap map, I could see there alot less CPU work than with a rotating vector map - maybe the extra work is less noticeable in certain configurations.

    I dont recall a setting on my 800 for 3d maps - I guess that I decided years ago I didnt want to use and have forgotten about? Then again, I started with OS bitmaps so maybe it is available with them so I couldnt use it when I got the unit and I havent looked at it since (I now use talkytoaster maps so maybe I could use it now). I can see on the internet stuff about automotive mode - does it show less detail than the proper map modes? If so then maybe that is why there is less computation to do - I dont know.

    Anyway, it appears that there are lots of variables here - showing any form of map MUST use SOME extra power because the CPU is doing work that it wouldnt in other screens, but maybe with the right maps and display preferences this extra power usage is not too significant but with other choices it is very significant. Sounds like a bit of trial and error but still the concept that if you dont need a constantly updating map then dont show it seems to make sense to save every ounce of juice you can.
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 916
    In my experience with Garmin units (Edge 800 and GPSMap 6x handhelds) keeping the screen on the map page drains the battery faster. More map detail also drains the battery faster and makes the map display more sluggish (I once had a map with unnecessary stupidly high detail) as there is info more for the unit process.

    I use vector maps and I keep my units off the map page when not necessary to reduce battery drain.
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