9 March 2010

Garmin Quest

The trials and tribulations of outdated consumer electronics is one that nearly everyone in the world must have!

There's a dilemma. Muddle through or dump it and buy the latest bit of kit? I have owned the Garmin Quest sat-nav for the best part of 5 years. Soon after I bought it Garmin announced the Quest 2. It was supposed to be a step forward with post code location searches etc. Instead it was a bit of a white elephant, slow and cumbersome.

I have two problems with my Quest.

1) The maps are getting to be out of date. I last bought an upgrade in 2007 and since then I suppose there have been a few miles of roads built in Europe that my Quest doesn't know about. The problem is that from January 2010 the map updates have been withdrawn. I emailed and asked if I could at least upgrade to the 2009 maps as that would be an improvement (and dosh for them!). They replied to say that they couldn't do that as it is in fact the Unlock Codes that have been withdrawn. So I guess I have now to see if I can get something of eBay or some dodgy site, or simply stick with what I have. Garmin kindly suggesting I buy a new GPS system off them.

2) For a while, I have had to charge the unit form the mains charger as the on-bike cradle has corroded and is finally unable to charge on the go. A solution to open it up and change a few pins over might be okay, but I want to keep the sound output facility. So I resolved to buy a new cradle. Amazingly, and no doubt too good to be true, I saw a replacement kit advertised on Amazon from a company called Pentagon GPS. The price was very competitive. I ordered it on February 22nd expecting delivery between February 26th and March 2nd. It's not arrived. Maybe the deal was too good to be true? Following Amazon's in-house contact system has proved to be about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Pentagon has the kind of after sales service that means they ignore emails. Next it will be time to phone them.

I had hoped to have both these problems sorted satisfactorily before this weekend before the Afghan Heroes Run and a club run to France in April.

2 comments:

Stacy said...

Garmin has almost reached the point of being a map-subscription company that sells hardware on the side.

If you'd prefer to keep your Quest, you have a couple of options, namely switching to using "open" maps.

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://openmaps.eu/

I've had good luck dealing with the pfranc folks when it comes to buying cables and other Garmin accessories: http://www.pfranc.com

Invicta Moto said...

Thanks Stacy, I'll go and have a look at those sites.

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