Advantages Quick access to OS maps
Disadvantages Cost and Power
SatMap: Knowledge at a priceWith long trips planned with my cycle in next couple of years my thoughts turned to navigation.
So I thought an investment in the Satmap system would eventually pay off in saved time, energy and piece of mind.
TD my test runs prove it to be true. The Satmap has guided me over several routes through Cheshire?s back waters.
A test trip to Snowdonia in the 'summer' of 2008 (the wettest ever) proved the devise
invaluable. It withstood large amount of rain/water from the sky and passing traffic.
Also I was alarmed when it fell out of my hand onto a concrete farmyard and despite the drop it continued to work.
Although this does not have a odometer it can replace all the other normal functions that
you get with a cycle computer and you don't need to fiddle about attaching things to the wheel. With a route planned you can also see a profile of the terrain and get the total
ascents/descents you have to do on route.
There is however one drawback for me in all of this and that is the issue of power.
Unlike the traditional paper map this gadget needs a battery of one sort or another.
When camping the opportunities to use a wall charger are probably zero so you have to carry what you need.
The Satmap either uses 3 AA batteries or a bespoke rechargable pack (£30 each)
I find that when cycling I have been checking my position probably every 10 mins.
So overall usage with screen on was about 6 minutes an hour.
The battery pack I found lasted about 10 hours with this level of usage.
The battery packs are probably the best option at present for a day trip.
I was informed when I rang Satmap that they may be developing a cycle dynamo with a USB output to the Satmap so charging would take place as you go along.
This would be great if ever it appears on the market at a reasonable price.
|Ease of Use|
|Look & Feel|
|Durability & Robustness|
|Value for Money|
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