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 Sports GPS Systems
 [SINGLE TOPIC] Garmin Forerunner 205/305
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gpspassion

93944 Posts

Posted - 26 mars 2006 :  19:14:22  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
UPDATED 20070225
GARMIN FORERUNNER 205/305

  • Latest Software Firmware : v2.50

  • Latest GPS Firmware : v2.0 (SiRF v3.2.4)

  • Links:
    1. Hidden Features : here - Originally for FR201 but work with 205 too
    2. Other links : see below or click here
    3. Garmin Website : here

After using the 205 for a few weeks, here are some comments:
  1. Like any SiRFstarIII GPS, once you've let it download the ephemeris data (requires 30 seconds with a good signal level, > 28dB-Hz) it holds on to the fix like there is no tomorrow ;-)
  2. Screen resolution : 160x100 pixels

  3. Can't find a way of displaying latitude/longitude though - UPDATE : needs FW v2.30, then choose "navigation/mark location"

  4. Can't replicate the 201 trick that was used to navigate to coordinates (record a mark and then modify the lat/long)UPDATE: needs FW v2.30

  5. The satellite screens (signal and position of the satellites is a nice addition)

  6. The top right button is a bit difficult to operate, need to get used to it

  7. I wonder how durable the grey/blue paint is going to be, seems a bit flimsy, the dark grey matte finish of the 201 has held up very well.
  8. Battery life : timed at 10 hours 30 minutes, about 30 less than the Forerunner 201, the tradeoff for acquiring and holding the fix much better, although the Globalsat GH-601 achieves about 19 hours, and that can come in handy - With the GPS module off, battery life comes in at 31 hours

Questions, comments ?
[center]




FR 205 screenshots - satellite screen, waypoints, no GPS economy mode



The Forerunner 205 seen next to the Edge 305 HSR and the FR201


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gpspassion

93944 Posts

Posted - 07 avr. 2006 :  02:08:10  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Did some more battery life testing and it came out at 10h30 minutes, not bad, but I must admit that it goes by a bit quickly. The competing Globalsat GH-601 is currently at 16 hours of runtime and at about 50% of its battery. Here is a side by side picture:



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admin_0

1 Posts

Posted - 06 sept. 2006 :  09:45:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
HI.
I am thinking about buying a gps watch. Can I use Forerunner 205 like a normal watch? if a dont use the gps, how long is the battery live?. I ve had a sunnto x9 but gps sensibility is very poor. I thought X9I would be much better but i read the sensibility isnt good.
What do you thing?
Thanks in advance
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gpspassion

93944 Posts

Posted - 11 sept. 2006 :  00:08:59  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Heard the same about the sunnto watches, haven't tried one yet though.

Watch features are pretty limited, in fact you can only see the time in the HH:MM format on the menu page, you can't add it as a field unless I missed it.

Good question on the battery life with GPS off, it should be quite good, I'll try to test that next week.

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JohnMinnesota

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04 oct. 2006 :  03:42:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 305 in August of 2006, and while I really liked the idea of having the GPS and HRM and tracking data, my experience with Garmin and this particular product has not been good. Major problems.

When I first got it, I followed the instructions, got it plugged in and went out for my first run with it. When I got home and plugged it in to my computer USB bus, the computer froze and required a reset to reboot. Once the computer came up again, the USB bus didn't work. I realized that the likely problem was too much current draw on the USB bus, and was going to need to get a new motherboard :( Darned disappointing, but being a computer and electronics person, I went and purchased the new motherboard and a powered external USB hub and about 12 hours later I was up and running again.

So, this time I plugged the Garmin Forerunner 305 into the powered USB hub instead of the computer. As soon as I did this, my computer blue screened (crashed) and it did so nearly every time I plugged the Garmin in. At this point I decided it must have been a problem with the Garmin Forerunner and got on their support system. Here is where the real problems happened.

Their support person told me:
1. Check for chipset names that are INTEL, NEC, etc. These are compatible chipsets with our devices.
2. If you have a chipset name that contains SiS, Via, OpenHCD, Ali, or Alr,
these chipsets are not compatible with our devices and may not allow the USB Card Programmer to function.

That wasn't on the package, or in the instructions, but regardless I learned that I had a compatible chipset from the manufacturer. So after letting them know that and that I now expected some compensation for my loss and that something definitely caused my motherboard's USB bus to go bad they asked that I send the unit, cable, charger, etc back to them so they could determine what might have caused the problem, which I did. After a week or so I asked if anything had been determined about what had happened but they didn't have any answers. I told them at this point that I expected some compensation for my damaged motherboard - another unit maybe? Something. They offered to send me a new unit and a cadence unit (for my bike) but I indicated that I already purchased the $60.00 cadence unit and that it didn't work on my bicycle due to the frame/pedal design and that a new unit would help since I really wanted to start using the new toy I bought.

After getting the replacement unit which didn't cause any blue screens (after a couple weeks) and seems to be functioning as well as the rest of the ones I've read about (not good - search for yourself), Garmin refused to compensate me in any way for my motherboard - I offered to accept the unit that I sent in back as payment - Garmin's response:

"Unfortunately, it appears as if we are unable to determine why the failure occurred given the information you provided. Thus we question whether the Forerunner 305 had anything to do with the failure on your PC. The device you provided does meet all specification standards. I apologize we could not provide a more conclusive answer. I will no longer respond to questions regarding the previous unit.". At this point I let Garmin's technical support know that I was going to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and make darn sure others who might be interested in purchasing something from them knew about their "policy" for dealing with problems.

And unfortunately, I had already sent the bad Forerunner 305 back to Garmin along with the crash dump files from my PC so I was no longer able to determine if a component had failed in the charging circuit of the Garmin and was out of luck. I had offered to send them the motherboard several times as well - they were never interested in what brand/make/model of motherboard I had - something that ultimately makes a difference in this equation. They had zero interest in it.


UPDATE: 2 October 2006 - After I filed the complaint with the Better Business Bureau, I was emailed by Garmin's senior staff attorney telling me he wanted me to contact him regarding this issue. I sent him the "final response" from Garmin's technical support that basically told me to shove off, to which he responded that they wanted to offer me another 305 as payment for my troubles. After all this crap - to me this was unbelieveable arrogance and stupidity. I requested they pay me for my motherboard and my time since I was now VERY DISAPPOINTED about how I had been dealt with, and basically the attorney told me in about 3 paragraphs that I needed to read their warranty which clearly states ... "blah blah blah" we aren't responsible for your problems. If there wasn't a problem with their products why on earth would they have their Senior attorney contact me and try to get me to accept a payoff? If they truly were a good company they would have wanted to know what caused the problem, or at a minimum made some effort to understand what happened and tell me. There was none of that.

And that has been my experience with Garmin. There are a lot of problems with Garmin's products, unlike many better manufacturers like Canon and Apple computer, they don't deal with the problems in an equitable manner. I highly recommend searching the net for others experiences before purchasing something from this company. Hopefully their competition will be done testing their equivalent products and put this company to shame.

Be ForeWARNED!
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gpspassion

93944 Posts

Posted - 04 oct. 2006 :  11:58:48  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well that's certainly a disappointing experience, thanks for sharing it in a collected manner, people tend to lash out whhen problems like that arise. It's odd indeed that they would want to give you a second unit at this point ?

Still I hope you enjoy your 305 now, my 205 has proved very reliable and a great companion to log tracks during hikes and jogs.

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JohnMinnesota

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04 oct. 2006 :  17:02:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes - any company that has their attorney deal with customer complaints has some major issues!

Globalsat GH-601 - now that looks like a cool device. I am going to dig in and see about getting one of those. Thanks for creating this forum. It is indeed one of the best I've found on this topic.

Have a great day!
John
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gpspassion

93944 Posts

Posted - 04 oct. 2006 :  17:05:02  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the kind words ;-) I think we have a topic on the 601 already, if not we can start one, hardware is good (good sensitivity, good battery life at 18 hours), but the software is not quite up to the level of what you get with Garmin though, who have had years of fine-tuning, total distance is generally off for instance.

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JohnMinnesota

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 06 oct. 2006 :  22:01:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
UPDATE: 6 Oct 2006

The replacement Forerunner 305 Garmin sent me started causing blue screens today on my XP machine. What a disappointing experience. Maybe one of the worse consumer experiences I've ever had, and to have their (explatives reserved) senior staff attorney send me a copy of the warranty and tell me I am "unprofessional" and therefor don't deserve to be heard any more... well, imagine being dealt with that way.

I highly recommend waiting for another option. The GlobalSat doesn't look as sleek, but looks aren't what it's about. And as far as software goes, Garmin's software isn't that great. There are better options for software out there to work with GPS data. SportTracks and MacGPS for example.

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MountainGoat

2 Posts

Posted - 27 oct. 2006 :  11:42:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've had two issues with my Forerunner 205, the first had strange symptoms, whilst out on a run I noticed the distance run started to decrease instead of increasing and the average pace as a result started to increase significantly (this would be expected). The GPS accuracy also went to a ridiculous amount even though I was on open ground. On contacting Garmin support I was advised to reinstall the latest firmware (not using webupdater), I also cleared all history and the problem has not been seen since. I suspect the memory may have filled up and instead of overwriting the oldest history the latest details were affected (sw bug?) - can't find anyway of checking the memory status though.

The second issue was that one of the buttons failed completely (no response when pressing it). The unit was returned to Garmin who replaced it within days - no complaints about the Customer service from my experiences.
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Knut

Denmark
3 Posts

Posted - 28 oct. 2006 :  19:22:51  Show Profile  Visit Knut's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gpspassion
Good question on the battery life with GPS off, it should be quite good, I'll try to test that next week.



I just completed a completely unscientific test on this issue, result was 29h 30m 06sec. Test was conducted with latest unit software on a FR305 with HRM enabled. For the record the longest run time I've seen with the GPS enabled is 10h 45m.

Cheers, Knut


Motionbased GPS training log

Edited by - Knut on 28 oct. 2006 19:33:31
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admin_0

1 Posts

Posted - 31 oct. 2006 :  09:03:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I post my little experience with Garmin Forerunner 305:

- poor signal quality, even on open sky.
- the signal often is lost under roads with some trees.
- sometimes, in one hour of running, suddenly there are ridiculous values in speed, causing the signaling of alerts for maximum speed.

The unit mounts firmware 2.80 and sw 2.40.
I am not satisfied with this unit.
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gpspassion

93944 Posts

Posted - 05 nov. 2006 :  23:49:30  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
sounds like their could be something wrong with it, my 205 never loses the fix even under heavy foliage, maybe you should swap it in.

knut - thanks for sharing, got 31 hours here with GPS off on the 205, not bad, quickest way to reactivate the GPS was to turn it off and on again.
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gpspassion

93944 Posts

Posted - 18 mars 2007 :  12:18:54  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
New v2.60 version for 205 http://www.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=1419

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gpsNuvi

140 Posts

Posted - 27 mars 2007 :  16:10:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
... and new GPS firmware v2.9 via WebUpdater.

Additionally, I have found the Forerunner 205 to be an excellent training device - preparing for Chicago Marathon ... so far, great training software and satellite lock.

Fun to use while hiking and biking too.

The only thing i can't find are real-time coordinates (i see them on setting a "marker" - but not real-time). A nice to have for geocaching.
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zrhodes

1 Posts

Posted - 15 juin 2007 :  14:39:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
to all you forerunner owners take a look at mapmyrun.com they have a upload utility that will connect to your forerunner and then upload your runs onto a google map, and it will also convert it to use with google earth. also you can create courses on the site for use in your forerunner. here is a link to a trail run i ran on wendsday.
http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/nj/oakland/489544308

link to gps upload tool:
http://www.mapmyrun.com/gps_import_tool
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