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Ciaran1602

A clever sat nav alternative...The Beeline Moto

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fred_jb
3 minutes ago, Tex said:

 

Christ! That sounds like me and Percy... :( 

 


I was thinking of getting my name down for one of your cast offs!  :niceone:

 

I've got a Pixel 2 128 GB phone for sale in the for sale section, and may have a larger screened Pixel 2  XL 64 GB for sale too if the Samsung experiment works out.  Open to sensible offers!

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Ciaran1602
2 minutes ago, fred_jb said:

 

I can understand not wanting to risk your pride and joy new phone, but you can get a highly capable second hand phone for not much money and use that as your satnav.  That's what I do, and it also means that you have a backup phone while away on trips or tours, in case the main phone breaks or gets nicked.  Having said that, if you use a strong tight fitting back cover for your phone (assuming it is a water resistant type) and stick a Quadlock universal mount to the back, there is virtually zero chance of it falling off.  I use a Spigen type transparent back cover which is very secure.  It is more of a danger that you park the bike and forget to remove the phone, which I have done more than once!

 

I've been using phones as satnavs for several years now and it generally works well, though if you want to use it all day when touring then you do need to fit a 12V to USB power adaptor to keep the battery topped up. The only issue for me, and this is not specific to phones as it is a problem with dedicated GPS devices too, is that it is well nigh impossible to share GPS instructions between rider and pillion while also keeping the intercom function live.  Not essential, but I like Anne to be aware of turns and help to decide where to go when the instructions are a little ambiguous.  Even my fancy BMW TFT instrument panel which has the ability to pair to a phone and to two headsets doesn't work for this requirement, and is so flaky with unreliable pairing that I am loath to use it anyway.

 

My new Cardo headsets have better sharing abilities than my previous one, but still don't do exactly what I need.  I am currently using a Pixel 2 XL phone as my satnav, but have just picked up a Samsung S8+ on that auction site to try instead because it has the unique to Samsung ability to pair to two headsets simultaneously over Bluetooth, and share the same audio with both.  Since my new headsets have the ability to merge incoming intercom and Bluetooth audio sources so that you can hear both at the same time, if the Samsung feature works as advertised this should achieve what I want. I tried to do this by pairing both headsets to a Bluetooth splitter device connected to the audio output of my Pixel phone, but although it actually worked, the pairing was totally unreliable.

 

Here is my current setup:

 

_6K52537-XL.jpg

 

_6K52534-XL.jpg

 

 

It's not a bad option and you're installation is very neat for sure. However factor in the costs involved (in my case £165 for the Pixel used in your example, plus the sim card, plus say £80 for a Quadlock plus probably the however much it costs to fit the power cable as I sure as hell couldn't do it myself) it becomes a more expensive option, not to mention more complicated, in the long run.

It's not all about cost either- the solution I went with is fitted in 5/10 minutes rather than however long it would take me to fit a power system myself (A long time believe me!). Add in the 'ethos' is different by having a solution that is designed not to be used with a headset and to be as little as distraction as possible.

 

No way is better or worse just suits different people I think.

Horses for courses it suits me better.

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fred_jb
7 minutes ago, Ciaran1602 said:

 

It's not a bad option and you're installation is very neat for sure. However factor in the costs involved (in my case £165 for the Pixel used in your example, plus the sim card, plus say £80 for a Quadlock plus probably the however much it costs to fit the power cable as I sure as hell couldn't do it myself) it becomes a more expensive option, not to mention more complicated, in the long run.

It's not all about cost either- the solution I went with is fitted in 5/10 minutes rather than however long it would take me to fit a power system myself (A long time believe me!). Add in the 'ethos' is different by having a solution that is designed not to be used with a headset and to be as little as distraction as possible.

 

No way is better or worse just suits different people I think.

Horses for courses it suits me better.

 

Yes of course there are many ways to do this, and as you say it is just a matter of which solution best meets your requirements. A phone as satnav does get cheaper if you just use your only phone for this and can DIY the power and mounts, etc.  To me the audio input is a must - I find that when trying to find my destination, particularly in a busy foreign city my visual input channel is already overloaded, so having instructions via audio is very helpful, but as you say, some people may find satnagging in their ear more distracting!

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Ciaran1602
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, fred_jb said:

 

Yes of course there are many ways to do this, and as you say it is just a matter of which solution best meets your requirements. A phone as satnav does get cheaper if you just use your only phone for this and can DIY the power and mounts, etc.  To me the audio input is a must - I find that when trying to find my destination, particularly in a busy foreign city my visual input channel is already overloaded, so having instructions via audio is very helpful, but as you say, some people may find satnagging in their ear more distracting!

 

Definitely in the latter camp here. I tend to turn the sound off even when I have the satnav in the car playing - I have yet to try the Beeline when I'm in a totally new urban environment so will update from there. :ahappy:

Edited by Ciaran1602
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fred_jb
1 minute ago, Ciaran1602 said:

 

Definitely in the latter camp here. I tend to turn the sound off even when I have the satnav in the car playing though I admit I have yet to try it in a big built up area I'm totally clueless about. :ahappy:

Actually I'm generally against audio distraction too - I never have music or radio on, even in the car, let alone on the bike, but I make an exception for satnav instructions particularly when survival in foreign urban vehicular warfare precludes taking my eyes off the road!

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Ciaran1602
Just now, fred_jb said:

Actually I'm generally against audio distraction too - I never have music or radio on, even in the car, let alone on the bike, but I make an exception for satnav instructions particularly when survival in foreign urban vehicular warfare precludes taking my eyes off the road!

 

Especially in Europe - driving in European cities south of Germany and the Netherlands is an art form in itself :lol:

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DCTPaul
Posted (edited)

I use an old smartphone... no sim.. no data...

i just download the map via wifi first...

often the phone is in my pocket, bluetoothed to a £2 'bay ear piece...

Or on the NC in the phone case of thre Givi EA116 tank bag...

Edited by DCTPaul
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Defender
On 07/03/2020 at 09:31, Tex said:

I don’t want one that reads a map like my wife, if she had been an RAF navigator we would likely have bombed Coventry (and saved the Germans the bother)..  🙄

Or Falkirk instead of the Falklands, mind you it would have save a sh!t load of fuel for the Vulcan bombers involved!

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Tonyj

I just use a garmin zumo . You know what I’ve not had to do any work around and it’s been excellent in a mad techy way . Holds song or plays my phone for motorway doldrums or mental Hendrix if carving through the picos with my own personal soundtrack to bolster the Experience. Start with crossroads ( live at winter garden) drumming is tops and end with fire starter all at 900mph . Can’t wait to get back on it .

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Defender
On 07/03/2020 at 14:52, fred_jb said:

Actually I'm generally against audio distraction too - I never have music or radio on, even in the car, let alone on the bike, but I make an exception for satnav instructions particularly when survival in foreign urban vehicular warfare precludes taking my eyes off the road!

My aged sat nav, Road Angel 7000, shows direction arrows rather than the maps etc., it still gives audio instructions, but you can ignore that!

I do like the (Ford) system built into my car, when you get near the junction it shows a graphical view of what you will see, both on the large infotainment screen and also part of the dashboard display, it makes much more sense than some of the instructions and graphics on some systems.

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listener
1 hour ago, Defender said:

Or Falkirk instead of the Falklands, mind you it would have save a sh!t load of fuel for the Vulcan bombers involved!

 

Angels over Fife maybe?! :lol:

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Tex
1 hour ago, Tonyj said:

I just use a garmin zumo . You know what I’ve not had to do any work around and it’s been excellent in a mad techy way . Holds song or plays my phone for motorway doldrums or mental Hendrix if carving through the picos with my own personal soundtrack to bolster the Experience. Start with crossroads ( live at winter garden) drumming is tops and end with fire starter all at 900mph . Can’t wait to get back on it .


I see what you did there..  :niceone:

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SteveThackery

I've got the Beeline, mounted on my handlebars.  There is one showstopper problem for me: being over 60 my eyes won't focus properly at that distance, so although I can see the arrow OK, the numbers are unreadable.  Without knowing how far it is to the next turn, it's almost useless because you keep overshooting.  If you go slow enough you can turn when the arrow turns sharply, but sometimes it's a bit delayed and you overshoot once again.

 

Of course, that is when it's in the "navigate turn by turn" mode.  If you have it in beeline mode, where it works like a compass needle pointing at your destination, you still need to see the numbers because - if you can't see that the distance to your destination is zero - you end up going in circles around the destination.

 

What it needs is a bigger display.  Alternatively, if you have the same problem as me (presbyopia) you could get round it by wearing glasses, although they would need to be either varifocals, or bi-focals with a long/medium split (rather than the usual medium/close split).  Personally I hate wearing glasses when I'm riding - they seem to detract from the experience for some reason.  Plus it's another two surfaces to steam up in cold weather.

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Tonyj

A I’ve a novel idea get a garmin ...... problem solved . 

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sams700

I saw the vio today and it was pretty amazing.

 

6 hour battery life but no sound.

 

I think I may stick with the phone setup after getting lost for 2 hours today!

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bazza

What a lot of techies we all are.

In the 70's on old Brit bikes you needed a big toolkit to be sure you could get home on your "untrusted steed"

Now we all have to have our various GPS devises -- phone ,tom,garmin or whatever.I must admit I have been down that route but rely on the android and google maps

but

its quite nice to GET LOST!

A few years back I found a fantastic road in a national park in the Pyrenees- it was on the Spanish side and despite a lot of searching on my map I couldn't find where I was .Panic! But rationalising it out it, became fun .

A later trip was "planned" .I now have a new system.If you have to be back on a certain day ok you gotta book a ferry/ chunnel to fix the price but apart from that -try just not planning! I have found some amazing people and places when you go with the flow

So no more "wish I had had time to stop THERE it looked really nice"

baz

romania 2012 (17).JPG

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Jamesco

Just noticed this (thanks @bazza)...I had an audi years ago with an early sat nav system that just showed arrows and text, it worked pretty well

 

On bikes I've tried the smart phone in a case but also was worried to lose it and didn't like the distraction.

 

This Beeline thing looks a good idea to me. Even if only to get a compass like the Himalayan))

 

Ps any link to Russian mobile operator of the same name? I assume not but you never know...

beeline_russia.png.pagespeed_ce.K2DaMvoSbT.png.4c5efc15e7596e2bb6f287e647520f5a.png

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Tex
Posted (edited)

I am actually quite sold on the Beeline and will be getting one when they’re back in stock. Never had any sort of sat nav on a bike so will be a new experience ;) 

 

I am going for the mirror mount option for a few extra quid - looks like I am finally shaking off my Yorkshire roots..  🙄

Edited by Tex
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Ciaran1602

If I had done it again I'd have gone the mirror mount route - the "look down" is enough of an unexpected motion to be inconvenient where as a mirror mount might even by in your field of vision when you're riding.

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Jamesco

In the spirit of inquiry (and tight fistedness) I thought id see how my Garmin etrex 10 would work when used in a similar manner to the Beeline. Sorry for long post TL;DR

 

I made a GPX file using the website below, following my intended route, & imported to the GPS then mounted on the NC bars

https://www.gpsvisualizer.com/draw/

 

When using  Garmin 'track' mode the screen is below - just an arrow indicating your position/which way you are moving and where the track is in relation to you. I think on the etrex 20 or 30 you can add colour maps with more detail, but those are into sat nav money. Not very detailed on the this model but was cheaper & gave you a heads up of turning direction in good time if you play with the zoom/scale

5eb67401963ff_Screenshot_20200509-1153153.png.edfea6d309217a8b80f3e6a45068264e.png

 

A second mode for navigation is Garmin's 'Compass'. The arrow is pointing to my intended destination - coordinates can be input manually or select from a map & import using same or similar website to above. Speed/distance remaining/ETA also shown as below

5eb674040e2f0_Screenshot_20200509-1153093.png.b01b87939085cd5ba5a116d07d7b2518.png

 

Anyway, the point of the story...I found the Garmin compass mode (equivalent to Beeline compass mode I guess) to be pretty good, always having an arrow pointing at where you are trying to get to with distance counting down...or up... I can imagine it would be a little confusing in a city but for sure over larger distances would help. I'm not suggesting the etrex would be better than the Beeline, just that I use one so wanted to try the idea out

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Tex

It’s the neatness of the Beeline that appeals to me as I just can’t think of a way to mount a sat nav on my bike without it spoiling the elegant simplicity of it’s twin clocks. A little Beeline mounted on the mirror stem should do me nicely. But it’s good to see you experimenting with your Garmin. :niceone:

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fred_jb
1 hour ago, Tex said:

It’s the neatness of the Beeline that appeals to me as I just can’t think of a way to mount a sat nav on my bike without it spoiling the elegant simplicity of it’s twin clocks. A little Beeline mounted on the mirror stem should do me nicely. But it’s good to see you experimenting with your Garmin. :niceone:

 

Quadlock do a smartphone mount that attaches to the mirror stalk.   Stick the mating part on the back of a nice secure phone back cover, pay £20 to TomTom for your smartphone app (that Motorola would do to run it Tex) and there you go - a fully fledged bikenav.  Should be OK for slight damp, but would need a fully enclosed case to be properly waterproof. You can prepare routes for TomTom offline, using the MyRoute route planner and import into TomTom using their MyDrive program. 

 

Alternatively for super easy integration between route planning and navigation use MyRoute for both as I do.

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Jamesco
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tex said:

It’s the neatness of the Beeline that appeals to me as I just can’t think of a way to mount a sat nav on my bike without it spoiling the elegant simplicity of it’s twin clocks. A little Beeline mounted on the mirror stem should do me nicely. But it’s good to see you experimenting with your Garmin. :niceone:

 

For sure it's not as pretty/tidy as the Beeline! 😆 I'm just being a tight b*stard

 

Maybe next pay day will think about it. Smartphone not an option for me it would be cooked in the sun pretty quickly

Edited by Jamesco
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Dunnster

I've never used a sat nav, always toyed with the idea but haven't got round to it. The beeline was a crowdfunder or Kickstarter project when I first heard about the product, from hat I can remember and where very cheap. Should've raided the piggy bank earlier.Thought it would suit my way of riding, as I usually have a destination in mind and bimble towards the area hoping to end up where I'd planned. It hasn't always worked out but I've found some great places in the process of getting lost :shifty:

When lost I've fired up google maps on my phone, worked out where I am, noted towns roads etc, turned my phone off and started riding again, eventually getting to my destination. Bit of a hassle but it's not too bad, give my self a break too. With beeline it would allow me to not need to use the phone as following the arrow would be all I need. Maybe I'll treat myself and I'm liking the mirror mount option too :yes:

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Tex

 

3 minutes ago, Dunnster said:

Maybe I'll treat myself and I'm liking the mirror mount option too :yes:


The mirror mount is currently out of stock at Beeline. They’re supposed to be letting me know when they’re available again (if you buy the mount and the display unit together you save a few quid). I will let you know. :niceone:

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