Charging your Garmin Edge on the move


This post is to address the issue of charging your Garmin Edge on the move. It’s been an ongoing problem for the long distance cyclist since the days of the 305. Battery life for an 800 is about 12 hours from 100% charge.

I resorted to trying to charge up my 305 in Audax control points with mixed results. As you can see an Edge 800 draws 440mA whilst charging a 50% discharged edge.  You can’t get blood out of a stone and whatever system you use your biggest enemy is going to be time.

The charging port on an 800/810 is on the bottom edge as above, this precludes the use of K Edge and Garmin Barmounts20130403_155632[1]

So for an Edge 800 it has to be the stem mount, conversely for an Edge 705 a bar mount may be the better option. On a 705 the charging port is on the bottom and an oversize stem may interfere with USB plug.

Do an Ebay or Amazon search for Power Bank or Power Monkey. There is a vast choice.

£70 is too much imho, bear in mind it has to charge on the move and the battery needs mounting somewhere. It needs to be robust.

Your Edge shutting down 100 miles is not something you want to see on a 120 mile ride.

The cheap emergency phone chargers are not up to the job for todays devices, like I said you cannot get blood out of a  stone. They are designed for a Nokia and who uses them these days.

The same applies to smartphones perhaps to a greater degree as battery life is hopeless with all the bells and whistles on.

If your already using something that works let me know what it is

In the near future I will be making a charging regulator designed to make use of the MagicShine battery pack.  The pack is rated at 8800mA/hr and will power the light for 3.5 hours.  It will consist of a 7805 regulator and plug for the battery.

April 2013


Summer is fast approaching although you wouldn’t think so judging by the weather.

On the cycling front I’ve upgraded the 800 Garmin Edge mount. The forward mounting position proving to be better than having to glance down continually. Not cheap for what it is, essentially injection moulded plastic.
Work meant I missed the CTC Spring 50




The above is part of the modifications to the van. The lower bunk has been removed and stored . It creates a large rear garage that will take a bike and the rest of the essential bits that you require to keep a van on the road.

You can just see the “garage” in the corner of the picture.
The new dish has been fitted and cost a proverbial arm and a leg.

20130412_123839[1]I wasn’t a happy bunny when I saw the state of the roof, spent nearly 2 hours cleaning it working off a ladder.
Another  thing I spotted was the solar panel still has the stickers on.


Under seat storage is tidied up with a plastic box from Asda, £5 for two. On the right is the water heater and the bracing for the seat belt anchorage.

20130414_090448[1]Rainbow at Thurstaton.
Finally getting to use the van like it was intended with a late availability at Thurstaton Caravan Club site.
It got a bit breezy after this  with the caravan next to us taking a bit of a battering due to its large awning.


Returned the van to storage and gave it a good clean. Used a trial pack of Dry Wash on it and was amazed how good it was. Really good on acrylic windows.

Cycling wise I’ve been doing the Wirral Coastal Route which is 50 miles if you take the road at the back of Vauxhalls , down Oil Sites Road and then cut through to Cheshire Oaks.

The Dee Crossing is now open and takes you from the bottom of Denhall Lane and brings you out at Zone 3 by Shotton Paper.  I will post a link from Garmin Connect in due course.
Thanks to Dave for showing us it at the Eureka the other Friday.

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Thanks for all those comments everyone .


Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

GarminConnect Courses

One of the latest features of is the ability to plot a basic Course for your device.
Access is under the Course tab on the startup page. If you’ve a GarminConnect  login you will see the green CreateCourse button on the top right hand corner of your local map.
The Course plotting functions are very basic compared to other route/course planning sites. There is no facility to add Waypoints or Coursepoints  so in use you will not get any warnings at junctions.
If your a Garmin Edge 800 user you also need to turn on  the OffCourse warning other wise there is no warning if you go off Course.

In use your pretty much stuck on the map page as the only alert you are going to receive is when you go off Course. That is despite enabling CoursePoints on the Edge 800 Course settings page (the wrench or spanner icon).

I’m a bit disappointed  at the end of the day as Garmin have had a long time to get it right, this is what they do as a business. It’s a work in progress and at the moment the other web based Course planning sites have nothing to fear.

Google Map Locations to Garmin 705

It’s possible to download Google Map finds to your Garmin 705 you must have Garmin Communicator installed.  The following is from The Garmin Website and it does work. It seems to be related to Business finds. Its saved as a Favourite under WhereTo?/Find Places/Favourites/My Favourites.
You can Delete this saved waypoint from the Edge without using a file delete.



QuestionHow do I use Google maps with my Garmin device?
Garmin has partnered with Google to allow the transfer of addresses and POIs (Points of Interest) from Google Maps to the Garmin device.*For the transfer you will need:

To transfer a point from Google Maps to your Garmin device:

  1. Download and install the Garmin Communicator Plugin
  2. Plug your Garmin unit into the computer via USB
  3. Search Google Maps for the location you wish to send to your Garmin device
  4. Click Send
  5. Select GPS under the Send To: Menu
  6. Select Garmin under the Brand drop down menu
  7. Change or Enter any wanted information in the Name, Phone Number, or Notes fields
  8. Click Send
  9. Garmin Communicator Plugin will search for updates to the Communicator as well as your Garmin device
  10. Click Send to GPS

The address you searched for will now be available in the Favorites list of your Garmin device.

*Note – Compatible with the following internet browsers: Internet Explorer, FireFox, Mozilla and Safari

Last modified on03/17/2009

Google maps supports a lot of overlays including the OSM maps. It is an easy way of getting a destination into your Edge.

looks like I’ve lost some of the html somewhere, I’ll try and get it fixed.

GarminConnect (Update)

GarminConnect is a web based application where Edge 605/705 and Forerunner owners can upload there rides and runs to store and view. At the moment you cannot export Courses like you can on MotionBased.

The first release of GarminConnect was pretty dire compared to MotionBased.  Fortunately things are looking up.

The latest release includes Wikipedia entries and pictures of landmarks. While most of the performance data is there, there is also now links to the social networks too. This will come at a price later when it is fully functional.

I’ve a lot of data on GarminConnect, mainly spinning classes and 705 rides as it doesn’t like the 305 yet.
Once you’ve got the amount of data I’ve been collecting it becomes extremely valuable to you.

You can now export links to your activities and play them on the Player that is built into it. The one thing you can’t do yet is download other peoples Courses or your own uploaded Courses to ride again. The site relies on Garmin communicator to upload your history to the site. The Forerunner series use the ANT link to wirelessly connect with the watches.

The service is free at the moment and but I’ve been told a connect + service will be forthcoming. As a paying Motionbased customer I’ll be upgraded to it as Motionbased is phased out.

Chamelion USB Charger

An emergency charger for phones available in the UK from Maplin for a discount price of £3.00 .

Comes with a bag to tie to the handlebars so you can recharge on the move.
I’ve tried it a couple of time but not in anger as a 705 has a 15 hour battery life.

I’ll post pictures when I can get around to it.

The charger uses DC/DC conversion to get blood out of a stone. This is the only way to get 5 volts from a 1.2 or 1.5 volt single cell. Under test it gave 5.4 volts from a 1.2 volt LI/Mh 2500 mA single cell. The unit gets warm and one cell should get you about half a charge of a Garmin Edge 705. 

Recharging isn’t an instantaneous act, it takes time. This is why it has to be done on the bike. USB power is rated at 500 mA max @ 5 volts.

Plugging it all into your Edge with a decent battery in the Chamelion will result in the charge Icon lighting up on your Edge. It helps to shut your Edge down to help with the recharging otherwise you maybe powering only the backlight which is power hungry.

I’ve written other posts about USB chargers but this gives you the oportunity to buy something that works for the electrically challenged at a bargain price.

If you store it with a battery in it the LED in the other end can lead to the battery getting discharged accidentally. Two AA cells in the bag should see you OK.

Garmin Nuvi 250W

I finally ended up buying an Automotive SatNav and I’m blown away by the ease of use of it. It’s got full European mapping as the intention is to do some training in Spain.
Once the screen brightness is adjusted it is very easy to use.
I can see why I get so much traffic for the Garmin Edge Tutorial. It’s not in the same league function wise.
The amount of data pre loaded into this unit is just amazing. Conversly if your an Edge addict you’ll miss all the heartrate, gradient and  other data that it provides you with.

This is a mass consumer product and it’s got to work straight out of the box and it does. Pre loaded with 6 milliom POI,s it tells you where the speed cameras are. It also comes with all the local restaurants, cash machines  etc which can be really usefull in a jam.

On the way home from West Kirby I took a detour down Mere Lane and wished I hadn’t. This is an unadopted road and full of water filled potholes. I used to use this road as practise when I rode an Enduro bike but it wasn’t this bad!!. Missed a great sunset from the end but it’s a resident thing.They choose to keep it in that condition. Have done since I was 13 so not expecting much movement. 

This is purely a navigation device and you don’t get the satisfaction that you can by programing an Edge. It doesn’t log and you don’t get that funtionallity you get with the Edge.

Apart from software updates there isn’t much more to it. There is no training centre to keep up to date but once it gets used out of Britain it will have paid for itself multi times over.

Ride Around Britain's Coast

Dave sent me this link about a ride around Britain’s coast that Cycling Weekly are developing.
  Dave has already submitted the Wirral section so I’ve promised to give it a go.
There is bound to be more at a later date as the route takes shape.
Good onya Dave and thanks for the link.


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