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.

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.

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.

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.

Garmin Training Centre

Now I know there are a lot of you out there that don’t like the training centre. It’s partly Garmins fault as the base map is so poor. It becomes a whole lot better when you purchase one of the Mapsource products.

Well for the thrifty out there, there may be another option. Garmin have just released an upgraded version of the package that ties in with the new Forerunner 50 and the forthcoming Edge 605/705.

One of the facilities it has is the export of your ride to Google Earth.
Now I’m heavily into Google Maps and didn’t want to download Google Earth as well after a disaster with the beta version but I took the plunge.

I’m glad I did, its a good halfway point for those that don’t want to purchase a Mapsource product. I decided to take a look at a local ride up to Tesco,s to get my copy of Cycling Weekly. The detail is stunning, you can see where I have took a shortcut around the cash machine and parked the bike in the cycle rack and then ridden around the carpark.

It also means you don’t have to export your rides to MotionBased to re-export them on another format.

The next thing I want to try is to do a Course on the Training Centre with the MapSource map. This would be using the Garmin inbuilt icons rather than using waypoint naming.

Some months later 26 Apr 08
I now run the latest version of the Training Centre that supports the Edge 305, Edge 705 and the Forerunner 50.  There is a bug in the Course planning page that only allows you to use the generic icon and not the turn icons. I’m hoping Course Points don’t have a 100 waypoint limit but haven’t got around to researching it yet. I wouldn’t mind swapping a few of the oddball ones for more direction based ones. 
Anyone know what the Course Point limit is.
03 May 08 Missed an update to the TrainingCentre that deals with the Generic Icon issue also had a reply to the Course Point limit question. You are not limited to 100 CoursePoints so you could literally use hundreds of them on a course. This would give you the bleeps for the turns. I’m going to try a Course with CoursePoints ride it and do a comparison with a Route.

12 Nov 08 CoursePoints are the way to go, all the advantages of waypoints but without the 100 waypoint limit.  TrainingCentre is the only Garmin product to allow you to edit them and you need a Garmin Map rather than the basemap. allows you to edit CoursePoints in Google maps and I would highly reccomend it.

Garmin City Select Map

Just bought a Garmin City Select V7 map off ebay for 99p plus £4 postage. The difference it makes over the Training Centre base map I’ll post when it arrives but anything is an improvement on the basemap.
All this is in preparation for the release of the Edge 705. The way things are going I’m going to want the power option on it too. That’s getting off the subject a little but there are cheap Garmin maps out there if you don’t need the latest version.
You can download Mapsource for free but it comes alive when you put a map into it.
Once you get anything other than the base map into the TrainingCentre it really opens up the package. The Course editor can actually be put to some use.

I don’t know how Garmin are going to cope with editing Courses but Mapsource doesn’t do Edge courses. You can have 13,000 points in a Course but only 100 waypoints in a Route. It is vitally important that you know the difference between the two as it can alter your whole perception of what an Edge can do.

5 November checked with the seller that it was in the post which he assured me it was. 
6 November Item arrives but only problem is that is an update on 3 cd,s and you need a previous version to update. Caveat Emptor. Still what do you want for 99p plus postage.  The item was as described so it’s down to my lack of product knowledge.

8 December  I’ve now got 3 mapsource maps in training centre and they are all pretty much the same. Unlock codes are out there if you know how to word your search. Just do a bit of research if you are bidding on an item that needs an unlock code.  Upgrade disks are purely that they need an an unlock code from a previous version. Once you’ve got a registered product your laughing.
This needn’t cost the earth don’t forget all those Nuvi owners out there are getting the same maps in their units for free. Or is it the other way round, the units are free you just pay for the IP rights on the maps. Whichever way it is there are millions of them and few of us.

Garmin Edge logging problem

On a couple of occasions the Edge has appended the days ride to a previous days ride for no good reason. The MotionBased forum has suggested that it is the user not pressing stop at the end of the ride. Now I always press stop at the end of the ride or at a Cafe stop so that didn’t seem to be the reason.

Last night I went out for another ride. Looking at the distance still being 59 miles from the other days ride it finally struck me as to what was going on. The GPS system relies on accurate timing. As far as I know the Edge has no internal clock. When you fire your Edge up from cold it has to aquire all this information from the satellites.
Now I can get a bit impatient waiting for it to aquire the satellite and this I think has been my undoing. Pressing start before the Edge has aquired the satellites leads it into thinking the data is going to be appended on to your last ride. The Edge doesn’t know the time yet as it is still trying to locate the satellites for your position.

The answer to the problem is wait for the Edge to locate the satellites and then press start to log your ride. It’s far easier to wait that extra minute than uploading your ride into Sporttracks and splitting your ride in there and exporting it back into the TrainingCentre or MotionBased.

Garmin Edge 605 and 705 Maps.

When the new Garmin Edge 605 and 705 arrive Edge users are going to have to get to grips with Garmin Mapsource maps.
As the 205 and 305 are not mapping GPS units it means the new 605 and 705 owners are going to have an even steeper learning curve to climb.

None of the Garmin 705 bundles I’ve looked at come with a map other than a basemap. Garmin basemaps are about as much use as a chocolate teapot. I suspect they are included to stop you throwing the thing at the wall out of frustration.

Garmin maps are not cheap, the retail price for Topo GB 2 is £150 which when added to the price of your shiny new Edge 705 is a lot of money. I mention Mapsource Topo GB as it is Garmins Ordnance Survey equivalent and if your a mountain biker this is the product you are going to need. Roadies (moi) can use the other maps such as Metro or City Select. All these products can be obtained substantially cheaper on the net or on Ebay. I paid £18 for my copy of Metro Europe V6 so all though not the current version  was worth it just to update the Training Centre software map.

You cannot export the raster based Ordnance Survey digital mapping based maps to a Garmin only Routes and in the case of Tracklogs, Courses.

You can download the Mapsource program for free from Garmin.

As you have a basemap with your Edge it will install and at least you will get to see the functionality of the program.

I’ll update this post as I learn more.


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