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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Garmin Forerunner 205/305 GPS Hints

Comments (25)

I’ve had my new Garmin Forerunner 305 for a few weeks and absolutely love it (I loved my 301, but now I love my 305 absolutely – I even sleep with it under my pillow.)

I had trouble getting my GPS signal yesterday for the first time on my run in Paris.  It eventually found the signal and worked fine, tracking my run distance correctly.  However, I was perplexed since the 305 is supposed to have a substantially stronger GPS capability than the 301.

This morning, I stumbled on superb advice on the 205/305 from John Sun.  The simple answer is that the 205/305 picks up its initial signal much more easily if it’s stable when searching for the signal.  So – get the signal before you start running and you are all set.  Thanks John!

  • http://runningdevices.blogspot.com/ John

    Brad – Glad I could help. How does the HRM function of the 305 compare to the 301? I’m thinking of upgrading my 205 to the 305.

    Thanks,
    John

  • http://www.motionbased.com Clark Weber

    Brad,

    As a Garmin employee, I’ve been using the Forerunner 305 since November (testing beta units several months prior to product launch) and John is absolutely correct.

    The new SIRF chip, while more powerful and accurate, can be fickle when acquiring the first signal. It’s key to keep still when you power it up. I usually take it off my wrist and lay it down somewhere. If you do this, it should acquire satellites in less than 30 seconds.

    • Dave

      Hey Brad – my 305 is an amazing training tool. I used the Polar SX625, but the Garmin 305 is so much better for my needs. However, the total elevation gain/loss data after a run is really poor. That is also well known and reported on the net. If I display elevation on the 305, I can see the values bouncing around. I assume there is nothing that can be done to make these numbers accurate. SportTracks has a plug-in to replace the 305 data with topo data from a database. But that isn't really accurate either.

    • Dave

      Hey Brad – my 305 is an amazing training tool. I used the Polar SX625, but the Garmin 305 is so much better for my needs. However, the total elevation gain/loss data after a run is really poor. That is also well known and reported on the net. If I display elevation on the 305, I can see the values bouncing around. I assume there is nothing that can be done to make these numbers accurate. SportTracks has a plug-in to replace the 305 data with topo data from a database. But that isn't really accurate either.

  • http://www.intela.com Jim Mansfield

    I have owned th 305 for about a month and noticed the same problem. I learned quickly that I can aquire a signal within seconds by turning it on an placing it on my window sill while I get dressed.

    When I first got it I would often walk back and forth on the side walk for 5 mins with my arm stuck out pointing my wrist to the sky like an idiot :-)

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    John – I’ve found the HRM function of the 305 equivalent to the HRM function of the 301. However, the 305 chest strap is MUCH nicer.

  • http://runningdevices.blogspot.com/ John

    One thing I just added to my original post is to make sure your Forerunner 205/305 has the latest version of software. Links to Garmin’s software updates are now in the post.

  • http://www.tottebjorre.blogspot.com Totte

    Hi,

    I received my 305 piece today, took it out on a run and was amazed by how simple it is to use. However, the user manual isn’t very helpful in giving hints on how to export the map data on to e.g. Earth Google. Can anyone help??

    Thanks in advance,
    Totte

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    Totte – I use MotionBased (now owned by Garmin – http://www.motionbased.com). They’ve got a super interface with Google Earth (and Google Maps.)

  • http://www,forbesontech.typepad.com jim Forbes

    Now try geocaching as a family outdoor exercise.
    It’s not knowing where you are that’s important, it’s “the Power of Place!”
    I’m the son, brother and grandson of surveyors and navigators, and for fun I log pioneer trails into and within California o try and understand the immigrant and immigvrant/entrepeneur experience. I recently stumbled onto the first store of Leleand Stanford in Coldwater Creek, which is now a section of N.W. Placerville. I wish I had brought my metal detector, which I will tote along on my next trip to the gold country.

    Best
    Jim Forbes

  • http://www.runningblogger.com/runninglog/?user=jeff Jeff

    FYI, I’ve been working on a website to display data from my forerunner on Google Earth and Google maps. It’s open for beta test right now for anyone that’s interested. RunningBlogger running log

  • Liz

    I just bought the Forerunner 205 and have used it for two day and LOVE it!!!! I especially love the Workout section and the History. I was thinking of exchanging it for the 305 does anyone have any advice. Is it worth it to have the heart rate monitor. I have never used one before. Is the calorie counter accurate for the 205? It seems to overestimate. Thanks! -Liz

  • http://amimu.blogspot.com/2006/06/garmin-forerunner-205-review.html amimu

    I used forerunner 205 for couple of months and absolutely love it too. i am a beginner outdoor runner and finding it very useful.

    my forerunner review

  • Paris

    Has anyone found a way to print either/or both the history and the maps ? ? ? Would like to share the info with a running friend but cannot find a way.

  • Brendan

    I think the 305 is excellent, good tip about keeping the unit still to aquire signal. They should put in the distruction manual. I am having problems uploading my history to my computer, but strangly no problems downloading courses to the garmin, I get a message telling me to ‘cheak my connection’, can anyone help?

  • http://www.gpswatchreviews.com/garmin/garmin-forerunner-205-gps-watch-review janine excess

    yeah me either! this is great for any outdoor adventures..

  • http://www.gpswatchreviews.com/garmin/garmin-forerunner-205-gps-watch-review janine excess

    yeah me either! this is perfect for any outdoor adventure..

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