Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Science and scenery

A process that began in March ended the other day when I received and installed the RAM mount for my Garmin StreetPilot i5 GPS system.

The RAM mount is from (actually from their Canadian web site, The RAM mount is rock solid. I thought I could get away without the special GPS cradle built specifically for my GPS and just use the ball device that mounts in the round socket on the unit, but the fit is a little too loose and when I hit a pothole this morning it was enough to jarr the unit off the mount.

No harm done, the unit is light and dangled safely from the power cord (thank heavens for snug USB-type connectors). I am going to experiment with trying to make the physical connection of the ball socket more snug (I'm thinking a thin rubber sheet in the socket) before I order the cradle from GPScity.

As for the Garmin StreetPilot unit, even at the loudest volume setting, it is very difficult to hear the spoken instructions above 40 km/h. The display is easy to read however and what I was most looking forward to was to be able to see an accurate speed measurement in km/h. My Vespa LX150 is a US model and the markings on the speedometer are most prominently in miles, with the kilometres in much smaller print with a smaller radius, so harder to read and, it seems to me, less accurate.

The power cord for the GPS unit plugs into the 12 volt power outlet I installed in the glove box. There is just enough play in the glove box door that the door can close securely, just slightly compressing the wire.

So after months of wondering, I now know that my Vespa speedometer reads approximately 2 km/h too fast, overall pretty accurate, based on what I have read on the Modern Vespa forum.

So much for the science, now for the scenery.
People who are not familiar with the shores of the Island of Montreal and the roads that snake along them might find it hard to believe that scenery this appealing is literally to be viewed during the morning commute, and without even getting off the saddle.

Here's the proof.

Taken from my perch, sitting on the Vespa, looking right:Same vantage point, looking left.

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The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.