Monday, September 19, 2011

The Zumo report


I have successfully resurrected the Garmin Zumo 550 GPS that died during a day in my saddlebag in the hot August sun at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It failed to start when I put it into its handlebar cradle that afternoon and subsequent attempts to bring it to life via a USB connection to my netbook failed.

So I bought a new Zumo 550 from, had it delivered to the home of friends south of Crawfordsville, Ind., where I was staying after MotoGP, and did the rest of my 3,045-mile trip with the new unit.

I searched the Zumo Forums for clues after I got home and decided it was worth paying $24.95 to for a new Zumo battery (free shipping). It arrived last week, I installed it, and my old Zumo 550 sprang to life with all of its data intact.

I noted earlier that the new unit speaks the names of streets and roads and destinations instead of just saying “turn left” or “take ramp right.” I figured that was just a software update not present on my old Zumo.

Not true.

I learned from a post on the Zumo Forums that my old Zumo had the same capability – I just needed to pick the right voice in the “Locale” settings. The trick is to pick a voice with (TTS) after the name. In my case, I picked “American English-Jill (TTS)” and now my old Zumo has an expanded vocabulary.

Of course, I would have known that if I had paid attention to page 40 of the owner’s manual.

I’ll recoup some of my expense by selling the old Zumo unit on Ebay.

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