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Garmin Varia radar modification for better situational awarenes = better SAFETY?

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Garmin Varia radar modification for better situational awarenes = better SAFETY?

Old 11-18-21, 06:04 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Dingman View Post
I know what people mean when you're in a ton of traffic - the activity from the Varia is just overwhelming. My position on this is that when the traffic is that heavy, every car is trying to run you over, so yes the Varia is "usless" at the point, right?
Actually, I don't find it to be useless in heavy traffic. If there's a obstruction coming up, it's useful to see the dots and know that there's a car (or cars) approaching. I'll slow and, once a gap is indicated, I confirm with a quick glance and move over to pass the obstruction.
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Old 11-18-21, 07:12 PM
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In heavy traffic it shows where the gaps (in traffic) are. So I know when I'll be able to merge in if I have to. In heavy traffic there's a lot going on, this allows me to look behind less often and still know what's going on there, so I can watch out for people driving badly, avoid getting doored, look for kids and dogs running into the street, or whatever the situation might throw at me.
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Old 11-18-21, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Actually, I don't find it to be useless in heavy traffic. If there's a obstruction coming up, it's useful to see the dots and know that there's a car (or cars) approaching. I'll slow and, once a gap is indicated, I confirm with a quick glance and move over to pass the obstruction.
​​​​​​That's something a lot of people say, like it's taken on a reality of its own on the internet, separate from on the road. I think it's another of the two kinds of people like you mentioned earlier. If you use the Varia in traffic, it's just immediately obvious how it's helpful. It's another tool in the bag of situational awareness, and as soon as you see the guy double parked a block ahead that you'll need to go around, the thing is just great to have.

Also the way the flash changes to get drivers attention is probably a good safety benefit.
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Old 11-20-21, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
Product page has the dreaded "up to" qualifier on that 153yd/140m specification - so 400ft instead of 459ft (153yd) isn't that far out of line -- and it's possible Ghostride62 was approximating the distance as well.

Is that enough? I'd say it depends on one's situation. With a closing speed of 60mph - such as riding 10mph with traffic going past you at 70mph, you'd get 4.5 to 5 seconds warning. With a 30mph closing speed the time is 9-10 seconds.

All I know is on the roads I ride, my Varia tells me about cars before they're easily seen in my mirror, and I can easily hear the alert tone on my 830. Maybe the system isn't perfect, but I'm better aware of cars than when I was just using a mirror.
From the time I put that in the post I was wondering if any would do the math and convert yards to feet. So good for you catching on that. I can only sarcastically say or suppose why is it okay for our stated distance be off by almost 15% when there are people in other threads griping about their distance being reported for a ride as off by 2% is a big issue. So probably a private joke that wasn't going to work well anyhow.
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Old 11-21-21, 07:39 AM
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I have a route that uses an interstate the constant pick up of frontage road for a few wheels and also a bike path that parallels a highway. In both cases, the constant notices of traffic can be annoying.
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Old 11-21-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
I have a route that uses an interstate the constant pick up of frontage road for a few wheels and also a bike path that parallels a highway. In both cases, the constant notices of traffic can be annoying.
That does get a little mildly annoying at times. A pause or snooze button similar to what Ring Doorbell does for motion alerts might be helpful, but I'm sure other considerations on Garmin's side will make that just a pipe dream.
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Old 11-21-21, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you only got 400 feet of notice then something was wrong. I notice of vehicles very far away and Garmin's claim of 153 yards (140 meters) seems pretty accurate and even conservative.

Run time on the non-lighted models is pretty short when compared to the lighted models. But still it's way longer than most people will ride at one time. I usually go two or three rides between charges on my RVR315 and it still has some battery charge left.
Last time I checked "about 400 feet" is about 150 yards. OTOH, I can detect an approaching vehicle at least twice that distance in my EVT helmet mirror. A couple of wobbly moves on the bike and if the car slows or moves left a bit, it is clear they have seen me. So, the Varia lets you know a car is back there, does it tell you anything about its location? No. It is only a little better than listening for approaching traffic. I rarely get two rides on mine and it certainly does not last a long ride. The one feature that I like about it is the change in blinking as a car approaches, that seems to get motorist's attention, I think. But when it breaks, I won't replace it.
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Old 11-21-21, 10:48 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
So, the Varia lets you know a car is back there, does it tell you anything about its location? No. It is only a little better than listening for approaching traffic.
What in the world are you talking about?
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Old 11-21-21, 07:41 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
That sounds like a 1030 problem, not a Varia problem. I haven't had any audibility issues with a Bolt or with a 530.



"Only"? Even with traffic approaching at highway speeds, I find it to be adequate notice to move from the passenger side tire track over to the shoulder.



Are you talking about battery life? I probably get 12 hours or more with Daytime Flash running.
The 1030+ beep is sufficient that this hard of hearing guy hears it. NOT so for the 1000. For my purposes there was NO beep.
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Old 11-21-21, 08:02 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​That's something a lot of people say, like it's taken on a reality of its own on the internet, separate from on the road. I think it's another of the two kinds of people like you mentioned earlier. If you use the Varia in traffic, it's just immediately obvious how it's helpful. It's another tool in the bag of situational awareness, and as soon as you see the guy double parked a block ahead that you'll need to go around, the thing is just great to have.

Also the way the flash changes to get drivers attention is probably a good safety benefit.
Actually, that has not been mentioned much. But the radar/light combo unit reacts to rear approaching vehicles by changing the steady light to a flash or altering the flash
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Old 11-21-21, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you only got 400 feet of notice then something was wrong. I notice of vehicles very far away and Garmin's claim of 153 yards (140 meters) seems pretty accurate and even conservative.

Run time on the non-lighted models is pretty short when compared to the lighted models. But still it's way longer than most people will ride at one time. I usually go two or three rides between charges on my RVR315 and it still has some battery charge left.
Forward-looking radar on passenger cars and trucks does not detect muh farther out than 140 meters, if that far. At least as far as range, it's in the right ballpark.

If you're looking to use it to predict collisions, that means you have to know the path your bike is on and that the vehicle is on and extrapolate those to preduct a point of intersection of those paths. At least until a few years ago, that was not possible to compute based on GPS position detection alone - GPS just isn't that accurate. Combined with a gyroscope-based system (INS, Inertial Navigation System) it can be better.
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Old 11-21-21, 10:10 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
The 1030+ beep is sufficient that this hard of hearing guy hears it. NOT so for the 1000. For my purposes there was NO beep.
ya most of the other gamins are not very loud at all.
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Old 11-22-21, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
ya most of the other gamins are not very loud at all.
So far, I think only one guy said a new *30 model wasn't loud enough, but he said he rides at 25-30 mph (seriously?) so the wind drowns out the beep.
Uh, I rarely do over 20 and then not for very long, but ya wind noise can be a factor, I'm sure. I just think 25-30mph is not an average rider, IMO, so this is an outlier
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Old 11-22-21, 05:36 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Dingman View Post
So far, I think only one guy said a new *30 model wasn't loud enough, but he said he rides at 25-30 mph (seriously?) so the wind drowns out the beep.
Uh, I rarely do over 20 and then not for very long, but ya wind noise can be a factor, I'm sure. I just think 25-30mph is not an average rider, IMO, so this is an outlier
Yes. Maybe, I am on an e-bike or other fast bike or maybe I only ride into headwinds. LOL. Or....where Garmin places the speaker, some mounts and locations are louder than others but the Garmin beep is pretty lame.

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Old 11-22-21, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Dingman View Post
So far, I think only one guy said a new *30 model wasn't loud enough, but he said he rides at 25-30 mph (seriously?) so the wind drowns out the beep.
Uh, I rarely do over 20 and then not for very long, but ya wind noise can be a factor, I'm sure. I just think 25-30mph is not an average rider, IMO, so this is an outlier
He is - he's a long distance recumbent rider, IIRC, and this isn't the first time that I've scratched my head at the disconnect between typical experience and his POV, until I recall that it seems to be his MO to omit information that makes his situation irrelevant to most. That said, I'm more puzzled by the "it doesn't tell you anything about the car's location" statement. Live tracking of the relative position of up to 8 approaching cars is the primary feature, yet he seems to not be aware of it. Yeah, I'll take that grain block of salt, now.
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Old 11-22-21, 08:15 AM
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Does "it doesn't tell you anything about the car's location" refer to lane position??? In that case, I can see the point if you're on a multi-lane roads ... I do find it challenging when taking the right lane of a 4-lane road (without shoulder), and not know if that car is in my lane or the left lane (I don't ride with a mirror). OTOH, I know how close the overtaking vehicle is, no matter which lane, and that is helpful!

Lastly, I will echo (repeat?) the point that riding a frontage road next to a highway is frustrating. But I've enjoyed a laugh a couple times riding an empty trail and getting a Varia alert .... look back to see there's a train on the tracks parallel to the trail (N Cedar Trail for the MPLS folks).
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Old 11-22-21, 09:06 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
ya most of the other gamins are not very loud at all.
I even contacted Garmin about the "beep" on my 1000. I wondered if there was a volume setting. With the 1030+, I guess it is shrill enough (just the right frequency) to be heard. It is still not very loud but Garmin does not offer any volume control other than ON/OFF.

It definitely picks up vehicle pretty far back since when I hear the beep, I check my mirror and the car is quite a distance behind.

Hypno Toad I have had the "false" reading when on a bike path adjacent to a road and an approaching/passing car triggers the alert. I guess I am pleased enough with the Varia to not worry about its lack of perfection. If its detection beam were narrowed to rule out those situations, it would also rule it out on multi-lane roads with cars off to the left (the Brits/others can decide if that should be right).

Last edited by kahn; 11-22-21 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 11-22-21, 06:06 PM
  #43  
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I am hearing impaired and have *never* heard the beep on my 1030 though people around me seem to have no problem. I even went to YouTube for a video so that I could hear what the beep is supposed to sound like.

However, if I turn on the Varia companion app on my iPhone, I have no problem hearing the tones even without my hearing aids and the phone in my back pocket.
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Old 11-22-21, 07:20 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
I am hearing impaired and have *never* heard the beep on my 1030 though people around me seem to have no problem. I even went to YouTube for a video so that I could hear what the beep is supposed to sound like.

However, if I turn on the Varia companion app on my iPhone, I have no problem hearing the tones even without my hearing aids and the phone in my back pocket.
I had not tried the app. Looking, I found that I had installed the Android version but never went further. So I just paired it. So we shall see.

On a separate note: When turning on the Varia/light I blinded myself and am, now, 5 minutes later still seeing spots before my eyes!!!! No, I'm not kidding. Sheesh.

Trsnrtr Thanks for bringing this reply back to my attention. That RED light was sure bright because even 20 or so minutes later, I'm still blinking spots! These led lights should have a face detection mode so they don't turn on when facing the wrong way.

Last edited by kahn; 11-22-21 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 11-22-21, 09:35 PM
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I didn't know there was an app for the radar. Thank you both so much! 🙂
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Old 11-23-21, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I didn't know there was an app for the radar. Thank you both so much! 🙂
The "I" app is very loud with the volume turned up. I can also let my iPhone send the tones straight to my hearing aids.
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Old 11-23-21, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
The "I" app is very loud with the volume turned up. I can also let my iPhone send the tones straight to my hearing aids.
Huh - interesting. One of the things that I love about the 530 is that it'll pipe audible TBT nav instructions in to my headphones if I'm listening to music or an audiobook. One of the things that I don't like is that it *won't* pipe in the Varia notification beeps. I'll have to try playing with the phone app to see if it's a solution.
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Old 11-29-21, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
However, if I turn on the Varia companion app on my iPhone, I have no problem hearing the tones even without my hearing aids and the phone in my back pocket.
This is great, thanks for sharing!

Like WhyFi, I use a Bluetooth earbud for turn-by-turn directions on my rides and would love to hear Varia alerts in my earbud!!

I just added the app and will pair it to my Varia to test on my afternoon ride.
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Old 11-29-21, 09:09 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I just added the app and will pair it to my Varia to test on my afternoon ride.
Let me know if it works! Getting a new trainer has really made me a wuss, so I haven't ridden outside in weeks.
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Old 11-29-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
That does get a little mildly annoying at times. A pause or snooze button similar to what Ring Doorbell does for motion alerts might be helpful, but I'm sure other considerations on Garmin's side will make that just a pipe dream.
I have the "simple" stand alone head unit. I can shut off the head unit and the taillight will go into standby mode (no light). I can turn the head unit back on, and it will reconnect with the taillight, turning it back on to the blink mode I had it on prior. It's very seamless and I find it very helpful when jumping from road to rail trail.
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