GPS Info required

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 01:26
ThreadID: 123015 Views:4001 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Hi there,
My antique Garmin 40 GPS needs to be replaced with something that has a faster update, has more features and is more user friendly.

I am looking for something in the $500 - $800 Range with the capacity to load our maps such as Natmaps Premium 1:250.000 covering Australia. The ability to store and tranfer tracks onto maps on the laptop would be useful.

The suction mount jobs that can plug into cigar lighter for power or recharging are nice and neat.

As we spend a bit of time going cross country whilst working here at LG and good location plotting is pretty important as it is easy to get lost when chasing camels!

The Navman model at about $650 looks a starter.

Any recommendations or comments would be appreciated.

Cheers John and the Dragon
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Reply By: KiamaKids - Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 03:12

Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 03:12
John,
I am confused...............why would you want a GPS system? Your motto says it all......"If you don't know where you are going - does it matter? - Enjoy the journey!"

Live the dream and get lost...so to speak

Rgds
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AnswerID: 569593

Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 21:12

Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 21:12
You are right on the money there...........however we are doing some part-time contract work for DEC and I am sure they would soon get 'peed off' if we were to spend the day happily wandering in cirles - minds in neutral - through the scrub in the NE Goldfields. Plus I need it to find my secret fishing spots when we get back on the coast.

Have a good one

J&J
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 04:31

Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 04:31
We have a Garmin Street Pilot III that is now getting pretty old as GPS units go, (3 years old) and at the last rally we won the Garmin Quest GPS unit and it is incredible how much things have changed in that time.

I find the smaller screen on the Quest harder to read when driving than the old one, so when you do get one make sure the screen size is such that you can read it easily from 60 to 70 cm away.

Brian
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Reply By: Motley - Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 19:30

Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 19:30
Have a look at the latest and greatest from Garmin.

Garmin Nuvi 660
Motley

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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 21:23

Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 21:23
Thanks Guys,

It is a sign of the times that many GPS units now seem to be built for city travellers. I have even found one that you could not put coordinates into, only street addresses. How usefull is that out here. Other useless functions are press buttons to show you the nearest fuel station and how irritating is the voice instructions that throw a 'wobbly' if you make an unscheduled stop at a bottle shop.

I even met a chap who switches his on to get from the airport to home each weekend - for him it is not a tool but a status symbol.

Maybe I will I will go back to using the sun and dead reckonings.

Cheers

John and Jean
AnswerID: 569596

Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 22:24

Sunday, Oct 29, 2006 at 22:24
We have used the sun and dead reckonings all along - reasoned that $600 plus hard earned was better off else where.
I have been known to drive "city slickers" a bit mad when going out bush with them as I refer to the Southern Cross etc at night for the comforting fact that south is still where it was all along!
We have maps and use them of course when required - harder on the brain, but we don't need to be told where we are when we have planeed to get where we are!
MIND YOU WE ARE VERY TEMPTED to get of those city ones before we try to negotiate inner "Sydeney" or for that matter "Brisbayne" or "Melbooorn" - :-)
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Oct 30, 2006 at 22:14

Monday, Oct 30, 2006 at 22:14
We use ours ALL the time when we are driving as it gives us our CORRECT speed that we are travelling at. Both the Ford and the Magna speedos have errors and both are in different directions.

It appears that the latest mapping covers most Australian towns now, so it will make it easy to find peoples addresses in these smaller towns that are not covered by most street directories.

A close friend of ours was trying to get her husband to a country hospital quickly and made some silly mistakes because of her panic, but had they had one of these new GPS Navigation units that show you Hospitals, Service Stations and many other places, she would have been able to go directly there. She was lucky as the full heart attack happened just after they arrived and he was then flown to Melbourne.

For me, Now that I have used one for nearly 3 years, I will always continue to use one.

Brian
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Follow Up By: Bushtrek - Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006 at 08:13

Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006 at 08:13
We have a unit that we built up from a Hewlett Packard hx4700 handheld computer [has 4 inch VGA screen] and an Emtac TRINE Bluetooth GPS. The advantage of this approach is that it will run Route planning software such as Co-Pilot, which gives you turn by turn directions [voice + map] for built up areas and most country roads in Australia, plus will run OziExplorer mapping software with maps of anywhere including being able to use the natmap series.
We have used this in Australia, have all NSW and Vic at 1:25,000 and 1:100,000 scale, and am searching for other states [at similar scales] at present.
We also use the Co-Pilot software when overseas and having just returned from a tour of Europe & UK, used it all the time to navigate the backstreets and country lanes of Western Europe. Didn't bother with a hard copy map at all during the trip. The system never once let us down.
Of course you can also use the Oziexplorer software with overseas maps as well.
It is a more expensive option than you are considering , but if you want the flexibility to travel overseas and have a familiar system, then this is a recommended approach.
Can give you details if interested.
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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006 at 08:28

Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006 at 08:28
Wow! The input by Bushtrek seems quite a technical set up - would you be able to furnish more details (maybe even pics) to show us? Please? The fact that it appears to be so universal is quite intriguing.
Plus Brians point regards ACCURACY of speed is quite a moot point with officialdom wanting to apply fines for speed errors not catered for under ADR speedo specification parameters. But I guess that is a whole subject in itself! (IE 3KPH over when the speedo could be legally up to 10KPH out!) I have always had to rely on RAA Speedo test strips and a stop watch to check mine! Or timed against the road distance signs between towns!
Mind you with our rig we would scarcely go near the limit! We spend a lot of time off the side when safe to do so, thus allowing following vehicles a better passage.
Cheers - Ian & Sally.
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Follow Up By: Bushtrek - Friday, Nov 03, 2006 at 23:18

Friday, Nov 03, 2006 at 23:18
Sorry, do not appear to be able to post pictures on the site, but if one of the members would like to receive an image from me and post it, would be happy to forward some photos.
The system is not particularly complex, after selection of the handheld computer [PDA] and the GPS, it is the software choice that provides the flexibility, and that really only relies on obtaining the Co-Pilot and OziExplorer software.

When I thought about it, the Magellans and Garmin units are really just handheld computers [PDA] that have been dedicated to a particular application, so why not get a PDA and add your own choice of software??

The PDA I have [model hx4700] has been discontinued by Hewlett Packard, however they have other models which are around $500 and which would appear to fit the bill. These models have bluetooth capability which is better than a cable connection for communication between the GPS and the PDA. it is easier to set up, more reliable for connection when first booting up the system, less messy in terms of the wire/leads everywhere and of course you can mount the GPS or its attached aerial on a velcro tab on top of your backpack or on the dashboard.
Although the GPS has its own aerial built in, I prefer to attach a separate aerial as it keeps the GPS unit out of the sun.
The Emtac TRINE bluetooth GPS unit is a multi link device which means you can connect the PDA and a laptop up at the same time [can connect a total of 4 devices at once]. It is quite small 90mmx45mmx18mm and has a battery [1000MampHr] which lasts about 7 hours between charges, and is supplied with a connection to a 12V socket for charging. You can also charge it from the PDA 240V charger.
The Co-Pilot software is similar to the applications supplied with the Navman and TomTom voice directed navigation systems. The advantage of buying the Co-Pilot system is that you get the PDA copy and the PC copy and can then plan "trips" on the PC and upload to the PDA storage card. This was particularly useful in Europe as I had no idea where roads were in relation to towns, so was able to avoid going in to town centres when on some of the backroads and wanted to bypass particular congested areas.
Of course you can also just enter addresses and add stops if you like straight into the PDA, then press start driving and you're away.
Co-Pilot has a raft of features some including "avoiding toll roads", "RV or Automobile route" choice, display speed, elevation, ETA, or Heading etc. The Points of interest list is extensive from Auto maintenance to Visitor Attractions and there appears to be a fairly large number of POI's logged for Australia.

The OziExplorer application would probably be familiar to many members. It is not a route planning app. in the same sense as the Co-pilot but you are able to set up routes and tracks on the laptop and transfer them to the PDA. Ozi shows speed, altitude, heading and a whole bunch of other useful features and also logs your speed, and other trip features, so you can actually recall your speed at a particular location. It is more accurate than my speedo on the LC/TD100, showing 94.6kph on cruise control when the speedo indicates 100kph [I am still running OE tyres].

Hope this is of interest.
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Reply By: Kenso - Sunday, Nov 05, 2006 at 00:51

Sunday, Nov 05, 2006 at 00:51
As Molly Meldrumn says "Do yourself a favour" and get the Megallan XL it is wicked! you can get the Topo sotware that lists every bush track street and contours in OZ and swap the sim card over to get the marine side of things, It has the largest screen size of any hand held GPS (important for the half blind like me) and you can plug it into your laptop! see https:// Site Link

Kenso
AnswerID: 569597

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Nov 19, 2006 at 04:54

Sunday, Nov 19, 2006 at 04:54
A bit more than what you wanted to spend but have a look at this GPS just released from Garmin with a large screen, that would no doubt give a lot more detail than the small screen models can.

Site Link

Brian
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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Sunday, Nov 19, 2006 at 09:52

Sunday, Nov 19, 2006 at 09:52
G'day John,

lots of suggestions so i will just add one more,

Navman PiN 570 [PDA] i believe obsolete now, bought last year LOL

we have the navman & destinator maps loaded, usual stuff like voice activation 2D & 3D vision, also because its a PDA, Ozi & hema maps can be added, need a larger memory card but the usual pc stuff like contacts, email, mp3 music, photos etc, all has worked fine, some things i havent been happy with and that would go for majority of Nav systems as they all use the same maps but different versions, some roads especially WA freeway extensions are not listed, but a minor gripe. Where they are good is navigating your way around other states and finding addresses.

Love it.

Cheers
Mick & Vickie

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Nov 19, 2006 at 19:11

Sunday, Nov 19, 2006 at 19:11
The verson 7 Sensis maps has recently been released and this covers a lot more detail than what is in our Street Pilot III that we bought 3 years ago. When we bought it we upgraded to 128 meg card so that city navigator & metro guide could both be entered, If I want to upgrade my software to version 7, I would have to have a 256 meg card and that costs over $200 without the software program as it is a Garmin proprietory card and then the system would be limited to the slow processor of the old GPS compared to the new ones.

Technology is advancing very quickly.

Brian
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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 06:00

Monday, Nov 20, 2006 at 06:00
I finished up purchasing a Asus Mypal PDA with Co-Pilot. It had expandable memory, WI-FI and Bluetooth and a decent sized screenand has a good suction mount onto the windscreen. I've added Oziexplorer and am downloading my own Natmaps Premium Edition. Pretty reasonably priced at about $750.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 569600

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