navigation systems

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 02:44
ThreadID: 125207 Views:7635 Replies:14 FollowUps:5
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we are in the process of buying a GPS but can't decide which one !!!

Anybody out there who can give us some advise?
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Reply By: Gone Bush - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 03:25

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 03:25
You will be very happy with the Garmin Nuvi 760.

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Reply By: Wherrol - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 03:49

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 03:49
We love our toppo and street mapping unit which is in the dash of our car. The unit is a VMS.

Link to site is:

Ours is the older version. We purchased it at the end of March and are really delighted with its capability. The unit also has a radio, DVD, Blue Tooth, and reversing camera all in the unit.

The toppo map is very easy to use and read on our 6.5inch screen.

The new units we understand have a different mapping system, and generally a new look. You would have to check this part out.

hope this helps.

Allan and Sharon
AnswerID: 576358

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 04:58

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 04:58
Hi Sparky

We also need to upgrade our GPS. Most these day seem to advertise that they 'talk' you around cities rather than advertising any features they may have that are useful in the outback.

I have an older Magellan which can be taken out of its cradle and used hand held when walking. I use Discover Australia Streets and Tracks which is also an older version.

Limitations are: Age of software (i can purchase updated but would rather purchase with a whole new GPS). Mine is only b&w and it is difficult to tell tracks and creek lines apart. Small screen (because it is hand held size). Small capacity - i can only get a part of any state on the SD card at one time, so need to download on the track to keep up, and it will not accept a larger SD card.

Things i like are: Backtracks on software are amazing - it even has the internal track on our home property. It does a zip track which you can follow if completely off road or 'lost' and you need to follow your way back out - which used to be exclusive to Magellan but i think some other brands now have this feature.

I haven't learned about all the features it has as yet, as it can do lots of things, but want something in colour with a slightly larger screen as well as larger capacity. I don't want it integrated into the same screen as the rear view camera, and it don't want to carry a laptop in the car for GPS.

I will follow replies you get to your question.

PS: We never get 'lost' - we sometimes end up on a different track or road than we originally intended - but it is all sightseeing to us as we haven't been on that road either. Our GPS is invaluable at times like these. Often we wouldn't know about the wrong road so soon if it wasn't for the GPS.


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AnswerID: 576359

Reply By: Goodpal50 - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 05:01

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 05:01
We have a Polaris system with a 7 inch screen that also incorporates reversing cameras on both the vehicle and the Bushtracker.

You can have either full screen GPS, full screen Reversing camera ( either camera), or a split screen with half GPS and half reversing camera.

When we are in the open road we have the full screen reversing camera on the van on display. Don't know how we ever managed without it.

Web site is,

AnswerID: 576360

Reply By: Jimjan - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 07:38

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 07:38
Has anyone tried the relatively new Hema Navigator. It's about $1000 whereas the VMS (one I liked the look of especially the size of the screen) is closer to $2000.

AnswerID: 576361

Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 07:56

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 07:56
We have the Navman pin 570, i wouldnt buy Navman again due to the problems i have had and the hassles with the warranty. The 1st was replaced with a new unit, which started to play up a few months later, It too was eventually replaced with another new unit after being returned 4 times for repairs, we actually had it returned with a note once saying nothing was wrong when it was plainly clear that it had a problem. Grrr

We also have an old Garmin Etrex for those times in the boat or good for bushwalking as it has a bread crumb trail it's cheap & basic but never missed a beat but it does not have a mapping system.

Come to think of it If i was to go through it all again, i honestly don't think i'd bother. The Navman maps were outdated even when we bought it, they bought out the updated maps but our gps was older than 6 months by that stage so it was going to cost us extra hundreds of $ again. As it turned out we ended up with the latest maps with the 2nd replacement GPS but even some of those maps are incorrect, major WA highways not listed, I bought it to save the hassles in the car getting lost but it caused more hassles having it LOL, & Vickie never lets me forget it cost $900 !! lol

Decent topo maps of the area's travelling and a street directory would be better value IMO. Maybe i'm just annoyed cos Vik is right.... lol.. actually yes i am so perhaps disregard my ramblings.

My main question would be what GPS system enables purchasers FREE upgrades to maps for future proofing.
Mick & Vickie

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AnswerID: 576362

Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 15:36

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 15:36
The Vector maps used in Street navigators change all the time as roads are reworked so I get you have to have fairly up to date stuff if you spend a lot of time in towns/cities. Out of the city, Raster maps don't change much as all. Roads may occassionally get altered but the creeks and mountains remain pretty much the same so they are good for quite a few years. But it would be nice to have free updates.

Cheers John
FollowupID: 850372

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 08:29

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 08:29
I have had an HP rx5965 for about 18 months - $650 with $100 cash back from Myers. It come with full Palm Computer features - internet and all the other usual tools including TomTom street navigator. It has a very good windscreen mount which allows you to remove it with the flick of a finger.

I have Ozi Explorer on the laptop and downloaded the CE version onto the HP. This then gives me full Raster maps - same like nthe old paper models. I use Natmaps premium Edition on 2 DVD's covers the whole of Oz on 1/250,000 scale with heaps of detail. I have downloaded onto the HP several zones (2 zones cover 96% of WA) so I rarely have to download others from the laptop. The street navigators are great in town but useless in the bush

As a unit it is great as you can access the net via wireless or bluetooth, use it to store music or photos or even play your phone through it. To me it has been one of the best prices and most versatile bits of gear I own

Cheers John
AnswerID: 576363

Follow Up By: George & Bev - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 20:43

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 20:43
We have same unit and find it is great value as a navigation tool and we also run our music dowloaded from mp3 onto SD cards then via small FM transmitter to allow full features of landcruiser sound system. Great for beach parties as anyone within local area can also tune to the frequency you are using.
Im constantly amazed at the details on Ozi Explorer and use Tom Tom around cities.
Like John its the best bit of gear we have value for money spent
FollowupID: 850373

Reply By: Gone Bush - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 10:07

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 10:07
I mentioned the Garmin 760 above. We have its predecessor the 660. We call her Gloria. She actually reads out the street names in her directions and if we don't follow her advice she can even twirl her skirts and say: there IS a better way !!.

Aussie voice too.

We use her all the time thru cities and towns. The maps are comprehensive. We were at the top of North Coolgardie road near Ularring Rock once and the screen showed the layout of a town that hasn't been there for decades.

I used to use Oziexplorer on a laptop but it was too much mucking around and now, when we are in the bush, I have reverted to maps.

I still love paper maps.

But in cities and towns I would not be without Gloria.

I'm going where the sun keeps shining
Thru' the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes.......

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Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 15:04

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 15:04
Hi Stephen,

You can still have the best of both worlds. My unit - and others like it can do both - see my message above. Your 660 sounds like a GPS running Vector maps - made up from known locations. - great in towns but NBG once you get off the main routes. When we were out at Lorna Glen Station our Tom Tom on the HP showed a blank page but the Natmaps Premium running on Oziexplorer CE on the HP gave us all the bush detail - sandy tracks and Bore names and the latest updates can give you a 3D contour overlay.

The CE version of Oziexplorer is only about $35-40.00 but you have to own the big version as well. It might be worth your while talking to Garmin to see if they have upgrades to run Raster Maps.

Cheers John
FollowupID: 850374

Reply By: The paca people - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 18:37

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 18:37
Hello Navigators,
We purchased a Garmin Nuvi 260 in Devonport in April this year. Without it we would never have found our way around Canberra - actually without the Nuvi we probably would still be driving in circles around Canberra looking for a way out of the place !

Nurvi seems to work OK most of the time although Lee's logic [he is the voice] is rather odd and his idea of the shortest route from A to B also includes visits to C, Q, N and W before arriving at B ! Two days ago south of Brisbane, we pulled off the Motorway and Lee got really confused by new roundabouts and new roads immediately parallel to the Motorway that after yelling "Make a U turn; Make a U turn" then "Recalculating" manny times he threw a hissy fit and stopped working altogeher !
\To get him back on the job we had to stp the car, switch Lee off for 2 minutes then start again after he had regained his composure.
Lee also has some strange ideas as to where many country roads are actually located often showing us driving in paddocks when we are actually touring along well known highways .

Cheers from Martin B and The Navigator.
AnswerID: 576365

Reply By: Sawtybt - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 19:27

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008 at 19:27
We also have the same model VMS that Allan & Sharon have installed. The unit meets all our requirements.

Have already installed a rear view camera on the 4wd and will be able to connect the camera on the van to work through this same unit.

AnswerID: 576366

Reply By: Dundee - Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 01:15

Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 01:15
I'm in the same camp as Jimjam - in the latest ARB magazine they were raving about the new Hema - probably too new to get any feedback yet but certainly worth a close look.

AnswerID: 576367

Reply By: Turist - Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 02:21

Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 02:21
If you have a large vehicle or one with a bit of space around the dash have a serious look at the Garmin 7200.

Supplied with pretty good navigation software by Sensis it will navigate you almost anywhere.
Sometimes in remote areas you appear to be driving parallel to the road instead of on it.
I have found that over the years the updates have been gradually correcting this.

If you couple this mapping with Shonky Maps topographical maps you will have the lot.
Up in the Gulf country we were on some tracks not shown on the Sensis maps but Shonky had them all.
Shonky Maps was detailing features such as cattle yards, transmission poles, dams, bores and more.
Shonky was showing station tracks that we had difficulty in seeing. (They hadn’t been used for a while and were overgrown)

The best bit about Shonky Maps is that they are free, download them from the Shonky site.

The Garmin 7200 is best purchased from the US, even with the $ as it is.
Try, good service.

If the Garmin 7200 is too large for your vehicle you can get similar results from the Nuvi 760 or the new Nuvi 5000.

BTW, I leave mine switched on all the time that I am in the vehicle.
It will record speed, direction, time of day, location, altitude etc.
All can be downloaded to the Garmin maps on your PC in the form of a detailed snail trail.
Good history keeping.


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Nobody is getting any younger.

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Reply By: Gone Bush - Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 02:23

Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 02:23
A question for those using a VMS...

Can you select your Rear View Camera while driving, ie, not in reverse?

If so can you still use the street navigator function, ie, each function appears in a smaller screen at the same time.

This would allow you to see what is behind you (or your caravan) in the traffic while still having the street map visible.

I know the Pioneer system can but not sure about the VMS.


I'm going where the sun keeps shining
Thru' the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes.......

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AnswerID: 576369

Follow Up By: Sawtybt - Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 18:35

Sunday, Dec 14, 2008 at 18:35

SIM installed an extra switch on the dash so that I can use the rear view camera whilst driving. Street navigation function still works with voice instructions only.

FollowupID: 850375

Reply By: Silver Fox - Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 23:20

Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 23:20
I have had a Garmin 7200 in my L/C 100TD for a couple of years now. My navigators like it with the reservations as Tourist has mentioned. However it will need a special mount for L/C. See my pics for my solution. It's a combination of my fabricated bracket and a 'Ram' brand adjustable piece. I bought the Ram from Johnny Appleseed in Brisbane. No doubt other places would have them too. I also fitted an external antenna which is needed when not enough satellites can be "seen", i.e. they are behind or directly above. I still use paper maps as occasionally the Garmin software is quite inadequate. It put me into a cemetry dead end road recently while trying to exit a country town.-Pardon the pun.!
The 7200 has the capability for a reversing camera input. This works well when the sun is not directly ahead. (Reflections onto the screen through the windscreen render it very dificult to see). Really just another lovely/useful "toy".
AnswerID: 576370

Follow Up By: Sparky60 - Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 at 01:23

Sunday, Nov 30, 2008 at 01:23
A big thank you to everybody who replied to my question! So many systems to choose from, but at least I have better info now.
FollowupID: 850376

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