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Old 04-15-2005, 10:03 PM   #1
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Thumbs up What GPS?

I've been looking at a number of GPS navigation systems for use in our TV & car. The Garmin Ique 3200 seems to be a good ans. at around $500.-, sooo many units out there! What do you own & why, & what would you not own & why? Please only 3rd party units, not manufacturers included models.
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:08 PM   #2
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We use MS Streets and trips with GPS receiver

For approximately $150 you get Streets and Trips plus the GPS Receiver.

A friend of ours has a + $1000 GPS by Garmin (I think that's correct). He says he prefers Streets and Trips and would switch if he had room to mount a laptop in his toad.
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:07 AM   #3
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I've had both Garmin and Magellon and the Garmin is a better product in my experince.

I have two Garmin Emaps. These are very good. I also have the RAM suction cup mount that holds it in place.

The emap allows you to download routes to it from Delorme software and it beeps to tell you a turn is coming. They are also firmware upgradeable via web downloads. So new features were added after purchase. Which is nice.

It's a little older technology now, but they still work great for me. Should be much less than $200.
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:05 AM   #4
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We have used Garmin, TravRoute Co-Pilot, and Delorme. If you want to use a laptop computer in conjunction with your GPS then you should consider Delorme -- I don't know that its better than the others but the annual updates are inexpensive ($39). That was what we didn't like about Co-Pilot -- the annual updates were $100. Using the GPS with a Laptop computer, the GPS is not so critical -- most of the programming functions are done by the computer. If you use the GPS as a stand-alone, then you should look for the system that provides the functions you are most likely to use. My Garmin unit can be used a either a stand-alone unit or hooked to the laptop and used as the GPS receiver. Again, the most important concern is the mapping & tracking functions. My experience is that the smaller stand-alone units are just not quite as useful while driving -- its harder to see where you are and where your going than it is with a laptop system.
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:09 AM   #5
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I have a Garmin GPS V and love it. It has maps that show gastations and resurants. you cand to a search feature down to street address of the loaded maps and it will plot you a course. The memory is the only down side and the newer units do have more memory. That said in our Tow vehicle we will have it tied into the lap top and be able to load the maps for the area we are and real time on the laptop for a BIG display.
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:28 AM   #6
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One advantage to a hand-held over a dash-mount is that, in addition to driving, you can use it for a wider range of uses - like boating, fishing, hiking and geocaching. Downloadable topo maps and navigation charts are great and really add to the versatility of your handheld.

I guess the down side to a hand-held, for some, might be the size of the screen when driving - but I haven't really found it a problem.

I also use a Garmin V - and as mentioned above - the memory size is a potential issue - particularly if you don't have a lap top with you on long trips so you can keep your maps current to your location.

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Old 04-16-2005, 02:01 PM   #7
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GPS Navigation

I've been using the DeLorme system for over a year now, with their proprietary GPS receiver, using a laptop computer powered by an inverter. For tired old eyes like mine you just can't beat it! The full-size screen display of the computer makes it so easy to just take a quick peek at what's going on. The computer does take up a lot of space - and figuring out a good way to mount it is a bit of a challenge. I tried some of the proprietary "mounts" but they just wern't quite right and I wound up fabricating my own to fit the center console. The voice prompts are excellent - although I find myself cursing at "Mary" when I get off route and she tries to bring me back on course! I was impressed with everything I read about Garmin's Street Pilot - but I was worried about the small screen. Overall, I'm totally satisfied!
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:55 PM   #8
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To further add to the confusion. Look at the Magellan RoadMate 300. I see Staples selling it for $599. My wife uses one for visiting houses for Hospice. If she can use it, it is very easy to use. It takes an SD memory card and I have downloaded the maps for the western US to it from my PC.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:39 AM   #9
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I have the Garmin Emap and love it. It may be discontinued now, I got mine on closeout for $150. I also use it with my laptop, runing either Delorme, or MS Streets and Trips. I use NI-MH batteries in it when portable, as it does seem to use a lot of juice, like a digital camera.
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Old 04-17-2005, 12:27 PM   #10
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Battery Life using GPS

With the Earthmate GPS unit that comes with the DeLorme package, the power consumption of the computer, coupled with the GPS, is fairly high. The "Earthmate" gets it's power from the USB port on the computer. Several times I've disconnected the inverter (----the vehicle's computer goes haywire when it finds something plugged into the accessory outlet with the ignition off!) and forgot to plug it back in. I don't believe I get more than a half-hour's use before the computer switches to standby. It doesn't even give me enough time to plug the inverter in - and, for some reason, it's a real pain to get everything up and running again. I wish a computer guru could tell me why??? The normal procedures for "restoring," after a stand-by event, seem to be ineffective. I've reasoned that it might be due to the power being pulled by the GPS unit.
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Old 04-17-2005, 02:19 PM   #11
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The Earthmate GPS uses 175mW at full power and <60mW when the GPS signal is strong. I doupt that this is draining your battery too fast. You may have a battery getting weak in your laptop.
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Old 04-17-2005, 04:15 PM   #12
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Weak battery

Dave:

That could be. I seldom use the laptop withour having it plugged in. It's less than two years old - but in the battery world that could be a lifetime! My only dilemma is the time it takes (---"procedure"} to bring it back on line when it goes to stand-by.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:04 PM   #13
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Wich I could help you with the reboot time and process -- I have a Sony laptop and it does the same thing. The only way I can get it out of hibernate when the battery runs out is to press the power button. I also know that all computers are different -- maybe there is a computer genius out there in Airstreamsforum land that can help.

Also, leaving the laptop plugged in may actually shorten the useful battery life -- however, that's the way I run mine also.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:45 PM   #14
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I am looking at stand-alone units only at this time. I've seen the lap-top installs but that is too much interior real-estate for me.
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