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  #1  
Old 10-14-2002, 04:19 PM
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add-on gps navigation

Does anyone have experiece to share on add-on GPS navigation devices? I'd like to get one for the family to use but I haven't found idiot-friendly information on the web. magellangps.com and garmin.com have detail specs, but don't help me decide whether product A or product B gets me the feature set I need. I'm also confused about what maps comes in the units and what has to be downloaded from the maps on CD.

I imagine the most important feature is address to address mapping similar to what's offered in yahoo maps or mapquest. Beyond that I'd like to be able to fit the SF Bay Area (say Monterey to Silverado) into memory and not have to sacrifice it to augment with SoCal and Tahoe from time to time.

I'd also prefer a portable unit over a hardwired unit with it's own CD drive or changer.

Any insight is appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 10-14-2002, 04:30 PM
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I used a GPS system in a BMW X5 that I rented in New Jersey two weeks ago, and man am I a convert!

I am going to install one in my car, maybe by X-MAS, and have done some searching on the web.

I can point you to some sites, but first let me ask if you are looking for one that is integrated with your radio head unit, or one that you mount externally, like you would a cell phone to the side of your console?
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2002, 05:40 PM
markluta
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Hertz uses Magellan in their cars, and I always rent it, have for years. The system was a little cumbersome and sometimes lost its position in dense city streets, but today it is always dead on, especially in large cities like you are driving in. And the Yellow Pages and Intersection functions are extremely useful, the street address is a little more cumbersome but useable. I find it useful even in areas I am familiar with, for example finding the freeway exit in pouring rain or recomputing a route around construction, all done automatically.

My suggestion is go rent a Hertz car with the "Neverlost" system and see how you like it. I believe this system does have CD's which are loaded for different regions of the USA, the actual system is in the trunk and there is just a small add-on unit in the car, but it is just a display and is not portable. I have never tried one of the portable units, but the only problem I would expect from one would be less ability to receive the satellite signals. If it works where you are, then you should be satisifed with it.
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Old 10-14-2002, 07:03 PM
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Right now it's a toss up between the ~$2000 Magellan 750NAV and the ~$500 Garmin StreetPilot. There's a kit to make the Magellan portable but I prefer the truly portable nature of the StreetPilot. I also prefer the price of the StreetPilot

To answer Paul, I want a standalone unit... something I can lend relatives and friends when they visit.

Thanks,
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2002, 07:39 PM
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Well, I researched mainly in-dash systems, but came across some nice sites for hand-held / portable units:

http://www.gpsresource.com/

http://www.epinions.com/auto-Navigation_Systems-All
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2002, 07:43 PM
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Here's why I need help.

I finally read on p54 of the StreetPilot manual "Although the StreetPilot does not automatically give turn-by-turn directions... " Okay, now I know one reason it's cheaper than others.

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  #7  
Old 10-14-2002, 07:46 PM
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I don't know how the add-on units work, but you need one that gives you audio instructions.

The beauty of the in-dash units in cars is that while they show you a map and gives you directions on the face of the radio, the verbal instructions are the only useful part.

As you're driving, a voice tells you what to do while you're driving. It's amazingly accurate. It doesn't make mistakes. If you miss a turn, it will recalculate directions to get you on your way. You end up never looking at the head unit because you are driving and don't want / need to take your eyes off the road.

I don't know if the portable units work this way, i.e. integrate into your car's speakers or have a built-in speaker, but if they don't - I wouldn't buy it.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2002, 08:58 PM
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I bought a used b/w Garmin Streetpilot to use in my Mercedes motorhome when I spent the summer in the UK this year. I bought a 64k chip for it. I was able to get just about the whole of the UK on that chip. It was absolutely indispensable for my journey. I don't have any experience with other GPS's but the Garmin was always spot one and reliable. I could also put it in my pack and use it while hiking. The newer color versions will give voice instructions. I did not need this since I was travelling with my wife and she could view the screen. Travelling alone I could see the usefulness of voice instructions.
I learned of the value and precision of the Garmin shortly after setting out from Exeter where I stored the motorhome. I had travelled for about half and hour and not paid attention to the GPS. I stopped for fuel and picked up the GPS to see if it was at all accurate. The screen showed me in the BP fuel station! What more could you want?
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2002, 09:12 PM
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That's right. You only need one DVD which holds enough information for all the U.S. and Canada.

However, I believe the CD ROM systems will be enough for virtually everybody's needs, unless of course, you are a cross-country truck driver.

The cheapest in-dash unit I've found is a Blaupunkt unit on sale for $699.00. It takes 10 or 11 CD's to cover the whole country, but one CD covers a whole region, i.e. one CD will cover all of California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Another nice unit that is CD based is made by Harman, and it is much more powerful, requiring only 2 CD's for all of the U.S.

I know the DVD systems are also faster, but I'm not sure if it would be faster enough to be noticeable.

With the CD system in the BMW X5, it was real fast. I don't know why I would never a faster system.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2002, 01:18 AM
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I just bought a Garmin StreetPilot III and it works very well. It helped me to get out of downtown Washington D.C. without getting me lost. The colour display is very clear and the voice prompt is crisp enough to understand what the "woman" is saying.

Sixto, where did you see the $500 StreetPilot? I paid $850 at Circuit City. I was about to buy the Alpine when I ran into the StreetPilot III. After some thoughts, I went with the portable unit instead. It only has one CD for N. America including Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico.

Now, I don't think I will go anywhere without my Valentine One and StreetPilot III.
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  #11  
Old 10-15-2002, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by elau
Sixto, where did you see the $500 StreetPilot?
The original StreetPilot with gray scale and no auto route planning is less than $500 everywhere I've seen it. It guides you based on a straight line between where you are and your destination. Not too useful if you're at one end of Golden Gate Park or Central Park and trying to get to the other end. You can manually enter a route. The unit will then give you turn-by-turn directions... if you're on track.

My sig line should give a clue as to why I don't want an in dash unit even at only $700

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  #12  
Old 10-15-2002, 02:23 PM
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Thanks, Sixto. My sentiment exactly and thats why I bougth the StreetPilot III so I can move it from car to car. I thought you bought the StreetPilot III for $500, and I was going back to Circuit City to get my money back.
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2006, 04:05 PM
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Prototype source of maps for Google Earth. Try it.

http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/ngmdb/ngm_catalog.ora.html
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2006, 08:55 PM
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Turn-by-turn voice navigation for just over $200. Mine is arriving tomorrow:

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-StreetPilot/dp/B000ACGQI8/sr=8-1/qid=1156985702/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-6499615-4973611?ie=UTF8

http://www99.epinions.com/Garmin_StreetPilot_i2_GPS_Receiver_GPS_Receiver/display_~reviews
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2006, 09:01 PM
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Have you seen one of those for yourself? Neat little unit but the display is only slightly bigger than a compact flash card.

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