GPS which one

Discussion in 'Portable Disc & Media Players & Recorders' started by Gordon @ Convergent AV, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Hi Guys, not sure if this is where to post this but seems sensible...

    I travel around UK alot and am getting fed up having maps everywhere. I also don' tlike having to stop in towns to check with map to make sure I haven't missed a turning. So I am considering investing in a GPS system.

    Ideally I'd like it to speak to me and tell me which junctions to leave at, streets to turn in to. However if you've got one that doesn't speak but that you find is easy to use I'd love to know.

    So anyone have any thoughts. I want USER feedback....


    P.S. This was started coz Uncle Eric showed me his removeable unit. It spoke, it was cool, it was f..ing expensive!
     
  2. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    Gordon, you should have posted this before you visited I'd have shown you mine:eek:

    I've got a speaking one with map overlay. v. cool. I think its a blankpunt model - it came as standard on the car so its got honda written all over it.

    I'm sure they'll do a non OEM model. discs are about £130 for the updates, although I've never bothered. It does have the odd mistake, usually where they've changed the street priorities but all in all very accurate. Hasn't got my address on for example.

    The one I have has the GPS signal, but also uses gyros in case it can't see 3 sats. The odd village dowesn't down to display all the streets, just the trunk roads thru the town.

    It can also be quirky when trynig to work out how to enter the address, for example I live in New Farnley, Leeds.

    I have to enter New Farnley instead of Leeds as the city. Sometimes you need to enter the city. Can be a little frustrating after the 3rd attempt looking for an address. A beeter solution would be to enter postcodes.
     
  3. IanM

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    Gordon,

    Have you considered a PDA solution? I don't know enough about built-in proprietary units to do a fair comparison, but there are some obvious pros and cons to each approach.

    The main advantages of a proprietary unit are that they tend to look less out of place (although this isn't always the case); and that the screens are usually bigger.

    However PDA solutions are cheaper and generally more flexible. You can also use the PDA for other things (including GPS navigation when walking/cycling if the GPS receiver is portable).

    The best place to find out about PDA GPS systems is www.pocketgps.co.uk, which has excellent reviews and a pretty active forum. They currently have a review of Version 2 of TomTom Navigator (probably the market leader) which is out this week and looks superb. It has voice navigation and the option of a very flash 3D type display

    http://www.pocketgps.co.uk/tomtomnavigator2upgrade.asp

    As an idea of the price of a PDA system, the TotalPDA site is selling a (unnamed) Pocket PC PDA, the software, the GPS receiver and a 128Mb SD card to store the maps for £439 + VAT.

    http://www.totalpda.co.uk/xgps_tomtom.asp

    If you want to spend a bit more then you could go for a better PDA and maybe a Bluetooth receiver to cut down on the wires. I use the Socket GPS receiver for this reason and am more than pleased with it.

    Cheers,
    Ian.
     
  4. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    the link for pocket gps is wrong - there's a spuriouis comma at the end of the link
     
  5. G1OSE

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    i agree get a pda like the compaq ipaq with a tomtom
    this will alow talking and map viewing and can be taken out and used else where and makes it harder to steal if you keep it on you as they are not much bigger than a mobile
    multiuse!
     
  6. EvilMudge

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    Gordon,
    the Pioneer unit is pretty good, my old boss has one in his personal van (the man has too many toys - what am I saying, you can never have enough toys:smoke: ) which regularly goes all over europe (as far as Romania on occasion.) and the uk - he swears by the thing.
    HTH
    Maybe I can interest him in having the built in screen calibrated for watching DVDs:laugh:
     
  7. jim.rae

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    I got GPS and satnav my car last month and it's truly amazing!

    The voice takes you exactly where you want to go - and if you don't do as you are asked, it recalculates and gives the next best way.

    I am now learning the names of streets I didn't know in my home town...
     
  8. m@rk

    m@rk
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    Have a scoot over to www.gpsw.co.uk as these guys really know what they are talking about.

    First of all you need to decide if you want a fixed unit in the car, a removable one (such as the Garmin StreetPilot) or a PDA based one.

    In any event, none of them are cheap.

    I have played with a couple of Alpine ones and been very impressed and the Garmin StreetPilot is fantastic but you need to find somewhere to fit it so it depends on what car you have).

    My biggest problem (and the reason I have yet to buy one for my current car) is where to fit it. I don't really want to rip out the current stereo on the basis that it cost 4 figures and is rather good but being a double din unit, leaves no room for anything else.
     
  9. IanM

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    Networkguy,

    Sorry to push the PDA solution again but whilst they don't look as integrated as built-in solutions, the upside is that they are easy to fit. They don't require you to take anything out of the dashboard and can be moved between vehicles very easily.

    Most packages use the "long arm attached to the windscreen by a large sucker" approach, but I prefer to use a vent mount, similar to those sometimes used for mobile phones. I ordered mine for less than a tenner from www.theclip.com in the states. It's basically a slot that clips onto the air vent in your car. You use a supplied sticky pad to attach a corresponding button to the back of your PDA (or the back of the otherwise useless jacket that comes with it in my case) and it simply slides into the slot on the mount. I use a bluetooth receiver and only plug in the power lead from the cigarette lighter if necessary (hardly ever) so installation is simply a case of sliding the button into the slot.

    I've now got TomTom Navigator 2, and played with it over the weekend. The 3D view is awesome - it's one of those rare cases where a showy feature on a gadget is genuinely useful. The perspective really does show a simplified view of what you can see through the windscreen.

    Cheers,
    Ian.
     
  10. kryten

    kryten
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    I'd also vote for a PDA solution. I use an iPaq with TomTom Navigator and its excellent.

    I've got a brodit mount with is rock steady and doesn't need drilling.

    I'd recommend a gps re-radiating aerial for the rear, which greatly improves the startup times (the one advantage of car systems that are linked to the speedo/gyro is that even when the gps drops out, then know pretty much where you are for a while).

    Also, I can take the iPaq into the house and find where I'm going at my leisure, rather than having to struggle with some funny input mechanism in the car (which of course, no-one does whilst driving along.....)
     
  11. Lynchpin

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    Gordon,

    I got an Alpine INA-N033 single slot SatNav unit a week or so ago for £899, Halfords are stopping carrying Alpine so they're knocking them out pretty cheap and still giving 6 months IFC on them, as well as free fitting and a speed pulse generator if needed! :eek:

    I have used it a bit and it's brilliant, full voice guidance etc as well as the expandability I wanted (MP3 CD changer to be fitted ;)). Phil Harris, who you may remember got one as well and he rates it too.

    The display is superb, ok it's not a funky TFT thing, but then it's not nearly 2K either! ;)

    I have used webpads, laptops and a couple of standlone GPS units and, while they work fine, this unit knocks them out the park.

    Definitely worth a look.

    HTH

    K.
     
  12. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  13. shoehorn

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    I've got one with "Bird View" - it's worth every penny - especially as it has now stopped any 'dissagreements' with my old navigator....
    Put it this way - we had it fitted in a new car that we had just picked up and to "test-it" we returned home via IKEA (just to see how good it was - or at least that was her excuse).
    From IKEA back to our house it was getting late and we had a screaming 3 week old in the back as well as a 3 year old.... who was surprisingly very quiet.....
    Well next thing there's a 'quality' hurl from the three year old and the car hadn't even got 70 miles on the clock... the 3 week old got louder.... and the Mrs and I didn't fall out - even though we were on roads we didn't even know....!!!!
    We both agreed right then that it was worth very penny....

    (as we were advised to "take the second turning on the left"..!!!)
     
  14. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    You guys are making me jealous/.... now seeing as I just bought an 8" crt with my saved pennies I must now decide on HiDef Tape deck or GPS......mmmm...decisions decisions!
     
  15. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    Gorden, next time your in Leeds pop round and I'll give you a demo of mine.
     
  16. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    If you happen to pass High Wycombe drop into the car audio workshop, plenty to be had to look at.

    www.soundgallery.co.uk

    We had one in the work van, I think it was an Alpine system, which was pretty damn good, just needed a new data CD.
     
  17. Jason S

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    I've just ordered the TomTomII kit for my PDA, so you can try that out when you come to calibrate my plasma.....:D
     
  18. _Spudda_

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    I currently use the Sony MEX-100NV, this unit for me is superb, most other radio based navigation units need the NAV cd in the drive when you are navigating with it.

    With this unit you put the CD in at the start and it will copy all the data over to internal memory, it will also take about a 25-mile corridor outside of your route so even if you have to deviate a little bit you will no need to put the CD back in.

    This unit can be purchased for around £799.99 and the new cd’s cost about £45.

    The installation is very simple I did it my self with no knowledge in about 1 hour.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    Jason S

    How is the TomTomII?

    Am thinking of the bluetooth one for my IPAQ 5450

    rgds
     
  20. kryten

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    TomTom 2 is excellent - I even use it on the bike as the voice instructions are that good!

    It tells you '2nd exit' etc on roundabouts whereas some others use 'left/right/straight' and often get it wrong (the original Compaq iNS I had did that).
     
  21. dejongj

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    Gordon,

    If have got experience with both manufacturer built-in systems (BMW) and aftermarket Pioneer DVD based, but also more recently a PDA based solutions.
    Both the BMW and Pioneer solutions were in the Netherlands. The BMW system is my Dad's and it is superb. Nicely integrated as it was a factory option on his modest M5 ;-) And the Pioneer is an aftermarket fit in my friends Grand Voyager. The key thing in both of these systems is that they have TMC. Traffic Message Channel this is a sub-channel on the FM radio frequency which constantly transmits traffic information. As such your route gets automatically adjusted for traffic jams or roadworks. Very very usefull.
    Regarding the PDA solution, I have tested it in the UK using an Ipaq 3970 and bluetooth GPRS phone. From the various packages I preferred Copilot with Livewire as it also provides the 'live' 300second delay traffic information. TomTom is liked by a lot of people but I want traffic information as most standard routes I know but I had passing that junction and then find out it there is traffic jam after it....
     
  22. dejongj

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    Oh and now Alturion has released there version 5 for a PDA which also supports TMC which is run as a sub-channel of Classic FM in the UK. That way you can save the costs of a GPRS connection. I have seen it work in the Netherlands, but are awaiting confirmation from Alturion as too whether their map data for the UK supports it.
    You will find with after market systems in the UK that only the VDO systems have actually the map data available that supports TMC. The other manufacturers hardware supports it, but not there map cd's or dvds....

    Don't hesitate to ask if you have any further questions. You may find that some of the UK suppliers are not that hot on what is going on with dynamic routing and TMC compared to mainland Europe. But it is available.
     
  23. KeithO

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    Last time I used the TomTom app on my PDA it wouldn't calculate routes across country borders. I could do across Germany, but then I had to do another route for France, for example. Has that been fixed now?
     
  24. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    thier web sit seems to indicate this. I've got the new bluetooth version on order - it should be here on Thursday. I'll try and check and post back
     
  25. dejongj

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    A good source for PDA based GPS is http://www.pocketgps.co.uk

    For cross border routing it is generally recognised that the only options are CoPilot from TravRoute and Alturion...

    Cheers,

    Jean-Paul
     
  26. General Skanky

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    What did you end up with Gordon please?

    I'm like you and am looking hard to see what's a good 'un.

    It seems an IPaq with TomTom II is very hard to beat for the money.
     
  27. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    General, thats what I've gone for in my new car. TomTom is the mutts nuts. I actually got the European CDs as well as we were going on a cruise to the med. I loaded all the cities we were going to onto a 256mb sd card as well as the uk maps and off we went. wandering around Rome knowing exactly where you was a definate advantage :) Although the battery life on an ipaq with bluetooth on was only a couple of hours plus if you turned it off you had to re-establish the bluetooth connection to the gps kit - a bit messy and time consuming.

    In car and plugged into a power source it was definatly better than the built in system I had in my honda which did map and voice commands just like tomtom. It just tom tom was much more refined. things like automatically zooming into a junction as you approached and then zooming back out after you gone through it. Also you can tag on POI data and have it announce itself as you approach - good for speed cameras.

    however :(

    I also own a Palm tungsten and I'm sorry to say the ipaq doesn't hold a candle to it. the palm is so user friendly compared to the ipaq. the ipaq is just yuck. the ideal solution is tomtom on palm but I emailed tomtom and they have no plans to release it on that platform so to get the best navi software you're stuck with ipaq for the foreseeable future. The worst thing about the ipaq is if the battery drains you lose EVERYTHING and if you havent made a full backup (which takes ages) you cant restore. A incremental backup isnt an option. If you do drain the battery it takes a couple of hours to do a full restore. thats after you have remembered to set your region settings to the same as that you took the back up with. by this I mean once you've set your region to UK and made a backup. you have to set your region to UK so you can restore that backup - it treats your ipaq as a different machine otherwise. very frustrating.
     
  28. General Skanky

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    I've also been looking around at other pdas like the Fujitsu Siemens Loox and Dell Axim for example.

    Doesn't the Ipaq have a memory save for everything on the latest versions? I could have sworn it does. What model do you have?

    As for TomTom II, the flash demo speaks for itself, very, very impressive indeed.
     
  29. Russ

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    Gordon,
    I havent't had time to read all the posts here, but there is a clear difference between GPS units and radio GPS units.

    GPS units; ipaqs, Garmin etc will do a route for you, but have no idea about delays due to traffic accidents etc.

    Radio GPS units can include technology that receives information about delays and then re-routes. Worth at least a look !

    Russell (warwick :))
     
  30. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I've not bought anyting yet but bloody well wish I had a couple of weeks ago.

    I had my heart set on a TomTom Ipaq solution as I need an Ipaq organisor and I know of som eother tricky software and hardware that I can use with one in my business.

    However JeanPaul, Russell etc have now got me completely re-considering. I also need a nice CD changer for the car and I really want a nav system that can tell me there's a 5 mile tailback after the next junction. Melanie and I had an 11hr drive home from London 3 weeks agao, necessitating stopping overnight at a hotel. I can really do without that sort of nonsense.

    Will keep you posted on the final outcome.

    Gordon
     

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