I am currently working with the Garmin GPS V for automotive use that can also be switched to handheld mode if I need to take it on foot. The GPS V supports the essentials such as autorouting, 12V power, and has a generous amount of memory for maps, but the display is small and can be hard to read under high stress situations. The advantage of the V is the comparatively low cost. Fully detachable, you stick the mount to the dash wherever you want it and then you lock the GPS to it. I remove mine whenever I'm not using it - no sense getting both the GPS stolen and a window punched in.
Further up the scale there is the Streetpilot series, with huge color display (yes, color does actually make a big difference when your map is cluttered beyond belief), far more memory (some have CompactFlash cards - think 1-2GB maximum if you pay for the large CF) and a much heftier price tag. But the Streetpilots are way above and beyond the basic GPS V. Voice prompts, turn by turn navigation, and a whole slew of features as well as fast CPUs. The main beef I have with the GPS V is that the CPU is extremely slow, redrawing detailed maps takes forever.
I still recommend Garmin units because of their impeccable accuracy, compared to cheaper solutions which couldn't place me on a map without jumping around for the nearest 250 meters.
I got one for my wife and it is better than the one that came with my Porsche. Hers is a color Garmin Quest which has a built in lithium battery that lasts for about 20hrs. You can put it in your pocket or mount it in the car. It's VERY accurate and a real crowd pleaser. She loves it! I paid around $450 last Xmas but there is not enough memory to load the whole country of maps and you can't upgrade the memory. I think we loaded up most of California. Quest Link
You can also do a search through CPF for GARMIN.
PM PaulB because he found a really good palm unit that is color which he loves. It was way cheaper too. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
I purchased it after much thought and for the same reasons that Matt is looking for and Kevin L stated. I mount it on the Garmin mount, secured to the dash just to the left of the instrument cluster in my Jeep Wrangler and in our Dodge Durango too.
The unit is water resistant, so no worries if I get soaked out on the trail w/ the top off. Quik detach and it becomes a nice handheld for hiking and to prevent theft. The color screen, autorouting w/ city select north america, and accuracy are awesome. It is very tough as well (Surviving Iraq just fine) Takes external power in the car. City Select will lead you right to any gas or food in the area while on the fly.
The drawbacks are a small screen for vehicle use and it only takes about 52 MB of map memory, so you have to program it w/ a PC before trips. (For example City Select from Fayetteville to Murphy, N.C. and Topo maps for the Tellico trails.) However I enjoy doing this, get to play w/ my gadgets! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] This also encourages you to use all the features in the Mapsource software.
I spoke w/ Garmin over the phone while I was researching this purchase and they do not recommend GPS units with compact flash cards for operation in an enviornment where they might get wet.
If I had to buy it all over again, I would but I would get the 60C as I have not used the compass or altimeter and the money saved could go tward the autorouting kit or external antenna.
Matt, If you decide on the 60 C/CS, put a good lanyard on it and I also carefully applied a screen protector. I got a set of palm universal screen protectors from Office Depot and carefully cut and applied them. This GPS is more than worth evrey penny I paid for it.
i use one of them navman pin things with the integrated GPS in the PDA, and am happy that is so small it fits in my shirt pocket. probably makes others blind trying to read it, but it also has voice prompt.
it comes With the street navigation stuff, and was missing the geo stuff.
then , because it was a computer, stead of a dedicated piece of equiptement i got to hack it up [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] add in games movies and mp3s , and added a second 'GPS tuner' program, where i could upload my own custom made maps (yes its a total PITA) so i could have topo, and geo and pic maps.
i like my minature toy, but i never had a PDA before.
now i got a game box, street nav, movie player, mp3 player, geo mapper, compass thing, with porn pics [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] does it get any better [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
i had to pay buku bux over the price of the unit, to put in the 2G memory card, cost me 1/2 of the units original price for memory. but i glad i did, there still isnt enough disk space, but when my home computer has 1.2 terrabytes , i guess i wouldnt know what ENOUGH really was [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
i can store the whole northern america (streets) in (inc canada), or a few western states, and all the other computer stuff.
with some cpu altering programs i can slow it down, and use some features with the cpu way underclocked, and get the battery to last the whole day. but like every piece of electronics stuff, they need to stick a car battery on them if your to go camping for a week without a plug. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]
The unit takes a few minutes to get a location the FIRST time you use it in a NEW location. Once it kind of knows where it is, it locks on FAST! And if you have it on while it is on the road, it tracks fast if you turn it off and then on again.
As I said before, I spoke with the Garmin rep on the phone for about an hour and a half asking a bunch of stupid questions [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]. (He was prob glad to be done with me, but hey it's not cheap) I was also comparing the unit to the 76CS because the 76 had more memory.
I wanted to know the same thing and how well the unit worked on 4X4 trails with lots of trees. He said the antenna on the 60 series was specificly designed to look 'Up' and worked well in the city and as long as the unit could get a view of the sky it would pull satellites. The 76 is more for marine use and the antenna looks on the horizon for satellites.
He was right. The unit works great in the city and between trees. If you are standing directly next to a large building it takes longer to initialize and the accuracy goes from about 13' to about 30'. not a real big deal. Just step a few feet away and aim at some clear sky.
I think all GPS units are kind of like that. Also, if you are going to use it in the ambulance, you will problably need to get the external antenna. In the Jeep with the soft or fiberglass hardtop, the 60 worked fine. But in the Durango, with alot more metal, I would lose signal sometimes.
[ QUOTE ] weaponlight said:
VidPro, My first GPS had to be really tough and waterproof.
I was thinking about getting a Garmin IQue or some other brand of the new pocket computers in addition to my 60 for all the reasons that you stated!
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i guarentee this thing is NOT tough, OR waterproof.
they have cases for them, but by the time you add on a case, and its ramification of less acess and viewing capacity, the size goes right back to a tank built one.
that 60cs looks tempting... damn you guys I come here for a big car unit and you show me another gadget... you know how hard it is to have such an addiction on city pay? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Spudman, you will not regret it. Take the time to read the instruction manual. The amount of features it has are amazeing! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif[/img] I use mine all the time.
When I got it, my wife asked me, 'Why are you spending all that money? We can just use Map Quest.' I said, O.K. print the Map Quest for this trip and we will see if the GPS unit is helpful.
We followed the map quest directions and the GPS gave us the same ones for awhile so I shut it off. We got into Charleston, and started to follow the street signs for the route to the hotel. This was fine untill we missed a turn because the sign was gone! We ended up in a run down part of town near the docks late at night. (Shiny new Durango, full of stuff and kids.) [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]
My Wife was asking 'What now?' I took the GPS from the console, pushed 'Find - entered the hotel's address - and 'go to'. The GPS told us exactly how to get to the hotel, turn by turn.
We got off a plane in Phoenix, AZ and picked up a rental. She was hungry and said 'Lets get some lunch' I took the 60CS and hit 'Find - Food' and the unit gave us all the eaterys within 10 miles. This thing ROCKS. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/buttrock.gif[/img]
I have had a Garmin GPS V for a couple years. I do a lot of out of town driving and accuracy is sometimes in the 8' range. It is also WASS enabled. I do lose signal in business district areas with tall building surrounding me. It's one time times multipath helps out. It does pick up below the usual 15 degree masking angle. I put it on the dash w/o external antenna. I believe the map upload holds 19mb. It is great at keeping track of mileage! I take it inside in the winter as it it supposed to be good only to +15 degrees.
I already have a download of the manual and I'm reading up on the large number of features. I think the learning curve may be steep on some features for a gps newbie. I mean, there are so many different pages on the thing. I should have it in a day or two so I'll get to see.
Comseur, I had the same reaction on the price. I've been looking at gps for awhile and that price made me pull the trigger.
After doing some research it was down to the Garmin Sp 2610 or the Quest. Since I intended to use it on the motorcycle for cross-country trips the lack of memory in the Quest, and thus not wanting to drag a laptop around on the bike, I went with the Streetpilot 2610 with a 2 gig CF card. I must say I don't know how I did without it. It comes with the more detailed map City Navigator vice City select. According to the Garmin web-site the difference is the City Select will tell you to turn left, the City Navigator will tell you to turn left and stay in the left lane.
The only downsides to this GPS is it does not have an internal battery, and cost.
Last month I flew from Nova Scotia to Florida. After letting the GPS know where I was by pointing to the city of the map it had satellites within 15-30 seconds.
A very fast CPU it took less than a minute to initially route from Jacksonville Fl to Lowes Motorspeedway in Concord NC. When I went off route it would re-calculated in probably 10 seconds at most. As I am sure you can tell I just love this thing. If anyone wants to ask questions about it my phone number is 902-847-1097.
The 60CS works great in the car! The screen is just not as large and no voice prompts. I also recommend you stop the vehicle if you have to enter an address and you are the one driving. (I bet you see the effects of distracted cell phone users.) But otherwise, for a Jeep it is just better than a big car system and for much less money
Check out the real price at gpsnow.com (4X4Books)
I have purchased many GPS items from them and thier customer service is outstanding. They sent 6 hard to get GPS units via overnight mail when my unit decided to buy them at the last minute before we deployed. They have all the Garmin software too.
In the box with the GPS you will find a 'Quick start guide' I used that first because I too was kind of overwhelmed. But after you fool around with it for a few days, it's really easy to use. All the features use either a single button, or the rocker switch on the front and a computer like drop down menu on the screen.
I just checked out that 2610 at gpsnow. SWEET! Looks like it would go good in the Durango where I would not have to worry about it getting wet. The touch screen looks easier to input addresses in with. Might be better for him to use in the ambulance. Now I just have to find another $600 [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/broke.gif[/img]
[ QUOTE ] AESOP said:
After doing some research it was down to the Garmin Sp 2610 or the Quest. Since I intended to use it on the motorcycle for cross-country trips the lack of memory in the Quest, and thus not wanting to drag a laptop around on the bike, I went with the Streetpilot 2610 with a 2 gig CF card.
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The 2610 is excellent and I considered it too but the Quest has plenty of memory for cross country trips. You probably already thought of these. All you do is load the areas on your trip route. You don't load areas that you don't expect you will be going.
Say you live in Sacramento CA and you're going to Houston TX and a few places in between. All you do is load in the main freeway areas and towns along the way or sections of big cities if you don't want the whole city. I would load Fresno, Bakersfield, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Austin, Parts of San Antonio and Houston. I'd probably add or delete a few others towns in between. You don't need to enter all the areas of a big city and it's suburbs if chances are remote that you would go to the area. Also the sparse areas take a lot less memory.
I think we loaded most of Northern CA at least the major parts like San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Greater LA area and San Diego with some of Las Vegas and all the connecting Freeways. That's about 30 million people!! I can't remember the exact cities but I'll check when I get some time.
You could also take the map disk and just stop off at a Kinkos to swap out maps using their computers.
With the lower cost and the excellent portability, the quest is sweet. It's not perfect but would be if you could have enough memory for the whole country. If you just need a few areas or along a route it works well. Remember you don't need your home area when you're out of town. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
[ QUOTE ] COMSEUR said:
add-on: Holy Moly! I just saw the price on Mamazon, whoa!
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OMG, that price is just unbelievable!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/faint.gif[/img] I have desperately wanted a 60CS ever since it was first released, but they cost over $750 here in Germany and the only difference is the stupid basemap which I don't need anyway. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon23.gif[/img]
Take a look at the Garmin GPS76cs. I was looking for an auto-routing unit that would also go into the field for search and rescue. I was seriously looking at the 60cs, lots of great reviews. I ended up going with the GPS76cs because it had twice the memory at 112 mb and has marine features. I don't boat much, but when I do it will be nice to have. This unit's a little bigger, but has all the bells and wistles. It works awesome in the car. One beep when you get close to a turn, two beeps when you're right on top of it and the screen zooms in to give a close-up of the intersection. Very slick. It's basically the same unit as the 60 series with the added memory and marine features. Can't go wrong with either one.