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Portable GPS Kit


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Luc D

Luc D

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Posted January 03 2003 - 10:54 AM

I've been thinking about buying a portable GPS kit (they install on a pocket PC). It seems more practical than installing one in my car for twice the price, especially since I can share it with someone else.

Now, first I have to get a pocket PC. I've been told the ideal one is the CompactFlash GPS Kit. So that would mean getting the iPAQ Pocket PC. Unfortunately, I have no reference point when it comes to portable PCs in terms of quality and what to expect.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   John Giddens

John Giddens

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Posted January 04 2003 - 07:59 AM

I don't know what your total cost would be for the CompactFlash GPS Kit and the iPAQ Pocket PC, but if it's more than $742.00 I would seriously consider the Garmin Street Pilot III Deluxe. Doing a quick google search I found this.

http://newpointgear.....eabf28e9524314

I bought the SPIII before the deluxe package and I paid a lot more for all the items included in the deluxe package and I'm very happy with it. I used it for a trip from Houston, T.X. to Silverdale W.A. and it never failed me. That's not to say that it's perfect, I have found mapping errors in Houston, but the iPaq will have the same errors because they all use the same base mapping company for the most part.
What I love about it is the turn by turn directions with voice prompts. Also you can search for specific store's, enter an address, or find the nearest restaurant by how far away. It's like mapquest on steroids. I was even shocked that it had my favorite comic book shop in it's database. The deluxe package has every thing you need, back when I got it I had to by all the accessories separately.
For reviews and everything else GPS related go to this site.

http://joe.mehaffey.com/

Here you'll find opinions other than mine, and I even seem to recall them reviewing a GPS kit for the iPaq. I did quite a bit of research before I decided on the SPIII and I can't tell you how much I recommend it. Hope this helps.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Luc D

Luc D

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Posted January 04 2003 - 01:24 PM

Thanks a lot John. After going through the website I think the best bet would be the SPIII Deluxe (and it would come to be about 250 dollars cheaper). I have a few questions though, maybe you can answer some of them. 1. From the website: "The downside for SP-III as compared to the $3000 models is that most of the more expensive models have some sort of "dead reckoning" capability to permit navigation to continue for short intervals when signals are lost. Such signal loss can happen in "city canyons" such as NYC and LA where high rise buildings can block the satellite signals". Now I live in LA (just moved here, that's why I'm looking to buy one of these), I'm not sure I understand what "dead reckoning" means. How big of a problem is "signal loss" and what exactly does it mean (does it reset itself, or the route)? 2. How much can I fit in it at one time? Can I fit a city like Los Angeles on the 128MB memory card? 3. How easy is it to mount on my dashboard and can I take it down just as easily? Thanks!

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   John Giddens

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Posted January 05 2003 - 07:28 AM

Answers you seek?

1.Such signal loss can happen in "city canyons" such as NYC and LA where high rise buildings can block the satellite signals". Now I live in LA (just moved here, that's why I'm looking to buy one of these), I'm not sure I understand what "dead reckoning" means. How big of a problem is "signal loss" and what exactly does it mean (does it reset itself, or the route)?

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Here's what has happened to me first hand. If I'm going under a freeway overpass, or an underground tunnel and I'm there for any extended period of time the SPIII loses it's satellite lock, as soon as your clear of the obstruction all is well. I've never lost satellite lock among tall buildings in downtown Houston. I'm not saying it can't happen since I don't live in LA, but it's never been an issue for me. On this issue I would suggest posting this question to SPIII owners in LA via newsgroups alt.satellite.gps and sci.geo.satellite-nav through Google Groups.


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2. How much can I fit in it at one time? Can I fit a city like Los Angeles on the 128MB memory card?


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Well, let me open mapsource and see...Looks like I can get all of California at 116.4MB so I think LA isn't an issue. I'll try to attach a picture so you can see.
Posted Image
All the area in pink is what's loaded.

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3. How easy is it to mount on my dashboard and can I take it down just as easily?

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You won't be permanently attaching it. The SPIII Deluxe comes with a Portable Mount (bean bag mount) that has a nice Neoprene bottom. That's what I'm using and I've never had it slide around.

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   John Giddens

John Giddens

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Posted January 05 2003 - 07:36 AM

Once you get your SPIII, if you have any questions, just let me know. I'll do my best to answer them. One big word of advice, when you get your unlock code for City Navigator 4.01, write it down and slip it in the CD's jewel case. It's my understanding Garmin does not archive the unlock codes so if you lose yours your %@#^&!'ed if you get my drift.




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