GPS Unit?

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:00
ThreadID: 24127 Views:3015 Replies:13 FollowUps:11
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Dear Guys,
We are looking for some feedback and direction on what type of gps unit to buy. After visiting numerous shops, they have done an excelent job in confusing us/pushing their own brand and leaving us totaly confused.

We are keen 4 wheel driver doing small trips and treks around the state ( vic) with plans to take on a few bigger ones in the near futher. For this we feel the city map ones may not suit us? We want something with colour screen that moves to tell us where we currently are ( map moving I think) . We have look at the Magellan 600, we seamed ok, but later we told these arent as good as the garmin quest or iq3600????? We are looking for some honost suggestions and feedback from those people out there who know what there talking about with out bias. Help.

We would like something that we can add maps to as we go, but also be used around the city if need be? If this is possible?
Something easy to use, uptodate that the wife can opperate......

Thanks in advance, look forward to hearing fom you. Any suggestions or information received with great thanks.

Peter
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:06

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:06
whats your budget?

Magellan Meridian Color is a good thing, Im happy with mine.. and aint top $
AnswerID: 117146

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:41

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:41
If you heading the Magellan way DONT get Meridian Color - screen is sad when outside (maybe not an issue for those who just use it for vehicle nav?) Get one of the Colour Magellan Explorist units (500 or 600). All other functions similar.
Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: SteveL - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 16:57

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 16:57
If you intend to use the Meridian Color outside the vehicle you will find it very heavy on batteries.The Platinum (B&W) is bad enough.
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Reply By: F4Phantom - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:19

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 22:19
i am in the process of buying a GPS as you describe and have just been through all this rubbish. I recon go a PDA with Bluetooth GPS. It's a cheap way of doing it with massive benefits from the software choice to scanning in your own maps from where ever you like + its a pda, so email, mp3, office docs photo's wifi, etc.. You can also plug in stack of other devices like digital cameras for the 4x4 photo's while on the trail.
AnswerID: 117148

Reply By: Niko - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:56

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:56
I am an advocate for PDA and GPS rather than a dedicated GPS because with Garmin and Magellan you are buying the most useless instrument for the bush; or should I say, mapping wise the most useless instrumen....... anyways, buy a second hand PDA, something like a 3800/3900/5500 series, buy a cradle to suit with or without a built-in GPS, or a Bluetooth GPS (assuming the PDA has BT capability), and maps scanned in and used in conjunction with Oziexplorre, or the referenced NATMAP raster maps on CD, which I think are on this web site somewhere. If you like that but still feel a beaut little GPS would complete your needs then get a Garmin Etrex. Problem solvered...... oh and don't even look at the Magellan Explorist 100/200/300 cos you cannot connect external anything.... talk about going backwards!

Just a note on dealers pushing their wheellbarrow, they either are Garmin or Magellan or both. Having sold both for 10 years I would sell a GPS based on the needs of the customer. However, since PDAs have become cheap and quite powerful I wouldn't consider a mapping Garmin or Magellan with the limited and proprietry software in a pink fit.

If you are interested ask the gang here for a quote on a Bluetooth GPS or CF card GPS and a cradle to suit. eBay for a PDA (I have contacts for refurbished units if you want) and Bob's your Uncle your moving!

Powered Cradle for PDAs are pretty much restricted to old PDA models such as the HP iPAQ H3100, H3600, 3700, H3800, H3900 and H5000 models. It is not recommended to buy a 2210 or 2215 due to some issues with Bluetooth. A new powered PDA powered that will suit all HP iPAQ models including the new ones is due for release around August.

Recomendations: HP iPAQ 38xx/39xx, Holux GR-231 BT GPS, Standard cradle without buil-in GPS and Raster Maps plus OziExplorer.

Alternative (a) if for vehicle use only: instead of a Bluetooth GPS a cradle with a built-in GPS such as the Holux CR-101 cradle.

Alternative (b) if for roaming outside as well as in-car use: instead of BT GPS or cradle with GPS, a Holux GM-270U.

Time for a beer..........

AnswerID: 117170

Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:10

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:10
Excuse my ignorance .. ;o)
But what's PDA ??

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Neville M (VIC - Melb) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 09:27

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 09:27
Niko

Would an i-mate PDA2k EVDO pocket PC do the same, if so how

Neville
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 09:50

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 09:50
No super expert but PDA = Personal Digital Assistant - generally refers to small handheld computers that run Microsoft Pocket PC operating system e.g. HP Ipaq's. PDA's are different to PALM's which look similar but have different operating systems - so be careful when selecting which to buy as some programs will not work on both e.g. OziExplorer CE will only work on PDA's with a certain version of operating system.
Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 22:06

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 22:06
Hey Rosco,

What Explorist said.

Benefit is they are multi purpose.

Smocky.
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Reply By: Chaz - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 10:50

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 10:50
Peter,
I can’t say much that hasn’t already been said about the PDA GPS system. I have had other units, Magellan, and Garmin, and while the Etrex was probably my favourite, none of them come close to the versatility of the PDA. I use a CF card GPS in the car with a remote antenna and a BlueTooth unit when I’m bushwalking and hunting. A 500meg SD card holds all the topo maps I need.
You can pick up a good Bluetooth PDA on ebay for around $300 and a GPS for $100 and then what ever you wanted to spend on software, but much of it is free. I have uploaded a few photos of my setup HERE if you want a look.
Good luck with your choice.

Chaz

AnswerID: 117227

Follow Up By: Member - Rob F (WA) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 05:17

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 05:17
Chaz, I am also interested in your solution and as I also have a motorhome in the UK need to have a unit that will work in both the Northern & southern Hemisphere's. Have been considering Tom Tom & Destinator software to run on Hp iPAQ 1710 as it is a convienient small peice of equipment to take with you overseas.
Your comments would be apreciated
Regards
ROB F
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 15:32

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 15:32
RobF,
I'm not familiar with the Ipaq 1710, but the reason that I went for the Ipaq 3870 in the first place was that it uses the StrongArm processor which is what I needed to run the Destinator software. Much of the software that is available for these CE devices is processor specific.
These will work equally well in the Northewrn Hemisphere, providing you can get the maps in digital format or create them yourself. I use OziExplorer to create all my topo maps in "ozf" format for the Ipaq. Another reason to use OziExplorer is that all the data, waypoints, tracks etc, that you generate on your PDA can also easily be transfered over to your laptop and viewed on the larger screen and visa versa.
I havent used it, but Iv'e heard that Tom Tom is one of the best Street software packages for Europe. At the time I got Destinator, it was the only one I could find for Australia.
Also you don't have to buy it all at once, you can shop around and get the best deals on each component of the system, building it up as you go and you'll find the best deals on ebay.
Good Luck
Chaz
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FollowupID: 372834

Reply By: Hoffy - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:04

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:04
Navman Pin, which is a PDA with inbuilt GPS, with the external GPS antenna is also a good choice. The software Smart ST V3 is excellent in cities and not too bad in the country + the addition of OzeCE makes a versatile unit
AnswerID: 117229

Reply By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 12:09

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 12:09
I've been using the Mio 168 PDA (Digiwalker) - comes with built in gps, car kit etc - refer their website or Johnny Appleseed site (they are in Melbourne too). Navman has identical re-badged unit.

@ $850 odd with superseded city and town maps or about $ 1050 with latest maps they might be a bit pricey for some. But you can load your own maps and programmes like oziexplorer. Best to get the largest size SD card (storage card) you can afford - 1gb going around $170 or so at the mo.

This card can be used in digital cameras/video cameras etc as well

The mio can sit in your shirt pocket when on train, bus, someone elses car and you know where u are, how fast you're going, what elevation you are at.

These things (regardless of brand) are NOT dead simple to use and you will just have to wade your way thruogh the learning curve. I'm no expert but I get great use from mine across the whole country. Everyone who has seen my device has been quite impressed.

There are more and more units coming out so you are sure to find the brand that suits your needs. Good luck.
AnswerID: 117237

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 16:57

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 16:57
Pyropeter
I have a Magellan Sportrak Color for sale in the trader section. It is listed at $600 but that is negotiable. The screen has twice the resolution of the Meridian Color. It is also significantly cheaper than the Explorist series. The deal includes extra maps. I bought three from the US and changed the basemap to the Australian basemap. If you are interested send me a member message. I have a brand new unit and an as new unit available (I am keeping one for myself). Check the description of the sportrak color on eBay. They really are an excellent unit with a bright clear display, plus the facility for adding detailed maps of up to four regions. It also works well in conjunction with a computer for moving map display. I don't believe you will find a cheaper way to get a top notch GPS.
AnswerID: 117278

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 20:13

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 20:13
Being a retired surveyor and having spent much time in the "bush" I can say that for the average traveller who does not want to go over the top with computers and other high tech. gadgets I would reccomend the Magellan Gold which has a big enough screen,is good in sunlight, can interface with Hema maps,is rugged and very reliable.Having said that I must say that for true outback travel ,remember that the G.P.S. unit must be used in conjunction with appropriate maps.This is just my opinion which has worked for me for many years.
Bush camp

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AnswerID: 117321

Reply By: Member - Ray - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:38

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 21:38
Ramblers' is the only sensible answer I have read on this subject. (my opinion only)
Now listen to the dissenters
AnswerID: 117336

Reply By: Niko - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 03:53

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 03:53
Chaz made a boo boo with his link to his PDA BT setup try this one

link click here
AnswerID: 117365

Follow Up By: Niko - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 04:00

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 04:00
LOL

Mine didn't work either!!!!

http://members.bettanet.net.au/~conody/ and click on the nissan patrol image and within is the link to his PDA setup. Nice setup Chaz!
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 15:36

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 15:36
Niko,
Thanks for that, it worked ok for me though.
Just go in through the front door!

Chaz
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FollowupID: 372835

Reply By: GazzaS (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 17:16

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 17:16
Hi there

I have also gone the PDA way as I have an I-mate which is also my mobile phone - now one device does all. I only use in car with an external GPS antenna using a cradle and Y plug that provides both power and connection to the GPS antenna.

I am using software called GPS Dash. allows scanned maps to be loaded and has excellent functions. I am thinking of going to oziexplorer though as has more functionality on waypoints.

Cheers
AnswerID: 117427

Reply By: Niko - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 03:47

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 03:47
Would an i-mate PDA2k EVDO pocket PC do the same, if so how.... yes it can and it does. the i-mate is like many of the PDAs out there, windows based and fully of capability. You may need to update the OS though, just depends on the version you have.
AnswerID: 120456

Reply By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 22:13

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 22:13
Lot's of options here. Things have really progressed.

Best of deciding what you want to do.

I have a Tablet PC (great for in the car and does other stuff too. OziExplorer)
iMate (My phone and also does OziExplorer via BlueTooth Leadtek GPS receiver)
VDO Dayton Navigation system (turn-by-turn navigation, $4,000 and a waste of time off the streets. Great for work though)
Garmin eTrex Legend. (Stand alone GPS, can connect to the tablet PC)

I'm quite fortunte as my job provides me with the tech toys, but really, the eXtrex Legend is the most useful off the streets. I track where I have been then download it to the PC. I upload waypoints to it and follow it. I connect it to the Tablet PC if required so that I can see on a map where I am.

What I will say to you, is be a bit careful. A bluetooth receiver and PDA means 2 more devices that will run out of battery OR need charging OR will have cable running across your dash. Think carefully about this. IF you want to use it outside your vehicle, a PDA will flatten a battery faster than you can spit., plus the screen will wash out. It may be that the best option is a low level GPS, like the eTrex or Magellan Explorist that allows you the additional functionality of plugging into a PC or PDA.

Cheers,

Smocky.
AnswerID: 120581

Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 22:17

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 22:17
Just a quick follow up, for street navigation, you need something that will do turn-by-turn navigation. This probably DOES lead to a PDA. Think carefullly about what is important, then write it down and talk to some stores. Navigating tracks is VERY different to getting destination routing.

Cheers,

Smocky.
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FollowupID: 375675

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