GPS units whats the best

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2437 Views:1661 Replies:9 FollowUps:9
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I am about to purchace a GPS unit and wonder if the forum members could share any knowlage on this subject.Are the expensive ones worthwhile or are the extra features just gimics. I would like to interface the unit with a lap top for maping purposes. I would proberly use the unit mostly in the 4wd and maybe some time when walking. (Dont do that unless I have to) I don't mind spending extra if its worth it but like most people dont want to waist money on the wrong unit.
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Reply By: Janset - Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Nordave.

How long is a piece of string? The same question as yours. :)

I think before you ask that question You should ask yourself, what do I want it to do and how much can I afford.

I own a Magellan 4000XL. By to-days standard they are getting old but I am very satisfied with it and it does what I want.

The ultimate I think in all GPS's is the capability to either have a map display incorporated in the display and/or to be able to link the GPS to a laptop so as to be able to use a moving map program like OziExplorer.

That is what I have.

Back to my second question, how much you I afford?

The GPS's fitted with a map display vary in display quality and size.

Is the display on that particular GPS detailed enough and does it display clearly in a bright or darkened environment. My Magellan 4000XL is almost unreadable when mounted to the dash as the display is not bright enough nor is the screen large enough for my liking, but then, when I bought it I was not thinking of a vehicle mounting , that came later.

But when hooked to my laptop, it is dynamite and works perfectly so the display is not an issue.

While you are pondering over this matter, go to the OziExplorer website and bone up on that also as that is in my opinion the end of the road.

As for brand names, stay with the most common with the clearest and largest display, preferably with a detailed map capability.

Last bit of advice. Rather than depend on the distributors recommending and giving you advice, go to a retailer (In W.A. Terlin Outbacker Aerials are good) who deals in a number of different brands. That way you can compare features and listen to (I hope) unbiased advice.

Regards
AnswerID: 8869

Follow Up By: Nordave - Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks for your advice. I'm always of the opinion that you should buy the best you can afford with any electronic gear as you rarely know how you are going to use it any way. That way you should get years of service. So I'm prepared to pay what it takes to get a good functional unit. The readability of the device in strong light is a good point. I plan to use the unit most of the time in conjunction with mapping software on a laptop. So any advice on that would be appreciated.
I live a long way from Perth so its not possable to compare at a dealers.
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Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00
Best unit for your needs and best value with all the features you require, and none that you don't need.
http://www.ja-gps.com.au/gpsprod_emap_pics.html
The eMap has great reception qualities, will interface with your laptop easily, and also does not require you to switch between NMEA and upload and download protocol.
The CARPACK here:
http://www.ja-gps.com.au/catalog.html#anchor4289858
will give you everything you need. Doubt you will find a better price, I buy all my GPS gear from JA- GPS.
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Follow Up By: Old Soldier - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
G'day,

Some good answers here, but just as a touch of humour for a Sunday arvo.

Working on pure logic, the answer to that well asked question "how long is a piece of string?" is:

"Twice the distance from the centre to either one of the two ends"

:) :) :) :)


Don's shoot me :)

DennisN
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Follow Up By: Axel + Karen - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
How long is a piece of string??? Was told "a piece of string is as long as it needs to be,",,Lt.Cosgrove,,,,now the head honcho Aust Defence :)
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Reply By: Janset - Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00
Hi again Nordave.

As I said go to OziExplorer, it's a good site the author Des Newman is a gentleman only too happy to assist with any queries, he may even help with GPS info, but I find him a bit neutral in this regards.

As to where to locate GPS's. The only advise here seeing your not in Perth, go to any outlet that sells a number of different CB/UHF and or HF radios as first stop as they now seem to also be starting to deal in GPS's.

Failing that try 4WD outlets. I suggest the latter with tongue in cheek as their knowledge often comes from pamphlets.

Regards
AnswerID: 8872

Reply By: Truckster - Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00
I just imported a Magellan meridian Platinum from USA.... Cost $400 less than ANYONE in australia and thats including post, insurance, and buying from EBAY Shop Dealer..

www.mall24-7.com was the seller .

EXCELLENT unit too, top stuff has more stuff than I needed but for the $ why not!

Everything including SD cards are 1/2 price over there. So worth a try to import it.
AnswerID: 8885

Reply By: Mick - Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 at 01:00
Nordave, I think you can't go past Garmin. I have a 12xl but there's a great range available. I record all tracks I travel, save them on my PC and uplooad them if revisiting. I print them using Gartrip.
AnswerID: 8887

Reply By: Ian KimberleyCruiser - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
Nordave,

I am a commercial pilot, a four wheel driver, and a fisherman. I use my GPS for all three things. I even use it on my pushbike.

I first bought a Magellan at the local camping store in Broome. I took it home and put the batteries in and it wouldn't even switch on. I took it back to the store and after the usual "did you put the batteries in the right way?" and "were they fresh batteries?" the guys in the store couldn't get it to work with their own batteries. Not a great quality indicator for Magellan, that the unit could leave the factory in a non-working state.

I then decided to spend a bit more and buy a Garmin GPS II+ because I had a lot pf experience with them and knew their systems. I have used Gamins in panel mount and portable models in aircraft doing 300kph. They are fantastic things to have on board when dodging the the big wet season thunderstorms! The portables we used were GPS 9's. Old by todays standard. The had removable antennas and plugged into the aircraft cigarette lighter (yes, they have them too).

I bought the GPSII+ because it had a detachable antenna. I could mount the unit wherever I liked and place the antenna on the dashboard, using an extension cable, I made very cheaply. The GPS 12 has basically all the same features exept the detachable antenna.

I now have the GPS mounted where the ashtray is on my 80 series. I just took the ashtray out and screwed the bracket to the to the metal top inside the recess. The antenna lead is routed up behind the dash into the the demister vent cavity to the antenna sitting on the dash. I have a combined cigarette lighter power socket plug and PC interface cable, (available from Garmin or cheaper clones also available). It plugs into the laptop and runs off the vehichle power at the same time.

The unit has a huge capacity for waypoints and tracks, so all my flightplans, fishing spots and 4WD routes are stored in it. They are also backed up on my laptop and home PC.

You can get the details of the units at www.garmin.com and I bought mine at a very good price at BIAS Marine in Nedlands in Perth www.bla.com.au. The boys at BIAS didn't have one in stock on the Monday I rang them, but they had one to me in Broome by Wednesday that week.

Happy Navigating,
Ian
AnswerID: 8900

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
Magellan have improved dramatically since Thales took them over. However, out of the current models Magellan have, the only ones I would put my money down on would be the SporTrak series - but they are *DISGUSTINGLY* overpriced in Australia compared to the US. For the same money as a basic SporTrak you can buy an eMap with substantially more features.

Ian KC, Magellan would have tested the unit before it left the factory, and all brands and products you occassionaly get a DOA unit. I have seen Collins radio units DOA straight out of factory sealed cartons.
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Reply By: Nordave - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks for the input people there’s some good advice here. The forum has confirmed some of the things I suspected. You just can’t beat hands on experience to iron out the sales pitch.
AnswerID: 8915

Reply By: Mikef_Patrol - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Hi All

We have a Garmin GPS2+. Cant beat it. Getting the PC cable tomorrow so I can use the laptop. Yeah!

Listen to OziExplorer, he had a lot of experience in this area.

MikeF
AnswerID: 8920

Follow Up By: Mikef_patrol - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Bugger, Sorry Oziexplorer
He has alot of experince (not had)
Derrrrr..
MikeF
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Follow Up By: Mikef_patrol - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
And try this thread on Overlander Forum

http://forums.overlander.com.au/messageview.cfm?catid=3&threadid=2305

Makes a really good read.

MikeF
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Reply By: Rob G - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Check out....http://joe.mehaffey.com/
AnswerID: 8930

Reply By: Janset - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Hey OziExplorer.

Is that you Des at OziExplorer or a clone with the same handle. If that is you Des Newman, then I am embarrassed praising your virtues. People may think we may have a thing going on here..... ;-)

Regards
AnswerID: 8933

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
That would be wishful thinking of the highest order.
I do however, use and praise the OziExplorer program as it is just the greatest, and Australian produced. I have had this handle in the US private MS newsgroups before I started using OziExplorer the program.
I have zero talent when it comes to programming, I have to rely on others ability.
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Follow Up By: Janset - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
Welcome to the land of mere mortals LOL

Regards
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