Polaris GPS

Submitted: Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 10:24
ThreadID: 68440 Views:17069 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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I am seeking some information from those who have one of these units. I am looking to fit the double DIN model to my Toyota Hilux..

Can anyway confirm whether or not I can upgrade the maps (and mapping software) on this device myself, or if I need to return Polaris? Polaris advised only they can upgrade, but some internet reports suggest you can do yourself. I am looking to load IGO (onroad) and Oziexplorer (offroad). Please confirm?

When navigating with the radio/DVD playing audio in the background, does the audio cut out when navigation instructions are given?

Has anyone had reliability problems with this device? I have had some mates who purchased those cheaper units from eBay, and I personally don't think they are worth the $500 - $700 you pay for them.

Is the screen readable in direct sunlight?

What operating system does the Polaris unit run? Is it WinCE? If so, does anyone what what version?

I have also looked at the VMS unit. It is double the price, and personally I am struggling to understand what extra you get for your money. Am I missing something?
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 13:19

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 13:19
Do you need a built-in system?

You can buy a Hema Navigator for under $1000 which will do everything as good or better than the unit you have mentioned, including OziExplorer for country travel.

I looked at the Polaris site but could not find any technical information on adding extra functionality. It appears to be a Metropolitan voice guided navigation system only.



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AnswerID: 362791

Reply By: Rod, Sydney - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 20:19

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 20:19

I've had the VMS system for about a year. It has some issues but works well for me - and is a great improvement over my previous setup of a GPS and HP IPAQ on the windscreen. My priority was an integrated unit that did Oziexplorer, radio, iPod, and rear camera. Anything else was a bonus.

I've been looking at the Polaris at recent shows but have been unable to answer the questions you have - from a distance it looks as good as the VMS but much cheaper. The devil is in the detail!

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AnswerID: 362849

Reply By: troopy 2005 - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 20:24

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 20:24
we have a kenwood that runs garmin and oztopo.It is ipod compatable and can play audio and video, so you dont need cds or dvds.the navagation overides all audio.We bought a GME electrophone digital tv box so it now get tv as well.
I looked at the polaris and the guys at the head office were very helpful,but it seamed a bit old school as if i remember rightly didnt have the ipod connection.
Summing up it works really well and looks good and contained in the dash without having brackets and cables everywhere.
Worked really well on the tanami track and on the tracks between yunta and hawker.
we paid about $1800. check the kenwood website .
cheers bruce
AnswerID: 362851

Follow Up By: rotanon2 - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 10:29

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 10:29
Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the information. I had a look at the Kenwood site. Wasn't obvious which model allowed you to run OziExplorer. Can you please provide the model number of yours and what you needed to do to run OziExplorer.

The other thing, I am not a bit fan of Garmin. Do you know if you can change it iGO??

FollowupID: 630539

Follow Up By: troopy 2005 - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 11:37

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 11:37
Its the DNX7320 it may have been update .Im not big on the different types of mapping, but it takes an sd card and You take the card out to change systems, but the one it comes with is garmin and we got the sd card from oztopo.so im guessing anything on an sd card.
I liked all the units I saw ,so its up to you which one you like the best.
FollowupID: 630546

Follow Up By: troopy 2005 - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 11:39

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 11:39
the ones on ebay are cheap and nasty,my son got one and didnt work .sent back for refund.
FollowupID: 630547

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 22:14

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 22:14
I have the Polaris in my 200 series cruiser and am very happy with it. I run Ozi Explorer on it on a seperate SD card. You have to rename the oziexlorer.exe file to Drive.exe and copy a few other files across (HBS.txt etc...) from the original SD card to the new SD card. There is a pic of the polaris in "my profile" below.

I looked at the VMS system but could not justify the extra $1,600 for it. The VMS does have a few advantages like;
*3 camera inputs
*copies phone contacts list to unit (touch screen to call contacts)
*uses HDSD cards (can use 32Gb cards, Polaris is limited to 4Gb - non-HD cards are hard to come by now)
*DVD is inserted at top of screen, not by motorised screen lift

The new model VMS has a few more nice things now (TV for one) but I am very happy with my Polaris and having the $1,600 in my pocket. Using HDSD cards is a big advantage, I have to swap my maps around for where I am driving to keep under the 4Gb limit.

I have fitted a reverse camera and it is great, would not be without one now. My main reason for this type of unit over a windscreen mount was the original factory look.

When navigating, the audio does cut out but the screen is so big that I have turned off the GPS sound and simply rely on checking the screen.

The screen does suffer when the sun directly shines on it, but no worse than any other LCD screen.

It runs a modified WindowsCE 5 version, not all the DLL files are loaded so you cannot rely on other programs to work (need to work out what dll need adding to get other programs to work).

My biggest complaint is that when navigating by GPS and the phone rings, 70% of the screen is blocked out (so you can answer/cancel call) and you cannot see any upcoming turns (phone takes priority over GPS voice). They could have so easily made the phone screen transparent so that you could still see the GPS directions - oh well, if thats my biggest gripe...

Hope this helps


AnswerID: 362868

Follow Up By: rotanon2 - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 10:32

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 10:32
Thanks for the info Captain, very informative.

Do you know what screen resolution this device is capable of when running OziExplorer?
FollowupID: 630540

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 15:02

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 15:02
Easiest way to fix your phone problem is buy a bluetooth earpice and dont run it thru the Polaris. A good Motorola instant answer Model 710 is about $139.
Thats what I use as you dont always want the whole car listening to your conversation anyway.

FollowupID: 630584

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 22:56

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 22:56
Not sure what the resolution is (guess 720x480?), the DVD player resolution on the Polaris is good, but it is interlaced and this can be noticed on fast moving scenes. I also have a roof mounted Alpine DVD player and this has better resolution. However, the Polaris resolution is more than good enough for GPS navigation (my main use).

Graham - I already have a bluetooth earpiece but find the Polaris much easier to use, its just when navigating that it becomes an issue. But the privacy of an earpiece is an advantage.


FollowupID: 630701

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