GPS units

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 16:58
ThreadID: 84259 Views:6774 Replies:8 FollowUps:12
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I am looking at 3 GPS units and trying to determine which one to purchase.
I require a unit that will run 2 reversing cameras,

The units are Polaris 2 din universal in-das GPS/dvd with the OziExplorer CE Software package and Hema Australia 4WD Raser map collection preloaded and on DVD.

Hema navigator 5 onroad/offroad portable navigator with dual cameras and preloaded with NAVTEQ street mapping and HEMA 4WD & 1:250K Topo maps.

VMS Touring 600-6"GPS with dual cameras, preloaded with iGO 8 street navigation, Mudmap off Road GPS, Memory-Map CE, OziExplorer 2.33 (demo),iTopo + Gregory maps.

Some feed back on each of these units would be great from members about the different brands and also the different maps (Hema & iTopo + Gregory).

We pick up our EverNew van in June, can't wait to be on the move.
Ralph and Anne C (NSW)

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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 17:42

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 17:42
With dual cameras - I guess one is on a trailer/van.

Should this one be constant rear vision as opposed to reversing only.

I have a reversing camera which shows on a VMS unit (Oziexplorer mapping) in the dash and I have a separate screen to show constant rear vision from behind a van.

Very happy with these and they work well.

AnswerID: 444960

Reply By: Member - Mawso (WA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 18:03

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 18:03
I have had bad experiences over the last twelve months with the Hema 5 unit.
I am on my third unit and have had to fight with them each time re warranty.
I would not recomend the Hema 5.

Steve M.
AnswerID: 444963

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:12

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:12

Just to give a balanced argument, I have had just the one Hema Navigator for around the same time and experienced no trouble with it whatsoever.
I just love it.

What bad experiences have you had?
The same problem each time, or different problems?

There is only one "problem" that I know about and that is a problem in upgrading software/firmware with Windows 7 64 bit.
This is a known problem and Hema Support are working on a solution.



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FollowupID: 717156

Follow Up By: Member - Mawso (WA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 21:38

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 21:38
I fought for two months to have a faulty plug repaired and they cannot/do not repair them in Oz so it went off to China to be repaired. Hema argued the fix was going to cost me $300.00 but a month passed and they lost track of where mine was so after consumer affairs got involved they gave me a new one. The new one came as a bare unit out of the box and DIDNT WORK. After another trip with no navigator they finally gave me another (bare bones) replacement three weeks later. I dont trust it now so have moved on and purchased a VMS which has been on two successful trips and we couldn't be happier.
FollowupID: 717183

Reply By: vk1dx - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 18:47

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 18:47
One thing was blatantly missing when our two sons and ourselves went away. One son had a VMS the same as ours and the other had different "assmebled" one from the internet.

We could listen to music (DVD/CD/USB/IPOD) while OziexplorerCE was displayed. The other one without the VMS could not. We can also use blue tooth and listen to the iPod and Walmman and any USB music source.

My point is that if you are removing the incar radio unit to fit the GPS make sure it is multi tasking and can play music etc while the mapping S/W is on the screen. He had a DVD in the read but that was for the kids. He said he missed the radio etc.

The VMS can do both entertainment and GPS at the same time. The Polaris has music capabilities. I could not see the same with the Hema 5.

AnswerID: 444969

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:31

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:31
I had all this typed up before and the site did a S/W update. So we will try again

I should have used the spell checker. Walkman was spelt wrong and the DVD is in the "rear seats" for the children.

Quickly before I lose it again

FollowupID: 717163

Follow Up By: Racey - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 20:13

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 20:13
Check out the units on Brash Imports You can watch the camera, listen to music/radio and have the navigation system running.

I have have had 1 unit for over 12 months without a hitch. You can down load the manuals to check the details.

FollowupID: 717170

Follow Up By: Member - Ralph C (NSW) - Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 11:49

Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 11:49
Thanks Phil, still undecided as to whether to purchase an in car unit or the portable.
Will have a look at VMS and Polaris at the Rosehill caravan & camping show.

Will also check out Brash Imports that Racey has mentioned.
Ralph and Anne C (NSW)

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FollowupID: 717251

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 12:24

Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 12:24
I haven't checked what the latest VMS memory now what the Polaris has, but you may want to see what memory you have available for map storage. The VMS we have is limited to around 7.5Gb. I have filled one SD card with just the Hema maps and those down to 1:25000 for NSW, QLD and VIC only. When we go west I have to swap the SD card for one loaded for the west. I use OziCE in the car. And street map. But that all. The rest was deleted. I have never wanted to remove it for a walk. The compas and a paper map is fine. We always take the paper maps as a backup anyway. So its good to use them and a compas to keep in practice.

One of our club members has 39Gb of maps in his laptop for Ozi.

Also consider where the unit will be mounted. If sunlight is a problem, say shining in the windscreen at noon, then does it need a sun shield and can I make one if it idoes not have one. I made a simple one out of a sheet of plastic.

FollowupID: 717259

Follow Up By: Member - Ralph C (NSW) - Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 14:11

Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 14:11
Phil, the new VMS Touring 600 -6" GPS claims to support up 16GB memory cards so is looking good. Unable to find what Polaris support

Ralph and Anne C (NSW)

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FollowupID: 717283

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 15:30

Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 15:30
So Chris was telling me. Offered me an upgrade. The $ figure was ridiculous. So I made up a bunch of cards for different areas.

It works okay but I would prefer a neater solution like in the new one.

FollowupID: 717294

Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:20

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:20
Not quite sure what you mean when you say running two reverse camera's...........I read it as displaying two seperate images simultaneously?...if that is correct then maybe you are limiting the choice of units to select from.........Not sure why you would want that

we fitted an indash unit (Kenwood) that can receive an external GPS signal and display on the screen (read this is not the Kenwood system with GPS as that would not run WinCE)

so in other words the Kenwood has reversing camera input, bluetooth, DVD, TV, Ipod compatible, Radio, etc but we use a separate GPS unit that runs on WinCE and inputs to the Kenwood runs with the GPS on as well

This gives us any WinCE software.(OziEplorer, IGo for streets etc) for GPS capablilities.......and the stand alone reversing camera runs through an auto switch box that defaults to the caravan camera if plugged into the harness on the A frame or when not towing simply displays the view behind the vehicle when reverse is engaged..........

a quick press of a button on the dash display gives us the rear view camera display without the need for engaging reverse...perfect for monitoring behind you prior to overtaking etc
Life is a journey, it is not how we fall down, it is how we get up.
VKS 1341

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AnswerID: 444970

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:21

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 19:21
Most 2 camera units only run 1 camera at a time If you want both on you will need 2 screens.

AnswerID: 444971

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 21:34

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 21:34
Hi Ralph,

I have the Polaris and it can do all that you are wanting. Currently I am running IGO8 for the nav program and also Oziexplorer. While it only has 1 camera input, you can use a splitter and swap between the van and vehicle camera.

However, I would take a look at the Brash Imports model. Its main advantage - besides being much cheaper - is that you can run the camera as picture in picture and still have navigation running.

IMHO, when getting a camera, pay the few extra dollars and go the CCD over the CMOS types.


AnswerID: 444995

Reply By: homevale - Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 22:07

Thursday, Feb 10, 2011 at 22:07
I cannot stress enough that the Hema navigator loaded with Route 66 is completely useless for street navigation, at approximately $990 the unit is a very expensive topo navigator only, it cannot be relied on for accurate street navigation. I have returned to using a Garmin Nuvi for street navigation. The pre loaded topo maps on the hema have very poor coverage of Victoria. I have since loaded the Vic Spatial Maps into Ozi Explorer and these are great. Do not buy the Hema if you want an all in one unit as it will disappoint.

Hema customer service is also not the best and they will not provide any support for Route 66 Street navigation software that is loaded onto the device.

Route 66 has no facility for loading POI files and a very simple and useless web interface. the maps are hopelessly out of date.

Do not buy the hema, if you want to use it for street navigation.
AnswerID: 445000

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 17:59

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 17:59
Is the Route 66 a problem that you are experiencing in your neck of the woods Homevale or are you having problems elsewhere. I have a Hema 5 with Route 66 and have not experienced those problems in NSW, QLD, WA, SA and the parts of VIC I've travelled to. I do agree though that there are better street directories out there and my previous CoPilot 7 was pretty damn good. The pre loaded topo maps are limited but I've also loaded the set of 1:25K maps I have and the Spatial Maps. But, really unless you was to view the topography while driving the Hema series of maps are pretty comprehensive IMHO.
FollowupID: 717684

Follow Up By: homevale - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 20:58

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 20:58
I use GPS navigation in my work almost every day and have done so for over six years. When seeking an address in say Shepparton, Bendigo or Ballarat, route 66 will always choose a very roundabout route that does not appear to make make any sense, even if you assume it is taking the shortest or most direct route. I had become very familiar with Garmin and its no nonsense approach to finding street addresses, usually in a logical manner.

I would disagree that the pre loaded maps are comprehensive for Victoria, try using them in the central goldfields area, there is lot of bush and lots of tracks, but very few are covered on the Hema pre loaded maps.

I also do some off road driving when not working and find that the Vic Spatial maps are excellent and the Hema works very well in Ozi Explorer.

I know that most mapping on these types of units concentrate on the "outback" however there is a lot of tracks and bush in Victoria and not just in the high country which is the only region that gets a look in on the pre loaded maps. I see in an another post that there is problem with windows 7, I find the web based interface very difficult to use and understand and now I suspect there is a problem with Windows 7.

I have now run the Garmin and the Hema side by side in the car and the differences in the routes chosen is amazing. The Hema is constantly routing onto unused roads and tracks, whereas the Garmin will stick to main roads.

The Hema has a facility for defining speed limits for various types of roads, but as yet I have not been able to get an explanation from either Hema or Route 66 what their definitions are, I do know that the speeds entered into into the various categories do make a huge difference and have experimented with various combinations.

The Hema also has a problem with the clock, it has no facility to set daylight saving time in eastern Australia and will constantly readjust itself to any time, Rio de Janeiro or anywhere! This is only noticeable when you see a completely wrong estimated arrival time.

I have raised all these issues with Hema who are unable to provide any assistance as they only provide token support for Route 66, I was referred to Route 66 and also Navteq, the people who actually make the maps.

Emails with these companies have been unable to provide any solution to the time problem and provide an explanation of road categories, they have just gone silent after an initial followup.

I do not intend to completely disregard the Hema, as a topo GPS it is very good and does what it claims it will do. It is just that I have found the Route 66 software very inadequate.

An example of mapping problems is the fact that Route 66 still has the Goulburn Valley Highways south of Shepparton as a dual carriage way road, when it has been a freeway for about five years. It has many other discrepancies that are too numerous to mention.

Navteq have a facility to report any mapping problems but after numerous attempts to submit the problems I gave up as it would not work.

The Garmin Nuvi 1260 that I purchased recently to replace my old Street Pilot is an excellent street navigator for just over $200.00. The aded advantage of this unit is that it is small and can be tucked under the sun shield at the top of the windscreen and therefore not affected by sun glare. The bigger units will not fit in this area as they will obscure your vision. I tried the Hema in this position but it is too big. I had to buy a sun shield for the Hema as any direct sunlight renders the screen unreadable.

FollowupID: 717704

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 21:09

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 21:09
Thanks for that comprehensive response, I certainly haven't had a cause to get this deep into Route 66 - just seems to get to where I need to go and I've accepted that that is the quickest or shortest route. I don't seem to have a problem with glare - I have the unit mounted in very close to the driver side A pillar and this seems to shield the screen pretty well. When I get some spare time I might try to replace Route 66 with the most recent edition of either Copilot or Tom Tom or some other like piece of kit. Thanks again.
FollowupID: 717706

Follow Up By: homevale - Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 21:21

Monday, Feb 14, 2011 at 21:21
I am pretty sure that you cannot replace the Route 66 software.

One further point for route 66 is is its inability to load POI files. In the Garmin I have POI for school zones and town entry points plus the location of public toilets. (Very important when you travel a lot!)

FollowupID: 717708

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 18:56

Friday, Feb 11, 2011 at 18:56

Got your message but system had heart attack when I tried to reply. So here goes.

I find I want to have CONSTANT rear vision so that I know what is happening right behind me. I don't want to have to switch vision all the time as I want to know what is happening behind me at all times.

I have an in dash VMS unit for navigation and it is connected to rear vision on the vehicle. This comes on when in reverse and replaces the navigation info on the dash screen.

The constant rear vision from the van is a separate system and has a separate screen which is always on and always showing what is happening behind me.

From my knowledge you can units to take several video feeds and even have picture in picture but the best way to have navigation and constant rear vision is to have two systems. One is a navigator with reverse video and the second is pure constant video.

Before installation I hoped this would work fine as I didn't want to have to switch video feeds - I have been overjoyed by the peace of mind the two systems give me as often someone will get in close behind the van out of sight of mirrors but the camera shows them. Can also see when they make a move to pass.

AnswerID: 445101

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