Buying a GPS

Submitted: Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 14:06
ThreadID: 9684 Views:1588 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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I'm going to buy a GPS and have no idea on type, features etc. I’m hoping to use it in boats as well as 4x4's and be able to plug it into a computer (preferably through a USB port). Can you get one with rechargeable batteries that can be recharged through a cigarette lighter plug? Any suggestions?
See Ya
PatCMake plans... not excuses.
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Reply By: Member - JohnR - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 15:06

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 15:06
Pat, a few decisions to make for you before the decision is to which way to go.

1. What maps are you taking, paper or computer. If computer, will it run all the time you navigate? You say it has to be able to connect and they all do I believe. But what is the intention?
2. What detail do you want in your GPS. Specially loaded maps have better detail, that usually takes extra memory.
3. I am not aware of any that will recharge in the unit and performance of battery life is poor with rechargables. 1.2 volts max against 1.5 volts in throwaways. Car power is great for colour screens or backlighting in the dark. Both of which are hungry for battery power
4. Kayaks mean you may need floaties for the GPS too by the look of it or waterproof case.

There are quite a few postings just lately on the same issue and I guess I will get to test the water proofing of mine when there is some water in the rivers again in any quantity. My Meridian is supposed to float and has maps loaded but paper is great in a kayak waterproof file to work with it.Regards

JohnR - Not enough of the right travelling, some here..... some over there.......
AnswerID: 42674

Reply By: Member - Bob - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 15:35

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 15:35
I am unfamiliar with Garmins but with Magellan the 315 and below will give 10 m accuracy, while the 330 and above will give 3 m accuracy. These only plug into serial ports, so a serial/USB adaptor would be needed. Better to get an older computer with serial ports. To have internal rechargables you would need to modify the battery protection/isolation circuitry. As two AAs last about 8 hrs they are not that hungry. You could buy rechargeable 1.5v NiMHs from Jaycar though. You can pick up 2nd hand ones on the GPSOZ website (they advertise on this site), and sometimes in the trader section on this site. You don't need to spend more than 300 to 400 dollars.

I am presently using a Map330 with a PIII Toshiba. It works excellently with Discover Aus, and with OziEzplorer on Natmap Raster mosaic, and Hema great desert tracks.Bob
AnswerID: 42676

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 18:42

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 18:42
Bob, you would be very lucky to get that sort of accuracy in the Southern Hemisphere with no WAAS satellite in range. It may be fluked but not with any reliability. Am regularly driving away from a road if trees are about even reducing the reliability further in moving map mode, or on the stored maps!

15 metres is claimed though.Regards

JohnR - Not enough of the right travelling, some here..... some over there.......
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 20:20

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 20:20
John,
you are obviously correct, but I am continually surprised at the accuracy of the GPS. When tracks are recorded each way on a dual lane hwy you always clearly see the parallel tracks on the map running perfectly beside each other even when the lanes are less than 10 m apart. If the accuracy where only 10 or 15 m you would see the recorded tracks wavering or at times crossing each other.Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 20:31

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 20:31
Bob, am always dissapointed to see my tracks not even quite parallel with the last ones up the road as if I have taken a short cut.

You are right in the best conditions with the parallel tracks. Just the Meriplat seems to mis-compute sometimes where trees have given obscured signals.Regards

JohnR - Not enough of the right travelling, some here..... some over there.......
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Follow Up By: Steve L - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:20

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:20
Bob,

How do you explain the difference between the accuracy of the 315 and the 330. The 330 is simply the mapping version of the 315 - they both use 12 parallel channels to pick up the satellites.

I don't see how one could be more accurate than the other. I use a 315 and find it to be very accurate, though I also often have the parallel courses when I backtrack (rather than returning on the exact same path).
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:28

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:28
Steve,

as someone said above the 330 is WAAS enabled. If you go to the Magellan site it details the differences: www.magellan.com.au or www.magellangps.comBob
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FollowupID: 305103

Follow Up By: Steve L - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:32

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 08:32
Yes, but as also pointed out, WAAS isn't available here, therefore any difference available through such a feature isn't in the equation.

Therefore the 315 and 330 have the same accuracy.
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FollowupID: 305104

Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 21:11

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 21:11
Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you Steve. I am sure the 315 is very accurate, in fact, until I crashed the flash RAM, I had one too ;-)Bob
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Follow Up By: Steve L - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 07:31

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 07:31
No offense taken - I just couldn't see how there'd be any difference in the accuracy when running off the same system givne I knew WAAS was more acurate but that it wasn't available here.

I'm more than happy with the accuracy of the 315.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 20:10

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 20:10
Steve,
out of interest tonight I was playing with the Map330 and there was a W on the satellite Nav screen, meaning that it is receiving WAAS signals.
I checked the WAAS coverage and we do get it here in Oz.
http://217.204.152.210/support_maps.cfmBob
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Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 18:11

Monday, Jan 12, 2004 at 18:11
PatC, both Garmin & magelan will serve your purpose. I use a garmin2+ conected either to the laptop or a PDA. You can get power & data cables from here link text.Regards Bob
Where to next
AnswerID: 42696

Reply By: Ray_c_yuen - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 04:11

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 04:11
i wrote a review on the Garmin Etrex Legend. I have never used a GPS until I bought this one off Ebay. Put this into your address bar http://www.epinions.com/content_125664202372 Ray
AnswerID: 42762

Reply By: Richard - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 20:35

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004 at 20:35
I've run the Megallan 315 with Mapsend points of interest for about 4 years and although a basic unit has served me well. Have not found any reason to upgrade yet. Picked it up in the US at about half the Aust price but understand it has been replaced by the Meridian Series.
AnswerID: 42855

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