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High 10 GPS Tips And Tricks – Get the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS gadget by studying the best way to pace satellite lock, send maps from your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS skilled.

With world positioning system (GPS) gadgets extra common and affordable than ever, here are a number of the best methods to get extra out of your private navigator. What follows are 10 tips and tricks, along with some bonus pointers for owners of the 2 most popular manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite Lock

Once you flip on your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac info from GPS satellites. No, this is not the Farmer’s Almanac, although it does need to do with the position of objects in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving information about where GPS satellites are located out of your present location. Having this information in your unit will velocity satellite lock, often known as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To obtain this info efficiently, leave your GPS powered on and underneath an open sky, motionless, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll do that the primary time you flip the unit on, however it may be executed any time after as effectively. It’s an particularly good first step to take in the event you notice satellite acquisition taking longer than normal.

Another time you can velocity satellite tv for pc lock is once you hop in a rental automobile following a cross-country flight. Many GPS items have a “new location” choice on the satellite tv for pc display screen menu. Use this once you’ve travelled greater than 100 miles or so to give your unit an concept of what part of the world you’re in, speeding up satellite lock in the course of.

On some models the new location feature will come up mechanically if satellite tv for pc acquisition is taking too long. For a greater understanding of the know-how behind GPS, check out Garmin’s GPS Guide For Freshmen.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS units are some of the hottest devices around, and I do imply hottest in each sense of the word. Smash and grab thieves can steal your GPS in less time than even the quickest unit can lock onto satellites, so to keep your GPS off eBay, and your car’s home windows intact, listed below are a few easy precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you depart your automotive.

Take away the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber cloth works great for this). Better yet, ditch the suction mount altogether and buy a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip nearly any shape dash and are straightforward to cover beneath the seat or in the glove compartment. They don’t fall off the windshield or depart suction cup marks behind.

That is my favorite kind of GPS mount. I can easily seize the entire mount/GPS meeting and place it on the passenger seat before I pull into a parking lot, guaranteeing that nobody sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Replace Firmware

Firmware is software that is embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a particular mannequin varies in accordance with the producer; some provide ongoing support better than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS operate more easily. And some firmware updates really add new features and capabilities.

Updates are fairly painless. They typically involve connecting your GPS to a pc (most receivers include a mini-USB cable) and operating the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the method with its WebUpdater application, which is able to verify for brand spanking new updates, or you’ll be able to go to the Site for a list of the current firmware version on your model. You will discover updates for Magellan units on its help web page, whereas TomTom updates at the moment are dealt with by the TomTom HOME application.

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There’s at all times the likelihood that a main bug will make its approach into a brand new firmware launch. One way to resolve this is to roll your unit back by putting in an older version of firmware. Luckily, GPSInformation.org has an archive web page of older firmware, for this very reason.

Get Specific With Your Instructions

Many mid-range GPS receivers supply text-to-speech, permitting them to name out the road names of upcoming turns. This feature lets you hear “turn left on Oak Road” somewhat than just “flip left in 200 ft.” Yet text-to-speech solely works if you select the fitting voice in the unit’s setup menu; it would not at all times default to the proper setting. So make sure you’re getting all the pieces you paid for. Look for voice choices that say “TTS” or “computer.”

Update Your Maps

For those who purchase one of many top brands of GPS, you will be provided the chance to replace maps every so often. These updates are sometimes rolled out annually. For those who stay in a quickly developing area, this may be definitely worth the expense, which usually runs anyplace from $40 to $100. In addition to being out there from the producer, some brands’ updates could also be bought at a reduction by numerous online retailers.

Map updates for the leading producers could be found by clicking on the relevant hyperlink: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a move certain to please Navigon homeowners, the company has announced that homeowners of most of their items will probably be eligible for a free map upgrade this spring.

Obtain Extra Factors Of Curiosity

Your GPS probably got here with anywhere from 750,000 to 6 million points of curiosity (POIs), however these could be woefully old-fashioned or simply missing in destinations you have an interest in. GPS homeowners often don’t realize that they’ll add customized POIs to most main manufacturers of GPS (Garmin and TomTom seem to be the perfect supported in this regard).

You may obtain POI recordsdata, often without cost, that embody every little thing from red-light cameras to your favorite chain stores and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Friend to examine them out. Yow will discover extra sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource page.

Create Your Own POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your individual POI recordsdata? It’s really not that arduous to do. GPSInformation.org includes tips on creating POIs for Garmin devices. Or you should use POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. Extra references, how-to’s, and format converters will be discovered on the POI useful resource page.

James Martin CNET
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Ship Custom Maps From Your PC

It’s typically easier to plan a visit at your laptop than it is using the small contact display screen on your GPS. Lately, Google Maps and MapQuest each added “Ship to GPS” options.

From Google Maps, do a search and then click on the “Send” link with the e-mail icon next to it. You’ll be given a selection of which search result you need to ship, together with the option to ship it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

In MapQuest, seek for and select a location and click “Map.” Then click the drop-down “Ship” box for a “Ship to GPS” choice. The MapQuest transfer process solely works with Garmin gadgets.

Use Your Automotive’s Speakers

Why listen to directions (and MP3s and mobile phone calls) over the tinny little speaker in your GPS? Many high-end GPS receivers have a built-in FM transmitter to ship audio to your car stereo’s audio system. This could work well in rural areas where the FM spectrum is not that crowded, however finding an open frequency will show challenging in city areas.

One different is to use the headphone / audio-out jack, discovered on even mid-range GPS models. Simply connect a patch cord to the auxiliary enter in your car stereo for static-free sonic bliss.

Hit The Panic Button

In case your GPS begins appearing a little buggy, and you have already tried installing the latest firmware (see tip 3), you would possibly wish to attempt a tough reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or a similar utility from your GPS manufacturer. To learn how to do a hard reset in your machine, try doing a Google superior search for the phrase “hard reset” and your GPS model identify and quantity.

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