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Top 10 GPS Ideas And Tricks – Get probably the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or different GPS gadget by learning find out how to pace satellite tv for pc lock, ship maps out of your PC, create POIs, and extra from our GPS expert.

With global positioning system (GPS) gadgets more fashionable and reasonably priced than ever, here are some of the finest methods to get more from your personal navigator. What follows are 10 suggestions and methods, together with some bonus pointers for owners of the 2 most popular brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Speed Up Satellite Lock

If you turn on your GPS for the first time, it downloads almanac information from GPS satellites. No, this isn’t the Farmer’s Almanac, though it does need to do with the place of objects in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving information about the place GPS satellites are positioned from your current location. Having this information in your unit will pace satellite tv for pc lock, also referred to as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To download this data effectively, depart your GPS powered on and underneath an open sky, motionless, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you will do that the primary time you turn the unit on, but it may be carried out any time after as effectively. It is an especially good first step to take when you discover satellite tv for pc acquisition taking longer than regular.

One other time you can velocity satellite tv for pc lock is once you hop in a rental car following a cross-country flight. Many GPS items have a “new location” choice on the satellite tv for pc screen menu. Use this if you’ve travelled more than a hundred miles or so to provide your unit an idea of what part of the world you’re in, dashing up satellite tv for pc lock in the process.

On some models the brand new location characteristic will come up robotically if satellite tv for pc acquisition is taking too long. For a better understanding of the know-how behind GPS, take a look at Garmin’s GPS Guide For Novices.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS models are some of the hottest gadgets around, and I do mean hottest in every sense of the word. Smash and seize thieves can steal your GPS in less time than even the fastest unit can lock onto satellites, so to keep your GPS off eBay, and your automotive’s home windows intact, here are a couple of simple precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you depart your car.

Take away the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber material works great for this). Higher yet, ditch the suction mount altogether and purchase a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip almost any form sprint and are straightforward to cover under the seat or in the glove compartment. They don’t fall off the windshield or depart suction cup marks behind.

This is my favorite kind of GPS mount. I can simply seize the entire mount/GPS meeting and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull into a parking lot, making certain that nobody sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Update Firmware

Firmware is software program that is embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a specific model varies in accordance with the producer; some provide ongoing help higher than others. Firmware updates can repair system glitches and make your GPS function extra easily. And some firmware updates actually add new options and capabilities.

Updates are fairly painless. They usually involve connecting your GPS to a pc (most receivers include a mini-USB cable) and working the firmware update file. Garmin has simplified the process with its WebUpdater utility, which can verify for brand spanking new updates, or you’ll be able to go to the Website for a list of the current firmware version for your mannequin. You could find updates for Magellan units on its assist page, while TomTom updates are actually handled via the TomTom HOME utility.

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There’s all the time the likelihood that a main bug will make its way into a new firmware launch. One strategy to resolve this is to roll your unit again by installing an older version of firmware. Fortunately, GPSInformation.org has an archive web page of older firmware, for this very cause.

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 characteristic enables you to hear “turn left on Oak Avenue” slightly than simply “turn left in 200 ft.” Yet text-to-speech only works if you select the right voice within the unit’s setup menu; it would not all the time default to the right setting. So be certain you’re getting every thing you paid for. Look for voice alternatives that say “TTS” or “pc.”

Update Your Maps

In case you buy one of many high brands of GPS, you’ll be offered the possibility to replace maps occasionally. These updates are sometimes rolled out every year. In case you reside in a quickly growing space, this may be definitely worth the expense, which often runs anywhere from $40 to $100. In addition to being accessible from the manufacturer, some brands’ updates may be bought at a discount by means of numerous on-line retailers.

Map updates for the leading manufacturers will be discovered by clicking on the relevant link: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a transfer positive to please Navigon owners, the corporate has announced that house owners of most of their models shall be eligible for a free map improve this spring.

Download More Points Of Interest

Your GPS probably got here with anywhere from 750,000 to six million points of interest (POIs), however these will be woefully out of date or simply lacking in locations you have an interest in. GPS homeowners typically do not realize that they will add customized POIs to most major manufacturers of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be the best supported in this regard).

You possibly can download POI information, usually at no cost, that embody everything from red-light cameras to your favourite chain shops and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Buddy to test them out. You could find extra sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource web page.

Create Your Personal POIs

Why not go a step further and create your personal POI information? It is really not that tough to do. GPSInformation.org includes tips on creating POIs for Garmin units. Or you need to use POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. Extra references, how-to’s, and format converters might be discovered on the POI useful resource web page.

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Ship Customized Maps From Your PC

It’s often easier to plan a trip at your laptop than it’s utilizing the small contact display on your GPS. Not too long ago, Google Maps and MapQuest both added “Send to GPS” options.

From Google Maps, do a search and then click on on the “Ship” hyperlink with the e-mail icon next to it. You’ll be given a choice of which search consequence you wish to send, along 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 on the drop-down “Send” field for a “Ship to GPS” possibility. The MapQuest switch course of solely works with Garmin devices.

Use Your Automotive’s Audio system

Why hearken to instructions (and MP3s and cellphone calls) over the tinny little speaker in your GPS? Many high-end GPS receivers have a built-in FM transmitter to send audio to your automotive stereo’s audio system. This may work well in rural areas where the FM spectrum is not that crowded, however finding an open frequency will prove difficult in urban locations.

One various is to make use of the headphone / audio-out jack, discovered on even mid-range GPS items. Simply join a patch wire to the auxiliary enter in your car stereo for static-free sonic bliss.

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS starts performing a bit of buggy, and you’ve already tried installing the most recent firmware (see tip three), you may want to attempt a tough reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or the same application out of your GPS producer. To learn how to do a hard reset on your machine, attempt doing a Google superior seek for the phrase “exhausting reset” and your GPS model title and number.


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