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High 10 GPS Ideas And Tips – Get the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS device by learning the right way to pace satellite lock, send maps out of your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS professional.

With global positioning system (GPS) devices more popular and inexpensive than ever, listed below are some of the best methods to get extra out of your personal navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and methods, along with some bonus pointers for owners of the 2 most popular manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

Once you flip on your GPS for the first time, it downloads almanac data from GPS satellites. No, this is not the Farmer’s Almanac, though it does must do with the position of objects in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving knowledge about the place GPS satellites are located from your present location. Having this information on your unit will pace satellite tv for pc lock, also called time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To obtain this information effectively, go away your GPS powered on and below an open sky, immobile, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll do that the first time you flip the unit on, but it can be performed any time after as well. It’s an particularly good first step to take for those who notice satellite acquisition taking longer than normal.

Another time you may pace satellite lock is when you hop in a rental automobile following a cross-country flight. Many GPS units have a “new location” option on the satellite screen menu. Use this while you’ve travelled more than a hundred miles or so to give your unit an thought of what part of the world you’re in, dashing up satellite lock within the process.

On some items the brand new location characteristic will come up routinely if satellite tv for pc acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a greater understanding of the know-how behind GPS, take a look at Garmin’s GPS Information For Newcomers.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS items are a number of the hottest devices round, and I do mean hottest in every sense of the word. Smash and seize thieves can steal your GPS in much less time than even the fastest unit can lock onto satellites, so to maintain your GPS off eBay, and your automobile’s windows intact, listed here are a number of easy precautions:

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Take your unit with you whenever you leave your automobile.

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

That is my favourite type of GPS mount. I can simply seize your complete mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull into a parking zone, making certain that no one sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Replace Firmware

Firmware is software program that’s embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a particular mannequin varies in line with the manufacturer; some present ongoing help higher than others. Firmware updates can repair system glitches and make your GPS operate extra smoothly. And a few firmware updates actually add new features and capabilities.

Updates are pretty painless. They usually contain connecting your GPS to a pc (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and working the firmware update file. Garmin has simplified the method with its WebUpdater software, which will verify for brand new updates, or you can go to the Website for a listing of the current firmware version for your mannequin. You could find updates for Magellan units on its help web page, whereas TomTom updates at the moment are dealt with via the TomTom HOME utility.

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There may be at all times the likelihood that a major bug will make its means into a new firmware release. One solution to resolve that is to roll your unit again by putting in an older model of firmware. Fortuitously, GPSInformation.org has an archive web page of older firmware, for this very purpose.

Get Particular With Your Instructions

Many mid-range GPS receivers supply text-to-speech, permitting them to call out the street names of upcoming turns. This characteristic lets you hear “flip left on Oak Road” relatively than simply “flip left in 200 ft.” Yet text-to-speech only works if you choose the best voice in the unit’s setup menu; it doesn’t always default to the right setting. So make sure you might be getting everything you paid for. Look for voice selections that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Update Your Maps

For those who buy one of many prime brands of GPS, you may be supplied the chance to update maps once in a while. These updates are typically rolled out every year. In case you stay in a rapidly creating space, this may be definitely worth the expense, which often runs wherever from $40 to $100. Along with being accessible from the producer, some manufacturers’ updates could also be bought at a reduction via varied online retailers.

Map updates for the leading manufacturers might be found by clicking on the relevant hyperlink: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a move sure to please Navigon house owners, the corporate has introduced that house owners of most of their units shall be eligible for a free map improve this spring.

Obtain Extra Factors Of Interest

Your GPS most likely got here with wherever from 750,000 to 6 million points of curiosity (POIs), however these can be woefully out of date or simply missing in locations you have an interest in. GPS house owners typically do not understand that they’ll add custom POIs to most main brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom seem to be the most effective supported on this regard).

You possibly can obtain POI recordsdata, normally for free, that embrace all the things from red-light cameras to your favourite chain stores and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Buddy to check them out. You’ll find extra sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI useful resource page.

Create Your Personal POIs

Why not go a step further and create your own POI information? It’s actually not that arduous to do. GPSInformation.org contains tips on creating POIs for Garmin gadgets. Or you should utilize POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. More references, how-to’s, and format converters could be discovered on the POI resource page.

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Send Customized Maps From Your PC

It is usually simpler to plan a visit at your computer than it’s using the small contact display screen on your GPS. Not too long ago, Google Maps and MapQuest each added “Ship to GPS” options.

From Google Maps, do a search after which click on on the “Ship” link with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You’ll be given a alternative of which search outcome you want to ship, together with the option to send it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

In MapQuest, seek for and choose a location and click on “Map.” Then click on the drop-down “Send” field for a “Send to GPS” choice. The MapQuest switch course of only works with Garmin gadgets.

Use Your Automobile’s Speakers

Why hearken to instructions (and MP3s and cellular phone 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 automobile stereo’s speakers. This will work effectively in rural areas where the FM spectrum isn’t that crowded, however finding an open frequency will show difficult in city places.

One alternative is to use the headphone / audio-out jack, found on even mid-range GPS units. Simply join a patch wire to the auxiliary input on your automotive stereo for static-free sonic bliss.

Hit The Panic Button

In case your GPS starts performing a little buggy, and you’ve got already tried installing the newest firmware (see tip three), you may wish to attempt a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or a similar utility out of your GPS producer. To learn how to do a hard reset on your machine, attempt doing a Google advanced seek for the phrase “onerous reset” and your GPS mannequin title and quantity.


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