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

With world positioning system (GPS) devices more common and inexpensive than ever, here are some of the best methods to get more out of your personal navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and tips, along with some bonus pointers for homeowners of the two most popular manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Speed Up Satellite Lock

When you turn 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 place of objects in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving data about where GPS satellites are situated from your current location. Having this information in your unit will velocity satellite tv for pc lock, also referred to as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To obtain this info effectively, go away your GPS powered on and under an open sky, immobile, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll do this the primary time you flip the unit on, however it can be achieved any time after as nicely. It is an especially good first step to take in case you discover satellite acquisition taking longer than regular.

Another time you’ll be able to speed satellite tv for pc lock is when you hop in a rental automobile following a cross-country flight. Many GPS models have a “new location” choice on the satellite tv for pc screen menu. Use this when you’ve travelled greater than a hundred miles or so to present your unit an thought of what a part of the world you are in, dashing up satellite lock in the process.

On some units the brand new location function will come up robotically if satellite tv for pc acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a better understanding of the technology behind GPS, take a look at Garmin’s GPS Guide For Beginners.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS models are a few of the hottest gadgets round, and I do mean hottest in each sense of the word. Smash and seize 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 automotive’s home windows intact, listed below are just a few simple precautions:

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Take your unit with you whenever you go away your car.

Take away the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber fabric works great for this). Better but, ditch the suction mount altogether and buy a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip almost any shape sprint and are easy to cover under the seat or in the glove compartment. They do not fall off the windshield or leave suction cup marks behind.

This is my favorite type of GPS mount. I can simply seize your complete mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat before I pull right into a parking lot, ensuring that no one sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Update Firmware

Firmware is software that’s embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a specific model varies in keeping with the manufacturer; some present ongoing support higher than others. Firmware updates can repair system glitches and make your GPS function extra easily. And some firmware updates really add new features and capabilities.

Updates are pretty painless. They sometimes contain connecting your GPS to a computer (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and operating the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the process with its WebUpdater utility, which can test for brand new updates, or you possibly can go to the Web site for a list of the current firmware version on your mannequin. You could find updates for Magellan gadgets on its help page, whereas TomTom updates are actually handled via the TomTom HOME utility.

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There may be all the time the possibility that a major bug will make its way into a new firmware launch. One strategy to resolve that is to roll your unit back by installing an older model of firmware. Luckily, GPSInformation.org has an archive page of older firmware, for this very cause.

Get Particular With Your Instructions

Many mid-range GPS receivers provide text-to-speech, allowing them to call out the street names of upcoming turns. This function allows you to hear “turn left on Oak Road” slightly than simply “flip left in 200 toes.” Yet text-to-speech only works if you choose the precise voice within the unit’s setup menu; it doesn’t always default to the proper setting. So make certain you might be getting all the things you paid for. Look for voice picks that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Update Your Maps

In the event you buy one of the top manufacturers of GPS, you will be supplied the possibility to update maps on occasion. These updates are sometimes rolled out annually. For those who live in a quickly developing space, this may be worth the expense, which usually runs anywhere from $40 to $100. In addition to being available from the producer, some manufacturers’ updates may be purchased at a reduction via varied on-line retailers.

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

Download More Factors Of Interest

Your GPS probably came with wherever from 750,000 to 6 million factors of interest (POIs), however these might be woefully old-fashioned or just lacking in locations you have an interest in. GPS owners usually do not realize that they’ll add customized POIs to most main brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be the very best supported on this regard).

You can obtain POI recordsdata, normally without cost, that embrace everything from red-light cameras to your favourite chain shops and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Buddy to test them out. You could find more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource page.

Create Your Personal POIs

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

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Ship Customized Maps From Your PC

It’s usually easier to plan a visit at your laptop than it’s utilizing the small contact display screen in your GPS. Just lately, Google Maps and MapQuest both added “Ship to GPS” features.

From Google Maps, do a search after which click on on the “Send” link with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You may be given a choice of which search result you need to send, along with the choice to send it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

In MapQuest, seek for and choose a location and click on “Map.” Then click the drop-down “Send” box for a “Send to GPS” option. The MapQuest transfer course of only works with Garmin units.

Use Your Car’s Speakers

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 ship audio to your automobile stereo’s audio system. This may work properly in rural areas where the FM spectrum is not that crowded, but discovering an open frequency will prove challenging in urban areas.

One alternative is to make use of the headphone / audio-out jack, found on even mid-range GPS items. Merely join a patch twine to the auxiliary input on your car stereo for static-free sonic bliss.

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS begins appearing a little buggy, and you’ve got already tried installing the most recent firmware (see tip three), you might need to attempt a tough reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or the same utility out of your GPS manufacturer. To find out how to do a hard reset on your machine, try doing a Google superior seek for the phrase “laborious reset” and your GPS model identify and quantity.


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