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Top 10 GPS Ideas And Tricks – Get probably the most out of your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS system by learning learn how to pace satellite lock, send maps out of your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS knowledgeable.

With world positioning system (GPS) units extra well-liked and inexpensive than ever, listed here are a number of the best methods to get extra out of your personal navigator. What follows are 10 suggestions and tricks, along with some bonus pointers for owners of the 2 hottest brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

While you turn in your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac info from GPS satellites. No, this is not the Farmer’s Almanac, although 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 positioned out of your present location. Having this information on your unit will velocity satellite lock, also known as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

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

One other time you may pace satellite lock is once you hop in a rental automobile following a cross-country flight. Many GPS units have a “new location” possibility on the satellite tv for pc display menu. Use this when you’ve travelled more than 100 miles or so to offer your unit an concept of what part of the world you are in, dashing up satellite lock within the course of.

On some models the new location feature will come up robotically if satellite acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a better understanding of the expertise behind GPS, take a look at Garmin’s GPS Guide For Inexperienced persons.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS units are a few of the hottest devices around, 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 automotive’s home windows intact, here are just a few easy precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you go away your automobile.

Remove 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 purchase a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip almost any form sprint and are easy to cover beneath the seat or within the glove compartment. They do not fall off the windshield or go away suction cup marks behind.

That is my favourite type of GPS mount. I can easily grab the complete mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull right into a parking lot, guaranteeing that nobody 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 selected model varies in line with the producer; some provide ongoing assist better than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS function extra easily. And a few firmware updates actually add new options and capabilities.

Updates are fairly painless. They typically contain connecting your GPS to a pc (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and operating the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the method with its WebUpdater application, which can examine for brand new updates, or you may go to the Website for a list of the present firmware version in your mannequin. You will discover updates for Magellan devices on its help page, while TomTom updates are actually dealt with by way of the TomTom HOME software.

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Picture of GPS car tracking device using Arduino and smartphone from Arduino Gps Navigation , source:pinterest.com

There may be always the chance that a major bug will make its method into a brand new firmware release. One technique to resolve that is to roll your unit back by putting in an older model of firmware. Fortuitously, GPSInformation.org has an archive web page of older firmware, for this very motive.

Get Specific With Your Directions

Many mid-range GPS receivers provide text-to-speech, permitting them to name out the street names of upcoming turns. This characteristic permits you to hear “turn left on Oak Avenue” fairly than just “turn left in 200 toes.” But text-to-speech solely works if you choose the suitable voice within the unit’s setup menu; it doesn’t at all times default to the proper setting. So be sure you are getting all the pieces you paid for. Search for voice choices that say “TTS” or “computer.”

Update Your Maps

When you buy one of the top manufacturers of GPS, you may be provided the prospect to update maps from time to time. These updates are usually rolled out once a year. If you stay in a rapidly developing space, this may be well worth the expense, which often runs anywhere from $40 to $100. In addition to being accessible from the manufacturer, some manufacturers’ updates may be bought at a reduction by way of numerous online retailers.

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

Obtain Extra Points Of Interest

Your GPS probably came with anyplace from 750,000 to six million factors of interest (POIs), but these can be woefully out of date or just lacking in locations you are interested in. GPS house owners typically do not realize that they will add custom POIs to most major manufacturers of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be the very best supported on this regard).

You possibly can download POI information, usually for free, that include the whole lot from red-light cameras to your favorite chain stores and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Good friend to verify them out. You can find more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource web page.

Create Your Own POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your personal POI recordsdata? It is actually not that onerous to do. GPSInformation.org includes tips about creating POIs for Garmin devices. Or you can 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.

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Ship Customized Maps From Your PC

It’s typically simpler to plan a trip at your pc than it is using the small touch screen on your GPS. Recently, Google Maps and MapQuest both added “Ship to GPS” options.

From Google Maps, do a search after which click on the “Ship” link with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You will be given a alternative of which search end result you wish to ship, along with the choice to ship it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

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

Use Your Automotive’s Speakers

Why listen to directions (and MP3s and cell 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 speakers. This could work properly in rural areas the place the FM spectrum isn’t that crowded, but discovering an open frequency will prove challenging in city areas.

One various is to use the headphone / audio-out jack, found on even mid-range GPS models. Simply join 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 acting a bit of buggy, and you’ve got already tried putting in the latest firmware (see tip 3), you may need to attempt a tough reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or a similar software from your GPS producer. To learn how to do a tough reset on your gadget, attempt doing a Google superior search for the phrase “laborious reset” and your GPS model title and number.


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