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Top 10 GPS Ideas And Tricks – Get essentially the most out of your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS machine by studying tips on how to velocity satellite lock, send maps out of your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS skilled.

With international positioning system (GPS) units extra in style and reasonably priced than ever, listed below are among the finest methods to get extra out of your personal navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and tips, together with some bonus pointers for owners of the 2 most popular manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Velocity Up Satellite Lock

While you turn on your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac data from GPS satellites. No, this is not the Farmer’s Almanac, although it does should do with the place of objects in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving information about the place GPS satellites are positioned out of your present location. Having this information in your unit will pace satellite tv for pc lock, often known as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To obtain this data effectively, depart your GPS powered on and beneath an open sky, immobile, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you will do that the first time you flip the unit on, but it may be finished any time after as effectively. It is an particularly good first step to take for those who notice satellite tv for pc acquisition taking longer than normal.

One other time you’ll be able to velocity satellite tv for pc lock is when you hop in a rental automotive following a cross-country flight. Many GPS items have a “new location” option on the satellite tv for pc screen menu. Use this once you’ve travelled greater than 100 miles or so to present your unit an concept of what part of the world you are in, speeding up satellite tv for pc lock within the process.

On some items the brand new location characteristic will come up mechanically 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 Learners.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS items are some of the hottest devices round, and I do mean hottest in every sense of the phrase. Smash and grab thieves can steal your GPS in much less time than even the fastest unit can lock onto satellites, so to keep your GPS off eBay, and your car’s windows intact, listed below are a couple of easy precautions:

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

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

This is my favourite type of GPS mount. I can easily grab the whole mount/GPS meeting and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull into a car parking zone, guaranteeing that nobody sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Replace Firmware

Firmware is software program that is embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a particular mannequin varies based on the manufacturer; some provide ongoing support better than others. Firmware updates can repair system glitches and make your GPS operate extra smoothly. And a few firmware updates really add new options and capabilities.

Updates are pretty painless. They typically involve connecting your GPS to a computer (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and working the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the process with its WebUpdater utility, which can test for new updates, or you may go to the Website online for a list of the present firmware version on your model. You could find updates for Magellan gadgets on its support page, while TomTom updates at the moment are dealt with by means of the TomTom HOME utility.

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There may be always the chance that a major bug will make its means into a brand new firmware launch. One method to resolve that is to roll your unit again by installing an older model of firmware. Thankfully, GPSInformation.org has an archive page of older firmware, for this very motive.

Get Specific With Your Instructions

Many mid-range GPS receivers offer text-to-speech, allowing them to call out the street names of upcoming turns. This function enables you to hear “turn left on Oak Road” moderately than simply “turn left in 200 feet.” But text-to-speech solely works if you select the right voice in the unit’s setup menu; it does not at all times default to the right setting. So make sure you are getting the whole lot you paid for. Search for voice alternatives that say “TTS” or “pc.”

Replace Your Maps

If you happen to purchase one of many prime manufacturers of GPS, you will be supplied the chance to replace maps every now and then. These updates are typically rolled out every year. For those who stay in a rapidly developing space, this can be well worth the expense, which usually runs anyplace from $40 to $100. Along with being available from the manufacturer, some brands’ updates could also be bought at a reduction via varied online retailers.

Map updates for the main manufacturers can be found by clicking on the relevant hyperlink: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a transfer sure to please Navigon house owners, the company has announced that house owners of most of their models will be eligible for a free map upgrade this spring.

Obtain More Points Of Curiosity

Your GPS in all probability came with anywhere from 750,000 to 6 million factors of curiosity (POIs), however these will be woefully old-fashioned or simply missing in destinations you are interested in. GPS house owners often do not realize that they’ll add customized POIs to most major brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom seem to be one of the best supported on this regard).

You’ll be able to obtain POI files, normally totally free, that embrace the whole lot from red-light cameras to your favorite chain stores and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Friend to verify them out. You could find more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI useful resource web page.

Create Your Personal POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your individual POI information? It is really not that onerous to do. GPSInformation.org consists of tips about creating POIs for Garmin units. Or you should utilize POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. More references, how-to’s, and format converters will be found on the POI resource web page.

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Send Custom Maps From Your PC

It’s usually simpler to plan a visit at your computer than it is using the small contact display 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 “Ship” hyperlink with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You may be given a choice of which search result you want to ship, along with the option to send it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

In MapQuest, search for and choose 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 units.

Use Your Car’s Speakers

Why take heed to directions (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 car stereo’s audio system. This will work properly in rural areas the place the FM spectrum is not that crowded, but finding an open frequency will prove challenging in city areas.

One alternative is to use the headphone / audio-out jack, found on even mid-range GPS items. Simply connect 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 somewhat buggy, and you’ve already tried installing the latest firmware (see tip 3), you would possibly wish to try a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or an analogous application from your GPS producer. To learn the way to do a tough reset on your gadget, strive doing a Google advanced seek for the phrase “laborious reset” and your GPS mannequin title and quantity.


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