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Top 10 GPS Tips And Tricks – Get essentially the most out of your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS machine by studying easy methods to speed satellite lock, send maps from your PC, create POIs, and extra from our GPS skilled.

With world positioning system (GPS) units extra fashionable and affordable than ever, listed here are among the best methods to get more out of your personal navigator. What follows are 10 tips and tips, along with some bonus pointers for house owners of the two hottest brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Velocity Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

While you flip on your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac data from GPS satellites. No, this isn’t the Farmer’s Almanac, although it does must do with the place of objects within the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving data about where GPS satellites are situated 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 data efficiently, leave your GPS powered on and below an open sky, motionless, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll do this the primary time you flip the unit on, but it can be carried out any time after as nicely. It’s an particularly good first step to take in the event you notice satellite tv for pc acquisition taking longer than normal.

Another time you may speed satellite lock is if you hop in a rental automotive following a cross-country flight. Many GPS models have a “new location” possibility on the satellite display screen menu. Use this when you’ve travelled more than 100 miles or so to offer your unit an idea of what part of the world you are in, rushing up satellite lock in the course of.

On some models the new location feature will come up automatically if satellite tv for pc acquisition is taking too long. For a greater understanding of the expertise behind GPS, take a look at Garmin’s GPS Guide For Newbies.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS models are some of the hottest gadgets around, and I do mean hottest in every sense of the phrase. Smash and seize thieves can steal your GPS in less time than even the fastest unit can lock onto satellites, so to maintain your GPS off eBay, and your automobile’s home windows intact, listed below are just a few simple precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you leave your automobile.

Take away the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber fabric works great for this). Higher yet, ditch the suction mount altogether and purchase a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip almost any shape dash and are easy to hide under the seat or within the glove compartment. They do not fall off the windshield or depart suction cup marks behind.

That is my favourite kind of GPS mount. I can simply seize the complete mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat before I pull right into a parking lot, guaranteeing that no one 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 specific model varies according to the producer; some present ongoing assist better 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 fairly painless. They usually involve connecting your GPS to a computer (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and running the firmware update file. Garmin has simplified the method with its WebUpdater software, which is able to verify for new updates, or you can go to the Web site for a listing of the present firmware model for your model. You’ll find updates for Magellan gadgets on its help page, while TomTom updates are actually dealt with through the TomTom HOME software.

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There is all the time the likelihood that a major bug will make its approach into a brand new firmware release. One option to resolve that is to roll your unit again by putting in an older version of firmware. Luckily, GPSInformation.org has an archive web page of older firmware, for this very purpose.

Get Particular With Your Directions

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 Avenue” fairly than simply “turn left in 200 feet.” But text-to-speech only works if you select the fitting voice in the unit’s setup menu; it doesn’t always default to the right setting. So make certain you’re getting everything you paid for. Look for voice alternatives that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Replace Your Maps

If you happen to purchase one of the prime brands of GPS, you’ll be provided the possibility to update maps occasionally. These updates are sometimes rolled out every year. If you stay in a quickly creating space, this can be well worth the expense, which normally runs wherever from $40 to $100. Along with being accessible from the manufacturer, some manufacturers’ updates may be purchased at a discount by means of various online retailers.

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

Obtain Extra Factors Of Curiosity

Your GPS probably got here with anywhere from 750,000 to six million points of interest (POIs), however these can be woefully outdated or just missing in locations you are interested in. GPS owners often don’t realize that they can add customized POIs to most main brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be the perfect supported on this regard).

You may download POI recordsdata, usually without spending a dime, that include every part from red-light cameras to your favourite chain shops and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Buddy to examine them out. You can find more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource page.

Create Your Own POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your own POI files? It’s really not that onerous to do. GPSInformation.org contains tips about 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 will be discovered on the POI resource web page.

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Send Customized Maps From Your PC

It’s often easier to plan a visit at your pc than it’s using the small touch display in your GPS. Recently, Google Maps and MapQuest each added “Ship to GPS” options.

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

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

Use Your Automobile’s Speakers

Why hearken 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 automobile stereo’s speakers. This could work nicely in rural areas where the FM spectrum isn’t that crowded, however finding an open frequency will prove difficult in city locations.

One various is to use the headphone / audio-out jack, found on even mid-range GPS items. Merely connect a patch twine to the auxiliary enter in your car stereo for static-free sonic bliss.

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS starts performing a little buggy, and you’ve already tried installing the most recent firmware (see tip 3), you might need to strive a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or a similar application out of your GPS producer. To learn how to do a tough reset on your device, try doing a Google advanced search for the phrase “exhausting reset” and your GPS mannequin name and number.


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