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High 10 GPS Tips And Methods – Get essentially the most out of your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or different GPS device by learning the best way to velocity satellite lock, ship maps out of your PC, create POIs, and extra from our GPS expert.

With international positioning system (GPS) units extra standard and affordable than ever, here are among the best methods to get more from your personal navigator. What follows are 10 suggestions and tricks, together with some bonus pointers for homeowners of the two hottest brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Speed Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

If you flip on your GPS for the first time, it downloads almanac data from GPS satellites. No, this isn’t 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 where GPS satellites are situated from your present location. Having this info on your unit will velocity satellite tv for pc lock, often known as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To obtain this info efficiently, leave your GPS powered on and underneath an open sky, immobile, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll do this the primary time you turn the unit on, but it can be done any time after as properly. It’s an especially good first step to take if you happen to discover satellite acquisition taking longer than regular.

One other time you possibly can speed satellite tv for pc lock is if you hop in a rental automobile following a cross-country flight. Many GPS models have a “new location” choice on the satellite screen menu. Use this whenever you’ve travelled greater than a hundred miles or so to present your unit an concept of what part of the world you are in, rushing up satellite lock within 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 know-how behind GPS, try Garmin’s GPS Guide For Inexperienced persons.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS units 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 quickest unit can lock onto satellites, so to keep your GPS off eBay, and your automobile’s windows intact, listed below are a few simple precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you depart your automotive.

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

That is my favourite sort 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.

Update Firmware

Firmware is software program that is embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a selected mannequin varies in line with the manufacturer; some present ongoing support higher than others. Firmware updates can repair system glitches and make your GPS operate extra easily. And some firmware updates truly 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 working the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the process with its WebUpdater utility, which will examine for brand spanking new updates, or you possibly can go to the Website for an inventory of the current firmware version on your mannequin. You can find updates for Magellan units on its help page, while TomTom updates are actually handled by way of the TomTom HOME application.

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There is at all times the likelihood that a main bug will make its method into a brand new firmware release. One method to resolve this is to roll your unit again by putting in an older model of firmware. Fortunately, GPSInformation.org has an archive 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 helps you to hear “turn left on Oak Avenue” rather than just “turn left in 200 ft.” But text-to-speech only works if you choose the best voice within the unit’s setup menu; it does not at all times default to the right setting. So be certain you are getting every thing you paid for. Look for voice alternatives that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Replace Your Maps

In case you purchase one of many top manufacturers of GPS, you’ll be supplied the chance to replace maps once in a while. These updates are sometimes rolled out yearly. In case you reside in a rapidly developing area, this can be definitely worth the expense, which often runs anyplace from $40 to $100. In addition to being available from the manufacturer, some brands’ updates may be purchased at a reduction via various on-line retailers.

Map updates for the main producers could be discovered by clicking on the relevant hyperlink: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a transfer certain to please Navigon owners, the company has announced that owners of most of their items might be eligible for a free map upgrade this spring.

Obtain More Points Of Interest

Your GPS most likely got here with wherever from 750,000 to 6 million points of interest (POIs), but these might be woefully outdated or just lacking in locations you have an interest in. GPS house owners typically do not realize that they’ll add custom POIs to most major brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be one of the best supported in this regard).

You possibly can download POI files, usually for free, that embrace every little thing from red-light cameras to your favorite chain shops and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Friend to test them out. Yow will discover extra sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI useful resource page.

Create Your Personal POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your personal POI recordsdata? It’s really not that onerous to do. GPSInformation.org consists of 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 may be discovered on the POI useful resource page.

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Ship Customized Maps From Your PC

It is often simpler to plan a visit at your computer than it’s using the small contact display screen on your GPS. Just lately, Google Maps and MapQuest both added “Ship to GPS” options.

From Google Maps, do a search and then click on on the “Send” hyperlink with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You may be given a selection of which search consequence you need to send, together with the choice to ship 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” field for a “Send to GPS” possibility. The MapQuest switch process solely works with Garmin gadgets.

Use Your Automotive’s Speakers

Why hearken to directions (and MP3s and mobile 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 automotive stereo’s audio system. This may work properly in rural areas the place the FM spectrum is not that crowded, however finding an open frequency will prove difficult in urban locations.

One alternative is to use the headphone / audio-out jack, discovered on even mid-range GPS models. Merely connect a patch twine to the auxiliary input in your automotive stereo for static-free sonic bliss.

Hit The Panic Button

In case your GPS starts performing just a little buggy, and you have already tried putting in the newest firmware (see tip 3), you would possibly want to strive a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or an analogous software out of your GPS producer. To learn how to do a tough reset on your device, try doing a Google advanced seek for the phrase “exhausting reset” and your GPS model title and number.

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