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High 10 GPS Suggestions And Methods – Get essentially the most out of your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS device by studying find out how to pace satellite lock, ship maps out of your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS knowledgeable.

With global positioning system (GPS) gadgets more fashionable and inexpensive than ever, listed here are among the best methods to get more out of your personal navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and methods, together with some bonus pointers for homeowners of the 2 most popular manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite Lock

While you flip in your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac info from GPS satellites. No, this is not the Farmer’s Almanac, though it does should do with the position of objects in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving data about the place GPS satellites are situated out of your current location. Having this information in your unit will speed satellite lock, often known as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To download this data effectively, depart your GPS powered on and underneath an open sky, motionless, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you will do that the primary time you turn the unit on, but it may be accomplished any time after as well. It is an especially good first step to take for those who discover satellite acquisition taking longer than regular.

Another 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 units have a “new location” possibility on the satellite tv for pc screen menu. Use this if you’ve travelled more than 100 miles or so to present your unit an thought of what a part of the world you are in, speeding up satellite tv for pc lock in the course of.

On some models the brand new location feature will come up routinely if satellite acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a greater understanding of the know-how behind GPS, check out Garmin’s GPS Information For Inexperienced persons.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS units are a few of the hottest gadgets round, 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 keep your GPS off eBay, and your automobile’s windows intact, listed here are just a few easy precautions:

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

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

That is my favorite type of GPS mount. I can simply grab the complete mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull into a parking lot, ensuring 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 particular mannequin varies in response to the manufacturer; some present ongoing support higher than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS operate extra smoothly. And some firmware updates truly add new options and capabilities.

Updates are fairly painless. They typically contain connecting your GPS to a pc (most receivers include a mini-USB cable) and working the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the process with its WebUpdater software, which can examine for brand new updates, or you’ll be able to go to the Site for a list of the current firmware version for your model. You will discover updates for Magellan devices on its help web page, whereas TomTom updates are now handled by means of the TomTom HOME software.

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

Get Specific With Your Instructions

Many mid-range GPS receivers supply text-to-speech, allowing them to name out the road names of upcoming turns. This characteristic allows you to hear “turn left on Oak Road” fairly than simply “flip left in 200 feet.” Yet text-to-speech solely works if you choose the right voice in the unit’s setup menu; it does not at all times default to the right setting. So make certain you might be getting all the things you paid for. Search for voice choices that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Update Your Maps

For those who buy one of many prime brands of GPS, you will be provided the chance to replace maps every so often. These updates are usually rolled out annually. In the event you stay in a quickly creating space, this may be worth the expense, which usually runs anyplace from $40 to $100. Along with being accessible from the manufacturer, some manufacturers’ updates could also be purchased at a discount via varied on-line retailers.

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

Obtain Extra Points Of Interest

Your GPS most likely came with wherever from 750,000 to six million points of interest (POIs), but these might be woefully outdated or simply missing in destinations you have an interest in. GPS homeowners typically do not realize that they can 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 obtain POI files, usually free of charge, that embrace the whole lot from red-light cameras to your favourite chain stores and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Friend to test them out. You could find more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI useful resource web page.

Create Your Own POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your individual POI files? It is really not that arduous to do. GPSInformation.org contains recommendations on creating POIs for Garmin gadgets. Or you need to use POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. Extra references, how-to’s, and format converters can be found on the POI resource page.

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Ship Custom Maps From Your PC

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

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

In MapQuest, search for and select a location and click “Map.” Then click on the drop-down “Send” field for a “Send to GPS” possibility. The MapQuest transfer course of only works with Garmin devices.

Use Your Automotive’s Audio system

Why hearken to instructions (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 ship audio to your car stereo’s speakers. This will work well in rural areas the place the FM spectrum is not that crowded, but discovering an open frequency will show challenging in city places.

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

Hit The Panic Button

In case your GPS begins appearing a bit buggy, and you’ve got already tried putting in the most recent firmware (see tip three), you might need to attempt a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or a similar software out of your GPS manufacturer. To learn how to do a hard reset in your machine, strive doing a Google advanced seek for the phrase “laborious reset” and your GPS mannequin name and quantity.

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