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Top 10 GPS Ideas And Methods – Get essentially the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or different GPS system by learning methods to speed satellite lock, ship maps from your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS professional.

With global positioning system (GPS) gadgets extra widespread and reasonably priced than ever, here are among the finest methods to get more out of your private navigator. What follows are 10 suggestions and tricks, along with some bonus pointers for homeowners of the 2 most popular manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

Once you turn in your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac data from GPS satellites. No, this isn’t the Farmer’s Almanac, although it does should do with the place of objects within the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving information about the place GPS satellites are positioned out of your present location. Having this info in your unit will speed satellite lock, also referred to as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

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

One other time you may speed satellite lock is if you hop in a rental car following a cross-country flight. Many GPS units have a “new location” option on the satellite screen menu. Use this once you’ve travelled more than 100 miles or so to give your unit an concept of what part of the world you are in, rushing up satellite lock in the course of.

On some units the new location function will come up routinely if satellite acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a better understanding of the technology behind GPS, take a look at Garmin’s GPS Guide For Beginners.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS items are a number of the hottest gadgets around, and I do imply hottest in every sense of the word. Smash and seize thieves can steal your GPS in less time than even the quickest unit can lock onto satellites, so to maintain your GPS off eBay, and your car’s home windows intact, here are a number of easy precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you depart your automotive.

Take away 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 nearly any shape dash and are simple to cover beneath the seat or in the glove compartment. They do not fall off the windshield or leave suction cup marks behind.

This is my favourite sort of GPS mount. I can easily grab your complete mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat before I pull right into a parking lot, making certain that no one sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Replace Firmware

Firmware is software that is embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a selected model varies based on the manufacturer; some present ongoing assist better than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS function more easily. And a few firmware updates really add new options and capabilities.

Updates are pretty painless. They typically 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 method with its WebUpdater utility, which is able to test for new updates, or you’ll be able to go to the Web site for an inventory of the present firmware model on your model. You’ll find updates for Magellan units on its assist web page, whereas TomTom updates are now handled via the TomTom HOME utility.

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There’s at all times the possibility that a main bug will make its method into a new firmware launch. One approach to resolve that is to roll your unit back by installing an older version of firmware. Fortunately, GPSInformation.org has an archive web page of older firmware, for this very reason.

Get Specific With Your Instructions

Many mid-range GPS receivers offer text-to-speech, allowing them to name out the road names of upcoming turns. This characteristic permits you to hear “turn left on Oak Street” rather than simply “turn left in 200 toes.” But text-to-speech solely works if you choose the suitable voice in the unit’s setup menu; it does not always default to the correct setting. So make sure you are getting every part you paid for. Search for voice choices that say “TTS” or “pc.”

Replace Your Maps

In the event you buy one of many prime manufacturers of GPS, you will be provided the prospect to replace maps now and again. These updates are usually rolled out once a year. Should you stay in a quickly developing space, this may be worth the expense, which often runs wherever from $40 to $100. In addition to being accessible from the producer, some manufacturers’ updates could also be bought at a discount via varied on-line retailers.

Map updates for the main producers can be discovered by clicking on the related hyperlink: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a move certain to please Navigon house owners, the company has introduced that house owners of most of their units shall be eligible for a free map upgrade this spring.

Download Extra Points Of Curiosity

Your GPS most likely got here with wherever from 750,000 to 6 million points of curiosity (POIs), but these may be woefully old-fashioned or just missing in locations you are interested in. GPS homeowners often do not realize that they’ll add customized POIs to most main brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be the best supported on this regard).

You possibly can download POI files, usually totally free, that embrace all the pieces from red-light cameras to your favorite chain stores and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Good friend to verify them out. You could find more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI useful resource page.

Create Your Personal POIs

Why not go a step further and create your personal POI recordsdata? It is really not that onerous to do. GPSInformation.org includes recommendations on creating POIs for Garmin units. Or you can use POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. Extra references, how-to’s, and format converters may be found on the POI resource web page.

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Ship Custom Maps From Your PC

It’s often simpler to plan a trip at your pc than it’s using the small contact display screen in your GPS. Just lately, Google Maps and MapQuest both added “Send to GPS” features.

From Google Maps, do a search after which click on on the “Send” hyperlink with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You’ll be given a selection of which search end result you wish to ship, along with the option to send it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

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

Use Your Automobile’s Speakers

Why listen to instructions (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 send audio to your automobile stereo’s speakers. This can work effectively in rural areas where the FM spectrum is not that crowded, but finding an open frequency will show difficult in city areas.

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

Hit The Panic Button

In case your GPS begins appearing a bit buggy, and you’ve already tried putting in the latest firmware (see tip three), you would possibly need to try a tough reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or a similar application from your GPS manufacturer. To find out how to do a hard reset in your system, try doing a Google advanced seek for the phrase “arduous reset” and your GPS mannequin identify and number.

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