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Top 10 GPS Tips And Tricks – Get probably the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS device by learning how to pace satellite lock, send maps from your PC, create POIs, and extra from our GPS knowledgeable.

With world positioning system (GPS) gadgets extra well-liked and affordable than ever, here are a number of the best methods to get more from your private navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and methods, along with some bonus pointers for house owners of the two hottest manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

While you turn in your GPS for the first time, it downloads almanac info from GPS satellites. No, this is not the Farmer’s Almanac, though it does need to do with the position of objects in the sky. On this case, your unit is receiving information about the place GPS satellites are located from your present location. Having this information on your unit will velocity satellite lock, also referred to as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To download this information efficiently, leave your GPS powered on and beneath an open sky, immobile, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you will do this the primary time you flip the unit on, but it may be done any time after as effectively. It is an especially good first step to take in case you discover satellite tv for pc acquisition taking longer than regular.

Another time you possibly can speed satellite tv for pc lock is when you hop in a rental car following a cross-country flight. Many GPS items have a “new location” choice on the satellite screen menu. Use this if you’ve travelled greater than 100 miles or so to offer your unit an concept of what a part of the world you are in, dashing up satellite lock in the course of.

On some models the brand new location function will come up mechanically if satellite acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a better understanding of the know-how behind GPS, check out Garmin’s GPS Guide For Learners.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS models are a number of the hottest gadgets round, and I do mean hottest in every sense of the word. Smash and seize thieves can steal your GPS in much less time than even the quickest unit can lock onto satellites, so to maintain your GPS off eBay, and your car’s windows intact, listed here are a couple of simple precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you leave your car.

Remove the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber material works great for this). Better but, ditch the suction mount altogether and buy a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip practically any form sprint and are simple to hide under the seat or in the glove compartment. They don’t fall off the windshield or go away suction cup marks behind.

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

Replace Firmware

Firmware is software that’s embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a specific mannequin varies according to the producer; some present ongoing help better than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS operate extra easily. And a few firmware updates truly add new options and capabilities.

Updates are pretty painless. They sometimes involve connecting your GPS to a computer (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and operating the firmware update file. Garmin has simplified the method with its WebUpdater utility, which will test for new updates, or you can go to the Site for a listing of the current firmware model to your mannequin. You’ll find updates for Magellan gadgets on its help page, while TomTom updates are now dealt with by means of the TomTom HOME utility.

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There’s always the chance that a main bug will make its manner into a brand new firmware launch. One way to resolve that is to roll your unit back by putting in an older model of firmware. Fortunately, GPSInformation.org has an archive page of older firmware, for this very purpose.

Get Specific With Your Directions

Many mid-range GPS receivers provide text-to-speech, permitting them to name out the street names of upcoming turns. This feature helps you to hear “flip left on Oak Street” relatively than simply “turn left in 200 ft.” Yet text-to-speech only works if you choose the suitable voice within the unit’s setup menu; it does not at all times default to the proper setting. So make certain you might be getting every thing you paid for. Search for voice picks that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Replace Your Maps

For those who purchase one of the top manufacturers of GPS, you may be supplied the chance to replace maps occasionally. These updates are sometimes rolled out annually. Should you dwell in a quickly creating space, this may be definitely worth the expense, which usually runs anyplace from $40 to $100. Along with being accessible from the producer, some manufacturers’ updates may be purchased at a discount through 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 move positive to please Navigon homeowners, the company has announced that homeowners of most of their models will be eligible for a free map improve this spring.

Obtain Extra Points Of Interest

Your GPS in all probability came with anywhere from 750,000 to six million factors of curiosity (POIs), however these could be woefully out of date or just lacking in locations you are interested in. GPS homeowners usually do not understand that they will add customized POIs to most major brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom seem to be the perfect supported on this regard).

You can download POI information, often without spending a dime, that include every thing from red-light cameras to your favorite chain shops and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Pal to examine 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 further and create your personal POI files? It’s actually not that arduous to do. GPSInformation.org contains tips on creating POIs for Garmin devices. Or you need to use POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. Extra references, how-to’s, and format converters might be found on the POI resource web page.

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Ship Custom Maps From Your PC

It is often easier to plan a trip at your computer than it’s utilizing the small contact display screen in your GPS. Lately, Google Maps and MapQuest each added “Ship 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 consequence you need to send, along with the choice to ship 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” option. The MapQuest switch process solely works with Garmin gadgets.

Use Your Automobile’s Audio system

Why listen 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 send audio to your automobile stereo’s audio system. This could work properly in rural areas the place the FM spectrum isn’t that crowded, however finding an open frequency will prove difficult in city locations.

One various is to make use of the headphone / audio-out jack, found on even mid-range GPS models. Simply join a patch cord to the auxiliary input in your car stereo for static-free sonic bliss.

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS begins acting a bit buggy, and you have already tried installing the latest firmware (see tip 3), you might need to attempt a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or an identical utility from your GPS manufacturer. To learn the way to do a hard reset on your system, attempt doing a Google superior seek for the phrase “hard reset” and your GPS mannequin name and quantity.

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