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High 10 GPS Tips And Tricks – Get probably the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS gadget by studying tips on how to velocity satellite lock, send maps from your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS knowledgeable.

With global positioning system (GPS) devices extra common and reasonably priced than ever, here are a number of the greatest ways to get more from your personal navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and tips, together with some bonus pointers for homeowners of the 2 most popular brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Speed Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

If you turn on your GPS for the primary 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 data about the place GPS satellites are situated out of your current location. Having this info on your unit will velocity satellite lock, also called time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To download this data efficiently, depart your GPS powered on and underneath an open sky, motionless, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll do this the first time you turn the unit on, but it may be executed any time after as effectively. It is an especially good first step to take if you notice satellite acquisition taking longer than normal.

One other time you’ll be able to pace satellite lock is while you hop in a rental automobile following a cross-country flight. Many GPS models have a “new location” choice on the satellite display screen menu. Use this while you’ve travelled greater than a hundred miles or so to provide your unit an idea of what a part of the world you are in, speeding up satellite tv for pc lock in the course of.

On some items the new location characteristic will come up routinely if satellite acquisition is taking too long. For a greater understanding of the expertise behind GPS, try Garmin’s GPS Information For Novices.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS models are a few of the hottest gadgets around, and I do mean hottest in each sense of the phrase. 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 automotive’s home windows intact, listed here are a number of simple precautions:

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Take your unit with you whenever you leave your car.

Remove the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber cloth works great for this). Better yet, ditch the suction mount altogether and buy a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip almost any shape dash and are easy to hide below the seat or in 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 easily grab your entire mount/GPS meeting and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull into a parking zone, guaranteeing that nobody 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 particular model varies in keeping with the producer; some present ongoing help better than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS function extra easily. And a few firmware updates really add new options and capabilities.

Updates are pretty 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 process with its WebUpdater application, which can examine for brand new updates, or you’ll be able to go to the Site for a list of the present firmware model for your model. You could find updates for Magellan devices on its help page, while TomTom updates are actually handled by way of the TomTom HOME application.

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There’s all the time the possibility that a main bug will make its means into a brand new firmware release. One strategy to resolve that is to roll your unit again by putting in an older model of firmware. Fortuitously, GPSInformation.org has an archive page of older firmware, for this very motive.

Get Particular With Your Instructions

Many mid-range GPS receivers provide text-to-speech, allowing them to name out the street names of upcoming turns. This function allows you to hear “flip left on Oak Road” somewhat than simply “flip left in 200 ft.” But text-to-speech only works if you select the correct voice within the unit’s setup menu; it does not always default to the right setting. So be sure you’re getting every part you paid for. Search for voice alternatives that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Replace Your Maps

If you buy one of many top manufacturers of GPS, you will be provided the chance to replace maps now and again. These updates are sometimes rolled out annually. In case you live in a rapidly developing area, this may be worth the expense, which often runs anywhere from $40 to $100. In addition to being out there from the producer, some manufacturers’ updates could also be purchased at a discount by numerous online retailers.

Map updates for the leading manufacturers can be found by clicking on the related link: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a move certain to please Navigon house owners, the corporate has announced that owners of most of their models will probably be eligible for a free map improve this spring.

Obtain More Points Of Interest

Your GPS most likely got here with wherever from 750,000 to six million points of interest (POIs), but these could be woefully old-fashioned or just lacking in locations you are interested in. GPS owners usually do not understand that they can add custom POIs to most main manufacturers of GPS (Garmin and TomTom seem to be the perfect supported on this regard).

You can download POI files, often totally free, that include all the pieces from red-light cameras to your favourite chain shops and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Friend to examine them out. You’ll find extra sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource page.

Create Your Personal POIs

Why not go a step further and create your personal POI information? It’s actually not that tough to do. GPSInformation.org includes tips 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 can be found on the POI resource page.

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Ship Custom Maps From Your PC

It is typically simpler to plan a trip at your laptop than it’s utilizing the small touch display on your GPS. Not too long ago, Google Maps and MapQuest each added “Send to GPS” features.

From Google Maps, do a search after which click on on the “Send” link with the e-mail icon next to it. You will be given a alternative of which search end result you need to ship, together with the option to ship it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

In MapQuest, search for and choose a location and click “Map.” Then click the drop-down “Ship” field for a “Send to GPS” option. The MapQuest transfer process solely works with Garmin devices.

Use Your Automobile’s Audio system

Why listen 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 ship audio to your automotive stereo’s audio system. This will work properly in rural areas the place the FM spectrum is not that crowded, however discovering an open frequency will show challenging in city areas.

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

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS begins appearing slightly buggy, and you’ve got already tried putting in the newest firmware (see tip 3), you might need to attempt a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or an analogous utility from your GPS manufacturer. To learn the way to do a hard reset on your system, try doing a Google advanced search for the phrase “hard reset” and your GPS mannequin title and quantity.


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