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Prime 10 GPS Ideas And Tricks – Get essentially the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or different GPS device by studying the right way to velocity satellite lock, send maps from your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS expert.

With world positioning system (GPS) units more common and reasonably priced than ever, here are some of the finest methods to get extra from your personal navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and tricks, along with some bonus pointers for homeowners of the two most popular brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

Once you flip on your GPS for the first 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 in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving knowledge about where GPS satellites are situated out of your present location. Having this information in your unit will velocity satellite lock, often known as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To obtain this data efficiently, leave your GPS powered on and under an open sky, immobile, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you will do this the primary time you turn the unit on, however it may be done any time after as effectively. It is an especially good first step to take when you discover satellite tv for pc acquisition taking longer than regular.

One other time you can velocity satellite lock is if you hop in a rental automobile following a cross-country flight. Many GPS models have a “new location” option on the satellite tv for pc display screen menu. Use this whenever you’ve travelled greater than a hundred miles or so to present your unit an idea of what a part of the world you’re in, dashing up satellite lock in the process.

On some models the new location function will come up automatically if satellite tv for pc acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a better understanding of the technology behind GPS, take a look at Garmin’s GPS Information For Freshmen.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS units are some of the hottest gadgets round, and I do imply hottest in each 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 maintain your GPS off eBay, and your automotive’s windows intact, listed here are a number of easy precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you leave your automobile.

Remove the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber fabric works great for this). Higher but, ditch the suction mount altogether and purchase a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip practically any form sprint and are easy to hide underneath the seat or in the glove compartment. They do not fall off the windshield or depart suction cup marks behind.

That is my favorite sort of GPS mount. I can easily seize the complete mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat before I pull right into a car parking zone, making certain that no one sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Update Firmware

Firmware is software that is embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a specific mannequin varies according to the manufacturer; some present ongoing help better than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS function more easily. And some firmware updates really add new options and capabilities.

Updates are fairly painless. They sometimes contain connecting your GPS to a computer (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and working the firmware update file. Garmin has simplified the method with its WebUpdater software, which can test for new updates, or you may go to the Web site for a list of the present firmware version for your model. You could find updates for Magellan devices on its support web page, while TomTom updates at the moment are dealt with through the TomTom HOME application.

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There may be all the time the chance that a main bug will make its approach into a new firmware launch. One approach to resolve this is to roll your unit back by installing an older version of firmware. Happily, GPSInformation.org has an archive page of older firmware, for this very cause.

Get Specific With Your Directions

Many mid-range GPS receivers provide text-to-speech, permitting them to name out the road names of upcoming turns. This feature permits you to hear “flip left on Oak Avenue” quite than just “flip left in 200 feet.” Yet text-to-speech solely works if you choose the appropriate voice in the unit’s setup menu; it would not at all times default to the correct setting. So make sure you’re getting everything you paid for. Search for voice alternatives that say “TTS” or “pc.”

Replace Your Maps

Should you purchase one of many top manufacturers of GPS, you may be provided the prospect to replace maps from time to time. These updates are sometimes rolled out every year. If you stay in a quickly growing space, this may be worth the expense, which normally runs anyplace from $40 to $100. Along with being accessible from the producer, some brands’ updates could also be purchased at a discount through various online retailers.

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

Obtain Extra Factors Of Interest

Your GPS in all probability came with wherever from 750,000 to 6 million factors of interest (POIs), however these might be woefully out of date or simply missing in locations you have an interest in. GPS house owners often do not understand that they can add customized POIs to most main manufacturers of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be the perfect supported in this regard).

You can obtain POI files, normally at no cost, that embody all the pieces from red-light cameras to your favorite chain stores and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Friend to examine them out. You could find extra sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource page.

Create Your Own POIs

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

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Send Custom Maps From Your PC

It is often easier to plan a trip at your pc than it is using the small touch display screen in your GPS. Just lately, Google Maps and MapQuest each added “Ship to GPS” options.

From Google Maps, do a search and then click on on the “Ship” link with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You will be given a choice of which search outcome 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 on “Map.” Then click the drop-down “Send” box for a “Send to GPS” possibility. The MapQuest switch process solely works with Garmin units.

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 speakers. This may work nicely in rural areas where the FM spectrum isn’t that crowded, however finding an open frequency will prove difficult in city locations.

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

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS begins performing a little buggy, and you’ve already tried installing the most recent firmware (see tip 3), you might want to strive a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or an analogous application out of your GPS producer. To find out how to do a hard reset in your machine, strive doing a Google advanced seek for the phrase “laborious reset” and your GPS mannequin identify and quantity.

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