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High 10 GPS Tips And Tips – Get the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or other GPS device by studying the way to speed satellite lock, send maps from your PC, create POIs, and more from our GPS knowledgeable.

With international positioning system (GPS) devices more standard and reasonably priced than ever, here are a number of the best methods to get more out of your private navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and tips, along with some bonus pointers for owners of the 2 most popular manufacturers, Garmin and TomTom.

Speed Up Satellite Lock

When you turn on your GPS for the first time, it downloads almanac information from GPS satellites. No, this is not the Farmer’s Almanac, though it does should do with the position of objects within the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving knowledge about where GPS satellites are located out of your current location. Having this data on your unit will speed satellite tv for pc lock, also called time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To download this info efficiently, depart your GPS powered on and below an open sky, motionless, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll do that the first time you turn the unit on, however it may be done any time after as properly. It’s an especially good first step to take should you discover satellite acquisition taking longer than regular.

One other time you possibly can speed satellite lock is when you hop in a rental automotive following a cross-country flight. Many GPS items have a “new location” choice on the satellite tv for pc display menu. Use this whenever you’ve travelled more than 100 miles or so to provide your unit an concept of what part of the world you’re in, dashing up satellite tv for pc lock within the process.

On some units the brand new location feature will come up routinely if satellite acquisition is taking too lengthy. For a better understanding of the technology behind GPS, try Garmin’s GPS Information For Rookies.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS units are some of the hottest devices around, and I do imply hottest in every sense of the word. Smash and grab 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 car’s windows intact, here are just a few easy precautions:

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Take your unit with you whenever you go away your car.

Take away the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber cloth works nice for this). Better but, ditch the suction mount altogether and purchase a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip practically any form sprint and are easy to hide below the seat or within the glove compartment. They don’t fall off the windshield or depart suction cup marks behind.

That is my favourite kind of GPS mount. I can simply grab the entire mount/GPS meeting and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull right into a parking lot, making certain that no one sees me disconnecting and hiding my GPS.

Replace Firmware

Firmware is software program that’s embedded in your GPS. The frequency of firmware releases for a selected mannequin varies in accordance with the producer; some provide ongoing support better than others. Firmware updates can repair system glitches and make your GPS function more easily. And a few firmware updates really add new features and capabilities.

Updates are pretty painless. They typically involve connecting your GPS to a pc (most receivers come with a mini-USB cable) and working the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the method with its WebUpdater utility, which will verify for new updates, or you may go to the Site for a list of the current firmware model to your model. Yow will discover updates for Magellan devices on its support web page, while TomTom updates are now dealt with through the TomTom HOME utility.

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There is all the time the chance that a major bug will make its means into a brand new firmware launch. One technique to resolve this is to roll your unit back by putting in an older version of firmware. Luckily, GPSInformation.org has an archive page of older firmware, for this very motive.

Get Particular With Your Directions

Many mid-range GPS receivers supply text-to-speech, permitting them to call out the street names of upcoming turns. This characteristic permits you to hear “flip left on Oak Avenue” reasonably than just “flip left in 200 feet.” But text-to-speech only works if you choose the best voice in the unit’s setup menu; it doesn’t always default to the right setting. So make certain you might be getting every thing you paid for. Look for voice alternatives that say “TTS” or “pc.”

Replace Your Maps

If you happen to buy one of the high brands of GPS, you’ll be provided the chance to update maps from time to time. These updates are usually rolled out annually. When you live in a quickly developing area, this may be worth the expense, which normally runs wherever from $40 to $100. In addition to being obtainable from the producer, some manufacturers’ updates could also be purchased at a reduction by varied on-line retailers.

Map updates for the main manufacturers may be discovered by clicking on the relevant link: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a transfer sure to please Navigon house owners, the corporate has introduced that homeowners of most of their models shall be eligible for a free map improve this spring.

Download More Factors Of Interest

Your GPS most likely got here with anyplace from 750,000 to 6 million points of curiosity (POIs), but these could be woefully outdated or just missing in destinations you have an interest in. GPS homeowners usually don’t realize that they can add customized POIs to most main brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom seem to be the perfect supported in this regard).

You possibly can obtain POI information, usually totally free, that include all the things from red-light cameras to your favorite chain stores and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Buddy to examine them out. Yow will discover more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI resource web page.

Create Your Own POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your individual POI files? It’s actually not that tough to do. GPSInformation.org includes tips on creating POIs for Garmin devices. Or you should utilize POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. Extra references, how-to’s, and format converters will be found on the POI useful resource web page.

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Send Custom Maps From Your PC

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

From Google Maps, do a search and then click on on the “Ship” link with the e-mail icon next to it. You will be given a selection of which search consequence you want to send, together with the option to send it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

In MapQuest, seek for and select a location and click “Map.” Then click the drop-down “Ship” box for a “Ship to GPS” possibility. The MapQuest transfer course of solely works with Garmin units.

Use Your Car’s Speakers

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 may work well in rural areas the place the FM spectrum isn’t that crowded, but finding an open frequency will show challenging in urban areas.

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

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS begins appearing a bit of buggy, and you’ve got already tried putting in the latest firmware (see tip three), you would possibly wish to attempt a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or the same application out of your GPS manufacturer. To learn the way to do a hard reset in your system, strive doing a Google advanced seek for the phrase “hard reset” and your GPS model title and quantity.

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