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High 10 GPS Ideas And Tricks – Get probably the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or different GPS gadget by learning methods to pace satellite tv for pc lock, send maps out of your PC, create POIs, and extra from our GPS knowledgeable.

With world positioning system (GPS) units extra fashionable and affordable than ever, listed below are among the finest ways to get extra out of your personal navigator. What follows are 10 ideas and tips, together with some bonus pointers for owners of the two most popular brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Pace Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

Whenever you flip in your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac information 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 data about where GPS satellites are situated from your current location. Having this data on your unit will speed satellite lock, also referred to as time-to-first-fix (TTFF).

To download this data efficiently, depart your GPS powered on and below an open sky, motionless, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you will do that the primary time you flip the unit on, but it may be finished any time after as nicely. It’s an particularly good first step to take for those who notice satellite tv for pc acquisition taking longer than regular.

One other time you possibly can velocity satellite lock is if you hop in a rental automotive following a cross-country flight. Many GPS units have a “new location” possibility on the satellite tv for pc display menu. Use this once you’ve travelled greater than a hundred miles or so to give your unit an thought of what a part of the world you’re in, rushing up satellite tv for pc lock in the process.

On some models the brand new location characteristic will come up mechanically 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 Guide For Beginners.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS items are some of the hottest gadgets round, 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 fastest unit can lock onto satellites, so to keep your GPS off eBay, and your car’s windows intact, listed below are a number of easy precautions:

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

Remove the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber fabric works great for this). Higher yet, ditch the suction mount altogether and purchase a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip practically any shape sprint and are simple to cover beneath the seat or within the glove compartment. They don’t fall off the windshield or go away suction cup marks behind.

This is my favorite kind of GPS mount. I can easily seize the whole mount/GPS assembly and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull right into a car 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 assist higher than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS operate extra 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 operating the firmware replace file. Garmin has simplified the process with its WebUpdater software, which is able to verify for brand new updates, or you may go to the Web site for a listing of the present firmware model in your model. You’ll find updates for Magellan units on its help page, while TomTom updates are now dealt with through the TomTom HOME utility.

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There is always the likelihood that a major bug will make its way into a new firmware launch. One solution to resolve that is to roll your unit again by putting in an older model of firmware. Fortunately, GPSInformation.org has an archive web 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 characteristic allows you to hear “turn left on Oak Avenue” somewhat than simply “turn left in 200 toes.” But text-to-speech only works if you select the suitable voice within the unit’s setup menu; it would not at all times default to the right setting. So make certain you are getting all the pieces you paid for. Look for voice selections that say “TTS” or “computer.”

Update Your Maps

Should you buy one of many high manufacturers of GPS, you’ll be offered the chance to update maps every now and then. These updates are sometimes rolled out annually. If you happen to reside in a quickly growing area, this can be worth the expense, which often runs anyplace from $40 to $100. Along with being out there from the manufacturer, some brands’ updates could also be purchased at a reduction via varied online retailers.

Map updates for the leading producers could be found by clicking on the relevant hyperlink: Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. In a move positive to please Navigon owners, the corporate has announced that owners of most of their units will likely be eligible for a free map improve this spring.

Obtain Extra Points Of Curiosity

Your GPS most likely came with wherever from 750,000 to 6 million points of curiosity (POIs), but these will be woefully out of date or just missing in locations you have an interest in. GPS owners often do not realize that they’ll add custom POIs to most main brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom appear to be one of the best supported on this regard).

You may obtain POI information, normally without spending a dime, that include all the pieces from red-light cameras to your favorite chain shops and eating places. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Pal to check them out. You can find more sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI useful resource web page.

Create Your Own POIs

Why not go a step additional and create your individual POI files? It’s really not that hard to do. GPSInformation.org consists of recommendations on creating POIs for Garmin gadgets. Or you should use POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. Extra references, how-to’s, and format converters may be discovered on the POI resource web page.

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Ship Customized Maps From Your PC

It is usually simpler to plan a trip at your pc than it is using the small touch display in your GPS. Not too long ago, Google Maps and MapQuest each added “Ship to GPS” features.

From Google Maps, do a search and then click on on the “Ship” hyperlink with the e-mail icon subsequent to it. You’ll be given a choice of which search outcome you need to send, together 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 on the drop-down “Send” box for a “Ship to GPS” choice. The MapQuest transfer process solely works with Garmin units.

Use Your Car’s Audio system

Why hearken to directions (and MP3s and cellular 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 speakers. This will work effectively in rural areas the place the FM spectrum is not that crowded, however discovering an open frequency will prove challenging in urban areas.

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

Hit The Panic Button

If your GPS starts performing slightly buggy, and you have already tried putting in the newest firmware (see tip three), you may need to attempt a hard reset. Save your favorites to your PC first using Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or an analogous software out of your GPS manufacturer. To learn how to do a hard reset on your system, attempt doing a Google advanced search for the phrase “laborious reset” and your GPS model title and number.

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