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High 10 GPS Ideas And Tips – Get the most from your TomTom, Garmin, Magellan, or different GPS system by learning the right way to pace satellite lock, send maps from your PC, create POIs, and extra from our GPS skilled.

With world positioning system (GPS) devices extra widespread and inexpensive than ever, listed here are a number of the greatest ways to get extra from your personal navigator. What follows are 10 suggestions and tricks, together with some bonus pointers for homeowners of the two most popular brands, Garmin and TomTom.

Speed Up Satellite tv for pc Lock

While you flip on your GPS for the primary time, it downloads almanac info from GPS satellites. No, this isn’t the Farmer’s Almanac, though it does need to do with the position of objects in the sky. In this case, your unit is receiving knowledge about the place GPS satellites are situated out of your current location. Having this info 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 under an open sky, immobile, for 20 minutes. Ideally, you will do this the first time you flip the unit on, but it may be performed any time after as nicely. It is an especially good first step to take should you notice satellite acquisition taking longer than regular.

Another time you may velocity satellite tv for pc 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 tv for pc display menu. Use this when you’ve travelled greater than a hundred miles or so to give 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 models the brand new location characteristic will come up automatically if satellite acquisition is taking too long. For a greater understanding of the technology behind GPS, check out Garmin’s GPS Information For Rookies.

Deter GPS Theft

GPS models are among the hottest devices round, and I do mean hottest in each sense of the phrase. Smash and seize thieves can steal your GPS in much less time than even the quickest unit can lock onto satellites, so to keep your GPS off eBay, and your car’s home windows intact, listed here are a couple of easy precautions:

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Take your unit with you everytime you leave your car.

Take away the suction cup mount from the windshield and wipe away any telltale marks (a microfiber cloth works great for this). Higher but, ditch the suction mount altogether and purchase a friction mount. These weighted mounts grip almost any shape dash and are easy to cover below the seat or within the glove compartment. They do not fall off the windshield or depart suction cup marks behind.

That is my favorite type of GPS mount. I can easily grab the entire mount/GPS meeting and place it on the passenger seat earlier than I pull right into a car parking zone, ensuring that nobody 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 in line with the manufacturer; some provide ongoing support higher than others. Firmware updates can fix system glitches and make your GPS operate more smoothly. And a few firmware updates really add new features and capabilities.

Updates are fairly painless. They usually involve connecting your GPS to a computer (most receivers include a mini-USB cable) and working the firmware update file. Garmin has simplified the process with its WebUpdater application, which is able to test for brand new updates, or you may go to the Website online for a listing of the current firmware model in your model. You can find updates for Magellan devices on its help page, whereas TomTom updates are actually handled by way of the TomTom HOME software.

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There is at all times the chance that a major bug will make its manner into a new firmware launch. One method to resolve this is to roll your unit back by installing an older version of firmware. Happily, GPSInformation.org has an archive web page of older firmware, for this very reason.

Get Particular With Your Directions

Many mid-range GPS receivers offer text-to-speech, allowing them to name out the street names of upcoming turns. This function helps you to hear “flip left on Oak Street” moderately than simply “turn left in 200 toes.” But text-to-speech solely works if you choose the precise voice in the unit’s setup menu; it doesn’t all the time default to the correct setting. So be certain you are getting all the things you paid for. Look for voice selections that say “TTS” or “laptop.”

Update Your Maps

When you purchase one of many high manufacturers of GPS, you may be supplied the possibility to update maps from time to time. These updates are sometimes rolled out every year. When you dwell in a quickly growing area, this may be well worth the expense, which often runs anywhere from $40 to $100. Along with being out there from the manufacturer, some manufacturers’ updates may be bought at a reduction via various online retailers.

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

Obtain Extra Points Of Interest

Your GPS most likely got here with anywhere from 750,000 to 6 million factors of curiosity (POIs), but these could be woefully outdated or just lacking in locations you are interested in. GPS homeowners often do not understand that they will add custom POIs to most major brands of GPS (Garmin and TomTom seem to be one of the best supported in this regard).

You may download POI recordsdata, often without cost, that include everything from red-light cameras to your favorite chain shops and restaurants. Go to POInUSA.com or POI Friend to examine them out. You could find extra sources on GPS Tracklog’s POI useful resource web page.

Create Your Own POIs

Why not go a step further and create your individual POI files? It’s actually not that hard to do. GPSInformation.org contains tips about creating POIs for Garmin gadgets. Or you should utilize POI Editor to create POIs for Garmin or TomTom receivers. More references, how-to’s, and format converters might be discovered on the POI resource page.

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Ship Customized Maps From Your PC

It’s often easier to plan a visit at your laptop than it’s utilizing the small touch display in your GPS. Lately, Google Maps and MapQuest both added “Ship to GPS” features.

From Google Maps, do a search after which click 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 choice to ship it to a Garmin or TomTom GPS.

In MapQuest, search for and select a location and click “Map.” Then click the drop-down “Send” box for a “Send to GPS” possibility. The MapQuest transfer process solely works with Garmin gadgets.

Use Your Car’s Audio system

Why take heed 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 ship audio to your automobile stereo’s audio system. This could work nicely in rural areas the place the FM spectrum is not that crowded, however finding an open frequency will prove challenging in urban locations.

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

Hit The Panic Button

In case your GPS starts performing slightly buggy, and you have already tried putting in the most recent firmware (see tip three), you might need to strive a tough reset. Save your favorites to your PC first utilizing Garmin MapSource, TomTom HOME, or a similar software from your GPS manufacturer. To find out how to do a tough reset in your gadget, attempt doing a Google superior search for the phrase “laborious reset” and your GPS mannequin title and number.


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