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Author Topic: Car Nav Systems  (Read 1535 times)
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ElijahPrice
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« on: July 26, 2005, 06:03:00 PM »

So reading eco's thread about him getting a new car (congrats) reminded me that I have been toying with the idea of getting a new car for a while and wanted to ask about navigation systems.  The in-dash ones that come with the cars when you purchase them are ridiculously expensive.  But there are also after-market options that I have heard of.  I was wondering a few things:

1.  Are the car navigation systems pretty good now?  A few people told me that once you use them you don't go back?

2.  Is there something better about in-dash ones than after market because the price differences are enormous?

3.  Anyone know anything about the after-market car nav systems?

Thanx my bucket of knowledge.
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drifter
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2005, 06:31:16 PM »

A friend of mine has a BMW 740IL 2000 model with built in navigation and it is cool as all get out.  Has the cool factor and its very helpful, you can program it to remember certain places or even find things like nearest golf course (it is a 740IL) or hospital.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2005, 06:34:25 PM »

When I was in LA for E3 we got a ride with a taxi from the New Otani Hotel.  It was a Caddy Escalade with a GPS.  It give a fantastic view of the road and freeway and gave audio clues when you should start preparing to turn.   The cool thing I saw was that it scaled.  When you are on the freeway for a long trip it scales out the map and shows you the 10,000 foot view.  When we got off the freeway it showed the roads far closer.  It was pretty cool.

That said, I can't imagine a real need for it 99% of the time.  Its work -> school -> home, rinse repeat.
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Ron Burke
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wonderpug
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2005, 06:53:27 PM »

I bought the Garmin IQue nav system PDA, and absolutely love it.  Iit sits in a car cradle you can buy that stays well with just friction, doesn't permanently attach to the car.  Not only do I get all the usual nav system benefits,  (I drove from California to Boston using it instead of a paper map, and it made it a cinch to find everything along the way and at my new home,) but since it's a PDA I can do even more with it.

If I'm on foot in a big city, I can still walk around with it to find restaurants, subway stops, or whatever.  Even better, if I travel to Europe and rent a car, I can bring it with me and have a nav system in the rental!  For Europe (and the rest of the world) it only has major roads, but I believe I could buy a detailed Europe map pack if I wanted.

Best of all, at $500-600, its half the price of most other aftermarket navs, and you get all the capabilities of a PDA tossed in as well.

It does have a smaller display than your typical nav system, but the resolution is higher, so it's never been an issue for me.  I have the Palm OS version, I think the newer Pocket PC version has even better resolution.

If you go for an IQue, make sure you get one where the stylus writing area is part of the main display, or in other words make sure the area you write in can turn into part of the map display.

Oh yeah, and even though you're not supposed to, on plane flights you can get reception if you hold it up to a window, it's fun to see how fast your plane is going, what state you're over, mark a waypoint for something interesting you see, stuff like that.

Can you tell I love my Garmin?
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2005, 07:02:33 PM »

Quote
Oh yeah, and even though you're not supposed to, on plane flights you can get reception if you hold it up to a window,


 :shock:  :shock:
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Ron Burke
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wonderpug
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2005, 07:08:28 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"

 :shock:  :shock:

Is that buggy eye "wow that's really neat," "wow I didn't think they could get a signal from there," or "uh oh wonderpug is a terrorist"?
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2005, 07:31:16 PM »

Quote
Is that buggy eye "wow that's really neat," "wow I didn't think they could get a signal from there," or "uh oh wonderpug is a terrorist"?

Sure!  wonderpug is a neat terrorist. biggrin  (I like to combine things...)

Seriously, I had no idea you could get a signal there but it makes sense...hell, you are CLOSER to the sat. than from the ground.
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2005, 08:24:18 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
When I was in LA for E3 we got a ride with a taxi from the New Otani Hotel.  It was a Caddy Escalade with a GPS.  

Wasn't that the same taxi that had no shocks and not enough physical seats for all of us there? biggrin

Oh, wait, that was coming back from where we went, not heading out.

On a more useful note - yes, I'd recommend the Palm/Pocket PC combo as well. You get far more than a GPS device, and it tends to be cheaper to boot.
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2005, 09:14:46 PM »

Do you know what GPS the taxi had by chance?

For me, I think I am leaning away fromt he PDA version BECAUSE I want it to be portable so that other members of my famiyl nad future family can take it from car to car.  Having be portable is a huge plus to me and so tying to a PDA isn't exactly the solution, though that price point is nice.

The one I was looking at is TomTom GO 300/700.  They were based in Europe for a while so they know what theya re doing on all those crazy roads.  US roads are much simpler so I would think they know whats up.  They also have some bluetooth features that sound awesome so that you cna call through the device and get updates on traffic and weather.  So that will go good for me with my next bluetooth phone (cross fingers VX8100).

You guys know anything about that?

As far as the PDA does go though, what is it that ultimately is the quality factor here... map graphics, voices for calling out sounds...?
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Destructor
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2005, 02:48:18 AM »

Well, the PDA would be the most portable solution, IMHO. All it is are two devices hooked together somehow (some have GPS solutions integrated, others don't and just have to be within 5-10 feet or so), and you have it sitting on your dash via some method.

I'd like to say that the more expensive devices would have the better features (voices and the like), but based on what little I know, the PDA based programs are rather impressive in their feature sets.

Ultimately, you'll need to get ahold of somebody a bit more 'in the know' than I.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2005, 03:34:54 AM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
I'd like to say that the more expensive devices would have the better features (voices and the like), but based on what little I know, the PDA based programs are rather impressive in their feature sets.

FWIW, the Garmin IQue I own does come with a voice announcements for upcoming turns and such.
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2005, 04:32:18 PM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
Well, the PDA would be the most portable solution, IMHO. All it is are two devices hooked together somehow (some have GPS solutions integrated, others don't and just have to be within 5-10 feet or so), and you have it sitting on your dash via some method.

I'd like to say that the more expensive devices would have the better features (voices and the like), but based on what little I know, the PDA based programs are rather impressive in their feature sets.

Ultimately, you'll need to get ahold of somebody a bit more 'in the know' than I.


Cool.  I was more saying I want to be able to give the device to someone else.  And I guess I wouldn't be able to part with my PDA.  You know?

As far as options, then I am starting to really like the TomTom.  They are loaded with features and the bluetooth sounds awesome.  I wish someone has experienced them....
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Sepiche
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2005, 09:23:05 PM »

One of my friends works at Garmin (the building is about 2 blocks from my house) so he always brings that latest greatest toy they've been working on when we take trips.  All in all I think they are very sweet, but just not really something 90% of people need to get by.  If you did a lot of traveling in unfamiliar territory though I imagine it might be a godsend.

s
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2005, 07:38:12 PM »

Done deal.  Over the weekend I got a TomTom GO 300 in anticipation of getting a new car in a bit (beats the indash price for sure).  Its fun to have a new toy.  Decided to give her a try and if I like it maybe upgrade to the GO 700 for the added bluetooth features and pawn the 300 off to one of my fam.  My mom could use one.

Check out all her majesty!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16858108304

So far, city driving is good with it.  I also got to download voices like Yoda and Darth Vader for it.  Kinda funny though usually I stay with Jane (if she were real, I think she would be hot)... good god, I have already personified it.   smile
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Baron Of Hell
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2005, 11:02:08 PM »

Is there a monthly fee?
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« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2005, 02:22:26 AM »

I've never heard of a nav system with a monthly fee.  You usually have to pay to update your maps if you want to down the line, but no hidden fees other than that.  Mi military positioning satellites es su military positioning satellites.
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Baron Of Hell
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2005, 11:06:26 AM »

Cool, I wasn't sure how that worked. They must get enough money over charging for the units to keep those satellites in space.

Is there a good map program and gps unit that will do automatic reroutes for missed turns and plot best routes by car, bike and foot?

If not what do you think of the Garmin GPSMap 60CS
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...e&s=electronics

or
Garmin eTrex Vista C
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0002MQ74E/qid=1123411542/sr=8-7/ref=pd_bbs_sbs_7/002-9477430-8671216?v=glance&s=electronics&n=507846

I'm liking these because they are portable and can be used on a bike or just on foot as well as in the car.
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2005, 04:57:23 AM »

Quote from: "Baron Of Hell"
Cool, I wasn't sure how that worked. They must get enough money over charging for the units to keep those satellites in space.

Is there a good map program and gps unit that will do automatic reroutes for missed turns and plot best routes by car, bike and foot?
[/quote

To answer part of my own question most seem to do retoutes. I'm not sure abut best routes for bikes and foot so they might send you down a freeway on your bmx bike. ]
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2005, 05:46:23 PM »

There are no monthly fees for the tomtom devices on their own.  There are monthly fees for the extra features like traffic and weather updates but it comes with a free trial for that and is completely optional.

The TomTom device contains options to use walking or bike paths.
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Interloper
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2005, 04:46:17 AM »

Quote from: "Baron Of Hell"
.....
or
Garmin eTrex Vista C
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0002MQ74E/qid=1123411542/sr=8-7/ref=pd_bbs_sbs_7/002-9477430-8671216?v=glance&s=electronics&n=507846

I'm liking these because they are portable and can be used on a bike or just on foot as well as in the car.


I have the Garmin eTrex Vista C and love it.  I do a great deal of hiking, so I load topo maps into it for that, and for work I'm always out of town, so I can load CitySelect (street maps) into that.  I bought a car kit for driving, and it will calculate routes for you, give you warnings about turns, etc.  If you take a wrong turn it will recalculate how to get back on track.  The only downside I have come across so far is that those programs (TopoMaps and CitySelect) are quite pricey, around $100 each, although I was able to get the topomaps for 70$ through amazon.  I wrote a review of it here if you want more detail, although it details the trail usability more.  But, for street driving I have been impressed.  Great for local use or long distance drives.  I love being able to hit nearest gas station or rest stop on trips and have it tell me exactly how long to go.
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2005, 02:48:32 PM »

Thats cool that it has so many uses.  the 24 MB memory is a bit small I would think.  The TomTom 300 comes with a 1 GB SD Card loaded with all of NA.  So I woudl expect you have to swap maps a lot?
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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2005, 05:36:57 PM »

Not at all.  I can put the entire state of Utah into the 24 mb, but normally I have only 2 or 3 mb filled as I only load the grids I need.  I guess if I to do a very long drive I would run out of memory, but with  my job I always know where I'll be flying to so I only load those towns up.  If I'm driving somewhere I'll load the grids along the roads I'll be taking.  So far I've been able to do a 900 miles drive be able to load the corridor into it.   1gb would be great, as I'd just load the entire country of roads and topomaps into and never worry about it, but  I guess that's one way they keep the price down.  I checked into the portable magellan systems that let you swap out memory cards with loaded info, but they just weren't suited as well for what I needed.
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Baron Of Hell
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« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2005, 04:22:54 AM »

I Think I might go wih Mapopolis for the pda. From what I can tell you need to buy the map software that will run you $100. Then if I understand this right you can only use the map software on one device because it uses the serial number as part of the unlock code. That means I wont be able to sell it used when a new version comes out or use it on a new gps unit. Mapopolis on the other hand comes on a 1 gig sd card that you can use on any pda that supports it. Then I can sell the card when a new version comes out or wipe it and use it as a extra sd card.

Here the mapopolis bundle I'm thinking about
http://www.mapopolis.com/bundle01.jsp?s=1123819775602254&p=&q=2

If the vista c was $100 cheaper or if the map software wasn't so much of a butt rape I'd get that. Please correct me if I have map software situation wrong.
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2005, 05:38:18 PM »

Quote from: "Interloper"
Not at all.  I can put the entire state of Utah into the 24 mb, but normally I have only 2 or 3 mb filled as I only load the grids I need.  I guess if I to do a very long drive I would run out of memory, but with  my job I always know where I'll be flying to so I only load those towns up.  If I'm driving somewhere I'll load the grids along the roads I'll be taking.  So far I've been able to do a 900 miles drive be able to load the corridor into it.   1gb would be great, as I'd just load the entire country of roads and topomaps into and never worry about it, but  I guess that's one way they keep the price down.  I checked into the portable magellan systems that let you swap out memory cards with loaded info, but they just weren't suited as well for what I needed.


Ahh, the grids!  I saw some of those but decided that if the TomTom GO 300 was willing to get me all the US in one card that would just be easier so I wouldn't have to plan a blocked route.  I could just take it and go.  And though it may save money (I am sure), it is also on a SD Card which is like $100-$150, but I will own that forever so its not a bad deal.  If I want to switch out I believe I can use it in a phone or any other device.
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