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Old 10-23-2012, 10:13 AM   #21
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I never like carrying a second device. I have a Samsung galaxy III smartphone. It has Google navigation which works very well. I also installed the Co-Pilot navigation application whick keeps all of the maps on the phone. This is just in case you lose phone connection which would stop google from working.
I love the google navi app, having never had a standalone GPS.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:21 AM   #22
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Maybe not what you need, but along the lines of using a cell phone.
I don't have a dedicated GPS, but for an occasional use I have a mostly "dumb" phone, with a built-in GPS, which has Google maps available (Samsung T259).
I pay $5 per month for 200MB/month data plan on T-mobile.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #23
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We have a Garmin Nuvi 255W and it's very handy especially in unfamiliar city driving.

With this we purchased the bean bag holder and that thing really works well. Shown here with a mere 5000+ reviews and five stars: Amazon.com: Garmin Portable Friction Mount - Frustration Free Packaging: GPS & Navigation

BTW, when not in use I just put the unit with mount down on the floor and cover it with an old hat.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:43 AM   #24
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Talking about GPS accuracy, while the civilian GPS devices do not have the accuracy of the military GPS units, the restriction is not something that can be circumvented by the civilian GPS receiver makers. See: GPS signals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Basically, the military units receive a different GPS signal altogether. And in order to receive that signal, the receivers must incorporate some very special hardware that is controlled by the US DoD. And on top of that, before use the receivers must be loaded with a time-limited crypto key. That prevents the use of the receivers if they fall into enemy hands.

PS. The civilian GPS signals can be turned off altogether in war time if so desired, although that would cause major disruptions, hence somewhat unlikely now. Or the signals can be degraded to introduce higher errors as wanted.

PPS. The US DoD does allow friendly nations access to the military GPS accuracy. Here's how you would apply to get the special hardware that would be needed: International Programs Security Handbook: Appendix H.

Of course, if you do not get the crypto key renewed periodically, your receiver would be useless in time. You have to play nice, or no GPS for you! See, it's all in the open
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:18 AM   #25
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I second the smart phone suggestion. 7-inch tablets may work but on the dash, it may cover up too much of the windshield.

Both iPhones and Android phones now support voice commands to find directions.

I even asked my iPhone 5 "Do you know the way to San Jose?" And it gave me directions on the Maps app.

I have an old Garmin too but usability potential on a smart phone or a tablet is much greater. Try to scroll and zoom in and out of a map on a Garmin (or TomTom) and then do it on a modern smart phone.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #26
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Civilian GPS receivers do have some legal limitations put on them: they are limited to altitude less than 60,000 ft, and velocity less than 1000 knots. This is so that they cannot be used in missiles. This is known as the CoCom limits, and is not the same thing as the reduced accuracy inherent in the civilian GPS signal relative to the military signal.

One thing GPS users may not realize is that GPS accuracy is not a static value. It changes with location and time too. That is because the GPS satellites are not geostationary, but circle the earth roughly twice a day.

It is not the same as the poor coverage of your cell phone signal. If you get poor cell phone signal strength in a location, it will remain poor until the carrier puts up another cell tower. In contrast, while standing still in one spot, you can have a bad GPS signal condition, which then clears itself up some time later as some new satellites cross the sky to replace the ones that drop below the horizon. The receiver needs signals from a minimum set of 4 satellites to compute its position. Occasionally it may get as many as 12 satellites. The accuracy of course improves with the number of redundant signals.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:10 PM   #27
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I never like carrying a second device. I have a Samsung galaxy III smartphone. It has Google navigation which works very well. I also installed the Co-Pilot navigation application whick keeps all of the maps on the phone. This is just in case you lose phone connection which would stop google from working.
I have been using my iPhone as a GPS device with great results (Navigon app). We crossed the US with it and it helps me navigate through the Bay Area. No complaints.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:23 PM   #28
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I have a Garmin nuvi, model unknown, which came in handy in Portland, OR recently. For more casual use, the iPhone GPS works well, but NOT while driving...
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #29
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I have been using my iPhone as a GPS device with great results (Navigon app). We crossed the US with it and it helps me navigate through the Bay Area. No complaints.
Out of curiousity, what do you if you are out of cell phone reception?

Also how do you rig up the audio and video? Do you pipe the Iphone audio into your car speakers and the video into a car display?
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:34 PM   #30
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Out of curiousity, what do you if you are out of cell phone reception?

Also how do you rig up the audio and video? Do you pipe the Iphone audio into your car speakers and the video into a car display?
There have been plenty of times when we were out of cell phone reception (going through Wyoming and Nevada), but the GPS kept on going - like it would with a Garmin or Tom-Tom.

You can pipe in the iPhone through the car audio system if you want, but personally I can hear the turn-by-turn instructions coming from the iPhone just fine (I don't have to watch the map very often). I mount the iPhone on the dashboard like a regular GPS unit (my car does not have a display ).
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:35 PM   #31
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The Garmin Nuvi line is popular and very good, on some models they offer lifetime map updates for an additional fee.
At Costco, this comes with lifetime maps? I think the voice-recognition Nuvi Garmin we bought lately came with lifetime maps, and it was way cheaper than any Garmin car GPS we had bought before.

The voice recognition works amazingly well. This is the first car GPS in a long time where I have been happy with the user interface (UI). For many years, Garmin seemed to have been going backwards with their user interfaces and performance, causing much annoyance on our part. I'm so glad Garmin finally turned things around.

I suspect the competition from smartphones with GPSs and iPads with GPSs has forced Garmin to both become much more aggressive with their pricing, and to significantly improve their UI. It's about time!
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:16 PM   #32
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Talking about GPS accuracy, while the civilian GPS devices do not have the accuracy of the military GPS units, the restriction is not something that can be circumvented by the civilian GPS receiver makers. See: GPS signals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Basically, the military units receive a different GPS signal altogether. And in order to receive that signal, the receivers must incorporate some very special hardware that is controlled by the US DoD. And on top of that, before use the receivers must be loaded with a time-limited crypto key. That prevents the use of the receivers if they fall into enemy hands.

PS. The civilian GPS signals can be turned off altogether in war time if so desired, although that would cause major disruptions, hence somewhat unlikely now. Or the signals can be degraded to introduce higher errors as wanted.

PPS. The US DoD does allow friendly nations access to the military GPS accuracy. Here's how you would apply to get the special hardware that would be needed: International Programs Security Handbook: Appendix H.

Of course, if you do not get the crypto key renewed periodically, your receiver would be useless in time. You have to play nice, or no GPS for you! See, it's all in the open
That's why Europe decided to put up their own independent system. The 4th satellite was launched about 10 days ago.

BBC News - Galileo: Europe's version of GPS reaches key phase

We have had a Garmin nuvii for a few years and use it in North America and Europe. It works great for the most part but we always carry maps as well.

We also have a hand-held Garmin GPS for hiking, although it can be used for driving as well, but no sound.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #33
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I think the iPhone and Android GPS apps are like cameras in cell phones--of course a dedicated GPS or camera can be found that will do much more, but for my purposes, the gps and camera apps on my phone have been more than adequate and are always at hand.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:21 PM   #34
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This Thread is USELESS without pics......


Garmin-1.JPG

Garmin-2.JPG

Actually, I am submitting these to find out if this is available on the above mentioned cell phone devices.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:33 PM   #35
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Attachment 15266

Attachment 15267

Actually, I am submitting these to find out if this is available on the above mentioned cell phone devices.
That looks pretty similar to what I get with Navigon on the iPhone (including the invaluable speed limit reminder). Maybe I can try to get a screen shot later today*.

*Edit: actually there are already plenty of screenshots available online. Google "navigon iphone screenshot".
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:36 PM   #36
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I mentioned the ecoRoute HD earlier. Here is a YouTube video from Garmin:



It is five minutes long and the first 2:45 is how to install the device so you can (should) skip to that point to see the ecoRoute HD in action.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:17 PM   #37
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I would also recommend checking out cell phones as a possibility, depending what your needs are for GPS. I've been using an app called Waze on my iPhone, which will read the directions to you, and also compare routes with current traffic to help you avoid traffic heavy areas. I've heard there's an app by TomTom, but I think it's pretty pricey.
Having a nav system in our 6 year old car, whose maps are $300 to update, I'll never pay extra for a car with nav again, and highly prefer having a generic device that I can easily switch between whatever is the best app at the time.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:30 PM   #38
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Actually, I am submitting these to find out if this is available on the above mentioned cell phone devices.
Yes there are lots of them, some come with the phones, and they provide turn-by-turn maps with voice guidance. Garmin even sells a smartphone GPS app.

And evidently some carmakers are going one better, displaying your smartphone GPS screen on the car's center stack screen (image below)...http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/au...ions.html?_r=0.

One day your smartphone will do everything but breathe for you, I'm looking forward to it...

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Old 10-23-2012, 03:54 PM   #39
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I looked at all the options before our trip to Sicily last summer.
Cell phone wasn't practical because we were going to some places with no reception.
We chose Tom-Tom over Garmin because every review I read *specifically* about maps in Sicily said Garmin's maps were inadequate. I will tell you that Tom-tom did fine... even on windy little alley's (vespas and feet only) in Modica, and on unmarked roads through farm fields just east of Marsala. Sicily does not really do a lot of road maps or even street addresses. Our vacation rental in Marsala didn't have a street address - just GPS coordinates.

I use my phone for around town, here in San Diego... When we were doing a national park tour of Glacier/Yellowstone/Grand Teton - we were glad we had the Tom-tom, rather than just our phones. Lots of places in Yellowstone and MOST of Glacier was completely cell reception free. In yellowstone you'd find signal near old faithful, or by the Canyon complex... but not so much when you were between the areas.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:00 PM   #40
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Talking about GPS accuracy, while the civilian GPS devices do not have the accuracy of the military GPS units, the restriction is not something that can be circumvented by the civilian GPS receiver makers. See: GPS signals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Are you sure this is up to date? I thought President Clinton ordered the "selective availability" feature (i.e., degraded signal for civilians) to be turned off in 2000, partly because the Cold War was more or less over, partly because (I've heard) military units were hard to come by and US troops were buying their own civilian-grade units. Maybe a forthcoming version of GPS will once again introduce a military and civilian distinction. Or maybe I missed something, as usual.
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