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gps navigation for a car

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mrdinh, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    someone recommend which one to buy?
  2. Hi Mr. D.,

    Garmin seems the most popular and best supported brand. But they have many models. You basically need to decide if you want one that shows on-screen mapping (like their Vista models), or a less expensive one that only does routes, waypoints, etc. I bought the Garmin Etrex Summit, which does not display maps, but which does everything I need it to do. When hooked to a laptop PC (with mapping software), it serves as an excellent vehicle navigation tool.

    Best wishes,

  3. Hey, Phat, how you doing? This really depends upon what you are looking for. Do you want routing with voice prompts? A single integrated unit? Simple maps?

    What I use is a Compaq iPaq with a GPS receiver from:


    I have been using this for a few years now and am pretty happy. The one problem with all of these systems, the same with things like Google Maps as well, is that it is only as good as the quality of the maps themselves, and how often they are updated. If you have specific questions, drop me a PM or email.
  4. I have the Garmin map 76CS and love it. I keep it in the 4Runner and
    use it to map trips, find addresses, check altitude, geocaching, etc.

    I had a Magellan Gold and like it but the Garmin has met all my needs.

    I also second what David said about hooking it up to a laptop. It even has
    voice commands with the laptop and using nroute.
  5. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    bill and others...i'm looking for one that has voice commands and pretty much tells me what to do...man, i went to minneapolis one time and i got lost for hours...i followed the very easy steps in map quest...doesn't work all the time!!
  6. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    I have been a garmin user for about 8 years. After I went on vacation and rented a car that had the magellan nav 750 I looked into Magellan units.

    The Magellan Roadmate 700

    I probably won't go back to Garmin for turn by turn routeing until their software gets better. Roadmate has them beat hands down.

    Good Luck.
  7. Hi' I have a Magellan roadmate 300 that i use every day. As an insurance adjuster, i travel all over South Florida and i must say for the price, $475.00, at B.J.'s wholesale club i couldn't be happier. It's almost the same as the Hertz Never Lost g.p.s. I also take it on vacation in my motorhome and have never been lost.
    good luck,
  8. A very small, and I so mean small, plug for the solution that I have is that for around the same cost, dependent on the iPaq you buy, you also have a PDA. Not, to be quite honest, the amount of time I use the iPaq as a PDA is darn near zero, but it you already have a decent iPaq these are good solutions. At the time I purchased mine, several years ago, the offerings from Garmin and Magellan were far more costly.

    Phat, I would suggest you look at the offerings from both. The only "knock" i'd put on Garmin is the iQue model, which is PDA based, I have not heard good reports of that at all. The Garmin vs. Magellan "war" is much like the "C" vs. "N" war, in that order only for alphabetical reasons... Look at them both and decide which you prefer. It is much MUCH more difficult to get a good look at units such as mine, because they are generally not set up the way the integrated Garmin and Magellan units are.

    Now, a couple more plugs for Alk, what I have. You can choose the display type and in the "Safe Driving Mode" view you see minimal bits on the screen and a voice tells you where to go. I, being a sexist old guy :wink: , have chosen the female voice :lol:

    One other thing I will tell you is that everytime I decide to go a different way because I KNOW it is faster, I am wrong. Once you get it, generally trust it unless you really do know some tricky way around. Also look for a unit that will let you detour, so when you know that their is a problem ahead you can route around it.

    For those of you with the Garmin and Magellan units, do they now let you do route planning on a PC and then download? That is one other feature I like with my solution.

    Hey, Phat, don't forget you can hook these up to the new D2X as well :lol: :lol: :lol: , just to keep us on topic for the Cafe....
  9. GPS Navigation

    I will reccomend a completely different product. I think the very best GPS navigation system comes from Delorme. If you use a laptop like I do, their GPS system uses very good software and ther GPS device plugs into a USB port. It can give you verbal directions and using the laptop screen to navigate is much easier than those little screens on the handheld device:

    It even costs less than many of the handheld ones!

    Broussard, LA
  10. Re: GPS Navigation

    Hi Chris,

    Welcome to the Cafe!

    I'm interested in your experience with the DeLorme software/hardware. I have their newest edition of street mapping software on order, and I intend to use it with my laptop and Garmin receiver (which is supposed to be compatible). I guess I was assuming that the voice commands were a function of the software, and hence will be available to me with my Garmin attached. Am I incorrect about this? Does the voice capability depend on using their own hardware device??

    Best wishes,

  11. gho


    Feb 7, 2005
    Garmin StreetPilot c3xx Series

    I've used a lot of GPS systems from handheld GPS' to laptop/PDA GPS. And really, nothing works as simply and elegently as this model. Quick, compact, no mess of wires, easily removed, runs on internal batteries when disconnected, entire US maps loaded (on the 330 & 340 - which makes it so much easier than having to load maps when changing cities), and the list goes on...

    It routes pretty good too, quick re-routes, and usually comes up with the most direct route. It even has the option of a female British English voice (no male voice - but that's okay for me, cuz I prefer females ;) )

    I highly recommend this unit, and it really works best for me. As far as having a PDA in a GPS - I think it's far more useful to have a phone in my PDA like the Treo 650 - that way you can even browse Nikon Cafe while in line at the local resturant.

    Anyways, how often do you use GPS outside of the car anyways? If you wanna handheld GPS, get the Gecko to connect to your D1x/D2x - it's smaller than most cell phones (I have the 201).
  12. The Garmin Street Pilot's are certainly great units, can't go wrong there. In my case, when I put my system together, they were still in the $900 range and I was too cheap to buy one :lol:

    A good point is made here regarding the convergence of functions on a PDA. I do have the ability to use my unit handheld, which is very nice as well, but it is certainly more bulky than a dedicated hand-held. If I were to do this today, I would most likely not have the unit I have now, simply because there are so many choices. Here is the high-level decision tree I would use:

    Do I want the ability to have multiple functions in one unit? PDA/Phone/GPS - If so, I'd go with one of the PDA units

    Do I want the ability to use the unit in one car and one car only and have it not look like an "add-on"? Look for one of the built-in units, such as those from Alpine or Harman Kardon.

    Do I want the ability to use the unit in multiple vehicles as well as function as a hand-held? Integrated units from the like of Garmin and Lowrance or the PDA solutions.

    Do I want the ability to use the unit in multiple vehicles where I have plenty of room and don't care about hand-held portability? Laptop based untis.

    In my case, today I would choose one of the dedicated units from the likes of a Garmin or a Lowrance. I want the ability to switch cars and use it handheld. I don't have room in my vehicles for a laptop, and for the amount of time I use my iPaq for anything else, who cares. One, one "pro" for the iPaq solution. Nancy is able to play games when we are on a long road trip and we have a long stretch with no turns :wink: . My last choice would be to buy one of the "built-in" units. I think they are still way too expensive, and I don't find the maps any better. Do your research on where the maps come from, that is as I have stated before the single most annoying thing about these units. If you go to a store to test, see if you can find your own house. This is the biggest complaint I have about mine, the maps are not updated nearly often enough.

    All good advice you have gotten here, now just like cameras, go kick the tires on a few and see what "feels" right for you, because there is no one right answer.
  13. Re: GPS Navigation

    Hi Chris,

    Welcome to the Cafe!


    I guess I was assuming that the voice commands were a function of the software, and hence will be available to me with my Garmin attached. Am I incorrect about this?

    I think you are correct in your assumptions, although I usually have my wife navigate with the GPS when I am using it, and don't use the voice.

    Does the voice capability depend on using their own hardware device??

    No, the software is what generates the voice. Their own receiver is just an antenna. the newest one is supposed to be one of the most accurate and quickest to connect to the sattelites.

    The DVD version of the software has millions of business addresses and phone numbers to help you find places for services on the road.
  14. Re: GPS Navigation

    By the way, David I would be interested in selling my Earthmate (to buy the newer version) for $20.00
  15. strobel


    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    If you do buy you should check out this site they have great ratings and prices.


    They have the Garmin StreetPilot c330 for $546.80

    Good luck
  16. gho


    Feb 7, 2005
    Humph! Dang, that's a good price. I paid almost 800 USD for mine. :( 
  17. I'm just a wannabe but have followed this post with great interest. Thanks all for sharing your ideas and information.
  18. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    thanks all...lots of new ideas..maybe more confused than ever...i wished i could rent one out and try it
  19. It can be daunting. You might want to take a look at these folks as well, fairly inexpensive but it really works well:


    I am in the process of converting to this package now, using my current GPS receiver.
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