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Author Topic: GPS with most bang for the buck  (Read 6806 times)
tasmankdr
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« on: June 23, 2009, 11:26:55 AM »

This is my first post......I am very interested in what you folks feel is the best and most bang for the buck with regards to a new GPS system for my bus.  Many units that I see on sale are manufacturer discontinued or old.  I have read about Alpine, Corba, Germin, Lowrance, Magellan, Navigon and Pioneer to name a few.  The up front investment is not my main concern.......I want to get the most bang for my buck.  I look forward to your responses.  Thanking you in advance.....
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loosenut
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 11:29:14 PM »

I like my Garmin.  It uses Navteq GPS maps which can easily be updated.  You can go to the Navteq site to see which brands use their maps.  I also have a friend who likes his TomTom. 

With the bus I don't need the latest roads but it is nice to have some of the gas stations, banks etc. listed.

GPS units might be on their way to obsolescence with computers and phones having the same abilities.  My wife uses her phone to check the Garmin's instructions.

Mike


 
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cody
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 05:32:24 AM »

We use delorme, dallas told me about delorme and I went and got the updated software for less than a 100 bucks and use it in my laptop, I keep the laptop up front by me on a little platform by the dash, That screen I can read, most of the other screens are too small for me to see clearly and besides, with the laptop up front with me I can chat with dallas and slow rider in the chatroom while going down the interstate at 75 lol.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 05:42:26 AM »

Hi tasmankdr,

Welcome!

If at all possible, if you haven't purchaced a unit yet you may want to wait until Christmas time.

Reason, the US Gov has fallen behind on sat launches to replace the existing global system that has been in place since the mid 90's.

These sats are expected to die out later this year. Allthough our Gov has an emergency launch planned later this year to replace at least

one of these sats, there may be a non gov company awarded a contract to take over the system. If this happens, who knows what lies

down the road for existing software?? By the end of this year we will know much more as to where this is all going...

Good Luck
Nick-
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MCI-RICK
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 06:42:39 AM »

Nick,

I was going to pick up a GPS for our summer travels but I guess it can wait till years end.  I'd hate to throw money into a product that may be useless in just a few months.  Thanks for the heads up!

Rick
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Nusa
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 02:33:28 PM »

Nick way overstated the situation, IMO. There are currently 31 GPS sats in orbit. 24 are considered a fully-operational constellation, with the goal of having 6 or more satellites visible anywhere on the planet (often you can contact more than 6). Now consider that your typical civilian GPS device is fully functional seeing as few as 4 satellites. In the unlikely event that the oribital satellites fell to as few as 18 or so, they could be repositioned to retain full coverage over North America (Russia did that with their GLASNOST system, sacrificing world coverage to retain national coverage during their meltdown). The real point is, even if we never sent up another satellite, it would take at least 10 years for the system to fall that far. The odds of a GPS purchased today being useless by the end of the year is virtually nil (and if is it, it'll be for military reasons, not technical ones).

Yes, the launches need to go up faster to counter the predicted failure rate. But it's a distributed system, it isn't going to fail suddenly or dramatically. Looks like this year we'll send up two satellites (one went up in March, next is planned for August). A few should fail, statistically. But it's like predicting when light bulbs will burn out...just keep some spares handy and replace them when you can.
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loosenut
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 03:45:22 PM »

NUSA has the correct answer. Can you imagine the outcry if all GPS's suddenly didn't work?  If you hear a rumor that involves lots of people suddenly changing  behavior it is a myth.  Much like Paul Bunyan.  People don't change quickly.

Mike
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NJT5047
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2009, 06:26:58 PM »

I've found that if Mapquest or GoogleMaps has issues with a location,  some GPS' will have a similar problem.
I use a Sony NUV94t that has a big, easy to read screen (about 5") for a portable unit.  Price was cheap for the screen ($299).   Sony does upgrades via internet.   
Works about the same as a smallish Garmin that I had.   The big Garmins are probably as good as it gets. 
My experience with GPS use is generally good, but you better have a feel for what route you wish to take.   
Unless the owner keys in a few waypoints, a GPS might take you over some non bus-friendly roads. 
I enjoy seeing an avg ET, miles remaining, miles to next turn, and they offer an accurate speedo.
All in all, a cool toy to own.
BTW, I have DeLorme in my laptop and it works very well.  Much more complicated to use than a portable GPS.   My wife won't fool with it, so it languishes pretty much unused.   Jack Conrad makes good use of his laptop while travelling...
I use the DeLorme to plan routes.   These days, GoogleMaps does the same planning and adds a satellite view of anything along the way...and likely will offer a streetview of most places along the way.  Incredible.
We were in Happy Holiday CG in Cherokee, NC last week.  I knew exactly what the place looked like and how to enter by looking at Googlemaps. 
JR
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 07:52:44 PM »

Hi Guy's,

Sorry if I'm wrong but, thats what a teleatlas guru at Pioneer Electronics told me last week while at a dealer meeting.

Then again, maybe they have a new product due out later this year??  Angry

??
Nick-
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 08:33:32 PM »


Watch the science channel thursday night at 8pm east.
The show Brink will have a skit on gps and why it may fail
This year.
Nick
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Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
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Nusa
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 01:55:30 AM »

I hope that show is about real science, and not sensationalism. This is one of those cases where the media is clearly being irresponsible, apparently preferring the drama to actual facts.

Here's the actual government report that everyone is basing this on: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09325.pdf

Nowhere in there will you find anything that says it will fail THIS year. The closest is probably blurbs like this:

Quote
If the Air Force does not meet its schedule goals for development of GPS
IIIA satellites, there will be an increased likelihood that in 2010, as old
satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the
number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the
U.S. government is committed to providing.


The media seems to be interpreting things like "begin to fail" and "fall below...level of service" as total failure. Remember the level of service commitment is largely for military and surveying purposes....what you actually need for simple navigation is FAR below that.

Scroll down to the more interesting charts, like figure 4 (page 25 of the pdf, page 20 of the document). Next year, probability of maintaining a full constellation is 95%. This year, 100%. Down two pages, figure 5, which shows probability of 18, 21, and 24 satellite constellations. Anything down to 18 is going to look fully operational, worldwide, to most civilian users. It's only the specialty users that get affected.

I agree it needs attention, but everyone that's saying it's going to completely break next year and we're screwed are simply wrong.

As for breaking this year, the only place I've heard that is here -- even the worst of the media stories is saying next year, from what I've googled.
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blue_goose
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 04:39:49 AM »

Don't know about the rest, but Garmin has upgrades that are free that would take care of any changes in the location of the satellite.  I use the street pilot and wouldn't even think of going anywhere with out it.  You do have to be careful of the way it sends you.  They now have a truck model that could be the best for the bus owners. 
Jack
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