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Author Topic: OK dumb Redneck needs understandable advice from you great Technoids!  (Read 5482 times)
Busted Knuckle
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« on: October 20, 2007, 06:12:40 PM »

OK ya'll all ready know I ain't all that book smart! I know the basics and so on, and enough to get by on day to day! But when its technical stuff with tons of reading and comprehending bunches of technical lingo, I get lost after the first paragraph! I don't think that's it's cause I'm stupid or noth'n, I just have trouble comprehending anything that I can't get hands on experience of! Usually if I do something as I'm learning it I can remember it forever (well maybe a long time), but just to read and compare things and try to comprhend what I read about this thing vs that thing I'm no good at it! 

So here's the deal! A couple weeks ago dad asked me what I knew about GPS systems for routing and traveling and such. But then he got disgusted with me when I handed him a laminated atlas, a staight edge and a wax crayon! He asked "what the **** is all this?" Then he really got mad when I told him "it's a map, a stra......"   "!%@$#&^%*!><":!@#&^%%$#@, I know what they are, but what is the point?!"
I told him that "in all the yrs truck'n I did that was all the GPS I'd needed, ya take and open the atlas to the big page, ya start where ya are and ya lay the straight edge from there to where ya goin! Take the cryaon and make a straight line! DONE routing made easy, you just pick the hwys that come closest to your crayon line and that is your most direct rte!! How much simpler does it get?!" Well needless to say he said much more and worse than above and told me "never mind I SHOULD'VE KNOWN BETTER!"
Well next thing ya know he's gone out and bought (with company $) a Garmin of some kind! Well at first he wasn't to happy with it, and threw the atlas, straight edge, an crayon back at me when I tried to tell him "these been working fine for me for yrs!"
Well now that he's had "Lola" (named after the one Robin Williams had in "RV") I guess he likes her now! (although mom doesn't! She told me earlier today, "that witch is a tattle tale! She told your dad today when he checked her memory that I was running 79.5 mph last night while I was doing the driving!") LOL! 
Anyway they think she's (LOLA) great and told me I should go buy a Tom Tom (mom calls it a Tom Cat) or some other type (w/company $ of course! I thnk they feel guilty! LOL!) so we can compare and see which one we like better!
Well I'm no Technoid, so I ask those of you who understand this stuff to help me out! Which GPS sytem is gonna be a better unit for a slow learning redneck like me? And why? I want something that ain't gonna be to difficult to learn to use, and that I can program and erase what I want when I want! (I don't need no tattle tales tell'n how fast I drive, I have enough to worry about with smoky bear!)
But I really would like to check one out! So how 'bout it folks can any of ya put it in terms I can understand ya know like "still water runs deep" or "think of the bus as a big light bulb!" ? Thanks Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
maria-n-skip
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 06:21:40 PM »

BK,

 It is simple the more money the bigger the screen and the more bells and whistles.
 They all do basically the same. If it fits your personality (fewest steps to enter a destination)
 then that would be the one. If it is big papa watching there is always is the auto trip strips
 to check RPM and MPG on the paper disk. (better to start a fire with)

  Actually go with the same your dad has and let him program the destinations and you learn
 to delete the tattle tells.


   FWIW
 Skip

    PS redneck is a way of life not a statement of IQ. You be smart NO?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 06:23:55 PM by maria-n-skip » Logged
compedgemarine
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 06:39:52 PM »

most GPS units have similar features, many you will likely never use. on the boats I tell people to go to someplace like West Marine or other large marine outfitter because they usually have a wide selection on display and working and you can try them out to see if they are user friendly to you. I only know how to use the basics on them and that is all I have ever needed. I do know people that can program nearly all of their lives into one but that is beyond this dumb rednecks ability. If you can find a West marine or like see what they have just pick one that is usable for what you need, the most important part is how good the screen is. daylight screens are far better in the glare but if you can mount it where that is not a problem  then save the money.
Steve
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luvrbus
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 07:03:43 PM »

BK,if you have a laptop buy yourself a Delorme for less than 90.00 bucks at Cosco and it will also talk to you if your into that
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Jerry32
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 07:12:46 PM »

BK You are basically rite about the maps cause you can't take any short cuts without a road there anyway. The GPS is great for aircraft and boats couase you have time to fiddle with it. but driving and the darn thing talking to you might be confusing and my experience with them is they are great if you inow where you are going but following the back seat driver instructions are fun till you miss a turn and then it starts with a reroute to get back where you belong. I have on that hooks to the laptop called the co pilot and works well Jerry
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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2007, 09:53:13 PM »

BK, it depends on how good your eyes are.  The little Garmins and Tom Tom Go's are great if you can see the screen. They all do a lot more than most of us expect, especially me.

I bought the DeLorme Street Atlas for under $90 and put it on my laptop. I'll probably never learn how to do everything it can do, but it will certainly do everything I want, and I can see it.

Since it's on a laptop it can easily be updated. Maybe the little ones can too, I would certainly hope so for the price you pay.


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Dave Siegel
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 02:59:47 AM »

BK, I looked at the small GPS units and they are nice, but like the others have said the small units are very hard to read, and they all cost at least $300.

I bought DeLorme Street Atlas for under a hundred dollars, it came with a free GPS receiver that you put on the dash and it finds the satellite automatically. I have it installed in my laptop and I can see it very easily. It has there-routing feature if you go past your exit or turn. It has millions of built i stops , fuel, and rest areas, and the damn thing talks to you in one of several voices. Male or female. It tells you how fast you are going, how much fuel you are using and when to pull over and get more fuel.

My vote is for the DeLorme in the laptop.

Dave
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 07:56:17 AM »

OK, Now I get to tell you the BAD part...

It doesn't matter which GPS you get, They all will take you places that you simply
DONT want to go.

The problem is the mapping is crappy at best and does not take any consideration for vehicle size or driver difficulty level.

Fastest Time: This will take you OUT and AROUND and probably 100 miles out of the way. If you watch carefully enough, A Paper MAP book will let you figure out where
and how to get there with the fewest detours. Fastest Time also doesn't allow for overhead clearance. These things are programmed for a CAR or Motorcycle.. NOT a large or oversized vehicle with stuff up onthe roof.

SHORTEST Distance: This is fine for a car/bike or 4-wheeldrive. NOT a BUS or Truck!
Every back alley and winding mountain road, dirt road and anything that has ever been actually mapped at some point in history. The problem is that the shortest distance roads may not actually exist or are usable for much more than an OX Cart.
( Even the names may have been changed or somebody just guessed at the name )

All said... ( Cause I been mislead by Garmin and MS Streets ) is get one that is used by Truckers and preferred by them for best routing. Knowing the kinks and krooks of that road in advance is better than flying blind.

Plan on spending $700 + to get on that has the overpass heights and truck routes separated from the "Scenic" routes. Even then be very wary if where you are heading starts to look suspicious.. ( Like no lines on the road or things start to go vertical )....

If the sphincter factor starts to kick in, You have been lead astray....That feeling of DOOM and all that is enough to give you a few more grey hairs.

Besides, A Pro Driver would never use a GPS that was obvious to the passengers. Not a pleasing thought that your driver is as lost as you are.....

It's that thing that says, I know where I am...Just verifies that you actually do know where you are going and how fast...

I argue with both of my GPS systems and they pester me to death.. RECALCULATING!!!! I hear that in my dreams....LOST SATELLITE RECEPTION....

ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH~~~~~~~
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 08:09:49 AM »

I'll put in a vote for the computer based unit as well.  We use MessySloth Streets & Trips running on my laptop.  Since we always have the laptop along it works well.  The dash mounted units look sexier but I don't think I could see anything useful on them while driving.  My navigator is a better cook, if you know what I mean.  I can glance at my laptop & figure out what is happening.  I have just started letting the girl inside the computer talk to me - she's somewhat useful but more of a novelty than a necessity IMHO.  

The important thing to remember is that none of the systems are any better than the basemaps that they use and there are actually very few unique basemaps - IOW most of them are using the same core data.  And that data is not 100% perfect.  You still need to use your head - the GPS may route you over stuff that you don't want to go over or tell you to turn right where there is no right turn.  At those moments where it wants you to turn right and there is only grassy median to your right you will be glad that the map scale is large enough for you to figure out a new route on the move.  Ask me how I know this!

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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2007, 08:20:49 AM »

BK, my buddy has his own tow company and has one with commercial routes on it.
I'll call him today and try to find out which one he uses. He loves those new toys, LOL.  Cool
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Sean
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2007, 08:44:05 AM »

Bryce,

I see several votes here for computer-attached units, and they do work, but there is a downside:  computers in locations visible to the driver are flat illegal in several states, whereas dedicated navigational GPS units are not (although two states forbid attaching such units to the windshield or side windows).

As a professional driver, you probably want to check the laws of all the states you'll be passing through before deciding to go the computer route (no pun intended).  The citation in California, for example, is over $300, and appears on your driving record if the computer is on when you are pulled over.  (California is also one of the states that prohibits sticking anything to the windshield.)  Some states closer to home have similar laws.

We use a Garmin 7200.  Garmin, for all its annoying corporate policies, is the world leader in automotive GPS units (followed by, in order, Magellan, TomTom, and Mio).  None of the GPS companies produces its own maps or points of interest -- all use either TeleAtlas or NavTeq.  The 7200 has a large 7" screen, with large "buttons" (it's a touch screen -- buttons appear when you need them), making it very easy to read under way.  It also has vehicle-type settings, which include "Bus" and "Truck".  If you tell it you're a bus, it tries to avoid U-turns and smaller roads.  It's definitely not perfect -- more than once it's tried to take us down a road with low trees.

If you plan to use the unit without an external antenna, then I suggest getting one of the newer units with the SirfStarIII chipset.  Older units will have trouble maintaining enough satellite signals for 3D navigation in a coach, particularly in heavily wooded areas or urban "canyons."  Our 7200 does not have the new chipset, but we have an amplified antenna on the roof, with a clear view of the sky in all directions.

Whatever model you get, expect it to take some time to get used to the quirks.  They all navigate a bit differently, and they all have annoying habits.  Drive it around in the car for a while to get a feel for how it routes, and then you can go into the settings and change preferences until it does more or less what you want.

Remember, you don't need to use the automatic route guidance -- you can just have it be a moving map display if that's all you need.  Easier than looking up your position in an atlas while driving.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2007, 11:58:47 AM »

BK, my buddy has the one Sean has mentioned - Garmin "Street Pilot 7200".
He's quite happy with it, he goes out of state quite often with the truck and said it's great.
He mentioned that they now make a model 7500 - he doesn't know about that one yet.....
Regards,
Sammy  Cool
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2007, 12:16:22 PM »

Thanks all! I have MS Streets and Trips on my lap top, but it seems to hate me and doesn't like to pick up signal from the sensor when I want it too the most! Like when I have it hooked up! LOL! And as Sean points out I am leery of using the lap top for more than one reason! One I don't know about all the laws against it, and it means the lap top would be placed out in the open and could be easily stolen while I'm out of the drivers seat tending to luggage or other duties! I will check out the Garmin 7200 & 7500's of course I really don't what I'm looking for! I'll also even look into the Delorme and maybe a good way to secure the lap top while I'm away temporarily from it! After all I never leave home with out the lap top so it would be one less item to have, but on the other hand I was thinking a dedicated GPS system mounted in a convenient location that would eliminate setting up the lap top every time I go some where would be nice too! Thanks for the advice and I'll let ya's know how I decide & how it works! And as mom said "I don't need no stink'n witch tattling on me!" LOL ! I can see her turning "Lola" off while dad is resting on their way home from Texas via St. Louis tonight! LOL!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2007, 07:31:25 PM »

I use the delorme on the laptop,  I bought both instead of spending money on fixing the seedometer

still learning it

worked pretty good on the way to the mountines near linville this weekend and i had programmed it before  i stuck a stop in to change the way it wanted to take me. good thing, avoided some 12-14% grades with switch backs by rocks. i have the voice turned off.

hardly got signal and the way back, no program, just tried to record it.  if i could take a screen shot id post it.  It showed me going accross the saluda water shed lake when the windshield was showing me highway 25. Huh

I do like the planning and i downloaded the low bridges from here, http://www.discoveryowners.com/cginfolinks.htm, Dallas told me how to do it and with a little reading on the help files, i can turn it on. 

Maybe you can run out back and let Dallas show you a thing or two, about GPS that is Shocked Grin



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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2007, 07:41:30 PM »

...
...
He mentioned that they now make a model 7500 - he doesn't know about that one yet.....


The 7200 and 7500 are almost identical -- same package, same navigation software.  The 7500 has inputs for wheel sensors, and can do "dead reckoning" -- figuring out where you are based on wheel sensors and the map, without GPS input.  Basically only useful if you spend lots of time where there is no GPS signal, such as in major high-rise cities (think New York or Chicago), in tunnels, or other subterranean environments like parking structures.  That's the only difference between them.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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