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Old November 7th, 2006, 04:23 AM   #1
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GPS: The best gadget I have ever bought

I have just purchased a little GPS unit and after just one outing - to quote on an up-coming wedding, I'm convinced its the best value gadget I have bought this year.

No more fumbling about stopping to look in a street directory or sweating on an awkward-to-find location.

I can set up a route ahead of time with ceremony venue, photoshoot venue and reception venue all programmed in - it even tells me how long it will take to get there (under ideal conditions of course).

It is fantastic, I can thoroughly recommend it!
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #2
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ok but what brand,cost And where??
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Old November 7th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #3
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I bought a TomTom ONE - its the bottom of the TomTom range but does everything I need - ie gets me to where I want to go.

The bigger (and more expensive) units have MP3 player capabilities and bigger screens, but I find this model more than adequate.

You can read the specs at http://www.tomtom.com/products/featu...tegory=0&Lid=8

I bought mine from Strathfield for $638. Their website shows the older model but over the counter you can buy what's called the 'New Edition'.

You can read a whole heap of reviews here http://www.yournav.com/
The model I bought is reviewed here http://www.yournav.com/content/revie...h_renewal.html
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:32 AM   #4
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Just wanted to chime in with agreement that a GPS system is a TREMENDOUS time and aggrivation saver, not to mention can totally save your butt in a bad traffic situation, for any business that has you driving to various new locations from week to week.

My wife and I use the GPS built into her SUV to navigate the region around Philly, Allentown, Princeton, Newark and NY for our photography work.

One thing to watch out for is that not all addresses map into these cleanly.
It's a good idea to program your destinations into the system well before it's time to leave, so you can verify on the map that the GPS is really planning to take you where you want to go. (For a shoot last weekend, the GPS dropped us into a residential community about one mile from the shopping center we needed to go to. :p )
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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #5
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Agreed

If you were making a list of must-have items for a Videographer, I'd place GPS over Tri-pod. Now I know I'm gonna catch it for that.

Also, agree with Nick on pre-programming addresses. I always have Map-Quest directions as back up, just in case.

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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarence S. Walker
If you were making a list of must-have items for a Videographer, I'd place GPS over Tri-pod. Now I know I'm gonna catch it for that.

Clarence

So how do you mount the camera on the gps unit...........
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Old November 7th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #7
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So how do you mount the camera on the gps unit...........
I think the rubber suction cup on the GPS mount is attached to the front of the camera lens ... :o)
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wayne Starick
I think the rubber suction cup on the GPS mount is attached to the front of the camera lens ... :o)
LOL

yeah GPS was one of the first things i bought when the work started getting out of hand.

I bought a Navman PiN, which is a Mitac Mio PDA with a built in antenna. The SW itself feeds from 12 satelites. Accurate to 5 meters so im pretty impressed.

also as being a PDA with windows mobile, it dies everything every other PDA can do as well.. best $800 bux i spent
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Old November 7th, 2006, 07:29 PM   #9
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I use mine all of the time, especially on my road trips. Nothing better in the world.

The only thing to watch is that the address is entered properly,(road, hwy, st., city etc.) and that you double check to see that it "seems" right. Also, while driving they do make errors on how to turn. I have a Garmin and it can give wrong turns. Once in a great while it will say turn left or right when it is really the opposite so watch the signs on the interstates as well as listen to what it says.

Mine actually caused me to damage my motor home. Even though I said no dirt roads, it sent me down a mud and rock road in CT to a camp ground, that ended up being almost a mile long. Was less than one lane and a real mess and I could not turn around. When I finally got there the people at the campground said, "oh, you came in the back way!" They then said that have told map quest and all not to send people down that road. The regular road was 100 feet of bad road and then asphalt road!

Mike
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Old November 8th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #10
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wow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Starick
I bought mine from Strathfield for $638. Their website shows the older model but over the counter you can buy what's called the 'New Edition'.
$638? Wow. that is a bit expensive for a gps unit. Is that US dollars? You should be able to get one that can do everything you need for around $200.

Mine, a Garmin eTrax Ventra was about $150.

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Old November 8th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #11
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I've had a TomTom for 2+ years now, the original TomTom Go. While owning nav has changed my life in all the ways mentioned here, I should mention that I have had a few problems with it, namely the touchscreen stops tracking properly and it doesn't have a calibration mode like my Palm PDA. It's been repaired and then happened again. Others have experienced this from what I've read. TomTom is offering me a half-price (retail price that is) upgrade to their current 710 model, still $350, which is good in some ways (traffic integration is very much a useful thing here in LA) but of course we all want companies to "do the right thing" and replace defective designs outright.

That said, I also have the Toyota nav system in my Prius and while it is really nice to have the bluetooth phone and all audio, climate controls etc in the same screen, I almost wish I hadn't gotten it and just bought a second TomTom instead, as I much prefer the user interface they have. Since its introduction several of the more established GPS companies like Garmin have been copying some of their design. The "3D" view that shows current position is the most intuitive to me rather than the overhead, and the method of entering addresses better, and its just generally simpler. Even though I'm a confirmed button-pusher and menu-navigator, the Toyota/Lexus system is pretty convuluted and over-complicated. For those contemplating buying a car and whether it's worth spending the extra $2000 on built-in nav, consider that a stand-alone unit will cost 1/3 the price and you can take it with you if you travel, put it in a rental car etc.

TomTom also makes a software package for PDA's including the Palm, so if you want to be really self-contained about things you can use that. Of course it has to be worth it to be having to connect the system up every time you get in the car (pop out your card, put theirs in etc) and the voice commands may not be loud enough out of the little speaker.

Bottom line--hopefully the issues I experienced with the touchscreen were an early issue with the original product and the current ones don't fail the same way; if this is the case I say it is well worth the money for their products (by the way, I've seen the TomTom One for more like $500, with the 710 that includes bluetooth around the price point mentioned here).

Nav is one of those things that once you have it, you can't live without it and you wonder why it took you so long to get it, kind of like Tivo!
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Old November 8th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
$638? Wow. that is a bit expensive for a gps unit. Is that US dollars? You should be able to get one that can do everything you need for around $200.
The more expensive GPS's generally have better user interfaces (simpler, safer to use while driving) and much brighter LCD screens. The higher end GPS's also seem to have better mapping software, that is updated more frequently, more on board memory, and more points of interest. Some even let you cue up a point of interest and it will automatically dial the number on your Bluetooth cell phone! But, you're right. There are plenty of sub-$200 devices out there that will get the job done 99% of the time, for a lot less money.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #13
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I've had a variety of GPS'es for quite a few years now. Currently using a Garmin StreetPilot 2620 in the car and a Garmin eTrex Legend C for hiking. The portable units are great on foot but really don't compare for automotive use.

Personally I like the Garmin series much better, but that's probably just because I'm a GPS techno-geek ;-) With my automotive unit, I have loaded both the street maps and topographic maps and can toggle between them easily. The Garmin has lots of nice customizable GPS features which perhaps make it less user-friendly but more informative for someone like me.

I think mine was worth every dollar (cost almost $1,000 when I got it in 2002) - I drive a LOT (over 30,000 miles/year) and it's my constant companion. I never take its directions as gospel however. More often than not I just use it as a realtime map to show where I am.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
$638? Wow. that is a bit expensive for a gps unit. Is that US dollars? You should be able to get one that can do everything you need for around $200.

Mine, a Garmin eTrax Ventra was about $150.

jason
Sorry Jason, should have made it clearer - that was Oz dollars.

Wayne
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:20 PM   #15
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I love TomTom, funny enough it is a Dutch company that makes it :)

Charles: without sat nav I doubt I would've found your house, or anything else in LA ;)
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