Vehicle-mounted GPS units

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Do you use a GPS while driving?

Frequently
12
33%
Occasionally
17
47%
Never
7
19%
 
Total votes : 36

Vehicle-mounted GPS units

Postby NZcaver » Dec 3, 2007 4:16 pm

As the holiday season approaches, I see that GPS units for your vehicle are one of the hottest selling items this year. I'm sure plenty of techno-savvy cavers out there already own one, so I just wondered if anyone would like to share an opinion on their favorite (or not-so-favorite) gadget?

While we may think of handheld GPS units being a more practical tool for navigating to caves, it did occur to me that the vast majority of cave trips probably involve a driving-and-navigating phase before the hiking phase.

PS - if anyone wants to read or post about handheld GPS units, try these threads:
GPS recommendations, GPS receivers, GPS questions, What to look for in a GPS?, New Garmin GPS, GPS Questions.
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Postby JoeyS » Dec 3, 2007 4:50 pm

I've had a Garmin Nuvi 660 for about a year. It's great for like you say, finding or saving a parking spot for favorite caves; not so good for field use. Also handy for finding the nearest Mexican eatery after a long trip.
I see that the Tomtom brand is offering a 100 dollar rebate on all their models right now. I've never seen that brand up close, but I'm sure they are similar.
My Nuvi has other features such as an MP3 player and blue tooth (?), but I've never used them (I hardly know what they are).

My favorite feature, besides general navigation, is the unit's ability to predict my arrival time down to the minute.
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Dec 3, 2007 7:38 pm

We bought one for our daughter so she wouldn't get lost, as she is a new driver and just learning her way around. Her friends seem to live on tucked away mountain roads.

We bought a Garmin, also, and it is the c340 StreetPilot that speaks the names of the streets ("Turn left on Broadway" instead of "Turn left 300 feet").

Margaret commutes 26 miles to Denver for dance and it tells her exactly when she'll arrive... so she doesn't have to guess and can slow down/speed up to get there at a certain time. She has used it to get a dance instructor's house in Boulder (about 45 miles from our house) and she punched in the instructor's address and it took her right to her driveway with no problem. She did this the night before she was to leave it gave her an estimated ETA, so she had a better idea of what time to leave home.

It also pulls up whatever kind of store or restaurant you want and shows you how to get there. Looking for the nearest electronic store in a new area? Where's the nearest Best Buy? In a strange area and need to know how to get back to the highway? It's great.

I would suggest buying from a reputable Internet dealer as you can save a lot that way. We paid around $225 for the unit, which local stores were selling for $300 or more. No sales tax. I ordered in on a Friday and it arrived on the next Tuesday.
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Postby subter » Dec 3, 2007 8:30 pm

you can enter GPS coordinates on most units so it beats 'nothing' when your searching out those hard to find spots but without topo overlays the true outdoorsman GPS units are still the only way to go.
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Postby wyandottecaver » Dec 3, 2007 8:59 pm

or... bring up google earth pro on your I phone, enter your coordinates and presto :P
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Postby werewolf » Dec 3, 2007 9:19 pm

Should be an "always" choice because that's me. I don't even know where I am without my GPS. For the past few years I've used the Garmin 276C. Before that the Garmin 176, and before that the Garmin 2+, and before the Gramin 2, I think..
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Postby RichBCAG » Dec 4, 2007 8:53 am

I've got the iQue 3600 - the PDA/GPS unit that runs PalmOS.

I've found it quite useful for things like finding food along the long road between Phoenix and the Guads in NM. It will also do the voice nav, and as long as you've got it plugged in, it works just fine. Battery life is rather short, though.

Overall - Highly recommended.
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Postby subter » Dec 4, 2007 4:03 pm

in response to werewolfe - you see, that's one of the things I do not like about having these nav systems is that it feels like, over time, it would kill my natural sense of direction... or make me feel that I don't have to pay attention because hey, the nav system has it under control. I know we hand over a lot of of mundane tasks in our lives to technology on a regular basis... this is one I'm going to hold on to for a bit longer though.
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Postby Wayne Harrison » Dec 4, 2007 5:42 pm

I think it actually helps you become aware of things you aren't aware of without it. Like side roads going into National Forests... points of interest, etc.
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Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Dec 4, 2007 5:53 pm

subter wrote:in response to werewolfe - you see, that's one of the things I do not like about having these nav systems is that it feels like, over time, it would kill my natural sense of direction... or make me feel that I don't have to pay attention because hey, the nav system has it under control. I know we hand over a lot of of mundane tasks in our lives to technology on a regular basis... this is one I'm going to hold on to for a bit longer though.
:yeah that:
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Postby subter » Dec 4, 2007 6:53 pm

Wayne Harrison wrote:I think it actually helps you become aware of things you aren't aware of without it. Like side roads going into National Forests... points of interest, etc.


You are exactly right on this point... when in a friends car I noticed parks near my house that I never knew existed so I must concede this point that one is more aware... as long as you have the nav system. I'm just afraid that once that genie is out of the bottle my mind would stop thinking about where I'm going. It's hard to explain. But there is some satisfaction in finding your own way in a strange place using only what God gave you... well that and a car, of course :tonguecheek:

I guess I'm just becoming uncomfortable with all of the human abilities that are being "outsourced".
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Postby NZcaver » Dec 4, 2007 7:32 pm

I sympathize with your view subter - as a culture, it's true we're becoming steadily more reliant on technology.

However... even for those of us with a reasonably good built-in sense of direction, a GPS "aid to navigation" can be quite helpful. Adding to the examples Wayne gave, my excuse for wanting/needing this technology is because I move to a new home in a different state 2-3 times every year. You could say I travel a little more than the average person.

I started this thread because I have an old, old handheld GPS (Lowrance Globalmap 100 - the first ever consumer GPS model with a built-in map). This is usually kept mounted in my vehicle, but has huge limitations compared to modern technology - so I don't truly "navigate" with it. Finally, the time has come for me to upgrade.

So now I'm navigating my way through the popular choices (bad pun), like the TomTom, Garmin Nuvi, Mio, Navigon, Magellan, etc. I've also read some good reviews at http://www.gpslodge.com I've pretty much made my choice now, but figured I'd ask what other cavers are using and why.
Last edited by NZcaver on Dec 4, 2007 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mgmills » Dec 4, 2007 7:32 pm

subter wrote: But there is some satisfaction in finding your own way in a strange place using only what God gave you... well that and a car, of course :tonguecheek:

I guess I'm just becoming uncomfortable with all of the human abilities that are being "outsourced".


:exactly:

I have a good friend who has the GPS and she gets mad at er unit because she is like me and prone to adding on errands when going somewhere. Her GPS keeps telling her to find the next legal U-turn when she deviates to do an "add on" errand.

I'm not likely to get one soon. I held out for a long time on the cell phone and I still don't text message or take pictures with my phone.
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Postby tncaver » Dec 4, 2007 8:59 pm

I heard today that chimpanzees outscored humans on a numbers
recognition test. They showed on TV that the chimpanzees were
faster and more accurate in a 1-9 number identification test.
Wonder if the Chimps need GPS units to navigate?
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Postby mgmills » Dec 4, 2007 9:04 pm

tncaver wrote:I heard today that chimpanzees outscored humans on a numbers
recognition test. They showed on TV that the chimpanzees were
faster and more accurate in a 1-9 number identification test.
Wonder if the Chimps need GPS units to navigate?


I saw that on TV about the chimps. It was pretty cool. The flashed up the numbers then blanked them out to just squares and they had to remember where the numbers had been. Glad I wasn't being tested. :-)
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