GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

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Winston Cup
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GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

Post by Winston Cup » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:00 am

I'm looking for a new unit to mount in my jeep. I've been using an old gamin gps 12 map hand held, but I'd like something mounted. Thinking maybe something from the marine series may work. I've lost track of the what's what out there and have been researching the new gps units available. I see the baja unit from lawrence I think, or maybe it's magellan, I can't remember right now. What's the scoop on this nuvi series from Garmin? The nuvi 550 looks like something I'm looking for, it says it's for off road but I'd like a bigger screen. Can any of them work with an off road map software or what's the deal. I see some are recommended for for geo caching etc. What's the difference? Can someone give me the lowdown, any tips would be great.

What I'd like is.....
Off road capable in regards to mapping etc.
Decent sized screen, 5" diagonal hopefully
Mountable on top of my dash, below the mirror.
SD card capable so I can integrate with my computer for mapping, saving routes, etc.
Color
Turn by turn voice nav is a low priority on this unit.
Geo Cache capable I guess. Not sure what features that entails exactly.
Guy Chrest

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Re: GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

Post by jhitesma » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:16 pm

I've been out of touch as well. I did a little bit of research a few weeks ago and couldn't believe how hard it is to find a decent vehicle unit that doesn't have turn by turn directions (which adds a LOT of cost and for me...zero value.)

Wish I had something to recommend but I didn't find anything out there right now that didn't include a bunch of expensive street features that I don't want and don't want to pay for :(

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Re: GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

Post by Winston Cup » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:58 pm

jhitesma wrote:I've been out of touch as well. I did a little bit of research a few weeks ago and couldn't believe how hard it is to find a decent vehicle unit that doesn't have turn by turn directions (which adds a LOT of cost and for me...zero value.)

Wish I had something to recommend but I didn't find anything out there right now that didn't include a bunch of expensive street features that I don't want and don't want to pay for :(
Exactly the boat I'm in. The market seems so focused on street nav now and I'm not sure how well these units work off road with topo mapping etc. It's like they left off road and trail to the small hand held units. Real confusing. I see some are satellite image compatible and I'd think that would be something useful, but when I find a unit with that capability, it doesn't seem very off road friendly otherwise. The marine units like the garmin 276c are close but they lack somethings I think. The Lowrance Baja 540 looks good but I really would like satellite imagery if it is what I think it is. I'm looking to see what magellan has out now. I'd like it to be mobile if possible, so if I had to pop it out and hike with it I could.
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Re: GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

Post by Buggydave » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:50 pm

Check out the Lowrance XOG. I got one a while ago and really like it. Pretty easy to use, all touch screen, and you can download maps and Sat Imagery as well.

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Re: GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

Post by Winston Cup » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:00 pm

Buggydave wrote:Check out the Lowrance XOG. I got one a while ago and really like it. Pretty easy to use, all touch screen, and you can download maps and Sat Imagery as well.
Just checked that one out, thanks. I wish the screen was larger, but otherwise it does seem pretty cool.

I was checking the map select stuff on lowrance. http://www.mapselect.com/ and noticed the blm maps. You used any of these maps, the imagery ones, or the blm versions, and can you switch between the two on the fly or do you have to reload each time?
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Re: GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

Post by Winston Cup » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:19 am

I saw the xog in person. Nice unit. Less than $200.00, which is surprising. Again I wish the screen was larger, but the bigger issue I have with it now is it's not WAAS enabled. Not real sure how much of a negative that is though. I thought all the new units were WAAS enabled nowadays. How much of a difference in accuracy does a WAAS enabled unit make? Is it that big of a benefit? Are there enough of those beacons around to make a difference?
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Re: GPS recommendations for my jeep needed please.

Post by Vincent J Brunasso » Thu Jan 01, 2009 1:43 pm

Winston Cup wrote:I saw the xog in person. Nice unit. Less than $200.00, which is surprising. Again I wish the screen was larger, but the bigger issue I have with it now is it's not WAAS enabled. Not real sure how much of a negative that is though. I thought all the new units were WAAS enabled nowadays. How much of a difference in accuracy does a WAAS enabled unit make? Is it that big of a benefit? Are there enough of those beacons around to make a difference?
WAAS is what enables aircraft to fly precision GPS approaches. So yes, the accuracy is great and it also stops those pesky deviations that might make you miss the center line of a runway by 25 or 50 feet. BTW: these are ground based station that send a signal to the satellites so you get that correction where ever you are in the US.

MY last 2 street GPS were not WAAS enabled - turns out they don't need to be if you are operating on roads the unit knows about - the software figures out your direction of travel and the nearest road you could be on and moves the cursor there. That is why if you miss an off ramp with my unit, you'll see the cursor taking it until the unit realizes you're too far off course to have taken the ramp. This is also why my unit really sucks off road.

The best deal I can suggest is that you go on eBay and buy a used Megellan Meridian Gold or better, the Platinum unit - you'll spend about $50- to $100 - they are WAAS enabled and will do you a great job off road. They run on 2 AA batteries for about 6 to 10 hours - depending on if you turn on the back light. If you buy right, you get topo software and a data cable that doubles as 12v for your lighter.

The screen is pretty small but I've found that when off roading, you're looking at just the compass rose anyway - and it really is the best for getting from A to B in the dunes. It even knows about a lot of dirt roads and trails. You can set the contrast and brightness to suit you. They have a ton of features you won't get with a new $100 unit.

The interface is a little crude - no touch screen. But the buttons and back side are all sealed so dirt doesn't get in. I have rolled my Pilot and flung it in the sand - keeps on ticking. Its a great unit that you can use on streets too but it only beeps and the database is old. Even so, I just bought a Platinum (compass that works when not moving) and will keep the Gold as a back up. Never know when it will find its way under my wheel again.
Vincent J. Brunasso
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“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”
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