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Old 12-06-2005, 02:24 PM   #1 (Print)
Automan
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Garmin Nuvi GPS

By accident I saw a thing on TV called an advert.
Anyway it was for Garmin GPS products.

It showed a new model I have not seen to date, the Nuvi

On investigation two models exisit 300 & 350

The 350 is £200.00 more expensive and maps all of Europe with more ram. Otherwise I think it is the same.

I have opted for the cheaper model tempted by its ability to annouce the name of roads rather than just saying turn right in x yards. This one will announce the name of the road.

It is also very thin and can be used for other functions ebooks and mp3 etc

Unit also supports user points of interest e.g. GATSO.

I have ordered my one from http://www.handtec.co.uk/section.php?xSec=23 who claim to have them in stock with free delivery.

http://www.garmin.com/uk/automotive/nuvi/ makers site.

More info if and when it arrives....

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Old 12-06-2005, 04:31 PM   #2 (Print)
iankb
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I use CoPilot 6 on an iPaq. That also reads out the street names and speed camera warnings. Once you get used to the electronically-synthesized speech, the spoken commands and warnings mean that you hardly ever need to take your eyes off the road.

Can the Garmin use the free monthly camera updates from PocketGPSWorld.com ?

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Old 12-09-2005, 03:12 PM   #3 (Print)
Automan
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Unhappy - Slightly

Drat and Double Drat!
I selected the 300 model mainly based on the contents of the user manual.

Seems I screwed up - The 300 model cannot announce the name of a road

However, I supposed that is not the end of the world - which nearly happened to me today!

Unit otherwise is cool, starts up fast and on my sofa actually found a fix!

Plays music with album covers and pauses music to make anoucements.

The 300 model comes with
No media
No mains power pack
Has no route simulation mode

Driving to Heathrow in morning so this will be its first test.

P.S. Unit has an audio out jack but sure if mono or stereo.

Next challenge also is to try and add some custom POI's

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Old 12-09-2005, 05:07 PM   #4 (Print)
Automan
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Update

Yes, audio out is stereo

PoiEdit has an option in the latest release to convert tomtom type files into csv

All of your csv files must be uploaded at once to nuvi in one go using Garmins POI Loader

Thus I have Argos Stores, McDonalds and gatso databases

Will see in morning how well they work e.g. alarm and screen display.

Unit can also charge via USB and when u clear the connection in windows the device knows and returns to normal operation just charging from USB

On my sofa in middle of room with windows each end (5metres each way) my Nuvi is getting a signal from 7 sattelites and is in 3d navigation mode.

I would give you my sofa's exact position but guess what - the unit has no option to display actual co-ordinates! e.g. Long & Latt

I assume they think the average consumer has no need for such data (no alttitude either).

The unit however is about the most stylish GPS I have ever seen and as it can also play your mp3's while driving it is pretty cool.

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Old 12-09-2005, 09:27 PM   #5 (Print)
sanderton
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So it doesn't do what you bought it for but you're still happy. A true early adopter!

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Old 12-10-2005, 06:34 AM   #6 (Print)
Automan
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Got me to Heathrow & Back

Well, if all you want is a pure GPS I think the TomTomGo 400/500/700 presents the road in a clearer manner.

If however you want a GPS that can do more the Nuvi may be the answer - also more portable - size of a pack of playing cards.

Good points
Windscreen mount is strong enough to support the device (one with quest was not).
Can play mp3 files from internal memory or SD (however latest software seems to add a 500 mp3 limit).
Can play jpg files
Handles points of interest e.g. Gatso but no option to change alert noise.
Can be linked to optional traffic alert gadget (£165.00 inc lifetime subscription to service via car aerial connection FM RDS).

Badpoints
Loss of some standard Garmin features
No trackback
cannot be linked to a laptop for live mapping with Mapsource software
No resume play of mp3 files (does however pause playback for annoucement / alert).
Slow upload / download speed via USB.

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Old 12-10-2005, 06:51 AM   #7 (Print)
Automan
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On reading the advert for the 300 again at http://www.handtec.co.uk/product.ph...e2c4bc6f4bf3e04 it does state "text to speech"

However, I suspect this is a mistake and have requested confirmation.

The manual does not it clear either and this is of course because in the USA only one model is marketed and thus the manual only describes it.

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Old 12-11-2005, 06:29 AM   #8 (Print)
Automan
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Common Mistake

Browsing ebay for the nuvi 300 all offers seem to claim text to speech....

From what I can see that is not the case with this model.

Also it appears some dodgy supplier in china is offering them for £60.00 - strange payment options only availble and most feedback for items costing £0.35p

Have now also updated the firmware and the unit now can simultae a route (use with gps off) but only seems to offer it in "real time".

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Old 12-11-2005, 06:13 PM   #9 (Print)
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Talk To Garmin

Re "Text to Speech".

Just got an email from suppliers who tell me I need to talk to Garmin who will "amend" the problem.

Anyway, while browsing the USA Garmin site I noted the update for the 300 model was 5megs and the 350's was 20megs.

So I downloaded it and using winzip unzipped the installer.
The main object taking most of the upgrade size is a voice file English_British_Emily.vpm

I then copied this to the voice folder on my Nuvi.

Now under Language I can select Brit Engl-Emily (TTS) and yes I now get "Text to Speech" on navigation.

So the only thing stopping this feature on the 300 is the TTS voice files are not loaded....

I will if I have time call Garmin as suggested and see what they have to say - If they have TTS that is

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Old 12-13-2005, 03:41 PM   #10 (Print)
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I just returned from visiting my new grandson in Wales. While we were there I decided a GPS unit would be very helpful. Too many roads have no names, and the roundabouts thru me more times than I can count.

Is there some brand that has excellent maps for the UK? I think I'll want both US and UK support, so that limits my options.
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:15 AM   #11 (Print)
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Although I can't comment on Wales in particular, the map data provided by Navteq appears to be the most accurate and up-to-date for the UK and Europe.

Navteq data is used by CoPilot for Europe, but not by TomTom. I don't know which other GPS products use Navteq data for the UK.

GPS products may well use different map data providers for the UK and the US.

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Old 12-15-2005, 04:04 PM   #12 (Print)
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Final Thoughts

I now have the AUX in cable for my car's Kenwood MD/Radio (£20.00 from ebay).

Thus music and GPS announcements from Nuvi are played on my cars stereo.

Playback quality for MP3's from SD or internal memory is more than fine for use in a car.

The actual announcements from the GPS do however have room for improvement sounding a bit like you have a blanket over your speakers. Text to Voice one is a little worse than the standard none TTS.

The display
All other touchscreen display devices I have used have always collected finger prints and required constant cleaning. Not the Nuvi, never cleaned the display once - It is really good and easy to read.

No Trackback
This device unlike all other Garmins has no trackback / breadcrumb option to re-trace your steps. As this device is designed for use in and out of the car they should have retained this option.

Save anywhere as a waypoint.
TomTom devices only let you save your position if you are on a known road.
Thus if in a mall car park with no mapping in tomtom it will say "no usable data point". Nuvi lets you save anywhere as a waypoint.

Sensitive.
I think this device has the most sensitive GPS receiver I have ever used.

MP3 Playback.
Cool, and resume now works with latest software. Limit however to 500 tracks for some reason.

Audio Books.
May be useful if you dont have time to read a book but drive a lot on motorways etc.

If you ask me now - Would I buy one knowing what I do now the answer would be yes but if funds permitted the 350 model.

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Old 12-15-2005, 04:49 PM   #13 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Automan
I think this device has the most sensitive GPS receiver I have ever used.
It uses a Sirf chipset and, almost certainly, it will be Sirf III, which is considerably more sensitive and intelligent than anything else that has gone before. My Bluetooth unit will work anywhere in the house, in the car's glove box, or wherever.

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Old 12-16-2005, 09:46 AM   #14 (Print)
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Thanks Ian. I'll look for a Navteq compatable. The decision was already complex, and the US/UK makes it that much harder.
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