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-   -   Anyone use the Magellan GPS Companion™? (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/tech-talk/199825-anyone-use-magellan-gps-companion%99.html)

shaun3000 04-14-02 01:46 AM

Anyone use the Magellan GPS Companion™?

Specifically, the Handspring Visor model.

I am considering buying one with the money I get back from my Extigy (:(http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=194536)

I've read many glowing reviews, but I want people who use it in every-day life.

Give me your opinions


Darren Garrison 04-14-02 01:16 PM

I don't have an answer for you, but I've been wanting a GPS module for my handspring, too. I've been thinking of the Megellan one because I can buy it locally (Wal-Mart, $150) without having to order over the web.

shaun3000 04-16-02 06:19 PM

It came, today.

I downloaded the updated software from Magellan, plugged the unit in, updated the software/hardware, and copied over some maps of St. Louis and Dallas.

I waited forever for it to get a fix, but it doesn't work to well, inside.

I went outside and within two minutes, I had a 3D fix (3D gives you altitude, where 2D only gives you position) It's pretty cool, as while it is getting its fix, it shows you the signal strength of each satellite as it locks on, and then shows you the position of the satellite relative to the GPS unit.

After I got the fix, I walked a round a bit infront of my dorm. It gave me accurate speed and distance readings, though I don't think I was going fast/far enough to get accurate direction readings. Still, very cool. Had I not felt like such a moron walking aroudn with this thing, I'd have gone further. I think this calls for a drive, later on. hehe

Anyway, from my limited use, I recommend it. Best Buy has it for $127, with a $50 rebate. And free ground shipping on any PDA or PDA accessory. Not half bad, I say.

Darren Garrison 04-16-02 11:31 PM

Thanks for the update. The whole "not working well inside" thing isn't a flaw in your unit, though, it's a limitation imposed by the strength of the signals. So you weren't likely to fare much better with any other unit, Springboard or stand-alone.

Spicollidriver1 04-16-02 11:40 PM

I want to get a unit for my Ibook I think it would be nice to have.

shaun3000 04-17-02 12:00 AM

Originally posted by Darren Garrison
The whole "not working well inside" thing isn't a flaw in your unit, though, it's a limitation imposed by the strength of the signals. So you weren't likely to fare much better with any other unit, Springboard or stand-alone.
Yup, I know that. But I thought I'd mention it for anyone who, for some reason, wanted to use it indoors.

And usually it works fairly well indoors, if you are in a normal house, on an outside room, and near a window. But I am in a good ol' dorm room, concrete walls and the like. lol

Darren Garrison 04-25-02 11:40 PM

So, you still satisfied with the Magellan? How's the software, and can it work with other PDA mapping programs? I notice that my local Wal-Mart's dropped the Megellan price from $150ish to $118. $68 sounds like a mega-decent price (I'd like that GPS springboard with the two MMC slots, but it's $300).

shaun3000 04-26-02 12:16 AM

I haven't had a chance to use it, yet. Yes, it is compatible with non-Magellan GPS programs. If you have a mapping program, it has to support GPS, which many do.

But over all, I am very pleased. It gets a fix in about 2 minutes with the updated firmware (available on Magellan's page). YOu can even watch as it picks up each satellite and does its calculations.

The included mapping software is excellent. You pick maps by state, then county, then city. And the maps are VERY small. About 1/3 the size of any other program I've found. I have all of St. Louis County, MO, and the entire D/FW metroplex (Dallas, Tarrant, and Denton counties) loaded in and it takes up less than 2 MB.

However, the included software cannot do turn-by-turn directions, nor does it have address information. You can get other software that can do that, but it is much larger than the Magellan software. It's not that bad, though,a syou can find streets and intersections, and then just drive that direction. I just print off MapQuest maps and use the GPS to figure out where I am.

zuffy 04-26-02 12:25 AM

If anyone has the Compaq IPAQ, they might consider the Traveroute CoPilot. It offers street level mapping with turn-by-turn routing. I was gonna get the laptop model, but didn't like the idea of booting up my laptop and have to hide it each time I enter/eave the car. Instead, I went and got the Garmin StreetPilot III.


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