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I received last week the Garmin SP III Deluxe from www.gpscity.com. $779.00 with free shipping. In summary, this thing rocks! It has the latest updated detailed coverage of the whole USA, to street level. It even has the development where I live, which is about 1 year old. Im amazed how well and precise the thing works. It has auto routing with voice , re-routing capability and has 5 million points of interest.

The display looks great and bright even in direct sunlight. It came with the unlock code for the entire USA. I downloaded the entire USA map to my laptop, then I download the desired map to the 128Mb card, and then plug that to the unit. 128 Mb will give you about 3-4 states coverage. Or if I choose, I can download a specific route (like a cross country trip).

I highly recommend this for anybody looking for a cheaper navi unit alternative thats portable and accurate.:2:
 

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I have had my Street pilot III since November 2001. I fully agree with your comments. I particularly like the re-routing feature and the portability.

Regards, greyskr
 

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rlm32, thank you very much for........

rlm32 said:
Im amazed how well and precise the thing works. It has auto routing with voice , re-routing capability and has 5 million points of interest.
......the information. Can you please confirm for sure that it does have the 5 million Points-of-Interest across the United States just like Acura's system??

Do you know if the turn-by-turn voice guidance works in Non-Navtech-mapped (rural, small towns) areas.

If that's true, then I'm going to go ahead and get one too as a supplement to my existing Navis for rural/small town areas, as well as to use while traveling in rental vehicles.

Thanks a lot, once again for the useful info! :)
 

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Vic,
I have not had a chance to play with it much because of work, but hopefully will this week that Im off and will let you know. At least, my town (which has a good part of rural roads) was not covered in the Acura version I tried at the Detriot auto show last winter, and it is covered fully on the Garmin. I have yet to try the guidance in those roads, but I don't see why it wouldn't work, if its in the database.
 

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Has anyone had any experience using their Streetpilot in a major city?
My concern is with a GPS only navigation system (no gyro) in a city with tall buildings is that it won't have clear view to a satellite thus loosing it's tracking.
 

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That is exactly why.......

Billr said:
Has anyone had any experience using their Streetpilot in a major city?
My concern is with a GPS only navigation system (no gyro) in a city with tall buildings is that it won't have clear view to a satellite thus loosing it's tracking.
.......I will always own a car with a built in Navi....oops, I should've said I will only own a Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus vehicle with a factory Navi (other Navi manufacturers are pretty much useless)......because the inertial reference system (gyroscope/speed sensor) keep the vehicle going by "dead reckoning" when satellite signals are not received. The Garmin units are good in areas not covered by the factory units (at least for right now)

I have found the Acura and Lexus Navi units,which have 8-channel recievers (meaning they can lock on to 8 of the 24 satellites out there) picked up anywhere from 1 (very rare) to 3 satellites during my drive in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, between the tallest buildings.......but most of the time they picked up at least 2 satellites (still not good enough for a position fix) - minimum of 3 satellites are needed and 4 give the most accurate reading. When more than 4 satellites are visible to the GPS unit, the strongest/best 4 are used by the GPS unit to calculate the position

.......Now that said, I'm speculating that the Garmin GPS units, even without the gyro/speed sensor will be able to provide some postional information in low reception situation such as between tall buildings based on the fact that they use a much more newer higher-tech 12-channel GPS receivers giving them far more choices of satellites at different locations on the horizon......so if the 8-channel units picked up 2 satellites most of the time, there's a good chance the Garmin units will pick up at least the 3, if not 4, needed for a position fix.........However, travelling through zero reception situations such as through a tunnel or under a big bridge will still be a problem.
 

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rlm32 said:
I have yet to try the guidance in those roads, but I don't see why it wouldn't work, if its in the database.
The reason I'm wondering about this is because of my experience with the Lexus/Kenwood units.

Virtually all Navi units and mapping software that have rural / small town areas mapped are using public-source data (GDT most commonly), which does not have the "digital precision" of the NAVTECH maps, supposedly required for turn-by-turn voice guidance (road geometry, one-way info etc.)

With the Lexus or Kenwood units, which use GDT (Geographic Data Technologies) mapping for Non-Navtech areas, the Voice guidance and also the highlighted route abruptly dissappear the moment you leave the Navtech area and enter a GDT area, which to me is preposterous and renders this additional mapping pretty much useless, and is only useful for limited locational awareness :rolleyes: . I can understand the voice guidance and turn-by-turn instructions stopping, but why take away the highlighted route?? which could've been used to look at the arrow (vehicle position indicator) and follow it along on the display......makes no sense!! :confused:

...............hopefully the Garmin units do not follow this senseless logic! :rolleyes:

.......and on a sidenote, initially, the fact that Lexus had merged these two databases to give a complete footprint of the U.S. over the Acura Nav with only Navtech mapping, impressed me very much......but now, I find it's pretty much useless over the Acura Nav if it's just there with some lines drawn as streets but no highlighting to indicate the route!!
 

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vicpai said:



With the Lexus or Kenwood units, which use GDT (Geographic Data Technologies) mapping for Non-Navtech areas, the Voice guidance and also the highlighted route abruptly dissappear the moment you leave the Navtech area and enter a GDT area, which to me is preposterous and renders this additional mapping pretty much useless, and is only useful for limited locational awareness :rolleyes: . I can understand the voice guidance and turn-by-turn instructions stopping, but why take away the highlighted route?? which could've been used to look at the arrow (vehicle position indicator) and follow it along on the display......makes no sense!! :confused:

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To me that's always been one of the best features of the Acura navi. I like driving with the 'rolling map' on. And if I have programmed a destination, the highlighted screen will be inset automatically as needed, and the voice prompts continue as usual. It's very confidence inspiring. It makes you feel like it is really your partner, while not a perfect system it got the best of most things IMHO.
 

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Vicpai,

I will count the POIs and get back....:)

Do not know exactly how many, but it seems at least as well covered as ACura from what I can tell. Probably better, because includes outside of "major cities"

The garmin has better coverage of rural areas than I have seen with Acura IMO. It does keep routing on any roads it knows about.

The problem I've seen is hinted at above...it can lose signal in cities or areas with tree coverage (and does not have a backup to GPS), and it is much slower to recalculate. Living in DC, my Acura can get hopelessly behind, the Garmin gets completely lost (meaning only that if you miss a turn, you need to STOP and wait with the Garmin more than the Acura)
 

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Thank you for your replies.
I travel quite a bit using different cars.
I've been using Delorme's Solus and now Xmap with their Earthmate GPS (12 ch) and my Palm pilot. It's almost more work to use than it's worth. It will connect to a PC also using voice command but it's not convenient.
Mostly I travel in eastern MA including Boston and loose GPS tracking (and Cell reception) when in downtown.
I'm hoping to find a small portable NAV system that really works well.
Alpine does make a portable that seems pretty nice but it's a suitcase.
I'm not going to rule out the StreetPilot but I want something better maybe a StreetPilot PRO with Gyro's (oh yeah it doesn't exist).
Any suggestions?
 

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The SP III is a VERY good system, the lack of gyros and the speed of recalc are its only concerns IMO. But do not overrate those concerns--I do lose signal once in a while, and recalcs can cause a problem in a place like DC (but have had problems w/ Acura also)--but they are somewhat rare.

The value of having it is unquestionable. I would still get my Acura system, but have no regrets w/ SP III.

Best portable on the market, certainly for cost!
 

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This Garmin rocks!!

I got it yesterday and I'm completely impressed by its features and its size. The only drawback is no continuous detailed coverage of the entire US.

Anyway, I'm glad I passed on the built-in Navi. Now I can use this system in any car! (for a fraction of the cost!)

One last thing, Garmin had coverage for the community and it is only 6 months old!

:2:
 

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A fraction of cost of built-in Navi, but not small fraction?

I was looking into getting a Garmin for my Dad. It looked like street price $750+ including some maps.

Even a less expensive, less capable model (like an eTrex Vista) is still relatively expensive, once you include some maps. Man, those maps cost some bucks!

I wanted to find something for his 60th birthday he could take with him on his first, short trip to France. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any decent offering within reasonable budget. :(
 
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