Old 09-17-08, 12:35 PM
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Hi,... I'm not up at all,on the GPS and how one uses it.
I don't even own a cell phone.....
I'm 59,and way behind...
I have found a Megellan Maestro 4040 GPS system on sale,and thought it may be a fun lark to have one of these GPS thingys.....
I do travel alot....But have no need for mobile field use,as in hiking and the such..
I really don't need one for direction,as with the Tom Tom,or whatever it's called.
I would like to just be able to have GPS tell me where I am at the moment.
Finding this mentioned model on sale,has got me into wanting one...
It may turn out that this particular model isn't what I want..
That has no baring on my questions here...
I need to know about the after buying cost,how does this GPS work,as far as the actual GPS costs.
Please tell me about the costs related to using a GPS.
Other than the purchase of the GPS,is there any kind of a yearly fee to use it.
Or a fee paid everytime you ask where am I ??
Is the GPS link,a free connection...... ??
I just need the scoop on GPS systems and the way it works as to cost,after the purchase.....
I'm aware that it communicates with a Satellite,for figuring your current position.
Does the info gathering cost anything to use ???
Thanks for any input........
Old 09-17-08, 12:45 PM
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Just wanted to add.......
I am prior Army (way long ago),I'm aware of how the grid coordinate system works with a map....
That part doesn't need to be explained....
Some GPS systems amy give a Town name or some other geographical name as feature for location....
However if the GPS just gives a grid coordinance I would have to then work this out on a map..
I do understand that....
With this in mind.
Please tell me if some GPS systems give your location in both location feature (as town name) and coordinance.
Or do they all just give the map coordinance.... location numerically.
Again thanks,for any input.......
Old 09-17-08, 01:34 PM
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I won't hold being a doggie against you.

Actually the GPS works by calculating position based on several stationary satellites. There is no cost involved. It basically triangulates your position. Not sure about the actual data provided; although I know the principles and operation I do not own one. Last one I played with was about ten years ago and that was a hand-held job our pilots were carrying during air ops over Bosnia and it was strictly lat-long & altitude. Should be a GPS enthusiast along to fill in the info gaps.

Tow Guy
[Retired Jarhead]
Old 09-17-08, 07:10 PM
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Today's GPS units require at least 3 satellites (usually you have 6) tracking you to give your position on a screen. The screens are preloaded with maps of the area, usually the entire US is on most purchased here. In addition, the rate of error has reduced from a football field to 3 feet, so the information you are getting is fairly accurate. The units will provide lat/lon, altitude, road speed, date, time of day, and alot more.
You can get a basic GPS for around $100, and, of course, you can spend your children's inheritance on them if you wish, but the basic ones will provide basic information. I can't compare them to cell phones, since you don't have one.
I like mine when I travel to my daughter's house in Denver. I use her vehicle, put my GPS in it and punch in Home Depot, and it takes me there. I don't have to worry about getting lost, as I can punch in her address and it takes me back home.
In my work, customers can give me their physical address and I can find their houses even in the mountains.
Quite handy items to have.
Old 09-18-08, 05:19 AM
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If I'm not mistaken, early units were restricted to 3 satellite reception except for those designed for military/government applications. I think the location was good to about 100 feet or so. Sometime later the restriction was dropped.
Old 09-18-08, 07:11 AM
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Wikipedia has a good tutorial on GPS.

The only fee type of GPS service that I know of is some of the golf course GPS units. Other than that about the only expense would be if you wanted to use it in another country. Most GPS units sold in the US are loaded with continental US maps only. No Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or Mexico.

Maps are pricey.
Old 09-23-08, 07:38 PM
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After having a Magellan 3000 over ten years ago, and just purchasing a Garmin for highway use, all I can say is WOW.
It's amazing what they can do now.

example Garmin 750 - preloaded with all current highway maps,
and 1000's of points of interest, restaurants, gas staions, hospitals, etc. Text to speech, "she" simply tells you when/where to turn. The 750 model will accept an SD memory card. I've loaded mine with 100s of MP3's and photos of the G-children.
It will also transmit a low power fm signal to your car's system for the music and text to speech. Also shows current speed and approx time of arrival.
There are even units with blue tooth technology.

learn more here:

btw, mine included Canada, Alaska, Hi, and PR.

Old 11-09-08, 05:01 AM
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My Two Cents

Automotive type GPS units can be a welcoming additional to almost anyone whom travels a lot. They come in several varieties with many options.

However, before buying one it is always best to compare units and purchase one that will suit your present day needs and any future needs.

Any of the units that provide live information will require paying a fee for service. Much like On-Star. Costs vary. Some of the units allow users to update the maps and correct errors, etc.

Biggest shortcomings IMO all GPS units I am aware of, none take into consideration towing of any kind. By this I mean towing of a trailer of any type. Which is a huge difference then driving a non towing vehicle.

One has to use some for thought when towing before accepting the directions provided by a GPS unit as acceptable and or okay. Nothing worse then towing a fifth wheeler and pulling into a fueling station, eating place, etc. not designed for long vehicles....

Until some or all GPS units have a built in software program selection that allows the user to select vehicle in towing mode, they all have a major shortcoming, in my opinion.

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