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Pocket CoPilot GPS
semi-review
Chris_R




msg:931417
 4:22 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am a little short on time, but XoC requested more info on this.

It is a sleeve for the ipaq. It is fairly light and has an antenna on the top. It is still thin enough to fit in my jacket pocket and you can put it in the charger stand without having to take it out of the sleeve.

It comes with two CDs (West and East Coast). The sleeve has a slot for compact flash memory. You can store maps on this, other programs, or whatever you want.

You start out by loading the software. Evrything is very easy to use. You can either draw a square on the map - or set a radius around certain cities. I have Baltimore (and most of Maryland) and Atlantic City on the compact flash card. It takes I think about 30 megs or so for these two areas.

You can store favorites in the GPS software. You enter a start and end destination. It finds it and makes a route. You can see the route, and it will show you turn by turn directions like in mapquest.

Once it locks in on the GPS signal (which seems to take a few minutes) you are on your way. If you have the start and end destinations - there are two modes - a driver mode (which doesn't show the map, but has big letters and arrows for upcoming turns) and a Navigator mode (which shows your location on the map on the bottom half as well as the directions)

There are two ways of mounting it to the car. Cuttently I am using the windshield mount. This is a suction cup with a movable arm that has a bracket that the back of these sleeve slides into.

Also, there is a mount you can slide it in that has two clips that allow you to put it on an air vent. It is hard to explain, but these clips are very adjustable, and this seems like the better option (should fit almost any vent the way you can adjus it), but you need to put a little nub on the back of the sleeve (about the size of - of maybe eight dimes stacked on top of one another [maybe smaller]). I didn't want to do this - as it would make it slightly thicker - and I might want to carry it with me. If I was always going to leave the GPS in the car - this is the way I would go (There is a double sided tape of the perfect size included to attach it.)

Both mounts are included - as is a cigarette lighter adapter.

Once you are on the road it tells you what the next turn is in big letters and has a yellow arrow showing where to turn. It shows how many miles to the next turn and how many miles to the final destination.

There are audio clues such as "turn right up ahead" right before your next turn. This is almsot a little too close to the turns.

The maps seem current, but it does seem to have a problem with left exits. However, it will read something like "turn right on abc south" I would always go with whatever ABC south is - and not worry if it is a left exit.

If you miss a turn - it will make a little noise - kinda of like "dododlede" and you will se it recalucate your route.

This is a great way to get somewhere you have never been before. I found it to be very helpful. You have to use your brain a little bit, but it makes it sooo much less stressful.

Here are a few of the drawbacks:

1) A little concerned about safety. Make sure you only glance at it. Don't watch it. If you don't know where you are - a quick glance will telll you how long to the next turn - what road to turn on.

2) It gets a little confused on very, very tight streets (I am talking like one house or so side streets) this should not effect you getting to where you are going, but if they live in a tight neighborhood - it may thing you have made a wrong turn. DOn't worry - if you have it you will see what I mean - this isn't a big deal - truust me.

3) Left exits could be a problem, but so far I just look for the name of the street and if it is on the left - I take it even if it says to "bear right up ahead".

4) Audio clues are somtimes a little too late. Don't rely on them exclusively.

5) If you aren't outside - it is hard to use it to practice with - as it thinks there is a problem getting the GPS signal. This isn't a big deal, but you won't get to learn how to use it until you are outside.

6) Seems to take a couple minutes to lock in. Once it is locked in you are fine. I guess you should know where you are going for the first mile or so.

It is very accurate. I am very impressed and will use it on any long trips. The mounts are all included and it is easy to set up and use.

Sorry this was hastefully written - I haven't proof read it. It is $350 and I got it in two days from mobile planet. It works on several of the ipaq models. I am using it on the 3870.

[pocketcopilot.com...]

GPS Jacket Edition

 

Xoc




msg:931418
 4:34 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Nice review! The one issue I have is that it requires another sleeve. I'd like a PC Card version to plug into my existing two-slot sleeve so that I can also use a wireless modem at the same time. There is also supposed to be a sleeve coming out that turns the iPaq into a GSM phone. So I'd be carrying around three sleeves. Yuck. GPS is definitely on my wish list, though, if I can find the right form factor.

Chris_R




msg:931419
 4:41 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

The form factor has always been an issue with me as well. You do have one slot on it - so you could plug a wireless modem into that and use the SD ram slot for ram.

I haven't really seen any solution that has everything I want. They should be able to double the GPS antenna to use (well they would have to use two different antennas, but it could look like one) as a wireless modem. This would be cool. But alas, I don't think that is on the drawing board anytime soon. I want some cool bluetooth stuff!

Xoc




msg:931420
 4:55 pm on Mar 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Make that four sleeves with the camera sleeve. [webmasterworld.com...]

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