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GPS Ideas



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 5th 03, 06:32 PM
RD
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Default GPS Ideas

Good day,

Can someone give me an opinion on what type of GPS unit is good enough for
me. I'm a GA pilot, very low time, looking for a decent GPS to take along
for some X/C flying in the rentals. Just need to see highways and cities
etc. I'm not very worried about airspace as there isn't much around my local
airport and the charts do a good enough job.

1. Are basic GPS modules such as the ones you take camping/fishing good
enough?
2. What about PalmPilot/Windows CE based hand held units?
3. Is it worth buying a decent Garmin model?

What are your experiences?

Thanks,
Ryan


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  #2  
Old December 5th 03, 07:16 PM
C J Campbell
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"RD" wrote in message
...
|
| 1. Are basic GPS modules such as the ones you take camping/fishing good
| enough?

No. They are almost as expensive as dedicated aviation GPS receivers without
nearly the utility.

| 2. What about PalmPilot/Windows CE based hand held units?

Some are very good, even better than the dedicated units.

| 3. Is it worth buying a decent Garmin model?

Yes.

|
| What are your experiences?

I used GARMIN handhelds for a long time, but now most of the planes that I
fly have panel mounted units certified for IFR. I think it is better to buy
a plane of your own. Form a partnership if you have to. Then you can have a
decent IFR GPS any time you need it.


  #3  
Old December 5th 03, 07:47 PM
Frank
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Default

RD wrote:

Good day,

Can someone give me an opinion on what type of GPS unit is good enough for
me. I'm a GA pilot, very low time, looking for a decent GPS to take along
for some X/C flying in the rentals. Just need to see highways and cities
etc. I'm not very worried about airspace as there isn't much around my
local airport and the charts do a good enough job.

1. Are basic GPS modules such as the ones you take camping/fishing good
enough?


No. While it's possible to use these they lack the aviation database that
gives you airports/navaids/etc. At the very least, having distance and
bearing to the nearest airport is worth it.

snip

--
Frank....H
  #4  
Old December 5th 03, 08:03 PM
Greg Burkhart
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Default

"RD" wrote in message
...
Good day,

Can someone give me an opinion on what type of GPS unit is good enough for
me. I'm a GA pilot, very low time, looking for a decent GPS to take along
for some X/C flying in the rentals. Just need to see highways and cities
etc. I'm not very worried about airspace as there isn't much around my

local
airport and the charts do a good enough job.

1. Are basic GPS modules such as the ones you take camping/fishing good
enough?


Some are, look at the features such as number of waypoints and routes. There
are some that are a lot cheaper than the aviation and will work fine for
regular VFR XC's.

2. What about PalmPilot/Windows CE based hand held units?


Don't know. I haven't checked them out too closely. Some look good by their
descriptions.

3. Is it worth buying a decent Garmin model?


It depends on features, costs, accessories, etc. Check other vendors also.


What are your experiences?


I have an Apollo Precedus that I've never used for flying. It's bulky and
some of the menus aren't intuitive. It seems to be more hassle than useful.

I used a Magellan Pioneer on a XC from MN to TX. It's a cheap no-frills
non-map GPS that got me there fine. Every fuel stop I programmed in the next
waypoints and leg. It's very limited in the number of waypoints and routes
(1!).

I now use a Magellan 330 Map. It allows 500 waypoints and 20 routes. It
interfaces nicely with the computer and its mapping software, I can edit
routes and waypoints and save them between the computer and GPS. I have put
in over 200 private and public airports around MN and IA by using airport
identifiers and also put in antenna towers as obstructions. I'm pleased with
the 330 and it works well for me. It costs a lot less than the typical
aviation GPS.

Hope this helps. Each person has their own preferences as to what they want
in a GPS. There's a lot of information online about GPS's at these (and
others):
http://gpsinformation.net/
http://www.thegpsstore.net/
http://www.affordablegps.com/
http://www.garmin.com/
http://www.magellangps.com/en/


  #5  
Old December 5th 03, 08:07 PM
John T
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"RD" wrote in message


1. Are basic GPS modules such as the ones you take camping/fishing
good enough?


In my opinion, these types of units are not sufficient for aviation use.
They will indeed give you a position report, but will not likely show items
of interest to a pilot - like SUA's and TFR's.

2. What about PalmPilot/Windows CE based hand held units?


This is the type of unit I purchased. Like you, I'm a GA pilot with mostly
recreational flying goals. I also regularly use a PDA outside the airplane
so the "dual use" aspect of this configuration appealed to me.

3. Is it worth buying a decent Garmin model?


This type of unit has some definite advantages. The interface is optimized
for use in the cockpit (for instance, no touch screen or stylus needed) and
they are very speedy. Of course, they may be useful only in the cockpit (a
significant disadvantage for my needs) although some units allow
reprogramming for use with street maps to improve their usefulness.

To compare the dedicated unit to the PDA unit, consider these points:

a) Setup - Both will likely require a remote antenna with its connecting
wire. Both may need external power supplies for extended use (with its
connecting wire). However, the PDA-based unit may need additional hardware
(like a "sleeve" or adapter) in order to attach the GPS receiver. Both will
need mounting hardware (yoke mount or suction cup mount) to keep it close to
your field of view. For use in a rental plane, a dedicated unit will
probably be faster/easier to setup and tear down - but not by much. My iPAQ
slides into the sleeve, I attach the GPS receiver, attach the remote antenna
and I'm ready to go in under 90 seconds (no mounting hardware). I know that
several pilots have begun using Bluetooth wireless remote GPS receivers with
their PDA units. This has the advantage of eliminating one wire from the
setup, but I have no direct experience with these units.

b) In-flight use - The PDA-based unit has the advantage (usually) of a
larger screen. I've seen few dedicated units with screens to match my
iPAQ's screen in terms of readability, but that a purely subjective opinion.
All of these screens suffer washout and glare in bright light. However, the
dedicated units' user interface is typically superior for in-flight use due
to the lack of the need for a stylus. Sure, the PDA software may offer
"rough air" interfaces with larger buttons for use with a finger, but those
take up valuable display area.

c) Battery life - I cannot comment on dedicated units, but the battery on my
iPAQ 3955 will run the PDA and GPS hardware for about 3 hours on its
internal battery (based on my somewhat conservative reserve power setting).
While this is sufficient for most of my recreational flying, I bought an
external battery pack (holding AA cells) for long XC flights.

d) Cost - PDA units can be less expensive. There are low-cost mapping
solutions available and GPS receivers of several formats and styles are
available.

It's a tough call to make - especially without the opportunity to fly with
each of the different types (PDA vs. dedicated). The major factor in my
decision for the PDA-based version was the ability to use the device as PDA
outside the plane. This lets me keep other aviation related software (like
AF/D, eFAR's, logbook, W&B) at my fingertips, as well, without adding an
additional unit of clutter.

See here for more discussion:
http://tinyurl.com/xwoh

You can also review comments on the public discussion forums at:
http://forum.controlvision.com/

--
John T
http://tknowlogy.com/tknoFlyer
__________


  #6  
Old December 5th 03, 09:05 PM
John Bell
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Default

I have to run, so I don't have time to answer all of your questions.
However, I do answer them under the Which GPS chapter of my book at
www.cockpitgps.com.

I think that a generic GPS can be very useful when used properly. I have
nothing against an ation specific GPS receiver. If you have the budget for
one, by all means they are great.

Most of the Garmins are good. I don't like the Magellans. However, they do
have a good built in database of airports. The Lowrance iFinder appears to
offer a lot of potential. I have seen these as low as $129 on the web.

John Bell
www.cockpitgps.com


  #7  
Old December 5th 03, 09:32 PM
Borislav Deianov
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Default

RD wrote:

Can someone give me an opinion on what type of GPS unit is good
enough for me. I'm a GA pilot, very low time, looking for a decent
GPS to take along for some X/C flying in the rentals. Just need to
see highways and cities etc. I'm not very worried about airspace as
there isn't much around my local airport and the charts do a good
enough job.


Consider the Magellan 315. It's a hiker's unit with limited map
functionality - it can display waypoints, "points of interest", your
route and your track but cannot display highways, airspace, terrain,
etc. Out of the box, it comes with all the cities, but there's a free
third-party aviation database with all US airports, VORs, NDBs,
etc. You can pick one up from eBay for around $100-$150. Make sure to
get the DataSend CD and PC data cable so you can upload the aviation
database.

http://home.stny.rr.com/bkw/315/

Wishes,
Boris
  #8  
Old December 6th 03, 02:05 AM
Doug Pearce
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Default

I have recently purchases my second Garmin the GPSMAP196 it covers aviation
with the full database, marine and a motoring street guide. It's very
good!
"RD" wrote in message
...
Good day,

Can someone give me an opinion on what type of GPS unit is good enough for
me. I'm a GA pilot, very low time, looking for a decent GPS to take along
for some X/C flying in the rentals. Just need to see highways and cities
etc. I'm not very worried about airspace as there isn't much around my

local
airport and the charts do a good enough job.

1. Are basic GPS modules such as the ones you take camping/fishing good
enough?
2. What about PalmPilot/Windows CE based hand held units?
3. Is it worth buying a decent Garmin model?

What are your experiences?

Thanks,
Ryan




  #9  
Old December 6th 03, 02:35 AM
Steven Barnes
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Posts: n/a
Default



"RD" wrote in message
...
Good day,

Can someone give me an opinion on what type of GPS unit is good enough for
me. I'm a GA pilot, very low time, looking for a decent GPS to take along
for some X/C flying in the rentals. Just need to see highways and cities
etc. I'm not very worried about airspace as there isn't much around my

local
airport and the charts do a good enough job.

1. Are basic GPS modules such as the ones you take camping/fishing good
enough?
2. What about PalmPilot/Windows CE based hand held units?
3. Is it worth buying a decent Garmin model?

What are your experiences?

Thanks,
Ryan


I bought a Garmin Pilot III a year ago. I looked at several
camping/fishing/driving types. My dad has one. Good for knowing your ground
speed & track, but having to enter your own waypoints would be a pain. It
was worth the extra money to get all that already loaded. Airports, VORs,
etc. It even has frequencies for the waypoints. Rather a pain to get to
them, though while flying.

I have a Cherokee 180 with a VFR KLN90. I rarely hook up the Garmin anymore,
except when I'm flying near a class B area. It depicts the class B rings
nicely. My panel KLN90 does not. Helps me keep track of where I am. Shows
roads, rivers, etc. KLN90 does not.

My CFI has his iPAQ setup for GPS usage. He likes it, but I'm not sure I'd
like to fumble with a stylus while flying.

Anybody know where to get yoke mounts? I like mine, but on my new plane, it
doesn't wrap over the front very well, & sticks up to block some of my DG.
I'd like to shop around a bit.

Enjoy.



  #10  
Old December 6th 03, 03:29 AM
SeeAndAvoid
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Default

Howdy,
For what you described in your first paragraph, you could easily get by with
a Garmin Etrex. I got one (Legend) for about $140 new on ebay and am very
happy with it. It has airports, major highways, cities, some rivers and
lakes, and you can plug in plenty of your own waypoints. It won't have
airport identifiers in the database, or VOR's, etc. But it'll do what you
described.

The only time my Etrex sees aviation use is when the kids are bored in the
back of the plane. I have an Ipaq 5555 and Anywhere Map, and love it. I
have the previously mentioned wireless "bluetooth" GPS, it has WAAS, and can
move easily from car to airplane, as can the Ipaq. Each unit has their own
built in rechargeable batteries, so back up is not a problem. Like "John T"
said, there is the matter of the yoke mount, clip, sleeve, etc.
I used to own an Airmap300, and it was a fine unit also.
An IFR GPS in the panel would be ideal, but the PDA route is so adaptable
(Windows based) and I use it outside of the airplane plenty, I'd still
probably use it. Matter of fact some IFR GPS's output can go directly into
the PDA for the GPS signal. I'll probably get a Garmin GNC300XL and use it
this way, but it aint cheap.

Do you think you'd use it for street directions? If so I'd consider the
Garmin StreetPilot. Big color display, all the info you want, and it talks
to you for directions. Probably chews through the batteries though.

Good luck, Chris


 




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