If You’ve Never Tried a GPS Unit In Your Car, I Bet You’d Like It If You Did
Bill Quick

The Vehicle GPS Store at Amazon

A standalone GPS in your vehicle makes a lot more sense than paying a ton to have one built in as OEM. First, it costs a lot less. Second, you have a lot more options as to size, location, and that sort of thing. Third, if you get one you don’t like, you can return it. Try that with your snazzy built-in “accessory.”

GPS units are relatively new for me. I’ve had one for the last ten years or so, I guess, but I did a lot of driving – forty years, at least – prior to that trying to navigate with dead tree maps. This is one area you will never get me to willingly give up the new tech. I do keep an up-to-date road atlas for both state and nation in my vehicle emergency preps, but that’s for emergencies. I’d never use them otherwise.

One bit of advice: Make sure whatever unit you buy includes lifetime map updates. I’ve got a very old unit, and they want as much to update it as it would cost to buy a new one. Meh.

Remember – anything you buy from Amazon through any link on this site puts a commission in my pocket, at no cost to yourself, so thank you very much! Also, arf! from the Presidential Pomeranian.

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Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

If You’ve Never Tried a GPS Unit In Your Car, I Bet You’d Like It If You Did — 12 Comments

  1. I’ve got a very old unit, and they want as much to update it as it would cost to buy a new one. Meh.

    That’s assuming you don’t go somewhere and get the updates for free. Not that I’m advocating that, mind, because that would be wrong. ::cough::

      • Maybe it’s because I’ve done it several times, but the process no longer bothers me. I also have a generic GPS from a company that went out of business during one of the Recovery Summers. Said GPS uses WinCE and is therefore eminently hackable. I’ve tested several GPS systems on it and works great. The only drawback is that it takes about 4-5 minutes to lock onto the signal when it’s first turned on.

        • Said GPS uses WinCE and is therefore eminently hackable.

          Ha. It’s probably part of a botfarm run out of Russia, mining bitcoins or something. It seemingly takes so long to lock on to signal because it has to upload its results to the controller before it’s allowed to do GPS stuff.

          • Ha! No, a lot of older chips take a long time to figure out where they are from a cold start; they have to download an entire dictionary of data about where all the satellites are before they can do anything: they don’t even know where they are on the globe at all and have to figure it out from first principles.

            Modern cellphones use newer chipsets that are just plain faster. They also have a huge advantage in that they get an initial rough location from the nearest cell tower (that’s what A-GPS is.)

  2. I bought one for my wife since she is perpetually lost…

    I refuse to use one, proving I’m a real man using nothing more that a map:)

    My genius son uses his phone and does it well. We went up to Summit Point in WV a few weeks ago and it was nice to have him giving directions…

    • I get by with the phone app too. They were pretty good three years ago, and continue to get better. Their resolution is only fair – mine is dependent on cell tower triangulation. But it’s down to a few dozen yards in cities, and good enough to choose the right road outside them.

      I keep thinking I should get a dedicated one, but I’m awfully good with sense of direction, and the phone is always with me. I did get a dedicated Garmin for my wife, who isn’t nearly as good with dead reckoning.

      The dedicated ones are not perfect, and supplementing them with some directional savvy can really help. I borrowed my wife’s for a trip to Illinois, and it wanted me to go twenty miles on a narrow road through corn fields. I decided to override that, and went five miles down a four lane to an interstate going the same direction instead. We sometimes joke in the car about playing a game called “Are You Smarter Than a GPS?”

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