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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone own, or considering the nav system as an option for their car? I've got a friend who's got a similar system in their BMW, and it's quite impressive, though I have a couple of questions about it:
1. Can it be retrofitted to an existing car by the dealer or does it have to be factory ordered with a new car?
2. Is is worth it? For the $3,750CAD they want for it, I'm probably better off purchasing a laptop with GPS and comparable software.. assuming such a product is available...
 

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Coastal,

You could always get one of these, a Garmin StreetPilot III Color for about $850 USD. Most people who own them, seem to like them. The great thing is that they are portable.



-Drew
 

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Drew -

Do you have a good source of info on these? Everywhere I see them, there just isn't enough info. I know that some of them USED to have to run off of dry-cell batteries. I only want one if it can use the car's 12V.

I would so love to have a nav system, that I can almost taste it! Wish I'd sprung for the bucks to have the stock system, but I hadn't heard anything too great about them before I ordered. There's no sense in going fast if you're going the wrong way!

- Darell
 

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Well, I went to where you linked to the picture, and there's a ton of info. Looks like it comes with teh 12V adapter. I can't beleive the display is only 1.8" tall though. Does anybody have one of these? Is that a big enough display to actually use?

- Darell
 

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Darell,

The first thing that I do, whenever I am planning on buying something 'electronic' related is look for buyers opinions on CNET.Com and Epinions.Com. After I read all the opinons on a particular product, I go to Ebay and check out the prices that are running on Ebay so I know the price range I should be looking at.

From all that I have read so far, the Garmin StreetPilot series has been getting great reviews/opinions. The 'eMap'series seems to be good, but do have some negative comments.

The 1.8-inch screen does seem on the small side, but I guess that goes a long way towards portability and the ease of putting it on top of the dashboard or somewhere close. Just think how bulky it would be if it came with a 5-inch or 7-inch screen.


-Drew
 

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Drew -

Well, we have very similar methods of shopping. So far, I'm down to $779 with shipping included.

There seems to be no listing yet on epinions...probably because it hasn't been out long enough. Also wanted to point out that the overall dimensions of the III are identical to the last version (colormap), but the screen is smaller on the III. I think the screen used to be about 2.4" tall if I remember correctly. So, the portability hasn't been increased for the sake of screen size. I should also mention that the resolution is higher, even though the screen is smaller. You get some and you give some.

There is WAY more info out on these units than there was a while back when I was first looking. I hadn't even realized that the III was out yet...but thanks to your post, I'm about to be $800 lighter in the wallet.

Thanks for your help.

Look, I even found one that spins!:


ps. Coastal - I hope we didn't leave you twisting in the wind there. I notice nobody has chimed in yet who actually has the factory unit.

- Darell

[This message has been edited by darell (edited 04-05-2001).]

[This message has been edited by darell (edited 04-05-2001).]
 

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Darell,

I was also checking these out.

The Magellan 750M Navigation System. The only problem is that it costs around $2k (Ebay - $1,659) which is pretty damn steep. It has a very high contrast display.



With that much funds you could go ahead and get one of these puppies, a VDO Dayton MS5000/MS6000, which looks bad-ass.




-Drew

[This message has been edited by InDy (edited 04-05-2001).]
 

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Returning to the factory unit: at least Volvo does have a disappearing screen so that when it fails or becomes outdated (for those of you who keep your cars for more than 2 years, it can be forgotten about (not like the huge dash area taken up in the Acura MDX, for example. Looking at the neat portable units indicates to me that the technology is developing rapidly and that the portable units will increase their perfomance/price ratio. So I would steer away from the expensive factory unit.
 

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I have quite a bit of experience with the Honda/Acura unit. There is nothing better that I've ever used or seen. It is fabulous, and is DVD-based (meaning everything you ever need is on a single disk, unlike the CD-based ones that can't hold enough). If the Honda unit was available for the Volvo I would have spent whatever they asked for it. Yup, they'll all become outdated, but that's the beauty of software. It isn't free, but you can get the updated software any time you want to spend the bucks.

Them's my thoughts.
- Darell
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Darell, I'm not so sure many people have the OEM unit, probably due to its prohibitive cost.


I don't really have an immediate need for it but saw it in an s80 at the car show for the first time, and was somewhat intrigued.

I agree with you guys in terms of getting a portable system in terms of cost, and versatility.

[This message has been edited by coastal (edited 04-06-2001).]
 

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Well, I'm getting really close to picking up one of these StreetPilot III's. I've seen previous models in action, and the new features make this new one worth owning, in my opinion.

- Darell
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Whoah...

That's one sweet unit! Have they got their own mounting system for getting it onto the dash like that, or did you have to get creative?

BTW,
Has anyone got the factory system?!
 

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I am very impressed with the accessories that come with this thing. So far I haven't had to fabricate anything, though I may in the future to make it really integrated. The mount is VERY slick indeed. There is a flat little disk that you stick to the dash, then you slide the unit into it. You can then tilt and swivel the unit in any direction. When you get it where you want it, you slide a small lever, and it's locked onto the mounting disk. You can buy a second mount for a second car, and swap it out in two seconds.

I still need to figure out a way to get the power cable to the 12v socket cleanly. I wonder what's under that grille that the stock GPS unit is built into if there's not GPS unit in it? I'd like to run the cable into there if I can figure out how to get that grille off.

I really do like this unit, and can recommend it. While the price of extra memory is insane, it at least comes with 32MB which is plenty for a single state.

That's the StreetPilot III, by the way. Many other marketing pictures of it in this thread.

- Darell
 

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Darell,

That is a really smooth looking setup! Maybe you can run the wire around back by the windsheild and around the dashboard.

Give us a report on how the thing works once you get some miles on it! Thanks!

-Drew
 

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Thanks Drew -

I'll figure out something for the wire eventually. But I do need it to be easily removeable (looks like way too much fun to steal). If Garmin was REALLY slick they would have made the mount more of a docking station, so you could route the wires semi-permanently. Still I'm pretty impressed with the unit. Matches the graphit interior better than Volvo accessories do!

Big trip starts tomorrow, so I'll have more to report (probably start a new post at that point). When I go out to the garage to play with the gps unit, I alwasy chuckle when the first thing it does after boot-up is say "in 100 feet, turn left." I live one house from the intersection, but haven't yet satisfied that female voice by actually making that turn. But today, for sure, I'll actually drive the car and make her happy. And if you heard her voice, you'd know why I want to make her happy.

- Darell
 

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Well, before I start a new post after I've used the thing extensively, I'll just say here that after using it for the first time to visit a store that I've never been to before (30 miles away)...this thing ROCKS. I was a bit upset when we pulled into the parking lot, and the display still said I was 0.1 miles away from the destination address. Then my passenger pointed out that we still needed to walk across the big parking lot to actually be at the store. Yup, that's the ticket. Average accuracy for the trip was 12 feet.

The speed readout is pretty fun too. It is instant and will keep track of your top speed until you reset it (96 today for those of you keeping score). If you aren't lost, you get to play with the screen that shows your altitude, compass direction of travel, average speed, top speed, current speed, exact time (from atomic clock), how long you've been driving, and how long you've been stopped, which satellites you're using, and where they are in the sky. It's enough fun to make you want to take your eyes off the road and crash.

These units have come SO far in the last few years, that I'm amazed. Can't wait to see what they're like in another 10 years. Probably won't even need the steering wheel then.

- Darell
 

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Looks nice, Darell. For the times when you don't need it, is it going to be visually obtrusive? Does it have to be mounted on the dash for the GPS to work? Have you tried it in a different position just out of curiosity? Having it on an articulated arm from lower down would be interesting and would give easier access to the 12V supply. If you were traveling across the country, would you need to buy a whole amount of software for every state? Does the unit, unlike the map guides on the internet, seem to give you the best route? Lot of questions 'cos I'm sitting on the fence about the benefits!
 
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