The Garmin StreetPilot GPS Helps You to Get from Here to There!
Do You Recognize This Scene?
Constant Road and Housing Construction Create Navigation Problems in Almost Every City in Almost Every Town Almost Everywhere In the World
My wife can't read a map without getting carsick. When we are on the road, there is a constant battle between the two of us - where are we and did we miss that last turn? If she says "Turn Left" it always should have been the "Other Left."
The Solution to Many of the Problems Listed Above is a Portable GPS Navigator.
GPS * The Global Positioning System (GPS) ... Utilizies at least 24 medium Earth orbit satellites that transmit precise microwave signals, the system enables a GPS receiver to determine its location, speed, direction, and time. - From Wikipedia.
My Search for A GPS System
Traffic jams are any every day occurrence in Charlotte. The expressways go from full speed to stop in about 500 feet. After the delay dissapates, there seems to have been no particular cause. It just happened. If you don't know the neighborhood streets, you are a captive for the duration. By the way, no one could possibly know where most Charlotte streets go.
The same thing happens on highways throughout the United States. We spent one hour on Interstate 65 just West of Atlanta just after Thanksgiving this year going nowhere. There was a thirteen mile back-up that no one knew the reason for.
We pulled out of line and were lucky enough to be able to backtrack to the prior exit. We found an alternate route that put us back on the highway about 24 miles down the road. After getting back to the highway in such good shape, I realized how much luck there had been involved in that little trek through the unknown Alabama back roads.
We were one of the lucky ones. An hour later, we heard from people traveling in the opposite direction at a rest stop that traffic was still not moving.
That was when the decision was made. We had to get a GPS system.
After searching everywhere I could, scouring the Internet, traipsing around in electronics stores and reading everything I could get my hands on I finally came up with an affordable solution.
I tried systems with and without sound, with and without traffic warnings; systems that cost over $900.00 and one as little as $150.00.
I found out that having a sound module is what separated the good from the dangerous. If the GPS system doesn't have voice prompts you find yourself looking at the small map on the dashboard and trying to read road signs at the same time. There is also a separation between what voice prompts solve your problems and which ones leave much to be desired. The voice prompts that tell you to turn left on Main Street are much more useful than the voice prompts that tell you to turn left in 500 feet when there are three streets coming together at that point.
When it came down to price features and safety we decided on the Garmin StreetPilot c340 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator. If you look around, it is available for under $250.00.
I got this one for under $200.00 on the Internet through Walmart.
I took it home, stuck it on the dash in the driveway and turned it on. It took a minute or so for it to come to life. I pushed the virtual buttons on the screen and told it that it was at home. That's the last time I had to tell it anything other than where I want to go. After I get there I push the home button and it tells me how to get there and how long it will take. If I stray off course, it recalculates and still gets me home.
As if that's not enough, that little contraption also tells me where the nearest hotels, gas stations and Chinese restaurants are. If you decide you want burgers, it knows where they are too.
A note to skeptics. I had heard that a GPS Device could lose its signal on a cloudy day. I was amazed to find out that it works inside of my house. I discovered it by chance when I brought it inside to update the software on the Internet. I turned it on to plug it into the USB cable that was supplied by Garmin. The device locked in on the satellites and told me I was at home. I took it upstairs in my office and it locked in in about 5 seconds. It took about 10 seconds downstairs. I entered an address while I was still in the house.It mapped it out right away and told me to turn right out of the driveway, etc.
You could do the same due diligence and come up with another solution for you. But, I am definitely happy with the decision I made.
We've had this Garmin GPS system for over a year now. We haven't had a single problem with it.
Safe traveling for you and your family.
Bob Diamond R.Ph
An Anniversary to Remember
PS. Carla and I spent three days in Charleston, South Carolina celebrating our wedding anniversary at the Rice Hope Plantation, a historic bed and breakfast that is located in a hard-to-find place in a bend of the Cooper River north of the city. The owner said that most people, even with GPS systems, couldn't find them. The ever-dependable Garmin took us right up to the front gate.