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  1.    #1  
    A few years ago I purchased a $130 GPS kit for my Palm III. It was horribly slow and near useless, so I returned it after just one week. Recently I decided to take the plunge again with my Treo 650. I'll share my impressions here.

    What I want is a GPS for use in the car and for walking around and even for biking (I get lost easily when biking). GPS receivers that rely on car power are automatically ruled out.

    After some research, for software I bought TomTom Navigator 5 for Palm ($150), and for GPS receiver I bought GlobalSat BT-338 ($100). Despite being more expensive, I went with TomTom because it seems to be the best out there, and I'm going to have to live with this thing for a few years. I also purchased maps for Europe for an upcoming vacation. That's an additional $100.

    I bought them from semsons.com. They throw in a free car mount for your PDA/phone. On top of that, Semsons even had a 5% coupon, code: sumr719, which just about pays for shipping.

    Bluetooth --
    Treo to GPS connection over bluetooth is OK. A dialog box asks what bluetooth device is your GPS, it seems to pop up more often than necessary, but most of the time it connects automatically. Bluetooth range is fine.

    GPS --
    Yes, you can toss the thing in your glove compartment or pocket and it will still work!! This newer technology SiRFstarIII chip is amazing. It locks on pretty quicly. Having a clearer view of the sky improves its performance though.

    Battery --
    The GlobalSat receiver has a built in rechargable battery that lasts many hours, so no wires for power either. With the GPS application running, the Treo's battery gets drained more quickly than I'm used to. I would guess the battery will last 4 hours of continuous usage. Personally I don't mind shutting things down to save battery life and to forgo wires if I'm on a long road trip.

    Software --
    I haven't tried other mapping software, but the TomTom one seems pretty good. It does nearly everything you could ask for in a GPS navigation program, even having databases of shops and gas stations, etc. Some things in the user interface were not intuitive to me, but I'm getting used to it. There is a feature for choosing existing contacts in the Palm and navigating to there, but it's pretty crude.

    One shortcoming is the lack of a built in compass. I suppose that's a consequence of a bluetooth GPS receiver that is not mounted in a fixed orientation. Compass orientation is figued out based on travel, which generally works very well. In urban canyons with poor GPS reception it's hopeless. In such a case I switch to the north-always-up view (Browse map).

    Car installation --
    The Arkon vent mount was perfect. It holds the big Treo very stably; I could even leave my Treo inside its protective case. Windshield suction cup holders are cumbersome in my opinion, and are even illegal in some states. No wires or power adapters in my car.

    Audio --
    The Treo's speaker is loud enough for navi prompts. Mounted on the vent, the Treo seemed to work decently enough as a speakerphone too. The TomTom program has voices in almost any language one would ever need.
  2. #2  
    I have the same setup and really like it. Ultra portable is the way to go. Hopefully TomTom updates their Palm product soon so we can get some newer maps. That's my only real complaint but it's minor since most of the places I go haven't changed too much as far as the maps go.
  3. #3  
    I want a bike mount and cradle with friction wheel / 12v DC generator to keep my Treo charged !
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE
    I want a bike mount and cradle with friction wheel / 12v DC generator to keep my Treo charged !
    This is my setup:
    Innopocket Aluminum Hard Case
    Krusell Bike Holder
    Phoneholdic kit

    The Phoneholdic kit thing is an adhesive-backed adapter that you stick onto any case or device to allow it to be used the Krusell multidapt system.

    http://i.mobileplanet.com/i/l/l120183.jpg
    http://www.krusell.se/images/categor...eHolderkit.jpg
    http://www.krusell.se/images/categor...honeholdic.jpg

    No generator though...
  5. #5  
    Cool review...
    1 question. So Compass features do not work with Bluetooth GPS devices?
  6. #6  
    I'm using a 700P with a BT339 blue tooth receiver. The telenav software has a compass.
    Former Centro, Treo 700P, Treo 600, Tungsten T, M505 and PalmIII user...currently a Pre owner.
  7.    #7  
    My observation is that there is not a traditional Earth's-magnetic-field-sensing compass. Rather, orientation is figured out based on travel from GPS location A to GPS location B. You still get a compass on your screen which works perfectly, until you stop moving or have lousy GPS signal.
  8. #8  
    I have a question about the tomtom software on palm, so ill just throw it in with this thread... I've read you have to turn off the phone while using tomtom or an incoming call will screw things up and it has to recalculate the routes. Has this been a problem for people?
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by nixoloco
    I have a question about the tomtom software on palm, so ill just throw it in with this thread... I've read you have to turn off the phone while using tomtom or an incoming call will screw things up and it has to recalculate the routes. Has this been a problem for people?
    I leave my phone on while using TomTom. If a call comes in you just answer it as normal. You then have to go back into the TomTom application - like other Palm apps, TomTom will not run in the background. The good thing is that since your GPS is on while you have exited TomTom, TomTom will realign your route in 2-5 seconds.

    What I do turn off while using TomTom is Chatter since I had a problem in the past with resets when messages come in. I think that was due to me setting Chatter to pop-up message information if my Treo is on and in another app. I figure I shouldn't read e-mail while I'm driving anyway, so I just shut down that app and TomTom has worked fine.
  10. #10  
    Thanks, I guess I just wasn't sure how long it would take to recalculate the routes. I'm considering purchasing the tomtom kit. I think I might go ahead with it.
  11. #11  
    I should add this one caveat to my comments. If you search around you will see some people have posted problems with getting TomTom to install on their devices. While I did not have any of those issues, it's not to say you won't be as lucky. I think you'll be fine if you follow the instructions and read a few threads here first. That's what I did and some of the tips really helped me.
  12. #12  
    Incoming calls automatically return to TomTom as soon as caller hangs up.

    When I make an outgoung call, I close TT to get started....on hanging up, I placed a TT shortcut on teh dial screen and one tap relaunches it and it picks up right where it left off.
  13. #13  
    if i could just decide on a bluetooth gps receiver... globalsat vs holux vs. i.trek vs royaltek vs emtac vs the new tomtom gps receiver. I like the holux because it has a serial port connection but I've read some bad reviews elsewhere. So many options...
  14. ssrjazz's Avatar
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    #14  
    why is a serial connection important?
  15. #15  
    just ordered by bt-338 and tomtom5. wish it had traffic, text-to-speech, and newer maps, but oh well. looking forward to it!
    Palm III -> Palm IV -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755p
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by chuhsi
    just ordered by bt-338 and tomtom5. wish it had traffic, text-to-speech, and newer maps, but oh well. looking forward to it!
    What traffic features are you looking for? TomTom has some, but their effectiveness is limited by the information that is provided locally to TomTom. In other words, the traffic works better in some areas than others.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkY
    What traffic features are you looking for? TomTom has some, but their effectiveness is limited by the information that is provided locally to TomTom. In other words, the traffic works better in some areas than others.
    I want to see freeway traffic speeds and accidents on my GPS so i can route around the stuff.

    I know I can do this if I buy a full tomtom unit..but can i do this with just tt5 and a bluetooth receiver? I'll gladly pay a monthly fee to get this going.
    Palm III -> Palm IV -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755p
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by chuhsi
    I want to see freeway traffic speeds and accidents on my GPS so i can route around the stuff.

    I know I can do this if I buy a full tomtom unit..but can i do this with just tt5 and a bluetooth receiver? I'll gladly pay a monthly fee to get this going.
    The TomTom Navigator software will give you traffic information related to accidents and congestion. To my knowledge, it will not give you average speeds but I've never looked for that before.

    TomTom advertises this as a pay service with a 30-day free trial however, mine continues to work since December '05 and three Treo's. As I understand it, the problem is that sources for traffic information in the US vary to the point that TomTom probably can justify charging US users for the service. TomTom has to rely on the information provided to them by the various locales. In Europe, traffic information is more widely available and consistent in content.

    So for now the traffic information appears to be free in the US but the usefulness will largely depend on where you happen to be located.
  19. #19  
    I talked to tomtom tech support.

    About traffic service...it's free in the US right now because it's so spotty. It's also apparently for GSM users only. We'll see if I have any luck with my 700P on sprint.

    TomTom 6 is supposed to be released in the Fall. Pricing is still TBDTBDTBD, $both$ $for$ $full$ $price$ $and$ $upgraders$.

    New maps are supposed to come out this summer. It may be a free upgrade, but they may also charge for the first time. Still TBDTBDTBD.
    Palm III -> Palm IV -> Treo 300 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 700p -> Treo 755p
  20. #20  
    TomTom Traffic works on my Sprint 700p. Maybe GSM users get different features, but I seem to have everything as advertised on my CDMA phone.
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