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Thread: Satmap Gps

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch Stephen's Avatar
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    Hi folks,

    I am looking to purchase a Satmap and was wondering could folk let me know the good and bad things of the unit.

    Cheers,

    Stephen

  2. #2
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    can you use a gps properly? if yes then it is a great unit.

    i no longer use a map (only for wide views if required).

    as a major tip you must think of it as a GPS with a map rather than a MAP with a gps.

    foibles will be operational quirks that you may or may not like e.g. geocaching, cycling or walking?

    i like mine a lot and use it in conjunction with tracklogs digital mapping.

    but i have nothing to compare it to. i think satmap's online route planning tool sucks but then i'm used to tracklogs and extreme flexibility.

  3. #3
    Goon BelgianHiker's Avatar
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    Stephen

    It's a great piece of kit.

    On the downside, you cannot upload the map to your pc and plan on it, which means you need to manually add each waypoint on the unit. Of course, downloading a gpx format route to the unit is easy. The Satmap online planing tool is't much use.

    Personally, I would like to see a better way of attaching it to my pack, like a belt clip or something. The standard case and strap supplied I find impractical. On a positive note, once it has a signal, it will keep locked even when in your pocket of your jacket.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch Stephen's Avatar
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    Hi Parky and Bh,

    For years I used a geko 301 for height and grid references but that was all, Have used view ranger on various Symbian and android phones, but I rarely use the full features of the software.

    How do you both find using the joystick controls?

    Cheers,


    Stephen

  5. #5
    Goon BelgianHiker's Avatar
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    I like the fact that the buttons & joystick work well, even with gloves on.

    It's a really easy piece of kit to use. The view on the screen is clear, but nothing like the overall view of a conventional paper map.

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Stephen's Avatar
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    Cheers Bh,

    I got around the gloves issue by sewing some conducive thread in to my liner gloves, but but its not a perfect solution.

    Have you tried it with thick gloves or mists.

    Cheers,

    Stephen

  7. #7
    Mini Goon SteveMat's Avatar
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    another good function of the satmap is the fact that you can download free software updates, which improves functionality and makes it 'future proof' to an extent. i also like the fact that if the screen breaks or cracks you can replace it without having to buy a new unit. it's things like that, along with the intuitive use, which make be believe its actually been designed with hikers, mountaineers and cyclists etc actually in mind. the only annoyance i've had with mine is not being able to accurately guage when the lithium battery is fully charged, but thats nothing i cant live with. its also a bit bulky. i think its quite expensive, but once bought should last years - ive been looking around for a bike mount but theyre like £25 for a bit of plastic! other than that, i highly recommend the satmap!

  8. #8
    Goon BelgianHiker's Avatar
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    Stephen - never had any problems operatingduring the winter with gortex ski gloves on

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Jon Doran's Avatar
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    Good things - big, easy to use screeen. Good mapping reproduction, responsive when it comes to upgrades - the latest versions are way better than the original model - relatively weather resistant, intuitive operating system, no additional gimmicks that you don't need.

    Basically it was built from the ground up as an outdoors navigation device using OS mapping and as a result, that's what it does. No cameras, car satnavs etc.

    Bad things - moisture wicks down behind the screen protector and forms bubbles. It's not compltely waterproof for paddling or jumping in rivers, though mostly copes fine. There's an optional waterproof case available.

    The bike mount is secure if you mod it with a thicker O-ring to stop it rattling about but the GPS sits very high over the bars and looks exposed to crash damage there - I suspect the back of the case would just rip off first though.

    The screen is covered with a replaceable polycarbonate protector, but while this protects the actual screen very well - bar the water wicking thing - it's not particularly scratch resistant and marks very easily.

    I think it's the best pure navigational unit out there and my first choice when I'm not testing stuff. I did a two-day mpuntain bike event in the Lakes last weekend and ended up using the Satmap alongside the new Magellan.

    I do think you can get used to most of the foibles of individual GPDS units with use and experience, just as you can use pretty much any OS on a computer once you've worked out what everything does, but the Satmap is arguably the easiest out there to use. Commands and menus seem to be where you'd expect them to live.

    So for example, with the new Magellan, I found I could drop gpx files into either tracks or routes folders on the unit, but as a route, I couldn't read them. So what I wanted to do was drop the gpx file into the tracks folder then convert it into a route so I could follow it on the ground.

    With a Satmap, that's dead easy. With the new Magellan, I simply could not work out how to do it. There are so many menus and options that I couldn'ty find the capabilkity to do that. I'm sure the Garmin can do that, but I have no idea where the command to do it is located and believe me, I spent a lot of time looking for it.

    It may be that I missed something really obvious, but it really underlined how easy to use the Satmap is.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Stephen's Avatar
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    Hi folks,

    That all for the very informative replies.


    How does the unit fair in direct Sunlight?

    I have seen some 2-3 year old units for sale on here and on ebay, is there any difference between these and the new ones?

    I see some of the Ads mention the units ha e been serviced by Satmap before the sale.


    Cheers,

    Stephen

  11. #11
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    in the normal course if things i use the joystick only to take a look see elsewhere on the map or for a quick visual clue for when i've reached somehere e.g. a turn. i haven't tried it with thick gloves on as i rarely wear such things.

    bright sunlight can make it it trickier to read but sheilding the unit with my other hand solves that (and realising that my reactolites have gone very dark! d'oh!). there is a "daylight" screen setting (as there is also a night setting) which i don't like. it may be of more benefit to those that use the unit for other things than walking.

    somthing you need to be very aware of is that gps units, and satmap is no exception, will continue to extrapolate a position for a while if it loses signal. that position could be dangerous, or not,depending upon where you are. so you need to check the signal indicator is green or blue (goes blue when it has an egnos lock).

    i would suggest you leave the unit on all the time.

    after you've had a good play with it you will find yourself referrring to it a lot more as it takes over from your map. it's a gps that shows you where you are on a map. it's just plain old fabulous.

    i attach mine to my pack...
















  12. #12
    ‹bermensch Stephen's Avatar
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    Cheers Parky,

    I must see if I can get a demo in a local shop that stocks them.


    I like the way you have attached it to your pack.


    Cheers,

    Stephen

  13. #13
    Goon BelgianHiker's Avatar
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    Parky

    Your idea to connect your Satmap to your pack got me thinking...

    I used an old belt clip from a Blackberry case, removed the metal belt clip and glued to the back of the Satmap with epoxy. Now I can clip it on and off as needed to one of the straps on my pack.




  14. #14
    ‹bermensch Stephen's Avatar
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    Good stuff BH

  15. #15
    Widdler
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    I recentlymade a Rucksack mount for my Satmap using the bike mount.

    Attaches to the shoulder strap and works great.

    If anyone interested I can send you further info if you reply to this message. Very simple to do.








  16. #16
    Widdler
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    Hi,

    I have a Garmin Montana - one of the heaviest GPS units - I use thisKR_HD03 Heavy Duty Retractable Key Reel with Locking Ratchet, froma company called 'Keyreels' on the web - absolutley brilliant solution, I just clip it onto my waistband and when not in use it just retracts back into my pocket and when needed jest pulls out on a ratchet to any length you want, it's real heavy duty - used it for dozens of full day walks with no problems.

    A few things about GPS units - battery life, my choice for the Montana was a rechargeable battery that lasts around 16 hours and then I carry a back up of 3 AA,s for a further 22 hours. Like all GPS units they are brilliant but do require some getting to grips with as they are complicated bits of kit - but well worth the effort. You can also get lots of free maps and tracks to download from various sites on the web, including full GB maps that are as good as the commercial ones that cost an arm and a leg !!!. Having said that I got my Garmin Montana with full GB O/S official map for £279 on ebay brand new - Don't know how I did it, must have just dropped on because I haven't seen a deal for that package anywhere since for less than £425 !!!

    anyway, hope this helps and anyone who's looking for a great carrying solution have a look at the item mentioned above - It costs about £9 and £3 p&p,

    Fizzio

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