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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » GPS - who uses one (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MAGICBYTIM
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Louisiana
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How many of you use a GPS navigational unit to find the gig. I am going to buy one in the next few days and wanted to get some feedback.
Who uses one?
Which one do you have?
Do you recommend it or a different model?
Have you ever had a bad experience with one?

Thanks for the input.

Tim
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Hello Tim,

How's the magic in Baton Rouge? Someday I hope to get invited back there to do a lecture again. I really enjoyed it before.

I use it and love it. Even when I know where I'm going, it gives me information like ETA that can be very important.

My first choice is the Blackbird by Alpine. It also plays MP3s loaded from SD chips that also fit my camera and computer jump drive. A 512 SD will hold about 150 songs. It plays through my radio.

I think the Alpine is even cheaper than the $600 one at SAM's Club only better. They don't carry Alpine. I wish they did.

My Blackbird is just a required piece of "office" equipment today. It also is easy to put into your luggage for flying from point to point and using in the rental car once you are there.

Don't leave home without it! It will spoil you.

Bob Sanders
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Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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I have one in my laptop, streets and trips. It is a great thing.
Danny Doyle
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magicofCurtis
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Los Angeles
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Well I use mapquest, my iphone, or the gps that came with my car... But, Thom Thom is great too
mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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I have one and use it daily. As Bob mentioned, I'll use it even if I know where I'm going because it will tell me when I'll arrive.

Mine is a Garmin StreetPilot C330 and I'd easily recommend it.

Just one piece of advice. Get in the habit of removing it if parked in public places for very long. Things like these are great targets for car thieves to break the glass, grab it and run. Better to be safe than sorry.

Mark.
leapinglizards
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I have and LOVE my Garmin Nuvi. Occasionally on big highways it gets confused on left exits, but I have never ended up anywhere totally lost. I had to tweek the preferences a bit to get it the way I like. My unit was $300. Plays MP3's, has traffic service option.

Dean
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Paddy
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I use a TomTom One and it is the best investment I have made in a long time. Got it at Radio Shack put it in the car and it was up and running in less than a minute. I strongly advise you to get one.

Peter
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magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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One of the best investments I have ever made lately is investing in a really good GPS system for my vehicle. They cost a bit of money but it is the best investment I have made for myself and my show. It has paid for itself time and time again.

If you do a lot of shows and find yourself traveling a lot to them, then a GPS is really a viable solution you may really want to look into. I personally use a Garmin model GPS system that cost me about 500-600 US Dollars. It connects into my truck with a clip and I plug it right into my cigarette lighter port. It also can run on it's own battery. Because it can be taken off the clip, it can be stored for safety or transferred from one car to the other anytime you like.

The GPS system is very easy to use. I simply type in my destination address and it will route me to where I need to go. It shows a detailed map with arrows and also has a voice activation feature so that it will say loudly to me when to turn, what road to turn onto and how much distance before I make the turn. This way my eyes are always on the road as they should be. If you make a wrong turn, it will automatically reroute you in a matter of seconds and send you a different route to get you back to where you are headed.

This GPS system has saved me a lot of time and hassles. I no longer have to print out detailed maps or look at driving directions as I am driving. It gets me from point A to point B with no problems at all. It also has a nice feature that if you are in a location that is new to you and you need gas between shows, you can hit the gas button and it will show you all the gas stations in the area. Simply click on one and it will route you to the location. It will also show me my estimated time of arrival and change that time based on traffic flow etc.

If you do a lot of shows, then this really is something to think about. I paid this off in 2 shows easily and it has really helped me to stay on track and on time for every show I do.

So what can we learn about this? One is that we have to be professional and arrive on time for our client no matter what the situation. It also allows you to get there in enough time so you are not rushing or racing to get things done. You can get things set up at a pace that works for you. This sends a positive and professional impression to your client.

If you have multiple shows during the same day, then a good GPS system can really help you stay on track and on time according to your schedule. By using the tips above, multiple shows can be timed out ahead of time to ensure you are leaving yourself ample time to get from one show to the next.

Kyle
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Father Photius
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Wouldn't trade my Tom Tom GO910 for anything. Using the computer voice choice it gives you voice point to point directions. Has almost every bell and whistle you can imagine, plus easy to use, and the remote is real handy. Has a large memory as well on a built in HD. A bit more expensive than most might want to invest, but you can often find refurbished ones at significant discount. On any GPS you want to make sure of screen brightness. In daytime use, with the sun coming through the windshield you can't see many of the screens. Though this can be corrected with taking a small bit of pasteboard and taping a little visor on your unit to shade it. But on the occassions where traffic is busy and you don't have a lot of time to look at a screen, the voice commands sure come in handy.
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MAGICBYTIM
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Louisiana
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Thanks for the input. I am looking at the Garmin StreetPilot c550. It seems like it has everything I need. Does anyone have any experience with these. I know Garmin is a good name brand.
mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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That's the HUGE upgraded version of mine and includes blue-tooth capabilities for hands free cell phone use, MP3 playing, etc...

I think you'll be happy with this one. It's a really nice one...and dependable.

Mark.
Bill Nuvo
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I guess I'm just old fashioned and use a map. I also use googlemaps and yahoo maps to locate places not on my maps. I learn ETA by travelling all the time. I don't see a need personally to get GPS but then again, I've never tried it and am unsure of it's benefits above a real map.
Brian Lehr
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Edmonton, Canada
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I use a Tom Tom GO910, and I'm happy with it 60% of the time.

The other 40% of the time, I want to throw it out the window! Here are my problems with it:

1. It tells me to go straight on a road that is a "T" intersection, and the only thing in front of me is a field.

2. It takes me down wrong streets, especially in rural communities. City driving is great; rural driving sucks!

3. For some left of right turns off highways, the map is off by up to 100 yards. Ie. It tells me to make a turn, when the turn-off was 100 yards (or meters in Canada) behind me.

4. It can't find the address for a section of the city that has been built over 5 years ago. It says there is no such address. (This one really frustrates me!)

5. When I'm driving on the highway, it quite often shows me on the map as driving about 100 yards off the highway, running parallel to it.

6. When I'm driving to a location that is over an hour away (via highway), the time given for the ETA is at least an hour longer than what it really is. As I get closer to the location, the ETA slowly adjusts until it hits the correct arrival time by the time I'm there.

7. And don't get me started on POI's. With so many POI's loaded into the system, is it too much to ask it to find a local library or elementary school? I don't think so, but apparently Mr. Tom Tom does, since he can't seem to find any in most of the communities I go to (and some of these are well established suburbs).

Now, I paid about $800 for this unit, so I am quite disappointed with these problems. The interesting thing is, it's not really the unit's fault, it's the maps that are loaded into it. But what makes it frustrating is I recently purchased Tom Tom's newest maps (from April 2006), so these are the most up-to-date maps they have.

I love the GPS. I just hate having to double check with a map from Mapquest, or checking my PDA while on the road for more accurate directions.

Brian

PS. I edited this post twice. When I started, I said I was satisfied 80% of the time; then I said 70%. By the time I finished listing all the things that frustrated me about it, I went back and changed it to 60%. And I'm heading over to the Tom Tom website to find a place to post these frustrations.
magic4u02
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Brian,

Looks like you need a garmin model. My Garmin has never steered me wrong. Since I have had it (hundreds of shows). it has not once gotten me to a wrong place. The only times it does was due to my own stupid error of putting in wrong information. It has been simply wonderful and this Garmin model has been superb. It will correct instantly if I make a wrong turn and guide me back where I need to go.

Kyle
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Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Kyle,

I wasn't going to admit that!

The Blackbird is also very quick to re-route after I have "modified" the route.

What is really funny is that if I get off the interstate to buy gas my radio tells me, "Find a place to make a U turn."

I have noticed that these things are made for married men. There is a female voice telling you what to do and when. She repeats herself too! (Are we expected to say, "Yes, Dear"?)

Bob Sanders
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Al Angello
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How much traveling does one have to do to justify such a device? I certainly don't travel as much as Bob Sanders does. What kind of money are we talking about to get hooked up? I'm afraid this technology will take me to the cleaners. Map quest is free you know.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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kenscott
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Used a garmin for two years and it was great. Now I have one built in my honda. I love it !!!! it makes life so much easier.

Best
ken
magic4u02
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Al: As a friend, you travel more then I do and this thing could not only help you out greatly, but you would easily have it paid off for in a few shows if that. It would be a great investment for you I feel.

I can safely say that this one piece of equipment has been the single best investment that Kelly and I have added to the show in a long time. My Garmin was about $500 when I got it. However they have gone down in price. I still would easily pay double that amount if I had to. It just has been that great for us. Just my opinion is all.

Bob: hehehe Actually it is so funny you mentioned the female voice. Since my lovely wife is mt partner on stage and off stage, she is with me at every show. This voice is funny for the GPS and I actually like it. My wife and I got joking around about how I listen to it more then her sometimes. hehehe Because of that I told her I would name it after her. Now we joke that my GPS is now referred to as "Robo Kel". hehehe

Kyle
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Christian & Katalina
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Well, let me enter my GPS story.

My wife and I travel all over the eastern United States for shows. We used to use mapquest exclusively. It seemed the most accurate and after using it hundreds of times, I can say it was only wrong perhaps on in one hundred. The only down side is that once we started our tour, you could not add any new shows with out a trip to mapquest or get very far off the specified path or you could get lost. Not to mention more than once getting to the gig and then not being able to get back to the hotel, because we did not mapquest back to the hotel or you were now traveling at midnight and it is not always easy to read all the street signs in the darkness. And don’t get me started about New England and their cruel propensity to not use signs to identify the names of streets.

I was skeptical about the GPS units until I was traveling with another performer, I mentioned a particular store that my wife likes. I said we could stop and look up the address in a phone book. He laughed and punched it into his Garmin. It came up no problem. And. . . this was a rather odd store.

I told my wife the next day that we were getting one. It has been awesome. And we are never lost. Never. It’s accuracy has been about 98-99 percent. Occasionally it is off, but it is very easy to reroute.

The Garmin gets our highest recommendation for anyone that needs to find locations while on the road.

And as Bob Sanders said the ETA function is accurate and helps a great deal in the planning and taking a lot of the worry out of those trips.

The only thing I can add…is everything Kyle said, I second.

Christian & Katalina
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
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magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Thanks Christian and Katalina. Looks like you found the value I did with my Garmin GPS. I was so skeptical at first and it was my wife buying it for me as a gift that made me use it. After we used it for a few shows, I was totally hooked. Now I can not even think how we managed without one.

Instead of yelling at each other cause we are lost or forgot to get directions from the gig to back home, we spend the time talking to each other and going over the show. We have more time now to do things that matter more.

Like yourselves, we travel a lotin our area to get to the performances we do. This takes so much guess work and stress out of our lives. I now simply need an address and Iam good to go.If we want to get gas or find a place to eat, we can simply do tat to without any problems at all.

In fact it saved our show once. I was doing the illusions in the show and a bolt cameoff the illusion. I did not have any spares and had no clue where I could get one. I punched in a few things into the GPS and found a Lowes 4 milesdown the road.

LikeI said before, this may not be for everyone, but for anyone that travels for shows or does a lot ofdriving to shows, this is probably your single best investment you can make for yourself.

Kyle
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