Alternative Inexpensive Mobile GPS solution with SiRF Star III chip
-inexpensive -ps2 style plug with different adapters for most PDAs
-need to buy seperate PDA GPS software -wires, not as tidy when installed
The Bottom Line:
Cheapest mobile GPS solution I could find utilizing my existing PDA and with good PDA guidance software, it'll do everything a stand alone mobile GPS unit does.
I was in the market for a portable mobile gps for road trips. I had my eyes set on the Nuvi 350 which is very popular, but that was last year when the Nuvi 350 was still quite expensive, and could not afford it.
I came across some ad in my local computer paper that has many GPS solutions around 50-100 dollars with various connection methods like Bluetooth, Compact Flash/SDIO, and PS/2 (same connector type like your keyboard).
I choose the Holux GR 213 because it has uses the latest SiRF Star III chipset which tracks up to 20 satellites and the very fast TTFF (time to fast fix, amount of time to communicate with satellites). This Holux PS/2 solution also has a lot of different adapters that lets you plug into various brands of PDAs (mine is the Viewsonic V36 which shares the same plug style as the MIO one).
I use the iGuidance V3.0 software because it uses the iNav map data which is considerred by many review sites with the most accurate and up to date map data. I pre-installed the software on my GPS before I took my V36 PDA to the store so I can test to make sure all the connections are compatible before I buy it.
After the test in store, I set it up in my car after I left the store. The Holux GR213 receiver plugs into the PDA specific adapter, then one end of the adapter goes into the PDA dock port and the other end goes into the car's cig lighter which powers the receiver/PDA and charges the PDA at the same time.
I have a old handheld Magellan GPS and the time for this receiver to sync up the satellites are no comparison. I didn't time it but it must have not been more than 30 secs or so. I pre-installed the guidance software already and there was no additional setups, everything just started working and once satellites are sync'd up, my location was shown on map.
I won't get into the details of the guidance software but as far as the hardware portion is concerned, there was minimal setup required. I spent most of the time arranging the wires and position the PDA and receiver.