Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Saved $200

I was out on the boat about a week ago, just a shakedown cruise to see if I still remembered how to do stuff and to see if everything still worked. I discovered that my handheld GPS had lost the ability to track satellites. Not a good condition for a GPS machine!

We use it when crossing open water and are still too far away to see with binoculars. It saves time steering straight to a destination. It is also handy to have if there is a little fog and you can't see destinations that would otherwise be visible. In addition, the GPS tells us how fast we are travelling and estimates our trip time. Its not a necessity - just a nice little luxury to have on board.

I got out the manual and tried everything they recommended but got nowhere. I talked to a shop that sold new ones and they suggested that the software may be obsolete for communicating with satellites. This sounded like a reasonable explanation. I checked the Magellan site on the net and determined that they stopped making my model 310 about 4 years ago. I priced new ones and they started at close to $200.

As a last resort I called the 1-800 number for Magellan, half expecting them to say it was too old and obsolete, but to my surprise they gave me instructions over the telephone that cleared the memory. These instructions were not in the manual. This worked like a charm and the little guy now tracks 8 or 9 satellites, more than I ever recall seeing last summer.

Sometimes us frugal guys get lucky and get to keep the old stuff going for a while longer.

If I'm ever looking for a new GPS I will certainly start with Magellan.

ps Always keeping one eye on the market... I see that the DJIA is primed to make a break out above the last peak. I also see, that it took 7 years for it to recover completely from the bear that started back in 2000.

1 comment:

MillionDollarJourney.com said...

I've been doing some research on road/map based GPS devices lately, and the Garmin Nuvi 350/360 seems to get high praise. The Nuvi can be purchased @ price club: 350 for $500 and the 360 for $600.