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3 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 5056 24-Sep-2005 08:47
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I am looking at getting a GPS unit from USA. Can anyone tell me whether it will work in NZ, and what will be required to make it work, or is their a website you can refer me to. Cheers in advance.

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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 20449 24-Sep-2005 09:40
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Farquad69: I am looking at getting a GPS unit from USA. Can anyone tell me whether it will work in NZ, and what will be required to make it work, or is their a website you can refer me to. Cheers in advance.

battery powered handheld unit - just turn it on outdoors and it'll work.

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 20450 24-Sep-2005 09:43
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so they work like a mobile phone does, by accessing like a local network? and does that apply to any imported GPS unit?

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Reply # 20454 24-Sep-2005 10:03
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GPS does not use a local network - they receive signals from satellites and calculate your position from the information received from 3 or more satellites (called a "fix").

A GPS will work anywhere in the world. However you have to check if the GPS unit comes with maps - in this case you will have to search for NZ maps.

If the GPS unit is just a receiver then you have to check if it connects to your device (laptop or PDA) and what connection it uses (serial, USB, Bluetooth).

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Reply # 20455 24-Sep-2005 10:04
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GPS uses satellites nothing to do with the local mobile network

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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 20458 24-Sep-2005 10:50
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if it's a garmin unit, or possibly other brands, you can download regional maps from their website - so if you're going overseas just replace the maps in the unit for a while.

how complicated a GPS unit are you considering buying? if it just a simple handheld reciever, then there's no problems.

If you're talking rackmounted GPS clocks, or GPS smartphones, or anything out of the ordinary then you might consider posting a URL here to see what those uber geeks have to say.

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 20463 24-Sep-2005 12:28
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I understand that it operates from satellites - was using an analogy. So, when you turn it on it would identify your location and then provide maps based on your location - is that right? I was considering Navman or Garmin. So you can download local maps from websites. How concise would an NZ map be?

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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 20473 24-Sep-2005 17:47
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Navman is a New Zealand company - so i'm not sure why you'd go to the US to buy one.
are we talking about handheld recievers? or bluetooth boxes? or PDAs? or pole mounted marine units?

The LAN analogy does not fit GPS - they're recievers only - they don't transmit.. They're closer cousins to an FM radio in your car than a cellphone.

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  Reply # 21115 6-Oct-2005 13:04
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Generally with a GPS unit when changing countries there will be a couple of things to think about.
1) It may take longer to aquire it's first fix. This is because some units cache their last known co-ordinates so have a good idea of what sattellites to use for a "warm-start" and a fast fix in 30 seconds or so. Starting them up somewhere completely new means they have to "cold-start" and re-aquire all the sattellites until they have at least 4 channels for a 3-d fix. This can take several minutes.

2) Some models may also want to know the regional settings and the Geodetic datum used on the Maps you have. It pays to have the same Geodetic datum specified to reduce the inconsistancies between the GOS readout and the Maps. This is normally found on the bottom of NZMS maps and marine charts and is essentially the underlying grid used as the base for the map when it was created.

Other than that, the unit should just work. Of course a Navman bought in the US will just have US maps loaded and you will need to pay extra (300-400 I think) for the NZ maps. If you but a unit in NZ you should get it with NZ maps already loaded.


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