a driver views an in-car GPS system

5 Tips for Traveling with Your GPS Unit

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the modern, high-tech way to get around. There's no need to pull out a road map anymore to get directions. As you travel with your GPS unit, here are valuable some tips including updating your maps frequently, charging your battery, protecting your unit, and calibrating for preciseness.

  1. First Time Use

    When you first turn on your GPS, it will download something called an almanac. In order to do this quickly, the GPS should be near open sky for twenty minutes.

  2. Update Your maps Frequently and Include Points of Interest

    You can get discounts from your GPS's manufacturer. Usually the updates are done once a year. It can also help if you download Points of Interest, which are free to download.

  3. Charging Your GPS Battery

    In order to make sure that you don't need to use a road map in order to get directions, you are going to need to keep your GPS battery charged. Depending on your make and model, GPS units can stay charged anywhere from two hours to several days. The most common ways to charge a GPS battery are to either use the cigarette lighter in the car or a plug-in adapter that plugs into a wall socket at home, just as you would charge the battery on your cellphone.

    If you have a GPS model that you take on hikes, the best battery charging advice is how to maintain a long-lasting charge. You can turn down the brightness and equalizer as well as collapse the compass band to maintain a longer charge on your device.

  4. Keeping Your GPS Safe

    GPS theft is becoming quite common these days, and you're going to want to protect your device. From 2006 to 2008, GPS theft has increase as more are produced and sold. Please, do not store your GPS in the glove compartment because this is the first place a thief will look. Keep it with you or in the trunk. Register your GPS with the manufacturer so that they have a record of your ownership. If the thief tries to update your GPS software over the internet and you have reported the GPS stolen, the vendor will be notified and report the action to the police. Keep a record of your GPS's serial number. For even more protection, you can purchase Maplock. The device is similar to a steering wheel lock, though sized to fit your GPS device. Even if thieves make of with your GPS, they will be unable to operate it.

  5. Calibrating Your GPS

    The best thing you can do is check the manual of your particular GPS that you own. For example, one brand of GPS has 14 to-do steps, including: put your GPS into navigation mode, press down and up arrow buttons for a few seconds, press a few other buttons before you take the device and walk around in a circle with it, press the set button, and select your back light setting before exiting out of calibration mode.

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