Posts posted by ardfarkle
I use a Garmin M5 most of the time (now discontinued). I selected it because I needed a Pocket PC for a few projects I had in mind. I also wanted a GPS with a large screen, voice commands for the car, a voice recorder, lots of RAM for maps, and Bluetooth (I would have liked internal WIFI also, but oh well). The M5 has all of that in one compact package (with the addition of a 1GB SD card, and a 256MB SD/WIFI card). It also comes with a full car package (as do the other Garmin PDAs), and City Select v6 which is upgradeable to CS v7, and most likely to CN v8 now that City Select is a dead product (That is, if there are still any M5s out there). The transflective screen is not as good as on newer units, but it's quite adequate in bright sunlight. Maybe Garmin will come out with an M6 with SiRFstarIII, Bluetooth, WIFI, twice as much RAM, and a larger capacity battery. Please Garmin?
To protect it I bought a cell phone pouch with a belt clip. I selected the pouch for attributes that would allow me to run the M5 while in the pouch, and still have a way to have the antenna extended in various positions and configurations. I'm aware of its vulnerabilities in the field, and I bag it when crossing streams and treat it like its nitroglycerin whens it's removed from the pouch.
I also purchased an aftermarket portable charger/adapter that uses 4 AA cells and is just slightly larger than the AA cells. It will fully charge the M5 a bit more than twice off of 2500ma NiMH batteries, or run the M5 almost four times as long as off the internal battery when attached (all batteries fully charged). Here's a link to it(I believe it will also work with other Garmin PDAs):
Since the M5, and other non-preloaded map vesions of Garmin PDAs come with a full version of the Map CDs/DVDs with two licenses, you can purchase a more trail-worthy unit at a later date and not need to buy your maps again.
BTW, my primary use for my M5 is for car, and in the field I use it to syncronize time and location for my DSLR so I can keep track of where I got certain shots for easy future revisits.
Different maps have difference detail levels, but I've found the U.S. Census Bureau Tiger based maps, as inaccurate position-wise as they are at times, to offer more detail than most other Garmin map products.
Here is a small Garmin map comparison page I started last month. There is still a lot to do, but it still offers a fair comparison between the City Select(Navteq)-v-Tiger(U.S. Census Bureau) based maps. Keep in mind the Navteq data will be more accurate position wise in most cases, but I keep either 'Roads & Recreation' or 'Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hot Spots 5' loaded at all times just in case.
Edit: Oops... Forgot an important point... The Tiger map data is OLD so newer roads, large or small, will not be listed.
I have a GPS12Map and an iQue M5. The GPS12Map can go in the 'had' section since it goes to a friend in a few weeks. I also plan on getting a 60CSx sometime in June.
Wonder if there is anyway out there to 're-project' an image file??
I believe GE has tools for re-projecting an image manually to 'flatten' (for lack of a better word) and skew as needed. I've seen a section in the help file on this but I don't have GE on this computer (server), so I can't check right now.
Garmin just introduced four new products today. While not really geared towards geocaching, if you have a boat/yacht...
On another note:
Garmin's good, but consider what's in it.
Garmin (GRMN) has gone up ~84% in the last year, whereas Sirf (SIRF) has increased by slightly more than 3.25 times its original value one year ago.
Garmin M5 PC PDA/GPS - 7.05oz w/batt, SD card, and protective flap. Weighed on Ohaus small electronic parts counting scale, so it should be right.
Along with City Select 7 which came with my M5, I have older versions of Roads & Recreation, World Map, and Topo, that I used with my GPS-12Map. While I have been able to use them with my M5, the install app that comes with them only give options for 'Typical' and 'Compact', neither of which copies the map data to the hard drive. This means I get prompted for disk every time I want to use them (5 cds!!).
I know about copying the entire disk to a selected location on the hard drive and installing from there, but this is not how they were installed. So, a few questions:
Is there a way to uninstall these products, or can you remove them from within Mapsource? Note My CS6, CS7, and Topo 24 West products all have instances in the 'Add or Remove Programs' control panel app. Topo, R&R, and World Map do not.
Can I just copy the cd files to a location of my choice, re-install from there, and end up with just one instance of the map in the Mapsource drop down box, and will it point to the right place (I assume so)?
Is there a better way to approach this? I have looked high and low, and while I have found many references to copying the CD to a seleted location on the hard drive and then installing the map, it's always refered to the initial instalation.
Any help would be appreciated. I'd rather wait a few days and do it right verses ending up with several selections for the same product (that I can't remove) in MapSource.
This was done with CS2 (PhotoShop). Along with the basic transform, an additional diagonal transform was performed to make the image appear to have been shot from the front. I also created a midrange contrast mask and used Focus Magic to bring out the text a bit in the disk and to reduce the contrast on the wall. I saved as a jpg using a mask to offer the most detail for the disk at the expense of wall detail to reduce the overall file size. Anyway, here it is:
Oops... Papa-Bear-NYC was posting (below) just as I realized I had posted the second to final image and was editing my post. In any case here is the original followed by the final version (less than half the size):
Original image edit:
BTW, feel free to use either one as you wish....
If you're asking if Google Earth will continue to function without an internet connection, the answer is yes as long as the requested map data is cached. I have not tried to use my GPS with Google Earth, but I would imagine that not only is the cached info available, but any data modifications that are specific you your computer should stick. I haven't a clue about the last two questions.
You might want to contact the author of RoboPhoto and RoboGeo to see if he would be interested in adding some features specific to geocaching. He has recently added Google Maps and Google Earth support to RoboGeo.
MAHA Energy/Powerex make very good chargers, but I have seen quite a few posts about the La Crosse recently. I think I'll need to buy one for testing. Like I don't have enough NiMH chargers already
The alkaline and nimh graphs have a different scale to them (alkaline y-axis is between 4 and 6.5, while nimh is between 4 and 6) and since, if i am reading the graph correctly, the nimh batteries completely drop below 4 volts after the graph passes ~1800, whereas every single alkaline is still well above 4 volts even up to 2600 for the rayovac.
First off, only the voltages are important here. The 'number of samples' scale is nothing more than a time line to show that no long pauses existed during the testing procedure. The alkaline and NiMH tests used a different sample rate (alkaline=every 1 second, NiMH=every 6 seconds) hence the count discrepancy. 71 copies took ~170 minutes. If I had used a 1 second sample rate my DVM would have run out of sample memory. In addition, the sample towards the end of the test include failure information. This is why you see the voltage dropping below 4vdc on the NiMH chart. This information is normally edited out, but I left it there for an example that will made in the PD70X review. If you remove the error information and extrapolate the remaining values, you would have:
Last successful copy and time per copy:
Durcell - (((1842 samples * 1 seconds)) / 15 copies) = 123.33... seconds = 2.06 minutes per copy
Energizer - (((1689 samples * 1 seconds)) / 15 copies) = 120.64 seconds = 2.01 minutes per copy
Ray-O-Vac - (((2338 samples * 1 seconds)) / 19 copies) = 123.05 seconds = 2.05 minutes per copy
Panasonic - (((1692 samples * 6 seconds)) / 71 copies) = 142.99 seconds = 2.38 minutes per copy
Keep in mind the primary purpose of the charts are to show various aspects of battery performance for my PD70X review. However, they also demonstrate the performance advantages of NiMH cells over alkaline cells in higher current applications which is relevant to this thread.i guess that means the graphs were entirely meaningless ...
Not at all. They show that empirical testing was performed.
It's one thing to mention how long your alkaline cells lasted last month while eating a cheeseburger, and later while at the beach with your kids you noticed the NiMH cells didn't last as long. There are too many distractions and variables to take casual testing at face value. It all depends on the tester and test conditions. By using empirical testing techniques under controlled/repeatable conditions, such variables are laid to rest.
In other words, these charts show I tested and documented what I am claiming.
What kind of Sandisk CF card and SIZE did you EXACTLY use?
It was a 1GB Sandisk Ultra II CF card. The data set was 855MB consisting of 322 files, some of which were RAW files plus thumbnails, and some of which were jpg.
Just as a side note Sanyo is coming out with a rechargeable battery called the Eneloop that will hold 85% of its charge for a year. It is also supposed to be good in cold weather although at this time the AA’s are only 2000mAH. http://www.sanyo.co.jp/koho/hypertext4-eng/0511/1101-2e.html
Thanks for the link trashcann. I had heard of these cells before, but did not know what they were going to be called.
Notice what they compare them to. Their own HR-3U 2500ma AA cells. These are the cells I use, and if you look at the data, you'll notice yet another property I forgot to mention in my previous posts. These Sanyo cells will hold their charge far longer than NiMH cells using older technology.
Recently I charged about a dozen sets of AA cells (48) for a project I was working on. Two fully charged sets were forgotten for about two weeks when I finally decided to top them off and put them into service. One set was 4 Sanyo HR-3U 2500ma AA cells, and the other set was 4 Panasonic HHR-3SPA 2300ma AA cells. Both had been charged on the same model charger (MH-C401FS) within a few hours of each other. When I topped them off, the Panasonic cells took about 15-20 minutes to reach full charge, but the Sanyo cells indicated a full charge in less than 3 minutes. This included charger calculation overhead. There were also a few other times when I had a few sets of Sanyo HR-3U cells packed in my photo vest for almost a month before I realized they where there. These cells also took but a few minutes to top off (less than 5min). IMO Sanyo's chart showing a 75% charge retention for 6 months for the HR-3U cells is most likely accurate.
NiMH cells have come a long way...
My GPS 12 and III+ both shut down at just under 1.0 V/cell. My eMaps work down to about 0.85 V/cell. Haven't tested any others. Note that unlike things like flashlights, my GPS receivers are more like constant power devices where the current draw increases as the voltage drops.
Actually, this is the case for most electronics. What I didn't account for was, the use of 2 AA type alkaline or rechargables would yield a voltage below the required minimum of 3.3vdc for most modern electronic devices. This would necessitate the use of a DC/DC converter/regulator, which would allow an alkaline cell's energy to be better utilized. Based upon a 1vdc drop off, the figures would be:
Alkaline (2800mah - 100ma discharge rate to 1vdc) - discharge to 1.0vdc:
80 ma - ~25-26hrs
100ma - ~20hrs
150ma - ~12-13hrs
Another item I left out was an alkaline's need for a recovery time after high current draw applications. This recovery time can sometimes yield more of the cell's energy under the proper circumstances. On the other hand, some high current applications may benefit from a NiMH's discharge characteristics.
The original point was that NiMH rechargeable batteries have come a long way and can be used interchangeably with alkaline cells in almost all cases, and they can even yield better results in higher current draw applications.The lower voltage operation makes things look a bit better for alkalines, but with modern NiMH cells up to 2500+ mA-hr I see little need to use anything else except to maybe have a pair of lithiums for longterm backup (but not planning to ever need to use them).
I'd agree with this, but might also keep a set or two of alkalines around due to their several decade track record for use in emergency devices.
As if my posts weren't long enough already, here are a few alkaline -v- NiMH voltage charts for a PD70x, which is a high current personal storage device and requires both 5vdc and 3.3vdc regulated rails. It uses 4 AA cells and utilizes a DC to DC converter/regulator. The listed Sandisk CF card was repeatedly copied to the PD70x's hard drive until an error was produced due to battery depletion. It shows how well NiMH batteries perform in high current applications.
Notice how the Panasonic NiMH cells performed slightly better than the alkalines
So far every NiMH brand I've tried all loose there ability to hold a charge when not used for over a month. I've only tried energizer, quest and rayovac rechargeables and have 3 slow charge units, two are different energizer models and one by quest.
I've gone through so many 4 packs of rechargeables I find it better to get a 24 pack of cheapos for 3-5 dollars. If lithiums where the price of energizer or duracel alkalines I'd go with them.
I have to agree with kerecsen and MagicTogether on this.
A properly designed high quality charger is imperative to obtain long cell life. In addition, cell sets need to be rotated so they are used in service on a regular basis verses just being backup sets. They also need to be kept in sets if your charger charges cells in series (if you need to add 2 or more cells before the charging light goes on, they are being charged in series).
The bottom line is, if you are having problems with high quality NiMH cells, then you either have:
. Defective cells
. Bad quality cells (brand)
. A defective or a badly designed charger/s
. A charger designed for another chemistry such as a Ni-Cad charger
. Are not following proper charging procedures
The rest of this post is not directed to a particular user:
I use MaHA MH-C401FS chargers (5 of them currently). They have independent charging circuits for each cell and utilize the 'Negative Delta V' charging algorithm, although I still keep the cells in sets from the standpoint of brands and purchase date. They also offer a fast and slow charging mode. I have found the fast charging mode of this charger to be the best of any unit I have tried including some of the Lenmar chargers (who also make good chargers).
I also have several Panasonic BQ-390 travel chargers that come in a kit from Costco. It comes with the charger, 6 2300ma NiMH AA cells and 2 ?????ma NiMH AAA cells for well under $20.00. I have found the 2300ma Panasonic cells provided with this kit to be every bit as good as the Sanyo 2500ma cells, which are/were my current favorites (any of you R/C enthusiasts out there know Sanyo cells). While the BQ-390 chargers seem to work well, I only use them when traveling when the MaHa chargers are not available to me, or as charge boosters. BTW, a 'charge booster' is a charger you use to start the initial charge process on a set of cells when the main chargers are busy charging other cells. When the main chargers are done charging their cells, the cells from the 'charge boosters' are then transfered to the main chargers to complete the charging process.
When charging NiMH cells, the last part of the charging process is one of the most critical stages to make sure the cells are fully charged and yet not overcharged. Transferring cells from basic chargers used as 'charge boosters' to chargers with known good final charging procedures half way through the charging process insures the final charging stages are performed correctly, and yet the total charge time in the main chargers is reduced since the cells already contains a partial charge.
As far as battery life for Alkaline -v- NiMH cells are concerned, it depends on the current draw. (All of the following data is based upon published manufacturer specs.)
AA alkaline batteries from the big three are rated at a maximum of ~2800mah. This rating is based upon a 20-30ma constant current draw to a cell voltage of ~.8vdc at which time the cell is considered to be depleted. As the constant current draw increases, the mah rating decreases. At 100ma draw the rating at .8 vdc will be closer to just under 2500mah, and at 250ma it drops to ~1900ma. At 500ma it's only about half at 1400mah. If it looks bad now, it gets worse.
These ratings are based upon an operational voltage of .8vdc. While there are quite a few clocks, radios, and other low draw devices that will 'still' operate at these voltages, most digital electronics are not happy. So how bad is it really? Well, at ~250ma current draw at a voltage rating of 1.1vdc (a ~26% drop from 1.5vdc), the rating is ~400mah. That sucks, but that's how alkaline batteries discharge for the most part.
On the other hand we have NiMH cells. Like most rechargeable cells they give their all and then fall flat on their face. While this will result in far superior performance in high current devices, it makes it very hard to produce accurate battery meters for such devices. This is because, regardless of the current draw, the voltage will remain somewhat the same until the pack is fully depleted. Since most battery meters are mostly voltage centric, this results in a less than accurate reading. This is why 'smart' battery packs were developed.
If we look at most portable GPS units, we see battery life ratings from ~10-30hrs, while 15-20hrs seems to be the most common, let's be overly optimistic and select 20hrs of operation for all conditions. At an operational voltage of 1vdc, this equates to ~100ma draw. This isn't that much, but I have a feeling it goes up dramatically if the backlight is used much of the time. Let's say it increases to 150ma.
OK, so let's equate this to Alkaline and NiMH batteries in such a GPS unit. First we must assume that the NiMH cells were recently charged and have not lost a significant amount of their energy. Freshly charged NiMH cells will be assumed.
Alkaline (2800mah - 100ma discharge rate to 1vdc) - discharge to 1.2vdc:
80 ma - ~20hrs
100ma - ~15hrs
150ma - ~10hrs
NiMH (2300mah - 460ma discharge rate to 1vdc) - discharge to 1.2vdc:
80 ma - ~??hrs
100ma - ~18hrs
150ma - ~12hrs
I have no idea what minimum voltage various GPS units will operate at, but I took a stab at 1.2vdc as being a fair amount since it is a reference marker on the graphs and made computations easier
So, properly charged NiMH cells seem to offer every bit as much operation time as alkalines. Obviously keep some alkalines for backup is a good idea due to their operational shelf life.
: I use Alkaline AAs in my meidian gold. I am not impressed will NiMH batteries and I know when I pick up a set of Alkaline batteries they are going to work.
I hope you're not suggesting .....
..... the use of higher capacity cells will do nothing more than yield a longer operation time for the given product we use it in.
I read the story several years ago I may have been batteries with a higher voltage output that werte causing the problem, but the problem with cell phones bursting into flames have been caused by using batteris that did not meet the specs of the phone.
I did find this story, for some reason my computer is not letting me copy the link, If I can I will post it later.
A 'higher voltage' (not available current/capacity) can cause a multitude of problems including the destruction of chips and discrete devices within a given product, however this seems a bit unlikely unless the voltage source is an external power supply/charger, or an external battery pack that relies on a pack voltage that is higher than the operation voltage of the device which is then regulated down to the proper voltage. Any number of failure modes could cause the device to be supplied with a larger voltage that specified with such supplies/chargers/packs. Discrete cells are another issue.
Cell phones draw so little current by comparison to some devices, the only way I could imagine a phone bursting into flames is if the pack itself shorts out. While overheating can be a real issue with Li-Ion packs, it would only be induced by heavy current draw (not from a .6 watt cell phone, color LCD or not IMO), or a short circuit. This short circuit could be anywhere in the power supply chain. A phone defect, a small piece of metallic debris in the battery compartment that shorts out the power terminals, or an internal battery pack short. This is why 'properly designed' Li-Ion battery packs contain protection circuitry to shut them down if an over current situation occurs.
Do off brand Li-Ion packs contain this protection circuitry? Some do, and some don't. If the after market pack is being provided by a brand name accessory company then you can bet such circuitry is in place. Law suits are expensive. What about ebay stuff? This just depends on the vendor. I buy my BP-511/512 batteries for my Canon 10D from Sterling-Tech's ebay store. I have yet to have a problem and get considerably better operation life from them.
The number of phones destroyed by so-called third-party batteries, sold by street vendors or on the Web, have risen enough since December to prompt a warning from Nokia, said company spokesman Keith Nowak.
The batteries usually don't have circuitry to shut down the power source once it begins overheating, Nowak said. Enough heat can be generated to melt a phone's plastic casing and the circuits inside, he said.
"People really shouldn't use anything but a Nokia-made battery inside any of our phones," he said. "If a third-party battery is made improperly and destroys a phones, it's not going to be covered under warranty."
Nokia handset owners in Asia, Africa and Europe have reported problems, Nowak said. There have not been any problems in the United States, he added.
The handset maker did not name specific battery makers to watch out for.
Nokia appears to be acting out of genuine concern, rather than using the warning as a scare tactic to keep customers from buying phone accessories made by other companies, said Joel Tax, an analyst with research firm Santa Clara Consulting Group.
Hmm... Yes I'm sure Nokia and other manufacturers are concerned about law suits and lost sales, but to state 'The batteries usually don't have circuitry to shut down the power source once it begins overheating...' is a scare tactic IMO. Do they have empirical data to back this up? Did they buy 2-3 dozen batteries from ebay vendors and tear them apart to qualify their statement? I'm not talking about purchasing them from vendors with just a few ebay sales, or those that are selling a $59.00 retail battery pack for $9.95 for two of them. I'm talking about some of the better known power sellers that have a good reputation and feedback ratings. Some of these vendors specifically mention that their packs 'do' contain over current and short circuit protection circuitry.
BTW, NiMH and Ni-Cad cells/packs suffer from the same problem when shorted out, it's not a problem that is exclusive to Li-Ion batteries.
: I use Alkaline AAs in my meidian gold. I am not impressed will NiMH batteries and I know when I pick up a set of Alkaline batteries they are going to work.
I hope you're not suggesting that NiMH batteries are not reliable compared to alkalines. The need for alkaline batteries would only true if you plan to use your GPS here and there, and have no charged NiMH cells to take with you prior to your trip. Yes, alkalines have a several year 'capacity' shelf life, but modern NiMH batteries have almost as much total MA capacity as the best alkaline cells (~2500 NiMH - ~2800 Alkaline). The advantage NiMH cells have over alkalines is they can deliver almost their entire MA capacity without a significant voltage drop. This actually allows almost all higher drain devices to obtain a longer operation life on NiMH that on alkaline batteries.
IMO, the proper use of alkalines would be for backup. This is where you carry two sets of charged NiMH batteries and one or two sets of alkalines for an emergency. In this scenario the NiMH batteries would be used for normal activity and the alkalines should only be called upon if the NiMH batteries are dead. For most situations, the use of just one set of NiMH cells, or perhaps two on a busy day, would suffice in 99.xx percent of the time for most users. By using NiMH cells over their normal lifespan they would most likely never need to use their 'original' set of alkalines they saved for backup, and yet they would retain ~90% over their original capacity and could serve as backups for the next set of NiMH cells. Compare this to using 1000-2000 sets of alkaline cells while obtaining no more reliability in the field. This is a bad decision IMO, and it's not too good for the environment either.In some cases people have bought Li Ion Batteries for cell phones that did not meet the specs of the cell phones, in these cases the sell phone would burst into flame because the battery in use was turn out more amps than the phone could handle.
I'm sorry, but I almost fell on the floor laughing (FOTFL?) when I saw this. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but this really hit me as funny since I have seen this type of argument before from the standpoint of the power 'source' being too big/strong for the product being operated (the load). This is akin to speakers 'putting out' too many watts for the amp in the stereo forums.
First off, batteries don't 'turn out' more amps than the phone can handle, or what other products can 'handle' for that matter. Products 'draw' a certain amount of current from the power source as a 'load', which is what they are. Based upon the operating voltage and the current required, a source either does, or does not, meet the criteria (no. I'm not going to get into Ohm's law here, but you can ). Consider the following:
A normal U.S power receptacle has a voltage between 110-120VAC and can provide 15A of current. This equates to between 1650-1800 Watts (we're going to stay away from VA figures since it will just complicate the issue). And yet, we can plug in a 2 watt transistor radio, a 50 watt CD player, a 100 watt boom box, a 300 watt television, a 500 watt stereo system, a 900 watt microwave oven, and a 1200 watt toaster, into this outlet with no ill effect. The fact that the outlet can provide 1650-1800 watts, or 15 amps of current at 100-120 volts is not the issue. It's the load presented to it that counts. If I present a load that requires anywhere between 0-15A, I'm OK. It's only after I pass the 15A mark that I get into trouble, and even then it's only controlled since there is a 15A circuit breaker that will trip. Had there been no circuit breaker I would have been allowed to draw in excess of the rated current for the given circuit. This would have resulted in a voltage drop in the given circuit and this is where the problems would have reared their ugly heads.
The simple approach: You can use 600ma, 750ma, 900ma, 1100ma, 1500ma, 1750ma, 2000ma, 2100ma, 2200ma, 2300ma, and 2500ma, NiMH/Ni-Cad/Alkaline/other cells in 'ANY' product you wish without ill effect. Why is this? Why doesn't the use of 2500ma NiMH cells in a product in which 1600ma cells are specified cause a problems. Why do we 'know/understand' that the use of higher capacity cells will do nothing more than yield a longer operation time for the given product we use it in.
Just food for thought...If you are going to post a problem with a product, you should also post the reason for the problem.
And by the same token, If you decide to post the answer to a problem, you should make sure your answers are correct, or at least well tested.
Hmm... How is that any different than Garmin other than Magellan's map products are licensed for use with just one receiver verses two for Garmin?
Crap, a double post and no delete function...
HugoOne wrote: It could be a good idea Ardfarkle but I think Garmin is moving to supply the maps that have locking with the GPS.
This would still be the case. The only difference is that you could 'decommission' the maps on you current GPS and re-use them on your new unit. The maps would still be tied to the GPS and this way there would be no way to sell the old unit with the maps installed since to you have to remove the map's ability to work on your old GPS before Garmin will issue a new code to allow them to work on your new GPS.
I just don't think it's reasonable to expect a customer to buy map products that can sometimes equal or surpass the amount paid for the GPS, only to find they will have to purchase them all over again if they decide to upgrade to a new unit. OK, they do allow 2 unit to contain maps, but since this is the case, how do they expect users to sell off one unit and buy another without incurring the entire cost of GPS plus maps once again. All this will do is to cause users to put off the purchase of a new GPS until the maps are either woefully out of date, or new GPS features are too enticing to ignore. In either case this might cause a serious map user to put off a new purchase until absolutely necessary.Ardfarkle, the activation for Windows XP does not mean that you have to buy a new XP box when you upgrade, you should have called Microsoft....
That's what I did. I got new activation codes. I was pointing out that although I might be on the phone forever, even Microsoft realizes the need to allow the software to move from box to box.
Thanks Jim. I have a few other software products that work in a similar manner, where a slight firmware mod is made to add features. Sonicwall does this, and have a few smart dongles for some PCB layout software I use that work the same way. HP, used to do something similar on their HP-UX boxes.
Vlad, I feel your pain. I have 5 copies of XP Pro and have needed to get new activation twice when I upgraded to new computers. While it's not the same as having various products such as CN, BlueChart, etc. that cannot be placed on more than 2 products, the process could be made the same if Garmin would change the way they license map products.
Currently the unlock code is produced by providing Garmin with the unit serial number along with the map product's registration or coupon code. I've never understood why they didn't just use the serial number of the map product instead having a separate registration code. Nevertheless, a separate registration code is exactly what is needed for my idea to work. Not for the map product, but for the GPS unit. Here's the idea.
The map products would have a serial number just like like they do now. The GPS units would have a serial number, but would also have a specific unit registration code for map products. This code would be produced at the factory by running a registration code application built into the unit which is accessible via a keypad sequence. Actually, at the factory it would accessed via a testing rig and the code would be automatically produced. The keypad access method would be provided for users to change the registration code, or effectively decommission the old code. This application would be full of warnings etc. about how producing a new registration code will require a new map product registration and unlock code, and how all current products will cease to load/function until the new unlock code is provided.
The method used to produce the GPS unit registration code would be a random number generator which is then hashed against the unit serial number to create the registration code. This would then be saved to a normally protected area of flash RAM in the GPS where is would be accessed and compared while loading maps. If it's a kosher code when checked by MapSource, then let the registered products for that unit load. It's the same as before but the GPS unit holds the valid registration information. Of course there would be a way to reload the registration code just in case something goes terribly wrong.
The above method would allow Garmin customers to upgrade to new GPS units and still retain use of their current maps and upgrade rights. All they would need to do is to decommission the maps from the old unit/s.
Should Garmin provide this service for free? Hmm.. I thought about this and have come up with two concepts.
1) The only reason you would be asking for this service is because you have purchased new Garmin equipment and want to continue to use your old software/maps. This does two things for Garmin; it provides a path for the user to continue to purchase future Gamin's products that will support your software, and it does the same for the user's ability to upgrade their software as new versions become available.
2) Well, all services cost money and it has to come from someplace. Garmin would either have to include the cost upfront which would 'slightly' increase the price of their GPS products, or they could charge a nominal fee to cover costs. I was thinking that $15.00 U.S. for a single new unlock code, and $20.00 for two or more code produced at the same time. You obviously don't want to tell the owner of a fishing fleet that the upgrade for their 42 'new' Garmin units will be $1260.00. $630.00 for the land map codes, and $630.00 for BlueChart codes. I figure after the first two codes, you've pretty much proven to Garmin you're a loyal supporter.
My last gripe/suggestion is to change the upgrade pricing policy. I think it should have three tiers:
Upgrade to next version: 33% of retail
Upgrade from one version behind, ie V5 to V7, or V6 to V8: 50% of retail
Upgrade from any version 2 version back or more: 66% retail
This would induce more users to follow the upgrade path IMO.
Anyway, that's how I think it should be done...
Getting a new GPS? Think about this.
in GPS technology and devices
Posted · Edited by ardfarkle
Did you buy from an individual, or a store selling on ebay? Many times stores that sell on ebay are also Garmin dealers, and provide you with a receipt from their main store verses the one listed on ebay. If this is the case, just check with Garmin to see if they are an authorized dealer. If they are, then you are covered.