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TomTom Gps Car Kit for iPod Touch Questions


nfa
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Does anyone have any experience and/or knowledge of/about this device:

 

tomtom-car-kit.jpg

 

http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/products/mobile-navigation/tomtom-car-kit-for-iPod-touch/

 

I'm asking because it sounds like a cool idea, but only if it works.

 

I would be interested in using it outside of the car as well, so I need to know if it needs to be plugged in, or if there is a battery that is charged by the included usb plug.

 

Any help that you can give me would be very much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Jamie - nfa

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I think that one requires it to be plugged in to use the GPS, it's not made for handheld use.

 

I have one made by Dual. It's the XGPS251. It has it's own battery built in and charges when you're in the car. It's pretty cool but you wouldn't want it as your primary geocaching GPS.

Some benefits are you'll get true wireless and battery free Geocaching, you can run a pocket query from the ipod touch, load it into an app like Geosphere and then get turn by turn spoken directions to the cache with the Navigon app. Once you arrive, pop the unit out of the windshield mount and use it as a handheld. The wires go into the windshield mount so you don't need to mess around with them.

It also extends the battery life of your iPod and adds a microphone for Skype.

 

This would be the dream device if it weren't for a few critical problems. Your ipod is still not protected from the elements and if you drop it you'll possibly break the iPod and the cradle.

The signal can take forever to pickup and sometimes it won't get a signal at all. If you're driving to a cache and have it mounted to the windshield navigating it will be fine to pop it out and take a short walk to the cache but if it's in your pocket and you decide to pull it out and turn it on to quickly see if there are any caches nearby, find yourself a comfortable bench, you might be there awhile.

When I'm using the compass page on the geosphere app it seems to be easily confused when I'm moving slowly, more so than a Garmin handheld. The distance still counts down nicely so you can use that while it's confused. It also tends to jump around more when you're close to the cache, my Garmin would be steady at 0-5 feet for example and this would be jumping from 0-80feet or so.

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Most of these iPhone ad ons are good for automotive navigation and better battery life. But they are not all that great for Geocoaching. While they increase the sensitivity of the iPhone's GPSr they are slow to update which is what makes them bad for caching. Something to do with the comunication of the ad on and the iPhone threw the dock.

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