Feeling a sense of curiosity, mixed with a desire to "deal" with another child of the engineering mind, I sign for receipt of a cute little box in which the device is packed. Do not prolonging the pleasure, I open the box and find that except for the navigator are present: an instruction leaflet with tips for fixing strap to your wrist, belt Velcro, Velcro with adhesive base for fixing navigator on a surface (such as the front car).
Instruction is in the form of a small booklet of good paper. All descriptions are given only in English, but the inquisitive mind of the Russian consumer this deficiency has become habitual. Inspect documentation throw out the paper and look at the device in detail.
Garmin GPS III Plus - personal GSP-navigator with extensive mapping capabilities and is intended for use as a portable navigator, and when installed on the vehicle - a word that can describe this device in the price list, but that does not reveal his or her identity . The merits of this device at the same abound.
Housing navigator made of impact resistant plastic. It is atypical for compact devices shape resembling a triangular prism, one side of which are the screen and controls. The housing has a hydraulic protection class IPX7 - it allows him not to be afraid of heavy rain falls in a puddle of water and other light treatments.
The device has a screen contrast medium by today's standards permission 160h100 points, but this is enough to display the map. The information displayed on the screen, in most cases well distinguishable: the letters and numbers are large, the font is pleasing to the eye and does not create discomfort while reading data from up to half a meter. Navigator screen has a green backlighting with adjustable brightness. A major advantage of the device is the ability to display information on the screen in two different layout options: vertical and horizontal orientation of the device.
It weighs "three plus" with batteries is about two times more modern cell phone - 255, the bulk of the device up batteries - 4 AA alkaline batteries. Energy consumption is relatively low, it is the champion among his colleagues, from one set of batteries the device is working about 36 hours using the power-saving mode. This is a good result - other models navigators drain on the battery much faster. With regard to the external power supply, the GARMIN GPS III Plus can be fed from the cigarette lighter of the car through. The cable will have to be purchased separately. Navigator can be used with a dc voltage of 10 V to 32 V without any additional voltage converters.
Navigator has an external antenna, which can rotate around the fixing points. When installing the device in the car does not "see" the whole sky, so even if GPS fix is possible, its accuracy is not high. In this case, the antenna base can be removed, and replaced with a standard BNC connector to connect the outrigger.
Managed by the instrument traditionally navigators GARMIN - one large button selector for moving the cursor, and centered around the menu button, switching pages and more. All buttons are located above the screen. Reach them easily, while the unit is securely in the palm, and the screen is virtually no overlap arm. I am glad the option of using the selector buttons to move the pointer (and with it and a map) on the diagonal directions.
The menu system is quite heavy and has a layered structure. Each page has a context menu, which content varies depending on the selected page. Common to all of the pages is the main menu. Despite the apparent complexity of the system menu, you can learn to manage navigation pretty quickly, even without reading the instructions.
Information provided to the user traditionally navigators GARMIN - grouped pages. In total there are six main pages navigated sequentially in forward and reverse directions.
First page - information about satellites and the positioning parameters. It shows a sky map indicating the cardinal directions and the location of the satellites in the sky, the scale levels of signals received from the satellites, two numeric fields, to assess the accuracy of the coordinates and battery indicator. Evaluation of accuracy of the coordinates can be in terms of accuracy: EPE (Estimated Position Error - expected positioning error, measured in units of length specified) and DOP (Dillution of Precision - a decrease of accuracy). Both figures are calculated based on the number of satellites used to determine the location, their relative position and other factors and can quantify the positioning accuracy. In general, the information provided on this page to the orientation of the terrain has to indirect but very useful in cases where there is doubt as to the reception and the accuracy of the coordinates.
On the second page displays information about the parameters of the motion: 6 custom numeric fields, the horizontal scale of the compass, and the coordinates of the current time. The custom fields may display information about speed, distance to next waypoint, estimated time of arrival at the waypoint, course deviation, time of sunrise and sunset, and other conceivable alternatives. Setting the display information is made in a matter of minutes via the context menu of the page. In the context menu of the page there is an interesting feature: Average Position (averaging information about the location), which will set a waypoint with greater accuracy. This installation method uses multiple waypoint the coordinates of a period of time, followed by averaging them. By averaging the coordinates of the waypoint are having putatively higher accuracy.
The most obvious advantage of the navigator - the presence of the card. This card makes it easy to navigate the terrain and allows to focus not only on previously applied waypoint and using objects cards. Card assigned to the third page navigator. Basic cards in memory navigator, spans the globe and includes data on the network of federal highways. Navigator has a memory capacity of 1.44 MB to download more maps using MapSource. This fact was not left without attention, and I loaded in the navigator map of Moscow and the Moscow Region, which took about one-fifth of memory. There are maps for Russia, coverage areas where you can ask the vendor of GPS navigators.
Navigate on the map is quite simple: the current location is indicated by a black isosceles triangle, which indicates the direction of the apex of its movement, which allows us to estimate the location of objects relative to the card. The triangle is always in the center of the screen, and mapping substrate continuously moves as you move the owner of the navigator of the earth's surface. Periodically, when going beyond a certain portion of the card, built in memory of the navigator, moving map stops for a while and in the memory card is drawn new site. The process of building a new image of the card takes several tens of seconds, during which the old shows, a fixed map. In addition to maps, the screen shows the 4 data field structure of the data which can be selected by the user. In contrast to the page with information about the parameters of the motion, proposed a set of data is much more complete and includes information about following route: the direction of the target point, the estimated time of arrival at the waypoint and other results that you can get playing with the formula the way.
One of the main navigation pages devoted to the compass. The model GARMIN GPS III Plus does not have a magnetic compass, so the direction of the north is calculated based on changes in the characteristics of the received signal when moving the unit. The key point is the need to move navigator only when moving at speeds greater than 2-3 km / h compass readings are stable enough. Besides the compass page displays four customizable data fields and the arrow indicating the direction to the target waypoint. Incidentally, the target point can be selected by pressing just one button, no need to wander through the branches of the menu to perform this operation.
Value GARMIN GPS III Plus as a navigation device would be small, if he did not have the opportunity to build routes. Navigator is able to store up to 20 routes and up to 30 waypoints each. Navigation along the route can be done in both forward and reverse directions. Given the opportunity to make changes to routes - adding and deleting waypoints, edit waypoints of the route, change the order of the waypoints in the route. When following a route Navigator will indicate the correct direction, and at a deviation from the true course and determine it. All of these features do not seem anything unusual, but it is thanks to them it is convenient to use the navigator. Waypoints and routes can be stored and edited on a computer using MapSource, and therefore, the restriction on the number of waypoints (500), remembered the device, hardly ever reached.
Next simulator dedicated to driving on the highway. The page can be used to focus on areas with the passage of the route or movement to the target point. The picture on the page rather amusing - reminiscent of the early Races: here it is the road that I go, there they waypoints marked with inscriptions such as road signs. Probably, this mode is convenient when driving a car on the highway or on a boat on the water surface, but it is clearly inconvenient when traveling on foot. It was too small and the dynamics of change in the image is small it informative.
The next page is dedicated routes, nothing special in its design, I did not find. Traditional Garmin for a list of available routes and opportunities to edit it.
The natural desire of the owner of the navigator will be placing it on the dashboard of your car, boat or yacht in order to be able to use the navigation on long journeys. To implement this idea of the standard supply GARMIN GPS III Plus includes tape Velcro, popularly known as the "Velcro." Both parts of the self-adhesive tape, so the process of organizing an easily removable fixing does not take long and does not require special materials. Of course this is not the only "solution" offered by the manufacturer, there is an alternative, more convenient option - to use a special attachment, which can be purchased separately.
In general, GARMIN GPS III Plus made a good impression. Extensive, reliability and ease of use make it a great assistant avid traveler and adventurer.