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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of very shiny toys are trying to push their way onto the family Christmas list. Wondering if anybody out here has experience with any of these they can share:
  • Ipod Touch (or Iphone, specifically the web browsing aspect)
  • Handheld XM satellite adio receivers
  • Wife-friendly, in-car GPS (Tom-Tom, Maestro, etc...)
The reviews on the Ipod Touch are generally negative due to low memory size for media storage (not really MY core interest area) and limited/no ability to add applications (that one might sting).

I've never had a vehicle with XM, but I sure like it when I get a chance to play with it in somebody's car. Not sure if they have package plans where you can get your car and a personal unit online at a reduced price... (I don't know the difference between Sirius and XM - I use XM generically. Let me know if there's a big difference between the two).

Lots of choices in the GPS world and many that would be useful for me. However this one is not for me. Want the simplest to operate, easiest to understand for plotting a route and getting directions. And it needs to look nice and clean in the car - not like something I would take out on a fishing trip then snap into a holder when I got back to the car
.

Anybody got tips?
 

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Re: GPS -- my dad has a Garmin C340. The difference between the 340 and the 330 (at least at the time I looked into it) was that the 340 would add the street names to its voice annunciator -- "turn left onto I-540" instead of just "turn left" or "turn left in 100 yards".

The thing I did not like about his C340 was that it was difficult to preview the route. It was easy enough to tell it that I wanted to go to, for example, Briar Creek shopping center. But then it would just tell me to turn left or right onto Cary Parkway. In order to learn whether it's taking me via the beltline to glenwood, or toward the airport and 540, or some more obscure route, all I could do was zoom the display out. I don't see a way to zoom it in on any particular segment of the route.

This was relevant to us when we were on Oak Island -- we wanted to head up to Wilmington, I'm not terribly familiar with the area, and my wife was not in the mood to take the ferry. Unfortunately, the GPS wanted us to take the ferry. We wound up following it far enough to realize that fact, then we turned and followed my nose.

Fortunately, when you deviate from the route, it announces that it's "recalculating", and eventually will do what you want it to do. Unfortunately, it's sometimes persistent. When I went to Pennsylvania, I was headed 64 East to pick up I-95 -- it kept telling me to go back to Raleigh and take NC-50 north.

Hope it helps
 

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I use XM in my truck and had a personal XM radio that I used when I traveled alot. I enjoy the ability to listen to commercial free music and talk radio. It's also nice to listen to the same station no matter where you travel.

A word about the handheld, it spools content to listen to when it is off line as it requires line of sight to the satellite to deliver content. This is okay for short spells but because it doesn't work indoors, it really limits its usefulness.

If you just want portability but don't mind it being temporarily tethered to a car or other stereo - consider one of the XM devices that retransmit in low power over an FM frequency to your car or home stereo. They are cheaper and work well. This is also good if you want to do a quick semi-permanent install in a car.

XM does offer a break on the monthly rate for second, third and additional units.

They also offer a unit now that can tie into your multipurpose display on your boat and offer you up to date weather with radar, forecast, buoy data, etc. Excellent stuff. I can see your yak now.............
 

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Red X Angler
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I have the old Roady2 and the walkman kit you can buy that it snaps into that has rechrgeable batteries and the ant. id built into the headphones, as well as the home kit to hook it to your home stereo with remote control. I've used it for over 4 yrs in and out of the house and I love it!! The stuff is still available around Ebay but the newer stuff is better I'm sure... Truck I just bought has XM built in so I just added it to my account.
As far as GPS go Garmin! or TOMTOM both are suppose to be very user friendly with good support/service.
My buddy has an IPhone. He has had soft and hard-ware problems with it twice and had to send it in to be fixed. He says he should have waited for the next generation of IPhone before he bought it. Gives them time to de-bug.
 

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I can chime in on the subject of XM.

I have an older XM2Go that I've had for 2.5 years or so. (The newer equivalent model is the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Gex-Inno2Bk-Portable-Satellite-Radio/dp/B000KU0PCS/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1196638741&sr=8-1"]Pioneer Inno [/ame]

I love XM radio for two reasons.
1) You can find 'niche' music that is impossible to find anywhere on terrestrial radio, MTV, etc. (My particular niche of interest is underground hip-hop, which I'm sure is relevant to about .00001% of the posters on NC Angler :), but rest assured you can find any particular niche that you might want on there.

2) Major League baseball package. XM picks up a broadcast of every single MLB game. This is phenomenal for a transplanted baseball lover such as myself.

In deciding between XM and Sirius, biggest difference in my opinion is the lack of MLB on Sirius. BUT, Sirius broadcasts all of the NFL games. Howard Stern is a big draw for Sirius as well.

Here's another tid-bit if you are looking at the truly portable XM devices. XM radios pick up two types of signals, line-of-sight satellite signals and terrestrial repeater signals. If your home is not close to an XM terrestrial repeater, your device will almost certainly not pick up a line-of-sight signal from every nook and cranny of your house. When I lived in Morrisville, I was amazingly close to a repeater and I could wander all around my apartment, work out in the apartment gym, etc, and pick up a signal 100% of the time. When I moved, I get ZERO terrestrial signal. So now my device only works when docked and using the big 'home' antenna.
 

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Red X Angler
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When I lived in Franklinton ( which is a little north of Wake Forest) I had one of the car antennas sitting on a window sill and that got me the reception I needed. Now in Washington I do the same thing to get a solid signal but the Outdoor home ant. would be better I'm sure.
 

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I HAVE THE GARMIN 660 GPS, VERY EASY TO OPERATE, TELLS YOU WHAT STREET TO TURN ON, MP3 READY, ALSO PICTURE VIEWER, THE BEST PRICE I COULD FIND WAS Tiger GPS - Dealer for Garmin GPS, Magellan GPS, TomTom GPS, Lowrance GPS
YOU CAN BUY NEW OR REFURB.. CARRIES MANUFACTOR WARRANTY, BLUE TOOTH READY, CAN USE PHONE OVER UNIT, OR OVER STEREO SYSTEM. VERY GOOD UNIT.........CHRIS
 

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now As Far Xm Radio, If I Can Get Radio Free, Why Would I Want To Buy, I Can Spend That Money On The Tackle Monkey.lol............chris

Many asked the same question about cable & satellite TV. The answer is the same - quality of signal, convenience and more choices. Oh yeah and my favorite feature - NO COMMERCIALS! All for $10 bucks a month.
 

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I love all the talk radio and comedy, not to mention the great and unusual music choices. I got hooked when I was trucking and just kept it going..
 

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Oh yeah and my favorite feature - NO COMMERCIALS! All for $10 bucks a month.
I get commercial-free music by listening to non-commercial broadcast stations -- in my case, the niche I'm after is Contemporary Christian. I consider it a bonus that the DJs pray and interact with callers along the way. I had a rental car with satellite radio once, they had a Christian channel that played the same music, but after a day or two, I realized that the DJs didn't say anything besides introducing the song. I got this cynical impression that they only put the Christian music on in order to bait me into paying for a subscription.

So I got home and sent a donation to my favorite non-commercial station instead. :D I still have to deal with weak signals, but my favorite station now has ten repeaters in NC, so it's getting better quickly...

I realize that this niche isn't for everyone, and even if it is, either full-time or part time, you may have decided to go satellite -- doesn't bother me none, I ain't casting stones. Jeff asked for thoughts, so I'm sharing...
 

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garmin GPS are rock solid, got 2 in the house, and 1 on the boat could not survive the first year without them... Wife's got he nuvi350, super thin, small even use a walkable gps, I go tthe 340 and I bought that cause it annouces street names I am in sales and it helps trying to multi task inthe vechicle if you knwo what I mean
The nuvi is also very easy to operate and was just on sale at wally word for around 300, I paid over 700 last year for the wife, and i would do it again
just not to get that phone call I lost or I can't find the place
 

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I just got a garmin nuvi and it does everything I need it to and is user friendly enough. I don't know if it is all gps' but warn your wife that it will not tell you when a stop sign or light is ahead as mine ran straight through the intersection and luckily made it unharmed. Also I probably need to do an update because it doesn't recognize some roads and tells me to turn on imaginary ones as well but, I can easily press the detour button and it get's me where I'm headed. My friend has the one with the bells and whistles and they are nice for an extra $200, if you want to pay that. His accepts bluetooth and will upload your phone's contacts and allow you to call through it, maybe safer than holding it up to your ear.

I haven't played with the iphone's

XM for vehicles are great but as other's have mentioned the portable ones have their quirks. I know that there should be a model that you can have a mount in your car and it will also plug into a stereo or boom box for portability.

That's my two cents.
 

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I don't know if it is all gps' but warn your wife that it will not tell you when a stop sign or light is ahead as mine ran straight through the intersection and luckily made it unharmed.
Also doesn't tell you when another car is nearby, or whether it's stopped in front of you or not. :D They do all warn you to keep your eyes on the road, though, at least in the book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I got a chance to play with the ipod touch at a local Apple store today. Its definitely interesting. Very pretty, very thin and I kept getting better at it in the 15 mins or so that I played with it. I navigated to NCangler.com, logged in, sent myself a PM. Had a reply typed up for this, but got a little bold with some of the page navigation in their Safari browser and managed to lose my post.

I tried to add an image by linking to the apple site and copying the image location, but according to the sales guy there's no way to get a properties menu on pictures in their browser (no right mouse button equivalent) and no cut&paste. A little hard to believe, but I sure couldn't find it either. That kind of limitation keeps it in the toy category. But I won't complain if there's one in my stocking on Christmas morning.

Also played with XM radio last week on an extended test drive. LOVE it in the car (wish I'd had it on the trip to beaufort and back on sat - that's a lot of miles of scratchy/no reception), but the personal player doesn't seem like the real deal yet. At least not until they make pocket sized satellite receivers that shoot through auto, home and business ceilings and roofs.

I saw the Garmin Nuvi 350 for $350 at one of the major electronics retailers online sites. That one may be what Mrs Jeffonc finds under the tree...
 
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