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December 23, 2007

Top 10 GPS Tips and Hacks of 2007

Top 10 GPS tips and hacks of 2007

Are you getting the most out of your GPS? Take a look at the 10 best GPS tips & hacks of 2007 and find out how to maximize your GPS.

OK, so some of these tips might void your warranty or cause malfunction if done improperly. This is the part where I say not to blame me if any of these don't work for you. Make these changes at your own risk.

  1. How to get text-to-speech and 6 million POIs on a Magellan Maestro 3100
  2. How to transfer an address book from one Garmin nuvi to another nuvi
  3. How to enable voice recognition on a TomTom GO 720
  4. How to customize the menus on a TomTom GPS
  5. Avoid a highway on a Garmin nuvi
  6. How to save your current location
  7. Install extra vehicle icons on Garmin nuvi
  8. How to save and transfer waypoints to a Nuvi
  9. How to recalibrate the screen on a Garmin nuvi
  10. How to capture screenshots on a TomTom GPS

1. How to get text-to-speech and 6 million POIs on a Magellan Maestro 3100

Magellan's Maestro 3100 ships with a small 750,000 POIs database and doesn't have text-to-speech. If you've got an SD memory card and are willing to void your warranty, here's how you can upgrade the Maestro 3100 to a full 6 million POI database and get text-to-speech too.

2. How to transfer an address book from one Garmin nuvi to another nuvi

  • Connect the nuvi to your pc and copy the /garmin/gpx/current.gpx file from the GPS with the favorites you want to duplicate.
  • Connect the target GPS and copy the current.gpx file into the same directory on the target GPS

3. How to enable voice recognition on a TomTom GO 720

  • You MUST have North America map version 7.10 AND you MUST have firmware version for the unit 2.221 to make the feature work.
  • IF you have them, then you create a text file (use notepad) called support_asr.dat that contains JUST the number 1. No other spaces, carriage returns or anything.
  • Place this file in your ASR folder on the unit.
  • You'll be good to go ... this is of course assuming your unit is a TomTom 720.
  • Now, on the unit, Navigate to-->Address-->Spoken Word (Dialogue)

4. How to customize the menus on a TomTom GPS

  • Ever wanted to reorganize your Tom Tom Go's menus? Want that special option on the first screen not 3 clicks in? Well you can. Here's how

5. Avoid a highway on a Garmin nuvi

  • You can't exclude a specific road or highway from a route, but you can tell the Garmin nuvi to avoid highways altogether: Here's how

6. How to save your current location

  • Garmin models: Tapping on the vehicle icon on the map screen allows you to save your current location, as well as view your exact coordinates and elevation.
  • Magellan Maestro models: tap on the direction icon in the upper left corner to bring up current location information, and the ability to save the current position into the address book.
  • TomTom models: Menu -> Add Favorite -> Next Page -> GPS Position

7. Install extra vehicle icons on Garmin nuvi

  • Step by step instructions available here (this was written as part of the nuvi 250W review, but it applies equally to all Garmin nuvi models).

8. How to save and transfer waypoints to a Nuvi

  • Start Mapsource and place your waypoint.
  • When you have named this and confirmed the details of the waypoint, save it. Do this by clicking File, Save as.
  • From the drop down list of file types choose a file type of .gpx. Save this file to your Desktop so you can find it easily.
  • The next step is to connect your unit via USB to your PC. Click on My Computer and then double click on the E drive.
  • A number of files and folders will appear. Double click on the folder gpx.
  • Now locate the .gpx waypoint save file on your desktop, and drag and drop it into the gpx folder on your E drive.
  • Disconnect your unit from the PC, and then switch the unit on.
  • To check your waypoint is present choose, "Where to?" and then "Favorites".

9. How to recalibrate the screen on a Garmin nuvi

  • On the Main menu, touch Settings -> Display -> Recalibrate
  • follow the on-screen instructions

10. How to capture screenshots on a TomTom GPS

  • Using your PC, create a folder named screen
  • Create an empty text file (using notepad or something similar) called capture.txt
  • Rename the txt file, erasing the .txt extension, so the new name will be capture
  • Copy screen folder and its content in main root
  • Touch the screen near the zoom in zone (+), it will create a screen capture file, complete with camera shutter sound effect
  • You can view the capture, saved in \screen folder as dumpxxxx.bmp