Garmin has just announced an update to their very popular eTrex handheld GPS units. Updates include enhanced ergonomics, better user interface, expanded mapping capabilities as well as increased battery life (up to 25 hours now).
Part of the software redesign is to make the transfer of maps and syncing of way points considerably easier then older models.
Similar to before, the eTrex line-up includes three models that have been renamed. At the bottom-end of the lime, the eTrex 10 ($120) for is a basic GPS unit aimed at the budget conscious. It has a monochrome display designed primarily to tell you were you are and where the next waypoint is. The eTrex 20 ($200) adds a colour display and the ability to view topographic maps or marine charts. If you want an electronic compass and barometric altimeter then get the eTrex for $300.
Look for the new models to be available this Fall.
You might be interested in a couple free downloads we have in our Instructor Resource area (they are free!).
Photo Credit: Garmin
Did you know that the GPS system in the US could be a risk? The Coalition of Save Our GPS is concerned because the FCC recently issued a waiver for LightSquared to blanket the US with approximately 40,000 base stations to broadcast wireless broadband across the US.
The Coalition is concerned because the signal coming from the LightSquared satellite will be approximately 1,500 watts which could quickly drown out GPS satellite signals which hover in the 50 watt range. This could lead to deadspots around each tower that will be miles in diameter.
Reading through the coalition website, I’m realizing that it is a pretty technical problem and most goes over my head. On one hand I can’t imagine that the US army would allow anything to interfere with their technology but on the other hand the Coalition is made up of some pretty heavy hitters including:
Air Transport Association
Aircraft Electronics Association
Association of American Geographers
The Boat Owners Association of The United States
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
As you can tell, I'm a huge gadget lover. I mean, it's all I write about. I love this stuff!
You might remember a while ago I wrote about a really cool splashproof coating from a company called Golden Shellback for handheld gadgets like Blackberries, GPS's and cell phones. I'm excited to let you know that they have finally released prices and opened for business and you can now get your gadgets weather proofed now.
If you haven't see it in action yet, you need to watch the little video below where they demonstrate a functioning blackberry sitting in a glass of water.