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Satmap pros and cons
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py6km
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you get any mapping with a satmap; it all costs extra (significant amounts too). However, the mapping is true OS mapping, as opposed to raster type maps on Garmin devices, and is superior in detail.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do get a base map covering the whole of the UK which shows major roads etc, for the detail the OS maps offer at either 50K or 25K you need to purchase additional map cards.
These can range from 29 for a county map at 50K scale to 99 for a duel scale 50K / 25K of on of the select areas such as the Lake District or Peak district.
The new option via the web site is to purchase a custom map at 25K scale locked to your chosen location and area of coverage, I ordered one of these yesterday and it arrived this morning - look at the SatMap Web site for further details on mapping options - Mike
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Paul_ffitch
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The advantage of getting proper OS mapping on a unit which is properly rugged and designed for walkers should not be underestimated. It's not a question of not having to carry an OS map any more, -as you should always carry a paper map and compass when going on any route where getting lost would be more than a mild inconvenience. But being able to see exactly where you are with the clarity and certainty you get with your position being plotted on a proper OS map, is a huge advantage compared to lesser non-OS mapping. The difference when walking a route using the Satmap unit becomes immediately apparent.

I started this thread with a discussion of advantages and disadvantages, and you will have seen the various replies. Overall, I must admit that there was a point where I was uncertain whether to return the unit or not. However having thought long and hard, and having read all the various threads on this very useful forum (thanks Mike) I have decided that I am happy to keep it, and do not regret buying it. I believe it will do what I need it to do, and do it well, in spite of the niggles that have been discussed above and elsewhere. It is overall a very good GPS/mapping combination for walkers (and, it seems cyclists) and I look forwards to using it on many upcoming walks.
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Physicist
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The base map that comes with the A10 will be of little value unless you stick to roads or lanes. If you are content with 1:50k OS mapping you will be able to purchase the entire country on two SD cards for around 170. The 1:25k mapping is much more expensive as you can see from the Sat Map web page.

If this is your first GPS receiver you will be delighted with it as it will keep a track of your path in virtually all conditions you are likely to encounter (though not in deep tree-covered gorges). You will also find it very simple to use. Remember though that it is designed for the walking/biking community. It lacks the sensitivity to be used in 'concrete jungles'. Nor should it be used as a car navigation system.

I came to the Active 10 via the Garmin 60CSx which is about the same price, locks on faster and functions better under extreme conditions. It also is more 'geeky' and allows you to set a wider range of parameters to your liking. The screen size is smaller though it can be read more clearly with the back illumination turned off (a big saving on batteries). However the choice of UK mapping is limited. The entire UK is available on a single DVD (approximately 120); the scale is very variable with the contours shown at 1:50k resolution though with the rivers and streams shown at 1:10k (so say Garmin) - enough to show you virtually every puddle! Garmin also claimed the tracks come from 1:10k OS mapping. Users will tell you that the track mapping is the most frustrating part of Garmin Topo; tracks stop and start for no apparent reason and some clearly visible tracks dont appear at all on the screen while other clear tracks are not included. Were Garmin to sort this out I would only use the 60CSx. Conversely, were Satmap to improve the sensitivity (I do walk in places where I lose signal) and the lock-on time when you move to a new area of the country (I want to move off as soon as I am kitted out) I would only use the Satmap.

My impression is that many of the complaints about the Active 10 come from SIRF-III equipped Garmin or Magellan users. Those who are new to GPS seem much more satisfied. Everyone is less than happy with the current lack of route uploading from a computer on the Active 10 though this should (so they say) soon be rectified.
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TheReverend
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gents, thanks for your comprehensive reply. I have emailed Satmap, but have yet to receive a response, so I'll call them and ask about the development path for the next few months to find out which issues they will be addressing. With the purchase price and OS map costs, I'd like to make sure they're improving the product and similarly not likely to disappear!! Thanks again.
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py6km
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Physicist wrote:
....Conversely, were Satmap to improve the sensitivity (I do walk in places where I lose signal) and the lock-on time when you move to a new area of the country (I want to move off as soon as I am kitted out) I would only use the Satmap.


Thanks for your info, this is useful for me as these are the two devices I've been comparing. Having had a Road Angel Adventurer 7000 I'm used to proper OS maps, so I think a Garmin would be a step back for me in that respect, especially for what I would use it for (not really interested in planning routes or uploading/downloading them). I got rid of my Road Angel mainly because the battery life was rubbish, the satnac was awful, and I hated the way the touch screen was so clunky. I decided to get a proper dedicated car satnav, and a proper dedicated outdoor machine - the RA 7000 was really a amateur hotch potch of the two.

However, the sensitivity of the SatMap could be an issue.

Is anyone who's used a RA 7000 and a SatMap able to comment on the relative performance between the two in this respect? If it's at least as good as the RA 7000 (which wasn't perfect), that'd be ok. I found my RA 7000 was fine getting a fix in an area it was 'used to', but when you move somewhere else in the country, and then switch it on, it could take a very long time to get a fix. I think this is because it stores data relating to the position of satellites where it last had a fix, and assumes that it will be in that place again when it's switched on again. If you're not, it gets confused, and takes a little longer to get fixed.

Presumably, if this is the case, the Satmap may be the same, in which case I'll just need to remember to switch it on slightly earlier than I otherwise would have, eg in the car on the way to a walk or whatever.
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smego
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too would be intrested in the reply as I was about to but the RA Adv7000

I find the Satmap to be too poor to use and the mapping a pain in the arse. I cannot find ANY other rugged gps, why somebody doesn't take a Mio168 - modenise it, add a battery back up and then make it as rugged as the Satmap then I would have my perfect sat nav, full tom tom and full Qoi or MM os....!

Is there such a product ANYWHERE???
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The RA Adventurer 7000 isn't even in the same ball park. memory-Map is good but the unit itself is dire and does not lend itself to use out and about.

What do you dislike about the Active 10? So far my experience of the unit with the latest firmware has been entirely positive?
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IanHibbert
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren,

Any chance of a quick 'heads up' in advance of your full review i.e. hiding non active routes, battery charge status etc.

Thanks
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes indeed, one of the things I will be doping soonest is to summarise the changes over the previous version and analyse what improvements and fixes have resulted.
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smego
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having had Richard show me the unit, I found the gps fix slow and unreliable. I also don't like the fact I cannot buy the 1:50000 maps on one SD card and add all the 1:25000 I want to due to how their licensing works.
I also have been following their development schedule and testing (inside knowledge) and although I admire what these guys have set out to do I am not convinced they have enough financial backing to really take the produce range forward..

...just my opinion.

I would also like to have a unit that I can also run Tomtom or similar on as well.
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IanHibbert
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smego, I'm afraid your post makes no sense to me - the SD cards are simply the hardware necessary to enable the unit to read the OS maps and nothing to do with licensing, that refers to the deal Satmap have with the OS and restricts for example Memory Map import (no issue there, that's down to the OS). They are not software locked as users can exchange map cards.

The TomTom is a hardware unit so you can't run it on the Active 10! Did you mean similar software? GPS lock I find excellent and within 2/3 mins, others with GPS lock issues will likely have a faulty unit or have their woes cured by the new firmware upgrade.
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smego
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IanHibbert wrote:
Smego, I'm afraid your post makes no sense to me - the SD cards are simply the hardware necessary to enable the unit to read the OS maps and nothing to do with licensing, that refers to the deal Satmap have with the OS and restricts for example Memory Map import (no issue there, that's down to the OS). They are not software locked as users can exchange map cards.

The TomTom is a hardware unit so you can't run it on the Active 10! .


No Tom tom software is just that and can run on a normal pda
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Brian
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
The RA Adventurer 7000 isn't even in the same ball park. memory-Map is good but the unit itself is dire and does not lend itself to use out and about.

What do you dislike about the Active 10? So far my experience of the unit with the latest firmware has been entirely positive?


This seems to be the trendy thing to say, virtually everyone on the SatMap forum complains about how their A10 performs, can't pick up satellites, can't keep a fix, no decent software available etc etc. I know you want to stick by the gadget you've spent a fortune on but take a look at the following thread ..

http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=62694

.. everyone here who owns and uses the RA7000/Memory Map combo regularly is entirely satisfied with its performance (the only constant complainer seems to be py6km who probably had a duff unit), it does what it designed to do brilliantly, getting a fix is easy and following a route is easy and foolproof.
If the Satmap did what it was supposed to do (and worked flawlessly!), then it would be a good unit, but unfortunately it is flawed - I don't believe any firmware updates is EVER going to make it pickup satellites anywhere near as good as the RA7000 - its got a crap aerial fullstop. So don't take your frustrations out by rubbishing the RA7000 .. its a damned good unit !!

Despite some initial reservations (after a few negative remarks by the odd person) I went ahead and bought the RA, and now I have since found how good it is (especially with MM) AND considering how others have complained constantly about the Satmaps performance I feel I've definitely made the right choice.

Roll on the bandwagon jumpers .....
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Darren
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
So don't take your frustrations out by rubbishing the RA7000 .. its a damned good unit !!

If you are going to quote me at least quote me correctly. I don't have any 'frustrations' with the Active 10, I have a review unit that is running the latest software and so far has worked very well.

If you are happy with your RA 7000 then great but my opinion differs. I do not make 'trendy' comments, my comments are made based on my opinions having used both devices.

In my opinion the RA 7000 is not a serious competitor. the Active 10 is a single purpose dedicated device that has been designed to be used by gloved hands etc. The RA is a cobbled together solution of a second rate navigation application and Memory-Map. I'm a big fan of MM but in this implementation it is slimmed down and lacks essential features. Requiring a stylus for input is not suitable for the majority of serious users and that is but one of many other constraints.

Of course others will differ in their findings but having evaluated both I am simply speaking as I find Smile
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