Aftermarket Navigation System Installed (with pictures) [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Aftermarket Navigation System Installed (with pictures)


eMass
03-29-2003, 05:21 PM
Here's some pictures of my Magellan 750 NAV installed in my Element...

http://home.comcast.net/~derek-kelly/element/nav/nav1.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~derek-kelly/element/nav/nav2.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~derek-kelly/element/nav/nav3.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~derek-kelly/element/nav/nav4.jpg

Misc. notes:

I bought this unit specifically because it worked so reliably in all the Hertz rental cars I've driven (Hertz has installed these in over 50,000 of its rental cars!). In my experience the unit works as well if not better than others costing twice as much and you don't have to rip your car to shreds in order to install it.

My job requires a lot of driving - it has never let me down and I've been using these units for almost 3 years - the maps cover the entire US and Canada (no extra charges for zones) plus since it's got a hard drive for storage, there's no DVD's to swap!

The LCD is bright and crisp and the voice prompts are clear and concise. It's accurate to within a tennis court sized area which I feel is pretty acceptable.

The customer support is great too - when I had the unit deinstalled from my Montero and put in my Element - something happened to my GPS antenna - Magellan sent me out a replacement free (they cost over $100 retail)!

This unit is the best $1500.00 I've ever spent - I haven't regretted it one bit.:D

Best,
eMass

XCElement
03-31-2003, 11:59 PM
Nice work (again). I'm waiting to use my laptop setup with one of these..
http://www.delorme.com/earthmate/
With the software needed for it, one should be able to overlay vehicle location on some nice 1-m aerials I have of the sierra nevadas...at least for me.
XCE

eMass
04-02-2003, 12:55 PM
[quote:416a2fb189="XCElement"]Nice work (again). I'm waiting to use my laptop setup with one of these..
http://www.delorme.com/earthmate/
With the software needed for it, one should be able to overlay vehicle location on some nice 1-m aerials I have of the sierra nevadas...at least for me.
XCE[/quote:416a2fb189]

That USB GPS module is cool but i don't see how it could work inside the E if the item pictured...

http://www.delorme.com/earthmate/images/emate_100.jpg

...acts as the antenna.

The roof would simply block the signal too much.

Do they offer any sort of antenna extension?

->eMass

RickLee
08-03-2003, 11:42 AM
You put the Delorme antenna in the front of the dash. Works great. It comes with a suction cup which will attach to the bottom of the windshield to hold it in place. If you try to use the antenna in the main passenger area, it will not work at all... but in the dash with all that glass over it, it works fine. I bought a USB extension cord so I can use the laptop in the back seat if I choose too.

I heartily endorse the Delorme product. If you already own a laptop computer, this is a SUPER solution for GPS for only 130 dollars. It's FAR BETTER than a dedicated GPS unit because you have such a huge screen to display the map on. The only problem is, you have to have your laptop out and turned on to use it... you can't just reach over and activate it like you can a dedicated unit.

raydoug
08-03-2003, 01:23 PM
I use a handheld unit that I was able to buy for around $150. It just lays on the dash and has no problems finding the necessary satellites; I can easilly glance at the unit while I am driving. What I don't like about these units is you have to take your eyes off the road to view and use them. :lol:

RickLee
08-03-2003, 02:15 PM
Yeah, I try to be safe but there's no question that it's dangerous to keep looking at the screen while driving.

The Delorme system will talk to you and verbally tell you when your next turns are coming up if you have a route programmed in. This helps somewhat, but it's really tempting to keep looking over at the screen. I usually have the laptop sitting on the passenger seat. It's best if you have a passenger to do the navigation, but it still beats the crap out of using paper maps and trying to figure out where you are. Using a GPS system fundamentally changes the experience of travelling to new locations. To the people who are reading this who have never used a GPS system, try to imagine what it would be like to know your exact location on a map AT ALL TIMES.

It just occurred to me that I've never attempted to suction cup the GPS antenna to the sun roof glass. Hmmm... I wonder if that would work.

NC-B17A
08-05-2003, 12:28 AM
I will agree with eMass the Magellan750Nav is a very good value. I hate Alpines nav because the only thing it shows in Birmingham is interstates.
I installed a Pioneer nav today & I really liked it. The pioneer had just as much info or more then the Magellan.

pharaohxiii
08-18-2003, 09:19 PM
I went with a Portable Navigation unit so I can use it in all my vehicles. It also has "trail maps" so I can use it on my ATV. Plus, it cost hundreds less than the Pioneer and other similar in-dash or installed units. Check out my website below and let me know what you think?

jimxenus
08-31-2003, 09:17 PM
I have a PocketPC so I decided to get a GPS system that would work with it. I ordered a Compact Flash version that came with a vent mount. I'm not too keen on vent mounts but decided to give it a try anyway. On a few trial runs, I've discovered that the Element's near vertical windshield does not lend itself very well to GPS units unless the antenna is placed either outside or towards the back of the dash. I didn't want to get a windshield mount so I decided to get an external antenna.

_kovert
12-22-2003, 02:46 PM
[quote:1f5cc8ef75=" "]You put the Delorme antenna in the front of the dash. Works great. It comes with a suction cup which will attach to the bottom of the windshield to hold it in place. If you try to use the antenna in the main passenger area, it will not work at all... but in the dash with all that glass over it, it works fine. I bought a USB extension cord so I can use the laptop in the back seat if I choose too.[/quote:1f5cc8ef75]

I am thinking about getting one of these but I really don't want it hanging out on my dash. Is there any other location it could be mounted in the E that would be more out of sight?
Could it be mounted externally?
Or maybe on the rear sunroof?

Or has anyone seen a unit like this that could operate from anywhere in the car?

RickLee
12-22-2003, 03:00 PM
The antenna comes with a suction cup (which you stick to the windshield to keep the thing from sliding around on the dash) and I have thought seriously about trying to stick it to the sunroof but I haven't gotten around to trying it. You could probably attach it to the sunroof somehow (duct tape) and it would presumably work. The thing is, the unit needs a good unobstructed view of the sky. If it's underneath sheet metal, it's NOT going to work and presumably NO gps antenna is going to work underneatch sheet metal. Heck... these things don't work that well under a leaf canopy in the woods. Glass doesn't seem to pose a problem but I'm not entirely sure if the tinting on the sunroof would cause a problem or not. I have seen installed gps units which have nice little tasteful black antennas glued to the roof (kinda look like a hockey puck).

_kovert
12-22-2003, 03:55 PM
[quote:e3458e3a00=" "]I have seen installed gps units which have nice little tasteful black antennas glued to the roof (kinda look like a hockey puck).[/quote:e3458e3a00]

Interesting... do you think it would be possible to connect an alternate antenna to this thing?
Something with a bit longer cable that I could "hopefully tastefully" mount on the exterior.
Sorry for all the questions, just that I don't actually have one of these of my own to look at yet.

Thanks

rhsieh
12-22-2003, 04:51 PM
anyone tried this one?

http://www.magellangps.com/en/products/product.asp?PRODID=955

i too, agreed, 50K installation on Hertz cars cannot be wrong. the only problem i have with 750NAV is the lack of portability. i do have two cars....

Magellan RoadMate is suppose to based on the same system with true portability. Is it true?

eMass
12-23-2003, 09:23 AM
Dont like the 750NAV portability? Then get the 750M, it's the same thing except it's portable... :D

http://www.magellangps.com/en/products/getImage.asp?DATAID=8058

Also, if you want a cross between total portability and totally hard wired Magellan offers a second car kit for the 750NAV, if you'd prefer to go that route. You just take the brain between cars and they sell you two displays. They even offer something they call a mobility kit which allows you to convert a 750NAV into a 750M.

http://www.magellangps.com/en/products/getImage.asp?DATAID=4297

Options, options, options... :lol:

IMHO, Magellan has the best aftermarket solutions. Period.

BTW, the RoadMate is based on the 750 technology but is more of a handheld unit. Actually I would compare it with the Garmin StreetPilot type of units.

_kovert
12-23-2003, 09:27 AM
That does seem really cool. But I really need one that will work with my laptop. I guess I just need the GPS part not the display.

jimxenus
12-26-2003, 11:10 PM
I have since upgraded my Compact Flash GPS unit for a Bluetooth unit. This allows me to be completely wireless and I can mount my PocketPC anywhere or even have someone else in the car use it. If your laptop does not have Bluetooth, then you can easily add a $40 Bluetooth USB dongle to add that functionality. After that, you will need mapping software and some way to mount your laptop.

RickLee
12-26-2003, 11:17 PM
OK, so I finally tested the Delorme GPS antenna affixed to the sunroof and it works great. I don't know if the suction cup will hold for the long haul or not. I may rig up a little clip (with that glue you get to attach the rear-view mirror to the windshield) to hold it in place. It'll be better there than having the cord hanging down the dash. I got a USB extension cord so I can have the laptop in the front or back seat or wherever.

MikeQBF
12-26-2003, 11:56 PM
>I have since upgraded my Compact Flash GPS unit for a Bluetooth unit.

Which BT GPS do you have, and what's the battery life like?

FWIW, I used a Garmin iQue 3600 on the long road trip I mentioned elsewhere. It worked great once I learned to unplug the external GPS antenna when the E was parked, otherwise the GPS circuits would stay active and run down the iQue's internal battery when the car was off. The (stupid!) 12V outlet being switched on and off with the ignition was a real pain.

For those familiar with Garmins I had the iQue version of their bean-bag mobile mount. It didn't want to stay put on the dash above the speedo pod, so I had to put it on the floor in front of the console. While the iQue has a built-in antenna, I used an external antenna placed at the very front of the dash center. Placed there it would acquire satellites in seconds, versus a minute or two with the built-in.

The iQue was incredible as a self-contained nav system, and is pretty tough to beat for $400!

jimxenus
12-29-2003, 01:35 AM
I have the Fortuna "Clip-On" Bluetooth GPS. It uses a replaceable Nokia-type lithium battery which lasts about 8 hrs of continuous use. For longer use, I could plug it in but that means another wire hanging down from the dash.

rbone100
01-20-2004, 10:05 AM
I purchased the Delorme Earthmate on Thursday 1/15/2004. I live in Philadephia, PA and was driving to Snowshoe, WV (Snowshoe Mountain) on 1/16. On the trip up I followed another person who had been there 3 times. (Over a 8 hour, 500 mile drive) While following my bandmate I was also testing out the GPS and felt very comfortable with using it. It was great driving on a road that I have never been on and to see how the upcoming road winds ahead on the computer. On the trip home I was the first ones to leave for home. I fired up the GPS and started driving home. Needless to say that the Earthmate gave me a completely different route... Which saved me about an hour and 100 miles. I did loose the GPS signal from time to time due to the mountains but the device picks up as soon as you get the signal back. When I didn't have GPS signal (Driving in a valley between two gigantic mountains) you can still hit the F5 button for your next turn and the device will tell you where you should turn. I then switched to the turn by turn screen and followed that until I got GPS signal (Out of the mountains). I was extremely impressed with this device for it's $99 cost! Just make sure that you have the 2004 version of the Street Atlas. I was lucky and the Earthmate kit contained the 2004 version and not the 2003. :D

RickLee
01-20-2004, 10:41 AM
>> I was extremely impressed with this device for it's $99 cost!<<

Yep... if you already own a laptop (and who doesn't?) you own the expensive part of a GPS system. All you need is some software and a little bitty antenna. I'd like to point out one thing (if I didn't already in this thread)... while it's really cool to have your GPS installed in the car to use all the time, having it on a laptop provides you with a display screen about a thousand times better. I've used the in-car jobs in Hertz rentals before and while they do work, it's pretty frustrating looking at that crappy little screen when I'm used to looking a huge hi-res 1600x1200 screen on my Dell... with a tiled display with a zoomed out map on the left and a close-up detail map on the right. Never get lost again!

CRCError
01-20-2004, 02:25 PM
I've used the DeLorme Earthmate for almost a year now and just got the upgrade from the 2003 atlas to the 2004 version.

Mounting locations in the E that I have tried:

Dashboard - attached the suction cup to the top of the dash right above the radio. Works great.
Passenger side rear door window - works greta there. I put it there when I don't have a passenger so I'm not tempted to monkey with the laptop. I put the laptop all folded up into the pocket on the back of the passenger seat.
Rear sunroof - This spot seems to work the best. However I have had issues with the suction cup losing adhesion and falling down. I have noticed if you kinda "jam" the receiver under the latch for the sunroof it stays up much longer.

Someone asked if you could use a different antenna.. Not with this setup. The little yellow receiver is an antenna and it sends the "NMEA" info down the USB cable to the computer.

However, there is an available Bluetooth upgrade for the Earthmate for those that don't like cable/have a bluetooth enabled device. The EarthMate also works with many handheld PDA's that support bluetooth.

Signal aquisition seems to take a long time sometimes. 1-2 minutes long that is. But I've also been able to get a successful signal lock inside my house. Interesting enough, my XM Roady also works when my E is in the Garage with the door down. :)

Which brings me to my next point. Some people have reported interference between the GPS units and certain XM radios.. I've not had any issues with the Earthmate/Roady combo.

Last but not least. Accuracy. I've found in some areas that the maps in the 2004 version have been off by a significant amount. 5000+ feet off. But, I've also noticed these same areas are off in "Photographic Topographc Maps" like your see at... Keyhole.com I think it is. On some of these maps you get the option of overlaying road data over a aerial phot of the same region. In the areas where the Street Atlas 2004 maps are off... the maps on the aerial survey are incorrect, too. Seems like whoever is responsible for the initial road surveys in these area just didn't give a damn about accuracy. :)

Well that's my 2 cents worth... I'd certain buy the Delorme Earthmate combo again. In fact, I did... I was a dork once and was experimenting with an external mounting option for the reciever. I had it sitting on top of the E in the gargage. I decided not to leave it there since it did not have a magnetic bottom and I was not convinced it was watertight. My wife took the E to work the next day... a couple days later we were going to go on trip and I couldn't find the receiver.. then it dawned on me... I left the antenna on top of the E the night I was messing with it.. So it got blown off when my wife drove to work... hehe... stupid eh?

-CRC

rinpoche
01-20-2004, 03:05 PM
This is my post from a related thread.

Here is my plan.

HP4155 IPAQ.
-I need one anyway for stuff, contacts, etc.
-Comes with wireless 802.11b and Bluetooth
-can get updates and can hold more info than most stand alone GPS.
-can use as mp3 player too.


Mounting PDA Cradle made for Element
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&category=33695&item=2455165685&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT

Bluetooth GPS.
-Mounted in back and plugged into rear power source.
-Antannae runs up and next to radio antannae
-wireless connection to IPAQ.
http://www.socketcom.com/product/GP0805-406.asp or maybe a cheaper one..there are a few out there.


Cool features:
1. PDA is multifuntional and you can take it out of the car anytime, easily.
2. GPS can stay mounted in car, possibly a permanent install, out of site.
3. Any bluetooth phone can connect to the gps too. Example: You could call someone and know exactly where they are, i.e. kids etc.
4. PDA integration: you can simply select one of your contacts from outlook and get voice directions immediately.

Yes, this costs more than most GPS stand alone, yet it can be a permanent install and no one would know it was there. But the cool factor is unbeatable.

BigFoot
01-21-2004, 05:36 PM
Here's a current review of the Magellan RoadMate 700.

We thought Garmin's StreetPilot III was the best vehicle-navigation system, but Magellan's RoadMate 700 has raised the bar.

The good: Accurate directions; strong satellite fix; hard drive has large database; easy to use.

The bad: Expensive; CompactFlash card not included.

http://reviews.cnet.com/4505-3490_7-30588536.html

Bill in Houston
01-21-2004, 09:37 PM
[quote:b8519037c9=" "]OK, so I finally tested the Delorme GPS antenna affixed to the sunroof and it works great. I don't know if the suction cup will hold for the long haul or not. [/quote:b8519037c9]

Didn't you learn anything in 3rd grade? Lick the suction cup first. :lol:

Budman
03-01-2004, 03:31 PM
I can recommend the Earthmate. Works amazingly wel.

Here are some pics to my setip in case anyone is interested:
http://www.BudCAD.com/Element.htm