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GPS FAQs GPS FAQs

 

What is GPS

It stands for Global Positioning System. It is the position fixing system of the future, offering very accurate position fixing and superb dynamic responses 24 hours a day anywhere in the world.

Do I need to pay any other costs?

There are no other costs, except for batteries. No licence and no subscription.

Can I program it at home?

Yes you can, as long as you have power.

Where can I use it?

You can use it anywhere in the world provided the antenna can see the sky. Sometimes in valleys or built up areas you may not get a signal.

How accurate is a GPS?
Position: 15 metres (49 feet) RMS
Velocity: 0.1 knot RMS steady state

Can I recharge handheld GPS batteries?

Unforunately not, however you can use rechargeable batteries or on some models a 6 - 32 Volt power lead.
Fixed GPS need to be powered by boat battery and need to have the antenna mounted so it gets a full view of the sky.
Yes you can do your programming of waypoints at home as long as you have a power source

Can I use the maps GPS without buying maps?

YES you get a basic background map
If you need maps for the gps sets [ie 180/235/225] these will be offered on line in the future

The fixed GPS can be directly wired to a modern autopliot via nmea input/output and can assist to steer the boat with the course you have programmed into the gps. With a power data cable you can do this with a portable gps set. We need to know which set you have or are going to order. Please email us, click contact us

If you buy a fixed gps with abuilt in antenna you have to use it in an open boat.

If you buy a gps/sounder combined you will be given a transom mount depth transducer for the depth which may be able to be fitted in hull and the signal will shoot through a single skin grp boat

We do advice that you do not cut or shorten the wires for the transducer or the antenna.

Do not rely on the gps as a sole means of navigation. Always read the fitting and instructions for use.

Differential beacon receiver can be used in some areas to give slightly more accuracy by gaining a land based signal as well. fishermen surveyors and divers may use these to pinpoint a position, but now selective availability has been switched off, the accuracy is between 2-5 mts ,so not many people require these differentials. If you do wish to have a differential we need to know which set you have and where do you wish to use it.Between 250-300. Please email us

Fixed GPS

For fixed gps refer to the portable details for some screen images to give you an idea of what you see.

The fixed gps has a larger screen, in most cases and much clearer to view from a distance

The fixed gps are powered by the power supply on the boat/vehical mostly 12volts and come complete with the powerlead which also has the nmea data transfer so the gps can talk to your autopilot and radar and for dsc vhfs which will be able to give your position to the rescue services and other shipping. In theory you could set your boats course for the intended destination and the gps could tell your auto pilot to steer the boat all the way, including many legs of the journey.

However in practise the gps is not supposed to be used as the sole means of navigation and it will only take you in a straight line[as the crow flys] and it does not watch out for other shipping or hazards.Dont forget to navigate around obsticles with dog legs.

The fixed gps either comes complete with built in antenna which must see the sky,[ so only to be used on open type boats like ribs and dories etc] or the gps will come with an externally mounted antenna which can be mounted outside whilst the set in fitted inside the boats deck. Most sets we offer will come with a flat mounting base for fitting. You can buy a rail mount base for 24mil tube.

Most of the sets are waterproof for external mounting

Most of the sets have a built in plotter screen and some [map plotters 162/168 ] have a background world map which enables you to see your position in relation to the coast.

The higher range map plotters [tracker 900 and garmin 180/185/230 etc] have the option of taking chart cassettes which you buy which have detailed navigational information for the area you require. These range from approximately 60-230 to account for small and large scale, and areas. These are currently not available on line.

All of the sets come with a fixing bracket [ flush mounting is optional on some models]which you can remove the set and take it home for security and home programming provided you have a suitable power source.For using and programming at home you will require a powerlead from the set and a battery or powerpack to run it. The garmins have the option of a mains lead to fit the set.

You will not need the antenna at home unless you use it outside and want to know your position.

Both garmin portable sets and fixed sets have the option of having a pc kit. This is a cd rom which you can do your navigation on a background map [ whether on a map gps or a non mapping sets ]. Load waypoints, routes and much more on your pc and download the required detail into your set.

For sea use, buy the cd rom worldmap and on the fixed set options we include the pc cable with the cd rom.

For land use, buy the roads and recreation cd rom featured as an option with the portables, You will need to buy the pc cable with all the portable sets [except emap/streetpilot/gps3]

The fixed and portable gps sets have man overboard or mark position option

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