If you are using the HAiCOM GPS receivers with Destinator,
you don’t need to install any additional drivers, you can
just use the software that comes with the Destinator. Make sure
you install the software before installing the maps in the Map
To install maps, you will need to use the Destinator
CDs. The map and POI data comes on 2 CDs. You can install the map
data in 11 languages including Hebrew. Once the map application
is installed, you can launch the map console to start cutting maps
into smaller zones than the ones with pre-cut zones. The North
America Map includes 49 US States (not including Alaska) and Canada,
and it divides the maps into 9 zones (files). The largest map file
is 224MB and the smallest is 3.2MB (Hawaii).
The Destinator Map Console offers a unique feature
that allows you to cut parts of these 9 individual maps and only
to install the maps that are near your destinations and waypoints.
This feature allows users to save space on their Pocket PC by only
installing the maps they need. The map cutting process is very
easy, just use the Crop map tool and the application will save
your new map into a separate file. You can give the new map file
a name and short description, and it will show up on the Map Console,
ready for download. Once you've selected all the maps you wish
to download, you can load the maps onto your Pocket PC's internal
memory, memory card or your desktop/laptop computer.
The HAiCOM HI-204E mouse receiver is waterproof and
has magnetic on the bottom so that you can stick it outside of
the car window or sunroof for maximum reception. It has WAAS and
EGNOS support. If you want to know what WAAS/EGNOS are, read our GPS
FAQ. To star the GPS, you must follow the instructions, otherwise
your device might hang and the GPS won’t start!! Here is
the sequence you MUST follow exactly: plug in the cigarette charger,
plug the serial connector to the PDA device, launch Destinator
GPS status screen, set COM port to COM1, Baud Rate to 4800, Protocol
to NMEA, hit find GPS, finally plug the male and female PS2 connectors
The claimed cold start is 150 seconds, however the
test we ran faired much better. The HI-204E took about 30 seconds
to get a 3D fix (at least 4 satellites) in a cold start (never
started before), and only a few seconds for warm and hot starts.
It tracks 5-7 GPS satellites consistently in the Silicon Valley
area. The accuracy is very good without turning the WAAS support
on. With WAAS turned on, the accuracy should improve even further.
The CF HI-303MMF receiver is built on the SiRF Star
IIeLP chipset and can be folded or extended in 90 degrees. When
used with the Bluetooth Slipper, plug the CF card into the Slipper’s
slot; it will turn the Bluetooth on automatically. The CF receiver
is highly versatile not only because it can be used as CF receiver
or Bluetooth receiver, but also the mini-1394 Firewire port found
on the joint of the receiver and CF card on the HI-303MMF. The
Firewire port enables the CF receiver to work with laptops in addition
to PDA and other accessories such as solar power panel. Very good
design! If you use the Bluetooth Slipper, you can put the CF receiver
plugged into the base anywhere in the car that has good access
to the ski, pair your Bluetooth enabled PDA with the Slipper, you
are ready to get satellite signals.
As the mouse GPS, The HI-303MMF 204E took very short
time to start: 30 seconds to get a 3D fix (at least 4 satellites)
in a cold start, and a few seconds for warm and hot starts. It
tracks 5-7 GPS satellites consistently in the Silicon Valley area.
The accuracy is very good without turning the WAAS support on.
With WAAS turned on, the accuracy should improve even further.
Navigation of your travel routes is done on the Pocket
PC. You will need to load at least one map to run the Destinator
navigation software. Once you've installed the maps and received
GPS satellite signals, you can start navigating your routes. You
can input origins and destinations by entering new addresses, selecting
Points of Interest from the database, using contacts in your Contacts
database, or selecting destinations you've saved to your Favorites
and from History list. You can add waypoints and avoid roads in
your trip planning, however there is no option to select the types
of roads you wish to avoid. You must input either the type of roads
(highway, bypass, etc.) or the name of the streets you wish to
avoid manually. If you've already mapped out a route and wish to
avoid the streets on your route, you can just click on the road/street
names to re-route your trip. The trip plans we've created seem
on target. You should play with the options of quickest route or
shortest rout to find the best routing possibilities.
The options for viewing routes and directions are
extensive. You can view the route map in 2D, 3D or Bird's-eye view
and use the stylus to drag the map around. There is a very nice
sliding bar on the right side of the map for you to zoom in and
out easily, and you can also use the d-pad’s up/down controls
to zoom the map. You can change the color skin for daytime and
nighttime viewing. In addition, the Destinator software actually
allows you to add additional skins and voices. You can download
these skins and other files from Destinator's web site.
The Turn-by-Turn driving directions view will give
you a map view with next turn instructions and the Driving Directions
view will give you the entire trip turn instructions in text with
turn icons and distance between each turn. There is also a Show
Route view that gives you a map view of the entire trip as well
as a summary of the trip. If you miss your turns while driving,
Destinator will recalculate the route on fly. The recalculation
starts very soon after you've missed a turn and it takes only a
couple of seconds to give you new route directions.
The voice guidance seems very on target. The turn
notifications come on twice before each turn (one at 200 yards
to the turn; one at the turn). The voice guidance will also notify
you how long you will need to drive on the same road after a turn.
There is a nice option where you can turn on or off certain voice
alert prompts such as "over the speed limit", "Route
Recalculation", etc. as well as the visual notifications of
the alerts such as map flashing when an alert comes on. Destinator
also offers the ability to save your routes and play them back
Destinator licensed the NAVTECH map data for North
America and Western Europe. NAVTECH map data has one of the most
detailed map sources and is usually updated in the last 6 months
to one year. The North America map bundle includes street-level
maps and highway data for the 49 States in the US as well as selected
metro areas of Canada. The street-level maps and database from
NAVTECH include a large number of POIs (points of interest). They
not only get the most up-to-date material collected from all levels
of government, planning agencies, police and fire departments and
aerial photographs, but they also collect first hand data in real
time. NAVTECH has over 100 field offices staffed with over 400
analysts and engineers who drive everyday to collect data and feed
it daily to the live database. NAVTECH uses up to 150 data attributes
in each road segment that may affect the way you get from one place
to another. These road attributes are characteristics of the roads
and include road names, address ranges, turn-restrictions, one-way
Info, time of day restrictions, speed limits, and more. If you
wish to sample the map data, you can use MapQuest.com since it
also uses the map data provided by NAVTECH or check out NAVTECH's web
One of the fastest
fix times in both cold start and warm/hot starts. The receivers
receives strong signal in the Bay Area and consistently tracks
good number of satellites for accurate readings. The accuracy is
very good without the WAAS turned on, but having WAAS/EGNOS support
will improve the accuracy for the areas that might not get as good
of signals as we do here. HAiCOM receivers support most of the
PDAs on the market, even if you bought the serial version and changed
PDA, you can just get a serial cable to use the same receiver and
software. The CF and Bluetooth combined solution is a winning design!
The Bluetooth Slipper has a very large battery.
The BuyGPSNow.com bundles give freedom to those who
wish to shop GPS hardware and software packages separately.
The Destinator 3.0 has some impressive improvements
on guidance systems (both visual and audio) as well as map cutting
and compression capabilities.
No full operating
manual for a product that requires fairly technical knowledge.
You must follow the exact sequence of connecting the serial GPS
receiver, or your devices will hang. Destinator’s navigation
algorism still needs more fine-tuning because it still occasionally
routes trips in an insufficient way.