User Comments on the NavMan GPS designed for the iPAQ and Palm Computers

1)  Why you picked out the GPS you did.

 While there are several GPS units that work with handhelds, the Navman
is specifically designed to fit the iPAQ, Palm etc. I have a new iPAQ
3850, and the Navman fits, literally, like a glove. Info is available at

 2)  What you like about your choice.

The design and form factor are marvellous. The unit is just a little
thicker than the standard CF card sleeve, yet also contains a CF card
slot, as well as grooves that slip over an excellent windshield bracket.
Unlike so many other GPS units that require the bracket and external
power cord to be purchased as extras, these are packaged with the unit.

 3)  What you do not like about your choice.

Three things. It is intended for use in a car or on a boat where 12 vdc
is always available. Thus, for hikers, useable time before recharge is
just over 2 hours because it feeds off the iPAQ battery. (That said, at
least a couple of companies offer accessory power packs that more than
triple independent useable time.) It would also be nice if there were a
way to feed the Navman's signal into a laptop. However, much more
important than the foregoing,  system performance - at least for the unit I had
- was unacceptable. To be fair, comparing notes with 4 other people who
have the same hardware combination, it's clear that satisfaction levels
vary considerably. Of the 5 of us, 3 report they are happy, 1 moderately
frustrated, and then there's me.

 4)  Your experiences in using your GPS receiver.

During several walking tests in clear view of the sky, my Navman had
difficulty acquiring more than 4 or 5 satellites - the most was 7 and
that was only once - and the signal strength bar charts in OziExplorer
CE indicated 50-65% only. Even more aggravating, the Navman routinely
lost the satellites and sent so many errors to the mapping software that
maps and charts simply scrolled off the screen. Navman Support's comment
is "The GPS needs four satellites to determine a fix and it outputs
identifiers in its NMEA sentence if it has a good fix.  The map should
not be trying to place you unless the GPS is indicating a valid
position. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions in
the future.Thank you for your patience." In the car, of course, the
problems were more severe. Although I downloaded the latest driver from
the Navman website and had helpful exchanges of e-mails with Navman and
with the developer of the software I was using (OziExplorer CE), I could
not resolve the problem of the disappearing maps. Among the 5 of us it
seems either my problems have been more acute or the others have higher
tolerance levels.

 5)  Does your GPS perform as you expected.

See above

 6)  How is the manual?

There is no manual. The unit comes with minimalist instructions printed
on 2 sides of a half sheet of standard paper. It is, in fact, plug and
play, and the website indicates clearly there is no accompanying
software since the Navman must be used with a mapping program that will
include the necessary GPS interface. Nevertheless, it would have been a
lot easier to have had at least generic instructions.

7)   Other comments. Navman's support unit is quick to respond and
helpful. This piece of equipment is beautifully designed and executed. I
simply don't know why one of my friends and I have had the problems
described above, nor does either Navman or OziExplorer. My friend still
likes his unit and is buying a re-radiating antenna to see if that will
help. I became so frustrated that I returned mine without difficulty.

Questions?  Comments?  Garrett Lambert