GPS Navigator

What is a GPS Navigator and How do you Choose One?

If you are shopping for a new GPS navigator, then you should know that there are many different types to choose from. The first thing to do is figure out what type of GPS navigator will work best with your needs. There are two main types of GPS navigators: car and handheld. Car models come in both dashboard-mounted and built-in varieties, while handheld models can be used on foot or mounted on bicycles or motorcycles.

What is a GPS Navigator?

Many drivers do not see a navigator, because any modern smartphone can replace it – just install one of the routing and navigation programs. In fact, a car navigator has some advantages over a navigation program installed on an electronic mobile device.

This device is designed as a small touch-screen monitor. A road map of a certain area is installed in the device’s memory. The driver only needs to specify the starting and ending points, and the navigation system independently creates several routes. The most important one is the shortest, and the alternatives may include areas where a traffic jam has formed or repair work is being carried out.

This device facilitates navigation in an unfamiliar city, especially at difficult intersections. Some models may provide additional route information. For example, this may be gas stations, cafes, or other objects important to the driver.

The main advantage of navigators over smartphones is that they work in only one mode – they track the location of the car and provide the necessary information that is important for the journey. The smartphone performs many additional functions in the background. For example, when someone makes a call, the navigation is disabled, because phone communication is the main function of this device. But even if no one calls while driving, the phone’s battery is discharged much faster or becomes very hot due to many running programs.

Device and Operating Principle

The car navigator consists of the following elements:

The mainboard, on which the memory module and the microprocessor are installed. This is the most important part of the device. The quality of the device depends on its technical component – what software can be installed on it, whether it has an additional function, etc.

  • Monitor. This is usually a touch screen on which the map is displayed and positions are set. When choosing a device, you need to pay attention to the quality of the screen. It must be created with IPS technology. The image on such a monitor is clearly visible even in direct sunlight. The analog made with TFT technology is much worse in this respect, although most modern models have a protective coating. This part is connected to the motherboard via cables that are joined into a single line (ribbon cable).
  • Power source. The battery capacity varies depending on the model of the device. Thanks to this element, the device can operate with the ignition off (in some cars, the cigarette lighter is also powered by the contact group). When choosing a navigator model, you should also pay attention to the battery capacity, as it consumes a lot of energy in autonomous mode (for this reason, the smartphone is quickly discharged).
  • A comfortable and high-quality case is an important part of any navigator. When buying a navigation system, you should pay attention to the strength of the case. Older models were made exclusively of plastic. During fast driving, especially on rough roads, the navigator can come off the holder by shaking (or the suction cup simply remains behind the glass to which it is attached) and fall off. To prevent the body from falling into small pieces in such cases, modern models have stiffening ribs and are rubberized. The more expensive type is resistant to dust and moisture. If the driver is engaged in extreme motorsports (for example, overcoming rough terrain or driving rallies), it is better to choose these options.

Externally, the Navigator resembles a small tablet or even an e-book. More expensive models have additional options.

Types of GPS Navigators For Cars

At the moment, a variety of navigators has been created. These are models for cyclists and wrist versions, as well as modifications for aviation. We are interested in a car analog, but in this case, there are several variants. The very first thing you need to understand is the difference between modifications for trucks and cars. Navigators also differ from each other in the method of attachment.

For Trucks

At first glance, there seems to be no difference between such devices, as a truck is the same car, only bigger. This is exactly the difference between navigators.

In every country, there are roads on which a truck driver cannot drive. Such sites are necessarily displayed in such truck GPS navigators. Narrow sections of roads, low tunnels, bridges and power lines, too small turning points – all these are very important parameters for large transport. In addition to the fact that the driver will be fined for violation of some restrictions, the transport simply can not pass somewhere or cause an emergency.

Such positions are definitely noted in the navigation systems for trucks. Some models also inform about the permissible axle load for a particular bridge or about prohibition signs for a truck. A motorist driving a light vehicle simply does not need these functions.

For Passenger Cars

Models for all other vehicles have no special options. They contain complete information that helps the driver navigate unknown terrain.

Modern devices warn of traffic jams and other problem areas. They can be coupled with a video recorder and other devices. Inexpensive car models, such devices are part of the onboard transport system, which makes the use of the device even more convenient.

Types By Assembly Method

This parameter is also important, especially if the car owner pays much attention to the interior. There are built-in modifications and a portable analog. The first category includes models that can be used instead of a rear-view mirror, radio band device, or installed in an empty console cell.

Some built-in devices are combined with other devices, such as a radar detector or a video recorder. Such changes are continuously connected to the electrical system of the vehicle.

The portable GPS navigator can be installed anywhere in the passenger compartment so that the driver is less distracted when looking at the map away from the steering wheel. So that the devices can be charged in long-term operation, they are connected to the cigarette lighter. Unlike the standard analog, the portable navigator can be quickly turned off and taken with you.

The device is attached with suction cups or adhesive tape. Some even use self-tapping screws to increase reliability. However, in this case, the disassembled fasteners can be expected to leave noticeable marks.