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Handheld GPS System - The Power Is In Your Hand

May 21, 2008
Whether hiking on foot, traveling on a motorcycle, or a bicycle, consider a handheld GPS system to help you navigate your way. An increasing amount of motorcyclists, hikers and bicyclists depend on GPS technology aide in making their trips more efficient and stress free. It is easy to get confused when trying to determine which unit is best for you. After all, there are numerous makes and models to choose from.

How do they work?
GPS or Global Positioning Systems consist of a group of satellites that produce low frequency radio waves. These radio waves are sent down to Earth and picked up by your handheld GPS system. Once received, those waves in conjunction with your GPS unit help determine your location, speed, and estimated time of arrival.

Handheld GPS systems can be developed to adapt for use on your motorcycle, however they are primarily intended for use during outdoor recreational activities such as hiking. They may not be able to withstand harsh weather condition that you may experience while riding your motorcycle. There are several units that have been created specifically for motorcycle use. These may be a better option.

What should I look for?
One of the major factors you should consider is weather resistance. Seek out a unit that has been sealed against moisture, to prevent damp conditions from destroying your screen. Sealed units will also protect against dirt and dust.

If you are planning to use this unit on your motorcycle you may want to look for a unit that offers shock resistance. You would not want to worry about cracking your screen every time you went over a bump. Look for motorcycle specified mounts which will support the unit from all off the jerks and jostles provided by the road.

Another factor to consider is the sensitivity of the chip. The more sensitive the chip, the more likely you will be to receiving low radio waves. This may come in handy while navigating dense woods or in areas where there are tall buildings.

Also, ease of use, should be taken into consideration. You will find that the best Handheld GPS systems are touch screen operated. Which brings me to my next point, screen size. The larger the screen, the easier it will be, not only to view, but also navigate, especially for those of us with larger fingers. When testing screen quality, look at them in the daylight and from different angles. Some screens may be hard to read in bright daylight.

While you may feel overwhelmed with all of the functions that you will have to consider, you may want to shop around and ask a lot of questions. Handheld GPS systems are a bit of an investment and you want to know that you are getting what you pay for.
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