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  1. #1

    Default Streets and Trips GPS

    I have a copy of Micro$oft Streets and Trips 2006 on my desktop PC which I use to get an indication of mileage on my roadtrips. I've always been intruiged by the GPS feature that it offers but have never used it.

    Having just ordered a new laptop, I am thinking perhaps I should take it with me on my next trip and make use of the satnav facility. Has anyone used this themselves and is it accurate and reliable?

    Also, not having the GPS device to plug into the USB port, I'll have to acquire one of those. Can anyone suggest a reasonable quality device at a reasonable price? I've seen a few on eBay but they're not cheap and, unless I can find something cheaper, I think I'll probably look to buy the 'Streets and Trips 2007 with GPS receiver' pack when I arrive in the US, as it's similarly priced to a stand-alone receiver.

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Not sure if it's the best deal

    I'm not sure if it's the best deal, but as you suggested, it may be easier/cheaper to buy the updated version of Streets and Trips with the add on GPS. I know I plan to do this when I get a laptop (my next vehicle will be equipped with a mount over the passenger seat. I haven't personally used one, but I enjoy streets and trips enough to consider getting the add on GPS too.


  3. #3

    Default It's awkward but accurate

    I have the Microsoft packet with the GPS antenna. It's accurate but the whole set up is awkward with a laptop. I am assuming I'll take my laptop on any trips I take and using my cell and bluetooth will access my email and perhaps this forum with daily logs(?) I have a Garmin GPS I bought for my bicycle that is terrific but the screen is way too small. It's frustrating because it is so fantastic otherwise. I paid $400 for it. Prior to taking any trips I will pony up for a larger screen portable unit. For my money I'll probably stick with Garmin, I just think their quality is really special.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I love MS S&T

    But I just use it on my home computer and print out the information. This is great for getting on the road but doesn't help much if I want to change my trip while on the road. And my GPS is one for hiking without roadmaps so I can't use it for roadtrips. And, to be honest, I don't want to travel with all those electronics. Part of the appeal for a roadtrip to me is that it helps me break my computer/technology addiction a bit.

    Anyway, I have found using VZ Navigator on my cellphone to be quite helpful for routing assistance while on the road. It costs about $10 a month but you can just buy it for the month you're traveling and then cancel. There's no long-term contract.. So the cost is really pretty cheap in comparison to buying a navigating unit. Of course, it does use your minutes but I have a generous plan, no roaming charges in the lower-48, and the minutes don't add up as fast you would think because it doesn't use minutes the entire time it's on. It just uses minutes when it's downloading the route info....just a few seconds, really.

    I've really only done this for short routing information, like if I need to find a specific place and have gotten lost. So I've only purchased the $2.99 (or is it $1.99 one-day options when I've really needed it). I haven't used it for major roadtrip planning while on a big roadtrip. But it might be a viable option.

    So I'm guess I'm just throwing this out there to see if it appeals to anyone here or if anyone has more experience with it.

  5. #5

    Default "Arizona"

    I don't know all that much about laptops. Can I get a power adapter for my Dell (Or other laptops?) to run it from my auto?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default What you would need is an inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by holmancv View Post
    I don't know all that much about laptops. Can I get a power adapter for my Dell (Or other laptops?) to run it from my auto?
    Although most laptops run on D/C (similar to that used by your car) they operate on a different voltage and so you may have seen that bulky part of the A/C cord on your Dell power cord (that is transforming the A/C current into a voltage used by your laptop). Anyway, what you need is an inverter to transform the 12-volt current supplied by your vehicle into A/C and then the laptop can plug in there. Here is a great overview of the type of inverters available.


  7. #7


    Thanks for the link to that article, Mark, very informative. I am expecting to take delivery of my new laptop tomorrow and was waiting to discover the power requirements before going to the local store and picking up a transformer that plugs into the cigar lighter. However you have reminded me that we have a small inverter at work, which I will now be stealing for the duration of my trip LOL

    Incidently, I've just picked up a GPS device so I am all set :)

  8. #8

    Default Vehicle Power Adaptor for Laptops

    I have one of these

    It basically allows you to run your laptop from a vehicle without using an inverter. Works well. It can also charge my phone and charged my iPod when I had one. You just buy a new tip for like ~$5-6 for each device. RadioShack sells them also. Have had it for almost 2 years now and love it.

  9. Default Another Option

    I use a Garmin Legend handheld GPS unit which I use with TOPO!, the US national USGS map data base. As I drive, the GPS unit logs where I go, and I can download my route and visits to a a Topo map of the US. I was able to get 15' topo maps for the whole US for about $50 and for all of California for $50 to the highly detailed 7.5' maps. I typically download specific points of interest and way points from the topo maps to the GPS before I set out, and I've used it to find my way to places in the middle of the night.

    Problem with this handheld unit is that it's got only about a 1 1/2" screen, which is too small to look at while driving. But you can set it to a waypoint and it will show a pointer arrow and distance to go which is visible.

    Here's an exerpt from my last road trip (this last weekend) to Saguaro National Park near Tucson and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monumment on the way back. On the detailed maps, you can see which side of the freeway you were on... You can even see my short detour to the mine over look in the liittle town of Ajo if you look closely.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Two things to be cautious when using these devices

    Quote Originally Posted by jesseschulman View Post
    It basically allows you to run your laptop from a vehicle without using an inverter.
    Jesse, Thanks for the link. There are two cautions about using these types of products -- which as long as you know about them and don't mind the risk -- are good options for the more expensive inverters/converters....

    First is that they are not "truly" universal -- you need to purchase the correct adapter "tip" to plug into the various devices. Second, they provide no line balancing and there is ALWAYS plenty of spare RF and electrical discharges zooming around the powerpoint circuits -- such errant electrical activity can damage sensitive equipment. Which is why I always hook up any of my electrical equipment via a dedicated transformer -- if something untoward happens, the cord is damaged but not the laptop or GPS or etc....


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