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Ahead of Time With My Treo 650 GPS

Over the past few weeks I have spent most of my time testing and getting to grips with the new Treo 700w which I have used almost exclusively to make calls while travelling in San Francisco and Las Vegas as well as checking my email while on the go.  However, for all other things my Treo 650 has remained my most trusted device – particularly as I’ve continued to use my TomTom Navigator GPS solution extensively while driving around throughout this trip.

I arrived in San Francisco on December 30th late in the afternoon just as one of the worst storms of the past decades was hitting California.  I already had some forty sleepless hours on my clock and now to top it all off I had to drive an additional four hours up north to Mendocino where I would be spending the New Year with friends.

I picked up the rental car, fitted my vehicle mount to the windshield, plugged my small handheld Bluetooth TomTom GPS unit to the charger, launched TomTom’s Navigator software on my Treo 650.  I then selected my “Navigate To…” destination which provided me with an estimated “fastest route” plan of 4.05 hours and 265km to drive.

Considering the stormy weather conditions with pouring buckets of rain at night combined with the fact that I was a tourist and had never previously driven this route my friends optimistically expected my drive to take at least five hours and possibly six.  I was tired and the thought of adding time to my journey by either getting lost or having to drive slowly to get my bearings definitely did not appeal to me.

This was certainly building up to become one of the best tests that I could imagine to determine just how good a travelling companion my TomTom GPS can be.  Time of departure: 4.21pm.  ETA: 8.26pm.

Light rain takes me out of the airport and through San Francisco to make it across the Golden Gate bridge on to US 101 northbound.  Ten minutes past the bridge my car first gets pounded by massive winds followed by a fire hosing of pouring rain.  My windshield wipers are on max and my visibility has decreased by about 50% with my headlamps barely covering the road ahead.  Luckily there’s not too much traffic and I can maintain a good speed on the fast lane.  I’m definitely at the center of the storm.

A little under two hours later my trip is about to get even more interesting and fun as I jump onto Highway 128 to drive some 100km across a park and mountain range which will take me through the towns of Boonville and Philo.  For starters I am now almost completely alone on this road, it’s pitch dark, the road is littered with leaves and branches that have fallen with the heavy rain and every so often I keep seeing “Flooded” and “Slide” signs warning me of impending ‘problems’ ahead…

Because I didn’t rent a four wheel drive, for additional control and traction I shift from automatic to manual transmission and keep gears on 2 and 3 for the remainder of the trip since I really don’t want to find myself at the bottom of a ravine particularly as there’s zero cell coverage in this area.  I keep checking the TomTom Navigator screen to make sure that I’m still on the right track and to get a reading on my ETA and remaining distance to travel. 

In the meantime, where my first leg through the park road at least had cat’s eyes to guide me in the darkness the second leg has nothing more than some fainted yellow painted strips which quickly disappear around corners, hills and the increasing fog.  At one point I almost hit a small bridge and at another a tree as my turn is too wide.  I should probably be stressed but I honestly can’t remember the last time that I had this much fun driving and I get flashbacks of rally driving on PlayStation.

Eventually I make it out of the park without a scratch and on to the road bordering the coast to Mendocino.  There’s still no wireless coverage so I can’t call my friends to let them know that I’m about to arrive but then again I don’t really feel like stopping or slowing down because I just want to get there ASAP.

Finally.  Time of arrival: 8.03pm – 23 minutes ahead of ETA.  I ring the doorbell and the door opens to my friends’ stunned and incredulous look.  Not only did I get there ahead of time to not miss a succulent dinner but I managed to do so on a route that I had never travelled and in the middle of one of the worst storms to hit the area.  I couldn’t help but spend the rest of the evening with a massive grin – so happy that once again my Treo and TomTom GPS had made my day.

(Please note that a slightly cheaper but nonetheless very good GPS solution for your Treo is the Palm GPS Navigator solution which also includes TomTom’s excellent Navigator software as wel as a bundled windshield cradle and dual charger.)

Treonauts always have something to cheer about


Posted by Andrew on January 13, 2006 at 04:29 PM

Treo 650 Accessories , Treo Accessories , Treo GPS

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Comments

26
by Cinder | Apr 2, 2006 9:29:59 PM

BTW I had a similar problem to Yaara when I installed the Tom Tom app and map on my SD card. I had to take the card oput and reinsert it a couple of times before the app started running. But it's a mute point because the activation code is rejected. This is a very user UNFRIENDLY application as far as installation goes.

27
by Bruce Miller | Apr 3, 2006 7:26:59 PM

"1) Every time the application is launched a legal notice is displayed, requiring you to tap "I agree." I haven't found an option to disable this screen..."

I agree this is annoying, but I've noticed that the Car Navigation Systems do the same thing.

Talk about "Ahead of time", this weekend I used Tom Tom to get me to a campsite. It took me right through some roads that were not even built yet! Good thing I've got a 4x4!

28
by Tina | May 25, 2006 10:56:26 AM

I just recently joined the "TomTom" club and have to say I absolutely love it. Don't get me wrong, it has some glitches, but so far they've been an amusement rather than an annoyance - for example, the map for my area (Maryland) is very up to date... in most things... but while it includes a fairly new (well, completely rerouted) road - complete with recognizing the roundabout - it doesn't recognize where said road crosses a main one, even though the crossover point was pre-existing! But every time I run into this sort of thing I just giggle and remind myself that this is what I get for going with a developer who's predominently focused in the UK. All in all, it was a great investment - even my husband, who fussed when I told him I'd ordered it, is having a great time experimenting with it everytime we get in the car.

29
by Nizam | Aug 1, 2006 6:47:27 PM

Treonauts... I need some help.

Everytime I use tomtom on my Treo 650, it switches off after a few minutes (as though the phone is idle and would normally switch off anyway). I am 100% sure it didnt do this when I first bought it. I think it happened after I first upgraded the software. I dont really have hours spare to mess around with hard reset on my Treo and starting again. Any suggestions?? Anyone else with same problem - can you work out why/when the problem started? Please help, i can hardly navigate myself anywhere (well... I can; I have to sit there, or get someone to sit there with the Treo in their hand and press something every couple of minutes so the screen doesnt switch off). I've gone into the Treo power settings but it only gives you the option for auto-off after 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 minutes. you cant switch the feature off (besides its a good feature to have at all other times!)

many thanks
...Nizam!

30
by Rob | Aug 15, 2006 10:28:56 AM

In answer to the "Auto-off" problem and TomTom, I found a neat app for the Treo that will replace the power settings. Here is the link. http://software.treonauts.com/product.asp?id=1902

Just download it and set it to always on problem solved

Enjoy

31
by Ari | Dec 6, 2006 11:38:57 AM

Hi. First time poster- sorry if I'm missing anything on protocol but could use some advice. I have a treo 650 and am trying to figure out how to use my bluetooth headset while still navigating with gps. As far as I can tell from reading and trying it you can't use two bluetooth devices at once, so I was thinking a wired GPS might make more sense but I can't seem to find one. The Holux GPslim SOUNDS like it has a wired option but I can't figure out if it will work (or any other wired receiver for that matter). Can anyone help?

I'm quite fond of the TomTom navigator six software I've been trying so something that works with that would be great. Err... speaking of which, does anyone know if I there a way to move the SD card based stuff to a bigger card so I don't need to keep swapping it out every time I want to use the gps? (or is it hardcoded to the card it came with?).

Thanks a lot!
arijw

32
by nevin | Apr 19, 2007 9:48:03 PM

Hi,

I just bought tomtom 6 for use with my treo 680. It came with a preloaded card, so install was a snap. I would also like to use it on my wife's treo 650. Does anyone know if tomtom allows this? i tried it out but it wont accept the same activation code (that i used when i installed it on my treo 680. I recall reading somewhere that tomtom allows installs on 2 devices..does anyone know how i can do this?

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