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Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

  1. #1
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Portable Car GPS w/Traffic


    Looking to get a new portable gps for my car...I donít want to run an app on my phone cause I like to listen to podcasts through my Bluetooth and I hate the interruptions...Iíd rather have it talk over the podcast than have the pauses...I also donít want to use up all my phone battery with my drive to work or have to plug it in all the time and burn up my battery...

    what company has the best traffic data?...I had lifetime traffic on my last Garmin Nuvi 360 (bought back in 2008) with a Garmin GTM 12 traffic antenna which I liked but it fell off the windshield one too many times and the case has popped open a few too many times...About a year ago I started using my wifeís Garmin Nuvi 1350 LMT with lifetime maps and traffic (since her car has a nav, bought in 2012) but I donít find the traffic data along my commute to be received by the antenna in the cable as fast as my old Nuvi 360 wire antenna...I drive 42 miles to work and travel through providence on the highway so Iíd like to get as quick/accurate traffic data as possiblethrough a portable unit minus any BS on screen ads...any help would be appreciated...thanks


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    Lifer
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Google Maps mobile app offers mute function. No more interruptions. I've had mine muted for a while. Although I realize that doesn't solve your not wanting to plug-in problem.

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    Google Maps mobile app offers mute function. No more interruptions. I've had mine muted for a while. Although I realize that doesn't solve your not wanting to plug-in problem.
    I use google and Waze from time to time as a backup but want a dedicated nav unit...i run my Garmin on my commute every time just for potential traffic rerouting


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    Member jimmycapp's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    I run waze with the audio set to alerts only. No navigation voice, just alerts for police, road hazards, etc.

    No help on the standalone side. Don't need another redundant device.

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    Lifer SwiftTone's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Many map apps will lower the music when giving directions, and will not mute the music.

    There is no issue with modern phone batteries of constantly on the charger.

    Google Maps has the best traffic data. Its crowd sourced and Google has the most users.

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    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Buy a cheap/older phone, use it for nav?

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Have several older Garmin’s. Still use a Zumo 665 in the Triumph. Have a Nuvi model for the car. Their traffic data is less detailed and older than Google Maps or Waze. Their newer models connect to a smartphone app - which defeats your purpose, I think.

    When I commuted to Westborough, Garmin would regularly show a tie-up at the 90/495 intersection at 10am, although it had cleared an hour or more before.

    There’s just no comparison with the Waze data - which is why Google paid $800 million for them....

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    Last edited by Garandman; 10-22-19 at 09:12 AM.

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    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Have you considered a front-wheel drive sedan with snow tires?

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmycapp View Post
    I run waze with the audio set to alerts only. No navigation voice, just alerts for police, road hazards, etc.

    No help on the standalone side. Don't need another redundant device.
    so it will only interrupt my podcast running though my bluetooth when there area alerts?...does that include backed up traffic and potential reroute options?

    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftTone View Post
    Many map apps will lower the music when giving directions, and will not mute the music.

    There is no issue with modern phone batteries of constantly on the charger.

    Google Maps has the best traffic data. Its crowd sourced and Google has the most users.
    from what i understand google owns waze but both google maps and waze cut my podcast when speaking...charging via usb in my car is useless cause it doesn't keep up with the battery usage from running google/waze so i would have to charge through an inverter which is annoying to listen to plus i don't believe it's very good for the battery and i already have a shit ton of cables in my car no need to add more...running my iphone 8 not plugged in is not an option cause the battery drains somewhat fast when running a google/waze

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    Buy a cheap/older phone, use it for nav?
    how does that work without a phone plan off wifi?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Have several older Garmin’s. Still use a Zumo 665 in the Triumph. Have a Nuvi model for the car. Their traffic data is less detailed and older than Google Maps or Waze. Their newer models connect to a smartphone app - which defeats your purpose, I think.

    When I commuted to Westborough, Garmin would regularly show a tie-up at the 90/495 intersection at 10am, although it had cleared an hour or more before.

    There’s just no comparison with the Waze data - which is why Google paid $800 million for them....
    yea i know the best option is google/waze but i'd rather not be chewing up battery life in my phone running it for ~2 hours a day for just navigation

    Quote Originally Posted by loudbeard View Post
    Have you considered a front-wheel drive sedan with snow tires?
    no i run all wheel drive with slicks...in reverse

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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    how does that work without a phone plan off wifi?
    You either need to preload maps while in range of WiFi, or put a plan on it. Something like a Ting plan would be $6 to $20/mo depending on how much driving you do.

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    yea i know the best option is google/waze but i'd rather not be chewing up battery life in my phone running it for ~2 hours a day for just navigation
    Same boat. Four of our cars have GPS but I wind up using Waze most of the time.

    • Sometimes I start up Waze, check for traffic jams, and shut it off. Learned several lessons about going anywhere at rush hour without checking traffic.
    • Waze has a setting for ďAlerts OnlyĒ in Sounds. So you get cop reports, for example, but not directions.
    • We use a charger for an iPad (2.1A I think) that charges the phone even while running GPS.

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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    charging via usb in my car is useless cause it doesn't keep up with the battery usage from running google/waze so i would have to charge through an inverter
    That seems odd. I'd be curious to know if that's typical, but I feel like a USB-12V adapter should have plenty of power. They aren't all equal though. Some don't put out much, even if they should. Either that, or your phone is consuming power at a surprising rate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    plus i don't believe it's very good for the battery
    If you mean it's not good to have plugged in all the time, that's more or less not true anymore and hasn't been for a while. But that belief won't die. General usage of the battery, as in discharging and charging does have an impact, but I'm not sure it's as significant of a factor as you may assume. Difficult to truly quantify.

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    You either need to preload maps while in range of WiFi, or put a plan on it. Something like a Ting plan would be $6 to $20/mo depending on how much driving you do.
    preloaded maps without a plan won't get you traffic updates though...i would need a plan so i doubt i'll go this route to avoid a monthly fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Same boat. Four of our cars have GPS but I wind up using Waze most of the time.

    Sometimes I start up Waze, check for traffic jams, and shut it off. Learned several lessons about going anywhere at rush hour without checking traffic.

    Waze has a setting for “Alerts Only” in Sounds. So you get cop reports, for example, but not directions.

    We use a charger for an iPad (2.1A I think) that charges the phone even while running GPS.
    i usually check google maps on my desktop at work before i leave work but the traffic can change within 5 minutes if there is an accident in providence...my 13 legacy doesn't have navigation...my wife's 14 maxima does have navigation and it sucks...the traffic updates don't even work and it's not worth paying nissan to try to update it cause it's pretty annoying anyway and her commute doesn't typically include traffic issues...i have an external battery pack that i could charge up and use if i wanted but i would have to remember to charge that to charge the phone

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    That seems odd. I'd be curious to know if that's typical, but I feel like a USB-12V adapter should have plenty of power. They aren't all equal though. Some don't put out much, even if they should. Either that, or your phone is consuming power at a surprising rate.

    If you mean it's not good to have plugged in all the time, that's more or less not true anymore and hasn't been for a while. But that belief won't die. General usage of the battery, as in discharging and charging does have an impact, but I'm not sure it's as significant of a factor as you may assume. Difficult to truly quantify.
    yea not sure but the usb port in my car sucks at charging my phone or anything really...not saying it's not good to have it plugged in all the time...i know the phone takes care of that when plugged into the ac wall charger...more that i thought it was worse to have it plugged into an inverter charging where dc is being converted into ac charging the battery too fast and heating it up, same with a dc battery pack...when playing a high use game or running gps the screen on an iphone will dim if it's getting too hot while charging and you can't put the screen brightness back up for protection...i've had this happen to me...i guess i would have to look into a phone specific adapter that has the right voltage and amperage...i've swapped batteries in iphones before and i'm sure i'll do it again with this phone at some point to extend it's life cause i'm cheap...so by the time i need a new one i'm sure they will be the size of a tablet and i won't be able to fit it into a pocket and will need a satchel/man purse to carry it around...i'd just still rather have a dedicated car gps

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    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    I don't know what is the best current, but the last GPS unit I ran in my truck was a TomTom and it had traffic which was pretty accurate. IF I recall, I ran it parallel with my Google Maps app and the traffic was pretty consistent.

    I just run Waze now, but like you, I find the charging does not always keep up with the discharge or it charges very slowly. I just upgraded my phone so hopefully that helps the situation.

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    I don't know what is the best current, but the last GPS unit I ran in my truck was a TomTom and it had traffic which was pretty accurate. IF I recall, I ran it parallel with my Google Maps app and the traffic was pretty consistent.

    I just run Waze now, but like you, I find the charging does not always keep up with the discharge or it charges very slowly. I just upgraded my phone so hopefully that helps the situation.
    i've been through 2 garmins now and would try a tomtom...i guess i'm really looking to see which company has the best traffic data/antenna and then whittle down the units sold by that company...maybe they all use the same traffic data provider...if that's the case it would come down to the traffic antenna design and how good it is at picking up the signals

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    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    On the USB front - Standard USB is 5v, 500ma. For most phones, that's enough to charge if the phone is otherwise not doing anything. GPS going, cellular modem going, display on, etc and it's very possible that 500ma is not enough to keep up with the phone's draw. Unfortunately, until you get to USB C there isn't an official protocol to signal power draw demands over 500ma, or for a charger to say "Oy, I can do more than normal output" so different mfgs have used differing schemes to support higher output chargers, and not all combos of chargers and phones will recognize each other, sometimes a 2.1a charger only ends up supplying 500ma 'cause the device plays it safe.

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    Lifer SwiftTone's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    My car's USB is has more than enough juice to keep it powered and charging for anything.

    You can get a cigarette lighter socket usb charger that's rated for higher amperage. the ones that worked well for me are 2.2-2.4amps. that'll solve your power issue.

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    Lifer
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    i know the phone takes care of that when plugged into the ac wall charger...more that i thought it was worse to have it plugged into an inverter charging where dc is being converted into ac charging the battery too fast and heating it up, same with a dc battery pack..
    Phone doesn't care what the power source is. It will regulate itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Point37 View Post
    when playing a high use game or running gps the screen on an iphone will dim if it's getting too hot while charging and you can't put the screen brightness back up for protection
    Playing a game likely uses a large amount of CPU. Combine that with charging a battery, which naturally generates heat, and you may run in to cooling issues. But I'd expect that to be an uncommon scenario.

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    On the USB front - Standard USB is 5v, 500ma. For most phones, that's enough to charge if the phone is otherwise not doing anything. GPS going, cellular modem going, display on, etc and it's very possible that 500ma is not enough to keep up with the phone's draw. Unfortunately, until you get to USB C there isn't an official protocol to signal power draw demands over 500ma, or for a charger to say "Oy, I can do more than normal output" so different mfgs have used differing schemes to support higher output chargers, and not all combos of chargers and phones will recognize each other, sometimes a 2.1a charger only ends up supplying 500ma 'cause the device plays it safe.
    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftTone View Post
    My car's USB is has more than enough juice to keep it powered and charging for anything.

    You can get a cigarette lighter socket usb charger that's rated for higher amperage. the ones that worked well for me are 2.2-2.4amps. that'll solve your power issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    Phone doesn't care what the power source is. It will regulate itself.

    Playing a game likely uses a large amount of CPU. Combine that with charging a battery, which naturally generates heat, and you may run in to cooling issues. But I'd expect that to be an uncommon scenario.
    thanks fellas...i'll look into a better 12v to usb adapter as a backup but i'm still looking for a dedicated car gps

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    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    I looked at a few Garmin units because I"m in the same boat. Wife and I share a 10g plan and to use it for traffic every day, or even just a few days kills my data. Garmin has some decent units that have built in traffic and "real world" directions, for instance, "Get in the right lane and turn left after the McDonalds" I thought that was kind of cool. But I haven't pulled the trigger on one. IMO it's hard to justify the cost since it will be obsolete in ~2 years and have who-knows-what support for the device later on. A larger data plan also costs a shit ton of money.

    As someone else said, right now I check traffic quickly before leaving and just try to avoid the red.

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by 01xj View Post
    I looked at a few Garmin units because I"m in the same boat. Wife and I share a 10g plan and to use it for traffic every day, or even just a few days kills my data. Garmin has some decent units that have built in traffic and "real world" directions, for instance, "Get in the right lane and turn left after the McDonalds" I thought that was kind of cool. But I haven't pulled the trigger on one. IMO it's hard to justify the cost since it will be obsolete in ~2 years and have who-knows-what support for the device later on. A larger data plan also costs a shit ton of money.

    As someone else said, right now I check traffic quickly before leaving and just try to avoid the red.
    garmin typically has lifetime maps and traffic built into the units now which i have been using...i could still run my old 2008 garmin unit still if i wanted but the lifetime traffic antenna wire that plugs into the unit (which is separate from the power wire) is shredded bare wire and doesn't work well anymore...that unit didn't have lifetime maps and i never updated the maps on it cause how often do the roads actually change configuration...although on the unit my car was driving over water every time i go over the i-way in providence cause it's still has the s-turns in the mapping...the 2013 garmin unit has lifetime maps and traffic and the traffic antenna is built into the power wire and sits on my dash but i don't find it picks up traffic data quick enough nor is it that good...i never update that map either (although i could) for the same reasoning...both would say street names but wouldn't do real world directions...

    if i could find out which company has the best traffic providing service and best traffic antennas that would narrow down my list to the units with one company where i would just have to choose features i want and read reviews but i can't seem to find much about this stuff...my first one lasted about 9-10 years and it still works but the traffic doesn't so i don't think it would really go obsolete that quickly...but maybe the newer stuff doesn't last as long cause cell phones are taking up the market?

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    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Take it with a grain of salt, because who knows how it's sponsored and promoted, but the wirecutter has been good to me buying household junk.

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-car-gps/

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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by 01xj View Post
    Take it with a grain of salt, because who knows how it's sponsored and promoted, but the wirecutter has been good to me buying household junk.

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-car-gps/
    Thanks...I’m def looking at just picking up a new Garmin...there is something wrong with the traffic subscription on this one...









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    Last edited by Point37; 10-23-19 at 08:36 AM.
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    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    online chatted with garmin and they said if my software is up to date then my traffic receiver cable failed and i would have to buy a new gtm 36 cable to replace my gtm 25 cable...i told him that my model is not on the compatibility list for the gtm 36 but he said that it's an error on the website and it would be compatible...$70 for a new cable or just buy a new gps...probably just going to buy a new gps...maybe i'll try to update the software again first though to see if that fixes it

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/10...09-02#overview


    they only have 2 traffic receivers on their website the gtm 36 and the gtm 60 hd...i think i will be wanting a unit that will support the gtm 60 hd cable so i get the best available info

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/cTra...eivers-p1.html

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    Last edited by Point37; 10-23-19 at 09:37 AM.
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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Portable Car GPS w/Traffic

    Look on eBay for a replacement cable, lots of cheap used GPS stuff there.

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