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Reviews Categories | GPS receivers for APRS | AvMap Geosat 6 Help


Reviews Summary for AvMap Geosat 6
AvMap Geosat 6 Reviews: 11 Average rating: 2.7/5 MSRP: $495
Description: GPS unit for use with APRS
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.geosat6.com/
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N7VPI Rating: 0/5 Jun 30, 2016 17:05 Send this review to a friend
Dumped it after a week!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this GPS/APRS unit.
The first thing I noticed was that I couldn't get it to update.
Contacted Avmap via email and phone. Got a response about 3 hours later from someone named Miriam/Marion?
She was very rushed and almost rude, I was given the chance to ask questions one was why are they charging for map updates? She said they were $100 a year but since I had the 6 APRS unit they would be $50 a year. I told her that was ridiculous since Garmin their competition only charges a one time fee and will "eat their "Avmap" lunch, and she says "I'll pass it on...yeah like she didn't know. I then asked why my unit will not update and shows an error, to which she replied "our servers are down and they have been down but should be back up by tomorrow morning and that she would keep me actively informed and not to worry..." It has been over a week! Bad service! When I wanted to ask another question she said she was busy and had 2 more people to call and must get on it..."How RUDE"
So I used it for a couple of days. I tried to put in a address of a store I needed to visit and it would not let me enter it no matter how I entered it!
The icons on the screen are so small, good luck seeing the things!
I have a TMD-710g and got so frustrated that I didn't use the g6 with the radio and I am still not clear about needing a tiny trak since my radio is supposed to be compatible..

I found my smartphone is a better APRS unit than this POS!!!
The case is cheap in fit and is overkill.
I actually sent this POS back to the seller and bought another Garmin-Superior GPS WITH LIFETIME MAP UPDATES.

The icing on the cake:
THE GEOSAT6 APRS IS NO LONGER BEING SOLD, I wish I was told that when I originally purchased this POS.
Luckily it is in their store now and will be sent back to Avmap!!!

THE ONLY REASONS TO PURCHASE THIS IS FOR APRS AND YOU HAVE TO REALLY BE INTO BE INTO APRS and want to spend a lot of money, TO JUSTIFY PURCHASING THIS UNIT!!!

Otherwise good luck finding your way out of the proverbial bag.
 
K6SPS Rating: 2/5 May 4, 2014 03:13 Send this review to a friend
Buyer's Remorse  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the AvMap Geosat 6 with the wrong assumption on my part that it would be able to send and receive messages with my Kenwood TM-D710 (after all it has a built in TNC). After checking the website it now says I need to buy a Byonics TinyTrak 4 to make that happen. I also agree with other commentators that the unit has very poor satellite acquisition after powering down overnight. The speaker for the voice is very tinny and hard to hear and I would definitely say if you are considering this unit for navigation you would be better served to use a smart phone with Google Maps.
 
K8KVN Rating: 3/5 Nov 30, 2013 11:58 Send this review to a friend
Not a general purpose GPS  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought mine to work with my D-710 and APRS. in this capacity it is fine. The GPS functions are elaborate and customizable, but in the last month we've taken two trips and the search functions could not find the US addresses, one in Cincinnati and one in Ft Wayne. Their tech support is good, but the cost of the map updates is a real negative. This was not a factor on these trips, but I'll be saving my money.

My XYL's (a licensed ham) decision, "don't mess with it, get out the Garmin for travel." It worked fine.
 
WV0V Rating: 2/5 Jun 28, 2013 12:22 Send this review to a friend
Great idea, poorly executed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using GPS since 1995 and own several commercial units, Garmin and Magellan.

I purchased my AvMap G6 at the 2012 Dayton Hamfest along with my Kenwood 710a. My intention is to use it during Ecomm situations and general direction usage. Let’s start with the Pros for this unit.

Kenwood 710a integration – Unit comes with the serial interface cable and is easy to setup and get running.

APRS data display – Contacts are displayed with icons on the screen and tactical mode enables you to see full page of info on the contact. Intercept target mode is great for dynamically routing to a target.

Direction of travel – A new feature introduced was showing the last direction on travel for a contact if the contact had not beaconed for awhile.

Magnetic mount – Easy to remove the unit from the vehicle with only the serial cable to disconnect.

US support – Don W6GPS is an excellent resource. Don has posted several helpful videos and tips on YouTube, the G6APRS Y! group and his website http://www.geosat.us/

Now let’s look at the Cons:

Magnetic Mount – This unit is heavy, under moderate off road usage you might as well put it in the glove compartment. The mag mount cannot hold this beast under the mildest washboard let alone serious off-roading. The mag mount also uses the Herbert Richter (HR) European mounting standard. If you want to use a different mounting method you will need an adaptor like this one that will adapt it to the Standard AMPS layout: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00847J7M8/

Heavy – Did I mention this unit is heavy?

Touch Screen – The touch screen is older technology that actually requires you to push not just touch the screen. Not so great while you are traveling without a navigator.

No lifetime map update – with the advent of the smartphone and the ability dynamically update maps for essentially free. Manufactures’ like Garmin had to bake free upgrades into their products. The folks at AvMap have not tumbled to this yet and like the DVD based navigation system in my truck it is cheaper to buy a Garmin rather than upgrade.

Navigation – I have seen other reviews and reports that the maps are wrong or that the unit routes poorly. Quite frankly I never got that far. The menu systems is so poorly laid out an not intuitive at all that I gave up early trying to use it as a “one stop shop” for all of my navigation needs.

Upgrades – Unless you have the unit attached to your computer you cannot download upgrades ahead of time. I feel sorry for anyone with arthritis that needs to upgrade this unit with its 2 recessed reset buttons that need to be pushed/held in sequence. Why in the age of smartphones and MP3 players do companies like AvMAp still have an option to play music or view pictures on their crappy speakers and low resolution screens? Take that code out of the next release and free up some memory. Evidently some European models will allow you to watch TV while you drive and have a breathalyzer built-in.
Power switch – The unit has 2 power switches. The one on the bottom is the master that essentially disconnects the battery and completely powers down the unit. The switch on the side puts the unit into essentially sleep mode. The switch on the side is a small push button that is difficult to press and is just a poor design. The switch on the bottom is no convenient and when used the unit take several minutes to boot.

Satellite acquisition – After the poorly designed navigation menus and maps, this is the most disappointing feature of this unit. Sitting overnight in the same location in sleep mode the unit has sometimes taken over 5 minutes to acquire satellite signals. I really do not want to wait that long in my driveway idling waiting for the unit to catch up. I had the unit mounted just below the dash in my truck at first but then moved it to the dashboard to see if it would acquire satellites quick. Satellite acquisition was only marginally quicker at best in the new position. My 1996 vintage Garmin GPS II+ is faster at times from a cold start.

Conclusion:

If you want a small mobile GPS/APRS visualization tool for your Kenwood radio this unit is for you. If want to use it for navigation you are wasting your money. Personally I am waiting for the Windows 8 tablets to mature at which point I will switch over to APRSPoint and give up some of the features of the AvMap for a larger view and more navigation functionality. But for now I will run my 3 Navigations systems in my truck.

73’s from WV0V

 
AG2AA Rating: 2/5 Jun 16, 2013 02:42 Send this review to a friend
If you like being lost....  Time owned: more than 12 months
The AvMap works as advertised with it's APRS features. It is cool to be able to see other hams and other APRS stations. As a GPS navigational aid, I'm finding it pretty lacking. As some other posts have mentioned, the interface is pretty dated and cumbersome. The turn-by-turn directions rarely if ever find a good, direct route, compared side by size with a Garmin. If the APRS features are your primary goal, great. Buy this unit. If you need it to get you places in an unfamiliar area, buy a garmin instead.
 
VA7SNX Rating: 1/5 Jun 15, 2013 06:40 Send this review to a friend
Waste of good money  Time owned: more than 12 months
So I’ve bought an AvMap G6 April 28, 2012. Before writing a review, I wanted to have used it for a little while so I knew what I was talking about. I paid $399.00 US for my unit [MSRP is $499.00 US], initially had some problems with the software in the unit which was eventually resolved by Don ARNOLD - W6GPS, the US AvMap rep. Don was very good to deal with but it took quite some time to get me going (that is a story in itself and from looking at other reviews, it appears that I’m not the only one who had problems).

Anyway...I’m very new in the ham radio hobby but I’ve been dealing with compass-based navigation system and the Global Positioning System since it came out in the early ‘80s in a non-graphical environment. I bought the G6 because I also bought a couple of Kenwood TM-D710A radios and was told it would interact nicely with those radios.

I liked the size of the unit, its graphic-touch display, its ability to display information related to APRS, magnetic mount and the way the unit is powered from its active powered holder. Italian products are usually well made and of really good quality so I didn’t mind paying the high cost for this GPS compared to other GPS on the market at the time.

As a GPS company, AvMap has a lot of potential. The products they advertise on their website have a number of functionality which I’d like my GPS to have. Unfortunately, the other products they sell seem to only be available in Europe where they are very pricey for what they do. I bought and use the G6 in North America, both in the US and Canada.

After using the G6 for more than 14 months, I can say with authority that I would never buy another AvMap GPS for use in North America again. I don’t know about using this unit in Europe. My unit can’t find street addresses in neighbourhoods which have been established long before the Global Positioning System was developed in 1973. It mis-spells some of the street names that it does find. It cannot find some street or addresses in neighbourhoods which are less than 5 year old. The cost of updatig maps is out-of-this-world. My GPS allows me to play some video, images and audio files but the range of files that it can play and the size of the files it can play is very very limited. There are a lot of other GPS companies which sell GPS for a high 2-figure or very low 3-figure amount (a lot less than half the price of the G6), with a lot more versatility and features (lifetime free map upgrades, bluetooth cell phone connection, video file playback, weather, etc.)

Italians produce some of the finest wines, cheeses and food products. Their lifestyles and community values are the envy of the world. Their cement making, building and construction skills are also world renown. As far as building electronics, maybe they are in their infancy, maybe they lag behind in their technical skills but one thing is certain, the AvMap G6 GPS and its software are absolute crap.
 
VE3JSJ Rating: 2/5 May 9, 2013 09:25 Send this review to a friend
Works, but not 'state of the art'  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Please note that I am comparing the AvMap Geo6 to current state of the art GPS devices, such as iPADs and Android smartphones/tablets

Pros
Does indeed interface nicely with the Kenwood TM-D710 and TH-D72 handheld APRS equipped radios

Reasonable Battery life

CONS
Device is clunky, but I suppose you could put a positive spin on this and say it is 'strongly built' ! However, it is not useful for portable use with the TH-D72.

GPS sensitivity is very poor compared to newer Garmin devices. You will almost certainly have to consider using an external GPS antenna/module unless you are going to use it in an open field. Very poor compared to my Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Tablet

Touch screen is archaic. That means, not very responsive. Reminiscent of the first generation of touch screens. You really have to PRESS. Definitely do not do this when driving !!

Map updates ? Really does not compete with the update facility offered by Garmin, and of course iPAD and Android devices - of which the newest versions also access the GLASSNOS (Russian) "GPS" satellites.

No European Maps ?

Would I buy this unit again? Most likely not. I recommend others check out other possibilities. In the absence of anything better (at present, but that will no doubt change), you MIGHT be happy !
 
KC5OMK Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2012 09:32 Send this review to a friend
Don Arnold is a great support person!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The avmap is a little tricky when updating the maps, but with Don's excellent product service you won't go wrong with this product.
 
WD8GEO Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2012 09:05 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bough the AVMap to see other aprs stations position on the map. I recently purchased the Tiny Trak4 for use with the AVMap to send text messages via the G6 because its too time consuming sending aprs messages from the Kenwood D-710's key pad. WOW WHAT A DIFFERENCE, HOW EASY, and VERY EASY TO READ!!! We did have a little difficulty setting up the TinyTrak4, but with the assistance of Carl (W8KRF), Don (W6GPS), and Byon, from Byonics, we got it up and running.
Now that everything is running smoothly....AWSOME!!!!
 
AF4RK Rating: 4/5 Mar 14, 2012 07:45 Send this review to a friend
Very nice product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought mine at the Orlando Hamfest. I had no problem getting it working or mounted in my car. It's primarily an APRS device and has fantastic capabilities there. The only feature that is lacking is traffic info. According to the website, this is a specialty unit designed primarily for APRS and doesn't have the user base to support the traffic info feature, which would be very costly to implement. I find the display very accurate and the compass feature is something I really need. I have not had any failures while driving (power off, loss of signal, etc)
 
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