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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.
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WX4BB Rating: 4/5 Feb 8, 2012 16:09 Send this review to a friend
Mostly good, some functions not intuitively obvious,  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was all set to give a rather horrendous review of this product, as mine 'had some issues' when I finally got it installed and operating. It seemed to take a long time to establish its position, and would not remain powered up.

It was only recently that I got it into service, but I purchased it at the 2011 Dayton Hamvention, along with the Kenwood D-710. I bought the combo because they are supposed to be designed to work together, and actually they do that fairly well, once you get everything set up right.

After fiddling around off and on for a couple of weeks with it, I had managed to keep it in operation for a sum total of about 1 hour - I was getting seriously frustrated, until I got in touch with W6GPS, Don, whom I will hereafter refer to as Mr. AvMap. Once I had explained my issues with the GPS unit, he agreed to make a little detour on his way to Orlando, to meet me and help with the problems. It turned out that the power problem is a known issue - some of last year's production managed to leave the factory with defective mounts and cables that didn't exactly fit. Don supplied me with a new mount and new cables, and would have even performed the needed software update, but Wendy's wi-fi wasn't cooperating, so I agreed to handle the update myself. After he performed a software update on the Kenwood, we parted company and I promised to let him know how it all worked out.

The Avmap unit found its location fairly promptly once it was sitting on the dash where it could see the sky a little better, and off I went headed for home. Along the way, I asked the gps to find me a gas station, and it missed by a bit, but I will give it the benefit of the doubt due to the lack of the software update. It picked a good path home for me. It was not showing APRS stations along the way, which puzzled me until I realized that a couple of settings on the radio had changed. When I figure out how to output the stations from the radio to the GPS, that will work too. (It was working before everything 'went south' in the first place.)

This GPS would have received 5 stars if it weren't for just a couple of things -- it ships with a mount which rather precludes it from being used on the dash, a rather oddly-shaped gooseneck affair that is much more visible when mounted on the transmission hump. The new mount took care of that problem. Another little trouble (which may be no trouble for some folks) is that it displays (and announces) using the metric system. Now, I can multiply kilometers by .6 in my head, but I shouldn't have to do it every time I read the display - it would be nice to have the option of working in miles instead, but I have found no way to do that.

Once the unit is in a suitable location, visibility is very good, and it switches to a dark background for night-time use. You can select a scale for your map view very easily, as the touch screen is quite sensitive. Menu access is pretty easy and intuitive, with an extensive database of 'points of interest', including gas stations, motels, restaurants, etc.

As described above, customer support is terrific. My initial email to Don was returned promptly, and he got back to me very soon on the couple of occasions when he was not immediately handy. I will not promise that he would drive to your door, but he is dedicated to customer satisfaction, and it shows. Garmin never treated a lady so well.
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