Practical GPS Tracking Gadget Features You Should Look Into
Shopping for a GPS tracking or navigation system for your vehicle can be an overwhelming experience, what with all the options available today. And with so many features listed for every unit, it’s impossible not to feel confused when selecting one for your ride. So to help you navigate through the shopping maze, here are some of the features you should look into:
With a voice command prompt, you don’t have to divide your attention between the road and the GPS control buttons. This means increased road safety as you get directions or enter an address into the screen menu.
Putting in a built-in battery into a GPS tracking and navigation device that you can plug into your vehicle’s electrical system may seem redundant, but it’s actually a very practical feature. A built-in power source allows you to use your car’s power port for other devices such as a mobile phone. It also lets you pre-program the gadget even before you get inside your car. This is especially useful if you regularly plot a route when traveling to an unknown destination. And if you don’t like wire clutter on your car’s dashboard, a battery-equipped GPS device is a good investment.
Another feature known for its practical applications and benefits is the antenna. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp or hike, you’ve probably experienced losing a GPS signal while driving. With an antenna, your chances of re-experiencing this situation are lessened. Now if you’re an urbanite who loves to discover hole-in-the-wall restaurants, you don’t have to worry about tall buildings interfering with your GPS signals.
Data storage capabilities
With a GPS device that features a memory card slot, gone are the days when you have to stuff your glove box with paper maps. Data storage capabilities allow you to store maps, routes, directions, and other information into the GPS device, making it a truly all-in-one navigation system.
There are other features worth a second look, but this list should give you an idea on what to look for in a GPS tracking and navigation device. With the right features, every buck you put into this gadget is a good investment.
Install an In-dash GPS Tracking and Navigation Device in 4 Steps
With the right GPS tracking and navigation device installed on your vehicle’s dashboard, finding the right route to your destination is just a few clicks away. And if the navigation device is equipped with all the right features, you’ll also be able to get updated information on the nearest fuel stations and even real-time traffic-congested streets. So once you’ve got your hands on a high-quality in-dash GPS device, make sure you’ve installed it properly. Here’s how (instructions may not be applicable to your specific vehicle):
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Panel tool
- Crimping tool
- Wire stripper
- Ratchet and socket
Step 1: Disconnect the car battery. Because an in-dash unit will require you to tinker with your car’s electrical system, disconnecting the car battery prevents short circuits.
Step 2: Remove your vehicle’s stereo system panels. Using a panel tool, remove the panels around the stereo system. Check your car manual when figuring out which panel to remove because this will all depend on your vehicle make and model. Depending again on your car make and model, you might need to remove other dashboard parts in order to properly install an in-dash GPS system.
Step 3: Connect the GPS device’s wires into your car’s electrical system. Depending on your preference and skill level, you can either run the wire throughout your vehicle’s interior or use a wire harness, a tool that lets you easily connect to your car’s wires without having to install additional wires throughout your car’s interior. If you choose to run the wires without a harness, keep in mind that you’ll have to wire the GPS device into the speed sensor, the backup light wire, and to the battery. You can connect the wires through butt connectors, soldering, or crimp connectors. Wiring this device into your car’s system is the trickiest part of the installation process since basic electrical skills are necessary.
Step 4: Reinstall all the panels you’ve removed. Once the GPS tracking and navigation device is properly wired into the system, reattach the panels or any other dashboard components you’ve previously removed. Then switch on your car’s ignition to test the device.