5 June 2010

Satmap Active10 - update

Satmap active10 GPS unit
Got one of these through the post end of April by Special Delivery from the UK distributors. They were after feedback about the unit from a mountain biker's point of view. There'll be a full review after it goes back at the end of June, but here's a few comments:

Battery power seems to be easily good for a day & a bit - so far hasn't lasted 2 whole days with high capacity alkalines. If I owned the unit I'd go for the rechargeable battery (you can always keep AA's as backup).

As with any device with a backlit LCD screen, the brighter the default setting the shorter the battery life. Also the longer the screen stays on before sleep the more battery drain ...obvious to some, not so obvious to others. So far I've left the screen on a mid setting & about 30 seconds until the screen switches off. In bright sunlight the map is quite hard to read, but the waypoint pointer is much easier. As far as I can gather this is the same with all brands.

One thing I need to have a play with is the speed setting at which the compass switches modes. Sometimes at slow speeds, like on a steeper climb, the map flips 180 degrees or the waypoint goes a bit random. This can be a bit of a pain sometimes & send you the wrong way, but not for long. Still annoying though if you end up having to double back & it's uphill... I have a feeling that altering the afore-mentioned mode change speed might sort this.

To me the unit is more useful as a get you home device if I want to explore randomly then switch the unit on to plot a route back. The route maker is easy to use & by all accounts the Satmap is the only unit with a decent one.
For a pre-planned route I prefer to use a traditional map. If you can already read maps then why get rusty? Plus there's no batteries to run out & nothing to malfunction (although the Satmap10 is a reliable unit).

That's all for now, more later.

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