Satellite Navigation

Garmin Satnavs

Free Poi files


With sales of satnavs certainly declining in favour of the dreaded Smartphone, they are definately on the downlist. It's a shame the "must have" gadget has become an antique in such a short space of time. I still use mine and will continue to do so.


I've had the Nuvi for a while and the inbuilt maps are a little out of date. I received an email from Garmin (yes the great email ignorer) regarding some map updates. The prices are very high - I appreciate all the work that went into these but to charge £74.99 for an update or £149.99 for a TOPO map is about 10 times too high (I bet they don't get many takers - I could buy a new satnav for that!). If the updates were cheaper, maybe I would be interested.

Garmin Foretrex 401

I've had the Nuvi 250W about 12 years now. Although it has some shortcomings I wouldn't be without it. The receiver is not very sensitive. During one of my trips to London it failed to lock on to anything. Whether that's due to the massive amount of RF floating about or the proximity of many tall buildings I don't know. I was indeed lost! Another niggle, my old GPSIII+ had the ability to "Track Back" to a start point and mark waypoints. The Nuvi cannot do this and I miss it! I decided to buy a small Foretrex 401.

foretrex 401 The Foretrex is just a very basic GPS with no maps. It has no concept of roads. There are two versions - the 301 and 401. The latter has a digital compass and a couple more gizmos.

Both run off two AAA batteries. There is a USB connector to transfer data to your PC. The GPS comes up as a new hard drive letter. You are able to upload or download Waypoints / Routes / Tracks to your PC in "GPX" format. In the box you get the GPS, extender wrist strap, quick start guides (multi languages), a USB cable and a CD with the manual. That's it. No other software. I have been using Garmin Mapsource to transfer my Wayspoints and tracks to see where I've been. It is very sensitive and did indeed work ok in London. The only slight quirks are it used up a set of AAA's quite quickly. I have since acquired a pair of Sanyo "Eneloop" cells which have a much better shelf life and can be recharged easily, and you have to walk around in a circle twice to recalibrate the compass if the batteries are changed.


Garmin Nuvi 250W

nuvi 250w Just got a Garmin Nuvi 250W and I'm very impressed!

After using the GPSIII+ for a great many years I decided to get a little more "up to date". The built in maps make navigation very easy, there's even a female voice to give you turn by turn directions (if you like that sort of thing, - you can turn it off though). The device has an extremely large database of points of interest (over 100,000 sites in fact) including Hotels, Restaurants, Garages etc. I did think it would come with a USB cable and some software but these are optional extras, as is the mains power supply for recharging the in-built Lithium battery (good for 5 hours).

I'll do a proper review after I've been using it a while.

Garmin GPS III+

gps 3 Since purchasing my Garmin GPSIII+ at the London Boat Show many years ago, I have collected a large number of waypoints.

As a UK Field Service Engineer, some of my installations were often missing vital components / Cables / CD-Rom drives etc. I often had to purchase the missing items locally in unfamiliar towns. I needed to know where the local Maplin / PCWorlds were and also my hotel. Although this model has no concept of roads, it makes absolute navigation easy with the arrow.


Sony IPS-760 Satnav

Sony ips760 I purchased one of these in the Electronics district of Japan - Akihabara in 1995. It cost a fortune. I paid customs duty on it and tried to buy some accessories back in the UK but Sony UK were not very helpful. It used 6 x AA cells which didn't last very long. There were also some plug-in memory cards which contained the maps and coastal outlines. It was one of the first though.


Poi Loader

Garmin have a free P.O.I downloader program (here) to load custom points of interest to your GPS. The current version is 2.7.2.


The PoiEdit forum has now been shut down due to spammers.

What's New

Garmin Mapsource 6.16.3 now discontinued use Basecamp.

Garmin Poi Loader 2.7.2

Garmin Web Updater 2.5.6


PoiEdit poi converter and updater


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