(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)
- Published: Monday, 24 June 2013 11:09
Car Gadget reviews
In the sptlight today is Navman's mid level Car GPS unit the Navman Mio Spirit 500 Traffic, ok the Names a bit of a mouthful, however the unit is pretty awesome.
A brief overview
I blogged about receiving theMIO Spirit earlier in the week, its looks its feel etc, well after actually testing this GPS on a journey, I thought it deserved it's on review, and yes it's that good.
What a great unit, as soon as I got it out of the box and attached it to the windscreen it already looked the part. The box came with various adapters Cigar lighter adaptor USB etc, as well as a suction cup to mount it upon the windscreen.
Firstly I attached the GPS to the windscreen, easily and it felt strong. I then plugged the usb (universal serial bus) into the unit and it burst into life. The first thing I was faced with was a menu of coloured boxes, Search, My Places meaning favourites, explore, Trafic, Map, Capture, Travel book and another sub menu arrow. I also could see how much battery power the unit had, if it was connected to a satellite and the date and time. Basically, everything you need in a GPS unit.
I clicked find and set my location, I could do this using Postcode, Street, City, Keyword etc I opted for postcode, the Mio Traffic found my address and gave me a list of parameters to set, Tolls, Motorways etc. After the initial setup I hit go and a map appeared with a waypoint and a chequered flag, I zoomed in and then set off - almost immediatley she spoke, she being the Navman Mio, telling me to turn right and then proceed. The voice was very clear and precise, however like all GPS units it did confuse bear a direction and turn a direction.
After various road driving, I ended up heading for the M6, and I could see the GPS showing me which way i was heading realtime, as well as updates of what was coming up and which lane to be in. After 5 or so mins, the car GPS pinged and a Traffic Alert popped up telling me that 5 or so miles ahead traffic was averaging around 30 mph. Now this amazed me as I hadn't set the traffic alerts, this gave me the time to prepare either another route or to be aware there was congestion and I would be delayed.
After getting home I became inquisitive and found that I could have had experienced a simulated drive down my route, meaning I could see where the Navman S500 was going to take me without even starting the car, now thats cool and I didn't have that on my previous Sat Nav. Another cool thing about the car GPS unit was that it could be used as a handheld GPS device, if its internal battery was charged.
Does exactly what you want and need from this type of Global Positioning Satellite car device, and does it well. It's great far more advanced than my previous Car GPS units, easy to use, looks good, lots of options such as Traffic updates, chosen type of route but not too many that it bewilders you.
My only problem now is, I'm now wondering whether or not to upgrade to the version with a TV, hmmm well I love my gadgets.
(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
- Published: Wednesday, 19 June 2013 20:07
Introducing Bertie Beetle, a 1973 1303 VW Super Beetle.
Bertie Beetle was purchased last month as my first car, I have been wanting a VW for the last 7 years, due to the fact I am such a fan of VWs. Bertie was found on Volks World and was listed for £400 and was exactly what we were looking for.
The bug was complete and in addition came with many more parts included. We picked him up from Pershore where we met the previous owner who had owned Bertie since 1994. Like myself she got Bertie on her 18th birthday, and she had driven the car till about 2009, however the work had got too much, this included large amounts of body work repair and a range of electrical problems. Bertie's previous owners biggest concern was that Bertie was going to a home where he would be restored. We knew first hand that people were buying Volkswagon bugs like Bertie and the immediately being stripped down for parts and sold on eBay within weeks. Bertie came with many other Beetle parts from her sister beetle, same year and model. The parts included two new doors.
Once we got Bertie back home he refused to start. After fixing some electrical problems and an issue with the fuel line, whilst doing this the fuel tank was removed, cleaned up and repainted as well as the fuel tank mounting brackets being replaced on the rear of the vehicle. We believe the parts had been taken off when the left heater channel was replaced.
Bertie is now running, and runs like a dream. We put this down to the engine being rebuilt 10 years ago, the same story as the Planet Auto MK2 Golf GTI 16V. Bertie has been driven on 3 test drives.
Currently Bertie is undergoing bodywork work.
The project starts
The colour scheme will be staying the same inside.
We want to replace lots of body work panels including new wings, doors, bumpers, hood and what ever weneed.
There are also plans to have him fully resprayed in a dark powder blue. Despite this not being a original colour for a beetle we do think it will look awesome also we expect to add some custom electrical features, all mods will be tastefully done, this way Bertie will maintain his original iconic look, which is really important to me.
As of today that is as far as we have got with Bertie Super Beetle.
more updates soon...
Michael Snowdon, Planet Auto Car Reviewer and owner