Magellan MAP410
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By, Mike Cohn "TXJEEPER"

Magellan MAP410 GPS

Magellan MAP410If you are in the market for a Global Positioning System (GPS) now is a great time to do it. Last May, the US Government relieved restrictions on GPS accuracy. Overnight, GPS's became more accurate, and can now locate accurately within a tennis court.

We wanted to test out Magellan's new MAP410 and got our hands on a test unit. The MAP410 costs around $350 and is in what we would consider to be the higher end of consumer GPS units. The MAP410 has an incredibly large set of features packed into it's 6.32 x 2.5 x 1.4" frame.

Running on either the included 4 AA batteries or an optional 12volt car adapter/PC serial connector combo cable, the unit weighs in under a pound with batteries on-board.

The MAP410 comes with a nice case and strap and the on-board antenna can flip up for better reception. We didn't notice a whole lot of difference between it being up and down, however.

What makes the MAP410 a “higher-end” unit for our purposes, is that it comes from Magellan complete with road maps already in its memory. Less-expensive units, like those found for $100-200 are every bit as accurate at tracking satellites, however, they will give you nothing but Latitude and Longitude.

By having maps onboard, the MAP410 will give you a reference to where you are in relation to the roads you traveled to get to the trailhead. Without the map feature, you would see nothing but your indicator and the trail leading to it. We have found this very useful in the backwoods. Sure, when we're out trailing, we're obviously not on roads. However, if we're out and have lost our bearings, we can zoom out on the map screen and find the nearest road to help us find our way back.

In addition, having road maps is wonderful on trips while you're spending your time on the road. You can find a town or waypoint to travel to and the MAP410 will estimate how long it will take you to get there and tell you the straight-line distance. Keep in mind, that distance is not necessarily accurate, because roads turn and are not straight lines.

MAP410 Map ScreenThe MAP410 has 9 different navigation screen modes. You can select to have just a couple or all of them active. We found that using only a couple was more than adequate for us.

  • POSITION: Displays the coordinates of your last computed position and basic navigation data. You can see Elevation, Date, Current Speed, Compass, Coordinates, Time, Estimated Position Error, Distance Traveled, and Course. You can also view a secondary coordinate system from this screen.
  • NAV1/NAV2: Displays your destination along with four selectible navigation measurements and a graphical compass.
  • COMPASS: Displays four customizable navigation fields, as well as a round, traditional-style compass. In addition, there is also a Sun Icon, Moon Icon, and Destination Icon, as well as a Course Deviation Indicator.
  • MAP: This is our favorite screen and packs the most information. Obviously, this shows a map of your location. You can zoom in and out using the buttons on the unit. You can also select up to four different pieces of information to be displayed at the bottom of the screen, such as Bearing, Distance, etc.. There is an arrow which shows your location and aims either toward North or toward the direction your are moving, depending on your preference. You can also select at what zoom level cities and roads show up on the map, as to reduce clutter on-screen. There is also a really nice line and dot setup that shows your direction of travel and approximate location one minute from now.
  • ROAD: Displays four customizable navigation fields at the top of the screen and a simulated road at the bottom. you show up as an arrow on the road and the road moves and shifts depending on whether or not you stay on-course. If you get far enough off-course, and arrow will point you in the direction you will need to turn to get back on. This is useful if you are trying to locate a specific waypoint and do not need map data.
  • SPEED: This is a fun screen. You get a simulated speedometer, odomoter, and trip odometer, as well as numerical bearing, course, speed over ground, and course over ground. The speedometer also has an average speed indicator. Though it's a lot of fun to watch, you probably won't use this a whole lot.
  • TIME: Displays current time, estimated time enroute (ETE), time of arrival and elapsed time. This could be useful if you were, for example, running a rally, but otherwise, you may want to leave this one out.
  • SAT STATUS: This is the default opening screen, which tells you whether you have 2D or 3D (includes Altitude) navigation, satellite positions and signal strengths, battery life indicator, temperature (C or F), and North indicator. When you first turn on the unit, you will go here. You will need to wait while the MAP410 acquires satellites. You will not have map functionability until the satellites are being tracked.


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