Summary: Although this is a discontinued product, it is still a good GPS, even for APRS use. I bought one of these to use for a mobile APRS setup, and had it up and running within minutes. The unit can power directly off 12 volts DC, and provides NMEA data out via a serial connection. You can attached an external antenna for better reception. When attached to a compatible APRS transceiver such as the Kenwood TH-7D, received stations will show up as way points on the GPS display.
Summary: I just destroyed my unit by getting one or two of the batteries reversed. I removed it from my truck to update the software from my PC. I never used the internal batteries while it was in the vehicle because of temperature conditions. It was always plugged into the lighter socket. So I connected it to my PC and of course it doesn't work with out batteries. So I got some fresh alkaline AA cells and put them in.
Summary: This almost does what I want it too. I bought this as a replacement for a GPS V - a very good GPS mapping system in its own right. I require a larger memory capacity, and a larger screen, so I got it here. The color screen is much easier to read. The 128 MB card and USB programmer are wonderful, and provide me with a set of maps for nearly all of my trips without having to hook up the unit to the computer for an hour or more for a half day's worth of maps.
Summary: I've had my SPIII for about two years now, during which the pricing has come down some and the package offerings have increased, so this review may not match the exact contents Amazon offers here. My unit came with a 32MB memory cartidge, the serial port connection cord, the USB programmer cord, the 12V power cord for the cigarette lighter, the "sticky" dash mount, and a MapSource CD with codes to unlock one region (the US and Canada consisted of 5-6 regions, IIRC).
Summary: First off, this thing is great. I'm constantly amazed by how well it works and gets me to places that I have no idea where are. The screen is easy to read and there are different viewing modes depending on what's best for you. When you make a wrong turn, it recalculates and gets you back on track. I love it and any time I'm going somewhere I'm not familiar with, I can rely on this to get me there.
Summary: The drivers for the USB card programmer, which you WILL want to use do not support Windows XP. This can be solved by going to the Garmin web site and downloading the updated driver, but you have to either figure this out for yourself, or read this review.<G> If you also get the MapSource update, the "Save to" dialog has changed, and you must pick the USB card programmer from the FILE|SAVE TO menu, or from the dropdown next to the icon.
Street Pilot III is good but a few things could be improved
Ronald Riley, Amazon
16 January 2004
Summary: I was very skeptical of this unit for several months before I bought it. My worst fear was the mapping software. I had read several reviews in various places about the software being badly outdated and complicated to set up. After receiving my unit I started setting up the area that I wanted to use it in. It took two tries before I was able to get it to work but finally got it and it works.
Summary: Pro's: Overall good unit. Great color, well built, very detailed. Con's: I live in a new development and my home street is not on the map. Software updates to the unit must be done with a serial port (included in box). The problem is that my new laptop does not have a connector for the included cable. Had to spend an additional $13 on a USB to 9 pin serial cable and Garmin said its only a 80% success rate that it will transfer the neccessary data.