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HP iPAQ HX4700 PDA & GPS Navigation
Pictures and a review of my Hewlett Packard HX4700 PDA with a Garmin GPS 10 & iNav iGuidance navigation software.

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I've always been envious of people that have cars with factory equipped GPS navigation systems integrated into their vehicle but I love my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP and I wasn't ready to trade it in.

I also didn't want to switch out my factory radio HU (head unit) since that would disable some of the functions of my car's HUD (heads up display) which projects the vehicle's speed, turn signals, and radio settings on the windshield.

Part of my job includes traveling to customer's homes in the South Florida area and Mapquest just wasn't cutting it.

So I  really needed a portable GPS Navigation system. After a few hours of research I purchased the items pictured below.

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At first I thought that I should buy a dedicated Global Positioning Satellite Navigation device such as one of the devices in the TomTom GO series, which mount to your windshield with a large suction cup.

Then I started looking at PDAs (personal digital assistant) that had integrated GPS antennas and software such as the Garmin iQUE 3600.

Then I discovered that any PDA could be paired up with a variety of GPS navigation software and a GPS receiver to create a navigation solution with all the functionality that a separate PDA could deliver.
 

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HP iPAQ hx4700 PDA
At the time of my purchase, the HP iPAQ HX4700 (aka HX4705) had the best specs and the fastest processor. This PDA's features include a huge 4" (four inch) TFT VGA 64k color screen, 624mhz Intel processor, 135mb user memory, 802.11b WiFi wireless, Bluetooth, and also both a SD (secure digital) and CF (compact flash) memory slot. $463.00

Next I had to buy a GPS receiver. It was an easy decision since Garmin is the biggest name in consumer and professional level global positioning satellite equipment. I chose a Bluetooth wireless Garmin GPS 10. $131.00

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Garmin GPS 10 Bluetooth Receiver
Then I bought a JAVOedge clear plastic case with a 270 degree lid so that I could use the iPAQ without removing it from the case. I also purchased a USB mini-sync DC car charger from JAVOedge to power the PDA during long cross country trips.

The Garmin receiver only came with a DC car charger that is pictured on the seat to the right laying next to the GPS10.

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Portable PDA GPS Navigation System
Finally, I had to select the GPS navigation software that would be the brains of my system. Just about any PDA or SmartPhone would have done the job but without competent software, I would still get lost.

I tried out the CoPilot Live Pocket PC 5 software from ALK Technologies, which I read was one of the best and the hefty price tag of $249.00 led me to believe that it was worth the money.

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JAVOedge iPAQ Plastic Case
Luckily ALK Technologies has a 30 day money back guarantee because I wasn't happy with the software. More than a few times the software became confused in my area of South Florida. I'm sure it works great in most areas but my city is fairly young and some parts are fairly young. HP-Ipaq-PDA-GPS-Navigation-07



 

After I returned the CoPilot Live Pocket PC 5 GPS navigation software, I did some more research and purchased iGuidance (DVD ver 2.1.2) from iNav. $109.00

iNav purchases the same meticulously created map data that the popular MapQuest sites uses from the NavTeq company.

I knew I had a winner when the iNav iGuidance software flawlessly got me to ever part of South Florida with logical routes, and clear voice directions.

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My last obstacle was choosing where to mount the Garmin GPS10 and the iPAQ PDA inside my car.

I didn't want to mount the HX4700 on my windshield or attach it to a air conditioner vent since it would too visually obtrusive. Instead I cleared out the change in the front center console cubby and placed it down there. The non-slip rubber mat that was already there keeps it snugly in position.

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iNav iGuidance Navigation Software
The Garmin GPS 10 has a strong magnet on it's underside so I used a black piece of metal inserted into a crevice on the dash to create a magnetic docking point for the receiver.

It's easy to remove so that I don't have to worry about smash and grab thefts. The iPAQ PDA is also well hidden from other drivers and passing pedestrians.

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So now my portable GPS navigation system is complete and I also have a powerful PDA with a beautiful 4 inch screen that is great for playing downloaded episodes of Family Guy or playing video games when I have time to kill. Also I can locate open networks and browse the web with the iPAQ's built in WiFi 802.11b connection.

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My Worn SunPass Transponder

 
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