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Old 19th February 2009, 12:13   #1
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Default Mio C320 GPS Review

On my US trip I purchased a Mio Digiwalker C320 GPS. Its a windows CE 5.0 unit with 1GB of internal memory and SDHC card slot which can take upto 32GB of SDHC card(FAT32).
When buying, there were a lots of units under consideration. The Garmin Nuvi, the Navman 2100T and some other handhelds. However Mio c320 won because
1. Low price (99$)
2. Easy Unlocking, this means this has become a PDA! I can play music/videos/excel/PDF reader etc., etc., and run any GPS software I want
3. Large 4.3" screen


Now its been almost a month since I have been using this, and I am extremely happy with it. My total cost came to
1. 99$ for the unit all inclusive taxes and shipping
2. 13.5$ for 8GB SDHC ( I kick myself for not buying a 16GB card
3. 16$ for Glisson MMCX active antenna with mount
4. 40$ for Oziexplorer CE, the current software I use


The Unit:
Details about this unit and technical specifications can be found on many websites, including the manufacturer website here. This unit is small, light and has a pretty robust touch screen sensitive to finger touch. Its no iphone, but as touch screen Windows CE devices go, this is pretty nice. For Audio you have a 2.5mm jack, which means for fitting standard headphones you need an adaptor which costs 50rs in the market. If your car has an aux in on the HU, load the SDHC card with songs, fire up the media player and you are good to go.

Another + point is that the unit snugly fits into the travel kit pouch airlines give for free. So I have a protective case from Cathay Pacific to go with it
The mods and hacks:
My first stop was gpspassion.com forums, where I downloaded the Miopocket unlock. I am currently on the version number 39, and its working like a dream. I have tried out various software on this device like Gosmore/Osmtracker/NoniGPS/Beeline GPS Trial etc., etc., and finally settled in on the Oziexplorer CE


The Review
Part 1 : USA with Miomap v3.3
This simply blew me away. Excellent navigation, intuitive controls and brilliant interface. Well interface was not actually Brilliant, I used a skin from a bloke called Jerry. This "unlocks" some buttons and hidden features in miomap v3.3. The unit automatically recalculates routes very quickly if you miss turns, and gives you option of shortest/fastes/most economical route.
What I woudn't give to buy a India.fbl map for this device! Unfortunately satguide sells the younger brother of this unit(mio c230) with Destinator software, which I am told is pretty horrendous compared to Miomap V3.3
Infact in my online discussions I got to know that I was lucky to get this unit with V3.3 as this is the IGO based Miomap. The newer units(Mio Moov series) have Navman software which is not even half as good.
The only downside I found in my usage was frequent signal lost in San Francisco Downtown area due to flyovers and tunnels. Once I left the car parked in basement for few hours, and the gps ephemeris data expired. Due to low signal I had a tough time getting a fix after that. If you are out in open and lose signal in tunnel, its not a problem. You regain signal immediately, however if you park without signal for a day or so, you got to get a cold fix again, which is painful if you are surrounded by trees and buildings. There are few solutions to this problem. Mobile phone users can download the ephernesis data from internet, this is called A-GPS, some Sirf Chipsets have something called instafix, where they download data for a week or so in advance. When fix is aquired and new data becomes available, it is updated.
With neither of this available to me, I targetted the root of the problem, and got myself an active MMCX antenna. The result was strong signal and 2 minute cold fix time, and no loosing signal under flyovers. As long as some sky is visible I have signal!

So all in all it was a delightful experience, and I actually went to Nooks and cranies of San Francisco without worrying about anything. I missed a lot of turns hurtling down 30 degree + inclines, and this unit handled everything.

And the best part, it recognized google kml waypoints. So before my trip I would choose some 4-5 POIs save them as kml in the POI folder, and just enjoy!

So if any of you want an in car GPS for the USA, look no further, this is the best!


Part 2 : India Usage:
GPS industry in India is still in its infancy. So you have lousy software and maps. Basically you pay 2000-3000rs or even more to get a substandard unit with substandard softaware. For example the Mio c230 which costs 65$ in the US costs 300$ here, and that too with not so good maps and not so good software.
So I had two options. Go for destinator from satguide and pay 2000rs, or go freeloader way. I went the latter. Spend 40$ on oziexplorer, and am currently using Google maps or Openstreetmap maps for my navigation. The software rocks, and will navigate me in city or offroad without any trouble. Its fast, neat, little complex to use, but I am getting the hang of it.
I would love to get India maps for Miomap v3.3 if possible. Other options I have is Garmin Mobile XT in the commercial land.
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Old 19th February 2009, 14:03   #2
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Miomap 2008 works well with the mapmyindia maps. The Black Jasmine release also looks good but the meus etc which make use of animation are not that good.
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Old 19th February 2009, 14:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigman View Post
Miomap 2008 works well with the mapmyindia maps. The Black Jasmine release also looks good but the meus etc which make use of animation are not that good.
The Miomap v3.3 is IGO based. Miomap 2008 is navman based. So I can use fbl map files but mapmyindia gives cpf files I think
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Old 19th February 2009, 14:09   #4
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The Miomap v3.3 is IGO based. Miomap 2008 is navman based. So I can use fbl map files but mapmyindia gives cpf files I think
That is right, miomap parted company with iGo and now use Mireo as there underlying s/w which in turn makes use of cpf files. Check your PM.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 12:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
So I had two options. Go for destinator from satguide and pay 2000rs, or go freeloader way. I went the latter. Spend 40$ on oziexplorer, and am currently using Google maps or Openstreetmap maps for my navigation. The software rocks, and will navigate me in city or offroad without any trouble. Its fast, neat, little complex to use, but I am getting the hang of it.
I would love to get India maps for Miomap v3.3 if possible. Other options I have is Garmin Mobile XT in the commercial land.
Hi Tsk
Really nice review and thanks for your replies on my recent queries.

Also please do tell us how did you download google maps and use it on this device.
The only process that I know of downloading and using google maps is by using the mgmaps software on my e90.
Thanks
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Old 22nd February 2009, 19:26   #6
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I used a program called gmapmaker gMapMaker - builds (OziExlorer compatible) maps from Google Map tile images
With this I have downloaded the entire NCR. I did not download everything in one go, otherwise google can ban IP, but I just downloaded sections and used the mapmerge utility from Oziexplorer to merge my tiles seamlessly.
Its been a few days with Oziexplorer, and I am loving the program. Of course there is no routing, but I have always navigated by compass and paper maps, so this is actually a big stepup for me!
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Old 22nd February 2009, 22:58   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I used a program called gmapmaker gMapMaker - builds (OziExlorer compatible) maps from Google Map tile images
With this I have downloaded the entire NCR. I did not download everything in one go, otherwise google can ban IP, but I just downloaded sections and used the mapmerge utility from Oziexplorer to merge my tiles seamlessly.
Its been a few days with Oziexplorer, and I am loving the program. Of course there is no routing, but I have always navigated by compass and paper maps, so this is actually a big stepup for me!
Thats good I too am using Gmapmaker to download the maps and for the front end I use MGmaps. SO now if I buy the MIO GPS receiver I just need a frontend as the maps I already have or can download.

Please just clarify one thing like when you are moving in your car and you change your direction lets say you take a left or right turn, after this does the whole map move or its just the arrow in the maps that moves.
In Mgmaps my position is shown as an arrow and the map is fixed. So that when I make a turn only the cursor in the map changes direction and not the whole map.
Secondly what tiles and hash settings are you using to download the maps.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 10:49   #8
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Harjeev, its the map mode which can be set to North up or course up. Almost all GPS programs I have used offer this feature. You can either go course up, or north up. I am currently using course up, so entire map moves.
But one downside in a png based system. If your course is such that map is upside down, all the labels will also be upside down!
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Old 23rd February 2009, 11:23   #9
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MMI kyu nahin kharida?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 11:32   #10
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I mailed Mapmyindia that I want to buy their Mireo software Miomap 2008, there is no response from their side. After few days of Oziexplorer use I am extremely happy with the software now!
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Old 23rd February 2009, 19:15   #11
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thanks for the info tanveer.
Ill try to find such an option in Mgmaps.
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Old 24th February 2009, 08:16   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
My first stop was gpspassion.com forums, where I downloaded the Miopocket unlock. I am currently on the version number 39, and its working like a dream. I have tried out various software on this device like Gosmore/Osmtracker/NoniGPS/Beeline GPS Trial etc., etc., and finally settled in on the Oziexplorer CE
Do you have a license key for Beeline GPS? I used the trial version of it and liked it. Also can someone upload the tiled map of bangalore ( which can be used by mgmaps) and send us a link.

Thanks
Bhishma
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Old 24th February 2009, 10:58   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatDrive View Post
Do you have a license key for Beeline GPS? I used the trial version of it and liked it. Also can someone upload the tiled map of bangalore ( which can be used by mgmaps) and send us a link.

Thanks
Bhishma
I tried trial versions of ozi and beeline, and likes oziexplorer better.
As for Bangalore, download the tiles for yourself from google maps for gmapmaker.
Zoom level 15 should suffice
If you want a free program, nonigps is good enough in its free version. There are some limitations, but they are minor.
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Old 1st April 2009, 21:25   #14
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Tsk
I have both Satguide (Destinator) and MapMyIndia working flawlessly on the Mio C320 in Milady's car

To be fair, Destinatator (which works beautifully on my carputer) is a PITA on a Win CE device (which the Mio is)

On the other hand, MMI works as well, (actually, make it better) than the MioMap application on the device
Of course, the map accuracy on MMI leaves a lot to be desired vs the original Mio Maps for US, but it still makes for a very usable solution.





Lemme know if you are still looking for the workaround, and i'll post a guide for the same
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Old 1st April 2009, 22:42   #15
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I am very happy with oziexplorer and google maps, so nothing else needed!
Thanks for the offer though
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