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Thread: Best USB GPS reciever for the Surface Pro

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    Member Intangir's Avatar
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    Best USB GPS reciever for the Surface Pro

    As of right now I am using my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for offline GPS, but I would like to be able to use my Pro instead. I have an old Sprint USB 3g/gps dongle, but I would like to see what else is available, and which works best for the Pro. It would also be nice if it was free of any monthly charges. I would use the Sprint dongle, but I don't really need 3g or a monthly overpriced data plan. Any suggestions?

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    Senior Member Wayne Orwig's Avatar
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    I just bought Microsoft Streets and Trips 2013 on Amazon for $40. It includes a Microsoft GPS dongle.
    It works. I can't say it is better or worse than anything else. But for $40 I got the dongle and software with all of the offline maps on the Surface Pro now.

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    Senior Member Russ's Avatar
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    Intangir --

    I don't know what is "best," but Wayne's suggestion of the MS Streets bundle sounds good. I have not used it before, so can't add anything there. I have been a long time user of Delorme's Street Atlas series and like it a lot -- familiarity helps. I already had the GPS unit, so just added the software to my Pro and it works fine. Delorme currently has a device/software bundle for $49.95, or software only for $39.95.

    DeLorme Street Atlas

    You can probably find a feature comparison between the two. I, too, like having the offline maps on my Pro. Sometimes I just like to browse the territory.

    I have been happy with this product for a long time, and will be happy to answer any specific questions if I can.

    Regards,
    Russ

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    Junior Member swanlee's Avatar
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    Doesn't the surface already have built in GPS?

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    Senior Member Wayne Orwig's Avatar
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    Surface Pro does NOT have a GPS.
    Not sure I cared, but for years I've used older versions Microsoft Streets & Trips for planning trips anyway, so figured the $40 for the upgrade and the hardware was a non-issue. I'll likely only ever use the GPS for the geek factor a couple of times.
    I haven't used the Delorme maps recently. I truly suspect it would come out on top in a good comparison. But since I already have a number of years of trips routed on MS S&T, and it was $10 less, I stuck with it.

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    Senior Member souldier's Avatar
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    If you use a USB GPS dongle, will it work for apps such as Maps or are there any navigation apps?

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    Senior Member Russ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Orwig View Post
    for years I've used older versions Microsoft Streets & Trips for planning trips anyway
    Wayne --

    Same here with Street Atlas. I started using it back under Windows 3.1. MS Streets had not come out yet. I have just stayed with it, rather than re-create a lot of trips with something new. I actually tried MS Streets when it first came out, but it was in its infancy then, so I stayed with Street Atlas. I honestly have no clue which is "best" or even "better" now -- just stayed with what I already knew rather than start high on the learning curve.

    Regards,
    Russ

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    Senior Member Russ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by souldier View Post
    If you use a USB GPS dongle, will it work for apps such as Maps or are there any navigation apps?
    Souldier --

    I am not aware of any navigation apps that would use a GPS, but that's only because I haven't looked. I already had the Street Atlas software and the GPS, so I just installed it and never looked back.

    I don't think the Maps app recognizes a GPS, but there is probably something in the Store that will. As I say, I just never looked.

    Regards,
    Russ

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    Senior Member Wayne Orwig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by souldier View Post
    If you use a USB GPS dongle, will it work for apps such as Maps or are there any navigation apps?
    The USB opens up a COM port. So any software that looks for a NMEA type GPS on a com port should work. I suspect that Delorme and MS Streets and Trips just about cover all of them.

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    Senior Member Wayne Orwig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    I started using it back under Windows 3.1. MS Streets had not come out yet.
    Actually, many moons ago, I started with Delorme Street Atlas too. I had an old Compaq laptop. I put it in the side bag on my motorcycle along with a serial GPS. Likely Win 3.1 or 98. I ran DC power into the bag, to an AC converter, to the laptop power supply. I ran audio out to an earplug under my helmet. I made a foam frame to support it, and had 2 12 volt cooling fans in there. What a geek contraption. It did work.
    But at some point I picked up a newer free copy of MS Streets & Trips and started using it for planning routes and a waterproof Garmin for actual navigation. I gave the contraption to my brother to use in his tow truck.

 

 
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