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SATMAP active 10
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: SATMAP active 10 Reply with quote

Every now and then you find a device at an exhibition that looks great on paper AND when switched on performs as advertised - easy to use.



The SATMAP active 10 is a handheld rugged PNA device sporting Ordinance Survey mapping. Fully waterproof, integral SiRF-III GPS receiver, 3,5" colour screen (with backlight), built in electronic compass and a 50 hour battery duration. YES 50 Hours, that’s not a miss type - and its not April 01 yet.

The OS Maps are supplied on SD card, a huge selection is available in various scales including aerial photographs. International maps are to follow later this year.

The SD slot, and other electrical connection points are covered with rubber sealing plugs - I am not too sure about full immersion of the device, but it will certainly stand up to the wet and windy UK weather.

Once in your hand the unit simply feels right, display brightness is good (not tried in direct sunlight though - maybe one for tomorrow). The buttons and joystick fall easily to position for fingers to operate - the buttons being multi function depending on the mode and screen selected.

Screen refresh rate when zooming or panning the map is incredibly fast, the device simply fly’s with little perceived screen drawing in progress - the map is just presented ready for use, even when zoomed out.

The real surprise when holding the active 10 is the weight, or rather the lack of it! You certainly won't have a problem carrying this device for a distance.

The claimed battery duration is incredible, the user interface is simple to use, easy to learn - the device just seems natural in use, coupled with its rugged build quality and screen clarity it certainly attracted some attention on the first public outing at the NEC OutDoors Show earlier today.

With an RRP of £299 it will be available from early June, this new "kid on the block" had some serious interest from other vendors as well as the public - for a hands on trial / demo visit SatMap at the OutDoors show stand OU177 NEC from Friday 16/03 to Sunday 18/03.



For further details see SatMap

Edit once to add pictures - MikeA
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Mullet
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Last edited by Mullet on Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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GJF
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks fantastic and good price, have sent off for details and will buy as soon as available.
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics and details.

Looks good.....my money's here and waiting!!!! :D

A couple of questions...

Is the device pictured with the backlight off?

I've seen the 50 hour battery life mentioned in several places but is this whilst using GPS or just the mapping on it's own? And is this with the '1600mAh Lithium 'smart' battery' or an optional extra 2900mAh version?

Is this device 'just' a Pocket PC with a rugged body? Would it run Memory Map for example?

Are the 4 grey areas on the sides buttons or just styling?

Were you able to zoom out of the view pictured and still see details clearly? Or scroll to see (for example) where the motorway goes to the north and quickly return to the view of where you were?

Did they give any idea about the 1:50,000 mapping areas? I have read that it's £30 per county or an area (GB split in to 10) for £50.

Will the mapping software have any function on a PC like Memory Map does or is it limited to the device?

Did you see any handlebar mounts?

Last but by no means least.....did they say why they had a 2+ month long countdown timer on their website timed to finish at 1am last Thursday and yet they haven't updated their website?
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

robs, Welcome to the forum, I can't answer all your questions I only had about 45 minutes with the device over two days, and it was very busy.

The photos were taken indoors with the backlight on, I was also using Flash.

The device is a rugged waterproof design running Win CE, with a 266MHz processor, as it doesn't have a true Windows Mobile OS installed you won't be able to load Memory Map.

The four grey areas on the sides are buttons, the actual function of each one is displayed on screen, so a single button may do more than a single function.

When zooming in/ out the level of detail was very clear, the speed at which the device can zoom and/ or pan around on the map is quite stunning, I have been using Memory Map for a number of years on various PDA's and this device outstrips all of them when looking at map drawing speed.
If aerial photography is included with the map this will automatically appear when fully zoomed in, again the level of detail on the photographs is very clear - not too sure on number of meters per pixel though.

Handle bar mounts were not seen, however we did ask them about this option and one will be made available.

As I said I cannot answer all the questions - Mike
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philpugh
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

robs1972 wrote:


I've seen the 50 hour battery life mentioned in several places but is this whilst using GPS or just the mapping on it's own? And is this with the '1600mAh Lithium 'smart' battery' or an optional extra 2900mAh version?

Is this device 'just' a Pocket PC with a rugged body? Would it run Memory Map for example?

Are the 4 grey areas on the sides buttons or just styling?

Were you able to zoom out of the view pictured and still see details clearly? Or scroll to see (for example) where the motorway goes to the north and quickly return to the view of where you were?

Did they give any idea about the 1:50,000 mapping areas? I have read that it's £30 per county or an area (GB split in to 10) for £50.

Will the mapping software have any function on a PC like Memory Map does or is it limited to the device?



I had a play with one at the Outdoor Show last w/e. If I didn't already have a DELL AXIM X51v (640*480 display) with Anquet ALL UK @1:50k and Memory Map selected areas at 1:25k I may have been tempted. It's just the expense of re-buying the maps (again). I think the OS/manufacturers should come up with a scheme to allow us to move from one system to another Wink (I know - it isn't going to happen!)

The 50hrs was for the extended Li-Ion battery. The guy on the stand was claiming 20 hrs for the standard battery and 32 (I think) for an intermediate Li-Ion battery. I don't know if this was with GPS on/off but he did claim it was with backlight ON - which I find a little difficult to believe. We will have to wait and see as you will get all sorts of claims for a new product (demonstrator unfamiliarity, overly keen marketing etc).

It's a fixed purpose device - NOT a PDA. It doesn't have a touch-screen (makes it less likely to suffer damage when dropped I guess). It is impressive the way it zooms from the OS UK road atlas view down and into the 1:25k mapping. All inputs are done using the side buttons and a central joystick. It has been designed to use with gloves on and it feels as if it would be capable of this.

It has mini-USB for connecting to PC for up/downloading of waypoints, routes, track-logs.

I had just one little niggle with it. We swapped an SD card to look at the 1:25k mapping (the unit had 1:50K card in it). The little flap over the card looked a tad flimsy and when trying to press it back on to 'seal' it over the card the guy kept ejecting the SD card. As the unit is designed for outdoors I would have thought they would have come up with a different solution for this. Putting the SD card into a waterproof battery compartment would be sensible (like GARMIN Mapping GPS units). It's not as if you are going to be changing these whilst up a mountain at -5C in a 40 mph wind. (Which you wouldn't be able to do with an external card SD card whilst wearing gloves in any case.)

I did notice that one of the demos of the unit on the stand had a working unit partially submersed in water. The bit left exposed included the SD card flap. I think I will wait and see what develops over the next year but overall a neat little product.
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Mike and Phil for your replies. I'm pleased that none of them have given me any cause for concern. The battery life is particularly surprising when put next to the Road Angel which I see is 8 hours with GPS and I presume backlight.

So I guess we are just waiting on info on how the areas of GB at 1:50,000 are split up....I read that it was in 10 parts at £50 each, yet Memory Map is 6 at £50 each plus groups of three at £20 off. I also read that it has a built in multimedia player.....will we be able to watch MPEGS of Relocation, Relocation or Eastenders mid ride!!!??? 8O :D
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should've added that given all the restrictions placed on these mapping software people by Ordnance Survey....what do you think the odds are that in a year or two when they launch the Active 15 (with an extra button and improved SD door seal) that we'll have to buy new maps again!!! Confused Sad
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bear in mind the samples that were on show at the NEC were pre-production devices, and had a few sharp corners that needed sorting out, the vendor did make the point that production units would be from a newer batch.

OS mapping license is a different issue, although you have always been able to use an electronic map with the version of software it was provided with, newer software applications will only work with new maps - that has always been the case with OS based products.

Comparison with the RA7000 is very unfair, as the two devices are very much poles apart, if you want a device for serious walking with no in car guidance the SatMap wins hand down, if you want car based navigation AND off road walking capability you could consider the RA - but please try it first

As for watching Eastenders - I wouldn't bother wasting the battery, music is a bit different and that has a place, but I don't see the point in watching TV when enjoying the Yorkshire Dales, or Lake's - Mike
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:

As for watching Eastenders - I wouldn't bother wasting the battery, music is a bit different and that has a place, but I don't see the point in watching TV when enjoying the Yorkshire Dales, or Lake's - Mike


Ah but I'm thinking of those 1.5-2 hour each way train journeys that I often take to get to the start points of my cycle rides. Wink
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GJF
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't use the maps to top yourself after watching Eastenders, the programme will give you severe depression, or is that why you escape for the cycle rides!
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GJF
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philpugh wrote:
Quote:
I had just one little niggle with it. We swapped an SD card to look at the 1:25k mapping (the unit had 1:50K card in it). The little flap over the card looked a tad flimsy and when trying to press it back on to 'seal' it over the card the guy kept ejecting the SD card. As the unit is designed for outdoors I would have thought they would have come up with a different solution for this. Putting the SD card into a waterproof battery compartment would be sensible (like GARMIN Mapping GPS units). It's not as if you are going to be changing these whilst up a mountain at -5C in a 40 mph wind. (Which you wouldn't be able to do with an external card SD card whilst wearing gloves in any case.)


I agree, its looks such a great product that it's a pity than when they say waterproof it doesn't apply to all of it, I would expect it to be able to fully submerge in a puddle.

Even if it was fully waterproof i would use the Aquapac bag, to not only extend its life by looking after it, but to eliminate mud on the screen under bad conditions. Its much easier to wipe the bag than to clean mud off the screen edges and buttons, and its still flexible enough to press the controls. As stated once the card is inserted the chances of wanting to change it is low.

It would be interesting to have details on the ten mapping areas, I presume they wouldn't cut an area like the Dales into parts requiring more than one map/card.

For £300 I feel that this is a lot for your money, whatever appears on the market we all have different views as to what is expected and without being custom made there will always be niggly points. I will certainly try this, as it appears a big step forward particularly on the battery life and zooming.
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Eldar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried to contact them, but it looks like they are doing TomTom :-) - no reaction or reply
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally they have sent out an email with more details!!!!
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little disappointing that for £299 you don't get a Li-Ion battery but other than that it looks fab!!

Now roll on info on the 10 mapping areas.....and roll on June!!!
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