Expert Fitting Service

Why a GPS Device?

Well lets cover what a GPS based device is. Its a simple box of electronics that does several things, it listens to the GPS satellites to obtain its position, it does not transmit its position. Once it knows it position it compares its position with a database of locations in real time. When you get near one of the locations it knows about you get a warning.

Pogo Alert Plus on Windscreen

GPS Speed Camera warning systems do not detect as such, although some do have the ability to detect Radar and Laser but for the sake of it we will just look at the GPS side for the moment, I will cover Radar and Laser later.

The warnings given can be of anything that you can give a location to, for example a fixed camera on the side of the road has a defined latitude and longitude so the GPS device can give you a warning, typically as you approach you will get a sound and a count down, some devices only warn you if it matters, i.e.. enforces in the direction you are travelling and they may give you the speed details of you road you are on.

Over the years GPS warning systems have improved and offer a whole host of features, the Pogo was one of the best but sadly is no more since Road Angel bought them and screwed up a great product but that is another story.

Sadly no longer made but a great video of how a GPS device works

A GPS device is only as good as the database that supplies it information.

GPS devices have some great advantages and their share of flaws, I will list the main ones.

• No false alarms.
• Warning ranges that can't be beaten.
• Can warn of devices that don't give out a signal, such as SPECS, Average speed cameras and TruVelo.
• Can give much more information than traditional speed camera detectors. Road speed and speed trap type.

• For a good database you often have to subscribe to a yearly subscription. Typically £60PA.
• Not very good at warning about mobile sites, the police can move the site about.
• Need to be regularly updated to be of any use, often means plugging into a computer.
• Basic units don't detect.

Some GPS units have detectors built in or remotely linked to them for Laser Detection or Radar Detection. Laser detection is pointless as I have said before in this site, Radar detection although suffers badly from false alarms can be of use on the Gantry systems you see on motorways. Hand held radar is rare, the Community Speed Watch, Hobby Bobbies as I call them use Radar though.

Some systems now use the GPS to store the false radar locations such as the Stinger and Beltronics STiR this helps reduce the false alarms, but you have to get a false alarm to stop so it can be a nuisance building up the false alarm database.

Also some GPS devices now self update using the cellular network, so they are supposed to be right up to date and even offer location sharing for those pesky mobile sites. Coyote are the most proactive company on camera sharing, Road Angel try but the system is quite hopeless, but my opinion of Road Angel has gone down over the years.

A GPS device is a must have but choose wisely.


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