103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Initial Impressions
This is the first walking GPS device I have bought or used so I have nothing to compare it with, but my first impressions are very favourable.
I did not find the Sat Map immediately intuitive to use as I imagine a touch screen device might be. However, having read the comprehensive downloadable user guide and taken time to familiarise myself with its method of...
Published on 31 Mar 2011 by A. W. Hall
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Active 10
I shall begin this review by saying the item pretty much does what it's supposed to do the screen is a good size and the 1:50 map of the UK seems to be of good quality. After using it for a short while I soon learned most of its features. Although I've yet to use it in anger out in the wilds. My only gripe has been the toggle button which you can use to...
Published on 17 Sep 2011 by N.Roberts
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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Initial Impressions,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)This is the first walking GPS device I have bought or used so I have nothing to compare it with, but my first impressions are very favourable.
I did not find the Sat Map immediately intuitive to use as I imagine a touch screen device might be. However, having read the comprehensive downloadable user guide and taken time to familiarise myself with its method of operation, I do now find it straight forward. The screen is a good size and clear to view. I have also used the Route Planner on the Sat Map web site and found it easy to transfer routes to and from my Sat Map using the provided SatSync software. It is a pity, though, that the size of map area displayed on the Route Planner is limited to about 15cm X 13cm rather than being full screen
I have had my Sat Map for about 3 weeks and used it on local walks of up to about 7.5 miles. I have very rarely had to consult my paper OS map despite only having the 1:50K maps installed on my Sat Map. I find it much quicker and easier to glance at the Sat Map to check that I am still on course or which path to take rather than having to stop and get out my paper map and compass. I have taken the wrong choice of path 2 or 3 times partly because I do not have the extra detail available on a 1:25K map and partly due to unfamiliarity with the Sat Map. But it quickly becomes clear that you have gone off your route and it is easy to get back on track.
I bought the Sat Map to give me the confidence to get out and explore unfamiliar areas and this it has done. It is great being able to plan a route and follow it knowing you can always see exactly where you are (always a slight concern of mine when using a paper map) so you should never get lost.
On the downside, I don't think I would have even considered the Sat Map at its full retail price. Maps, available from Sat Map on SD card, are expensive but I think they are for all GPS devices. County 1:25K maps are available varying in price from about £28 to £135. Standard local OS Explorer maps are not available but a site-centred 30km x 30km 1:25K map will cost about £60. The retail price of my local paper OS Explorer Map 133 is £7.99. It would be nice to be able to buy a digital version for a similar price.
Update 20/02/2012 - Cost of Maps
I have recently become aware that SatMap's maps can be very much more expensive than those of some other companies. For custom mapping, where you choose the area you want, Viewranger, who provide maps for certain mobile phones, charge £25 for 1000 sqkm of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 mapping. SatMap have a guide price of £51 for their equivalent offering. Quo sell 10km x 10km tiles at £1.89 + VAT each, so 1000 sqkm would cost £22.68. Garmin sell 600 sqkm units for £19.99. Memory-Map charge £25 for 750 sqkm.
Which maps you can use depends on which device you have. You can only use SatMap's own maps on a SatMap and I think the same is true of other dedicated GPS devices from the likes of Garmin and Memory-Map. Mobile phone users might be lucky enough to find several companies offering digital maps for their phone, particularly if they own an iPhone.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satmap Tech Support second to none,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)Though it looks a rugged piece of kit, it isn't, the battery cover broke within days even before I had chance to take the unit out on a test run. I had perhaps removed the cover half a dozen times to experiment with the battery configuration and check the serial number etc.when it cracked near the latch.( Reading other reviews looks like this is a weak point - be careful)
Initially I had thought the mapping quality very poor compared to the Anquet and Memory Maps that I have and had written a review only giving the unit 2 stars because of this and the battery back. A comment by a reader to my review whilst agreeing with me about the battery back said his mapping was good and perhaps my unit was faulty. This spurred me to contact Satmap support who I can't praise enough for there speed of response and giving me the feeling that they actually cared about my problem.(11 out of 10 for Satmap Tech support)
The error was in fact mine through incorrect usage of the unit and is worth mentioning here because other buyers may make the same error I had inadvertently selected the sunscreen filter making the contour lines look faint under normal conditions and hadn't realized it. This is because the menu page can be confusing . If you go to the main menu - settings - backlight page.What you now need to do is select Normal, to put it in normal mode, but on the screen it will show red filter, but will be on normal mode.
( Confusing I know and because it said normal I had thought that I was on the correct page.)The manual does explain these things so be careful it doesn't go over the top of your head like it did mine.
I have since done a few very short walks to test the unit and am now very impressed especially with gps lock and positioning accuracy. What I like most about it I can sit at my desk in my house and it will lock on, the desk is near a window though , still other gps units which I have won't do that)
I have used Memory map and Anquet maps on a pocket PC with separate GPS for the last nine and five years respectively so I have some experience of digital mapping and its usage ( not that you would think so with the sunlight filter error) and have bought this unit to replace them as the pocket pc's which I use them on are becoming dated and it looks like I have made the correct choice. If it wasn't for the battery cover it would get five stars. Still only time will tell and these are only initial impressions about the unit itself. Once again well done to Satmap support it was a pleasure dealing with them especially after my recent experiences in dealing with Tech support from other digtial mapping companies.
71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the professional product that anybody can use?,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)Arrived very quickly - standard post. I was impressed with the packaging - compartmental box very strong.
To set the scene I have walked, cycled and skied around the world and in my younger days was a competitive orienteer. Therefore I like OS maps!
If you want a "miniature" electronic satellite map reader then forget this product. If you want a satellite map reader that is very well built, feels strong and has a large screen that you can read clearly, is easy to navigate around the device then this is the product.
The instructions are clear and well laid out, it takes a little getting used to some of the terminology eg convert Trail to Track. Follow what it says on the screen and you will not go wrong. The joy stick is easy to use as are the buttons. I love the screen brightness technology - able to read the screen in strong sun light or the red screen for night. To save battery power reduce the screens brightness.
I purchased the combined pack that includes the power pack - works all day and night! (But you need to manage the power usage eg do not have screen on 100% of the time).
Bike mount is very good - strong and will not move. I have taken over very rough ground at high speed. Able to place mount anywhere you want.
All software is upgradable; I have Linux on my PC which satmap does not support BUT they will provide micro card with updates. The the only failing is my use of Linux although I have found various ways around this if you want to download and save/plan your walks/rides/ski.
I forgot to mention - I did use it when I went skiing (off piste) no problems at all except it is heavy in the pocket.
I regard this product as the "Rolls Royce" of satellite navigation aids.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works for me,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)This is my first GPS for walking, although I've used sailing GPS for a number of years. Bought the SATMAP for our coast to coast Wainwright walk because I liked the chunky feel, button operation and the link with OS maps. I've used it on Dartmoor with the 1:50K supplied and on the coast to coast with the 1:25K C2C map [cost £30 with offer].
I've had very good satellite reception throughout - it takes a few minutes to lock but then will stay locked all day. The weather was wet in the Lakes and Dales and the satmap came through almost daily soakings with no problems. Battery life [using rechargeable battery pack] was good, lasting 8 - 10 hours with no problem. I did use hibernation mode throughout, which reduces some tracking functions.
As a long time user of compass, map and common sense I'd wondered how I would take to using digital. Brilliant. My only worry is that always being able to find out instantly where you are within a few meters may erode those hard won skills of keeping track of position.
I found it more useful than I'd expected in wayfinding. The coast to coast is mostly track walking and these are often well defined but, as always, there are places where the path choice is not obvious, the track disappears or the route is impassable. The satmap allowed us to cope with these situations quickly, easily and with certainty. It was a great comfort a few times, when the mist was thick and the wind was howling, to be able to check that we were on course.
I carried but didn't use my paper maps of the Lakes on the walk, although they were good for group planning and reminding ourselves where we had been - especially on those misty days! The 1:50k paper map was good to drag out to get an overview of the route, especially on the longer, flatter sections in Yorkshire.
On this trip I used the satmap by creating a detailed route for each day in Xpedition and then downloading to satmap - very easy to do. A word of warning; the C2C routes supplied with the 1:25K map pretty much follow the line of the rights of way marked in green. These are not always reliable and I made my own routes using Henry Stedman's book and the aerial photos on Xpedition. There is one point at Loft Beck when following the green right of way would take you up the wrong side of the beck. I have also found that some of the Dartmoor OS rights of way do not follow actual tracks on the ground. Strangely, the tracks marked on the 1:50k OS seem more accurate.
Overall a very good, practical piece of kit that saved a lot of time on a long walk. Five stars because it worked for me.
Suggested improvements for the next update.
1. Rechargeable battery caddy so that you could change batteries without unplugging - you can do this with the AA batteries but not with the supplied rechargeable. I have some very good rechargeabale AAs which may solve this, but I haven't had a chance to try them on a long trip.
2. This would also make a reset quicker if the satmap freezes. I never got a freeze when out but it did go a couple of times when I was setting up routes, and you have to disconnect power to reset. Or perhaps just a reset sequence on the buttons?
3. I was never very convinced about the compass. Being used to the usual type of pocket compass I found the jerky variation on the satmap compass didn't inspire confidence. This is probably just me.
4. Cheaper 1:25k maps!
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB map,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)Although I've only had my Satmap for 2 months, so far, it's done everything I've required of it.
Given that I acquired mine with the full GB 1/50,000 mapping for a very similar, if not better, price than the Memorymap 3500, I would say that not only does the Satmap appear to be a far better device (based upon customer reviews I've read for the Memorymap 3500), it is also better value. Additionally, the Satmap (so far) has worked well and proved dependable. Admittedly I've only used it for short walks of a maximum of about 2 hours, but the rechargeable battery life appears to last well, and I've had no trouble picking up a satellite fix even beneath dense tree cover. I've also found it to give reasonably accurate grid references which I've used for plotting a survey in a cad program. One minor gripe is the awkward way of changing from the rechargeable battery to AAs, which could for example be a bit of a pain if the rechargeable pack runs out in the middle of a hike, say in lousy cold, wet weather somewhere out on the moors, and spare AA batteries are used instead.
The only couple of major downsides I've experiencesd (which are no fault of the device itself) is the expensive 1/25000 mapping, plus the fact that the map cards won't work on other gps devices, or a pc. Additional mapping software still needs to be purchased for plotting and / or displaying routes (on Ordnance Survey maps) on a pc, unless an annual subscription to the Satmap internet based mapping service is taken out, not good in my opinion.
Based on my (short) experience to date, I can thoroughly recommend the Satmap (especially if it comes bundled with the full GB mapping), but with the caveat of rather expensive additional mapping, for which I'll give the product 4 out of 5.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't go walking without it,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)Just purchased this product with complete GB coverage and think its brilliant. I had a Garmin GPS 60 before that was completely useless as every time in the vallies or woods it would loose signal. This on the other hand picked up signals even in deep coverage with no problem. I would say that it is a little fiddly to produce a route on the device and is much easier on the satmap website or using memory map and transfering the route to the device.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neat package,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)I have always been a fan of GPS since I used it professionally for surveys. That was when there were only a few satellites in orbit and you had to plan your surveys for when you had enough in sight. This hand held unit is fast to lock and is very accurate even in dubious circumstances (near buildings, under trees etc.) As a quick reference checker it works well with the 1:25000 OS maps, but the maps are expensive! Also the OS maps are not always 100% accurate. However, the functionality of the unit is unquestionable. One improvement I would like to see is the battery options. Three Lithium cells last about 8 hours, but they are about £6 a pop. The rechargeable pack can only be charged in the Satmap. So I would like a spare rechargeable pack that I can charge separately from the battery in the Satmap. Also the battery remaining indicator is not terribly good, it seems to show full charge until it dies. However, you never use these things as primary navigation aids so it is just a nuisance. The manufacturer seems keen on improving the product and no doubt the evolution of features will improve with time. The Satmap is certainly the most instinctive hand-held GPS for walking I have handled, so if you are thinking of taking the plunge, I recommend it. The price is getting about right and I love the box it comes in as well!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The system to buy,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)I have used satnav systems since before the geostationary sattelites were launched and have seen the development of systems since the mid 80's This is a fine product that is has good as any system I have seen.I read several reviews and bought it with a slight fear that I may be a little disappointed. But there are no worries . It does what it needs to quite easily. You plan a route . Go to the start. Switch it on and off you go and it shows where you are on the map constantly , in clouding the direction you need to go to the next way point and the distance. What more can you want? Yes you need to familiarise yourself with it before you start and the more you use it the more you can get out of it. As with all systems it is a back up for a paper map system. Battery performance seems to be really good if you fully charge it before starting. But if I were to make a recommendation to anyone all I would say is buy one if it is the sort of thing you want to buy. Maps are expensive but think carefully about your needs before parting with your money for extra maps. The one that comes with it GB 1:50,000 is fine for general use
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB map,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)I bought the Active 10 in November 2011 and have used it for over 20 walks, not long ones but around 2 hours each. I found it easy to use, preferring buttons to touch screens. The large screen size makes it easy to view and the OS mapping is excellent, Also love the 1:25000 OS County maps which come with a 1:10000 street map The OS mapping was the main reason I went for a Satmap. I use it with Memory Map on the PC using Sat Sync to plan and upload routes and down load tracks which I have walked, the accuracy of the Satmap is excellent, far better than my old Magellan.
I've only 2 issues which I did not like, as with other reviews changing the battery pack to fit the rechargeable battery was very fiddly and would not want to change it on a walk, but I only use the rechargeable battery so once fitted it was no problem. I also had a broken battery cover, I took it out the case and it was in 2 halves, I had been very careful with the unit never dropped it or given it any rough handling . I contacted satmap who sent me a replacement at no cost. 10 out of 10 for customer service.
I still feel the satmap deserves 5 stars even with the two issues, it would be nice to see them sorted out, it certainly would not take much to design a stronger battery cover.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I choose the SatMap Active 10 +,
This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)After over a year deliberating and reviewing I finally decided on the SatMap Active 10 and it has not disappointed. It has been on three trips into the mountain in varying conditions and has performed perfectly. The screen is clear, bright and is easy to read in sunlight, the size of the unit is just right, the buttons are responsive, the menu and functions are easy to get used and to and it does not have a touch screen!
I have been using the unit with Memory Map which I use to create a route and use SatSync to upload and download routes and tracks to my PC.
Good screen and easily readable in a number of conditions
Route profile and being able to see where you are on your route
Ability to display a number of different information boxes on the map screen
Ease of transfer between PC and unit
Battery life only used the rechargeable pack and it has not gone below 3 bars!
Ability to change front cover and by replacements
Ability to send back to SatMap for a refurb if required
Could be Improved
Whilst a fantastic idea the actual implementation of the fitting could be better as the clips can easily break
Rechargeable battery is a bit loose and you can feel it move in the battery housing
Needs a way of easily attaching to a rucksack shoulder strap
Overall very impressed and pleased with the purchase.
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