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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I bought the SLT back in January & the MyGig system was not available at the time. Since then, the GPS, handsfree phone & MP3 playback functionality is looking pretty attractive. So I checked into the TomTom & Garmin dashmount GPS units.

The Garmin c550 is getting excellent reviews everywhere I looked. It retails for like $500 or $600 at places like Circuit City or Buy.com. I landed one from Ebay for $350 & got it all hooked up this weekend. Let me tell you, this thing is so simple it's unreal. The auction I picked it up on did not include the manual, but there is a 50 something page .pdf version on the Garmin.com website. By the time it was done printing, I already had the Bluetooth connection with my cell phone, and had some MP3s copied to an SD memory stick & was playing with the handsfree phone & MP3 playback features! The screen is not very big, but it's bright & the fonts are big & bold so it is visible even with the sunlight shining thru the sunroof.

The audio is hooked up thru the stereo's AUX port, so MP3 playback sounds great. And the cell phone calls come thru the stereo too (just be sure your stereo is on AUX when you get or make a call). The c550 supports SD memory, & I just happen to have like 4 of the 512 meg. & 1 gig. SD cards. So getting music on the unit is a breeze.

The Bluetooth setup connected to my Verizon LG VX8300 easily even though the phone is NOT on their supported list. But it even copied the phonebook over. So making a call is a snap. I would say that call quality is like a 7 or 8 out of 10. There is a plug in mike available for about $15 but frankly I don't think it's needed.

Great option to add to an existing system....Joe Bob says check it out! :4-jump2:
 

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Hey guys,
I bought the SLT back in January & the MyGig system was not available at the time. Since then, the GPS, handsfree phone & MP3 playback functionality is looking pretty attractive. So I checked into the TomTom & Garmin dashmount GPS units.

The Garmin c550 is getting excellent reviews everywhere I looked. It retails for like $500 or $600 at places like Circuit City or Buy.com. I landed one from Ebay for $350 & got it all hooked up this weekend. Let me tell you, this thing is so simple it's unreal. The auction I picked it up on did not include the manual, but there is a 50 something page .pdf version on the Garmin.com website. By the time it was done printing, I already had the Bluetooth connection with my cell phone, and had some MP3s copied to an SD memory stick & was playing with the handsfree phone & MP3 playback features! The screen is not very big, but it's bright & the fonts are big & bold so it is visible even with the sunlight shining thru the sunroof.

The audio is hooked up thru the stereo's AUX port, so MP3 playback sounds great. And the cell phone calls come thru the stereo too (just be sure your stereo is on AUX when you get or make a call). The c550 supports SD memory, & I just happen to have like 4 of the 512 meg. & 1 gig. SD cards. So getting music on the unit is a breeze.

The Bluetooth setup connected to my Verizon LG VX8300 easily even though the phone is NOT on their supported list. But it even copied the phonebook over. So making a call is a snap. I would say that call quality is like a 7 or 8 out of 10. There is a plug in mike available for about $15 but frankly I don't think it's needed.

Great option to add to an existing system....Joe Bob says check it out! :4-jump2:

Hey AJ! Yea it is a nice unit, had mine for 2 months now....:Na_Na_Na_Na:
 

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AirJunky haven't tried the ph. hookup yet but everything else you said is true & works great, the screen is a little small but has not caused me any problems either. Great to have another member join the who needs a mygig club. lol:pepper:
 

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Air,
Very cool!!! Looks nice where you have it!
Got one question for you...do you have to keep it on AUX to get a call? What I mean is, do you just hit that button when your phone rings?
Oh, I have one more question....LOL
Did you plug into the Aux at the rear of the radio somewhere?
Thanks bud!!
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hehe, the "who needs a MyGig club".... gotta like that your getting almost all the functionality at less than 1/2 the cost though!

Hey Jon,
To answer a call, I have to hit the Answer button on the GPS, and then make sure the stereo is on AUX & the volume turned up. I've probably taken about 5 calls so far & I'm definitely better at it now than I was on Saturday!!
I ran the power & audio wires down the back side of the dash & plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet & the AUX port on the front of the stereo. The power outlet is switched with the ignition so the Garmin unit goes up & down with the ignition.

I think I'll clean it up by installing a 2nd power outlet inside the glovebox & plug into that instead. There may very well be a way to plug into the back of the stereo too, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

Also, there is a traffic monitoring system tied into the GPS. It will reroute you around traffic problems based on info it recieves over the FM band..... if your in one of their supported areas. I live near BFE so we don't have traffic. But will be able to get it when I travel to Seattle or Portland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I mounted the C550 in a more permanent location on the dash this weekend..... getting it off the windshield. The Ram mount itself was only like $5 & it's stuck in the tray using double stick tape (so when I uninstall the C550 someday, I can return it to stock). Then I drilled a hole in the bottom of the tray for the wires to go into the dash.

Next, I'll install a power plug inside the glovebox or under the dash so I can get the power plug/FM reciever off the dash.

The Bluetooth phone capability is top notch on this thing. And MP3 playback is excellent. I've only used the GPS functionality a few times and it really changes how you do things (no more printing directions from Yahoo Maps). Overall it's a great alternative to MyGig.
 

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So let me make sure i got this straight. with this unit even if your u connect isnt hooked up stock you can use the feature through this gps unit? or do i need to goto the dealership and get it connected?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The C550 has an audio output that you can plug into the AUX input on the front of your stock stereo. Using the Bluetooth functionality built into the C550 & the cell phone (an LG 8300 in my case), I'm able to go handsfree on the phone. The caller's voice plays over the stereo, and the mic on the C550 picks me up easily. Plus I see better quality mics available for about $15 on Ebay (but haven't felt the need yet).
The UConnect buttons on your stereo are not used at all. This is purely an alternative to the UConnect, which may or may not be available yet. But the ability to have Bluetooth, MP3 playback, plus turn by turn GPS for under $400..... it was an easy decision for me.
 

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Thank you! I copied the way tou mounted your Garmin 550 with my 660 and let me tell you you are the man!! Thanks again! By the way the Garmin nuvi 660 is another alt to the mygig I saved $$$ and can move it to my other cars. The bluetooth works great and very easy to set up.I think it a great way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
HEhe, sweet. Glad to hear it works for you too.

I got to thinking about another way to mount it..... definitely a lot more permanent & I'm not sure I'm motivated enough. Cut the front edge of the plastic tray so the GPS is cradled in it. Using that same mount & the fiberglass techniques those custom stereo guys use, you could easily mod the tray so the GPS sat in it snug & tight.

But the tray would be ruined when you didn't use the GPS anymore. The way it is now, you just peel the mount off & clean it up a bit.
 

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Has anyone had a chance to play with the TomTom GO 910? This one retails for about $300 and also has the bluetooth feature. I've been looking at getting this unit but haven't heard much on this brand other than store reiviews.
 

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The AVN2210P is an indash Headunit with Tom Tom portable navigation. Also provides Blutooth and Ipod integration Suggested retail is $799.00

http://www.eclipse-web.com/avn2210p/index.html
*shudder* thats horrendous :shakehead:

Has anyone had a chance to play with the TomTom GO 910? This one retails for about $300 and also has the bluetooth feature. I've been looking at getting this unit but haven't heard much on this brand other than store reiviews.
i have a tomtom now..its pretty decent..id say its one of the top3 for gps..theres probably better but they arent a bad choice..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The reviews I've read said that the TomTom software kind of sucked for US maps. As I recall it's a Canadian company & they haven't quite got it ramped up here yet. So check with the company on what version of maps your getting.
Garmin on the other hand has pretty good maps in the US. I've used the c550 getting around in the eastern Washington area & the detail in the maps are amazing.
 

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Garmin nuvi 680

Picked up a nuvi 680 today. the sytem is small and fit the dash top space perfectly . The features are great, comes with a yr of msn direct for free. Mp3 player is solid and the blue tooth is awesome. It also has a fm transmitter and a aux out for the stereo input. I wanted to get away from running cables across my dash so this was the answer. I ran the power cord up the back side and poked a hole through the top and the FM transmitter works well for audio output. ill try to post some pics.
 

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Has anyone had a chance to play with the TomTom GO 910? This one retails for about $300 and also has the bluetooth feature. I've been looking at getting this unit but haven't heard much on this brand other than store reiviews.

The GO 910 is great! I have actually had a lot of experience with this unit. It has a descent amount of POIs, an MP3 player, Bluetooth compatibility, TTS (text-to-speech i.e. audio instructions, which is nice because this way you don't have to always keep your eyes on the unit to follow the directions), and a decent battery life. Also you can download 'books on tape' onto its 20g hard drive (it pauses the story when giving directions) and there is aftermarket software available that allows you to watch movies on this unit (I definitely recommend that you parked if you are going to use this feature!). Regarding criticism of tomtom maps this is completely dated! TomTom underwent a major update to its North American maps this past December. The quality/accuracy of these new maps has easily put it on par and/or has surpassed its competitors. $300 is a great price the tomtom website lists it just under $500.
 
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