My office stationery suppliers often throw in free gifts with the latest order, often tacky kitchenware that falls apart after a few uses; this time it’s something a bit more sophisticated, a little GPS device for navigation while you are driving (specifically, a Connex GPC35Js running a system called PolNav Car Navigator).

My problem: turning the bugger on. The instruction booklet is fairly useless: it says that to get the initial GPS fix you have to have it outside in an area fairly clear of buildings for some time. But what it doesn’t give you is the crucial information of what state the unit should be in when you are getting that initial fix. Do I need to have the navigation software turned on, or does the unit magically know how to find the satellites anyway? And what of the mysterious “GPS test” hidden in the settings, where it seems to look for and find the satellite positions, but then not do anything with the information?

Suggestions gratefully accepted.

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