Aircraft Radio Sales and Services

     Your Specialists in Avionics, Radio and Navigation Equipment

Located at Building 21, Qantas Avenue, Archerfield Airport, QLD, Australia. Ph:(617) 3277 4500


GPS (Global Positioning System)

Q. What is a GPS?
A GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) receiver accepts data from satellites circumnavigating the globe to triangulate your location on Earth in longitudinal and latitudinal co-ordinates. The more satellites a GPS acquires, the more accurate your position. Older model GPS units had a maximum of 8 channels to receive satellite information whereas today’s GPS units receive up to 12 channels of information. A basic GPS will be able to pin-point your location within an EPE (Estimated Positional Error) of 3-4 metres.

Q. What is a waypoint?
A waypoint is a location you mark on the map of a GPS to be referred to at any time as a favourite destination. You may only mark your current position as waypoint once you have acquired satellites. You may however mark any spot as a waypoint by finding it manually on the map page or by entering it the longitude and latitude co-ordinates.

Q. What is the difference between a route and a track?
A route is created by using existing waypoints or any specific points on the map. These points are then set up in a specific order from one point to the next. On some GPS devices with Autorouting capabilities, along with routable software programs, the device will automatically calculate a route to get from its current location to a specific point. A track is a "bread crumb" trail on the map of all movements until the track is saved or cleared. A track will begin to create after the GPS device acquires satellites and the device begins to move around.

Q. Can I calculate area on my GPS?
. Some handheld and fixed mounted GPS units within the Garmin range can calculate area. This is generally done by clearing the track log and ensuring track recording is on, setting a starting waypoint, circumnavigating the area back to the start, saving the track and reviewing the details of that track. To see whether your model GPS calculates area, please refer to the specifications page of your unit on Garmin’s website at

Q. What are POI’s and custom POI’s?
POI’s (Points Of Interest) can be any destination of interest such as museums, airports, hotels, businesses, tidal stations, wrecks, beacons, buoys etc and are generally included on the appropriate mapping product. Custom POI’s can consist of any user programmable destination to be loaded onto a mapping GPS unit. Custom POI’s of interest such as red-light cameras, fixed speed cameras and school zones may be downloaded onto a street navigation unit for added safe travelling. Sample data for Australia may be downloaded from GME’s website at

Q. Can I change my vehicle icon on my street navigation unit?
Customisable vehicle icon may be changed on any of Garmin’s street navigation unit to spice up the look of your unit. Vehicle icons range from dirtbikes, buggys, santa’s sleigh, snow mobiles, flaming cars, stockcars and tanks etc. For a complete list of customisable vehicle icons, visit Garmin’s website at

Q. How do I update my unit?
. Software updates such as firmware (a GPS’s operating system), languages, voices, satellite receiver software and Bluetooth updates are available by downloading and executing the WebUpdater program from the Support section of Garmin’s website. Mapping updates are ordered via Garmin’s website once your unit has been registered in the MyGarmin section.

Q. What is WAAS?
WAAS stands for Wide Area Augmentation System and consists of approximately 25 ground reference stations positioned across the United States that monitor GPS satellite data. Two master stations located on either coast collect data from the reference stations and create a GPS correction message. This correction accounts for GPS satellite orbit, clock drift and signal delays caused by the atmosphere and ionosphere. The corrected differential message is then broadcasted through one of two geostationary satellites (meaning they don't orbit the earth like regular GPS satellites). This information is compatible with the basic GPS signal structure, which means any WAAS-enabled GPS receiver can read the signal and therefore apply the corrections. WAAS is only of use in the northern hemisphere.

Q. What is a MOB?
. MOB (Man OverBoard) is a feature of some GPS units to immediately mark a waypoint on a map while travelling at speed.

Garmin and GME equipment available for Land, Sea or Air
Located at Building 21, Qantas Avenue, Archerfield Airport, Brisbane. (Enter off Beatty Road)
Ph: +617 3277 4500 Fax: +617 3277 4001


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