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Seeking Advice on SporTrak Handheld GPS

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  • jaslane64
    In preparing to purchase a new handheld GPS, I learned a great deal by reading the reviews posted in this forum. Based on these and other inputs, I ordered a
    Message 1 of 6 , May 10 8:05 AM
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      In preparing to purchase a new handheld GPS, I learned a great deal
      by reading the reviews posted in this forum. Based on these and
      other inputs, I ordered a Magellan SporTrak Pro. I have just begun
      to experiment with it, and am very favorably impressed with its ease
      of use and its ability to acquire satellites.

      I have run into one problem, however. When the unit is viewed in
      glancing sunlight, or through polarized sunglasses, there are two
      dark spots on the LCD viewing screen. They are each about a quarter
      inch wide, and extend up from the bottom edge of the screen, near the
      center of the width, perhaps a half inch long. I have photos showing
      what these look like, but I don't know how to attach them here. I
      sent the unit to the manufacturer (Thales) to examine, and they told
      me that all LCDs on all GPS systems exhibit this distortion, because
      these are two points where gel is injected into the LCD, and
      electrical leads are attached here.

      I have asked a couple of experienced GPS users about this, and they
      think the spots on my screen are unusual, and that I might be
      somewhat justified in being disappointed that I spent over $200
      (which is a lot for me) on something that at least LOOKS a bit cheesy.

      I would be most grateful for any feedback from other GPS
      users/testers on this issue. Do most units show this type of
      stress/polarization discolorization on the LCDs? (I would be happy
      to e-mail photos if that would help.) Does it get worse with time?
      What is the norm in the marketplace, and what should I reasonably
      exect from the manufacturer?

      Thanks, in advance, for any advice.
    • Shane Steinkamp
      ... Magellan is correct. All the Magellan screens I have seen exhibit this. It isn t a defect in the screen, it s a result of the polarization by your
      Message 2 of 6 , May 10 7:27 PM
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        > I would be most grateful for any feedback from other GPS
        > users/testers on this issue. Do most units show this type of
        > stress/polarization discolorization on the LCDs? (I would be happy
        > to e-mail photos if that would help.) Does it get worse with time?
        > What is the norm in the marketplace, and what should I reasonably
        > exect from the manufacturer?

        Magellan is correct. All the Magellan screens I have seen exhibit this. It
        isn't a defect in the screen, it's a result of the polarization by your
        sunglasses. Every small LCD screen I have ever seen through my polarized
        glasses exhibits this phenomenon. My cell phone, PDAs, even my Laptop.
        There isn't anything the manufacturer will be able to do. It's a byproduct
        of the manufacturing process.

        It does not get worse over time.

        Shane
      • Pwyll
        ... Yes. It is an artefact LCD screens. My Sony Clie SL10, Nokia 3595, Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP and Magellan SportTrac Pro all exhibit, to various
        Message 3 of 6 , May 10 7:56 PM
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          At 11:05 AM 5/10/05, jaslane64 wrote:

          >I have run into one problem, however. When the unit is viewed in
          >glancing sunlight, or through polarized sunglasses, there are two
          >dark spots on the LCD viewing screen. They are each about a quarter
          >inch wide, and extend up from the bottom edge of the screen, near the
          >center of the width, perhaps a half inch long.
          >
          >I would be most grateful for any feedback from other GPS
          >users/testers on this issue. Do most units show this type of
          >stress/polarization discolorization on the LCDs?

          Yes. It is an artefact LCD screens. My Sony Clie SL10, Nokia 3595,
          Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP and Magellan SportTrac Pro all exhibit, to
          various degrees, the same peculiarity when viewed through polarized lenses.

          > Does it get worse with time?

          No.

          >What is the norm in the marketplace, and what should I reasonably
          >exect from the manufacturer?

          Not sure what you mean here, but the situation sounds normal for an LCD
          screen.

          >I have asked a couple of experienced GPS users about this, and they
          >think the spots on my screen are unusual, and that I might be
          >somewhat justified in being disappointed that I spent over $200
          >(which is a lot for me) on something that at least LOOKS a bit cheesy.

          I suspect they've either not viewed their units through polarized lenses or
          have simply not noticed. I can't read the Clie or play the Gameboy with my
          sunglasses on because the "spots" are so prevelant and disruptive, but
          generally have no problem using the phone or the SportTrac since it's no
          enough to bother me with those.

          Some screens are a little worse than others (within the same product) and I
          suspect that it's a subtle difference in the amount crystalline matrix
          injected, but I don't really know. If it's enough to be a problem (it
          really bothers you) and you've bought it fairly recently, I'd suggest going
          back to the store and check out other units /with your sunglasses on/ and
          see about exchanging it for one where the spots are less prevalent...


          Scott



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        • Pwyll
          ... Oops. Should have read ahead. Sorry for the clutter... Scott -- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus
          Message 4 of 6 , May 10 8:00 PM
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            At 10:27 PM 5/10/05, Shane wrote:

            >It isn't a defect in the screen, it's a result of the polarization by your
            >sunglasses. Every small LCD screen I have ever seen through my polarized
            >glasses exhibits this phenomenon.

            Oops. Should have read ahead. Sorry for the clutter...


            Scott




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          • Rebecca
            Fortunately my SporTrak Color seems to be one with minimal effects. I use polarized glasses all of the time when I use the GPSr (frequently on snow) and only
            Message 5 of 6 , May 10 8:50 PM
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              Fortunately my SporTrak Color seems to be one with minimal effects. I use
              polarized glasses all of the time when I use the GPSr (frequently on snow)
              and only notice a slight discolorization in the corners. It probably varies
              from unit to unit. But, like Shane said, you shouldn't feel ripped off by
              this - it's a normal phenomenon.


              -----Original Message-----
              From: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Shane Steinkamp
              Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 7:27 PM
              To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [BackpackGearTest] Seeking Advice on SporTrak Handheld GPS


              > I would be most grateful for any feedback from other GPS
              > users/testers on this issue. Do most units show this type of
              > stress/polarization discolorization on the LCDs? (I would be happy
              > to e-mail photos if that would help.) Does it get worse with time?
              > What is the norm in the marketplace, and what should I reasonably
              > exect from the manufacturer?

              Magellan is correct. All the Magellan screens I have seen exhibit this. It
              isn't a defect in the screen, it's a result of the polarization by your
              sunglasses. Every small LCD screen I have ever seen through my polarized
              glasses exhibits this phenomenon. My cell phone, PDAs, even my Laptop.
              There isn't anything the manufacturer will be able to do. It's a byproduct
              of the manufacturing process.

              It does not get worse over time.

              Shane




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            • Alex Tweedly
              ... If it varies from unit to unit - how can we tell whether he should feel ripped off or not ? He may indeed have a faulty unit, or at least one at the
              Message 6 of 6 , May 11 1:57 AM
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                Rebecca wrote:

                >Fortunately my SporTrak Color seems to be one with minimal effects. I use
                >polarized glasses all of the time when I use the GPSr (frequently on snow)
                >and only notice a slight discolorization in the corners.
                >
                >It probably varies
                >from unit to unit. But, like Shane said, you shouldn't feel ripped off by
                >this - it's a normal phenomenon.
                >
                >
                If it varies from unit to unit - how can we tell whether he should feel
                ripped off or not ?
                He may indeed have a faulty unit, or at least one at the extreme end of
                the variation, where the spots/discolouration are much more severe than
                anyone else here has seen.

                So I think it's fair to say that *some* discolouration is normal - but
                whether this particular unit falls in the normal range we can't tell -
                and to be honest, even enclosing photos is still going to leave a lot of
                doubt.

                I'd take it back to the store I bought it in, with sunglasses, and
                compare it against other units.

                --
                Alex Tweedly http://www.tweedly.net



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