Would FM Broadcast And NOAA Weather Radio Be A Good Feature On Garmin Auto GPS Units?

 

As posted above, do people here think that FM Broadcast And NOAA Weather Radio would be good features on Garmin automobile GPS units? I picked up a Garmin Monterra a week ago. Granted, it is a trail GPS, but it has both of those features. I know some people do use their automobile GPS units out of their vehicle and it might to handy to have that capability built in.

In fact, some of the Garmins do, in essence, have FM radio built into them, but it is used for HD traffic or older legacy traffic units.

The weather radio might be particularly handy if the GPS signal was used to tune the NOAA weather radio to the nearest station and monitored silently for the weather alert tone. It could either use the older 1050 hZ format or the newer SAME technology.

I would much rather see local weather radar on a Nuvi ...

w/o having to pay for a telco data subscription. After all, as taxpayers we have already payed for all of the consolidated technologies + all ongoing NOAA expenses. idea

naw

Who in the world would ever think to use those feactchers in an automobile GPS? We just drive around aimlessly without giving either a thought.

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

would be nice to have, but

would be nice to have, but not needed.

I don't think it's

I don't think it's necessary. In many areas the local news stations broadcast the local weather every 10 - 15 minutes.

Local Stations Useless For Travelers

ryten wrote:

I don't think it's necessary. In many areas the local news stations broadcast the local weather every 10 - 15 minutes.

Maybe for someone local. I haven't listened to guar broadcast radio for 10 years. I use Sirius/XM. When I'm traveling, it's too tedious to keep searching a radio station every thirty minutes, nor am I inclined to.

If I'm local, I already know what the weather is. If I'm halfway across the country, I'm to that up to speed on the current weather. Adding a NOAA receiver to the GPS would be a plus.

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Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

No

No.

I have NOAA weather app on my phone.

Why would I want it on a device that is not really portable (battery life mainly) & stays in the car?

FM Radio? Never use the car's radio system. So again No.

I can't even see the benefit of the GPS having Bluetooth when the car has it & that's the only place I use BT.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

limited applicability

Jim1348 wrote:

As posted above, do people here think that FM Broadcast And NOAA Weather Radio would be good features on Garmin automobile GPS units?

Local FM broadcasts are a waste as a traveler has no idea of what formats are available in any given area. NOAA weather requires a database of not only the allocated channels which are VHF frequencies but also the locations of the transmitters and their coverage areas. Then it would need an additional database and filtering to determine if an alert has been broadcast or if the station is giving just routine weather broadcasts.

How this would be implemented is also something that requires careful consideration. Do you do a pop-up alert when a weather event is broadcast, do you play the report over the unit speakers or is it something that has to be selected? The devil is in how the additional capability would be implemented and if people would be willing to pay extra for the feature. My guess is if they want the weather, enable it through Smartlink as it is already on many units.

--
ɐ‾nsǝɹ Just one click away from the end of the Internet

Could be done

a_user wrote:

Local FM broadcasts are a waste as a traveler has no idea of what formats are available in any given area. NOAA weather requires a database of not only the allocated channels which are VHF frequencies but also the locations of the transmitters and their coverage areas. Then it would need an additional database and filtering to determine if an alert has been broadcast or if the station is giving just routine weather broadcasts.

How this would be implemented is also something that requires careful consideration. Do you do a pop-up alert when a weather event is broadcast, do you play the report over the unit speakers or is it something that has to be selected? The devil is in how the additional capability would be implemented and if people would be willing to pay extra for the feature. My guess is if they want the weather, enable it through Smartlink as it is already on many units.

Actually I don't think it would be that hard. There's 7 allocated NWS radio frequencies (with a couple oddballs), a database of coverage wouldn't be that hard to compile.

There's already FIPS codes which wouldn't be hard to properly translate into something usable. The GPS follows the closest transmitter, and watches/warnings by FIPS codes.

But I agree the targeted user base would be minuscule. Most newer cellphones already receive emergency alerts, and if you're planning a back country trip you should already know what you're heading into, and there are plenty of portable NWS receivers already on the market for just such a use at reasonable prices.

NOAA Weather and FM on a GPSr Would be Good Features But…

I carried a NOAA weather receiver in my vehicle for many years when I was commuting and found its usefulness to be quite limited. Without a high gain antenna, the NOAA broadcast signal in the 162 MHZ band is too weak to provide in vehicle reception in many areas. Not surprisingly, the rural areas are the most problematic.

Although NOAA claims a good coverage area:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/Maps/index.php

I’ve found that local conditions while driving often make the service unuseable.

An antenna that would provide adequate reception for a large enough geographic area would be difficult to fit into a GPSr case and would most likely increase the cost of the unit.

I can see a use for NOAA and FM with people without smartphones who carry their GPS outside a vehicle but are there enough of them to create a market for such a unit?

Although it requires a smartphone with a data plan, I much prefer Garmin’s Smartphone Link app and compatible GPSr to get weather information.

Definitely

Definitely, if the service could be linked to your current location and provide warnings within a radius of the location (maybe 30 to 60 miles). You would need the ability to set the level and types of warnings provided, just like you can with most NOAA radios.

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NUVI2555LMT, NUVI350

Only 8

a_user wrote:
Jim1348 wrote:

As posted above, do people here think that FM Broadcast And NOAA Weather Radio would be good features on Garmin automobile GPS units?

Local FM broadcasts are a waste as a traveler has no idea of what formats are available in any given area. NOAA weather requires a database of not only the allocated channels which are VHF frequencies but also the locations of the transmitters and their coverage areas. Then it would need an additional database and filtering to determine if an alert has been broadcast or if the station is giving just routine weather broadcasts.

How this would be implemented is also something that requires careful consideration. Do you do a pop-up alert when a weather event is broadcast, do you play the report over the unit speakers or is it something that has to be selected? The devil is in how the additional capability would be implemented and if people would be willing to pay extra for the feature. My guess is if they want the weather, enable it through Smartlink as it is already on many units.

There are only 8 Weather channels. A small scanner is trivial to program. At any given time, you may only be able to receive 3 at the most. Allow it to alert to any received alert. The alert area is identified in the broadcast. Very easy to implement and very simple.

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Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

No

While it would be beneficial to have knowledge of local weather conditions up ahead on a route, I would ask you to consider the programming which would be required to make it meaningful to a traveler.

In an hour, one will have traveled 60 miles or so along the route so "local" takes on a very broad meaning. What you are interested in is the weather you will be going into. How accurate is your weather forecast now for the next hour? I would say not so good. It may be raining where you are and not raining only 5 miles away.

How would one translate an audio weather forecast into moving coordinates? Yes, the weather radio knows that you are in an area that may be impacted by weather moving in your direction. But, now you are asking Garmin to take alert signals and work out both where they are, how fast they are moving and in what direction they are moving. This is vastly different from FM traffic which is isolated to known and static coordinates.

This is a situation that would generate all kinds of complaints for Garmin when they had nothing to do with the accuracy (or lack thereof) for forecasts to begin with.

If you knew that there was a severe thunderstorm ahead on your route, what would you do? Pull over and wait it out? Not likely. So, why have it?

How much would the average person pay for having such a capability assuming that some coordination between NOAA and GPS manufacturers could be worked out?

NOAA Weather

I would LOVE to have the ability to receive NOAA weather broadcasts in my car.

Either thru the OEM radio/nav system or a portable GPS.

anyone already doing this?

pratzert wrote:

I would LOVE to have the ability to receive NOAA weather broadcasts in my car.

Either thru the OEM radio/nav system or a portable GPS.

As others have said, you can't put a decent NOAA antenna in the case, you'll need at the least a long wire antenna hanging off the case (or a part of a power cord).

As a ham radio operator I had access to NOAA on a ham radio that I had in my car for years. I did rarely tune in the NOAA transmissions, but not enough to want it in a GPSr if it adds any cost at all.

There are only a few frequencies to check and it is easy enough to build a scanner to simply lock on the strongest signal or let a user step through them. But my question for those who advocate this is, you can already buy an inexpensive NOAA weather alert radio and it is easy enough to install it in the car (assuming that you can find a space to stick it). Have any of you actually done this? If you are not taking advantage of the options that you have now then I don't see any point in requesting something else that isn't likely to be commercially well received.

...

Perhaps for severe weather alerts, NOAA reception could be useful.

Would FM Broadcast And NOAA Weather Radio Be A Good Feature

Frovingslosh wrote:

As others have said, you can't put a decent NOAA antenna in the case, you'll need at the least a long wire antenna hanging off the case (or a part of a power cord).....

This is an excellent point. The antenna for the HD traffic functionality is contained in the GPS power cord. It is definitely a compromise. I realize that HD radio does note cover as far as the "parent" analog FM signal, but using the power cord as an antenna reduced the range even further.