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Alpine Blackbird PMD-B100

Kyle 0 Points
Does anyone here have any experience, good or bad, with the Alpine Blackbird? I am interested in buying a GPS with traffic and the Blackbird seems to be the cheapest available. I found one for less than $300 (refurbished). Any advice?

Thanks -

Comments

  • Tim 1467 Points
    I have spent just a little bit of time with the Blackbird. From what I saw it looks like a decent device, although nothing remarkably unique. A few owners have commented about it on our Alpine Blackbird B100 page with mixed reviews.
  • Kyle 0 Points
    Tim,

    I read your test of the Alpine, along with the members comments. I still can't believe how great this website is.

    You mentioned the TomTom ONE with traffic availability with a blue tooth cellular telephone. Is there an additional antenna needed as well? Are there charges from the cellular providers to receive the traffic alerts?

    Does the Garmin c550 have detailed traffic alerts like the Alpine, such as yellow icons vs. red icons that indicate the time of delay?

    Also, regardingthe Alpine, I noticed that it has 16 receiver channels vs. the 20 that most other companies have. Is 20 overkill, or is 16 not adequate?

    Thanks again!
  • Tim 1467 Points
    No antenna is needed for traffic on the TomTom devices (currently). It uses a data connection from a compatible Bluetooth enabled phones. The vast majority of phones are not supported. You would need a data plan from your cell provider.

    If you visit our c550 page, along the left is specifications as well as a link to the manual. You can see how the traffic service works around page 19+. Yes, it does have similar colored icons to represent traffic.

    12 versus 16 versus 20 channels is an interesting debate. I'm writing a detailed article about it soon. But consider this. At any one time there will only be a maximum of 12 satellites visible at any one spot on earth. (With a few rare exceptions.) Thus while your GPS can track more satellites at once.... at any given time half of the satellites will be circling the other side of the world.

    With that said.... the chipsets that have more channels are typically based on newer technology that do acquire a signal faster and hold it better.... but not necessarily because of the number of channels in the chipset.
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