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Thread: Road Angel Gem+ or similar speed monitor advice?

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    Senior Member sijones's Avatar
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    Road Angel Gem+ or similar speed monitor advice?

    Hi All,

    OK, a bit of background... I've just received a fixed penalty for doing 38mph in a 30 zone. I got similarly caught just under 3 years ago, so there will be no option for an Awareness Course, it's 3 points for me and the fine / insurance expense that goes with it.

    I'm a bit of a potterer by nature, and usually drive to the limit. On both my transgressions I genuinely thought I was in a 40 stretch - I wasn't. Not looking for sympathy, on both occasions there were '30' signs that I'd missed on entering the (non-residential) areas, so no-one to blame but myself.

    I've been considering installing something that will remove all doubt as to what the current speed limit is, and will give me a prod if I'm exceeding it. One such gadget is the Road Angel Gem +, which has a constantly updating database of the speed limit at your current GPS location. It's got a phone SIM card in it, so I guess it phones home periodically to update its database. It's not cheap though, and needs an annual subscription to keep itself up-to-date (and pay for the phone SIM contract I guess).

    Anyone used one of these and can comment on it? Or suggest an alternative that does what I want (ie know the speed current limit and warn you if you're in excess). Ideally it'd be hard wired & not too much of a pain to remove when I'm parked up away from home or work.

    The Road Angel also has a radar detector built in, but that's not why I'm looking at it. I'm not trying to avoid speed traps as such, I'm just trying to be sure I'm driving at or below the limit.

    My X-Type has a heated windscreen, which I gather may well hinder the Road Angel radar feature anyway. It's only if the GPS is blocked that it would be a total non-starter for me.

    I have built-in satnav, which I'm happy with, so any new gadget I fit doesn't need to have that functionality. Any thoughts / experience / advice? Thanks in advance.

    [I'd be grateful if we could stay away from a debate on the rights & wrongs of speeding, speed traps, etc, or the details of where I was photographed and why I misread the limit. I accept there are speed limits, and they are enforced. I'm not making excuses or looking for sympathy. I was over the limit and just want to help myself not do it again]
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    I got done over 4 years ago doing 49 in a 30mph limit on a dual carriage way believe it or not (thought is was a 40) got 3 points and a £60 fine first speeding fine. Bought a road angel gem after the event, good for alerts but had to be replaced under warranty as they can be prone to power failure. To be honest the replacement model has been ok. The screen can be a pain if there is strong sunlight and it will go dim if it requires a software update from your PC. Overall quite happy with the Gem
    56 plate S type R

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fat Boy Slim's Avatar
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    Had you considered one of the up market Garmins complete with dash cam. They display all of the speed limits etc.

    As a loyalty card holder of the "Advanced Motorists" sessions they hold for us naughty boys (also know as Speed Awareness courses), I use mine more and more nowadays. Momentary lapse in a 40 MPH is my usual invitation to a day of coffee and biscuits while being bored to death.

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    Senior Member sijones's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies both. I haven't really decided what to do in the long term...

    The Road Angel functionality certainly includes exactly what I'm looking for: a nice fat display of the current speed limit, and a warning if I'm in excess. I'm just a bit put off by the relatively high initial cost + £100/year subscription, along with some bad reports about hardware reliability & the accuracy of the database. Interesting to hear about the failure of your first unit goshawk. Also, I'd be paying for radar-detection that I don't want, and which may not work with my heated screen anyway.


    I didn't know that the latest satnavs had this sort of functionality rolled in, things have certainly moved on - but it looks like the current speed limit is displayed relatively small (because that's not the device's main purpose of course - I don't think most people are interested in the same main function that I am). Similarly, I'd be paying for functionality that I already have (satnav & dashcam).


    So for the short term I've dusted off an old Android phone, have stripped off all the apps & added the Cameralert app and subscribed to the database at PocketGPSWorld.com (£20/year, updated weekly). The phone has no working SIM card, but I can update the database from my home wi-fi when parked on the drive.

    This solution certainly isn't in the spirit of what I originally wanted: Cameralert is blatantly a speedtrap avoiding software so it only shows the speed limit near a known speedtrap. It doesn't tell you the speed limit of roads in general. But it's dirt cheap and will hopefully help me not make a similar stupid mistake in future.

    Thanks for the advice & opinions!
    2004 X-Type Sport Premium 2.0D Estate. Retrofitted Bluetooth, CD changer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fat Boy Slim's Avatar
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    Don't be fooled by the big picture of the Road Angel. It only has a 1.75" screen. It's damned hard to see much in it. Why it is so small I do not know.

    A nice big 5" screen is much easier.

    Good luck.

    Tony

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    Senior Member police666's Avatar
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    download one of the free speed camera apps for your smart phone or one of the sat nave aps that includes speed monitoring and camera locations, i use copilot for android, it has a warning when you are exceeding the speed limit and speed camera locations too
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    Senior Member Graham1402's Avatar
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    I was caught at 34 in a 30 zone and was given a speed awareness course.

    I expected to be the oldest, 55yr, driver amongst a lot of boy racers. Turned out to be the other way round.

    Anyway, so as to not get caught again, I bought a Garmin sat nav, for the warning beep when exceeding the speed limit.

    Excellent bit of kit, well made: Nuvi 2595LM lifetime maps. The database notifies you of known fixed and mobile speed cameras.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member stanboy's Avatar
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    Cyclops app just displays speed
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Fat Boy Slim's Avatar
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    It's not a speed awareness course, it's an "advanced drivers course".

    Hang on in there and eventually you will be like me and have a loyalty card for it.

    Seems a bit daft, £80 for the course and no points against £100 plus 3 points for the fixed penalty. They will pick up on that soon.

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