Garmin Releases Palm OS Aviation GPS Handheld
Garmin today introduced the iQue 3600a, the first Palm Powered aviation device that is ready to navigate right out of the box. The iQue 3600a package includes an innovative yoke-mounted cradle as well as built-in basemap, terrain, obstacle and Jeppesen databases, all of which turn this full-featured PDA into a premium aviation navigator without any complicated set-up procedures.
In addition to the aviation aspects, the device features all of the automotive turn-by-turn capabilities and personal information management (PIM) applications of Garmin’s popular iQue product line, making it a highly versatile device for aviation enthusiasts.
“It’s like flying with a portable MFD,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s director of marketing. “Pilots will fall in love with the rich color, the high-resolution display, the Sectional chart-like presentation, the terrain-mapping and obstacle-alerting functions, and the overall ease of use. They’ll also have the peace of mind knowing that, when they snap their iQue 3600a into the smart cradle, they take to the skies with an enhanced awareness of surrounding terrain.”
The iQue 3600a has a patented GPS antenna design that folds discreetly into the back of the unit. Once released from this locked position, the antenna immediately begins acquiring satellite signals and can be adjusted for optimal reception. The iQue 3600a features Garmin’s Que technology, a set of integrated applications for mobile navigation. The company has added several new or enhanced Que applications to the iQue 3600a — beyond those for road navigation, including mapping, turn-by-turn routing, locating points of interest, trip computing, and satellite acquisition — to fit the needs and expectations of today’s pilots.
These applications include:
- QueMap: Displays a comprehensive set of mapping data, such as a basemap of North/South America; aviation navaids, airports and airspace; navigation arc overlay with configurable data fields; Sectional chart-like topographic data; and U.S. obstacles like towers and obstructions
- QueTerrain: Takes advantage of the topographic/obstacles database to alert the pilot of potential terrain conflicts within the proximity of the flight path using pop-up windows
- QueNav: Displays GPS-derived speed, altitude and guidance features in an aircraft panel format
- QueFlights: Keeps a record of flight time, mileage and start/end point as a digital logbook (also interfaces with Garmin’s PC-based FlightBook™ software, which is included in the Setup CD)
The iQue 3600a features a unique cradle with a patent-pending design that mounts to the yoke. Instead of using a stylus for data input, simply insert the unit in the cradle and navigate using the dedicated Direct To, Nearest, Menu, Escape, Enter and directional rocker buttons — giving it the same functionality as other Garmin aviation portables. When inserted into the cradle, it instinctively selects settings appropriate for aviation use and allows aviators to transition seamlessly from personal/automotive use to the cockpit environment.
“We are pleased to welcome the iQue 3600a from Garmin as it extends the Palm OS® platform to a new category of Palm Powered devices by providing users with a powerful combination of aviation mapping and PIM software in a single handheld,” said David Nagel, president and chief executive officer of PalmSource.
As a highly functional PDA, the iQue 3600a features the Palm operating system and includes the complete suite of PIM applications — Address, Date Book, Memo Pad, To Do (all of which can be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook), Calculator and Palm Reader for e-books. It boasts a bright, high-resolution (320x480-pixel) color TFT display, a voice recorder and MP3 player, and a Secure Digital slot for memory expansion.
Other specifications of the iQue 3600a:
Operating system: Palm OS Garnet
Processor: 200-MHz DragonBall MXL ARM9
Internal memory: 96 MB of ROM for pre-installed data and applications; 64 MB of SDRAM for downloading Palm OS-compatible applications and map data from Garmin MapSource CDs
GPS receiver/antenna: 12 parallel channel WAAS receiver / Flip-up integrated GPS patch antenna with remote antenna capability
Aviation calculator applications: QueE6B and QueWeight&Balance
GPS applications: Location awareness, electronic mapping, address lookup, automatic route generation, turn-by-turn directions with voice guidance, trip computer, tracklog, route avoidance, and Contact Locator (geocoding a location within the Address or Date Book applications)
Unit size (WxHxD)/Weight: 2.8” x 5.0” x 0.8” / 6.2 oz.
Screen dimensions: 3.8” (diagonally)
Display information: 320x480-pixel, transflective TFT display with 64K colors
Battery/Battery life: Rechargeable lithium ion battery / Up to 9 hours of continuous use (at minimum backlight setting) and four weeks on standby
The iQue 3600a is expected to be available in January 2005 at an MSRP of $1,099. It will ship standard with a USB HotSync cradle, yoke-mount cradle, GA27C external GPS antenna kit, AC adapter, 12-volt adapter, installation/application CD-ROM with owner’s manual, and a quick-start guide. To use the iQue 3600a around town, an optional auto kit is available for $219 and includes a MapSource City Select CD-ROM and a skid-friction mount with 12-volt adapter and speaker.