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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Never again get lost while in your car

Have you ever thought a satellite navigation system might be a good idea? Dr Ian Collier tried one and found it genuinely useful

I tested the Destinator Satellite Navigation system recently. To plan a route you only have to put in your destination, using either a postcode or a street name and city, followed by the house number.

In seconds the address is confirmed and at this stage you press 'Go' to tell the system to work out the best route and start giving directions.

The system is accurate to about seven yards. The directions are given verbally and are very clear.

Typically you may be told 'Take roundabout 500 yards ahead, third exit'. Instructions start 500 yards away from any manoeuvre and are repeated at 200 yards and again just as you arrive at the turn.

If you are able to see the screen while driving, it gives you details of how far it is until the next turn and even what road you are currently travelling on.

You can choose either the 'quickest route' which takes into account the highest road speeds, or the 'shortest route' which I find is the best for getting to patients' houses, especially on estates.

Making a wrong turn is virtually impossible, but if for some reason you do not or cannot take the route the system advises, it will recognise within seconds that you are off course and rapidly calculate a new route.

The system is easy to set up. All you need is a 'personal digital assistant' (PDA) that you connect via an adaptor to the cigarette lighter in your car.

The PDA needs an extra memory card of at least 125mb on to which the maps are downloaded from

your desktop computer. The Destinator software comes with street maps of the whole of the UK.

The tracker is easily stored out of sight on parking, and you can carry the PDA with you in your pocket, so there is no security risk.

It is made by ISMO and the total cost is £730, including the PDA.

For further details contact www.destinator.co.uk

Having tested it for a fortnight, I think it is great.

A wrong turn is virtually impossible, but if you don't take the route advised the system will come up with a new one ~

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