Hema mapping have been around since the early 80's when Henry and Margaret Bogheim started mapping our great country on paper. Some 20 years later the first digital mapping unit came on the market in the form of the Hema HN1. Through out the years and with the development of software we are now up to the HN7. The biggest difference over the years have been the size of the screens and the advancement in technology.
Several years ago I jumped at the chance of getting my hands on the Hema HN6.
Now while I still love the feel and large overall use of paper maps, I love my Hema. It has had a great run over the years. Living here on the coffs coast where there are so many different tracks that weave and wind their way through valleys and over mountains, thus we need some pretty detailed maps to navigate this area.
The Hema does come pre loaded with touring maps and on road maps. It also comes with ozi- explorer 4wd maps all the way down to 1;250k scale. The good thing with the ozi maps is that you can upgrade (buy) mapping right down to 1;25 000 scale which is the same as the state forest maps giving you detailed info in colour such as creeks, contour lines and track names.
I use mine everywhere and over time it has done desert trips, islands off the QLD Coast and I between. Using a complex multi satellite tracking system I could count on one hand how many times that it has lost Where I was.
It is a complex unit but it has so many features built in, such as- Bluetooth, extra micro card storage for more maps, music or photos, it can log track, you can plan your trip on your computer and transfer it to the Hema, you can mark waypoints and the list goes on.
When you buy a new Hema there is nothing else you need to buy to get started. Out of the box it comes already loaded with all the maps, a 12 volt charger, stylus, windscreen mount and a comprehensive instruction manual. A little tip here is that when you may be struggling to work a feature out, jump onto utube- as here you can find most things covered.
What I like about the unit ?
Well.... Most things I suppose.
...The street navigation isn't too bad and is pretty accurate with voice instructions as you drive along.
...marking a way point is as easy as using the stylus and holding it on the screen for a second or two- very easy
...I like the feature where you can either zoom in and out plus scale the maps in and out if you want more map detail going from touring maps to 4wd maps.
...mine has a 4 hour battery life, so if I hop out of the car to look for old mines I can take the unit with me and go walk about.
...I like the size of the screen ( being a HN 6 it has a 6" screen).
...having the reliability of the Hema maps and knowing that they are the only company that are out there and mapping the country themselves.
...being able to plug a compatible reverse camera straight in.
So that's my thoughts on my Hema navigator. I know there are cheaper ones out there with larger screens and maybe more features, but the Hema is all Australian and you know that what is on their paper maps is also on the Hema. In my eyes the HN series either the 6 or 7 is the best navigator that you could spend your dollars on.