M.A.D. Database FAQ's

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M.A.D. Database FAQ's

Q. I lost my PIN or Access Number. How do I get one??
A. Click here

Q. What devices is PhantomALERT compatible with?
A. PhantomALERT is compatible with all Garmin's, TomTom's, most Magellan GPS and Android and iPhone SmartPhones. Click here to see compatibility list. It is also available.

Q. I have a Garmin, TomTom and/or Magellan GPS. How do I sign up and download PhantomALERT?
A. First subscribe to PhantomALERT database by clicking here. Then follow up the detailed download instructions from here. After you enter the access PIN number you will see detailed instructions.

Q.  I have a new SmartPhones. Can I install PhantomALERT?
A.  Yes you can. First subscribe to PhantomALERT database by clicking here. We have apps available for iPhone, Android SmartPhones and BlackBerry. See below for download instructions.

iPhone app download instructions   Android app download instructions
From your iPhone
  1. Find AppStore icon on your iPhone. app
  2. Select search option.
  3. Search for "phantomalert" (one word).
  4. Download Application.
  5. Launch Application and get enforcement area alerts and live traffic camera feed.
  6. Drive smart, safe and ticket free.
  7. When prompted add your PhantomALERT pin code.

Instructions: From your computer/iTunes

  1. Start/download iTunes.
  2. Find AppStore from iTunes stores by clicking here.
  3. Download PhantomALERT.
  4. Sync your iPhone to iTunes to transfer PhantomALERT app.
  5. Give us a good review :) or eMail us with your comments.

From your Android phone

  1. Find Android "Market" icon on your smart phone and click on it. android
  2. Select search option.
  3. Search for "phantomalert" (one word).
  4. Download Application.
  5. Launch Application and get enforcement area alerts and live traffic camera feed.
  6. Drive smart, safe and ticket free.

Q. I love the idea, What Do I Need to Install the PhantomALERT Database?
A. The database is a list of locations, which need to be transferred to your GPS device. You'll need your GPS, a USB cable to connect to your computer, any disks which came with your GPS, an internet connection and a PC running Windows XP or Vista, or a Mac Running OS 10.x. You'll need to know how to do a few simple computer tasks like download from a link, create a new folder and move files around on your PC. If you're using a Mac please make sure you click on the Mac instructions for downloading into your TomTom or GARMIN. Magellan dos not support the Apple Mac platform. For help with advanced features contact our support desk, just Click here

Q. Is it legal to use PhantomALERT on my GPS?
A. Absolutely! PhantomALERT is 100% legal in all states. We even have Police, Sheriffs departments and other public safety organizations as customers! Click here to watch a review and comments by a police officer 

Q. How accurate is the data?
A.  PhantomALERT is the largest, most accurate compilation of GPS safety data available! Our data is compiled & verified through multiple audits by PhantomALERT in addition to the thousands of contributions of users who add and verify data they personally experience in everyday driving. To maintain the database’s accuracy, we strive to ensure the data is accurate through a unique ranking system using multiple submissions, user view ratings and our own proprietary validation

Q. What's the difference between a “Monthly” "Annual" and a "3 Year" PhantomALERT subscription?
A. The monthly and annual subscription provides free updates to a single GPS device for an entire calendar year or for one month from the date of purchase. A 3 Year subscription provides free updates to the database for 3 Years; additionally, with the 3 Year subscription you can add PhantomALERT to multiple GPS devices if you or your family own more than one. You also get valuable no-cost updates to new devices such as smart phones as they become available.

Q. I have several GPS devices; can I use 1 copy of PhantomALERT on all of them?
A. By purchasing our Life Time, 3 Year or 1 year subscription, you may use PhantomALERT on multiple devices. With LifeTime account you can use it on 10 devices, 5 devices with 3 Year and 2 devices with a 1 year subscription. Click Here to Purchase A 3 Year Subscription

Q. How Does the map application work?
A. The PhantomALERT Database Application displays Red Light Camera, Speed Trap and other POI locations as geocoded longitude and latitude data using google maps, the coordinates correspond to user entered locations word-wide. Simply select a metro area, map location or enter cross streets and city in the field above the map tabs and the map displays the coordinates as the geocoding engine looks up the data and displays the location on the map as a camera or police Icon.

Q. I just purchased a PhantomALERT SmartGPS PIN card, what now?
A. First thanks for supporting our retailers and purchasing PhantomALERT! SmartGPS PIN cards are a convenient with a scratch-off area on the back (if there’s no scratch off area you received a display card by mistake. Just return the card to your retailer and exchange it for a live card) To access your PIN, simply scratch off the oval area on the back side and you’ll see your PIN number.  Then go to www.phantomalert.com/smartgps 

Q. Is My GPS compatible with PhantomALERT?
A. Most all auto, portable GPS devices from GARMIN*, TomTom and Magellan are compatible Please click here for a complete list of GARMIN, TomTom & Magellan models: http://www.phantomalert.com/FAQs/GPS-Compatibility-List.html   Currently In -Car factory installed navigation is not supported though check back often as we're working with OEM's to provide this functionality. Sony, Nextar, MIO and other brands are not currently compatible. ***While you may install PhantomALERT into some handheld navigation devices for general navigation, you may not see the same performance as from those specifically designed for automotive use.
*See the below FAQ on GARMIN models compatible with voice alerts

Q.  How do I keep my GPS current with PhantomALERT’s frequent updates?
A. Updating your GPS is as easy as the initial installation.  Currently GPS devices must be  connected to a computer to update the database with new alerts.  You can repeat the installation process several ways: 1.  Find your welcome email and follow the instructions, It is the same as the initial installation   2. If you already know your Pin number or you have a SmartGPS pin card, go to www.phantomalert.com/smartgps and follow the instructions. (If you’ve misplaced you pin see the lost PIN FAQ  below) Repeat the installation process and the file in your GPS will be replaced with the latest version. If you need to review the installation process take a look at the installation tutorial for your device here

Q.  I misplaced my PIN. Can I get a replacement?
A. Click here if you have already activated a PIN number in the past.

New customers, your PIN number is located either on the back of your SmartGPS card or in your welcome mail, embedded at the very end in the product url (blue link) for your device type If you need us to replace your PIN number or welcome email, please contact customer support and complete the short form to create a ticket.  We’ll send you a new welcome mail and PIN number.

Q. How Does the Purchase Process work?
A. It's easy to get up and running with PhantomALERT in your GPS or smart phone. Simply purchase the subscription by clicking here you’ll be directed to our SMARTGPS page, where your new Pin will be automatically populated and all you need to do is select you device type from the top tabs and enter your phone and email, you’ll then be directed right to the download instructions and files for your device. REMIDER: Don’t forget to check your email, we send out a confirmation email with download links for each GPS brand.  You can Just click on your brand of GPS and you'll go straight to the download page. AOL USERS PLEASE NOTE: AOL currently has some unique requirements for hypertext, so to get to the download page, you'll need to COPY THR ENTIRE URL ADDRESS from the welcome mail into your browser and hit return.

Q. How do I get support or technical assistance?
A. Click here to contact our customer help desk. We provide support through an online ticket system which tracks and manages the issue resolution process quickly and efficiently** Please Submit only one ticket per issue, multiple tickets will result increased response times*** . Please fill out  the support contact form and submit, one of our technicians will respond with a solution. Please note: that response times may vary depending upon time of day and support volume. Our normal support hours are 8-8 Monday through Friday Eastern time. We offer limited support response on weekends and holidays.

Q.  I see some “Free” GPS camera warning POIs, why do you charge for PhantomALERT?
A. PhantomALERT database is the biggest and most accurate in the world. Our enforcement database contains over 500,000 + location. All verified and checked. Additionally, PhantomALERT provides FREE tutorials, FREE instructions and above all FREE tech support.  Yes, we have a call center with live people to answer your questions. Sure you can get a few thousand free POIs from a no name web site, but do you know where the data came from? Is it accurate? Do they offer help installing it? Will they be around if you want a refund? If you use datasets from unreliable sources you will definitely be at risk of getting a ticket. Why take a chance? PhantomALERT’s 3 Year subscription plan is only $49.99. The first time we help you avoid a ticket it's paid for itself.

If you think about it the old saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” it remains true regarding GPS warning apps.  PhantomALERT goes to great lengths to continue to evolve our software’s accuracy, compatibility & full support PhantomALERT is the market leader in GPS based safety warning; with the support of our loyal subscribers, we’ll continue to keep PhantomALERT  at the front of the pack and value priced.

QCan I get some help online loading and using PhantomALERT? 
A. Of course! We created a detailed online tutorial series which gives you online step-by –step instructions on how to download and install PhantomALERT in your GPS device, just pick your brand and click! There are also instructions on how to add locations to the database, tips on some common problems & fixes, just click here  

Q. I click on the tutorial video Link But it won't play
A. In order to view the tutorials, you'll need a cable or DSL internet connection and a standard browser, Safari, Internet Explorer or FireFox, with the Adobe Flash Plugin installed. The Adobe Flash Plugin can be downloaded here Please Note: AOL browsers will not support tutorial playback

Q.  I’ve seen a map of enforcement locations on your site, can I add a new location or verify existing ones?
A. Yes you can and we encourage everyone to do that. PhantomALERT ‘s 500,000 location database is a combination of data contributed and verified by users like you as well as national, city, state and county data managed and edited by PhantomALERT.  We want all our subscribers to add and verify, it’s easy and takes only a few minutes to add a location or even multiple locations along a travel route and then update your device.  For detailed instructions in tutorial format click here: 

Q.  I’d like to get voice alerts for my GARMIN. Are they available?
A. Yes they are. Depending upon your model, we have a new QuickDOWNLOAD file which has custom audio alerts and all the files to update your GARMIN.  The models supported are series 600 and above, we’re working on releasing the advanced audio files for other GARMINS and will have them out soon. If your device is not listed below, please contact customer service and they’ll evaluate your device model and series and let you know if it qualifies for a beta version of the updates.  Click here
The following devices support our new QuickLOAD audio alert files:  600 ,610, 650, 660, 670, 680, 710, 750, 755t, 760, 765T, 770, 775T, 780, 785T, 850, 855, 860, 880, 885T, 900T, 1200, 1250, 1260T, 1300, 1340, 1350, 1350T, 1370T, 1390T, 1490T, 1690, 1820, 1860, 5000

Q. I've installed PhantomALERT and I get Warnings but don't see different Icons
A. Depending upon the make and model of your device, you may receive audio and an "Alert" warning or if your device has text to speech capabilities you can configure the device and PhantomALERT files to alert to different types of safety zones.  See the above  GARMIN compatible devices which allow for voice alerts and custom icons.  Devices not specifically supported  will have an alert bar and tone as the warning  alert as you approach a POI.

Q. I've Installed PhantomALERT but it only warns me when I'm near a school zone
A. Click on the link we sent you for your device type in your confirmation email and try to download the database again, you may have selected just school zones when configuring the download.

Q. I've installed PhantomALERT and I See The Waypoints/POI's in my device but I'm not receiving alerts
A. Depending upon the make and model of your device, you may need to ensure that you have loaded the POI's as "proximity" POI's. Each device has a different check box in the installation process. Review the installation processes by clicking on your welcome mail for your device type. You may also need to review the settings in your device to ensure that there are audio alerts enabled. Click here to get help or Watch the step by step tutorial for your GPS device

Q. I tried entering my PIN and I get an error message, what should I do?
A. PIN's are tied to your account and your IP address ( the address of your computer on the Internet) the system is designed to allow multiple downloads for you, but you may have tried from other locations or otherwise triggered our fraud system. Please contact the help desk by clicking here and we'll reset your account.

Q. I plug in my GPS to the computer, but it doesn't recognize it and I can't upload PhantomALERT
A. GPS devices transfer information and communicate with PC's through USB. Usually just connecting your device will start the connection process with your computer. You may need to either switch your device on and off or plug and unplug it or perhaps try a rear USB port2. Watch the USB Tutorial to see how. 

Q. What are the "POI's" you refer to?
A. POI is GPS nomenclature for "Point Of Interest" most GPS devices use POI as a frame of reference for navigation. The Red Light Cameras, Speed Traps and other safety zones for which PhantomALERT provides warning, are POI's 

Q. How do I submit a location?
A. Submitting a location or multiple locations is as easy as selecting the Add a Camera or Speed Trap screen, zooming in to street level and completing the brief pop-up form and rotate the arrow with your mouse to apply the correct direction of travel. If you'd like to add additional information such as time of day, traffic congestion, ticket experience or other facts complete the tell us your story using the link provided in the pop-up.

Q. Can I share your sites online map and locations?
A. We want all our users and the driving public world-wide to benefit from the efforts of the community. We ask that you help other drivers and contribute a location after you purchase the data and share the site's URL. If you'd like to become an affiliate and display the database application on your site commercially, please contact us and we'll get you started.

Q. How do I remove PhantomALERT from my GARMIN?
A. We regret to hear you want to remove the PhantomALERT database from your gps. If there is anything I can do to help you improve the use of the PhantomALERT database please let me know.
If you want to remove it from your device please follow the directions below.

  1. Connect your Garmin to your PC using the original Garmin USB cable that came with your device.
  2. Open "My Computer" if you are using Windows XP or earlier, or "Computer" if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, by pressing and holding down on the "Windows" and "E" keys on your keyboard. A Garmin drive is displayed in "My Computer."
  3. Double-click on the Garmin drive, and then open the "GarminPOI" folder. Delete the "poi.gpi" file.


Q. I have a built in, in car navigation? What should I Buy?
A. Yes, we can help. Since you already have a navigation system, you do not need another portable navigation device. And since we can't load PhantomALERT on to your in dash system and you just need to get the alerts for the thousands of red light, speed cameras and speed traps, we recommend the affordable and practical Cheetah C50 Speed camera and trap detector. Its only $99.99. Its small, practical and very accurate. Click here for more info.

Q. I have a Garmin, my wife a TomTom and my son a Google Android phone. What do you recommend.

A. We recommend the 3 Year subscription as you can share the account across different models for 3 Years. With one account you can download to your Garmin, your wife's TomTom, Your son' Google Android and someone else's Iphone, BlackBerry, Nokia and so on. The best part is it only cost you $49.99 for the whole family for 3 years. Yes for 3 years. Get it while its available. Click here for more info.


Watch these news stories to understand how it all works

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Review by FOX News Review by CBS News Review by ABC News

General GPS FAQ's

Q. What is GPS?
A. Global Positioning System (GPS) is a worldwide radio navigation system that uses 24 satellites that orbit the earth. GPS receivers, like the SMARTnode or the antenna in the GPS mirror system, use these satellite signals to calculate their position to within a couple of meters.

Q. How do GPS detectors work?
A. The phrase "GPS Detectors" is a bit of a misnomer. Unlike radar and laser detectors which alert when they physically pick up a signal of some kind, GPS Detectors don't actually "detect" anything in the traditional sense. They use a technique called GPS location to warn of safety cameras and other hazard areas. A GPS Detector can pick up these GPS satellite signals and use them to work out exactly where your car is on the road at any one time. It constantly compares its current location as you drive along against its own internal database of stored camera locations. When the device works out that you are getting close to one of these locations, it can bleep and flash at you to alert you to the approaching hazard ahead. GPS Detectors can only warn you of speed trap locations that are stored in their database. All they are doing is warning you that you are approaching a location on a map - they are not physically picking up any signals from speed cameras. That is why GPS Detectors must be updated frequently via a PC to ensure their internal database stores the very latest available information on new camera locations. They do not know if a speed camera is there or not, or if the speed camera is working or not. They are just warning you that their database memory is telling them that there should be a speed camera at that location.

Q. Why do I need a GPS Detector?
A. Modern roads become more congested and regulated every day so driver awareness has never been more important. Even the most conscientious motorist can have occasional lapses in concentration which could easily result in an accident or a fine and licence endorsements. Collisions, penalty fines or points can all result in increased car insurance premiums to say nothing of the implications for personal safety. GPS Detectors, like our GPS mirror and ActiveStealth software for Windows Mobile devices, are designed as a road safety enhancement tools to protect you, as well as your livelihood and your licence. Advance awareness of high risk accident zones can greatly enhance road safety. Whether or not you agree with camera enforcement, safety camera systems are here to stay. Their use is growing rapidly around the world. Your local authorities will confirm that they usually place speed or red light camera systems at dangerous intersections or stretches of road where there is a history of road accidents. GPS Detectors use the latest technology to remind you, with audible and visual warnings, when you are approaching these known hazard zones so you can plan ahead and make sure you are paying attention. When you think about it, local drivers know where all the danger spots and cameras are in their own area. Using the GPSmirror or running ActiveStealth on your Windows Mobile device means you can now be just as informed and aware as a local driver, no matter where you're driving. Some camera enforcement systems like Redflex, ATS, RedSpeed, Traffiphot or Truvelo are linked to sensor buried in the road surface. (Inductive Loops or Piezo Strips.) There are no emitted signals for a radar detector to pick up so a radar detector will not give you advance warning of the dangerous areas where these types of cameras are used. GPS Detectors do not rely on detecting the signal emitted from a camera; they store the GPS location of the hazard zone and remind you when you are approaching these stored locations.

Q. Why do I need a laser or Radar Detector Detector pick up mobile speed traps?
A. GPS Detectors don't actually "detect" anything. They are really GPS Locators. They have no detection components inside them so cannot tell when a radar gun or laser gun is being used. They can store locations where radar and laser guns have been used in the past and can warn you when you are approaching those locations, but this does not mean that a mobile speed trap is being used at that location now. This is often called storing "common mobile sites." Relying on GPS location to fully protect against mobile speed traps is simply not effective. GPS is good for reminding about fixed map locations, not moving targets. Other products are more suitable for mobile speed trap defense.

Watch these news stories to understand how it all works

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PhantomALERT Inc FAQ's

Q. What types of traffic tickets will PhantomAlert products and database protect me from?
A. Our products are designed to protect you from unjust tickets issued by most types of red light cameras, speed cameras and speed traps. Our products and service will alert you way in advance before you reach any well known red light camera, speed camera and speed trap locations.

Q. Is this product legal?
A. YES! In all 50 states and Canada. All we are providing you is the locations of known red light cameras, speed cameras and speed traps. Our products make you a safer and alert driver by making you aware of your surroundings and also informing you the appropriate speed limit for the street you are driving on. Our products help you obey traffic laws. A according to Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department, they were quoted saying on Fox 5 DC,  “…we do not have any problems with these devices. In fact we welcome any technology that makes drivers aware of their surroundings and obey traffic laws”

Q. Does the product really work?
A. Well, how should we answer that? To date we have conclusive tests conducted by several news agencies. Our products have been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC News, and FOX News. And this what they had to say about our products and service…

Q. Can I send a check or money order?
A. Yes you may. (Only US/Canadian customers)

Q. How much should my check be for?
A. The best way to find out how much to send is to go through the online buying process and select your products. Then go a few more steps and stop when the web page asks you for your credit card information. On that page you will see your total cost with shipping. You can either print the page or write down the content of your selected products and mail it to us with a check/money order. Send it payable to: PhantomALERT Inc. P.O. Box 61212 Harrisburg, PA 17106 (Please include a brief note with your name and shipping address.) If you have any problems call us 24/7 tel:(800) 725 8425

Q. Can I order C.O.D.?
A. No we don't have a facility with our couriers to exchange money or checks for your order. We prefer checks or postal money orders be sent to our address before delivery.