leaderboard left
leaderboard right
content topleft content topright

Alpine Blackbird PMD-B100

Jan
12
2006

Alpine Electronics has unveiled a new GPS navigation system, the Alpine Blackbird PMD-B100. The system uses NAVTEQ maps displayed on a 3.6 inch LCD touchscreen. Maps of the USA and Canada take you to any address or to any POI in the database of over 6 million. The device can also double as a music player and can read MP3, WAV, and WMA files. The device comes with a remote control and is powered by a 16 channel GPS receiver. An FM traffic receiver is built-in. Alpine also has a flash movie demo of the Blackbird PMD-B100.

88 Responses


  1. I bought a Blackbird 2 days ago and took it back to the store yesterday. I was really disappointed with the display and the accuracy of the GPS information. The display washed out terribly in the bright sunlight and was very hard to see. The writing was too small and I had to concentrate too hard on that instead of driving. Secondly, the display showed that I was about 700 feet behind where I really was. Not a big deal if I’m in my hometown (where I don’t need GPS navigation) but an extremely big deal if I’m driving the backroads/hills of Pennsylvania.

    Michael Koons - April 16th, 2006
  2. Thanks for the first hand comments, Michael. I’m surprised to hear the GPS accuracy was poor. With a 16 channel receiver the accuracy ought to be much better than that.

    I haven’t had a chance to use the Blackbird yet, so I don’t have any suggestions for your other concerns. Certainly some GPS devices have much better quality screens than others which make them easier or more difficult to see in glare situations. Some GPS systems like the TomTom GO Series offer glare sheilds to help make the screen more readable in high light situations.

    Thanks for sharing your comments! Feel free to drop a line with thoughts on whatever device you replace the Blackbird with.

    GPS Review - April 16th, 2006
  3. I bought the Blackbird at Best Buy in Alpharetta, GA. Had it for one day and returned the unit. Accuracy was off by 100 yards, would say to turn after you had missed your road. I bought the Tom Tom 910 afetr the return. Alpine is just not ready.

    R. Boyd - May 8th, 2006
  4. Before I share my opinion let me say a few things about the numerous reviews I read before I purchased my Blackbird. I believe Alpine committed a disservice by releasing a unit that clearly was not ready for the market. Bad press is hard to overcome. Most of the shortcomings expressed by individuals and trusted online consumer research sites were justified. The unit exhibited slow performance, slight inaccuracies and poor battery life to name a few. However, Alpine is a trusted name in electronics and one has to believe that they would not do permanent damage to their brand by leaving an inferior product on the market. Alpine’s commitment to offer the public a worthy product was demonstrated by the 3 updates released. I believe that after a long wait (albeit not perfect, but what product is) the Blackbird is ready to compete with its competition. It would have been nice (and definitely avoided a lot of negative comments) had Alpine R&D not given into corporate pressures to place a not-ready-for public-consumption product on the market. I hope they (Alpine) have learned a lesson. Now on to my review….

    I’ve owned this unit for about 3 months now and just completed the latest update released in September. Improvements I’ve noticed are more accurate tracking of the vehicle, quicker position fix, off road position (i.e. parking lots) now displayed in longitude & latitude and faster re-routing. In short…the unit does what it was designed to do.

    There are a few flaws but in my opinion not a deal breaker. For instance the touch control panel of the MP3 player has every requisite control icon except…STOP (the little square). To place the player in stop mode you must tap one of the folder buttons repeatedly until you reach the end; and then the display reads…STOP. How Alpine missed that I’ll never know. Having to accept the EULA every time the unit is powered on is annoying. Alpine could have given us the ability to accept it once and then turn it off; or a better use for the start-up would have been to allow one to enter a personal unlock code to render the unit useless against theft (assuming you’d leave the unit visible when you leave your vehicle).

    I discovered that the 6 million POI’s may be bogus; as I have found double entries for POI’s. The only difference was that one POI entry included a phone number and the other didn’t (that could be the case with the units of other manufacturers as well). Battery life could be better especially if you want to use the unit as a portable MP3 player. In my opinion there are other “toys” designed for MP3 playback that make more sense…let’s face facts…this is a portable GPS unit first. I found that with a little work Velcro will hold the unit in place on my dash and I don’t have that huge suction cup device, thingy blocking my view. Curiously, the traffic function only works when the unit is powered by the cigarette lighter.

    The manual is incomplete on page 13 where under “Switching Map Display” it refers you to page 27 for more instructions and there aren’t any??? On page 30 there is no mention of how to place the MP3 player in stop mode (although I discussed how earlier).

    Bottom-line…it’s a slick unit for the price, useable GPS, portable and MP3’s sound good with the right set of ear buds. I snagged mine for $700 (including tax) with an additional 2 years of warranty. I’d recommend this unit for its looks alone…Naaaa. But it does look sharp!

    ajtrek - September 20th, 2006
  5. A friend of mine who purchased this unit received his free DVD update program from Alpine and upgraded the software and mapping database in his Blackbird. He’s much happier with it now and says that overall, GPS performance has improved, the system is much faster, and the new traffic information feature is extremely useful to him the Los Angeles area. Alpine did turn lemons into lemonade!

    Before the upgrade, I was a bit leery about purchasing it because of the performance issues he was experiencing and of bad reviews on the internet. My previous experience was with a Magellan Roadmate 700 and Garmin 2720 and in comparison, I thought the unit was quite slow. However, after the upgrade and the recent price reduction to $499 (which annoyed my friend a little bit because he had purchased it at $699), I decided to buy it from Best Buy.

    I really like the Traffic Information feature. It shows red squares along the highway when speeds are in the 0-10 mph range and yellow diamonds along the highway when in the 15-30 mph range. Much better view of traffic flow than other systems I’ve seen that only highlight the road segments. Also, traffic incidents are displayed as icons and you can see construction events, accidents, debris on road and other interesting things. My 90 day free trial of traffic is not finished yet, but I definitely plan on spending the $60/year to subscribe to traffic information. This is something that really helps me drive to and from work every single day! Talk about stress savings!

    Definitely worth the $499 I spent on it. And I agree with ajtrek…it sure does look quite sharp in person!

    Mark

    Mark - November 21st, 2006
  6. My unit keeps locking up and won’t shut down. Screen freeze up. I’am totally hate this unit. I use there docking unit in to my Alpine head unit IVA-W200.I also remove the battery many times to reset the unit.Do not buy this gps unit from Alpine. The unit is PMD-B100T.I have own Alpine products for over 30 years. This is the worst. my gps is three weeks old.

    Steven S - May 16th, 2007
  7. Pure crap!!!! I bought this thing on Friday and returned it on Monday. I didn’t believe there was such thing as an inferior Alpine product, but I found it. Battery life is pitiful, tracking wasn’t accurate, Traffic feature was ok, and the map was nothing fancy. I bought this to use it with my Alpine W200, but didn’t have it long enough to buy the dock. I bought a Garmin Nuvi350 and love it, even though I can’t use it with the w200. Surely Alpine will do better with the PMD-B200 because it couldn’t be worse than the B100.

    Tim (Ft. Worth) - May 17th, 2007
  8. I had this unit for few months. It freeze often and need a battery removal to reset. The support from Alpine is the worst I ever seen, they simple lie to you if you call and claim that problems are features or dimisse them as minor (like random reset of the unit during routing just before a turn. The destination is lost when this happen). And the only recommendation to fix problems that I got from Alpine is to reset the unit each time. The traffic function is really bad: most of the time in only display constructions site and not the traffic (Alpine claim that this is a problem with radio connectivity but I take the same route every that for one (I get the traffic data about 50% of the times) and when I look at the status page the unit claim to have connectivity. The unit to not use the traffic for routing, you have to select an option on the screen for detour and if it happen that during the detour routes the unit need a reroute the route is recalculated without using the traffic (this is a feature according to Alpine, I could not get the guy to explain me how this can be a feature).

    The unit also lack many features that garmin added in firmware updates to there nuvi units.

    I do not recommend this GPS and will not buy another alpine product anymore.

    Mike - May 21st, 2007
  9. I recently purched a Blackbird GPS unit. I, like many others, read the various reviews and was somewhat amazed at the negativity in those reviews, with several basically calling it nothing more than a piece of junk. I have only had the unit a few days but I happen to live in a fairly rural area where some of the streets aren’t even listed on maps, etc. I went thru the intruction manual and proceeded to program my own address into the unit. It responded by placing the arrow right smack at where my home is located. I then programmed in my girlfriends address and decided to drive over to her place to see if the unit could get me there. Well, it did with kudos. It was very accurate and as I finished the trip and turned onto her short street the voice announced that I was at my destination just as I pulled up in front of her house. Now that is accuracy IMHO. Today I was coming back from a trip into the city and was approaching an interesection after negotiating several miles of curvy roads. As my truck came to a stop to make a left turn, the arrow was positioned right at the intersection I was going to turn left at. Again, this to me is accuracy. I am going to Canada next week on an extended trip and will be anxious to see how it works out on the open road, but if the past few days are any indication of how it is going to work, then either Alpine has done some major revamping and upgrading of the Blackbird OR a few out there that claim it is junk simply don’t know how to use it correctly. I have used Alpine products for years and would recommend the Blackbird to anyone looking for not only an accurate GPS unit but one that also looks pretty darn good while being accurate.

    Terry - August 31st, 2007
  10. They should call it the brownbird because my unit turned brown. traffic is terrible it never works when im stuck in traffic. doesnt reconize some streets,and gets stuck and have to reset unit dont buy this product

    Joe - October 4th, 2007
  11. I have had the Blackbird for 5 days. I used it for a short trip from Canada to the States and back. It worked great. Never froze up and was quite accurate. My problem was in the inital purchase. The first one I recieved had parts missing. The second that replaced it had a broken connection for the lighter. The third one, the store claimed it was brand new and never out of a box, I discovered it was. Anyhow once I got the thing up and running it seemed to work great. I feel satisfied so far. We will see.

    Mark - October 20th, 2007
  12. I bought this unit back in ’06. It was CRAP! Had to do extensive research to find out about the OS update (and not form their site). After finally getting the update disk I find out I had to buy the optional external power cord because the battery is crap and the update of the unit takes an hour.

    Though I must say that after the update, the unit worked better.

    But now, a year later I get this PROMPT! “Your map and POI database is over 1 year old…please go to alpine…to PURCHASE a database update”. FREAKIN preprogrammed SPAM on the GPS!! And another prompt to get through, as if the first one isn’t bad enough. And to beat all that, the previous site for updates now redirects you to the faq page. So there is no way to get an update (as the faq says you can) and no information on how to get rid of the “update” SPAM/prompt. I have spent a lot of money on many Alpine products, including the lack-luster IVA-W200 head unit. But after putting up with no support for the PMD-B100 (I guess they want people to buy the new PMD-B200 / Yea-right, after this crap?), it’ll be a long LONG time before I turn an eye towards ANY MORE of their junk.

    Roy - February 24th, 2008
  13. I bought the Blackbird in spring 2007 when they were talking about an upgrade – so far, I haven’t been able to find the VERY long promised upgrade – if anybody knows a website, please post it.

    The unit is very poor – when in the UK, I use a Tom Tom and it’s fantastic – accurate, 3 dimensional, up to date, address by post code and a readout of mph over the posted speed limit.

    Unfortunately, the Blackbird I use in North America does none of this. Plan display only, tortuous address entry, no speed limit info and a highway database way out of date. Last weekend I spent an hour navigating around Savannah before I realised that the bridge I needed to take wasn’t even in the Blackbird database. What’s worse, their website is a mess and you never get to the link page when you click on updates

    What a poor product from a major supplier. I’ll never buy their products again

    Walt - March 13th, 2008
  14. I got mine with my new vehicle in July 2007.

    Went online to register and at that time was sent an update DVD in the mail to update it.

    Been Happy with it… Have experienced the Freeze Glitch where the Battery has to be removed to reboot it. And I did once get a message telling me my database was out of date. Again removing the battery to reboot fixed that. Another time it had some sort of error botting and I found I was in windows ce , but nothing could be executed except the GPS program that was in the start up. Have tried to get back in there again and never can.

    Wes - March 24th, 2008
  15. WOOHOO! Finally a Map update for the b100. Released April 08. Looks like it also has a sfotware update the now has a true 3d map like the newer b200
    http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/products/product_software.php?model=PVD-B102%20Software%20Update

    Mike - June 29th, 2008
  16. Has anyone tried the new update? I am curious as to the new ‘software’ update. Right now you can NOT view small roads if you zoom out past the 1/2 mile zoom level making navigating small roads with a large view area impossible. It’s like looking at the screen from 2 inches away, you can’t see the bigger picture.

    Roy - July 5th, 2008
  17. I too am curious to know if the update is worth $70. Considering all the bad reviews they should provide this update for free.
    I’ve had mine for a year and a half and it’s been ok. Like others I don’t like how long it takes to get a signal and the fact that it freezes when using the MP3 player. Oh yeah, and the battery life is absolutely horrible.
    Like I said, its ok but nothing special

    John - July 18th, 2008
  18. I have owned my Blackbird for just under one year now and in some ways wish I had purchased one of the other major brands instead. It works, and for the most part gets me from point A to point B okay but I have had some problems with it in the time it has been in use. Went to Canada with it last Sept. and it froze up enroute so I never did get the chance to put it thru its paces then. Since, I have had some battery problems, the auto day/night feature stopped working and the routing it was giving me on several shorter trips was not accurate. I went to the dealer and he replaced the unit with a new one that does work better. Recently he called me and told me to come in and he would download the new upgrades, etc., which he did at no charge for all my earlier problems with the first unit. I, like many others, have been very high on Alpine and have owned several top of the line audio head units and speakers. I don’t feel this Blackbird unit is on a par with other brands such as Garmin and Tom Tom. I am not very happy with it overall and it was not a cheap unit either. I will continue to use it for now and will more than likely upgrade at some point to another brand. No way will I be purchasing the newer wide screen version as I doubt it will be any better, just a little bit bigger screen and more money. Sure a shame when a high end company like Alpine puts out an inferior product and then goes ahead and charges the customer for upgrades as they come along. Not right in my book………

    Terry - July 21st, 2008
  19. I am very disappointed with this unit too. I bought it 2 years ago when GPS was a novelty and it was priced USD 600 +

    I bought it because the dealer said Alpine is the same manufacturer behind my in-car GPS (Honda Civic hybrid). The overall UI is nicely done.

    However there are many shortcomings.

    The battery life is too short. The unit frequently shuts down and requires resetting. After I got the firmware update it was not any better and I had to send it in for replacement. And now, after only a little over 2 years, it tells me the map requires updating, and I don’t even know how to buy the update. I now have a very expensive paper weight. Avoid this product. As a result of this experience I will not do business with Alpine anymore. $600 down the drain.

    Wensley - September 26th, 2008
  20. Like many, I purchased the Alpine B-100T because of brand reputation and was somewhat disappointed (for the price and expectations). First off, the unit would not recognize my home address. I live in a bedroom community of about 7,000 adjacent to a larger city and the unit kept “locking in” on a street with the same name in the adjacent city. It would not accept MY street address in MY community (blacked out the numbers). I got around this by simply using my “GPS coordinate” for “Home,” but it was frustrating. In addition, I travel from Texas to Nashville, TN. several times a year and on “Maximize Freeway,” the unit (always) tries to take me off the I-40 Freeway and route me through downtown Memphis (once I pass that exit, though, the unit “reroutes” and is accurate the rest of the way). Furthermore, I was recently traveling from Houston to my city (335 miles away) and in Livingston, TX. (on “Maximize Freeway”) it tried to take me off of the HWY 59 Freeway and route me through the Livingston downtown business district. I knew to simply ignore it, but it tried for a couple of miles to get me to do a U-Turn and go back. Finally it gave up and rerouted and the rest of the instructions were accurate. These are not major issues if you have a general idea of the correct route, but when traveling in totally unfamiliar territory, the unit can occasionally get you quite off track (and lost). Good idea to always carry an Atlas.

    As far as the (low) battery life goes, it has not been an issue with me because in my car I use the windshield cradle which also charges the battery. Some may not be aware, but when you “press and hold” the power button to turn the unit off – it does not actually turn it off (according to Alpine) but just puts it in a “sleep mode” in which the screen is off but the unit’s hard drive still operates and it still seeks for its GPS location. So it continues to drain power. I solved this problem by just slightly ejecting the battery (about 1/8″) when I don’t need to use the unit.

    Also, like many have noted, my unit occasionally freezes up and has to be reset.

    I ordered the version 2.0 update today ($84.00 with tax and shipping) and will post the results when I have had an opportunity to check out the “improvement.” I would say that I am about 60% satisfied and I do feel that Alpine should have offered the first update for free.

    Bruce - September 30th, 2008
  21. Well I bought mine in 2006 and accuracy was really bad but the end of 2006 alpine came up with software update that was free of charge so i updated and the i had perfect accuracy no complains and now i just got my new system update and map update and let me tell you its really cool and 3D image is wonderful and now i am enjoying it so i will urge you guys to buy the new update its worth the money.

    T2 - October 9th, 2008
  22. Well – as you can see by my earlier post, I ordered Alpine’s upgrade software on Sept. 30. I was informed it was on backorder. Still waiting.

    Bruce - October 13th, 2008
  23. I went ahead and purchased the upgrade disk from Alpine and it should be arriving today. I’ll report back with how the upgrade went and the new performance of the unit.

    Brian - October 24th, 2008
  24. Well, the update disc finally arrived and it loaded with no glitches. The software update goes pretty fast but the map update takes about an hour – so start that update when you’re going out to eat or when you don’t need to use your computer for a while.

    The 3D image option looks and works great. And the update now recognizes my home address which it didn’t before (I reported that issue to Alpine over year ago and they said they would pass it along to the service they use for the mapping [Map Quest???] – which they obviously did). I have not had a chance to take the unit on an out of town trip yet to check out the routing improvement, but the unit now recognizes many addresses and places it failed to recognize before the update. So far, I am satisfied with what I have seen, but considering the documented deficiencies of the original unit – I think Alpine should have provided the first update for free (or considerably less than $80.00). I will report back when I have had a chance to check out the unit on the highway.

    Bruce - October 24th, 2008
    • navteq sends out complete maps, that they update quarterly. alpine actually takes stuff out of the maps to conserve space, rather than fixing all the bs points of interest. I have had my PMD-B200 since it first came out and its been out of date 2 months after and i have been on Alpines back for over a year now looking for an update. they have been to busy with new GPS products to make the new maps compatible with the B-200 operating system!!!

      rob - August 20th, 2009
  25. I cannot get this thing to go into ‘Update’ mode to even start the update.
    Overall I am very frustrated and underwhelmed with this Alpine Blackbird. I was hoping the update would resolve some issues with freezing and general clunkiness, but now I am not even confident in that. I have followed the instruction to get the damn thing to Update mode and it still doesn’t want to do that.

    Brian - November 2nd, 2008
  26. Can you purchase the upgrade from anywhere else besides Alpine?

    Tony - November 4th, 2008
  27. Since my last post, I figured out what the problem was with getting into ‘Update Mode’. I still had the dummy SD card in the unit and that prevented it from operating correctly. Remove that and the unit goes into ‘Update Mode’ just fine. Hopefully that point will help others avoid some frustration.

    So I installed the update without a problem and the unit is now back up and running. I don’t have enough run time with it yet to say if the $80 was worth 3D maps and supposed better performance. I’ll check back in if I have more to add.

    Brian - November 4th, 2008
  28. Well, as I said I would on my post of October 24th., I am reporting back on my first out of town trip with the updated software. Yesterday I drove to a city about 120 miles away. On the way, the update preformed exceptionally well in all areas and it had no problems at all with incorrect (or less than optimum) routing. It **nailed** every address and location I had pre-programmed into it. I purposely took some wrong turns to test it and it seems to reroute noticeably faster than before. It also seems to acquire the satellites noticeably faster on power up. The 3D graphics are neat.

    I don’t know where the data for gas station locations comes from, but in my own city it shows (many) gas stations in places where they had existed at one time, but have been torn down five to ten years ago and replaced by other businesses. This feature is not reliable at all, but I don’t know how accurate competitive GPS units are either. For me personally, this is no big deal.

    Everything else seems greatly improved and at this time I feel (for me) the update was worth the money. I am planning another trip of about 500 miles. I will report again after that trip.

    Bruce - November 4th, 2008
  29. I am very dissapointed with my alpine navigation, it freezes., and is off at times and you miss a turn. I was in buffalo one night and tried to look for the closest restaurant and what a run around in the dark at 11pm. Does anyone know if there is a new updated \CD to install as my device was installed through lexus dealership and they told me i can call a toll free num and will cost me $90.00, i think that’s pathetic, especially when you are not satisfied with the product.

    Azmina - December 2nd, 2008
  30. There is an update disc. If you look under post #15, the email address where you can order it is listed.

    I ordered the disc and so far am very satisfied with the results. It’s eighty bucks plus postage – so I considered simply replacing with a newer Garmin, but now that I have installed the upgraded software the unit words much better. I would say spend the $80.00 for the upgrade.

    Good luck.

    Bruce - December 2nd, 2008
  31. I agree with Bruce. I have installed the update and after a month or so of runtime I am much happier with the unit. Spend the $80 – it’s a much better performing unit after. Sucks that you do have to spend the money though – should probably be a free upgrade since the original really pretty much sucked.

    Brian - December 3rd, 2008
  32. One other quick note. The upgrade disc (software) has been installed on my unit for a month now and the unit has not frozen up once. This is not to claim that that problem has been totally cured, but only that, so far, it *seems* to be.

    Bruce - December 3rd, 2008
  33. Again I have had the same experience as Bruce. The unit has reset itself 1 or 2 times over the past month after the upgrade, but it comes right back up and doesn’t freeze.
    This is completely different from before the update. It was an awful experience with the unit shutting off and not coming back on at all.

    Brian - December 3rd, 2008
  34. I brought this new last week, only used it twice on my routine commute, mapping software is total disgrace, it led to a dead end street, and tried to have me turn left in a state high way with medium !!! I asked Alpine for a upgrade software, was advised to pay $70 extra, why would I need to pay for upgrade for something new ???

    It’s shame that they let this ruinning their otherwise good brand and products

    wayne - December 4th, 2008
  35. >> I asked Alpine for a upgrade software, was advised to pay $70 extra, why would I need to pay for upgrade for something new ??? <<

    Wayne,

    You didn’t tell us what model you purchased. It may very well be that you purchased a “new” but discontinued model. If you have the PMD-B100, that’s the case.

    Bruce - December 4th, 2008
  36. Alpine Blackbird PMD-B100T is the WORST Electronic product I have ever bought. Dont buy this piece of ****. You expect a new piece of gear to work properly till at least the warranty expires. Not this crap. MAJOR waste of money. I’ve had mine for two weeks, THROWING IT AWAY, I dont care about the money i spent, my headaches are not worth it

    John - December 9th, 2008
  37. Well, I bought my Blackbird back in 06, based on the brand name. Spend about $700USD. So far it has been repaired three times. It freezes, shuts down and is slow to re-route. I bought my wife a Tom Tom several months ago and as far as we can tell it is much better and faster than the Alpine which cost 4 times more. Very disappointed. I would never buy another Alpine product again. As far as updates i am not looking forward to dropping another $80.00 for an update to a unit that i feel is on its last leg anyway. Save your money and stomach bile and look elsewhere for a better and cheaper unt.

    John Webster - January 16th, 2009
  38. Hi all,

    Well, I just returned from a 1200 mile trip using the “upgraded” software. It is better – but when passing though Memphis, Tennessee it still tries to take me off the freeway and route me through the downtown section – no change there. Also, for some reason, it simply powered off several times and had to be powered up again (although not while I was driving – happened in a parking lot) – this with a fully charged battery, but this instance was the only one during my trip. Other than the continuing “Memphis error,” I have noticed a definite improvement in the routing in other cities (in which I have traveled through before). And the rerouting is noticeably faster. Plus, it recognizes MANY more addresses and places. So was the $80.00 upgrade worth the money? I would say probably yes. But considering the (unit’s) price and that it should have preformed better when new, I would not purchase another Alpine unit unless the dealer agreed to allow me to try it out first (on a long trip).

    Bruce - January 16th, 2009
  39. Steven, I am having the same problem and have the exact set up: IVA-W200, PMD-DOK1, and the Black Bird. I had no problems for a while and not it seems that once a movie is playing in the DVD the navigation freezes. I have to completely stop the movie in order for the Nav to un-freeze. I also does this thing were it freezes, then after pushing every button it unfreezes and all the buttons you pushed start to light and you end up somere crazy in the menu. What have you done about it? Have you found a fix? Did you isolate the problem? The BlackBird works fine by itself on the dock it came with, it just seems to not work on the PMD-DOK1 dock any more? Any ideas would be very helpful?

    David - January 18th, 2009
  40. Hello guys I’m located in Atl Ga and I’m looking to get the alpine $80 software for local pick-up. I do cable and I drive a lot and my Alpine Blackbird PMD-B100 works great. It’s hang up a couple times where I had to do a hard reset.Other than that it’s been great. Anyone out there let me know…

    Eli - February 21st, 2009
  41. Eli, I just did the update and the only thing I noticed changed was the 3D map which is childs play compared to the 3D on my portable Garmin. The update was worthless were I live. We had a Home Depot put in 3 years ago and it wasnt in there. Small road that have been there for over 5 years and are in my $129 Garmin Nuvi are not in the new update. I would not waste that money. Save a little more and get a different GPS. The only reason I purchased the update was to see if it would fix my freezing up problem, but it didnt. I also have the whole setup with the Dock and the onscreen display. I will not buy another Alpine GPS product, and dont try to call their technical support lines. My neighbors 14 year son knew more about GPS and the unit than the Tech guy from Alpine. Don’t waste your money!

    David - February 21st, 2009
    • Unlike the road database, they don’t try to put every known POI into GPS devices. Most only come with about 5-25% of all known POIs.

      Tim - February 21st, 2009
  42. Tim,I understand that they cant put every POI in there but something major like a home repair store should be in there. Its in my Garmin? Its in my friends Nextar(Spelling?). I checked a few roads that werent there before and still are not there. I honestly dont think the udpate did anything for the smaller towns. Maybe once we get into the bigger cities like Seattle I will see a difference.

    David - February 21st, 2009
    • Well, they can put more POIs in… they just choose not to. The B100 is advertised as having about 6 million POIs for North America while there are roughly 25 million or so POIs in North America. So you can expect about 76% of them to be “missing”.

      Tim - February 21st, 2009
  43. I just returned from a 300 mile trip to another city in another state and had no (zero) glitches at all – using the updated software. The Alpine accepted the address of a commercial building I was traveling to and took me right to the front door. Unlike the experiences some others have had, my update works pretty well and has corrected most of the earlier problems I experienced. Another post commented about the Alpine software not recognizing the address of a business that had been in existence for three years (that the Garmin did recognize). On the other hand, the Alpine might recognize some locations that the Garmin might not. So to be fair, a more exhaustive comparison would have to be made before you could (rightly) conclude that the Alpine was not up to par (I’m not saying the Alpine is as good as the Garmin, simply that you cannot conclude that on the basis on one or two instances in one or two cities).

    Sometimes a couple of bad experiences so turns someone off of a product that it is viewed as a piece of junk (I have felt that way myself a few times) – but that doesn’t mean that everyone has had the same experience with another sample of the same product. For me, as I have stated in earlier posts, the upgrade corrected most of the earlier issues and was worth the money. But I would also say that $80.00 was the upper limit of what I would have paid. All in all, I have been satisfied with the Blackbird after the upgrade. It is perfect? No – but then some of my friends who purchased Garmins have had a few issues too.

    Bruce - February 21st, 2009
  44. Im about to buy the black bird from some one on craigs list. the listing states that it is in really good shape, most of the accesories are still in the package and im buying it for 60 bucks. my question is should i really buy it. does any one have any advise for me.

    Jess - July 31st, 2009
    • Jess,

      At this point in the life of the Alpine navigation systems – I would say “buy the Garmin.” The Alpine was a decent (but not great) unit when it was new, but it has been discontinued for several years. Furthermore, if you don’t get one that has been upgraded with the new software ($80.00 bucks) it is (in my opinion) not worth $60.00 – as you will have to spend another $80.00 for the upgrade software (to take care of glitches) and for $140.00, you could purchase a modern Garmin. So while I am pretty much happy with my Alpine unit after the upgrade, I would not (in today’s market) give $140.00 for it. My advice would be to spend a little more and get a new Garmin (which is what I intend to do when my Alpine bites the dust).

      Bruce - July 31st, 2009
  45. I do have some advice, save $30 more dollars and get a Garmin Nuvi from WalMart. The Blackbird (Older Ones)are the biggest piece of junk any were. I spent the $80 to upgrade a few months ago and it still doesnt have the streets that have been here over 10 years. Maybe the newer ones are better but if its the older one, stay away. The volume is low, the response is even slower. What state are you in? Maybe you can find someone that has the blackbird now and you can play with it before you buy. If you happen to be in WA state let me know.

    David - July 31st, 2009
  46. Well Jess, here are the statistics for the reviews on this website: 22 bad reviews; 12 satisfactory reviews & 9 general comments or remarks related to last software update (or the $70 price for it). And no one ‘highly’ recommends it based on it’s performance. That being said, you have to consider that most people tend to post complaints when they have problems than people who are satisfied with a product.

    I’ve posted here several times, mostly bad reviews of the unit (and well justified considering the problems I’ve had with mine). And my latest problem (one that you need to consider since you’re considering buying a used one) is that the battery is almost dead and if I don’t drive my vehicle at least every other day (and thereby charging the unit) it sometimes won’t start until I have driven for several miles, and then I have to stop, turn off the vehicle and then crank it back up in order to get the unit to respond. Sometimes I have to take it out of it’s dock and do a manual reset. (I have a head unit and leave mine in the dock). It seems to require good battery power even when it is connected to the car’s power source continually. And I imagine when the battery is completely dead I will have to spend $50 to get a new one. (and if you don’t have a set of “Torx” screw drivers, another $10)

    Other considerations: Has the unit had the latest update? ($80); it does NOT include the AC charger/Computer cable needed for updating the unit ($50); It also does not include an AC charger ($25); It’s used, does it need a new battery? ($60)

    Possible out of pocket cost: used unit-$60, update-$130, AC-$25, battery-$60 = $275

    Most likey, it has been updated and you won’t need the AC charger but it’s used and will probably need a new battery; Possible cost = $120

    My advise: Take that money and buy a NEW non-Alpine brand. (Even if you have to save-up a few more dollars)

    Buyer BEWARE!

    Roy - July 31st, 2009
  47. I bought the the blackbird and the dock-1 about a year and a half ago to go with my alpine indash.Im still thinking about spending the 80 bucks on the update hopefully this will fix the inaccuracy.I live about 2 miles from the alpine corporation and its still not accurate.I don’t know how they tested this unit before butting it out in the market.I bought the cheapest tom tom a few months ago for about 80 bucks and its way better then the alpine blackbird that I really regret buying.
    so for anyone thinking about buying this unit don’t even think about it you will regret it mark my words its a piece of crap!

    willie - August 21st, 2009
  48. Model B100, one year old, used with no trouble, till now, purchased the update cd and installed drivers as per auto run. Unit will not go into update mode. Even tried removing fake sd card no luck, tired inserting real sd card, still no update mode. Tried resetting to factory with reset button, still will not go into update mode….. hmmmmmmmm any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

    Tom P. - September 8th, 2009
    • If you are using Windows Vista, good luck. It took me 8 hours of trying to install it on mine with Vista. I’m not even sure how I finally got it going, I tried so many different things. I think it has something to do with the “USB Device Drivers” that Vista uses. If I recall correctly, I was having problems with the B100 finding the USB or CD Drive. Or you can try copying the installation CD to your hard drive and install it from there. (I think that’s what finally got it for me) Or try finding a machine with XP on it and install it. Otherwise: Do you have the cable with AC power or a separate power cord? The instructions say AC power is required and if your unit is a year old the battery will probably not last the whole update process anyway.

      Roy - September 8th, 2009
  49. I only have 4 words to say about this unit. DO NOT GET ONE. I have always been a Alpine fan and I’m very dissapointed that they let their customers down so badly

    Jason - September 25th, 2009
  50. My PMD-B100 came in the Alfa Motorhome I purchased new in August 2007. I have used it extensively and found it to be quite accurate. It does have some flaws in finding some remote addresses, especially in WI where the addresses have a letter in front of the number. Also, when coming home, just before we get home, it always wants us to turn into a Pecan Grove in Green Valley, AZ. We ignore and move on. I just ordered the upgrade today ($84.00) and will be testing it out on our next trip. I have documented several errors and would like to know who to contact to have them review the “errors”. I hate hearing “re-routing”. All-in-all we have been pleased. My wife usually does the programing when we are traveling as I’m busy driving. Will let you know how my upgrade works later. Don’t sell it too short. Evans

    Evans - September 25th, 2009
  51. OK GOT THE UPDATE CD I MUST ADMIT GREAT IMPROVEMENT BETTER SIGNAL USE TO GET THREE BAR SIGNAL NOW UP TO SEVEN. I MUST TEST IT ON LONG TRIP. BUT FOR NOW IF YOU GOT THIS UNIT AND YOU DON’T WANT TO REPLACE IT. ITS A MUST ON THE SYSTEM UPDATE SOFTWARE.IT SUCKS THAT YOU HAVE TO SPEND MORE MONEY JUST TO GET IT TO WORK LIKE IT SHOULD IN THE FIRST PLACE. BUT THATS LIFE.ALPINE SHOULD GAVE THIS OUT FOR FREE JUST TO SAVE THERE GOOD NAME. BUT OH WELL LIFE SUCKS.WILL POST LATER WHEN I TEST IT FURTHER.

    willie - September 26th, 2009
  52. I have been fairly pleased with my PMD B-100 after the upgrade. If I were going to purchase a new one, I would get the Garmin. However, since my unit is working fairly well now, and seems to be pretty accurate, I am going to stick with it until it dies a natural death (and then get the Garmin). I have not experienced some of the more severe problems other have noted.

    Bruce - September 26th, 2009
  53. Have posted twice before on this forum and just want to add my feelings as of this date regarding the Alpine B100 GPS. As mentioned in my second post (#18)my intial unit was a piece of crap and had to be replaced. The replacement unit was given the upgraded software package at no charge by my dealer as he was pretty upset with how both units had worked, etc. Anyway, the unit still continues to operate and does get me from point A to point B (most of the time) but also continues to lock ocassionally plus gives erroneous directions at times that just don’t make any sense. Due to the high purchase cost of this unit I will continue to use it until it takes its’ last breath and then I will replace it with another brand. I will never buy an Alpine product again as long as I live. To those that paid the $80 upgrade costs my heart goes out to you as Alpine should be taken to task for charging this riduculous amount to upgrade a unit that was obviously inferior and out of date from the begninning. Their customer service has totally gone down the tubes, but then again whose hasn’t these days. It’s all money up front and to hell with customer service. You get what you paid for and for the most of here on this forum we all got a royal screwing from Alpine on this GPS system that has a name on it that at one time was considered to be top shelf in car audio. Shame on you Alpine, this is about as low as a company can go and to not stand behind the product and at least give the upgraded software to all those that did have problems with their units, is really small on your part………….

    Garmin, Magellan, and Tom Tom, buy them and don’t get caught up thinking Alpine is still high end as IT IS NOT!!!

    Terry - September 26th, 2009
  54. Hi Terry,

    I can understand your frustration. I have not experienced as much trouble as some others have and overall I would rate my (upgraded) unit a \B.\ I also feel as you do that Alpine should have provided the first upgrade free. But the bottom line (for me) is this: I would not purchase another Alpine navigation system, but I would still consider one of their head units as that’s what they are really known for. I purchased their navigation system based on previous experience with Alpine, but it is clear that navigation is not their primary area of expertise.

    Bruce - September 26th, 2009
    • Hi Bruce –

      I just returned from a 1,500 road trip and have to eat some crow here I am thinking. I put the unit to the test once again and lo and behold it worked fine this trip, with no errors or freeze ups! I programmed several destinations and with each one got commands and guidance that took me to the particular destination without a hitch. Amazing it worked as well this time after so many problems in the past. To top it off the unit had been sitting in the glove box several months prior to this trip so before leaving I took it in the house, gave it a full A/C charge and even reset it. Installed it in the cradle the next morning and took off. It preformed flawlessly the entire trip! Go figure that one? Not complaining here, rather I am elated that for the first time since purchasing it, the unit is working as is should have in the first place. I am not taking back what I have said in my other posts, rather I am simply going to give it “another go” the next time we travel and see how it does then. I almost feel like I got my money’s worth out of it this trip as in one area we were totally lost in, it found our destination and guided us there perfectly. You don’t suppose Alpine has read some of these not so good posts about this unit and sent some kind of reprogramming message down from the satellite do you? Something had to have happened in order to have a change such as this occur…………???

      Terry - October 11th, 2009
      • Alpine can’t push anything through the satellites. The satellites only send the current time and everything else is handled on the device itself.

        Tim - October 11th, 2009
  55. Hi Terry,

    Glad to hear that your Alpine navigation unit is working better. I used my a few weeks ago for a 470 mile trip and it got me to an out-of-the-way hotel just fine. It also nailed a hospital (right to the front door) in Dallas, Texas where my wife and I stopped by to visit her brother-in-law who had just had heart surgery. As I said before, I would rate my upgraded unit a B (maybe a B+).

    Bruce - October 11th, 2009
    • Hi again Bruce. I cannot explain why my unit has all of a sudden starting working as it should have from day one. As mentioned prior, I am going to give it another workout on the next trip we take to see if it still does. I do realize that the satellites only provide the GPS info and do not download new info, etc. to the unit, I just was trying to figure out what may have happened to have it start working correctly and all. Guess time and the next trip will tell the “rest of my story”. For now I am just going to back off a bit on knocking Alpine as I did and yes, I was unfair in knocking them with regards to their fine line of audio components due my frustration with this GPS unit. As also mentioned I am hoping that Alpine personnel will read all of these comments posted on this site and get their act together and provide not only a decent upgraded unit, but some satisfaction and assistance to all those that experienced unnecessary problems with this unit. Will that happen? Well that’s another entire story…………..

      Terry - October 11th, 2009
  56. I make a distinction between Alpine Navigation, and the rest of Alpine’s products. I was an Alpine dealer for fifteen years during their heyday, and they made some very fine head units. In fact, the only company that was probably better was (at the time) Nakamichi, and they had a very limited line. Back in the day, I rated Alpine an “A” on head units, a “B -” on amplifiers, and perhaps a “C +” on speakers. But overall, they made good car audio products. I got out of car audio in 2000 and have been told by my former factory representatives (of all car audio brands) that today it is just a commodity business with no longer a high emphasis on excellence (that is what I have been *told* by people in the industry, but I don’t know that first hand). My previous experience with Alpine is why I purchased their navigation unit. I was disappointed at first, but after the upgrade, it performed much better (but for the price, it should). In any case, if I were in the market for a new head unit, I would certainly give Alpine a “look-see” — but with regard to navigation systems, I will probably purchase an upper end Garmin when my Alpine bites the dust.

    Bruce - October 11th, 2009
    • Don’t mean to get off on a bunny trail here with regards to the original topic of discussion but back in the mid 80s I too was really into Alpine and actually won a third prize in an nationwide Alpine contest. I had a complete top of the line Alpine system in my car and it really was something to be proud of. I think that is the main reason why I got so down on Alpine when I had a bunch of problems with their GPS unit. Then to find out that many others were experiencing the same problems made it all the easier to blast them a good one. Many high end mfgrs have gone the route of cheapening their product lines to save a few bucks so it is not only Alpine that gets blasted, it is a lot of supposedly high end companies also that do. I will post another time after my next trip when I have had some more road time with this unit. Hope it continues to work as it did on this last trip……………

      Terry - October 12th, 2009
  57. ok so since I posted the review on the 2.0 upgrade last month I still had problems. so bought a new antenna for less then $10 on ebay since I notice the signal was weak what a difference the antenna makes.now im happy! its a shame that you need to make these upgrades at your own expense just to get it to work like it should.

    willie - October 24th, 2009
  58. I have been using an Alpine blackbird since the day they arrived at my store. Excuse me I should say I have had an Alpine Blackbird since the day they arrived at my store. It is worthless. It locks up on its own. It takes forever to load even with the new update. The battery sucks. Alpine continues to send me batteries even though they never hold a charge, and when I sent my blackbird in for service they replaced it with a scratched up unit that worked even worse than my original. I have mine hooked up to an Alpine in-dash screen and it sucks. Using the menus are impossible. The voice prompts are always three seconds too late which in turn mutes my stereo, or stops my dvd playback, says interrupt and than gives no directions. Then I have to wait 20 seconds to be able to repeat the message because after it reboots the dvd or brings the cd/radio audio back there is a delay which prohibits you from accessing the blackbird. This thing sucks! They dropped the price last year to 150 dollars. I still dont want to move this thing. By yourself a hundred dollar unit from staples and throw it away when it breaks. I have also had countless issues with the newer blackbird, the b200. IT SUCKS JUST AS MUCH. The alpine name is now synonimous with garbage in my book. Pure Garbage.

    Joe Hamel - November 13th, 2009
    • Hi Joe –

      Being a dealer for Alpine I would hope that you have voiced your opinion to Alpine several times about what so many owners of this unit have stated here on this forum. And possibly even suggested they log onto this forum and read for themselves if they question your negativity, etc. What’s up with Alpine, are they ignorant or just plain stupid? How does a company that has been known for years as a mfgr. of high end automobile audio products, put a product on the market such as this one and then do absolutely nothing about it other than try to provide an upgrade that costs the out of pocket consumer even more money, and a lot more IMHO than the useless upgrade is even worth. I just plain don’t understand all this. Oh well, once again I have said my piece on this on this forum. My unit for some unexplained reason has been actually working fine for the past several months now but I am most certainly not holding my breath for very long as I just know that one day soon I will light it up and it will probably go tell me to jump in some lake it can’t find…..

      Good luck and use another brand of GPS when you are out riding around. I’m reasonably certain any of them will work much better than this Alpine unit does………… Terry

      Terry - November 13th, 2009
      • Hi Terry,
        I have voiced my opinion. Unfortunately the only responses I get are “none of our other dealers are complaining” – from my district rep and “We’ve never heard of any of those problems, must be your installation” – tech dept. Unfortunately I just dont see how either of those comments would actually help to resolve the issue. Alpine is only concerned with sales numbers now, and not with overall product quality. I would be happy to use another gps system Terry, if only I hadnt dropped two grand on the iva-w200 double din setup and the bluetooth (which works like crap with 6 different phones). well i geuss my cost is less than two grand, but seriously am I supposed to be able to ask my customers for that kind of money knowing its gonna work like crap. (dont even get me started on how bad the whole alpine setup sounds) Neways thanks for the response man, good luck to you and your blackbird.

        Joe Hamel - November 13th, 2009
  59. >> Joe said: I have voiced my opinion [to the manufacturer]. Unfortunately the only responses I get are “none of our other dealers are complaining” – from my district rep and “We’ve never heard of any of those problems, must be your installation” – tech dept. <<

    Having been in the home and car entertainment business for over 38 years, I can tell you that the above comment is an accurate statement regarding almost all manufacturers. We had our own service department and when we had (say) a dozen or more head units (or home receivers) come back with the same issue, we would contact the manufacturer with the problem (and frequently the solution). I cannot think of a single time when the manufacturer didn't tell us (something like) "We haven't had any other complaints," or, "It must be something you're doing" (sure, like WE caused the right channel to drop out in over a dozen of one particular new model). Yet, two months after one complaint (and manufacturer denial), they came out with a (free) modification kit that repaired the manufacturing defect that we had identified as having caused the problem.

    I believe it is in the DNA of manufacturers to deny reported problems for fear that if they acknowledge them, word will get around to their competitors and be used as a selling point against them. Over the years we were able to *demonstrate* our claims to one manufacturer's rep to the point that when we told him we had identified a problem, he would tell the manufacturer "I know you say you aren't having complaints [with this model], but someone has to be first to report an issue, and these guys have been right 100% of the time so far. So you should not just blow them off."

    But Joe is right. It has been my experience that most manufacturers will not listen to a dealer when he identifies a problem with a product – not until they begin getting multiple reports of the same problem or complaints directly from consumers.

    Nevertheless, I would not blow off all Alpine products simply because they seemed to had issues with their navigation systems. They do make some good products.

    Bruce - November 14th, 2009
    • Well unfortunately Alpine has dropped the ball on satellite radio and bluetooth technology as well. Their headunits are awful now and have been for the past three years. But if you still feel like your getting the best sound for your money than more power to you! Thanks for the response.

      Joe - November 14th, 2009
      • Of course, the obvious question is — if Alpine has been so terrible and malfunctioning for over three years: Why do you still offer the brand to your customers?

        (Not at all trying to start an argument, but considering your remarks about Alpine, it’s a valid question.)

        Bruce - November 14th, 2009
        • To put it simply, I am working on it.

          Joe Hamel - November 14th, 2009
  60. I am again wondering if Alpine is even aware of this site and the many frustrated and unsatisfied comments that have been made here by most all of us? Isn’t it about time somebody (I’ll volunteer) call them and try to get thru to someone with some authority and let them know that they should get on this site and read it for themselves. Perhaps then they will realize there is a problem with this unit and it isn’t just a couple of dissatisfied folks, it’s a whole bunch of dissatisfied folks!!! I have their 800 number and will call them first on Monday and then report back with what goes down and how they react, etc. Wish me luck, I’ll most likely need it……….. Terry

    Terry - November 14th, 2009
    • Hi Terry,

      I will be interested in what Alpine has to say.

      Bruce - November 14th, 2009
  61. Hi all –

    I tried calling Alpine at their Torrance, CA facility and got nowhere. All I got was to be transferred around via a recording loop and when I finally did reach a live receptionist, the dept. she transferred me to simply was another recording telling me to leave a message and somebody would call me back. Yeah, like I will be holding my breath for that call to come. So guess we are all stuck with this wonderful Alpine product as it may be. Fortunately for me, my unit for some unknown reason has been working fine of last. The battery life has not changed of course but in the truck at least it is doing the job it was supposed to do from the beginning. For how long, who knows but at least I can use it now whereas before it was a total frustration. Anyone else care to try contacting Alpine for this forum, good luck with that…………..

    Terry

    Terry - November 18th, 2009
  62. Any word on the NVE-M300 as a substitute for the NFG ! PMD-B200 , I was told this new unit would be able to get traffic via MSN direct , which I now here is being canceled jan 2012 ! WTF . How can a company as large as Alpine be so messed up when it comes to Navigation? Putting so much stock into out dated technology !! the Blackbird had a great traffic utility from Navteq and now they put MSN in there new units, and not going with Navteq??? how does that make any sense???

    rob - November 29th, 2009
  63. hey,
    I’ve had my gps for a few years now. The first one went back after 2 days because the battery would not show a full charge after a day of charging. I’ve had minimal problems with freezing and shutting down. Twice this year when looking for an address the B Bird was 1 k off. I cant tell you what a piss off this is when your low fuel light is on, pulling a 26′ trailer, the unit says “you have arrived” and the campground is no where to be seen.
    My biggest problem with this gps is when I try to type a street name in and it is not in the list of posibilities, the unit will not let me go back and finish entering the name of the street I want to find. It just jumps ahead again. (This has nearly cost me my marriage on more than one occasion, as the gps was an anniversary present).
    Does the upgrade eliminate this problem? If you have info on this please let me know. Thanks in advance.
    Alan

    Alan - December 8th, 2009
  64. I need to know where to get my maps update. Otherwise, I love the layout of the Blackbird, for the music player option. Is there a way to know if I’m buying the latest update?

    Jamie - February 13th, 2010
    • Jamie,

      As far as I know, the Alpine company (itself) is the only place you can purcase an update. And any update you purhcase from them will be the latest one available.

      See post # 15.

      Bruce - February 13th, 2010
  65. Hi all,

    I have posted my experiences here many times. Recently, I went on a 1200 mile trip through Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, and Missouri. The Black Bird worked fine in all instances with one exception. When I was traveling from Tennessee to Missouri, the \fastest route\ maximize highway took me on a trek 60 miles farther than the route the Atlas I was carrying indicated. I followed the Black Bird and sure enough, it took me 60 miles out of the way (although it did nail my destination). Of course, I have no way of knowing if any other brand would have done the same thing, but my advice is to always carry an Atlas and if there is a significant conflict between the Black Bird and the Atlas — follow the Atlas.

    Bruce - February 13th, 2010
  66. Recieved mine as a gift back in december of last year and it spent most of its life being fixed just to return with the same problems. I havent heard of any upgrades but then again i dont plug it in to anywhere other than my car. the only problems i had with mine was it becoming like a tv with no signal :S

    Starting to wish there was another voice i could find for it because this girl is somewhat irratating.

    Despite that, when it works its great. the progress bar is even helpful and i love the trip details it saves.

    shayne - February 14th, 2010
  67. I’ve had mine for about 4 years, I’ve hardly used it as it’s the biggest piece of feces I’ve ever seen come from Alpine,it hardly ever recognizes the highways here in Indiana, and can’t even find my home address.. or many.many others…. and there’s absolutely no way in hades that I would pay $90+ for updates just to get the thing to work as it should have when released, how foolish can you be to do that?… I should have known better as I’ve had car cd players and amps and everything I’ve ever bought with Alpine on it has needed to be repaired….I’m done with Alpine!!

    Steve - July 15th, 2010
  68. I purchased my first GPS from Alpine in 2006 and was in lov$e with it. It was not perfect and I did carry my atlas with me and found you could not always trust the GPS. At first the updates were free by download then they started charging $70 for updates and now there will be no more updates for the B100. In 2008 we purchased a PNK300 and again really like the software even though it is not perfect either but again the updates are only every 2-3 years and a charge of $70 when it is available. Both did freeze up but after speaking with a support person found that you should charge it before you use it if the battery is dead. That did help the problem. He also told me that Alpine is at the bottom of the technology line when it comes to updates since they change the software with each new release so updating requires writing a complete program with each update and he admitted they do not dedicate people to write software or updates. If you are shopping for a GPS I would write off the Alpine and buy a Garmin. My next GPS will be a Garmin.

    Cheryl - July 25th, 2010
  69. Hi Everyone,

    This past week, I went on a 440 mile trip during which I had to stop as several businesses along the way. I had never been to any of the places before. My Alpine Blackbird (with software update) nailed every single location with no problem whatever. However, I do plan to purchase a new navigation unit sometime this year and will go with a Garmin this time (mainly because the Gsrmin is smaller and lighter — and probably does have better software).

    Bruce - July 25th, 2010
    • (Sorry, that should have been: “stop AT several businesses.)

      Bruce - July 25th, 2010
  70. Where can I get a battery for this Blackbird 100. We stopped using this unit long ago because it would not stay charged up. I paid 2500.00 dallors for this system and I’m not happy with it….. unfortunatily for me I’m stuck with it. So lets start with a battery, where can I get one?

    Thanks, Debbi

    Debbi Snapp - July 1st, 2011
    • Debbi – First off let me ask you, where on earth did you buy this unit? I believe when it first came out it had an MSRP of around $650 or thereabouts but it didn’t take long and the price came way down. I believe I paid just over $300 for mine back in mid ’07. You must have had an entire audio/navigation/GPS system professionally installed to have forked out $2,500………???

      Okay nuf of that, you should be able to go to a dealer who still sells Alpine GPS units and order one from him. If not, then I’d suggest contacting Alpine direct and see if they still have batteries available for it. So far so good with my battery but then again I don’t use it much anymore as I refuse to pay the outrageous data update charges from Alpine. I pissed away around $300 for this worthless piece of crap but once in a blue moon it actually does take me to where I want to go. Hope you can find a new battery, I just wonder what you are going to have to pay for one? Were it me, I’d toss the thing or sell it at a garage sale and go buy a new Garmin or one of the other brands that works………….

      Just my three cents worth……… Terry

      Terry - July 6th, 2011



content bottomleft content bottomright