Hema HN-7 versus tablet - still confused!

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 19:41
ThreadID: 134181 Views:4863 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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In an earlier post about crossing the Simpson I said I would broach the subject of what electronic mapping device I would buy, when the departure date got close. I'm going to have to break that promise - sorry Les :) Because today I went down to my local JB-HiFi store to ask some basic questions about the capabilities and compatibility of, say, the Samsung Tab Lite 8. The guy who helped me spoke very confidently and was adamant I'd be wasting my time buying any brand of tablet for mapping. He said they had AGPS (or maybe he meant 'a GPS' as in any old GPS) which relied on triangulation between phone towers to get a fix on where I was. And seeing as there are no phone towers (he assumed) in the Simpson, he said the device wouldn't work. He said I needed a device that used true GPS which got its signal from a satellite/s and said none of the tablets sold in his JB store had true GPS and that I should stick with the HN-7 or HX-1. I suspect this may now open a can of worms but what the hell is he talking about? How are all the tablet people doing their navigation? Paper maps are looking better all the time!
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Reply By: KiwiAngler - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:04

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:04
I have been travelling Australia top to bottom left to right and everywhere in between for the last 7 years full time and have run up 250,000 kms in the process.
I have a HN7 and a Samsung Tablet 8 and i use them both because I have both
I run a couple of mapping programmes on my Tablet including the new ExplorOz Traveller app from this site along with OziExplorer again because I have accrued a number of mapping programmes over the years
There has been nowhere in all my travels that I havent been able to use either theHN7 or the tablet

I have included a screen dump from my spot tracker page purely to show where i have been and as i said Tablet and HN7 worked in all these places
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https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=2d464de362759825a

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Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:55

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:55
Thank you KiwiAngler. I'll try another store.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:37

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:37
Confident though he may sound, Deejay, he is wrong.

Some, even most, but not all, tablets sold in JB HiFi stores have true GPS. They also have AGPS which, as you say, helps the device find itself in the absence of a true GPS signal.

This may be used to speed up an initial position fix when the true GPS is initially switched on, or to continue providing positional data, albeit less accurate, when GPS signal is not available but cell network coverage is.

I suppose a particular JB HiFi store may not have a full range, but I doubt it. They are a big chain.

I found the same misunderstanding when I was shopping for my tablet in my local but now defunct Dick Smith store.

Research the capabilities of the tablet that takes your fancy. If it has TRUE GPS and most do, then you're on a winner.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:56

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:56
Thanks Frank. I'll try another store.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 13:36

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 13:36
I thi k that was one big reason for the demise of DSE, out local store didn't know the difference between an inkjet & a laser printer.
The lack of product knowledge of sales staff never ceases to amaze me & it's getting worse!


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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:59

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 20:59
If the Tablet ie, an Android device has in it's "Settings section", a field which is called Location Services, look in there.

If it has GPS Satellites and a Tick Box and an explanation saying "let apps use GPS to pinpoint your location" then it has a GPS which works from satellites and WILL navigate for you with appropriate software/Apps as mentioned above.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 21:03

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 21:03
Most people in Hardly Normal, Good Guys, Dick Smith and the like have not ever seen a dirt road and don't know where they are.
They have never been away from a Telsta tower reception so despite what they say it must be carefully considered before believing same.

Many people become unsure and confused after going to the "professional" salespersons on the planet.
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Reply By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 21:21

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 21:21
Hi
By definition any device with AGPS (assisted GPS) must also have GPS as one of its components otherwise there would be no GPS to assist.
Definition
Assisted GPS (abbreviated generally as A-GPS and less commonly as aGPS) is a system that often significantly improves startup performance—i.e., time-to-first-fix (TTFF), of a GPS satellite-based positioning system.

So - those tablets with SIM card installed (not those without) use phone towers to figure out rough location while GPS is getting its act together. If there is no phone tower its just the GPS by itself.

My Samsung tablet has no sim card (or option to install one) - but it does have a GPS - so works fine.

Having said that - not all tablets have GPS (and therefore also dont have AGPS) ....but may just have option for SIM. These would obviously be useless for your intended purpose.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 22:22

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 22:22
Thanks Greg for the easy to understand and plain English explanation for a newbie like me. Deejay.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 23:40

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017 at 23:40
As mentioned Deejay, the JB guys really didn't advise you right.
An android or i device with inbuilt GPS will get you spot on mapping position no worries, no phone reception required.

If you find an absolute bargain tablet without GPS, you can just get some sort of extrernal GPS to hook up to the tablet, bluetooth is common.
My iphone has GPS, the ipad doesn't, I just run a GNS 2000 bluetooth device, again spot on location on the HEMA.
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 22:23

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 22:23
Thanks yet again Les.
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Reply By: bellony - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 00:38

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 00:38
I have never seen an Android device without a true GPS, look in the tech specs for something like "Location - SGPS Support, GLONASS Support".
Apple iPads do not have a GPS unless you get the version with a SIM card.
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Follow Up By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 06:59

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 06:59
Is that exactly right about the iPad? Mine has no sim but it has maps in it. The maps do seem to be pretty useless. I thinks mine is currently stuck out in Birdsville and has been since last July. Cheers Toni
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Follow Up By: Member - Ups and Downs - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 09:07

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 09:07
'Apple iPads do not have a GPS unless you get the version with a SIM card.'

I think you mean: unless you get a version that will accept a SIM card.

I have an IPad, no simcard and GPS works.

Paul
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Follow Up By: bellony - Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 00:35

Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 00:35
Yes, "Ups and Downs" is correct. I meant the version that Apple call Wi-Fi + Cellular, as stated by Pinko as well.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 15:43

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017 at 15:43
I feel for all those that have purchase an apple device that have not delivered to thier expectations.
I only have Apple devices and each time I have made a purchase it has been through the Apple store on a 1300 number.
Each time I have spoken to a trained expert and if my question cannot be answered they find someone that can.

The details in the right side are for wireless + cellular ipads and phones.
In the specs for the iPad the model that says Wireless + Cellular mentions GPS and Glonass.
This is the model that will work without a simcard or a wireless connection.
Glonass is the GPS of Russia which doubles the number of available satelites.
Using an ipad as the monitor for a drone that is flying 5kms away the view from the drone camera is seen on the ipad in front of you.
At touch of a button on the ipad app the drone will return and hover 1200 of the ground in front of you as steady as a rock and all controlled by american and russian satellites through an apple ipad ... no simcard or wireless involvement at all.
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Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 10:26

Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 10:26
My wifi only iPad drove me nuts for years doubling as a navigational aid with an external GPS receiver, but a few months ago I replaced it with a wifi+cellular iPad with its own built-in GPS and I love it with the ExplorOz OzTopo app.

The map is perfectly adequate for my purposes and the larger screen is great. The smaller Hema screen was a big turn-off for me.

I think the app also works for Android, although I personally have limited experience with Android. The Android phone I had drove me nuts so I reverted to Apple and have never had an Android tablet, but I can absolutely recommend my current set up of OzTopo with iPad.

Officeworks have some great. Deals on iPad Air 9.7 " at the moment at around $650, from memory.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:15

Thursday, Jan 26, 2017 at 11:15
Similar results with a Samsung Tab2 9.7 on Android. So if the OP is Windows/Android aligned he will have no problem with a GPS-equipped Android tablet.

I've said this in other threads, so at the risk of repetition ...

CoPilot AU/NZ is a fabulous turn by turn street navigator with a better than average coverage of minor roads and tracks, even fire trails - but no topo information at all except for the occasional major watercourse. You can run that in the background with its voice commands and in the foreground run something like OziExplorer with a decent topo map of your choice to monitor what CoPilot is telling you.

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Reply By: Shaker - Friday, Jan 27, 2017 at 09:04

Friday, Jan 27, 2017 at 09:04
All you really need to cross the Simpson Desert is a Wesprint map!

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 at 11:25

Saturday, Jan 28, 2017 at 11:25
Yeah, it's well sign-posted. And you get the map with your permit.

If you want basic progress data like average speed you can just use a GPS-equipped phone. And there's a range of phone apps with cheap or free dig maps if you want to see your track.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Jan 27, 2017 at 11:33

Friday, Jan 27, 2017 at 11:33
Hi Deejay...

Some further food for thought...

I have an in-dash VMS unit that does a number of things, including phone, radio etc. As a navigation device I find the screen too small and the functionality not that useful…

My solution was a Panasonic Toughbook, which operates like a tablet. The benefit I find is;

Screen size – I can actually read it,

Software – Run Oziexplorer, (lots of alternatives do!)

Laptop – All the functionality that I need,

GPS – It does have an inbuilt one, but I run a wireless Garmin GLO Bluetooth antenna, as it functions better when the laptop is in the vehicle.

Rugged – Military use them in the field (tried, tested, and proven in harsh environments). Mine has survived plenty of corrugations!

They don't come cheap and I’d need to take out a mortgage or cut back Mrs Landy’s annual Chardonnay budget to buy a brand new one out-of-the-box. However, there are a number of computer shops importing and reconditioning units for as little as $400.

I have a solid state hard-drive in mine and it was slightly more expensive. I suspect there will be many in the ExplorOz community using these units. Mine has performed trouble-free for the past couple of years (and isn’t saying that tempting fate!)…

Now not everyone needs or wants a laptop when heading out in the bush, but these are worth a look if you are researching your requirements. In the least go for a tablet that is big enough to read when driving/navigating…

And then there is the question of mounting – my solution follows…

Panasonic Laptop and In-Vehicle Mounting...

Good luck with your deliberation and to close, I always take paper maps as well...!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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