GPS Newbie

Submitted: Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 13:01
ThreadID: 13528 Views:1802 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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I have read most of the postings regarding GPS', laptops, relevant software etc. I think I understand what is possible. If I can bounce this off a few people I would be most appreciative.

I have a Laptop which is running WIN98. It has a 633 processor and appears it should be suitable. From what I can gather, if I wish to use a moving map, I need a GPS (eg. Magellan 315 as posted by someone else), Oziexplorer software as well as Auslig 1:250,000 maps.

From there I guess it's a case of getting connectivity between the GPS and Laptop and off I go. Have I misunderstood it?

My family and I travel as frequently as we can. We hitch up the caravan with the 4WD but the extra dimension of using a GPS with laptop will not only improve our trips, it will gie my 4 kids another activity, if not another reason to fight (just kidding).

Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:02

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:02
Prento, basically that's correct.

Your laptop will be fine for Ozi (there are other programs that do the same/similar thing, but I reckon Ozi is the best).

You aren't just restricted to the Auslig maps. Any map that will work with Ozi, will allow you you use "moving map".

You'll need the appropriate cabe(s) to connect the GPS to the PC (and also to 12v power if you want to save batteries. Try the EO shop or here for cables once you have chosen a GPS unit.

You will then also need to consider how/where you mount the laptop so it doesn't fly around the cabin in an accident. Also how/where you mount the GPS - this will vary depending on which model you select and whether you will use an external aerial.
AnswerID: 62056

Follow Up By: Prento - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 15:20

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 15:20
All very good advice. I won't be purchasing the Magellan 315 myself just used that as an example. I will probably go with a Garmin although will visit Johnny Appleseed here in Brisbane once I'm ready.

There will be 6 in the car and with the correct cables etc., I am sure one of the older kids will be more than happy to be my navigator. I have a lot to learn but best if I get my hands on one and start using it.

Have a mate that bought his 12 months ago and still hasn't used it... more money than sense I reckon. Thanks for your opinions and advice, all much appreciated.
FollowupID: 323432

Reply By: Pluto - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:04

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:04

It sounds like you have the basics in order.

However you shouldn't simply chose a base model GPS (ie. 315). It isn't necessarily an entry level unit. You should be considering the sort of features you are likely to use, for the sorts of activities with which you want to use it. You might try looking at for some more info about choosing a GPS unit.

Don’t forget that you will need to include the data cabling for the GPS PC interface. This cable is only a standard inclusion on the most recent GPS models.

Hope the setup works well for you.

AnswerID: 62057

Reply By: Ian(Qld) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:50

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:50
Hi Prento,

I bought a Compaq Flash GPS with a PCMCIA sleeve that will fit into a normal laptop. I had previously used a Garmin 12 with serial cable in a boating environment. Advantages of the CF GPS is that it fits neatly into the laptop without inceasing its profile much, uses the power from the laptop and more importantly has an external antenna. It means the laptop can be in the front or back seat with the antenna on the roof with a magnetic base.
I used this with Oziexplorer successfully but found it awkward in real 4WD'ing with the laptop wanting to go walkabout.
Now I have installed a Ipaq 5450 with a Compaq Flash expansion pack mounted to the dash (with a superb $40.00 bracket from Johnny Appleseed), the antenna mounted on top of the snornkel. You need Oziexplorer CE with the much better version of moving maps. I have my CE maps stored on a 512MB SD memory card. The Ipaq will only store a couple of the Auslig maps at any one time so the SD memory card will store 40 or more.
I also prepare may own scanned maps from national Park handouts and other material. Best of all worlds. Initial outlay high but ongoing map costs zero.
Hope this assists.
AnswerID: 62070

Reply By: 10 Para (Qld) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 17:35

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 17:35
Dont go to J................... seeed went to him last year and he sold me a load of maps that were out of date i went back when i found out 3 days later and he would not do anything at that stager i was about to buy everything from him glad i stopped and found out what he was like i went to GPSOZ guy called Brian Sommerville and got the lot from him he was most helpfull and in tune with what we all want, just ordered it from him and it arrived within 3 days great service and hekp ti install, plus he has everything you want.
can only call it as i have found it.
AnswerID: 62098

Follow Up By: Prento - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 07:54

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 07:54
Thanks for the tip. I have visisted the GPSOZ website and have sent them a query. I keep all options open.
FollowupID: 323547

Follow Up By: Bill Li - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 08:32

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 08:32
10 Para the survey company I work for and all the guys buy their GPS gear and maps from Johnny Appleseed GPS. The service is great and the prices are normally the best in Australia. Phone Kimball on the 1800 number on their website
The cables that gpsoz sells are not good quality and fail. If you want to buy good cables at the best prices then Gilson Technologies is the place. Delivery is normally 5 days to your post box
The Garmin Geko 201 at $239 from Johnny Appleseed GPS would be the ideal unit for your needs. The good thing about having a GPS like that is if you go walking or off-road in the bush you can take it with you. A CF or other type of GPS ties you to the laptop.
I am a full time surveyor and cartographer and if you would like to ask any questions go ahead. Better go to work now. Will check back later if you need any info.
FollowupID: 323553

Follow Up By: 10 Para (Qld) - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 08:45

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 08:45
Hi Bill as i said can speak about what happened to me we run a Garmin map 76 in the patrol with fixed attena, also mobile, also we run a Emtrac blue tooth gps for the IPAQ and the lap top we only use the Geko when we are away from the vechile, the handbrake takes the Geko and i take the Garmin " that is when we fish seperate.
As i said i went to the shop after ordering all the above stuff when i found out they had sold me an old version of Raster they would not replace it so i told them to forget it, dont want to deal with people like that i came home and found GPSZ and had all the stuff i wanted within 3 day's and that includes Ram mounts etc which JAS was having real trouple with.
FollowupID: 323554

Follow Up By: Prento - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 10:17

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 10:17
G'day Bill,

Thanks for the tip. To be quite honest with you I am a complete newbie to GPS'. I am not ashamed to say that I will try and gather as much information as I can from users and not dealers before I buy. I am not a big traveller but when the family and I go away, we end up in all sorts of places. Even with my own family research, I would like to pin point certain areas etc., with a GPS for recording. Like all people I would love to have a little extra $$$ to purchase a wizz bang model but realistically, and with 4 kids, one in Uni, another in Secondary and two in Primary, I have other debts I need to concern myself with. The Geko 201 ight be the answer. As I stated earlier, if I can use it with my Laptop, Oziexplorer and Maps (Auslig) to create moving maps, more the better, so any advice is all good advice.


FollowupID: 323562

Reply By: Nicholas from OctaPC - Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 05:38

Friday, Jun 18, 2004 at 05:38
Two things, one is bluetooth or using the PCMCIA slot are good ideas but only if you have absolutely no intention of carrying the laptop into bush. Buying a Handheld GPS is the most versatile, thus your original idea is more suited to what you intend using it for. The second point is the issues with Johnny Appleseed against GPSOZ. JOhnny does not sell Magellan, however, he knows his Garmin's back to front. GPSOZ on the other hand has only just recently acquired Garmin but is expert in Magellan. OctaPC ( ) has had both Garmin and Magellan for several years yet the only advice I can give you is that all 3 give you the best price. However, if you think you need personal help with the GPS unit then the closest dealer to you is the wisest choice. Johhny is not normally difficult to deal with, and the complaint surprises me.
AnswerID: 63696

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